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

growing

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where did the time go?
from feet
little that pitter patted to shoes that
gape and click
from wake-ups
and monsters to scare to
looking up for hugs
bent down
where did the time go?
from loving
huge and huger still
cords fraying and
knowing
well the hopes and dreams
ballooning
where did the time go?
life’s shorter and heart’s bigger to hold
memories warm
from the sunshine of your smiles

~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.

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

You are Still Loved

I am devastated to hear about the loss of a friend today. This person touched many lives with comments of hope and love. This post is to let her know that she was loved–her soul is now loved–along with her daughter and family.

In blogging, many of us write as catharsis–we celebrate joys, hold hands through sorrows and laugh in between. We form connections–at best, we make friendships and, at the least, try to bare honest souls on computer screens. We try to communicate that, while despair sometimes flirts, there is always hope . . . .

Then there are these unexplained tragedies we can’t wrap our heads around and leave large holes in their wake. These tragedies make us look at our own lives, our relationships, our selves. We hope that, despite misunderstandings, the people we hold within our hearts know how much we love them. That way, if the unforseeable happens, our loved ones who remain have our love to hold onto.

Sancheeta, you are missed. I hope this post honors a fraction of what you meant to those of us blessed to know you. Safe, peaceful travels.

With love,

Pamela

For those of you who need to hear this, don’t ever g i v e up.

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

Why? Because.

“There is much asked and only so much I think I can or should answer, and so, in this post I would like to give a few thoughts on what seemed to be the overwhelming question: “WHY?”
And here is the best answer I can give: Because.
Because sometimes, life is damned unfair.
Because sometimes, we lose people we love and it hurts deeply.
Because sometimes, as the writer, you have to put your characters in harm’s way and be willing to go there if it is the right thing for your book, even if it grieves you to do it.
Because sometimes there aren’t really answers to our questions except for what we discover, the meaning we assign them over time.
Because acceptance is yet another of life’s “here’s a side of hurt” lessons and it is never truly acceptance unless it has cost us something to arrive there.
Why, you ask? Because, I answer.
Inadequate yet true.”
~Libba Bray

Words

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You can say anything you want, yessir, but it’s the words that sing, they soar and descend . . . I bow to them . . . I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down . . . I love words so much . . . The unexpected ones . . . The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop . . . Vowels I love . . . They glitter like colored stones, they leap like silver fish, they are foam, thread, metal, dew . . . I run after certain words . . . They are so beautiful that I want to fit them all into my poem . . . I catch them in midflight, as they buzz past, I trap them, clean them, peel them, I set myself in front of the dish, they have a crystalline texture to me, vibrant, ivory, vegetable, oily, like fruit, like algae, like agates, like olives . . . And I stir them, I shake them, I drink them, I gulp them down, I mash them, I garnish them, I let them go . . . I leave them in my poem like stalactites, like slivers of polished wood, like coals, pickings from a shipwreck, gifts from the waves . . . Everything exists in the word . . .From Memoirs by Pablo Neruda (NY: Penguin, 1974), p. 53.