May 2006


A Appreciative
P Plain
A Arty
R Responsible
E Enchanting
N Normal
T Timeless
S Square
M Meek
E Enchanting
M Meek
O Outrageous
I Ideal
R Radiant
S Secretive
Just a fun thing to do

Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com

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On_a_clear_day_at_the_beachby_fredericomendes.jpg      So we’ve been unable to talk for days. I can’t believe Liz is actually afraid to talk to me. There have been short durations of time in the past where she has been silent but this is really the longest.

About a week ago Liz called me and informed me she was 140 dollars over drawn. Needless to say I was not pleased. She has no job, and knows the only money she has is what I put in her account, so how on earth could she be overdrawn. When I looked at her account it was clear. She went to McDonalds one day for about 10 dollars and Starbucks one day for about 3 dollars. Doesn’t sound like much, right, but it is a lot when you have nothing. Those two small purchases caused 104 dollars with of overdraft fees from the back. When I saw that I went nuts. I told her how disappointed I was in her. How she has been lazy long enough and it was time to get serious about finding a job. How she was being inconsiderate as I was attempting to keep her afloat for the past four months, and now her  brother, Jeff, as I was going to have to pay his rent this month as well (and just got done paying some of his security deposit on his new apartment). In addition, Jake is graduating and I had to find the money to ensure he got to experience it all, grad night, etc etc. Liz seemed shocked that I was so angry. I mean, come on, 104 dollars just out the window. I think I used every cuss word in the book, and continued to push the subject of her irresponsibility.  I finally told her I was so angry with her I had to go, but informed her first thing in the morning she was to call the bank and try to get some of the funds returned as I immediately put money in her account.

I was so upset when we hung up I sent her a text message:
MOM: I am disappointed, I don’t think you understand I can’t pay my stuff with your stuff and your brother’s stuff, and now this. And in one week or so both rents are due. HELP!! Fix this bank mess. I love you both a lot.

The next day…nothing

The next day…nothing

Two phone calls from me….no answer

Finally 4 days later I sent her a text message:

MOM: I called yesterday you never called me back. Did you call the bank?

Day 5:

Liz: I will. I have no minutes that is why I can’t call back. Yesterday my phone was dead and charging.

Day 6:

Liz: I called them and they are not giving the money back. So tomorrow I’m going to talk to Jeff’s friend at the bank. I’ll call you at nine and tell you details.

Day 7:

Liz: Sorry, I haven’t called you back. I knew how mad you were with me and honestly was scared to call you. I started working yesterday at IV market, training, I still have no minutes but I think I’m seeing Jeff later so I will definitely call you then. So sorry I’ve been avoiding you. Love you.

My response to her text message:

MOM: I love you too. Glad you are working. You will feel much beter about things. I was very upset as money is so right. I know you didn’t do it on purpose. You have to be more careful. So now that you are working will you still be able to take your brother to Encino at 3am and what about Jake’s graduation.

Liz’s response in txt:

Liz: I don’t work again until the 3rd of June.

Day 8…nothing, but I got a call from Jeff about Liz driving him to Encino for drill  (his two weeks). Jeff asked me to put money in Liz’s account for gas. When asked why Liz didn’t call Jeff stated he didn’t know. When asked where Liz was he said outside. I asked if she wanted to talk to me, Jeff said he didn’t know.

So basically we aren’t talking. Her mistake and she shuts me out. I guess she is going to have to come around in her own time. I am not going to baby her on this one. She has to learn that her actions touch us all.

I just sent Liz a text message stating:

MOM: I put money for gas in your account. Since you are still afraid to call I will see you when you come home. Don’t forget to bring your computer home so I can get pictures. I love you.

Kids can be so emotionally draining – even when they are adults. No matter where I go the cloud follows. Hopefully, the sun will shine soon. Jake's graduation is on Thursday and I hope Liz can get over it before then.

(for now I will just remember the lazy days on the beach with the kids…oh how simple life was back then)

motherhood1-05.jpg     I can not recall the last time we were all together as an entire family. There are times when it is Liz, Geoff and I, or Jeff and Geoff, or Liz and Geoff, and of course Liz, Jeff and Jake, but usually it is just Jake, Geoff and I, as Jake is the only one living at home.

Yesterday, do not ask me how, Geoff, I, and yes, Jacob, went to
Santa Barbara to see Liz and Jeff. I was actually shocked that Jake agreed to go. First off, no 17 year old wants to ride in the back seat listening to their parent’s music. It helps that we listen to a lot of the same stuff, but just the same I was pleasantly surprised Jake agreed to go.

We got a late start, which all the kids had a problem with, but because Geoff needs to catch up on sleep during the weekends a late start is the best we could do. When we arrived in SB we met Liz at Jeff's home. I was shocked, if that is a strong enough word. Jeff's house is a SHIT HOLE (his words). Liz told me it use to be nice but with the constant parties, the people throwing up, and whatever goes on there it has come to look like it did in a few short months. I swear sitting down in there was difficult. At one point I needed to use the bathroom, but since there's no door and you just have to announce "I have to pee" I opted to wait until we left.

We left before Jeff got off work and took Liz grocery shopping. Liz lives about 10 minutes from Jeff and since Jeff had about another hour to work we figured we would get some errands done. While there we went into Supercuts to give Jessica a hug (Jeff's ex girlfriend who moved there to be near him only to end up hating him and he her). Jessica showed me her new tattoo and rambled and laughed with me just like the good old days.

After visiting with Jessica and grocery shopping we went to Liz's house. I guess her house is supposed to be a step up from Jeff's but to me it was almost the same. Yes, it was a bit cleaner, but still, it looks like a dive.

I guess I have never given much thought to the dwelling they lived in. After all, Liz has lived in 5 different places since moving to
Santa Barbara, and Jeff has lived in two. I know it is a college way of living, and for the most part they live in a world of "How many kids can we cram into this apartment to help pay for rent" but my goodness to live in someone else's filth is just beyond me.

Finally, Jeff got off work and we met him at his house. The first thing, after a long, hard hug, was "Yeah Mom, how do you like my shit hole?" I just smiled and said it was dirty. Immediately I noticed he was drinking a beer. I don't understand why he had to drink a beer if he knew he was going to see me. He knows how I feel about alcohol, and he really knows how I feel about alcohol and him. Shit, he is not 21, and he has had so much trouble with alcohol why does he have to drink, and why flaunt it in front of my face. Of course I made a remark, to which he responded that he wasn't getting drunk, he had a hard day at work and he was in his home. I offered no response but he knew how I felt. We talked some about his move, as he and Adam #2 (Liz's ex who is something an ex and sometimes not and lives with Jeff) will be good for him. They found a studio apartment, 950 a month, which will be just theirs. Jeff seems to think that living in one room with Adam will stay cleaner, if for no other reason than there are not a million other kids living there or able to stay there. I hope that is the case and Jeff and Adam have better luck living together, without the masses.

Jeff and I hit one rough patch, of course when we were talking about money. I paid part of his deposit on the new place (again) and will have to pay his rent on the first as he does not get paid until the 8th of the month, and he will be away for his 2 month duty for the Marines. I made a comment about that as he kept spouting how independent he is, to which his response was I do nothing for him as he pays me back everything I give him. I guess when you are a kid (young adult) and you pay back SOME things you take that to mean you always pay back. I did not keep talking about it as he can become hurtful with words, as he did. I just cried when he left the room because I could not hold it in. I know he does no think it is hurtful, and I know he does not want to be hurtful, but what can I say..I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to the kids, how I feel about them, and how they feel about me.

It was nice, for the most part, being with Geoff and all three kids. It doesn't happen very much as the young adults are off living their own lives. Dinner went well, and I felt great joy in my heart watching Liz, Jeff and Jake interact; laughing and joking with each other was a great sight. After dinner Jeff took us to his work; showing us the facility and his desk. He really is doing well in the work arena and I am so proud of him for that. Before we left Jeff showed me the new studio apartment. It is in a better area, and closer to his job; walking distance is a huge plus when you don't have a driver’s license.

We hugged and kissed goodbye and on the road Geoff, Jake and I went.

All in all a heart warming day with all three of my kids; yes, there were a few rough patches, as I think there will always be, but just the same we love each other. We may differ on what is best, but we are there for each other – always. It was just what I needed – a FULL family day – my heart is full.

I love my family.

Jake, Liz, Jeff, Jessica, Adam
The above picture was taken when Jeff was stationed at Pendleton in June 2005

151f61dfa554e579.jpg     I am from teeter totters and “I Love Lucy”, from Ovaltine that never really tasted like chocolate and St. Joseph’s baby aspirin rich in that wondrous orange flavor which I took for candy.

I am from the white and grey apartment squeezed between many of the same with fake wooden shutters with chipped brown flakes resting on the welcome mat.  The house with high windows far above the beds, so high that the outside world could barely be seen from the tip toes of two little girl’s standing atop the beds. Where the rolling dishwasher made trips from corner to corner during the earth’s call to us, screaming I am here you best listen. The house where everyone knew everyone’s name and complete life history, except for the person called “My Son” who to this day the name remains unknown. The house where a father raised daughters with laughter and tears; and where the alley was the road to “Let’s make a deal.”

I am from the jungle of ivy imprisoning the residents to their homes unless crossing through them cautiously as though it was a matter of life and death.  I am from the warm redness puddle at my feet in an early attempt to defy Ms. Ivy. The sweet smells of spring which marries the nose with the greatest of ease to cause hay fever and tears. I am from the hills of Hollywood and green like hills thought to be mine and mine alone.

I am from bean and bacon soup and tuna sandwiches every Friday night, joined in partnership with kerosene lamps and radio mystery shows; always bringing forth a fear so happily accepted. From a family who could go months without seeing each other and pick up right where they left off on the last word spoken. I am from an uncle who lived to travel the world through words, carried over land and sea via CB radio, and an aunt who accepted the motherhood role at times only to punish as equally as she did her own children. I am from a wonderful sister who didn’t understand the meaning of “No I won’t sing there’s a hole in the bucket” anymore and with great ease a sister who pulled one hair out of a tender head and said simply, “Sing.” I am from early memories of childhood joy until the newcomers came to invade the bliss of life I called mine.

From the fear that the man in the moon could truly see me as I saw him and the lies about the newcomers who came to conquer life as it was known and cherished.

I am from a community of Jews never knowing a gentile until living into two digits years. From Friday night services with pretty stained glass windows calling the bright sun out to play to Sunday school teachings. From beautiful sounds of deep vibrato, heavy scrolls passing before the eye, and words sometimes not understood.  

I am from the Hatfield and McCoy’s and always cautious to not cross the paths. From Oscar Meyer and the Winerschnitzel hot dog car, and home made candy. From lifesaver cookies to mountains of divinity cramping the stomachs of every child within 100 miles. I am from matzah bri and blintzes calling to a grumbling stomach and chocolate covered hallavah melting in a warm mouth.

From a father who stared society in the eye raising two daughters on his own when being in the care of a father was not popular. I am from a father who dedicated the first 10 or so years of his life to his family, children, and work, so that his children could have the basic necessities of life. From a father who cooked massive amounts of sweets every time his belt buckle got too tight, a man that cooked the sweets but never ate them. From a man who forgot all that he had done and brought others into the safe and secure world only to cause lasting memories of pain and sorrow. I am from a father that allowed his new wife to change all that was good in the precious gift called family.  I am also from a mother who was never meant to be a mother and still has not acquired the tools to take on the difficult job.

I am from very few photos, cracked and bent, as the family denigrated before my peak. From lyrics of songs only loved because they were her songs. I am from Deep Purple Haze and Donny Osmond songs sung with passion and puppy love. From backyard plays and theater curtains made from sheets. I am from riding bikes in the alley and calling it “Freeway” with penalties so horrendous they dare not be spoke of.

I am from where I am today, a mother of three, a former nursemaid, chauffer, and teacher. From marriage and divorce and beginnings and endings; from new loves and found passion.

I am from great quotes and poignant lyrics; lover of words and verbal expression.  I am from grey. I am here, I am there, I am nowhere. I neither bask in the light or cower in shadows. I blend into the scenery. You see me and you don't. I am the absence of color and all colors in one. I am the shade no one speaks of. I am grey. I am a work in progress and a woman whose mood changes with the wind. I am an equation that few figure out, but if figured out cherished for eternity. I am completely devoted in spite of my own insanity.

I am me in all its glory and darkness. From poetic chaos I am simply – me.

Stolen from Nance who stole it from supposedly sane who got it from HERE

Another Mother’s Day past and I for one can’t be happier. I don’t think this day will ever be one I feel good about. Early on I thought having my own children would make it easier, but honestly it hasn’t.

When the children were younger I could hide my sadness easier. There were always things to do; foods to prepare and family functions to attend, but now – now things are different.

It is an awful feeling to have such emptiness when it comes to your relationship with your mother. I could put more effort into building a relationship with her, but I really don’t know how to do that. She and I have tried to talk in years past but I think we both throw in the towel after a few attempts. It isn’t that there is hatred (at least I don’t think) it is more that we can’t find common ground. There is no point of reference; nothing to unite us. Biological is not enough to unite people, at least I haven’t felt it to this point.

A quote from “The Mother Knot” “… I was the girl who loved and hated her mother in equal measure, whose  longing was obvious and whose rage had always been concealed, even  – especially  – from herself…”

So if the above statement is something I truly feel then what do I do to change it? Is there really a possibility of a relationship when you have never had one? Maybe it is just me; others have been able to overcome a rift in a parent/child relationship and found each other. The fact that I cannot says something about me.

I keep thinking it is because she and I have never had a bond; no relationship at all. That being the case it feels impossible to build one starting out with nothing at all. Watching T.V. (ok I know one shouldn’t compare to the TV world) I really think it is just me with this issue. The television show Starting Over shows me that it can be done. Cassie gave a child up for adoption. Had no relationship with that child and was able to start to build a bond. So why can’t I? Is it really an impossible task or is my warped mind unable to free itself long enough to let her in; so many questions with no acceptable answers.

We have nothing in common, but is that really the reason – or merely a cold hearted daughter’s excuse? I don’t know if we have anything in common but I push enough so that I will never have to find out.

Anyway, just a bit of rambling from a swollen eyed daughter who hates mother’s day. The tears flow in private – no one needs to know or see – for the simple solution is break down the wall built high around me  ( in regard to her) – which I say, for now, No.

As for my day with my own children it was almost non existent. Liz called twice – and after talking about financial issues said, “Oh yeah Happy Mother’s Day.” When she lived in town she always made a point of getting me flowers, and spending time with me, but now that she is out of town I suppose “Oh yea Happy Mother’s Day” will do. My heart isn’t into mother’s day anyway, but somehow I wish she had attempted something more than the statement. I know she loves me so I am not going to place too much on a day that is like any other day. I really do know she loves me and our relationship is one based on love, trust and openness. What could she have said or done today to make that any different – nothing.

I talked to Jeff today as well. He was busy with his drill weekend (Marine Reserves) but called me to say he didn’t need Geoff to pick him up. Before he hung up he said, “Oh yeah Happy Mother’s Day. (did he and Liz set that up earlier..geez). He said he was busy and didn’t have much time but wanted to say hi. Jeff is a lot like me and doesn’t really go out for days such as mother’s day and birthdays. I am not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing. You would think I would accept and be completely satisfied with a statement and not a big ordeal since I don’t usually go all out either, but for some reason I want the thought behind the effort. Jeff and I have had our struggles, and though there is a lot I don’t condone in Jeff’s life he knows that I am always there to love him – no matter what. I am glad he knows he is loved even if he doesn’t like my position on any given subject.

Then there’s Jake. Jake was sweet; asking if I wanted to do anything or go anywhere. I think over the years he has come to know this day is miserable for me. He didn’t push it and for that I was grateful. I said I didn’t want to do anything and that was half true – so we left it at that. He went out for a bit and when he came back he brought roses. “Happy Mother’s Day Mom; okay gotta go now.” All in all the same Mother’s Day I have had every year for my entire life. Maybe it is time for a change  – maybe.  

(above linked pictures are dated – Liz current age 21 – Jeff current age 20 – Jake current age 17)

beer.JPG     So what can I say if it isn't Jeff it is Jake. Ok, maybe that isn't fair. Jake is pretty responsible, but still 8 beers!! He is at a friend's house and his girlfriend calls me. "Jill can Jake spend the night at Brett's?" Immediately I knew…"How many I asked" to which DJ stated she didn't know.

 Granted he is being responsible and not driving, but drinking. Moreover, Brett giving him the alcohol is very upsetting. Jake got on the phone and was still lucid; at least I think he was. Jake said he had 8 beers and was trying to be responsible and not drive home. I thanked him for that but reminded him "real" responsibility would have been not drinking. Of course there was no response.

I asked DJ to take Jake's keys and someone would go get him tomorrow. I don't want him trying to drive later if he finds himself in a drunken stupor.

I almost forgot…The other night I was having dinner with a friend and Liz called. She was sniffling so I asked if she had been crying, to which she stated she had. She said, "Mom I just wanted to say I love you. I really love you." Of course my heart melted but why this need to tell me (don't get me wrong it was lovely but usually "I need" follows it).I asked if she was alright. Liz responded…apparently she just watched the movie The Family Stone and it made her think of me. I immediately knew she was talking about the end of the movie where the mother (played by Diane Keaton) died. Liz has always been worried my health issues were going to rip me from her in much the same way. It was so sweet that she was so touched by that mother that she wanted to call her mother.It is those small things that remind you just how strong your relationships with your children (even adult children) are. Liz and I have grown into friends, but I am her mother first and foremost. I love my daughter and she loves me; isn't that wonderful! 

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