Posts Tagged With: Scott

Being a Parent …

Being a parent

 

What is being a parent? Donating sperm or giving birth doesn’t make you a parent.  Not donating sperm or giving birth, also doesn’t make you NOT a parent. Love, kindness, discipline, sacrifice, giving into the well-being of another human being – that’s what makes you a parent.

God has given me many gifts.  Most of all, he has given me the opportunity on several occasions to be a parent. I haven’t always been a good parent. I haven’t always made all the right decisions. I have made some really bad choices and made some really bad mistakes.  There’s no ‘but’ in that, either.  I’ve learned some things along the way, mostly from my mistakes.  I suffer still some of the consequences of those choices and mistakes.

I’ve come a long way.  I’ve come a very long way from being that scared young girl facing the decision of becoming a teen mother.  I was terrified.  I lived in hell and felt I had no one in this world I could trust.  I had no one to take care of me. Yet, there was this life growing inside of me – a defenseless child that I would be responsible to care for, to protect, and to provide simple everyday things. I couldn’t even provide those things for myself.  I had dreams. I had an escape plan to run off to the military that was going to take me away from the abuse I lived under and secure me a future – but if I chose her – I couldn’t escape – not yet.  There were days I hated the choices I had. There were times I wanted to give up, to die, especially when I was ridiculed and called names at school (Yes, I was that popular high-school slut wobbling down the halls everyone felt sorry for, or made fun of, or called names, or glared at with their disapproving eyes.) Yet, every time I felt my daughter move within my stomach, my hands would cradle my big belly and hope would grow – hope for a great life, a good future, a little bit of love in my dark gray world.  I would pay the price to make it happen – no matter what it cost me. I was young (16), scared, and didn’t know ANYTHING about being a parent. Hell, I didn’t even know how to be an adult. So, I made some mistakes.  But, everything I did – I did in love – love for her – love for the hope that she was going to one day bring into this world.  I don’t care how she was made – I’m the one that made the decision to bring her into this world.  EVERYONE I knew wanted me to give her up or abort her.  The religious didn’t want me to have an abortion, but they didn’t want me to raise her either.  The rest told me on a regular basis I was wasting my life, sacrificing my future, giving up my freedom when I had another choice.  I didn’t know much, but I already loved her and I wanted her – so I chose her.  It kills me that as an adult she doesn’t choose me, but I still have hope, and not for a millisecond regret my choice. She’s a beautiful, loving, kind woman and I am so proud of her.

I have two other children, who are also now adults, who make me smile every time I hear their voice, or see their texts, or video chat, or am able to wrap my arms around and hug them.  I also have the most beautiful grand-daughter. I love them with a love that is indescribable.  Not because I gave birth to them or genetically related to them.  Not because they’re good human beings.  But, for love.  The love I feel from them and for them. That love isn’t granted just because of genetics.  I never had that love for or from my parents.  Not ONCE, not EVER did they ever hug me – and if they had, I would have not felt that love.  My parents gave birth to me, but they were not parents – they were manipulative abusers that took a long time for me to escape.

I now have another child, another chance to be a mother to someone who needs a mother.  I look at this kid and see the manipulation and emotional abuse he’s been through and I remember that lost, scared, angry little girl I used to be – and I try to be the mother I needed, the friend I could have used, and the love that was desperately missing in my life.  Maybe he won’t have to face the same hard choices I had to face – and he will make better decisions, and his life will reach even greater opportunities.  Most of all – he is loved. Every day.  I am hard on him, I don’t let him get away with anything, and every day is a constant learning lesson – because I want him to be a good man. I want to teach him the things of this world that is going to make him a descent, caring, productive, and good man.  I find it ironic – He now has the opportunity to escape his abusers and run off to the military and secure himself a future.

Being a parent is hard.  It’s sacrifice. It’s constant love, constant worry, constant energy, constant demand, constant giving of your time, your focus, your life, your space, your money, your peace, and your choices. It’s about providing what is NEEDED, not wanted. It’s providing a place of understanding, communication, and learning – constantly.  I can’t give up.  I want to give up at least once a day – but he’s worth it.  He is worth every little inconsequential sacrifice. Just like my daughter was worth it. Just like my other two children were worth it. Just like my grandbaby was worth it.  Love is worth it. Hope is worth it.

Being a parent is a privilege, not a right.  There are some really shitty parents out there. I’ve been one at times, but I wouldn’t change one single solitary moment, not even the bad moments – because it was from those moments I learned most.  I didn’t give birth to Anthony, but I am his parent, I am his mother – because I love him and he’s worth everything I do for him. I get the best part of this relationship – his love in return. That is being a parent.  Those who pour love into him …are his mothers and fathers, not genetics. This young man is lucky – because he is now being surrounded by people pouring love, life lessons, instruction, and encouragement into him (thank you Scott).  When he gets into the Navy he is going to be surrounded by new brothers and a new family …and once again I am filled with hope.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dealing with Loss

Dealing with Loss

Life is constantly changing and in those changes sometimes things get lost, things that are essential to our hearts and souls, to our minds and well-being.  It would be great if we were able to accumulate and keep everything and everyone that came into our lives, especially the people who we love most and who have impacted us most in our lives, but we can’t. No matter how much we wish it, how much we want it, we came into this world alone and we will leave it alone, and along the way we will have to deal with loss.

The worst pain I ever felt in my life was losing someone I loved, especially because it was hard for me to love in the first place. It took me so long to open my heart and let that love in – and then to have it taken from me so quickly. I still find myself waiting – waiting for someone that is gone in my life to just walk around the corner and greet me again with that beautiful smile, to  speak words of encouragement to me when it seems like everything and everyone is against me, to tell me I can when I don’t believe it.  But, he never comes – and I keep waiting.  Even today, after twenty-six years, I feel this empty space he left behind.  But, I only have to close my eyes and I can picture him smiling at me, urging me forward in my life, daring me to take those chances, and trying to provoke me into giving love another shot.  I talk to him all the time, because I know what he would say to me.

Right now someone very special to me, someone I love deeply and care for greatly, is dealing with a loss and I don’t know how to help him. I know the pain he is in and I want to tell him it gets easier and eventually the pain goes away, but it doesn’t.  I want to tell him that she’s in a better place, watching over him, and he will see her again someday, but I really can’t make that promise either because I don’t know if it’s true or not. I have faith it is, but it’s not something I can promise. It’s not my call. I know the emptiness he is feeling inside. I know the questions, and the doubts, and the fears, and the anger, and the bargaining, and everything else that comes with grief.  I’m so scared he’s going to be weak like me and let that pain build a door and a wall that will push everyone else out – and go through the motions of life but not really live.  But, I can’t stop him.  It’s got to be his choice.

What comforts me when I think about my loss is remembering the smiles, the laughter, the conversations, and the dreams we built together.  When I’m hurting or doubting, I hear his words and his voice pushing me forward and encouraging me.  That’s what I want for Scott – I want him to think about what ‘she’ would want for him, what ‘she’ would tell him if she was sitting beside him, what ‘she’ would want him to do. He knows what she would say. He knows what she would want. And THAT is what I want him to push for, to strive for, and to make happen in his life.  He has a fighting motto – “Find something worth dying for – and then live for it.”  I pray he heeds his own motto.

Ecclesiastes 3 reads, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, and time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:12: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

That’s what I want for him – to be happy and to do good while he lives.  To live in the moment, to live in the day, and not just merely exist.  He is in a time of mourning, but he must look toward the new sun and not dwell on what is gone for more than a cycle of the moon (30 days) lest it become work of the enemy to steal his strength and joy.  I know the pain of holding on too long. But, what can I say or do?  I am helpless because this is his journey, his walk, and his burden to bear.  James whispers to me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and helpless to do anything to ease his pain – and reminds me that where there is much grief there is much love. All I can do is love and pray and wait.

Dealing with loss is not easy. It hurts. It hurts badly.  I can’t save the world from feeling loss, but perhaps just try to remind it that there is/was/will be love in the world too.  I know that James loved me and he always wanted what was best for me – and knowing that, I have tried to live my life pursing love, pursuing happiness, pursuing the dreams we built together.  I want him to be proud of me, as I have become proud of myself. For my children, when I am gone, I would want them to be happy, to be loved, to live each day as if it were their last, to take chances and risks, and to not be afraid to fail and get back up.  That’s what makes life valuable.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warrior Weeps

for Scott

 

In silence, I saw a long shadow cast upon the ground as a warrior stood proud and tall,

With one long look upon her breathless form, to his knees I saw this fierce fighter fall.

No longer stood the man so brave and tough, but a little boy took his place as he cried,

He fought through the grief and the pain that overwhelmed him, to say to her his final good-byes.

He held her hand, caressed her face, and through teary eyes looked upon her full of love and grace,

This was his first friend, his guiding light, and in the storms of his life she was his anchor,

This was his first ever love, his North Star

… this was his mother.

How was he to face another day without her, to breathe, or even speak out loud?

Did he do enough, did he say enough, could he be enough to really make her proud?

As he kissed her forehead, I saw a broken-hearted little boy down on his knees so small.

Yet, silence and noise, reality and dream, gave way as this warrior once again stood tall.

In Remembrance of Elizabeth A. Vanaria – who passed away Saturday at 1:00 am on July 6, 2019

Elizabeth A. Vanaria

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, family, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, poem, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Don’t Need More Sleep

We Don't Need More Sleep

“No, we don’t need more sleep. It’s our souls that are tired, not our bodies. We need nature, we need magic, we need adventure, we need freedom, we need truth, we need stillness.  We don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live.” ~ Mermaid Musings

Still meditating on the amazing words spoken by Navy Seal Admiral McRaven in his commencement speech to the graduating class of 2014, inspiring us to make our beds as a first step to changing our world, this beautiful saying by Mermaid Musings compliments it well.  I agree, we don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live. Wow – that hits right into the center of my soul.

I sleep when I’m depressed, when I’m emotionally tired and worn out, when I’m feeling hopeless and afraid.  When I’m not wanting to deal with the stresses and pain of this world, I long to sleep and slip off into a land of fantasy and hope and magic. There’s nothing wrong with that, and perhaps at times in our life we need it, but not for too long, not for too often, and not as a way to avoid living our lives.

Life is hard, but it’s also good.  It’s tough, always, but so are we.  I have a friend who is a Navy Seal and he says that the easiest day was yesterday.  That is so true.  I’m not looking for easy, I’m hoping to find an inner strength inside that gives me the strength to conquer each day.  I start that by making my bed every morning, making and completing small goals throughout the day, working toward bigger goals for the week, the month, the year and the rest of my life.

Making goals and chasing them – that’s living.  Living isn’t dreaming – but chasing the dream.  Living is feeling everything – the good, the bad, the happy, the sexy, the heartache, the joy, the love, the pain, the rejection, the failure, and the success. I try not to deny any of it, because all those feelings and experiences make me who I am.

I don’t want to sleep my life away. I don’t want to miss an opportunity, an experience, or a moment because of fear or being too lazy to care.  Life is messy. It’s hard. None of us are perfect, but we are perfectly imperfect.  I’ve been through hell and have endured unimaginable horrors, but I survived and I overcame.  I love in spite of hate. I care in spite of indifference. I hope in spite of failure. I keep loving in spite of rejection.

We get one life. One.  I’ve been here forty-seven years and my tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I don’t want to put off tomorrow what I can experience today. I don’t want to put my life on hold, hide, or sleep away biding my time until magic happens, because it never will.  The only magic we get in our lives is the magic we make, we pursue, and we imagine as we are living.  Not every day is going to be a good day, but I want to be alive in the midst of them.

I’ve lost so many people in my life that are not here anymore or not part of my life anymore – and loss hurts.  Change hurts. Love hurts.  But, I’d rather hurt that not feel anything. Because if I don’t feel the pain, I also don’t feel the love or the joy. I want to feel it all.

I’m in the beginning stages of falling in love right now. I’ve met a wonderful man who I admire and he inspires me so much every day to live.  I can’t guarantee our future, or if he will even be a part of it, but I’m open to see what happens and go where this path may lead.  I’ve met some great new friends who make my soul happy, who encourage me not by their words, but because they’re busy living their lives and pursuing their passions. I love people who are chasing their desires, setting goals for themselves, and doing what they love.  I’d rather be with someone who has nothing and struggling to achieve something, than be around someone who has everything but lack vision or a goal.  I love the dreamers and the visionaries, and people that are not afraid to risk their hearts.  I’ve missed that so much in life.

No, we don’t need more sleep – we need to wake up and live!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Musing, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Starting a New Chapter

Man walking down road at sunset

 

Stories are made up of various chapters, and my life is my story.  It’s my own personal adventure. Some chapters are sad, some dark, some happy, some exciting, some expressing major triumphs, while others are filled with unimaginable pain and heartache.  That’s life. Everybody’s story is unique.  We may have some similarities, and our lifelines cross daily with others, but our stories are ours alone – it’s our autobiography.

We think we are the authors of our own stories, but we’re not, we are the main character – whether that be the protagonist or antagonist, we are the center – the gravitational force that everything within our stories revolve. While our character makes decisions, we don’t write our stories, we live them. We don’t control the direction of our tales no more than the author.  An author has the idea, knows the beginning and the end, knows key points and plans the intentions for the story, but until their fingers start tapping the keys or the pen starts scratching across the parchment, the story doesn’t really come alive, it’s only a concept.  When it does take flight – the story goes as destined, regardless of the will of the author or the characters within it.

Yet, we are editors.  We can polish our past chapters, even gloss over or try to hide bits of them, but it doesn’t change the real story that happened.  Once it’s happened, it’s happened and no matter what we do to change it, we can’t. Bad editing can ruin a good story – because if it’s not told properly as it was meant, it causes the plot lines in later chapters to unravel and expose an error, an omission, or a lie. A good editor knows not to mess with the integrity of past chapters.

Having given that little lesson above, my post today is about starting a new chapter in my story.  Many things have changed in my life over the past few months.  I start a new job this morning.  I’m starting a new relationship with a beautiful new soul. I’m starting new friendships, changing my circle and surrounding myself with positive, energetic, and people with beautiful souls. Why – because I’ve had enough dark chapters. I want a good chapter, a successful one, and one filled with joy, laughter, love and success.  I want laughter instead of tears, butterflies in my stomach instead of a constant ache, and to fly. The last chapter was me breaking out of my cocoon and though battered and exhausted, I have a set of big, beautiful wings.  It’s time to fly.

My new job is going to provide an opportunity to change a lot of things for me, give me a little breathing room from the financial and emotional struggle I’ve been in the last few years.  It’s like a release valve, letting out the built up steam of stress and struggle. I’m looking forward to getting back to a point of enjoying life, not just surviving it, of getting back to doing to the things I love and enjoy. I’ve been doing many of them lately, but there are many more I’m ready to get back to as well.

I’ve met a new man. His name is Scott and he’s wonderful. I couldn’t have written him more perfect – for me – had I tried. Of course he’s not perfect, and like any good writer knows – there’s always flaws, hidden demons, and more depth of character than the introduction implies, but I’m looking forward to getting to know that depth.  So far – he’s hit every mark of my heroic fantasy man.  He has a good heart, he’s very caring, we have so much and so many things in common, and he’s someone I can be proud of, be encouraged by, and is not someone I need to rescue or feels they need to rescue me. I like him just like he is, and I feel he likes me the same. We’ve only just begun our chapter, have only had a couple dates, and have only shared a kiss, but I already feel very connected to him. He feels safe, and I feel safe around him. Someone who isn’t afraid of my past, who is ready to share my present, and have a great plan for the future. He is kind. He appears adventurous. He has goals for himself and his future and is working on achieving them. I believe I could easily love him, but most of all – I believe he could easily love me just like I am – that he could love me deeply like the way I’ve always wanted to be loved.

Only time will tell how this chapter reveals itself, but I’m really hoping it’s a good one. My story could use a good chapter. I want an adventurous chapter, a great love affair of life, and a fairy-tale romance. So, as I sit here and write this blog post, sipping on my coffee, and dreaming about the possibilities waiting for me, I smile.  No more looking back. Time to end the grief of what had been. It’s a new day, a new life, and new chapter. Let the journey begin.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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