Nineteen years ago today my youngest daughter arrived on this planet, a small little body housing a great big soul.
What an honor to watch her grow up and express herself in so many ways.
Sometimes we have stood face to face a battle of the wills, and other times we see eye to eye.
I have seen her experience hurts and glow with pride, watched her take new steps with courage, sensed the will to overcome even life’s little potholes and molehills, as well as face strongly life’s big changes.
I love how she does herself so well, that it isn’t about falling down, how you don’t leave yourself lying there, instead brushing yourself off and you take off again.
I have seen her veer away from friends when they turned down pathways, she didn’t want to go, I watched her go alone until she happened upon a new friend to walk with.
It is like her destiny is already written, and she is merely following the inner compass of what is right and wrong for her.
She is filled to the brim being her self, and that is all I want for her today and always, is to continue doing/being and loving herself.
May that voice inside never be muffled or silenced, that you always have the courage to walk fearlessly going against peer pressure to be loving to your self.
With our windows down, our expectations up, our swimsuits on, our bodies overheating, we were eager to feel the water.
Now this water is not just any old water, it can change from bone aching cold, to shiver refreshing, to huge waves of warm surface water coming to shore, each day it is as if new water arrives, and we so wanted the refreshing kind.
As we neared the Beach House, we watched the temps and they remained near what it was at our house.This could mean that all the surface water was escaping and all we would be left with is water so cold your legs would ache when you walked in up to your ankles.
I had been in a mail car without air conditioning, the temps were near 90 most of the day, and I so wanted to plunge into refreshing water, to submerse myself in cool clear waves lapping water!
As we drove in the driveway we spot two kids in the water, this is a good sign, although they handle the chilling water much better than older folk.
Taking that first step in and feeling it’s refreshing quality quickly erases the struggle with boxes and packages, eliminate the feeling of dying in the heat, overwhelmed by clothing and no air conditioning, all disappear the moment you walk deeper and deeper, plunging at last to be fully enveloped in its clear cool liquid, floating like air.
It carries you, cools you, cleans you, and resets your inner peace.
Once my inner core seemed to cool down, and I actually was shivering with goose bumps, I sat in the sun on the shore and pondered just how lucky am I?
The Beach House we have access to, just sits and waits for us to arrive.And in the past two years, due to cooler temps, kids schedules and work, we have not even opened it up and aired it out for summer fun.
It looks like a place that hasn’t seen much activity, or attention, the grass is cut, but in a hurry by someone who feels its work.Weeds grew on the pathway to the lake, where no feet trampled them down.Driftwood lay in piles where the ice and waves dropped them, not used for summer night fires.
There was no evidence of fun, of lazy days and relaxing chairs, no inner tubes tucked under the deck, it was like a ghost of the Beach House lay there.
Inside the sights and smells reminded me that no one had been here to open up, clean and then make meals to over lay the musty smell.
It was sad to see this house this way, with cobwebs, grit and grim from now two years of no one eagerly coming and enjoy days and nights away from life’s work routine.
I recalled the first years the kids so small and the chore it took to get us there, to now see them fully grown and sitting on the same porch, still laughing, still talking and being with each other, how the beach house gets left behind.
We do not own this beach house, it is Grandma’s, and even if we did, I am not sure it wouldn’t be in the same condition.When we were there for days on end, I could keep things up, but when we are not using it, it is harder to do.I am not sure it is even mine to worry about….an odd place to be in.
It is my beach house in my mind, a place that I have been grateful to use, a place to run to when the weather was too hot to bear, a place of refuge, a quiet spot, no phones, no connection to the real life.
I spent many weeks on end there when my world came crashing down, sitting by its shores being healed by sunrises and sunsets, swimming carelessly and floating on inner tubes, kids doing their own thing near by, free from the realities of life.
We have memories of wonderful times spent there and I hope someday we can afford to own it, to be its caretaker.
With gratitude and sadness I sat there, so grateful for all the years of use, 21 or so, for they were looking at beach houses when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.
Grateful to have had the many years of swimming, relaxing and enjoying its wide porch, looking out to many morning sunrises, to see loons floating past, ducking and popping up, to feel the cooling breezes and lapping waves while we slept on the porch in a tent.What a great part of our history is there, the happy parts.
How thankful I am to have had its presence in our lives, how hopeful I am that someday I will once again get to be there all summer….
We never know what we carry with us and what we leave behind, and I guess I am being greedy to want more than what I already have had, I have had the best already.
A wonderful Beach House where my growing family could share hours and hours of summer fun.
Thank you Beach House. It is my hope that if it isn’t my grandchildren scrambling upon your shores, it is someone else, may you not be empty too long!
Beach Houses just wait for summer to hear the squeals of laughter and the running of feet, enjoying all it has to offer, may you come alive again soon!I almost feel responsible for your neglect, for allowing my children to grow up, I feel responsible for not having the time to spend there, yet I know that what I feel most is the tugging of memories and knowing how much I loved being there.
Maybe I am sadder than you, for my life is changing, kids are growing and the pace is quickening, maybe I see me in you.
If they can look back, like I look at you, I will be forever grateful.There is much more happiness when we think of you.
What a great way to live life, like a Beach House.
While talking to my daughter on her cell phone I was eavesdropping on a family picnic.
I heard laughter, and a voice echoing clearly across the air, a voice I haven’t heard in four years.
It was odd to hear it, odder yet to hear it be so happy and normal and the chattering going on, a loud laughter boldly falling, strong and accepted, it was like being dead and seeing that your exit had no impact.
My children go to be with cousins, Aunts and Uncles, my son tells me “I talked to your mom today.”Was she kind to you I ask.The conversation dies and settles back, two sides unwilling to convince the other of its view.
Camping families gathering together this Fourth of July, my children wanting to belong and do, they go alone without me, leaving me, knowing I would not go.
The day that changed my life long forgotten and discussed, my absence I wonder how it is seen?By now it is just a new ‘habit’ within our family, the crazy Aunt who stays away alone.
Amazing that I became the crazy one, the one who stays away!
The party continues, my absence unfelt, the gaiety is all still there, oblivious.
Simply beyond what my mind can comprehend and hold.
Holidays or days where families gather are interesting and lacking my full enthusiasm.Where generations come together sharing hilarity from the past, with many remember when stories, all carrying their part to hold together the history we grew up in.
I feel like my history all died, and turned to ash, crumpled up and soiled.
My remember when stories no longer hold water or hilarity.They are not to be laughed at loud and boldly, not picnic material, something to share around the bon fire while roasting marshmallows!
I am now saturated like my past, a wet blanket or party pooper were I to arrive.A dust cloud that follows and surrounds the space I stand in.
The cloud of reality of no nonsense, ruining an otherwise perfect family, it is best I stay away.
There was a part of me that was still clinging to the hopes that her life just couldn’t be the same without me.
It died the minute I heard her voice.
I am long forgotten too, just like all the deeds my father did to me.“Forgive and forget”.
I have been forgiven for ruining or trying to ruin an otherwise nice family, and I have been forgotten too.
An orphan, kicked out, all oblivious to me now.
I no longer exist to them.
I keep forgetting not to wait.I forget not to love, forget not to remember, forget that I am no longer part of them.
I forget my family is no longer mine.
I am independent on this independence day and I am free to do as I please.
I am home alone with my husband……I will not forget to enjoy this moment!
My youngest brother has been on my mind, and until I write about him, it will be.He is having a birthday this month, I think it is June 26th and I am unsure of how old.
But he was born when I was in my early twenties so that makes him in his late twenties.
When he was about a year and a half old, I was babysitting him and discovered he was deaf.The doctor confirmed this and he was given hearing aids and glasses as well, for he also has trouble with his vision.
I was like an Aunt to him more than a sibling, for I would come and go and bring him places spoiling him.
He began schooling early to teach him how to communicate.
Sign language was what he used, a different language than what was spoken at home.
Some of us learned a few words, most didn’t learn at all.It seems weird to me now that we didn’t all rise up to meet his needs, but instead he was left out.
Would things have all been different if he was the firstborn and not the last?He arrived into a family that was big and going along at it’s own pace, it seemed no one stopped to let him on.
When he was a preteen my parents opted to send him to a boarding school for the Deaf.They also had to give up custody, I am unsure why, maybe to defray the cost of tuition since it is out of state.
He then was only home on holidays and in the summer.
The time we shared was less and less, until there was none at all.He faded out of our family or at least for me.
I have lost touch with him completely. This happened when he left the boarding school and didn’t come home anymore.
I can understand his not wanting to come home to a family that gave him away more or less and one that couldn’t speak his language our worlds were far apart an ocean separated us.
It seems he is very self absorbed, and as I have learned, the greater the pain the more self centered you become, I can only imagine his suffering, handicapped and being sent away, alone at such a young age.
He has said though, that it was the best thing that happened to him, and that he now has a community to be in.He found a place for him to belong, one that was separate from our family, a new family.
He not only has the handicap to overcome, but the years of being in a dysfuctional home.
It is weird to know you have a brother out there and have lost connections with. He was the first one in many who I am losing along the way.
When you no longer speak the same language the relationship unravels our common reality no longer matches.
I have fond memories of him being young, his cowboy boots, his little vests he had to wear to store his battery packs for his hearing aids, his beautiful blue eyes which perhaps seen too much at such a young age. I remember his humor at slap sticklike comedy, like the three stooges.I wonder how it is today, what kind of young man he will become?
It makes me sad to write that such a delightful soul got lost from our home, one of so damn many.
Am I losing them or is that just the way life goes. Are we connected for a while, and then we move on?Was my interaction with him only to be for a short while, was that all we were to have?
I wish you well, I know your path was not smooth, I hope you find a place where you can soar, be yourself free and in a state of acceptance.Accepting that at the time they did the best they knew how and now it is up to you.
We are the products of our childhood, it lays the foundation of who we are today, is the course work that we now have to navigate through to come back to ourselves.
I hope you find you and in doing so live a life filled with love, peace and joy!May the spark return to your eyes, the glee of humor and joy, may you once again set forth into this land becoming all who you were meant to be!
I am so grateful and thankful that I have something wonderful to celebrate this Father’s Day.It is a day that I give thanks for the Father my husband is to my children.
He is a wonderful dad. He is very connected and has taken this job seriously, but never himself.He has carved out his own path by being a great dad in his own way.
He has patience and has always allowed the children to learn by doing.He spent hours teaching them to tie shoelaces, conquering the two- wheel bike, parallel parking, standard transmission, helping with Math, and forever fixing cars with his son, an endless amount of teaching.
There is no part of their world he is afraid to enter and is always ready to tease and make light of life’s troubles.A strong and steady influence he has been to all in our home.
He always jokes with them that he is a cool dad, in the know, up to date and forever in style.That is true, he has his own coolness and style, and is uniquely himself.
He isn’t one to brag, to toot his own horn, to want attention, but I know that our family wouldn’t be what it is today without him here.
His eyes light up when he sees the kids, and he aches when they ache, he is the first to speak of their triumphs and sorrows, and offers a new twist on how to see things.
It is a Happy Father’s day, for he is so happy being a dad!
He was born to do this and he does it so well.
We are all blessed to have him in our lives, his presence gives us strength, he is there to catch us when we fall but quickly he makes us start again.His greatest thrill is when we are successful on our own!
He by far is the biggest cheerleader our children and I have!
There is no rulebook he follows, no set of guidelines to adhere to, but instead he brings himself.
By being himself he has shown each of us how to be ourselves.
He shares all of himself with us and in the end we can share all of ourselves with him.