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Whatever rings Mel's bells

Posts Tagged ‘family’

Healing, perhaps

I guess it’s more than perhaps, it’s more like “apparently.”

Five years, seven months, three days, one hour, and forty-nine minutes ago, the first man I truly adored was killed.  He’d come into my lonely, desperate, incomplete life, and he filled all the empty spaces that bothered me.

Then suddenly he was gone.

Being the type of person I am, I of course pulled myself up by the bootstraps and went on with life.  *sigh*  I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know how to grieve.  I don’t know how to lose.  I don’t know how to be hurt.  I just have no idea how to do any of that.  My default reaction is to take a deep breath, consider all the good things that still exist in my life, and move the hell on.

End of story.

After all, no matter what happens in my life, no matter how awful things seem, at least I’m still breathing, right?  At least I still have my health, and my sanity (or as much of it as I ever had!), and my ability to support myself, and my loving and wonderful family and friends.  So why should I dwell on what I’ve lost?  Why should I live in the past?  Why should I cling to something or someone that’s gone?

Unfortunately, my analytic mental processes don’t actually control everything that goes on inside.  So of course, recovering from The Loss Of My Entire Life was not (shall we say) a quick or easy process.  In fact, it’s still not finished.  Not even close.

But a few weeks ago I turned a corner, and tonight I turned another one.  (Does that mean I’m headed back the way I came?  *shudder*)

I spent 28 years wishing for someone who would make me feel wanted, and loved, and worthy, and wonderful.   I didn’t have him for very long, but he was instrumental in building me up to the (apparently) confident person I am today.

I’ve spent the past 5 years knowing that I’ll never find another person like him, and I’ve been not only grieving his loss, but the loss of that love and the loss of the way the love made me feel and the hope that I’d ever feel that loved again.

Oooh, there it is.  There’s the first epiphany.  I finally came to see that what I miss most about Mike Lucas is the way I felt when we were together.  Maya Angelou said it best, you know.  I will always remember the way he made me feel.  And I know I’m not the only one – anytime he walked into a room, the whole place would light up.  Everybody knew him, everybody loved him, everybody wanted to be around him.  He was just that kind of person.  Can you blame me for wanting to feel that again?

So a few weeks ago I realized that, and I realized that – wait for it – there might be someone, somewhere out there, who someday might make me feel that good again.  Who might make me feel that wanted again.  Who might make me feel like I belong again.

It could happen.  I believe it could.

So voila, there’s some hope.  And for me, hope is like air, in that I cannot live without it.  (I almost didn’t, in fact, but that’s another story.)  I now have hope that the thirteen months and thirteen days I spent with my First Mate don’t have to be the sum total of my belonging.

Huge.

Tonight I came to another confusion, as we like to say in my family.  You see, this Saturday would have been Mike’s 44th birthday, and we were talking about how to celebrate it.  I’m thinking a family dinner and maybe a toast…  Mom suggested releasing paper lanterns with messages written on them, which I really like.

But that got me thinking about how to remember him.  And how I can keep him in my life, even though he isn’t exactly in my life any more.  I acted the ass so thoroughly when I lost him (grief makes us do stupid things) that none of his friends or family talk to me any more.  His murderer is also his widow, so she gets to keep his name till she dies, she even got a frikkin’ television show.  Yeah, what do I get?  I get to feel like I’m nothing and nobody.  Which I am not, not by a long shot!  But it does feel that way.

Tonight I realized that I can, and should, find a constructive way to remember Mike.  Maybe find a cause to help in his name, maybe create something, maybe make a new tradition.  I don’t know what, I’m still working that out.  But I realized tonight that I’ve been looking for a place to put him in my life.  And because I haven’t had a place for him, he’s been floating all over and getting in the way, so to speak.

I think I’m finally getting started with this “moving on” and “healing” stuff that people have been talking about.  Sure has taken a while…  But I guess I’m a pretty tough nut to crack on some things.

Five years, seven months, three days, two hours, and twenty-one minutes.  And counting.

Birthday thoughts

Obviously updating my blog has not really been much of a priority for 2012…  So it’s about time I fix that.  I shall begin by posting here a bit of life commentary I wrote today.

34 years ago today at 1:39 in the morning, my mother and a doctor she didn’t really like that much got to introduce me to this world. When I was a wee thing (six-ish perhaps?) I nearly got swept away by a river. About ten years after that I was thrown from a horse and fell wrong, and got the immense joy of laying on the ground, unable to move, wondering if I would ever walk again. (Spoiler alert: I did.) Eight years after that, during an incredibly difficult part of my life, I decided I was done with it all and started planning my exit strategy. (Spoiler alert: I changed my mind.)

Every day now, I get up and choose what kind of day I’m going to have. Every day I choose what kind of life I’m going to lead. I’m not gonna lie to you, some days I don’t make good choices. AT ALL. But you know what? It’s pretty darned incredible to look at my life; at what I’ve done and where I’ve been. It’s pretty darned exciting to see all the potential, to look at my bucket list and know that it’s a pretty safe assumption that I’ll live long enough to knock a good number of things off. It’s pretty darned encouraging to know that I have people to share this life with, from casual friends that I rarely see to dear ones that I spend a great deal of time with. It’s pretty darned humbling to read about people who have done more with their lives when they have less to work with than I do.

So every day I get up, and I’m proud that more often than not, I choose to do good and useful things with my life. I choose to do right and to help those around me. I choose to learn so that I can make even better choices.

I’m not perfect. And life isn’t perfect either. But I’m awfully fond of it, and I’m very happy to be here. And I’m soooooo excited to see what the other two thirds of it are going to hold!

It’s a good day. 😀

What?  No, she did NOT just write that!  Christmas is about family!  It’s about giving.  It’s about love.  It’s about others.  It’s about the little baby Jesus asleep on the hay, for Christ’s sake!!  (I don’t think that came out quite right…)

Christmas in my life has been a day where my family gets together, eats great food, exchanges presents, and spends time together.  It’s wonderful!  I love Christmas, and when I was away from my family it was really hard to not be able to share this time.

The fact that we all live very close together now, and we spend a lot of time together, doesn’t make the family time aspect of Christmas less wonderful.  The fact that we get together every week and cook for each other doesn’t make the eating-great-food aspect of Christmas any less special.  But the fact is, the only thing that we do at Christmas that is specifically and uniquely a Christmas tradition is – what?  We give each other presents.

Now, I don’t feel the presents are important because I’m materialistic.  Giving (and getting) presents is NOT about stuff.  It’s about knowing the person you’re giving the stuff to.  It’s about saying, “I know you, leeettle seeester.  I know you’re wonderfully goofy, and you have an incredible carefree way of approaching the world.  So when I saw this little trinket, I thought of you.  And I bought it for you. I know who you are and I love who you are.  So Merry Christmas.”  You can say those words all day (and I think you should say them, too) but there’s an additional impact that comes when you reinforce the words by giving the person an item that illustrates what you’re saying.  It’s a symbolic gesture, I know, but it really does carry meaning.

So that’s my reasoning.  That’s why present on Christmas are so important to me.  Because it’s not just about stuff, it’s about special stuff, and the process you go through to get it for them.  It’s that contemplation of who the person is, and what sort of thing they would like.  Then you look around and see how you can translate that person’s life into an object.  It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s intensely personal.

Do I ever get duds?  Oh, sure.  There are times I can’t figure the person out, times I can’t find something in my price range that they’d like.  I feel a tiny bit of failure when I have to give a gift card, but fortunately it’s tempered by the fact that I know they’ll enjoy picking out something for themself.  Hey, extra spending money is always a bonus in this family!  😀

So yeah, the presents are important.  But only because they’re a visible, tangible, giveable form of love.

Oh, and as for the baby Jesus thing?  That would certainly be a vital part of it: a central, integral part of it, in fact.  If I were Christian.

Scratching in the kitchen

No, I don’t think that came out right.  COOKING from scratch!  Yeah, that’s better.

It all started with that silly cornbread.  Yeah, I bought some corn meal and followed the recipe on the side for sweet cornbread muffins.  They were a hit with the family (and I loved them) so after a while I started thinking of other things I want to make from scratch.

Then it was chicken soup.  That was partly because I was feeding the cats cooked chicken, and I didn’t want to waste the bones and scraps.

Now, I have homemade marinara in the fridge, I’m improving the spices of my chili recipe, and today will be breaking out the masa and making corn tortillas.  Just for the fish.

I guess I’m getting some cabin fever, but I don’t really want to get dressed and go anywhere I don’t have to.  So instead, I go into the kitchen.

Since when did I become this domestic?!?  Knitting, baking, cooking, what’s next?  I don’t want to become Martha Stewart!!!

Nah, it’ll never happen.  First of all, the cats eat anything decorative that they can reach.  Hell, I can’t leave any open space in the up-above, lest I walk into the kitchen and find a cat up there!  Second, I don’t have the patience to do decorative stuff on a large scale.  I get bored too easily!

But maybe I’m channeling just a little bit of my grandmas.  I’d like that.

But not the pot-smoking, sun-worshiping, drunk-riding-on-horseback-home-from-the-bar bit of Grandma.

I’ll skip that part.