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Posts Tagged ‘life’

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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One of my favorite posts! Written May 22, 2012: 

Sure it’s easy to miss something that’s been right under your nose.  People do it every day, right?  Hence the saying: “If it was a snake, it would have bit me!”  But, a park?  I missed a park?  You know – trees, green grass, picnic tables, kids laughing and playing, people power walking their dogs – a park.  Now, if this park was a snake, well, it would have to be a gigantic python I’d say! If this park was a python it would have snuck up behind me and given me a much-needed  humongous endless firm hug with the tight squeeze follow-up!  What the whaa?!   Yes – I’m admitting in front of God and everyone.  “My name is Julie and I did not know that I live next door to a park.”  Sum-mabeeotch, I live next door to a park.  Clearly I did not realize just how much I really do not have the energy to get out unless it is a short necessary errand.  Errands are my cardio.

So here’s what happened in my most excellent moment in too long of a time. (This moment has made my top ten most excellent moments in my hall of fame of my life.  Just saying.)   I had been inside a couple days – I lovingly refer to it as “resting”.  We’ve had quite a heat wave here in my part of the world and I was camped out and laid up on my couch with my water, books, heating pad, cell phone, laptop and my cat all within reach as I was looking out at my patio.  Watching the trees and the sky – dreaming up more of my many ideas, plans and some-days.   That’s when it hit me with a fabulous Bam – “I can slowly cruise in my car to conserve my energy while I check out all the plants and flowers in my complex that are surviving this heat.  And when I am able, I’ll buy the same kind of flowers.”  Brilliant.  (I did not inherit the “green-thumb” that both of my parents have.)   There I went, doin’ a gangster lean slow cruise in my dirty Honda.  I opened my sunroof and windows as I turned on my air-conditioning.  No music this time.  I was longing to hear sounds of life in session while I was outside enjoying my solo scenic tour of my complex – we have over 200 units.  As I was still checkin’ out all my condo neighbor’s spring flowers, a white iron gate that was surrounded by vines caught my eye.  Even though the white iron gate is on the opposite side of where I live – sheesh! – I’ve lived here 3 years – and this my first sighting?  Geeze – how sad is that?!

Impulsively, I parked my car in an open spot next to the white iron gate.  I walked over and gave it a pull and a yank.  It was locked! Hmmm.  Thinking.   Wait! do I have the key?  Looking at my key chain I noticed a gold key I’ve never used since it was given to me.  Well? Do I have the key or not? Yes I do!  (Who knew?!  I laughed out loud at myself.)  I felt like I had picked the winning key at a carnival that opened the lock to a secret hidden treasure chest.  As I slowly pushed open the gate and took only two steps in, I could not believe my eyes.  And what a treasure I had won indeed. Before me was a picture perfect beautiful park.  Did I walk on to a movie set and it was a fake back drop?  Seriously.  A park. I don’t think I’ve ever lived so close to a park in my whole life.  It only took me 3 years to see it!  And it was there all along – all this time – waiting for me when I was ready.

I quietly closed the gate behind me.  Is this a secret park? Once I stepped inside, I felt my new-found surroundings lift my sad and weary spirit.  The warm breeze blew the cobb webs off of me. I followed the trail as if I was Dorothy and it was the yellow brick road.  I looked down at my feet to double check.  Nope, no ruby slippers, just my good ol’ Skechers Shape-ups.  They seemed to work just as well for me though – Dorothy would be proud. A gust of warm wind transported my weary soul and body to a place where I felt no pain.  My heavy chains melted away from my arms and legs as if they had been made from ice – leaving the heat completely invisible to me. Unfamiliar freedom.  Quite different from the way I remembered freedom from long ago.  An abundance of gratitude filled freedom lifted my spirit with every step. I could hear the grass growing. I heard a leaf fall before it touched the ground right in front of me.  I turned around to take another look to see if the white gate was for real or only another mirage I found in my vivid imagination during my healing and isolation.  Keeping a slow pace I walked a little further.  “If I walk slowly for just 2 or 3 minutes, I’ll rest a while and be ok.”  Carefully.  Resting. U-turn at the little wooden bridge. “Proceed on!”  I happily said out loud just like my hero Meriwether Lewis.  And off I went!  Well, sort of anyway.  A couple of minutes later I was close to the white iron gate.  I sat down at a cement picnic table in the shade and I took the last sip of my water.  My poor body has been so toxic.  I was a little out of breath.  I’ve become weak from getting too thin.  Geeze was I sweating bullets!  It was rough, but I did it.  I’ll be back quite often, if only to rest and rejuvenate. But I had found my park – my sanctuary.  God’s perfect timing – not mine.

I ate my healthy “allergy-free safe food for me” dinner.  Drank more water.  Took another Epsom Salt bath.  Showered.  And then fell into my bed and slept 11 hours straight.  The next morning as I woke up, I said my prayers for my friends who are on my prayer list.  Praying makes me feel useful.  When I started to make my way down stairs, I felt like heavy chains had been put on my arms and legs.  With a deep breath, I drank my glass of my recommended “Medical Food” powder formula.  Still in my jammies, I went into my living room.  I laid down on my couch with my water, books, heating pad, cell phone, laptop and my cat all within reach as I looked out at my patio.  Watching the trees and the sky – dreaming up more of my many ideas, plans and some-days.   And I smiled to myself knowing I had the key all along.  Literally.

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It happened again. My favorite flower, the iris, opened on the first day of spring. My special flower of sobriety can still bring me hope.  It’s personal meaning lifts my spirit. And all I need to do is look, see, and notice what is around me and my vision will capture the importance of such simple beauty.

the bud on the day before spring. . .

the bud on the day before spring. . .

the next day. It's the 1st day of spring! My iris is right on time. . .

the next day. It’s the 1st day of spring! My iris is right on time.

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Once more while I was lightly sleeping, my dreams this morning turned to darkness.  With that – and the movement of a fresh tear on my cheek – my eyes opened.  With a silent whisper, I asked no one, “Am I awake now?  Was I crying in my sleep again?”   Crying continued on its own as I began to wake up in the gray morning light.  With tremendous tenacity, slowly I began to take my focus off of the unforgiving fibromyalgia pains.   My spirit was being crushed with enormous heaviness like a manhole cover that had been stolen from a dead end street.  Such agony – both dull and sharp full body pain.  Convincingly, I pretend that crying is good for my soul – it is a spiritual detox.  Slowly, my spirit forces the body to do one of the stretches my physical therapist instructed me to do while I am still in bed during such a morning as this.

Next, I start to say my prayers as I slowly remove myself from my bed and shuffle onto the loft connecting to my bedroom.  I sit at my desk. I drink the purified bottled water that I keep next to my beloved lap top.  I force myself to move my focus to the window on my left.  As I put on my glasses, I can see the water from the rain slowly gliding down the surface of the window.  I imagine a cold small puddle is forming directly below it, out of my sight.  As I continue to look out my window, my view to the tops of the bare winter trees outside are a bit blurry.  The soft sounds of the combination of rain and birds become quite soothing to my soul.  The steady soft voice of the water reassuring me that the outside world will be renewed, sparkling and clean.  The plants and trees in my community are happily receiving their coating of the freshness from the rain as their roots accept their favorite special delivery treat from the heavens.

Completely surrounded by the warm and cozy comfort and security of my home, here I sit, as my cup gradually runs over with gratitude and appreciation.  I’m feeling the magic from a gift of love as I appreciate my soft and cheerful red gingham pajamas.   They are the perfect Christmas gift from the perfect friend.  She seemed to have read my mind knowing this particular gift is something I needed – and I am grateful.  I know that the roof of my home does not leak.  It never has.  And also for this, I am grateful.  I feel another layer of gratitude as I remind myself that just two days ago I  swept the leaves from the gutters and drains outside.  While I was at it, I double checked and cleared the drains of the condo next door as well – hopefully my neighbor has never seen me do this. For it is my pleasure.  No worries for me if the rain decides to burst into a down pour.  Just like a Brownie before she is able to become a Girl Scout, I am equipped, prepared and ready.

Flashlight?  Check.

Food? (that includes cat food) Check. Check.

Broom and chair cushions cleared off the patio?  Check.

Front door mat put away because it gets soaked in the rain?  Nope.  Forgot.  But I don’t care about that right now.

I like the sound of that:  “I don’t care.”  My list of what I care deeply about is long.  It’s no secret, I’m sensitive, that’s for sure!  And while we’re at it, I confess that I’m quite passionate as well.  Heck yes.  Sensitive and Passionate.  I could make up one of those silly combination names like they do in Hollywood.  For example, Brad and Angelina? “Brangelina”.   So, for my being sensitive and passionate, that would be, “sensi-nate”?  Yup, that’s me, oh so very sensinate.  Perhaps these qualities of mine are an asset – or perhaps these qualities are a defect of character – at this moment as I speak – guess what?  I don’t care.  Because that’s who I am today.  My spirit is comfortable with that.  Gratitude of the small things make a big difference.  My body has a lot going on – Fibromyalgia is indeed a pain.  However, I am in gratitude, therefore my spirit is joyful this morning.  And I am my spirit – not my body.

Taking a picture of the fragrant lavender renews my grateful attitude and spirit.

Stopping to take pictures of  fragrant wild lavender renews my grateful spirit.

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What a blessing! Sipping hot coffee outside on a cold day.

What a blessing! Sipping hot coffee outside on a cold day.

What a blessing! A beautiful orchid from my beautiful friends.

What a blessing! A beautiful orchid from my beautiful friends.

What a blessing! I get to watch my kitten grow . . .

What a blessing! I get to watch my kitten grow . . .

 . . . into a big healthy cool cat!

. . . into a big healthy cool cat!

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What a blessing – the rain stopped and magnificent colors appeared in the evening sky just as I stepped outside.

parkinglot clouds

What a blessing – I get to admire the white holiday lights at the out door mall.

The Patios

What a blessing – I saw bunches of my favorite flower at the market.  The Iris is my flower of sobriety!

Iris

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dk cloud sunrise1) I’m grateful I started my day by taking a picture from my balcony while the sun was rising through dark rain clouds.

2) I’m grateful there were no leaks in my home during the heavy rain this week. (Some neighbors were not so lucky.)

3) I’m grateful for my dear friend when he calls to check in on me.  (and I’m grateful for the Starbucks Card he sent me!)

4) I am incredibly grateful for the phone conversation I had with my father today.

5) I am grateful for my long term sobriety during my journey and deep challenges with Fibromyalgia. (Does that makes me a “Fibromyalkie”?)

I am feeling much more grateful now, than before I started my grateful list.  Try it. It works.  What are you grateful for?  I’d love to know.

julie 🙂

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