Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Thirteenth of April 2010. It's why I've got to be Me

This is about my mother and me, my two brothers both older making me the baby of the family. My Mother had three sisters and two brothers (one who died when he was 3 months old). My Mother  sister's and brother were very close, all of my cousin's were considered as family they might not see it that way. Mom and I did, Mom loved all of them the way she put it was; " I don't love anyone the most I've just loved them longer, that all." In a way it was almost like I had 13 brothers and 8 sisters. Some lived with us from time to time, some I didn't see very much they were still part of what Mom called our family. This has gotten much longer than I intended, but it is what it is, and it's part of why I've got to be me.

My Mother was 79 years old and had a grocery list of health problems. Mom would share what was happening with everybody as long as it was good, news and or funny. Getting her to talk about herself didn't happen she was a master of changing the subject. As her health problems began to take a toll on her body, time was a commodity she didn't have much of. We each knew including Mom that if she got sick, her body was not likely to recover. Her mind and will were as strong as ever.  Now this wasn't information Mom wanted shared, my brothers are much stronger than I am. I asked her don't you think some of the family has a right to know? "No and I don't want you to share my health information with the family or my friends, if your asked how I am just tell them I'm fine!" I'm not going lie to them they'll never forgive! She told me; "This is going to be very hard on you I know but I don't want any one's last visit or memory with me to be one of watching me dieing. What I really want is for each person to remember me the way I lived and as they remember me. I don't want anyone to mourn me before I'm dead." I would do as she asked but told her "I'm not going to lie I'll tell them "you said your fine" that way it's your lie not mine, after your gone all bet's and deals are off!" Mom said "That's good enough for me!" It's the way she wanted it so I did as she asked. After she passed I told all who asked me the truth, many of her dear and oldest friends said  it sounds just like her and come to think of it I don't remember her sharing any bad news or talking about herself. My mom did tell everybody about my M.S. because she was so proud of how I was handling it and she worried about me too much! 

My Mom was my best friend, at times my only friend each time I felt hopeless and lost she was the one I talked to the most. She didn't judge me or try to fix it for me, she would help me to see it for that it was, a choice only I should make. She offered me the tools and advice to help me but never told me what I should do. Reminding me always it's my life to live and every choice I make is a path not taken and that no matter what choice I made, she loved me.  She didn't agree with some of the choices I made of course. I'm not her, she didn't rise me to be just like her or anyone else! I don't mind when someone tells me I'm just like her, I do consider that high praise even though I know it's not true. People say that's something your Mother would say, yes that's very true. I'm not going to apologize for that she's my mother. Having listened to her wisdom that was right on most of the time, all of my life some of it's bound to stick!

When I was helping Mom pack up her house, A three bedroom house that she had lived in for over 60 years her Mother had purchased it in 1945. The memories were the hardest part for her. Thankfully all I had to pack were the things she had. She had to pack her memories and said; "It's a good thing I only hold on to the good ones! No baggage to luge around!" We talked about her mother a lot she died before I was born. We talked about how the house has always been referred to as  "2932". I asked her if she had any second thoughts? She said "Oh no it's about time I let this go, it's just more house than I need, and now everyone can stop worrying about me falling down the stair's that, I have never falling down in my life but I won't miss them not one bit!"

As we were finishing up, Mom stopped and got very quiet and asked me do you think your like me? In some way's kind of in others not so much. Mom your my best friend and I love you very much, but I've got to be me the person I'm meant to be. As long as I have choices I've got to be me, our life's experience are so different from each other, you have been the best teacher I've had and I'm very glad your my Mother. Mom didn't say anything for a while then said "You skipped a generation your more like my Mom then me." She didn't seem unhappy about it. Then she told me; "You listen to everything and mull it over and mix it all up and make it your own." I told her "Yep! that's what makes me the individual you taught me to be, similar maybe just not the same." My Mom and I could and did talk about everything and nothing for hours at a time. I loved that she would tell me something she had told me before and it was exactly the same as the first time she told it to me.

As a child just like most kids I asked my Mom why a lot. Her answer 90% of the time was; what do you think the reason why is? When I wanted to know that a word meant she didn't tell me what she thought or knew it meant. Instead she told me I'm not sure look it up in the dictionary. Telling her I can't spell didn't work, you can read it right? So what's the first letter start from there and read the words until you find that word. So you see she didn't answer my questions or do it for me. Instead she gave me the tools I needed to figure things out for myself, then draw my own conclusions from what I had learned. The tools she gave me will last a lifetime and I've gained more for my own life experiences. What I've learned is tools teach me how to find the questions I want answers for. When being told the answer to a question I don't learn anything, I just know that someone told me what they think the answer is! Most answers end up creating more questions anyway! That's one of the reasons why I am always myself and just not like anyone else.

My Mom got sick in March of 2010 with the flu. That when she went into the hospital for the last time. The night my Mom passed away I was sleeping in my chair and woke up with an overwhelming feeling that I needed to do something. But I couldn't find anything I had forgotten to do. So I sat down in my chair again, looking out the window I could see lightning from a storm moving in from the southwest, it was shorty after 3:00am when I heard the first thunder in a short period of time, it became a very loud thunderstorm that lit up the night sky, I watched it until I couldn't hear the thunder anymore I went to sleep.  Around 5:00am my brother called telling me Mom is playing with her sisters in heaven. I found out later she had passed away around 3:30am, that's when the thunderstorm was at it's loudest. Later after a another thunderstorm had come and gone I wrote this.

A thunderstorm brings peace

The hardest day in my life was the day my Mom died
I wasn't sad, more relieved her life had become so complicated
She has always been my rock and her love never wavered
She always had a positive attitude and whenever obstacle's littered her
path; she didn't walk around them, instead she worked her way though
them all.
She wasn't one to make mountains out of molehills
She preferred to live and let live
She didn't want anyone to worry or fuss over her
Living her life in control of her choices,
when attempting to accept that she needed help,
wasn't a role she was familiar with or cared for much!
She knew it was essential and handled it the best she could
As her night came a thunderstorm rolled in
She went to see what the ruckus was all about
As she did an Angel went home to heaven.
By Mary K. Mennenga  
  If you've managed to get through this let me know what you think, besides the fact it's so every long.   

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Why do people say one thing, then turn around and do the opposite?
Why is it when people say I hate it when someone does this or that to me! But then turns around and does the same thing to some one else?

When a person tells me they are sorry and at the time it's seems to be genuinely sincere, about something they did or didn't do that they had said they would or wouldn't do. My telling that person not to worry about it and that it's okay I understand it happens some times. Does that mean I'm okay with being treated that way and having my feeling disregarded, by someone I care about. No and when it happens again and I allow myself to be played for a fool a second time the blame is on me and no one else!

There are to two statements a few people say and use so often that both have lost value and meaning. The first is I love you and the second is I'm sorry or so sorry, now when I hear either of them said repeatedly without any action to backup or show that the words have any real meaning to them. Sorry but repetition does not make a statement true.

It's like when people greet you by saying Hi! how are you? Now yes a few people do want to know how you are. What I've learned is that 90% of them don't really want you to tell them. It's just a greeting most of us say oh I'm fine and how are you! It's a make someone feel good kind of greeting.

What I do understand  is that words have power. Why is it that people continue to take the power out of words by saying them without really meaning them. If it makes you feel better about yourself to say words you don't truly mean, that's okay by me. Just don't be surprised when I stop believing that the words you do say have any real meaning.
Fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice shame on ME!

Most of you that visit my blog know I don't sound off about stuff like this. Yes I know it's Christmas time and I should be saying up lifting stuff. I've got to be me, I'll explain that in my next posting. After over 30 years its time for me to say enough is enough. I'm nice to everyone I met yes even ants and mice. Now I really don't mind them outside but inside my house that is the only exception.  Out they must go alive or dead they will not live with me for long! We all have a line in the sand, this just happens to be mine.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Something I think everyone likes to look at, it covers the dirt and makes everything look clean and fresh. Except for the people who have to move it out of the way, while trying to stay warm the whole time your working on moving the snow out of the way. Meaning your going to sweat a lot so now your warm and wet, without all the stuff to keep you warm you'd be freezing after 3 minutes and get nothing done. The way I choose to look at is I don't need a gym membership in the winter. Because I stretch out before I start shoveling as I work and after I'm done shoveling, yes I know it may make me look silly, I don't worry about what anyone may think. Because anyone who's shoveled knows it's one hell of a workout and the last thing I need is a heart attack. Many people have had heart attacks after shoveling even very healthy people. Because after just sitting around they get up and shovel come back in and just sit right back down. Without allowing the body to recover and cool down after a mostly upper body workout that puts a strain on your heart. Knowing you would never do that after woking out at the gym, Right? Some of you may know this already, my question is do you treat as a workout or not?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


     Now when it's the fifth largest snow fall on record. After about 9" fall in 4 or 5 hours all the cars that could get unstuck are gone, the unlucky ones that just couldn't get out, in a short time the car is just another mound of snow. It becomes very peaceful in the city, watching the birds at the bird feeders that I had to fill twice in less than 8 hours, I think they tell each other who still has food. Watching people cross-county skiing to the store down the street is no surprise because we know it's open because they can't go anywhere so they just stay open. I did my best to keep up with the falling snow, until the wind started blowing at 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 MPH. It was time to just let it blow knowing the battle with the snow is over for now.
     Watching the snow blowing everywhere from the comfort of the easy chair it's so peaceful with everything covered in a blanket of white. Later the wind began to lose it's power or maybe it's run out snow to blow. It's finally stops snowing, now the war against the snow will be won it's just a matter of time before my paths are walk ways again. With neighbor helping neighbor it seem like in no time at all everyone can get out. Even if in reality it took more than 5 hours to get it done. We normally don't get this much snow so early in the season. Winter hasn't even started yet Dec. 21 isn't far away so knowing there will be more snow I take a day off from moving snow. A bit more rested now it's time to make room for the snow that I know is yet to come. So moving the snow I already have, further back into the yard that is already at it's highest point 6 feet high and the lowest is 2 feet high and knowing it's not going to melt any time soon, if we're lucky maybe by April if not for sure sometime in  May. Living here if you don't have a sense of humor about winter it's going to be a very very long winter. Maybe that's why even when the worst of the snowstorm's hit, most of the bars are open and show a good profit!
     People call us "Minnesota nice" considering in the winter we tend to have the coldest high temperature in the lower 48 states of the U.S.A. and tend to stay below freezing for most of the winter that hasn't even started yet. What people don't understand is each person who lives here can tell at least one story of how someone helped them get through a snowstorm, flood, tornado I myself have many of each. By about February most of what you hear is people talking about moving to anywhere but here! Then when spring comes and the grass is green and all is in bloom Mother nature is forgiven.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The spirit of Christmas isn't a once a year thing. The way I look at it, it's an act of faith, love and being kind to everyone. Not because you have to or because it's the right thing to do, so people think your a good person! It's not a thing you need to think about doing it's who you are. You don't do it for gain or praise, or because you feel someone can't do it themselves. It's something that needed doing so you did it and now it's done. So no one needs to worry about it anymore, because it's out of the way.  Random acts of kindness can be done everyday for no reason at all it's a kindness nothing more. It's like giving a free gift to yourself each time you share a kindness, just like on Christmas. 

Doing Christmas is different there's a time table and it all needs to come together before December 25th. I'll admit I love looking at the fruits of your labor it's beautiful, most years I do that too. It's so festive the shining lights the scenes lighten the heart making the world a beautiful spot to be, no matter if it's on a blanket of snow or not. It's a gift you share with everyone who drives by or comes by to enjoy it along with you. That is doing and showing the spirit of Christmas that's for sure, I for one want to Thank you for the light's you shine on a dark night. 

At times the doing part of Christmas isn't something I'm up to doing, it doesn't mean I don't have the spirit because I do! Maybe I'm just being lazy, no it isn't that not really. I've got other thing's I want to get done. You all know the doing part of Christmas takes time and work. Things that need to be done are put on hold until the holidays are over. This is only the second year in my life, that I haven't done the do Christmas thing. Do I have a reason for not doing the Christmas thing? Not really, unless you count the putting up, then trying to keep already dying tree for losing all it's needles before the the first of January. Then taking down, packing it all up then putting them away all in less then 7~8 weeks!

Having never put it down on paper, now I see why this year I didn't do it. Next year I will and try to make up for not doing it this year, so it's all good! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Things don't workout the way I want most of the time, now that's okay because things, do tend to workout the way their suppose to. Realizing finally I'm not in control of anyone except myself. How anyone is going to react to what I say or do isn't within my control. However the way I frame what and how I share information is very much within my control! When my emotions aren't held in check, which happens more often than I'd like to admit even to myself. My immediate reaction to information is an emotional one, it's hard to hear the truth. Later realizing I wasn't looking at the impact my reactions could have on others. Without understanding that what I was doing, could and did hurt and effect people in a negative way. I didn't set out to hurt anyone and I'm not apologizing for things I don't control or for my immediate emotional reaction. I'm requesting understanding because, no matter how old I live to be I'll continue making mistakes and to learn from them. It's how I  will grow into the person I want to be.