Category Archives: Mi Familia

Jordy the Star

My 10-year old nephew, Jordy, is simply one of the best people I know. Aside from the fact that he’s my nephew and I’d love him if he were a lump, he is curious, insightful, optimistic, and hilarious.  He loves to play card games, soccer and make up songs. He is quick to laugh, eager to participate and never says no to sweets. To quote him directly, “I am here to bring joy.” That he does

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Trip Back Update

WOW! We are half way through the trip. How did that happen? It has flown by. So crazy.

On our way out of Canton we went to Monument Park to see the McKinley Memorial. It seemed to take forever to get out of town. I don’t even really remember why. LOL.

We stopped in Indiana for me to say goodbye to my grandma. We spent the night with her and were treated to my favorite dinner and dessert. Jojo came down from Chicago to hang with us as we talked, laughed and ate. Read the rest of this entry

Pockets of Grief

I have been working for the past month to get my dad packed and moved into his new place. Moving is one of the biggest stresses. It puts strain on every aspect of life – emotional, physical, and mental. But this move has an added dimension of stress.

My parents will officially be divorced on Friday, November 20th. The reason he is moving is because their shared home is sold and gone. I don’t think I’m able to wrap my brain around this fact yet. I can’t figure out how to reorganize my mind with the knowledge that our family is irrevocably broken and changed.

So, most days I try to ignore it. I tell myself that it’s ok. That we’re okay. That this is the truth and real. No longer can we hide behind our mask of what we thought a family was supposed to be. My mantras work most days. I get through the day. I feel positive about the future. I can approach it from the adult side of my mind.

But some days it doesn’t work. I find myself lost in the emotion pooled right beneath the surface.  Someday’s these pockets of emotions bring me to my knees.  Today was one of those days. Turns out living in the truth can be painful. Not to be melodramatic or anything. LOL.

I spent most of the day unpacking the kitchen. I came across a lot of dishes that have memories. A piece of the silverware from my parents wedding. The dishes my mom loved to put out at Christmas. A pan we’ve had since I was a kid. As I unpacked I could feel myself getting angry.

I was irritated that I was the one that had to do it. It should be my mom. She should be here doing it, but this isn’t her house. I don’t know if she’ll even come here. This made me sad. Trying to avoid these emotions I got really scattered and unable to focus.

Tonight I talked to my mom for a bit and just started crying. I don’t want this to be happening. I’m dreading the holidays. My mom is going to be with her family in Indiana. My brother is doing his own thing with his family. My dad will be going with his friends. I don’t know where to go because I want to be in three places at once. I want us to be together. But I can’t make that happen.

Last thanksgiving was great. We had a bunch of people over. We ate lots of yummy food and played a ton of board games. It was a good day. Lots of laughter. It was easy. It was fun. I wish I had known it was the last one. I would go back and take more mental snapshots of the small moments. I’d relish the fact that we were all together. Now we’re just awkward, distant and unconnected.

Now that I’ve had a cry I can put it back away for a bit. I can move on and get back to unpacking the kitchen. I will again tell myself that we’re okay. That this is the truth and that we will move on.

Processing Life

These past few weeks have been difficult.

I’m interviewing for two different jobs. My dad is moving to a new house, so I’ve been helping him pack. I’ve also been traveling 4 hours back and forth from OH to IN to be with my aunt during chemo. Not to mention watching my nephews thrown in along with prepping for a big craft fair this Saturday both by making chocolate for my dad and jewelry for my mom. Oh and my dad had knee surgery today, so I sat at the hospital all day.

I’m exhausted. Emotionally drained. Physically tired. Soul weary.

The weather is turning cold. The skies are grey. The trees are naked and I feel like it all matches my mood right now. I’m on edge. Little things are bugging the crap out of me.

I’m not hopeless. I’m not freaking out about anything. Life is just stressful right now. I also realize that some of this is part of the aftermath of my parent’s divorce. As the oldest child I am now called on to stand in the gap, a lot. There are needs to be met. There are things that need to be done.

I’m also realizing how much of a team married couples are. When one of those people is removed from the equation there is a giant hole. With the move my mom would have packed, organized and transferred all services. My dad is responsible for finding the heavy lifters and getting it all moved. My dad didn’t stop to think about the things my mom usually does. This is just one example of many. As I step in to help I am hit with a wall of sadness and grief. There is a pain in realizing they are no longer a unit.

I could say no. I could walk away. I could draw harsh boundaries but I want to help. I want to encourage. I want to be involved. I just haven’t figured out how to do that and still take care of me yet.

I realize I need more me time. I know I need to find space to rest emotionally and spiritually. It’s just hard right now. I’m shuttling back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s house. I’m hoping that if I get the job I want it will buy me some space.

I especially feel responsible because my brother has removed himself completely. That is how he is choosing to cope. To me that is unacceptable. I can’t do that. Perhaps that is because I’m the firstborn and we naturally assume these roles. We naturally feel obligated. We are used to taking the reigns.

So it’s a whole bag of emotions. I need to get them out. I need to release them. Crying is part of it, but I also need to be creative. I think that’s why I’m so irritated right now. I haven’t had the time I want to focus on this show. I have had zero time to take photos. I haven’t been to a museum in a while. There have been no festivals to enjoy. I am also on people overload. As an introvert I need time alone. I have no space to be by myself. I have no space to call my own. I miss all my stuff that has been in boxes for almost two years.

So there’s a lot going on. It’s not life or death and I feel like I should insert some positive thing right here, but I can’t. It would be insincere. It’s not that I don’t feel positive. I can see lots of evidence of God moving in our lives. I feel settled into my skin more now than I ever have before.

It’s just hard right now. I’m jonesing for a trip to CA. I need to be with my peeps. I’m hoping it will work out that I can go for my 35th birthday. We’ll see.

More random nephew stories

My nephews are a never-ending supply of joy, hilarity and levity. Spending time with them always makes me feel better. They have a way of drawing you into the moment. Can’t worry about the future or the past when they’re in the middle of something mischievous and potentially dangerous right this second.

For posterity here are a few recent nephew moments:

1. Tonight Jordy was playing on the computer while I watched TV. I turned to him to ask what he was doing. His said without skipping a beat: shopping for happiness.

2. We were driving down the road and out of the blue Jordy says, “You know you’re not the only aunt we have.” OK. How do you respond to that. He’s a child. He doesn’t know he’s driving daggers into my heart. My first insecure response is, “But I’m your only real aunt since your mom doesn’t have any sisters.” Then Mikey pipes up, “And you’re the only one we connect with emotionally and spiritually.” Score one for Mikey, he does love me. LOL.

3. I will be watching the boys tomorrow morning because they have the day off from school. Jordy loves to cook so I told him we would make some chocolate chip cookies. He said, “That’s too simple we need to show off how well we can cook.” After all, last time we made muffins and he said it was an advanced cooking class with his aunt. Although his suggestion was a soufflé. I have no idea where he heard that. He has no idea what a soufflé is.