mental health, perspective

Just 11 Days

It was the wee hours of the morning. 4:00 am to be exact. The loneliness set in. My partner in crime was whisked away yet again for 11 days. These days seem manageable in isolation yet in combination lies the challenge. 

The void that lingers. 11 days. 22 days. 33 days. When a year passes and you miss far more days than you have the sadness sets in. How much was missed? How much made the cut? Was it enough? Some weeks it’s a Monday that you feel the toll in life hit. Other weeks the sleepless worry hits on Tuesday. Sometimes it hits more than one day. It’s a vicious cycle.

Sometimes life puts obstacles or signals in your path to test your strength: to test your resilience. Sometimes these barriers seem impossible yet we find a way to push onward. I’m in the midst of reading the latest royal book, Spare. It’s odd to think about the word spare in the context of the book. A spare child. A spare heir. A spare to discard. No matter how many pages deep I am in the book, I will be forever held up by the word spare.

My life doesn’t have spares. I don’t have spare kids. I don’t have spare friends. I don’t have spare time with either. I don’t spare any part of my life. That means the time I miss can’t be spared at all. Oh the quandary of that latter statement.

How do you count time when you can’t spare time? You don’t. You wander through empty space as if time wasn’t associated. A wading of sorts. You are there but not really there. The shell of you is present but the mind space has drifted somewhat to a space in time that is all-inclusive of your special people. Drifting or wading through memories of past and memories to come in the future.

The book speaks to losing a mum. I have a mum. A mummy. A mommy. I certainly don’t have a spare mommy and I am certainly not a spare to my kids. Rather I’m present just like my mom. No matter the challenge I’m there. No matter the challenge she is there. But one day will Mommy always be there? The sad reality is no. For now I won’t spare my time as mummy or with mummy for it is valued. For those of you who don’t have that opportunity with your mum, my heart hurts for you.

With grief many occupy head space with memories of those lost but not forgotten. Sometimes that includes a mom. I reflect on this as a mom I know lost her battle with cancer this week. Her time wasn’t spared. 

Many include the missing in future plans honoring their memories. Holding on to the happy times together. I do this often. My nephew. My dad. My good friends. Those gone too soon due to death, but there are others who leave for other reasons. Maybe a big move to a new city. Maybe an experience of a lifetime overseas. Maybe even a work obligation causing one to live elsewhere temporarily. Time away. A void that may never be replaced.

I may lose 11 days today. 22 days the next cycle or 33 the next round. What makes this particular trek difficult is the unknown. How long does time sit in this stage. Does it continue for infinity as it does with one who dies? Does it keep looping in terms of days or weeks as it does now? I can’t stay lost in the empty space of consciousness. I must shift.

As 2023 rounded the corner I shifted from the dullness of being lonely to a new mindset of lonely. One that isn’t perfectly designed as I’m in it. I’m just more aware. I’m conscious within the subconscious. I’m trucking through new obstacles in a different way. I’m not sparing time as time can’t be spared. People can’t be spared. Those important will never be spare at all. I’m valuing the front and center and focusing less on the loss(es). 

None of us can reverse time. None of us can spare or bank time. Every week I will be present in my own little ways. Avoiding spare time. Spare people. Forging ahead on borrowed time. If there is such a thing.

anonymous letters, friendship

Gone But Not Forgotten

I miss my best buddy. Every last little detail of our relationship.

The days at the gym seem lonely and just empty knowing you are not near. Our Wordle battle of the minds is now a checklist instead of a morning challenge.  The work days bring another level of hollow to my soul. I miss your goofy snaps. Losing that human connection is just as devastating.

Life is full of craziness. Life can keep you busy. Life can let you miss the fine details of how much your value the presence of an individual. When suddenly they are gone it hits you like a ton of bricks. Maybe even it feels like a Mack truck ran you over a couple of times. An unexplained weakness.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Take the pictures. Capture the smiles. Make the memories and do crazy shit while you can. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Treasure today. It’s that simple. Luckily I have a photo reel but what about those who don’t?

I’m in a fog while I adjust to my new normal. It’s not much fun. It could be far worse I know. For now I breathe deeply as I give myself grace. I close my eyes and hope for peace around my valued circle. Then I cling to hope that one day I’ll be back to funny snaps, silly photos and adventures. It may look different when that time comes but I’ll hold on to the hope of it all.

One day.

Some day.

Not today.

That day is not today. That day is someday. Hope tells me it’s one day.

As I reflect on my loss I reflect at the same time on what I still have. How to show appreciation for what is in front of me. What I can control. The rest of my energy will seek hope for that day on the horizon.

As an Irish girl on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll try to find luck today to offset the sadness. Not sure a scratch card will do the trick so maybe toast or shot will be a better honor for my buddy that I miss.

family, friendship

Hello Sunshine

Hello sunshine was on my mind this Christmas. Why? Because that’s what my dad would have said to me on Christmas. Unfortunately this is the first of many Christmases without my dad. 

Instead of being down in the dumps about missing him, I’m opting for spreading sunshine around. A little joking means laughter. Some games mean smiles. New memories and adventures mean giggles and excitement. A new way to honor his memory while making memories each and every year. 

Today I awoke to a dusting of snow. I immediately captured the spirit of the season on my camera as it doesn’t snow often in my area. For today I’ll call it an angel dusting from above. Later in the day I got a pack of gum as a random gift. You are My Sunshine it was called. No big deal to some but a universe whisper to me. A heavenly smile from above. Even when skies are grey from the snowy mist, sunshine is around. The warmth of the rays.

There were many heavenly winks this holiday season. Blessings of new friends to celebrate with. New firsts with my mom. New places to enjoy the festivities. Adapting to the change that has been lingering in 2020, all with a smile as best we can. Different was good this year.

Family meals that had everyone busting at the seams to erecting the most crazy looking gingerbread house covered in sweet treats. Each sugary piece placed on that gingerbread house by my tribe. Whether in spirit or in person. It was named Nana’s house. The crazy year was summed up with an array of sugary treats. A hot mess of sorts like the year of 2020.

To the unexpected text I received on Christmas morning from a new friend I met in 2020:

Merry Christmas! Thank You for making me laugh every morning you are a special person and thanks for your friendship

The text above was an unexpected blessing but one that made me smile ear to ear. As I live my life to the fullest I want to spread joy to others. Laughing, smiling, joking and having a fun spirit is one of my ways I like to spread sunshine each day.

Hello sunshine. A good morning of sorts or just a peppy greeting while I working on a special holiday gift for my mom. Hello sunshine from a new friend in a message. He would never have known those were the words my dad spoke to me often. He made my day. Was it a heavenly wink or an angel kiss from above? Either way I got the message. I felt the message.

My dad is with me in spirit. Now it’s up to me to spread joy to others one smile, one giggle, one joke at a time. Somebody is watching. Somebody is listening. Somebody might just need that joyful pick me up.

If you need a pick me up today, I hope the rays of sunshine are coming through this blog. You deserve to be the sunshine in the day today.

Hello sunshine!

family

What’s Missing Today?

Today I went to the bathroom to spray some perfume. The new bottle of perfume that only comes out annually. It’s missing. Gone. It wasn’t even in my bathroom finishing section for less than 24 hours.
 
I thought, where did I put it? As if I was in the wrong or a state of confusion. Nope, furthest from the truth. I realized it was back to school time and a little mini me must have helped herself to my stash of scents. Of course she did. She needs to smell fresh at school all day and it seems you get sweaty running up and down the halls. Smelling good combats the sweat I guess. Wow just wow. Oh the bright teenager mind.
 
Then it got me to thinking. My missing tank tops for the gym. My missing gym socks that I thought got eaten in the dryer mysteriously. I literally took inventory and I was missing a lot.
 
T-shirts, booty shorts, shoes, jewelry and so on. Basically the only exclusions were bras and panties. Does this happen to anyone else? I thought I had a private room/bath but apparently there is an invisible sign that says come in, help yourself, stay until you find what you need, smell good and feel fabulous. 
 
I am a bit speechless. A bit flattered. A bit annoyed. Does this happen to anyone else? Fall is fast approaching and why do I think I won’t even find a cute sweater or sweatshirt when the need arises. Oh well that’s because lady hot fingers has probably helped herself for all the good stuff.
 
Then there lies the problem. I can’t go shopping for replacements because I like to try things on for the perfect fit and thanks to corona I can’t. Go away Corona. I need to replenish my closet. 
 
Invasion of the teen has happened and I guess she is missing her spontaneous trips to the mall for her own retail therapy and I guess my closet is at least new to her.
 
Rehome, reinvent, recycle. Oh the words I have that sum up the year we call 2020. 
 
Life is tough in my world. Clearly some teen girl has it made though.