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Posts Tagged ‘moving on’

I’m coming off a crappy couple of weeks — my beloved dog of almost 13 years developed a cancerous tumor on the back of her tongue that lead to the need to put her to sleep … that was the culmination I guess. The rest isn’t really blog material — but it affected me, in a way that I find hard to explain. Sometimes I guess it’s necessary to lose things, to feel hapless and hopeless, before you can realize what you had. Sounds cliché, but true. But, the rest of the story is this…

I’ve written here about love and friendship and anger and rage and death and cancer and autism. I’ve written about many things that have affected me. Things that have caused me pain and sadness and happiness and laughter and confusion. Maybe the things I’ve written about are emotions I have about other people…not necessarily about myself. If you give others emotional responsibility for you then you don’t have to worry about it — someone else will always be calling the shots. You are free from the burden of the emotions because you can always pretend they’re not yours — and really, they’re not. Not if you always look to others for comfort or stability or recognition.

With the summer approaching, I have a new sense of things to come. A new sense of me. A new sense of what’s important and what’s going to help me be the me I want to be. Sometimes losing gives you a better focus — sometimes it just gives you focus.

I cried this week. Seems an odd thing to say I guess — but, I cried. I thought about that old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” But, I realized that’s not right at all. Maybe when the going gets tough, the tough start to cry. Because to cry means you care and you feel and you think… and those are the things that mean everything.

I’m not a crier. Never have been. I cry at funerals — sometimes. I cry when I get physically hurt — sometimes. I cry at movies — sometimes. But this time, it came for other reasons. And I couldn’t stop it, actually I didn’t want to stop it. It felt good once I got going. Crying felt good. This really puzzled me. Why had I avoided crying all these years if the end result was a sort of cleansing?

So, back to a crappy couple of weeks. It’s better already. It’s moving forward and moving on. It’s beginning to make sense. I’m beginning the process of being the me I want to be. I’m beginning to understand how to get back up when I lose.

In case you’re wondering what I did after my cleansing cry, have a look at this video. Hey, I never said I didn’t like to laugh and cry at the same time.

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Today I took a huge leap in my life. One I’m not quite prepared to discuss here. But, a leap that leaves me scared and excited and scared and hopeful and scared and refreshed, oh and scared.

I think that’s the thing about leaping — it can be scary and new and messy… leaping can be messy. But, what I’m learning is that stagnant can be worse. I think, like many people, I’ve secured my feet in the concrete solidness of stagnant — avoiding anything out of the ordinary. I’ve been afraid of messy for a while. I was afraid that my messy was too much, too messy. But, then I heard a very good definition of messy — one that I thought really defined what I was trying to say but, as so often occurs with me, I couldn’t locate all the right words and get them in the right order. Here’s what I heard (from a very reliable source), messy is:

…the willingness to make mistakes, risk your heart, connect with new people, be an imperfect mom, be someone different and new.

I liked this — a lot. I’ve kept it, like so many other things I read that strike a chord with me.

I always thought being the “new kid” in school had loads of advantages. The thought of starting over, fresh, a clean slate — it’s very appealing. I, like everyone else who went “away” to college, was the new kid for a while. I had several friends who, when they went away to college, started using their middle names or a nickname. They became someone new and better and it seemed fun. I was given a nickname in college as well — Punky (it was an easy choice for my new friends given my last name of Brewster). I think, however, it had more to do with my personality than my convenient last name. Many of my college friends still call me Punky, I like that. I can remember being on second or third dates and the boy would have no idea what my real name was — no one knew…I was Punky to all and still am to some. Lots of my friends I have met recently call me “b”. I like that too. Renewal. Starting over. Refreshed.

I’m sure I’ll be dealing with some messes along the way. But, better that than stagnant. Better to move on and breathe deeply then to wade in the shallow end and never know what it’s like to fill your lungs with the deep breath of renewal. So today, renewal. Today, I breathe in and breathe out. Today, I begin…again.

I searched for a video or a poem or something about happiness that I thought would make you smile, I ended up with this video I posted on Facebook a couple of months ago — it makes me smile, it helps me breathe… enjoy.

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It’s been a year, exactly …5:38am, as I sit here, since my mother passed away. I think the anticipation of such an anniversary has been burdensome. I phoned friends and emailed friends to remind them of this date and to be prepared in case I “needed” them. I’m not really one who likes to “need” people — I’ve always thought it showed a bit more weakness than I wanted. So, I’m not sure what this day will hold, really. But I remember, at 5:38am, when my sister called from the Alive Hospice facility downtown.

Both my sisters had spent the night there with my mother — I was too tired at that point. Too tired to sleep, too tired to be there, too tired to watch my mother drift away one last night. I knew why the phone was ringing (I also know that the sun is going to set everyday, but that doesn’t keep me from longing for it to warm my face just a little longer). Nothing good ever comes out of a 5:38am phone call, but, I answered it just the same. I collapsed on a bean bag on the floor when I heard the words spoken — overcome, confused… my body and my mind had parted ways briefly. I was already dressed, in anticipation, so I gathered myself and went to be with her, one last time…

My mother was a magazine person. She had books too, lots of books. But, typically, the magazines were so plentiful that she kept a large portion of them teetering in two stacks on a coffee table in her house. If you nudged the coffee table ever so slightly, the stacks would fall — I picked up those damn magazines more than once.

When she moved in with me, the magazines came too — they were a set. I had resisted the need to ever subscribe to magazines as an adult — the occasional kids mag and a cooking mag were all I cared to have. But, with the addition of my mother also came the addition of those magazines. I enjoyed reading them (as a side note, I read magazines from back to front — I don’t know why, always have… if you can enlighten me on this quirk, please do), she picked good magazines — there was always just so many of them. I have no idea how long of a subscription she paid for in advance — a year now, and they haven’t stopped arriving in the mail. Some every week, some once a month — all with her name on the label.

I don’t know what the day will bring. I’m sitting here in the same bean bag that held my collapsed body a year ago. I’ll push the publish button on this story and I’ll wake my kids for school. I’ll prepare their breakfast and help them organize their bags. I’ll go to work and I’ll talk to people and I’ll laugh with people and I’ll move on. Because no matter how much I want time to stand still or to even just slow down for a second so I can catch my breath — it won’t. My journey didn’t end a year ago. My journey continues — and hopefully, my North Star will allow me to see it. Maybe I’ll use those “lifelines” to phone a friend and just say “hi”. And they’ll know the real reason is because I needed them — just needed them — and that will be ok, because sometimes we just need a little distraction to remind us to move on.

But for now, for right now this morning…my journey is going to start with reading an interesting article in one of these damn magazines.

And now, enjoy this clip from one of my mother’s favorite movies and one of her favorite songs… Edelweiss (sung by one of the all-time sexy men!)

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School Pictures

My kids all came home with their school pictures yesterday. Up until about three years ago, I never let this opportunity slip away – I always bought the “best package”. It always seemed crazy to not buy the damn pictures. I mean, you can give these away to grandparents, aunts, uncles, everyone. But, as can always happen, life took an unexpected turn.

My father was diagnosed with lung cancer a little less than three years ago. When the picture proofs came home, I must have been busy, because I don’t seem to have any from that year. Things looked promising though, that next school year. I had been waiting for them to come home so I could buy them. But, as luck would have it, my dad became worse– the school pictures were overlooked yet again.

My father passed away right before Thanksgiving – almost two years now. I waited yet again for that time of the year when the school pictures would come home. Once again, life happened. It was a crazy time. My father had passed away, two weeks later my sister’s husband passed away from colon cancer, and two weeks after that, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. My mother moved in with me and my family so we could care for her. I don’t even remember dressing the kids up for school pictures during that time. My mother passed away in March of this year.

At some point, when my kids are older and looking through all the photos of all those terrible school pictures, I will have to remind them of why a couple of grades are missing. I wonder what that conversation will sound like – will I still be sad? Yesterday, school pictures came home. And, despite the fact that I’m not sure who to give them to, I have already sent in the money to buy the “best package”.

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