Saturday, October 20, 2012
my mom has not spoken to her siblings in over 10 years. So I lost touch with my aunt and uncle, but thought about them all the time.
some of the history:
My aunt had 5 kids. When my parents divorced, we moved in with them for a year. Mom was working full time and going to school full time and she needed to be somewhere that she didn't have to worry about sis and me. So we moved in to a 2 bedroom, 1 bath single-wide trailer in Albany, GA. That's extreme south GA. An absolute hell hole in the summer!
My 5 cousins, sis and I all slept in one bedroom, my aunt and uncle had the other bedroom, and mom slept on the sofa. Part of that time my uncle (Jerry) was on one of his 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam. Very stressful times for my aunt. But she took care of us as if we were her kids.
Sis and I often refer to this as "the worst year of our lives." Part of that is because we didn't see mom very often with her eyes open. She was busting her butt to make it possible for her to be a single parent. She worked as many hours as she could as a waitress (mom never graduated high school; she had 2 kids by the time she was 21). And mom was going to cosmetology school during the day. She wanted to get her license as soon as possible, so she was taking as many required courses as she could handle.
Our dad still made sure he saw us every other weekend. Sis and I would cry all the way back to Albany (from metro Atlanta) and beg dad not to make us go back. I have apologized to him many times for that! None of it was his fault. It was just a family, doing the best they could under the circumstances.
Mom's brother (Jim) was a fun uncle. He did things like pull us around in the snow (yes, it does snow in GA sometimes!) in an old sink that we found at the dump that bordered our apartment complex property. He'd take us to Braves games. He built us a really cool tree house. He made us an awesome swing out of a rope and a piece of an old mop handle.
My aunt's only son was a police officer. Around Thanksgiving of 1988 he was killed in the line of duty, saving an informant in an undercover drug sting. It was heart breaking to see my 4 cousins without their brother. And hearing my uncle talking to his mom on the phone (she was an invalid and unable to attend the funeral). I heard him say, "I buried my son today Mom" and he started crying. Hearing a man cry is tough. Hearing a Marine cry is even tougher.
My aunt never got over that loss. She and my uncle were forever changed. Parents just aren't expected to face outliving their children. They did continue living. Taking many RV trips with their kids and grandkids. But it was like a piece of them was missing.
wasn't he a doll? RIP, 'little' Jerry. Every year when I run the Fuzz Run, I pin this picture on my shirt and run in memory of my cousin.
Every Thanksgiving I would think about my aunt and uncle. I had a very old address for them, so I took a chance and mailed them a card. My uncle called and told me that my aunt was very sick and had been an nursing home for a while. When she got sick, her brother moved out to help care for her. So I also found mom's bother!!! I didn't get to see my aunt before she died (she passed away Dec of last year), but I vowed to NEVER lose touch with my uncles again.
mom & her sis were never really that close. They always had their differences. I don't even know why mom stopped speaking to her. When I told mom that her sis was sick, she didn't even call her. When I told mom that her sis had died, she just said that she felt bad for her husband and the girls.
I do know why mom quit speaking to her brother. They were always very close. Mom stopped calling him because "I'm always the one who calls. He never calls me first." What a STUPID reason to break ties with your ONLY BROTHER!!!
I love my mom, but that is just D U M B.
so sis and I drove to Lousiana to spend a week with our uncles. It was great! I cannot tell you how awesome it was to hug my uncles. They are both amazing men. One a retired career Marine (Jerry). Mom's brother (Jim) was also a Marine for a few years. Then he worked in the medical instruments field. He set up and repaired hi tech diagnostic equipment. Now he's retired and they fish or camp or do whatever they want to do.
We also got to see 3 of our cousins. One is in Texas now, so we didn't see her. We had dinner with our uncles and all 3 cousins every night. It was wonderful!
If mom finds out we were out there, she will be furious. I would love to share this story with my church, but I cannot because mom would be so mad.
hey, mom...your sis is gone. You really don't need to be mad at her any more. And who cares about who initiates the call? If I want to see or talk to my brothers, I know that it's up to me. They won't call me. They just don't think about it. Most guys probably don't!
if you have anybody in your family that you are holding a grudge with, please consider putting it behind you. It's really the best thing you can do for yourself. My aunt lived her life and did not fume over whatever happened with my mom. My uncle is living a very full life. He misses my mom, but she's made up her mind to be mad.
and it's mom who is bitter and angry over the past. As Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I read another blog yesterday and it really hit home. Here is the link (hope she doesn't mind...I didn't ask permission)
this is pretty much how I have felt...SINCE MAY!
I tried 'fake it til you make it'. Didn't work. I tried doing some different exercises; more walking than running; different classes; new music. Nothing. I did okay on eating for the most part, but I struggled just to get in 90 minutes a week of exercise (usually I get at least 60 minutes A DAY!)
My weight didn't fluctuate too much, but I just felt flabby from lack of exercise. I forced myself to go to spin on Monday night this week. I really like the instructor, so that helps get me there. I'm starting to feel a little bit more like my 'normal' self. YAY! I've done Pilates 3 mornings in a row. Hopefully, I'm back on track.
My new goal is to reach my goal weight by year end. I've been less than 10 lbs away for WAY too long. I know those last lbs are harder to lose, but sticking with the plan got me where I am: over 35 lbs lighter and able to wear my goal size (usually).
If you read any of my other blogs, there is GREAT news for Aimee and Elena.
Aimee is home. She WALKED onto the set of the Katie Couric show. Aimee is not taking any meds at all. She is still dealing with phantom pain from the missing limbs, but she meditates to get thru it. She is doing as much as she can without prosthetics, which I think is amazing and very wise because she will know her new body and what she can still do in spite of everything. And the fact that her dad, Andy, is a Gamecock made the Dawgs massacre a bit bearable. Geez. What a game!
As far as Elena: She left the hospital for Ronald McDonald house for a bit. It wasn't as good as going home, but she finally got to see her sis (Olivia is too young to be allowed to visit the hospital ward where Elena was recovering). And now Elena is home! For the first time since July 15th Elena can sleep in her own bed. She is still recovering, and her immune system is still compromised. You can read more and see pictures here:
What else...sis and I drove to Louisiana to visit family we'd lost touch with. Hadn't seen them in close to 10 years and it was a wonderful visit.
and in less than 5 hours I'll be headed to STL for a business trip. I found out that we get to go to NLCS game 5 while we are there! WOO HOO! I packed one of DH's Cards hats to wear to the game (Louisville Cards, but that's the best I can do!)
and I also packed my tomahawk earrings. I've been a Braves fan all my life and nothing is gonna change that!
SPARK ON, friends. SPARK ON!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
my team captain wants me to blog about my Zombies, run! experience. So here goes:
I upgraded to my first smart phone in May. My cell was still working, but getting to the point it wouldn't hold a charge any more. It was about 5 years old and I had been thinking about moving to a smart phone for some of the running apps I read about.
DH is a bit of a geek, but neither of us know anything about smart phones. I did some research (as did he). I did NOT want an Apple product. I was looking at a Droid and a Galaxy. I decided on the Galaxy.
so I have a smart phone. And it has a dumb owner. I'm slowly getting use to it. And the guys at Radio Shack are absolutely awesome. Sure they give me grief when I go in with my antiquated phone for an upgrade. (The first time I upgraded, two of the employees said, "wow! Does that still work? I've heard about those phones, but I've never actually seen one in real life!" about my Motorla Startac. Great. I'm using a museum piece. Okay...it was 7 years old, but I don't like to be rushed into anything. Maybe the speaker was out, but it still worked as long as it was plugged in to the hands free adapter.)
who can't love a classy, sleek model like that???
This upgrade I still got teased about my old phone (an LG flip phone). Then I noticed the sales rep had the same phone on his waist band. No, I didn't let him slide on that! I can give as good as I get.
Obviously I haven't been using my Galaxy to it's full extent. I signed up for a 10k on Labor day (I usually run 5k) and I need something to boost my training. I looked at running apps. And I had read some great reviews on Zombies, run! so I checked that out too.
Sunday I downloaded Runtastic (free) and bought Zombies, run! That process was pretty humorous considering DH nor I know anything about downloading stuff to a smart phone. It was easy to figure out.
I haven't used Runtastic yet (gotta go back to see my buds at Radio Shack to buy an armband. If anybody has recommendations, please let me know). But I gave Zombies, run! a try on the elliptical at home. It's basically a story told to you while you exercise. As the story unfolds, any time the zombies chase you , you have to pick up speed. It's a fun way to add some sprints to your workout. I didn't realize there was so much quiet time. I need to get some music on my phone (my music is on my MP3). So I ended up watching Sex and the City while I was outrunning zombies. It's a good combo ;-)
I've also been using the Spark Coach trial. I think it will be great for folks who are new to Spark. It would be really good if you could start Spark Coach at something compatible with your current Spark level. This has been like a review for me, but that's a good thing. It helps me get back to the basics. A great refresher course.
speaking of reviews, I have my annual review tomorrow. I HATE annual reviews!!! My boss is a great guy. My intention is to never work for anybody other than him for the remainder of my working career. I've had some really bad bosses over the years and my tolerance for the BS that goes with that is long gone.
so my boss is NOT the issue with my review. He's more than fair and always complimentary. Some of my hatred for this process is due to my last employer. My old boss was pretty much this guy
plus I was a department head, so I had to do reviews for my staff (which included coming up with goals for 12 to 16 people).
Spark Coach and my review (and many recent Spark blogs) have all made it very obvious that like many others, I am my own worse critic.
one of the daily Spark Coach activities is to rate yourself on healthy food choices, physical activity, motivation, and sticking with your program. I'm ALWAYS in my calorie range, and the ranges for carbs, fat, and protein. Why can't I rate myself any better than okay? What do I think it takes to be a 4 or 5 instead of a 3??
on days when I did my morning Pilates and went to the gym after work, why isn't that a 5? What the heck do I think a 5 is...running a marathon???
same thing on my review at work. Why did I usually mark 'meets expectations' on my self evaluation? I'm going to our company conference in October...something that only the TOP 10% of employees in all 10,000+ branches in the US and Canada get invited to attend. That is WAY better than 'meets expectations'!
say it with me, Spark friends...I AM BETTER THAT JUST 'OKAY'!
let's make a pact: no more ignoring the exceptional things about yourself. If you're going to accept responsibility for your weaknesses, you MUST accept that there are some things about you that are awesome. Yes. Every one of us. EVERY SINGLE DAY look in the mirror and praise yourself for one good thing about YOU!
no, we don't need to go all Usain Bolt. But it is okay to see the good in YOU.
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