Happy Father’s Day, Pops!

Today is Father’s Day! A day to celebrate the wonderful men in our lives who have helped us in our journeys. I am blessed with my Love. He is a wonderful father and step-father. He loves my kids as if they were his own. The kids are with their dad who loves them very much.

Even with these gifts from God, this day is a tough one for me. Dad passed away in January and it’s the first one without him. All the grief

has come flooding back to me as I see all the sweet tributes to the fathers in my friend’s lives.

Honestly even with my blessings, I am jealous and sad. I wish that my Dad was here. I miss his voice and mischievous smile. I miss talking about mundane things such as the weather and what’s blooming currently. I miss fussing at him about quitting smoking and eating healthier food. I miss digging in the dirt with him. I miss the reminders to call him when we get home after a trip to see him.

I remember fun times and the silliness. Every so often, the look on my son’s face is purely his grandfather. When my daughter and I plant flowers in the yard, I am reminded of him. These small glimpses of Dad tug on my heart strings.

Pops, I hope that you have a wonderful 1st Father’s Day in Heaven.

I love you always and forever!

Kind Words

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
– Mother Teresa

In the Lenten season, I give up social media and focus on helping others and contact with friends and family. Why you ask? Too many times in my day to day, I will go on Facebook, Instagram,etc to find out how friends are doing. I see the highlight reel and think of them fondly as I click like. But is their life really what I am seeing?

Picking up the phone or sending a quick message may have a large impact on someone who is struggling. It has on me in the past. During the worst days of my divorce, a group of amazing women supported me. They were my strength and a blessing from God. I felt abandoned, betrayed and unloved. I received messages daily, sometimes a quick call or a text from my chosen ones. These love notes meant the world to me and led me out of the darkness and helped relieve some of the pain I felt. They reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

So please, please, please take the time to send a quick text, a call or drop a card in the mail to a friend that you haven’t seen or spoken to recently. You may be the light in a dark day and give them the support that they need to continue on, a reminder that they aren’t alone. It takes so little to do but can have major impact on someone who is in crisis. I hope that my love notes help others as much as they did me.

Blessed by God’s love. ❤️

#kindwordsarelifesavers #blessedbymychosenones

I am…

Fill in my strengths. As part of the healing process, I am supposed to be practicing self-love through affirmations but my mind goes blank.

I can describe the strengths I see in my Love, our children, and my chosen ones without pausing for breath. But when it comes to describing myself, my mind goes blank or on my bad days goes to my many (some days never ending) flaws.

When I have shared this sentiment with my chosen ones, they tell me wonderful things about myself and I feel their love for me. Why can’t I see this for myself? Have I truly been conditioned to not see myself as being valuable and worthy of love? As one of God’s children, why this is hard for me to do for myself?

At some point in life, I believe that I forgot how to shower myself with love. I have been busy with taking care of children, being a wife, learning to stand alone, being a child to aging parents, being an employee and handling all that life has thrown at me. So busy with others and life, that I believe that I simply forgot how to express love for me.

As I am grieving the loss of my father and blending two families together, I am searching to find the right affirmations that will help me heal and find the right path for our tribe.

We are often told, it’s none of your business what others think of you. This isn’t necessarily true. In dark times, we need to hear from the angels (our chosen ones) that God has put in our lives.

I asked my chosen ones from different parts of my life for one postive thing about me with no further explanation. (Apparently I only have 2 friends who follows directions but I know it is all out of love for me.) Some of their responses…

From AP,

“Lady, you are tenacious. You go after what you want with all your heart, and you protect those you love with all your strength.”

From AA,

“You are a great listener.
You protect those around you.
You are honest.
You are trusting.
You are strong. ”

From TG,

” No matter how old or professional you are….you have the heart of a goofball! You may not instigate it, but if the opportunity arises…..😊

So not a bad thing! It is heartwarming and endearing.I hope life never takes that from you. At your core, it shows a resilience.”

From CH,

“you’re VERY caring about people. You’re giving of…you, your time, your home ”

From DW,

Good friend

From SH,

“You are organized you are thoughtful you are a good mother. You are good with finances. You are a good friend. You are a Christian You are a good daughter. You are smart. You are a good tennis player. You are fun to be with. You can be witchy when necessary. You open your heart to others. You are a good social chairman you are a good driver. You can be spontaneous .”

From EV,

“1. You make an effort to keep in touch with people
2. You throw a hell of a birthday party
3. You have amazing children
4. You have a fabulous gift of hospitality/- your door is always open
5. You are a good cook”

From SW,

“You care very very deeply for those that you love!

You are kind

You are smart

You are a ton of fun and you make me laugh

You work hard

You are open to tying new things and are adventurous

You don’t gossip”

From MT,

“You are such a wonderful woman with a kind heart. I don’t know what I would have done without you when I was going through all my crap. You are so thoughtful and put everyone else first. Also one of the smartest tech savy peep I know.”

These messages mean the world to me in my time of need. They affirm that I am living up to God’s plan. I am using the blessings that He has bestowed on me even though I was not seeing it. Although I am human and so very flawed, I am making a difference to others. I am grateful for and humbled by what my chosen ones have shared with me. Their messages made me smile with love for them, laugh at inside stories and shed an occasional tear at their sweetness for noticing little things that I consider part of daily life. This reminded me why they are my chosen ones.

Most of all, I am reminded that I am loved even with my flaws! Now it is time to pray that I see me as they clearly as they do.

A letter to Popsy.

So today is the day that I’ve been dreading. It’s your Memorial, Dad. It means that your death is real and that you are gone. I was there when you passed last month but I’ve been denying it. How can you be gone when we all love you and need you?

So many times I have picked up the phone to call you and tell you about the kids, the weather and that my paperwhites are blooming. I can hear myself saying to you “I know it’s February and they are outside in North GA but they are blooming. Crazy, isn’t it?” Each time I realize that I can’t speak to you, my heart breaks again.

Soon after your death, my BF, Susan, told me that my VM was full. I was listening to the messages and your voice was still there from our wedding last summer. You were asking if we were home yet. “Make sure you call us when you get home, Honey. We love y’all.” My heart broke again and I couldn’t stop the tears. On my worst days, I listen to your voice, wishing you were still here with us.

I often think of you as I am looking at our wedding pictures from last summer. Lord knows that we upset some family and friends since it was just immediate family and a couple of our closest friends. If we had made them happy by waiting and had a larger wedding, you wouldn’t have been there. I am so thankful that you were there for our special day. It wouldn’t have been as joyful without you.

I thought that I was going to be okay on this trip. After all it’s been over a month since you passed. As we got closer and closer last night, my slowly healing heart started breaking again. I cried from Birmingham, AL until Tupelo, MS. Maybe just maybe, I got all the grief and pain I’ve felt out last night then maybe just maybe today will be easier. Not very hopeful though, since the hard knot of grief around my heart doesn’t seem to be loosening. Praying hard to feel joy since I know that you are with Nanny, Pops and all our family in heaven.

You weren’t always the Dad that I wanted. But you are mine and who God decided that I needed. There have been so many times when I was so angry with you and hurt by your choices. At some point, I realized that you asked for forgiveness and showed love through simple things like sharing plants and gardening knowledge with me. It was time to let the hurt go and accept what you had to give. I am so thankful that God blessed me with the gift of forgiveness and a second chance with you. You are so important to me.

I’m avoiding the grief books a friend lent me. If I read them, then you are really gone.

I couldn’t share your obituary because then I would have to acknowledge that you are gone.

When you passed, I wanted to feel relief for you. You were free from the horrible pain that you had been in for years. I couldn’t though. I was screaming inside. “Don’t you know how much we need you? Gram-Gram loves you and needs her husband! We love you and need our Dad! Aunt N and Uncle P love you and want their brother! The kids love and need you! You won’t see them grow up. Who’s going to count their ribs and make funny faces with them. Who will teach them about our love for gardening, Dad? I don’t want to do this without you. You can’t leave us!”

You had passed and were lying there tilted to the side in the bed at hospice house. I wanted to make sure you were comfortable and make sure you were warm enough even knowing that your spirit was no longer with us. I hated walking out with Gram-Gram and Sissy thus leaving you alone. I felt like we had abandoned you. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.

I was so angry with myself. This had been coming for so long, I was supposed to be prepared for it. I was supposed to be thankful for God relieving you of your pain. I wasn’t. I was shattered and felt bereft without you here. My Dad was gone.

I drove Gram-Gram and Sissy home after you passed. I’m thankful that the Lord’s angels kept us safe from harm because I don’t remember a single thing from that 1:30 am drive. Not a damn thing.

We are keeping our promise to you and being here for Gram-Gram. We love her so much. I swear it’s not a burden at all. Hopefully we aren’t making her too crazy. I’ll admit it, I’ve been needy. Sometimes just hearing her voice brings you close.

We brought all sorts of pictures of you from the past. I feel guilty about not doing it prior so you could have told her your stories. I know that Uncle P and Aunt N will help tell your stories. Gram-Gram will enjoy hearing about the crazy things that you got into and seeing the scrap books full of your young life.

You would enjoy the party later today. Solemn funeral services are so not your thing. I’m sure that you will be looking down on us loving seeing that you brought your family together. I promise that I will try to be happy later today but I’m struggling right now. I’ve cried a box a Kleenex while I’ve written this letter to you.

I miss you today, tomorrow and forever, Popsy. I will miss having you around for our adventures and seeing all the kids grow up. But you will be with us always and I’ll love you forever.

Rest in Peace.

Daniel Bradley Perkins III

February 19, 1943 – January 3, 2019

New Adventures

I started out my adult life with a plan. It was perfect in every way. I had graduated college and was head over heels in love for the first time. He was still in college but as soon as he was done we would get married and live happily ever after. Well… we did marry after he graduated but sadly, happily ever after didn’t happen for us.

This isn’t a blog about what went wrong and trust me, there was plenty on both sides. This is about being blessed by 2nd chances and life’s new adventures. There are good days and downright horrendous, am I ever going to recover from these days? The answer is yes, you will. God is great and has your back!

A little about our life… I met a wonderful man about 2 years ago and am blessed by my 2nd chance.  I made him chase me around a bit, quite a bit as a matter of fact. I love his patience and persistence. I was gun shy from round 1, if you know what I mean.  He says that he knew that I was the one for him from the get-go. My sometimes cynical self needed some more time to figure it out.  He makes me smile and laugh every day and thinks that my flawed self is beautiful, no matter what.  He adds to my hard won happy and I to his. 

Fast forward to July 2108, we married barefoot on the beach with just our immediate family.  Now my tribe has expanded from 2 teenagers plus Nana to my Love, 7 kids combined, a daughter-in-law, a grandson and of course a Nana.  No, everyone doesn’t live with us.  We have primary custody for 2 boys, Big Guy and Raiden and 1 girl, Birdie- all teenagers plus live with a mostly patient Nana (God bless her, this isn’t what she signed up for!).  Boo girl also a teenager lives primarily with her Mom.  The remainder of the tribe come visit from time to time. Thankful that God had given our hearts infinite capacity for love and patience!!!  Blended familes are wonderful, sometimes trying but always an adventure.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I had such high hopes. It was my first married one with my Love. Again me with a plan, I really need to learn that God has a plan and I need to let go. (So you should know that I’ve always been a planner and a people pleaser. I want things to be perfect so everyone enjoys themselves. When truly most people really are happy to get together and just be. But I digress…)

The day starts out with beautiful flowers and the sweetest card. He melts my heart daily.  There is never doubt of his love for me and not just on special days.

Then ex-spouse drama starts for the day. Praying for peace and them to let go of the small stuff. Does it really matter? I have to remind myself of this.  It’s so easy to get sucked into the negativity.  Will it really matter in 5 years? Throughout the day, escalation of drama. Only thing I can do is support my husband and pray, lots of praying.  Leave work early to go to my Big Guy’s high school tennis match with a neighbor and her boy. Make sure Nana has my Birdie and my Love’s boy covered. My Love is trying to work as the crazy keeps climbing. He goes to pick up Boo girl and gets into a car accident. Thankfully he’s okay. God was watching out for him. The vehicle is a bit dinged up and he’s two hours late to pick her up. The former spouse was already causing problems but by this time police intervention is required to get Boo girl. (This is a first. Praying for cool heads on all parties.) Finally he arrives at home with her and she’s mad, not speaking, doesn’t want to be here. My Love is distraught.

Long story short, his former made promises of fun weekend to a moody, hormonal 13 year old struggling teenage girl without talking to him and he said no, since we have family plans out of town (my Dad’s Memorial service).  He’s the bad guy for her not following the parenting plan that she committed to. She isn’t supposed to make plans on his weekend without asking him for permission first but it doesn’t always work this way.

Trying to end the day on a positive note for all, we gave treats and had ice cream.  Boo girl declined. My heart is broken for her since she is being used as a pawn by her Mom (that’s all I will say on this topic, feel free to read between the lines).  

Reminded me that the adventure isn’t always easy. I don’t know what God’s plan is for us but there is a lesson to be learned. Celebrate love every day especially on the hard days. And pray, pray hard.