Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reflections of long ago -- high school

High school years 

I find myself reminiscing back to the days when I was in high school. You might not know that I was shy , insecure and my worst critic . If you know me now you probably couldn't imagine this ! I'm talkative and basically outgoing . My job requires me to interact and speak to multiple people daily . It's my absolute favorite aspect of  my job too. Go figure! I truly love my patients and getting to know them. Breaking through my insecurities and trying to accept myself took many years . Actually,  it's never ending isn't it ?

Looking back on my high school pictures and looking from a distance I realize how hard I was on myself . Why oh why did a young girl hate her body with so much venomous disgust ? A size 7 and I thought I was obese . I wish I could go back and tell that young girl to enjoy life more . That no one was judging her body except her . I wish I could tell the old me that I was pretty . Not beautiful  , not gorgeous , but also not the ugly monster I had in my mind .  

I wonder if this poor reflection of myself led me into the relationships I had as a teen . I think I chose  partners who also had some self doubt about themselves . Maybe not about their appearance per se  but about life in general.  Our teen angst attracted us to each other . 

My first long time boyfriend was my first love . He was many things that I wasnt . He didn't worry or have anxiety like I had ( about normal situations ) . He was in many ways carefree. I remeber how he laughed and how easily he smiled to this day . I was 14 years old when I met him at Roller Haven . He was laughing the whole night . He told me I was pretty . That's what I needed to feel . 

We dated as much as a 14 and a 16 year old can date with no car . I'd see him when I could and we'd talk on the phone . Dating was different pre internet , facebook and snapchat . With no cell phones we talked on the phone , me attached to the hallway phone with the 20 foot cord . Eventually, I'd get the elusive phone  in my room . A clear phone that was coveted by most teens in the late 80's.  I thought I was so cool!

Tim was a handsome young man with beautiful eyes and goofy smile . I'd been warned that he was "trouble" yes , that was the word I remember . He was sweet and vulnerable with me . He was kind . He was a little trouble though . I guess we all had our struggles . His were different than mine . 

We dated for maybe 2 years mostly on sometimes off . I was a childish girlfriend who was jealous , and I realize it was because I WAS still a child .  I'd finally at one point had the strength to break off our relationship because really , he didn't want a girlfriend and a relationship like I thought I did. He was still young and so was I . I was 16 years old . 

I went on to date someone totally opposite him . Actually , nothing like him.  Very shortly into our relationship I became pregnant . I was terrified . Listen to me when you read  this . I love my son more than anything on this earth . I Don't regret my decision to have him . But , I made an error in judgment and had a child with someome I did not love . I hope my thoughts are coming through the way I'm hoping.

I went on to date Tim a second time . We dated for a year and half when I was 18 and in college . Although he was my first love, things would never work between us . He had demons . He had many things in his life that I could not accept . But , he loved my child . He was good to him . We had good times . They weren't all bad . I had to choose the best life for  my Tommy and at the time Tim was not a part of it . He is sober and successful today . He has a family . I've heard good things . We are both happy . I wish him nothing but joy and love in this world . I thank him for the lessons he taught me . For showing me what I do and do not need in a partner . I'm forever grateful for our time . 

Looking at these young men and women at graduation today just brought me back in time . This is my story , my truth . What was theirs?  I hope they don't take as long to accept themselves for who they are . I wish that for all of them . 

I thank Tim for my experiences and for leading me ultimately to the love of my life . Had I not known heartache , not known what I didn't need , I certainly would not  have found my true love .

 I thank Tony , as always , for taking a broken , self deprecating young woman and teaching me that I'm special . And as always - I love him for being patient with me . We've been married for almost 23 years now. I've found my partner , my best friend and my last love .

Friday, June 9, 2017

How quickly the years pass by..

The time flew by .

We've all said this before. And it's true . Time has passed and life has moved on.  It's been over five years since I sat and wrote to you . Five years is a long time for change to take hold . For change to sculpt a life. So,  sit down an catch up as I let my fingers mold my sculpture for you.

Five years , 4 sons , a husband , a father ,  two mothers , a stepmother , 4 sisters and a brother .  Two sister in laws , two brother in laws , nieces, nephews , friends and loved ones . Where do I start ? How do start?

So many have asked me : why did you stop blogging  ? Where's the updating? Initially I stopped because, well I was happy . I was content . I'd found my rainbow , that moment in life in which the sky is blue after the rainstorm.  Is that strange to you ? I've always been better at pouring these typed words on the screen as I'm anxious or feeling down. Happiness is not my inspiration . Odd ? I don't know, I just know my soul seeps words and thoughts as I struggle through life . 

Now , this isn't to say that I can't rejoice in the sunshine of life . I can and I do . I will. I have. I have much to be thankful for . My family, my friends , my work are just a few . You will see me write  of these aspects that fill me with a pride that bursts like a balloon that is too full . Honestly though? When I'm at my best in telling you my story it's because  im raw.  I'm open in a way that you won't get if you speak to me . 

So what about those years you say ? Let me start with those closest to my heart.
 I've had the pleasure of watching my oldest son Thomas ( now 27) grow into a fine young man . He is quiet , dependable and hard working . He's shy , and kind. He struggled in school but he's excelling in his work. I hope he meets a sweet girl who loves his silly , nutty side .   I'm proud of him. I should tell him more . I will tell him more . 

I've watched son number two, Tony (22), graduate high school , graduate college , and find his first full time job. He is excellent at managing money. He did not get this from me. Or maybe he did get this from watching me make mistakes ? He's kind. He's in love. Oh , he's in love like I was with his father. He sees the beauty in his girl . The inside , deep down beauty of a woman that all women want from their men. This I gave to him . This is a gift I know  I gave  him. 

Two years ago my third son Nicholas (19)graduated high school. He did not enter college . He's working full time and is well liked . He's got a personality that is charming . He's handsome . So incredibly so. He makes me laugh ! He's quick with his temper . He's smart , politically so. Even if you don't agree with his conservative thoughts you will appreciate how well versed he is. He is the fighter of the underdog . He is much like his father . So many  times they can't see eye to eye but I know with a mother's intuition it's just because they are much alike . He works hard . I don't want him to have to work so hard .  I also don't want him to make our mistakes . I know without a doubt he will find his path. I always have .

This is the big year for my fourth and last son Jarett (17). Graduation looms . It is a good second half of the school year for my baby, my sweet child . He has overcome a struggle . The injury he suffered in 2015 would halt his high school athletic career and test him . He'd have to see he is more than a basketball player , a baseball player , an athlete. He's a fine young man who can put a smile on my face even on my darkest of days . He makes me laugh. We sing all the time in the car at the top of our lungs . We both love music . We both believe music is an integral part of life. He's in love . It's his first real love. It's sweet to watch him with her . They are best friends . He's learning well what love entails. I dread the day his heart breaks as it invariably will. He was so unexpected in my life.  My goodness though , who would I be without him?

And last but not least , my husband . My best friend . My best ally. We've been through the depths of what felt like hell my friends. We lost our shell. Our home . But you know what ? We stuck together. I don't know if a couple that wasn't as bonded as we were could have made it . I don't say that braggingly . I just know it's true . We struggle to make our way but we never struggle with each other any longer . We are at that sweet spot in marriage where I know without doubt when I look to my side he's there . He's been so strong at times and at others it was me that found a strength I didn't know I had . We are still standing and taking baby steps toward the next adventure. 

Stay tuned for more 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Three hour lunches = catching up with an old friend

Today I had a wonderful , long, yet much too quick lunch with an old friend.  This is a friend I used to speak to on a once (or more!) daily basis.  We have been through many things in our lives together.  We have shared elementary school, middle school, high school, my teen pregnancy, our marriages, the births of my other three boys and her two children.   Its been much too long, yet the time we spent was as easy as if I saw her yesterday.

My son Nicholas asked me how I could be such good friends with someone and not talk to them in such a long time.  It is a poignant question.  I'm not sure what happened.  We both went back to school and with families and work commitments it became harder to keep in touch.  I thought of her often and would always put calling her on the "to do list" , yet most days I just didn't make it a priority.  Nick's question to me really confirmed that no matter what answer I gave him it was the incorrect one, as there is no excuse for not finding time for true friends.

So today was a happy day! She looks exactly the same to me as years before. I enjoyed every minute of our time together. I look forward to seeing her more often and can't wait for the next long lunch!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reliving the joy

I've been doing a lot of reading lately.  Not just leisure reading, but reading as more of self improvement.  I've been devouring the book by Joel Osteen "Becoming a Better You".  Of course this book is religious based, but honestly the message in the book is inspiring.  You should check it out and see what I mean.

I've also been doing some other reading.  I've been following an old friend's search for his birthmother through emails, facebook, and his blog. His search started a while ago, fizzled out , and began again in earnest a few days ago.  I can not begin to express to you the emotions that I felt throughout his journey!  It is like reliving finding my own birthmother and father. He is the one person who is me .  In that I mean, I have not had another adoptee to share all I've been through before.  We are both fortunate in that our spouses are supportive and encouraging.  But to be able to share the same fears, anxieties and then joys with another in the same situation is such an emotional feeling!

I had been hoping and praying since last year that his first futile search would not make him give up hope.  As an adoptee, it is your right to decide when the time is right for you.  I think he just needed to find the right time in his head and his heart.  When you get the correct mindset all good things will happen.  He found her quickly and now they communicate all the time.  I am so happy for him my heart is about to burst.  I know the journey he is on and I'm excited for the both of them.  What he doesn't yet know is that there are many more roads ahead of him with so many more pots of gold waiting.   Once he speaks to extended family and finally his siblings his life will surely be as interesting as mine!

In my old friend's elation it transports me back to 1997 and searching for my mother.  There was no internet for me (at least I don't think I had internet??) I paid a popular search company to find her address for me.  I wrote her a heart wrenching letter, splilling my heart out to her.  I prayed she would call me.  I waited.  I waited. I waited even more.  No response.  No phone call.  I was absolutely devestated. 

I remember one Saturday when my husband was working I went to bed. I literally went into my bed and laid there with Nicholas (he was just a few months old), Tony 3, and Tommy 7 laying with me watching TV.  I laid there for a long time until my husband called and made me feel better about the situation.  He said perhaps she hadn't even received the letter and not to be so pessimistic.  Soon after believing  that Tony could be right there was a crack in the case.  A month later I met my mother who was living in New Jersey at the time.  My letter was originally sent to an address in Maine that was really outdated.  She never received it. 

I thought of this story when my friend said he did not get a response to his message sent to her via facebook messages.  I urged him to send an email to her true email address.  Thank God he did, as she hadn't seen the first one.  I felt all along his reunion would go well, maybe because my two had.  I just wanted for him what I had for myself and now he has it!

I can't wait until after they meet.  We've talked of going out with our spouses and sharing more stories of new families.  I can't wait to get to know his wife, and for him to get to know Tony.  If it weren't for the two of them being so supportive who knows if we would have ever gone through with our searches.

I love writing my blog.  I truly enjoy the documentating of all that comes out of my learning about my family. With his new blog , now I am an adopton blog reader too! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The wait to see my mother is on, please let the Maine weather cooperate!

I'm always looking for my next adventure -something I can look forward to.  Especially in  this time of year when the weather is cold, the days are short, and i'm feeling a bit of cabin fever.  My next trek will be to the southern part of Maine where I will meet some family for my birthday.  Please Maine winter storms, cooperate with me at the end of March!

It struck me the other day that neither my mother or I have spent a birthday together since we have known one another.  We both have winter birthdays and it can be difficult to travel.  I take that back, the last birthday we had was the day I was born.  I want more than anything to give her a memory of my birthday that does not relate to sadness. I'm hoping March will change that all together.

I've spoke about my mother often in my writings.  As many of the people that read this are mothers and fathers I feel particularly that you all understand the great love and admiration that I have for her. A large portion of this is due to the fact that I was fortunate enough to have had adoptive parents who had been given small details about my mother and who were kind of enough to pass them on to me.

Age 10, all smiles and freckles
I remember being about 10 years old and asking my parents more specific questions about my birth parents.  Although they had no information regarding my father, my mother spoke of my mother (Pat) with tears in her eyes.  She told me all that she knew, that she was not in a position to keep me and that she had desperately tried to find a way to do just that.   I was told of her young age and that her mother, my maternal grandmother, had passed away and so no motherly figure was there to help her with me.   They gave me the real perspective of my mothers situation. My parents made me understand at an early age that this mother I hadn't met was the first great love in my life.  What I realized as I got  older  is that my parents gave a gift to me that was priceless.

Many adoptees grow up with questions and uncertainties.  Of course I was inquisitive about my situation but I was lucky enough to have these basic details about my mother.  I grew up having a mother and father in my everyday life and also this sort of dream mother too.  I thought of her all the time and she was kind of like a living angel to me.  Many days I would think of her and wonder what her life was like.  My parents gave me such a wonderful sense of her that I loved her for as long I can remember.

My only regrets about my particular adoption are that I wish in 1973 there would have been some provision for my mother to learn about me.  Open adoptions can be tricky and controversial but I believe a mother should at least be given some information regarding their child.  Perhaps through a third party or agency.  All those years I knew I was fine, but even as I child I loved her enough to worry about her.  It's funny how a child can think.  

You will here me use the words hero, brave, amazing, and selfless when I speak about my mother.  She was all of those things and more.  These are not fluffy words and phrases I speak to dramatize the situation.  These words do not even due justice to how I feel about her.  Her love and sacrifices and my parent's love and devotion provided a wonderful childhood for me.  For all of my parents I am grateful.

So, I am hoping the weather will cooperate with us this year.  I pray to see her on my birthday, take some happy photo's and add to my memories.  My sisters may be coming too.  What joy I would have to see any of them!  

This may be my last birthday to celebrate too, since I plan on staying 39 for the rest of my life!

mom and I about the same age

 My beautiful mother today
so pretty - high school picture

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving to Christmas.. My Favorite time of year!


Thanksgiving! It is a holiday I have always adored!Who doesn't enjoy the food, family and time to give thanks to all that is important?  
As a kid, this was a fun holiday that we spent with our immediate relatives.  I enjoyed playing with my cousins and being in the happy warmth of family. We would set up board games and play for hours while the aroma of food was in the air.  Those were carefree times! These past two years I have really approached this day as it is intended- to give thanks to all that I have to be thankful for. 

My sons are always in the forefront of my thoughts

I loved the holdiays being with my three cousins.  As an only child, I was often left wishing I had siblings.  Being with my cousins filled my time.  Perhaps that is why I always wanted a large family of my own.  I enjoy watching my sons, now young men, interacting with each other.  When on the rare occasions all agree and get along it's a beautiufl thing!  There are times, I'm sure, that they probably wish they had the peace and quiet the life of an only child brings. If they could only know how much I would give to have a holiday as they do.  What a dream it is for me to sit at a table with my four sisters and brother and  have my mothers (both of them!),  father, Diana and Steven all together at one time .  I hope as they grow older and wiser they will understand how lucky they are two be part of this group of four brothers. 

My four handsome sons - Nick, Tom, Tony and Jarett

I am particularly sappy and thankful during this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Christmas was always a favorite for me as it a joy for me to decorate the house, bake  and cook for the holidays.  I love making big platters filled with baked goods and enjoy sharing them with family and friends.  I love our Christmas day routine of  the boys opening stockings first while Tony and I cook a big breakfast.  The boys will sort through the pile of gifts under the tree and organize them.  We each will take turns opening our gifts so we can all see what the other has received.  I know this is not how many households will open their presents, but for us it has worked well.  I can truly see the joy on their faces with each gift. Oh, I know  what you are thinking- Christmas is not about gifts alone! It is a holy and important day. I know this too, but  I enjoy the gift giving part. 

Throughout the holidays I will think of my family.  Those near and far.  Those I see often and those I can not.  Those I have not yet met, but so long to do so.  Those who have gone before me and that I miss dearly.  Those I will never have the opportnity to know.

I am thankful for all of you who have taken me into your hearts, and for letting me into yours.  I am so grateful for this large family I have been given!!

I am truly blessed! 

taken the day after Thanksgiving, 2011

Branches Of My Life: Thanksgiving to Christmas.. My Favorite time of y...

Branches Of My Life: Thanksgiving to Christmas.. My Favorite time of y...:   Thanksgiving! It is a holiday I have always adored!Who doesn't enjoy the food, family and time to give thanks to all that is importan...