Quote

“gift”

It’s hard not to smile when she does.

Never forced—those are everywhere—her smile brightens the dim,
lifts the despondent.

Her goodness, her kindness, her warmth…
it’s like she tries to infect us all with it through that smile.

She’s the epitome of stunning beauty—it radiates from her core.

What a gift she’s been.
What a gift she’ll be.

Even when the smile finally fades and her last breath is taken.

My Oma.

 

originally written 3/21/2013 here–one week before my Oma took her last breath

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ode to my life saver

Bryan Adams saved my life. I don’t mean he literally prevented me from taking my last breath…Well, not really.

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It was 1987. I was 15 years old and miserable. I was already on my third high school in less than two years because my mom was running from debt collectors. I had literally one friend who lived an hour away. Nobody else would talk to me. I started avoiding looking people in the eyes.

Bryan Adams released his follow-up album to his massive hit record, Reckless. I instantly gravitated to the song that shared the title of the album, Into the Fire. I listened to that album and that song especially, over and over again. I cried and cried. And, for the first time in years, I felt that maybe I really should hang on; maybe there really was a light at the end of that deep dark endless tunnel I seemed to be stuck in.

Soon I learned that Bryan Adams would be coming in concert. I absolutely had to go; I had to survive long enough to at least see him live in concert.

On July 18, 1987 I dressed in my favorite very-worn blue jeans (with holes in the knees) and favorite shirt—a yellow and white vertically striped button down shirt. Of course I popped up the collar and of course I wore my favorite yellow Converse All-stars. I even bought a new BIC lighter to ignite during my favorite songs (of course it died well before the end of the show).

I cried during the show. I screamed and sang as loud as I could, but I cried too. I didn’t scream and cry because OMG Bryan Adams is right there singing to me and he’s so beautiful and lovely and my life will never be the same because I was in the same building with him. That’s not what my screaming and crying was about. Not at all. My screaming was a thank you to him. I didn’t love him because of his face or because he was a Rock Star. It was/is his words, his stories, his music, his passion. That’s what I love about him; it’s so evident to me—always has been—how much he loves what he does.

I guess finding someone with so much love for what he does helped me realize that maybe one day I could love something that much. It gave me hope. He gave me hope.

Twenty-seven years ago, Bryan Adams saved my life.

And one week from today, I get to see him again live in concert during his Bare Bones tour (of which I’ve scored amazing seats!). I’m taking my mom while my husband stays home with my girl (she’s only 4 or I’d probably take her instead). I’m not quite sure what I’ll wear just yet and I definitely won’t be bringing a lighter (but it’s 2014 so I’ll have my cell phone and since our seats are so great, I expect I’ll be taking video and/or photos).

I can’t wait. I’m not holding on for dear life like I was 27 years ago, but I can’t wait nonetheless.

It’s not every day you get to be near the person who saved your life.

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Scary Cheri: A social media tale.

I work a full-time job in an office in front of a computer. I’ve been here for more than a decade, and I’m quite good at what I do. It’s not rocket science, but I know how to get things done efficiently and effectively. That said, there’s plenty of down time spent reading or watching random stuff on the internet. Some people would probably call it stalking, to be honest, but I don’t really do anything with the information I may find other than store it in my head (for the time being) and confirm my theories that people are really stupid when it comes to social media.

Case in point is a woman I’ll refer to as Cheri*.

A couple months ago, I didn’t even know Cheri existed. Then, through her ex-husbands Facebook account (he’s dating my ex-sister-in-law—neither of whom I’m friends with), I soon discovered that Cheri’s children are not with her, but rather with their father. I find this peculiar—especially since they live states away. So I look more closely at Cheri’s profile and she seems to be a pretty miserable woman suffering from daily ailments; but, I don’t find a reason behind why she’s living in a tiny hole in the wall half a dozen states away while her ex-husband and children aren’t.

After a little more digging, I come to discover she once had three children and now only has two. Obviously this gets the better of me, so I dig more and quickly learn her middle child died “suddenly” when he was only three years old. My heart breaks a little—for her, for these people I don’t even know.

How on earth could this woman be living a life without her children, one of whom is dead?! The idea alone saddens me immensely but pushes me to dive further into her life and keep better tabs on her Facebook account.

And then I see an update from her about how she’s unsure how she’ll survive till her court hearing. So I start searching more and soon a link with Cheri’s photo and “manslaughter” appears before my eyes.

Turns out, Cheri was arrested almost a year after her middle child died for purposely overmedicating him on some drug he was on for his “out of control behaviors.” Nobody really thinks she did it to kill the child, but that’s what happened. And that’s why she’s still half a dozen states away, where the death occurred, while her other children and ex-husband aren’t. That’s why she’s posting updates on Facebook all the time about how miserable she is.

I can’t even imagine.

I do one more search on something I picked up from her Facebook page and find a couple different blogs with posts about her life with her kids—all before the middle child died. She admitted to being stressed, to taking (prescribed) drugs to calm her nerves, to maybe even being a little addicted to the drugs. She talked of her children—how the oldest isn’t biologically the ex-husbands, how the middle was perfect until 6 months old when things started changing, how the youngest was a complete surprise.

All this information right there for anyone to find.

If a bored-at-work, forty-something mom can find all this out in a couple random searches, imagine what some of the sick fucks out in the world can find out. Now imagine what they could do with this information.

Social media is fun and useful, but wow can it be scary, too.

 

 

 

*not real name

March Madness

This month sucks. We’re only five days in and I’m pretty much over it. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that, yet again, we were pounded by some snow this morning. I love winter weather.

No, I’m just over it because I’m depressed. And I’m depressed because the date of my grandmother’s death is quickly approaching: it’ll be one year on March 27th.

One year since I’ve last seen her… held her hand… looked into those wet, blue eyes. One year since I’ve last studied the lines in her face… the smile on her lips…  the curls pinned atop her head… the sweater she knitted herself twenty years prior draped over her shoulder (she was always so cold at the end).

Son of a bitch, I cannot do this. I can’t. The tears are forming and the heart is breaking again. I miss her so much. Oma, I miss you. So much. So, so much.

***

I remember March 2009. I was kind of down in the dumps. The baby I should’ve had would’ve been born had I not lost it the summer prior. A friend was having her own baby. I wasn’t. I was moving. I was empty inside, trying to focus and think about anything and everything other than babies. But they came from the woodwork, I swear. Left and right and dropping down from the sky, it seemed. Everywhere I looked there was a baby or a mama about to pop one out. Life felt so unfair.

Every March that rolls around, I still think of how old my would-be baby would’ve been. (This year, she would’ve been five.) I’m so blessed to have a happy and healthy four-year-old so it’s not so hard anymore; I don’t get too sad when March rolls around because I do know that I’m one of the lucky ones—the ones who can have a baby after a loss (or even at all).

But this March is different.

***

It’s been an interesting year since she’s passed. At first, I was really so much better than I imagined I would be. I think it was because of all the mourning I did (but tried not to do) the months leading up to her passing.

Then Mother’s Day came less than two months after her passing. My first one without her to mail a card to, to buy flowers for. It sucked, but certainly not as much as her birthday did weeks later.

Other than that, I’ve been okay. I’ll see something or hear something or feel something or smell something that reminds me of her, but, up till recently, I’ve been able to swallow the tears and, instead, smile.

Smile because of how blessed I’ve been to have more than forty years with such an amazing woman. Smile because of how blessed I am to have such wonderful memories.

But these past several months have been very different. I’ve been so down, melancholy.

 

I just really miss my Oma so much.