Category Archives: Life

On Single Parenting

Seriously though… I was a young mom and became a young single mom pretty freaking quick… Now I’m a young grandma and an empty nester. My life is full and wonderful.
Maybe I had my kids young and maybe you wouldn’t have done things the way I did, and that’s ok, but I’d never look at an older parent and say, “you’re too old to have kids at your age”… the way people seem to feel like they have the right to say to young parents.
I didn’t do things the way you did. My path was mine to travel, as is yours. Rather than shame young parents, why not be supportive? Who the hell are you to judge when it is the right time for me or anyone to do things in my/their life? You do not have that right. It took me so much longer to accomplish certain things in my life, not so much because I had a family to consider, but more so because I had countless people looking down at me, being judgmental and telling me everything that was wrong in my decision to be a young mom.
Start becoming part of a supporting and loving society instead of passing judgement. If all you do is judge, you’re worse than the young parent that chose to be responsible for their actions.

Blackbird – Noni

as i dive in without my wings
at the speed of light i’m flying to my end
as i fall without my wings
how i’m the last song the blackbird will sing
i’m free at last, free from you,
free from the past
freedom at last
what is life, other than a cage to me
i’m free at last, free from you
free from the past
freedom at last
what is life, other than a cage to me
blackbird,
oh, blackbird
blackbird
oh, blackbird

now i rise as the phoenix escapes from me
through the fire, through the flames
leaving ashes underneath

i’m free at last, free from you
free from the past
freedom at last
what is life, other than a cage to me
i’m free at last, free from you
free from the past
freedom at last
what is life, other than a cage to me

blackbird
oh blackbird
blackbird
sing one last song for me
yeah blackbird
oh black bird
sing one last song for me

 

Cigarette Daydreams – Cage The Elephant

 

Did you stand there all alone?
Oh I cannot explain what’s going down
I can see you standing next to me
In and out, somewhere else right now
You sigh, look away
I can see it clear as day
Close your eyes, so afraid
Hide behind that baby face

Do do do do do do

You can drive all night
Looking for the answers in the pouring rain
You wanna find peace of mind
Looking for the answer

Funny how it seems like yesterday
As I recall you were looking out of place
Gathered up your things and slipped away
No time at all I followed you into the hall
Cigarette daydream
You were only seventeen
Soft speak with a mean streak
Nearly brought me to my knees

Do do do do do do

You can drive all night
Looking for the answers in the pouring rain
You wanna find peace of mind
Looking for the answer

If we could find a reason, a reason to change
Looking for the answer
If you could find a reason, a reason to stay
Standing in the pouring rain

Do do do do do do…

You can drive all night
Looking for the answers in the pouring rain
You wanna find peace of mind
Looking for the answer

If we could find a reason, a reason to change
Looking for the answer
If you could find a reason, a reason to stay
Standing in the pouring rain

It’s Time We Hold Rapists Accountable For Their Crimes

Let me start off by saying that listening to this video was difficult for me. It brought back some very nauseating memories. I believe it is so important to discuss how rape is viewed and handled because it needs to change.

In 2006 I was living in Las Vegas and I had had enough. I desperately needed a change and while talking to an old friend of mine, decided to move to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I remember packing up my locker at work and telling my girlfriends that I was off to meet my future husband. In August, I jumped on a plane and actualized those words and off I went on my new adventure.

2005 and 2006 had been very difficult and challenging years and I had dreams of starting fresh, somewhere new. I could be anyone and do anything. I felt alive and hopeful for the first time in a long time. When I arrived to this little military town, I stayed with one of my lifelong friends and his family. I got a job right away at Marina and was off slinging drinks and waiting on tables before you could blink an eye.

While working at the Marina, I met a young Marine who kept flirting with me. Although I was friendly, I was very clear when I told him that I wasn’t interested in dating him. I told him that we could be friends, but quite frankly, he was too young for me.

One night the young Marine came into the Marina, had a couple beers and offered to give me a ride home because it was late and I didn’t have a car at the time. I accepted the ride. Unfortunately for him, he got pulled over, the cop smelled the beer on him and arrested him. He asked me to take his car home so it wouldn’t get towed, so I did.

The next day, he was out of jail and I was out with a girlfriend. (I made friends pretty fast out there). I told him he could meet us to pick up his keys. I told my girlfriend that he was so persistent on flirting with me and to please be sure not to leave without me, as I would have no way home. The last thing I remember after he arrived was that my girlfriend was going to the bathroom. After that, I only have bits and pieces of memory. I will never know for sure if I drank too much or if my drink had been spiked. I believe it was the latter. I have a flash of memory where he walked me to his friends car and put me in the back seat. I remember asking him where my girlfriend was and asking why was he putting me in the car. He told me she left me and he was going to take me home. I was too weak to move. My body went limp. I had a flash of memory where he was covering me with a blanket, like he was tucking me in, in a room I had never been to before.

When I woke up in the morning, I was completely confused. My bra and panties were not on me. He was getting dressed in front of me and I couldn’t understand why. I asked him what happened. He told me that I passed out in the back of the car during the short drive to the barracks. He said he tried to wake me for 15 minutes before he picked me up and carried me up the stairs and put me in the bed. He casually told me how we had sex and how I “wanted it”. Yes, you heard that correctly. I “wanted it”. He then offered to take me home.

Even though none of this made any sense, I still didn’t realize that I had been raped. It wasn’t until later that evening, when I was explaining what happened to my friend’s wife, that things started to click. This guy was dead sober. I blacked out shortly after he arrived. He tricked me into thinking that my friend left me and he was going to take me home. How could I possibly “want it” when I was not even remotely attracted to this guy and more importantly, I was UNCONSCIOUS???

I stayed in that town for two and a half months longer because I wasn’t going to let this defeat me. I wasn’t going to let him get the best of me. No fucking way. I’m a strong woman and I would deal with this. But the truth was, I wasn’t strong enough to deal with the PTSD that came afterwards. For two and a half months this little shit roamed the streets free. To add salt to the wound, he had a twin brother that had joined the Corps with him. So if I wasn’t running into him, I’d run into his twin. I started getting panic attacks, hyperventilating. Then finally one night, I lost my mind and had a really bad exorcist-style incident and decided that I needed to get the hell out of there.

I did press charges against my rapist. His punishment? An uncharacterized discharge from the Marine Corps. All that time I spent questioning myself. Did drink too much? Did I “want it” as he said? I was going crazy inside and the crazy was coming to the surface.  All he got was a fucking uncharacterized discharge? Are you fucking kidding me? It is 10 years later and I remember his name. I remember his face. I remember how I felt when I realized how he violated me. I remember sitting in the hospital being having a rape kit done on me… all those people and the questions and the tests. I remember going to court by myself to face him. I remember the panic attacks. I remember the shame. I remember wanting to crawl out of my skin. I remember knowing that he was going to probably walk a free man and I would just have to come to terms with that. I remember the feeling of loss and defeat when they let him walk out of that courtroom a free man. One of the worst things I remember is telling my family, my friends, and my children what happened and feeling their hearts break.

Every time I hear of a story like this Stanford case, I remember you Daniel. I hope you remember me too. I hope when you think of me, you think twice before putting your hands on an unconscious woman or a conscious one for that matter. I hope when you hear these stories of guys “having sex” with unconscious women, you realize that is not having sex. It is not consensual. She doesn’t “want it”. It is R-A-P-E.

 

We need to change how our society views rape. We need to stop victimizing the victims. We need to hold those committing RAPE accountable for their crimes. It is not easy for me to listen to this Stanford woman’s letter. It is not easy for me to write this post, but I know that we can’t hide in the shadows ashamed for what was done to us, allowing the blame to be put on us for something someone else did. To the Daniels and the Brocks of the world, YOU are to blame. You chose to violate another human being. You are not the victims. You are the criminals. I hope that society starts viewing you as such rather than making excuses for your loathsome choices. It is not a mistake when you rape another human being. It is a crime. Enough is enough.

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect Mom

When I had my kids, there were plenty of those “perfect” moms that had perfect keepsake books and perfect homes. Those moms who remember every detail of every thing that has happened throughout their pregnancies to births to the present. Not me. I still have to check the birth certificates to remember the time of births. I have never been one of those moms.

Adrian relaxing in a tree

Relaxing in a tree

I didn’t buy my kids video games. I let them play outside without hovering over them. There were many years that I couldn’t afford to enroll them in sports or dance or art classes, but I made sure that we got lots of play time.

Swimming with sting rays

Swimming with sting rays

My kids learned to ride bikes, skateboard, climb, swim, surf, draw – even if it was sometimes on the furniture or the wall. My kids learned to be creative. They learned to be independent, bold, adventurous, and experimental. I encouraged them to try new things.

Adrian surfing in Flordia

Nice day to surf

Although I may not have been a “perfect” mom with a perfect memory of all of my children’s milestones and my perfect memory books, we do have this… countless memories of laughing and getting down on the ground, playing with my kids. We have road trips and adventures that we shared while checking off bucket list items. We have memories of laughing and hugging and lots of I love you’s.

milana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was not the perfect mom and I do not have perfect kids and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Downtown Nashville Tennessee

Inspired by the article What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside) by Jen Hatmaker.

 

 

Adios 2015, Hello 2016

So instead of posting “resolutions” and other such nonsense, here’s my new year reflections…
– I am the strongest freaking person I know. There is absolutely nothing that will come my way and defeat me – at least not permanently.
– I have monumental goals. I don’t know how I’m going to achieve them or how long it will take, but take my word that I will achieve every single last one of them. Also, I don’t need to share them with the world to make others make me accountable. I am accountable to myself. End of story.
– My priorities might shift depending on various factors. I’m ok with that.
– For the first time in my life, I can make this year all about me. I am a giver so this is no easy task. However, after 40 years of thinking of others, giving to others, taking care of others, it is long overdue that I take care of me. So this year, that is exactly what I intend to do. I will still give, but only after I take care of my needs and wants first. I have worked hard and deserve that.
– I’ve let myself get totally out of shape. Thankfully, either I have good genes or I’m eating fairly well, my worst isn’t the worst. However, this shit stops here. I’m not committing to a gym membership or cross fit five days a week. Not trying to compete in a spartan race or a marathon. Pffft. I’m a go with the flow chick. So I promise myself that I will participate in activities that are physically active, whether by myself or in a group, that make me happy, and I can enjoy life just a little bit more… Oh and so my body doesn’t sound like bubble wrap when I move.
– I expected 2015 to be awesome and it was. It also had some super hard and trying times. 2016 will be more awesome than last year. 2016 is all about doing life on my own terms. I’m 40 years old for crying out loud. It’s time I live for myself for a change.

You Threw It All Away

She gave you all she had

You threw it all away

She wanted to be there for you

You made her a punching bag instead

She showed you love and kindness

You showed her how to walk away

She wanted you heart

She wanted your time

You showed her to be selfish

You showed her to be gone

Dear RJ

Eight years ago today, I was in Loxahatchee, Florida. I was staying at my friend Jeannette’s “spare” house. She bought it to renovate and flip. My father, brother, cousin, and a family friend came over and were barbecuing the day before. They spent the night and Jeannette and I went Spanish dancing. You were in North Carolina. As usual, we spoke many times that day. Right before we went out, you called to ask if I would mind if you went to a party. I said, no, I don’t mind. I told you to be careful and that I loved you. I wished so many times I would have told you, “No, don’t go to that party”.

The next morning, my phone rang. It was your dad. Immediately, my heart sank. As I answered the phone, I ran outside to try and get better reception. I already “knew” what he was going to say. In my mind, I begged and pleaded to God, “please let him be in the hospital. Please let him be in jail”. I could live with that. Instead, I fell to my knees as your dad told me that you had passed away. My heart broke into so many pieces that I never imagined it would ever be whole again. My happy, fun, carefree spirit instantly left my body. I was a shell.

When you walked into my life, it was like breathing for the first time. As if all my life I was gasping for air and you were my oxygen. You showed me unconditional love and kindness. Your heart was so pure. You were so full of life. You were the other half of my soul. There are so many things that I am grateful to you for. You stood by my side no matter what was thrown at us. You held me and kept me safe in any and every way you could. You taught me so much about life and love. I loved you wholeheartedly. I will always love you.

Over the years, days have come and gone. I remember November 1st, the day we met. November 3rd, the day you asked me to be exclusive. November 16th, your birthday. December 16th, the day you proposed. Many days in between here and there… and April 1st, the day you died. We didn’t get to spend our lives together, but I did get to spend the rest of your life with you. We didn’t have years of marriage and memories, but we had a beautifully tragic love story. Regardless of how many times people would tell me that I would “get over” you and find someone new, there was nothing to get over. What we had was real and it was beautiful. I will always remember the moment I laid eyes on you when you walked through the doors of the Marina Cafe. I will always remember the first time that you told me that you loved me. I will always remember when you walked me to the beach and got down on one knee to ask me to spend our lives together. I will always remember you and your beautiful sunflower eyes, green with gold specs, that glimmered every time I looked into them.

This year, I have been more anxious than I have been for a while, as this dreaded April Fool’s Day approaches. You see, I am in love with someone new. He is completely different. Where you were the male version of me, he is my counterpart. He challenges me. He keeps me grounded at times when I could just drift away, being the free spirit that I am. He is the one and only person that I have been able to see a future with since you. I don’t know how things will turn out, but I know this… Right now, in this moment, he shows me love and he makes me happy. So why have I been anxious? Because I don’t know how to honor you while honoring him. It’s something you rarely hear anyone talk about, if ever. There is no manual or rule book for that. There are many books written about dealing with loss and grief and all of that, but there is nothing, that I know of, that tells you how to deal with loving someone new after you’ve lost the love of your life.

After you died, I watched a ton of movies. Many about death and loss and heartbreak. There was one movie I saw that had a quote I will always remember. The movie was Things We Lost In the Fire, with Halle Berry. The quote was, “I have a new life, so I have a new love of my life”. Back then it didn’t make much sense to me. I mean, you’re supposed to have one love of your life, right? That’s why it’s so special. It makes sense to me now. My life, while you were in it, is a lifetime ago. I have grown and changed and I have a brand new life. If you were alive, then you would be in it, but you’re not. If you were, I wouldn’t have him and I really do love him so much. I can’t imagine my life without him. I feel fortunate and torn. I don’t know how things will evolve with him, but I am hopeful. I don’t think God put him in my life by accident. He is a really good man. He drives me crazy sometimes… a lot, but he makes me smile. I feel safe in his arms. He brings out the best.. and sometimes the worst… of me, in the best ways. If that makes any kind of sense.

RJ, I want to thank you so incredibly much for loving me and for allowing me to love you till death do us part. You were such a blessing in my life. I know you kept me protected over the years. I want you to know that I am in good hands again. I am strong and I can and I have made it through so much, but I can walk on my own now. If I should fall, I will fall into his strong and loving arms. I am safe. I am protected. I trust him.  You can rest in peace my darling. I will always love you.