When I decided to become a mother, I truly had no idea of what I was getting myself into. My first daughter born was a gift from the heavens. I was young, unwed and completely unprepared to care of anyone other than myself but I went for it anyway.
I cannot put into words how difficult it was to bear my first born. As a type-one diabetic, I had to commit one hundred percent to doing exactly what I was supposed to do to care for myself. Without this earnest commitment, I would not be able to care for my unborn baby. I attended hospital visits weekly and followed my food and insulin regiment as prescribed. The daily process of dealing with my disease was harder than ever with my daughter growing fast inside of me. My hormones would change hourly affecting my blood sugars and I had a few terrible low-blood sugar episodes. I was toxic towards the end of my pregnancy and my angel was born two weeks early. She arrived absolutely perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes and the cutest ears you have ever seen.
My gift to my first born is a gift that keeps on giving. Since the day I found out I was blessed with her soul, I have been doing my best to do right by her. I want her to live and live well. I had no idea that pulling that off would be such a hard thing to do.
I believe my upcoming trip to Italy will ground me after 15 years of raising her and I am hoping that being in Italy will bring me closer to God and remind me of the beauty that motherhood is.
My dear blog has been left out. I allowed my lack of sleep, the love I feel for my children and my incredibly long TO DO list keep me from doing what I promised myself I would do daily. My commitment to others is true and trustworthy, yet I continually let the promises I make to myself go. I wonder why we, as a society, put so much merit into fulfilling tasks as we do, each and every day? Is it all that important?
I know that my sleep is important. When I am rested, I feel well and able. Sleeping alone is something that has taken me longer to get used to than I expected. I miss having a body in my bed, offering me warmth and security through the night. I am getting used to being alone. I am just not sure I like it.
I am positive that the love I feel for my children is important. My daughters are on Spring Break and I have done everything in my power to direct my attention to them. I have worked hard to listen and respond when expected to do so. Just the other day, my youngest explained to me that, “Stress is taking the best of us”. Her words were profound in the moment. I took to heart what she said and in doing so, have had to keep my phone tucked away and my computer in its case. They need me being with them, not just being around them. It is hard to do but I decided to make the time and effort. I have planned and participated in fun activities all week and have loved every minute of it. I even got lucky and a superhero-friend of mine gave us tickets to Disneyland ~ The Happiest Place on Earth! Or so they say, I haven’t traveled to Italy just yet. All I know is that my time with my daughters has truly been magical.
My impending TO DO LIST is a whole other matter of importance. I so badly want to do well by it! I want to succeed and accomplish great things! I want to make a lot of money so that I may be able to give back! I want to travel and go on adventures! I want to follow my hopes and dreams! I want, I want, and what is it that I need? I need to care for myself, so I may care for others. I need to write. I need to exercise and eat well. I need to monitor my diabetes. I need to fight for justice. I need to educate. I need to laugh and love whenever possible. I need to do what makes me happy. I believe the money-making and great accomplishments will follow once my needs are met. And truly, our hopes and dreams are important. Without them, what’s the point?
*452 days and counting…Italy, here I come! xo
I had to forgive myself today. I have been buried with work the past few days, my daily chores and countless hours of volunteering in my community trying to support my local PTA and RELAY FOR LIFE. While these are all good things for me to be doing, I am exhausted. It was one o’clock in the morning when I decided to go to bed instead of writing my blog. Once in bed, the wind howled all night long and tossed and turned. I hate when I let myself down.
Today was another day like the day before. I worked and worked until I found out that I had an engagement that I had to attend this evening. I did not get everything on my TO DO LIST completed and was feeling angry at myself for another day of personal disappointment. I missed my language lesson, yet again. I did not review my Italian map to help plot my course. I did not complete my database for the upcoming community event that I am helping put on. I did not even do the breakfast dishes or dust, as I had planned, or catch up on my blog for DAY 468.
Feeling defeated and incompetent, I heading to the event that was waiting for me. For someone who is joyful most of my days, I was feeling and acting closer to cranky than happy. As I approached the event, I saw her and everything changed.
I suddenly forgave myself for all of my shortcomings. I was suddenly filled with joy and the idea that there is so much hope in the world. My youngest daughter was waiting to show me her artwork that had been picked to be displayed at one of our local school’s art shows. Her kind face and her presence, offered me forgiveness and I am changed forever.
As if some kind of gift from the heaven’s, my daughter took First Place in her category. She will get to go to Division Finals and may have a chance of making it to State. Whether she wins or not, does not matter. What matters is that she tried. She put art into the world, not to win, but because she loves it and because of that she will always be a winner.
Here’s to another day of opportunities to be ourselves and ultimate forgiveness for doing so!
BRETT CLARK KELLY
March 7, 1951 – July 5, 2004
My father would have been 63 years old today. I miss him everyday. I do not just miss him because I need him, even at 38 years old, but because he is missing all of the fun.
My father was never one to pass on fun, even at great costs. His story is one of an abused child that grew up never learning to fulfill his desires. He searched his whole life for the girl, experience, paycheck, drug or drink that would fill his void. I don’t think it was until he sobered up for a few years to see his granddaughter’s being born that he felt somewhat close to how he wished he would feel.
My father tried so hard to do the right thing. He was an incredible work horse and had a lot of success with his business but his addictions kept him from riches and good health. Each business success came with great personal struggle and in the end it was all too much. Watching him work as I grew up was both awe inspiring and incredibly frustrating. In my teenage years I was running his books and saw his potential but I couldn’t keep him clean long enough to accomplish getting him well.
My wonderful, able father found himself on the streets, homeless in Los Angeles. He had to hit bottom a few times before he decided it was time to sobered up. It unfortunately, is really the only time you can help an addict. You have to wait for them to make the choice. When he finally stood up and dusted himself off, we had five pretty awesome years together. I got to learn more about him as an adult and I got to understand his needs, wants and desires better.
My father inspired me to help lift up others. He reminded me that we all have our own issues and if you treat people with love and kindness versus judgement and condemnation, people can get better. If even only for a short while.
I plan to help fill my own void and attempt to get better as I go through this process of preparing to travel to Italy. I so wish my father could walk down this path with me. I would love to hold his big, hairy hand and hear him reminding me to live, love and go for it…have fun.
My daughters have both expressed huge interest in traveling with me to Italy. I love that they have adventurous spirits and are willing to try anything. They are now old enough and mature enough to be able to travel without me having to carry them and/or their luggage. Both of them are so smart and would pick up the language quickly. And I know we would have an incredible time together. The act of discovering something together for the first time is magical. But, a strange part of me wants to tell them, “Not this time”. I may want to reserve this trip for just me.
Other friends and loved ones have offered to join me as well. I even invited a few to join me when I first started this process. These friends are a collection of loved ones and a few of my favorite people. I know we would have so much fun being witnesses to each other’s lives. And I love that they are completely able to care for themselves, carry their own luggage and pay their way. But I wonder, would my friends and loved ones want to do the same things that I want to do? Would they all be able to keep up with me? How would they react to large crowds? Or would they let me stare at a piece of artwork for an hour, if I desired to? How will they do with the Lamborghini rental part of my plan? Maybe I should go alone.
I am torn. I love my daughters, family and friends. I want to share my life with people who love me and support me. I believe that people truly need people. We are happier when we are together, and I know that having someone with me would be safer than traveling alone. My premise on life has always been, the more the merrier. I should live up to that and keep the invitation to travel, discover, love, eat and drive with me open.
I wonder who will actually come with me? You all have 479 days to plan!! ~xo