Tag Archives: family

Inheritance Week

There was a tiny visitor in our home for a week – an adorable replica of her Dada – a little 1 1/2 year old who has her Bubbe and Grandpa utterly smitten.

As her parents traveled the southeastern states for a wonderful road-trip week of re-connection, we traversed the roads back to parenthood with a sudden immersion into the world of the toddler.

The first lesson – do not disregard nap times!  We may be the adults and we may be in charge of the schedule, but passing over the nap was such a painful experience come bedtime, oh my!  Right back to the toddler schedule we went!

One of the interesting things I observed that week is the propensity for this little one to gravitate toward little girls things.

As a mom to boys, I have a good stock of toys that boys enjoy:  cars, trucks, planes, boats, ninja turtles and the like.  We’ve stocked plenty of girl things as the years have passed, to appease the nieces who visit.

So I set out an assemblage of age appropriate things – and her little self was smitten with the baby dolls and stuffed animals, and the purse!

Not that any of this matters.  I just found it interesting, in a Bubbe sort of way.

Now that the time has passed, and work has resumed, and gardens have taken all of my home attentions, I look back on the week and smile.

That was the most amazing week of my life.

I’m glad her precious little self has her very precious Mama and Dada back within reach, and I just hope that this was the beginning of a family tradition.

 

Reflections

publish beauty

We celebrated this little beauty’s first year recently.  An astonishing fact, considering how quickly this time has lapsed.

It’s been a blurry year.  One of those mind-numbing, day-in and day-out, so many similarities that they all blend together sort of years.  The drudgery, the sameness, mostly blending so completely that before you know, the moments for opportunity are past – passed, slipped on by to become lost time; sometimes regret, sometimes survival.  Mostly, just a blur.

Emergency ailments, celebrations, discord and distress, good health, economic woes, family time, work, great friends – all combined to create another assemblage of time.  Moments and milestones, smiles and scares.

I’ve worked way too much, and the job project has hit the manic phase – a major program changeover that will wrap in ten weeks, with the primary module going live in three.  I’m worn near the frack out.  I was not cut out for 80 hour work weeks.  They’re an attack to the peace of the home front, and emotional health in general.  But the light at the end of the tunnel is now much less dim.

Time to start preparing for the next stage.

Hubby and I are scheduled to host our youngest grandbabe this next spring, spending a full week with her sweetness.  In the interim, we think we need to arrange more visits to get to know her better – so we won’t be such strangers when she makes her special visit to our home.

Shortly after that visit, we hope to attain some serious financial freedom – an opportunity to make remodeling plans for this ol’ home of ours.  Providing that there are no surprises between now and then, the first on my list will be a new main floor bathroom.  Dreams sometimes become reality, right?

Then fall plans include a meet-up with a dear friend, one of my Torah community members, to celebrate a Holy day and travel time visiting places and spaces where I’ve never been.

In the meantime, life is moving along at the full-steam sameness.  Yet, as much as that feels like reality, it’s really not is it?

The world is changing every moment, little bits and pieces bouncing around, pinging off each other, creating actions and reactions that not a single one of us can accurately predict.

We live, we die.

In the in-between, lies reality.

Family Vacation Day Trip



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We celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary, my husband and I.  As a treat to ourselves, we invited our adult sons and their families to a family vacation.  These shots are from a day trip to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri.  If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip.

Buckets Are Too Limiting

Dust in the wind, worm food – either way, my personal take on death is that I will know no more.  It will be the end of me, the last breath, the circle of life.  Last call…

It’s a heavy thought – to think that nothing follows, that there is just an end – but it suits me, suits my practical nature.

One of my sons once posted a thought, which I’ll paraphrase:  if a person is only good because they’re focused on divine reward, then that person is a piece of shit.  I don’t know if these were his own words, and I don’t know that he won a lot of praise or ‘likes’ for that.  But if you stop and think about it, it makes sense.

If only rules, or rules hedged about with some eternal reward system are keeping you from bouncing out of control and into a psychotic rage, or killing frenzy, then you’re simply a caged rabid animal.  Where is the realness, the human connection, the compassion?

If those pieces are missing, then you really are a piece of shit.  Like it or not, calloused though it may be, it’s the simple truth.

There are moments when I think people see me in similar light.  Cold.  Unreachable.  Distant.  Tightly strung.

The truth is that I feel so deeply, watch ever so intently and capture essences and nuances of meaning and feeling that often escape others.  It’s painful, it’s draining, and it makes me put on the tough skin of protection to keep it from shredding me into millions of little pieces.  Dust.  Pieces of dust that would so easily blow away, carried off to unknown places and spaces, away from me.

Another son stated when announcing a pregnancy that he and his wife were ‘growing a human’.

How aptly said.

A combination of their parts, their pieces, that attach little parts and pieces of the generations preceding them – a tiny piece of me – grew inside the womb.  Destined to be an infant, this little nugget emerged last November, a wonderful wriggling, wrinkled version of itself, a new growth on the family tree.

There are few people who fit ever so perfectly into my comfort zone.  My introverted self, my regulated and logical nature requires that I have plenty of space to call my own, and plenty of time to fill that space.  My sons and their spouses are included in those few (hubby’s a given, a keeper, the magnet holding me in my space) and it’s always such an easy-going and comfortable time when they come to visit.

But during a recent visit, there was this edge to me, this pressure behind my eyes, this feeling of tears that could burst forth at any given moment – a strange thing when I was so relaxed and so enjoying the company.

It took words penned by my dear friend for me to realize that it was pure joy ebbing and bubbling beneath my surface.  I was so powerfully moved by this new event, this new growth that it didn’t have a proper slot to fit into my logic, nothing prior to name this, to capture and label this emotion.

pail and leaves

My bucket flows over.

My list is now such a pittance, such a distraction from the wonder of seeing what comes next, what this fabulous little seed of a human brought with her emergence…

Bucket lists are too limiting.  What I want to see before I die, I cannot even begin to fathom.

But the end has suddenly changed course, because not only will parts of me continue through my son after I die, now there will be parts of me to last another generation.  That, my friends, that’s what’s real.

Is It Real…

Or is it Menopause?

It was a relief to discover that my red-eyed appearance was not an emotional symptom, but rather simply a case of dry eyes that I ignored to the point where my tissues were constantly inflamed.  Menopause symptom, likely, and easily addressed by adding Omega 3 and using re-wetting or artificial tear drops as needed.  As needed being more often than I remember to administer – but I’ll get there.  Thankfully, my constant red eyelids are now just an unpleasant memory.

Granted, I’ve been more likely to reach a silent overwhelm of emotion these days, particularly when I’m in the presence of my children.  It makes no sense to me, as these are some of the people with whom I draw the most comfort.

watered false nettle

I am rendered nearly speechless, unable to converse comfortably, or sensibly.  Some of it is attributed to tinnitus – there are only so many tones that I can focus on without losing part of what’s being heard.   Partly, it’s that I don’t want to miss a thing, so I nearly miss everything as I try to focus on every conversation at once.  Not as easy a fix – but I’ll be working to find my perfect hearing range so that I can focus to give full-on attention to the conversant in that range.

The part that I can’t change is that I’m full to the brim with love for these people, and am faced with a change in status, for which I have no practice.

watered dawn 2

Change is a constant in life, and I’ve done a damn fine job of handling change in the past (meaning that I didn’t go on a rampage, and I didn’t have a total meltdown).  Change during my earlier years was like drinking water.  I gulped it down and on to the next task I went.

About five years ago I noticed a shift, a grating of tectonic plates sort of shift.  Suddenly, I found myself irritable with too much change or too many compounded changes.  Sure, I could still function well, I could still move on to the next task, but my comfort zone had been impacted, and it unsettled me, irritated me.

Still in the irritable stage, change has been fairly constant, the compounded sort, but I’m functional.

watered daylight

A change in position not aptly prepared for – that sort of change is like a chasm that has opened up beneath me.  I’m not prepared for it, but accept that I must either embrace and learn to roll with it, or tumble along grasping recklessly at strongholds along the way.

Mother-in-law, Step-mother-in-law, Grandma, Step-Grandma – these titles, these changes to my position, have caught me off-guard in comparison with my own head-in-the-clouds, prior-concocted expectations.

Let me broadcast with great joy:  I have the absolute best of the pick when it comes to family.  Our sons were extremely easy to raise, and they chose very well when they chose their mates.  I have daughters-in-law whom I love dearly, and they are the perfect complement to our family.  Our grandchildren are a pure delight, and their parents are doing a great job raising these youngsters.

sunflower detail

My job should be easy, but I’m a perfectionist in the most annoying ways – obsessive about where my everyday use items are situated, persnickety about what I ingest, and particularly overly particular in creating my own expectations.

I want to match expectations that I set long ago.  I want to take bits and pieces from others I’ve observed in these positions and meld them into some fantasy figure, based on very little reality.  Who could possibly have factored in where I or my family would be in our lives when this particular stage of life arrived?

So I emote silly things based on my silly notions, and get myself all tizzy-frazzled for things that no one else can control.

Compound that with the fact that my mother-in-law died during my second year of marriage, creating a void where I could have learned a great deal.  My mentor is absent, that’s my excuse…

hewn

So I’m forging ahead in uncharted territory, with great hope that I won’t injure any relationships, step on anyone’s feelings, or cause any great distress; yet keep in mind my own emotional health and well-being.

Oh, and did I mention I’m menopausal?  😉

Thankful

A day on the US calendar, declared a day of thanks, gives me the day off from work and a good reason to use it to spend with family.

I love my family, so a day when all of us – or many of us – can be together, to visit, to share, to eat (it really does always revolve around the food, yes it does)… those are good days.  Those are days that I am extremely thankful for.

This year though, I’m taking the day off.  No big to-do, no organized meal, because truly this is not a prescribed Holy Day for me.  Not a day commanded by Almighty.  It’s a culturally inherited day, one which I have the ability to enjoy if I so choose, but one on which I would also gladly work if needed.

Hubby countered me the other day when I was describing a conversation I’d had with a co-worker about the days I “observe”.  In his mind, I observe Thanksgiving.  Simply because we often host family in our home on this National Day with all of the fixings.

Easily misunderstood.  It nearly does seem like our family tradition.

Thing is, it’s not.

Really.

Family tradition would mean that I would feel somewhat bereft in not following it  – amiss, and off-kilter, nearly guilty.

I don’t.

I’m extremely thankful that today will be a day I am not required to be at my workplace and a day that I can simply do whatever I feel like doing.

Turkey cooking?  Yes, in fact.  Hubby brought one home from work and I have the day off, so I’ll pop that bird in the oven sometime today.

But at my own pace, because I’m not on a scheduled tradition clock today.

🙂