Mar 1, 2017

Dear February

February....oh how I have so many mixed feelings about you. It's like I love you but I could live without you. This year, specifically, was embraced with some apprehension, some regret, some love, and some reflection, 
Really the only "date" I was nervous, anxious, saddened, or worried about was the eleventh. That is when Bill died. This year it landed on a Saturday. I only become weepy or teary a few times, just because G snuggled in bed with me, we had a heart to heart, and remembered the goofy things his dad was. We went to eat hibachi Japanese, in honor of Bill, and I think that helped some. 
I was amazed at myself that I didn't have an all out "ugly" cry. I think it just wasn't necessary really. I think that is a sign of growth on my part. I think we both have really learned to accept it all as it is.
On a completely different note....February was pretty decent. No horrible weather, even a few really nice warm days, which was refreshing. I even had a fire in the firepit one night, that is how nice it was. I really appreciate that from you!
And then there was Valentine's day.....uggh...I let it pass and showed love to those I love the most. That's what counts. Maybe one day that particular day will have more significance. For now, I am okay with what "it" is. 
I am looking forward to March. There are great, wonderful, and fun things coming this month. I am super excited about it. One of those is that there is a beach trip over Spring Break, and Grant doesn't know about it....yet. A good family vacation with great memories is always a good thing.

So for you February, you weren't half bad. Thanks for that. I needed a calm and quiet month. So until we meet again......

~loveyameanit~

Feb 11, 2017

Time doesn't heal ALL......



I have been pondering about writing this post all day. It seems obligatory that I memorialize this particular day in some fashion. So here it goes.....
Time doesn't heal ALL heal all wounds, but then there's Jesus....and guess what?... if anyone can heal the deepest hurts, Jesus is the top choice to choose.

Today, February 11, 2017 makes two years that Bill passed away. I will admit that last year (numero uno) was extremely hard, not just for me but for my boy. Today, I know that I have made some serious progress in the grief department. I didn't bawl my eyes out, I didn't stay in bed with the covers over my head, I didn't check out of reality, no one caught me ranting and raving, and I didn't shake my fist at God swearing Him out of my life indefinitely. 
Recently, an epiphany occurred to me. It was after I watched a Tyler Perry "Madea" video snippet on YouTube. She -errr 'he'- talked about how people come into your life for a season. Insert the angels singing "hallelujah"....in my own head, of course. It helped me to think about how being married to Bill was a season in my life. Our life together didn't turn out like I wanted or expected, but it's not up to me to determine the season. That's God job to do. I realized that the 'us' was a season. Isn't that like an "Ahh-Haa" moment if I ever did have one? Ha!

So, admittedly I only teared up less than a bushel of times, most of which were attributed to snuggling with G$ this morning in my bed, scrolling through Instagram and noticing that he posted a picture of his dad with a sweet comment, and coming across some photos of days gone by. Maybe it's a bad idea to reminisce and maybe it's okay, either way, the only intention I carry is for Grant to remember that his dad was pretty awesome, especially when he became a father. I don't want to dwell on the circumstances of the death or why it all could't work out for the best. My only desire is for him to know that his dad really did love him....and even in present tense, loves him. 
Time doesn't heal all wounds my friends, but Jesus can. He went to the cross to heal our wounds, and by His stripes we can be set free (that part is a work in progress for me....the freedom part). I can choose to let Jesus take on the grief....every single phase of it and trust that God will heal me, heal my boy and live in the freedom of knowing that everything in our lives is under the hand of God who created it all.
Be blessed my friends.

Jan 31, 2017

Dear January




Dear January

I hate to break it to you, but I have never been one of your biggest fans and especially in recent years. Usually you bring bitter cold weather, a sore attempt at snow and ice here in TN (which by the way is disguised as a post-menopausal woman who hasn't been given enough coffee or chocolate) and flashbacks of really bad days in my arsenal of historic dates like the old "it happened on this day" reel that plays over and over in my head. This year was better, well as better as better can be.....like on a scale of one to ten, you get a six and a half. 
I think I can count on one hand the amount of really bad days this month. Which I can give you credit for because in previous years, it's been the majority of the month where I have been super moody and unlikable and way down on the mo-jo. 
I do want to say that I appreciate the unseasonably warm days you gave me (I could be bff's with post-menopausal weather especially if I give her enough coffee or chocolate!). Luckily for you, I have a membership to a local gym and access to the "fake & bake" bed that doses me up on Vitamin D when I need it. So big deal, I lay in a tanning bed.....it's that or I start to become super cra-cra, the girl in the basement crazy....and you wouldn't really like her. And I will add, I am NOT tanning everyday, just a couple of times a week. Any-who, I guess I should also thank you for the time I needed to really think about "things'. You know, the things that keep me up at night. You gave me a few sleepless nights thinking about what is "IT" that God is trying to work out in me. Thoughts about short term and long term goal setting, plans and ideas for vacation, what to do about issues with my teeth *long story there*, researching and learning more about Paris (that IS.GOING.TO.HAPPEN!) and among so many other thoughts, I had to cope for two long weeks without my wing-woman, a.k.a my sister. She was out of town in California...... gracias por nada on that! I think I clobbered her with so many hugs when I picked her up from the airport. I cannot even fathom not having her, she is my "person". 
January, you also reminded me that I have some work to do and specifically in the area of dating. I had a date, and I decided after that date, it was time to give on-line profiles and dating a break, meaning...I took myself off the market, not because I am taken, but because there's some work I need to do....emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I gave myself 90 days to break away from "dating" and focus on myself and do some prep work for the next go-around. I will re-visit this topic mid-April. I won't tell you it's easy peasy lemon squeezy....trust me on this.....my closest peeps are all in relationships, I'm the odd woman out, at least for a short period of time.
So, January, even though I am not a fan, I dealt with you as best as I could. Some good things happened, the bad days were bearable with lots of coffee, my closest friends, a couple of glasses of wine on the weekends and my selfish desire to be a little tan. I want to learn how to like you more, I am jetting there.....very very slowly. I guess it's inevitable that we will meet next year so goodbye January. 

Not too much love,
Amanda









Jan 16, 2017

Reminders

Just to give you a back story on this particular picture, I was cleaning out and switching wallets and was checking every nook and cranny, making sure I emptied the old wallet of everything. I came across the key that opens the box of my father's cremanes. I was delighted to find it because I really believed I lost it. I went to open the box and remembered that this little bible was placed inside on top by my brother. I think she gave this Bible to him when he was on his way to college in Kentucky. or it's possible she gave it to him when he went into basic training for the Air Force. My father was about to be twenty years old. 


 The words written by Mamaw are as following:


My Darling
Time and miles will take us apart but while it does, I shall keep a prayer with a live light burning within my heart for you . God gave you to me and He will keep you for me. My prayers will be with you wherever you go. 
Love, Mother

(To Ivan Newlin)
March 9, 1969

My grandmother was a great woman of faith. She left a legacy of Godly love, mercy, and wisdom. I am not saying she was perfect but she was perfect to me. This prayer for my own father has a lot of meaning to me at this particular time of my life. I can only hope that both my Mamaw and Dad are looking over me, praying for me, protecting me, loving me, reminding me of who I am in God I pray that I will leave a legacy for Grant and even my own future grandchildren. I needed to see and read this today. I needed reminded......

Jan 3, 2017

Friday Follow Up #1

Sunday was New Year's day, of course....I am strangely glad the new year started on a Sunday this year. I had an awesome New Year's party at my house with Melody and some friends. It was probably the best New Year's eve I have had in a long time. Grant had a friend over so that helped occupy his time and attention and lessened the complaining about being "bored". I fell into bed around 2am and got enough sleep to wake up and get to church. This particular Sunday was going to be interesting for me because a certain person I thought had feelings for & stupidly shared those feelings with him in the short time he was 'single' and now was suddenly leaping back into an on again, off again type relationship with someone who shares the same name as me. I guess more than anything, my ego was bruised knowing they were back 'on' and he gets to pretend that it wouldn't make me question his motives. Never did I expect him to come up and give me a hug and wish me Happy New Year much less did I expect that I would conjure up some deep Christ like love to give "her" a hug and wish the cliche' we all are supposed to say no matter how we feel about someone. Anyway, as soon as church ended, I was out of there just so I could swallow the lump in my throat and get home to take a very much needed nap. The rest of the day I did absolutely nothing and I liked it.
Monday was a tough one to survive. I don't really know why the second day of the year is so depressing. I guess it could be that the "high" of Christmas is over and the fun of New Years came to a fast end and even quicker beginning. I spent most of the day in bed, I did get up and do dishes and collected all the garbage and pulled it to the curb. I really wanted to go to the gym and release some stress but G didn't want to be left home alone for the amount of time I wanted to be gone. I ended up ordering a pizza and renting two Redbox movies. We watched Pete's Dragon and oddly, I teared up in a few of the scenes. After that, I watched "Me before You" in my room and that was probably not a good idea to watch a sad sappy romantic movie when this girl is already feeling lonely. It was a good movie, too bad I didn't read the book beforehand but maybe I'll add to my summer reading list. It was late when the movie ended and then I started thinking about someone I am close to who has been diagnosed with breast cancer again and I started praying that God would not take her away from me this year. I don't want to see the death of anyone I love this year. I know I have no control over that but seriously, I am over the 'death' cycle for awhile.
Tuesday was a decent day. I dropped Grant off at my mom's to help her and to oversee PawPaw getting a shower. It's Grants opportunity to make a few bucks and learn that taking care of family is important. I went with Melody to her Dr. appt and she got herself a pretty purple cast on her clean broken wrist. She will be off for the next four weeks and even though I know she hates missing work, it might be a good thing for me in selfish ways. I went to pay my Kohl's bill.....ugghh, I need to get rid of that stupid credit card! I followed up with my dental office about some impressions they made on my teeth. The dental assistant called me back and said the lab did not send back a mock up of what the veneers would look like and would it be possible to come by and do another mold. So I took my happy self to the dentist office, got another mold taken and was on my way back home. Luckily, Mel was at my house napping and Grant was playing PS4. When I got back, we decided to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner and then hit the grocery store on the way home. I loathe grocery shopping and most especially when it involves Walmart!
Wednesday met me with Grant playing a truck on me. He thought it would be a good idea to put whipped cream in my mouth while I was asleep. I wasn't really mad about it but it sorta scared me. No worries, I'll get him back. I didn't actually get out of bed until almost 11am. These holiday breaks inducemy unhealthy habit of being a night owl and then sleeping way too late. Anyway, I had to get a couple of things done so I got dressed and ran my errands. I had an eye appointment at 3pm so I dropped G of at friends house beforehand. I haven't been to my eye doctor in over a year and I was brutally honest with him and admitted that I sleep in my contacts A LOT. Anyway, my prescription for glasses has increased but my prescriptions for contacts is pretty much the same. I'm not surprised by that because my glasses are over 3 years old. Anyway, I got prescriptions for both and went on my merry way. Picked G up, stopped at home to eat a very quick dinner and then headed to church for a ministry meeting. I had to leave early because Grant wanted to attend youth group at Joy church.  Melody met me there at 7pm and we went to service. I wanted to look into what their singles group offers and possibly be a part of their events. CFC doesn't have a singles ministry and probably because there are not that many single people in my age bracket. I think it will be good for me. Better than hanging out at bars, right? Lol.....we made it home and I made myself get in bed at 930pm so I could be asleep by 1030pm.  
My plan to get to sleep early on Wednesday night did not work out. I was up until 2am. I don't know why I couldn't get to sleep but I ended up reading and journaling some scripture. I also noticed that G had left his cell phone on the table and I did a random phone check. He passed, lol.
I knew it was going to be a rough Thursday  morning for me due to lack of sleep. I saw Grant off to school and headed over to pick up Melody and go with her to a Dr appt. She can't write very well with a cast on her right hand so I was designated paperwork person. Forging her name was quite exhilarating HA!
Anyway, after that we headed over to MJ to get our nails done. My nails felt like eagle talons, way too long for me. We finished up and went back to her place. I helped her put her Elvis collectibles in a cabinet and we ate a bite of lunch. I came home and hurriedly swept & mopped the floors because I could no longer stand the filth of dirt and pet hair. I'm OCD about my floors, just ask my son. I threw in a load of laundry and changed my bed sheets. Nothing beats clean sheets when you crawl into bed. Grant arrived home from school, I was meeting girlfriends for dinner so I made sure he was set for the evening. It was a pretty full day.
Friday was interesting. Weather called for snow, a dusting I suppose....well it was just enough to be annoying and dangerous. Metro did not call school off and I made G go even though it seemed treacherous. Not even an hour later, I get a call that school will be dismissed early.  I got up, showered and knew my cat was not going to start because of the dumb battery keeps dying on me. I have a portable battery charger so I got it to start and took it straight to Gateway. I walked over to my mom's to get my other car that she drives and headed to the gym. I didn't make it because the slight hill that leads up to Planet Fitness was covered in snow and I tried twice to conquer it but it was a no go. I ended up going by the school and getting Grant out early. I didn't want him on a school bus in this weather and with the roads like they were, I don't trust a bus. We went back over to mom's, Grant helped PawPaw get a shower and I walked back to Gateway to pick up my car. I zipped on over to Walmart to grab a few things. I wanted to make chicken tortellini soup. The recipe called for Mirapoix??.....I didn't know what that was until I Googled it later. So, I do need it for the recipe and I'll have to hit Kroger tomorrow. Mom needed a much deserved break from baby Genesis so I loaded her up and all her gear and we headed home. Baby G slept an hour and a half and so did I. I played with her, loved on her, gave her a bath and tried to get her to lay down again but mom was on her way to get her. I love having her but man, babies are so much work.
I won't go into details but Grant has a meltdown over something so dumb. Then he gets disrespectful and he pushed the envelope too far and I spanked him. I hate doing that but I just cannot tolerate the disrespect. Later, he came to apologize which is good but we have got to work on the explosive anger when stupid things aggravate him. So, here I am, the first Friday night of 2017, watching endless TV shows, drinking some tea and blogging about the first week of the year. It's been busy, had its ups and downs, but we are all healthy and safe and warm.

Oct 4, 2016

Death of a Fairytale

Death is inevitable. We all know that things that breathe and live will eventually die. It could be the death of a parent, a brother or sister, a child, a grandparent, and even our beloved pets. Death is the separation from the physical being that we loved. 
However, the death I am writing this post about is the death of a fairy tale. Today would have been my nineteenth wedding anniversary. I don't write this to gain sympathy, I write to get my thoughts out of my head, sort of like journal therapy.

I married Bill when I was 20 years old. He was 25. I was in love and I had great hopes for our future together, even thoughtI was extremely young. We had our first date on July 18, 1996 and then in November on his birthday, he proposed to me. He was everything I was looking for in a mate. He worked two jobs, he had his own car, paid his own bills, loved me unconditionally and put up with my  young craziness. We married the following year and paid for our wedding and honeymoon. It was the beginning of the great fairy tale. 

My version of the fairy tale is that we would stay married and have a couple of children, work in the fields where we both felt like we were contributing members of society, buy a cozy home, go on dates, travel to the places we had never been before, be involved in our church, nurture our friendships that meant the most to us, spend holidays with family, raise our kids together, support and encourage them through high school, drive them off to college, feel the empty nest, plan weddings for them, see grandchildren come, and retire and be life partners. Is this not what everyone wants when they get married?

Looking back, I think I should have waited to marry. It would have been better to finish college and find a good job and be more self-sufficient. I should have learn to be more independent instead of being so DEpendent on Bill. I realize now that our relationship was supremely co-dependent. I won't disregard the fact that there were great times and wonderful memories made. We created our son and tried to have more children. We bought our starter home and we both worked to make it a place of love and peace. But then the fairy tale began to die in 2008...
I won't go into all the gory details and trust me there are plenty but I tried so hard to make our circumstances different. We were in marriage counseling for a long period of time. I delved into self help books, went to conferences, attended meetings and checked myself on every level, trying to not let the fairy tale die. There comes a time when "the straw that broke camel's back" occurs. That happened in August of 2013. 

I bet you are wondering what killed the "fairy tale"? It comes down to Bill being so addicted to pills and alcohol that it was effecting my son's physical being. It was the most difficult and terrifying decision I made. He had to leave and get his shit together. I had to protect our son at every cost.....even at the cost of losing my marriage. The chaos and perpetual walking on egg shells was exhausting and I never knew which Bill I was interacting with. This is not to say that the destruction was the fault of a child. It was the bad choices and unchanging behavior that resulted in the separation. 

So we separated in October 2013 It was beyond challenging and I really thought I would become destitute. I reacted to the circumstances in unhealthy ways. I was angry, frustrated, and felt like I was going to lose e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.! My fairy tale was slipping out of my hands and I didn't believe I could make it on my own.

One day I might reveal more about the specifics about the death of my fairy tale but the fairy tale truly died on Feb. 11, 2015. Bill died and among many other "worst day of my life" was going to my son at his school and telling him the news. It was heart wrenching.

We all can say "we wish...." and I am no different. I wish I could go back and change things but I see now that God was/is protecting me and my precious son. Death is a part of life, no matter how you slice it. Death just plain old stinks! I still find myself grieving in various ways. I put on my brave face and put my big girl panties on and choose to face ALL the challenges of being a single mom. What other choice is there?

My future hope and prayer is that maybe one day God will truly bless with the second chance to live another fairy tale but this time it will have to be one where God is the author and the illustrator. 

Jul 27, 2016

Do you ever get tired....?

Lately, I have been tried. Maybe I can attribute it to the chaotic beginning weeks of school and the change of schools for G. It coukd be that something is physically off in my body like low iron, but this kind of tired feels more like.....tired of being the responsible adult/parent, the single mom who is not dealing well with pre-teen attitude. It's the kind of tired where I lay in bed at night and think about all the things I should have done the day before but never got to. I get tired of laying in bed solo with no partner to vent to. No one to share my thoughts and feelings with on a daily basis.And to be brutally honest, I miss the physical touch of a man. I get tired of tackling the constant flow of laundry and dishes. The menu planning and grocery store trips can really wear me down.  I get tired of being the lawngirl, although I'd have to say the only two benefits I get from this are exercise and the sense of accomplishment. I get tired of being the one who has to deal and manage the care of an aging father in law who is falling victim to dementia and that should have never been held responsible for.
 
I get tired. I am tired.

 Tired of fielding endless and sometimes pointless questions from an over curious twelve year old. Tired of trying to explain that I am the mom and when I say "NO", I don't owe you a reason. I get tired of fighting the bed time battle. Just go to bed, you're tired! 
I get tired of fighting with the demons that try to take me down spiritually. Tired of worrying about finances and budgets and bills. 
 It would be so very nice if I could go away and truly get some rest and replenish my spirit,  feed my soul, reconnect with who I am in God's eyes, A place where  someone would take care of all my basic needs and be allowed to just rest. 
I can't be the only one who feels this way. 
Tell me, do you ever get THIS tired?