Who are you?

I’ve never colored inside the lines. I’ve always challenged “the rules” set by other people. I’ve never just believed everything that was told to me. I’ve always listened, but not always followed. I have been told not to attempt to try numerous things, but have always done them anyway. It has always taken me more than one try to achieve the goals I have wanted to obtain, but they have never been small goals. I have not taken a lot of advice I should have because I needed to learn the lessons on my own. I have loved and lost with pain at times, but never with regrets. I have sacraficed things from myself for others in more need that I when I was told not to care. I have spoken up when I was told to shut up. I have moved forward when it would have been easier to stand still and stay where I was. I have hurt people I love and punished myself for their pain. I have at times wanted to raise the white flag in defeat, but I never have. I have always climbed back up the cliff with my finger nails. I am me and I need to never forget that. Who are you?

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A tribute to Donnovan Castellanos by the Burbank Vikings… The “The All Heart, Never Quit” Award

I am very rarely caught off guard unless a tragedy happens.  I am a pretty normal mom.  I love my kids, but sometimes I just want to scream.  Yesterday in fact I told a friend about an incident with one of my children: “I really could have slapped them”… ( I didn’t of course, I’ve never hit my kids… but I could see how it could happen!)   Some days I get, well bored, with the same routine; up at 6:20 AM, breakfast, lunches, school, house work, my work, pick ups, activities, asking my son to take a shower 95 times until he finally does it… etc.  I often think, as I did today, ” I guess this is it.  This is the life I chose and it’s great. I have two great kids, a house I love, I am doing what I love, we have food…. but this is it.”  It can be a hamster wheel.

Then tonight happened.  Tonight was my sons end of the year football banquet for his team the Burbank Vikings.  I was to sit at a different table, but kids over ran it.  My son and I randomly sat with a few other players, a sister of one, and the parents of another.  People think I am very out going.  I’m not.  Unless I know someone, I want to start drinking or go home. I have been braver as the years have passed and I started talking to the dad, Sean Moreno’s father.  I think it started out with “I can’t believe this glass of wine was only $3″  He said: ” I know, this beer was only $3.50″…. The Elks Lodge man, they are AWESOME.  We spoke for quite a while.  I remember seeing him when football conditioning happened in August, but I never saw him at the games.  Turns out, he is a forest ranger and is gone 6 days a week.  He only sees his family one day a week…THINK ABOUT THAT…. He had accrued vacation days and is getting some time off until February 1, which is so wonderful.  I remember this man when football just started.  His son Sean had never played football, in fact his Sean is quite a baseball player. I believe some kind of an All Star.  Played all his life.  I remember his father being a bit nervous for his son at the beginning of the year. During the banquet his son was quiet, just sitting by his parents, very patient, never said a peep.  All the boys at our table were very quiet and well behaved, and this think was long….

The Burbank Vikings lost one if it’s players in March, a true angel on Earth, Donnovan Castellanos.  The “All Heart Never Quit Award”, in memory of Donnovan was awarded to Sean Moreno tonight.  I have posted the link to the video on this page and the tribute to Donnovan Castellanos as pictures on this post.  In the future I may rewrite it (with author credits) so it is clearer to read, but honestly I don’t think I could get through it with out breaking down.  To Donnovan and his best friend Sean.  Life can be horrific.  There is absolutely no benefit to Donnovan being taken so early.  There is NO beneficial explanation why his parents should have lost their son.  All I know is Donnovan is and had always been an angel here on earth, and his best friend Sean, who played for him this year will never let the world forget him.  My hope is that both the parents of Donnovan and Sean walk with their heads high and proud until the end of time as they raised AMAZING human beings.

I am grateful beyond words for my “hamster wheel” and I hope it never stops spinning.

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It’s Always Difficult for me to Enjoy Mothers Day..But this year I did… and I don’t know how

Mothers Day always is around the time of the anniversary of my fathers death (May 2), his birthday (May 6), My parents anniversary ( May 12). I also remember the mothers who have lost children, specifically my best friend.  This year was extra shitty as a football team mate of sons passed away and the funeral was on Friday.  A 10 year old little boy..the same age as my son.  I laid in bed Thursday night with my little boy watching him sleep knowing that the mother of his friend was probably laying in her sons bed crying…. Seeing my son lay there so peacefully in his bed… trying to get out of my head the devastating thought of his friend probably looking the same peaceful way in the coffin he would be laid to rest in the next day. I think as parents we have all had close calls with our kids. It only takes a piece of a second for anyone’s life to change forever, for the unspeakable worse. I went to the funeral Friday. My shrink told me not to force Jett to go.  I had to leave early. I was sobbing in the back of the standing room only church.  It was a beautiful service, they always are…. the family was even holding it together. Then there was me… someone who wasn’t close to the family.  Jett had only played with him this one past season… but I knew the kid…. he was a gentle, kind, wonderful, thoughtful, one of a kind angel on this earth that was taken too soon. The funerals, as impossibly hard as they are have a sort of magic to them.  Family is there, friends are there, sharing stories and memories and everyone is there for one another. However, I know from my best friends loss of her son, again another delightful angel on earth taken way too soon unfairly in a freak sickness, that is the after…. After all the people leave…. the next day and the next after that… the loneliness…. the questions in your mind repeating…. friends staying away or leaving permanently because they don’t know what to do or what to say.  They still have their kids… how can they talk about normal life to their friend that lost their child….. Its selfish isn’t it? To be happy around someone who lost EVERYTHING that mattered.

No matter how well I prepare or try to forget all the past sadness surrounding Mothers Day, the week is always shitty. Life throws us curve balls, especially when we have kids, and this year was full of them.  Basically I had to suck up my depression for my kids. My daughter starts high school in the fall and I tell you … it is already in full swing. Because half of my high school years were shit due to my dads suicide I am extra sensitive to make sure my daughters high school years are frickin magical and she goes after every opportunity available.  So last week, my shittiest week of the year I had to suck up my depression and grief for her. I could not allow the cycle of pain to continue on to her. My grief was hidden the best I could and I focused… (overly on her, but in a good way). I was a mom taxi all week from 2 pm until 7 pm daily. From getting the kids to school, to their activities which included; gymnastics, dance team, dance class, private lessons for the dance team, Jetts auditions, ect. I was busy. There were only 8 incoming Freshmen that auditioned for the dance team out of the 1,200 kids coming into the school in the fall. I was so proud of Sedona for just showing up, then I was just glowing for her seeing it through. She didn’t make it, but stayed with a positive attitude and I know she will be more prepared for next year to give it another go. We had many talks about the importance of just showing up last week. Every day I quizzed her.

Me:” What is #1?”

Sedona: “Just showing up”

Me: #2

Sedona: Confidence

Me: #3

Sedona: Keep going if I mess up.

Me: #4 NEVER APOLOGIZE

Sedona: but…I like to apologize..

Me: No, unless you accidentally kick someone in the face do not apologize. If you mess up, you keep going and at the end you say, “Thank you for having me audition”… and get out!

Just showing up, confidence, and keeping going are three things that will not only get her through life, but help her succeed when others just don’t show up and give up.  They are simple rules with great potential impact. Yes, you need to practice, be prepared, and be good at what ever you are going after too. However, a person with confidence and skill will get the job over the person with no confidence every time. Now I am not saying be a cocky asshole… I used to always tell my girls to have relaxed confidence on stage. Those were the girls that always did well. Nice people with confidence.

My best Mothers Day gift was seeing my daughter transitioning into an adult.  She really appreciated me and all the effort, time and work I have put into her!:) SHE WAS THE MOTHER ON MOTHERS DAY!! On Mothers Day I got breakfast in bed, She forced her brother to take a shower and then forced him to sit through a Shakespeare play at the high school… haha… When we got home I got to garden and drink wine out front while she forced Jett to help her clean the house. When I got back in the almost perfect house to end their drudgery, Jett was sulking, saying Sedona did most of it. I sat both of them down and said that I didn’t care how clean the house got, and it looked amazing. All I wanted out of Mothers Day was Just to be appreciated for all the work I do for you every day….. I really think they understood how much I do for them and I really felt appreciated…. Then Sedona forced Jett to help her give me a pedicure while we watched the Amazing Race… It was fabulous…. It was a great day. It was a day I didn’t want to run away with my passport to Africa…. but I’m keeping it handy just in case.

This post started so sad and ended so happy… and that is exactly how my Mothers Day weekend went, so it is fitting to end it here. I am the luckiest human in the world that these tow amazing kids chose me to be their mom…. Every day is a gift and a gift that could be taken away at any moment. I need to enjoy every day more and not take anything for granted.

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