Making The Good Life

It's not what you have, but how you live.

Archive for the tag “Love”

Life Changes Some More

tunnelThe more things change, well, the more they change. Life just refuses to stand still, which I suppose is a good thing. SEVEN months ago or so, I wrote about my younger son’s imminent graduation from high school and an obsession with sugar in my diet.

Well, he graduated, was accepted to the school of his choice a couple of hours from home and moved into the dorm in August. He has had a successful and happy first semester at school. It was an adjustment, given that my older son moved into his own apartment in July for his senior year at his school. Neither one was home a lot aside from the holidays, as they have very busy schedules. Alan is at an art school studying theatrical set design and production. They spend a lot of class time in “crew”, which is building sets. They also spend a lot of evening and weekend time in crew, and loading in at the theatre, and working performances. Joey has his classes, the Glee Club (he’s an officer) and a couple of other clubs that he participates in and helps to run. He also has a part-time job during school for the first time. They are growing up and doing the things that they should do, and handling it well. I’m so very proud of them, and I miss them like mad sometimes!

I also mentioned some time back that I’m seeing a wonderful man who I love very much. Said wonderful man moved in with me over the holidays and we recently welcomed two of his daughters for their first weekend at Paula’s. The girls seem excited and I hope all will go well. We’re in the throes of making “my house” into “our house” and not making anyone feel crowded out in the process. This is uncharted territory for me, as it’s been nearly 12 years since I’ve lived with anyone besides my children.

I’ve had to sort through an attic space (which has been planned for some time) and a closet, as well as the many miscellaneous spaces that people share in a bedroom and house. I found six boxes of baby and toddler things in the attic that I am now washing, sorting and preparing for doshoesnation. They’re in surprisingly good condition considering their age! So at the same time that I’m moving forward in a wonderful way, I’m also immersed in the past. It’s an odd juxtaposition. Nearly grown boys moving on to a degree, and I’m folding the sleepers I used to dress them after their baths, the little overalls they wore and the tiny shoes I buckled onto their feet. It’s making my head spin.

As cliché as it is for this time of year, I need to clean up my diet, get back on the exercise train, and renew the focus on some personal goals that I’ve lost sight of a bit. I lost my mother suddenly in the spring of 2014, and while we were not as close as my dad and I were, it was still upsetting. She was healthy enough to go to the gym and mow the grass the day she died. It makes me want to do everything now, as none of us knows how much later there will be.

Catching Up

With everything that was happening with my dad this spring, I missed noting my son Alan’s birthday. It was a big one – he turned 16 on May 6.

I had always intended on having two, or maybe even three children. When my first child was born I was instantly in love, but I went through some difficult times – probably some undiagnosed postpartum depression, certainly a lot of angst over whether or not I would measure up as a mom. Naturally when considering a second child I had concerns too. Would I feel as intensely about him as I did his brother? Would I be able to give as much love and attention to two without making either one feel shortchanged?

What a treat he turned out to be! My second baby boy, cute as a button and just as firmly attached to my heart as his brother. He snuck up on me. I didn’t even have labor pains that day, just a quiet feeling that something was happening, and it most certainly was! I was a bit wiser and much more experienced, but the wave of love for my little boy still hit me every bit as hard.

Alan is in high school – intelligent, talented, strong-willed, and knows what he wants. He’s quiet when it comes to expressing his innermost thoughts and feelings, but willing to goof and be silly. This year, with his brother in college, our relationship has changed as well. We’re closer I think, we talk more, and he seems to have taken more firm control in his life. His future is bright with possibilities, and I’m excited to see what happens!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALAN!

Missing

Well, I’ve been missing from this blog for quite some time now. Not exactly what I had planned, but what it is, anyway. It seems that balance is one of the hardest things to find and yet one of the most important aspects of having what I consider a “good life”.

When I started writing this entry, I wrote about things to come – my son’s high school musical, my dad’s illness, the time I spend with both of them. Before I could finish writing and post my entry, dad was admitted to the hospital. Ten days later, he passed away. I wrote:

My dad is ill, and has been for some time, but things are looking pretty bad right now. I spend as much time with him as I can but always feel that it’s not enough. Is there ever enough time at the end of someone’s life? Because that’s what this is, barring some new drug or other. Even that would be a temporary reprieve, not a cure.

We didn’t get a new drug, or a reprieve of any kind. We got ten days to say goodbye. There is never enough time. I was close to my dad. He was a wise man with varied interests and a lot of love for his family. He could always zero right in on the heart of any topic that we talked about. He was a talented photographer, loved the stars, flower gardening, good food, time spent together and babies. I will miss him more than I can say.

I’m trying to find my equilibrium; to function normally again. On Monday my sister called to tell me that my dad’s sister passed away. She was a wonderful woman and I loved her dearly. She will be missed as much as I miss my dad. Although she lived in a different state, she still managed to be a significant presence in my life. She and her family visited the family farm, where we lived along with my grandparents, as often as they could. I spent time with them at their home as well. She was a calming presence, a kind and intelligent woman and was incredibly beloved by her husband of over 50 60 years. Their love for each other was inspiring.

There are days lately when I don’t want to get out of bed, because I know I won’t stop moving until I fall back into it, later than I should. Those hours will be laced with memories of two special people, sorrow at their passing and a feeling that the world is just a bit less special than it used to be.

Not

Today is NOT Valentine’s Day. Not anymore – not, in fact, for the past 19 years. At the same time, it’s more the essence of Valentine’s Day for me than for many other people. It’s not about cards and flowers and candle light, although I’ve had those things each year (along with a heart-shaped cake). It absolutely IS all about love – the most amazing, consuming and lasting love that you could ever hope to experience in your life.

Nineteen years ago today my oldest child was born. Woke me up at 4:15 am and let me know that he was on his way. The moment his fuzzy little head pushed its way out into the world, my life changed in so many ways. I fell in love with that little boy so hard and so fast I hardly knew what hit me.

It’s been a great ride so far. He’s a college freshman now, and our relationship is changing. It’s a good one, and I’m really pleased with that. But it is changing, in the way that all successful parent-child relationships eventually need to change and grow so that they can become adult friendships. He’s responsible, kind, intelligent and knows what he wants in life. (He also still trashes his room and forgets to call when he’s supposed to.) He still needs mom sometimes (like when he was sick last week), but mostly he needs me to be his supporter, cheerleader, and only occasionally his trail guide. I’m proud of him, and can’t wait to see what the next 19 years will bring!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOEY!

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