Midday musings: From the Eyes of a Child

A reader of my blog is a recovered alcoholic father.  I went to his blog and found an entry with the video below.  It touched my heart and I felt that I needed to pass it on here as well.

Yesterday I sent this to two important dads in my life… my own and the one of the future little man in my belly.

The message inside applies to more than just dads.  It applies to all parents.  Especially those who are facing their own inner battles.

There is a beacon of hope in a childs’ eyes that is far more magical and real than anything you will ever experience.  It is the greatest gift you will ever be able to give and receive.  It is worth the struggle.  It is worth the change.  It is worth opening your heart up and changing your ways.

Get your hankies and click.

Happy Birthday Maddox

Happy Birthday Maddox

I’ve been up all morning and late last night thinking about this post… about the beautiful memory of you to write on Little Girl, Big City.  I feel, like the lack of ability to write.. the lack of courage I have had to do right by you, even though I’m arguably better now… I fear I’m still doing it wrong.

I wanted to tell you that even though our time together has been short in your now 8 years of living that, while I have forgotten so much as I struggled to even remember if this was your 9th or your 8th birthday, please know my dearest little (but growing) boy that your mother has not forgotten you one bit.

It brings me such sadness each day that we are away.  Of even more knowing that as much as I’ve tried, I’ve also failed.

The memories are the only thing I have of you nowadays.. and our hearts forever beating are the place we will always be together.

I want you to know that I’ve written and tried to see you but your father has not been forthcoming with things… even when I tried recently to bring you to see your dying Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather.  Your father has denied any sort of interaction between us even in the most simplest of terms.  I tried messaging this year requesting to talk to you and your sister this year just as I did last year.

But I’d hear nothing in return

It’s still early and I’m hoping and praying that I get to hear your voice again.  I worry about you.  Not because I don’t think your dad isn’t doing his very best to take care of you but because I’m your mother and I always will be.

From the day you were born I feel like I might have done wrong by you.  I was scared when you were stuck the day you were born.  I remember when the doctors tried to get you out of me how I couldn’t handle the pain and I freaked out- grabbing the tube to the vacum that was being used to try and pull you out of me.

And then I saw you.  You were the most handsome little man in the world.  And I worried that I might have robbed the world of that because I couldn’t handle a little bit of pain.  When you got older I watched as your dad tried to tell me that everything was alright with you.  Deep down I knew something was off.. and I felt responsible.  Know that I did everything I could to plead with your father to put you into a special program so that you could get the attention and help you deserved.  I hope that it’s helping.

I’m out of words.  I don’t know what else to say.  So I guess I’ll just say it.  I love and miss you my dear growing little man.  Happy Birthday Maddox.   You are my heart.  I wish I was a better mommy for you.  I wish your dad would put away the bitterness so that we could spend more time together.  You deserve that much.

Pocket Change

Day 2 of moving back to Culver City and, of course it rained.  My bike went to the Dr. yesterday. Kage’s heart seized and was diagnosed in need of repair.  Months after my entrance and now exit from the magical land I lived in on the East side… it was a bit of an eye opener.  My last day at the Lake was bright and sunny.  But the day that the move was ultimately being done was a sign that the illusion wasn’t built to last.

Tragedies happened this Christmas and things have tended to break around me.

Hearts.

Cars.

Bikes.

I work temporary gigs.  Contractor assignments.  Freelance is great and then it’s not enough.  I’ve been working my ass off here to stay in Los Angeles… to get that view of downtown from my balcony in Silver Lake.  For the opportunity to ride my scooter alongside the ocean.  But at the end of the day I’m back where I started this journey- with my stuff shoved in a storage unit and only a few coins left in my pocket.

And then a package came from a ghost. A few months ago my grandfather on my mother’s side passed.  He was a bit of a tinker (he fixed watches in his spare time while my grandmother worked on jewelry) and collected miscellaneous things.  Growing up, he always had a sea of change.  He accrued it from many a travel… Whether it was a trip to the grocery store or running an errand, he’d take the spare change he had and throw it in a drawer.  One thing I remember about him was that he always would have coins.

When the grandkids would visit he would dump a drawer of it out for us.  We didn’t know it in those days but he didn’t have much of anything really.   But back then, we thought he had a million dollars with all the sea of glittering coins lying in that pile.

On Christmas this year I got a package from my grandmother on my mother’s side.  It didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary so I didn’t open it.

I spent the time with my son.  He asked me what was in the box and I replied:

“Probably jewelry.  Granma Munchalfen always sends mom jewelry.”

I didn’t realize it then but inside was something important.

The rain kept coming down.  And the harder it poured, the more I pushed through the storms of it all.  Just like I always have.  And as the rains washed the city and turned my car into something rivaling Swamp Thing, perhaps something happened to me too.

I got the call about the bike this afternoon.  Not good.  I told the mechanic about my other grandfather who is still very much alive and still riding his own motorcycle.  I thought about how much I wanted to fix things here myself.  The video game industry is not exactly a user friendly environment as per stability.

My great aunt Louise passed away this week at the age of 91.  I thought about my grandparents and about my other family back in suburbia Illinois.

I thought about how much my family meant to me.  How I haven’t been home much since I left except for funerals.  About the unsent card I found addressed to the grandfather that died when I came back from going home the last time.  About how I didn’t have the funds to go home for this one.  All that fighting and nothing but pocket change to show for it.

Change.

My mother called me to talk about things back there.  She asked if I had opened the package from her mother.  She told me that there was something important in it.

On Christmas this year I got a package from my grandmother on my mother’s side with a simple note:

“Grandma wanted everyone to get a little something from Grandpa.  So she separated the coins and by the grace of Grandpa put them into bags so each of you can start your own coin collections.”

Change.

Hmm.  Alright Grandpas, I get it.

The answer was so simple but I was too caught up in everything else that I lost sight of it.

Stability.

Family.

Love.

My grandfather may not have been a rich man by a financial standpoint, but he was rich in heart.

It’s not always easy but the dream is attainable.  Everything is all within your reach.  You just have to open your eyes and embrace the change in your pockets.

 

 

 

One day a year

Yesterday was the anniversary of two people brought into this world that have changed my life: my ex husband and my sister.  Happy Birthday to the both of you.

I took a bit of time as I was going to get the mail at work to call my sister.  She lives back home in IL in a small town in Bloomington.  We live in two completely different worlds, not just zip codes. 

Hers is one of black and white.  Mine is…

She works at a school over there doing administration and testing.  She went right into college after high school and has a degree as a social worker.  Until a couple of years ago, she was doing nothing with it.  She was working in a Copy Max as a retail manager.

She, for the most part has stayed in the same place her whole life.  I have lived the life of a vagabond. 

Her relationship with my more colorful yet corporate dad is strained.  My relationship with the mundane nothingness that is my mother’s world is far from being anything grand.

My sister and I look little alike.  She takes after my mother and I’m very much so like dad.   I have had no problems finding suitors.  She has always struggled.

She nearly married her high school sweetheart. 

Nearly is a good word when it doesn’t apply to you.

Nearly won the Pulitizer prize.

Nearly made it to work on time.

Nearly got into that club for the party of the century.

Ah, nearly.

It’s definition should simply be: first loser.

It’s a word that would succinctly capture the story about Shawn.  But that’s the cart before the horse.

Jessica’s highschool sweetheart, Willy, broke up with her and married the woman right after her.  My sister must not have taken this very well as she then turned around and married his older brother- a year to the day after.  But hey, maybe she really meant it when she said it wasn’t intentional and that Shawn didn’t remember that when they picked the date.  I mean, he is a recovering alcoholic after all so I could completely understand that reasoning of logic.

My sister had been since supporting him throughout the duration of their marriage thusfar while he just mooched off her.  After exiting a marriage where my husband didn’t want me to be independent financially, I couldn’t fathom why she ever would want to carry a “man.”

I remember the days when we were younger we used to play together.  Hell there may be a cassette tape where we recorded bits and goofed around with buried somewhere in piles of things left in my mothers garage in suburbian IL.

These days?  We don’t talk much.  Not for lack to talk about, but more of the “agree to disagree” sort of lifestyle differences.  I understand her choices but I don’t think she understands mine.  Again, she is like mom and I oftentimes find myself questioning mom if she and I even legitamitatly share DNA.

Needless to say I have never really been close to that side of my family.  I wish it were different.  Maybe in another dimension it would be.

Yesterday I called her.  I’d heard pieces from dad about how things were with her.  Reminders of how much so we really were not alike.

I wasn’t sure if the rumor that Shawn would be going to jail for violation of his probation was true or if somehow he’d gotten his act together.  He’d gotten into drugs and was being watched regarding selling.

My family has said that they hope she leaves Shawn, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  They have a child together.  My sister has always wanted to be loved and have children.  I saw the look in her eyes as I went on my way and had mine. 

Envious. 

Longing.

It is for these reasons that I tried to talk to her yesterday.  I wanted to see if she was alright.  Instead when I asked how things, she was secretive.

I asked her if she was ok.  She operated as if nothing were wrong.

“He’s away.  He will be away for a long time.  But it’s alright.  We are still together.”

She didn’t need to tell me.  I knew then that he had gone to jail.

  “Where is away?  Is it a business trip?  What’s going on?”

She got upset.  Told me it was nothing.  Told me thank you for calling.  She got abrasive.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the entrance of two people who would change my life.  I am happy with where I came from.  I am happy with where I am going.  I am glad that our paths crossed ways.  I am also glad… that we are parting.

Like so many people I run into… she seems to not realize her potential. 

I’m noticing a pattern and taking some action.

It’s going to be a long December.  For me, this one is going to be focused on working further towards my own potential in double time.  Thanks for the reminder sis and best of luck to you.

Walking on sunshine and eggshells

I got a call from my brother yesterday.  My grandmother needs a second operation.  They had to put a stint in her heart and now have to do another bypass surgery.

“She’s going to be ok.  I just found out.  Dad called me and told me to get over here.”

I really feel like I should be going home.  I’m worried despite being told not to.

“Do you want to talk to her?  When you do, don’t mention the surgery.  She’s scared and we want to keep her in good spirits.”

I stammered with my words.  What do I say to her?  I’ll tell her about my weekend.  It should have been easy.  It was disastrous.

“Um so I hear the weather there is hotter than it is here now.”

“It’s humid here.  In the 90s.  What about over there?”

Weather?  She’s in a hospital.  She can’t go outside to enjoy or dislike it.  Great going Jena.  That was smooth.  Must… try and make this better.

“Oh it’s nice.  I’m riding the bike everywhere.  I hate cars..”

I need to change the subject here.  What to say?  What to say?

“So I’m sending postcards to Germany and Japan today Gram.”

“Oh wow that’s neat.  Did you get any new ones recently?”

“I got one from Taipei this weekend.  Some recent ones from China and a few other places.”

Ok that conversation is dead.  Erm…

“I saw a movie this weekend that you’d probably have liked.”

“Oh really which one?”

“The Graduate.  Do you remember that one?”

“Yes.  Old movie with Dustin Hoffman.  Where did you see it?”

Fuck.  I did it to myself.  There’s no way I’m going to tell her where I saw it.  Not with her in there.

“In a park.  It’s where I saw Funny Face last weekend.  This coming weekend they’re showing East of Eden.”

“Oh that James Dean film.”

My brother pulled the phone.  I heard beeping in the background.

I worried in that half second that the last conversation I may have had with my grandmother was about watching movies in a cemetary.

“Oh my god.  Is she ok?  What’s that beeping?”

“It’s one of the machines.  Don’t worry.  I think it’s the cell phone causing it.  We’re going to ask them about it now.”

“Are you away from earshot from her?”

“Sec. “

Thirty seconds later:

“Yes I’m away from her now.”

“Please tell me I didn’t just kill her with talks of a heartthrob of her time…  Aww fuck.  I can’t talk at all here.  I’m walking on eggshells.”

My kid brother chuckled.

“No.  You didn’t.  It’s seriously going to be ok.  She’s active and in bed.  It will be fine.  I promise.”

I’m off to the store to get her a postcard and have some time on the road now.  What a day.  I just hope she’s ok.

Project Reorganization:The Balancing Act, episode 1

Once upon a time

In a galaxy.. not so far away…

(Hell I oftentimes feel like Los Angeles is another galaxy after living in San Diego, so give me a break!)

There once was a girl who

Was a bit of a socialite.

Perhaps too much.

And while the parties were grand and the people wonderful… for some reason, it just wasn’t enough.  She just wasn’t enough.

And then something happened.

Something remarkable.

Something that you really cannot truly explain with mere answers.

It just was was what it was.

Into the rabbit holes she entered and just as quickly returned.

Of heartache and levity and realization.

Realizing that everything she ever knew was wrong.

Realizing that it was also right.

She pushed further.

She pushed harder.

She changed the cards of her destiny.

Perhaps she was always meant to.

Perhaps they were all always waiting for that day.

She arrived at the destination

and found it was merely the beginning of the journey.

Today was like every other day.

But there is no day like today.

Portrait.

Well I survived suburbia again.  This time, there wasn’t a speck of drama (for me at least.)  It was a breath of fresh air.

The formalities.  All of Los Angeles should rejoice knowing that I got a GPS.  I also got a violin, some makeup, a scarf, and a couple of items of clothes.  It wasn’t a horrible haul, but I didn’t get everything I wanted.  So, I decided to get myself a little present.  I’m buying myself a Flip camera before CES.  A little present to myself for being such a good.. erm. Yeah.

My son (6) got a few things.  He went on and on about how he wanted a skooter. I made sure he got it.  And clothes.  I’ve never seen a child so grateful he got clothes.  Each time he’d open a box with some, hed smile and rave about it before rushing to his room to put it away.

I wonder…

He had a good Christmas.  Spoiled rotten between me and his grandparents.  He was happy.  I was happy.

My cousins came over later and prepared dinner.  Ethan and I played on the Wii.  His older cousins came by and joined us.  It was like no one else was there though.  Just him and his mommy.

At work we shoot off nerf guns in the office.  When the shipment comes in, there’s a line to get them.  It’s a little perk of the office.  I love my job sometimes.  It’s very relaxed there to a degree.

I decided to get a few.  One for Ethan, one for me at work, one for the grip, and one for me when I was with Ethan.

I called all my moms side of the family and a few very close friends.  If I didn’t call you, please do not take it personally.  It was a very busy day.

All he would talk about when asked.. was that nerf gun.

“Hold on a minute.  My mom’s not looking so I need to shoot her in the butt.”

I’d hear giggling one minute and the next…

I felt like I was a kid again.  That was the tone of the day.  Me and my son having a war… my dad telling us not to run around the house with them.

And it was a good great visit.

I decided to stay the night there rather than head back here to the city.  It was time for Ethan to go to bed.  I had him read me stories.  My dad came in and told him he needed to wash up.

I whispered to my son “Tell  your grandpa you’re on vacation so you should be able to stay up a little later with mom.”

He tried.

“Go wash up.  You have to go to bed.  You can play with mom a bit more in the morning.”

Ethan changed and I tucked him in.

“Snug as a bug in a rug.”

He smiled and gave me a kiss.

Dad came in.  He grabbed a stuffed monkey next to Ethan and handed it to him.  Pulled the sheets up a little bit over and kissed him goodnight.  And before I knew what was happening, he did the same for me.

Ethan giggled.

“Ha ha.  It’s time for mom to go to bed too!”

My son held me like a teddybear and we went to sleep.

It was quite frankly the best sleep I’ve had in months.