Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Monday Musing-Riding the grief wave

I look at my reflection in the mirror and I’m a mixed tumble of messy emotions.  I don’t feel sad or cry everyday and there’s bursts of enthusiasm for life and all the wonderful things that make me happy. My family, friends, reading, writing, and creating something from nothing. Whether that’s in my kitchen or my craft room making something fills my happy bucket. 

Last year I suffered the loss of three special people in my life and just when I feel I’m dealing with my grief someone else dies! What do you do when you’re grieving during the month of love? Sometimes I can feel these emotions ebbing and flowing like the tides towards my heart. I can catch it in time or let it wash over me and fill me with overwhelming love or sadness. 

Sometimes it’s a mixture of both as this month has been difficult for me since the death of my parents. Seven years ago for my dearest Dad and five for my beloved Mama I had to say goodbye. Their leaving has left a huge hole in my heart in the shape of their love. I’ve done my best to live around that hole and create a new “normal.” Sometimes I succeed and then the grief wave threatens to pull me under again. Under the water where I’m drowning in emotion and struggling to breathe with the weight of my tears. 

I’ve been in counselling a lot of my life. I started when I was twelve in family therapy then continued on into adulthood. I still see someone when the urge arises and he thinks I need to deal with my grief instead of just trying to survive it. In the last ten years of my marriage my husband and I collectively had to say goodbye to ten loved ones. In the seven years since my Dad, step sisters, and my Mom’s deaths I’ve been in grief recovery in some form of another. Whether it was journaling, actively seeing a therapist, or in a support group. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself and I even wrote up a timeline of my happy and sad times in my life to track my triggers. The happiness is about feeling loved and discovering something new. The sadness always centres around a death in my life since I was three years old. I was born to older parents so I was around older people in my family tree. To me this was my life not anything unusual until I went to school and my friends parents were the same age as my older siblings! That was a shock as I never thought about all these special people leaving me. 

Some may say that dealing with death so young prepared me for the path I need to take to resilience. I have questioned my own mortality, mourned for a a young life snuffed out by tragic circumstances, and have wrote out my living will to prepare my family. I’ve learned a lot during this time of self reflection and pain yet still feel like there’s more to discover. As I carve out a new “normal” and live around this void in my heart. I keep taking it one step, one breath, one journey at a time. With all that I have lost I’ve gained more love, perspective and appreciation; for all the people who have touched my life on this earthly and heavenly plane and for that I’m grateful. 

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I’m a perfectly flawed human being

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Image found on http://www.sharingwithshari.com and used with permission.

You know when there are some days you just feel like you have to fake a smile to try not to cry? Well yes I’ve been doing both, if you’ve been following along on my journey, I’ve had cancer enter my family and rip another loved one away. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression that envelops me in it’s dark cloak of doom and gloom. As menacing and frightful as it can be, it’s also comfortable like an old pair of slippers. My bunny slippers I wrote about a year ago when I started this blog. Well I know what to expect from those bunny slippers, as much as depression. Anxiety is like that Aunty I know I have and just decides to come and visit uninvited. Until I get fed up and kick the bitch out. Well that brings me to my current state I’m sick, looking after my sick kids, struggling to keep my house up to par, running my Facebook page, and doing my actual job as a transcriptionist. My Christmas cards are now officially happy January cards, because I haven’t felt healthy enough or alert to get them to my mailbox. I’m exhausted, sleep deprived, and feeling very Grinchy as of late. My friend sent me a lovely message about not trying to be a super hero when I’m sick. Let the house go to hell, get the rest I need, look after myself as well as I look after the kids. After reading it I understood something about myself, I’ve always wanted to be a super hero, my own or someone else’s. Do I even know how not to be, what will become of me if I’m not. I’ve got to give myself days off when my Super Mom Cape is in the wash. I need to learn how to slow down and not beat myself up for all the things I didn’t accomplish this year. I spent yesterday napping with my sick son who was sweating buckets with a his body in an inferno fire. Tylenol wasn’t working anymore so I switched to essential oils and that helped. I wiped his little body with a cool washcloth and prayed I wouldn’t have to drive him to the hospital. It hurt for me to move but I did it anyways because I still had to feed us when we woke up. I managed to find my super Mom powers and tidy up the kitchen and living room since the mess was contained to the upper floor. I kept the kids out of the basement to avoid having to drag myself down the stairs to deal with that terror. I didn’t want to do anything but stay wrapped up in the blankets while nursing my son back to health. My Captain helped clean up with me which I greatly appreciated, and our conversation flowed such as this.

Captain- “Mom I think you’re like Superman.”

Mom-“Oh why do you say that?”

Captain-“Because toys all over place are your kryptonite.”

He’s a very wise boy, and understands me well. So right now I’m simultaneously blogging, writing my annual Christmas letter, and then wrapping presents. All while locked in my bedroom so I get stuff done. Napping boys lead to late night boys and that’s where I fall behind the proverbial eight ball. I’ve beat myself up daily for not having my Christmas cards delivered in a timely manner. And I’ve been known to walk past the box and utter bite me January cards.
Because that’s all I’ve done for the month is run, rush, and now everything’s come to a screeching halt. My kids are feeling better today but I still feel like death on a Ritz cracker. My Christmas wishes are I need a break, alone time with my husband, and yet that’s not possible, because we’re going to an overcrowded, sensory overloaded Christmas with family. And I’m trying not to become a raging alcoholic over the holidays to cope. So there it is my guts exposed and left lying on the floor. Everything I’ve wanted to say and haven’t had the courage. Afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t the nice one in this game of life. It’s all overrated anyways, in my humble opinion I’m always kind until I’m not treated the same. Even if I follow the rules of life I still have to hurry up and wait, while others sail ahead on the express lane to fulfilling their desires. The truth sets you free and we can’t live with an emotional fortress wrapped around our hearts forever. So I go into Christmas praying for the best, and preparing for the worst. Because it’s who I am, and what I do with no apologies, because it works in my world. And I will sail into the new year with my head held high, wine glass in hand, and celebrate being a perfectly flawed human being. Cheers to you my dear readers, for celebrating on this journey with me. I hold you in the corner of my heart. ❤️

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*Photo image used with permission from the sensational http://www.sharingwithshari.com. Who’s kindness, wisdom, and internal sunshine inspired this blog.*

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The power of the human spirit

Yesterday was a really long day, I had my pupils dilated and I had both my sons home and my husband at work. At my last appointment my optometrist found a cataract, and wanted to examine my eye health further. My appointment was at 9:30 am and my drops were in by 10 am. I stayed there for a 45 minute appointment while the optometrist checked out my eyes. Everything seemed fine is what I was told, except for that pesky cataract. And the fact my prescription changed, and my visions worsened since having my second son. The cataract isn’t affecting my vision is what I’m told, and has been there for awhile. Although at my last eye exam it wasn’t found. I felt very old and vulnerable when it was discovered. And I tried not to cry in front of my 3 year old when I was told…I know I’m classified as an “older Mom” at 41 but I can still pass for being in my 20’s at least I think so anyways. Yesterday while I was home with my dark big sunglasses I resembled Jackie Onassis, but much more vision impaired. I laid on the couch for awhile while my kids watched a movie. I was feeling quite sorry for myself since I couldn’t read, write, or blog and I’m not used to laying around. I returned some texts and messages via auto text and occupied my time by trying to fold laundry. That took me about 2 hours to do since my pupils were the size of coasters! My kids were absolute angels looking after me, my oldest making me a bed on my couch, and my youngest feeding me candy. My husband came home and started making dinner and entertained the kids. He took the Captain to hockey practice while I tried to finish the laundry. After successfully washing and drying a load, I settled down to cuddle and have my little Mad dog read to me. Every story starts and ends the same Once upon a time there was a Mommy and she loved to build Lego with her little boy, the end. It warms my heart that he retains so much, and is so loving in sharing the joy of books with me. I feel so grateful that my whole family helped to pitch in when I wasn’t feeling up to par. It took 9 hours for my vision to return to normal, so by the time I could take of my sunglasses I was celebrating. Later that night I was skimming through my Facebook and saw a friend had posted that her brother needed help so I messaged her back saying I knew someone that could. So I contacted my kindhearted, giving, friend Mel and told her what I needed help with. Mel runs a wonderful organization called Life after Laundry Club. She with a wonderful group of women came up with the concept nearly two years ago this January. I’ve known Mel for a long time and have always appreciated her kindness, her generous heart, and her beautiful smile. She has been my creative church buddy, and my shoulder to cry on when we went through a grief recovery program together. Being empathic I knew I would see great things happen in her life and the lives of others she’s touched. And wow has she ever, along with her team they’ve organized charity events in their community with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, raising funds for their local food bank, and helping out single parent families, or a hard working Mom that needs an extra boost of encouragement with donations of money, gift cards, clothing, and toys. These incredible group of women joined together to give support to each other by organizing community events and giving the proceeds to a willing candidate. And I know if I was still living there I’d be right along beside them helping. I knew that helping out my friend and her family member would be just what these lovely ladies would love to do. So between my friend, Mel, and myself we devised a plan of how to help and the Secret Santa Project was born! Through emails and happy tears everything has been set up and donations will be collected, items bought, and a very grateful man will receive the best Christmas present ever. So after a long day being without proper vision I saw what my day was really all about. It was for me to open up eyes and my heart, and to really see what matters. I’m so grateful to God and my family for the blessings bestowed on us. And my parents have always raised me to give more and receive less, and never miss out on an opportunity to pay it forward. So I ask you dear readers how can you help someone in need? Is it through a donation to a Salvation Army Christmas kettle? Buying an extra bag of groceries for someone in need? Adopting a single parent family and being their Secret Santa? Or buying extra blankets and passing them out to the homeless on a cold winters night? Whatever you can do, it all matters, it all makes a difference. Today I woke up feeling joyful and happy and I could see!!! I’m grateful that I have my precious children, my loving, hard working husband, a beautiful home, and food in my pantry and fridge. There’s so many throughout the world who don’t. So if you can buy a coffee and cookie for someone who needs it, please do. Our hearts grow with each good deed we do. This is how I see the world through my eyes, and I feel blessed by the power of the human spirit.

I want to thank Mel for her kindness and generosity. And her Life after Laundry Club for uniting their hearts and minds towards a common goal of helping others. And for inspiring me to do better, act better, and be better. ❤️

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