Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #30

A little late but today is still Friday! You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

giphy.gif

Since I was too busy last week, I did not do a Gratitude post so this is going to cover the past two weeks.

  1. Time with my daughter

    Dance class and gymnastics class never get old.

  2. The fact that summer is almost over

    This is probably an unpopular opinion but I am ready for summer to be over.  I am from Maine and this humidity is killing me.  I am not going to rush the end of summer because I know Fall will be here soon but I can’t wait.  Bring on the pumpkin spice!

    26ST

  3. A good concert with a good friend

    One of my besties and I got a chance to see REO Speedwagon and Chicago at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). It was a great time.  Personally I thought the REO Speedwagon half was better than Chicago.  I like Chicago’s music but it was very mellow and almost a let down after rocking to REO Speedwagon.  Just my two cents.

  4. Getting by with a little help from my friends.

    Some of my friends have stepped up to help me clean out Bryon’s storage unit.   When Bryon died, so many people said that they would be there to help in any way needed but whenever I ask for help, it is always the same few people who offer to help.

    There is no way I could I ever payback these friends for the kindness they have for me.  I could not get by without these friends.  No mentions, they know who they are.

  5. The little memories that make me smile.

    Bryon and I had a good 8 years.  And every day, I am usually reminded of something funny he did.

    I was driving my daughter to dance class and Orleans “Still the One” came on the radio.

    20180809_163318

    Now, if you are a longtime reader of this blog, you may remember that Bryon and I met while participating in politics.  (Don’t worry, this is not a political blog.  A story may pop up here and there but there will not being any preaching.  Grief and death don’t know political parties.  I love you all!)

    You might remember that John Hall made a stink about George W Bush playing the song “Still the One” at a Rally in 2004.

    Anyway, John Hall went one to become a Congressman in New York State and in 2010, Bryon and I, along with some of our Young Republican friends worked on a campaign weekend and we dropped literature for his opponent, Dr. Nan Hayworth.

    And I remember Bryon writing this tweet and thinking it was so funny.

    Screenshot_20180810-213718 He could have been tweeting in this picture.

    71718_454156067840_845388_n

    And even though he is gone, I am grateful for those little memories that make me smile.

    What are you grateful for this week?

gratitude-is-not-a-cliche

Advertisements

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #29

It’s Friday and it is time for some Good Vibrations Gratitudes.  And usually, this is a fun post giving thanks to all the good things that happened to me during the week.

But this weeks post is going to be a little different.  I hope you “bear” with me.  (See what I did there?)

mark-wahlberg-ted

The truth is that my heart has been pretty heavy this week.

On Monday morning I heard the song Fire and Rain by James Taylor.  Obviously, I had heard the song many times before but for some reason, the song stuck out to me.

I had arrived home and saw that I had a message from my friend Charlotte.

(You met her here).  Charlotte is an old friend from high and Charlotte is not her real name.   I try not to use the names of the living in my blog so my friends get blog names.  Her name is Charlotte because that was her French Class name and we sat next to each other in French class and she got stuck with me as a friend.

The text from Charlotte had devastating news.  She had heard that a high school friend Allison had passed away.  Being the detectives that we are, we looked for clues on social media.  We had nothing definite but I felt it in the pit of my stomach.

Finally, in the evening, we saw a post from her brother confirming the news we were fearing, that she had passed away.

Allison and I were friends in high school.  I always wondered why a girl who was so cool would want to be friends with the socially awkward, hyperverbal girl with a Boston accent (I had moved from the Boston area to Maine the summer before high school).

Obviously, we graduated from high school and lost touch in college.  It was an era before Facebook.

I saw her once in the mid 2000’s.  I was at Mass at our towns Catholic Church, St. Joe’s and she was there with her father.  We ran up to each other after Mass and hugged.

And I hadn’t seen her since.  We lost contact again.

I reconnected with her on Facebook shortly after Bryon died.  She came back into my life during my darkest days and she was my biggest cheerleaders when I was trying to pick up the pieces of my life.  I could always count on her to like all my lame pictures on Instagram.  I don’t know if she realized how much her kindness affected me.

I know I was just a drop in a bucket of all the people she touched and helped but I am really going to miss her.

It just doesn’t seem fair.  A group of us high school friends started talking about taking a trip to Quebec City to recreate the shenanigans from our French IV trip in 1996.  Now when we go, she won’t be there.

I was hoping to meet up with her.  I was in her area this spring and I thought about seeing if she was around but it was a bachelorette weekend.  It was busy and I was there for my friend who was getting married.  I decided I would try to meet up with her next time.

This is a harsh reminder that we don’t always get a next time.

Today is her funeral and I am sad that I won’t be able to attend to say good-bye.  I thought about it.  It would be doable if I dropped my daughter off at daycare when they open.  But being her only parent, I get nervous traveling three hours away.  What if something happened?

I thought about taking my daughter out of school that day and bringing her.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Pennsylvania for a funeral and or stay here and go to school.  She chose to go to school.  I can’t blame her.  She’s a few months short of 4 and has already been to more than her fair share of wakes and funerals.

I asked again, this time changing the inflection and tone of my voice to be all excited and I asked her if she wanted to go to Pennsylvania for a funeral and then I changed my tone to boring and asked if she wanted to stay here and go to school.  She still chose to go to school.  I can’t fool that girl.  She is so smart.

As one last Hail Mary, I looked at the map to see how close Bethlehem, PA was to Sesame Place.  Surely she would want to go to a funeral if we could do a side trip to Sesame Place but it was too far out of the way.

I wanted to go to support her family.  They are good people.  Her father had been our high school principal and her mother was a nurse.  Her siblings are great too.  I know they are going to have some dark days ahead.  Though I know that my presence wouldn’t lessen their pain. Not at all.

I admit, after my grandmother died, I thought I was unable to feel grief because I survived Bryon’s death.  But Allison’s death has hit me harder than I thought it would.

I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because I am close to two years out from Bryon’s death and some of that numbness is going away.  I am starting to feel again.

Maybe it’s because with Bryon’s death, I was so involved that I didn’t get the opportunity to sit back and reflect about my own mortality at a young age.  I was too busy surviving and existing.  But with Allison’s death, I am removed enough to reflect on the fact that she is my age and she’s gone and people aren’t supposed to die this young.

I have been lucky that I have been able to lean on Charlotte and another friend.  We have all been leaning on each other.

But it leads me to another question- why does it take someone’s death to bring people closer together?  Why can’t it just be normal human behavior to appreciate people as a baseline? Why do we need to wait until a death and trauma to realize we care about people?

Then I started to wonder why the people with the brightest lights seem to get extinguished early.  Like Allison.  And Bryon.

At least I know that Heaven (or the Fifth Dimension, or the other side or wherever spirits go when they leave this world) must be a beautiful place.  Because people like Allison and Bryon are there.

(I did ask Bryon to give her a hug. So when a tall, handsome, smart and hysterically funny man from Upstate New York gives her hug, I hope she is not alarmed.)

So why am I writing this in my Gratitude Friday post?

I am writing about this because my heart feels heavy and I just don’t feel like writing and posting pictures of the scrunchies I saw in Wal-Mart even if I am grateful and excited that 90’s fashion has made a comeback.

When someone dies too soon, it is easy to dwell on the loss, but I am choosing to be grateful.

I am writing this post because I am truly grateful that Allison was in my life.

For befriending the socially awkward girl with the Boston accent and making her feel cool.

For the memories.

For sharing all her adventures on Instagram and letting us follow her along.

For being a light.

For filling the world with love.

For being an inspiration.

For sharing the struggles she overcame with honesty and grace.

For being a good example on how to live.

I am also grateful for this reminder to appreciate those in my life.

I am going to end this with the Prayer of St. Francis.  It feels fitting because she lived the message.  And because she loved animals and St. Francis was the Patron Saint of Animals.

prayer

Allison’s obituary

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #28

Today is Friday! You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

giphy.gif

Here are 5 things that I am grateful for this week.

  1.  Friday means Chinese Food for lunch. 

    It’s my own weird tradition.  I must do it a lot because they know me at my local restaurant.  I used to be a strictly sweet and sour chicken combo person.  But I decided I needed to try new things so now I am strictly a pork lo mein and egg roll person.IMG_20180713_133921

  2. Movie Date
    My daughter went on a movie date with the boy she says she is going to marry.Since she is only 3 and her “fiance” is only 4, the date was chaperoned by the moms. Kind of like the Duggars except the kids are allowed to hold hands and they are allowed to hug to.  Not that weird, awkward side hugging that the Duggars do.

    Annnnnd…I think I just totally outed myself as someone who watches the Duggars.  Oh well.

    whatever-guy-meme-face-for-any-design-vector-10965488

    Moving on-

    I am not going to lie.  Part of the reason I get the large popcorn is because the picture always makes me laugh.  We never finish it.  She usually spills it on the floor.  Along with the M&M’s.

    What can I say?  I am a sucker.

    We saw Incredibles 2.  My daughter refused to nap beforehand.  She had trouble focusing on this movie.  I think she was more excited about the idea of the movie than the actual movie.  Oh well.

    IMG_20180714_171839

  3. The staff at the movie theater who have to clean up after my kid. 

    Most of us probably take for granted clean movie theaters.  So thank you!!!images

  4. Taco Tuesday with friends 

    A time to catch up with dear friends. and eat yummy tacos.No pics.  I am sorry.  What can I say?  I suck this week.

  5. Personal Growth 

    I value any time I get to read and write.  I am working on self love and feeding my soul.I saw on Facebook that my friend Roda at Growing Self Blog had bought The Untethered Soul.  That book has been sitting on my nightstand for a really long time.  (My “to read” pile is ridiculous).  So I decided that now would be the right time to start it.

    I mean, if all the cool kids are doing it…

    I decided to start it because Roda bought it.  And should and of the subject matter come up in her blog, I wanted to be prepared.  I didn’t want to feel like the blog reader equivalent of Elle Woods on her first day of law school.

    The book reminds me of The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle where you only need to read a little at a time because the information is a lot of digest.  A lot of “Wow” moments.  The good news is that the chapters in The Untethered Soul are short so you can read a chapter a day if that is your speed.  (It’s mine!)

    37400847_10156921841182841_5944059743516491776_n

What are you grateful for this week?

1_yKa_H7aVNojOqCts0hpBxg

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #27

Today is Friday!  Okay, it’s barely still Friday but I am going to work with it.

You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

giphy.gif

Here are 5 things that I am grateful for this week.

  1.  Saturday at my bestie’s house.

    My bestie Kimmy moved away.  Luckily not too far.  My daughter and I took a drive up to the North Country to visit.  It was a day filled with fancy cheese, boxed wine (for the mommies), apple juice boxes for the littles, mac and cheese bake and buffalo chicken dip.  It was nice to spend time with Kimmy and see her new house!

  2. An evening with Robin Brillantes

    My daughter and I met up with our friend Robin Brillantes for dinner at Chipotle.  It was great to catch up.

    We then went to a local park so my daughter can burn off some energy.  She has been so hyper at bedtime and on this night, she went right to bed.  I guess we need to add in more activity.

    20180710_184738

  3. Seeing the turtles

    I never knew there were turtles in our local park.  That was a pleasant surprise!

  4. Gymnastics and dance.

    Summer classes have started. I don’t have any pics but her dance pics came in so here it is.  Picture of a picture.

    20180712_171227

  5.  All the positive energy the Universe has been sending me.

    The other morning, the Universe was sending me some happy music which put my in a high vibrational energy.  Thank you Universe.

What are you grateful for this week?

Vibrate-Higher-pic.jpg

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #26

Today is Friday! You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

giphy.gif

Here are 5 things that I am grateful for this week.

1.  Surviving the flash flood.

I was driving on a major road in Albany and out of nowhere, I massive thunderstorm hit.  This major road was flooding.  I have never seen anything like it.  I admit, I see the flash flood alerts on my phone but never knew they actually happened.  I have been driving since I was 16 (turning 40 later this summer) and have spent all my winters in Maine and Upstate New York.  I have driven through blizzards and ice storms and I had never been so scared.  For a minute, I thought my car was going to get stuck.

Luckily I made it to where I was supposed to be.  I was on that same stretch a few hours later and all that water was gone.  I will always heed those flash flood warnings from

2.  That the heatwave finally broke.

164k9o

3. 3rd/4th of July Fun

My daughter and I were lucky to spend the 3rd and 4th of July with close friends.

 

4.  Those who continue to help me.

Widowhood doesn’t go away after one year.  I am thankful for those who have stuck around and continue to help me whether it is putting in my A/C unit (I don’t know how I would have survived this week) to helping me sort out Bryon’s belongings and such.  Thank you!

5.  The spare key.

I locked myself out of the house but luckily there was a spare key.  And for that I am thankful.

What are you thankful for this week?

a-positive-mind-will-give-you-a-positive-life-mmmmmhmmm-2345879

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #25

Today is Friday! You survived the week!

Do you know what this means?  It’s time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

giphy.gif

These are the 5 things I am grateful for this week-

  1. A Day at the Farm

    Last Saturday my daughter and I spent the day at a nearby farm in the Berkshires.  It was lots of fun and I like to support area farmers.

  2. Running Water

    On Sunday night I went to give my daughter a bath and there was no water.  I check the internet and there were no posts by the town.  I went outside and my neighbors were in the yard and they knew of a broken water main.  The water was back by the morning and this ordeal made me appreciate our town water supply.

  3. Progress on my Book

    I haven’t been writing my book as fast as I had hoped but that is okay.  I would rather do it well.  I am cognizant that I do not want it just be the blog in book form so I am working on writing new, original content.  The chapter I just finished- it’s good.

  4. EMT’s and all First Responders

    This week one of the Common Councilors, Judy Doesschate publicly blasted some EMT’s who had double parked.  She took pictures of the ambulances and the actual EMT workers and posted them on Facebook.  Needless to say, she got raked through the coals.  Yes, there is traffic but the EMT’s need to have access to their ambulances and be able to rush to an emergency at a moments notice.

    Screenshot_20180625-224028

    She should have thanked them for their service instead.  She still hasn’t apologized.  Well, a real apology.  All of her public apologies have been along the vein of “I am sorry everyone got mad.”  Seriously Judy, my three-year-old does a better job at apologizing.

    I am grateful for our EMTs who save lives.

  5. This Moment- Sweet Summertime

    My daughter spent a good portion of the evening playing with her water table.  She was loving it.

    36347129_10156873100502841_1973685700423319552_o

She kept trying to convince to keep adding water.  It was giving me flashback to my childhood.  For awhile, we had a three foot above ground pool that ultimately came down and left a big, round sand pit.  My brother and I would spend all day filling pails with sand, packing it down and then flipping them over to make sand pail buildings.  We would make a big sand pail building town.

Then, inspired by the 1980’s Captain Crunch commercials, my brother would grab the garden house, turn on the water and say “The Soggies are coming!”

I would plead for him to stop by saying “Don’t!  Mom’s gonna get mad.”

But that wouldn’t deter my brother.  He’s lay the hose down and the Soggies (a.k.a. water) would take over and destroy our sand pail town.

And every single time, the “fun” would end with my mother coming out and yelling at my brother.

To be fair, our town often would have water conservation efforts where you were only supposed to use your water on even or odd calendar days based on your address.  (For example, our house number was 53 so we were only supposed to use our outdoor water on odd numbered days.)

What are you grateful for this week?

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #24

It’s Friday-

Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

8vTtZo5.gif

I just want to note: It’s been a few weeks since I did a Gratitude post and I felt the need to start back up again. We all need some gratitude in our lives. Usually I focus on the previous week but honestly, this week hasn’t been the best. Nothing really bad has happened. No one died. No one has lost their limbs. (#perspective). There have been a few positives but there have been some negatives. Some drama that has taken up too much energy in my head space.

I hate even bringing up that it’s drama because I don’t want to even validate it. And while 90’s fashion has made a comeback (which I love) and I love reconnecting with old high school classmates, I have zero interest in actually reliving those years. I turn 40 this summer, FFS!

1448726164472

This post is going to cover some events that have happened over the past month.

I am sorry if the language in the memes offends you.

Actually I am not sorry. This is my blog and I made the decision that I will express myself how I wish on my platform. #unapollogeticallykerry

  1. Hard Lessons.

    I am going to choose to be grateful for the lessons that I have been learning this week. This week has been a trying week and it has caused me to do a lot of reevaluating, especially on the topic of boundaries. Just how much bullsh*t am I going to tolerate? My tolerance level for BS is pretty low, especially considering that two years ago, I was on a journey to Hell and Back. #perspective

    I don’t have the answers I need (yet!) but I am searching for clarity. I have been writing my feelings in my a journal and I have been sorting them out. Even though this has been a frustrating week, I am going to come out of this week with stronger character than when I started.

    20180616_154616 (1)
    My mood this week
  2. Fenway Trip

    I am always grateful for a trip to Boston to see my Red Sox. I don’t care what people say-screw Disney because Fenway Park is the happiest place on Earth. And I am glad I got to share the trip with my daughter and my bestie.

  3. Def Leppard and Journey Concert with Kimmy Gibbler

    A month ago, Kimmy Gibbler and I got to see Def Leppard and Journey at the Times Union Center in Albany. The concert was awesome! I didn’t go to many concerts when I was younger. Partly because I lived in Maine and there weren’t as many but partly because 20 year old Kerry did not know how to live.

    I had so much fun. The music was so loud and my heart was pounding. Kimmy and I did observe some older people who don’t get out often and were having trouble handling their fun.

    At one point, Kimmy and I were in a line at the concession stand. Some drunk older woman gets behind us and starts to rub my back. I have personal space issues to begin with and I was way too sober to let a strange woman touching me go unnoticed. I finally say “Yeah…you can stop rubbing my back now.” Luckily she did.

    Best story of the stars aligning right. The only food line with a short line was the fried dough. I didn’t eat lunch or dinner and was so hungry I could eat my arm. So I got friend dough and some of the sugar spilled on me. Kimmy pointed it out and I smile and say “Pour some sugar on me.”

  4. Trip to Cedar Point in Ohio.

    Over Memorial Day weekend, my daughter and I drove 8 hour-ish to Ohio. We met up with my Michigan Bestie and my Chicago Bestie and rented an airbnb. Another old friend happened to be in Cleveland and came to stay on night. It was a great time and I will write more about this trip later.

    Funny anecdote. I went to the Def Leppard and Journey concert on a Wed and was driving out to Ohio on Fri. As I was driving through Cleveland and I heard a commercial on the radio for the Def Leppard and Journey concert coming up that Monday. I got excited. I hop everyone in Cleveland attended.

  5. Dance Recital.

    20180616_154616 (1)

    I am grateful I got to see my daughter dance even if it was very sad for me because her father wasn’t sitting beside me.

    The reality is, I have pretty much gotten used Bryon being gone. At least day to day. Please don’t conclude that that means that I don’t feel a void. I feel a void every day. But I am used to feeling the void and the emptiness.

    But it’s moment like this that I truly miss Bryon because this was an event that we anticipated that we’d be sharing together. When our daughter was a baby, we talked about how we would enroll her in a dance class and she would have a dance recital. It’s the memories that we’d anticipated together where I feel the void the most. Because they weren’t just my dreams and plans. They were our dreams and plans.

    I has dawned on me that we didn’t anticipate too far into the future. Sure, we talked about doing dance classes. We talked about going to a Red Sox game and New York City at Christmastime. Then there are other milestones like graduations, college and Bryon looked forward to planning her wedding. (He liked to throw parties. I am probably the only bride who had her groom plan her wedding).

    We could only anticipate a few years into the future because our daughter was a baby. We did not know what her interests were going to be. That is another realization that makes me miss Bryon. Our daughter hasn’t yet grown into the person she is meant to be and he won’t see it when it happens.

    And that makes me sad. I guess I have to have hope that I won’t feel empty forever, right?

    20180616_173559

    I am sorry that I ended this blog post on a heavy note.

    What are you grateful for this week?

    Top-30-Inspirational-Quotes-for-Girls-24-Inspirational-Quotes