It’s that time of year when school is back in full swing and the weather begins to turn cooler. It’s fall! This is one of my favorite times of year, before it gets too cold.
I am a lover of warm weather and sunshine, but when the autumn chill hits the air, I love to snuggle under my blanket, grab my cup of coffee, and write. Watching the world around me change each day gives me new life and brings about new things to write about.
Have you ever looked at the leaves on an overcast day? The leaves changing color becoming so vibrant in the coolness of dusk or more vibrant still when it rains softly. What a beauty to behold!
Fall also brings about Halloween which in our house means festivities and decorations. I used to go all out and then life got in the way. Well my friends, Pinterest and I have become good friends and I have plans for this year! We even hope to have one of our parties since my biggest Halloween fan, my 15 year old, will have practice for a show on Halloween itself. Let the good times roll.
Another thing I’ve always loved about fall is the food. Comfort food. Chili and cornbread. I make the best cornbread. It’s sweet and tastes like heaven. Caramel apples, fruit cobblers, bread puddings. And there’s football and my favorite sport, hockey! God bless my St. Louis Blues!
So as we begin this fall, take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. I have so much. No, ibdont have everything, but I have the most important things life has to offer. I have my health, my family and my friends. Let’s make this fall a fall to remember.
Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country. They had known each other in the old country. In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12. The old country I speak of is Ireland. The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold. Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family. I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into. It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.
My mother came from the midlands of Ireland. Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland. She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys. My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty. She had the hardest time sitting still. In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.
Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder. With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was. Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house? Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height. Good bones. No osteoporosis for her! Man do I wish I shared her genes. We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much. I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.
Dad grew up in the west of Ireland. Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12. It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other. Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age. Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot. He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.
Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say. Always studying, studying, studying. Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes. He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos. Such a cutie patootie.
Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though. I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree. My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12. He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes. Kind of strange, isn’t it!
So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”. The thing is, education came first for both of them. Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing. She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies. I loved listening to those stories so much. Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction. He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.
Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin. Yes, another similarity. Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men. They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy. Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice. I have similar taste to my mom. That was all I was implying. Seriously!
Mom and dad were married much later than one would think. Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question. They were married at the tender age of nearly 30. Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether. They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.
Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them? That’s what my dad had to go through last November. He did it with grace and peace like he does everything in life. He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband. He taught me so many things in my life. It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today. I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well. I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me. It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman. I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com. We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence. Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!
Ever wonder why your life is the way it is? I know I sure have. I wonder what would it be like if I had made different choices. What if I hadn’t been given up for adoption. What if I had married my husband the first time around, or if I had stayed married to my first husband. Wow, my life would be so different.
Life is a series of happenings. When my parents made the choice to adopt me, they said no to one other baby before me. I could have had other parents altogether. Instead, my parents decided that I was their baby girl. They came to pick me up from the hospital when I was just 5 days old and I have been their daughter from that day forward. I had a happy childhood with summer holidays to Ireland, mostly, but also to California, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin. I had trips to Florida and St. Louis and Chicago. I had piano lessons and tennis lessons. Most importantly, I had a family that loved me. They taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and to never give up.
I dated my husband back in high school. We dated for a very long time. Boy, was he a cutie. Jet black hair, hazel eyes and the longest eyelashes you can imagine. We dated all the way through high school and half way through college. Then I dumped him. Yes, I broke his heart. He never really got over the fact that I did that, but somehow, after some time had passed, we rekindled our friendship and just remained friends for many years. I married someone else.
When I had my first child, she was perfect. I couldn’t wait till she got here and she was in no hurry to make her grand appearance. She was nearly 3 weeks late. My life had changed forever. I was in awe of her perfect little body, her fingers, toes and sweet chubby cheeks. Not only did my body change, she changed my whole world, forever. She was followed by two more beautiful girls. What a perfect family, until the divorce.
Getting divorced was a huge life change for me, as well as my girls. We were starting over by moving back to my hometown and leaving the place where I had called home for 13.5 years. We left both good and bad memories behind. I had to create a new home for us, a new place of belonging without their dad. That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but alas, I did what I thought was best under the circumstances.
Once things were settled down, I asked my high school sweetheart a very important question. We had stayed in touch. He had watched the girls grow up. We were in the parking lot at Walmart, just the two of us. We had met for lunch as usual, but unlike other times, I hadn’t brought the girls with me. I told him that he had to promise first, not to laugh at me. I asked him my question. I asked, “Would you ever, possibly, ever remotely, consider, possibly, dating me again?” He laughed. I couldn’t believe that he laughed, but he did. He said yes, but the reason he laughed was because he couldn’t believe I had to ask him that. Well, of course I did.
Shockingly enough, after knowing this man for most of my life, I married him. We dated this time for only a few months. He is my soulmate. The second time around marriage works. We even added a bouncing baby boy to our crew a year after our marriage. I married the one who sticks with me through thick and thin and we’ve seen it all in the last 10 years. I can’t tell you what I would do without my husband in my life. I don’t even want to think about it.
This is my story. It is how I came to be where I am today. It’s how I grew up to be the one I am now. I am a lucky woman and even though my life hasn’t always gone as I planned it, I wouldn’t change a thing.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. We do this every week and you could join us too! The sentence to finish this week, was “I grew up to be the one I am now…” hosted by Kristi and the sentence thinker-upper, Upasna Sethi of Life Through my Bioscope. Visit and have fun checking out what we do each week and join in the fun!
Watching my son on the hockey rink tonight, I was filled with such love for him. He is such a great kid. I love all my children. I am just at a time in my life where I can really enjoy watching this one grow. He is so full of life and promise. It amazes me so much each day when I listen to him and hear something new that he’s learned.
Just yesterday, I was watching something and on the screen, the actors said something about the French Revolution happening 40 years in the future. My nearly nine year old looked at me and asked me if I knew about the French Revolution. When I said yes, he told me that he did too. He said that he learned about it in that class he hates, Social Studies. I reminded him that Social Studies is cool, it’s really history and history is awesome. Maybe he’ll like it next year.
I remember when his sisters were nearly nine. I was in a different time in my life then, but still enjoyed my time with them, but it was a different time. There were three of them and they are closer in age. The age difference between the girls and the Boy is great and somehow, it just makes things different.
The Boy astounds me everyday, sometimes in a good way, sometimes a funny way and sometimes not such a good way. I worry about him, a lot! I fear for him, for me, really. I can’t imagine my life without him in it. I can’t imagine my life without any of my children in it.
My greatest fear is something happening to my children. All three of my girls have had surgery. Somehow, being a nurse I was alright and calm through those. I know how strong they are. I know that for the most part they make good decisions in life, but I worry about some freak accident taking their life away from them, and from me. I’m not sure I could survive losing my child. And my son? My husband and I only have him. My girls are from my previous marriage. I fear that losing my son would tear my marriage apart. If it didn’t kill me, how could we survive? How would I survive?
I pray everyday for the health and wellness of my family. I know that I can’t focus on the what if’s in this life. If I didn’t have faith that God was a good and loving God, I don’t know what I would do. My family is the most important thing in my life. Losing my mom brought all those thoughts racing home to my heart.
I know that God must have sent Hubs to me to help me keep things logical and sane. Can’t tell you how much that man keeps me grounded. I know that most kids grow up and make a life for themselves and do just fine, but in my career, I’ve seen a great deal. I’ve seen successes, hardships, failures, heartbreaks. The future is not for us to know. All we can do is pray for the best and have faith that everything will turn out. With 4 kids, I just pray I’m not tempting the odds with my sweet little boy. He is the light of my life.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The subject this week was
Everyone has hopes and dreams, desires and fears. I have dreams of becoming a great author and hopes to become a great mom, yes, even after 20 years in the trenches of motherhood, I’m still hoping! I desire to be a great wife above all and I fear losing those I love. That’s the meat and potatoes version, the lite version of my thoughts for today. I really have lots of hopes, dreams, desires and fears, but that’s the very essence of who I am. I really have lots of fears that are related to my hopes, dreams and desires. I believe we all do though.
In dreaming of becoming a great author, I also fear the process. I fear the rejection of my work. It’s as if I don’t believe it’s ever good enough. I know that there are many people who would say otherwise, but then there is the niggling little voice in my head who repeatedly questions me and asks,”who is really going to read anything you write?” or “why would anyone waste their time reading what you write?”. I have been writing for the majority of my life, but I will admit that for much of my adult life I thought I wasn’t good enough and that no one would want to read what I had written. When my mom was sick, however, I found out I was mistaken in thinking this. I found myself surrounded by many who encouraged me to write. I was encouraged to pursue my passion. I still haven’t written my book, which my dad asks about frequently, but perhaps I will, when I’m ready to. Instead, for now, I am enjoying this blogging world. I still fear that I’m not good enough, but I’m getting better.
As far as hope goes, I have many hopes. Who doesn’t? I have been a mom for nearly 20 years and I’m still hoping (and dreaming) of becoming the greatest mom ever! I think as moms, we all hope for that one. But it’s more than that. I want to be the mom that my kids are proud to have. I hope that they are proud to have me as a mom, but sometimes I wonder. I don’t think that comes until they are much older, really, like about 25-30 years old. They still aren’t there, but one day, maybe. Until then, I’ll just keep doing the best I can. I always fear that I’m never going to be that mom though. I fear that they’ll always see someone else’s mom as better than me, but hopefully they won’t.
My husband and I have a wonderful relationship but it’s been fraught with it’s own issues along the way. Every relationship has those ups and downs in them, but it’s those that can survive the bad times and learn from them that survive. My mom always said that marriage was not a fairy tale and happily ever after. It’s filled with hard work. Boy was she ever right! My husband and I have been through a great deal in our marriage, but we are survivors. I will definitely tell you I love him more today than I did yesterday and I will love him more tomorrow than I do today. I still fear that he won’t love me though. I know I am a difficult person to live with for sure. I always worry about that. I fear that every single day I am going to be too much for him. I fear I would fall apart without him. Not to be too corny, but I do feel that he does truly complete me and me, him.
We are complex individuals, we humans, filled with emotions, filled with hopes, dreams, desires and fears. We don’t just simply come when called, do things for food, respond for reward. We have needs and sometimes we are irrational. Sometimes, most times are fears are irrational, but they are ours. They make us who we are. They give us things to work towards and to work on. I will always be working towards my hopes, dreams and desires. I will also always be trying to alleviate my fears, especially the irrational ones. Thankfully, I have Hubs to always be by my side. He is always my beside me in my crazy endeavors, so I guess he must not be going anywhere. Fear relieved… for the moment.