Sometimes when we read someone else’s words they hit you deep down in your guts directly to your soul, these words did exactly that. They paused me. They made me remember my job, “the keeper“
I had bracelets made for both my kids, I wear my sons, one day I’ll give it to him but for know I am the keeper of the message “ain’t no mountain high, no valley low” the song I played them so much during a very hard time in our lives, the divorce. We are years passed that now, however, old wounds die hard and long sometimes so it is just a reminder that through it all, good and bad, they could always count on their keeper
It certainly is the little things that we know to keep this lil sailboat sailing like a Viking battleship
One of our silly videos to fully embraced our motto
“I am the keeper.
I am the keeper of schedules. Of practices, games, and lessons. Of projects, parties, and dinners. Of appointments and homework assignments.
I am the keeper of information. Who needs food 5 minutes before a meltdown occurs and who needs space when he gets angry. Whether there are clean clothes, whether bills are paid, and whether we are out of milk.
I am the keeper of solutions. Of bandaids and sewing kits and snacks in my purse. But also of emotional balms and metaphorical security blankets.
I am the keeper of preferences. Of likes and dislikes. Of nightly rituals and food aversions.
I am the keeper of reminders. To be kind, to pick up their trash, to do their dishes, to do their homework, to hold open doors and write thank you notes.
I am the keeper of rituals and memories. Of pumpkin patches and Easter egg hunts. I am the taker of pictures, the collector of special ornaments, and the writer of letters.
I am the keeper of emotional security. The repository of comfort, the navigator of bad moods, the holder of secrets and the soother of fears.
I am the keeper of the peace. The mediator of fights, the arbiter of disputes, the facilitator of language, the handler of differing personalities.
I am the keeper of worry. Theirs and my own.
I am the keeper of the good and the bad, the big and the small, the beautiful and the hard.
Most of the time, the weight of these things I keep resembles the upper elements on the periodic table – lighter than air, buoying me with a sense of purpose.
But sometimes the weight of the things I keep pulls me down below the surface until I am kicking and struggling to break the surface and gasp for breath.
Because these things I keep are constantly flickering in the back of my brain, waiting to be forgotten. They scatter my thoughts and keep me awake long past my bedtime.
Because all these things I keep are invisible, intangible. They go unnoticed and unacknowledged until they are missed. They are not graded or peer reviewed or ruled on by a court. And sometimes they are taken for granted.
My husband and my boys are kind and generous and they love me hard. And this is by far the greatest job I have ever had. But sometimes being the Keeper is exhausting. Because you feel like you’re doing it alone.
So to all of you who are keepers, I see you.
I know the weight of the things you keep.
I know the invisible work you do, which doesn’t come with a pay check or sick leave, is what makes the world go round.
I heard this watching a biography special Brit Hume did on President George HW Bush. The biographer asked president Bush to read aloud a letter that Bush wrote to his mother after The death of his daughter where he became so emotional he had to stop, his heart was so heavy. Someone asked the biographer why he asked him to read the letter aloud because the letter was just so sad and upset him so much,
“To know a persons heart….” the biographer said with a pause where he glanced back as President Bush spoke and said , “First you must know what breaks it”
So I write it down and slap it on a beautiful PI sunset. But really, all that is happening at this moment to my family, unfortunately I have found more understanding in the word heartbreak the past few days. Life on life’s terms smacked me, Troy, my momma and my Thing #1 and #2 here in the face very hard. None of us had quite made it back from the last crash, together we shall take it head on, guide each other and make it out with a tad more understanding, compassion and love bringing us all closer together as we tackle that big ass mountain in front of us. There will be times we must be led by another and times we must lead everyone. Today was my momma and my daughter leading the way as Troy held me up. Saying a little prayer Sunday will bring calm into all of us.
What I know is this: some days it takes just one, other days it takes the whole damn village. We must not forget how strong our damn village is in times such as these, gain strength individually from one another which will make the village as a whole unbreakable
It was so much more than a typical day six years ago. On the heels of a judge stamping my divorce giving me freedom, releasing both my children and myself from all of “that.” I stood my ground and got shit done. The one time in my life that my being so damn stubborn actually worked so well that I surprised even myself. Twelve days after that very important signature gave me a new lease on life, I was ready to cash that sucker in. I was a little scared, I cannot say I wasn’t. I couldn’t show exactly how scared because
of my children and also for Troy. He was already worried sick about me. So were my parents. It wasn’t that I was anxious we were moving 1000 miles to a place I had never seen, that was a completely different kind of anxiety. I was scared because just the day before an extremely drunk newly divorced x husband came to say goodbye to his children. When they were less than ecstatic to see him in the first place, he was wobbly drunk they got scared. As he left, he turned to me to talk. I wanted none of it, he was less than a nice drunk most of the time. That moment was no different. He had told the kids he was heading to rehab again (stay 7 I think) when he turned to direct this conversation to me I think for one split second he looked as though he regretted the hell he put me through. Only a split second because the mean drunk pushed that sad man, sad father and sad husband aside to unleash upon me. Any good feelings were squashed down to obliterate around him as anger and plain meanness exploded, while he was surprised I was going through with this 1000 mile move he also promised me he would take these kids from me. He vowed whatever it took, be it stealing them, he would have them and I would not.
What a great parting gift, huh?
All I had was what.Mr Chow said:
TOODOOLOO! <- Click or not to see but its kinda how I felt as we pulled away
It has actually taken years to shake that threat. My kids are big now but it still haunts me. He was a ruthless man when he was drinking, I cannot convey that as serious as it actually was. My children haven’t quite shaken it either, I still see it in their eyes when he is around them. They can’t hide it from me, and in a better world, they wouldn’t be able to hide it from their biological father. If he had been a better man he would see it, unfortunately that is not the case. Troy sees it, he sees it crystal clear and has been able to stand as our fort door keeping it strong and formidable.
That next morning after this so called good bye, when I got the call as he entered rehab, my own dad gave me the go. “Get in the car, leave today, understood little girl?” You see, the threats were somewhat real to my family, we knew this asshole and knew not to trust a word he said. Once it was confirmed he was there, I pretty much ran and he didn’t know where except within 25 miles of my parents.
When we woke up this morning six years ago, our day looked chaotic. It was just as chaotic as it had been the night before. We had pulled over about eleven or so in a town that we did not now our way around at all but we were so exhausted and stressed, we needed sleep.
Looking back, it was no wonder. We had two cars, a truck full of children’s toys and our clothes looking like the Clampets driving to Beverly Hills. My car was like a little Noah’s ark. Two dogs, two cats, a rat, a lizard, two children and me. That ark was overfilled with chaos! And an ark it was not. It was a PT Cruiser. We stopped half way just because of stress inside that car. If we hadn’t, we may of been minus and animal or two, maybe a child as well.
We were literally on the home stretch, to cash in that signature, there was a thing or two that had to happen first…. It is always darkest before it is light ….
I was six and i remember piling into my parents family truckster with our babysitter to drive up to our local community center where the pool and ice rink were and where they had the Jaycee Haunted House every year. As an adult I know this, the six-year old me, however, did not.
Seems my parents weren’t quite done with whatever they were doing and someone says “they are inside”. So my babysitter and I mosey on in looking for my parents. As the hall opened up, there was a coffin and who knew Dracula was in the open coffin. As Dracula began to sit up, I hear Dracula say,”hey little girl!”
First, it was 1975, the world was a much different place back then. I hadn’t been exposed to much beyond typical little kid shows on PBS. Maybe watched Fantasy Island of The Love Boat. Second, I was six and scary to me was Broom Hilda on Bugs bunny or maybe Hook from Peter Pan and the monster under my bed
So Dracula all giddy just wasn’t going to work, not that day. It got worse though. Dracula had my dads voice, he saw the sheer terror in my eyes. That was not my daddy, oh hell no it was not! If it was, Dracula ate him and the blood I his face was my dads blood. Remember, 1975 and I was six….
Dracula sees his daughter getting ready to turn into a Kung-Fu fighter with mad skills able to crush you and get my daddy back. As I stand there clutching my babysitters hand and arm trying to probably jump up for a piggy back to get the hell outta here, Dracula speaks in a worried voice …”uh Martha, come here now!”
As she came around the corner, I all but lost it, or maybe I did lose it, I don’t recall really. I just saw the big brim black witches hat and black dress come around that corner and that green painted face with a crooked witches nose. I was scared to death. That wasn’t it though. When I heard “What’s wrong Jack?” It was right there where the memory starts fading as my dad was desperately trying to get the paint and blood off his face, and my mom doing the same. It fades to black as she tore of that crooked witches nose. I vaguely remember walking to our car but really that is kinda pushing what I recall.
So, from that point forward, I was scarred. It actually cracks me up a little that I am deathly afraid of an adult in a Halloween Costume to this day. My parents learned how deep this fear was now embedded not too long after that night. We went to Disney in Florida. While on my fathers shoulders, we went into the Haunted Mansion. When the walls began to stretch inside showing the bloomers of the folks in the paintings, my grip on my fathers neck got tighter and tighter. As an 8 year old, I was, began to strangle my dad. I guess my mom saved him from certain death because my next memory is sitting in that little tilt-a-whirl ride thingy watching ghosts dance and then one ghost joining us inside the ride thing, I lost my shit then. I could give a hoot if Casper is the friendliest ghost you know, take a hike Casper!
Fast forward to high school. There was always a Haunted House at our local YMCA and all my friends wanted to go as usual. I think my boyfriend convinced me, peer pressure at its best. “it’ll be okay, it’s not real” Why does no one believe me? I am a danger to you if you try to coax me into a Haunted House, really I shit you not! The dude outside looked like Alice Cooper, a scary sight in itself, but that was his get up. Believe me, that guy knew he was freaking me out while in the line. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him and his creepiness. I should have run like Forrest Gump, but no I believed the “it will be okay” statement. Welp, what happens next could of been predicted I suppose. After my eyes adjusted to the pitch black, the creepy dude touched me while inside this haunted house, when I saw that face, it only took one punch, straight to the face and he was over and out. I do not speak in absolutes because you cannot ever tell the future for certain, however, then and there, I vowed to never, and I mean NEVER, let my ass enter a Haunted House again.
A true phobia. Thanks a lot Dracula and Green Witch. That one ain’ta leaving any time soon, I will have to die to end it. I must say, I did very well with my children and Halloween through the years here, but like I said, its adults in costumes not kids. My son was the cutest little Freddy Kruger and Micheal Myers ever and my daughter the cutest little cheerleader zombie I have ever seen. I can say that I do not in any way allow either of my children to scare little ones as my kids are adult sized now. I do my part to not reproduce hysteria as far as Halloween is concerned!
The moral to the story? Hell if I know, maybe have the babysitter pick you up until after the make up is off mommy and daddy
MOOOMMMMAAA!! Why not? one black one? I will choose then, You don’t look eat your salad
To my self I say in a giggle, I will do just that, eat my salad and NOT look, good Lord, here we go however it turns out it turns out…
Well, I was able to kind of eat my salad for dinner in stages while I was being upgraded here, I was able to mess with this family tree i am
working on, I tried not to look because of the colors out of the 100 nail polishes she has, a mere 5 or six were on the table- red white and blue and blackI realized I had lost my voice in this so let it be…. and listened to directions given “mom,
Thumb, other hand
Let me take a bite first I was actually eating (which by the way is hard with the wrong hand)
Red, okay, usually on my toes but it’s all good at least I can eat my salad now because the right hand is done. Hardy I at as a lefty. There is beauty in what was going on, not beauty in the sense this helps my swuatty little fingers look better, it’s not that at all, I live in reality the hands are what they are: more like my dads not like my moms long fingers and beautiful nails. Although I’m glad my feet look like hers because I’m told my feet are pretty, hey it’s something. Ha! Never thought about it until someone showed me someone else’s ugly feet. Now I can walk taller in my flip flops
The beauty is, she never stopped talking. These moments are still extremely important for my Thing #2. Not just because I now know that x boyfriend is bugging the shit out of her, but I can also see what’s in her head by the way she talks, what she talks about, what she considered serious and what she considers bullshit. I’m not saying this to brag, this child is smart so is her brother. Although I’d like to take full credit for all this, I can’t. My x-hole may have been an addict trapped in alcohol, drugs, women and gambling but he was a smart man. That’s a big compliment in my book, sad it’s the only one I can offer about that dude. Being an addict doesn’t make you dumb, addiction does not go hand in hand with knowledge and ability to process, remember and recall. Completely two different aspects of the brain.
Anyhow, back from the detour, she is a smart lite lady. Walked teo weeks after that six month photo session at the photographer, decided to run the day after, at one could climb a fence in the princess plastic shoes, she’s daring too. While on vacation for my sisters wedding in a posh hotel in South Beach Miami ( this child spoke full sentences at age one) she refused the swim diaper…a mothers worst nightmare at a posh hotel where very few children were staying in the first place and I have not just one but two under the age four so yes the guests just looked..great. I could only imagine the scene from
“Caddy Shack” oh you know which one too I bet but just in case, click it
Arguing with a 14 month old is not fun in the first place, now imagine my child nicknamed “lil miss sassafras” who can hold a conversation almost like a debate at this young age. I couldn’t get the scene out of my head. The pool, could I pretend it was a candy bar in the eventpf my toddlers accident?? Uh hell no. I held to my guns because my sisters wedding was at the hotel. Imagine the brides fears here and she is my older sister and both my children were in her wedding: I stuck to my guns!!
At some point she up and decided she’d heard enough and marched to the bathroom and says as she just stomps her foot “I’ll use the big potty!!” End of discussion! Oh lord, I wish I had this iPhone 6 then because my God she potty trained herself all in one moment out of frustration and desire to cannonball in that pool, I was already teaching her to swim. My son was four and learned pretty quickly to swim about age 2, she was determined to swim. Her brother did it so she was gonna to so move out of the way, let’s get this shit done I want to swim
POOF! My 14 month old was poorly trained and that was that. Never mentioned a damn swim diaper again. I do have a few photos of her in one the day before at the beach when she gave in to her brothers pleads because he wanted to jump in the giant ocean pool they had seen for the first time, she obliged. The next day was a different story!
She’s smart as a whip and ready to superceed what is in from of her. That personality and self image of courage, strength, determination, along side the kids beauty and loving nature is the whole package, it can never be confined to a box wrapped with a bow, I wouldn’t even try. My mom didn’t and it damn well faired me well, I will not stifle this kid, didn’t then and I don’t now.
Whether she sees it or not, these moments of beauty where I hear her talk about her, the important things, the little things, sad, happy, the struggles, the triumphs…ALL of this shows me the awkward times of 8th grade, being a year younger than all of her friends and peers, thus young lady will be okay
These moments of beauty where I hear her talk about her, the important things, the little things, sad, happy, the struggles, the triumphs…ALL of this shows me the awkward times of 8th grade, being a year younger than all of her friends and peers, thus young lady will be okay. She’s just 12, will be 13 on September 14, her friends are turning 14.She’s just 12, will be 13 on September 14, her friends are turning 14.
She and her brother, are both a year younger than everyone in their grade. Not that they are Einsteins, they hold their own, they started preschool at 2 because they were ready, moving here from up north where they qualified for early 5 programs but didn’t need them ecosystem of their higher aptitude, here it’s different and kids start school later, mine started early leaving them younger.
So it is Troy and my job to have these talks but that’s not only why I do it. And yes, he has them with her also. Being a Mom or Dad, quite frankly, is a hard ass job, constantly changing: Creating “The most perfect chaos, where you are reading about my chaos. Any mother who acts like its shits & giggles 24/7 is lying. I’m a fantastic mom because I have been raised by some damn fine parents but there are days I am an udder wreck still, mine are 12 and 15 going on 25 in their heads. That craziness and worry, constantly changing hats being the butcher, baker, candlestick maker, plumber, doctor, debater, the dry cleaner, chef and the maid and just do much more on any given day, that which you recognize as utter chaos but keep moving forward, that’s part of it, showing them you can actually achieve it some sort of triumph in your pajamas some days is important. Only burning the bread every now and then, all of it shows your children how to do it themselves as they grow up. Help them cope with their own shit. Getting into her head like this to actually understand her, well that’s my agenda. She is like me, but she is not me, she’s a much much more better version of me, I’m not too bad but she is just phenomenal in my eyes and she needs to see and feel that.. I cannot imagine the little versions of her she will create, it will be quite amazing to see
Now I don’t know what went wrong here but that’s how I was left! Lol.
And I don’t have a weird ass growth on my hand, it’s blurred because of snoopy ass people who need hotmeasure either of my engagement rings nor my wedding ring. You don’t get to snoop too much, only as far as I let you, it is what it is>>>
My happy place was rained out today, it was the first day of school for Thing #1 & Thing #2, we see all on the verge of crabby because we are all tired. Everyone is a lot more quiet than usual
I saw the news story on Jimmy Carter, It matters not if you liked or disliked Jimmy Carter, today his press conference truly showed he is a true statesman and a good man who kept his composure today and is quite satisfied with the life he has had thus far. I truly pray for him and his family that there are still many good days full of lots of love.
And that was enough to just get me…again damn it!
So I went to make myself smile and laugh, this did it, our silliness has a purpose. Click & see!
27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
God gave me a little oomph today by making every tree bloom around me in my yard as I prepare my mind, and my children for this, I just know my Granny whispered in his ear to lete know this is okay because as I stood to snap this picture and many more, a little Cardinal had a little visit to me and flowed me around my yard and my kitty, Kip didn’t try to eat it. Thank you very much Kip… Thank you granny, I love and miss you desperately, please welcome my daddy, he loves and misses you too, show him the ropes please and watch over our family during this transition and I shall meet you there one day
I feel a strong sense of peace and love amongst there uncontrollable tears streaming down my face…
I’ve become a walking zombie, not the zombie that will chase you and want to eat you but rather the one who hasn’t quite figured out that I am a zombie so I am wandering aimlessly because I have no clue what I am suppose to do. That seems pretty screwy but I’m okay with it, which is a tad scary maybe. Hell, I’m okay with that too. Troy is seeing it and addressing it as he grabbs my hand and just leads me, everywhere the past six days. In Walmart late last night we needed a tail light for the car, he led me to the department but when he let go to look for the bulb, I stopped concentrating on his hand and kinda just forgot why we were even there. I was a big help
My daddy is in the last stages of his life and unless I’m with my mom, my mind goes somewhere else. I’ve promised my loving daddy numerous times since Christmas that I will do exactly as he has told me to do and one of these things is to make sure she is okay. So I am very much on the ball when I am in front of her but when I’m not I’m lost, Troy has promised a few things also to him and his agenda includes keeping me and my kids and my mom, his job is harder. Now I know I am two handfuls on any given day, this is proving more difficult than even I expected so I guess I’m about 59 handfuls at the moment.
Tonightc my son asked to see him, after doctors update and a debate or two that aren’t really worth mentioning, I took him. Another person, thought my kid would just be happy as a lark to be accompanied by her, but when it got down to it, only mommy would do. Afterward, both of us, just so sad and so tearful, I grabbed my child’s hand, as I did when he was two, I saw the look in his eyes, he wanted to just bolt away from that room. He towers over me but I was able to slow his pace to one my shrimpy legs could keep up with. Put my arms around him at the elevators and promised we’d be okay, I’d make sure he and his sister were okay and Troy would make sure we were okay. As we both gathered ourselves he says to me, “we need to make sure Nana’s okay too.” Right after I make sure you are okay I thought.
Then as we saw Troy standing waiting for us, his passed picked ip as if he thought he could actually make it past Troy. I saw his one arm reach around and grab my son, pull him to him just as I reached him where his other arm grabbed me and I crumbled to tears, my knees shaking…. Troy was keeping his promise Dad, I love you and will see you tomorrow…..
Part II tomorrow perhaps…
The part where we snuck back in with the Dominios pizza delivery dude so Thing 1, Thing 2, Troy and I could spend a moment with their papa, my daddy and a respected friend
Don’t mind us w are just living our lives to the fullest filled with love and lots of smiles, and a crapload of sunshine which makes us smile!
You may or may not see what you are looking for so I’ll try to help,