HAPPY OCTOBER - HAPPY MONDAY
Wow! October already! What better way to start off the week, than with a fresh, new month! Happy Monday everyone!! October is one of my favorite and least-favorite months. I love it for lots of reasons: Halloween, pumpkin-scented candles, lotions and etc., cooler weather, the whole "Autumn-themed" decor sold everywhere, my little sister's birthday, cinnamon brooms, ah...I could go on and on.
Its also a very sad month. Five years ago on Oct. 3, my mom passed of a brain aneurysm. It was unexpected and very tragic. It continues to haunt my family and I. Her death is the one thing that has literally almost destroyed all of us and has torn us apart.
I thought I would take the time to share a little bit of how her death has personally affected me. That's why I'm starting My Monday. My Monday will be a small diary-type post where I'll delve into a little more about me, my personal adventures, triumphs, despair and heartache. I won't be giving advice or tips, rather than experiences that I've had, whether good or bad.
My Monday: my mom's death
I got the call around 6:20pm. It was a Wednesday. Something had happened and mom was not responding, I had to get to my mom and dad's QUICK!! By the time I got there 10 min later, the EMT's were on scene and I knew then and there, I would never talk to my mom again, never laugh or cry with her again. Never get to tell her I love her again. (as I'm typing this, tears are just pouring out of my eyes) She died instantly and at that very moment, I knew that my life would never, ever be the same again.
I didn't know, however, just how difficult it would be to pick up the pieces and move forward. How hard it was going to be just to get out of bed in the morning. I couldn't face my co-workers or classroom parents, work was out of the question. How taking care of Ben was now so incredibly hard to do, knowing I couldn't call her for advice anymore. I worried so much about Ben - he was just 2yrs old, just a baby! How would he ever remember her? He could barely talk, how would he tell me how this was making him feel? Did it even affect him or was he too young to grasp the confusion and commotion? What was I supposed to do?
I couldn't cope. I couldn't deal with the fact she was dead. I put on a brave face for the world, but inside, I was so scared, alone, miserable. Nothing brought me any type of hope or happiness. I spent the next 3 years masking the pain. I grew further and further away from my dad and siblings, I had no more friends. It was just my kid, my man and me. It was safe, it was what I thought I wanted - just to be alone. I lost two jobs and was in jeopardy of losing another. I was a wreck. I was doing things I knew my mom wouldn't like, yet, nothing could stop me.
December 2009 is when Karl decided enough was enough. He got me help. I spent the next 2 years seeing a therapist and dealing with all these emotions. I'm done with therapy now and I'm much happier and healthier. I am still trying to "right" all the "wrongs" I did while in that grey part of my life, it's not easy looking at yourself and admitting that you have screwed up. I feel so extremely sorry for not being there the way I could, no, should have been for Ben and Karl. For doing so many hurtful things to people without even realizing it, for causing pain to those who love me, for everything....
I don't know what would be worse, knowing your going to loose your parent, or having them taken away suddenly. Either way, it's the most horrible thing a person could go through aside from loosing a child and or spouse. It leaves a hole in your soul that no matter how much time passes or how well you "move on", you never really move on, you move forward. You do the best you can, the best way you know how. Sure, you're gonna screw up, gonna do and say things you later regret, but that's all part of the grieving process. There's such a flood of emotions that come along with losing a parent, some of which are not very appealing. If I took anything away from loosing her, it would be that nobodies perfect. We all make mistakes, it's how we pick up our lives from the ashes of those mistakes and move forward, is what really counts.
Love like today's your last day on earth, always say goodbye when you leave and never go to bed angry. Admit when your wrong, say your sorry and give hugs. You can't bring them back, but did they ever really leave? Your parents are a part of you, they will always be with you, whether they're 5 minutes away or waiting for you in heaven. I love you mom, you were an inspiration to me, you were and will always be my hero. I miss you everyday.
FOR YOUR HEALTH - Butt Out!!
This week's edition of For Your Health is all about smoking! According to the World Health Organization, every 6.5 seconds, a current or former smoker dies worldwide, causing around 6 million deaths a year! 430,000 to 450,000 of those deaths occur in the US! Out of those deaths, 168,000 will be from cancer caused by tobacco use. There is only a 15% chance of survival from lung cancer.
The Center for Disease Control reports that 29% of women who smoke heavily will die middle aged compared to 9% of women who do not smoke. There will be 70,354 less women here at the end of the year. We loose that many of our sisters to lung cancer caused by smoking! That is an unreal number to me!! 70,354 women who could live long, prosperous lives! They also report that 21% of American adults smoke. That's roughly around 44.5 million people.
These states have the highest mortality-caused-by-smoking rate in the US: Kentucky, West Virginia and Nevada. Utah and Hawaii reported the lowest deaths per year. Numbers and facts don't lie. It's time to do it. If not for yourself (although, that should be reason enough), for your children, your spouse, your family and friends. Even your pets will thank you!
For the record, I am a smoker, well, I'm quitting - I have an electronic cigarette and have done very well with water-vapor smoking (YAY me!!). I started smoking when I was 18 yrs old. I loved smoking and never even thought about quitting! After watching my dad get ill and know that a lot of his problems are because he smokes, I suddenly had a change of attitude. I wanted to be done! I couldn't let Ben be put into the situation my siblings and I were thrust into with my dad's ailing health.
The health reasons alone are enough to make anyone want to quit - CANCER!!! COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and a host of other things, just to name a few. There are other reasons to butt it out as well. Smoking stains your hair, upper lip and fingers yellow; if you smoke indoors, you will eventually have a film of yellow nicotine stains on your walls, furniture, cabinets, vents, basically all over! Your clothes and hair stink and it makes your home smell like an ashtray. I hop that this For Your Health has motivated some of you out there to "Butt Out"!!
I'm very passionate about this and I'm determined to quit! I'll keep everyone updated on my adventures in quitting :-)
This week, I've got lots of exciting posts and features! Tomorrow's Tasty Tuesday, so watch for a new recipe! What to Really Expect Wednesday is going to be good this week - I can't wait for you to read it! Also, all this month, I'll be posting Halloween party tips, treats and costume ideas. I'll also share with you my fun and kid-friendly (I swear) plans of action for cleaning your child's bedroom, organizing toys and getting rid of toys no longer used to make way for new ones (Santa's visit is just around the corner)! Keep checking daily for new updates to the blog and as always, leave comments or email me! Follow my adventures in pictures on Instagram or on Twitter!
Peace, Love and Light,