“I hope you know I did my best, while still believing that ONE DAY he would stay sober.”

An open letter to my two adult children & those that may need to hear these words …

I’m soooo sorry you have just suffered the loss of your father, at such a young age. It’s not fair to you. Even though you may have felt prepared for this moment, you’re never, ever really prepared … and that is a fact.

I’m sorry that you never really got to know the man that he “could have been” … You had glimpses, and because of those glimpses, you both had HOPE! We all did.

I’m so sorry that your hearts have, yet again, been broken by by the man you yearn to call “Daddy” … but I CAN promise you, it was the last time.

I don’t want to dwell on bad times. Anyone who has dealt with addiction, knows the dark and dirty it can do to someone. I need you both to know that I am SO PROUD of who the two of you are turning out to be … You are both smart, funny, loving … You are growing into fine, KIND HUMANS, and that was, and is, my only goal for you as people of this world … With all that both of you have been through, I’m grateful that you have chosen paths to better yourselves. It’s easy to fall, and make bad choices when you have every reason to, but it takes courage and strength to stand and power through all the bull shit neither of you deserved, and come out so much better, and happier, on the other side. This is officially the end of the chapter in your lives, that I tried so hard, as your mother, to protect you from. I hope you know I did my best, while still believing that ONE DAY he would stay sober.

That being said …

Let me tell you a story …

Back in 1997, when I married your dad, we had great dreams of having children, owning a home, having pets … that white picket fence … and for a very short time, we did.

You guys were babies when he and I separated, and ultimately divorced … I have about six years of great memories with him …

The way he courted me back in 1995, it was like I was the only female in the world … he really knew how to make me feel special … he would open the door for me … always … even the car door … always … he was charismatic, good looking and just an all around fun guy to be around. There was no greater love in my eyes, at that time. I was head over heels! No one could tell me ANYTHING! I remember the first time I saw him … it was a bright, sunshiny day in July. We were both attending Dover Business College. My friend Sylvia, and I were walking back to class from our break, and your father and his buddy, Dave (Donato), were walking towards us … we totally made eye contact, smiled at each other … and I said to my friend … “I’m gonna marry that boy!” … and I did.

Our relationship was special. I know that many people may never understand what it was I saw in him … but I do. This was way before his addiction. We never fought … until much later on, but that was because of his addictions … it wasn’t who he was. He was kind and gentle, like you Seany. He was actually the type of person who would give you his shirt off his back, if it meant the other person had something to wear, like you, Morgan. I’m not here to glorify him, but I am here to give you a better understanding of the man he “could have been”, and the understanding of why I chose him to be my husband, and your father.

I know you both have your own memories that you will hold on to for the rest of your life. I’m so happy that you have a few decent ones to stick your claws into, and never, ever let them go. One day you’ll be able to forgive him for the hurt and angst that he has caused the both of you, and you’ll smile when you remember the corny, goofy guy he was.

Again, I’m not here to defend the man who once, almost, destroyed me … but I am here to tell you both,

THANK YOU …

Thank you for being the reasons I always got up in the morning … there were many that I would have rather stayed in bed …

Thank you for being the reasons I vowed to be the best mom to you both …

Thank you for being the reasons I worked so hard as a single mom to give you both everything you needed, wanted and more.

But most importantly … Thank you for loving me through all my faults. Everything I have done since you’ve been born, has been for you both.

Life happens and people change, but I hope you know that your father loved you both so much. The problem wasn’t YOU … the problem was that he didn’t love himself enough to change his addiction. Although you have lived through some pretty tumultuous times … the good, most definitely, outweighs the bad … hold on to every silver lining you can … because all you have now are your memories … I hope they make you smile, and not sad. Just know that he is no longer suffering … he really loved you guys the best way he knew how.

To my ex husband, Sean Michael … Thank you for giving me 2 of my greatest treasures in this world. Without you, I wouldn’t have them. I hope you know that I was always there for you, even when you didn’t deserve me to. I went to bat for you more than I ever should have, because like I said before … we all had glimpses of the man you could’ve been, so I had faith and hope. I’m sorry that you couldn’t fight the demons without some type of substance in your body. I wish, for our children, that you could have won, and been there to see weddings, grand babies, graduations, and just so much more … but I know you’ll be watching from above … please protect your children … all of them.

Again, To my children … Know that I love you more than I can ever convey in words. I’ll always be here for you, no matter what, and I feel that your father wanted to be, he just couldn’t.

To Desiree, Eva and Jeffrey … No matter where our paths have lead us and where they will lead us … we all have a bond that no one will ever understand, unless they have lived this nightmare. I don’t take for granted the special memories we do have. They will forever remain in my heart, always.

Lastly … To my husband … YOU … are my rock. YOU … are the one who taught me to think with my head, and not my heart, and I’ll forever be grateful to you for that. You have never let me, or our family down, and we are all grateful to have you in our lives, but most importantly in our hearts. My only regret is that we didn’t reconnect sooner, so we could be together that much longer. I love you, always, forever.

I hope someone finds peace in my words.

I love you all!

RIP Sean Michael Gill … I truly hope you are at peace.

The New Norm: Are we ready?!

” … week 1 and week 2 … AWESOME. Amazing, actually. Rock Star Parenting, at its finest. We had a schedule. We did electives. Structure. IT WAS REALLY FUN!”

I want to openly speak here for a minute … While I try to write on the regular, I seldom post my work on WordPress, and honestly, I’m not sure why.  When quarantine first happened, I made a resolution to myself … I was SO, 100% SURE, I was going to organize this, and organize that … I was SO, 100% SURE, I was going to start posting on here again.  I was so 100%, sure.  I mean, I had two weeks to get shit done.  Time that I always complained, I never had. EVER!

I was GREAT, week 1 and week 2, probably 1/2 of week 3, it’s all a blur.  I organized the hell outta my downstairs.  My living space was finally livable again.  Immaculate.  But for the LOVE OF GOD … LIFE happens, and when you are now back to preparing (or, at the very least, SUPPOSED to prepare) all three meals,  for all three kids, sometimes 4, plus two adults who are trying their DAMNEST to stay on Keto … it becomes a little overwhelming … quite overwhelming, actually.  Being able to eat out several nights a week, was very important to this busy go go family.

And, for F’s sakes people … Let’s not forget that we are now teachers, in the literal aspect, to our children.  It’s okay … throw any challenge at me and I will try to prevail, and if I don’t, I will go down my hardest, trying.  Again … week 1 and week 2 … AWESOME. Amazing, actually.  Rock Star Parenting, at its finest.  We had a schedule.  We did electives. Structure. IT WAS REALLY FUN! Two weeks, right?! We were supposed to be “locked down” … “in quarantine” … for FOURTEEN DAYS!

THAT, is tolerable.

Week 3, week 4, 5, 6 … It became old, real fast.  Every.  Fucking.  Meal.  That’s, a lot!  Trying to maintain our living space, that I worked so hard at organizing in the beginning, is like trying to vacuum with no bag.  Shit.  Goes.  Everywhere.  The End.  It’s near impossible to TRY and keep up with my 10 year old.  I bow down to the parents that have littles at home, special needs, more than 1 … I pray for you, EVERY DAY! I pray for us all.  We all have our things.

Speaking of which … Have I mentioned how much I miss my job?!  It, literally, tears at my soul that I am not working with the kids I did.  I miss them all.  I miss my girl.  The kids at school.  My friends at work.  Marissa misses her friends.  Physical contact with other beings, other than those that live in this house. Oh that’s right … Thing 1 has returned home?!  It’s okay … the more the merrier, in my opinion, especially during these times.  I’m better than okay with it, for I also know, it won’t be forever.  Thing 2 is already planning her escape next year … Meanwhile, poor Marissa … STUCK, for at least EIGHT more years!! Insert evil laugh.

I’m seriously ADHD.  I get so bored, so fast.  I want to do what I want, when I want … I don’t want to organize because that’s what I’m “supposed to be doing” … I want to organize because I want to organize.  Having all these “beings” at home, at the same time … all on top of each other, nowhere to go … except 100 Living Room Way, or 55 Kitchen Island … hang a left to the Potty Oasis, where the motto is … “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat … or your mother will hunt you down”, is NOT the ideal situation to start organizing your life.  So what happens next, is mind blowing, to me.

Weeks 7 – 10 … Ten weeks … Seventy-something days, we have finally found a “new way” in this “quarantine world”.  My youngest has a new routine, a new schedule.  Her teachers are fabulous, she is fabulous.  She doesn’t need me as much as she did in the beginning, and where I may be a little sad about it, it’s a testament to her awesome teachers for being, well … AWESOME, and for Marissa being equally as awesome, as well.  We miss everyone, but we have begun to “re-learn” each other, if you will.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  When every day is a constant, go go go, you tend to lose sight of what’s really important.  FAMILY is what is MOST important, in my opinion, and as much as you go go go FOR your family, the best you can give them, is just by being there with them.

I call my middle child, the perfect child … well, everything except her damn mouth (not sure where she gets that from <insert evil laugh>) … she typically doesn’t know when to STFU.  That’s just a cold hard, FACT!  I sometimes feel, that she feels neglected.  Don’t worry, she’s totally not … it’s just that “self-entitled” mentality that generation seems to have.  She knows she is loved.  It’s a huge reminder that it SO matters how you raise your children.  YOU are responsible for molding the little creature you created, into a responsible product of society.  However, you can only lead a horse to water, you cannot make them drink.  I feel that being forced to be home, and not on the go, 1000% of the time, has really made a difference, in how that generation of children think.  At least I see the difference in my very stubborn, almost 19 year old, daughter.

We are social beings, by nature.  It’s okay to miss our friends, what was our old norm … but it’s so beautiful to see a new norm transpiring.  It’s like the metamorphosis of a butterfly … starts out cute, goes through some “things“, makes a mess, secludes itself, and comes out this magnificent creature, on the other side.

That’s how I feel with my family. 

FAMILY2

Having a blended family is hard.  I am NOT here to sugar coat ANYTHING!  It hasn’t always been unicorns and rainbows, but we have always prevailed.  ALWAYS!  Getting thrown into a relationship, neither one was really prepared for, but both were completely committed to, had its share of challenges, to say the least.  Yes, we have battle wounds, and yes, we have scars, but YES, we have so many MORE sublime memories, which thoroughly out weigh any negative there has ever been, ever.  This “new norm” we have been faced with, is a beautiful reminder that family, is all we really need to survive, and thrive, in this crazy world, which we are ALL blessed to live.

Even my husband has been a little more helpful / playful, around the house … a little. Let’s be real, he has (or had) the thought process of, I work and provide … you be mom / wife / maid.  He had this … Me Dick.  You Jane, type mentality, but not really, any more.  As a matter of fact, as I type this … outside my kitchen window, I hear my youngest, and my husband laughing, giggling, washing their bikes, together, chasing each other with the water hose.

“Fun Fact”: That wouldn’t be happening any other week night.  That’s for damn sure.  As a matter of fact, he wouldn’t even be home yet.

I guess the point I’m getting at … I don’t know what I want more … Life as it was, or life as it could be.  Sure, I miss my friends … but do they miss me as much as I miss them?  Maybe. It’s the life we were used to!  For the first time, in a long time, I feel like people don’t care what others are doing.  I never really did, anyhow.  I’ve always cherished the life I have.  I know how delicate life can be, or is.  I know the struggles of every day life. I have lived them, more than once.  I’m up for any challenge that is thrown at me … but I feel like it’s 1985 again … ya know, minus the technology part of the decade, that’s just added bonus at this point.  I feel like, LIFE is simple again.  Family is what is most important.  Yes, while friends play a very important socialization role in all our lives, and I miss mine terribly … BUT, if I’m being honest … I’m still okay with being home, in “quarantine”, with my loves.  I almost feel like a hypocrite, because I post on how I want shit to go back to “normal”, but I think I’m all right with this new normal.  For the love of God, just don’t take away my lake this summer, and no one will get harmed! Ha!

Another thought … I’m almost afraid that when life does go back, I may be sad.  I will miss my husband being here ALL THE TIME, when at the beginning, quite frankly, that scared the crap outta me.  I’m afraid that all the conversations I’m having with my children, will go away … again.  I say again, because when you are at a certain stage with your children, you are driving them EVERYWHERE.  Those car ride coversations … ahhh, there really is nothing like them.  Once they get their license, they are driving themselves … All those little, but more than meaningful conversations, went away.  Now that we have all been back together, it’s been wonderful having those conversations again.  Having my son’s sweet, handsome face in my presence when he comes home from work, (yes … he is essential) has just been the light of my life.

Maybe I’m just getting older.  Feeling nostalgic.  Feeling the burn of kids growing too fast.  I needed to get these thoughts out on to paper.  I need for people to believe that everything will be okay.  It’s up to YOU to decide your future.  How you roll with your own friends and family.  I’m not here to judge anyone.  I’ve never been that person, anyhow.  You do you!  I’m ready to start our new normal.  I’m ready to hang around people again, in small doses, of course, but what I’m most ready for, and excited about, (and I promise you, this has been a long time coming), I’m ready to dedicate myself, a million percent, to making sure my kids feel the love they deserve.  There is nothing greater than feeling loved and appreciated.  I know that I’m already that person, but having lost, THE MOST IMPORTANT person in my life, almost two years ago, I haven’t really been the best version of me, that I know I AM!  I know this.  I accept this, and with this blog, comes the “new, OLD me“.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I hope it brings clarity to at least one person.