Tag: Family

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

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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

Favorite Place

Unedited and taken in the moment- anytime spent with this little guy holding my hand ranks at the top of my list of favorite places to be.

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 There’s joy and wonder everywhere, when you see the world through the eyes of a child. …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Hope your weekend is filled with joy!

-Kat

Lessons Learned From Someone I Used to Know

There are no big revelations in this list. it’s been said before, heard before, lived before. But have you ever walked away from an experience and thought about what you’re taking away from it? A recent encounter reminded me of these things:

  • Family matters- even if you don’t want it to. They know where you came from. They know who you were.
  • Be careful who you trust. Sometimes you might be looking in the wrong direction and never see it coming.
  • It’s never too late to try and fix things. Words spoken in the heat of the moment might hold some truth, or maybe they are all true, but that still doesn’t mean that things have to remain broken.
  • As much as you might want to slam the door and lock it, it can always open. You have the power to unlock it!
  • Unless you hear the words coming from a person’s mouth, you will never know for sure if they said them. People twist or make up things to suit their own purpose- even people you love.
  • If you don’t want to believe what a person says, look at their actions for reinforcement.
  • There is more than one side to every story. Every person has their own story and your hero might be my  villain. You never know.
  • We all have “stuff” and no one’s is more or less than anyone else’s. It’s just theirs.
  • People can change and often do. We are all shaped by our experiences and each one changes us, maybe in small ways but always in some way.
  • Forgiveness is not a dirty word.
  • Letting go of negative feelings isn’t a statement of denial that something happened.
  • Often the truth is staring you in the face- and you just can’t or don’t want to see it.
  • And sometimes the truth hurts.
  • Everyone isn’t in the same place in their journey and sometimes we need to be patient and wait for the other person to catch up. And sometimes we need to do what we need to do, and know that we will get where we need to be in our own time.
  • If a person is determined to hold on to their hurt and anger and lets it fester and spread, they will remain stuck in that place.
  • Being wrongly accused sucks.
  • Not being allowed to defend yourself sucks more.
  • It ain’t over til it’s over.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”     

Soren Kierkegaard

Spring has arrived…maybe in name only. Enjoy!

-Kat

Catching Up

I did finally make it out of Target in time to celebrate Christmas. Two of my kids were not with us this year so we will be celebrating with them soon. Their absences left a huge hole in our day. Lucky for us, our little guys were with us and there’s nothing like the excitement children have for the holidays!

We shared good times, good food and a cozy fire with some loved ones. And that mischievous elf, Jack, stole my camera and attempted to take a selfie!

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, safe and warm!

Love, Kat

My Three Little Birds

This week’s song, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers (1977), never fails to bring me a renewed sense of determination and a feeling that I can overcome anything as long as I keep my priorities straight. As long as I can remember, what makes me happiest is my family. The combination of this reassuring song and my love for my “three little birds” gives me motivation to keep moving.

“Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)
Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers

 

This post is working double duty for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy and 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

It Never Ends

Near the beginning of this clip from the movie Parenthood, Frank Buckman talks about a time when he and his wife thought their son had polio and the feelings that experience evoked.

Soon I will be celebrating the birthday of my youngest child, my baby, Andrew. He will turn 22 years old. When Andrew was nearly two months old, his doctor was concerned that he might have a narrowed aorta which would be considered a critical congenital heart defect. I will never forget that feeling- I already loved this little guy so much and he might be suffering or at risk for a lifetime of health problems. Oh, my heart. Yes, I understand what Frank meant.

What I felt for Andy all those years ago was just the tiniest fraction of how much I love him (and his siblings) today. I know there are people who do not have more than one or two children because they love them so much, they can’t imagine being able to love more. But love isn’t given to you in a limited quantity to dole out to everyone in your life and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Loving one person doesn’t take any love away from someone else you love. And I’m here to tell you that if you think you have an enormous amount of love for that one child, you don’t have three times that for three kids. It just grows and grows to such an incredible size. And that growing takes place as they grow. That overwhelming feeling of love you might feel for that little guy when he’s two months old is going to expand and fill your life in a way you never thought possible.

It won’t be easy. Their problems will grow with them and sometimes you will have to “be there” but let them handle it on their own and sometimes they will let you help them. No, it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth it.

And as I tend to do around my children’s birthdays, I’m feeling very nostalgic and very blessed. Oh, and Andrew ended up being the healthiest of all my children- so there you go. Just another reason to be happy.

But a word to those who haven’t reached this realization yet, to quote Frank Buckham- “IT NEVER ENDS!” (And that’s a good thing, right? Right?)

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

 

 

I wish I could freeze time or go back in time and watch my kids grow up all over again because it is just going by too fast.” – Robert Rodriguez