Category Archives: Relationships

Mother’s Day Every Day

I am grateful for the opportunity to let my mom know how much I love her on this special day. She loved me before I was born and looked forward to the day she met me.

I feel the same way about my kids. “Mother’s Day” is great but every day is Mother’s Day to me. My kids gave me the best gift anyone could offer–the gift of motherhood–when I conceived them. Meeting them, loving them, raising them, and seeing them grow into beautiful young adults has not been without challenges but I wouldn’t trade a moment for anything. 

Children, I love you. Thank-you for the gift of you which has helped make me into a better person. You have my heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are moms, who act as moms, who love as moms. Today is a special day to celebrate the gift of you!

~Pamela

On Motherhood

9087497-mother-and-two-kids-silhouettes-on-beach-at-sunset

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’ exaggerated 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, isn’t necessarily 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 and celebrate every moment.

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 fall 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

Mom

Dear Mom,

I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. You have shown me so much–how to love, what love is and much more. While life has not always been kind and although the last couple of months have been trying, you have come through it all with a never-ending, deep well of love for all of us.

Today I celebrate more than your existence. I think about your love and what it has meant to everyone who has come into contact with you. I consider your humor that has lightened my life. I reflect on your endurance when life’s shadows have blackened out the sun, moon and stars and you’ve had to navigate in the dark (even after stubbing toes) to find your way into the light.

You are the most inspiring woman I know and I am beyond happy to call you “Mom.” You are so much more than a best friend.

Have a beautiful day.

Love,

Your daughter

Happy Birthday, David!

 

Happy birthday, David.  To my best friend and brother. 

All my love,

Pamela

Dad

You were the one to catch me when I fell. You kissed my scraped knees and told me it would be okay. While I have long outgrown the nickname “Sweat Pea,”  you show me I am still your girl and always will be. We’ve been through some tough times together. You made my couch your bed for nights after I was left alone. You have carried my children in your arms by never walking away, only towards them. You nearly left us once only to survive and come out of it stronger. In the upcoming months, we may have a challenge to overcome again but we will do it together. I will be there for you just as your presence has meant more than the world to me.   Thank-you for showing me, by your actions, how a man should love his children. How a dad’s character is worth more than any expensive gift or worldly possession. I haven’t needed anything but your love. Happy Father’s day, dad. I love you.

Dear Daughter

Years ago, you made your entrance as my tiny princess sitting Indian style.  I prayed I would have a baby girl to love.  I was granted my wish.  It nearly killed me I could not hold you immediately upon seeing your little face but your dad held you near to me so I could gaze upon you (making sure you were swaddled and safe).  As soon as the doctors allowed me to cradle you, into my arms you went.  I can’t believe how fast the years have passed since that first meeting.  I loved you before you were born and knew that I was given a gift straight from heaven.  While it is difficult not being with you to celebrate your birthday (today), please know I am thinking about and loving you right where you are. When we are together, I am astounded that I must glance upwards to look into your eyes.  I see a tall, hard-working, intelligent, young woman who has dreams and goes after them.  You will achieve your goals because you are tenacious (even when life is rough).  You are beautiful inside and out and I am proud to call you my daughter.  No one could ever replace you!  I love you up to heaven and back.  Happy birthday, honey!

Love,

Mom

To Mom with Love

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~Maya Angelou
 
Mom,
You have shown me by your words, love, and life that we only become butterflies when we have spent time patiently waiting to emerge from the chrysallis.  Then our wings must straighten and dry.  They are delicate and can tear easily, yet, strong enough for flight.  I love you more than words.
Love,
Pamela
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                            

    

                      

                                                         

                                                                

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                       

                                                                

            

                                                         

                               

Son, I love You

I gave birth, years ago, to a baby boy.  A child who, when I was pregnant with him, had his nights and days mixed up (especially during my last trimester) and one of the only ways he was lulled to sleep was by my movements, specifically vacuuming (yes, I had very clean floors). Who, when I was pregnant, caused me to crave espresso, Jelly Bellies for breakfast and tangerines late at night.  Who told me, with little kicks, that sleeping on my left side was unacceptable.  I must sleep on my back ever so slightly shifted to the right (I was and still am a side sleeper).  So much time has passed since those first years of sweetness (and sleeplessness) yet, if I allow myself to be swept along with my muses, I sometimes end up with snippets of my past carefully cut out with blunt edge scissors (like the way my children used to create their handmade paper valentines or snowflakes).  My past, filled with children, innocence, laughing, crying, healing, loving, draws me in and permits me little glances backwards, a déjà vu of sorts.  A tiny window framed by whitewashed memory, no glass, which I may peer through and view this other world (just for moments at a time). I am amazed, perplexed, astounded when I think about the day I met my son and held him in my arms.  I feel as if I have bitten into a lemon, halved and dipped in sugar, when I acknowledge how many circles those minute hands have traveled since the early days.  My life was altered that morning.  In the birthing experience, there was an imperceptible shift in my core, my soul, my breath.  Life was not ever to appear static again.  There was no grabbing the clock’s hands and halting them.  The button was hit and life began to fast forward.

Dear Son,

When you were born, I loved like I had not loved.  I experienced life in a new, beautiful way that was hidden from me prior.  You changed my life in such a manner that I questioned whether I had ever known love before.  You were, and are, my son.  I am grateful to call you this today.  Happy birthday my man-boy!

With much love,

Mom

Graham

 

 

 

 

 

crucifix gleamed round your

neck spoke without words of

pain wounds that couldn’t be

loved away

you knew what it felt like to be

lanced cut hurt you smiled and

suffered that couldn’t be

taken away

stitched together you were an

exploding fast ball let loose to

test life’s velocity until you were

taken away

crucifix gleams round my

neck speaks without words of

pain memories that can’t be

loved away

Pamela A. Rossow



Mr. E.F. Duncan, Owner Duncan’s Toy Chest: Well, two Turtle Doves. I’ll tell you what you do: you keep one, and you give the other one to a very special person. You see, Turtle Doves are a symbol of friendship and love. And as long as each of you has your Turtle Dove, you’ll be friends forever.
Kevin McCallister: Wow. I never knew that. I thought they were just part of a song.
Mr. E.F. Duncan, Owner Duncan’s Toy Chest: They are. And for that very special reason.

(Quote from Home Alone 2)

 

The Brownings

Okay, I know love letter fest is technically over.  HOWEVER, I could not resist posting two, short letters exchanged between one of the most romantic, literary couples  (Robert and Elizabeth Browning) ever  (in my book THE most romantic, literary couple).  Of course, Elizabeth wrote my favorite poetry collection, Sonnets from the Portuguese, for her husband Robert Browning and I believe them to be the most beautiful poems (especially numbers I, XIV, XX, and the best, XLIII).  So enjoy and keep that passion alive every day, not just on Valentine’s Day!!!!

To Elizabeth Barrett Browning:                                                       

…would I,  if I could,  supplant one of any of the affections that I know to have taken root in you – that great and solemn one, for instance.
I feel that if I could get myself remade,  as if turned to gold,
I WOULD not even then desire to become more than the mere setting to that diamond you must always wear.

The regard and esteem you now give me,  in this letter,  and which I press to my heart and bow my head upon,  is all I can take and all too embarrassing,  using all my gratitude.

– Robert Browning
(1812-1889)


To Robert Browning:

And now listen to me in turn.
You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me – my heart was full when you came here today.
Henceforward I am yours for everything.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(1806-1861)

Love Letter Fest

Friends, welcome to my Valentine’s Event. A “Dear ?” love letter which you have written (whether sweet, sarcastic, or saucy) and will post your links below in the comment section so we all can have grieve, giggle, or gasp!  I will admit. When this idea jumped into my brain, I wasn’t daunted.  HOWEVER, as I sit here about to type my own letter, I’m overwhelmed, a tad bit intimidated, and wondering what on earth I was thinking when I started this.  Those of you who know me well are aware of my stubborn perseverance.  Hence, onward.  Enjoy and happy Valentine’s Day.  Not the commercialized hype but the everyday love we hold in our hearts.


Dear _______,

Many of you have directly or indirectly shaped me into the woman I am today.  I wouldn’t be Pamela without you.  Some of you have taken my heart down spiraling staircases into dank, dark basements where I suffered pain, wrenching hurt, abandonment.

A couple of you have led me through enchanted forests where rainbows arched overhead, the grass was soft, the castle walls had crumbled, and we loved as first loves.

Still others have taught me the foundation of love, how love isn’t based on emotions, how it demands action, requires being able to mouth or write two words (I’m sorry), and mean them.  That anger doesn’t necessarily reflect lack of love, although, at times, it may indicate lack of “like” (or sheer frustration).

Another has shown me that no matter how much I get angry, or question, or cry, or vent, He will remain faithful and, even more amazing, love me despite me.

All of the individuals who do not hesitate to pick up the phone to let me know they care, reach out with a card or letter, laugh with me, scream with me, or who hold me when I cry across the miles in a tight, virtual embrace.

Then there are the up close and personals who cling to me, climb me as if I am a tree, and hold on with little arms tightly clasped around my neck.  There are older ones who reach out when I least expect them to, grab my hands, sit close to me on the sofa, or hug me unexpectedly in passing.

There are those of you who have touched me so deeply that even though we are separated by this seemingly vast expanse of the other world you continue to move me, fill me, motivate me, cheer me on, and you are alive to me in my dreams, my memory, my soul.

There might be a person out there on this planet who could, through honest eyes, stir up flames in me once more.  Who, through sincerity, persistence, humor, character, empathy, gentleness, and time, has the capability to evoke in me passions which have yet to be completely drawn out.  He may exist. . .

In the meantime, I love and am so loved.  For all you, hole fillers, and you, hole makers, I thank-you.  It’s been real, raw, and, at times, raucous.  Even though, some days I harbor a few, wee regrets, I wouldn’t change any of it.  I have learned and will continue to learn.  My heart’s love journey (I hope) has, like my parent’s wedding song, “only just begun.”

All my love,

Pamela 

Love

I am not posting this song because it was my wedding song.  I am posting it for two special people in my life.

Special people,  you must know that this kind of love is the only kind that will not fail you.  It is the best way I can love you, the right way to love you, the most sincere way to love you.  This love I’m referring to doesn’t remain seated warming the chair. This love doesn’t shuffle its feet and walk slowly away from all that it right and honest.  This love isn’t a foot rest that exists for you to kick your feet up and chill on.  When smacked down, however, it gets up over and over  and over again.  It is true, faithful, and unconditional.  It is the best part of me I can offer you.   Do not bring in the concrete mixer and begin pouring and pouring until the walls are so high, the light is so remote, that you get scratched and bruised and cut trying to claw your way out.  Keep your hearts and minds open to the love that you knew and believed in.

 

Mirror Mirror

Well, it’s Monday and sad to say no humorous blurbs to post (at least not yet).  Too much time apart from my niece and nephew and my big kids. . . grown ups just don’t bring it like the children do!!!! So, this is more of a reflection blog.  My best friend and I were talking till late last night about many things (sorry mom and dad for hogging the phone).  We ended up able to rant, laugh, cry, and get serious all in one conversation (isn’t that what best friends are about? you can completely be yourself and you’re not nuts)? Towards the end of the conversation, something struck me that was pretty profound.   We started our adult, married lives back when (before we met) in completely different places, yet, through the years, traveled similar roads to where we each are now. Today, we are in comparable spaces in many aspects. Each of us wanting to be loved, to keep our families intact despite extenuating circumstances, to be secretly rescued without having to compromise values like honesty, communication, and self-awareness (although, we know our knights most likely won’t be individuals in gleaming armor who guide their horses over hurdles, deftly climb turrets, and profess poems of endearment).

Despite the similarities, we are often in opposite mind sets (and places, she’s married, I’m divorced).  During these times of differences, we realize that we are mirrors to one other.  Depending on who is gazing into the mirror and who is being gazed upon by the reflection, we end up like yin and yang (for lack of a better metaphor).  Our life experiences, dreams, hopes, darkness, failures, defeats, injustices, joys, sweetness bring us to these places where we can look at each other and see (cataract free) from the viewpoint of the other.  This constant viewing of life through the lens of friendship (and the other’s situation) helps us to more clearly define who we want to become as individuals.  To be strong women.  To have hope.  To be self-aware.  To not be so jaded that our hearts become hardened to truth and love.  To know that our journeys are really just beginning (even though we often feel like we’re smack in the midst of them).  To know that we are granted this gift of one another and, through each other, we can support ourselves, our intellects, our emotions.  To recognize that we are part of a larger, global community.  To know that we can make differences in our own lives, each other’s lives, and touch other people as well.  This friendship, micro extending macro, can impact other people for the better.  We’re learning what must be learned and, at some point, we will become teachers of positive change.  Wow, I can end this here on a sociological note (since we both share the same degrees too), it’s late, and I’m not sure I’m presenting this observation too clearly.  Good night friends (or good day)!

P.S. youtube’s copyright issues are more than annoying. . .nearly every good video is being pulled b/c of infringement!  Grrr!


Dear Jess

This blog post is dedicated to my best friend, my kindred spirit. She is talented, beautiful, humble (too humble), patient, faithful, dedicated, loyal and incredibly intelligent (just to name a few). She’s been there, here and everywhere for me the last so many years, and I can’t imagine my life without her in it.

Who knows what 2011 holds? I’m sure there’s some great stuff waiting to happen. We just don’t know when or how or who or what. But, as long as she’s in it, I’m good (even when I’m feeling bad), I’m okay (even when the floor falls out underneath me), I’m alright (even when all hell breaks loose).

Friend, we’ll step forward one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, and, sometimes, one second at a time (and we’ll do it with love in our hearts).

Parental Love Musings

Yesterday was my Christmas with my children.  They returned after being gone for a couple of weeks and I was grateful. I looked at them in wonder… I gave birth to these two, beautiful, young adults? It’s hard to believe. Seems like so long ago.

No matter how much time keeps those big and little hands moving or how often we are together or apart, when it comes down to it, nothing really changes. We’re a family. Families, despite sabotage attempts or psychological warfare, survive because you can’t kill love.

Some people try to. They mask their insecurities and fears through talking smack about others, lying, trying to buy others’ affections. These people believe, in their alternate realities, that love can be smothered, traded, stabbed, shot, bought. What they don’t realize is that love is eternal, infinite, impenetrable. Love is and always will be.

So, these militant, bitter individuals can keep at it.. stockpiling their arsenals, detonating bombs, attempting through charm to deceive. Some of these people receive wake-up calls and ignore the flashing, red lights and ear shattering buzzers.

To these individuals, I say, love isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. Might as well open your hearts to it.  Let it fill those holes that need plugging. Maybe, in the process, you might uncover joy. Then, there will be no going back to the darkness, the bitterness, the hate.

Unconditional love sandwiched between respect and compassion make for some fantastic soul food.  My kids receive this. From me. Have since they were babies.

While, at times, they might not like me because I don’t give in to their every whim, tough. Those of us who had involved, caring parents growing up, respect and love our moms and dads who were quick to apologize and not afraid to say no. Kids grow up. They’ll get it, eventually.

Time will be the great eye opener. My kids will see clearly how much I have adored them, do adore them. They will understand that love doesn’t die. Expressions of it might differ, but it’s not going anywhere. Love is, was, and always will be.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I will always be your sweet pea, your princess (ha-ha), your loving daughter.  But, just a reminder, I am 37 yrs. old.   I have my own opinions (as you know), my own belief systems (as you know), my own mouth (you more than know).  I love you (more than you probably know). Living together, you have become acquainted with a woman:  a pigheaded woman, a stubborn woman, a woman not afraid to speak.  If, at times, you do not agree with what I say, don’t listen (you do this well).  If you experience shock and awe at what comes out of my mouth, just ignore me (and turn up the TV).   I love you and will always love you.  Remember one thing, I inherited my stubbornness from you.

Love,

Your daughter

Dear Children,

Dear Children,

You are precious to me. I loved you before you were born. I prayed and asked God for you. From the time the little blue lines matched on the pregnancy tests, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to begin the journey of motherhood.

It’s been quite a trip. From feeling you both kick inside of me, to laboring to bring you into this world, to holding you for the first time, to  knowing that you were a physical extension of me, I have appreciated every moment. I have watched you grow into a young man and a young woman who have made me proud over and over again. I am fully aware what a blessing it is to call you son and daughter. The best vocation I have had (and ever will have) is being “Mom.”

Please listen carefully–I love you (up to heaven and back). I will always love you. No matter where life sends us, or how quickly time passes, I will treasure you. I will never give up on you. You will always be my children. I will always be your mom. Your fingerprints are permanently imprinted on my heart.

Love,

Mom

Good-byes

It’s been a week filled with losses and good-byes–some small, some huge, some manageable, some not so much.  It’s seems to be time for yet another (I’m horrible at them even after way too much practice). I’m even worse with unspoken ones–letters typed together to form words, words littering paper, scratchy substitutes for the ideal–verbalizations of endearment uttered to conscious, loved ones.

Dear Grandma,

This message is premature but I need to say it. Three minutes might be too late. I can’t stand to hear of your suffering (Dad is hurting also). Time’s hands are whirling faster and faster. While our relationship was not always pristine and when we were both much younger we said some things we regret, I have good memories–of hillside rock gardens, beautiful flowers and bulbs tucked lovingly into tiny crevices, of steep, spiraling steps leading down to a hidden vegetable garden, the heavy perfume of ripened tomatoes, your Hostas (I will grow them one day), the array of feathered friends that ate from Grandpa’s pulley rigged feeder, of brightly seeded strawberries with thick, heavy cream,  poppyseed cake (I knew they weren’t chocolate chips), of The Hill and a brown station wagon shifting gears, straining to make it to the top, audio books talking because of bright, blue eyes clouded by semi-blindness, the terrible towel that hung on your door, your love of The Game–black and gold, your political ideas (you bluntly informed me that mine were bunk), your feistiness and, often, uncensored belief systems you shared with me (or anyone else within earshot).

I will miss you. I am ungrateful for life’s sudden abruptness, preventing me from audibly mouthing the words (and having you know and understand). Yet, I speak and mean what I say. I love you. I’m sorry for life’s rudeness and pain. I hope that death brings comfort and Grandpa and light and freedom.

Love,

Pamela

 

3 Things:

1.  Love needs fuel and oxiders.  Fuel provides heat.  Oxidizers supply oxygen.  If both elements are present daily,  3, 2, 1. . .

2.  to·mor·row   n.

  • The day following today.
  • The future.

(don’t wait for the defibrillator)

3.  Life= a two way mirror.  Reflects self and covert behavior.

The Haunting

October breathes reflection for me. There’s a supernatural quality to this particular month that evokes sentimental remembrances. Whether it’s because of the changes reflected in nature that strip life down to its bare, autumnal branches, I’m not sure. What I am certain of is the fluctuating nature of life.

Have you ever been haunted?  Truly chilled by specters in the form of uncanny experiences that won’t let you forget past loves or childhood’s embrace? To stand in a particular space and sense a gauzy veil has lifted and you can feel, see and almost touch your past, your joys, your sorrows?

These spirits persist in fingering our souls with their icy bittersweet hands. They haunt us, disguised as filmy apparitions of people who caressed our lives so that, while time unmercifully shoves us forward, our memories, our subconscious, resuscitates them, breathes life into them, and clothes them with skin, flesh, and bones.

So when people cross our paths who remind us of these persons in our pasts, we feel the coolness of shadows. In the shadows, a darkness which briefly flits across our hearts and is the complete opposite of warmth and sunlit freedom and meadows.

These phantoms reach and clutch and we rarely escape unscathed. Our minds, in an effort to deal with the mausoleum of preserved memories, try to wrap themselves around the mysterious and cannot make sense of it. It’s too evasive–too mettlesome to grapple.

We press forward and eventually break away from their grasps. Time, once more, fills our lives with flurries of work, bills, and children. We forget–until the next haunting.