Friday, October 28, 2011 I truly get the meaning

I can't believe it has been about six months since I have written here am not sure if anyone reads it however I feel the need to write. I kind of have to say this past year I have truly learned the meaning of bittersweet. The great parts, some of the greatest parts of my life I have gotten to experience this past year and the worst part too.
Let's start with the great parts I fell in love......with me, I came to the point in my life where I was honest with myself and the world of who I am, what I like, and more importantly I am going to choose happy over not, whether that means doing what is good for my mind, body or spirit, or just not having any inauthentic relationships, just being real...being me. I also fell in love amazing lady who loves me too and I have never been happier. I used to hear people say, "I can't wait to get married or I want to be in love" and I would think, "what's wrong with you?". But no, turns out, I didn't know it, hadn't had it, you get the point. I am happy and love is nice...people actually write those songs and cards for a reason...who knew? What else, I had some fun success with my cooking, which was nice. It is funny when I was a kid I set up a fake restaurant at my parents house for a night and have been cooking since and it turns out having respected people in your field tell you your food tastes great. Well it feels good, and when you have fun doing it...even better. That was another lesson I learned this year...have fun, no matter what. When you have fun everything is all just works.
So to tally it up so far...Me...happy, in-love, doing what I love and being successful, having fun and mom dies.
I don't mean it was an out of the blue thing. My mom, did two miles a day on the treadmill, ate a piece of chicken, broccoli, and a yam for dinner, drank water, took her vitamins and would tell me, starting two years ago, "I don't think I am going to live very long". To which I would respond, "are you kidding me, you are in better shape than both of your children?" Long story short, a car drove through her living room a year and a half ago, she was not hit but traumatized, her high stress levels made even higher and she started to deteriorate, then this past February after a few doctors, tests, etc..found out she had advanced progressive Alzheimer's. I didn't want to believe it, I still don't fully. I never wanted to stop believing in her, and selfishly, I was happy and I wanted her to see it play out and be there for my success, love, future, etc. My mom, Irene passed away on September 29th. It was the worst thing ever. The week before she stopped being able to swallow, and aspirated (her lungs filled with fluid). My mom never liked hospitals, doctors, she was scared and even when I was a kid I would stay with her, in the hospital, go with her for tests, etc. I prayed that I would be able to be with her if something happened and I was. I put off everything, making arrangements, saying goodbyes, until the week before, literally the night before she aspirated, I arranged her funeral, plot, etc. It was like she waited for me to get there, on some emotional level. I drove to see her Saturday and then stayed till she passed Thursday morning. We had the kind of relationship like a Time Life book series, like "daughter in Ohio burns her hand and then mother in Atlanta gets stung by bee on same hand." I felt her pain and she mine and on Wednesday night when my heart was racing and I was inconsolably sobbing, and thought I would pass out as she lay there dying, and then a hospice nurse told me to pray, pray that my mom would have a safe passing to heaven and to rest. I laid down and prayed and fell asleep for an hour and woke up at 3am to see the hospice nurse praying for my mom with church hymns playing on the tv. It was surreal, and I was calm, I left the room, called the nearest Greek Orthodox church (which I haven't been to since I was a kid), and the priest answered, I explained to him at 3am that I put off having a priest visit my mom in fear it would scare her and that I believe she is dying but I know she would want to be blessed before passing. He came at 4am and blessed my mom and three of us prayed for my mom (the priest, nurse and myself), her body instantly was more peaceful. Her breathing slowed a bit more. She held on till my brother got there in the morning and then passed at 10:15. One day I will write only about my mom, because she was an amazing strong lady who self sacrificed and lived with honor and dignity. I think I am not there yet. My dad died 15 yrs ago and it was different, this is different.
I am so thankful. I had a great mom who I know is still with me, I am healthy, in love, happy, and excited for what the future holds. I feel blessed and know that this is part of life. I know all of this.......but once in a while I cry though, that I want my mom to call for just five minutes, and I miss her...but thankfully I have someone who pats my puffy eyes with a damp cloth and tells me they love me. Bittersweet..........thank you for reading. xo, Vicki

Saturday, May 14, 2011

So it sucks sometimes....

I like blue skies, glitter, love, puppies and aluminum baseball bats. The last one didn't seem to fit but it does for me. I am that lady, the one who when the going gets tough, I bring a bat...I mean really tough. My mom has Alzheimer's and I guess only since words like "assisted living" and "power of attorney" became part of my daily speech did I not really accept it. I always live with the idea that our lives are our own reality and we create the good and the bad of it and each part is a lesson....but once in a great while do I just go "WTF?" and then I get a bat. The problem is this time I don't know who to swing at, the people who are understandably frustrated with helping my mom who forget that showing her dignity is important, the guy who drove through her living room last year and triggered a sh*t load of health problems for my mom, my mom who has leaned on me more than normal since I was five and has me in charge of deciding everything about what to do now.........see none of them really work and since donuts are not the best option any longer, I am writing in the middle of the night rather than waking up my girlfriend to start another inane argument about nothing..literally nothing. My girlfriend is amazing and has been there packing up my mom, calming me down....for this I am overwhelmingly grateful, usually it is just me and the bat. The point angry......I guess that isn't it, it is more I just miss my mom. I know I am lucky, I have my health, love, still have a mom and I am in my late thirties, but I miss her. My mom was never the bake cookies type, the hugging type, the emotional gooey type and if you asked her to make you a Halloween costume, well she would have bought you a great one. However my mom was the the only one in my life who cared I had a roof over my head, showed me by example, what honor and dignity were and ingrained in me the fact that"the world is my oyster and I can do anything I want to"...even if she may have forgotten that for herself. But as an adult I know she didn't forget that, she self sacrificed, my dad was an abusive, non working alcoholic and my mom's outer shell may not have been soft.. it was dependable and a safe harbor for me even when I carried a bat.
Okay enough about the bat, the point......sometimes it sucks and I can shed a tear, maybe eat half a french crueler, allow myself a minute to get quiet and listen to myself and then swing. Swing so hard because that is what my mom would have done for me, and right now her defenses are down, her fear is high and I feel like the only person she really trusts. Life is funny, it took me a very long time to fully live my truth, really fall in love with me and then another, and almost at the same time my mom's health started to fail her. I guess it is all part of the matrix and I don't need to know the why or the whatever instead I will just feel blessed that I was raised by a tough, dependable, strong minded woman ....and I am my mother's daughter. Thank you for reading. xo, Vicki

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy? I'm keepin' it.....

Sometimes I have that feeling as I click in my seat belt that I am in control of it, that life is here going, “hey enjoy me, live me, don’t sweat it, you are driving.”It feels amazing. The wind is in my hair and I am coasting and anyone or thing that would sometimes cause me to slow down or catch my breathe, disappears. Life just flows.
Lately, life has been flowing, don’t get me wrong I am seeing the obvious stuff wrong, the world, family health issues, my Talbots’ charge bill, but none of that is shaking me. I am coasting, in love, with me and another (new girlfriend I heart), feeling and doing as I wish and happy. I exhale and for a second I see the speed bumps and I almost let go of the wheel and let them become bigger than my happiness but instead I choose not to let that happen. I choose to stay on course, not wear someone else’s fear, I choose happy. I think my driving analogy is because my girlfriend finally convinced me to use the West side Hwy, a fast route around the city that I avoided since living on the west side for no logical reason, turns out it saves a ton of time and I avoid all my internal road rage of going up Tenth Ave, I digress.
Choosing happy, I like it. It fits, I want it for a while, possibly for forever. Such a simple thing right? to see the blue in the sky instead of the bird crap that just landed on your freshly dry cleaned sweater, to trust that what you feel is the way it is and any fears you have are just rumbles from the past that interrupt you as you are trying to dream and live and probably someone else’s fear to start with, like your parent who drilled in you “dream big but just don’t ever leave me” and then finally at 37 you do. Happy? I have visited many, many times in my life and probably seemed like I was a permanent resident before with my rainbow jumper and my shiny mary janes but those were just the sparkling accessories that shouted “see I belong here, I am filled with so much joy my clothes are even vomiting it every where. “ Well turns out even girls with shiny shoes can feel shitty and numb. Not me, not this time, I feel thankful and happy. I am not even letting myself think my old stuff like, “life is feeling great now probably get hit by a bus” or waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am daring it, I am admitting it out loud......I am happy! So why write about it in the middle of the night? Just a few of life’s rumbles woke me up out of a sound sleep and I tried my old approach of, “well why is this popping up in your life, what does it mean?” BS way of thinking which is a sure fire way to curtail my smile. Instead I am just doing that....letting BS be BS and joy be joy and as I breathe in and out I realize I do my work. I drink the water (mostly), help the lady across the street, put on my oxygen mask first (that took years to learn), and I choose happy. Thank you for reading and be happy, enjoy spring! It is coming, I promise. xo, Vicki

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thought I built my house on steel....

so last night I worked with this very pregnant young lady who was probably 19 and we chatted, I asked the standard baby questions one asks, like "will you dress the baby in a bee costume?", sorry bee costumes make me smile. She looked nervous, I mean she is 19 and very pregnant, I mean I am 37 and when I hold an itty bitty baby all I think is "don't drop the baby." I asked if she was excited, she sheepishly said, "yeah". Then I said, "everyone is mostly scared shit less and excited a lot of the time, so no worries." She laughed and agreed that was how she felt.
I have been feeling very strong lately, lucky, thankful, alone but not lonely, and a bit like a ninja but still there is the tiny part of me that is scared shit less, like the part that feels for the crazies that come and go in my life at times. I learned the basics like do unto others, take your vitamins, drink water, save some money, pay your light bill, forgiveness, ask for help, don't allow someone to make you less than who you are, how to make awesome scones.....the basics. I know that it could always be worse, like I have clean water and if I had a baby I wouldn't have to give birth in a field and cut the umbilical cord with a sickle...perspective I think that is what they call it. I know perspective. I also know this feeling I have lately like I am built on steel and strong, fearless and focused but I also know there is that unknown part, my heart, my heart that could be as big as an apple pie and be vulnerable and melt my steel foundation. Get to the point....alright so my mom is not in the best of health lately (still unclear), recently got dumped (that part is fine, not really but will be very fine, very soon), I am essentially alone (but aren't we really all). I mean I sat on my subway ride home today looking around thinking who the strong people are if something were to's not necessarily the ones with the camouflage on or the multiple piercings, it is probably the lady who just finished working three jobs to put her kid through college or the guy who just carried the stroller up the stairs without being asked. Strength, inner strength is something I have always had (we all have it), but I have forgotten mine many times in my life. This last year I let it all fly and emptied out my closet, literally. I have made light of the toughest of situations, felt no fear when I should have been afraid, did what was best for me though I was scared, lonely and just tired (because I knew my truth clearly). A friend, I highly respect, recently told me a story about this crab guy who never covers his basket of crabs and another crabber asked if he was afraid they would escape, and the first crab guy said no, if one tries to crawl out, the other crabs just pull him back in to the pile. I guess that is my only fear really to be pulled back into the pile, my own pile of ...that's fine, or I don't want better, or I am invisible. I like that I can see the pile clearly because now when I see those crabs getting closer I just drink some water, see the fear for what it is, eat an apple, delete the text, take a breathe, and know that I am a tiny bit scared shit less but mostly standing on steel. Steel that has been building for a long time and so is that 19 year old who is keeping her baby, working two jobs, going to school and still wears a smile on her face. Hell her steel is much stronger than mine....thank you for reading! xo, Vicki
PS.. I also know and am very thankful for friends, family members and strangers who always encourage me and push me along my path for the good or the bad of it. I promise to make you proud!!!