Happy Birthday Best Friend

Hey Best Friend. It’s me again.

I don’t know what to expect when your birthday starts to creep up. Will it be a day of remembering you? Will it be a day of remembering the pain? Can any holiday ever feel the same again?

I wanted to feel happy and calm today but I’m finding I feel completely different now that the day has finally arrived. I’ve placed heavy expectations for this day and find that my expectations aren’t met. Often I ask myself, “Who am I now that you’re gone, and how am I suppose today?” And then, I feel deep grief and sorrow and I’m surprised at the moments when I feel “ok,” which can sometimes lead to unwanted feelings of guilt.

I woke up and somehow made it through half the day, before I was reminded that it was your birthday. I’ve been thinking about this day for a while. Little Brother and I just talked about it this week. Now I feel horrible.

It explains why I didn’t sleep the best last night. Or why I woke up tired as if I didn’t sleep. I was irritated and upset by just merely having to get out of bed. Angry because I had to work. And I wanted to be hugged and loved and left alone all at the same time. In an attempt to wash away feelings, I took a shower before taking the kids to school. That rarely happens. I should have taken the day off work. Ugh.

Now that your birthday is at the forefront of my mind, I am feeling like the worse daughter ever. I remember that I asked best friend and another friend of mine to help me do a lantern release. Baby steps but I’m trying here. I wish I had the answer to why this is so hard and the antidote to grief and how it affects you as an entire person.

So first let’s see if I actually go through with the lantern release. The give up and cancel spirit is very heavy right now. And then let’s see how I feel afterwards. Should I fail to muster the emotional, physical or mental strength to do anything today I hope you know that I still love you. And while I haven’t planned a chill at home birthday party for you, with a cake that you never eat, and food you eat but talk junk about; know that you’re always on my mind and in my heart. I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing it is bringing you pure enjoyment. You deserve it.

I love you and Happy Birthday Mom!

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

Lee Ann Womack

Naked Truth

If I ever say there’s nothing on my mind, I’m lying. And those that really know me, know this. This general motor of mine is always running whether I want it to or not. I was just sitting here pondering everything and nothing all at once. Overwhelming myself for absolutely nothing. Pure stupidity.

I really dislike my mind lol. Thinking of all the unfinished projects I have lying around. The current state of the house and the plan needed to get it together. My daily routine that has disintegrated. The idea of my children growing up and thoughts of me growing old all flood my mind at once. And this is during times when I’m trying to have a conversation with others. It’s draining.

And then I have questions. When did I completely stop exercising? When did I become so comfortable with being alone? When did I become so emotional? Am I really going to be ok? When did I become so impatient? Ok I’ve always been impatient.

I need help. Now that’s something you don’t hear often from me. I’m currently so far inside my head and it’s maze of never ending stories, scenarios and thoughts that I can’t get out. Alice in Wonderland is the best way I can describe it. I’ve sat with myself in silence for so long that I’ve fallen so far in my mind that I don’t see a way out.

And let me tell you, I’m fighting to get the hell out because I need to grieve the losses I have yet to fully process and accept, and I need to parent my daughter through her teenage years because times are different, and I need to love on my son because young black men are dying at an alarming rate. And I need to let this wonderful man love me.

I’m so damaged that even what I know to be true, I still question. I love this man so much. And today I realized while sitting with my sea of thoughts that he does indeed love me more than I love him. Shit. He loves me more than I love me.

So no matter what it takes, I’m going to dig my way out of my mind because I’m not the luckiest person in the world…but somehow I managed to find my person. Someone who loves me when I’m nice and when I’m not. Someone who cares about what’s on my mind. Someone willing to do all the weird things and go to all the crazy places with me. Someone who protects me and makes me feel safe. Someone I’m willing to trust. He’s the man that I created in my mind. And I’m out here fucking up…I’m going to do better, promise.

Naked Truth: I’m an adult trying to unlearn toxic behaviors that I adapted as coping mechanisms

Mental Dump: Breakfast

Sleeplessly I woke before my alarm. I laid in the dark staring at the ceiling. My mental voice did its usual…stretched and took off. Everything that I didn’t do yesterday cluttered my mind, thoughts of me being a failure because why didn’t I make time for these items yesterday. Then it changed gears and there was a reminder to call and check on my Mom…a wave of sadness hits me and the cloud of thoughts dissipate. I am reminded by the memorial blanket on my resting chair that I cannot call to check on her. Attempting to shake off this never ending nightmare, I shimmy to the edge of the bed wiping away the tears that escaped my eyes so that I can see clear enough to stand.

I stretch. I think I should log into my yoga class but opted to skip. I reach my arms as high as I can above my head. Then I bend over stretching my fingertips to touch my toes…my stomach is in the way. We are here again, ugh. I walk into the bathroom closet to locate my “ghostbusters” workout suit. My mindset is start today or I won’t start at all. Looking in the closet I’m reminded that no matter how many times I clean this closet it returns to its natural state of messy and disorganization.

I get myself ready, get the kids up and make sure the little one is dressed properly. He’s getting better with picking out his clothes and getting dressed alone. I realize that I coddle my kids quite a bit because I feel like I missed so much of their younger years. I worked so much and was often times gone from home weeks at a time. I know they have to grow up and I will back up one day but today…nope. I hug, kiss and tickle them. A child shouldn’t start their day with their parents yelling, screaming and fussing. Home should be the safest place in the world and your parents should be your safe people. I’m parenting by trial and error here. I didn’t get the manual and I’m doing the best I can to avoid my children being the somewhat fucked up adult that I am.

I get breakfast ready for the little one and head to my fur son. It’s his birthday today! Party later but at the moment I have to get Mr. Man to school and then drop off Ms. Ma’am. As I drive off from the school I think about treating myself to breakfast. I’m dressed to workout but I’m going to eat…this is sad lol

It’s Wellness Wednesday so I’m going to treat myself to a “therapeutic breakfast”. 😁

The first place that cross my mind when it comes to breakfast is the coolest little Amish Kitchen in the country. So I drive 25 min to get the best breakfast that I’ve had outside of my Grandmother’s kitchen. Noticing the trees, leaves and crops on the way before my mind hits turbo. I don’t want to ruin my morning so I turn up the music and crack the windows to drown out my thoughts. It’s going to be a good day because I said so. Quieting the noise for a moment of peace seemed ok.

Heaven on a plate: Garden omelet with Dutch potatoes and French Toast with Butter syrup

Restart…Repeat

I woke up this morning, not much different than how I went to sleep last night. No appetite, not really wanting to get out of bed and just feeling blah.

I got the kids up for school. Got the little one dressed. Got their breakfast on the table and I sat in the bathroom sobbing for what felt like hours. My eyes red, puffy and swollen and my head aching. This is a never ending and unpredictable cycle. But as usual, I have to push through because I have no other option.

I’m almost certain this is a result of speaking to my cousin last night unexpectedly. Trying to be supportive for her, stirred up feelings for me. Each time she cried I wanted to cry too. And as soon as I hung up, I wrapped myself in my blanket and did just that. Laid in the dark, in silence and just cried.

Its going on 2 years of a never ending cycle of grief. I have good days and I have bad ones. Sadly, today felt like it was going to be a struggle day. Not even in the mood to interact with others, I opted to drop my son off in the car drop off line rather than walk him to school. I went back home and sat in the car, inside the garage crying.

All I could think was: This cannot be my life!

I grip the steering wheel and just cry until my daughter opens the car door. As much as I try to conceal these emotions from my children, she usually catches me. She’s such a sweet girl. I hug her and just think why me? A Mother? Why?

A sea of my childhood memories creep in and I cry even harder. All I want is to give them what I didn’t have and raise them how I think they should be raised. Childhood should be enjoyable and memorable. Not traumatic and stressful. Aiming to be a little better than my Mother because she always told me to never strive to be just like her but to be better.

We got ourselves together and I started the car to get her to school. As we were leaving I tell her the potential plans for the weekend. We arrive to the school with time to spare so we rearrange her book bag. Looking through her notebooks and tablets, she has drawings in each one. I told her we would get her a sketchpad just for drawing so she doesn’t use up her notebook paper and tablets for non class related notes/drawings. She agreed, cleaned her glasses and exited the car. Before walking away she leaned in and said “Try to have a good day Mommie. Things will get better.” I nodded and told her to have a good day and I love her. “Love you too!”, she replied and walked across the street to school.

I drove off with the thought to go on my morning walk. But I felt more like hiding inside my house. I just wanted to hide from the world. Sit in my big comfy sweater, sweatpants and fuzzy socks, and cry. Cry all fucking day, getting myself together only to put on the “I’m ok!” mask before picking up the kids from school.

Grieving sucks. The shit is life changing and never ending. So treat everyone you cross paths with delicately. Be gentle with others and yourself. Some people are fighting demons larger than life and still attempting to appear OK.

SunDate: Kitty Hawk

Attempting to resume normal activities, I awoke early this morning with the idea to go on a SunDate. WheneverI have to travel, my first thought is Simba…how long will I be gone?…who can check on him?…should I take him? Can I take him?

The last question has always ended up as a “No”. Today I opted to bring him along. He was so excited yesterday when I told him he’d go on a road trip and then I left him…

I know…bad pet Mom…breaking promises…

Well yesterday I was close to the mountains so today I opted for the latter…and made my way to the beach…

Before making the decision to bring Simba, I was going to bring canvas and paint markers to finish a piece and start another…bringing him meant he’d need all my attention since this was his first car ride this long and to the beach.

Was I really going to do this? Sundays are for self care lol. Fuck it…come on S. Leon, let’s go.

He watched me pack up the car and lock up the house before hopping in the backseat and sitting quietly as if I’d forget his 88lb ass was sitting behind me lol

We started with a quick stop to get some treats and a small bag of dog food. Then gassed up, got some breakfast and got on the road.

An hour into the ride, I couldn’t breathe. Small disclaimer…somewhere along owning Simba, I developed an allergy of some sort. But I can’t bring myself to get rid of my him. I’ve rearranged where he sleeps and all just so I can keep him. It’s not official but he is definitely my emotional support pup. I’m ever so grateful he cannot talk…he knows all of my business…I tell him everything. Poor pup, he probably needs therapy.

Well we made our way to Kitty Hawk. I’d never been to the beach here and he’d never been to the beach period so I figured it would be special to share a first with him.

Traveling to the beach was easy, he put his head out the window and took a nap or five until we made it. Once he got out of the car he stretched, smiled and jumped on me for a hug then we were ready to get our feet in the sand. The beach wasn’t too populated today so finding a nice spot was effortless. I set up our area and he just took in the change in scenery for a while. Everything was going great until a group of people came and set up camp right next to us with a puppy.

Simba’s 1st Beach Trip

Simba is also quiet antisocial. He doesn’t really have dog friends other than Shortbread. He’s just like his Mom lol.

The puppy caused such chaos. I wanted to pack up and leave but I took the opportunity to show Simba he can coexist with other people and animals away from home. To get him to calm down, I had to pat his butt and repeat “sit” until he sat down, and then I had to rub his big body until he stopped shaking. This was going to be a long day…but we got this.

After about 3 more of those episodes where he almost took down our cabana, walked all over me and even once jumped in my lap, we were able to lay in the sun and just chill. The introduction to the ocean would come before we left.

Overall he did well on his first beach trip. Enjoying chicken meatballs and water, playing with his rope and putting sand all over me.

We managed to almost make it off the beach without being approached by any strangers!!! I was impressed. I began to think I need to bring Simba out more often, he’s my people shield lol.

He slept most of the way home before sticking his entire head out of the window to do real boy dog shit. We ended our adventurous day at Sonic Drive-Thru where we learned they to have pup cups!

This guy had the day of his life and it’s not even his birthday yet lol. I too enjoyed my crazy fur son and our QT. I can’t speak dog but I hope he knows I love and adore him and was glad to have him tag along on my SunDate.