A Birthday I never forget….

Good Morning. I don’t know why I am up at the crack of dawn, but I am. I love this time of day, noone bothers me or interrupts me, its the most serene part of my day and I cherish these moments. I remember when my kids were babies and I would awaken before them. I would quietly make a pot of coffee and relish in the total SILENCE and peace. I would journal or flip through magazines, always finding my “zen” moment…it has always centered me. Today, I awoke like any other ordinary day. Checking my emails, managing my schedule of errands, and then I remembered…….its the 16th….Happy Birthday Mom. She, my beloved mother has been on my mind daily. She always is and will be, but primarily because February is “her” month. She celebrated her Anniversary, Valentines and lastly her Birthday all in a row. I can still remember her telling my dad…Don’t combine all my gifts! I want a special one for each day. She was quite the “spoiled” only child, and he reminded her daily about that. He also lavished and spoiled her in his own way. My father a frugal guy was never about the material things in life, he was a very deep, centered person. He knew was was truly important about life. I can still hear him preaching it to us all. In the end, when you are hurt or in trouble or just down on your luck….who will you call? who will be the one to rescue you and take care of you?….the answer was always ~ Your Family~. Noone else. I still remember his words and they have given me hope in the last few years. My mother “Mitzi”, passed away alil over 3 years ago. It was sudden, and brutal. It has taken some time for me to heal and let go of alot of grief and alot of sadness. It took a toll on our family, I believe we are starting to heal each of us, in our own way, in our own time.  Hopeful, we are making our way back to each other with Love. I say this today, but I couldn’t have written this 3 years ago. Too much had transpired regarding her will and estate. Many relationships were severed because of my siblings secrets and choices. I won’t sugar coat this, I was beyond devastated. It tore me apart, it tore us apart. I grieved and suffered alone through most of it, angry and defeated and shocked, the pain was immense.The saddest part is I lost trust and most of all respect for those I trusted and respected my entire life. I have allowed myself to grieve, I mourned the loss of my parents, but I was not prepared to mourn or “lose”  & the love of my sibling. My mother made decisions and choices without divulging details to me that shattered our relationships after she passed. Oddly enough, she wrote a letter along with her will. The letter asked us not to “fight” or argue over monies….or what is left. She suffered that loss when her grandparent died and for our entire lives she begged and pleaded for us not to tear a family apart over “money”.  I remember my brother reading her letter outloud to me & my brother & sister. He began to cry before reading the first sentence. I had no idea we would shed 1 million more tears in days to come. Some of life’s lessons are way too hard. Unpredictable and disappointing. I’ve learned they are lessons on our journey. I have also found out that when you are in the midst of the storm, it hurts so bad you could break. Today, I discover that time does heal most wounds, and life does go on regardless of your pain and suffering and you will be whole again and find your peace within. An easy journey? Not at all…but you can’t swim under it or around it. I swam through it. It definately didn’t kill me, it absolutely made me stronger. I believe you are never too old to relearn the true meaning of “forgiveness”. It is more complex than just saying I forgive you. It’s a whole other level of soul searching, digging deeper. I believe through my journey, I was given the most precious gift. I was humbled. This was my salvation and my healing. I was close, glued to my parents. They were the solar system in our galaxy. We all revolved around each other. The Love never ceased, the closeness was a blanket and a rescue for all of us. I have and will always say, I was blessed to be loved so deeply for 47 years of my life. I truly believe I am who I am because I had a mother who adored me.  I was a “planned” pregnancy…my Mother had 5 children. I was the 3rd, the middle child, the first born daughter. She dreamed about me, she prepared for my arrival and according to my mom, I was her soulmate from the day I entered this world. She told the story 100 times….I told your Dad; Lisa Marie, that if you came out a “boy”,(again), she would dress me in frilly pink and lace and most probably, I would be Gay! Well, lucky for them, I was a girl, the apple of their eye and I believe a source of joy and love to them both. I am moved to say, that everyday of my life, I was loved and valued.  Everyday, I felt special and cherished. How lucky am I?…Totally..and I know it and let it wash over me when I miss them, like today. She loved any party, celebration, a reason or excuse to All be together. My mother often shared with me the reason she had so many babies. Simply because she had no siblings. She mentioned a brother James who died shortly after he was born. She resented “James”, cos it made her parents sad. So she made up imaginary siblings. She played on her staircase as a child and pretended she had brothers and sisters. She dreamed this since she was a child, she made her dreams come true through us <3. I love that story, she often shared her heart and her dreams with me. Precious moments between us. So, while I reflect back to birthdays past, I loved to pamper and spoil her on her day. When she died, I gathered everyone to my home and had a “birthday party” for Mitzi. I planned the menu to the last detail.  I served a 10 course meal, every single dish had a story, and each one was her favorites. We were all together, all 5 of us, it was just a couple of months after she died. I felt her around me….I missed her dearly. We all spent the day remembering her, giggling about her stories and her laughter. My brother’s always teased her and mimicked her. We were all her world, she asked nor required anything more. So today Mom…isn’t any “ordinary” day, it’s your day and I miss you next to me. I miss your softest skin and cold chubby arm. I miss your sparkling eyes and hugging you in your little house dress. I weep as I write this to you. You’re the one who believed in me most, you loved my words and my writing and you always reminded me that I took after Daddy! You built me up and pushed me to be more than I dreamed. Most of all you believed in me..my heart, my strength. I could never be any of these things, if it weren’t for you…the Mother who loved me to the moon and the stars and back. Ti amo’ mommy, I love you <3. eternally…..~ lisa marie

I am so done with the “rat race”

Good Morning!  I am happily sitting in my kitchen with a cuppa cawfee and catching up on 10 zillion emails! First…I survived my stint in the big “city”. It was truly an experience. I pretended to be a true New Yorker, jetting here and there, hopping subways and trains, but honestly, I’m a country girl…meaning I’m not all about the rat race. Let me tell you, what a wild ride it was! Those commuting New Yorkers.. well they ummm RACE, everywhere, every moment, no wonder they tend to drink on the train alot, lol! Good ole STRESS….as the saying goes “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. But in retrospect, I sorta started getting used to it. I was amazed, a tiny portion of my fear of ledges, heights, getting sucked into the filthy nitty gritty subway tracks even lifted a tad! I found myself walking “inbetween” the subway platforms (what!) just to get a prime spot for drop off! Who ever thought? I still got lost at least once a week…wrong train or an express that stops nowhere I needed to be, but I rolled with it all, I challenged myself alot. Like…If I walk really fast, I may catch that 5:53 out of Penn?…Surprisingly, I did and then I had to laugh about it, I got sucked into the “rush”….to get home 14 mins earlier! Too funny. I will always love the good parts of NYC…it has its own “culture”. Somehow, there is a heartbeat to each step, a purpose, a destiny daily. The eclectic mix of every nationality, race, religion blending. Everyone is trying to make a living, from the homeless begging for a dollar to the executives that run wall street. It is truly a melting pot for everyone and anyone. I admire their tenacity and drive daily.  They got that true grit thing, it’s inspiring on some level. I must acknowledge the mecca of SHOPPING. Forget it, I’d be penniless in 2 heartbeats, simply…the shopping Never Ends…any block, any time of day or night, its fascinating and addicting. I nibbled on some street food…Man those Churros were da bomb…crispy, sugary sticks of delish! A spanish woman would park a “laundry” cart filled with 1,000’s of them, and she only charged 66 cents each (3 for $2)…what a bargain! I witnessed talent and musical gifts throughout my adventure. One day 2 young guys hopped on my car, they blasted a tune really loud and proceeded to perform a dance on the metal rungs attached to the ceiling of the car! Truly they were amazing and inspiring. The classical musicians on platforms at each subway stop. Even at 8am! The soul singer down in the port authority, his voice still resides in my brain. Dreamers, artists, musicians, performers, everyday, every corner, fascinating and uplifting. The heart of NY, as Alicia Keys sings, a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. I loved those parts, each one of them kept me humble. They far out weigh the negatives I experienced daily…poverty, and such filth from litter and garbage, I am ashamed to admit that most have no pride or respect for our earth or environment. What has baffled me daily is the trash issue. There are NO trash receptacles on any train or subway. Therefore, most choose the floor or the ground to dispose of their foods,drinks, cups wrappers, papers, etc. If I were able to suggest a simple solution (e.g.Trash cans on the trains?)in addition to the cans on platforms! …It may start a trend someday! Most of all, I will remember that at 50, I challenged myself, I had a goal, a personal journey. I am not such a scarredy cat, I can hang tough when I need too. I promised myself to be kind and thoughtful and I did that often. I didn’t allow the negatives to consume me. I’m excited about my new job, and smiling just thinking about my 12 minute Drive to it on Monday! I’ll keep you posted. Until then… Keep it real…..peeps! Image