Abuse, Grief, Life

I Watched a Movie, and Feel Like God Spoke To Me


There are certain times in your life where you feel like you have an epiphany. Like the clouds clearing, and the sun coming out and shining down on you and you think to yourself oh my God there it is… the answer I didn’t even know I was looking for.

Well I watched a movie on Mother’s Day evening that gave me the same reaction, and I feel the need to share.

The movie was called “The Shack” starring Sam Worthington.

It’s about a man whose young daughter is kidnapped and murdered. He, of course, is beyond devastated, and he blames God for not saving her. In reality, his relationship with God has been fractured since childhood because of his inability to escape an abusive father.

Watching this movie and how he healed his relationship with God, and was able to start healing from the loss of his daughter through a series of events, really spoke to me.  I mean I sat there watching the movie with one half of my brain while the other half was sorting out the epiphany I was having. 

I’m not going to review the movie, or explain it further, because I want you to watch it, but I wanted to touch on what the movie said to me, and why it spoke to me.

One of my biggest faults is that I hold a grudge forever. It’s really one of my worst personality traits; my inability to forgive the people who have done me the most harm in my life. I hold onto the anger, the rage, the hurt, and I am completely incapable of forgiving them for what they have done to me. All I can think about is wanting them to hurt like they hurt me. Wanting some form of revenge that would possibly make me feel better. 

For those who know me very well, and I mean 20+ years or more, these people know that I am a religious person. I have a special relationship with my Lord to where I don’t feel the need to go to a church because I believe He is with me all the time. If I sit down and speak to Him, He is there no matter where I’m at. My failure despite all that I believe in is in not giving my pain over to God.

However, now I realize that like the man in the movie I have a fractured relationship with my Lord as well. Have had apparently most of my life.  My inability to forgive the people who have hurt me most in my lifetime, and my ignorance, have allowed me to believe that I am in the position of being the “Judge”. The one who makes the decision on whether the persons who hurt me pays for their crimes for eternity or not. Turns out that’s not my job. Now I realize that. My job, it seems, is to forgive them for what they have done to me and let God sort it all out in the end.
 

It doesn’t mean I have to immediately let go of the anger at what they did to me, nor do I have to forget what I’ve been through, but I do have to release all of the heavy baggage that’s weighed down my heart and my soul for so long because it’s not my burden to carry. I am not the judge, jury, or executioner. 

God knows what these people have done to me, and how bad they hurt me, and He will be the one they have to stand before in judgment.

Life, Women

The Pot of “Hope” at the end of the Rainbow

The Pot of “Hope” at the end of the Rainbow

It was my birthday last week, and let me tell you, I FREAKING LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!  I turned 49 years old laying flat on my back sick as a dog and STILL loved my birthday. MSP (or Mr. Sexy Pants my Hubby for those of you new here) sent me flowers, and I had tons of Facebook posts to respond to with crossed eyes and blurred vision.  Heaven!

Now to be perfectly honest I’m working hard everyday to make this 49 look like 29.  I’m every self-help guru’s, cream selling, supplement advertisement, and this can be you’s pot of “hope” at the end of the rainbow.  Man, they can smell me coming from a mile away.  I’m helpless; it’s a problem. 

For example, one of my friends has been working out and eating right for 4 months and has lost 21lbs!  Heck yes I want to work out and eat right too.  Come on, 21lbs is AMAZING.  Never mind that I’ve been a couch potato for the past 2 years and cannot walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop.  Let’s do this!  The power of suggestion is strong with this one!

Example two:  I’m noticing more than your average “fine lines and wrinkles” popping up on my trying to be 29 again face.  Are you kidding me?  Say hello to my skincare regimen by DRMTLGY.  DRMTLGY – Medical Grade Skin Care | Official Site

I spend a LOT of time asking myself why I have to wash my face TWICE a day when I do not wear makeup or leave my house most days.  I also spend quite a bit of time trying to remember whether or not I use the serum before or after the anti-ageing eye cream.  Also, NO ONE told me that if you’ve never used retinol before that you should go SLOW with it.  Using it every day right off the bat will MAKE YOUR FACE PEEL OFF!  No joke, my face turned into fish scales for a week.  Nevertheless, I’m in.  I’m washing and scrubbing and putting so many things on my face I added like 20 minutes to my 5 minute get ready routine every day.

So, I’m working out, losing weight, getting back in shape.  My face has peeled completely off like a snake and I think at least ONE of my wrinkles has disappeared (WINNING!) Now let’s talk about what’s going on inside of this 49 trying to look 29 body.

NEWS FLASH:  According to Pinterest you need to take vitamins along with eating right.  (My love of Pinterest is a real thing!)  Apparently, apple cider vinegar is a THING so yup, I’m taking smelly ACV supplements along with my horse pill size women’s multi.  I’ve tried one kind of ACV, have since found another one that is supposedly THE BEST, and will be switching to that when I run out of this one.  Thanks Facebook advertisement.  UGH.

Then one day while enjoying a “how-to” video for winged eye-liner (stupid, remember I almost never wear makeup.  What was I doing there?) I get hit with a “Do you know that you lose 90% of the collagen in your body by 30 years old” advertisement.  (Thanks again FB, ugh)  This leads me down a RABBIT HOLE of collagen supplements both pill and powder form.  With and without amino acids, peptides, and vitamin C.  Did you know that you need 5 kinds of collagen?  Really?  Look it up!  I decided on this one Codeage Multi Collagen Powder With 10,000mcg Biotin, Keratin, Vitamins

because it has it all, I don’t feel like researching anymore, and I can just put it in my coffee in the morning and forget about it.  Please don’t let my hair grow any more or get thicker!!! 

Speaking of hair.  Get ready for this.  I have enough hair on my head for 5 women.  Maybe more.  I have such thick hair that I have about half of it shaved off underneath (ears down) to help my neck get some air.  You would never know that though BECAUSE I STILL HAVE SO MUCH HAIR! 

I decide one day to buy a clarifying shampoo and a super conditioner to give me “shampoo commercial” hair again.  I’ve lost my shine y’all.  So, there I was in the shower double washing my hair with this clarifying shampoo when I realized that my fingers were literally stuck in my hair.  It’s as if I had one giant dreadlock.  Commence freak out. 

I try to rinse but it’s not working.  I get the super duper conditioner and start trying to work it into the dreadlock with no avail.  Now, I’ve been in the shower for a while and I’m in danger of running out of hot water.  I turn off the water and just sit there praying that the conditioner starts working.  I get a shower comb and start picking at it.  Nope, not working.  Do I just call out to Mr. Sexy Pants to come and shave my head??? 

Thirty minutes later, 30 MINUTES LATER, I’m almost crying as I’ve ripped out a billion strands of hair detangling it.  I finally turn on the water, rinse it off, and get out.  After losing a BILLION strands of hair I was feeling okay except for my head hurting like I’ve just been in a 10th grade girl fight getting drug down the hall by my hair. 

MSP has justifiably assumed I’ve been kidnapped since I’ve been gone for so long.    

NEWS FLASH #2 Do NOT use clarifying shampoo if you have naturally DRY hair.  Just don’t.  You’re welcome.

Now MSP has a ring-side seat to the glorious mess that is me.  He supports me working out and being crippled a couple times a month because I did too many reps of something without stretching, or tried to pick up something way too heavy for me.  He hasn’t said one word about the buffet size display of face goop in the bathroom.  When my face peeled off in ugly little flakes he just shook his head and once he made sure I wasn’t hurting just ignored it like it wasn’t even happening.  He’s a trooper and hopes that I just don’t lose my sanity before we can retire and travel. 

Xoxo,

Jeanie

Healthy Lifestyle, Life, Women

My Dorky Island Life

My Dorky Island Life

Thirty years ago, on our honeymoon, two teenagers (my husband and I) came down to the Texas coast and had a dream of one day living on this beautiful island.  Fast forward to today, and we’ve been living that dream off and on for 4 years now.  My husband (from here forward MSP or Mr. Sexy Pants) and I, along with roughly 15,000 other like-minded souls, have the absolute pleasure of waking up on, or near, the water every single day.  Winning!

I’ve made some wonderful new friends over the past year, and just realized that I need to update the “About Me” portion of my blog for those new to my world.

My blog is called “Housecat in Paradise” because

#1  I nap a lot just like my 4 beautiful kitties, and

#2  I live in Paradise

I’ve never been an overly “neighborly” neighbor.

Example one.

I’ve tried the giving of gifts to introduce myself with horrible results.  There I am, holding a plant for lack of a better idea, with my biggest hello smile on my face only to be met with wide eyes, a quick plant snatch out of my hands, and something mumbled as the door closed in my face.  I never even got her name.  Maybe I’m just not meant to be a welcome wagon.

Example two. 

I walk my beloved pooch Willie up and down the streets surrounding our home, and met the cutest older gentleman named Bob.  Bob and his dog are adorable so I approach and introduce myself.  Bob is so happy that we bought our house and is delighted to meet us.  I’m pumped.  I’m being neighborly.  Several times later, Willie and I are out walking around and I see Bob again so we wander over to say hi.   With excited eyes Bob is again so delighted to meet us and wonders if we just bought our house.  I don’t have the heart to tell Bob that this is the 4th time that we’ve met. 

Another delight of the island is riding my bike.  Boy, I haven’t ridden a bike since I was an unlicensed teenager and I don’t remember it being such a workout.  I remember riding for hours, every day, and the pure joy of it.  Now I’m using Map My Ride so I can not only find my way back home, but to also just make it a little longer of a ride than last time.  Progress is key!

Last December I was feeling the spirit of the season and decided to just share my joy by taking the “Great Banana” out for a spin.  My first bike in over 30 years!  MSP wants me to wear a helmet, but I won’t tell if you don’t. 

The kicker was I wore a Santa hat, my “Don’t Stop Believing” t-shirt and had a huge Bluetooth speaker in my cute little basket blaring Christmas music as I went.  Sunny and 70 degrees, I caroled my way through the streets surrounding my house, and made a few people smile.  Mission completed.  Later on Facebook I posted my route and how much fun I had and was pleasantly surprised by comments of those who said I had made their day when they heard me and wondered where that music was coming from.  Yearly tradition created!

Girl Time

Around 5 months ago I decided that I needed some girl time.  One cannot live on dog walks, and bike rides alone so I researched island activities and joined a personal training studio PLUS a Womens Empowerment group.  2021 is my year y’all!

LifeFit Personal Training Studio www.lifefitpts.com was my first attempt at putting myself out there.  Not only am I determined to make 49 years old look like 29 years old, but I’ve also met some of the most amazing women ever within those walls.  Tasha, the owner, Nicole, and Amanda have already transformed my body, mind, and mentality in just 5 short months.  The other ladies I work out with are real life inspirations to me, and I’m so happy to have met them all.  I wear funny t-shirts like “Shut up legs, you’re fine”, and “Suck it up Buttercup” to help me laugh through the squats.

Next, I was accepted into Padre Islands Women’s Empowerment Group by the amazing Jolynn.  JoLynn started this awesome group almost 3 years ago, and it has an astounding 818 members.  Every month roughly 30 of us meet to “empower” each other and/or discuss how we can make the world/our island a better place.  Let me tell you something.  You want to talk about empowerment?  These women are incredible.   Mothers, teachers, nurses, professionals in their fields, retired, big-hearted, and powerful each in their own way.  How much fun to spend time with all of them.  My heart is full.

Everyday I have an adventure on this beautiful island whether it’s right off of my back deck jumping into the boat with MSP, or out and about discovering new things.  One thing for certain is that I will continue to try to be a great neighbor, always have coffee if you want to stop by, and you may or may not see me out on the “Great Banana” singing a song, or walking Willie introducing myself to Bob.  Again.

xoxo

Abuse, Father, Grief

Anyone Can be A Father

 

DEDICATION:

To my Mother, Susan Jean Sundy (1949-2006), for protecting me with her life, and to my Aunt Barb for believing me.

 

“It is impossible to please all the world and one’s father”. – Jean De La Fontaine

 

PREFACE

This is not an easy blog to write.  I have struggled with its release in ways you cannot imagine.  I have this burden on my soul that I’ve been carrying around for my entire life, and today it’s screaming to come out. I feel as if I will just drown if I do not set this free, so here I am. I may be the only person to read this, and that’s okay.  There are no cute pictures, no funny moments, just an end to a lifetime of silence where hopefully my Mother and I can gain peace.

This is a true story, my story. A story that should not have to be told, but because of the trauma left behind…. well, there’s no choice really. The only way to make the pain go away is to cut it out. I’m sure this will come as a surprise to many, and make many angry, but I can’t help you process what you are about to read. I couldn’t even process, or help myself.  I also will not argue with you as you were not there for the worst.

This story is about love, and obsession. Addiction, and abuse. Hate and pain. Neglect, and avoidance. Acceptance, forgiveness, and guilt. So much guilt.

My Daddy died in May of 2018. I cannot remember which day. If that shocks you, you may want to hold on for the rest.

To put things into perspective, when my Momma died September 29, 2006 I wanted to lay down in that coffin and go with her. Not a soul realized how deep my grief was, and that only by the grace of God that bottle of pills I took did not grant my wish.

I survived to see my Momma buried, and to spend the next year of my life wishing I were dead as well. It was a bleak, horrible time where I kept most of what I was thinking and feeling inside so as not to scare my family. My love for them, and theirs for me, is how I pulled out of the worst part of the grief, but that took so long.

I’m still recovering 13 years later.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Momma and Daddy were married when I was 13 months old. That’s another story. I have a picture of them on their wedding day where my beaming Daddy is holding me and standing next to my very solemn mother. It’s one of the few pictures I have of all of us together, but I will get to that later. I always wondered why isn’t Mommy smiling?

I have no memory of my mother being happy with my father. She was the happiest person in the world with me, but that happiness disappeared when Daddy was around. They had to be happy at some point, because I was conceived, right? I’ll never know where the happiness my mother felt just disappeared to. I have my own theory, but that’s another story too.

Another tidbit of information is that my father loved my mother to the point of obsession. Nothing mattered to him besides her. Nothing, and that included, me. He wanted her to himself, and Lord help anyone who got in the way. I got in the way a lot. I was a very sickly child, and sickly children want/need their mommas. I was also an only child until I was 15, so my mother was my very best friend and favorite toy. Momma and I had an unbelievably close bond that lasted her entire life, and because of that bond there was a lot of jealousy coming from my father. Obsession is not reasonable.

Here’s the thing people didn’t realize. My father was a violent alcoholic. People knew he drank, but Momma and I did our very best to keep others from knowing how bad he was. Every memory of my life that includes Daddy he was drinking. It feels like I am rambling, but there are things you need to know in order to understand the entire story.

I believe that Daddy’s drinking became a violent addiction because of me. Daddy wanted my mom, and only my mom, but there I was. A sickly baby/child being taken care of by her stay-at-home mother whom apparently was not giving him all the attention he thought he deserved.

Momma and I could not even pray together at night before bed because he would accuse us of whispering about/against him. Momma would later tell me that she caught him trying to smother me with a pillow in my crib when I was an infant. Why would a mother tell her child this information you ask? She told me because I would cry desperate tears to her asking her why Daddy didn’t love me, and why did Daddy hurt me? She was as honest as she could be while trying to explain his obsession of her, and that he did love me, he just had a problem. She was also a little put out with me for always trying to do special things to make Daddy love me.

Turns out my father had many problems. Anger, obsession, fear, alcohol, violence. I was desperate for his love for as long as I can remember, and I’m guessing there’s a syndrome for whatever it is that I’ve been through because all I can remember is pain, and fear, and the terrible feeling of being unloved.

 

CHAPTER TWO

If you were to ask, I would say that I was born at 13 years old. Sounds weird even to me, but I have almost no memory of my childhood. I have a decent amount of memories of my Momma and myself, happy memories of the things we used to do together, but I have almost no memories of my Daddy until I was around 13 years old.

When I was in my 30’s I was friends with a psychiatrist who said it was probably a good thing I could not remember most of my childhood, and that as long as I felt that I could live my life without knowing, that I should never try to uncover those memories. The mind can only handle so much before it just breaks, and my mind had closed the door to my first years of life to protect me.

As a teenager the overwhelming emotion that I remember feeling towards my father was fear. Constant fear that made me hide from him when at all possible. Since he started drinking as soon as he came home from work there was very little “safe” time for me. Only when I was at school, or he was gone could I breathe.

Momma and Daddy fought a lot when I was younger. I remember full cups of coffee being thrown across the room to smash against the wall. Daddy breaking his hand by punching the refrigerator because he would never touch my mother in anger. They fought because of his drinking, because of his disgust for anything I did. They fought because I existed, and he hated me for it. By the time I was a teen I had such anxiety that my throat would close up when anything upset me. All the screaming at me. All the horrible words, the slaps at the dinner table for speaking, the glassy eyed glares… I still suffer with this anxiety today.

I blame myself for Momma being so unhappy for so long. She tried to leave him when I was little, but I remember crying, begging her “don’t leave my daddy” until she stayed. Why did I do that? Was it just a child’s need to keep her parents together? Was it the fact that I had not been able to get him to love me yet, so we couldn’t go? All I know is I added at least a decade of misery to her life, both of our lives, that I can never make up to her.

My 5’ 4” mother was my hero. She would stand up to my 6’ 2” father and back him down. Not out of fear. He backed down out of love for her. Sometimes. She wasn’t always successful in protecting me.

 

CHAPTER THREE

I know some will be saying at this point that Daddy didn’t hate me. That is where you would be dead wrong. Being held up off the floor with his hand around my throat, squeezing, while looking me dead in the eyes and saying “I can’t wait until you are old enough so that I can hit you without killing you” would prove otherwise.

I was always very petite as a teen. Topping out at 88lbs at 5’ 7” tall when I was 16 years old. It was my chore to take the trash bags out of the garage, and to the curb each week for pickup. This particular week I was told to take out huge lawn and garden bags of trash. I came inside and told Daddy that they were too heavy, covered in maggots, and that I couldn’t lift them. I was not strong enough, and was scared of the bugs so I asked if he could take them out to the curb for me.

Huge mistake. I should have found a way to not ask for help because the fury that rained down on me was so much worse than 1,000 maggots. The look on his face, the red of his eyes, haunt me still today. He got up from his recliner, drug me to my bedroom while I was screaming for him to stop. Momma came running but Daddy had his foot on the door so she couldn’t open it. He took off his belt and told me to undress.

Now this belt was the leather kind with half dollar sized holes in it and little studs around each hole as decoration. This was not the first time he had used it on me, but I swore it would be the last. I told myself no matter how bad the pain I would not give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry one more time. I was done crying for him.

In his alcohol induced rage, fueled with a lifetime of hate for me, he hit me over and over again. When I would not scream, and would not cry he doubled down and used the belt buckle on me up and down my spine until he broke me. All the while he is screaming at me that I made him do this to me, and Momma is screaming at an unholy volume trying to break down the door to get to me.

When the beating stopped, and Momma stopped crashing against the door, he just stared at me while putting his belt back on. I didn’t move to cover myself, I don’t remember if I could move at all to be honest. He then opened the door and left the room.

What I heard next is indescribable still to this day. I hear Daddy yell out in pain, I go running out to the living room where my mother is standing over my father and beating him with a 2×4. She had hit him in the knees with the board to knock him down, and once down, that was it. She attacked him. When she could not get to me, she laid in wait to avenge me. That’s the last memory I have of that night. He loves me, right? There were so many more instances of violence but I need to move on.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

At the age of 17 my mother kicked Daddy out, and my parents finally divorced. Two things preceded this joyous event. Momma said that Daddy cheated on her, he denied it, and number two, because I asked her to. After yet another drunken argument over God knows what I followed Momma out onto the front porch of our home and asked her to please divorce Daddy. I told her that she shouldn’t have to live this way, and I wanted her to be happy. She looked me right in the eye and said “OK”. She told me that she had just been waiting for the time that I would be okay with it, and not beg her to stay like before. As simple, and as complicated as that. Starting immediately Momma proceeded to cut Daddy out of every picture we had ever taken of him, and we had a bonfire in the front yard.

This amazingly strong, and fiercely loving woman had stayed in this miserable marriage because years and years ago I had begged her no to leave my Daddy. For the second time in my life I just broke.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

After a period of time Momma met, and married someone else. Larry Sundy would be my beloved step-father for 20 years until his death a few years ago.

Once Momma married Larry and moved in with him I ended up living with Daddy again. Daddy moved back into our house as Momma moved out to start her new life.

For the next year I would live with Daddy in our house. Clean, cook (when he would eat), and take care of him. When he was passed out drunk, I would make sure he was not flat on his back wherever he fell so he wouldn’t vomit and choke to death while sleeping. I would use my lunch money to buy, and bring him lunch to his construction job-site so he wouldn’t starve. He wanted my mother back in the worst way. He was grieving and suffering trying to live a life without her. He was losing so much weight since the divorce, he was a shadow of his former, larger than life self. He may or may not have noticed that I was there.

I had already been through the “why doesn’t Daddy love me?” stage, through the “mad as hell” stage, and I was now firmly in the “feel sorry, and treat him like a child” stage.

I was no longer scared of my father, I pitied him. I pitied him for what he could have had, what he lost, and maybe, just maybe I was still trying to get him to love me.

 

CHAPTER SIX

Time jump to 18 years old where I meet my now husband, get pregnant, get married, and have a beautiful baby girl. In my fathers eyes my husband does not have the right color skin to marry his baby girl, so begins my 26 years of banishment.

Not only am I seemingly dead to him, Daddy wants nothing to do with my daughter. His first and only grand-child. Oh I would get a 5 minute phone call maybe once a year, or I would call and catch him for 5 minutes on a holiday over the years, but for the most part my father was gone from my life.

One would think that I would be happy with this outcome, but remember the un-named syndrome I mentioned in the beginning? I wasn’t happy. “Why didn’t Daddy love me or my child?” became my mantra. Before Momma died I would talk to her about it all the time and she had no answers for me. Why did I need his love anyways? I was now resentful of his new life and family. He clearly shows the human decency and capacity to love and give a crap about them, why not us? After all the years, all I had been through, taking care of him and I get a distant 5 minute phone call once a year. Somewhere in my 30’s I broke again.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

After 30+ years of physical, and emotional pain I was finally able to put up a wall. This wall served me well for many years. I was able to handle that 5 minute, once a year phone call without blinking. No more tears, no more feelings of inadequacy, no more “why doesn’t he love me”.

I was also able to live with the fact that if my 20 something daughter saw my father on the street she wouldn’t know him. That she might have spoken to him twice in her entire life, and that was when she was very young. Larry was her grandpa, and he was a great grandpa. I’m happy to say that my daughter never once missed the fact that one of her paternal grandfathers wanted nothing to do with her.

Sure, Daddy would say “Tell everyone I love them” before hanging up the phone with me, but come on. Did he really? He never asked to speak to either of them, so who knows.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Around 2016 I started to make a conscious effort of getting closer with my father. He was 67, almost all grey hair, and his mortality started to be top of mind. He still drank, but he didn’t get drunk as much. If he happened to be drunk when we spoke he wasn’t mean. I didn’t feel threatened anymore, so I decided to put myself out there again.

Now at this point you would think I’m glutton for punishment. Just a sad little girl still trying to get her daddy to love her. Maybe I was, but for the first time in years when we spoke he sounded like he really wanted to talk to me. We talked once a month or more for quite a while until I asked if I could come visit with him and his wife.

Now, I had zero expectations that this was going to be a good trip, but I’m apparently one hell of an optimist, and off I went. Four days, and three nights just the three of us. After all the years of negligence there was no way I would ask my husband or daughter to go with me.

Turns out that I had a beautiful time. A great visit, lots of quality time with Daddy, and I traveled home in a daze of wonder.

After 28 years I had my Daddy back. Yes, I remembered that he did all of that awful stuff, but he’s my father. Just because I forgave did not mean that I had forgotten. Daddy loves me. Yay!

Looking back it sounds pitiful and wonderful all at the same time. I had lived so long just wanting this one human being to love me, act like he loved me, and make me feel deep down inside that I was loved. He had to say it, show it, and I had to feel it, see it in his eyes. Words were not enough anymore.

It’s hard to explain the victorious feeling I carried with me for the next year or so. To say that it is a shame that it took 44 years to happen is an understatement.

 

CHAPTER NINE

In September 2017, while on my annual Mom’s trip to commemorate the life of my mother, I get a call that Daddy is in the hospital with a form of leukemia. I leave Puerto Vallarta and fly straight to St. Louis to be with him. Oh my God, my daddy is sick. My momma is gone, and now Daddy is sick. I’m immobilized with the fear of becoming an orphan.

I get to the hospital, where I stay for a week, and as I told my Aunt, it was the weirdest experience. I felt like I was at the hospital taking care of an old man that I didn’t know very well. Sure, the trip to visit last year was fun, but now we are alone with nothing to talk about and I’m sitting here not understanding my feelings. I’m so confused.

 

CHAPTER TEN

Time jump to May 2018. Despite everything being done I get the call that Daddy has died. My brother and I get to Illinois as soon as we can, and I’m just devastated. Devastated purely because my father is gone. Not my Daddy. The man who helped to make me was gone. The man who just finally started to really love me after 44 years was gone. I finally won only to have my prize taken from me.

I deliver a stumbling, sobbing eulogy at his funeral with the carefully chosen words of a daughter who had no idea really who her father was. Did I mention that I cannot even remember the date that he died? The grief is not the same as what I went through with my mother. I cried harder at Larry’s funeral than I did at my own fathers. Who’s fault is that?

 

EPILOGUE

I am full of guilt that I don’t remember when he died, and that I didn’t grieve the same as when I lost Momma and Larry. I hate the fact that we were just starting to be friends when he died. I was furious that I finally earned the love of this man whom I had been waiting for my entire life, and he was taken from me. I waited too long to reach out… Or did I? He could have reached out long ago too. I never made him apologize for what he did to me, and how he treated my mother because I truly believe he would not have understood that he did anything wrong. How can I stay mad at someone who just wanted to be with, and love my mom forever, and I came along and ruined everything? To me it would have been like kicking a puppy. Just cruelty to something that doesn’t know what it did wrong.

I’m writing this today to just get it out into the universe. I had to wait until he was gone before I unburdened my soul. Even now I do not want to hurt him, so I wait until he’s gone to free myself. I spent my whole life trying to earn his love, I never wanted revenge. What I wanted for 46 years was a Daddy, and except for a brief, glorious moment of time that I will cherish forever, all I got was a Father.

Life, Women

Observe and Report. My morning of discovery in a ”sacred” female place.

Sacred. Well, not really, but yes, a beauty salon is the place where we go and spill our guts to the stylist who makes us beautiful. Come in Raggedy Ann, mini girl-talk therapy session while getting foiled or a blow out, and then you leave looking like Cinderella, or Jasmine, or Snow White without about 5 lbs. of emotional baggage you just dropped on your stylist. She’s in there sweeping it away right now BTW.

I sat under a dryer waiting for my blonde bombshell color to develop, and because I was relaxed and alone for the moment I closed my eyes, and started taking in the white noise of our “sacred” place. Some top 40 music, lots of water and dryers, but most of all chatting. You could be chatting with the same stylist you’ve had for years, or unloading on a brand new one that you just met.

You know you do it. We all do. My stylist is the ONLY living person who knows if I have any grey hairs at all. I told her not to even tell me. That’s a bond my friends. Do not take these bonds for granted.

That being said, I sat under my dryer and caught the conversation of the stylist and customer closest to me. My eyes were closed, so for as far as they knew I could have been asleep. There was no anger, malice, judgement, or complaining from this lovely customer, but her words shocked me nonetheless. She just sat there telling her stylist that her husband was pretty much useless unless a light bulb needs to be changed. She went on to describe that she’s in fact the handy one in the marriage, and if she cannot do it they simply hire out.

What struck me was the absolute nonchalance of her words. It was like she was stating that she was going to buy bread at Whole Foods today, and maybe wash her Audi on the way home.

My questions are as follows: (Gonna make some of you mad here, but I know that, and I also don’t care as this is an OPINION blog).

1. As the woman appeared in her late 30’s, early 40’s I assume (could be wrong) that her husband is around that same age. How in the world does a man that age get through life and be so “useless” (Her words, not mine)? I have a theory on this, but that’s for later. Look for THEORY in all caps further down.

2. WHY would any woman marry, or get past the first few months of dating a man that is “useless”. Useless based on her conversation and my interpretations would be someone who cannot change a tire, cannot change the oil on their vehicle, cannot replace a broken toilet, cannot unclog the kitchen sink, cannot install ceiling fans, and/or light fixtures. I could go on forever, but you get my drift.

Let’s be honest about a few things here. Women can do all of that stuff themselves. We can learn, and do all the same stuff, but why should we? If you prefer to be single is it because other than sex you can take care of everything else on your own without dealing with “Useless Man Baby”, and his “man cold” that rivals the pain of natural childbirth?

I am getting to my theory now.

THEORY……………………………..

I’m late 40’s, as is my husband. Our grand-fathers generation (GOAT’s moving forward in this blog) was the last generation of men who were 100% taught by their fathers how to not be a “Useless Man Baby”. Their fathers taught them how to work on cars, small engines, how to build a house from the ground up, how to build a vehicle from the ground up. Our grandfathers were of the “Greatest Generation” and proceeded to come home from war and make sure their sons grew up to be the kind of men who could provide, and take care of their family. Their sons, and/or male relations are Gen 1’s.

After multiple conversations with wives of our GOATS, Gen 1’s, and their Gen 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s here is what I hypothesize.

Gen 1’s taught about 75% of their son’s and/or male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. Gen 1’s which would be someone my father’s age, born in the late 40’s early 50’s. These men also went to war to fight for our country, and came back teaching their sons and male relatives how not to be “Useless Man Babies”. My father was Grizzly Adams and MacGuyver all rolled into one. He too could take a toothpick and a stick of gum out into the jungle and build a shopping mall. I was fascinated watching him build, create, fix, and just plain keep things working right, and our world together. Stability, safety. Two very strong words when describing what it’s like to live with a man like that.

Gen 1’s held back a little or were riddled with PTSD, and they imparted about 50% of their useful knowledge onto their Gen 2 sons, and male relations. This is where you start seeing the disconnect. Gen 1’s are able to get maybe 50% of their Gen 2 sons, and/or male relations to take an interest. Sure, things are getting a little more electronic, and digitized, but that lawnmower can be fixed, and yes you sure can put up an 8 ft board-on-board privacy fence around your back yard over the weekend with a buddy. Hell, flat tires are virtually unchanged in the way they are removed and replaced with a new tire.

Gen 3’s are our generation. Born in late 60’s, early 70’s. Things get a little tougher here for multiple reasons. The herd of “Useful Men” has been culled. With only 25% of their sons, or male relations receiving any teaching, skills, common sense, problem solving abilities, and/or how to change a broken load leveling system on a 1991 Ford Expedition with just some hand tools and a friend with beer holding a drop light and playing music. Gen 3’s have about a 10% chance to get just one survival skill ingrained into their sons heads that doesn’t involve just calling 911. Gen 3’s are seeing first hand that if it’s not something that AAA can handle, and how do you call a tow truck again??????

The Gen 4’s are in trouble. Gen 4’s are those born in the 80’s, and 90’s. These highly educated, or digitally engrossed men are the newest generation of “Useless Man Babies”. We are looking at maybe, and I’m being generous here, a 10% ability to take care of themselves, much less a girlfriend, wife, and/or children. Not only do they suffer from almost complete lack of courtesy which should have been ingrained for the past 4 GENERATIONS into their brains, but they do not even stop to offer assistance. Been there. Been ignored as an out of town female driver in a ball gown no less, on the side of the highway with a flat, in the dark, could not get the lug nuts loose to get the tire off, and you guessed it. 200 cars drive by, and 2 hours later I’m calling a tow truck.

Let’s wrap this OPINION post up by saying a few things.

* I understand why more and more women in their 30’s and up are saying that marriage is not a viable option for them. They can have children if they want, have careers if they want, and change their own damn tires if they want. (NOTE: must have lug wrench, check your trunk ladies, don’t just assume)

* Why would any intelligent woman want to have children with, or try and build a life with a “Useless Man Baby” unless you are assured that you have a Gen 3 or higher. You will be planning on building your life on low hanging DNA. Do you want your sons to be the 5%?

I know some of you are going to be insulted cause I just told you that your man is the untaught, uninterested Gen 3, or Gen 4. You know if me saying it out loud puts you in a bad place then just take a deep breath and regroup. You already know it, and have just accepted that you love him, and it doesn’t matter that you wear the pants in the family, and have to go check your vehicle and see if you have all the proper tools to replace a blown out tire. Jack, lug wrench, good spare…….

My daughter is a Gen 4 and I’m horrified at 90% of the boyfriends she has. Useless. Just freaking useless. How am I supposed to just let her ride off into the sunset with one of these “Useless Man Babies” when I know her father will end up coming to rescue her, and HIM, when things go south.

Guys, get your shit together. Take a course on some common sense things that up your percentage of usefulness. It’s not the 40’s or 50’s anymore. You have to bring more to the table than a paycheck. That’s not ALL we need you for. Remember, we women are getting paid too, and we are telling our confidants how useless you are. We cannot help it. Break the cycle. Ask your Dad, or grandfather for some help if they are still around. Use your resources. YouTube and Google. Seriously.

Basically, if you cannot be the man she needs you to be, sit the hell down so she can see the man standing behind you.

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Life, Momma

I Am A Strong Woman Because A Strong Woman Raised Me

Sunday, May 13th is Mother’s Day in the U.S.  A day to celebrate Moms….. Fur baby Moms, single fathers who are both Moms and Dad, and Moms who are no longer with us.

I lost my Mom in 2006, and I have a handful of friends, and family who have also lost their mothers since then.  I know for most of us that Mother’s Day is at the very bottom of our list of favorite holidays now, but it’s also one that I started celebrating again.  You see, I’m also a mother.  A mother of a beautiful, and loving 26 year old daughter who is so important to me that I push back the bad thoughts of losing my mother, and concentrate on her.

I look forward to spending time with her doing things that I love, and she mostly hates.  🙂  It cracks me up that she just fights through the boredom to do what makes me happy.  It also makes my heart fill up that she loves me enough to just spend time with me doing “lame mom stuff”.

My Mom was the strongest woman I ever knew, and continued to hold that title until my daughter took it from her in the past couple of years.  I see a lot of my Mom in my daughter, and I smile because it’s the best parts, her strength and beautiful heart to just name a couple.

So, happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate.  Call your Mom.  Love her while you can.  One day she won’t be there to call, or hug.

 

 

Life, Momma

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Two Weeks of Pain

Mother’s Day is the 2nd Sunday of every May, and is preceded by up to two solid weeks of inescapable pain.  For some, not all, have lost their mothers for any number of reasons.  Some, not all, grimace in pain with hearts being stabbed by all of the Mother’s Day commercials, and well wishes to those mothers who are lucky enough to still be here with their families.

I wouldn’t begrudge anyone of their well wishes, and celebrations of their mothers BUT I sure wish May 15th would hurry up and get here.  Last year Mother’s Day fell on May 8th.  Lucky us, only 8 days had to pass before we could breathe again.  This year, not so much.

I think back to Mother’s Day past, and try to remember celebrating with my Mom.  It’s been so long now I just can’t recall a single memory even though I know that we did.  I know I gave her, or made her gifts.  I know that I sent, or made her cards.  I know that I sent flowers, or brought her presents.  I know I did, but my memories are a black hole that I can’t fill in.

There has to be a medical term for selective memory loss…..  (Thanks Google, there is.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 (Redirected from Selective memory loss)

Selective amnesia -is a type of amnesia in which the victim loses certain parts of his/her memory. Common elements that may be forgotten: relationships, special talents, where he/she lives, abilities in certain areas , and events such as concerts, shows, or traumatic events (e.g.: a death of a loved one).

I believe that this “selective amnesia” is a coping mechanism used by our brains when the pain is too traumatic.  For instance, I have fogged over the entire 3 months from when I learned my Momma had a brain tumor, all the way up to the day of her funeral.  Those memories are still there, but in a foggy way, not clear and horrible.  I can, if I want, pull them up and remember them, but mostly my brain just glosses over them and skips that part of my life.

I tell you all of this as more of a release valve than anything.  A reminder to my friends, and those who follow me, that if you’ve lost your mother I know what you are going through.  I am here for you if you need me.  My mother was my best friend, my partner in crime, my rock.  Not a single day goes by that I don’t miss her, want to talk to her, or sit and stare at her picture.  I still can’t believe that she’s gone, but I take heart that I will see her again.  That thought makes the pain bearable.

This is my 11th Mother’s Day without my mother.  My 11th everything without my mother.  And my 11th reminder to those who haven’t lost their mothers to:

  • Call your Mother
  • Make up with your Mother
  • Celebrate your Mother
  • Forgive your Mother
  • Love your Mother

For the rest of us, hang in there.  Four more days to go.

 

Dream Body, Dream Trips, Empty Nesting, Healthy Lifestyle, Travel, World Ventures

I found myself in the jungles of Costa Rica

I dream of traveling.  So many of us do, I know.  I have a bucket list of places to visit that is so long I fear that I will never get to the end of it.  Well, I started checking places off of my bucket list last week, and thanks to what I learned while I was gone, I’m now very sure I will get to the end of my list with no problems.

HELLO COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA DT WATERFALL

My husband and I spent 6 days, and 5 nights in Costa Rica at the amazing Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center where we started each day with the sounds and views of the Costa Rican jungle as we participated in our very first yoga classes.

After yoga we ate breakfast overlooking the hills and jungle, watched iguanas run around, and listened to and watched the most amazing colorful birds fly all around us.

Each day was a new adventure both at the resort, and off site.  At the resort we had daily massage’s, nutritional consultations, and beautiful hiking around the resort.  Off site we took beautiful excursions, traveling on skinny mountain roads, one lane bridges, and winding roads with scenery that just took our breath away.

We went to the top of an active volcano.

COSTA RICA DT VOLCANO

We went to an animal sanctuary surrounded by 5 different waterfalls.

We hiked deep into the jungle and had our own private waterfall to climb up, jump off, and swim around in.  The water was perfectly cold, and so pure you could drink it.

COSTA RICA DT WATERFALL 2

And all the while we ate delicious organic foods prepared for us from plants and animals mostly grown, or raised on site.

Topping it all off we met a group of fellow travelers whom we have now formed great friendships with as we were all there in the same travel club.

The new friends we made were the perfect present on top of being on our first Dream Body Dream Trip.  Now that we know how easy it is to be a part of our inexpensive travel club, and experience these Dream Trips at locations all around the world our bucket list is going to be completed before we know it.

We are thinking about Greece in October now…….  I can’t wait.

Life

The Saddest American

tears

Today marks a new beginning of an era that I thought I would never live to see.  An era of hate, fear, and helplessness fueled by one man who has single handedly broken our country in two. 

Donald Trump, from here forward just “trump” is now our new President.  Not that you will ever hear me call him that.  He is not now, nor will he ever be, MY President.  She, the woman who is MY President, is stoically watching from the front rows as a man who did not win the popular vote steals the Presidency right out from under her.

sticker

We can debate the Electoral College until we are blue in the face, but the bottom line is that it didn’t work.  It was a failsafe put in place to protect our nation from a demagogue, and because we are so partisan in this country, those who swore to protect us FAILED US in the most horrific way.

traitor

They had ONE JOB.  ONE DAMN JOB to do, and they couldn’t see past party lines to do it.  They will forever be labeled as TRAITORS TO THIS COUNTRY in my opinion, and I hope to God that they have to live with crippling guilt for what they have done, forever.

I’m not only sad, I am frightened.  I am frightened for my 25-year-old daughter to continue to grow into adulthood in this world where it’s perfectly fine for someone to grab her by her genitals since hey, the President can do it, so why can’t I?  I’m terrified that she will not be able to take advantage of an equal pay working environment because no one in the White House cares about that when they can start writing and submitting bills to make abortions of any kind illegal.  I’m frightened that all of the progress we have made for women will not be in her experience, just an article on the internet she reads about one day.

I’m frightened because my 5 and 7-year-old nephews will have this President as the first one they remember, and learn from.  They will see how he denigrates women, minorities, and the disabled.  They will see him say that treating women like shit is how you are supposed to do it.  They will see an unqualified, unfit, and unsound man holding press conferences and making threats to foreign leaders on Twitter. 

 I grieve because trump is in the White House.  I object to him on so many levels that I get tired of listing them all.  You’ve watched the video, and listened to the audio.  You’ve been exposed to the same democracy carnage that I have, but you might have interpreted it differently that I did. 

I want the sadness to go away, but I know that will be impossible.  I’m too disgusted by every word out of his mouth; by his utter contempt for anyone not just like him.  But I also don’t want you to think that I’m sitting here helpless.  I’m fighting every.  single.  day. to combat any wrong trump may do, and to stay on top of everything that either he, or congress, is doing to keep them from destroying us. 

I am #TheResistance  

resist

Until the day he is either impeached, or voted out of office, I will remain…

The Saddest American.

Life

2017. The year I find out “why”?

two-days

2017.  The year I find out why.

I grew up being told by my mother that I was born for a reason.  Not because mom plus dad equaled me, but because I was meant to do something great.  I’ve had so many miracles in my life that I’ve always believed what she told me was true.  So many times in my life I should have died, but didn’t.  So many unexplainable times either health wise, by my own stupidity, or for reasons out of my control I should not have made it, but I did. 

Now, my husband is definitely one of my angels.  He’s had his hands full with me for the past 26 years, so he deserves a ton of credit.  I’m accident prone, and should not be left unsupervised for long periods of time LOL.  I’m so thankful that God sent him to me for this, and many other reasons.

I asked my Pastor once why I had so many miracles in my life.  More than what I thought was my fair share.  He told me simply because I believed in them.  Because I believe so strongly in miracles, I see them when they happen….almost manifest them for myself.  I recognize them for what they are.  I’ve always loved his answer as it made sense to me, and allowed me to be at peace.

miracle

I know one reason “why” I’m here was to bring my amazing daughter into this world.  She has truly made this world a better place just by being in it.  That’s important to me.  I’ve seen her save people, and change their lives for the better with my own eyes.  She’s destined for greatness by virtue of her beautiful heart, loving nature, and ability to reach out to people with words, and actions to make them feel better.  Live better.  It’s a beautiful gift she has that makes me so very proud of her. 

In 2017 I’m going to continue my quest to find out “why”.

why

I’m here for a reason.  I’m not just a human walking around on this planet, and using oxygen.  I’m more than that.  I’m not a useless person taking up space.  I do my part to save the planet, to make a difference, to try and right the wrongs I see, to combat injustice and hate when I see it.  I refuse to be a spectator.  That’s not what I’m here for.

XOXO

Jeanie