Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer 2007

Summer officially begins today, although for me, as school let out this past Monday, it's already begun.  The sky is a robin's egg blue, puffy white clouds float blissfully by, and the sun, warm and welcoming, beckons me out the door.  The girl's dad has picked them up for a few hours of shopping downtown, and while I look forward to some time to myself, lounging by the pool without a care, I felt it necessary to write a bit about all that I have been holding in my heart for the last few months and to share with you my present outlook for the days and weeks that lie ahead.

This year, summer will be very different, and in many different ways. 

I'm finding it very important to maintain a positive attitude, mostly for my girls, but hey, I haven't completely forgotten myself yet, either.  For many years, their happiness measured far more significantly than my own.  I believed that as long as they were happy, I was happy.  End of story, end of struggle.  My need, my want and my happiness was tossed aside ~ by my hands and mine alone.  No one's fault.  No one's responsibility but my own.  No one knew.  Even I was oblivious to it for longer than I care to admit.  When it all came crashing down, I had very little to defend my heart with.

I have cried more tears in the last year than I have most of my adult life.  Allowing myself to feel again, and to recognize what I had been hiding away in a Pandora box for 14 years, was very difficult.  Where would I find the strength to move forward knowing what I now knew?  Where would the courage come from, to tell him?  And then to break it to our children?  Would they hate me?  Would they slip into a depression all their own?  How could I possibly maintain my home and provide for my children on a teacher's aide's measly salary?  What would it feel like, after 14 years of sleeping beside a practical stranger, to completely live without him? 

Many of these questions have been answered in the recent months since our separation.  Moving forward has been like taking a step and then finding myself three steps behind.  The only consolation in that, is that you do in fact find yourself a little further along ~ in time. 

I still have days when I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  I have to force myself to focus on the bigger picture.  The end result.  The only problem with that, it that dreams don't always come true, and what you think and hope the future MIGHT hold, isn't always what comes to be.  Most often isn't, as a matter of fact.  I could very well spend the rest of my short life alone.  And then I have to think really hard about that and answer the tougher question:  is all of this worth that distinct possibility?

I have to believe that it is. 

Quite truthfully, making things work this way has been much easier than I had anticipated.  My girls are doing well, for the most part.  It's the lesser part that concerns me.  The feelings they DON'T share.  The hurt they have to be feeling on the inside is not making itself known.  That does scare me, because it speaks volumes to what I may have in fact taught them by not admitting to my own feelings sooner.  They appear happy.  They do all the normal things kids their age do.  They both had a successful school year (taking out the many illnesses Amanda dealt with that kept her from being in school as much as she should have been which led to missed work and incomplete assignments... but she did well nonetheless).  The both have large handfuls of friends and enjoy spending time with them.  They fight.  With each other and with me.  But moments later will curl up on the couch and snuggle.  Yes, my 13 year old still snuggles.  Won't kiss me anymore though.  I miss that.  But they are doing so much better than I had even prayed they would do.  I just hope that another wall won't come crashing around them as it did me.  BUT, if it does, I will be there within seconds, scurrying about to pick up the pieces.

Their dad has been very decent throughout it all.  We had one very upsetting episode a month ago, but he did call to apologize that night, and ever since it's been just fine.  I struggle with knowing what he must be going through.  That knowledge tears me apart as it sits nagging at my heart, and has even made me consider taking him back.  But after a while, I realize that I wouldn't be taking him back for the right reasons, just as I didn't marry him for the right reasons or stay with him as long as I did for the right reasons.

On Sunday, the girl's bags will be packed and their excitement will be overflowing.  He will be picking them up early in the morning and taking them to the place that holds a very special piece of my heart.  They will be gone for the week.  I will worry.  I will cry.  I will miss them terribly.

But I will survive.

If anything, I have learned this about myself:  I am stronger than I thought I was.  I have more in my heart than I ever allowed myself to believe.  I have a right.  To live.  To love.  And to be loved.

Don't we all?

Hugs and Blessings to you all.  Thank you for your thoughts, encouraging words and friendships as I move forward...  and especially when I fall back.  You are a gift to me.

(thanks to Toni's Tags for the siggy =D  )


Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday Photo Shoot: Orange

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Orange :

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Picture something in orange. As a challenge, don't take pictures of actual oranges (the fruit), and picturing actual pumpkins seems a little too easy too. Other than that, go for it.

My Mother's Day Lily: