Wanted Rose Colored Glasses


I have always loved the holidays.  I am the type of girl who starts listening to Christmas music right after Halloween.  I love decorating, baking cookies, wrapping gifts and making all sorts of homemade delights.  This year, though, I am slow to start.  I am finding it hard to get in the spirit.   Real life seems harsher this year for many reasons. The woman who taught me about Christmas, my Mother, is sick.  She is in a rehabilitation facility in need of 24/7 assistance.   Wrapping my head around this painfully slow loss would be enough.  But let’s add the notion of spouting “Peace on Earth” and “Love and Joy” feeling somewhat fake this year, knowing that racism and hate is very much alive and evidently empowered in our beloved country.   This post-truth era bullshit we are experiencing makes all the songs and tidings of goodwill seem phony.  So phony it’s sad.  Even the Carpenter’s Christmas Album feels weird this year.

There is an anger and sadness inside of me I don’t quite know what to do with.  I feel incredible loss.  I  feel this odd, out of body loss one experiences as an aging parent slowly slips away.   It is the strangest feeling to miss your mother while she is right in front of you.  It’s excruciating, really.  I also feel the loss of the sense of good I thought the world inherently possessed.  It’s as if I have woken up in an alternate universe.  And now it’s time to play Christmas carols and get on with things….and it just feels false.  I don’t want to sing the Hallelujah Chorus while white supremists are appointed to top White House positions.  I want to scream, “Stop!”

I’m sorry for my rant of negativity.  I’m sorry I’m political.  I’m sorry that I give a shit.   I have been trying so hard to find the positives.  I am desperate to find them.  I need to find them, if not for my own good, for the good of my family, who needs me to see the good.  It is my thing to see the good.  There is a pair of rose colored glasses in our home with my name all over them.  They are just broken in about five different places right now.  There is no doubt, my role in the play “Our Life,” is that of Pollyanna.  I’m failing miserably.

One of my biggest fears is that I will not be able to sweep this state of mind away with peppermint lattes and wishes for Santa.  My mother is wrapped in almost every memory I have of Christmas.  Her exquisite detail of preserving the magic of Santa for all of us…the way she made each of us feel special..the time she took enjoying the season herself.  I remember coming home from school close to Christmas Day, walking into the house filled with the aroma of holiday baking and the sounds of Johnny Mathis on the record player.   I remember waking up each Christmas morning and it was as if elves had sprinkled christmas magic all over the house.  She was gifted in magic.

I know I should celebrate those memories.  And I suppose I will.  It’s just right now there is a sadness attached to the sweetness.  Like the last bite of the most delicious cake that can never be baked again.  I guess I just need more time.  Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she screwing it up.  Thanks for reading.  Xo


The Way Of Life


I lost my Aunt Anneke this week.  It wasn’t sudden.  She was battling cancer for some time.  But still, the finality of any passing startles me, nonetheless.  I am grieving.  Not so much for her, as I know she is pain free and was most certainly welcomed into heaven with open arms.  She was a wonderful, strong, loving woman.  Her full bodied, lasting hugs were her trademark that I will cherish in my memories of her.  I am grieving for my uncle who was left here on this earth to do the unimaginable.  To go on without her.  It breaks my heart.

It’s funny that I should have such a bond with this man.  He came into my life when I was in my twenties.  He had been estranged from my mother and most of our family for all of my young life.  His acute alcoholism kept him away from us for years.  After he had gotten sober for good, he came back into our lives and I’m so grateful.  Oh, the stories he would tell me over a cup of coffee at my parent’s dining room table! I just adore him despite the fact that we could not be more different.  Our views on pretty much everything are diametrically opposed.  Yup, everything.  But his heart is true, his words are real, and he is just my Uncle Ronnie. The fact that he has a special place in his heart for my little O just makes me love him all the more.  And now he is alone without his wife, his partner.   It is the way of life.  He would tell you that.  But it is unthinkable.

The landscape of our family keeps changing.  My parents, aunts and uncles are in their seventies and eighties.  Several have passed already.  Actual distance of siblings and cousins has created emotional distance, as well.  It is what happens as you get older, I suppose.  I guess I just wish it wasn’t happening quite this soon, for O’s sake.  I rationalize, as an older mom, that my family is also older.  But he is never going to know, or at least remember,  many of the family I love.  It is then, that which is understood in my head is not so accepted in my heart.

I don’t believe I actually have a point to make with all this.  I think I just wanted to talk about my family.  I appreciate you letting me do just that.  I know this isn’t exactly one of my typical mommy blog posts.  But then being a new mom at 46 isn’t exactly typical either.  Having a child late in life comes with all sorts of pros and cons.  It is so odd watching family become elderly (or succumb to age) while I witness all the newness my son experiences.  It is the biggest bag of mixed emotions I’ve known yet.  Immense joy colored with the occasional stroke of sadness and grief.  I’m sure it is the way of life for most older moms.  It was certainly something I didn’t think about before becoming a mother.  I suppose, thank God there is the joy.  Such joy!

Thank you for reading and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Xo

Motherhood and Mortality


Not all that long ago, I used to tell my husband, I thought I would die on the young side of old.  The notion never ever bothered me.  I can actually say I was really ok with it.  I have always been a big believer of things happening for a reason.  I guess it was just a silly gut feeling I had and I was at peace with it.  Then something happened….I had my son.

To say I feel differently now is an understatement.  And the reasons are layered and complex.  I am sometimes hit with the fear of “Oh my God! What if something happens to me and O is left alone?” Well, it’s already ridiculous, because he would not be alone. He would have my husband.  His father.  The person on this earth who loves him as fiercely as I do.   But every child needs his Mother, right? Or is it the other way around? Now that I have him…now that I have tasted this kind of love…I don’t think I could live without it.  I need him as completely as he needs me.  Maybe more so.

The completely irrational and borderline crazy mourning of my own inevitable passing I experience at times,  is about MY missing out.  I don’t want to miss a single second of this brilliant journey.  Being an older Mom just emphasizes the fear.  I don’t need to be sidled with an untimely death.  Just dying in the normal course of life will leave me missing a chunk of O’s journey.   If he waits to have children like I did, I’ll be 84  if I am lucky enough to meet my newborn grandchildren.  Certainly too old to watch them grow up.  It’s depressing really.  Geez.  Right now my husband is rolling his eyes.  He wasn’t thrilled with this week’s topic of choice.  He likes it when  I write about rainbows and unicorns.  Lol.

The other night, I started to get worked up over it all. I completely freaked my husband out.  I had just read an article that stated 1 out of 2 women and 1 out  of 3 men  will get cancer.  Most survive, but no one lives forever.  I started to feel consumed by a loss that didn’t even happen yet? A loss that,  most likely, would not happen for a very long time.  And when that time does come, and my number is up, so to speak, I won’t experience the loss, cause I’m the one who will be gone.  But I guess that really depends on your beliefs on the afterlife.  I’m completely certifiable.  See how your thoughts can snowball?  It’s complex, right?

After researching some other articles, I realize that I’m not alone in these thoughts.  In fact, I’m on the sane side of “cray cray.”   I read a post by a women who was encouraging parents to document their lives (video, photos, etc.) for their children to have when they are gone…”before it is too late”….(Geez).   It is called intentional memory making.  There is even an app for it!  I mean, I get it.   When my husband’s father passed away, he had heaps of recordings of his father singing.  It helped him grieve.  And even now, almost four years later, it helps him feel closer to his dad.  But his father was a professional singer/songwriter.  These memories were made by his father simply living his life doing what he loved.  It’s a bit different than intentionally documenting everything.  I take my fair share of photos, I do.  And it is fun to go back and reminisce, but I don’t know.  I don’t want to judge what others want to do.  So..what do I do?

Well, I can’t change the fact that I am, indeed, an older mom.  I can try to keep myself healthy, but even that is no guarantee.  In fact, that’s exactly it…..we have no guarantees of the time we have here.  No telling when our time is up.  So acceptance seems paramount.  Acceptance and gratitude.  Gratitude for all we are experiencing in the NOW.  I can try not to waste days, but I’m sure there will be a few days, at least,  lost to complaining, or stress, or both.  I’m only human.  But I don’t want to spend moments constantly behind a camera lens…hovering on the outside of our experiences for the sake of documenting them.  Nor do I want to feel every moment has the cloud of mourning hanging over it…even if it is hanging somewhere in the back of our mind, it’s still there, stealing from our NOW.  Our perfect NOW.

As with everything, balance is key.  So I’ll mix my neurosis with some healthy belly laughing and get on with this awesome second act of my life.  (Did I mention my life is a play in Three Acts?) I guess when it’s all said and done, I can say I have tasted pure true love.  I have experienced real joy.  I feel like I know what heaven truly is.  And maybe I’ll find an old shoe box and occasionally put some photos in it and write some love letters to the sweetest boy I’ll ever know, my little O.

Until next time, keep on keeping on…and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is certain she is screwing it up!