Happy Birthday To My True North

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Baby I cannot explain how thankful I feel to be by your side, everyday, but especially celebrating this milestone birthday with you! It has already been fifty years living in this wonderful, crazy, chaotic, harsh yet mostly beautiful world. And that is DEFINITELY something to celebrate!!!
Not because of the “another year older” thing but because 50 years ago this world became a more lovely, funny, silly and all around better place to live in, thanks to God’s gift to us of you. Now don’t get all big headed cause I said that.
Seriously my love, I don’t think you realize how many people’s lives you have touched over the years. It didn’t have to be a grand gesture or even anything huge, but I can tell you that there are tons of lives you have influenced and continue to do so daily.
Nathaniel and I are so blessed that we have you by our sides through hell and high water. Especially me. You are such a blessing everyday in my life and a true gift… our gift 24/7/365…. Well most of the time that is… Lol.

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There are no words that can express how thankful I am for you, how blessed we all are to share life with you, how truly amazing a human you are…. You are what I pray for our son to become; hilarious, selfless, loving, caring and a good man.
Happy Birthday my sweet Rand, I hope and pray it is an amazing birthday!! I LOVE YOU!!!

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~Always Yours,
     Christina

Tiny Boxes Of Feelings

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This time of the year is tough. The drab dreariness outside cause the darkness that I (and so many others) battle on the daily to hulk out into a full on 24/7 fight to keep the demons (panic, anxiety and severe depression) at bay. It in turn brings about the necessity of daily pep talks, meds and pulling myself up and forcing myself to interact with my little family. I never knew the small things could take so much effort before all the darkness hit about 14 years ago.

The holidays are so hard to enjoy. Not just because the seasonal depression compounds the daily depression. But because thanksgiving is my family’s holiday and to be honest it is just not the same. Thanksgiving is the one time a year we all get together. But for the last 3 Thanksgiving gatherings there has been a void that cannot be filled no matter how much laughter there may be… this year is no different.

Every time I walk into my mother’s house and cannot help but to look at my dad’s favorite chair, in his favorite corner and my heart breaks over and over. Three and a half years now Dad has been gone and the loss and pain are still crushing. Sure we go on with lives. We stay strong for our mother and our children. But the hurt is ever present.

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All of these hurts, heartaches, emotions that come from losing my dad are feelings that I do not share with others. It is my own private grief (well it was private). But more than anything I stay strong outwardly for my son, my husband, my mother and my siblings- even as inside I fall apart. A friend asked me once how I shut off my emotions when I am hurting both physically and mentally. I told her I don’t get rid of them nor do I turn them off; I file them away in little boxes to deal with later when I am alone.

I have always done this and I never realized that other people find it strange that I can do that. I kind of approach it like cops do cold cases, I allow myself give it X amount of time to weep and hurt. Then file it away until I have the resources (strength, peace and ability to stay calm) to deal with it.

Tiny boxes = me keeping up and going.

 

BunkerPunks

 

A Letter To My True North

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I remember like it was yesterday, that first meeting face to face. The way you walked up, arms wide open and asked where your hug was. That twinkle in your eye as you looked at me was refreshingly fun and promising. Your quick, corny sense if humor matched mine. The convo wasn’t short and full of fluf. You sat talking, never the same topic, like we had found the greatest treasure…and i most definitely found mine. I walked into my class, floating high from the kiss you stole on the elevator. Running to the window, throwing it open just in time to see you struttin., The HUGE smile on your face reflected what i was feeling and it was beautiful!

SIXTEEN, 16 years ago you came into my life, took my heart and challenged my thoughts, my heart and at times even my sanity. Even though we have had our issues that led to a horrible time, I am so incredibly thankful for that too. Because it brought us to a deeper, organic place of love that we never had before. I know  loving me is far from easy, and I am so blessed to have yours.

Here are sixteen things that I have learned in our time thus far:

  1. You could NEVER get by playing poker, you have a tell that I see for miles. And loved it, then I loved it even more when our son has the exact same tell.
  2. I have learned that if you look at me with such love that it makes me ask why you do love me.
  3. For you to do something that needed to be done, I could have beg for years (and I did)and it didn’t matter. Drastic measures have to be taken to open your eyes. So between your stubbornness and mine, our son’s future spouse already needs an a script for Xanax.
  4. I have learned the little things we do for each other are more important than grand gestures.
  5. From the beginning I knew I had to share you with your mistress…. ANY DANG SPORT THE WILDCATS PLAY.
  6. I have learned that you are the quietest person both physically and emotionally that I have ever known… and that because of that I have had to change cause you scare the pee out of me. (Stop your ninja walking dear sir)
  7. You love without conditions or limits, and I am so thankful for that.
  8. You are the biggest dork in the world. And that meshes great with my inner nerd.
  9. I have learned over the last couple of years all the issues that caused our time apart can be forgiven. (no relationship is perfect nor do we know what goes on in their home).
  10. You are absolutely adorable when you talk baby talk to the pups.
  11. Come hell and high water if I needed you, you would be at my side.
  12. The love we have now is a level a billion times better than the love we started our journey with.
  13. Your fierce love for me and your sexy, string shoulders that have held me too many times to count are the strongest thing in the universe.
  14. I have learn that you can and will embarrass our son on the daily, just to try to connect with him. (BTW all he needs is your love and praise and perhaps a kick in the butt)
  15. You are the most supportive person I have ever met, my biggest cheerleader, fan and sounding board as I write my heart out to share.
  16. I have learned that I can be sick as crap, hair all kinds of crazy, badly needing a bath (yeah it happens when sick) , I look in your eyes and all I see is love, happiness and wish I could see the woman you are seeing. Because she sounds lovely and then maybe I could see why you love me so beautifully.
Babe thank you for the last 16 years, for loving me with the good, for holding me through the ugly times and accepting me for who I am, not who others think we should be. I know times have been hard as hell, but I would walk in fire with you.  I love you to the moon and back. Happy Anniversary My love, my heart, my True North!

The Perfect Day

Bunker Punks Battle #1.  If you could have the perfect day. No limits. Anything goes. What would your perfect day be like?

I sit at the kitchen table stuffing my mouth with about 3000 calories worth of snack cakes and coffee. I realized about a hour earlier that stress is going to really make my butt so much bigger. Hopefully not Kardashian bigger. One’s butt should stay in the same zip code as the rest of your body. Why am I sitting here going through every morsel of junk food? Because today. Today the hubs is taking a very dangerous and scary step. One we have talked about for years, researched like crazy and now his health has gotten to the point that it is this or nothing.

The alarm goes off in the bedroom, waking him from his slumber. I am surprised he has been able to close his eyes and rest. He is going to need that strength to reach his goals. It has been a very hard road that he has traveled to get to this day. He has always been my strength, now it is my turn to be here for him. The risk of what is about to happen is terrifying and sobering. But it has gotten to the point were quality of living has diminished so much it has left no choice really.

We got him signed in, paper work done, IV in place. He looks at me and tries so hard to appear unafraid. After all these years together he doesn’t ever have to act like he is fine. He acts like he is not scared shit less that when he wakes up afterward, he could very well be paralyzed for the rest of his life.

I reach out and I grab his hand and I smile a shaky smile. Trying to blink back the tears that well up in my eyes. I tell him to have faith and say a prayer with him. My arms wrapped so tightly around his shoulders. I bury my face into his neck and inhale his scent. I try to give him all the love, hope and encouragement I have in my heart and soul. The nurse comes to take him back to the OR and as he is getting ready to walk with her down the hall, he reaches for my hand and squeezed. I reach up and kiss him, telling him I love him and will be here when he is finished.

As he walks with the nurse, I hear him chuckle and see in my mind his smile. That smile is so infectious. His eyes light up and twinkle with mischief and love.  He is my heart, my best friend, my cheerleader and greatest supporter. I am so scared for him. I stand there in the hallway and I pray “God I know I have fallen off the path. Grief and anger made nearly jump off the path in defiance. But I know that that man was made for me. He is a part of my very soul and I beg of you Father, PLEASE, PLEASE let this work. Lord you know the pain he is in all the time. And you know I have my own issues, but if it comes down that this doesn’t work, please just give me his pain. Every single bit of it. He, above anyone I have ever met; deserves to have a pain free and happy life. Please be with the doctors and guide their hands. Amen.”

I sit alone in the waiting room, watching every tick of the loud, annoying clock on the wall of the family waiting area. This waiting sucks butt.  I cannot help but to  think how he has had to be on this end of things  waiting for me. To me this is the worst part. All the thoughts I have tried to keep at bay while trying to be strong for him take this time to flood my brain. All the “what ifs’ and “I hopes” run through and deep in my heart make me afraid to be too optimistic. I sit and I think of all the things he will be able to do again. Softball, basketball, get on roller coasters and spend all day in bed making up for lost time. And then the side of me I got from my mother rears it’s ugly head. I think about how much his life will change if it doesn’t work. Him in a wheelchair the rest of his life… and then this thought hits me… so fucking what if he is wheelchair dependent. So what if instead of playing basketball, he kicks ass in wheel chair racing. No matter what I will not allow him to devalue himself if he can no longer walk. He is the best, most kind and beautiful soul I have ever met and he is stuck with me through thick and thin. I love him. I love him in a way that he makes my heart swell with love and happiness and he is my true north.

Finally I see the surgeon walking toward me and I wait with baited breath. PLEASE GOD LET THIS BE GOOD NEWS! I walk his way in a hurry to find out how my husband is doing. The doctor lights up the room with a smile of joy and pride. He looks me in the eye and tells me EVERYTHING went perfectly and in the next few hours the love of my life should be able to walk without any assistance. I go into the recovery room a hour later and he is beaming. He actually feels his left leg again. The next morning I walk into his room and there he stands! His street clothes on and no cane or walker anywhere. He is pain free! And he is walking out of the hospital holding my hand and beaming with joy.

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That would be my perfect day. My Rand healed and healthy and without pain.

Stop Telling Me To Calm Down!

HELL YES!

A Buick in the Land of Lexus

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I am not a calm person.

I suck in a crisis. When my kid is sick, I put on a fake calm facade, smiling bravely while I dial the pediatrician, all the while internally chanting “OMG he’s gonna die, OMG he’s gonna die…”

I barely survived September 11. Was I calm? NOT EVEN A TINY BIT. I cried, lost my shit and just generally acted like it was my last day on earth. Which I thought it was.

Calm? I wish I’d gotten my hands on a Colt M16 assault rifle. I would have gone all “Say hello to my little friend” on those motherfuckers who were trampling me to death while we tried to evacuate a building in midtown Manhattan.

Hurricane Sandy was yet another opportunity to be so NOT calm. To my credit, I started out calm – after all, I have a kid, But by the third day of no…

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Greatest Lesson Learned

“Mom you will have to help me with my homework.” says my 7th grade son.

I used to not even flinch at this being said, and then came things like common core. Who in the world thought this was a good idea… Was a complete butt munch. Let’s add 15 more steps to anything that kids and their parents already knew how to do, cause we don’t have enough to do already.
You see my son is a extremely intelligent kid, So he is in all advanced classes. Which means I have to attempt to learn things I have long since forgotten, in a completely different way than before.

It has been 16 years since I finished college. And in those 16 years I got in a wreck, got married, had a kid, had 2 miscarriages, got seriously ill, had 4 major hospital stays, nearly died twice, had major marriage issues, got divorced, lost my father who was my best friend, got back together with the husband, got seriously ill and stay in constant pain.  I have tried and failed many, many times throughout these years to be a good mom. A good mom, not just a good enough mom.

So much of the things he is learning in school is also rather new to me as well. And as much as I try, I come away fearing I have let him down. For me that is a soul crushing thought. Because even though I have always tried my best and even though I know my congenital illness is not my fault nor can i change the past. I am heart broken that sometimes I am not able to help him when he needs it. This is a new thing for me. I have never had to say “baby boy I don’t know how to do this”. And yet that sweet boy comes to me and piles up on the couch or in bed beside me, books and paper everywhere. He knows I cannot always help him, and still he comes to me for whatever help I can give him.

I used to think of those times that they were one sided as far as help and learning go. But as he and I have gotten older I know beyond a shadow of doubt that he is my greatest medicine I could ever have and the best example of acceptance and love I have ever known. He sees me in my darkest, most painful times and his old soul comes out to heal my heart and mind.

You see he is my miracle child. One I prayed for my entire life. That little man of mine… He is my heart. So whatever it takes to be his momma and help him I will try. Because he deserves me at my best, but loves me even at my worst. And that is the best lesson we have learned together.
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