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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

It is June 11th once more – today is my son’s 29th birthday. The following is a re-post of the day of his (fast) birth… And today, during this time of grieving for his grandfather, it is a joy for me to celebrate the man who my son has become.  After putting himself through night school for 2 years, my son received his MBA shortly after my father passed.  Not only do I celebrate my father’s life – I also celebrate my son’s huge achievement and my excitement for him and his brilliant future.  My son is my family. And what a blessed family I have…

Here’s the post I wrote 4 years ago, HAPPY DAY OF BIRTH, SON:

For many years on his birthday, I’ve called my son at 10:08AM – the time he was born.   I get a kick out of being that kind of mom.   25 years ago I was only in labor for 3 hours.   (Yes, I said three hours.)  When we arrived at  the hospital and got on the elevator, the contractions were so intense that I had to awkwardly squat down on my knees for fear I might fall from the pain.  Some how I spoke through my agony as the elevator started to move, “Oh my God, this baby is ready to be born”, I gasped to my then husband.  The people riding on the elevator with me did not say a word as the doors opened when we arrived on the maternity floor.   A couple of people helped me up and off I waddled – on my way to give birth!  My son was over due, ready, and starting to be born while I was still in the labor room (I’ll spare you the details) and by the time they finally wheeled me into the delivery room, Tyler was on his way!  I noticed my doctor had not even arrived yet.   “Where’s my doctor?!!”  Needless to say, things were getting a little exciting during my speedy “FedEx” type of delivery and apparently I thought that was as good of a time as any to start screaming my head off.   No, not like a woman in labor, but, perhaps like a woman who was witnessing a murder or something.   At that exact moment, my doctor literally burst through the doors of the delivery room.  He held his cloth face mask over his nose and mouth with his hand as the untied strings hung freely and  touched his plaid shirt.  As he was holding the face mask in place, I noticed he had on a beautiful, big artistic silver turquoise ring with a matching watch and band.  Incredibly masculine.   I felt relieved at the sight of my cool and hip doctor and stopped screaming as I got back to business and continued to push.  To my dismay, my cool doctor started to scold me for screaming at the top of my lungs – he had heard me from down the hall.  “Geeze.  Well, where have you been?”  I said to him.   And then he started to explain how first babies usually don’t arrive so quickly while one of the nurses started tieing his face  mask on for him while another helped him with his scrubs while I was pushing and pushing and . . .  then  . . . . silence  . . .  “It’s a boy!”   More of that silence.   (But he is lavender?  Are they all like that? Lavender?)  More silence followed by my son’s father crying and barely getting the words out, “I knew it was going to be a boy!”  He looked at me and said, “Can I hold him first?”  I nodded my head, “yes”.

The silence that was getting my attention was that my son was not crying, he didn’t even peep.  Not a sound.  It made me feel uneasy, I mean, after all, he was lavender too.  I did not remember receiving a memo on lavender babies.  “Is he ok?”

“Yes!”

“Why isn’t he crying?  Isn’t he supposed to cry?”

“You know what?  I don’t think your son feels like crying.  He is just fine.  A fine, healthy baby boy.”  I’ll never forget my doctor’s words.

Quiet new son Tyler was being held by his grateful sobbing new daddy.

And that is pretty much how my baby boy has been for most of  his 25 years, incredibly mellow, cool, calm and collected.  Totally together during any kind of confusion, chaos or stress that life can bring.   He just has that kind of demeanor, along with an occasional  joyous loud laugh that makes anyone want to laugh along with him.

Yep, amazing to think he was born 25 years ago.   My son was born in 1985.  I got divorced – as well as sober – in 1987.  The odds were completely against me to make it on my own, let alone be a good sober mom.   No child deserves a drunk parent.  A drunk parent can change even the most mellow of kids.   There is no reason or excuse to be drunk, especially when there is a solution and a joyful way of life to be found.   It is always possible to find a solution, eventually.

My last drink was on August 1st, 1987.  My 30th birthday.  I was ready.

My blessings are abundant.

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26th spiritual birthday coffee mug

26th spiritual birthday coffee mug


So far, I have been sober since 1987. 3 weeks ago, on August 2nd, it was my 26th spiritual birthday. I've made the mistake of believing that I am undeserving of a celebration this year. I admit that it took a while, but, thankfully I remember that the "celebration" of sobriety is in the sobriety itself. My sobriety is not a celebration of my many "accomplishments" this year, or any other year. Sobriety is not a celebration of the ego. And this year has been quite humbling.

I have found myself in survival mode. Some days taking it one hour at a time, not to stay sober, like I did long ago, but to endure this horrific pain that engulfs my body. Today was one of the many days where every hour I asked myself, "Can I live with this pain and debilitating fatigue one more hour?" Magically, the answer is always, "yes".

Because I have a foundation of sobriety – I get to learn that I am my spirit, not my body. I get to learn how blessed I am to have a roof over my head. Yes, it bothers me greatly that I have not received a paycheck for one year and 7 months – however – I am able to see past that and see the important blessings of good neighbors that help me and good friends that check in on me and visit, bring food, and surround me with unconditional love. I am not forgotten as I am held up in my quiet sanctuary. The blessing is that I get the opportunity to receive love that has no boundaries when I secretly feel that I have nothing to offer in return.

I am a willing student as I learn this very well could be one of my most important years for my spiritual growth. I am grateful to see that the celebration here, as quiet as it may be, is for God. The one that keeps me sober while I am finding my way. The one that is showing me that it is time to accept a deeper level of love. A simple life can still be a powerful life with purpose.

It is God that I quietly celebrate. For He has brought me to this 26th year of sobriety. I have faith that God, under any conditions, still has big and fulfilling plans for me.

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I feel victorious when I find a Victory Garden

I feel victorious when I find a Victory Garden

I feel victorious when I see a piece of the ocean

I feel victorious when I see a piece of the ocean

I feel victorious when I am able to be still

I feel victorious when I am able to be still

When I have another day sober – I am victorious!

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October 7th Is My Mom’s Birthday

My life has been quite full the last couple months.  I find this to be interesting because – simply put – my time is spent focusing 100% on managing and regaining my health.  I am slowly finding my way and finding a deeper level of what friendship means to me.  Or better yet, what friendships work for me while I build and discover a gentler life.

I woke up this morning as the sun was hitting the tops of the trees outside of my window.  And on this fine morning  I once more count my blessings, which always includes my mother too.  Today it’s not necessary to once more feeling compelled to describe & explain my physical pain & tears that over come me every single morning.  Because today my gratefulness, faith and joy is bigger and stronger than any part of my physical body.  My soul and spirit and belief covered everything else and only left lightness – joy in my heart.  I am eternally joyful and grateful that today my mother turns 82 years old!

Through God’s grace my mother and I both have endured and maintained long time sobriety.  A shocking amount of families literally suffer day in and day out from the disease of alcoholism.   Reluctantly,  as if it was a lifetime ago, I remember for years wishing my mom would just stop drinking. (and just stop smoking too!)  If only we could, “just”.  Not possible to “just” anything when it is a disease of the mind, body and spirit.  THEN when the miracle did happen – it was after I surrendered.  I quit just “wishing” and fell to my knees and started praying for her.  I let go.  I let it all go.  My pain was too great – I had to let go of my mother and her illness.  Sadly, she was out of my life for about two years – (not positive how long – it was so uncomfortable!)  my grieving and praying was bottomless and endless.  I went through a such a grieving period – I’m sorry – but my grieving was so painful that I wished she would just go ahead and die already from her alcoholism.  I had lived on eggshells for too long.  My feelings left me full of shame, guilt and good ol’ anger.  But during my grief period of letting her go and giving her to God – to my dismay – I started to notice and learn some things about myself and who I was as a person at that time in my life and how I come across in my communications.  My expectations.

I did not even notice that perhaps there was a reason of my own that I married and I was then divorcing my alcoholic husband.  I eventually saw that my own drinking was leading me to unhealthy levels.  (and I did not enjoy realizing that one)  And getting a babysitter for my baby boy so I could go out and “drink the right way” quickly stopped working for me.  Sheesh!  The hangovers – ouch.   It had to be a mistake!  Me?  An alcoholic too?  No, I don’t think so.  I must be wrong.  I have to be wrong!  My broken heart only could speak in unrealistic expectations of others.   I was so ignorant to the many levels of the complexity and heart ache of the disease of addiction to alcohol.   I was young – my son was a toddler.  Never before had I looked at my mother as a woman who lived with not knowing (and STILL not knowing) the demise of her son – my brother – he was  literally physically lost in the vast sea of alcoholism and drug addiction – the tide rising around him and the rip current bubbling out of control as it carried him far away to an unknown place on earth – or perhaps heaven – we do not know.  Could I function in day-to-day life if my son disappeared?  My God, my mother is brave.  She has courage that I have not ever had to tap into at such a level in motherhood. When my painful realizations and growth finally started to loosen their grip on my being – when my connection to my God grew more solid – when my own son was only 2 years old when I became sober myself in 1987 —  it was after all of that in October of 1988 when my mother called me. (No caller ID mind you.)  I was shocked and speechless when I heard my mother’s voice for the first time in forever and I heard her tell me she had 30 days sober.  Then she apologized to me.

Like giving birth to twins, God had struck us both sober.

All that matters is what is right in front of me – because that is how I survive myself some days.  And for today, what is in front of me is my mother’s birthday.  How cool is that?

Happy Birthday to you Mom.  I love you.  I’m glad that you were born.

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I must tell it how it is right now.  Will the truth set me free?  In due time, perhaps.  I have found myself riding solo on the thin line as I make every attempt to keep my balance.  I have always felt the need to share my back to back birthdays on August 1st & August 2nd with friends.  As hard as I’ve tried, as much as I’ve looked at all the different angles, I’ve finally come to terms that I have not felt up to it.  My body & spirit have been so weary. Stretched to the limit.  August 1st, my 55th birthday and August 2nd, my 25th spiritual-sober birthday have quietly come and gone.  I am so amazed that I am still sober.  Every morning before I even open my eyes, Fibromyalgia has once more beaten me to a pulp.  It’s extraordinary.  One moment the inside of my ear will feel as if I am being electrocuted with a live wire – then the pulsating stabbing and burning makes its way down my back.  As the great struggle for me to hang on to my sanity becomes bearable my thoughts are quite foggy from the fatigue that follows. 

“Get up.  Move.”  I mumble to myself feeling tears silently roll down my face.  “My list.  Find that list and it will tell you what to do”. . .

I know this long endless moment after moment will pass, but right now I still see no reason to celebrate my birthdays.  Being sociable is a bit much for me.  The best I can do is decline offers from other sober friends who somehow have not forgotten me.  At 25 years sober I certinally didn’t see this one coming for crying out loud.  I’ve been trying with all my might to climb out of the torture chamber that has landed inside of my body. So far, living with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia at this stage of the game is just that – torture.   It’s my truth.  It’s my struggle.  It’s my Fibromyalgia.  It’s my sobriety?  This is some crazy stuff.   

I must be patient with the process as doctors and I slowly (quite slowly) learn how to manage this puzzle.  My life has been put on hold – but the pages of the calendar do not stop turning.  Thank goodness, I’ve found that list, you know, the one with my brain on it.

In my handwriting, at the top of my reminder list it says, “Take more pictures”.  I’ve learned that taking photos is an excellent way for me to keep my mind in the present moment.  No past resentments.  No future fears.  Only the present moment as I find my way. 

This week has been extra depleting – once more I lean on my God –  I’ve nothing left to give – but  I’m not giving up.   I will have patience with the process.

A dear friend calls – rarely do I answer my phone when my sharp pains are horrific.  I can barely speak to him.  He has been consistent with checking in with me. “This is torture”, I whisper as I make a feeble attempt of holding back my tears.  “This is crazy”.  This endless depression is new territory for me.  But I feel my depression is caught up in the cycle of chronic pain. 

It took a while – but a clear thought came to me (thank you God)  Washing my hair at the kitchen sink is much more comfortable for me than standing in the shower.  (Showers are not very nice to me anymore. Ouch.)  A warm salt bath is a good thing.  Baby steps in having patience with the process – and learning how to manage.  A warm salt bath, followed by a shampoo at the kitchen sink is a very good thing.  Plus it’s much more entertaining for the cat.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m quite active & sociable by nature.  I’ve lost this part of me.  Gone.  I’m coming to terms with my feelings of loss.  Complete acceptance of my loss of the old me must happen before I am able to redefine myself.  To move forward.  Yes – I seem to be stuck.  Stuck between old & new.  Stuck between freedom & captivity.

No matter how weary my body & spirit, no matter how much my hope is wavering, there has always been enough in my spirit to ask Him to once again renew my hope, from that, I once again start to regain my courage in these many moments. 

I feel I can finally rest now.  I’ve been unable to sleep once more. Insomnia is not a nice one to deal with.  My late night, will soon be turning into morning.  And as I sleep, I’ll be able to refill my emotional & physical empty well.  

I have a feeling I could be learning some of the most important lessons of my life.  Nothing wrong with that.

Iris is my flower of sobriety.  My friend (who checks on me every day) dropped them off for me on my spiritual birthday.  So grateful for him.                                                                                                                                         

. . . and my number 25.  It’s my new lucky number now.  It could happen.                           

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