Saturday, May 17, 2014

3 Years

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings from Heaven, where the love of our lost loved ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."  
An Eskimo Proverb

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cleaning Out the Closet

My apartment consists of one closet.  Just one.  But its a beauty.  A giant closet with a hidden back space on one side.  It's a great place to spread out all of my winter, spring, summer, and fall clothes, jackets, and shoes.  It's also a great place to throw things when I don't have enough time to clean, sort, or put away properly.  It's a great place to keep things safe all while still being out of sight and out of mind.

This closet I once shared with Dale.  About 6 months after his death I did a deep and torturous cleaning and donated about 90% of his clothing minus a few favorites that sparked a good memory and his suits.  A suit was not work attire, so they were special, and he loved them.  I saved them because I was always unsure of whether or not his suits would be something meaningful to pass down to our son.  However, as time has passed.  I realize that I have so many other possessions that I have kept that my son may appreciate more.  One thing that I realized as time has gone on and my son has developed into his own little person, is that what I save and share with him about his father should not only give him an overall idea of who his father was, but there needs to be a connection from my son's end so that he can feel that sense of closeness to his father in the only physical way that he can. 

This past weekend, I cleaned out that closet.  I took out the suits.  I even took out papers and pictures of mine that were connected with Dale.  What is now left in my closet is all me.  All me and a big empty space.  This empty space is not intended to stay empty for long...

My New Yorker.  He spends several nights a week with us.  He comes and goes with a bag full of his "overnight" gear and clothes.   I don't know if he knew what was in my closet, but he told me not to clean it out for him.  He told me he'd buy something to put into the spare/storage room.  But that's not where he belongs.  Just last week I posted letting go and moving on in "One Last Time" and the time is now.  Dale is my past.  John, my New Yorker is my present and my future and he belongs next to me.

I have not yet gotten rid of Dale's suits.  For now, they are in the storage room.  But within the next month or so, time will come for me to tackle that room.  The hard part was taking them out from the closet.  Now they are out and exposed.  It will be a much easier task to let them go for good when the time comes.

It felt good to clean out the closet.  It was not a daunting task once I began.  I felt lighter.  I also felt happy when I hung up a few of John's things next to mine. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On My Day

Happy Mother's Day to not only all of the mommies out there, but to all of the ladies who play a significant role in any child's life, both young and old. 

So on this day, my day... I thought it would be a great day to post about my little man.  It's been quite some time since I did and what better day than today.?.  But I want to make this post more about how we, my son and I, are both doing in the mommy-son department.

My son is now 4 years and 8 months old.  Crazy!  I will be registering him at our home school this Friday to make his quickly approaching kindergarten days official.  Even more crazy!  But let me tell you a bit more about who he is at this point.

Interests:  My son loves, loves, loves trains and construction vehicles.  Loves them.  He watches Mighty Machines and can tell you all about the many different types of "diggers" (my word to encompass ALL of them, lol) and trains, especially diesel trains.  My son also has an obsession with snakes.  I cannot tell you how many toy snakes he has and he plays with them in an equivalent way in which I think a little girl would play with a doll, lol.  Except, the snake always ends up wrapping itself around another stuffed animal and eating it, ugh... those damn nonfiction books he loves to "read."

Academics:  Well, he is only in Pre-K, but he knows all of his letters and their sounds.  He can put the sounds together in short words, but I wouldn't call it reading.  He shows interest in it, especially on the computer (, but that'll come soon enough.  He's good with counting and numbers, shapes, and visual spatial skills... he still loves those puzzles.  We've even moved on to 3D.  His handwriting is... okay?  Lol... He likes to draw, but his skills are somewhat lacking.  I think that he is very in tuned with his surroundings and he is highly intelligent.  However, his coordination skills are a bit behind his intellectual skills.  He's never been delayed.  In fact, he was an early walker.  I just think that my son is definitely a left sided brain person, just like me. 

Sports:  Swimming was the first thing we tried when he was just two.  He liked it, alot.  Me, not so much.  I very much want him to be a swimmer and he has grown to love the water.  He has outgrown me though.  More lessons is a must!  We also tried soccer when he turned three.  It was somewhat a disaster.  I posted about it in early 2013.  But... I think we are going to try it again in the fall in a real league, not just a YMCA practice/early exposure deal.  We started karate in the fall and he took two sessions of it or about 4 months.  I thought it was very good for him.  I could see his balance and coordination skills growing.  But... like with the soccer, he got very silly and baby like.  He'd cry when we got there and he'd go in a out of participating.  We took a break in the spring because now he is playing tee ball!  My son is great runner!  I think he very well might just be the fastest on the team.  He also has a very throwing arm.  However, his biggest downfall, that silliness and attitude.  I know he's only four.  The rest of his teammates have their moments of silliness too.  There's tantrums and all sorts of things going on that field at any given moment.  Its quite interesting actually, lol.  But what gets me is his attitude.  Which leads to...

Personality:  My son is dramatic.  His teacher at school tells me that all the time.  She is also quick to add in that his behavior is just fine.  She's not concerned at all and reassures me that I shouldn't worry either.  She laughs at him though and tells me how much she enjoys having him in class and his personality.  He can light up a room.  He really can.  I'm not saying that in a biased mommy way.  He's just one of those people that have that ability, or gift as I see it, since I am not that person, lol.  He is extremely affectionate and sweet.  He is such a momma's boy.  He very smart, uses big words and is very good at expressing himself.  A bit too much sometimes.  He is very opinionated and is not shy about sharing what he thinks and feels.  He does not always do this in an appropriate way.  He gets very sassy with me at times.  And on the baseball field, there are moments when he gets mad if he doesn't get the ball and he will say what the thinks, out loud.  Yesterday, he threw his mit and I took him out.  :(

His truth:  I'd say in the past 6 months, he has consistently asked me about his father quite regularly.  I'd say about 3-4 times a week, at night when we are recapping the day and doing our bedtime routines, he will ask me about his father.  He asks me why he died and why he can't see him anymore.  I do not want to lie to him, nor do I want to tell him more than what a four year old should know.  I tell him that his father was sick and that he died.  I tell him he's in heaven, a special place for people who have died like great-grandma (who died last year) and even a place for pets like Skye and Argyle.  He asks me why he can't seen them anymore and I tell him that's what dead means, we cannot see them anymore.  Even that is alot to wrap his mind around.  He has asked me if I will die and if he will die.  I try to avoid answering those questions because I don't want to lie.  But I did tell him that when we get old we will, hoping with all my might that is not a lie.  He cried and I so did I, inside, for telling him that much.  But he is curious about death.  He somewhat understands it better and I can see that in the way he plays, with the snake, and even in his language.  A couple of weeks ago, he told a little girl, in a very busy Dr's office, that his father died and then turned to me to verify it.  It was an unfamiliar and tough moment.  It's tough stuff. 

And in a nutshell, that's my son.  He's absolutely amazing in my eyes but I can also say that yes, he's a typical four year old boy.  Now for me...

Exposure:   One thing that is important to me as his mother is to expose him to a variety of experiences.  We've taken many trips both near and far.  He's rode a horse, gone lobster fishing, drove up the west coast of CA, been to Disney, visited the Statue of Liberty, saw Niagara Falls, and have visited countless museums and aquariums.  I feel like he has been given some very rich experiences so far.  And I am both happy that I have been able to provide what I have so far to him and proud.  It has been a complete joy experiencing these adventures with him. 

Teacher Mom:    I have to admit that I am not such a great "teacher mom."  I have not pushed him academically, at all.  I encourage him.  We read each night and we do his homework, whenever he gets it.  But, I have not pushed him to begin reading.  I have not pushed him to make his letters better or to draw better.  In some ways, my being a teacher is preventing this.  I just know what the demands are in the schools even at the kindergarten level.  It's a very fine line, I don't want him to be "behind" but I also want him to enjoy being a kid too.  Too much of that has been taken away in the schools.  I also have not exposed him to much technology either.  Ironic since I am actually a technology teacher.  I think technology is a wonderful tool.  But for the same reasons I have not pushed academics onto him, I haven't pushed technology onto him either.  I want him to play creatively with his mind and his toys.  I want him to use that physical aspect of that kind of play.  Again, I don't want him to be behind or left in the dust as far as being technologically savvy, but... I am betting on his intelligence to pick up things up quickly and my ability as a teacher mom to fill in those blanks in order for him to be highly successful academically.  But, not just yet... play, play, play... I don't want to give up that innocence and fun.

Oops:  I do use the tv type of technology too much.  I won't even sugar coat that one.  I used to be so good about it.  Then, things just got hard.  I found it hard to get things done so I used tv as a babysitter while I got things done, so that I had time to play and spend quality time with him.  It sounded like a reasonable trade off.  I even saw the benefits of it as shows like Dora and Sesame Street exposed him to some really good things.  Even now, he likes Mighty Machines and Dino Dan, still quality shows.  But, he is starting to become more and more interested in super heroes, Transformers, and Ninjago.  He's growing up, but so is that content and I am not liking it so much.  However, at any rate, I need to cut down tv time.  Setting a timer has been good for the both of us, it's easy to loose track of time.  I just need to get better at it. 

Time:  Now that I have another significant person in my life, I have felt the crunching of my time.  It has thrown off the dynamics of my schedule, and even though its been months, I still haven't developed a new system of routines.  I'm off.  My time spent with my son has been effected.  Honestly though, I think its probably more typical now.  It just seems less because it is less, but less than what I was used to spending with him, which was pretty much all day every day minus the time I am at work and minus the 3 hours each week I left him with my babysitter.  But it's more than just that... time is taken away from him in the time I have to get household chores done or even getting ready to go out.  I think I am still adjusting... adjusting my schedule and routines until I find a good fit and adjusting to having someone else in my life to give my time to as well. 

My truth:  My truth is my fear that my son shows signs of his father's illness.  I know that he is so young.  But it is a very real fear of mine.  When I talk to other mom's they assure me that my son's behavior is normal and that it is just a phase.  This phase, the dramatic and sassy phase, has been my least favorite.  I realize that his ability to communicate his emotions is actually a very good thing.   However, the way in which he deals with them is not always a good thing.  I need to stay strong and consistent with him.  But every time I see those very strong emotions... anger or frustration, it pokes me at my most vulnerable place.  And it's been very difficult for me.  I know that my son has a warm and loving soul.  He's good down to the very core.  But, I also know how important and what a significant role a parent plays in raising a child.  I don't want to take away any piece of his amazing spirit, and at the same time, I don't want to raise a brat.  Eeeeh... parenthood!

My gift:  Despite the battle with balancing time and using the tv too much and my worrisome ways, I love my son more than anything and nowhere else but on my very own blog would I say that I am doing a kick ass job all by myself!  I know that because I can see it in him, even in those moments of outbursts, I can still see that he is a healthy and happy little boy.  One of the best gifts that I have given to him besides my own love, is that of my New Yorkers.  My New Yorker loves my son.  He is completely engaged in his life from going to early morning tee ball games, to buying and building puzzles with him, to working with me to find his voice and role as a father and authoritative figure.  We have talked countless times about my son and it was when I shared my greatest fear concerning my son that he gave me one of the best gifts by saying, "I don't know what the future may hold, but I can tell you that your son will be raised in a happy home."  How could I ask for more?  For my son and for myself?  I know down to my core that with him, that is exactly the kind of home we will have, a happy one.  But what better gift can I give to my son than to have found a man who loves the both of us and who wants nothing more than to create happy memories with us. 

I love the many aspects of me... teacher, daughter, sister, friend... but mommy is what I love best!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

One Last Time

When I stumbled upon my word evanescent for my last post, I learned something new.  I honestly didn't know what that word meant and I only remember ever hearing the word evanescence as in the band.  So not only did evanescent provide me with the perfect word that I was looking for to describe my three year moment in time, it also led to me revisit some old songs from the past. 

My Immortal... I remember that song came out when I had first moved to Virginia.  I had forgotten how beautiful and sad it is.  Ten years ago, I didn't know of such sadness.  I didn't understand.  Now I do.  I understand completely.

I have been struggling with letting go lately.  I have shed so much of the attachments that I had with/to/for Dale in the past three years that I really do feel that what I have left are the deep rooted attachments.  They are the ones that touch the very core and allows two people to connect.  I have kept these hidden and safe for probably more years than he has been gone.  They are what kept me with him for the many years before the last.  It was and what is the part that reminds me without a doubt that I have no regrets and that my life with him was not only worth it but was meant to be.

But, my life with him is over.  Those connections have no reciprocation. And for reasons of sadness, guilt, grief, and fear... I have yet to let go.  Even though I know that letting this go will not erase Dale and all of the wonderful memories that I did have with him, I still am holding on.  And I need to let go.  Perhaps this one last time...

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I was searching for a word today that meant a temporary place in time.  Purgatory was what first came to mind, but with that also came suffering, torment, and a horror flick plot.  Since I was looking for a word to describe the past three years of my life, purgatory is not how I'd describe it.  But I needed something.  So thank you for suggesting evanescent.  Not only did it capture the meaning that I wanted, it did so with grace and beauty in the sound of the word itself... evanescent.

I've known all along that this time for me would be evanescent.  I didn't know for how long this time in my life would last, but I knew that it was temporary.  I knew that the initial shock, pain, grief, sadness, etc. would ease with time.  And it has.  I also knew that this time alone was not going to last forever.  And it won't.  August 1.  That is the day that my son and I are moving in with our New Yorker and we officially become a unit, a family.   

I am beyond excited to begin this new life with the amazing man that I found in my New Yorker.  I'm living it now, to a degree.  I would have to be otherwise how would I know?  How would we know?  And I do, we both do. 

But... I am nostalgic when it comes to saying goodbye to the life that I know.  There has been something beyond special when I think about these past three years.  They tested me to the very core.  I found out what both my son and I were made of.  We built a life, just the two of us from the rubble of what once was.  It was extremely difficult at times, but it was also inspiring, spiritual, beautiful, and absolutely precious.  I would not trade these moments, not a single one of them, for anything. 

One thing that I may love best about my New Yorker is that deep down, I know that these moments that I cherish so much are not about to end.  With him I can breathe.  I can be whom I want and do what I want and live the life that I want... and I can do all of this without being alone.  That is why he is my amazing.  But that doesn't mean that I can't feel a tug at my heart to think back on this time that I am nearing the end of right now. 

Evanescent... we never know how long anything will last.  Life itself is short.  Too short to take for granted and too short to waste.