Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three is a magic number...

Yes, it is. I so love that song from schoolhouse rock! While I'm sure three is a magic number, the magic number for today is thirty-three. Thirty-three years ago today, my life changed (among the other thousand and one times, it has changed). My baby brother was born.

Growing up with my baby brother was awesome, most of the There was the time my brother had a 'stomper' Christmas. He was a big fan of the stomper off road trucks. So, he told Santa and the family and everyone that he wanted stompers for Christmas and that's exactly what he got...along with a six foot long aircraft carrier, lol. There was the time when I was taking college classes, for my pet peeve speech, my topic was my baby brother.

During our time together growing up, we had our ups and our downs and downs and downs and ups. I have seen my brother grow from a little baby, to an annoying toddler, to his first girlfriend. I've seen him sick, tired, and irritable. I've seen him happy and full of life and laughter. I've watched him grow and go to his prom. We've been as thick as thieves and as distant as people from different countries. We have laughed with each other and yelled at each other. We simply are.

My baby brother is my joy and my delight. Our lives are a woven tapestry of conversations. Woven with fabrics of joy and pain, held together by the strong threads of love. I cannot celebrate with my brother this year as he is overseas serving our great country. However, that does not mean that I cannot celebrate him and all that he is and all that I am thankful for. So, with that....

Happy Birthday, Unior! I love you and I miss you terribly. I am proud of you, I'm proud of the man that you have become. Be careful and be safe. I love you!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why is it?

That it can storm strong enough to flood my lawn and knock down trees and fences in my neighborhood, yet it's not strong enough to remove the bird poop from the windows of my minivan?

Well, work is going well! I really love it. I work with a great group of people and the guests who come through the line. However, I'm waiting for this transition period to be over. You figure "hey, my job is over at 3:15pm that's great! I still have time to do stuff at home!" Yea, the only thing I've wanted to do the last three weeks is sit on my slowly-getting-smaller-hiney! I'm so exhausted at the end of my shift! Not to mention the fact that my plantars fasciitis is really acting up. Ouch :(

I had a good Mother's Day. Of course, it was clouded by the fact that Mom is gone, but George and the kids made it beautiful!

Tomorrow starts another week. Hopefully, I'll blog more.
Until we meet again!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ohana means family

Family means no one is left behind-or forgotten.

This is my family. My three beautiful kids and my very handsome husband. Very regal looking, wouldn't you say? This is from Jaime's 13th birthday last year. We took the family to Medieval Times.

Growing up, my childhood was somewhat difficult. I didn't have friends. Not really. I had a stuffed clown named "Mr. Noname" (he got that name b/c when asked his name I kept saying "no name, yet". I didn't have friends to hang out with, go to the mall with, anything. In my junior year I met Joyce and we've been friends ever since. Even though she lives tons of miles away in North Carolina, we've been through everything together although we only talk a couple times a year.

So, imagine my surprise when I moved to Texas, little did I know how much my family would grow. Through a retreat at church I met my very best friend, Carol. You've heard me talk about her many times. This is me and Carol. Carol and I are family. There's no two ways about it. She is my sister in every sense of the word. She's my big sister. She listens to me whine ad nausea, she gives me advice, she consoles me, she picks on me, she makes me laugh. She loves me. And, I love her. She is Aunt to my children and I to hers.

Today was a very special day. It was my nephews First Communion. And, I was blessed to be a Eucharistic Minister and get a close up view as they received Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time! And, with great pride, I said to the woman next to me, "those are my nephews!" Here they are, albeit not in there outfits from today...Don't they look adorable!?!?! The one on the left is Brennan and the one on the right is Justin. Yes, they're twins. When they were four, they looked so much alike, it took me six months to be able to tell them apart.

While I was blessed to be there for their big day, I was also there for another part of my family. The Kay's. Today was not only Olivia's First Communion, but also baby Leo's Baptism! Unfortunately, fatigue won out and we missed Leo's Baptism, but made it to his and Olivia's celebration afterward.

I can't help it, this is the most recent picture of my Olivia that I've got. She won the poster contest for the City of Allen Recycling and got to walk in the Allen Christmas Parade! Isn't she adorable!?!?!
And, this handsome little one is baby Leo! At the Kay's this evening, George had to leave early to go to work. He needed the car and asked Jeff if he wouldn't mind giving the kids and I a ride home. Jeff's response? "Of course. Dude, you're family, don't worry about it!" This meant the world to me. Jeff and I became friends when he called one day last summer looking for George and I recruited him to help me plan George's surprise 40th birthday party to be held 4 months before his actual birthday bwa ha ha! And, through the planning I gradually got to know his wife, Kim (that's Kim K, the nurse you've heard me talk about ad nausea as well!). When Mom got sick and was dying, Kim was a Godsend. She still is. Here we all are at the Winterlude this year. Don't we all look so swanky!?! Note, this is pre Leo as he is still in the oven cooking. These people, these few, are many to me. Coming from a place where friends are scarce and unconditional love is just a fantasy, they mean the world to me. They are my family. They love me warts and all. And, believe me, have I got warts! They'll even be happy to point them out for you :)

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. It is the first one without Mom. Here is a picture of her and Dad. It is hard not to think about her and focus on my children as that's exactly what she would want me to do. But alas, it is hard. I miss my Mom. As pig from the movie Babe says "I want my Mom!" But, you know what? She is not nor wills she ever be forgotten. As bad as I miss her and as much as times without her are hard, I am blessed. I have a wonderful family. They are a great support system and I couldn't be who I am without them. They are my Ohana. And without them I would definitely be left behind.

Wishing all of you a blessed Mother's Day. May many blessings come your way. Until we meet again.


Monday, May 5, 2008

The Pricelss Quarter

Once upon a time, there was a girl (me) who loved a movie very, very much (Anne of Green Gables). I referenced the movie a lot. I could relate to the main character Ann with an 'e'. Never having a bosom friend, looking for kindred spirits, and a flair for the dramatics, and a penchant for the spoken word. My friends will tell you the last part definitely rings true (Carol, Julie, Tina, Patti, lol)

My in-laws, nay, my parents, know how much I love Anne of Green Gables. They'd travel to Canada from Philadelphia quite often. And, of course To Prince Edward Island, the setting for Anne of Green Gables.

What does this have to do with a priceless quarter, you ask? Well, be patient, I'm getting there! lol

Dad came down the latter part of last week to Texas for James' Confirmation (and 14th bday on the same day!). This visit was bittersweet. While I was chomping at the bit to see Dad, (this was the first visit since Mom's funeral), it was the first visit without Mom. Mom, who I would sit and talk with while dad and George watched the games on tv. Mom, who I'd talk to about absolutely nothing, But, that nothing meant everything to me. Now, Dad is showing us some postcards he brought George (hockey ones from Canada) and along with the postcards, I notice he has a coin to show us.

This is not an unusual occurrence as Dad is an avid coin and stamp collector. I have even commented to
Dad that if someone told me when I was younger that I'd be into stamps and coins, I'd of said they were craaaaazy! But, when we went up for Mom's funeral, I found myself connecting with Dad in a whole new way. Sure, I'd always listened to him talk about stamps and coins, but for some reason, now, I was more interested. It wasn't as if I'd faked interest in them before (I hadn't). But some switch flicked on and all of a sudden, the coins became more interesting (the stamps too) and little by little, Dad has been sharing more about stamps and coins.

So, Dad had this coin in his hand that I thought he was just going to show us and of course I'd see all the cool stuff on it and give it back. That however, wasn't the case. Dad handed me the coin. It was inserted into a postcard. And, on the front of the coin, in color, was Anne from Anne of Green Gables! And the postcard reference the movie and all about Anne (or as much as you can fit on a postcard!) Yes, the coin is worth $.25. But that coin might as well be worth a gazillion dollars. My Dad. My Dad thought of me. He called the Canadian mint (or ordered it on their website). He made the effort because he knew how much I like Anne of Green Gables. My Dad, he loves me. My Dad is the greatest man I know. He's strong, and caring, and thoughtful. He's stoic, he's way smarter than I'll ever be. He is a man of great faith. He is a man of great love. He gave me my husband (as did Mom :)

So, while this weekend is now a bittersweet memory of the joy of my sons birthday and his confirmation and Dad's visit with the sting of the first visit without Mom, I know that everything is going to be all right. Like a Dad does, he makes everything better and while I still wish Mom was alive, I know that everything is going to be all right. And, when the bursts of grief hit, I'll just look at my priceless quarter and I'll be reminded of just how blessed I am. Blessed to have had Mom in my life for as long as I did, blessed to still have Dad, and blessed to have George and the kids. Wow, the power of a quarter, huh?

Blessings to you till we meet again.