On Motherhood

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What do you wish someone had told you before you had kids?

All the planning in the world cannot prepare you for becoming a mother. Even if you received too much advice from other moms while you were pregnant, you only realize this fact after you give birth—not a moment prior.

You will take pictures and videos—lots of them. From hearing the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of your baby’s heartbeat to grasping ultrasound pics in hand to your husband’s photo capture of you with a tear streamed face holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time to waving good-bye at the bus stop while your stomach lurches to your daughter going to her first middle school dance to talking about the birds and bees to waking up one day and your son is grown-up, you will capture every important moment with a snapshot and/or video clip—and then some.

Real parenting is not your friends’ Facebook shares. Facebook is not the real world. Seeing highlights of your friends’ posts, whether it’s viewing pictures of their little ones who are reading novels by the age of 3, potty trained by age 2 using the M&M’s method (it does work sometimes), or playing concertos at age 4, is not reality—even though the photos may be cute. Reality is:  little ones will become preteens, next teens, and then they will go off to live their own lives. Your heart may feel like breaking but you will be proud—so proud. Welcome to the real world.

You will always be a mother. This reality will never change no matter how large your son’s shoes are or how your daughter towers over you in heels or if your kids become chefs, police officers, teachers, or parents themselves or if they adorn their bodies with tattoos or piercings or if they grow their hair out and join rock bands—whatever. After the umbilical cord is cut, you are forever mom. If you are lucky, you will become grandmom at some point. Love will never be in short supply.

You won’t ever be the same—never ever. From the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside you, the ground will careen under you, you may see stars, and you will free fall into a love that no life alert call could rescue you from. You wouldn’t want to be rescued. You fell hard and thank God every day for it.

You are a mother. Imperfect at best yet filled with love so consuming that its presence is like breathing. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

To my mom, I know now–and I appreciate everything you are to me. You are the best. To my beautiful children, you will always be mine. I adore you.

~Pamela

Grateful . . .

I was away for awhile because of life things that needed addressing, still need addressing. Yet tonight I am filled up with gratefulness for everything that is good in my life.

I have two kids who continue to amaze me despite the little stuff that is inevitable between mothers and teenagers, my parents are alive and mean the world to me as well as the rest of my family, Dad’s cancer hasn’t returned and it’s been two years, I live in a home that is full of love, imperfections, and forgiveness, I have a roof over my head, I have healing foods to eat, I love my work, I like my children’s friends–they are each beautiful in their own way, while my health is not what I’d like it to be, I am grateful for pain-free days, days that my lungs cooperate, days that I can just focus on enjoying “now” without being totally exhausted, and I am especially thankful for the people in my life who have never left me–who continue to love me through dark nights and sunlit days.

To all of you, I hope you feel love in this post and that you can show love to someone who needs it. Love truly is the one constant that makes life worthwhile. It doesn’t have to be eros, even though romantic love can be an incredible journey. It could be the love of a best friend or a parent or a child who looks at you with love in their eyes. If we focus on love, gratitude is inevitable. Have a great day, friends.

Memorial Day Facts and How to Celebrate

Hi everyone,

If you’re in the States, I hope you have a safe holiday weekend. I am reposting this article since many of us might not know the history of Memorial Day like we should. I learned more when I researched materials for the article. Even though it’s geared to college students, it’s applicable to all of us! Memorial Day is much more than barbecues and family gatherings–no matter how fun they are.

God bless anyone who is currently serving, served or lost their life while serving.

~Pamela

Click the highlighted  link to read the full article:  Memorial Day Facts and How to Celebrate 

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Always remember

There are times we are compelled to ride waves of emotion as they appear—whether we want to or not. Tonight is one of those times. I am as ready as I ever will be. I trust my doctor, the medical staff and my own body’s capability of healing. Yet there are these thoughts and feelings that accompany this process that I can’t just brush away. Actually, I am surprised by them since they seemed to have quietly surfaced when I wasn’t paying attention.

I have had some exciting moments in my life like learning how to ride my bike with no hands or making my first meal from scratch and having everything turn out not burned tasty or holding my nephew and niece as babies or making Dean’s list or co-authoring a book or meeting the Dalai Lama.

However, none have compared to the births of my two beautiful children. I can still remember what it felt like to have them kick inside my belly, the late night tangerine raids as cravings hit, looking at their little faces for the first time, the  nights cradling a sick baby and all of the precious time spent watching them emerge into the incredible people they are. I wouldn’t change a thing.

This is the end of an era of sorts. While I knew that 2 was the perfect number of children for me and I am no longer as young as I sometimes feel, there’s something about knowing that this is it—it’s done, over, kaput. Along with the knowing are twinges and hauntings that serve as flashbacks and we wonder, “Has that much time really passed?” “Are we really about halfway done with our lives?” “Can our kids really be teens?”

So we look to the future. I will still have the capacity to give birth—just in a different way. My muses still gaze at me from a close distance, swirling words and ideas and metaphors into my heart and carrying me along on their whimsical flight. I will feel the contractions once more and know the fiery love and intense passion that birthing brings, and I will remember, always remember.

Circles

There are certain “knowns” in this world.

Sunrises, sunsets, not being “Freshly Pressed,” your dog giving a nose to tail shake after getting The Bath and consequently soaking you, reality TV, pouring ketchup by hitting the “57” on the Heinz bottle 3x’s with the heel of your hand, rock-paper-scissors-shoot solving any dilemma including which shoes to wear for your power meeting, fish faces on Facebook, gravity, NHL lockouts, autumn coming every year followed by winter followed by spring followed by summer—repeat, scantrons that require No.2 pencils, Lindsay Lohan and jail, sunburns and fair skin, your cat is always, always smart and you are very, very stupid, Starbucks, people who disappoint, people who are always, always there for you, the look the smell—of books, splinter removals that hurt, man flu, the rat race and politicians who will always talk in circles.

A Man

I was fortunate to meet a man today who happened to be Italian (my heritage)–a man who was passionate when he spoke of life, his family, the love of his life (his wife), his home country and his singing.

We talked about how today is so much about “now” and “right away” and “disposable.” People can be wadded up and tossed out with Tuesday’s trash when they appear “unexciting,” “respect” is somewhat of a lost art form that many people vaguely remember and, in all of the busyness, rushing and noise, we can miss out on some simple pleasures and passions.

So a garage sale turned into a serendipitous moment filled with warmth and light. “It’s about this,” he said tapping his chest where his heart was. Yes, it is.

Power of Dreams

Friends,

Have you ever had a dream—or dreams—where you’ve been lucky that they’ve clarified situations or relationships previously left obscure in your life? Where they are so dead on so you know deep down in your psyche that every bit of them is truth?

I have been fortunate to have these dreams—not once—but at different times and each time I awaken I am grateful for them. There’s a sense of peace after the haunting and some type of clarification of what was left asunder. It’s an odd yet fascinating experience.

What about you? Have your dreams ever clarified something or situations that were left in the lurch? How did you feel after waking up? Just curious . . . .

~P

 

Love vs. Abandonment

Life has been interesting of late. Translation:  not much blogging. Fingers crossed, prayers said, waiting and hoping for good news next week regarding a person I love dearly. Grateful the test went smoothly.

In the meantime, I was thinking about a word that is probably one of my most hated— “abandonment.” After dealing with this “word/issue” in my own life and seeing it recently playing out in the lives of people I care about, it became forefront and center. I don’t believe anyone—regardless of gender—ever wants to feel abandoned.

We don’t want to wake up one day and find that our spouses have left. We don’t want to discover that our best friends ditched us. We don’t want our boyfriends or girlfriends to just move on and “forget” to tell us. 

As humanity, we have a universal need to be loved and to feel secure in that loving. To know that despite our shortcomings and idiosyncrasies, we are worthy of unconditional love (I’m not talking about remaining in an abusive relationship—physical and/or emotional).

With love, there’s trust—not blind trust if someone has betrayed and hurt us—but trust that is a safety net. Trust that is reminiscent of the sun—it rises in the morning to brighten our day and sets in the evening. It is dependable, reliable. Even when nighttime comes, we are not left completely in the dark—we have the gift of the moon and the stars.

How many of us know what it feels like to be loved unconditionally? Love that doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be wonderful. It could be love between best friends, love between a child and parent or even the love for a community who acts like family to us.

 I am grateful to have many people who do love me. I have felt the aftereffects of abandonment—deep hurts that have scarred over yet serve as reminders. While not desirable, they are mine. They are beautiful in a marring sense—they remind me that I have felt pain, loneliness, sadness yet here I am today—alive and more grateful for those who do love me.

So for any of you dealing with abandonment, it hurts—badly. I am sorry for what you are going through (M and J). I think of you every day and feel it, too, knowing what you’re dealing with. It won’t matter much to hear it now, but you’ll make it through today, then tomorrow, then another day and pretty soon a week has gone by. A month, a year and, at some point, it won’t hurt as much. In the meantime, I love you and you’re not alone.

~Pamela

Life

Dear Friends,

You know when life keeps coming at you like an AKA-47? Well, that’s what it’s been like here. I’ve missed writing for “fun” and with my blogoversary coming up in a couple days I’m feeling the pressure to write–something–anything from my heart. Any of you going through some trying moments, days, months, years–I feel you.

Good thing there’s this little thing that Emily Dickinson writes about:  “Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul . . . .”

So for anyone else waiting for “news” for a loved one (or yourself) and praying, wishing, believing for the best–know you’re not alone. We’re all out here in cyber space together–holding virtual hands.

Life can be a series of “whys” with only a “because” for an answer. We do our best to live in the now and appreciate everything and everyone good in our lives.

I’ll leave you with a quote that has spoken to me and I’ll be seeing you all soon.

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. 
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now 
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
~J. R. R. Tolkien

Sincerely,

Pamela