Tag Archives: friends

Loss, Pain and Thanksgiving.

The world around me has been filled with a lot of tragedies of late, and it’s becoming a struggle figuring out how to process all of them. There’s the obvious shock and grieving that happens in these circumstances, but there’s also the learning, the teaching and the love that must follow them.

It’s about finding the proper words to comfort the families that have experienced the loss. It’s helping your kids navigate their feelings of not really understanding and helping them figure out what comes next. It’s learning how to say goodbye and trying not to forget. It’s allowing yourself to be sad and broken. It’s figuring out how to move forward without these people in your life. It’s all of these and so much more.

This weekend, I lost a friend in a tragic car accident. 3 young children lost their mother. One of my good friends lost her son in a another tragic accident. My son’s best friend, lost his brother. The loss of these two amazing people will cause ripples of grief that will run far and wide, leaving all of us wishing we could go back and spend more time with them. That we would all get another moment to tell them how much we cared about them, and that we’d ensure that they really, really knew that. We are all asking the questions and wondering why? Why them? Why did this happen? Why is this happening? How is this fair? But we’re asking questions that will never have an answer, and yet, we will be stuck asking them for quite awhile.

We are constantly surrounded by loss and it becomes this thing that we get used to. It becomes a part of the circle of life and we all just keep moving on, in spite of it. We don’t recognize how important these relationships and circumstances are until they’re completely flipped upside down or are forever taken away. It’s sad…sad that we don’t take them to honour them until we no longer have the option.

But what about other kinds of loss and grieving, how do we work through them and live in the here & now?

Today, I had another friend go to a hospital and take a baby away from a Mother that just doesn’t have the ability to parent. She has lost all of her babies, but she is still a Mother that has suffered a deep loss. My friend is grieving for a Mom that will never know the joy of being a parent, while celebrating the gift of life. She loves this baby and this Mama, and it’s a pain that not many of us will ever be able to comprehend.

I have a family member that is deeply hurt and broken, and I don’t know how to help her. I don’t know how to help her heal and either move on or come home or whatever else that would bring her happiness. She’s also suffered a huge loss and has been grieving for a very long time. How can you help repair grief that runs so deep?

I have another friend that has walked away from her family because it was toxic and just not a good situation to be a part of, and she is still grieving years later. She chose to walk away, but she still longs for something that was or should’ve been. It’s much healthier and safer for her this way, but it still really hurts.

I have children that cry daily, or weekly for years and years as they grieve the family that they know they will never return to. These people are alive but are just out of reach and it hurts so badly. In their grief, they are also dealing with the guilt of being happy in their new lives as they don’t want to dishonour where they came from. It’s a horrible and awful thing to have to watch, and I can’t even pretend to know the best way to help them through it.

These situations aren’t usually how we think about grief but they affect us just as deeply and help shape the life we are trying to live right now. We have to acknowledge these moments and take the time to navigate them. These people need us right now.

I think that as we spend this Thanksgiving weekend with our friends and family that we take a minute to remind ourselves of how precious life really is. Do not wait until someone dies before you think to tell them how important they are to you. Don’t wait until the relationship is completely destroyed to show them some compassion. Don’t wait until someone walks right out of your life before you take the time to try and repair it. Don’t look at a situation and assume you know everything and judge someone so harshly that you can’t ever go back.

Use this time RIGHT NOW to honour each other.

If you can fix it, fix it.

If you can’t, find a way to help everyone get healthy closure so you can all move on in peace.

If you can lend a helping hand to get someone back on their feet, lift them up.

If you need to forgive someone, do it.

If you need to walk away from someone or something, walk away without leave a damaging trail.

If you haven’t told your most favourite people how much you love them, tell them.

If you don’t understand someone’s choices, that’s okay. You can still be there for when they need you.

If you need to just stand by someone and be present so they feel safe, do that.

If you need to grieve, allow yourself to do exactly that.

If you see a Mom really struggling, don’t judge her. Love her, help her, lead her or walk away.

Our lives would not be the same without our people, take the time to appreciate them for all they bring into your world, even if it’s only to teach you a lesson.

I am so thankful for many things in my life right now, some of them are good and some of them are not so good, but they’ve all become a part of my story. Thankfully, I have the ability to rejoice with the good and repair the not so good. That is what I’m thankful for today – that I’m alive to make these choices.

Choose well friends, tomorrow is NEVER promised.

Rest well Steff and Luke, you will be deeply missed and never forgotten. xoxox

Expecting Something Different

I know that we’re supposed to forgive and forget, and for the most part I’m able to do that. Well, not so much the forget part, but I am pretty good at forgiving. You hurt me and/or my family, and sincerely ask for forgiveness and you will get it. What you won’t necessarily receive is trust and “forgetfulness”.

Problem is, so many times we expect people to react differently than how they always have. We assume that they are going to see our despair or disappointment and not do that again. But then it happens, again, and we just stand there and take it.

Who’s fault is that? Theirs or ours?

At what point should we stop accepting the same old, same old and demand better? When should we stand up and say, I love you but you can be a real jerk. What day do we look at ourselves in the mirror and decide that enough is enough and just walk away?

So often in life, we begin relationships with people and we fall so deeply in love, or like and life that we spend a lot of time turning the other cheek. We decide that there are so many awesome things about them that we can just accept these little quirks or differences. And usually, that’s okay.

Slurping soup, leaving laundry all over the floor, stealing your shoes, listening to crappy music or loving really dumb movies. Those things are okay … annoying as all get out, but okay. But when their fun is at your expense, or when their needs and desires are ALWAYS put ahead of yours, something is wrong.

Relationships won’t always be equal, but more often than not, they should be. There should be more joy than sorrow, more peace than strife and more team than leader and follower. You shouldn’t have to sit there waiting, and hoping and expecting people to become something different from how they’ve always been. It is possible, but it shouldn’t occur at the expense of you.

I want to say that’s it and that even though this relationship means so much to me, I need to matter too. I want to turn around and run away.

But I can’t.

I don’t want to give up on people. I want to continue to expect more. So instead of walking away, I’m choosing to hang on for hope and change and something better. But from now on, I’m done accepting treatment that is less than anything I deserve.

I will expect, but I will not accept.

Now where are you in this equation? What relationships in your world need to have a playing field levelled out? Fix them. We need each other.

 

The Road to Skinny …. Following the Rules

Well, yesterday was my bi-weekly weigh-in and the results were pretty good.

I spent the last 2 weeks actually following all of my coaches orders. I ate, and I ate, and I ate. More food than I’ve eaten in a really long time. I took my vitamins, drank copious amounts of water and did exactly what I was supposed to do.

Overall, I felt great, outside of this evil sinus infection that just. won’t. die. I slept well, still didn’t convince myself to exercise, but I made it through another 2 weeks. Yeah Me!

I lost another 9lb’s and 6 more inches. And even better news, my body fat percentage went down which means I’m not losing lean mass, which means I’m doing the right thing for my body.

This year WILL be the final chapter in my Fat April story. I know it, I feel it and I love it.

Last week, I also joined a great little group on Facebook called Mission Slim Possible. It’s a bunch of people wanting to achieve some big goals this year – health & exercise wise. They’re all there to support and encourage and lift each other up. They’re going to inspire me to exercise … hasn’t happened yet, but it will. LOL. I did manage to download a 7 minute exercise app though, so that counts for something right?? (Yes, I’m that lazy that I count that action as exercise).

I’m grateful for their honest and open hearts, and their daily words of encouragement. Our stories are all very different but our goals are the same. We all want more. We all want better. We all want change.

Wherever you are in your “get skinny/healthy” journey, find yourself a support system somewhere. If it can’t be your spouse, find a good friend. If your friends are as unmotivated as you are, find a group of workout buddies. Just find something or someone to help you get through this adventure. If you’re in the same boat as me, the journey will be long and tough, and not one you can do on your own.

Thankfully, I’m blessed with a good husband, great friends and an awesome coach. They are the voices that push me forward and remind me of my goals. They are my gifts in this world.

Who’s your helper? Go find one. Now.

See you in 2 weeks.

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IF YOU WANT TO JOIN ME ON THIS ADVENTURE, PLEASE CONTACT MY COACHES HERE. Be sure to let them know that April sent you.

All the words I wish I could say

At this particular moment in time, I’m surrounded by people who are struggling.  A lot of people. Friends, family, acquaintances and people whom I only know via social media. These people are hurting and need to hear words that will soothe their spirits and restart their steps.

But how do you say the right thing without being a jerk? How do you help them see what you see? How do you reach a heart that has become so hard that it doesn’t even feel its own beat anymore? How do you bring someone hope when they’re swimming in despair? How do you become what they need most?

I want to scream at them, and shake them awake. I want to give them a hug and help them feel safe and secure again, but I can’t. I can’t heal broken hearts or repair old wounds, but I do have words.

These are the words that I wish I could say. The words from my heart to theirs.

I wish you knew how proud I am of you. I am proud of all that you’ve done and all that you’ve tried to do. I’m proud of you for always taking the high road when the low road would’ve been the easier way to go. I’m proud of you for being such a forgiving and loving example to your children. I’m proud to call you my friend.

I’m sorry that your life has been so tough, and the load you’ve had to bear has been solely on your shoulders. I’m sorry that you’ve been let down by people over and over and over again. I’m sorry that you’ve never been given the support you needed and deserved. I’m sorry that you’re having to tread water to just stay alive.

I wish that I could go back in time and save you from the parents you were given to, but then you wouldn’t be you. I wish that I could take away the bad dreams and the horrific stories that you now consider “normal”. I wish that you could see that you’re an amazing mother in spite of your example. I wish you would accept everyone’s love and respect for you at face value.

I’m sorry that you feel like the whole world is against you. I’m sorry that you feel so alone even though you’re actually never in that place. I’m sorry that you feel like there’s no place to turn or anyone to run to. I’m sorry that you feel so isolated.

I wish that you could look in the mirror and see the strength that I see when I stare into your eyes. I wish you could see the glow that takes over your face when you’re watching your babies play. I wish you could see the looks that strangers give you when you walk into a room. I wish you could hear the word’s of admiration and praise about you that people share with me all the time. I wish you believed the words I’m speaking now.

I’m sorry that your spouse turned out to be such a jerk. I’m sorry for the abuse you went through and for all the struggles you now face living as a single parent. I’m sorry that you’re having to make decisions alone that should be shared with someone else. I’m sorry that the person you chose failed you so badly.

I want you to know that I love you, no matter what. I want you to know that even though our lives quite often head in opposite directions that you will always be a part of me. I want you to know that I’m here to pick you up if you ever trip and fall so hard that you can’t get up on your own. I want you to know that you’re not alone.

Do not believe the words that are being spoken over you or the lies that your brain is convincing you are truth. You are not worthless. You are not ugly. You are not unlovable. Hear me when I say this. You are amazing and you are so very worthy of all the good things. And most importantly, you are not alone.

not alone

I’m guessing that I’m not the only person watching friends and family flounder about right now. Please help them. Please keep reaching out or make yourself available to listen. Be the voice they so desperately need to hear.

If perchance you’re the person feeling alone or let down, please get help. Open up to the people around you and let them in. You do not have to carry everything by yourself. You are not alone. Ever.

If you’re in Alberta, and just need someone to talk to, please give this numbers a call. 1-877-303-2642  or 780-482-HELP (4357).  If you live somewhere else, just search online or in your phone for Mental Health/Depression help.

Unexpected Friendship in a Sweatshirt

This story starts with a Calgary Olympics hoody that I was selling on eBay, 12 years ago.

I’ve been selling things for a really long time and after a thousand plus transactions, I had never really ‘spoken’ with anyone until Deonna. For some reason, that sale started a conversation and that conversation became a friendship.

Over the years we’ve talked about anything and everything. She listened to me as a young Mom stressing about all the struggles of raising my special little boy. She told me about her children and eventual grandchildren. I filled her in every time we packed up and moved to a new house. She shared her retirement news with me and her excitement of moving closer to her daughters. I told her about all my new business ventures and the challenges that they brought me. I learned more about junior hockey from her than any of my Canadian friends and her love for the game was obvious. She was quickly becoming my ‘Portland Mom’.

Over the years, we also shopped for each other. She would be my drop-off for items that wouldn’t ship to Canada and I would send her a steady supply of Mint Aero bars. At one point, I needed to get sinus meds for high blood pressure for my Mom. Her sweet daughter after hearing that it wasn’t available in Canada, shipped the meds to me. Stuffed inside a teddy bear. She had assumed that they were illegal in Canada because we didn’t have them, so she was sneaking them to me. Deonna messaged me and told me that her daughter had opened the boxes and shoved the pills inside the bear, to warn me that there may be a problem at the border. There wasn’t. 🙂 We still laugh about that one and are thankful that our ‘smuggling’ operation was never discovered. LOL.

On our bi-yearly trips to the States, we’ve tried planning times and places to meet but it’s never worked out. She was either busy with her family or it was just too far for us to keep going. Our friendship was 12 years in the making and we still hadn’t met. But this year, we knew the trip had to happen so off to Idaho we went.

You see, last November, Deonna went in for some surgery and some very unexpected things happened. She suffered some huge setbacks and massive hurdles and spent the next 7 months in a hospital. She’s at home now, and I’m happy to report that every day, she gets better and better. I’m also mad that it took me this long to go and meet her, and am thankful for the opportunity that yesterday brought me.

It never should’ve taken that long and I’m sorry that it took a health scare to kick me in the butt to get there. Our arrival was a total surprise for her but an awesome gift for me and my family.

We had a fabulous time visiting and hanging out with her family. From the time we walked in the door until the moment we left this morning, we felt comfortable and like we belonged there. It truly felt like I had come home to ‘family’.

Thank-you to her daughter Jenny for helping me pull off the surprise. Thank-you Jerry for letting us crash your house and for feeding us some of the best chicken we’ve had in a long time. The kids had a blast at the fall festival and look forward to hanging out with Bryant again. We had a very blessed and fabulous time.

Thank-you Deonna for buying that sweatshirt so long ago. Enjoy your chocolate bars, and no worries, more are on their way.

See you all next summer!

LAST DAY for you to do me a favour. Please for me at this link. My goal is to hit #25 on the list, the last of the best of the Top Mom Bloggers in Canada. Follow this link and vote now. Voting ends tomorrow. Thanks friends!! http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/mom-s-got-something-say?blogroll_id=110

Choose Wisely

Thankfully, I’ve managed to surround myself with some amazing people. I truly am blessed beyond measure, and my friends are some of my biggest blessings.

Friends should be encouragements and helps in time of need. They should be sounding boards that listen and love you in spite of what’s going on in your world. They should help steer you straight when your path seems to veer off course. They should always have your best interests at heart.

Are those the kinds of people that you’ve surrounded yourself with? Or are you miserable when you’re with them? Do you dread seeing their number on call display? Do you feel judged or are you mistreated? Are they constantly correcting you or do you feel worthless when they’re around?

Choose your friends wisely, as more often than not, they’re the voice in your ear. The voice that pushes you forward to good things or pulls you back to things best forgotten.

Find a voice that brings you joy, you deserve nothing less than that.

lifeisshort

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Looks like we made it.

Twas’ the night before school and all through the house, not a child was stirring – because I’ve sent them all to bed. HALLELUJAH … my routine is back in full swing.

Tomorrow the Wiener 5 head on back to their happy place. Grades One, Four, Eight, Nine and Twelve are calling their names and beckoning them with promises of friends, hot lunches and homework.

Only two get recess which really upsets the 3, but when I point out that they no longer need to change into indoor shoes, they cheer right up. 2 kids will have “graduations” this year, one of whom will have to wear a dress. The last time she wore one, she was 2.5 and very angry about it. 2 are having to ride the school bus this year which is something that they have never done before. 3 have lunch kits and 2 refuse to take anything but paper bags. 3 will wake up with time to spare, 1 will have the morning planned out by the minute and 1 will have to be forced awake and out of the house. 5 will complain when I make them take the annual back to school photo, and then make me promise to not post it on Facebook.

Tomorrow, I will get to work in my office without being summoned to stop a fight. I won’t hear my name screamed an average of 89 times/day. I will be able to get my errands done without being begged to stop at 7-11 for slurpees. If I feel like going out for a coffee with friends, BY MYSELF, I can. I could also have a nap. Hhhmmm .. maybe I’ll just have a nap. An all day, my house is quiet, no one is bothering me kind of nap. Tomorrow, freedom will reign.

Have an awesome year kids. Hope you get the teachers you want, and have at least 2 of your best friends in your class. I hope you don’t have to bring home homework on your first day. I hope everyone loves the $100 jeans that you HAD to have. I hope that you don’t miss the bus as the walk is long. I hope that this is your best year yet and that your successes far outweigh your failures. I pray that no ignorant words spoken over you will stick. I hope that you will hear my voice when you’re presented with opportunities that you know are wrong. I hope that you will guard your heart and mind and focus on what’s truly important. I hope you know just how amazing you truly are.

Always remember that Mommy loves you. But please, get out of my house.

asylum

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Click on the links below to check out some of the other awesome bloggers involved in the challenge. So much awesome.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy