What’s something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot?
Someone I haven’t mentioned much in this ‘online journal’ is my Aunt Sharon.
Fondly known as my ‘ASK,’ my Aunt Sharon was a compassionate, generous, selfless woman, who loved with her whole heart and sacrificed her health for people who were important to her. Lexi, Jameson and I were three (3) of those people. When my then husband and I separated, I moved to North Carolina. After a huge blow up with my real dad and his wife, ASK took the kids, and me, into her home. She allowed my kids to attend her daycare while I worked. She fed us, clothed us, sheltered us. She stayed up night after night with me just to listen to my problems. And she never asked for anything in return. Nonetheless, I was sometimes stubborn, irritable and immature. I didn’t have my priorities straight back then, and even though our opinions often collided, we had an understanding. And we loved each other. And my kids were her WHOLE world.
ASK passed away in September of 2012. Selfishly, I did not go to her funeral. I didn’t want to remember her in a casket, and I didn’t want my kids to see her that way, either, because they were so little.
Our talks have stayed with me, though, and I choose to remember those instead. Time and time again, I would go to her, using her as a shoulder to cry on. She never complained, but rather, encouraged me. “Meggie, you’re a survivor,” she would say, every time.
And that’s the one thing that has stuck with me all these years. I have survived. I’ve survived a dysfunctional family. I’ve survived anxiety, depression and attempted suicide. I’ve survived two marriages AND divorces. I’ve survived a mean and nasty three year custody battle. I’ve survived the loss of friendships, family members, jobs, stuff.
ASK was right about so many things she said about me, even the stuff that was not flattering, and even things I heard that I did not appreciate. But the one thing I take away from our three (3) years together, and the one thing she said that has really kept me going since she has passed away is that I can handle anything.
I am a survivor. I swear, it belongs on my gravestone. I’m glad she told me that – over and over and over. I needed to hear it then and I need to remind myself of that every now and then.
Jack sent this link to me this morning. It’s a 30 day writing challenge. What better way to kick off a new blog year.
Ten things that make me really happy:
- My kids. Just thinking about Lexi and Jameson makes me really happy. They’re funny, they say funny things, and their smiles are contagious. I can’t wait to get home tonight so that I can play with them, and give them kisses and play our round of silly games and eat our dinner and watch our t.v. shows. I can’t wait to give them goodnight kisses, and do it all over again tomorrow.
- Jack. It’s not just that I love Jackie. I like him. He’s my best friend, my inside joke sharer, my punching bag when I feel like playing around, and even my punching bag when I’m not playing at all. He’s my lobster, my plus one, my better half, my cuddle buddy and my bouncer when necessary. He makes me a better me, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been – and that has everything to do with him.
- Zeek. Zeek is one of my best friends, taking a back seat only to his daddy. We are alone a lot at night – every other week, to be exact. I cook for him, cuddle with him, play with him and let him sleep in his daddy’s spot, and in exchange, he looks out for me when we are alone. I love him and I don’t know what I’d do without him.
- My niece and nephews. When I babysit, I usually go crazy and take them all on at once. And yes, it stresses me out and sometimes it’s more than I can handle. But most of the time, I recognize that my house if full of love. And in those moments, I am happy.
- My friends. I only have a few. But those few are really important to me. They make me laugh, when I really, REALLY, need to laugh. That small circle sometimes is what keeps me going. And I appreciate that.
- Shopping. Amazon. The mall. Wal-Mart. I love it. I don’t think I’m an addict. I just really like it. Don’t most women? Shirts, purses, costume jewelry, University of Kentucky accessories and memorabilia, stuff for the kids and Jack, or even just groceries. If I’ve got the money, I’ve also got the time.
- The mountains. Sunsets and sunrises. Snow. Cold. Scarves or hoodies. Coffee. Fireplaces in log cabins. I can’t wait to leave this retarded state so I can find my own personal mountain and live there until I’m old and gray. They make me really happy.
- A clean, well-organized, fresh-smelling house. I decorated my bedroom yesterday. I sorted out all the laundry. The kids clean their rooms, Jack did the dishes, and I think today, Jackie is going to sweep, mop and vacuum. If, when I get home, there are candles lit, and it smells good, I will definitely be in my happy place this evening.
- Date night. Maybe this is cheating a little, since Jack is also on this list. However, I like going out and doing things with him. Movie, concert, dinner, drinks, shopping, whatever. I just like being with my best friend.
- Music. When I’m in an icky mood, which is more often than I’d like, music is sometimes one of the only things that makes me feel better. I can put my earbuds in, and turn the volume up, and go someplace else. And honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without it.
I’m going to try to do one of these a day, for a month, so that I can complete the challenge. We’ll see if I can find that time.