YoungHeather

A Letter to: My Younger Self

This morning I read the most fascinating blog by Amy Jo Martin titled “A Letter to My Younger Self”  After reading her entry, it made me think of what I would tell my younger self, and so .. here I am .. writing a letter to my younger self.

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Dear Young Heather Isabel,

As I write this letter – I can’t begin to tell you what an interesting future you have to look forward to.  So, I’m hoping that my advice now will help you navigate and understand why things happen the way they do – everything really does happens for a reason – you will learn this (probably closer to your mid-twenties) but I’ve thought about it all day, pondering experiences yet to come, feelings & emotions that have led my heart to so much more.  And, so – these are my words to you, Young Heather.

Don’t ever get too comfortable with your surroundings.  You’ll live in many different houses, attend quite a few schools and meet all sorts of new friends.  You’ll get used to being the “new girl” – and being stared at, whispered about, because you are the “new girl” – and you’ll grow accustom to this.  And, as soon as you’ve finally started to fit in, it will be time to move again.  Don’t be too shy or care about what those mean girls say … because years from now – those same girls will have a fate of their own, and you’ll outshine each and every one of them.

You’ll make many lasting friendships throughout Junior High / High School and you’ll even succeed in keeping them – leaving some of these friends behind will seem so devastating, but just know that you will be reunited with some of these friends – most likely when you are an adult, but you’ll have such a close bond with them, time won’t matter – you will pick up right where you left off and reminisce about those crazy slumber parties and watching reruns of 90210, getting ready for dances, prank phone calls and endless games of “Truth or Dare” and talking all about … BOYS!

Speaking of boys — You do have a few crushes as a teen.. although, your family tends to move in the most remote, rural areas .. the selection is pretty minimal especially since you are definitely NOT into Wranglers, Ropers or COWBOYS… but, don’t worry – there is always “one” you are smitten for – you’ll have the most amazing dance .. to one of the longest slow songs ever “Wind of Change” .. You’ll fall hard for a blonde hair / blue eyed boy who lives clear across the country (Well, Texas) – You’ll think (even at 16) “He is the one..because he said that he loves me” – but, he’s not “the one” Don’t get discouraged – you have plenty of time to find your Prince Charming – but it won’t happen until you have all the pieces to your puzzle.

There will be lots of times where you will feel absolutely alone.. because even though you are not being neglected, you have a roof over your head, parents & siblings.. you will still always feel like there is a part of you missing.  There will be many nights, you’ll spend by yourself, looking at the stars .. asking questions you don’t have answers to. Don’t stop asking those questions.  You might feel alone right now, but there are so many friends / relatives that you have yet to meet – who love you & haven’t forgotten about you.

Your 20’s are filled with many trial & errors… along with quite a few “firsts” – your very first serious boyfriend.. 2 years will seem like such precious time lost (when it doesn’t work out) but, you will learn what not to look for in the next relationship.  You’ll also finally get those braces & a $3,000 smile and even a drivers license, your first car (a 1990’s Honda Civic)… all of which were a long time coming! You’ll have choices to make .. choices that often come with ultimatums. Be true to yourself, and when you meet your father – consider everyone who will be affected by this decision, but more importantly – be true to yourself.  You’ve waited your whole life to meet him, and you deserve this – this is the last piece of your puzzle you’ve been missing. And when you see your Uncle Tim, give him a big hug for me – make sure and really get to know him – cherish those visits with him and your dad together. Don’t forget about the few times you’ve spent with him, visits at his house – because your time with him will be short and end quite abruptly. I wish–I wish I would have known more about my Uncle, who he was – his smile could light up any room and his laugh was contagious.. I never knew about the pain he suffered and the hard life he quietly lived.. January 2nd will never be the same for me again.. so enjoy the time you have with this guy, your Uncle Tim.

Although you would love to live in a world that is black & white… because that is how you operate best and there is no grey, it’s not always that simple, and sometimes – there is grey – the parts of life that just don’t have easy answers.  Don’t be hasty or quick to judge – stop and think about how you’ll respond before acting out of anger, sadness, or any other emotion…because, words can hurt .. and once they are said – you can’t take them back.  These hurtful words, they won’t be forgotten..in fact, there will be some days that you’ll be reminded of those times you felt so small..you’ll remember the screaming and the yelling..and the hurtful words that were inflicted on you…and in that moment, you’ll take every single word to heart…you’ll blame yourself for the decisions others have made, you’ll feel responsible for broken relationships. When you find yourself at that point – just know that (truly) this isn’t how your story ends…and sometimes your world must fall apart before it can be put back together.  But, learn from these experiences – No, the world is not always black & white and sometimes there is more “grey” than you’d like to acknowledge.  It’s okay, because if you just breathe, step away from the situation at hand, and remember that He has a plan for your life, He always has.. you’ll figure it out, and all the pieces will come together in God’s time.

There are many experiences that you’ll try to shy away from – mostly out of fear. Please, don’t be afraid to travel…outside of the United States..you won’t visit Europe until your in your 30’s – but once you do -you’ll immediately have the Travel Bug, and you’ll continue to look forward to your next adventure. Don’t be afraid to try new foods..and Chinese & Mexican food don’t count! You’ll move to Seattle for awhile, and you’ll get schooled by your 3 year cousin Isabel as she requests Indian food for her Birthday Dinner.. and you (at age 25) have no idea what that even entails! Don’t be afraid to get lost – you are actually very good at this (but it scares you to death) and inherently “directionally challenged” But, don’t worry – a nice little device called the GPS will do it’s best to help you find  your way.  Don’t be afraid to try new things -go back to school, learn how to ski or snowboard (you’ll like skiing more!), try out a few different careers until you finally find the right one, try anything that is out of your comfort zone – because that is what helps build confidence.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes .. we are all human and we are not perfect.  You are your worst critic at times, and you WILL learn from these mistakes, you’ll come out a much stronger and wiser person from these lessons learned.

Most importantly – Don’t be afraid to (really) fall in love.. fall in love with the places you visit, the people you meet, the many sunsets and sunrises, the first sight of falling snow, and the last leaf that turns gold.. and when you spot that empty aisle seat while walking onto the Crimson Rooter Bus, don’t even hesitate – just sit next to him.. because that 2 hour drive to Seattle will change the course of your life and you will really fall in love.. this is where your story begins.. you don’t know this yet, but you’ve just met the man of your dreams – the man you’ll marry, the man you’ll spend the rest of your life with.

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It’s a good life and all that you’ll endure .. the good .. the bad .. the uncertain.. it will be worth it in the end – I promise.  Your future is bright and I believe in you – so don’t give up on yourself just yet.

~Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right Now: A Moment in Time

Daily Post Challenge: For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your now, and share a photo of it. Perhaps it is something imperfect, or mundane, or under-appreciated. Maybe it is a simple moment, or maybe it is something grand; we can’t wait to see!

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Right now, I’ve just finished putting together my final package for the Christmas season. It won’t arrive on time – actually, it will probably be a week late, but right now – I’m thinking of that moment – when the last card is stamped, the last gift is wrapped, and the last batch of cookies are decorated.  It’s that moment when I stop to think about this season – with all of it’s festivities and rushing around from one event to the next..it’s so easy for me to stress over the small things and lose sight of the big things.. It’s moments like these .. while staring at this last package, I’m reminded of what truly matters, especially right now.

I’m reminded of  a stroll around downtown with my husband.. admiring all of the beautiful lights, children & their parents lined up for the horse & carriage ride, the smell of spiced cider, mulled wine.. and the sound of Christmas music echoing down the street. I talk him into stopping for one last snapshot – capturing the evening and our time together.

I’m reminded of a missed call .. in which (between cookie batches) I called back, only to be amused by stories from New Mexico, new roommate mishaps, snow days, and someone whom I’ve watched grow up tremendously, find their passion – and make light of new experiences/adventures. Just recently, I had doubted my own talents and capabilities… and after this impromptu phone call, I realized the limitations I was setting upon myself.

I’m reminded that..as my boss would say, “Shift Happens” … as I changed my plans completely for Thanksgiving this year.  Deciding that we really needed to go – a reminder of making time for family because what if this is the last time I see them? Life is full of unexpected happenings, and sometimes you just never know when the last time.. will be the last time. I left that evening with my heart full of love, stories yet to be told, and determination to come back and visit again – soon!

As I sit here, in my living room .. and look at all of the decorations on my tree, each ornament has a memory of its own.. my mantel adorned with a few nativity scenes, our stockings, some candles.. and the Christmas movie that is halfway over .. I’m absolutely content and will remember this moment, right now.

Making Appointments

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“Make an appointment with yourself.”  It seems easy enough right, to just schedule in some “me” time on the calendar – whether it means reading a book for 30 minutes, window shopping for an afternoon, sneaking off for a pedicure during your lunch break.. or maybe an evening latte at Starbucks. I couldn’t stop thinking about my coworker’s advice to me – what kind of appointments do we make with ourselves and why don’t we make them more often than not? What is it that consume our days and sometimes even our nights.. that we so easily neglect ourselves in the process.

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There are certain appointments that I wouldn’t dare miss..they are date nights with my husband …weekend road trips..time spent with friends..an unexpected phone call from my dad or my grandma..An evening chat over a cup of coffee… or sometimes a glass of  red wine…A walk around the nature trail..a play date with my puppies while I watch the sunset. These are the “appointments” that I live for – that keep me grounded – that remind me of what is truly important in life.

I will be the first to admit, making an actual appointment with myself hadn’t ever occurred to me.  But tonight, I made that appointment, to come upstairs and write for at least 30 minutes.  I turned off all other social media devices, my cell phone is on silent and hasn’t been used..with the small exception of a phone call from my grandmother. It was my grandmother who reminded me that sometimes the appointments we make for ourselves shift to the “Need To Do’s” – but even then, they can be just as important.  She reminded me that sometimes it’s helping out a friend with their shopping, dinner for two and finding the perfect red leaf along the way. Sometimes it’s these unplanned events that become the most endearing and cherished moments in our life. Like my grandmother said, “You never know how much longer you might have to spend with someone.” She was right – these are the “Need to Do’s” that I need to pay more attention to.

When I think about my own distractions..and how sometimes I get hung up on the little things — dishes in the sink, a sock, a pair of shoes or dog toys all over the floor — I forget that it can wait.. the sunset will be gone .. friends will move away.. and someday Penny will no longer play with her toys.. and when my husband puts his arms around me .. while I’m trying to finish cleaning that one last dish.. he is expressing that he is totally in love with me.. and I need to stop and just live in that moment.. because, these are the “appointments” worth living for.

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My Reason

Daily Prompt: In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

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Because everything happens for a reason..
The places I go..
and still haven’t gone
the people I meet..
and the friends I have yet to find
The challenges that test me..
and the fears that I’ve stomped on
The greatest experiences..
and those I would love to forget
Even when I don’t understand why –
Everything happens for a reason.

Nate

Everything happens for a reason..

“Everything happens for a reason” – I hear that phrase often.  Sometimes, I’m the one saying it to myself.. and sometimes, I’m saying it to a friend, colleague or sometimes – it’s my own husband saying it right back at me.  As I ponder the phrase and what it actually means to me – I think about the life experiences and where they’ve all led me.

Places I’ve been:
There have been many..
moves (because moving means starting over, right?)
houses (more than I can count..at least 30)
cities & towns (some not even on the map)
schools (of all sorts, but usually on the smaller side)
most against my own will (the lovely childhood/teen years)
but far more I have yet to see..and very willingly I might add!!

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Paris, France 2012

My husband and I are in the midst of planning a two-week vacation to Italy (Venice, Rome, Sorrento) and I’ll have to say, if it weren’t for all of these previous  moves in my life, I might still be hesitant to travel.  Three years ago, we went to France & Germany for a wedding & vacation.  My eyes were opened and it was then that I realized just how much I truly loved International travel – and promised myself I would see more of this fabulous world that we live in! It was like I had been missing out – all my life – and part of me wishes that I would have experienced this sooner, but everything happens for a reason.  I can’t see myself traveling the world with anyone else than the love of my life.. and it was certainly worth the wait!

People I’ve met:
Childhood friends (giving credit to Facebook for this one)
Best friends (I can count them on one hand! – they know me well)
College friends (some of my best memories – hands down!)
Work friends (have made me stronger and believed in me)
“More like family” friends (as far as I’m concerned, they are family)

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Childhood Friends

A few years ago, I reconnected with my childhood friend Keri on Facebook.  We had one of those unforgettable friendships when we were younger – 6th grade, I was the “new” girl in town – and I sat next to her in Mrs. Semling’s class. She loved the latest fashion trends, bright pink lipstick, perfume that smelled sweet (think back to “Tribe” and “Exclamation”), spray on suntan lotion with glitter (who cared if the SPF was ..hmm, come to think of it – was there an SPF?!) We spent our summer on the roof of my house sunbathing, our hair drenched in Sun-In, with our favorite music playing through the open window – New Kids on the Block, Bobby Brown and maybe even a little Paula Abdul and Roxette..these were the days of “mixed tapes”. It was there that we discussed some of life’s most crucial questions – who would we share a locker next to? What outfit would we wear the first day of school? .. More importantly, who were those boys standing in front of us at the movies last night? And now, today – we still talk about those carefree days of being young, curious and unsure of ourselves. I love when a childhood friend transforms (years later) into a best friend – she knows my past, present and will continue to share good times with me in the future too..

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Friends Forever, Aug. 2009

Best friends are hard to come by, and the few that I have, I’m grateful for. Over the years, I’ve met them through my work, college and sometimes through other friends. I’ll never forget my first day at Northwest Christian College. I was overwhelmed with boxes and finding a place for all of my belongings on my side of the room. The girl across the hall was playing this obnoxious music..I remember thinking to myself how I was already dreading the room I was placed in.  A few days later my roommate and “the girl across the hall’s” roommate arranged for the 4 of us to walk around the U of O campus together.. little did I know, that a “dare” to prank an innocent bi-standard during  our walk would lead to a lifelong friendship – Karen lives in Arizona and our visits are very seldom.  She was the maid of honor in my wedding almost 6 years ago – it’s my turn to go see her.  We’ve shared so many “laughing until you cry” moments – we text when we can, email when we can, talk on the phone when we can – but when we reunite – we pick up right where we left off!

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Sometimes I feel like my work friends cross into my “more like family” friends – simply because I spend 8+ hours of my day with them Monday-Friday and if they truly become “more like family” – sometimes, I even spend weekends with them! I suppose my “more like family” friends could be considered somewhat close to some of my best friends too.  These are the friends who give me advice about life, love, and while they have my best interest at heart, they are not afraid to be brutally honest and tell me where I could stand to make some improvements too.  I treasure these friends because I know I can count on them – they have my back – I can vent to them, I can share my fears & misgivings with them, and sometimes – I can even fall apart in front of them.  They are my early morning power walking partner, my lunch date at the Sub Shop, my weekend adventurer at a new campsite, my morning cup of coffee on the weekends, my sounding board and support – even during the political drama that often occurs in the realm of higher education.

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All America City Winners, Yakima WA.

All of these friends have stepped into my life at the right moment – when I needed them the most, they were and continue to be there for me.. because, everything happens for a reason.

Spring Media FAM, Naches Heights

Challenges & experiences I’ve faced:
I believe it’s human nature to avoid challenges – because as I’ve recently been reminded, it’s only through our challenges that we grow stronger as a person.  It might be painful, uncomfortable and frustrating – but during these growing pains, we become stronger, more confident and better in our personal lives, in our work lives, and with those who we encounter on a daily basis.  As a friend of mine would say, “Heather just tell yourself, I GOT THIS!”  She is right, because really – I DO…I’VE GOT THIS!

Almost a year ago today – one person who will be known as “Crazy Town” or “Tinkerbell”  turned my world upside down – to the point of which I swear I was living in the Twilight Zone! I did not think I was capable of seeing this “challenge” through, I felt like the world was against me, and quite often asked myself – what did I do to deserve this?! Luckily, I had friends who encouraged, listened and lifted my spirits .. and then – it happened – I was on the Yakima Herald looking at the classified section (on my lunch break of course) .. and there it was .. a job posting for Yakima Valley Tourism as the Travel Media Trade Relations Manager.  I read the job description (sounded like fun) and the requirements (I had most of them), and then there was that “APPLY” button .. in which, with no hesitation at all, I submitted my cover letter, resume and references .. went back to work and hoped for the best.

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French Media Winery Tour

Two months and two interviews later .. on a sunny afternoon, I received a phone call that changed my life forever! I was offered this job .. this job that I had only ever looked or applied for because of a “challenge” in my life and now – it was mine! I’ve been with Yakima Valley Tourism for almost a year and I absolutely love it! It has forced me to leave my comfort zone, it has challenged me to utilize my organizational skills, writing skills, GPS skills to their fullest..but I love it. I love the people I work with – we are all one team, and we all have the same goal – to promote the heck out of the Yakima Valley and let it shine!!!! It’s a job that exudes positivity, endless possibilities, and continuous new discoveries. It’s a job that I feel good and excited about – I learn something new every day. So, Crazy Town, if you are reading this, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, because without your ridiculous lies, laziness and unmentionable work ethics, I would have never even been looking for this job! This experience has shown me that even through our darkest moments of not understanding – EVERYTHING happens for a reason!

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A new adventure awaits you..

This post ended up being longer than I anticipated, but at the end of the day, we all have our reasons for believing. Mine (unbeknownst to me) just happens to be a little categorized.  The important thing is though – to have a reason to believe.. believe in miracles, unknown places yet to be found, friendships, love & loss, and new adventures still waiting to be experienced!

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Hackers gonna Hack ..

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I’ve become one of those lucky victims of being hacked .. quite a few times!
I wanted to apologize to anyone who has been receiving SPAM notifications from me in their email. I’ve changed my password to a “STRONG” password by WordPress, so I’m hoping that solves my problem.
Since I’ve been slacking on posting blogs – I thought I would take a few minutes to post a “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year” to everyone.
We had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the time off to spend together.

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I’ve included pictures from Silver Lake Winery and their Grapevine Wreath Making / Mulled Wine Event in November 2014. It was such a beautiful day for it and the view from Silver Lake Winery is absolutely amazing!!! I plan on visiting them again during Yakima Valley’s Red Wine & Chocolate in February and Spring Barrel in April.

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Time For A Change..

Blogging 101: Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.

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I’m just a bit behind on some of these posts – and I thought that this particular assignment would not take me very long. I was wrong .. and I confess, I tried out ALOT more than just 3 themes.

I had been using “Adelle” for the longest time, and I was actually a little sad to change things up – through this assignment, I’ve realized the following about myself:

1. I get easily attached to what I love and what I’m comfortable with .. whether it be a “theme” used on my blog site, a vehicle I drive everyday (I love my Civic, but I was a little sad .. when I said to goodbye to my FIT .. I might have to go back to the FIT, now that there is a Sun Roof option) .. sometimes it’s the little things .. and sometimes it’s the big things – but to this day, I struggle with change – something I’m working on, and will continue to work on.

2.  I’m very particular about my decisions – there were so many themes to choose from, with so many different layout options.. but I found myself drawn to those layouts that were clean, concise, and had a side bar on the right side of the blog site.  I liked some of the other layouts, but then my pictures were compromised – and that bothered me. I was drawn to some of the themes that had bright colors and big fonts, but I found myself shying away them at the same time.  I’m not a risk taker, and I felt like some of these big fonts & colors were just a little too bold for my taste.

3. I love having “options” – Some of these layouts had amazing options for color and pattern changes .. but you had to purchase the theme in order to make changes. I’m easily drawn to the “accessories” or “added features” when I’m contemplating on the purchase of a product.  When I was deciding between the Honda Civic and The Mazda 3, the ultimate deciding factor came down to a digital screen in the civic that could also be used as a “picture frame” of one JPEG photo! Once I found out I could display in a picture in that screen – I was sold! While viewing these other themes, I found myself almost tempted to buy the upgraded theme so I could also personalize it as well! This is something that might just have to wait until after the holiday season though!

I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with this new theme.. but I’ll give it a try for a little while!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/101-themes/

Like Mother … Like Daughter?

Blogging 101: Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/101-dream-reader/

Garden Valley 2005

Sometimes when I’m looking at the mirror .. getting ready in the morning .. I see your reflection looking back at me.  I’ve been told that in certain pictures I’ve posted that I look just like you.  The other day, as I excused myself from a funny conversation, laughing to myself as I walked to my car – It was your laugh I heard.. and when I find myself consoling a friend, always looking at the brighter side, I hear you in my word choice.. Just the other day, I was visiting with some friends, sharing memories – and I was reminded of those early mornings, when I would watch you get ready for the day.  If anyone could pull off the short pixie haircut, it was you…even that time you dyed your hair and it turned bright orange (remember the sulfate water in Hillsboro, McKay Creek Farms) – you still looked amazing! You had the perfect pair of black heels, pencil skirt, and electric blue silk blouse.. and when you applied the finishing touches with the signature red lipstick – your meticulous morning routine left no room for imperfection.. because in my eyes,  you were a movie star in the making .. the look-alike singer in that 80’s Band Roxette .. at least that was the general consensus of my friends in junior high… and you were the one I looked up to, you were who I wanted to be when I grew up…

my first horse heather and siblings.

I wish I could go back in time, and relive those moments of us together, when we still got along – staying up late and watching those mini series movies together (this was obviously before Netflix), remember that time you took me to get my very first manicure? It was right before my sleepover at Stefanie’s house… horseback riding … road trips to the various houses we lived in – I even enjoyed those times together .. painting that room upstairs in the loft when we lived in Lostine … learning how to make lasagna with you when we lived in St. Helens in that log house … listening to you sing “She’s In Love With The Boy” on our way to the store – I remember thinking to myself, what a beautiful voice you had that day… Freshman Homecoming Week, you “bought” Jake & Keri at the “Freshman Slave Auction”- and had them come dress shopping with us so that I could find that perfect dress.. that is actually one of my favorite memories I have with you.  I tried on several dresses … and yet .. it was that first blue violet dress with the embroidered floral print that stole your heart, and you told me, “Heather – THAT is THE dress!” and of course,  we had to get it!  You picked out a beautiful set of Austrian crystal earrings, and a  heart-shaped necklace with my initial carved in the middle.  I still have that jewelry set, and I think about you every time I wear it… all of my high school heart breaks .. friendships that had gone astray … ridiculous assignments that were required throughout the years .. you were there for all of it.  And, when I left for college the first time .. and the second time .. and even the third (and final) time .. I came home to visit, and we would catch up over a pot of coffee .. and numerous interruptions from brothers and a little sister .. and sometimes even the occasional kitty or Saint Bernard.  You always had the best stories on all the neighbors and town people .. with whom you swore you had nothing to do with .. but yet, still had all the dirt on! You were always good for that — and sometimes, when I’m telling a story of my own .. It’s you that I hear telling the story.

Remember when that movie “Mamma Mia!” came out? I remember you watching the previews for it and saying, “That looks like the most ridiculous movie ever!” I hadn’t given much thought to the movie … until people kept telling me that I needed to see this movie and that I would undoubtedly enjoy the plot of it – a girl who is about to get married, doesn’t know who her father is .. finds her mother’s diary .. in which she discovers the possibility of finding her dad … just in time for her wedding day. This movie (with the exception of it taking place in Greece, and the additional 3rd man) was relatable to me in so many different ways – If only life could be like the movies .. and if only you had written your deepest most personal thoughts in a diary … when you still loved my dad .. and I could still read about it.. I know that life was hard when you had me, when you left your first husband, when you raised me on your own for a little while, when you remarried someone else who also had a child, when you spent time and money in numerous family counseling sessions .. and when even then – life continued to get harder.  I wish that someday you could understand where I am coming from when I tell you that I never meant to hurt you or the rest of my siblings when I decided to seek him out.  It was never my intent to uncover a secret .. I’ve never had any ulterior motive or hidden agenda – I simply wanted to know who he was .. and when I began my search, seeking him out was initially so that I could rule him out as even being my dad because I BELIEVED the story you told me so long ago – the story that I was obsessed with for my entire life .. of a man .. a best friend .. who helped you conceive a baby .. so that your father could see his first grandchild before he died… that is what I had always believed in my heart … without any question, without a picture of what this man looked like .. without ever getting to introduce myself to him – I believed you.. and that night, when I told you what I found out, and all you could say to me was “How could you do this to me?” – I was speechless, after all these years – of me believing a story … and you wanted to know how I could do this to you.  You were so angry that night – at what I had done .. and you blamed the man you remarried for not being the father he should be .. because to you, that’s why I had to go looking for him.  Maybe if it hadn’t been treated like a dirty little secret, if I could have talked more openly about him (whoever “he” was) to you, maybe if you took my feelings about this seriously when I was younger .. and maybe if you could step back and realize that you aren’t the only one who has changed in 20 years .. then maybe we would still be talking today.

My Wedding Day My Wedding Day

You missed one of the most important days of my life – because you wanted me to promise you that “the others” would not talk to you or my little sister.  You didn’t want to be in any pictures with “the others” or “him” because that would just be a “picture full of lies”  What about the picture and what it would have meant to me? A picture that has my mother and my father (the two people who created me and who I love) together – not as a family, but simply a picture of me with both of my parents.  For one day, not even a full 24 hours, you could have watched your first child walk down the aisle and marry her best friend.  You’ll never get to see that moment – you missed it.. and that hurts… that is what I struggle with – when I think of all the other times you were there for me.  You are my mom – why couldn’t you just put your personal feelings aside and just be there for me on such a special and emotional day of my life.  I don’t understand – and I hope that someday I will.. because it still breaks my heart.  Do you know – his Dad came to our wedding .. my grandfather .. the man who refused to go to his own son’s wedding because he was against it from the get go … but he came to his granddaughter’s wedding, and although I don’t know him that well, I was very touched by the gesture, and the fact that there were more family members from my father’s side of the family.. and my own grandmother was there – and all of your sisters, and their children .. everyone was there to see me get married .. everyone but my own intermediate family who I lived with for over 20 years – It’s really too bad.. because it was a special day, something I wish you could have shared with me.

springbreak2007 My Dad OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know if you ever did watch that movie – but there’s 2 parts that always seem to get to me… the part where she is singing to her friends about her mother’s diary entries, and the end of the song she says, “I heard about you before, I wanted to know some more and now I’m about to see, what you mean to me.” That is exactly how I felt when I decided to find him – and I’m glad that I did because he is the most loving and caring parent – for what it’s worth, he’s an amazing man, and he & his family have only ever supported and loved me since our reunion.  I hope that someday you won’t be so bitter toward him or those who you claim are “dead to you” – bitterness turns into animosity and it isn’t healthy to have so much hate toward a person.  People do change – and he isn’t the man you knew straight out of high school… none of us are.

Missing Her Me & My Mom first birthday

The other part of this movie that touches me .. even makes me a little sad is when her mom is singing to her, getting her ready on her wedding day.. and reminiscing over a song, talking about when she was younger, and sitting at the breakfast table together, making plans .. understanding her daughter for just a moment in time .. this is how I choose to remember the type of relationship that we once had – because (before all of this) we did – and we were close, and I could tell you anything – I could confide in you, and I could trust you.  These are the memories I’m choosing to hold on to.. at the end of the song … she sings, “Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture, and save it from the funny tricks of time” – If only that were possible.