Tag: Family

M is for Morning

a to z morning flowers
Amazing Comeback!

Every morning I stop to check on the flowers on my way into my Loved One’s house. Let me tell you, these guys have been through the wringer since they first popped their sprouts above ground a few weeks ago. The temperature has been all over the place in the past week and these flowers haven’t given up. I was sure they were a goner when they were buried under the heavy snow on Sunday but lo and behold, this morning they had actually multiplied and I’m predicting that by afternoon they will be standing at attention in full bloom.

Over the past four months, my life has taken yet another turn and I’ve found myself headed in a direction much different than I expected. It was only recently when someone commented on how I had lost touch of my life that I realized that I could no longer use the circumstances as an excuse. It is time for me to accept that this is what my life is. I’m part of the sandwich generation, actually a double decker or club sandwich- depending on which term you use. I’m caring for multiple generations, in addition to my own kids- who are technically grown up and not requiring as much attention. It’s not something that happened to me. It might not be the path I would have chosen but it looks like it chose me and this is where I am. In all cases I’m given this precious opportunity to spend time caring for and being with people in my life that might not have played such a prominent role in my life under different circumstances. I might have talked to my loved one and visited regularly but not known the relationship that ours has developed into as her health declines. And the little guys would have probably been my dear grandsons who I love dearly and baby sat and spent time with but didn’t know as much as I do these two since they spend half their time with us. All of these relationships are deeper and fuller than I thought they could be. And for that I’m grateful.

As for those flowers? Every morning I’ll pause to check their progress and admire their strength, beauty and perseverance and they will forever remind me of this heartbreaking yet special time with people I love.

A to Z Challenge

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

Peace and love,

-Kat 

 

 

 

 

 

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I is for In My Home

a to z fortune cookie

Fortune cookies (or fortunate cookies, as four year old Beej calls them) are a big deal in our home. I found it interesting to see what my fortune was- considering my life these days.

“Time is precious…”

After a nasty fall in 2017 and numerous hospital stays with declining health over the past few months, my loved one is not doing well. Never does time seem more precious than when you realize that someone you love isn’t going to be around much longer.

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

A to Z Challenge

Peace,

-Kat

Blogging from A to Z – A is for Anything

AtoZ2019tenthAnnAnd so it begins! You can imagine my surprise when Kris, my middle kid and fellow NaNo participant, mentioned that she was planning on doing Camp NaNoWriMo, which takes place in April (and July) last week. Oh shoot- that meant it was time for Blogging from A to Z! How did this happen? What happened to the month of March??? I proceeded to panic and start frantically searching for those A to Z lists I had been compiling throughout the year. (I found none of them.)

Despite the demands on my time these days, I am determined to participate. After looking for theme ideas, driving myself crazy, and admitting that I had to work within the constraints that are part of my days, I decided to give myself a break and I came up with my own photo challenge for the month, borrowed from multiple photo challenges that I found from a variety of sources. As much as I wanted to challenge myself, I realize that just getting through 26 days of blogging will be challenge enough. I did photos last year but those were mostly from archives. This year the only stipulation I’m putting on myself is that they are taken now, not years ago.

So, here’s my list and my first A-Z post.

a to z anything

“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you.” – Jenna Morasca

Peace and love,

-Kat

 

Here is my list for the month-

1-A

anything

2-B

Black & white

3-C

childhood

4-D

dream

5-E

Extreme close up

6-F

Favorite things

7 8-G

Ground level

9-H

homemade

10-I

In my home

11-J

joy

12-K

kindness

13-L

landscape

14 15-M

morning

16-N

nighttime

17-O

Out my window

18-P

pathway

19-Q

quiet

20-R

read

21 22-S

school

23-T

Technology

24-U

Upside down

25-V

vintage

26-W

weather

27-X

exit

28 29- Y

Your view

30-Z

zodiac

 

Saturday Drop In

If I could be doing anything right now….anything, what would it be? I do think about this in those quiet moments. I would love to sleep but for some reason my brain is not hard-wired to sleep. I’ve always been this way….. I’m not a sleeper. I need to write. Like, I really need to write- the words are swirling around in my head. And they are getting louder and louder. Unfortunately the voices and sounds outside my head are even louder still. Sitting in a beautiful garden reading a book would be pure heaven. I’m sure there are so many cool finds at the thrift stores that I could wander their aisles for hours. I have a kid (okay, he might be 23 years old but he’s still my baby) who I desperately want to visit at his new school. And my little guys aren’t so little anymore. CJ is creeping up on me in height and Beej is creeping up on me in vocabulary skills. I miss my hours, my day-to day- ness with them. I just want to sit at a table with my best friends and talk and talk and talk and then laugh about something completely silly and then talk some more.

I’m bone-weary. It takes every ounce of effort I can muster to make myself move each morning. But something funny happens when I step inside the doors of the facility where my loved one is regaining her strength. I am able to tap into a super secret supply of stored energy and I get through the day. Those other things- those things that I took for granted two months ago…. they just fade away.

And my loved one and I catch up on what’s been going on since I left (sometimes less than 12 hours ago). She tells me the night time happenings and I fill her in on my walk to her room, who I saw, what they were doing. We discuss the day ahead. And we dream about the near future when she’s back home where she belongs and desperately wants to be.

At meal time we arrive early to get prime seating in the dining room. It might be the highlight of our day- seeing what happens next. Since the facility is both assisted living and post-acute care, the residents are an interesting blend. And one of our favorite things to do has always been to people-watch.

When we aren’t hanging out in the dining room, we engage in another of our favorite past-times. I recently dug up past magazine anniversary issues of our favorite long time running television show. We pour over them, asking each other, “Do you remember…?” This activity keeps us entertained for hours. “How old was X-character then?” she might ask. I reach for my phone or iPad and look it up. One question might lead us on an endless number of further questions. And we laugh at how little we remember or just the opposite- how we can recall what a character was wearing when they said something memorable.

Some days others come and visit and/or help out, and I squeeze in other responsibilities. Free time is a distant memory. But those times when we are at lunch or dinner, angling for the best view overlooking the entire dining room, enjoying the antics of our fellow diners or when we are huddled up in my loved one’s room desperately trying to remember when a character who is now in their possible mid 30’s was actually born and shaking our heads at how much times has flown, I don’t need anything more to affirm that I’m right where I should be.

IMG_7472

SoCS- Affirm

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Effort

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Anything

Have a great weekend!

-Kat

 

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Two weeks ago I could tell you what was happening every day from that point on until today. I might have had to pause to remember which family members would be working or in this state or traveling, but I had it all figured out. Other than feeling a little tired in anticipation of the jam-packed two weeks, I was ready. 

I’m not sure when things began to unravel, but unravel they did. The days got away from me and I felt like I was always behind, trying to keep up. I held on to some strands longer than others. I was able to keep up with my writing until last Wednesday when I slipped down the side of the mountain and now that I’m nearly at the bottom and the Friday deadline is looming, I’m not quite sure how this will play out. Oddly enough, other than total exhaustion on Thanksgiving day and a volatile three year old who spent the day sharing his many mood swings smack dab in the middle of the kitchen during food prep, the meal was prepared, edible, and somewhat on time. We are wrapping up a busy two weeks and preparing to pick up the pieces of everyday life until the next holiday hits!

I am thankful, grateful, and blessed for- 

 

writing space
A quiet and spacious writing space during my weekend away
chicago river
Not too cold weather during my conference weekend

 

amtrak train arrival
Whether they were delayed by hours or showed up early, the safe arrivals and departures of our loved ones

 

turkey
Sharing a meal with as many of my people as we could gather

birthday balloon

 

Celebrating our youngest family member’s birthday as only a preschooler can! 

The pictures might be slightly blurry with wonky colors, but the memories are sharp and in focus. 

 

Sunday Stills- Thankful

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Grateful

Wishing you a belated and blessed Thanksgiving!

-Kat

Looking Forward

My writing was briefly interrupted by a second eye procedure and I find myself behind on my self-inflicted challenge.

Don’t cry because it’s overSmile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

Looking back five years, I couldn’t have guessed that I would be where I am right now. Having experienced so much over those years that was unexpected makes me realize that I have no way of knowing where I’ll be in five years looking forward.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. I have come to find that these parent celebration days seem to cause many people sadness, anxiety, anger and depression. In my life alone, I know someone who jumps into the day with both feet weighted down and sinks to the lowest of lows grieving for a father who has been gone for twenty years as if he just passed twenty minutes ago. This day brings her an extreme level of suffering and pain.

There is an acquaintance whose father passed a few months ago after a lingering painful illness. It’was her first Father’s Day without her dad and I know she is sad. She made the best of it, tried to deal with her sadness but still experienced some shock that he was actually gone.

Someone very dear to me lost her father without warning recently and she’s still in shock, not fully realizing that he is truly gone. I’m sure the day was not fun for her and knowing her as well as I do, I know she persevered because she’s a fighter.

Another person does a duty drop in with the dad in their life, anxious to begin their “real” plans. They love their dad and I’m unclear on this unwillingness to actually spend more than a cursory half hour with him on a day that’s meant to celebrate him.

There’s the angry guy who has harbored years of bitter feelings over unclear perceived slights. His father has never intentionally set out to hurt or alienate his child and is heartbroken over the loss of any contact with him. There are so many adult children holding grudges and I often wonder about these crimes they suffered by the hands of their fathers. I’m going to say that sometimes people are not nice and they do bad things to their kids. But then there are those dads who are just doing the best they can and maybe they screwed up and don’t know how to fix it. Sometimes things get blown out of proportion and it’s just plain sad that a parent/child relationship is destroyed.

And there are the dads who would give anything to hear from their kids- any day, not just this one day. Maybe they did screw up. Maybe it was really bad. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was the kid who messed up. But at the end of the day, does it really matter?

Don’t get me wrong. There are broken relationships that might be better off broken- for everyone’s sake. I’m not talking about those.

There are the dozens upon dozens who made the required phone calls, sent the card, dropped off a gift, made the flowery social media posts….. some of these actions were heartfelt. Some were made of a sense of obligation. All had to do in some part with the fact that we are told that this is our dad’s day.

But it’s just a day. It’s what you make of it. If you really want to wallow in the depths of despair, go for it. If you want to put your dad on a throne and worship him, awesome. My thoughts on it are- it’s just a day. You don’t love your dad any more or less just because some card company told you to do on that specific day. And if you are a parent and you’re anything like me, you would like your child to acknowledge you not because they were told to but because they genuinely want to.

I spent yesterday with my husband, grandsons, one of our children and my parents. I missed the kids that weren’t there. We cut my dad a little slack when it came to his bad jokes since, after all, it was his day. We gave him that. But really? My dad is not young. He will not be here forever.

So, where do I see myself in five years? I hope that my dad is still here, cracking corny jokes and sharing the same memories as he has my entire life, singing song lyrics when they fit the situation. I don’t know what I’ll be doing or where I will be but I do know that this day- that is just a day- is about celebrating DAD and that’s what I plan on doing whether he’s here or not.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” 

-Dr. Seuss

-Kat

30-day-blogging-challenge

These People

Where do you belong? Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?

In a big city or small town. On road trips. At museums, zoos, concerts. Inside or outside. Spread out separately all in our own spaces or crowded into a small room together. Hungry, tired, crabby. Happy, silly, adventurous. In tears and laughter.

These people. They are my place in the world.

-Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World