The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.
One might ask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.
Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.
My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.
I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo
Don’t Miss the Bus!!
For most of my early life, my mom was a stay-at-home mom. I remember how she and my aunts would spend their days together drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while all of us kids played. It was a pretty great set up. Everybody had everybody else’s back and kept them company so if the kids got out of hand there was a united front.
After my dad died in 1975, when my brother, sister and I were roughly 8, 10 and 12, my mom had to go to work and became a hair stylist. She also lived a fast life during these years – the beauty shops back then tended to be known to draw the party crowd, especially after hours. It was a fun time with fond memories for my mom, I’m sure. No judgment, I’m happy she enjoyed her life.
The only problem with mama’s late nights was that her elementary-age kids needed to get up for school five days a week. I’m not sure how we did it, but somehow the three of us got ourselves up, dressed, fed, and to the bus every morning while she slept in. She has always loved her sleep, the more the better.
Now there were those few occasions when we missed the bus. This was the ultimate sin in our house. We had to wake our mom up to get a ride to school, and she was not happy! “I’m sleeping! Can’t you get a ride from one of the neighbor kid’s parents,” she would say. It was a rare occasion and a memorable one for all of us, which is why it didn’t happen often.
Most days, I’m grateful that it worked out that way for me and my siblings. It gave the three of us a camaraderie that we wouldn’t otherwise have had. It taught us to work together, and quietly, so we didn’t wake our mom. It also taught us a senses of responsibility for ourselves which we may not have necessarily discovered otherwise.
It also taught me that even when I don’t feel like getting up at 5:45 a.m. to get my kids off to school, I do it anyways because I know how much it means to have somebody be there for me.
I have no doubt that my mom loved me and that she always did her best, and to this day she still loves to sleep in. Shhhhh, Mom’s sleeping.