The Reality of March 15th

March 15th has a sting to it. The kind like cold winter air hitting your warm face. A sting like a knife slowly pressed into your soul, never to be removed again. March 15th carries the weight of the world’s saddest souls, and only casts shadows among the living on this day. March 15th is cursed in a way, that only those in our inner circle can understand.

March 15th is when we lost our best friend : a father, husband, son……tragically taken too 12828549_10153926528567457_1014387025005233938_osoon in a mechanical accident at a meat processing plant. March 15th is a day nobody will ever forget, as it was this wretched day that stole our friend, and changed the course of all of our lives forever.

Yes, for the last five years, March 15th rolls around and tears open a healing wound, only to set the process over again. It is such a dreaded day. The day our friend Rodney was stolen from this world.

Now, in the same respect, March 15th also happens to be the birthday of my husband’s cousin. The cousin who was like a brother to my husband. He was a father, son, brother, and probably the most tenderhearted spirit I have ever met. This man wore his heart on his sleeve, and would give you the shirt off of his back. His heart was so true, and his role in our family was immense. My children 30848_116269121750566_3367176_nlooked to him for fun times, and for comfort. Sadly, the year after we lost Rodney, we lost Anthony to another tragic accident. Four years without him, still feels like a lifetime. And the reality of it all still seems so surreal.

So, goodbye to this day. The day we should be celebrating Anthony’s 39th birthday with him. The day that should be like any other day in our world with Rodney in it. March 15th you are a thief, and a reminder of the day one of the most loving people was born….but never to spend a birthday with again.

This day will end soon, and we will have 364 more days until we relive the pain of the loss of two great men again. Sorrow does not even begin to describe the atmosphere of this day.

March 15th, you are no friend of mine.

Dear Photograph

In 2012, I submitted a picture to the site Dear Photograph. If you have never been to the site, you really should take a look.

You send in a picture from the past, taken in the same area today. It is such an amazing concept!

Anyway, I submitted it in 2012, and it was published on their site today. It is such an awesome feeling! You can see my picture, and more, here : Dear Photograph

 

Ba Humbug

In this season of being thankful, I find myself feeling low. I have been reflecting on all I have, all I am, and all I long to be.

I am miserable. What the hell is wrong with me? The heavy burden of carrying it all by myself is finally crushing me. I am longing for the companionship of someone who has an interest in the idea of being an active participant in the family. I am tired of the laziness, I am tired of doing everything myself, I am tired of being the only one trying.

I get jealous when I see other couples who are happy. I get sad when I see husbands helping their wives. I long to not feel so weighed down by everything I tackle everyday. 

And I am sad. My friend is dying of cancer, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I am angry because it is not fair, and I am sad because I do not want to think of life without him in it. This waiting for death is rediculous. 

I’m tired of alcoholic family members, and the chaos that comes with that. It is draining and frustrating. Sometimes I feel it would be best if I talked to nobody at all. 

I’m heartbroken that I put so much effort into this day, only to have it go unappreciated. I’m tired.

Tomorrow will be better I’m sure. Today is just very hard.

Unfair

Our friend is dying, this is not fair!

A life so full of energy, just taken away.

A brother, a son, and a father…..

this is not fair for the poor little girl.

 

A slow death, snuffing out the light

of a man who truly cares

about his friends and his family.

No, this is not fair.

 

Watching and waiting,

the clock moves so fast.

I cannot bear the thought

of how this is deemed fair.

 

Miracles happen, almost everyday.

Time cannot be cut short,

with all left undone.

The unknown is not fair.

 

I cannot bring myself to visit,

though I know it should be done.

I will cry, and he’ll cry, and the clock will tick on.

I plead for your mercy, shine down on this son.

Our friend is dying.

Why him?

It’s not fair he’s the one.

 

 

 

 

 

It Was Just a Dream

A few years ago, I had a dream that my mother died. I woke up from this dream with my heart racing, my body covered in sweat, and I was shaking. It was around 3:00 in the morning, and I could not go back to sleep. I went to the living room and tried to watch television. I tried to convince myself that it was just a dream, and I should just go back to bed. To no avail, an hour later, I sat in the living room wide awake.

At 4:00 in the morning I decided to call my mom. Even though I knew that I would be waking her from a sound sleep, I just needed to hear her voice. I dialed her number, and the phone rang for several times. Finally she answered the phone. “Angie what’s wrong?” She asked sleepily. (Because me calling this early in the morning would usually only mean something was wrong). I told  her I had a terrible dream, and I just needed to hear her voice. I needed to know she was okay. She assured me she was fine, and I told her I loved her. I apologized for waking her, and we hung up. I went back to sleep.

Dreams are funny like that, don’t you think? Even though I knew it was just a dream, the feelings that came with it led to anxiety and fear. Even though I knew it was not real, I had to prove it to myself that it in fact was just a dream. I have had other dreams like that since. The ones that seem so real, you almost need verification that they were not. THe mind is a crazy, complicated thing.

Migraines Are For the Birds

I have a headache. Not just a little headache that you get from a stressful day, or not eating or drinking enough water. This is a good old fashioned migraine, and I’m so tired of getting them. I’ve had them since I was about nine years old. At first, my parents didn’t believe that they were as bad as I said they were. But over time, they realized the headaches were so crippling and debilitating, and they believed me when I said they were as bad as they were. When I was in my early thirties, my doctor put me on sumatriptan. It was a life-saving miracle drug! I would take one at the onset of a headache and within a half hour the headache was completely gone. I did notice that it made my heart race a bit, but it was nothing that was ever too much to worry about.

I noticed that overtime, I started to use the medication more and more. It seemed I was having at least 15 headache days a month! And I was only prescribed 9 pills a month through my insurance. There were some months where I would end up buying a whole nother months worth of 9 pills at full price just to get by. Now mind you this is not a narcotic. It is not an addictive drug. However, it seemed that I was getting addicted to it. My headaches were more frequent and my usage of the medication increased.

One morning, I woke up with a horrible headache and took a sumatriptan pill. Shortly after, I began to experience horrible chest pain and a rapid heartbeat. I started reading online about other people who had seem to get addicted to this non-narcotic medication. They complained about similar things that I had going on with me. For example, more headaches than they had before they started taking the medication, running out of their prescription too soon before being able to refill it, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, and a list of other symptoms.

After about 2 hours of the chest pains they went away. I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to be so reliant on this medication anymore for my migraines. Info it will be 3 years this March but I decided to start taking that medicine. I have not taken one pill sense. I noticed but now I am down to about to migraine days a month. I have little headaches off and on throughout the month, but nothing compared to a migraine. When I do have a migraine, I take ibuprofen and Excedrin Migraine, and just tough it out.

To me, the side effects of the medication we’re not worth the temporary relief that it did bring to me. So here I sit writing this blog instead of doing my school work, because this headache will not allow for deep thinking. A small price to pay for a lesson that I greatly learned about being so dependent on medication to fix my problems. Has anybody else had similar experiences with that medication? It sure seems a lot of people on the internet have. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up refreshed and headache free.

The Frailty of Life

Frail

Our cat is pregnant. It has been such an exciting time for our family! The kids have been taking such good care of her. They make sure she eats enough, they have been rubbing her belly, and all that good stuff. They even were making bets on how many kittens she would have.

This morning her labor started. She was ready to go. We had made her a little spot in our oldest daughter’s closet, because that is where she had been laying for the past week. I had to leave for work, but only worked 4 hours today, so I told the kids to call me if there was a problem.

I got a call. The first kitten had come out. My daughter said it was all white with a black stripe on its head, and it wasn’t alive. She described to me that the mama cat was licking it, and nudging it with her nose, but the kitten was lifeless. My heart broke for her as a mother. I could picture her desperation to get her child to breathe.

My husband was home at the time packing for a trip he was leaving for, so I am glad the kids had him here. I called to check in with them on my break, and my daughter told me there were no more kittens. She said that the mama cat was just cuddling with the baby still. I told her not to move the baby until I got home, because I didn’t want to upset her anymore.

When I got home, we took the baby kitten away from her. We buried her under our pear tree. I petted the mama and told her I was so sorry. My heart broke all over again as I looked into her sad green eyes. She ate a little bit, and then became focused again. We have two more kittens so far, one dark orange, and one light orange. Both alive….both healthy. My mind keeps wandering to the white one with the black stripes…..I’m sure mama cat is thinking of it too.

Life is so confusing that way. A healthy full size kitten stillborn….no reason, just gone. It makes me think of how it is like that with us humans as well. Life really is so fragile. So much is taken for granted, so much is assumed that all with be ok with a situation, but we never really know. Each moment we have, each breath, truly is precious.

Dear Chris Cornell,

Back in February, when I heard that you were coming to our city to perform, I knew I had to be there. My husband and I talked, and we decided we could not let our son Noah miss the opportunity to see you live either. Then, when I heard that it was an acoustic show, I about lost my mind. I cannot even begin to describe the level of excitement that was racing through my brain! I got an email with a pre-sale code, and the day of that pre-sale in March, I sat in front of my laptop, watching the timer until it said “on sale now!”

I wrestled with myself that morning on which seats to pick. I wanted to make sure my husband and I would have an amazing view, but more importantly, I wanted to make sure my son Noah had the best view possible. I wanted to make sure we were in a spot where nobody’s head or body was going to block his view. My heart was racing as I was trying to decide. I could see the seats that others were purchasing, and they were getting taken at a pretty good pace! I finally decided : Box seats, right center, third row. Boom! Purchased…..and now we wait.

We decided not to tell Noah right away, and give him his ticket for his birthday at the end of June. The wait to share our excitement with him seemed to take years! And when the day finally came, Noah opened that card, saw the ticket, and was in complete shock. He got tears in his eyes, and said it was the best birthday gift ever! Perfect!

Thursday night came, and we were all so excited to get to the Orpheum to see you. You’d have thought Noah was going to meet you in person by how nervous he was! We found our seats, and waited for the show to start….

Noah started playing guitar around the age of 6. Nothing too exciting, but he was getting to know the instrument. His dad plays guitar, so they would play little bits together, and by the time he was 9, he had the fire and desire in him to learn more. His dad would teach him chords, and Noah would practice and practice. I was always hearing guitar through the house, and would hate to make him stop playing to go to bed at night. He’d go on YouTube and teach himself songs that others were playing. He would always gravitate to your music. He aspired to be as talented as you.

For whatever reason, the fire has started to go out this past year. He’d never be practicing when I’d get home from work, and when we’d ask him about playing, he’d just say he didn’t want to anymore. It was sad, because he was getting really good, and it was so great to see him that excited about learning guitar. I was sad that he’d lost the desire for learning guitar.

So, my secret motive here, was to use you, the one he aspired to be like, to be the one to light that fire again. And let me tell you, as soon as you were on stage playing, I could see his face change. You are more than just an amazingly talented artist. You sir, put on a show better than any I’ve ever seen. Song after song I could see the passion for guitar coming back to my son. He’d whisper, “mom, remember this song. I want to learn it.” I’m pretty sure I heard that from him over a dozen times during your show! The way he just watched you, and cheered after each song, made my heart swell with happiness.

On the way home, all he could talk about was how you played the guitar so amazingly. He took the CD’S from my car, so he could listen to them as he plays, as soon as we got home. At midnight that night, I could hear him playing guitar in his room. And I’ve heard it everyday and every night since. That sweet sweet sound is back!

So, I wanted to thank you for be the amazingly talented you that you are, and for reignighting a passion in my son’s soul. I wanted you to know that you should always keep doing what you do. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear Noah doing covers of your songs soon.

Sincerely,

Angie – a mom who’s heart is very full 🙂

Heartbreaking Reality

I didn’t even get an invitation to my step-brother’s wedding. I don’t know why I was kept off of the guest list, and this has left me sad and confused. The more I think about it, the sadder I seem to get.

My dad married his mom almost 20 years ago, and with that union came many different feelings. Not all were positive, but over time, we all began to mesh together as family. There was no “step” in front of anything. It was, “this is my brother, this is my sister.”

As time went on, he was made a part of my wedding in 2005. He was the only family member to come visit when my son was born. We would talk on the phone regularly, and there were birthday calls, and holiday cards. Normal stuff.

The last time I spoke with my step-brother, was on my birthday last year. He called, and when I answered, he was whispering “happy birthday sis.” I asked him why he was being quiet, and he told me he was waiting in the car while his biological sister and fiancée were in a store. And as quickly as the call began, it abruptly ended when he said, “They’re coming. I’ve got to go.”

Like I am a secret? That call left me feeling so weird. And ever since then, I have not heard anything from him. He quit answering my calls and texts, and I quit trying to get in touch. My heart hurts as I hear that I am the only family member that received no invitation to this wedding, and I have nobody to vent to.

If my only crime is that I was born of the wrong blood, then it probably is best that I am not invited. But the feelings that this leaves are painful, and maddening. I feel like it was all for nothing, and find myself lost and left out.

Family is always first in my book. Blood or no blood, family is family. I will never be fake or secretive with any member of my family. But now it seems maybe I have to be more selective on who I let into my family circle……that’s the heartbreaking reality.

Open Eyes

I’ve opened up my eyes
To all that’s going on.
Honestly I can’t believe
We held it together so long.

Waiting for someone
To make the first move.
Headstrong like we both
Have something to prove.
But really we both will lose.

The truth costs more
Than we both realize.
Admitting this really
Comes as no surprise.

I want nothing more
Than my own piece of mind.
And in the burning rubble
I just might find
The old me that I left behind.

Life gets busy!

It has been so long since I have written anything! It seems like I got caught in a whirlwind in life for about the past month, and haven’t had time to rest. It’s a good thing to be busy, though. My biopsy of the growth in my thyroid came back non-cancerous. The doctor is just going to watch it for now. Not sure if I am 100% comfortable with that, but I’m going with it for now. I’m just happy to have bypassed cancer for now.

I was able to read a story I wrote at a gathering for writers to share their stories with other people in the community. It was such an amazing opportunity for me. I was a bit nervous, but felt very accomplished when I was done, and the crowd was clapping for me. 🙂

School is out for the kids, and summer has begun! My son had his birthday party yesterday. His actual birthday is Thursday, but we always try to celebrate it the weekend before. (Since the following weekend is the fourth of July). The party was Hawaiian themed, and there was swimming and ice cream galore. The best part was that the rain stayed away until after the party was done! Another birthday party successfully in the books.

And, last but not least, I am all signed up for my classes in the fall to finish my bachelor’s degree. I cannot wait to start. It is such a great feeling to have this journey start up again, even though it’s been stalled for fifteen years.

I hope everyone has been doing well. XOXO

 

The Unknown

In 2009, I was referred to the ENT (Ear Nose and Throat Specialist) because I had a bump in my neck that my doctor couldn’t quite figure out. He did a CT scan, and found that the bump in my neck was fine, but I had a growth on my thyroid that was concerning to him. He decided to biopsy it that day in his office.

Five days later, I got the call that it was benign,  and was told to come back in a year to make sure nothing had changed with it. So I did. Recheck in 2010 showed that it had not grown, and I was then placed on two year recalls. 2012 recall showed no change in size, and all was the same.

I have to admit that I was the one that dropped the ball on not scheduling my recheck in 2014. I really just didn’t think about it. Honestly I figured it was never changing, so maybe it wasn’t a big deal after all…..But with in the past year, I started to have trouble swallowing when I ate. (See post Everyone Has a Battle). This made me think back to the growth that was never changing in my thyroid. Maybe it was changing?

Almost two weeks ago, I went back to the ENT, and told him of my symptoms. He decided to do an ultrasound on my thyroid, and the results were less than exciting. It seems the growth has grown substantially. It also has a blood supply now, which he seems to not care for. So, for the past two weeks, I have been doing some major worrying about the C word, and how I’m not ready to die. (I am a major worrier). I have been reading about statistics and how good the chance is of survival if it is cancer. IF…..

Tomorrow at 1:30pm is my biopsy. I’ve been through it before. They numb my neck, and get a sample while I’m awake. It’s almost scarier knowing what is in store for me tomorrow, than not knowing. Then I will have to wait for five days or so for the results. I’m going into this completely on faith. I can’t change anything I’m about to go through, but I can decide my attitude going through it.

Prayers and positive thoughts are much appreciated my friends…until tomorrow ❤

 

 

 

The Top Of The World

Prompt of the day – Window :

My husband left today for a business trip. This trip was different, however, because this time he was flying to his destination instead of driving. It makes me nervous when he flies, more so than when he drives, for many reasons. The main reason is that if the engine quits working on this vehicle, you can’t just get to the side of the road and wait for a tow truck. If the engine quits on this, there’s no soft place to land. Anyway, that’s the worrier in me coming out, and flying is actually a safe way to travel. It’s just a bit more nerve-racking when someone you love is doing the flying.

The kids and I all took him to the airport this morning, and it was exciting, especially for my eight year old daughter. Unlike her two siblings and myself, she has never flown. She was experiencing all of the airport ambiance with new and open eyes. We got my husband all checked in, looked around at the gift shop, and then said our goodbyes. She was inquisitive about what it was like to be in an airplane, and what could you see when you were so far up in the sky. The kids and I tried to answer her questions as we drove home.

As we all got on with our day, I got a text from my husband saying he’d made it to his first stop just fine, and was waiting to board his next flight. Phew! I was relieved. The hours passed, and I began to wonder why I hadn’t heard from him saying that he’d made it to his destination safely. I looked at the clock, and figured he should have landed well over an hour ago. And, as if he had some kind of knowledge of me thinking of him, I received these photos in a text :

He’d landed safely, and told me to show these to our youngest daughter. He’d gotten the window seat both times. 🙂 I called her over to me, and showed her the first photo. Her eyes were wide as could be, and she said, “he was above the clouds? That’s awesome!” With each picture, her eyes grew bigger and her smile got wider. She was so excited, that she had to call her brother into the room to see. She was on top of the world knowing that her dad had seen this in person today.

Amazing how beautiful this  view is. I’d forgotten how breathtaking it truly is, and it made me appreciate the fact that I have been able to experience it in person. It also made me realize that I need to take my daughter on a flight, so she can witness the feeling of being on top of the world for herself. And I’ll make sure she gets the window seat.

 

A Letter to My Son – In Detention

Dear Son,

Today is the day that you have been dreading for four days now. It will be a life changing event for you. You will serve one day in detention after school, and hopefully never be there again.

I wanted to make sure that you knew how much I love you. I am so incredibly proud of the young man you are growing up to be. Not only are you so very smart, but you have one of the purest hearts of anyone I know. You are not a disappointment to me. You see son, a mother’s love is very hard to lose. I am, and will always be, your biggest advocate, and will always be the person you find standing in your corner.

One bad choice does not define you. This day will not define you. Remember the talk we had? About how just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily the right thing to do. Being part of a crowd is not as important as being a caring member of society. You stand tall and be proud of doing the right thing. Even if it means you lose friends along the way.

The people who claim to be your friend, but cause you to make poor choices, really aren’t good friends at all. But remember, YOU are responsible for your own actions. YOU are the one who can choose which path your life goes down. You are not a trouble maker; you just made a bad choice.

As you walked into the school this morning, my heart swelled with pride. I know what is in store for you today. I know the fear that fills your heart. I am so proud of your courage, to not only own up to your actions, but to endure the consequence of your choice. After today, you will have learned another life lesson, and I know you will only grow stronger from it.

Never lose the fire to learn more and do more. Never lose your heart, the one that leads you to care so much for others. The one that leads you to play dolls with your little sister, when you’d rather be playing video games, because it makes her happy. Never lose your character and your integrity. Do not let one mistake in life define your character.

It is my honor to be your mother. It is my honor to call you my son. I love you very much.

Love,

Mom xoxo

Man – o – Man

My parents were divorced when I was five years old. It was tough seeing my dad move out of our home, and it was lonely having just my mom and I in the house. I would go see my dad occasionally, and I always cried when I had to leave him. It was a tough age to have divorce happen. I didn’t really understand why it was happening, and for a long time I thought it was something I did wrong.

I remember when I would stay with my dad, and he would have to take me to daycare in the morning. I would cry for hours in the childcare provider’s arms, because I missed my dad so much. I wanted so desperately to have my family back together again. I just wanted my dad in the house, and have it be the three of us again. Knowing what I know now, I realize that the divorce was a good decision for the whole family, but at the time it was devastating.

Over time, we all became acclimated to our new lives. I remember our house was being sold, and I was packing my stuff. My mom came in my room, and said that I had received something in the mail. How exciting! I looked at the envelope, and the return address just said “Dad.” My eyes filled with tears as I opened the envelope. I pulled out a card, and on the front was a cartoon picture of two guys. In the middle of the guys was the letter “o.” (Man – o – man). I laughed at how the phrase was depicted in pictures. On the inside, it said, “you’re a great friend.” And my dad wrote about how he misses me, but is thankful for the time we get together. He said we always had so much fun when we were together, and he can’t wait to see me again. I cried so hard, as I clenched the card in my hands.

I placed the card in a box, and made sure it was safe. We moved to our new house, just my mom and I, and shortly after, my dad had moved to a city three hours away for a new job. I kept that card in my dresser, and always took it out to look at it when I was sad, or missing my dad. Sometimes I’d cry after reading it, and sometimes I’d just smile. That card meant the world to me. As the years went on, I still held on to it. By the time I was 10, my mom had remarried, and so had my dad. My mom, step-dad, and I were getting set to move to a state two states away from my dad. It was emotional and hard.

As I packed my things for the move, I placed that card from my dad in a box of my things, and taped it up carefully. When we arrived in our new state, I placed that card in my dresser. I didn’t look at it as often as I used to, but was comforted knowing it was there. I would think of the front of the card, and chuckle. Man – o – Man, you’re a great friend. It was still so special to me. The day of my graduation from high school, I looked at the card. I teared up as I read it. So many good memories had been made since I received that card. And I could still think back to the day I received it in the mail. I remembered how important that card became in my life. A constant reminder of the bond my dad and I had….still do.

I’m 36 years old now, and have moved a few times. Somewhere along the way, I lost that card. However, I still can picture it, I still remember it. From time to time, I catch myself even thinking of its words…..Man – o – Man, you’re a great friend. My dad is one of my best friends to this day, and I am so thankful that he is still here to make memories with my children and I. Even though the card is gone, the power of the words still resonate within me. I will never forget it, but I do regret losing it along the way.

 

 

A Last Set of Firsts

We have three wonderful children, and we are not having any more. Really. Not even if I wanted to. The fact that we were actually able to have our third child is a miracle in itself. A year prior to becoming pregnant with her, I was told it would be nearly impossible to get pregnant again. My reproductive organs were deteriorating, and time wasn’t on my side. I tried to not be upset, as we already had two beautiful children, but the thought that I couldn’t have any more children, even if I wanted to, got me down. It was a very joyous day when I found out I was pregnant with her, and I feel so blessed to have three happy and healthy children to this day.

Now my baby, the baby of our little family, has just turned 8 years old. She has grown into a smart, independent, out spoken, big hearted little lady, and the fact is, she just isn’t a baby anymore. None of my children are. As I sit back and think of how I am now the parent of a fifteen year old, an eleven year old, and an eight year old, I ask myself, “where did all of the time go?” And, as I think even longer about how my children have grown, I realize that, with each milestone that my third child has hit, it is with her that my last set of firsts are held. The first night home from the hospital, the first steps, the first word, the first tooth……I will no longer experience any of these firsts again. It is a humbling feeling.

When she started kindergarten two years ago, this thought of no more firsts hit me hard. My husband and I dropped her off in her classroom. She was filled with excitement, and nervousness. I stayed by her, and told her she could tell me when she was comfortable with me leaving. A few minutes passed, and, as she looked around the classroom at all of the other new students, she looked at me and said, “You can go Momma.” My husband and I kissed her goodbye, and we went to the car. I could already feel the sadness consuming me, and took the passenger seat. I shut the door and instantly began to sob…….I sobbed all of the way home. My husband kept looking at me, and asking if I was okay. We pulled into the driveway, and he said, “what is all of this about!”

What is all of this about?!? It’s about how reality and time have just smacked me in the face! It’s about how our baby is now in school, and we have just concluded our last first day of kindergarten ever. We will never experience the excitement and sense of the unknown of kindergarten again. This chapter is closed. And so it continues.  There are a lot of firsts that have been our last, and they are so bittersweet.

Through it all I have come to realize that there is still so much more ahead. For instance, this year we were able to experience our oldest daughter’s first day of high school. This was a first first for us as parents, not a last first, and let me tell you, I left the school teary eyed that morning, too. Though it is sad that the kids are no longer little, it is so exciting to watch them grow. I am so proud of the caring, independent people they are turning out to be. The challenges that we face as parents, going head on into new situations, are just as thrilling as some of the firsts that I miss. There will be first high school graduations, first child leaving the nest, first weddings, first grandchildren, and so on. And though, those firsts will too become last firsts eventually, I am so excited for the future and for what it has in store for us all. I will always hold tight the firsts that are past, but I feel that I appreciate the new firsts with a fuller heart. Every moment counts. I have to soak it all in.

 

 

 

 

 

We All Made it to Midnight

Stroke of Midnight

Daily Post : Stroke of Midnight
“Where were you last night at midnight? Would you have wanted to be somewhere else?

New Year’s Eve has always been such an exciting night for me. When I was young, I always spent this holiday with my dad. We would make the drive from Wyoming to my grandparent’s home in the Black Hills to celebrate. They always had the greatest party at their place. My grandma made tons of food, and there were always so many people at their house to celebrate. Friends and family would come over to play cards at one of the many tables my grandpa would have set up. The atmosphere was amazing to be a part of. There was talking, and laughing. Everyone having such a fun time. Then we would all stop what we were doing to watch the ball drop, and say, “happy new year” to each other. After every one got to greet every person in the room with a hug, and a happy new year, the card games would resume into the wee hours of the morning. It was something I always looked forward to each year.

As time went on, and I got older, the trek out west wasn’t always possible. I’d spend new years with my friends, celebrating and having a little “too much fun.” I always longed to be with my family and friends in the Black Hills. I’d picture the people around the card tables, and the smell of all the good food. I’d make the best of where I was celebrating, but nothing quite beat being home for the holiday.

And still the years kept pressing on, and new years became more of a stay home event, than a party event. My children and I would make food, watch the Twilight Zone marathon, and play board games, as they tried hard to stay up until midnight to ring in the new year. Usually they couldn’t make it, and I would ring in the new year alone. I’d call my husband at work at midnight to say happy new year. (He always had to work night shift on new year’s eve). Then, I would call my family at my grandparent’s home to say happy new year, though they were a hour behind me in time. A few years later, the kids made it to midnight!! We would yell “happy new year!!” Call my husband, and my family, and I would try to wait for my husband to get home from work. Usually, I’d fall asleep on the couch, though 😉

This year was different. My husband has a new job, and he was home for the first new year’s eve in over ten years. The kids and I made food and snacks. We played games, and watched the Twilight Zone marathon. Everyone made it to midnight, and we blew horns and yelled “happy new year!” Every one had a glass of sparkling grape juice, and we talked about the year to come. It was so great to have us all home, and we had so much fun together. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world last night. Home sweet home.