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. ❤️

Irish in my heart

I’m fortunate as I grew up knowing and learning about my Irish heritage. I loved listening to the stories of my ancestors from my Gram and her sisters. Four of my Gram’s siblings came off the boat with their parents, for dreams of a better life. After the devastation of the Great Potato famine of 1845-1849 my Great Great Grandparents and their kin, survived and without them I wouldn’t be here today to tell this story.

Michael and Elizabeth left Scotland at the age of nineteen and traveled by ship to South Hampton, England. At the time, they had three daughters and a son in tow. With competition for jobs, financial security, and food being scarce with the population boom, they made their way to Canada and settled in British Columbia.

My Great Grandparents *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Great Grandfather Michael found work in the mines and was there for twenty-nine years. They hadn’t lived there in the community long when devastation ravaged the town with floods from 1848, to 1947, the mining disaster in May of 1908 that killed one hundred and three miners, and the Great Fire of August. 1 st of 1908 that destroyed the town.

My Great Grandma Elizabeth was pregnant with my Grandma Margaret and due to give birth that hot summer. There were ten lives lost and thousands of homes burnt to the ground. There was a lot of hardship and sadness that my ancestors had to encounter in the new land. I’m happy to report my Gram made it safely into the world as the hospital and the church were the few buildings that were left.

Time passed on with my Gram and her siblings growing up and their parents had added on to their family with four more daughters. More hardship would come to the family as the mine would be closed in order to investigate the fire of 1908. My Great Grandpa Michael had to find work elsewhere. All the daughters worked as well or helped look after the youngest children.

My Great aunts such lovely lasses. *image courtesy of my cousin*

That was the life back then, everyone had a strong work ethic and supported one another. I remember my sweet Gram Margaret telling me stories of her housekeeping days, collecting oranges at the train yard, and working as a caddy at the golf course. The sisters all went on to marry and have families of their own. They still remained close as they raised their children and visited each other when they were Grandparents.

My Gram and 3 of her 5 sisters *image courtesy of my cousin*

A tragic accident in 1917, took the life of the youngest family member Josephine and she died at the age of two, with severe burns to the chest and abdomen. Poor baby girl lighting up the world with her beauty and smile, and for her life to be snuffed out like a candle is so sad. Peter, the only son of nine children returned home from World War 1 and fell ill as well. He succumbed to cerebral meningitis at the age of twenty-six on March. 17th 1922.

He was to sing in the St. Patrick’s day concert that evening for the Knights of Columbus, and he sat up in bed and sang then died. The song that he sang was Danny Boy, a beautiful Irish melody that is dear to my heart to this day.

My Great uncle *image courtesy of my cousin*

After the youngest daughter and only son had passed just 5 years my Great Grandma Elizabeth became ill. My Grandparents were set to get married in the summer month of July and Elizabeth passed 9 days before the wedding. Instead of the church wedding that was planned they quietly got married in the priests rectory of the Holy Family Catholic Church.

My parents got married there as well and my middle sister followed suit and my husband and I proudly married there after. As a devout Irish Catholic family that attended mass every Sunday and invited the priest over for dinner after one of my Great aunts went into the sisterhood. She took the name Sister Michael and lived out her young life devoting herself in service to God.

She passed tragically in a car accident when I was a little girl and my Gram would tell me stories about her love of the family and of the church. There was always tears and hugs given when she spoke of her siblings that had passed on.

My Great aunt Elizabeth and her Father Michael *image courtesy of my cousin*

I celebrate my dearly departed loved ones memories and I carry on the namesake of my Great Grandma, my Great aunt, and my Mom. My Great Grandpa Michael lived on to see his daughters marry and meet his Grandchildren. My Mom had a special relationship with him and would speak of him with joy on her heart. He passed on well into his 80’s to be reunited with his lovely wife and daughters and son.

My Gram and my Mom *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Gram and Mom always said I had the gift of my Great uncle’s vocal talent. To this day when I sing the song of my ancestors homeland Oh Danny Boy I feel uplifted on their angel wings. St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in our family household as much as the joy of birthdays. Wishing you all Irish blessings and may the luck and love of the Irish be with you always. 💚☘️

An adapted version of this story originally appeared on The Wellness Universe titled Irish heritage.

*Special thanks to my cousin Maureen for the use of her family pictures. The late night chats of our family’s story helped me feel closer to my Irish clan.*

3 Comments »

The Tear

What is it about the passage of time? I’ve heard that time heals all wounds, time passes on and time is short. It’s that tear in the fabric of time that intrigues me the most. Where you can be another version of yourself-someone who is stronger and makes better decisions and takes a different path in life.

Like the actress Gweneth Paltrow played in the movie Sliding doors her character was on the subway platform deciding if she should or shouldn’t get on the train. The director portrayed what would happen with her life if she stepped on the subway and who she was and who she interacted with.

It really fascinated me with the twists and turns within the plot of the movie. It showed me that you do have to be careful what you wish for. As I’m watching this the character in my favourite TV show #Thisisus is replaying the memory track of what his life was like before when he was a high school football star and adored by everyone. Kevin had colleges scouting him, a girlfriend who loved him and a close relationship with his family. Then it all came to a crashing end when he was tackled in the big game and suffered a broken leg.

He still had the beautiful girlfriend (who he would later go on to marry and divorce), a strong bond with his fraternal twin sister Kate, an emerging relationship with his adopted brother Randall, and his parents Jack and Rebecca that were there to love and support him to this jagged tear to his football dreams. Yet Kevin can’t see past any of that as he sinks into a depression that goes on to shadow his life in his current phase.

What would’ve his life been like if he avoided that devastating hit that changed his path forever? Would he have gone on to football stardom and become the proud recipient of the Heisman trophy, married the girlfriend and lived happily ever after? Even though he’s a television character Kevin and his life story is enthralling to me that he went onto to what appeared to be a good life making a successful living as an actor while recovering from the death of his Father, the rock in his life.

How would his life be any different if he would’ve just thrown the football, avoided the tackle and never have to lose his Dad at such a young age? It’s the conundrum I’m sure most of us have encountered at some point on our path what if I would’ve taken that subway train, stayed with the ex or gotten that scholarship to college. It’s the tearing of the dream that we have for ourselves that can hurt the most where we feel the regrets of time we’ve lost and where the what if’s eat us up inside.

Is the grass always greener over on the other side of the fence? Not necessarily, should we all just be living the life of our dreams with no regrets or resentments? I’ve always intended to raise my sons to follow their dreams, reach for the stars and be kind and giving human beings. It’s the life that we live that shows us who are true character really is. Excepting the hand we’re dealt and taking the leap of faith and being who we’re really meant to be that matters the most.

I saw myself becoming a famous actress and singer entertaining the world with my talent. Unfortunately I didn’t have the courage to pursue those idealistic dreams and leave my parents and go off to the big city. I didn’t believe in myself as much as I should’ve and that tears at my heart still today. But who am I to say that my dreams shall just wither and die? I can still realize them just in a different way, by performing in theatre and pursuing my passion for storytelling.

It’s the gift of words that sets my heart aflutter now as I’m passing on that love of reading and writing to my sons. It fills my eyes with happy tears as I sit and listen to my youngest champion son reading about Pete the Cat and his buttons as he acts and sings out every page. When I thought his brain might not be able to make sense of the letters with his autism and mental processing speed. Then as my heart swells with pride when my oldest rock star son starts reading me an essay that he’s writing for school and telling me he wants to be a writer like me when he’s older.

I wish for them not to struggle with their identities or what direction they should go career wise like I’ve done. To be able to avoid the “hits” that happen in life the fair weather friends, bullies on the playground, and young love breakups. If I could I’d protect them from it all but then they wouldn’t be truly living and discovering the world for what it is. Their time shouldn’t be spent wondering what if but really experiencing all that life has to offer them from school, friendships, love, and beyond!

It’s in these moments that I know I found the right path and even though my mind can wonder about the what if’s of the world it’s the life that I’m living being the best me I can be that matters. Not the one who made her way to Hollywood to become the actress of her dreams who may have caved in to all the pressure that a lot of celebrities fall under and resorted to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope.

I would rather be my authentic self who loves who I see when I look in the mirror, that prays with my children every evening for a better world for them to grow up in, and loves my husband with everything in me. That’s the bond of family that dreams, pride, fantasies, or ego can never tear away.

2 Comments »

Monday Musings-The Aftermath of Time

It takes two minutes to return a smile, a lifetime to grieve a loved one, and thirty seconds for panic to set in when your child’s missing. People can vanish without a trace, be lost and never found, die of sudden or natural causes and we’re left to wonder about time. The time we could’ve spent sharing our love and appreciation with that person, a better use of the time spent with them not knowing it would be the last time we would see them. 

It’s happened a lot in my life-loss and the grief’s felt like a never ending cycle of turmoil and pain. Ever circulating and appearing in my life for a personal loss of life or one shared with a friend. Time where you wish you hadn’t said words in anger, fear or mistrust. When you could see past your very human ego to forgive instead of forming the words of negativity and pain. Forgiveness really is an art form, to move past the pain inflicted on your psyche and spirit. To turn the other cheek and give kindness when in your heart you know it’s the right thing to do. Forgiveness solves many problems but what happens to the person who releases the one who caused the indiscretion in the first place? 

Do they simply forgive and forget words that sliced through their heart like a serrated knife? Do they move on and feel their spirit lighter with an air of peace? Does the simple act of saying “I forgive you” imply that they understand why the hurt was inflicted upon them? Here lies in the struggle, I personally find it difficult to forgive. I was raised with an armour of stubbornness and tenacity that’s made it difficult to make that choice to forgive. I feel weak and vulnerable, to relent to pain caused to me. I’m human yet moving past the pain to divinity is better for my soul. 

I recently had an argument with my son and in his preadolescent mindset he chose to walk away then help resolve it. We were in a city we had never been to before and on our way back to the hotel we were staying at. He thought his Dad and I were being unfair so he stomped away. I had no idea where he was going or if he knew how to find his way back to our hotel. It was a dark yet a well lit parking lot but to see him run away like that was heartbreaking. I was feeling more scared then angry as I ran after him and he disappeared!  

My family and I entered the hotel and I couldn’t find him anywhere. My lungs were ready to burst as it was cold night and my asthmatic symptoms were setting in and I frantically searched for my son.  I asked the front desk staff if they had seen him and they replied they had not. The woman said “do you need a key card” and I replied “no I just need my son back now unharmed!” I made my way to the elevator to see if he was waiting for me while my husband and youngest son went ahead to our room. 

For fifteen heart stopping minutes I had no idea where my oldest son was. Was he hurt, was he kidnapped, was he lost and searching for me? By the grace of God he was found when another friends parent saw him waiting in the hallway and took him back to our room. I quickly jumped in an elevator and as my mind raised all I could think of was the last time I saw him. The hurtful words that were exchanged, the look of anger on his face, and how lost I felt when I couldn’t find him. I should’ve took back those spiteful words of anger said, I should’ve recognized he was frustrated and needing to be heard than reacting to his outburst. I needed to make better use of my time with him letting him know even though I disagreed I still loved and respected him. 

When I got to my floor I burst out of the elevator like I was on fire and ran to my room. I opened the door and grabbed my son up in my arms in a hug that needed to last a lifetime. He squirmed away from me then eventually relaxed into my embrace as the tears flowed. I tried to talk but my words were halted by my sobs. 

What I managed to convey to him was that I was so worried that something could’ve happened to him. With the last words we had spoken to each other in emotion were not what we meant to say. Yet it’s true as the adage says we always hurt the ones we love. Why is that easier option then to just agree to disagree and come up with a solution? There were apologies given and received and for the rest of the weekend he wasn’t out of my sight. Except to play hockey and use the dressing room facilities. Forgiveness was difficult but necessary to give in order to value each other and our relationship. 

I never want to go through that heart wrenching experience again! I feel like it aged me by ten years and took time off my lifespan. It all begins and ends with time.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson to curb my temper and refrain from spouting words of anger and angst in the heat of the moment. My son has learned that a moment of negativity can cause him to make a poor choice yet he’s willing to admit his mistake and learn from it. Time it’s the deciding factor of all our words, actions, and transgressions. And I for one will be using my time more wisely with my friends and loved ones. You just never know when that time will run out and regret will take its place. 

Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings? Our host is Everyday Gyann read her post to see how to slow down and get creative. 
Here’s how it works:
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.

Click on the Everyday Gyann link then add your link to the linky below

Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.

Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.

Share the love.

12 Comments »

Ten Things of Thankful-Feeling prayful

There are times in life when some things just don’t make any sense. Death for one isn’t something I can fathom. Whether a loved one is young or old, natural causes or sudden tragedies it tears at my empathic heart. My husband and I recently lost a friend this week. The sadness overtakes me as this special soul leaves behind a beautiful, caring wife and three amazing kids. I think about the last conversation we had, the laughter, the reminiscing, the hugs of let’s keep in touch. Just when I start to ride a grief wave another loss happens, and I’m threatened to be pulled under by the melancholy cloud of darkness. I don’t think I’m supposed to understand death I’ve lost too many people to count in the last ten years. I’m beginning to believe that I’m just supposed to survive the affects of death and keep learning and appreciating the life lessons I’m taught. I will now begin to attempt to find some thankfuls as part of Lizzi’s TTOT linkup and glean a silver lining in a dark cloud. 

I’m thankful that even though it’s been a difficult week my husband has been able to talk about his feelings. He attended his childhood friends funeral while I attended an appointment. He told me it was good to see old friends and there’s comfort in knowing how many turned out for the sad day and how loved our friend was. 

I’m thankful that I kept my head and my heart busy with baking, walks in the sunshine, and movie time cuddles. My oldest (Captain) went with his Dad and spent time with family. The youngest (Mad dog) stayed home with me and enjoyed having me all to himself. 

I’m thankful that my Mad dog is making great progress with his behavioural aid sessions. His fine motor skills are improving so next we will continue working on having him sit for longer periods at circle time. It’s a large part of preschool and kindergarten and I want to prepare him for when he attends his new school. I’m so proud of his accomplishments in the last six months. ❤️

I’m thankful that I had silly, sweet, text conversations with my Captain while he was traveling with his Dad. We chatted from everything about wrestling (he’s a John Cena and Shane McMahon fan), Donald Trump versus the world, and how he wants to surprise his brother with the best beef jerky on the planet. I sure love my son and his creative mind! ❤️

I’m thankful for healthy meals, daily exercise, and relaxing in my hot tub with my family. When I have these things in my life everything just flows better and I feel so happy and loved. My fitness journey is ongoing and I strive to grow stronger in mind and body everyday. 

I’m thankful for catching up on housework, the dreaded laundry monster, and enjoying some beautiful summer weather. My moods are really tied to how much vitamin D I’m getting so the sunshine’s my elixir in life. 

I’m thankful for earth day this week. My Mad dog and I went for a walk by the river with his behavioural aid. We skipped stones jumped from rock to rock and took in the beauty and appreciation of our home. I’m grateful for the fresh clean water, the plants and trees providing me with oxygen and the flowers blooming and letting me enjoy their fragrance and aromatherapy. 

I’m thankful for reading, writing, and accomplishing my work tasks. I still have a few things to catch up on but I’m crossing things off my list and that’s a win/win in my world. Organization has never been my strong suit but as I see my piles of clutter becoming less I feel more in control of the direction I’m taking. It’s the old adage “cluttered space equals a cluttered mind.”

I’m thankful that I was able to apply that mindfulness to eliminating my digital and online clutter as well. Now that I’ve deleted data, cleaned up email accounts, and uploaded pictures onto my computer my phone/office is running at the speed of light! It’s amazing what a good feeling of satisfaction that can generate. 

I’m thankful for late night cuddles when my son can’t sleep. Late night talks and tuck ins when they miss me when it’s time to go to sleep. I’m getting to a point now where they don’t need me as much, especially my Captain. It’s so rewarding to see them growing and discovering the world and still wanting me by their side to chat about life and it’s mysteries. 

I’m thankful we had a successful follow up appointment with my youngest son’s sleep specialist. Since his diagnosis of autism in February and asthma in March we’re solving more health mysteries. The asthma medication has improved his breathing and shrunk his tonsils so much she doesn’t think he needs surgery! Now I will push for the MRI and see what’s going on inside his brain in regards to where the sleep apnea is originating from. Central sleep apnea is a a very serious condition-whereas the brain isn’t communicating with the heart and lungs about getting sufficient oxygen intake. Knowing my son is safe, breathing and sleeping properly is an answer to my prayers. Thank you to all you sweet souls who have expressed concern, said prayers, and empathized with us on this long, sleep deprived journey. This is the best outcome and update I could ever hope and pray for! I’m so thankful to God for these blessings. 💖

IMG_7642

12 Comments »

Ten things of thankful-missing my Mom

I’ve been writing all day, furiously scribbling and typing out my feelings. Today is a day I dread more than ever the anniversary of my Mom’s death. I cry, write, read stories we wrote together, and listen to her favourite Elvis music. Two weeks ago I shared my list of thankfuls for my dear Dad. Today I will share about my Mom. She was my gift and I will love and miss her till my last breath. I’m proud to share my memories and thankfulness on the TTOT linkup with Lizzi and her ever faithful thankful family.  

 I’m so thankful that my Mom decided to have me her sixth child and third daughter. She was older yet I think she knew that I was meant to be. I was sickly when I was born so I’m thankful I got to spend that extra week in the hospital bonding with her. She would tell me stories of how I would look up at her as she fed me with this baby face and bright blue eyes of wonder. 

I’m thankful that she taught me the magic of books and how to read. My life has been full of all the adventures I’ve taken myself on with my love of words and wonderful memories. I loved when she would read to me and change the inflection of her voice and turn a story book into an interactive experience. 

I’m thankful for her beautiful smile even when she was tired as I wasn’t much of a sleeper as a child. She would read to me and T ell me stories she’s made up on the spot. She was so loving, kind, caring and an amazing story teller. She loved her children and Grandchildren with all her being. She was proud to show off pictures that graced her walls and upright piano. As beautiful as she was she just glowed when she held a child on her lap. 

I’m thankful for her brilliance. She wanted to be a teacher but she didn’t want to leave her parents to go away to study. She was very close to them as their only child. So instead she worked around town, met my Dad and fell in love. First came marriage, and many baby carriages and she had herself a full family to teach. 

  
I’m thankful for her gift of laughter. She could always find the humour in something. She would look for the silver lining and say this too shall pass sadness doesn’t always last. She had a beautiful laugh that would rise up from her toes and she’d slap her knee in emphasis. She taught me how to impersonate characters on tv and in the movies. I would get her into a fit of giggles when I’d do my Tim Conway impression from the Carol Burnett show. 

I’m thankful for all the times she let me stay up late watching old black and white movies with her. We’d have tea and treats and is watch the classics with her like Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, and every Elvis movie we could find. She had quite a collection of his movies that I’m proud to covet today. Our favourite was always his first Love me Tender and I sing it for her when I’m lonely for her presence. 

I’m thankful for my memories of singing and doing the dishes with her. She even made a mundane task like that fun. We would sing all the Irish classics and she’d dance a jig  around the kitchen. My heart would leap out of my chest as I joined her twirling around until I was dizzy with love and enthusiasm. 

I’m thankful for her talent of writing. She was so gifted with her thoughts and expressions and we collaborated on many stories together while in school and after I graduated. She would also make up silly poems and limericks and keep me in stitches with how funny she could be in real life and on paper. 

  
I’m thankful she taught me to be brave and follow my dreams. It’s because of her guidance that I started writing and sharing my heart here on the page. She guides me still and I write for her always in my mind and spirit. 

I’m thankful she was my biggest cheerleader and my sounding board. I could and did tell her anything. She knew I could see and feel things about people and never made me feel like I was weird. With  being empathic in a very sensory overloaded world was a gift and cross to bear that we both shared. She was my guiding light, truth seeker, lover of people, compassionate, kind, and had the strongest love and faith in God. She gave her heart to those who were deserving. And a piece of her intelligent mind to those who were not. 

I’m thankful I’m a Mom myself and I still wonder in situations what would she do or say. There will never be a day I won’t wish for her presence in my life. I have my memories and pictures, but most of all I can look in the mirror and see her there. As well as glowing  with love and pure divine light in my children. Love you always and forever Mama. ❤️

12 Comments »

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. 

It’s time for #MondayMusings and it’s being co-hosted by Everyday Gyaan and The Philosopher’s Stone
Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings?

Here’s how it works:
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings.

Add your link to the linky which you will find on Everyday Gyaan and on the post of a co-host.

Use our #MondayMusings badge to encourage other bloggers join in too.

Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.

Share the love.

  

  

17 Comments »

Monday Musings-Christmas in my comfort zone

I’ve always been a traveller during the holidays. Ever since I was four years old and my Mom would have my sister and I for Christmas and my Dad would have us for Boxing Day. This tradition continued for many years until my Dad passed it over to my middle sister and her family. We’re of Ukrainian descent on my Dad’s side so it would be a day consisting of perogie making and eating contests. This was our way of celebrating the Ukrainian Christmas that falls in January. 

My oldest brother always won the record of most perogies eaten at one sitting with fifty-two and our Dad a runner up with forty-nine. I won for the women one year with fourteen eaten and many, many, created in my family’s kitchen. Now that I’m married and have a family of my own I have my own traditions. We do Christmas baking and advent calendars with my kids. I also started the book advent where a new book is unwrapped and read each day up till Christmas. My son’s each get to open a present on Christmas Eve which consists of pyjamas or slippers. This year they each get a family movie night box complete with hot chocolate, DVD, popcorn, and pj’s. 

I’m excited about this new way of celebrating Christmas with my children! I love to see their faces lit up with the joy of decorating the Christmas tree. As well as their amazement when we see how many decorations we piled on that seven foot beauty. We’ve always been the members of our family who lived furthest away but were expected to travel. And so we did just as couple for many years and later as a family of four. My Grandparents and parents were still alive during these Christmases and seeing them was what made my holiday brighter. 

  
After they had passed away in 1991, 1999, 2009, and 2011 our trips back home ceased to happen. It was just too heartbreaking to go back to the same place and see that empty spot at the kitchen table. The last Christmas I had with my Dad my oldest son was two. I remember how special it was to see them together soaking up every precios moment they could together. It was bittersweet as I knew this would be the last time they’d share aholiday together. 

When my Mom had passed I was eight months pregnant with my second son. She had known he was planned for, created, and growing in my belly but never got to meet him or hold him. That last Christmas she spent most of it sleeping as her medication for travel made her very tired. I wasn’t able to travel as I was being watched for complications. The next time I saw her was at her viewing in the church and then her funeral. That wasn’t something I’ve been able to forgive myself for but I know it’s nothing I had control of. In time I will heal and let that go. For now it’s a double edged jagged knife in my heart. That makes it hard to breathe sometimes….

Now my children are growing up so quickly I’d like to freeze time and let them stay little and innocent awhile longer. We travelled to family last year and it took a lot out of us as a whole. It’s not easy to have a busy, loud, bustling, holiday season with sensitive children. Being out of routine, away from their calming and emotionally regulating routine and not sleeping well can lead to sensory overloaded meltdowns. While it’s common for this time of year it’s not always accepted behaviour at one’s home, family relative or not. 

I spent a lot of time outside playing in the snow with my kids. Snowball fights, snowman building, and powder diving kept them happy, calm, and me from losing my ever loving mind! My youngest son with his Sensory Processing Disorder has a lot of food texture issues so I knew he wouldn’t be having the turkey with all the trimmings. No matter how delicious it appeared to be for others he was happy with his peanut butter sandwich and milk. I did not pressure or chastise him for this preference, as this is not how to help him adapt and want to try new foods or food groups. 

Food is not a battle I choose to have with my son. I pick them carefully because at this time of year everything in his environment is a hair trigger to a blow up waiting to happen.  His older brother who’s a Sensory avoider of excess sensory input will cover his ears, beg for quiet time, and get overloaded by the noise and commotion. Then my youngest who’s a seeker of this sensory input who will run, spin, stim, and then fall apart with exhaustion or overload. This is what I refer to as Armageddon implosion, internally they’re struggling so much, and externally they can’t regulate themselves without my help. 

 In 5-4-3-2-1 BOOM 💥 massive meltdown city is where we’re living and it’s not for the weak hearted. This leads to my husband and I watching for the triggers and doing our best to keep them calm or remove them from the situation entirely. That is how we spent last Christmas Eve where I was told my one son needed valium, and my reply was “no he could use some understanding, I’ll take the Valium.” To be honest my wine glass was never empty during that holiday.  We all got to do what we got to do to get through those hellish hours, without judgement. 

Last year was a long, painful, exciting, and exhausting holiday. I got to see family on my husband’s side and mine. My kids were eager to see their aunts and uncles and open up and play with their toys. I was able to sit back and relax and enjoy seeing them happy and regulated around my side of the family. While repeating my mantra there’s no place like home. Because really there isn’t, it’s so rewarding to be able to hang out in your pj’s all day eating popcorn and watching Netflix. I went against my better judgement and did what was expected of me and my kids reacted accordingly. I accept that now, although it was a bitter pill to swallow at the time. 

This year I’m doing what’s best for them and staying home. We just moved and bought our house last year and now after eighteen months we get to have our first Christmas in it! I’m so excited to relax in my pj’s, cook a big turkey with all the trimmings, munch on my holiday baking, and enjoy Christmas movies with my family. I will light a candle for my loved ones who are no longer with us. Yet are now our Christmas angels from heaven sending us love and comfort when we need it the most. I will provide strength to my family and relatives who are walking through the pain of losing their family member as well, and trying to get through the holidays while grieving. 

After all the eating, sharing, and cuddling are done then we’ll roll out of the house after indulging in our holiday feast and go tobogganing and enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate, and laughter with our friends. I couldn’t be happier about starting to revive this tradition and add some new ones to our family. This year we are travel free, except to the toboggan hill and back. I couldn’t be more happier and excited about revelling in this freedom and joy!  Christmas is where the heart is, and also where my comfort zone resides. 

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Today’s co-hosts are Happiness and FoodBlogs by EshaEveryday Gyaan thank you for having me in the linkup today. 😃

17 Comments »

Fly to the Angels

What does death mean to you? To me it’s like knowing someone’s in another room and it’s locked up and you lost the key to get in. The room’s surrounded by a brick wall that reaches to the sky and the only access you have is to take a magic carpet ride to an awaiting cloud. Does it signify a ending or a new beginning? I could wax poetic about it for hours yet my feelings still remain the same, that death hurts. It takes someone you love away from you and unravels a stray thread in the fabric of your life. It doesn’t leave you to make a decision of I’m just not ready for you to go or even begin to prepare you for goodbye. Death means I look towards heaven and wonder if you’re up there being reunited with your loved ones. So many to count that passed on before you many years ago and some recent souls. I wish I knew if you were met with such an outpouring of love and depth of emotion that it overwhelmed you when you crossed over. All I know is that I have my memories to hold onto and cherish. How your kindness to my family in our times of grief will never be forgotten. I will never forget our last heart to heart discussion, and how it opened up my eyes to seeing our family tree in truth and technicolour. I wish for you all the things you didn’t have on earth peace of mind, comfort, abundant  health, and the ability to feel freedom. I wish for your family love, comfort, and fond memories of your time with them. And most of all I wish that I could see you again and let you how much you mean to me. Goodye, God bless, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

11 Comments »

#Monday Musings-Rejection

She stared at the words on her phone screen goodbye as her tears started to fall and the words blurred into a black squiggly mess. It’s how some people choose to communicate breaking up, getting fired, and ending friendships via text. It’s how disconnected and disingenuous our world has become when this is thought of as an appropriate form of communication. And yet knowing this didn’t stop the pain that she felt as the reality crashed down on her like a ton of emotional back logged sludge. Any way you slice the rejection pie it hurts. 

Goodbye-it seemed so easy to say after many years of a childhood friendship that ends in tatters and torment from one persons choices. She couldn’t understand the finality of those words but as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months it became abundantly clear. How was she supposed to break away from those feelings of guilt for stating an opinion, questions that were mistaken for judgement, how did she become enemy #1 when she had been supportive for so long? 

She wrestled with her own guilt and remorse for things spoken and not said. For all those times when death came knocking on ones door taking a loved one and how that friendship remained loyal and steadfast and supportive through those dark times. When she became so wrapped up in her own grief that she couldn’t breath through the tightness in her chest and her scalp where even her hair began to hurt! 

She was no stranger to grief as she had to say goodbye to her Grandparents, followed by the deaths of her Father and step sister who left the world in sickness and confusion. There was no one to save them from Cancer or a broken soul that couldn’t take the pain of living in the world any longer. Where she could still hear the incessant sound of the PSP pump when it ran out of morphine that was allowing her dear Dad to go gentle into that goodnight. A month after in her tear stained, grief encased fog she was met with the news of the suicide that her step sister took to end her pain. This death so fresh, shocking, and regrettable when the path of her existence of loss and devastation was to great to bear. She began to question what life was all about, how would she survive when her heart felt like it was literally broken in two, and how would she continue to get out of bed and raise her child? 

At one time there were loving arms to wrap around her as the death of her Mother brought her to a halt. When words failed her and she sang so loud and proud on the final day of goodbye that even heaven could hear her. Then after the song stopped and she closed her mouth the tears flowed and the grief wall overtook her like lava from an erupting volcano and burned up her heart. She couldn’t walk without assistance as her bulging pregnant belly and aching hips gave in to the world of loss around her. Words spilled out of her mouth but could find no meaning as they became fear infused stuttering. 

Somehow she managed to carry on and walk that path of hopelessness and loss and raise her children and live to face another day. She had successes, job transfers, losing and loving new friends that entered her life. Each move felt like another form of painful ending mixed with the excitement of a new beginning. So much so that she didn’t know if she really was coming or going in the chaotic existence she had carved out for herself. 

How did she say goodbye to a thirty year friendship, she didn’t have a choice she just had to let it go and grieve another loss in her life as her heart bled on the page once again…

  Today I share this with the #Mondaymusings link up hosted by Corinne of Write Tribe and co-hosted by Philosophers Stone

https://www.facebook.com/BraveGirlsClub/photos/a.143945461409.136897.138801301409/10153709766621410/?type=3

*Image used with permission from http://www.bravegirlsclub.com and found on their Facebook page hehttps://www.facebook.com/BraveGirlsClub/photos/a.143945461409.136897.138801301409/10153709766621410/?type=3re

22 Comments »

I’m not ready to say goodbye

  
When I got the news today my knees hit the floor and I cried with a vengeance. No I screamed in my head you weren’t supposed to die! Someone so loving, giving, caring with the biggest, most beautiful heart wasn’t supposed to leave this earth. Now that you’re gone, I’ve held my children tighter. Knowing that you won’t be physically there to hold yours tears me apart. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I just sent you a message last week telling you how I loved and missed you. 
You drove that stretch of road so many times, for so many different reasons. Why should today be any different? Why would this trip from point A to point B be your last? Life just isn’t fair sometimes, people are born and people will die everyday. But not you, or never should’ve been you. Thinking of you alone and tumbling through the air as your vehicle left the road fills me such heartache I can scarcely breathe. Even now the tears fall silently down my face thinking of my memories of you. 

If I could write a book I would fill it with my thoughts of you. The way your eyes danced when you were mischievous, the way your laughter bubbled out of you with abundant joy. The way you made me feel when you hugged me so tight. How you’d say “Mama we can get through anything, because we’re survivors, it’s what we do!” And I know it’s your words ringing true in my head and heart today. 

I would fill each chapter with your wisdoms, all the times I quoted you for your brilliance. And how when you get so excited and start talking a mile a minute, I would from and I’d say “breathe love, you’re not going anywhere.” I was wrong you always were going somewhere as you filled up your life and love with people who adored you as much as I did. You never said no, or turned anyone away. You’d drive across the province to lend a helping hand, make your kids happy, make life easier for someone else it was your way. Anyone who experienced your love was changed forever. 

Even now I read all the kind and wonderful words people have left behind. They too are mourning your loss. They won’t see your beautiful smile when they walk through the doors of your work. Greeting them with warm hellos and how are you today? Your bosses were blessed to have you as long as they did, and I was so happy that they told you so. You mattered to many, and not only your family mourns you but a whole community does. 

To touch so many lives and hearts for your short time on earth was a gift. You filled my life with sunshine and love. And my children adored you as I do yours. What will happen to them now that they’re gone? They will never have to question your love for them. They felt that in everything you did. From the sweet little nicknames you gave them, to teaching them independence, to your beautiful smile and Mama bear hugs. I pray that they will all stay together to heal in their grief. You etched an imprint on their hearts that will never fade or be replaced by another. You were their North Star guiding them to safe harbour. You were their quiet place when the world was noisy and annoying. 

You were their safety net when others let them down. Who do they follow now that the light has burnt out in your eyes? My answer is no one, you were their light, love, soft heart, their Mother; there will never be another. You were the yin to my yang, and talked me off the ledge plenty of times in that gentle way you had. I still remember the first time we met. How you smiled that mega watt grin and said hello and extended your hand to me. I was new to town and knew no one. You looked at my son in my arms and stroked his cheek and I felt safe with you. You patted his head and said “so blonde, and so beautiful just like his Mama.” And in that instance I fell in love with your kind spirit. 

As our friendship grew stronger my love and admiration for you did too. That moment that you called me by my childhood nickname I was taken aback. I told you I hadn’t heard it since my Mom died how did you know? You said “it just fit, it was perfect it was who you are.” And then I gave you a nickname and I never called you anything but. We bonded over so many things, but the loss of our Mothers affected our whole beings. You knew of that pain of wanting the one and only women we had ever loved and trusted, more than anyone in the world to hold us. You had been a few years into your grief, and I was year into mine. 

You saw the pain in my eyes that I tried to hide from others, but you recognized it instantly as you had your own. I was coming back to town soon and I knew I was going to see you. I was going to pop into your work and surprise you. I knew I could do that because you were never a slave to social media, and how you gently teased me about “my need for my social newsfeed.” I picture the look on your face as you looked up to see who was coming in the door, and how you’d run out and give me the tightest hug. Now I will come back and see you one last time, as my heart is stacked with pain and remorse. I don’t want to say goodbye to you. I’m not ready, prepared, or able to do so. Today when you left the world a small fragment of me went with you. To a place I pray is your happy place. 

We talked about heaven and what you thought was waiting for you there. How you hoped it would have beautiful mountains, lakes and trees that you so dearly loved in your town. I was so sad when I had to leave you behind when I moved away. I wouldn’t have got through those four months of solo parenting while my husband worked away, without you. When I asked your help you told me “I love you and I love your son’s I will help you, we will make this work.” And how my kids loved when you and the girls would come over. The dance parties, games, the singing, and cupcakes. I always seemed to have a never ending supply of happiness when you were around. And after the kids went to bed the copious amounts wine we would drink and the laughs we would have. 

I don’t want to say goodbye to you it’s just too hard to even mouth those words. I’m devastated like your family is, they had you longer so I don’t even feel a right to my feelings. How do they go on without you? When can they speak your name without dissolving into tears like I do? Thinking of not seeing that mischievous grin or hearing infectious laughter makes me want to scream it’s just not right, or fair! Somehow life will go on, people will go to work, kids will go to school, the earth will keep spinning on its axis. Even though I feel it’s all off kilter and imbalanced waiting for you to come back. 

I feel you nearby watching and waiting not able to take your journey to the other side. You remain fixed until you know everyone is ok. This is how you were in life, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from you in death. I’m just not going to get over losing you. There will be a space in my heart that is the shape of you. You were such an amazing friend, sister of my heart, Mother, daughter sister, Aunty, and cousin. There will never be a day where I speak your name and the memories of wonderful you will come flooding back. I hold those close to my heart for that’s all I have left now. Until we meet again my sweet friend, I will keep you and your family in my heart and prayers always. ❤️

 

30 Comments »