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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Confusion

This past week has been crazy. The most significant event was a Funeral that I attended on Monday. Who's funeral, you ask? Well... that is a long story. You see, the woman who was laid to rest was technically my Grandmother, Alice. I say technically because I didn't really know her. We actually met for the first time when I was 18. That was literally 1/2 a lifetime ago.

I maybe saw her one other time in these last 18 years. I think the only reason I wanted to meet her to begin with was that I had lost my Grandfather the year before. I felt like I had this other set of grandparents out there and I was missing out. The only problem with meeting her was that she wanted me to meet my "father" as well.

My "father" walked away from my mom before I was even born. I didn't know about him till I was in my early teens. My mom did meet a man right after I was born and she married him 4 months later. They've been married ever since and that is who I consider my dad. In some ways I am closer to my dad than my mom. Don't get me wrong, we've had our differences and the teen years were a nightmare. Today I consider him a friend.

I did stay in contact with my biological father for a while after meeting him back then. I don't remember a lot about it now. Their family was always excited about finding me, the long lost daughter/granddaughter/niece. It never felt right. It just didn't fit. The end came when I became pregnant with my oldest DS. My "father" was thrilled that he was going to be a "grandfather." That was the end for me. I just couldn't live with it. How could a man that was never a father become a grandfather to my child? It didn't seem fair to the man that had raised me as if I were his very own.

So fast forward to Monday. I've not really seen or heard from anyone in the family for 15 years. I'm debating whether I should even go to the funeral. I'm scared and nervous and literally sick to my stomach trying to make this decision. My dad was going to go with me but at the last minute decided not to. He didn't feel it was his place and I understand that. He thought I should go but if I didn't that was okay too. He would stand by my decision and support me. I'm not sure what I did to deserve him but I know that I am truly blessed!

I went, of course. There are some funerals that you just know you will someday regret not attending and this would most likely be one of them. I arrived at the very last minute and went straight to the back of the room. Just from the funeral standpoint it was hard. I have been through so many funerals lately and still struggle with depression because of it. Not to mention that in the last 20 years, the funeral home that I went to has not changed one iota. They still have the exact same furniture, the same everything. Then there's that smell. Anyway, I digress.

I received a lot of comfort from the funeral. Not only comfort from the pain I felt that day but comfort from the extreme pain that I still carried from the last funeral I attended. I think I was in a better place that day and more open to receive the message. When Alice's son spoke, I learned more about her in 10 minutes than I had ever known. It was a good thing.

After the funeral there would be a graveside service. I had not intended to go but decided at the last minute to. At this point no one knew who I was. I also didn't think that my "father" was there. It felt safe. I went to the cemetery and probably would have just walked away but my "uncle" came up to me and asked who I was. Now I know I could have lied or maybe not really answered but I did. The response was overwhelming. The phrase, "out of the frying pan and into the fire" comes to mind. There was no turning back now.

I was probably okay until my "aunt" came up and asked if my "father" had spoken to me. I said, "No, but that's okay, he doesn't have to." I got the feeling that she is the type of person that you don't say "NO" to. Now, just her asking that question was enough to make me burst into tears.

My emotions drive me crazy some times. I'm happy... I cry, I'm sad... I cry, I'm angry... I cry, I hate crying but it's my blanket response to just about anything. The only thing I have ever found that helped with that was Prozac, but that's another post for another day.

Seeing my "father" like that was so awkward. It was like meeting a stranger but being expected to love that stranger. Neither of us were comfortable. What do you say? You say those polite generalities that you would say to a stranger. You ask, " So, how have you been?" Obviously he isn't great... he just buried his mother who had had a massive stroke a couple of weeks before. The only thing that saved us was getting to his car. His wife was there, a very sweet woman, and his sons... my brothers. That was the best part of this entire day. Seeing my brothers.

What you may not be able to pick up on as I'm writing out this ridiculously long story is that I feel guilty. I have massive guilt over this whole situation. Back in '89 I let this family into my life and then one day decided that it didn't work for me. My brothers were 10 & 5 when I met them and I shut them out too. I've lived all these years with this in the back of my mind, always haunting me. I feel like I did this terrible thing that I can never change. The biggest question today is... now what?

I ended up spending 1 to 2 hours with this family. It was overwhelming, still awkward at times but comfortable all at the same time. My brothers were great. I saw my boys in them and even myself. They did some family pictures and wanted me to join in but I just couldn't do it. It wasn't right. It would have felt like a lie. I think I was afraid that by joining in I would be saying that I wanted to be a part of that family. Honestly, I don't know what I want.

These last couple of days all I can think about is what I want to do. I have kids that don't know anything about this. As far as they are concerned, my dad is there grandfather. Can you even begin to explain something like this to 6 year olds. My husband is struggling with it as well. I feel like this is my decision but it's not. This is a decision that I need to work through with my husband. I know that I don't need another dad. How do you tell someone they can be in your life but only "this much?" Do I even have control of this?

I know that writing this out on my blog seems crazy but it does help. I feel like I'm talking with an old friend. I don't know that anyone actually reads this other than Kimberly so it also feels safe to share. Judge me if you want. There is nothing that you can think of me that I haven't already thought of myself. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Am I knitting???

Yes, I am! Thought I would do a quick post on the subject of knitting. I mean, this is, afterall a fiber blog, right? I've been working on several things in my absence and I will share one of them with you today.



This is Joshua in his Einstein Coat! It's an awesome pattern from Sally Melville in her Knit Stich book. As you might have guessed, Joshua's favorite color is orange. This was knit in Brown Sheep Bulky and was super quick to knit up. My only problem was the sleeves. If I read the pattern right it makes the sleeves way too tight. Chances are I screwed up. I'm currently working on another one in green for Mitchell so I will make adjustments.

Taking STEPS to get HEALTHY

Today's subject follows along with the what I've learned while I've been away. It's taken me a LONG, long time but I've finally decided that my health is important. I've also figured out that I got to do the work to see the results. Now don't get me wrong. I've always known what I needed to do. I've researched it, I've bought equipment, read books, thought it through, formulated a plan and then... sat down on the couch and watched TV. I've even started watching The Biggest Loser on NBC for motivation. What did I do while watching? Sit on the couch and munch on junk. Here I am with tears in my eyes, feeling their pain but still not able to get up and DO anything.

I'll be honest, I was beginning to feel like it was too late. You know, the damage is already done, what difference can it make at this point. Last week my dad even told me that the only way I was going to lose weight was if I had surgery. Not exactly motivating. I let myself completely fall apart over it. Didn't help that I was totally PMSing. So, what did I do? Well, I turned to my best friend, who, by the way is my husband:-)

We discussed the situation. My way of dealing with any situation is usually humor and sarcasm. I joke that my DH and I are the 2k version of Dan and Rosanne Connor. Somehow when I can make everyone laugh with me it helps. Anyway, we had watched an episode of Oprah that had Dr. Oz on it. We had also Tivo'd a Discovery Health Special with Dr. Oz and we decided that maybe it was time to do this... together. The question was where do you start? I mean when you aren't doing anything it's hard to know what to do.

I'm only a week and a half into my LIFESTYLE CHANGE but I feel better. We didn't go crazy and try to make drastic overnight changes but we are taking it day by day. The big thing that we did was go out and get pedometers. We chose the pedometers that were on the Oprah special because they were highly rated and you could carry them in your pocket or even a purse. I've had problems in the past with pedometers that have to be worn on the waist for the obvious fact that my waist is missing. The only place locally that we could find them was at CVS Pharmacy. Not exactly local but we didn't want to wait to order it online. I don't know about you but any hesitation usually result in no action being taken. You probably want to know what kind we got, right???? It's the Omron Walking Style Pedometer HJ-112. If my opinion matters I highly recommend it!

I've been wearing my pedometer all day since we got them. Well, that's not true. I didn't wear in Sunday at all. I didn't even get dressed that day. Obviously I need to work on that. Anyhoo, I'm working on adding steps into my day. For health they say you should have 6,000 steps a day. For weight loss your should have 10,000. It was kind of scary to see how few steps I actually took. Actually it was eye-opening.

There are countless ways to add steps to your day and I'm doing better. The best way is do actually take the time to go on a walk. Now, I am a big girl. I don't see myself as huge but I probably am. I'm 5'3" and when I started this I weighed 255 pounds. It's considered morbidly obese. There really isn't a way to sugarcoat it. My biological grandmother has diabetes and just suffered a massive stroke on Saturday. My Grandmother that passed away last year also had diabetes and other heart related issues. I'm not in a good place physically at all. For me to get out and walk is hard. I have a lot of pain and to be honest I'm probably self-conscious. Why I care what people think I couldn't tell you.

So anyway, I could go on and on about this. My point is that I figured out a way to get more steps into my life and after these last few days I got up the nerve to get out in my neighborhood and walk. I actually walked the whole subdivision and though I can't tell you how far that is I can share my results...


Now this shows my aerobic steps that I have accumulated today. I had already done 40 minutes of walking at home before this. I'll tell you my secret to walking at home without a treadmill another day.


This is my actual total, so far, for today. Not bad for the time of day. My goal for the whole day is 10,000!!!

I'm very happy with what I'm doing. I've lost 2.5 pounds so far and feel 100% better. I still need to work on my eating habits but it's a great start. The most awesome result is that I'm seeing a much quicker recovery from physical activity. I'll take it day by day and hopefully when winter is over I'll emerge a different, healthier person. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Time is fleeting

I have been away for so long. It amazes me how quickly the days fly by. In all honesty I was avoiding you. Not "YOU" personally but you as in the blog. I needed time for myself. Time to heal and time to grieve. Losing my best friend was a lot harder than I thought it would be. That's not entirely true. I always knew it would be hard I just never thought it would really happen. It did happen and I learned a lot from it.

  1. Time is fleeting ~ there is no guarantee that tomorrow will ever come.
  2. Say the things that need to be said ~ I'll explain this one more later.
  3. Take care of yourself ~ God only gives us this one body to last for this entire life, when it gives out... Game Over.
  4. Spend time with the ones you love ~ In the end the only thing that really matters are the relationships we built and the memories that we leave behind.
  5. Find enjoyment in the little things ~ If we wait for something big to happen for us to be really happy that something big may never come.
  6. Believe that there is something beyond this life ~ Have faith and even when you find yourself deep in a spiritual crisis, continue to hold onto that faith.
  7. Count your blessings every day ~ Not just your major blessings but all the little ones that that make life worth living.
  8. NEVER GIVE UP ~ Take it one day at a time, one minute at a time if you have to. Just keep going and never stop. If you fall, pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.

That is not a complete list of all the things that I feel like I've learned but it's a start. So what? Well, hopefully I take these lessons and change my life. I'm 36 and something needs to change. My boys are 6, 6 and 14. I want to be there to see them all graduate from High School and move on to the wherever life takes them. I have to take action to change the path that I am currently on.

As for #2. I feel like I make an effort to say the things that need to be said but I know I could improve. While watching TV the other night about Ed Bradly, the newscaster from CBS that was on 60 minutes and passed away, my son Joshua said something that made me really step back and think about this. There was a group of reporters that were talking about Ed and Joshua turned to me and asked, "Did that man die?" Joshua hadn't been watching the newscast so it kind of surprised me that he had figured that out. I answered yes and asked him how he knew. Joshua said, "I knew he was dead because those people were saying such nice things about him, the kind of things that we always say about people after they die." So... my question is this... WHY DO WE WAIT UNTIL A PERSON HAS PASSED AWAY TO TELL THEM HOW WONDERFUL THEY REALLY ARE?????

How does one start a movement to get everyone to say the good? I heard about an idea on Rachael Ray to do a TOAST party. It's kind of like a ROAST but instead of telling mean jokes you say nice things and toast the person of honor. Would it change the world? I think we would all feel better knowing that we said the things that needed to be said on that day when you lose the chance to say anymore.

Thanks for listening!

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