Today I saw a little boy wearing a pink shirt and written on it was stop bullying on pink shirt day. I complimented him and said “I like your shirt.” His blue eyes shone when he looked at me and said “thank you very much.” I replied it was a perfect day to wear it. Seeing him wear that pink shirt gave me courage as I was there at the school to have a meeting with the administration. I prayed that the sweet boy with the blue eyes didn’t get bullied today. If you’ve been following along with the bullying saga my oldest son (the Captain) has been picked on by 3 different kids!!! 😳 I want to bust some heads, kick some asses, and have a good ole ugly cry. He hasn’t even been in school for a month and he has to deal with this day in and day out. 😔 I’ve had it, I have to convince him to go to school, try to make friends, but he’s gun shy. And I can’t say I blame him, I would be too. What pray tell gives some little brat the right to go up and hit my kid?!! And as I stated in my previous blog the Captain isn’t asking for it. All kids can be assholish but he’s not that way at school. I’ve watched him, I’ve been given compliments about his behaviour, and told by parents what a great kid he is. And even if he wasn’t gutted from my tummy like a fish, I’d still think he’s awesome!!! Now he’s afraid he’s going to get into trouble for all of this. He stood up to this trouble making boy this time, and said stop it, you’re a bully! And I’m proud he did, but some of these kids just don’t get it. When I was a lot younger and in school, and someone bullied me I took care of business. We all did back then, there was no persistent bullying, because all it took was one shove out of my way and it was resolved. And if it wasn’t you went to the biggest kid on the playground and it soon was. It got more complicated in high school with peer pressure, the desire to fit in, and of course the mob mentality. Seeing my son go through this has angered, hurt, frustrated, and scared me. He has locked himself in his room and just raged at the top of his lungs. It’s heart breaking to see the first reason my heart grew 3 x’s its size, the day I became his Mom, suffering. He’s deeply hurting and acts out at home out of pure anger. 💔 This crisis has shown me how cruel people can be. My friends and I we’re discussing how we’ve waited on pins and needles when our child gets home and how you hope, pray, and beg to the heavens that they were left alone. And how we hope these kids will grow out of this detrimental behaviour, instead of into it, and become bigger bullies. So I’ve done all I can do and I’m leaving it in the administrations hands. And if it’s not dealt with immediately, and a little brat lays a hand on my kid I’ll go directly to the parent and demand action to be taken. Hell hath no fury like a Mama bear protecting her cubs. ❤️
Here I am reaching out for help, for too long I’ve been doing and acting like I can do it on my own. But the sad truth is I can’t, I need to reach for more, better, resources so I can gain a level of patience and understanding again. If you’ve been following my blog (thank you for your support), you will know that my son has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). For the past 8 months I’ve been going through a lot with trying to help him. I’ve gone through appointments, assessments, questionnaires, reading, and researching. And due to cost and availability I’ve been his occupational Mom therapist. I have him jump, roll, tumble, crash, get wrapped up, tight bear hugs, skin brushing, and joint compressions. We also walk daily everywhere and spend time at the playground. All of this has helped but regulating him has become a full time job. I’m not getting much else done as this takes up a majority of our day. We have lots of fun but there’s also days when all I want to do is cry. Sometimes I do, I retreat to my bathroom and cry and blog, and blog and cry. I don’t reach out very often for help, because I’ve been living with this facade for so long its become like “home” to me. It’s hard to take off my mask and look in the mirror and not like who I see. I want to see less baggage under my eyes from all my sleep deprived nights, I want to see my blue eyes twinkling with joy, instead of my forehead creased with worry wrinkles. I want to see a smile grinning ear to ear, instead of biting my lips with fear and anxiety. Most of all I want to reach that happy part of me as I see my beloved Mom’s face looking back at me. I’ve always been her younger selves twin, and as I get older I see myself as her adult copy. I want to reach into the mirror and pull her back out and cry in her arms. Parenting is hard some days, but parenting a child with special needs is even harder. I want my Mom to hold me and stroke my hair and tell me “don’t worry honey child, this too shall pass.” I want to reach out and hear my Dad’s laugh telling me I’m strong, tenacious, and the world doesn’t know who they’re dealing with. He always told me I missed my calling as a lawyer with how much I love to talk and argue. 😉 I want to reach these Dr’s and professionals to speed up my son’s paperwork from one province to the next. And light a fire under their asses to get it complete so I can move on with our next step. So I continue to advocate for my child to get the help he needs, therapies, professionals, and to be treated like a person than a case file. And I will work hard to reach him and find that joyful boy that giggles instead of the shrieking banshee he’s become, from being sensory overloaded. I will always fight for my children and reach deep into my heart for faith, love, and patience. Our happiness, peace, sanity, and well being depend on it. And I will began to reach that calm centre in myself that slows down and appreciates more magic around me. Then I’ll begin to see the world through my son’s eyes and realize that his SPD wonderland can be a special place to be.
Today’s Sunday confession is brought to by the amazing Ash of http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Reach out and check out her blog and all the fabulous bloggers that link up. And thank you for letting my blog reach you my dear readers. I’m honoured and humbled by your support. Thank you, smooches and
Well I’m surprised at how fast time is flying by, like seriously flying at the speed of light. Or is that just me and my heart racing? I’m telling you this has been a tough ass month for me.
I’ve managed to make it through the last few Friday’s without inflicting harm on anyone. My son has been bullied in his new school and it’s tearing me to pieces!!! I dealt with immediately and blogged about it, since it brought back a lot of my past icky memories. 💔
I wanted to hurt someone, just for a moment, for picking on my sweet boy. I ranted with my hubby about school being a safe place, and our son has every right to be able to learn and grow there as an individual. He shouldn’t have to be watching his back and having to physically move himself every time the bully comes near him! With all this stress and changeable weather I got really sick, like a cold/flu virus from hell. 😳
I managed to fold 8 loads of laundry and get 3 put away before I had company on Saturday. My brother in-law and sister in-law came to visit. This was their first time meeting my youngest son, so it was a big deal. It was nice to catch up with them as we don’t see them more than every 3 years. But we live only 2 hours away from each other, so I look forward to more future visits. My kids were excited and in full show off mode for aunty and uncle. So they got away with a little more goofing off then usual. I’ve been sick cranky Mommy lately, so they had to meet fun Mommy sometime. 😉
Due to being so sick I got really behind on housework and my responsibilities. So it looked like Toys R Us set a bomb off in my house. Toys everywhere, laundry multiplying like filthy rabbits, demanding kids, and a busy working husband, well something had to give and Mommy blew up!!! I immediately apologized but the damage was done, and I did more harm than good. 😒You see my youngest has a sensory condition and requires daily occupational therapy. Feeling like death on a ritz cracker and him and I sharing the same germs, we got nothing done. As the result of that his central nervous system has been over loaded. He’s been biting, spitting, and screaming at the top of his lungs. And my poor frayed nerves couldn’t take one more moment. 😔 And his brother couldn’t handle all the garbage at school, so he’s been anxious and lashing out at everyone. So one wound up sensory jumper cable of a boy + one anxiety ridden powder keg of emotion boy= BOOM!!!! A massive melt down of epic proportions. 😔
I got through the weekend feeling about 75 % and took my time cleaning the house. I had theatre practice that day, which always makes me happy so I went off to that. While I was waiting for the doors to open up, i started thinking about all these toxic emotions. I got myself worked up and I could feel a panic attack coming on. I haven’t had one of those in 2 years so I got scared. I did some deep breathing exercises and took some Bach rescue remedy and carried on with practice. No would’ve known I was struggling to breath into a paper bag 15 minutes before. I’m like super Mom (without my cape, because it’s still in my overflowing laundry basket) 😜
I didn’t get as much as I wanted to accomplish this week done. So I’ve been beating myself up about that. I have kind, encouraging, words for everyone when they need it but when I need it the most, I’m the last to give it. I know I suffer from “Mommy comes last syndrome” and it sucks. I need to make some changes and continue putting my emotional, physical, and mental needs first. Well that is after everyone has clean clothes, food in their bellies, and a clean diaper for my toddler. 😏
I took a one week fitness challenge and failed miserably. Being so sick I was living off of tea, water, and soup. So I didn’t follow the meal plan and I was too weak and dizzy to do the exercises. So time to repeat that challenge and work a little harder, especially on my self worth as that’s been in the toilet lately.
As we were feeling 90 % better my little one and I went to play group. It was nice to see some Moms I knew, meet new ones, and see my son playing and having fun. I also took him to the playground which is great exercise for us both and instant OT. 😊 I made plans to visit with 2 of my dear high school friends as we live close by each other. I didn’t realize how lonely I felt till they appeared in my kitchen. I wanted to cry, squeal with joy, and hug them all at once. I held back a bit on my over enthusiasm, as to not overwhelm them. I took a pic before we had rush off for school pickup and posted it on my Facebook. Our smiling faces started a thread of comments and 65 likes and counting. It seems a lot of our other high school friends want to have a reunion. Our happiness brought their happiness out, and to me that was the best gift of the week. ❤️
Today’s Friday’s Feats and Failures brought to you by the brave and beautiful Ash of http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Check out her week and all the other fantastic bloggers that link up. Smooches my dear readers, you keep me smiling and brave enough to face another week. 😘
Today I celebrate my wedding anniversary with my love. I want to shout to the heavens of my love, respect, and appreciation of him. 9 years ago today our journey started out with so many questions. Is she going to make it to the altar, is she going to show up, where is the bride?!!! Little did our guests know the wedding was being held up by a broken shoe! And it wasn’t even mine, it belonged to my future Mother in-law. 😉 Then finally the magical moment arrived I walked down the aisle to my future, my life, my love, my husband. I wrote a song for him as a wedding gift and our DJ played it that night after our wedding song. Swaying in my husbands arms, as I heard the song I wrote and recorded for him was priceless. He started singing a little to me, then that moment he realized it was me singing on the recording was pure magic. The love I saw in his eyes is something I’ll remember for all of time. Today I celebrate him and the wonderful life we’ve built together. He is my rock, my soft place to fall when the world’s too much. I thank him for his love, patience, and kindness. And after all these years I still get butterflies in my tummy, when he looks my way. And the immense pride I feel when I look at our children is my life’s blessing. Thank you my dear husband, for being my forever love.
Autumn makes me feel warm and cozy as I pull my sweaters and turtlenecks out of storage. As I walk in the crisp fall air, hear the leaves crunching underneath my feet, I feel magic in the air. On Sunday I took a walk along the river with my son, and saw so much fall beauty. I admired the picturesque landscape of the leaves changing colour, the emerald water, and the pale softness of the driftwood along the edge. We stopped and threw rocks into the river, and I taught him the fine art of skipping stones along the water. The sun shone and glistened off the water and I wanted to curl up on the grass and take a nap. With the amazing colour, sound of the birds chattering above, the reflection of the sun gleaming off the water, I felt like I was in a painting. Autumn makes me think of everything pumpkin, applesauce, apple cider, comfort foods like beef stew, chill, and potato cheddar bacon soup. I love raking up big plies of leaves and taking turns jumping in them with my kids. There’s something so wonderful, carefree, and magical about that sensory pleasing crunch as my body falls into the pile. I have leaves in my hair, sticks in my sweater, and a sweet smile of satisfaction on my face. And as sad as it is to say goodbye to summer, I say hello to chai pumpkin spice lattes. This particular fall day felt like summer with a high of +27 as the sun kissed my face and warmed the earth. And I have visions of carving pumpkins and finding the silly and scary patterns to entertain my little trick or treaters. And yes my family is very big into Halloween so we decorate inside, outside, and ourselves to our kids delight. I’ll be out there in our neighbourhood in my retro costume, with my sons collecting candy with me. So as I write this now the sun’s setting and it’s time for the hamburger casserole I made to make it into my little ones tummy. As I take the hot apple pie out of the oven, and sit down to the yummy dinner I’ve prepared I’m feeling grateful. I say hello fall, cheers to you and all your splendid magic and thank you God for painting the background in your autumn beauty. What’s on your fall bucket list?
What would they think if they really knew what went on behind my eyes? As my hot, salty tears, fell relentlessly on my tear stained cheeks.
What would they think of all the days, nights, minutes, hours, and years I wasted crying for those days gone by?
Would they care, would they feel remorse, would they shed a tear themselves?
What would they say if they knew how I cursed them under my breath time after time? As their endless torment rained down upon my ears.
What would they do if I fought back, and finally let them taste the defeat of their own demise?
What would happen if the victim after years of torment, became the bully?
What if I haunted their dreams with hearing the poisonous venom dripping from my tongue? Words spewed with hate, violence, and pain.
What would they think, feel, do, or become after that torment day after day?
What if I ever did realize those forbidden, evil, maniacal, thoughts in the cobwebs of my mind?
What would become of me? My soul, my faith, my mind, my heart, my sanity?
What if I became the nightmare that I feared, loathed, and despised?
What if all the love, faith, kindness, compassion, and goodwill seeped out of my body like a deep, open wound.
What if I grew into the hatred, pain, and anguish?
What if I became a monster of all these painful memories that have kept me awake endless nights?
What if I became the epitome of REVENGE?
No every shred of my human decency forbids it! I’m loved, cherished, and valued. I will not lose myself to the sins of those others. I will become reborn, renewed with hope, love, my faith in God.
I will not become their choices, their thoughts, their sins, their hate!
I may write about it in an imaginative way, but I will never allow myself to taste the bitterness of revenge.
Today’s Sunday confession brought to you by awesome Ash at http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Check out her awesomeness and all the other fab bloggers that link up.
Today I’m continuing the series on who inspires me I started a few weeks ago now. When I first introduced you to my friend and amazing artist Amanda Deshane. I’m going to introduce you to a remarkable woman named Arna Baartz. She’s an incredible artist, writer, poet, and entrepreneur. So I’ll give you a little backstory of how our friendship came to be.
I first encountered Arna on Facebook when I came across her page I Am for kids. I was taken with her passion for making art, encouraging children, and raising her own family of 8 talented children. I was blessed enough to receive her online self help course I am Change. At the time I was a year into my grief journey, of losing my one and only Mom. I was suffering and I had just moved, and left everything I knew and loved behind. I was living in a hotel with my 2 small children and supporting my husbands career. It was a very difficult time for me, and I prayed that God would help me to heal. Then my prayers were answered and there was Arna with her program! I can’t thank her enough for sending me the I am change program. It literally changed my life, I was so stuck in rigid beliefs, grief, and I became my own worst enemy. My kids were so full of vibrant energy, and their tender hearts were hurting watching me spiral into depression. My oldest son was only 5 and trying to find his identity and making new friends, while leaving old ones behind. My baby was only 10 months old and they both needed their Mom to he happy, healed, and whole again. After I took the course I began to change for the better. I made efforts to make friends, attend playgroup, and become involved in my sons school. What I learned brought back that shining light in my children’s eyes and here I am to pay it forward. So on with the interview for the gorgeous Arna!
The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~Paul Strand
The world expands according to experience, a brushstroke is an experience ~ Arna Baartz
*All images and poetry courteous is Arna Baartz at http://www.kundalini.com*
Q- As an artist what gives you passion to create?
A- My deep desire to understand life is what has always driven my artistic expression , I can’t stop asking questions and art helps me answer them.
Q- Do you have a muse, music or other artists work, that inspires you to give birth to your creation?
A- Every moment offers a spark that acts as my muse… If I become present in this moment I am immediately inspired by the quality of whatever I am experiencing , sometimes music, sometimes people sometimes the sun. 😊
Q- What gives you joy in your life and how does this translate into your work?
A- Everything has the potential to bring me joy, even deep grief ironically so, it translates into my work through the need to express the dichotomy and oneness I feel around me.
Q- Who is your biggest influence in your life, professionally and personally?
A- My father is a huge influence his thoughtfulness and true artistic nature. My mother is a love beast so she is also hugely influential in my quest to BE love.
Q- Have you been professionally trained, or is your gift, something you were born with?
A- I have trained at so many things but art was never one of them! It is something I have always done and used to help me explore life.
Q- What is your favourite medium to work with?
A- Professional acrylic but I love all medium. 😊
Q- What is your favourite painting that you’ve done? And were you able to list it for sale?
A- Yes, it’s called Never the form and is a very large acrylic on canvas.
Q- Talk to me about Kundalini yoga. How does it help with your work?
A- I do a little of everything not kundalini yoga as such . My ideas around kundalini are about surrender into whatever energy you’re experiencing in the moment. This can be my yoga, martial arts, art, or meditating and so on. How this helps in my art is to encourage the flow and release of energy into the literal piece. Which in turn offers the viewer a unique opportunity to experience or trigger an awareness and healing.
Q- Besides being an incredible artist what are your other passions in life?
A- Martial arts, parenting, poetry, spiritual development, quantum physics, and connection.
Q- What makes your soul sing, and your spirit smile?
A- Remembering that I am one with all that is. Connecting truly with life and the beings here with me, seen and unseen.
Q- Tell me about where you live and how that location inspires you to create?
A- I live in the perfect place, in a rainforest that is on a mountain which is in a valley 15 minutes from the ocean. Perfect weather surrounded by opportunities to love. I live in a world of appreciation and joy. I live in paradise, It is safe and beautiful. And I’m surrounded by family, wildlife, ocean mountains. Greenery everywhere, wonderful open deserts. Truly a wondrous place, everywhere I look I see something to be fascinated by. And that is satisfying and exciting thing for me and for my art practice.
Q- Tell me about what makes you tick? Do you have a ritual you participate in before you’re drawn to create a masterpiece?
A- Not really, all I need to do is ask myself “would I like to draw right now?” And I get a yes feeling mostly sometimes a no so then I do something else!
Q- Can you list some of favourite things that you love?
A- My 8 children. Haha. 😉
Q- What is your hope for anyone that is fortunate to own your artwork? As I’m one of those blessed people. ❤️
A- That they feel the true intention behind it in a profound and healing way. The intention if deep and utter love and connection to all that is.
Q- Being intuitive, do you connect with the meaning behind what you paint before or after it’s complete?
A- As I am painting I get all sorts of answers that are subject to change as I evolve …. Sometimes I see a painting I did five yes ago and am filled with new insight.
Q- What inspires you, and gives the desire to express yourself?
A- Everything! Sometimes a frustrated feeling inside pushes me to begin and I feel free by the end of the work. 😊
Q- Who is your favourite author? What kind of books do you like to read?
A-I love reading stories, human interest stories, I love poetry too. I don’t have a favourite author I love lots of different authors, books about birth are probably my favourite kind. 😊
Q- What do you do to relax and re-energize your body, mind, and spirit.
A- Make art! Swim at the beach
watch movies, or do nothing that’s usually the most effective for me.
Q- Please describe to me what Kundalini means? And what definition does it represent in your life and art?
A- Kundalini to me is the energy that is who we really are. Kundalini flows through us, is us at all times. Due to fear and learned behaviour I believe we resist it and have caused ourselves to close up . When we become more confident about being present we raise our vibration and are able to handle more of our own true energy…. This energy is the energy of all that is, or what we might call God energy. This energy is Who we are , without it we do not exist. My art works best when I am present and allowing this energy to be flowing without resistance.
Thank you beautiful soul Arna for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing you! Here is one of hers and mine favourite poems from her WP site The Silver Poet.
My Heart Pocket
in the deepest spots
the sweetest spots.
Big things that shouldn’t and can’t but do,
things bigger than even I.
And now with the rushing and flooding
of life gathering under the crown,
of gems past, present and
alongside the shoving and pooling
of desperate rust and magenta survival,
there is a tinkling and a thudding,
a shining and a burrowing.
A pyramid of sugar
of slowly melting crystal
my upturned gaze.
Here are the ways to reach Arna on social media.
I AM Change ~Online
The Art Of Kundalini http://www.artofkundalini.com
Visit The I AM Program http://www.iamprogram.com
I AM For Kids on FaceBook
Follow Arna on Twitter
And so my dear readers I pose this question to you from Arna. “What would fall out if the heart were a pocket, and we were each turned upside down?”
This has been a joyful collaboration with the exquisite Arna Baartz at
http://www.artofkundalini.com. Please explore her website and support an amazing talent. ❤️
Well here I am daydreaming after an a fun weekend and today’s topic is about a first love. I’ve actually wanted to write about him for awhile. He left a big impression on me in my childhood. Since I don’t use names in my blog (without permission) I’ll just call him Mr. S. He and I had a long history together as we met when we were 4 and ready to enter kindergarten. I wasn’t a girly girl until my teens (and discovering boys) so we were a good match. We’d play baseball, climb trees, make mud pies, and hang out in the sandbox. We attended kindergarten rode the bus, played, rode bikes, and were always together. He was what my Mom would call a dream boat, he had dark brown hair, and crystal blue eyes. Just like Elvis Presley my Mom’s idol who made her swoon. Mr. S had this incredible smile and a giggle that would give me butterflies in my tummy! He was the sun, the moon, and stars to me. Everyone in school knew he was mine and I was his, and my Mom would say we were like peas in a pod. In our kindergarten room we had a shiny linoleum floor, and when us kids would get into class we’d race. We would whip off our shoes and slide across the floor in our socks. Mr. S and I would always win those races, sliding together hand in hand smiling. As we we grew older he grew bolder, in his advances towards me. When I was only 12 the last thing on my mind was sex! So his interests went to other girls that he thought he could get more from. It was a different era then today, and the girls that I knew just didn’t go all the way! So his perpetual supply of testosterone was never satisfied. As much as his antics hurt my feelings, somehow he’d apologize and I’d forgive him. It didn’t matter what he did, he’d always find his way back to me. Mr. S was my first kiss, my first make out session, and my first heartbreak. My favourite times with him was when he’d take me out on his dirt bike and we’d go riding for hours. We’d sit on mountaintops and cuddle and talk about our dreams for the future. He was an only child so he always wanted to have a big family. I was the youngest of 6, so that’s what I wanted too. He knew what it was like to grow up lonely being the only one. I’d dream about our future kids and about the house we’d build for them on that mountain top. We entered high school with our dreams, and aspirations for life leading the way. It was grade 8 and a very abundant time of discovery so we joined our groups of friends and still remained a couple. Then one day it all changed and one boy started to bully me. One by one friends that I’d grown up with since kindergarten joined his ranks. And my beloved Mr. S was part of this gang. It broke my heart into a thousand pieces the first time he said something cruel to me. I was hurt, confused, and in shock because I had only known him to be kind and loving. 💔 Well when he wasn’t chasing other girls and making a fool of himself and me. That was the worst year of my life, and you can read more about it in my previous blogs, if you so wish. He did eventually apologize to me and would still want to hang out with me when the bullying gang wasn’t around. But my hurt ran deep, and my pride was even stronger and for once, overruled what my heart wanted. I’ll never forget the day my Dad took me to the houses of all those boys who bullied me. And when Mr. S came out to apologize to me he just mumbled how much he always liked me, he didn’t mean to hurt me, and we held each other and cried. That following September, I moved onto another school so I didn’t see him again until I was an adult. There I was with my boyfriend (my husband now) 21 and I was blonder, bolder, and stronger. We talked a little, but he just kept staring at me and telling me he couldn’t believe it was really me! I was taking my fitness training so I was looking damn fine, and I have to tell you it was the best revenge. 😉 He tried to talk about the past but I wouldn’t let him. I told him I’m happy, in love, and NO ONE would ever make me think less of myself again!!! Mr. S met my boyfriend and we shared some beers and some laughs at the bar. In my mind, heart, and life I had moved on and the trip down memory lane was on my terms. Sometimes I think about him, now that I’m content with my life as wife and Mom. I wonder if he ever got married and had that big family he always wanted. And if in his quiet moments if he ever thinks about me, his first love….
Today’s Sunday confession brought to you by the awesome Ash from http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Head over there and read about her first love, and all the other lovely bloggers who link up. Smooches and hugs. 😘
Today I’m thinking of a special lady, an angel, my Mom on her birthday. The closer I get to this day the more I feel her around me. I hear her singing when Elvis plays on the radio. She was a huge fan of his, and I was raised with an appreciation of his music. My Mom had a beautiful voice, amazing smile, and deep love and respect for God, and her family and friends. She also had this incredible sense of humour, and could impersonate anyone after spending a few minutes with them. I think back to all the skits she performed for me from Carol Burnett, Wayne and Schuster, and Abbot and Costello. She could also mimic her friends, and she could keep them in stitches with her antics. My Mom brightened up so many peoples days other than my own. With her comedic talent, ability to really listen, and make you feel like you were heard and valued. I always said she had her own fan club as my friends came by our home to talk to her just as much as visiting me. She was so loved, admired, cherished, and appreciated by family and friends alike. She had nicknames for all her children, pets, and Grandchildren and they always made us feel so special. My Mom always had a joke to tell, a pot of tea, and friendly ear to chat. And she was a gifted writer and would write stories, her thoughts, prayers, and jokes. Her and I collaborated on many stories and would take turns starting a story and finishing it. We also sang together the classics from her era, our Irish heritage, and songs from my youth. My Mom was my best friend, and even when dementia robbed her of her memories, she was my greatest gift. I still acted like her memory was all there, because I didn’t want to confuse her. I was more gentle with her, how I held her hand, hugged her, and spoke to her. Sometimes she’d retreat into her mind and I couldn’t reach her. Those were very painful moments as I’d stare into her eyes and wonder where she had gone. And she’d smile and pat my hand, and fall asleep with me cuddled beside her. I adored my Mom, the passion she had, the fire in her anger, and her devotion to her loved ones. She loved my husband and had a special smile and a nickname for him. And when I gave birth to our son and she called him a magnificent living doll. I felt so proud and couldn’t wait to phone her and thank you for being my Mom. Becoming her daughter was my blessing, and I was so excited when she held her Grandson. She knew of my second son, and it was my greatest joy to tell her I was expecting him after a trying time of grief. She’d pat my tummy with her eyes brimming with tears and call him the marvellous one. My Mom had psychic abilities and visions and she never told a lot of people. She had always had strong awareness and knew the instant I had encountered trouble. These were the days before everyone had a smartphone and were instantly reachable. She’d look in my eyes and know if I just had my heart broken, or encountered something scary. I could never hide what I felt, what I wanted to stay, because our connection was deep. And now that connection extends from earth to heaven. And I was told by my wise and wonderful friend, when I’m experiencing my greatest joy, she can come through to me and feel that joy as well. She touched my heart, my spirit, and she was my greatest love. So today I honour her with a kiss to heaven, an Elvis song fest, and a glass of wine. Well who am I kidding? It will be more like a bottle she was a class act! To you Mama, always and forever my love and respect, happy birthday.