Blog, Family, parents

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

Day 147

Today would be my parents’ 71st anniversary had they lived. It is hard to imagine my parents in their 90’s. My mom was 46 when she died and my father just barely 65. That’s startling when I think I will be 65 this year.

Growing up, living past the age of my mother when she passed was a major milestone for me.

Imagining How it Would Have Been

Sometimes I let my mind wander, imagining how it would have been had they lived longer. My mother never met her grandchildren. My Dad did, but not any of his great-grandchildren.

I think these children would have changed them in a positive way. I know they changed me.

My Dad was an only child. I did see some of my mom’s siblings later in life. It was surreal knowing my mom would be forever a middle aged woman who would never grow any older.

Had my mother not had cancer, I wonder how she would have approached old age. I wonder if I would have been their caretaker. Those are hard roles but one I would have taken on without question.

Happy Anniversary

I hope I will always remember their anniversary. I miss them both terribly and wish we had been fortunate enough to have more time together.

I was a lucky girl. I had all the love they had to give. It’s the way they loved and the way they taught me to love.

I don’t know any other way.

ancestry, Blog, Family, genealogy

Genealogy Tools

Day 146

Ancestry recently released some new tools which I am having fun exploring tonight. I have not spent a lot of time on my family tree lately, so these new tools peaked my interest a little.

Genealogy Goals

I have a few things I am anxious to resolve in my family tree. One I wrote about recently — finding the final resting place of my paternal great-grandfather.

The second is to resolve the brick walls, or dead-ends, in my family tree to further my research. I have made some progress, but so many questions remain.

The third is to possibly find my nephew who my sister gave up for adoption. I wrote about this process in this post on my old blog: The Lies Women Tell. I am hopeful to at least make the connection, even if there is no relationship.

Ancestry DNA

I submitted my DNA in hopes of finding some relatives and connecting a few dots. Well, the DNA confused a few things, rather than resolve them. It appears my cousin and I are not biological cousins. That throws a wrench in what we both thought we knew.

ThruLines, just released by Ancestry, allows you to see your DNA matches and suggests which person or line on your tree the relationship might likely be made. Not 100% accurate, but every hint helps.

They have also added something called MyTreeTags you can add on the tree which will further define things you know (or don’t know) about the individual.

It also appears there is some color coding being added which helps you isolate the relationships of individuals who have tested through Ancestry. I do not think this will be of great use to me because most of my family has not tested.

So, that’s been the extent of my day. I will try to come back and update you once I have learned a little more.

Blog, gardens, Plants

Tidbit Tuesday

Day 145

I don’t have a lot of energy tonight, so I thought I’d share some tidbits about my day. It was a great day and now I am ready to bring it to an easy close.

  • I had a relaxed morning reading short stories by a fellow blogger, Pete. Check out his works of fiction here: BeetleyPete.
  • Tomorrow I have a much needed appointment at the salon. A new cut and a new application of my blue and purple streaks in my hair. For those who do not know, blue and purple were my sisters’ favorite colors. When I see the color in my hair, I feel like they are still with me.
  • I have a crazy sinus headache tonight. My whole face hurts. Ugh.
  • Tonight, we went off our low fat diet and had a Thai food — Panang Curry is my favorite dinner-time comfort food.
  • My walk around the yard revealed a few more plants and trees coming alive. We are definitely on the cusp of spring:

That’s it for me.

“Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

 

aging gracefully, authentic self, Blog, loss, reflection, retirement

Loving Me – Or the Day I Quit Trying to Fix Myself

Day 144

I was a quirky kid. My thoughts were big. When I went to bed at night my thoughts were on things like infinity and time and death and how the universe could just go on forever. Didn’t everything have an end?

I remember a specific night becoming so overwhelmed with my thoughts I cried. I was at my grandmother’s house. Scared and seeking comfort, I went downstairs. When asked what was wrong, I lied and I told her my throat hurt. This ignited her worry gene. She needed to get me to a doctor. What if I had strep throat or scarlet fever?

I am not sure how that night ended except to say that I know I did not go to the doctor and I also know I learned to never tell anyone about my thoughts. They were thoughts much too big for a little mind.

Thinking Vs. Curiosity

I was a child of the science fiction age. Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, Night Gallery, The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and on and on. I became obsessed with time travel.

This scene and my love of costumes (see my earlier  post) certainly fed my creative curiosity:

It was certainly a time of big imaginations. I had a Kreskin ESP game although I acknowledge I never gained any extrasensory perception.

High School and Beyond

My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in my final year of high school. It was tough. I started to search for reasons and explanations to answer all the why questions I had.

I read Sydney Omarr’s horoscope column religiously.

I always had deep thoughts. My term paper in high school was entitled The Nonexistence of Time for which I received an A- (I omitted a comma somewhere along the way). I don’t think my teacher thought I could pull off the references needed, but I managed.

I bought a crystal ball, I was intrigued with seances and bought books on astral projection — is that even a thing now?

I was in the military when my mother passed away. I went home for her funeral. I was broken. Being in the military you aren’t really given time or space to grieve. I was only 19 and all I wanted was to be home with my family.

Feeling Broken

I think the losses in my life were big. I took them hard and didn’t really know how to grieve. Once you label yourself as broken — or others label you as such — you begin to believe it. You start to search for how to fix what’s wrong.

I saw a therapist who was happy to prescribe anti-depressants. I never took them. Somehow I knew I was not depressed. I searched so many self-help books thinking if I could follow the thoughts of others I might turn that final corner that would make me whole again.

Then one day it hit me. What if I was not broken? What if I was normal? What if self-help books helped make me believe I was somehow lost?

I will say there are a number of books that really helped me and many that are a godsend to others. I am not saying self-help books are bad, for some are worth their weight in gold. All I am saying is what if I just had some hard stuff to deal with and had no way to process my way through it? What if it was easier to think of myself as missing a piece of me and if I could just find it I could be whole again?

Finding Me

So one day, I just decided to embrace myself and love me for me. I resolved problems or situations singularly instead of believing I had those problems because of some flaw. I started to remember the little girl who had big thoughts and just did not know what to do with those thoughts. She was the same little girl that watched her mother slowly die of cancer and was not given space to grieve.

I started to value myself enough to leave bad relationships. I stood up for myself. I learned I could live on my own and be perfectly happy. Once I knew that about me, the right person entered my life.

Embracing My Authentic Self

I love to think big now. I love my imagination. I still fancy the idea of time travel and to this day never underestimate the power of a 1979 penny to whisk me back to reality.

I give myself room to grieve. Losses are still hard and I have lost a lot — a downside to the blessing of living a longer life. Unfortunately, it is part of this thing we call life.

I am not afraid to be me any longer. I like me. No, no, I love me. I am not broken — just human and not in need of fixing.

Blog

Great Thoughts

Day 143

It was a great weekend. Great weekends should end with great thoughts, so I leave you with a few of mine:

  • It is great when we find our people.
  • It is great when our people are also good people.
  • It is great when friends receive encouraging news.
  • It is great to have family who love us.
  • It is great when we have friends that love us because they chose us.
  • It is great when the things others write have the power to move us.
  • It is great to have a great weekend made up of hundreds of little, tiny great things.
  • It is great to see the joy in the light of a child’s eyes.
  • It is great to be alive and live life while we are able.
  • It is great when bad memories lose their power over us.
  • It is great to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at us.