Grief Awareness: From One Broken Soul To Another

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Tomorrow is 3 years since my sister, Jessica Rae was suddenly taken from us by the cruel and indiscriminate clutches of cancer at the age of 33. Then 24 hours later, it  is a year since my grandfather passed. How delightfully poetic that his last gift to our exceedingly dysfunctional family, was that he waited to die as not to overwhelm us with double grief or overshadow that already painful day.  It was a definite gesture of love if ever there were one.

The beginning of the year is especially draining on me. I let those emotions flow where they will and then continue in my daily life. Not to say I don’t have other draining days of the year…because I do, several in fact. Nearly every month of the year is scattered with painful losses for me.  But, this time of year is absolutely the hardest.

Losing a loved one {I’m an expert in this…I’ve encountered more than my fair share of death} is a difficult and excruciating part of life. One that nobody wants to speak about lest they become the next victim of loss. Many have no idea how to handle a friend in mourning, let alone  are they aware that grief has no time constraints.  The mere idea that someone could suffer so much from their loved ones end of suffering is not only unfathomable to them it is difficult for them to give loving support to the person grieving.
   
 
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The pain that is commonly accompanied by thoughts of guilt is torturous. There is always questions…ones that can never be answered, not in a person’s lifetime anyway. Questions like… why did this have to happen to them, did I do everything I could to save them, could I have done more, why didn’t I spend more time with them, why…why… WHY???

As unfortunate as it is, there is/was nothing more or different that could alter what transpired. They had to go and we had to stay. This realization doesn’t remove the pain. Nothing completely removes the pain and nothing ever will.

You can choose how the pain affects you though. You can choose to be mindful or you can choose to let the pain consume you.  It’s painful, don’t deny yourself to feel that pain. But don’t let that pain take away from the joyful and beautiful moments happening all around you.

When you need to grieve, do it. Feel the pain from losing them, feel the joy that they gave you while alive… let the emotions come but most importantly let those emotions go. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away into the dark abyss of depression…because the painful truth is, their earthly ties have been undone because their physical job is over. But yours, my dears, is not.

Your work here is still needed. There is a job for you and only you can deliver  it. I know that offers you no comfort…as I sit here teary-eyed over my own losses…I know exactly how little my words soothe that throbbing ache in the pit of your stomach or mends even a fraction of your now irreparably damaged heart. I really truly get it.

Just know that there is no time constraint for grieving. And forgive those who don’t know any better than to say offensive words under the guise of compassion. They know not what they do because they have never been in your shoes.     
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Don’t suffer alone in silence. Feel free to add me on Facebook . Also  “like” the page,  National Grief Awareness Day where you will find others who know how to listen and how to be a friend.  Life is too short to spend it alone in pain. Love, understanding, and compassion can heal us all.     

All photos courtesy of National Grief Awareness Day’s Facebook page. Link provided above. Please support their page. Thank you.     

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Is Pain Robbing You of Happiness?

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It has been a long excruciating year; between the death’s in my family, to the robbery, to the new house…an agonizingly long year.

I made friends and lost friends, found out what is important and what is nothing more than time-consuming f*ckery.

My husband and children have been troopers through this whole ordeal. And let me tell you I have been anything but a wonderful human being. I’ve had meltdowns, tantrums, scream fests, depressive episodes, and moments of divine clarity… I’ve been in indisputable pain.

Just when you think you have a grasp on life, you find out that life isn’t yours to control…you’re just an irrelevant passenger.

Don’t get me wrong, your life belongs to you and you make of it what you will. But, when it comes down to controlling what happens in it, well… you can only control how you react. And my reactions were far beyond spectacular…I should have been a dramatic actress, I had some very award-winning soap-operatic moments, to say the very least {and I am}.  

It’s funny how complicated we make our lives. Every single detail has to be perfect and completely under our control. Why? Because we honestly believe that we have some god-like influence that enables us to change things that we don’t like and turn them into something we desire. But it isn’t about what we want, it’s solely about what we need.

Nobody needs supremacy; we need to learn how to be kind and gentle, loving and supportive. We need to be a far better person than what we expect our family and friends to be.  

We expect all of these ridiculously unreasonable things of others, yet we don’t budge an inch to be better people ourselves. And on top of that, we have the audacity to give hundreds of pathetic excuses as to why we can’t be more than what we already are. Oh yes, we are quite incredible, aren’t we?

So why can’t we be better people? Why are we so demanding of others to be more, but so incredibly fearful of our own impending greatness?

It’s like I once told a friend of mine… “I’m afraid that if the pain is gone I won’t be able to write with such passion anymore.” My pain is why I am passionate… or maybe my passion is why I am in pain. Either way I was in pain.

I enjoyed pain; it was the only thing I knew to be real. It was the only thing that could allow me to stay hidden from happiness and love. It was effortless to blame those that hurt me instead of being responsible for allowing them to continue hurting me.

Pain is addicting, it is a beautiful justification for everything. But pain is self-inflicted…let me clarify that. Emotional pain is self-inflicted. Yes, it initially hurts when someone uses you, or ignores you, or takes advantage of you, or talks bad about you, or tosses you aside like a rag doll. That hurts like hell.

But, it is brief. We hold on to something far longer than we need to. Why do we hold tight to something so insignificant and unworthy? Why do we torture ourselves? Don’t we deserve to be pain-free? Don’t we deserve happiness and love?

We do! We deserve happiness and love…from ourselves. Who cares if some imprudent former friend/family member/stranger hurt us… hurt people hurt people. What they need is forgiveness and time to learn from what they have done. It may not be today or tomorrow or even this lifetime, but they will learn.  

When you grow up in a society of revenge, you can’t possibly expect that the world will wake up one day and just be forgiving. It takes education, experience, and a strong will to grow and learn. It will take better people to teach others how to be better people… learning via example.

That is what I am focusing on, being the person that I want others to be. I’m ready to be pain-free and happy. Will you join me?    

Thank You: A Friendship Day Poem

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To the friends who’ve been here and never leave….thank you.
To the friends who just arrived….thank you.
To the friends that I now grieve….thank you.
To the frenemies I’ve survived…thank you.
To the friends who still believe….thank you.
For the friendships that have been revived….thank you.
Here’s to ALL of you. Happy Friendship Day! ~ InJensMind

My Wedding’s Quinceañera

15 years ago (tomorrow), on my then 22nd birthday; my fiancé decided it would be the right time to get married. Clearly 3 years into a relationship that had already produced a daughter, was the perfect time to tie the noose… err I mean the knot.

It’s not like either one of us didn’t want to be married. Hell, we were already living as husband and wife that entire time anyway. It’s just… there were bills to be paid and a child to feed… If you really want to know the truth, we were doing our part in saving the planet by not creating superfluous paper. Sounds funny I know but, eh, it’s the least we could do for our children’s future, right?!

But seriously though, the reason’s we both had; although looking back I’m not so sure it was a “we” thing, were our reason’s and ours alone. Nobody, no matter how important they thought their opinion was, had the right to tell us when we should get married. Of course, that didn’t stop them. 37 years later in my life and those same people still haven’t stopped trying to manipulate and control me and my life. SMH!

Anyway, back to the day at hand… July 17th, my 37th birthday/wedding’s Quinceañera . Aww, I feel like I should throw it a huge party while wearing a bright multi-colored billowing dress and be surrounded by a bunch of drunken people, that may or may not be my family, and they will be gyrating and partying like it’s 1999. Because if there is one thing my anniversary/birthday is lacking, is the extravagant publicly humiliating celebration of leaving behind the innocence of childhood and diving head first off the deep end straight into the abyss of womanhood. *SIGH*

I have yet to figure out what it was that ran through my husband’s head the day he decided to forever taint my birthday with a wedding anniversary. I’m pretty certain that it was the countless bottles of booze that he ingested on the regular, but that is just too obvious an answer to be the correct one. So it must be something more diabolical; like say…I don’t know, the satisfaction he gets from knowing that I will never have another day for the rest of my life that is totally just about me! That sounds a lot more like the evil drunk I have spent my entire adult life with.

Or it could be that he was just trying to be what every woman dreams of… Prince Charming! Oh hell… now I feel bad for calling him names and being angry every single year for the last 15 years.  Way to go Jen, you fucking Romance Nazi!!!

Copyright InJensMind DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE July 17, 1997 @Shalimar Wedding Chapel Las Vegas, NV

Father’s Day Project: Build-A-Dad

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Yesterday was Father’s Day. I am sure I do not need to remind any of you. As I sat around, well no… that isn’t exactly accurate. My husband was home all day and when he is, there is no sitting around. Clearly, he can sit around, demand things to be done/brought to him, or blankly stare at a plethora of asinine TV shows in English and/or Spanish but, me… I am required to go, go, go!!! Do I look like Speedy Gonzalez to you? Don’t answer that…

So as soon as I woke up, I mean got up, at about 10 am or so… I don’t remember. I just know it was still morning. Don’t judge me…. I’m an insomniac and sleeping is a problem for me. My husband started with his usual assholery and yelled something about the clips. “Where are the clips?” he yelled. “What clips? You mean… the clippers?” I replied while trying hard not to call him an illiterate son of a bitch. After all, it is his day, right?! So… I got up and waddled around the house. No, I am not pregnant but, I am somewhat fluffy these days. From room to room to room I went. Dodging dogs, shaking my head at the children that were still sleeping, over/around/up and down through the junk that has taken up permanent residence in my home from lands far and wide. Why was I cursed to marry the Mexican Fred Sanford from ‘Sanford and Son’? Or would that be, Federico Sanford de  ‘Sanford y su Hijo’? *Sigh*

Finally, I remembered where they were last put and handed them to him. All of this, not because he wanted to cut his hair mind you. But because he wanted to shave his beard and apparently shaving it with a razor or 5 was just too much freaking work for him. But, me wandering the streets of Can’t-Find-A-Damn-Thing-Without-My-Help-Ville wasn’t work at all….. *SIGH again*

I made sure at some point to mention, that I would like to go to the store, since it was Father’s Day and we had no gift for him and more importantly we had no damn milk. There is no way I was cooking breakfast on Father’s Day. I mean, hell, you know what I mean… I cook every single day. Why do I have to cook a meal that no one and I do mean no one, in my house even likes to eat? Besides it was starting to heat up in the house because the Midwest is in the center of Hell (hence the name Bible Belt) and we still have no working air conditioner. So I dressed myself, yes I know… woo-hoo Jen has finally learned how to dress herself. Do you guys always have to be so mean??? *Insert evil snort laugh*

My daughter got up and decided she would like to go with me to the store.  Shopping is one of our mother/daughter bonding times. Frankly, I take her along more often than my son because she isn’t the type to whine and throw a fit if I don’t buy her something. Just as we were about to walk out the door, my husband yells out, “You can’t leave. I need to go to Home Depot.” Didn’t I tell him not more than 10 minutes before that I needed to go to the store? *Scrolls up* Yes, yes I did. Welcome to my life people. Isn’t it a hoot?

In the time my husband is gone, I wash the dishes, that he requested I do. “You SHOULD wash the dishes before you leave the house,” he gently told me. Haha who am I kidding, right?! He has never gently told me anything in our nearly 19 years together. But, instead of complaining, I just do those loving things that a doting wife does out of the sheer goodness of her happy and fulfilled heart. *Awwww* Stop it…

My husband though… I mean, you just have to know that this man doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. Holidays, birthdays, Sundays… they are just another day to him. He is the epitome of a workaholic without the skanky secretary and the bank account to make it all worth my err, I mean his while. LOL So, what does my husband do on his day off? The one day where a father is allowed to be a mushy couch potato? The one time where everyone in the house is at his disposal? My genius of a husband chooses to rebuild the patio. Because his paranoia trumps mine by a longshot… “I have to fix this before it falls and the city condemns the house.”

At first, it was supposed to be just the railing because it was at a 45-degree angle and well… that is not what a railing on the second floor above a concrete driveway should be doing. The kids and I had long abandoned going out there because the patio door kept getting stuck on its track and I was terrified it might fall out and break. But, as the day progressed it became more and more things that needed to be done to that patio.

My daughter and I came back home from shopping to find my son sitting in the driveway guarding the wood and tools. My husband was standing on the patio, with the entire railing torn off. I graciously handed him a Monster energy drink and then continued carting bags inside the house.

It was a long day for all of us.  My son helped his dad out on his all day into the night Father’s Day project. Build-A-Dad; blackened by sweat and hard work, barely touched the dinner my daughter and I made for him. My daughter was exhausted from all the things she helped me do that are my daily requirements as housebitch.  *Sorry, I had to get in that last dig before wrapping this up*

And I? Well, I was my usual self. Tired, because being a mom and wife is hard work. Wired, because I have so much more work still left to do. A bit insane after all the “my dad is the greatest” crap I kept seeing over my Facebook feed when I finally had time to sit down and enjoy me time. But most of all I was thankful, because my kids and I have their dad in our life. And unfortunately, that is something many people don’t have. Hope you all had a splendid Father’s Day or just another Sunday in June, if you don’t celebrate.

Mother’s Day 2012: A Letter To My Mom

It’s Mother’s Day again… don’t act so surprised, I mean, it does come every single year in May. Last year, I was talking about Mother’s Day and how I was struggling with my sister’s birthday coming up and how my husband always acted like “my” days didn’t matter.

This year is different, even though May 13th is Mother’s Day and would have been Jess’s 35th birthday. So before I get into the mom stuff, let’s have a moment of silence for my sister.

Happy birthday Jess! You will never be forgotten. I love you & miss you so much!

When I started writing this post my brain took me on a wild journey that could have left me stranded in the abyss of negativeness and uncontrollable rage. But, I decided I would save that trip for another time, a time when I wasn’t trying to write a dedication post. So instead of writing about how having two “moms” on Mother’s Day meant to me, I have chosen to write about just my biological mom… and quite frankly the ONLY MOM I have. (Another time I will elaborate but, today this post will remain free of that…)

My mom got pregnant at age 17, she gave birth to me 1 month and 5 days after her 18th birthday. She delivered me in McLaren Hospital in Flint, Michigan on July 17th, 1975. My father, who she had just married on Valentine’s Day of that very year was nowhere to be found. I exaggerate because he could have been found but, needless to say nobody cared enough to drag his sorry ass to the hospital so he could do his husbandly/fatherly duty. (I know I said I wouldn’t mention them but, that part was extremely important. It shows how brave my mother was.)

I have heard countless times about my birth from my mom… Don’t all children? I was breach, “You had your little feet on both sides and you refused to come out.” And now you all know when and where my stick-it-to-the-man never back down attitude started. There are many things over the years my mom has told me about the first 5 years I lived with her. There are even more stories that were passed on to me by people who think that I don’t remember. For some reason they act like I didn’t witness it for myself. Those people and their stories are irrelevant at this time.

Now I can’t sit here and lie to you all and tell you that I have loads of fond mother/daughter memories as a child and teen, because I don’t. I can’t tell you that I didn’t have my fair share of issues growing up without my mom in my daily life. My mom wasn’t perfect… no human being is. My mom often tells me, “I know I will never be mother of the year.” I always laughed that comment off. I thought it was silly that mom thought like that, because I have never cared one way or another. I figured that once someone apologized and you forgave them then it was done and from that point on it was no longer an issue. Maybe it wasn’t for me that she was saying it.

But, now I am going to award her. I am going to give her something that is better than Mother of the Year. Because she deserves more than a title that comes and goes every year and here is why…

My mother did the best she could with what she had. She made mistakes. She didn’t always say or do the right thing. She made choices that weren’t the best. But…

  • She NEVER abused us. There was no emotional blackmail, no beatings, no psychological terrorism laid upon us by her whatsoever.
  • She ALWAYS loved us unconditionally.
  • She worried and fretted and if at any time one of her kids were not speaking to her she would ask about them to the ones that were. (In other words, she’d always ask me.)
  • She APOLOGIZED for all the things she did or didn’t do.
  • She NEVER repeatedly did those things after apologizing. (That is something many do not do.) When she said sorry she meant it.
  • She NEVER did to us what was done to her.
  • She lost a grown child who wasn’t speaking to her and lives with the guilt from that. (Even though she shouldn’t torture herself over things she had no control over.)
  • She went back to school, taking college courses at age 55.
  • She is the ONLY person helping to care for her 77-yr-old mother and her 79-yr-old step-father.
  • She has 7 grand-kids, 2 that she has never met or been allowed to know. (Jess’s older daughters) 2 that are just starting to open up to her. (Jess’s twin boys) All 7 living in other states away from her. Yet she holds out faith of one day having all of them close by in her life and loves each and every single one of them with her heart and soul.
  • She’s not fake… She doesn’t smile in your face and at the same time try to turn people against you behind your back.
  • No matter who tried to stand in her way she never stopped being who she is.
  • She wakes up every day, goes out and gives the world her all.

Plain and simply put… She is my best friend, I love her, and I am blessed to call her mom!!!

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day. I love you more than you probably even know.
Words; even from someone as prolific as I am, just cannot express the
love that I have for you. I don’t need for you to be anything that you aren’t,
I never did. You and I know the truth of our relationship. We both know what
we went through. You have given me more than any one ever could by just you being you. You don’t ask me to be anyone or anything that I am not. You don’t
try to change me. You’re not embarrassed (yet… lol) by me. I know that you
love me and the kids and even Gustavo. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother. I don’t feel the need to punish you for the past, we have long since moved on
from all that bullshit. 
I am who I am today partly because of you. Nobody in
the world can ever take that from you no matter how much they think they can, they can not! I am proud of all you have accomplished and what you will do. I am honored that you have allowed me to be included in all that
you do. I am proud to be your daughter. I am proud of all that you are and all
that you aren’t. Simply stated… I AM PROUD OF YOU!!! I wish I could be there to say this all in person and hug you tightly. But, that just isn’t in the cards right now so…
May you have the
happiest of days today and every day.
And never ever ever forget that
I LOVE YOU!!!

NaPoWriMo Day:17 Latin Lover

His dark tousled hair
fell lightly over his tan shoulders
not too long
and not too short
but just right for a
latin lover.

He flashed a pearly white smile
and winked his dark chestnut-colored eye
and she swooned.

She reached out her hand
touching his.
He grabbed a hold of her tightly
kissing her with the passion
she had always dreamed of.

They fell into each others arms
on the sandy beach
not too fast
and not too slow
but just right for a
latin lover.

She laid cuddled beside him
it was just like a dream
he told her te quiero
her body wanted to scream.

She opened her eyes
searched through the night
her lover was gone
he was not in her sight.

She wanted to cry
about this horrible nightmare
but instead she looked up at the stars
and waited for her
latin lover.

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin
Poetry, Prose, Art and other Creative Things
Stephen Kellogg’s Blog
Turning Paige 

NaPoWriMo Day:16 You Will Be My Love

nothing can stop me
not in this life or the next
you will be my love

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin
Poetry, Prose, Art and other Creative Things
Stephen Kellogg’s Blog
Turning Paige 
 

NaPoWriMo Day:11 Sibling Day Haiku

my dearest brother
your love deep within my heart
can not be replaced

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

V is for Valentine’s Day and Valerian Root

Copyrighted- InJensMind

February 14th, the universal day of love. HA! The day when all the people who are in a relationship expect to be loved more than they have already been all year-long. The day when single people curse the couples for having a love day and often times, curse the people in a relationship for being in a relationship.

It’s a day of pure commercialism, stupidity, and anger. It’s a day that causes people to go to bed angry after fighting with their significant other because they didn’t get the biggest and best gift that even Donald Trump couldn’t afford to give. By the way, Donald Trump is a rich guy and sure looks like a sourpuss, therefore I conclude that money cannot, does not, and never will buy happiness. LOL (Lighten up people, you know my sense of humor by now.)

I have to admit; I too, have occasionally fallen into the trap of Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic and I am sort of an old school kind of gal. I like to be wooed and I enjoy immensely, reading words of adoration from my sweet, even if his English is less than clear. Full boxes of innumerable cards adorn my room from days of yore. (Say that 3 times fast.)

On top of my obvious romantic nature, I am also a pack rat… a weepy-eyed, sentimental, clinger to all things given in the name of love… pack rat. In the 17 years I’ve been with my husband, I have never thrown away a single card. Not a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, sympathy, congratulations, etc… card from him or to him. I have never thrown away a single card or letter from anyone I have ever known in these last 18-19 years of my life. I also have the occasional never been mailed card or letter. Like for instance, I bought a get well card for my grandmother and before I could send it we moved to Chicago and that weekend we visited her and a few days later she passed away. The card brings tears to my eyes every time I come across it. I am such an emotional sap aren’t I…

When my husband and I were freshly engaged in 1994, he chose the day of lovers to be our wedding day. Not our first Valentine’s Day as a couple in 1995 but, the one afterwards in 1996. Of course, I said yes. Who could say no to a man who wants to make you his bride for life on the most passionate day of the year? My mother warned against it. She told me of the doom and gloom and the death of all things happy and sunshiney if I were to get married on that day. She wished I would reconsider before we got married and ended up divorcing, consequently ruining the day for me forever in the future. Why? Because she had married my father on that day and look what happened to their love. Honestly, who could argue with that? But, did I listen? Hell no I didn’t. Why on Earth would I listen to my mother when I was a grown ass 19-year-old?!

A week or two before Valentine’s Day of 1996 was upon us, I dug in the local phone book and started calling chapels to get married in. I don’t know what possessed me to do that or to think that money was of no object. I was the mother of a 3 month old daughter, my husband was barely working, and we lived with my mother, my brother, and my great-uncle. We were pulling our weight of course with bills but, still. We were a young couple with no bank account or vehicle, needless to say we were broke. But, there I was 20 years old fully expecting the fairytale wedding I had been promised. (click on fairytale to read more about my fairytale love) I finally found a chapel in Las Vegas that wasn’t completely booked and expecting thousands of dollars and I yelled out, “SOLD!!!” I didn’t ask my husband. I didn’t consult anyone in my family, just booked it and awaited the glorious day.

St. Valentine’s Day; February 14th, 1996: I got up bright and early with my husband who was getting ready for work. “AHEM. Do you know what today is?” I asked beaming from ear to ear. “No.” he replied. “No? Umm, well…it’s Valentine’s Day silly.” I replied. “Oh…” he whispered. So I pushed further. “Well, I booked a chapel for us to get married today at –:– pm in _____ chapel.” (Clearly the insanity of it all back then made me forget the details today.) I stated, still smiling big. I must have checked out mentally because I don’t remember what he said to me. All I know is I spent the day dressing up my baby girl and myself and waiting for him to come home and keep his promise.

As the day dragged on I decided to make a cake. A heart-shaped cake, of course. I mixed it, baked it, cut it into a heart, frosted it, and waited. And waited… and waited. It was nearly midnight when my husband to be came home. I stood there in tears and didn’t say a word. He put an unsigned card on the countertop in front of me and walked into the kitchen and proceeded to eat the cake I had made for us. He was drunk! Finally he got the balls to look up at me, while I was still crying, and said quietly, “I’m sorry.” I was traumatized!!! I should have slept the entire day away instead.

It came down to embarrassment, guilt, and a few words that obviously were screwing with his head. At some point in the year and 5 months we had been together, my father had quoted words straight out of the ‘Handbook of Shit a Person Should Never Say!’ He said: “He’s ONLY marrying you to get his papers!” Excuse me, WHAT?!?! That same man who uttered those demonic words, Hell bent to hurt me and my partner, was the same man who a couple of years before was telling me to hurry up and set a date to marry a man who asked me to marry him (and I might add we found out shortly afterwards that he was already married with two children, one born while we were dating.), because time was running short between my father being able to pay for my wedding and paying for my sister’s graduation the following year. He is also the same man who ruined his own first marriage by committing adultery over and over and over and over. Yet, my sweet… my love… my daughter’s father… the man who has taken care of me since January of 1995… was using me to get papers?! Even though the man already had a legal green card 7 years before we met. Talk about an asshole move by someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Thanks again daddy dearest!

My husband and I finally did get married though and not on Valentine’s Day. And the father of the bride didn’t pay a damn red-cent of it neither! My husband chose to pick another day that could potentially ruin all of my future happiness if we ever divorced, and that day is my birthday. Sheesh!

So there you have it, my crappy Valentine’s Day story. And ever since then; Valentine’s Day has been just another day for my family. Just another day for my husband and I to end up in an argument caused by just another day of pressure, stress, and lack of money. And it’s just another day for my children and I to express our love for one another; by making cards, cooking, eating together, and doing what we three do every day… spend the day together and love one another unconditionally for all that we are, all that we can be, and all that we will be!

And you my loves? Who will you be loving on this day?

And because it’s also YouTube Tuesday… Here you go,
mis amores! ❤

Elvis Presley – Ku-Ui-Po

Ku-u-i-po I love you more today
More today than yesterday
But I love you less today
Less than I will tomorrow

See the sweet Hawaiian rose
See it blossom see it grow
That’s the story of our love
Ever since we said hello

As the years go passing by
We’ll recall our wedding day
I will be there by your side
You will always hear me say

Ku-u-i-po, you’re my Hawaiian sweetheart

The First Year Deathaversary

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It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since the passing of my younger sister, Jessica. A whole year! Time flies by when you are living, I guess.

It’s been a long and painful year, full of ups and downs. It’s also been a very enlightening and freeing year. Every day I wake up and give thanks to the Universe for helping me break free of so many unhealthy and one-sided friendships. Friendships I had clung to because I am just that kind of caring and loving friend. Friendships that I believed would be forever. I also give thanks, love, kisses and hugs daily to my children, husband, and pets. For without them I wouldn’t be able to function, even a fraction of what I do now. They are the glue that holds me together.

I have spent several of the last few weeks trying to prepare myself for this day. Some people may find it unhealthy to place so much emphasis on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing. I don’t. I find it perfectly normal to get your emotions, thoughts, and memories in order before the day hits. Then again, I’ve seen more death in my lifetime then most and at a younger age. This is why some of the things people say just knock me out cold. I mean do these people even know what it is to lose a sister? We’re not talking about comparison here. We’re not talking about who has suffered more. We’re talking about how someone can tell another person how to deal with something that they’ve never been through! It’s like saying that the pain of giving birth is nothing compared to menstrual cramps, yet you’ve never given birth. That’s like me telling someone who lost their mom to “get over it, it happened while she gave birth to you.” First of all, I’d never say that. One because I am just a caring, sympathetic person and that comment is one only an asshole would utter. Secondly, I’ve never lost a parent yet, knock on wood. So obviously I have never been close to that same situation. Lastly, just because you might not have known your mother doesn’t mean you have no connection to her. You have a connection that nobody else has with her. You have the connection of coming to life and growing inside her and you also have the guilt. Nobody wants to blame anyone but, Lord knows many a child has been shunned and abused by their father or family for “killing” their mother. It’s asinine and it sucks and well… people can just be irresponsible loudmouth jerks.

I don’t just mourn one day a year. I mourn throughout the year. A happy memory from my childhood could start out so wonderful and the more my mind remembers the bond we once shared the more painful it becomes… Then walks in the guilt, shame, regret, and the tears. Let’s not forget the tears that strike at any given moment. And usually, when this happens I become distant, as I try to remove the horrific pain from my soul. I revert to that scared little child looking for a place to hide from the monsters that were enclosing upon me. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s automatic, instantaneous, habitual, and it’s how I grew up without being more screwed up then I already am.

If you’ve never lost someone you know, count yourself lucky because it never is easy and won’t get any easier as you age either. It’s a painful thing to experience and even though you try and tell yourself that they are in a better place with no more pain, you can’t help but to question why you are left to carry the painful burden. Why do some people get out and some of us have to stay and experience more than our fair share of suffering? Outliving those you love has to be one of the most stressful things you could ever experience.

It reminds me of my grandma who has outlived all of her siblings. (She is the oldest of 4.) How excruciating it must be to have none of them left. To have no parents left. To only have your grown children, and grown grandchildren (1 of the 4 gone a year now), and great-grandchildren left. But, she doesn’t have all of them with her. All she has at this very moment is my mom. The rest of us are too far away and some of the great-grandkids don’t even know of her and may never know her. That is some very sad sad shit if you ask me. I know she puts on a brave face but, just as I know how much it hurts me, I know it hurts her a lot too. Death sucks bigtime!

So the next time a person decides to tell another person who they should care for, who they should mourn for, how long they should mourn, etc… Bite your damn tongue!

As the Cherokee Proverb goes:

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.”

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this because they think it’s easy to just put on someone’s shoes and that’s that. So let me give you one more, so you really grasp what it is I am saying to you…

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960

We all need time to handle our unresolved business. And nothing is more unresolved then a loved one who dies suddenly. Nothing can be resolved when you don’t get to say good-bye. There is no peace of mind when it comes to all the questions that will never be answered. There is no possible way to “just let it go and move on” when no one is held accountable.

If you want to help someone who is hurting, mourning, grieving, dying in mind, soul, and heart… send them your love. Send them your sympathy. Let them know that it even though she wasn’t your sister you hurt because you see your friend hurting. Check up on her and let her know she isn’t alone. That’s all you can do.

And trust me when I say, anything else that you might think is helpful but comes off asinine will be met with rudeness and anger. Do you want your friend to curse at you for being a jerk? No, you don’t! Keep in mind this little bit of information… Everyone dies eventually and there will come a time when death will strike in your home. Don’t be left alone without comfort from your friends because you thought they were taking too long to heal over their loss. You will find out soon enough that healing on the inside always takes longer than healing on the outside.

As for this day, well… it had its ups and downs. (Look for my favorite moment from today on Friday.) I cried a lot here and there. Wiped my tears, loved on my children, drank some wine, listened to The Beatles and John Lennon, burned meditation candles, stared at Buddha while the candles flickered, laughed a bit, cried some more, loved on all my friends who came to my side, and well… I got through the first year deathaversary of my sister, Jessica Rae.

And to my mom, grandma, grandpa, and brother…I love you more than there are stars in the heavens. Even if I don’t believe in a heaven per se… I believe that Jess is among the stars waiting for us. Right now all we can do is be the best people we can be while we are here. Forgive those who’ve wronged us… that hate is only hurting us, we don’t need more hurt. Love those who are still here… they need our love and we need theirs. “Love is the answer.”

May you all be safe, sound, and find the strength to be where I am at!

Click to order tee-shirt

A Merry Kenia Christmas

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Sunday I went to Cardinal Glennon Hospital to visit my niece, Kenia. She is my husband’s cousin’s daughter, which doesn’t make her my niece in American culture but, her mother has the same last name as my husband. (Their parents are siblings on both sides.) That makes them more like siblings than cousins. I realize it’s a bit confusing; she is nonetheless to me, my niece.

I have known Kenia since she was a tiny baby. I first met her and her family when they were living in Las Vegas for a short time in 1997. Kenia has Crouzon’s Snydrome. Her skull fused together prematurely causing abnormal development of the eye sockets and mid-face.

I didn’t become reacquainted with Kenia and her family until I moved to Chicago in 2001. Kenia and her older brother played with my kids like all little cousins do. They all got along really well. My children, like me, see a person’s inner self. Unconditional love truly is blind.

Kenia attends the school for the blind, because of the Crouzon’s Syndrome, her eyesight is very bad. Over the years, Kenia has had major surgery several times to make space for her growing brain. She recently had another surgery in August of this year. Friday, Kenia was admitted to the hospital because of an infection that she contracted while at school.

It is difficult to fight illness this time of year and even more so when you have a brace attached to your head and face and are around other children who may or may not be carrying a simple cold virus.

Kenia’s mother hasn’t worked since the surgery in August. She took a significant reduction in income so that she could be with her daughter. What parent wouldn’t do the same thing?

December 23, one day before their family celebrates Noche Buena, (Christmas Eve) Kenia will be undergoing surgery again, to remove the last bit of equipment from her August operation. This is when the doctors will find out whether the surgery went well and if her skull will hold its new shape. If the surgery didn’t go well, her skull will collapse, crushing her brain and killing her. Kenia will be 15 years old next January. She is scheduled for another surgery next year.

Many times this month, you have seen me say how important it is to give to those less fortunate. In fact, if you’ve been a reader since the beginning, you know I speak about it often. We live in a society where it’s all about, “ME”. People going into debt at Christmas to spoil already spoiled children. Children asking for more and more every year, even when they have too much already. People buying cars that are beyond their means and paychecks. Where does it end? There is nothing wrong in wanting to have nice things; after all you work hard for them, right?

But, what about those who are in need? What about the family who spends their holiday in a hospital room praying for a full recovery? What about the child who hopes to be with her family for Christmas? A child who has asked Santa for her health.

No, Kenia doesn’t believe in Santa but, Kenia and her family wants those things just the same. My husband, children, and I are doing what we can to make sure Kenia has a great Christmas this year. Despite the financial difficulties we also have faced these last three years. If we have to forgo our own Christmas celebrations and sit in a hospital room to make her Christmas special, we will. Because it is the season to give and it won’t feel like Christmas without her.

Many people will throw in a couple of dollars or a handful of coins into a kettle for a stranger to have a Merry Christmas, how about doing the same for my niece? If you’d like to contribute to Kenia’s Merry Christmas you can contact me directly or use the donation button on my blog’s sidebar. All donations ‘For Jens Sake’ receives in December will go directly to Kenia’s Christmas gifts. Thank you all for being loyal readers and may you all spread the joy and magic of Christmas to everyone.

Kenia with her older brother, younger sister, mother in Sept. 2011

This is a rare photo of Kenia since her surgery, she didn’t want to be photographed while wearing the brace.

Nostalgic Moments

It was a sunset like any other; reds, yellows and pinks splattered across the horizon.

But, as soon as the moon came into view, you knew this was not going to be just another ordinary night. It was full and round, like a woman’s belly in her last week of pregnancy after leaving a buffet.

Mortals fear full moons, they fear the creatures that hunt during that time of the month… the werewolves. Mortals don’t understand, they are unaware of the unbridled passion that dwells inside the heart of a werewolf. They have never seen the kind of passion that can only be shown to one lucky victim once in a lifetime. They had never been bitten!

It was September 16, 1994; I had just gotten off of work. My stomach rumbled as I got in my mother’s car, I was starving. It was already dark outside and the full moon hung high in the desert sky above Las Vegas. I didn’t fear the full moon. My Zodiac sign is Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. That alone had always led me to gaze continuously upon its luminous beauty night after night, until I would finally doze off to sleep just before sunrise.

I was lost in thought, gazing at the fullness of the moon, when mom pulled into a drive-thru of some burger joint. “Jen, what do you want?” she asked. Breaking my intense gaze from the moon I turned to her and said, “A burger and fries is fine.” Before I could return to my pensive moon studying she handed me a sack and a drink and we were on our way home.

The enticing scent of the food I was holding, sent my stomach into a tizzy. But, my willpower was strong and we made it to the apartment complex before I sat down on the stairs and tore into the sack like a ravenous beast. “Are you coming inside?” she inquired. “Not yet.” I replied my mouth full, as she climbed the stairs and disappeared inside.

I was just about done eating when I noticed the shadow of a man walking towards me in the dark. He was carrying a bag; I wondered what was in it, as it was quite noticeably a big bag with what appeared to be few items in it. Before I could ask, the man passed by me and walked to the garbage containers in the parking lot and threw it in.

I returned to my late night dinner unaware that the man had stopped just a few feet in front of me. “Do you…” I raised my head listening intently to what the man was about to ask. “Do you have a light?” he asked meekly. Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my lighter and handed it to him. He introduced himself as Luis and I replied, “Nice to meet you, Luis. I’m Jenni.”

He stood there for what felt like ages telling me about himself; I listened carefully but, his English was broken. Then he said something that got my undivided attention… “I turn into werewolf.” He said smiling, pointing at the full moon. Laughing I said, “How interesting!” The conversation lulled. “Well it’s late; I need to go inside now. It was nice talking to you.” I said as I stood up and shook his hand. He smiled and I watched him disappear into a dark apartment a few feet away. I smiled as I walked up the stairs and entered my apartment. I laid there in bed for hours, staring at the full moon and remembering all the man had said. “What an enchanting thing to say…werewolf.” I thought.

As it turns out I wasn’t the only ravenous beast prowling about that night… two days later; I became the man’s girlfriend, eventually his wife, and then the mother of his children. Every month for the last 17 years, when the full moon is upon us; I smile, heartbeat erratic, my eyes fixated on the moon, and my ears listen attentively for the eager hungry howl of my werewolf.

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This is my Nostalgic Moment that I have shared on Art of Sharing blog. The blog is doing a Nostalgic Moments Blogfest from Sept.7- Sept. 24. Write your moment and share it on the site.

My Twin Nephews Turn 1 Today

One year ago today, I became an aunt for the 4th time when my sister Jessica gave birth to twin boys, Harley and Marley.

Of course I am an aunt to all my husband’s nieces and nephews as well but, this special post goes out for the birthday boys.

I haven’t gotten a chance to hold my nephews let alone spoil them rotten or even throw them a huge party. As sad as I am about that, I am much sadder that their mom isn’t there to do those things neither.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 months already since Jess passed. It still feels so surreal to me. She would go M.I.A. for months at a time and if I don’t think about it too much it’s as if she is still here. But, when I see a movie or hear a song, I get slapped back into reality. She’s gone and isn’t coming back ever! That fucking sucks!!!

Jess left behind 4 beautiful children and it hurts my soul so much that I haven’t had a chance to spend the time that an aunt should get with her nieces and nephews. On top of that I don’t even have pictures. Well, luckily my mom has a chance to spend time with the boys and I can get pictures from her but, it’s just not the same as being there or taking the pictures yourself. I will take what I can get though because that’s what a loving aunt does… happily accepts what is offered her with a saddened heart but, keeps her tears hidden from the world and still says thank you.

But, today I won’t complain and I won’t cry because I can’t see my nephews on their first birthday. Instead, I will sob silently for my sister while the Happy Birthday song will loudly flow from my still grieving soul. I will sing so loud that the heavens will have no choice but, to open up and send angels down to sing along with me! 

Happy Birthday Harley and Marley… Your aunt Jenni loves you very much! And because your mom loved how crazy I could be and was so ecstatic every time I listened to New Kids On The Block… I must post a birthday video for you both so that you can know a small portion of your mom and my childhood memories.

YouTube Tuesday

Today is YouTube Tuesday, adopted from Josh at Its Tiger Time, this is a day set aside for sharing your favorite video.
Feel free to join in each week and see how creative we bloggers can be.
Each month, Josh will highlight a selected video and present the winner with the ‘YouTube Tuesday’ Award.
If you participate, remember to leave your YouTube Tuesday link at Its Tiger Time as well as all the blogs you visit.

You Must Love Me- Madonna
The musical-Evita

Where do we go from here?
This isn’t where we intended to be
we had it all, you believed in me; I believed in you.
Certainties disappear
what do we do for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive as we used to do?

Deep in my heart, I’m concealing
things that I’m longing to say
scared to confess what I’m feeling…
frightened you’ll slip away
you must love me
you must love me

Why are you at my side?
How can I be any use to you now?
Give me a chance, and I’ll let you see how
nothing has changed!!

Deep in my heart, I’m concealing
things that I’m longing to say
scared to confess what I’m feeling…
frightened you’ll slip away
you must love me
you must love me

you must love…me

I Have Lived Life

I have shed blood, sweat,immeasurable tears
Stared bluntly in the face of my greatest fears

I have had good thoughts and some insane
Some brought me great pleasure some brought me great pain

I have been free and trapped in a cage
Been bursting with love and insufferable rage

I have known death and I have known birth
Seen Heaven and Hell in my life on this Earth

I have been lost and also been found
Been lifted up high and kicked down to the ground

I have turned hate to love and love into hate
Done magnificent things, a few not-so great

I have several friends, enemies too
Some of them old and some of them new

I have spoken with ink, lips and heart
Written and read inspirational art

I have lived life as well as I could
Some parts might have been bad but, most parts were good

I will rise up each time that I fall
For life is worth living so I give it my all

Birthday Reflection

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When I sat down and wrote the poem ‘Nobody’s Birthday’ all I could think was how my birthday has sucked since 1997 when my husband decided it would be a “great” idea for us to wed that day.

 

In an emotional fit of jealousy and anger he had finally realized that calling me his wife for 3 years before we were actually married was not the brightest idea… only because I was getting more and more aggravated with it. I figured if I was to be strapped with the title of wife I should at least have the document proving it.

Albert Wenzell- The Marriage Proposal

You see when my husband and I were merely boyfriend and girlfriend he fell in love and proposed, I obviously wasn’t against it because I said yes and of course I loved him too.

 

The date he chose for us to get married was February 14th, 1996, a year and 5 months after we had begun dating. In February of 1995, we found out we were expecting and I guess that might have been the moment when things started falling apart…it was in my screwed up head anyway.

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You see I had this idea of how a relationship and love should be; funny because I didn’t exactly grow up around any stable loving relationships in my life, so where I got that idea from I will never know… maybe it was The Brady Bunch or The Cosby Show.

For years I have held it against him that we never got married on the day we were suppose to and as the world will tell you… Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned and I was scorned. It always made me madmade me furious that he chose not to marry me on that date simply because of a few words my callous father had said about him… “He’s only marrying you to get his papers.” Which was a fabrication that he had created in his own mind, for my husband already had papers 7 years before even knowing me. So not only was that comment a lie and unnecessary it was clearly meant to hurt me and my relationship.

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But, every month that passed that I was not married I was told the most horrendous things by people who claimed to love me because I was an unwed mother.

 

You just have to love family whose ideas and warped sense of love taints perfectly loving relationships. I loved him and he loved me, we were faithful and raising our daughter together as a married couple…what more could a piece of paper give us?!

Those depraved mental games eventually infected my brain, as I began to wonder why we were still not married 3 years after our relationship began. So in a last dire attempt to rescue what was left of our relationship he married me, on my birthday. He was drunk out of his mind and couldn’t repeat the vows; I was angry in every one of our wedding pictures and was trying to hold back impending tears. It was the beginning of me dreading my birthday.

Year after year passed and more than not I would end the day upset and in tears because it seemed like nobody cared that it was my “special” day. No gifts, no cards, occasionally a cake and a happy birthday. The kids would do their best to make up for my sadness by showering me with several homemade cards and as much as I loved them it just never felt like enough. Call me selfish but, I wanted to be appreciated and pampered just for that one day.

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There came a point when not only was it my birthday that went uncelebrated but, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas too. Now instead of hating just my birthday I began hating the entire year; day after day, month after month, year after year. My husband would always say, “It’s just another day.” God, how I hated hearing that!!!

Then this year as my birthday approached; I became melancholy just like I do every year, knowing it wouldn’t be any different. We were still struggling with extra money and as usual I would get the short end of the stick; that’s where my poem came in to play.

Instead something happened…something magical and unexpected. It occurred to me that this year was different from all the other years because I WAS DIFFERENT. I had accomplished many things this year that I didn’t even know I wanted to carry out until they happened. Clearly my mind was holding a secret that my heart hadn’t uncovered until a few days before my birthday. Nobody’s Birthdayis a sad, depressing poem but, it unlocked my ability to see what truly mattered this year…my life; every single day of it not just the one day that comes and goes.

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I am a mom, a writer and a friend and every day of my life I show exceptional love, kindness and understanding towards my friends, family and fellow writers. Some may not have seen that and that’s ok because frankly they hadn’t seen anything I have said or accomplished in quite some time now. I have made leaps and bounds in my personal life as well as my professional life in 5 short months; my hard work was finally paying off and that my dear readers is something I never expected to see this year.

Needless to say, I had a great birthday because instead of expecting others to celebrate me… I celebrated me, something I have never done in my entire 36 years of life. I am proud of myself.

Isn’t it wonderful when you finally appreciate yourself for who you are and what you’ve accomplished? Did you find out something about yourself this year? Are you proud of who you’ve become?

And The Award For Most Awards In A Week Goes To…

Do you ever feel like your life resembles an awards show? Every time I write something I feel like I am waiting to be nominated for an Emmy or Grammy or something to that effect. It’s not like I need the awards to make me feel special but, I do feel special when I receive one. Last week was no exception when I received 3 awards from fellow bloggers/ friends.

I step up to claim my honor with speech in hand, look out to the crowd and realize that what I thought was my speech was nothing more than a receipt from the bar I was at last night getting wasted in celebration. “Umm…” I start out, “It looks as if I misplaced my speech, and so I guess I have to do this the old-fashioned way.” The crowd laughs.

“First off I would like to thank all the people who believed in me when I didn’t. I’d also like to thank the people who nominated me for these wonderful awards… (You can find these and more on my accomplishments page.)

 

Roy’s Garage Sell and Auction Well

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

Sulekha’s Memoirs

 

Ravenmyth

You have all blessed me with such honor and I appreciate this in more ways than you know.”

“I would like to say a few things about myself before I toss the awards to the new nominees-in-waiting.”

1-I have premonitions. I can remember as early as 4 years old having them. They come to me while I am dreaming. I don’t normally remember my dreams but, these always stick. I have seen many things while growing up and this although I am thankful for having such abilities I am also sad that I can’t do anything about what I see. My last premonition was about my sister being sick, a few months later she was indeed sick and passed away.

2-I have seen ghosts/spirits since I was very young. My first memory was in my grandmother’s house where two brothers had died when they were about 18 years old. I woke up in the middle of the night to see them standing at the end of my bed, one said to the other “She’s awake.” I freaked out; I saw and heard them clear as day. I banged on the wall behind me where my grandma’s room was, never taking my eyes off them. My grandma turned on the light and they were gone. She told me to say “God is my light” when I saw things that scared me, to this day if I have a nightmare I think those words to help me move on to something happier.

3-There is always at least one light on in my house at all times. My daughter sees spirits as well and quite a few have frightened her to the point she would scream bloody murder several times at night. I finally had to leave lights on so she couldn’t see them all the time. Mostly their appearances scared her because she saw what they looked like when they died. It was hard for her because she didn’t watch horror movies, imagine how you felt the first time you saw a half-burned body in a movie; now imagine if that body was right in front of you and you were only a small child. Freakin’ scary isn’t it??

4-I have lots of scars on my body; from accidents, surgeries, former cutting, attempted suicides, and internalizing anger. I have learned to cool down before cleaning or doing dishes because somehow I always manage to cut myself with a knife I didn’t notice or breaking a glass or plate. I have broken many collectables and none of them were intentional.

5-I don’t like fighting but, I can and will fight when provoked. I am very peaceful and will try to talk it out first but, when I feel like I must stand up I do it without a second thought. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like nobody helped them in their time of need.

6-I believe we all come into one another’s lives for a reason. We are all connected and should be learning from one another no matter if it’s a good lesson or a bad lesson. A person who spreads hate and drama in your life is teaching you how to handle that negativity and how to not be that way to someone else. You can learn very important lessons from everyone; just sit back and observe them and you will see the lesson.

7-I was born in Flint, Michigan and from there I have lived in many other places. In Michigan I lived in Flint, Mt. Morris, Fairview and Rose City. I lived in Las Vegas, NV for 7 years on and off… twice for 4 months a piece I lived in Mexico City, Mexico. In Illinois I have lived in Chicago twice for about a year and Stockton for a year and a half. Then we moved to Missouri, St. Charles for about 7 years and St. Louis for 3 years. Of all the places I have lived I consider Las Vegas to be my home. It is true what they say about home is where the heart is, my heart is with my grandparents, mom, brother, my departed sister and the place I met my husband and where my kids were born. I suppose if my family ever moved out of Vegas it might no longer feel like home.

I hope you have enjoyed my 7 about me’s and now I must nominate 21 blogs. Whew this could take me a few minutes.

1- Mari’s Photography Tips

I love her images and she is also very helpful to anyone who aspires to take good pictures. Mari is very enthusiastic about her blog but, also about other’s blogs. It always makes me feel better when I know Mari has commented on my blog.

2- Sulekha’s Memoirs

I have to renominate her. Sulekha is not only a good writer she is a romantic so when you read her posts you can feel the love, joy, sadness and pain that comes from the struggle of the mind not grasping what the heart knows.  Her posts will make you feel not just think.

3- Stuart’s Bornstoryteller

Whether he is writing fictional stories or posts about the education system you have to give Stuart credit for being a great writer. His educational pieces make you think and his stories make you feel like you are watching it happen not just reading it. Don’t be surprised if one of his stories ends up as a movie.

4- Debra’s Pure and Simple

I am new to reading her blog but, what I have read so far has amazed. Debra is a fellow unschooler and one of the first I have gotten to know since I became one. What I would have given to have read her post on unschooling when I started out; better late than never though. She talks about various things on her blog so there is something for everyone.

5- Adriene’s Sweepy Jean Explores The (Webby) World

I have to nominate the woman who opened up a whole other world to me. I was just using my blog to write and didn’t associate with any bloggers at all. Meeting Adriene was a blessing and her posts are thought provoking and her poems flow with wisdom.

6- Wil’s Bloggasaurus

I started reading his blog after he found mine and commented. He was one of my first meaningful comments and I appreciate that very much. I enjoy reading his posts, he talks about various topics and welcomes lengthy feedback, which if you all know me you know I am wordy. Wil also put me as a guest post from a single comment I left on one of his posts. How many times can you say that your comment has provoked a post of it’s own? Check out his blog, it’s a very good read.

7- Tameka’s Lyric Fire

With a name like Lyric Fire you know that her poems will leave a burn on your soul. I have had the pleasure in working with Tameka on one of my blog’s. She opens your mind to experience new things, whether it is soulful poetry, sensual poetry or just a question that deserves a heartfelt answer. Slather on the SPF because you will feel the “burn” when you read her posts.

8- Rimly’s Journey

Every single time I read a poem by her my soul breaks into a million pieces and cries. Rimly’s journey feels like my journey and I long for it to take a new path down a less painful road. When you read her posts you have to ask yourself, how did her heart write all of that and allow her to still remain loving and caring to all she encounters? I don’t know the answer so I keep on reading until I can figure it out.

9- Bonnie’s Bongo Is Me

Anyone who has been through so much in life and still gets up and faces the day I respect whole-heartedly but, to get up and tell the world how much you struggle is miraculous. Reading Bonnie’s posts is very hard for me too many things ring true from my life but, after I have left her blog and the tears and heartache finally subside I realize that things in this life could be way worse.  That if this amazing woman can get up and live with all she encountered than so can I.  Don’t be afraid to feel the pain she portrays in her writing, be afraid if you don’t feel anything.

10- Melissa’s Depth

I am new to reading her blog as well. Melissa is very kind, loving and supports other’s writing with as much heart and soul as she puts into her own. If she doesn’t understand something she asks about it, she is upbeat and looks for the joy in everything.

11- Ravenmyth

Although she nominated me I planned on nominating her beforehand. I guess great minds think alike. 😀 I have just started reading her blog in the last week and I know I have many of her posts to catch up on. Before I can even speak about her writing let me tell you how in one instant I feel as if I found my long-lost family in Raven. I don’t think two writer’s have ever had such an instant connection. One look on her blog and you can see that her talent is deeply rooted to her core. Before you can even read a word you can see that she speaks from a lifetime of experience and is connected to all forms of life. A pure soul writing purely is always a rare find, go check it out.

12- Jeremy’s Skipper

I stumbled upon his blog and have been laughing out loud ever since. His blog is a comic strip and even though I stopped reading comics some time ago I am so glad to have found this one. Jeremy has talent and Skipper should be a Sunday newspaper comic.

The next 3 blogs go hand in hand since it was through each other that I found all of them.

13- Kiesha’s We Blog Better

I found this blog because of a guest post that I truly enjoyed.(See #14)  I have a lot of reading to do on this blog but, I love that they do a lot of guest posts to show off talented writer’s all in one place. I am lucky if I remember where my blog is so this really helps me find great reads without having tons of tabs open.

14- Hajra Kvetches

I found her through her guest post on We Blog Better(see #13)  and I loved it. I haven’t got a chance to read more by her yet but, I am sure they will be brilliant, some people you can just tell after reading one post. Then I went to her blog to read more where I found a guest post that leads me to #15.

15-  Melanie’s Solo Mompreneur

I loved her guest post on Hajra’s blog that I immediately flew over to her blog and read a wonderful post on wearing blog-colored glasses. I think all bloggers and writers feel that way. At least I know I do… oh you don’t know what I am talking about, well click the link and find out.

16-  Pandora’s Peace From Pieces

Another new blog for me to read. I read her Writing To Me Post and fell in love with her poem The House.  Click on the link and follow her if you aren’t and we can enjoy reading her posts together.

17- The Widow Lady

Another brand new blog… to me anyway. I just started reading her blog on early Saturday morning and was mesmerized by what I read. She is definitely worth a follow.

18- Jim’s Holes In My Soles

He brings the wilderness into your home and leaves it there. If you listen carefully you can here the sounds of the wild calling out to you, can you hear it?? It’s saying “Come take a look we won’t hurt you.”

19- JP Brandano: Florida’s Phoographers

Despite the recent name change this blog is a gem. Jim’s images are stunning and need no words but, he explains to you in detail what led up to the moment the image was shot and in a hilarious way at that. He also gives educates the reader on his nature posts which comes in handy for us “cityfolk” who have never seen a Floridian bird.

20- Sancheeta’s Sensitivity

Doesn’t the title of the blog alone make you wonder? Delightful posts to ignite the passions inside all of your sense. A must read for romantics everywhere.

21- Mohinee’s Gurukripa- Indian Culture ‘N’ Philosophy

Romanticism and poetry go hand in hand in her blog. Even though Mohinee’s blog is about India I find her insightful words to be very touching.

 

“So that ends our awards show, I hope you all enjoyed it and tune in next time. ”

Make sure you all grab your award and pass it on to 7 people and post 7 things about yourself.

Thank you to all the people who take time to read and comment my blog you are all appreciated. I realize many of you have these awards so feel free to take the one you want. I am still very new to the blogging community and obviously very  far behind on some really great blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Riches to Rags: A Love Story

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Once upon a time in the far off land known as Las Vegas; lived a Prince, Luis and his future wife Princess Jenni.

Princess Jenni was 19 years old and Prince Luis was 26.

They were madly in love but, their families were from different backgrounds making for a forbidden love. But, just as Romeo loved his fair Juliet; Luis refused to be without his Jenni.

Google Image Excalibur Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV

They lived in different castles in the vast kingdom of neon lights, showgirls and Elvis impersonators. But, they were so in love and would sneak off to spend many a night together in a secret inn (apartment) where they could dream of their future together.

The Prince and Princess would drink beer and Tequila, laugh and forget all about their duties as future King and Queen. But, responsibility was lurking and their way of life was soon to be altered for better or worse.

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Then one day, their parents uncovered their secret and banished both of them from the kingdom. Prince Luis and Princess Jenni were no longer royalty; they were now lowly commoners forced to provide for themselves.

This was new to them but, their love would see them through any hardships they were to face. Luis began working in construction to build huts for the peons and Jenni stayed at home and cleaned their hovel. She was inexperienced at this job but, she tried her hardest to build a happy home for them.

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The peon formerly known as Prince Luis, needed clean clothes to wear to work; so Jenni got their clothes together, grabbed a box of soap and a pocketful of pence and down she went into the hovel’s broom closet. There she found two pieces of machinery; “Hark!” she exclaimed “What in great Merlin’s name are these?”

Jenni stared at the peculiar looking machines but, figured she’d give it a try; so she opened the lid to one of them. One good thing about growing up royalty is that Jenni could read and the machine had words written all over it; making it somewhat simpler to know what to do.

Placing the clothes in the machine labeled ‘Washing Machine’ and throwing a scoop of soap in she then turned the dials; one to hot and one to heavy-duty wash. Since there were only the two of them Jenni tossed both of their clothes in the machine together; something she would undoubtedly regret later on.

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When at long last the machine stopped, Jenni pulled the clothes out of the washing machine and placed them in the other. This machine looked similar yet different from the first, the door was not at the top but, Jenni was so excited that she had operated the first machine she knew she could use the second one. Jenni turned the dials once again, one to high heavy and one to timed drying which she set at 60.

Finally the machine was done and when Jenni took the clothes out she was taken aback; Luis’s white jeans had blue and green marks all over them. “Oh no!” she exclaimed. Looking through the clothes she found that her green shorts and her blue shorts had somehow transferred on to the white pants.

Luis came home to find Jenni weeping. She explained to him what had happened, Luis was very understanding. He knew that Jenni didn’t know how to do laundry. Needless to say, this first experience at doing laundry was not a good one but; Jenni did end up with a new pair of pants.

Luis gave Jenni a hug, kissed her forehead and inquired,” What’s for dinner?”

Looking around Jenni replied, “All we have is tortillas and ice.”

“ICE TACOS” Jenni declared and then busted out laughing, Luis began laughing with her.

Now every time there is no food to be found in their house and someone asks what’s for dinner, the answer is always Ice Tacos.

It will take a while before Jenni learns how to do laundry correctly and how to cook but, one day she will make a damn fine hovelmaker.

And they lived commonly ever after.  The End

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Jessica’s Sonnet

At long last… I finished my Sonnet homework last week and can now share it with you all. Hope you enjoy it, it took me 3 hours but, I am content with the outcome.

 

I must not grieve thee nor shed a lone tear
I must proceed as if I do not care
For weeping makes losing you worse my dear
Agonizing memories I cannot bear
Every dewy teardrop that escapes me
Burns my flesh like the fiery depths of hell
I must not succumb to sorrow of thee
For I shall be reminded of our farewell
But, weeping cleanses the grief-stricken soul
Easing each previous moment of pain
Allowing the broken to become whole
Sanctioning lovely memories again
Dire sorrow causes me not to cry
But, sans tears for your loss I’d surely die

Evelyn De Morgan- Angel of Death

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Freedom For Father’s Day

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Father’s Day brings mixed emotions for me. One, for my kids who rarely see their dad because he is a workaholic; I guess if he is going to be an aholic I prefer it be work over alcohol. It would be nice if their dad realized that there is more to being a dad then providing a roof over one’s head. I’m certain one day he will grasp that idea but, the kids will be grown by then.

The other is for my father who is still alive but, I don’t call him or send him a card anymore for various reasons.

One reason being, he has disowned  me too many times to remember. Secondly, I don’t receive cards or calls on my “special” days including my birthday and neither do my kids; his grandkids. And lastly, I am just tired of trying to keep a relationship alive when it’s apparent he doesn’t care. Therefore, I have taken up the position of “You don’t know me then I don’t know you.” After all these years of trying what more can I do…

Am I wrong for this? I don’t believe I am wrong, I did my best most of my life to be a part of his life and in my opinion the road goes both ways. Yet, here I am, the one putting in the effort all the time. It just isn’t worth it to me to keep trying when it’s obvious I am not wanted in his life. I did the “Christian” thing; I forgave, accepted apologies and gave apologies but, did I get unconditional love back? No, I did not get back a fraction of what I put into the supposed father/daughter relationship. What we have here people, is a failure to reciprocate.

I’ve moved on now, there is nothing left to do but, move on and as my husband says; “Just say I love you and leave it at that.” (He can be a wise man sometimes.) I have bent over backwards to be included in the lives of people who swear they love me and my kids but, don’t actually know us. My kids have grandparents and they are a mystery to them. There are no phone calls, cards, or letters… absolutely nothing except, the occasional; “You know we love your kids” statement that I have heard during a phone call. Yet, still no effort is made on their part to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. I have a hard time with this because I was taught that family is everything; how strange… because only certain family was ever included in our lives when I was growing up the rest were “disowned.” Well, looks like I too am a part of the “do as I want or be gone” side of the family. Thank God I believe that the most important family is my husband and kids or I might just be torn up about being exiled…

I can no longer accept such half-assed attempts from anyone, no matter who they are. It is one thing to be upset at me for whatever you believe I have done wrong but, to alienate children just because they are my blood is not only ridiculous it’s asinine and childish. One day my kids will be grown and in my opinion better off for not knowing people who didn’t take time out of their busy little fantasy isle lives to acknowledge them and love them.

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So my gift this Father’s Day is the gift of… freedom. I am freeing myself of annoyances, games and intolerable trivial nonsense and I am giving my father the freedom to never have to deal with me or mine ever again; which is clearly the greatest gift for any father who constantly disowns people like they were material possessions.

What I will not give though is my silence; I have spent too many years not saying what needed to be said and watched while those around me were verbally assaulted. I know for a fact that neither of my grandparents raised any of their children to be bullies or to deny their grandchildren just because they were mad at their children for something their child did as a child. In fact my grandmother not only accepted all her grandchildren she also accepted step-grandchildren and would take all of us during the summer to stay with her at her house. So I know very well her children were raised better than to “disown” anyone.

It’s time to grow up; the child is almost 36 years old now and if I am being judged as an adult for something I did as a child, well I guess you just aren’t as smart as you think you are. Everyone makes mistakes and when you say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” than that is where it ends. You don’t hold on to something that transpired 17 years ago. I am not the same person I was 17 years ago and it’s a shame that some people haven’t changed at all in that time. So I end this with; I love you and I wish you well but, I cannot keep being a part of such constant hatred and childishness anymore. God loves all of his children no matter what; I know those are big shoes to fill but, you might want to give it a try.

To all the dads out there… Happy Father’s Day, love your children unconditionally and treat them well so that one day they will remember the good things about you and pass them down to their children.

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Moonlit Magic

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As the sun did descend
into the abyss
the moon came to view
our first passionate kiss.

Our mouths start to tango
hearts beating as one
the warmth of our breath
flaming hot as the sun.

Your arms they engulfed me
strongly and secure
I looked in your eyes
mesmerizing and pure.

Enchantments soft whisper
echoed through the sand
freeing its potion
as we walked hand in hand

Your charms diluted me
I could not refuse
our bodies gave in
to the moonlight’s pale hues.

The trees swaying gently
a magical sight
applauding we lovers
making love through the night.

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The Break-up Letter

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Dear B.,

Thinking back to when we first began, I never would have imagined that I would want to leave you.
But, the last month has been HELL. You had given me so much then suddenly you ripped it all away from me.

I hated you for that!!!

It was fall of last year when we met; an exotic and stunning creature you were. You weren’t my first online relationship but, you were my most intense. I was only looking for fun; never would I have dreamed that love was possible online but, then came you. Continue reading

Loca

My heart has stopped beating
my happiness is fleeting.
I need you in my life right now
I hang my head I begin to bow.
You are not here but yet you are,
so close yet so far.
My tears run down my face all day
I can see you run I see you play.
Your scent is all around me
you are more then a memory.
Feels like someone has cut my heart out of my chest
I try and sleep my mind never at rest.
I watched you slowly die
my eyes stung I began to cry.
I held your body against my chest
I wondered if I gave my best.
I thought that it was time to let you go in peace
only God could make your suffering cease.
I held your head to me so close
while the needle injected its lethal dose.
In that moment I felt you leave
my body consumed by unbearable grief.
Your body lie there your soul has flown
the room is full yet I am all alone.
Life goes on or so they say
but most of me is with you and gone away.
Life is not about what you do
it is about those you love and whom love you.
I know this pain I feel today
will never end just slowly fade.
My body shakes my tears they flow
I know you are with me everywhere that I go.
I’m sorry my friend for it ending like this
but know it is you that I will forever miss.