This is precisely how I feel about Spain.
(Probably paraphrased slightly)
A good talk with Hannah back in high school.
This is precisely how I feel about Spain.
Dear young couple (I suppose you are probably about my age, but we shall call you young),
So, you are buying my grandparents’ house. There are a few things that I think you should know before you move in so you might appreciate the house that you will be calling home.
I understand that my sentimental feelings mean nothing to you, but I hope you will appreciate the history that exists within this amazing house.
My grandparents built this house. They were the first ones in the neighborhood, which means that beyond your backyard used to be a cow pasture and it was gloriously quiet. The importance of them building the house is that you will notice that there is no master bathroom. I want you to know that the house was carefully designed for children. With the small sacrifice of your personal bathroom, you have gain the perfect place to bathe your newborn, get ready in the morning while the children run around, and so much more. So, rather than complain, appreciate what there is instead of what there could be.
Next, I want to talk about the kitchen. The sink was placed where it is so that you might look out at the birds or watch the children in the pool while you do the dishes. The cabinets tell a secret story. I hope that you leave them up, they are original to the house. They are a symbol of stress and anxiety and frustration and beauty. I hope you appreciate the final product, because the work that was put into them was caused by one of the saddest situations in this life.
Underneath the wood floor is this awesome, blue linoleum. I know it is a bit dated and out there, but it is blue and original to the house. For a sneak peak, look under the sink—it’s wonderful isn’t it? Well, if you don’t like it, just remember that someone once did and still does. It’s character.
I know I am rambling a bit, but when I was young, this house was promised to me, and frankly, if I were in a place in my life where I was ready to purchase a house, you wouldn’t have a place to live…but really, there aren’t any negative sentiments. You won. Fair and square. (But if you’re looking to sell in 3-5 years, I won’t complain…)
I agree with grandma when she said that she didn’t want some old couple buying her house. I am glad that you will be starting your lives together in this house. I wish you both the best, and I hope that you have many children and create many new memories.
p.s. don’t be alarmed when you hear the delighted squeals of the neighborhood children splashing around in your pool. This house has been a gathering place since the day it was completed.
On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to reflect on this quote. To bring everyone involved up to speed, on my 15th birthday (just about 6 years ago) my mother left my family to be with another man. I cannot say much about our relationship before this event other than the fact that it was very superficial—that is a really good word to describe our relationship actually. From this event forward, our relationship has been, well, relatively the way I want it: non-existent. Believe it or not, she was the one to choose the non-existent relationship first. I didn’t always want to appear to be the bitter one. During this time there were a lot of politics involved; a lot of tears and a few therapists too. The point is that I’m here today, and I am working hard to not be bitter and full of anger.
What I really want to get to talking about is this quote: I didn’t change, you just never knew me.
I am certain that this is not the conversation that the author intended to be had, but these are my thoughts that the author (whoever they are) has spurred.
I realized about 6 years ago that I had no idea who this lady was that called herself my mom. I think I am even a bit angry about that because, in essence, I let myself be around a complete stranger for the better part of my life. Even scarier is the thought that she didn’t change. Nothing snapped. I just never knew who she was.
What’s worse is that I still don’t know who she is. Days like today, I miss the fact that everyone has a lovely mother to send a card to, to hug, to kiss, to laugh with, etc. I don’t. I want to be bitter and unhappy about it, but the reality is that I never had a relationship. Whatever it is that I am grasping onto, it is not real.
I miss something that I never had.
I feel out of place in this world, because I of course have a mother…but it is more in the sense of “someone gave me life” than in the sense of “someone to love and care for me for the rest of my life”.
Now comes the positive part of all of this.
I have some of the strongest female role models a girl could ask for.
My wonderful, gorgeous Auntie D. is one of the most amazing mothers I know. She’s not my mother, and she never will be, but she makes me feel like family more than anyone else in the whole world.
My Grandma V. is the most hardworking lady I have ever known. She is not my mother, and she never will be, but she makes me want to be strong and tough and to take on every day better than I did the last.
My friend hannaH, who just celebrated her first Mother’s Day as a mommy, is the most caring woman my age that I have ever had the privilege to know. She is not my mother, and she never will be, but she gives me hope that everything will always work out.
Even though there are many more women to talk about, I think I feel better about this Mother’s Day. So with that, my rant is done.
p.s. Here’s a shout out to my younger brother. I hope that I was able to make your childhood ok. Even though I wasn’t the best substitute of a mother, nor did you really want me to be, I hope that I at least made one day easier for you just by being there.
It would also be good to mention that my father has been the most wonderful mom/dad in the whole wide world, and ultimately without him I would not be the young woman that I am today. Happy Mother’s Day Dad. <3
I woke up today in the bottom of my own hole. It seems that whenever I am stressed out about something, my personal demons drag me down there kicking and screaming.
But here’s the thing: as soon as I realized where I (metaphorically) was, it was ok. And I’m going to tell you why it was ok.
It was all ok because my friend Hannah’s little boy has one of the best mom’s ever.
This one time I was having a really dark day and Hannah was there and she completed my metaphor of being in a big dark hole….
I will always be there, sitting next to that hole, reading a book in a big hat and sunglasses, peering over the edge of the hole every once in awhile to make sure you’re getting out of it alright on your own and on the day that you aren’t, I’ll drop the book and haul you out of that hole with as much love as I have to give. Also, I’ll share my big floppy hat and sunglasses so your fair skin doesn’t burn and nobody can see your tears if you don’t want to share them. :)
And that is why I am smiling now. I cannot stop picturing Hannah peering over my demon hole, wearing a ridiculously floppy hat, and making sure I’m ok.
Thank you Hannah, for making my day better with a metaphor.
We take the naps we think we deserve
I know this humble woman who would never, ever admit to any of this, so I’m not going to make her, but I am going to share what I have seen and how it affects me.
I met the lady nearly 21 years ago. When we first met, I didn’t know what to think of her. Looking back I was a little afraid and intimidated by her, because she is a strong woman. Today, I stand in awe of her because of the things she does every single day.
The first thing that I should mention is that this woman is not perfect. I would not have the same level of respect for her if she was. She makes mistakes, becomes impatient, occasionally bursts into rage, but that’s the beauty of her character. The woman who has the capacity to be a force to be reckoned with, also has the capacity to love beyond the point of unconditional. To be clear, I love this woman both for her faults and for her triumphs—equally.
I love that she makes every tough conversation a positive one—even if she feels negatively about it. She is the kind of person that you could tell her you hated her (God forbid) and she would have a lengthy discussion with you about the word hate and how it is misused and eventually you would come to terms that you cannot hate this woman because she loves you so much. And for this I thank her.
She likes to talk through things. I understand that to some people this could be annoying, but I love it. I am a person who needs to talk through things over and over until I understand the essence from which they came. She is the same way, and for this I thank her.
Sometimes I feel like the “blonde sheep” of my family, because I am. When others point out my differences and deem them “weird”, she steps in and reminds me exactly how unique and special I am. I think it is because sometimes she feels like a “blonde sheep” too. Either way, she finds a way to make something I feel very negative towards, and make it a positive. And for this I thank her.
Now, I am not going to go on a Jesus rant, because I find those to be ugly, but I am going to tell you that this woman has Jesus in her life. In fact, I am pretty sure he runs her household. I don’t know if she always realizes this, but God is always there supporting what she does—and that is why love pours out of her house.
I don’t know if she’ll ever read this, but if she does I want her to know that she is the most blessed woman I know—even if she doesn’t feel like it sometimes. Once you look past the surface problems, anyone can see that she is exactly where God needs her and he blesses her every day to continue doing what she does. Is she perfect? No. Does God still support her? You better believe it. So, if you are reading this, know that you are blessed by God every day—and some blessings are given in disguise.
I love you. Thank you for being a positive part of my life.