Thursday, June 28, 2012

My House and My LIFE in Transformation

Humpty Dumpty is almost put back together again!

Today we picked out wall color.  No more dirty, flat ugly walls upstairs.  The rooms will be a calming light cafĂ©-au-lait color. 

The floors will be covered in light brown shag carpet - yup, I said "shag".  Not a long shag (like in the 60s).  I honestly think this will look nice - and it will hide dirt (my #1 criteria for carpet).  It's called "Shimmering Shag" and it's a soft color, not bright like they were when I was a kid. 

My color is between the top & second color... not too dark, not too light.

And praise God, the rest of my new appliances will be here soon!  It will be great to be able to bake again!  No more frying food - yeah!

And my brand new wood floors (our treat to us!) will be here in a few days.  Within one week, I will have a totally transformed house.

And as I think about my transformed house, I am thinking about my transformed life. 

I've come a long way.  Twenty four years ago when people said "you should get married so you have someone to help you raise your boys", my answer was "Marriage is like death!  You do it once and that's it!"  And I was dead serious... the end of my marriage was beyond devastating when it was happening and for many years to come.  I was suicidal for the longest time, unable to bear the excruciating pain.  I am only alive now because my desire for release from the pain was not as strong as my love for my wonderful sons.  I was determined to not leave them, as I had been left. 

Once I was able to not let the pain consume me 24 hours a day, once I stopped crying myself to sleep every night, I promised myself that I would never give my whole self to someone like that again and besides, I didn't think I was worthy of that type of love anymore (having screwed it up the first time!).

Now, today, here I am.  Twenty four years later with a life transformed... And it's all because I wanted to 'date' - NOT marry.  I didn't want anything serious... I figured I had raised my boys and now I needed some adult companionship to spend time with... after all, eventually my boys would be gone.

So onto I went... and after some funny dates & meeting some nice guys and some jerks, I met Don.  He too was not looking to get married again... "Perfect" I thought.  We can have fun without any pressure.  We will live in the moment. 

Time traveled on and we went from just dating to a little more serious, then to a lot more serious.  And while we eventually decided to live together, we didn't decide to get married.  I had determined that I was good with where we were... I never brought up the word marriage.

But then he started talking about it... little things, here and there... and I routinely changed the subject.  What we had was good, I thought... Why throw in the monkey wrench of marriage?  Plus I still had a child at home... A grown child, but my child still the same.  Marriage & kids... that had warning signs all around my head.

And then an opportunity came for me that would allow me to travel for work.  I jumped at the chance, since one of my mottos is "have passport will travel".  And so I began.  Going from here to there to everywhere...Gone for a week or two at a time.  Sleeping in hotels (and sometimes airports).  Eating fast food or bland airport salads.   Finding out that I was missing him more than I thought I would.

Missing that wonderful smile and that strange elf laugh!  Missing him complaining about the sandwich Brandy stole 2 years ago!   Missing him ask me why when it is 90 degrees in the house that I have to have the sheet on me or I can't sleep - even while I sweat!  Listening to him tell me yet again, "well I don't know any Black person who does..." and me thinking -"he needs to increase his social circle!  He's in a box & doesn't even know it!"  Just Missing Him!

I sometimes think that God put that job in front of me so I could be away from him for periods of time so I would think about what it would be like if we stopped living together.  Eventually I realized that I wouldn't want to be without him.  But then fear (or the devil) took over so I didn't venture into 'marriage', I just stuck with the status quo and didn't give the future much thought.  I was living in the moment - yet I was beginning to wonder about marriage, about what that would be like.  I was wondering if I could do it again?  If I should?  I wondered if he really wanted to get married or were his little comments just comments and nothing more... I wondered what my kids would think, what my brother would think.  I wondered about my stuff, his stuff, our stuff... I feared that my feelings would change. 

Then on January 6, 2012, he asked me to marry him.  And with those 4 little words "Will you marry me?", all those fears vanished.  I looked at him and knew that he loved me & that I loved him.  Those words transformed me...

I have a pre-January 6th self and a post January 6th self.

My post January 6th self has taken the lessons of the past with a hope to never repeat them.  My post January 6th self knows that while there are no guarantees in life, and that life without transformation is not life.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Busy as a Bee


A while ago, a friend gave me these slippers because, she said, I was as always busy as a bee.   While she may think so, I don't think I fit into that category any longer.  I did fit in that category when my boys were younger.  I was always moving... always doing something.  And even when I was scared to death, lonely, worried, happy, sad or mean, everything I was doing (in my mind) was important... because I was a "mommy".  I was raising my sons.  I was doing the most important job that God gave me... I had failed at being a wife, but I was determined that I would not fail at being a mother.   

Today, looking back at my "buzzing days" I would have done many things differently --- to make my sons' childhood happier.  But I did the best I could at the time.  And I prayed A LOT!  Today, I look at my sons and think "Wow! Prayer works!" 

And every day I am grateful for my babies that have grown into wonderful men... But then again, every day, I miss the sounds of those little feet running in and out of the house.  I miss cooking for them.  I miss watching them grow up.   
And, they did grow up.  And now, I have 3 grand children & one on the way.  In my mind's eye years ago, I thought that once I had grand children that I would be able to fully enjoy them!  As I pondered - I thought of all the things I would one day give my grand children that I was not able to give my children.  I thought of the candy I would feed them - not worrying about a sugar high (LOL).  I thought about how I would side with them when their "mean dad" wanted them to cut the grass, clean the bathroom - or pick up their dirty socks.  "Poor little baby" I would say.  "I don't know why your dad is so mean." I would chuckle. 

So far...
one little girl,                                                         

& two boys

  and one on the way

Unfortunately, they live in Texas & Florida... not Ohio.  Not where I can hug and kiss them all the time.  Not where I can sit outside and talk to them one on one.  Not where they can come spend the night at Gram's house (or as Tehtum calls me "GrandMom").  I feel like I am missing out... I am missing little feet running around, I am missing out on first words, first steps - a myriad of 'firsts'.  And that makes me sad...

But I am lucky because I know that my sons and the women in their lives are good parents ---- and there is FACEBOOK! 

While I can't see their "firsts" up close and personal, their moms keep me up to date - and for that I am VERY grateful...

I am no longer "busy as a bee", since I don't have little ones to care for, to watch grow... But now, I'm another kind of busy...

Planning a wedding, ensuring my house gets put back together, enjoying my opportunity to work at a job I truly like, traveling to states I would probably never voluntarily choose to visit, (i.e. Mississippi, Arkansas or Georgia) and of course, loosing weight!

And while I do miss my grand children, I can look down at these slippers and remember my buzzing life.  Thank God for memories... & thank God my friend gave me these slippers that remind me so much of my buzzy days. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Wedding Venues... the Planning Begins!

So we have started looking at venues to have our reception (and maybe wedding - who knows). 

We've seen an old mansion in Delaware called Andrews House.  The hard wood floors, the fireplace, and the beautiful staircase were all things that caught my eye.  And because it is used as a place to care for those in need during the week, I felt good about supporting such a wonderful and important mission.  Yet, when we went in, it was beautiful, but obvious that it would not meet our needs.

We've driven around and looked at places like Ohio Wesleyan.  The outside is gorgeous - the pictures would be great.  But we haven't seen the inside yet. 

While getting my hair done, I pondered the Columbus Museum of Art, but quickly gave up when I saw that space rental ranged from $1,000 to $4,000 (yup - four thousand dollars!!!!) for an evening affair.  I've thought of the Columbus Downtown Library--- but not only is that a bit too "Sex in the City-ish", it is probably outside of my budget as well.

I looked at Franklin Park Conservatory in a magazine - and it looks wonderful - but I suspect out of my price range --- but I'm going to check anyway. 

I've thought about the room under the theatre at St. Charles...  It was a pretty room, as I recall and the pictures would be wonderful!

Last week we looked at the Council for Older Adults here in Delaware.  And I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the room was - and how informative the event director was.  And again, our money going to help a worthy cause makes me feel warm inside.

The last place I looked at (so far) was Brookshire.  Haven't been inside yet... Just looked at the web site. 

I continue to look at venues... and I'm starting to form a picture in my head of this day...

Arriving at HRSJ

Walking down this aisle

Hopefully it will start this way.... we Catholics are the "church of rules" I know - so while I am hoping this will be the aisle, I know it might not be because sometimes our beloved church is on an isle of her own.

No matter the beginning, the reception tables will be draped in white linen...a cobalt blue table runner will call hold a floating candle and gifts for our guests.

Our guests will arrive to a warm and inviting space.  Casual yet elegant.  Inviting.  No bling.  Music from our world - R&B, Jazz, Line Dancing Music.  Aromas of the delicious meal to come will waft through the air.    

The sounds of happiness, joy, peace & laughter will fill the air.  Lots of "how are yous" & "hmmm good food" and probably some "lord have mercy, I thought we'd never get here!" will be said.  

And when all is said & done, Don & I will look around at our family & friends.  We'll see them having a good time... And we will say "Yup, it was worth it". 

That's my vision... Two people destined to be together.  Two people with friends and family supporting their every step.  Two people who are declaring their love before God and all.  Two people wanting to say "Thank You" to our loved ones with a party.  A party that is casual, elegant, inviting. 

And at the end of the night... two people who will look at one another and say "Yup!  It WAS worth it!"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More NOPEs than CHECKs

Electric redone and house safe - CHECK
Refrigerator chosen and purchased - CHECK
Stove chosen - NOPE :-(
Dishwasher chosen NOPE :-(
Televisions chosen NOPE :-(
Home Theatre System chose - CHECK; Purchased - NOPE :-(
DVD Player chosen - NOPE :-(  Do they even make simple DVD players anymore????
Pencil Sharpener - Just need to get to the store
Beds - That's going to take a while :-(
Pillows - Ordered
Carpet chosen - NOPE
Wall color chosen - NOPE
Carpentry eve started - NOPE!!!!!

The list goes on and on... And I continue to have more NOPEs than CHECKs...

So the reason we had a fire in the house was to teach us patience--- I'm failing that lesson!