Time To Cry Tuesday – Graduation (the final one)

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A graduation post? Again? Didn’t I just do one of these? I suppose three years could be considered ‘just’ in some circles.

Each time my kids donned a cap and gown, I came here to share the overwhelming emotions attached to watching one’s child ‘grow up’.

There was Jana’s HS graduation; my first experience of letting go. I reread it today and it seemed like both yesterday and 100 years ago. (yes, I cried)

Danny’s HS graduation post brought back the memory of the pending empty nest (which by they way empties and fills again a few times before it is truly vacant). For some reason that was the first of two posts where I had an overwhelming emotional experience in a Starbucks. What the hell is that all about? (Yes, I cried again)

Then there was Jana’s college graduation. I marveled at the woman we had grown as I continue to do every day (yeh, more tears).

So many milestones, so many emotions.

But this time we finally got it right. Instead of all that overwhelming emotion, our graduation trip was a true celebration. We simply had fun! And although I felt very sentimental about leaving Madison after 7 years, I was more excited about my second child starting his life. Danny, in his matter-of-fact, self-assured manner, set the tone. He cut us the slack to be proud but kept the reigns tight on not making it all too big. We have simply had way too much big this past year, and he knew that. With humility and confidence he taught us how to do what he does best… be here now, go with the flow and most of all – enjoy life. (with shades on, of course).

Sure there were mixed emotions, how could one not miss a town with this view that had flyers for a band named Diarrhea Planet and reverse evolution graffiti on the sidewalk. This place is awesome. And my kids are more awesome for having lived there. But all things change. And change is good.

Here is my net of it all:

When your kids first leave for college it feels like an amputation. You think you are losing something you can never get back. You worry about your life changing drastically. Your heart aches as your head is telling you to knock it off and lose the drama. You dread your parental obsolescence.

Here – on the other side – you realize that your kids are not part off you, they enhance you. And you them. You never lose them, for no matter where they live they share their lives with you. Your life will change drastically, and that is a good thing… if you kept going at that custodial parenting pace much longer you would explode. And being someone again, instead of someone’s parent is the natural progression. Let’s face it, you have stuff to do!

Sure your heart will ache from time to time as you watch them struggle and grow, but it is a good ache. It is the physical manifestation of how much you love them. Just like when they were little, they will most certainly fall. The hard part is not trying to fix it for them when they do.

But most of all, parental obsolescence is simply a contradiction in terms. They will always need you, just differently. It’s all good.

Congrats Danny boy, thanks for the best weekend ever. You make us so very proud.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Now go out and be all you can be (and be careful).

 

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Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, education, family, graffiti, moms, music, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

On Perfection

Yes, I am trying to find my way back here regularly. Be patient, I am working on it. And as I was thinking about how I strive to always reach my own expectations of what the perfect me is supposed to be, the following video came up in my Facebook stream.

Today I will bring you one of the best things that came out of starting this blog… meeting Darylle Pollack. Our paths crossed in such crazy ways. First we blogged together at the now defunct 50-something mom blog (where I lied about my age at 49 to get in, how funny is that?). Then on some crazy winter day when my daughter was a freshman at UW, I tweeted something about the weather gods being kind so my daughter could get out of Madison safely. Moments later I received  a tweet back from Darryle that she, too, had a kid there. From then on we became instant friends.

Everyone should have a Darryle in their lives. So today I am sharing her with you. Enjoy.

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Filed under 50-something moms blog, aging, blogging, facebook, friendship

This is 25

25th-birthday

 

For 25 years – close to half my life – this beautiful smile has graced my days. Along with that smile came the drying of the tears, the dreams and the disappointments, the successes and failures that all go along with parenting a daughter.

Somewhere along the way, the lines have shifted ever so slightly. No longer am I the only one to give advise or be the sounding board. Now my daughter’s is one of the first opinions I seek when I am unsure. She holds me up when I think I can no longer bear things. She calms me down when I am going down that path of frustration that we both know is futile. She teaches me back all the things I tried to teach her as she was growing up.

She, and her brother, have become MY rock. Funny how that happens. One day you are trying to reason with a teenager about why wearing stockings or not to a Bar Mitzvah is not a decision that will change her life. You try to explain to her at 1 in the morning that no, she will not fail that test and the grade in this class will not define her forever. Then before you turn around, she is standing there watching you unravel and explaining to you why she knows you will get through it all. That she is there, and she always will be. Or she simply rubs your back when you choke up at the holiday table.

Basically, she grows up. And she does it ever so gracefully. She knows her mind, she keeps her cool and the words, “It’s just so annoying” become less frequent. You never hear the word ‘fine’ and the slam of the door that follows it ever again. Replaced by the frustrations is a calmness and a determination that sees her through and helps her navigate her obstacles. She has followed her passions and created a life of her own design.

She has become the woman you always dreamed she would be. And then some.

Yes, THIS is 25, in all its glory. A quarter of century that seems so very old to her but that you know is just the beginning of a glorious life.

Happy Birthday Jana Banana. I could not be any prouder of who you have become. May your birthday be as special as you are.

I love you more than life itself.

 

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Filed under family, Jana, moms, parenting

South Florida Living

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If you have ever visited one of the many communities in South Florida, this will not surprise you. The level of detail is astounding.

You have to believe that this was not written in the spirit of prevention. I would like to know how many poor people got locked in there before this very detailed set of directions was drafted.

I keep envisioning the condo association from Seinfeld spending the better portion of a month drafting this sucker.

The scary thing about this is that I am surely the most likely person to get locked in there. In fact, this was the third time I had thrown out the garbage and the only reason I noticed the sign was because my dad told me to take my cell phone.

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, family, humor, signage, travel, Uncategorized, vacation

Time to Cry Tuesdays – Grieving is not for Sissies

sod

I know, quite a blog post title to resurface with, but hey, it’s Tuesday. What do you expect?

I like to find the humor in most situations. This grief thing is surely putting a damper on my style, but I work hard at trying to find a way to laugh when I can.

Today I have hit new heights. Amongst the odds and ends of things on my to-do list today, snuggled nicely between ‘call to have the sprinkler system serviced’ and ‘fax e-file forms back to the accountant’ sat this ominous listing:

Call the cemetery to inquire about the sod issue.

Really? The sod issue? Why should there be an issue about sod when we are talking about a grave. Should grass not be a given? Shouldn’t our lowest expectation of a cemetery be that they would lay some sod on a final resting place (Yes, I realize this sounds like a cemetery marketing piece) Apparently not, because they told my Dad that they only lay sod in the fall. So, I decided to call them myself and get to the bottom of this.

First call yielded a recording:

We are experiencing unusually high call volume at this time. Please try again later. (seriously!!!! People dying to get in today… ba dum bum)

Second try:

Me: I am calling about having sod put down on a grave for an unveiling* in June.

Her: I am sorry, we only lay sod in the fall. If we lay it in the spring and we have a hot day, it burns. And we care for it if we put it down.

Me: Were we told that last spring at the funeral (as if we would remember). Or did you send us a notice, like ‘hey, if you don’t want a dirt grave for your loved one you need to order sod in the fall’

Her: No, we don’t.

Me: Hmmm, you might want to consider putting that in your packet. Can we put down our own sod?

Her: Yes, but you will have to take care of it.

Me: Do you have a sprinkler system (yes, after I said that I realized it is probably unlikely and frowned upon to start digging in a cemetery, but I had a momentary loss of rational thought from this conversation)

Her: We do not. Your other option is that you can wait till the fall and we can rent you a grass matt for the unveiling for $10 a square…

with this I sort of lost my mind and said:

Me: Are you kidding me?! More fees! This is like a Larry David.

Her: Who is Larry David?

Me: OMG… Seinfeld? The Larry David Show? Ring a bell?

Her: Oh, never heard of him. Never watched it.

Me: That’s too bad. Ok, so basically you are telling me that my father, who is in his mid 80s, will have to lay sod himself on his wife’s grave so we don’t have to look at the same raw dirt that was there the day of the funeral. And if we want said sod to stay alive, we should drive there a couple of times a week from Long Island to New Jersey to water it. And this you do not find both horrifying and hysterical at the same time.

Her: Well, when you put it that way…

Me:  You should REALLY see if you can find re-runs of Larry David.

Yeh, grieving is not for sissies, indeed.

*Unveiling: Within the first year after the passing of a loved one, mourners and their family gather at the gravesite for a ceremony called the Unveiling, the placing of the tombstone. At this event, a grave marker is put into place and the monument is formally dedicated.

Source: shiva.com. (who knew there was such a url?)

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Filed under humor, loss, religion, Time to Cry Tuesdays, Uncategorized

Breast Cancer Calling

breast-cancer

I was on the phone with a colleague today and my call waiting clicked on. Our conversation:

She: Do you have to get that?

Me: Nope, it’s breast cancer calling.

She: Never a good idea to answer breast cancer when it calls.

Me: Yup.

It got me thinking, whose idea was it to have that come up on caller ID? Was this specifically requested because they believed you might pick it up and donate? Do they even know that caller ID is coming up this way? Should I call them back and let them know? And if I do, will I be obligated to make a donation, no matter what the organization is?

Ok, maybe it is a little noisy in my head.

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The Funeral Director and the 3D Printing Biz

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This headline is just too good to be true, right?

A Yorktown, NY funeral director has decided to venture down the path of a new revenue stream. He has started a business called Mini 3D ME, creating 3-D figures of people. These are incredible. The detail is really astounding. I would imagine he is going to take the business far. The possibilities are endless… wedding cake topper, trophies, grandparent gifts, sports licensing, celebrities, corporate applications. The franchise opps will be incredible.

Ok, lovefest aside, this guy is a funeral director. Anyone see the humor in this?

“You are creating mini-identical replicas of people,” he states. Anyone who has had the misfortune of sitting at that awful conference table at a funeral parlor with warped family members and an uncontrollable  sense of dark nervous humor can see how the addition of one more friggin’ option like this might just be the last straw. Being one that gets the giggles at inappropriate times, the idea of the funeral director pulling out grandma and grandpa under glass, immortalized in resin to, as he put it, ‘freeze time and create lifelong memories’… well you can see what I mean.

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Actually, I think it’s brilliant. I wish him well. And truthfully, sort of interested in opening a store myself. Again, another business that is in dire need of a good graphic designer. Perhaps I should start soliciting these people for work.

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Filed under absurdities, products