Tag Archives: family

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

La famiglia è la patria del cuore

photo by dreamstime

Last night, I heard an often repeated Italian expression that, because of recent circumstances, means even more to me than it did four days ago. La famiglia è la patria del cuore or your family is the homeland of your heart. 

We, Americans, are familiar with the expression home is where the heart is. Basically, the same sentiment. No matter where we go or how many miles (or emotions) separate us or how long we are away or whether we nag, smile, bicker, or hug, la famiglia è la patria del cuore. Simple. 

I know how lucky I am to be a thread in this handcrafted fabric.  I am grateful beyond words that I have a dad and mom who have always loved me, protected me, wanted the best for me. That I have a brother who, no matter how little time we get to spend alone together, will always be my best friend. That, even when my children and I are apart, their hearts are safe within my heart. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. 

It’s how my ancestors lived, breathed, prayed, loved, ate, drank, slept. It’s the fundamental stitches my grandparents sewed that now entwine my heart with each of my family members’ hearts. La famiglia è la patria del cuore. It’s the sometimes imperfect loops that still include everything and everyone I am tied to. It’s my roots, my core, my center. La famiglia è la patria del cuore.

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by theWee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

Happy Birthday, David!

 

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

All my love,

Pamela

The “c” Word

So many people use it every day. It’s one of the most hated words (probably THE most despised word). Yet, we hear it over and over again.

It’s not until it’s used to describe what’s happening to OUR friends, OUR grandparents, OUR selves, OUR moms, OUR brothers, OUR sisters, OUR children, OUR dads, OUR aunts, OUR uncles, OUR loved ones that the word slams us face down onto the asphalt and tries to drag us backwards. But to positive test results, we say, “sCrew you!”

Those of us who either receive The Call or hear about The Call (later when our loved ones tell us about it) encounter the initial effects of “c.” During those moments, “c” seems to have us pinned. We cry. We rant. We get pissed off. We crumple.

Then, we maneuver out of its grip. We stand up. Put on the gloves. Step into the centers of the rings. We don’t wait for the first punches. We throw them. We fight, hard. We love, fiercely. We feel, deeply. We live with awareness. Thankfully, there’s no “c” in H-O-P-E. Just a whole lot of positive energy and prayers.

(Dad got The Call today)

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a poem by E. E. Cummings for you both, I love you)
 
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
 

Friday Moment

this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane and snagged from Alejandro.

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.

Monday Memories

Since my friend, Mary, over at Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease, started Monday Memory (which takes place the last Monday of the month), I thought it was the perfect day to reminisce (of course, it’s not the last Monday of the month but, hey, you should know me by now)

Nearly all my best, childhood memories include my family. Sun soaked, water logged days spent swimming in Non and Pop’s pool with my brother, mom, and dad, inhaling the Intercoastal with its pungent, sulphur smell that smacked my sinuses, stalking the brown water, dockside, hoping to see a silver eel streak by.

Memories that also involve the Atlantic Ocean which was just a short walk across A1A from their condo, the mysterious body of water that housed millions of varieties of life.  Whose beaches I lay upon under moonlight, motionless, transfixed, watching as the dark, shadowy sea turtles came ashore to dig nests and lay their eggs. The buoyant salty waves that lapped at my soul. Tides which pulled life’s negativity, ugliness, harshness out to sea till they became little specks on the horizon.  

Just some of the magical powers of memory–like a small town revival with its hallelujahs and deception entangled under one tent.   Fortunately for me (and something most kids take for granted), I only experienced the Messiahs during childhood–the joys and carefree days which blurred into years that formed me like wet sand in the hands of a master sculptor. 

My being, my core, my inner child is grainy, sun streaked, and dampened by salt spray. My remembrances which I keep dusted and lovingly displayed in my heart are happy and messy. They leave sandy footprints behind as they traipse through the years to find me where I am now. They slip into my dreams and cover me in beach sunflowers. They resurrect my beloved Nonnie and Pop-Pop whose wrinkled hands stroke my sun bleached hair, whose dark, Italian eyes speak love, whose lips utter “mange” and “I love you.”

My memories are my buried treasure, coin upon golden coin, hidden from the surface, yet, shallow enough to dive for whenever life becomes overwhelming or hateful or unforgiving. They are my secret to survival. They are. . .and I am.

 

 

 

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.

Feel free to leave a link to your Friday Moment in the comment section!!! xo

Monday Memory

Everyone has a memorable picture that brings a smile to their face.   Monday Memory occurs the last Monday of each month and allows us to share that favorite photo and story.   If you choose to participate this month, please remember to drop your link in the comments section of each Memory you visit, so that we may come and visit your site.  This idea was hijacked from my friend, Mary!

My story is cute, funny, and brief.  My dad has always been the treasured “Granpy.”  Part of his obtaining  this status involved many introductory rites (such as the event pictured below).   My parents have been actively engaged with my children since I gave birth.  They have helped out and loved watching their grandchildren grow.  Dad came over to stay with my children while I went to the store and when I came home that is what I found.  Biker Granpy tattooed with Crayola washable markers!  While this was the first (and only) time Granpy was “decorated,”  I could not stop laughing!  Soon after this picture, I almost lost my dad to a heart attack (thank God I didn’t).  I’m not sure what we’d do without him.  He’s irreplaceable!  When I see this picture, I remember good times!  My children were also known to “style” dad’s hair (wonder where they got that from?) gel and hairspray included!  Lucky Granpy!  My kids are grown now and those fun days of young childhood are gone. . .time the ever selfish bandit continues to hoard precious hours, seconds, minutes.  I, however, was so grateful to snatch some of those passed moments from time’s clutches and enjoy them today! Love you dad!  xo

 


Friday Moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. Photos – no words – capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments you want to pause, savour and remember. “This Moment” is a ritual found on  Life inspired by the Wee Man which I then kidnapped from Almost there by Sarah-Jane.
If you have a Moment just leave your link in the comments section so we can all have a peek!

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 

Mother to Son~L. Hughes

One of my favorite poets:

Langston Hughes’
Mother to Son


 

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Monday Memory

A Monday Memory inspired by Mary .  Share your memory in the comment section below!

A day in the rain when my children were little. Bittersweet memories I will never forget and hold deep within the recesses of my heart.

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!


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.

Buon Natale

Dear Friends,

It’s Christmas.  For some of us, we are experiencing hardship and loss (or remembering our losses and hurting because of them).  Some of us have felt the holes deeply other years and this year is more joyful.  Some of us will be separated from those we love on this holiday.  This day and celebration is for all of us, regardless, of where life’s tide has carried us.  Whether we are sad, happy, alone, struggling to believe, in a sandy desert or together with loved ones and friends.  So, here’s to all of us.  I’m grateful to be seeing my niece and nephew tonight and tomorrow afternoon.  They are my “hole pluggers” at times when I miss my children.  There will be food, family, and love.  There will even be some of the magic that has escaped me thus far this season.  Carrots for reindeer, cookies and milk for Santa, and the same request I have repeated for years, an elf please?  May peace, joy, and love be showered upon all of you.

Love,

Pamela

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