Happy birthday to me!

So…today was my 45th birthday.

Honestly, I was prepared for it to suck. Not the “oh damn it…I’m another year older” kind of suck…but the Hoover-Dyson-Electrolux all rolled into one kind of suck.

I knew that for the first time in my life I wasn’t going to get a call from my mom to wish me happy birthday.  I’ve been dreading feeling that cavernous hole that was left in my heart when she died.

Yeah, that hole was definitely there, but something miraculous happened! I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for all of the kind words and we’ll wishes I received today. My co-worker decorated my office with the most spectacular window display. Friends came by and wished me well and dropped off cards. I got phone calls from colleagues who wished me happy birthday before conducting their business they called for.

I got to go to a rowdy lunch with singing and dancing and all kinds of crazy stuff that could fit into an hour and then, so many of you filled my Facebook wall with birthday greetings that cheered me up so much.

This post isn’t about being boastful that i got attention on my birthday. This post is about gratitude. I am grateful that I have people in my life…regardless if they are in person or virtual…that continue to support and bless me.

This truly has been the worst year of my life. It would be easy to be overwhelmed with grief and depression, but instead, all of you bring me so much joy. It doesn’t take away the loss, worry, illness or anger I’ve had to endure these past 10 months, but surpasses it with your love and friendship.

Thank you…from the bottom of my heart.

Advertisements

How to piss off a cranky mom in a movie theater

I love the superhero genre. I enjoy spending a couple of hours in a dark theater with some popcorn and a soda rooting for the hero to outwit the villain on the big screen. I like the idea of good triumphing over evil. I like fight scenes and the thrill of the chase.

However, when it comes to my own life, I don’t like conflict. I never have. It always seems to find me though, and sometimes its hard to just let things go.

For example, I’m the one at the movie theater who has to sit in front of the person who keeps kicking my seat…Or right next to the family with the screaming child…Or in front of the person who has to open 42 candy wrappers during the movie.

Do I say anything? No. I usually either sit and bear it, or will get up and move seats so I don’t have to have a confrontation with someone.

Until tonight.

Even though I haven’t been feeling well in several days, I had promised my daughter that we could go to the movies on my next Friday off. I really didn’t feel like it, but I keep my promises. So, my husband and I picked up one of her friends and we headed out to see the latest Marvel super hero movie.

I guess being sick makes me a little cranky. Right as the movie started, a group of four teenage boys  entered the theater. They were horsing around and talking really loudly, cussing and just generally being obnoxious.

I anticipated they would quiet down once the movie got underway. We were sitting mid-theater and they sat closer to the front  so I  also figured it would be easy to just ignore them.

I was wrong.

They never quieted down.  It was very distracting and it, well, pissed me off that I spent money on tickets and concessions and couldn’t enjoy the movie. I looked around the theater and saw a few families with young kids. I noticed they weren’t looking at the screen either. They were staring at the jerks in the front of the theater.

After about 45 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore. My intention was to go out and tell one of the employees to come in and quiet them down. Then a whole new string of profanities floated out from their mouths and enough was enough. I faintly heard my husband say “uh oh” as I popped out of my seat, marched down the stairs and across the mid-theater walkway, leaned over the back of their seats and said, “Either shut up or get out!”

All four boys sort of slunk down in their seats and mumbled something I couldn’t hear. I turned back around and headed up to my seat. The theater broke out in applause! I sat down and asked my husband, “were they clapping for me?” He had the funniest look on his face and said, “yup!”

Those boys didn’t make another peep the rest of the movie. Not a sound! When the movie ended they were the first ones out of the theater.  We gathered our trash and headed out with the rest of the crowd, and as we spilled out into the hallway, one woman turned to me and said, “Way to go, mom!” and another one said, “Yeah, you’re the real hero.” I just kind of laughed and said, “thanks.” Then someone else said, “No, thank you!”

Just for the record, no…I don’t think I’m a hero. I think I was tired, cranky and sick and had just had enough.

I thought about what happened all the way home. First, I still can’t believe I did that. Second, I didn’t realize I said what I did so loudly (my daughter and husband confirmed the entire theater could hear me). Third, I’m glad none of them had a gun and shot me, and, finally, it felt really good to have the courage to say something instead of suffer in silence…especially when I apparently did what several other people wanted to do!

I can’t guarantee that I will be doing that again anytime soon though!

Until next time,

-Charlene

Why You Should Never Go Greek

Not related to my mom but definitely related to my life. Alpha Delta Pi forever!

M. Blair.

It’s happening. Every sorority girl is now sharing those videos all over their walls, pages, feeds, troughs, mountains, whatever else is popular nowadays. They all look the same: pretty girls laughing, being “candid,” and throwing up gang signs, telling you to “Go Greek.” What does that even mean, you ask? Well, as someone who’s greek, I’m not sure you should be watching such intriguing videos on the internet. Here’s 10 reasons you SHOULDN’T go Greek.

  1. You have to try in school. So this is an actual thing. Greeks have a GPA requirement. Who knew? You’d think we all just skip class and sit by a pool all day but no, we actually have programs in place to keep members GPA’s at a certain level. If they don’t, they could be suspended/kicked-out. Who wants to actually try in college?
  2. You’re encouraged to step up and be a leader 24/7. Oh my…

View original post 827 more words

Happy Birthday, Mom

Happy birthday, mom. I missed you so much today.

Birthday CakeIf you were here, I would have baked you a carrot cake…except I would have left the carrots out just to honor you, because that is one of the funny family stories I will always remember. It was still a good cake and we all ate it anyway and we never stopped teasing you about the carrot-less carrot cake. Carrots or no carrots yours was always the best.

Or, I could have made a chocolate cake with very thick peanut butter frosting. So thick…because I would have to keep adding peanut butter, then a little more milk, then a little more powdered sugar over and over until I got the combination as close to yours as I could, ending up with enough frosting for two cakes. Because you know what a good cook I am. *cough*

We played bingo for you last night and also for “D’s” birthday. None of us won but we sure had fun losing. Dad brought your special numbers to play the DIY card and we all struggled to figure out what the heck we were doing since we didn’t have you there to remind us how to play. Come to think of it, we very well could have won and just didn’t know it because we aren’t the pros that you were.

I didn’t realize that “S” had never played bingo before. Well, guess what…we all had so much fun, we are probably going to go back next month for his birthday and again in August for mine. And you know what else…last week dad admitted to me that he only went to bingo to be with you. He doesn’t have a passion for it but knew you did and just wanted to support you. He said that last night was probably the last time he would play because he didn’t really enjoy it that much but wanted to celebrate Debbie’s birthday with us. Well, guess what else…Dad had so much fun last night that he told me today he would probably go back with us again. How cool is that?

You are never forgotten. You are always with us. Your life continues to influence us after you’ve left us here on earth. I love you and continue to miss you but in your honor will try to:

Stay Loving. Kind. Generous. Strong.

-Charlene

Growing Up Millennial

I am NOT a millennial. I WAS born the generation before this guy. I DO know many millennial – born adults adults who fall into the stereotypes he described. Some of the traits bug me. Some of the traits ARE me. I may be a couple decades older but I’ve evolved with the times and technogy and often have my nose in my phone when i should, perhaps, be more engaged with the people around me. Good read.

The Captain's Speech

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 3.54.51 AMAs a person born in the 90s, I am classified as a millennial, which means I am everything that is wrong with the world today. I stare at a screen instead of talking to people. I expect everything handed to me. I am lazy. I binge watch television shows. I overuse the word “binge”. I expect a trophy when I fail. I take selfies everywhere. I am narcissistic. I am entitled. I don’t read the newspaper. I spend too much time on “The Twitter.”

Or at least that’s how I’m categorized.

As if I’m a book and my date of birth is the summary on the back, telling everyone exactly what I’m about.

I feel as though there is a sense of pride that people have for growing up when they did. I look back on the 90s and am thrilled to call that decade my childhood. Just as people born in…

View original post 1,032 more words

Happy Mother’s Day…Not really…but that’s OK!

Mother’s Day was harder than I had anticipated.

Carole Hurley. Gone but not forgotten!

Carole Hurley. Gone but not forgotten!

My brain knew that May 10 was no different than the day before, or the week before, or the month before. My mom was still gone – stolen by cancer in February.

I had told myself in the days leading up to that “Holiday” that there was no sense in getting upset or depressed about it because no amount of despair was going to change anything.

My brain knew that. My heart didn’t.

My reality on that particular day was simply this…I no longer have a mother. Well-meaning friends and family tried to help by saying things like “she’s still with you in spirit” and “as long as you remember the good times you will always have a mom.”

Bullshit.

I can’t call her. I can’t drive to her house and talk to her over a plate of Wheat Thins, sliced cheese and tuna salad (that she always seemed to have on hand no matter when I came over. ) My daughter isn’t going to get to go to see her this summer and she’s not coming to my house for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Ever.

Damn it.

And because of that, Sunday really sucked. I tried to keep my chin up. I forced myself to attend the brunch I had (stupidly) made reservations for with other family members and helped clear out some belongings from a relative’s mobile home that is being sold.   I tried to smile. I tried to be friendly. I don’t think I was very successful. My family probably thought I was being a bitch….which made me feel even worse.

Now that I’ve gotten a few days past it I’ve decided…I don’t feel guilty about that. Everyone has bad days. Not everyone is happy all the time. I miss my mom and I should be allowed to be miserable for a bit. Do I believe I have the right to be mean and nasty to people because I’m in a bad place?…absolutely not! But mistreating other people is a whole helluvalot different than being down in the dumps on a day that celebrates moms.

I’ve read a lot of blog and Facebook posts recently that put down the idea of the holiday in its entirety. They were resentful and a little bit rude about pointing out how hurtful the day can be to women who struggle with infertility, who choose not to have kids, or who have lost a mom. One post said that the church shouldn’t have asked the moms to stand up and be recognized because it would make other women who aren’t moms feel bad.

Sorry, but that, too, is bullshit.

It is ok for mothers to be recognized and it is ok for those who aren’t mothers to feel crummy about it. That is life. People in this country seem to be so preoccupied with offending someone else that we are sucking the joy out of people who would otherwise feel honored and happy for accomplishments they have achieved…like motherhood. And, yes, motherhood is an achievement. But we are seeing that everywhere, aren’t we? Let’s give every kid a trophy so no one feels bad and the MVP doesn’t really feel all that valuable at all. Let’s give every kid a certificate for SOMETHING at the end of the year so we don’t dent their self-worth instead of just the honor roll and perfect attendance students so their achievements don’t seem quite so grand.

I’ve held my daughter while she cried about not getting a trophy. I didn’t tell her that I’d go out and buy her something special for giving her best effort…I told her she just needed to work harder next time. And you know what? She did.

My own journey to motherhood was a hard-fought battle against infertility that I eventually won after numerous years of doctors appointments, testing and procedures. I cherish my daughter as my most precious gift from God! So, yeah, if I’m ever back at church on Mother’s Day and the pastor asks me to stand up, I will probably get misty-eyed thinking of my mom, and then I’ll stand up, and although I will have empathy for the women who don’t stand up, I won’t feel guilty for it.

Yup…Mother’s Day sucked this year…But I have faith that it won’t suck every year. I miss my mom. I will always miss my mom. But I also AM a mom, and am very happy about that.

If anyone has any happy stories about mother’s day, I would love to hear them. Actually, I NEED to hear them.

Until next time – Stay Loving. Kind. Generous and Strong

~Charlene