Thursday, May 16, 2013

Transplantation takes care

I haven't written for the last month as I wanted to concentrate on issues close to home and telling the world about my problems is too public. My social media interactions are already being monitored by well-meaning but misinformed people who would love to twist my every post. At the least, I hope I've been entertaining for them. At worst, boring, so they'll stop.

Life. It's finally going somewhere. That first somewhere is Italy.

The Major and I had thought about a trip to Rome to see his oldest son graduate from a university there before the planned wedding in June. As those plans were drastically changed , we've decided to make it a honeymoon instead! Very soon, we'll be on a plane crossing the Atlantic and I'm excited-scared-giddy-worried. The closest I've been to out of country is Montreal, Canada, and the island of Barbados. Not exactly foreign. In Montreal, I was alone at a conference, and though it's a great place, it's not quite as fun without someone to share the experience of travel. My ex and I went to Barbados for our honeymoon but he got the flu the night before we flew out and stayed in the room most of the time. I saw the beauty of the ocean for the first time in my life while he languished in the hotel. I spent the majority of the trip, once again, alone.

THIS time, the Major and I will be seeing Rome, Ferrara, Venice and Florence together. Super romantic! I'll save you the mush-talk, though I may post a few pics later. Not THOSE kinds of pics. Sick people.

The second somewhere is DisneyWorld!

We had promised the boys a return trip there that they could actually remember. The last time, we went with my ex, sisters and parents and bro-in-law just before my dad died of pancreatic cancer. It was a disaster at first with the airline misplacing my dad's luggage with his chemo meds in it, late and missed flights because of storms that morning and every single person in our group getting airsick and puking from turbulence. But it ended on a beautiful note. My Daddy-O, determined to have a great time, wanted to ride every single ride he could. And he DID, saying, "I already know what will kill me. I might as well have fun!" The sound of his laughter and cheering on that crazy roller coaster still rings in my ears.

The third somewhere, ultimately, is Okinawa.

As some of you might know, we've had a bit of custody issue on whether the boys can go with us. In the midst of all the moving and paperwork required for the military plus me having hernia surgery, we've been going to court. Their wishes were that they WANT to go, so the judge is at least honoring those wishes; allowing them with us the first semester of school and we'll revisit the case when we come back at Christmas. Here's where I'm supposed to stay quiet about all of it, though I'd love to clear the air of some misconceptions old friends seem to have but haven't bothered to ask me directly about. Just know the Major and I will be keeping all the promises we made from the beginning to have the boys keep in touch with their family and friends here.

So until the move itself next month, we're planning for some fun times first. Lots of love and laughter together as a little family, wishing the Major's boys could be with us too. It's time to move forward in life. To grow and change together and not stagnate. Roses may have thorns but they deserve lots of sunshine.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My friends, my mother figures

Needless to say, I've been a bit busy recently! To my readers, I apologize for not keeping you more in the loop. I'll catch you all up tomorrow. Today, I want to reach out to some incredible people.

My friends, my mother figures on this Mothers Day 2013.

I have friends who have never known the sweet feeling of a baby kicking from inside them. Of knowing you're inextricably linked to another human being for all time. Others were close but that sweet feeling was yanked from them when it was in reach. Some of my friends have felt this cruel trick of fate a number of times. But they keep going.
You are a wonderful mom.

I have friends who saw their children born and for whatever reason, God had other plans in mind for these little ones. These moms barely felt the softness of their babies skin and smelled that precious smell that only comes from the downy scalp of a newborn before an achey emptiness filled their arms and forever filled their hearts. An emptiness that will never go away.
You are a wonderful mom.

I have friends who have chosen not to have children of their own for religious, personal or medical reasons. Or they just haven't had the chance yet. But, they are some of the most caring individuals you'll meet. They take care of their friends and family like their own kids; who would do anything to make sure their comfort was first. Some became teachers to guide others or nurses and doctors to heal.
You are a wonderful mom.

I have friends with hearts big enough to encompass the world. They may have children born of their wombs or those born of their hearts, men and women alike. They've adopted lovely little ones who someone else couldn't care for; who were literally and figuratively left out in the cold. The gay couple who have nurtured a teenager who's bounced around from foster home to foster home because his own mother is in jail for drug abuse. The straight couple who have flown thousands of miles back and forth to India and brought home two of the nicest kids you'll meet who seamlessly fit into their All-American family.
You are wonderful moms.

I have friends who've adopted furbabies too; abused and neglected animals that needed love as much as the cutest puppy. Who lavish affection on a living creature that no one wanted which will now fiercely defend their "moms" to the death.
You are wonderful moms.

I have friends who, once their own babies were grown or gone, took on the task of being moms to the rest of mankind. Who became leaders in their communities or took on organizations to foster compassion and success in others. The former pageant director who is like my second mom and still rocks out to Led Zepplin. The friend who served as our officiant and who has the best hugs and can be relied upon to give excellent advice. My own children look up to her. The owner of her own online company who will drink and laugh with you but also doesn't take any BS from you when she sees it.
You are wonderful moms.

I have friends who've tried their best to raise their children to be loving and respectable people. But those kids somehow lost their way or got in with the wrong crowd. Those moms could only painfully stand by as their children made horrible mistakes which will follow them the rest of their lives. Moms who are vilified for giving up their children because they simply were not able to give them a good home at the time. Who so desperately wish things could have been different and happiness could have been theirs.
You are wonderful moms.

I have a mother-in-law who is scrappy, funny and a diamond in the rough. She may not have much but she shares nonetheless. Her tiny house was, and still is, a refuge for the Major's and his brother's friends, even to the point of letting them live there for a bit when they were on the outs with their own parents. She cares for a young man who has trouble leaving alcohol alone and lives in his van. But he looks up to her as his own mother. She lives every day in severe pain from an injury she sustained as a nurse but by God, she will do what she can to make sure you're comfortable. She offers the food in her fridge, the hot water in her tub and a spare bedroom to strangers and friends alike. She's straightforward and plain spoken and some people don't care to hear the truth from her. But I adore her for it.
You are a wonderful mom.

To my own mother. My Maman. The strength of our family. (great, now I'm tearing up before I even write this section.) I get it now. The fear that wakes you in a panic that you'll lose the babies sleeping peacefully in the next room. The fear that you haven't been good enough, that you wish there had been a manual on raising kids properly. The gut-wrenching sadness at watching them make mistakes and fail or getting their hearts broken and you can't make it truly better because it's something they have to go through. The heart-bursting joy when the little one commands you drop everything you're doing in that very instant, simply because he wants to give you a hug. The frustration of disciplining your children but they must grow up to be self-sufficient and caring human beings. The exhaustion of trying to do everything possible when there is just too much to do and you aren't even physically capable, but the happiness of your kids and smooth running of the household demand it. Thank you for standing as an excellent example of these teachings to me and my sisters. I love you.