Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reflections of Love

At our wedding mass, during the homily, the priest stated that often times it was hard to stand and unite two people in marriage, knowing it most likely would not last; he was happy to celebrate our marriage because he knew we had a good chance of surviving.  And he was so right.  This past Wednesday, on the 26th of October we celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss.

Our life has had its share of ups and downs, good times and bad, but overall the past fifteen years have been the best of my life.  After our marriage, we continued living with my parents.  My Dad had health issues, and we were able to help them when needed.  When my father-in-law started having health issues, we then decided to move in with him (and a brother-in-law).  My husband had given himself so selflessly to my parents, never complaining; I knew it was my turn to step up to the plate.  It was a difficult decision, and probably the most difficult time of our marriage, but I knew I had given my husband a gift - being with his father in his end years.  My father-in-law passed away in 2005, my brother-in-law moved out of the house, and we were finally alone for the first time in our marriage. 

Both my husband and I were older when we married...he was 40, I was 38.  Many people thought we would have difficulty coming together: two people set in their ways, etc.  Yet we surprised them all.  I think our age worked for us.  We both knew the grass was not greener on the other side.  We had experienced life.  And most importantly, we knew how fortunate we were in finding each other.  We knew the precious gift we had been given. 

We have traveled to many places, have seen many wonderful things, met some wonderful people. In November 2007, we retired and moved to Florida.  We love our life and continue to grow together.  We continually learn new things about each other, and we know the importance of communication.  Some of the wisdom given to us during our Pre-cana teachings (Catholic pre-marriage counseling) has stayed with us.  We learned that marriage is a circle, as symbolized by the wedding band; that negativity begets negativity, just as positivity begets positivity - it all flows together.  We also learned that 'communication, communication, communication' is the key...and after 15 years, we are still working on that aspect of our marriage.  We realized we often 'hear' each other speak, but we don't truly 'listen'.  A work in progress.

Life continues to throw obstacles.The horrendous ordeal my family has struggled through the past two and half years.  The two trials. The sentencing. It’s been an emotional roller coaster.  My one niece is now living with my husband and I, so once again we are sharing our home.  We feel that our gift is to give love and support to our family.  We do so when we can.  We feel that in giving, we receive. 

Sadly, in January of this year, my beloved father passed away.  I am dealing with his death as best I can.  The grief comes and goes.  As always, my husband is a constant source of love and comfort.

Our wedding day remains the best day of my life. And I am so happy that Monsignor Bob was right all those years ago...we did have a great chance of surviving, and God willing there will be many more reflections of love in the years to come.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mambie Pambies

I must be officially old.  Seems this young generation - the X generation - is nothing but a bunch of mambie pambies.  Mind you, I am well aware that this does not apply to all, but what is it with so many of these kids, or young adults, nowadays?

And the term 'young adults' must be used mildly.  They think they are adults, yet they have no clue how to debate, how to hold a decent conversation.  If you contradict or disagree, they pout and curse you, or heaven forbid, 'defriend' you; they call you old and a bitch.  Yep, I am now at that stage of my life where I am old and a bitch.  But you know what?  Thank the good lord!  I can say what I want to say and not have to worry about someone liking me! 

These so called 'adults' want to have their opinions and they want you to agree with them.  If you differ from what they think then we don't know what we're talking about.  Or I'm a drama queen.  They can cuss all they want, they can steal, they can do drugs and party, they can have their sexual preferences...and I'm just supposed to smile and say 'hey, that's really really wonderful!'.  If I dare say 'hey, I'm worried about you', or 'don't you think it's time to get a job?' or 'don't use that language with me', I'm considered persona non grata. Don't they realize that part of being an adult is to listen to other opinions?  Debate.  Fight about it.  But at the end of they day, we're all adults.  We have different opinions and that's okay...move on.

One of the great things of being my age is that I have my own opinions...people can say what they want...sure, I'll listen, but in the end my opinion is my own.  Doesn't matter...I don't have to cuss the other person out, I don't have to be nasty, don't have to defriend them...

If this is the quality of 'adults' we have, God help this nation.  I fear we have raised a generation (and again, this does not apply to ALL, as I know some very well adjusted youngsters) of mambie pambies who don't want to work, who want everything their own way, who have no respect for others, no compassion for others...yep, we are in a heap of trouble!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nine Months, and Counting

It is nine months today since you breathed your last breath.  Nine months, and I still grieve your death.
I miss you.  I miss your smile, I miss your laugh, I miss your hugs - I miss you.

Why is it getting harder?  I go about my days, my weeks, and life goes on; and yet, there is an emptiness that I cannot deny.  There are snippets of joy, moments when a genuine smile appears on my face - but it is only temporary.  My life is gray.  Everything 'just is'.

This morning I awoke and my thoughts are of you.  I remember the day you came home.  We were celebrating your homecoming, joyful you were back where you wanted to be.  We had 'welcome home' balloons, and many of your loved ones were there to greet you.  We went down to meet the ambulance and we walked alongside the gurney; we settled you and made sure you were comfy.  All this, knowing you had come home to die.  And that thought is what I cannot escape today.  You came home to die.

What a blessing to have those days to say goodbye.  But it wasn't enough.  I would give anything to have you here again, to kiss you, to hear you call me 'Poopsie', to hear you say 'give Terry a tweak for me'.  How I would love to call home and have you answer the phone, only to hear 'dammit', and the phone go dead b/c you hit the wrong button!  I'm thinking of the upcoming months - your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas.  Those days were so special to you, and you loved to have your family gathered around.  How will it be this year?  We'll be scattered and apart, and you won't be here.  I know going back to Maryland this Christmas won't happen...the memories of your last weeks will be too hard and we'll all be processing things in our own way.

I know you are in a better place.  But selfishly I want you here.  I want to cry in your arms and feel the comfort that only you can give.  Nine months and counting, Daddy...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sentence

The final curtain dropped last week...he was sentenced.  He will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Some may think this is a joyous victory, but it is not.  There are conflicting emotions, and it's very difficult to sort through the debris.  Yes, justice has been served and I am happy he will pay for what he did.  And yet, this is a man who was part of my family, someone I loved and called friend and to think of him spending the rest of his life in prison...well, it makes me very sad. 

Some may think the sentence too harsh.  I do not.  He took two innocent lives and damaged them, imprisoned them in their own home...now he will serve the sentence he imposed on them.  Had he shown any sign of sorrow, any sign of remorse for his actions, perhaps he would have been spared; perhaps I would find some compassion for him.  He chose to remain silent.  He chose to proclaim his innocence till the end. He chose not to look at his daughters, he chose not to apologize - nothing.  And that silence resonates far more than anything he could have said.

There is still anger at his betrayal, how he duped my husband and I into believing his lies.  There is still regret.  But knowing he is behind bars, knowing he will never again be able to hurt another child brings some comfort. I do pray for him.  We pray for him. 

And to know his daughters will thrive and move forward, and he will not, is the best justice that could ever be served.  It brings hope to a horrific time in our family's history.  My nieces are free.  My nieces smile, they laugh; quite simply, they now live.