Sitting, hollow.

I think too much. It doesn’t help that I sleep never because of diabetes, discomfort and the fact that I think too much!

I think about my life. I think about the choices I’ve made. I think about the regrets and the future. I can’t pinpoint or label either.

It’s hard to decide if I have regrets. I have a lot of love in my life, more than most. I have been blessed with three beautiful children. I have the most incredible life partner and best friend a girl could ask for.

I have hurt people. There is zero excuse for that. I can find many, but none justify the behavior and I’m not proud in the slightest. I have never hurt my children. I refuse to hurt my children. I will always try to do right by them. I am SURE they will find faults with many things I have done when they grow up. They’re human, after all.

When I think about the future, I don’t know what will come of it. I’m scared, honestly. Scared I’ll continue making the wrong decisions, thinking they’re the right ones. Scared that maybe two years from now I’ll be laying in bed just like this, wondering how I could have messed things up so badly.

Today he reminded me of when she was sick and we didn’t know what was wrong. He told me how he’ll never forget that he gave her a popsicle because she wouldn’t eat. That he’ll never forgive himself because in doing so, he made her sicker.

In that moment, when all those memories came flooding back, I just knew … I’m so fucked up.

I don’t know how to fix these feelings and if I bring myself back to those days, it feels as if my bones are hollow and my muscles are mush. It makes me want to puke. It makes me want to cry. But all that really happens is I sit there, still, and I become an emotionless statue.

While he’s talking about those days, as I sit there hollow …. she’s in the back seat. She’s healthy. She’s so happy. She’s asking me to turn up the already very loud music. It could have been so different.

Part of me will never leave those vivid days where I knew something was wrong and I tried to find out, but no one knew what to do and I couldn’t help her.

Part of me will always remain hollow and all of me will always feel guilty about the way I can’t fully appreciate the fact that she’s still here. I’ll always feel guilty about the way I’ve dealt with not knowing how to deal with it. I’m just still so fucked up.

Maybe it’s the wind.

Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the wind, maybe it’s overwhelming emotional exhaustion, maybe it’s the gluten I ate because I hate myself. Whatever the reason I dream the way I do, I am very thankful. Today I woke up with a smile on my face, I was dancing with my grandfather. He must know that I need him. It’s weird to believe in those things. Like he can see me and he knows that I need him, but I’m really starting to believe it. I’ve lost so much and I’ve felt so alone in all of it. Dancing with him in the kitchen while making breakfast is exactly what I needed. Nothing is fixed but the thought that maybe one day I’ll dream like that again, the thought that those memories and love have existed in my life, it helps. He must have known that it would. 

Losing people to death is hard. It’s very final. There’s nothing you can do. I don’t dream to compare the pain of loss of any kind. Every kind of loss is painful. I’ve dealt with all of them. The worst pain that I’ve had to deal with is the realization that things aren’t good anymore. No one died, but everything changed. The change wasn’t death so you’re thankful, but nothing is the same. The person you knew and the life you knew is completely over. That loss lingers harder than a New England winter. That in your face, freeze your soul kind of loss is staring you in the face every single day. Remembering the way it once was is beyond your control. Your interactions are different and you can’t help but compare it to the way it used to be. I don’t want a life that feels that way but I do understand why the beginning of death often feels that way. 

It’s a cruel twist … aging, sickness and death. It almost doesn’t feel fair to anyone, but it’s quite understandable. People get sick, weak, frail, they start to hate the pain and not being able to do the things they once did. They get used to the idea of death. Their loved ones get used to it in the same way. When they go, they’re gone. It feels like an empty place in your heart but your brain can wrap around it accordingly. Immediately you feel as though, if they couldn’t be who they used to be, who they wanted to be, then maybe it’s better that they get to be without pain and sadness.

I smiled about my dream of my grandfather dancing with me in the kitchen. It was all happy. There was no wishing he was here, just wishing that dream could last longer. When he was here, he was weak and the sadness of who he once was could fill a room. That dream though … That dream wasn’t a dream at all, but reassurance that that man was always in there, the whole time and somewhere he still is, even if it’s only within me. 

A different kind of alarming …

It’s four o’clock in the fucking morning, but that part doesn’t matter, seeing that I haven’t had a 20 minute stretch of sleep since I got into bed at seven pm. You see, I’ve been awake dealing with diabetes alarms …. which ones? EVERY FUCKING ONE. Highs, lows, lost signals, suspensions, her phone, my phone, his phone and some how an actual constant siren alarm blasting 100 decibels into his fucking ear. No, of course he didn’t wake up to that … and yeah, it made me think this hell of a night was almost over because why in the fuck would someone have an alarm set like that if it wasn’t time to wake up for work? … I guess I’ll have to keep guessing until morning because it was 3 fucking thirty AM! 

Never have I felt the need to blow off steam in the middle of the night like this. The need to drive a buck twenty down a north country road with the loudest metal my subs can pump before they blow. The urge to fuck and get fucked, until walking is off the table for a week (on a table, even better). The need to run seven miles, as fast as I can, in 25 degree weather until I see stars and/or break a leg off. 

Oh, but instead I’m going to lay here, blood boiling, head filled with “what the fuck am I going to do with my life” thoughts because I’m not only the keeper of this little girl that has no idea how fragile she is;  I am also the vessel for another precious human life. I love them. I love them more than I could ever love myself. I love them more than getting fucked, driving fast, running at lightening speed or anything else for that matter. 

Here I am, justttt reflecting. A life of making all the right decisions. Working my ass off since I was ten, making sound financial investments, getting rid of every man that was bad for me, getting the best education, throwing out all bad habits with drugs, drinking, food and worldly possessions. Never falling apart in body, spirit or mind, no matter what came at me .. because I swore I wouldn’t be like them.  

Them? Everyone. I was better than everyone. My mom. My dad. His mom. His dad. Who is he? Doesn’t matter. All of them! I was better than all of them. I wouldn’t fail. I couldn’t fail. In fact, I was so busy not failing that I forgot why I thought they were pathetic failures in the first place. Until, of course, last night … or was that tonight? I can’t even google the answer to that one. 

There I was, whenever that was, in my fathers house. The one he has been throwing millions of dollars into, his entire life, because it was his parents. God forbid he live his own life and let down those dead fools, who were never even any good to him anyway. 

My kids are running around, begging me, every three seconds, to take some garbage toy home with them. Another floor ornament I can look forward to making disappear in about a day, once it’s been ignored, starting one minute after they, proudly, get me to agree to take it home. 

My dad isn’t even there. He’s in Massachusetts for yet another doctors appointment. My brother is there, taking care of the house and the business that can attribute to 97% of my father’s health issues in the first place. Yeah … my Dad, stubborn, unhappy and alone in a large, old house inhabited, crowded even, with wayward, halfwit failures in their own right. 

There’s my brother. It’s like looking in a mirror. Every. Single. Time. He’s on his phone, trying to get the internet to work, desperate to escape into his video games, but still happier than I’ve seen him in a million moons. He’s already escaped from his domestic responsibilities for the night and now it’s just us in the kitchen. Life was always good when it was just us in the kitchen. 

We aren’t any better than one another and neither of us are really better than our parents. Maybe we are a little different. That’s just it. We are different. Different kids of unhappy. Different kinds of failures. Different things to run away from, but barely. We feel comfort when we are together because when we are alone, without our families, it’s … different.

When you’re kids, you’re just kids. You are exactly who you are and you can’t hide it from your siblings. You knowww them. Standing in front of them, no matter how much time has passed, you will be stripped down to your true self. You see each other more than anyone else could ever see you. You aren’t parents. You aren’t home owners. You aren’t workers. You aren’t successful or worthless. You aren’t smart or dumb, rich or poor, pretty or ugly … you’re just you. 

When you get a little older you try to focus so hard on what you think you should be like. What you wish your life will turn into. Some of us work towards it. Others give up before they start. None of us really end up exactly, genuinely, ourselves. We are still searching a little bit to figure out what it was that we were fighting for the whole time. What if this picture we wanted our life to be wasn’t at all what it was cracked up to be? What if somehow we lost our true selves while fighting to succeed in a cut throat, judgmental world where our harshest critic is ourselves … Or, what’s worse, maybe we never tried. Maybe we thought we were good enough from the jump and we never allowed ourselves to change into anything better because we didn’t see it as better … 

I may never figure out what I want to do with my life. Certainly not before the next alarm goes off at five am, FUCKING WIND CHIMES whyyyyyy .. 

I feel annoyed. I feel blessed. I feel right. I feel wrong. I feel overwhelmed and completely in control at the same time. But there isn’t one feeling better than when it’s just us, alone in the kitchen. 

Time, Money, Heart.

I’ve always had this sort of obsession with looking good on paper, both literally and figuratively. Like yeah, it doesn’t hurt to look good in your license picture. I will admit I have delayed getting a picture taken on a bad day. Let’s be honest, they always end up just terrible, regardless. It was always HAVING the license that really made me smile. I remember when I got my first job, (not on the farm) at the ripe age of 13. I remember what it was like to have my first bank book far before that, at about eight years old. I remember my first paper checks (what are those, right?). I remember my first American Express Card. I remember filling out all the paperwork. God I LOVE paperwork. This feeling of paying bills, having a passport, license, registrations, applications, credit cards, asset accounts, insurance documents, diplomas and degrees; It made me feel like a person. Equity, organization and the ability to have the means to get something done has always been my most urgent focus in life.

I am more than positive that my need for being a success on paper was derived solely from feeling like a scattered mess as a child. Having no control, as a child, made me want to be an adult as soon as possible. I grew up too fast and took everything too seriously. As an adolescent, I strived for significance far beyond my years. I craved a significance that embodied a structure and control that I was desperately seeking in my childhood.

I have always felt that if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards. I procrastinate for motivation. I reach further and further than I even need to so that I can catch up with myself. I wholeheartedly believe that the most fierce competition should be with oneself.

As I grow older not much changes, except that I’m not as worried with where the next money will come from. I don’t do this because I’m delusional. I do it because I now know what matters more. I know that if I work hard as much as I can, whenever I can the money will eventually come. Just as they money comes, it will go away. That’s the lesson in life about money .. it comes and it goes. Time, however, time just .. goes. You don’t get more time.

There’s always a point to working hard, making investments and being smart with money. There no point, however, in stressing about something that you can’t control. You’ll never be able to control the price point of the things that you need or want … so if you need it or want it enough … buy it and shut up. If your family needs it or wants it .. buy it and shut up. If you have a slow day at work, remember there will be busier and more lucrative days in the future, just like there were in the past, enjoy the pace and shut up!

I am old enough to have watched people die, too many times. On one’s death bed they are never worried about that slow day at work 15 years prior or how they needed to budget a little more on certain months. They never tell you about how they regret making too much money or too little money. No. If there are any regrets to be spoken of , they are the regrets of lost time and lost relationships. Rarely is it about what they look like on paper, but more how their families and friends see them in their heart.

I have small children. I do not have all the answers. I do know that I would like my children to be motivated and determined to make something of themselves. I expect for them to learn these things about money, time and heart on their own. Far beyond what I want to teach them about the importance of education, infrastructure and success; I want them to know that it is all going to be okay. Is that hippy of me? No. (and ew, never) I believe that my kids will be far more successful if they do not hear the adults in their lives being a slave to work, time, money, price points and the constant battle to look better on paper than the day before. There will always be more money … there will never be more time.

When your heart catches up.

3383E041-C704-4051-91B8-9278AA01D3DDHave you ever loved someone so hard, so long, so much and then they are gone. They leave naturally. Time takes them. You watch them get weaker. They are in pain. You wish more for them, but they are beyond repair. You get the call that they have passed, you aren’t surprised, you aren’t even sad. It’s an empty feeling, but it makes sense. 

Sometimes it takes years for your heart to catch up with your brain, but it does … and when it does … it only takes one picture. One picture of that person that you loved so long, so hard and so much. You can remember their smell, their voice, the feel of their skin on yours. You remember how they called you “kiddo” even when you were 27 years old. 

You remember how they spoiled you with your favorite juice even though it was nearly impossible for them to get to the store themselves. Then you remember even further back, you weren’t even a baby, not even a toddler, rather, a big kid. They lifted you on to their shoulders and boasted about how you were theirs. You remember how strong they were and how genuinely happy they were to know you and show you off. 

You’ll never forget that kind of love. The kind of love that shaped you into a person that demands to be adored and doted on. The kind of love that taught you what love really is and the way a real man should behave. 

I will never forget when it became hard for you to stand up or even be awake for more than an hour a day. Even when you knew you wouldn’t get better, your eyes would light up when you saw me and you’d muster up a joke and a smile. 

Every once and a while, I want to drive to you and I have to remind myself that you won’t be there. It doesn’t makes sense to my brain or my heart. I still see you as that strong man. The man that could fight a moose, toss a kid over his shoulder, beat anyone in a game of cribbage and make everyone laugh. I miss you everyday and you set an example that I will refer to for my entire life. My only hope is that I can make you as proud of me as I am to have been part of you. 

Tis the season.

It’s that time of year again … out come the long sleeve shirts and jeans, slippers and favorite hoodies. For many kids and many parents, it is the season where people finally give you break. They stop asking what that thing on your kid’s arm is. They stop wondering what is attached to their leg. After all, diabetes is an invisible disease.

This is the time of year I’m most reminded that this disease is everything but invisible. A type one diabetic mom never forgets that their heart and sole is running around with a bomb attached to their little perfect body. I mean that figuratively, while a pump, itself IS a bomb in it’s own right and should always be thought of as such.

This disease is relentless. The days that seem to make the most sense on paper are actually the days when diabetics and diabetic caregivers are the most baffled. Being the mother of a child who is on a treacherous blood sugar battle to the death is like watching an old wooden coaster in New England. You know the one .. it’s the best one at the park, but if you stand at the right angle you can actually see it shift as the car races the tracks. It’s a wooden roller coaster, so it’s okay, right? Yeah, let’s go with that. I guess there is a difference, the people on the coaster knew full well that the coaster seemed sketchy, yet they chose to take a risk, have fun and maybe not die for that five minutes of their life. No child, no parent, NO ONE EVER chose to have type one diabetes, there’s no way to step off that death ride.

In my very specific case, my child will never know a life without this invisible disease. For all intents and purposes it is, just that, to her, invisible. Sure, she sometimes has a tummy ache. When an alarm goes off she knows she can drink a juice box (which she loves!). She gets poked with needles often and understands that she is part robot and that’s just who she is.

This baby has never had to manage her disease alone. One day I will obviously need to teach her. I imagine it will be slowly over time, easy and natural … But here’s what I was thinking … what if I don’t. Crazy, right? More than crazy? Oh for sure!

Right now, I’m the one with diabetes. She has devices on her body, but I’m the one that feels the most emotional and mental pain. I’m the one with the sleepless nights, carb counting, meal prep, bag full of medical supplies and tools. It’s all me. Maybe it is crazy .. but wanting for that to become a burden on her is not something I look forward to. She is a fighter and she’ll be okay. I know this. I would just give ANYTHING to make this disease as invisible to her as this favorite hoodie season makes it look to everyone else.

Officially official.

Ten months of classes. No sleep in Saturdays. No idea what I’m going to wear, last minute, as I gather the kids and rush out the door. A full hour and a half of sitting in a chair waiting for one kid to come out of class as the other goes in. Antisipation for costume reveal. Sock buns. Hair spray. Bobby pins. Sock buns. Sock buns. Tights. More tights. “Where are the tights?” Application of mascra and eyeliner on a squinchy, unwilling little face. Dress rehearsal. Then this day … Recital day! The day they show us what they’re made of … the day they show us what this ten months was all about. Boy did they show me! My son moved !!! (100 times the step up from dress rehearsal) Oh my gawdddd he was so cute, it hurt. A true testament to the fact that a four year old will do anything for bubble gum ice cream. My daughter though … she can dance! Not just follow some direction, look at the older kids and copy. She actually did it! On her own, with pride beaming from her little face. I could actually see her determined mind communicating, confidently, to every muscle in her body. Then the biggest moment of all … when I get to hug my little star and watch the next half of the show with her, just us (and my dad, this year 💜). She is SO happy, so proud, excited and inspired. All I can see is that she’s SO grown up. She’s watching all her friends (I’ve never met a five year old with so many friends!). She’s cheering, clapping, hollering. It’s the official start of summer. Officially! I’ve had this moment with her for three years already and I’ll get to do it again, but not enough. When did my baby get so big? Why won’t time slow down? I’m in awe of this little human. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next, but if we could just slow it down a bit, that would be okay with me. 💓  #tinydancer #officiallysummer #thesemagicmoments