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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I have been looking forward to this weekend. My anticipation growing with every day as it gets just a little bit closer. Holidays have always meant a lot to me. Time to be with my family and all of those who I care about. Our busy schedules put aside as we are reminded of what is important in our lives. The ideas of why the holidays are there may not ring as true for me because of my beliefs but the idea of being with those you love elevates them to a special occasion for me. This is even more so the truth this year as I have some very special people back in my life. A woman who I love more than anything in the world and a little man who I want to help create some wonderful memories with.

When children are involved holidays mean so much more. Just the prospect of the special occasion has me reminiscing about my childhood and all of the good memories that I have. I was always so blessed to have a mother and father who cared about us kids deeply and always gave us everything they possibly could. I remember searching for easter eggs and trying to find my hidden basket. I remember that we always had far more than we probably deserved. Looking back we did not know how great we truly had it. Now I want to bring some of that joy into another child’s life. I want to pass on some of the memories that were given to me and hope that he can experience some of the same things. I am looking forward to coloring eggs with Christina and him. Looking forward to Sunday morning and laughter and taking in the moment.

There is so much in my past that I neglected. It really makes you see what counts when the dust of the day is washed away. There are some things in our lives that when we wake up in the morning will hold no meaning, they are just something we have to go through in life. Then there are some things that hold more importance than we can ever fully appreciate. If we can tell which is which, we will be ahead of the game. Each day I think this is becoming more and more clear.

May all of you have a wonderful Easter. I hope that no matter what you are surrounded with friends and family. Make sure that those you love know just how much they mean to you.

­čÖé Dan

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It was a holiday season that seemed to be more of what it should be. Different than what it has been in the recent past. Holidays have not been my friend but I think lately I am trying to make the conscious decision to not let the past ruin what could be the good moments of my present. It comes down to a choice I have when I do everything in my life. The easy choice is to be a scrooge and piss and moan and dwell on what is lost and how I have the right to be an emo little bitch. Don’t ask me where that came from I am just flowing with it. That is the easy way but also the way that ends up breaking me down more and more. The right choice is to try to live in the moment, which I think I am doing more and more.

My grandma said something to me christmas morning as we sat at her kitchen table alone drinking coffee. “You have had a good year” There was not much else except that said, but even though i might not be exactly where I want to be in life she is right. I have had a good year considering what could have hung over my head. The year did not start out the best I am sure, mainly because of the copious amounts of prescription meds I was on… all prescribed and prescribed dosages. I was a walking zombie. Most of that time seems like a distant movie to me, memories are all fuzzy and surely there are multiple reasons for that. Even with this the year got better and better for me. Work seems to be a place I actually enjoy going to. The people are great to me and many of them I would consider good friends now. I have transitioned to my own place and have become accustomed to living on my own after years spent a part of another family and then my retreat back home and then staying with a friend.

I seem to be finding my own path again after so many detours and dead ends and many construction zones. It is not a grand life by far but it is my own and I have some control over it. There are many things that I still would like to change and work on, they will come in time though. Every day is another step, hopefully if I am lucky it is in the right direction. It is okay though if every now and then i have a step back, that is the nature of life and it does not make me a failure. A failure is sitting and letting that miss step ruin your momentum and mood. I can’t let that happen anymore.

Anyways, it was a good holiday. Christmas may not have the same meaning for me as it does for others. I won’t get into the religious talk or debate because to be honest I could care less at the moment. For me it is about reconnecting with the ones you love. Family friends and all of those in your life. It is about living your days with a little lighter step and an easier smile on your face. Remembering the good things in life and learning from what has gone wrong. Living the day knowing that life can be shortened far too easily and it would be a shame to those who are lost if you wasted the days that you still have on this earth. One never knows what is around the next corner, good or bad.

Merry Christmas to everyone who actually reads this.

Dan

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Smiling happy families sitting in front of roaring fireplaces, wearing festive holiday sweaters and sipping cocoa. The picture image of a christmas card to be hung for all to see. Norman Rockwell images of a life that all attain to reach. the problem is that this does not really exist. We think that other people have these lives. The grass always being greener on the other side. We want to have what they have, be happy as they are. This is something that is only a myth though. We might see the picture perfect families and feel envious of them, but the truth is that no one really has this perfect life. Everyone is flawed, everyone has little cracks in their make up that show a little of the true life and heart that hides with in.

This is not to be a glum post, pre christmas. This is merely to be a post explaining that no one is perfect. No one has a life out of the perfect holiday movies. The key seems to be that we make the best out of what we have. I have realized this more and more. I can make the choice to focus on the things that make my life a little bit better. It is my choice if I want to be down, dwelling in the gutters of life. This is not forced upon me, this is not something that I have to live and feel. I can do differently and better. Also though if I deny the past, deny what has shaped me and marked me I am doing a disservice as well. The past has happened, I can’t change it, that is where the dangerous thoughts come in. I can learn from it and realize there is a better way through.

Yesterday was a day where I could have made the wrong choice. I could have felt sorry for myself and grieved over the losses of my past, most obviously with the anniversary of my mother’s passing. I did not though. Yes it was on my mind, and I miss her. But I did not think of how I could have done better and felt pitiful for myself in her loss. I just tried to live the day as well as I could and for the most part it was a success.

Life is never quite as we expect or want it to be. The perfect cookie cutter image does not exist except only in our imagination. We all do what we have to. We live our lives and survive through every day. Some days are better than others and in the end we can hope that the good outnumber the bad.

Dan

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Like clockwork I tend to ignore this blog, it is not intentional but just seems to happen. Fits with who I am and my personality because as with anything in my life I have to feel the urge to do something, if not it gathers dust until it is called forward. So I thought as I am reading over some of my past entries I should log a little bit of what is going on in life.

Christmas is upon us, like a stealth assassin it hid in the bushes and reared its deadly head just before striking. Hmmm, maybe not the right visual right there but that is the feeling. It is here and the month of December has disappeared. I do not know where it went. Holidays have been pretty depressing for me over the past two years. Two years ago tomorrow my mom passed away. It feels like it has been so much longer that she has been out of my life but that is for another day.  That and with the erosion of my marriage and the family I used to have holidays have been reminders of what is missing or lost to me. I see everyone else with someone they love or care for and it is a sharp pain. Or at least it has been.

Thanksgiving was something different. For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed the holiday. Being with my family, having a good time, lots of laughs and playing cards. It was what days like that should always be. I was able to just bask in the things I do have in my life, like a good job, family that loves me, a place to live and enough to get by. Yes things aren’t perfect but considering things could be a lot worse. This is bringing a sense of hope to me that Christmas will be better than it has been. Hopes can be dangerous things though and I know I have to keep this in check because I have a terrible way of ┬áletting my hopes get carried away and then expectations never quite fit reality. I know that there will be some rough times, that is a given considering the history of this time of year for me, but as long as I can remember what I do have in my life it should be better than it has.

In the end it really comes down to a choice, a choice that I ahve to make to let the good things in and not dwell on the bad…..

Anyways, life otherwise has been pretty uneventful for me. That is a good thing when all is considered. I seem to be settled in at work, finding my own place after such a long time worrying about the little things, mistakes here or there. I actually enjoy working with the people I do which is a great thing and for the most part I feel like they feel the same. At least there is lots of laughter. I try not to take things too seriously but in my line of work there is always an a- hole or two who will rile you up. I try not to dwell though. Overall I think I am pretty good at my job and it is something I can see myself doing for the time to come.

I will try to remember to check in more frequently and post… Hopefully I can ride the good feelings and not let things take me too far down the wave again, I am just happy to be living more of a monotone life sans prescriptions.

Till I write again… good night.

Dan

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I had the chance to have breakfast with my family this morning before I had to go in to work. My family has been through a lot and we are definitely still very much a work in progress. I know that I am not perfect when it comes to my life and the decisions I have made. I understand that no one is. A couple of weeks ago things came to a head with my dad and my brother and I. My dad let us know his feelings on where he though my brother and I stood with him. He was hurting because there really has been very little time for all of us to get together and be a family. In some ways he thought we hated him.

When I took in what he was saying all I could feel was pain that he would feel that way about us or think that that could possibly be the truth. He was right on much of what he was saying. Not the idea that we could hate him, which is further from the truth than anything. More so in the idea that we have not been making the time as we might have in the past to hang out. I cannot speak for my brother but I know when it comes to myself it is a very tricky issue. I tend to be the type to withdraw and hide from things that bring up memories in my life that are painful. Part of this comes from the fact that when my marriage was falling apart my dad was finding the love of his life. ┬áNaturally this is now attached to a memory in my mind of what I have lost. Other’s happiness should buoy me and lift my spirits. It tends to just bring me down into a place of darkness. Being that I know what kind of emotions this brings up I don’t make the effort I should to include myself in my dad’s life.

One of the second issues that is always there is the fact that less than two years ago I lost my mother, we all lost her. and months before that my parents relationship finally broke its last seam and split down the middle. These two events are things that one does not just forget and move on quickly from. Especially being as how my mother and I had a close relationship and were friends till the day she left this world. Everyone moves on from such tragic events in different ways and at different times. The fact that I had the extra weight of my own marriage torn away from me has lead to a longer period of healing for me. I mean my divorce will have its one year anniversary this december. These events though oddly feel so much further in the past. Maybe because it is so much to feel, so much to go through every day.

When we lost mom we had known her our whole lives. Now there is someone else with my dad. She is a good woman. I really don’t know an awful lot about her. We really have not had much time to do things together and that is on all of us. We have only known her for about a year and a few months. I know it is still going to take time. That is the only thing that will make things easier. We also need to make sure that we all talk to each other and don’t let things get bottled up. I had a chance to talk to my dad after things were brought to the surface and I am pretty sure he knows how I really feel. I don’t really know how else to act. I have not been through anything like this at any other time in my life. Their are no neat little directions and maps to guide us. We can look for help and advice but it always comes down to how we all handle ourselves and if we all put the effort in.

I know that I have to try harder. Whether it is small things like stopping by to say hello or just getting together like we did this morning for breakfast. I do enjoy these moments. I like getting together and laughing because everyone knows I do not do enough of that lately. Laugh that is. It will get better. I know that it has to. My dad means the world to me. He has never judged me. He has always been there for me when I have been hurting the most. He has saved me on more than one occassion from damaging myself permanently. I need to show him a little more of the same.

Dan

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No goodbyes

It is late at night for me. I am tired and probably should not be writing anything, but as is the norm my mind is always off on its own and tonight it brings me to a place I tend to pretend is not real. Little more then 19 months ago my mom was taken from me. Taken from the world, the rest of her life snuffed out and a potential future winked out of existence. She was only 45 years of age, decades of life left ahead of her. Decades of life with out her.

Many years ago

Was it a mistake. She struggled with pain killers and other medications for too many years. We all looked down on her, but coming from a fellow addict, in the end I know I was a hypocrite to pretend like she should just stop.┬á“What is wrong with you, knock it off!”┬áMy addiction came from a glass bottle instead of a little orange bottle with a child proof lid. Just because I did not need a prescription or a dealer for my fix did not mean it was any better situation┬áthen hers. For years it was an elephant in the room. I could not really earnestly talk to her about it even though I wanted too. I wanted to badly, but I never did enough. I should have done so much more. Again everyone will tell me this isn’t true. You can’t change some one else’s make up, you can’t always make them see the truth. Maybe this is the case, but you should still give it your heart to save them. Another moment in life I would relive to make a better choice, make the right choice.

In the end I think she knew how bad she really was. we loved her but she had to move away and be on her own. Away from me, us, her family. It was a family unhinged and torn apart. Shame most likely lead her to evacuate all that she knew for 25 years. Still, blood and history had sealed us together, no matter what the situation had become. I loved her through it all. Even though she chose to be so many states away, among no one that she knew. That seemed to be a better solution for her. Being among the unknown and within a new existence. Life with no history and no one to judge. Much of this may be theory or just an idea, it might not be true, but dealing with many of the same issues that she had I can sense this is the way it was.

She was gone, but still we always talked. Many would do what they could not to talk to her. I always answered though. She would always be my mom. She would always be my friend. She accepted me, with all of my flaws even though I did not always do the same. Even when I made decision she did not like, like reuniting with the one I loved, which led to a failed marriage, she was not happy in the beginning but grew to accept and include the other woman in my life. She wanted to include her in our family. I will always give her credit for that. Better than I in some ways, not always in others. Anyways we always talked, I did this because we had an understanding. Things might not be good, there might be tension, there might be unresolved past issues, even with all of this, if you just wanted to talk about your day, my day or just what was going on in the world, I would listen, I would share. I would not stand for beating up others in my family verbally and I would not do the same of here. Every one makes mistakes, everyone has a darkness in them and some of us cannot control that as well as others. But if she wanted to talk about the football game I would be game.

It may have been a charade, we may have been ignoring something that was deeply important. What had happened to our family, what was happening in our lives to bring us pain or the demons that had their grips in us. Through this I had the illusion that she was doing better. I thought she was finding some real peace or atleast some respite from the stress that was her life in the rural northwoods. Apparently I was a fool unlike many others. Just a day after I had thought a family portrait would be a great gift for my family and especially for the woman who raised me, she always asked for new pics of the family, she was gone. She went to bed after taking her medication, who knows what or how much or what cocktail, and that was it. She was ripped from my life. Taken from me, from us. The moment I heard is still unbelievable. My dad and brother standing in my living room, like the police came to my door to bring me the news. So much emotion overtook me, disbelief. I even asked if they were serious as if this would be a good idea for a sick joke. The pain is very real, but her being gone is not because she was already so far away.

There were no goodbyes for me. Nothing was left but a box of ashes. A human life renderred down to a few pounds of ash. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. I miss you mom, I still think I see you every day.

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