A message for anyone who needs to hear it

I have no idea who needs this message but it’s here for whoever or whomever needs it.

(And I just googled “whoever vs whomever”. It’s late and I am too tired to make sense of it. I’ll fix this and the multitude of typos and grammar mistakes I am going to make due to the aforementioned tiredness.)

And this is making me think of Dr Frasier Crane, correcting a caller on the difference between “literally” and “figuratively”.

So for those people who want to nitpick my grammer…I got nothing.

Though bonus points if you were amused that the Frasier meme is about grammar since Frasier is played by Kelsey Grammar.

I digress.

It came to me that everyone deserves to be appreciated.

Everyone deserves to be valued.

Everyone deserves to be taken seriously.

When you talk to those you are closest too, you deserved to be listened to.

And what you have to say should be taken seriously.

You might be thinking, “That’s all great Kerry but the world is not all rainbows and smiles. What if people don’t appreciate you?”

And that’s a very valid hypothetical question.

Because not everyone is going to appreciate you.

Because…there are 7 billion people on this planet and there is no way we can appreciate each other.

At least on an intimate, inter-personal level.

I tend to think of it as a sliding scale. Those closer to you should appreciate you more.

Which brings me to the Top 5.

The Top 5 should not be confused with the Top 8…for those of us old enough to remember the MySpace days.

Also, whatever happened to Tom?

I guess he got burned because he way nicer than Mark Zuckerberg. 🤷‍♀️

Anyway, back to the “top 5”.

I am a fan of Jim Rohn’s quote that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

It is so accurate.

But what if those 5 people don’t appreciate you?

Well, then you probably don’t appreciate yourself.

Because you are tolerating not being appreciated.

Remember-

You deserve to be appreciated.

You deserve to be valued.

You deserve to be taken seriously.

When you talk to those you are closest too, you deserve to be listened to.

And what you have to say should be taken seriously.

If those closest to you don’t respect you or appreciate you, you may need to re-evaluate your top 5.

You also should re-evaluate yourself. Maybe you aren’t appreciating those in your life.

Keep yourself surrounded by those who are positive and lift you up.

You won’t be sorry.

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Clear eyes and a full heart

Yesterday I got new glasses.

When I put on these glasses, I realized that they represented a lot more to me than I expected.

I first got glasses in high school. I was told I needed them for reading. Sometime between high school and college, I lost them and I never worried about it.

Since I like to measure time by presidential administrations, this was during the end of the Clinton administration.

My eyesight never seemed to be a real issue and I didn’t worry about it.

Sometime after my daughter was born (during the late Obama administration), I noticed my vision wasn’t what it used to be. Bryon showed concern and encouraged me to make an appointment with his eye doctor.

I made the appointment with Bryon’s eye doctor. His eye doctor was very nice. I liked him. And I got the glasses that I needed.

I even went to see him when I was sent home for work for conjunctivitis. My work did not require me to see an outside optometrist but Bryon thought it would be a good idea. Turns out I didn’t have conjunctivitis. I just had dry, red eyes that can happen to nursing mothers due to hormonal changes. He gave me some drops.

After Bryon died, I got the notice in the mail that I was due to an eye exam. But I couldn’t make the appointment.

Bryon had been a patient of this eye doctor since he was seven.

I didn’t know if his eye doctor even knew that Bryon died. Bryon’s death had been in the newspapers but I had no clue if he knew and I didn’t want to be the one to have to tell him.

I could handle talking to people that knew Bryon and knew he died and I could talk about Bryon’s death to people who didn’t know him at all. But I couldn’t be the person to tell someone who had known Bryon since he was a kid that he had died.

Besides, it would be hard to do an eye exam if I was messy crying.

So I avoided the eye doctor.

I threw that notice into a pile of papers that I called “shit I will deal with later”.

Things were fine.

And then I lost my glasses and I did not have a spare.

I tried not to worry about them.

I adapted. At least I thought I did.

But I knew the truth.

I knew I couldn’t put it off.

I am 40 and my eyes are not what they used to be.

For a long time after Bryon’s death, I bounced between the state of existing and the state of surviving.

But it’s time for me to start taking care of myself.

So I went to a different eye doctor.

And now I have my glasses.

My daughter approved of them because they are pink.

And now things are clearer.

Maybe a little too clear.

I recently watched an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where the family convinced Marie Barone that she needed glasses. Then she got glasses and she could see so well that she pointed out every physical flaw everyone had.

Well I looked in the mirror and I noticed every tiny flaw on my face.

I think I need a chemical peel. Or, like, 12 chemical peels.

At least a facial.

But now that I am seeing 20/20 again, I realized that this is symbolic of my life. As a transition to the next chapter of my life, things are just so much more clearer now.

Of course, some of that might be the fact that I have spent the last 3 years in deep thought and reflection.

Either way, I am seeing things for what they are.

The “blurriness” of my life has cleared up as I processed what had happened in my life, as I learned to cope with the events, as I realized how I let others projections and attitudes affect me and as I learn how to how I respond to all of these factors.

Now it’s time to look toward the future with a clear vision.

It feels fitting to end this blog post with a quote from one of Bryon’s favorite fictional characters, Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights- “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose”.

Growing up without a Dad

The following post was not written by me.  My friend and high school classmate LeeAnne lost her father when she was 16 months old.  She recently shared some of her thoughts about growing up without her father on Facebook and graciously agreed to let me post them here.  I always appreciate her input because it gives me an idea of some of the things my daughter might experience.

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What It’s Like Growing Up Without a Dad? I’m not talking about the deadbeats in the world. They piss me off (sorry for the language). I’m talking about growing up without a Dad because he is forever gone. He’s forever gone because he is in Heaven (yes, I believe in Heaven. I have to because if I didn’t, none of it would make sense and I would live my life a very angry person). It sucks. Plain and simple SUCKS. I was 16 months and 23 days old when that tractor pinned my Dad. I was 16 months and 25 days old when he gained his angel wings and left me here on this Earth without him. If he was a deadbeat, it would be better. At least I may have some chance of finding him and seeing him and even being really mad at him for leaving me. But he wasn’t. He loved me. He wanted me. He planned on being there forever and ever for me. He didn’t choose to leave me. Deadbeats piss me off because while they have created a child and then just decided they don’t want to play the role of a parent, my Dad was robbed of something I’ve heard he was very proud to be. I can tell by the pictures I see of us that this is true. You can tell he loved me and wanted me to be happy and safe. When you lose someone at such a young age without memories of your own, you cherish photos. I mean cherish them. My Mom eventually had a boyfriend and they had my sister together which gave me a sibling and for that I’m grateful. However, my Mom’s boyfriend was far from the ideal stepfather figure. He didn’t like me. I didn’t like him. I haven’t spoken to him willingly since I moved out of the house on my 18th birthday. In ways, it sucked having a sibling because every day I got to see her and her dad together. Something I never had and always wanted. Father’s Day sucks. It’s just a 24 hour constant reminder of what you don’t have. As I got older, I’ve learned to try to embrace the day and consider it another day to spoil my Mom. She is my Dad in a way too. January 30th sucks because that was the day my Dad was born. September 8th sucks because that’s the day he left me. Father Daughter dances suck. I mean, as a Mom, I love watching my girls get that time with their dad but, the little girl in me is jealous as hell. Wedding Days suck because the moment your Dad walks you down the aisle and the infamous Father Daughter dance becomes your Mom walking you down the aisle and trying to keep you from melting down like a big baby because you just want your Dad. The dance becomes your Mom holding you and you guys talking about how much he is there but he’s not there at the same time (and trying to make sure our beads on our dresses didn’t get stuck together because that would be humilitaing). Your fatherly advice comes from your grandfathers but you are of course too young and “know everything and anything” to acutally listen and appreciate those words after they are gone. Taking your kids to “meet” their grandfather by taking them to stare at a stone with words and plant some pretty flowers, sucks. They ask questions and you have no answers. I wasn’t the only one he was taken from. He was taken from my kids as well. He would’ve been an amazing grandfather. I don’t have my own memories to hold on to and to comfort me on my bad days. I have other people’s memories and that sucks too. I love hearing about him and I love knowing about him but I’m so damn jealous of every single person who ever met him and knew him. I’m not the friend who you can turn to if your parent passes away because while I had the same thing happen, I don’t remember it. I can tell you how to live without a Dad though and that sucks that I can tell you that. I apologize for the long rant. My birthday is getting closer and it’s another reminder that the older I get, just means the longer I’ve missed out on him. Anytime I hear of a father passing away and has a young child left behind, my heart automatically opens up to that child. I know what they are going to go through for the rest of their lives. I just pray that they at least get a wonderful father figure that can help ease the pain and who can at least be there as someone to turn to. It may have been different for me if I had that. It’s ok though because for 16 months and 25 days, I had The. Best. Dad. On. Earth.