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Things I've learned from my Father
Family
Things I’ve learned from my Father

I know that I might not always understand my Father – well, to be honest, I don’t think I ever allowed myself to understand him growing up.  Okay, let’s be honest as a kid you really are a brat.  No matter how good you were – you still will be a brat.  Doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong, just that you need to grow up and learn to become an adult to see how truly amazing someone can be.

My Father and I didn’t see eye to eye a lot when I was growing up.  I was okay to handle as a child, but once I hit my teenage years – phew – LOOK OUT!

Yes, I was bitchy, emotional, all over the place and defiant.  (I know this now.)

My Father dealt with a lot.  Losing my mother giving birth to me, countless divorces and up and down swings of his own depression.

Once I was grown

I should say once I left my Father’s care we started to understand each other more.  Perhaps it’s the lack of constantly being in each other’s faces, but whatever the reason was – we simply started to talk more.  We both made mistakes and slowly over time we started to come to know each other for who we were now.

One thing that I started to understand was how strong my Father was.

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Things I’ve learned from my Father: He never passed up an opportunity for love

After my mother died you would think that he would shut down.  He never did.  He moved on and learned to love again and again.

Though he went through two other wives (and countless other women) – until he found B – he never quit at love.

He went through painful divorces that ranged from cheating to financially breaking him.  Not once did he believe that he wasn’t going to find love again.

He would get his heart broken or stomped on.  He’d get himself back up and put himself back out there into the dating game.

He never let the fear of a loss keep him down for a moment.  He was always sure that there was someone else out there for him – just like my mother was to him before.

Things I’ve learned from my Father:  Always have faith

I can’t even come close to understand this one.  Faith hasn’t been something that’s been inside me all the time.  I’m still unsure when it comes to faith, but this man never faltered.

He has been tested.  He has lost jobs, had countless heartaches (heck – I’m sure that I’ve caused a few gray hairs on that head of his) among many other things, but he has always stayed true to his beliefs.

This past year was hard for my family.  My Father lost his brother (my wonderful Uncle) and has even gone above and beyond and took on another role as caregiver to my Grandpa.

No matter what, my Father has stood strong and believed his faith would see him through.

I believe for me – my faith is in him.

Things I've learned from my Father

Things I’ve learned from my Father: Always have fun

I have so many stories about my Father.  Stories that always make me smile and laugh – sometimes laugh until I cry.

He’s been silly enough to buy goggles from the kid’s department and seriously thought that they were adult size.  He was mistaken.

My Father once shaved his beard clean off when I was little and scared me.  I refused to talk to him until he grew it back.

He even joked around a few times trying to teach me how to get a job.  He made this big story about getting a job is like a funnel.  You apply for 10 positions but only get 3 interviews and out of those interviews only get one job.  You know – a funnel.  Well, the best part was when he told me that he lost his job and I just looked at him without missing a beat and said: “You see – it’s like a funnel” – I don’t think I’ve ever heard him laugh so much.

Things I’ve learned from my Father: It was okay to cry

Perhaps in his older age, he has been more sentimental.  Or perhaps he has always been a big softy – I just never knew it.

We’ve talked a lot and sometimes yes – there were tears.

He’d get a card or a message from someone and he would tear up…

My best memory was him reading 60 memories from family and friends for his 60th birthday.  He read them all out of order and chuckled at each and every one.  He laughed at the funnel story that I just HAD to tell and cried at a few other personal stories that others enjoyed with him.

No matter what – he never was afraid to cry.

Things I’ve learned from my father: He will always be this kickass Father

We may not always see eye to eye.  But I know that he will always mean well.  He’s my Father – and that’s pretty special.

He has laughed at the time I made him spill chocolate milk while hitting a curb.  Granted at the time it wasn’t as funny as it is looking back.  Oops?

Overall he’s a pretty cool dad – I guess that most people would think that, but to me, he’s pretty kickass.

What are some things that you’ve learned while growing up?  It could be a parent or grown up, or could simply be things you learned along the ways.

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Things I'm grateful for
Family
Things I’m grateful for

January is the time when we say out with the old – saying goodbye to 2016 and in with the new.  Hello, 2017 – a series of 365 days where anything is possible you just need to start.

It’s a new year full of hope and ambition.  I talked about my word for the year as well as a few goals that I have in place for this month.  But I feel that I’m missing something at this moment.  With all this talk of something new and better, I feel like I’ve forgotten to reflect on things in the past.

Like, that we all forgot to show our gratefulness towards the last year.  Now, I know that 2016 wasn’t easy for most people.  I’ve struggled with my anxiety and depression more so this year than any other previous.  As well as lost someone close to me, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t without merit.

Today, I wanted to share with you:

Things I'm grateful for

Things I’m grateful for

  1. My husband. Really, this shouldn’t be a shock because as a significant other (SO) they really should be your number one.  This previous year we grew a lot.  From working through my constant on again off again depression and anxiety.  Finding our new home and moving twice (living with his mom for a whole month).  Or simply just putting up with my version of crazy.  He’s been the best and though we have our moments I know that he’s the one person who is always in my corner.
  2. My family. Last year was hard considering Travis and I couldn’t afford to go down to the States so it will be almost two years going by before I would see them again.  We’ve kept in touch sporadically through Facebook, but it isn’t always enough when you just want to chat.  Travis was amazing and surprised me this past Canadian Thanksgiving by getting my Father to come over and spend the time with us.  Though it was only two days it meant the world to me to spend that time with my Father.
  3. A job. Can’t complain about work because I have work.  I’m still figuring out if this is what I want to do with the rest of my life or take a big plunge and do something completely different.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my job as a before and after school teacher.  I get the best of both worlds, but sometimes it would be nice to work at seven in the morning and then leave at three.
  4. A beautiful home. Seriously, this house is perfect for us.  Double the size from our previous house as well as almost triple the backyard.  (Which isn’t fun come the fall.)  We have enough room to rent out the lower half to my brother-in-law and his best friend as well as having ample space for everyone.  Slowly the house is coming along – it’s not finished yet, but we will get everything perfect by the end of this year.  Major construction is complete and all we have to do is put carpet in the downstairs, re-tile the roof, and wire the whole house to copper wires.  (I’ve made Travis take the holiday off until after the New Year.
  5. A car. Let me tell you all this, I love my car.  It’s a 2015 Chevy Volt and it’s a dream.  Yes, there are some issues with it – like in the winter the battery life goes down to half.  (Batteries and cold do not mix.)  The air dam is too low so it scraps on EVERYTHING and sometimes the navigation goes out so we have to turn off the car and restart it.  Hopefully this coming week we shall be getting all these issues fixed – well, minus the battery life.
  6. Supportive friends. This past year has kicked my butt emotionally.  I’ve been all over the map and I’m so incredibly thankful that I have friends who understand.  A few have even helped me out by sharing their own personal anxiety challenges.
  7. My followers. 2016 has been a year for me to grow in the blogging field.  I’ve pressed myself to gain followers and even constantly chit chat with various bloggers.  Twitter is the main way that I stay in contact with a lot of fellow bloggers so if you ever want to chat send me an @ over there.
  8. Fellow bloggers. I’ve met a lot of cool people this year.  Some that I’ve constantly stayed connected to and others that I enjoy popping in to see from time to time.  Each one of these bloggers means a lot to me and I enjoy reading and sharing their knowledge.
  9. The blogging community. There are a few Facebook groups that I’m a part of.  Some that I just recently became a member of and others that I’ve been there for well over a year.  They are wonderful and help me grow as a blogger.
  10. My dog. Bolt never stops amazing me with his smarts as well as how cute he does the simplest of things.  So far my favourite moments are early in the morning when he just wakes up and he snuggles with me for like – ever.  He just makes it so easy to want to stay in bed and not get up.

I know that I could say more – I am forever grateful that Travis and I took this leap and started a journey together without really knowing each other.  I cannot wait to see what this year will bring, but I know that it can only be better.

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What are you grateful for the past year?

Holiday remembering at Christmastime
Family, Personal
Holiday remembering at Christmastime

During Christmastime, we look forward to spending time with those that matter the most to us.  We have dinners and parties where we spend the night talking, listening and reflecting on the past year.  We become thankful that we got another moment sharing with those people.  But what happens when that person or persons isn’t here anymore?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about those that have passed that I remember.  Christmas makes me think of them and misses them just a smidge more than usual.

Holiday remembering at Christmastime
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Holiday remembering

To be honest, I really don’t think that I’ve processed at all the passing of my Uncle.  Sure – I’ve stated that it’s happened.  I’ve cried on and off and wished for my family to remember the happy memories and hope they have comfort – but I don’t think that I’ve actually accepted that.

I really don’t think that I accept any of it.  No, not really.

I have to say that I’ve been rather blessed to have such amazing people in my life.

From strong willed Grandmas, amazing cousins (some I know well and others that I’m getting to know better through social media) and I cannot forget my Aunts and Uncles.

You see, my father has married 4 times and each time I ended up collecting another round of extended family.  (I have some that I still am in contact with and others that I hardly talk to.)

I have been blessed by not having a lot of families pass away on me.

Remembering Grandma

My Grandma’s death hit me at a time where I was struggling to make changes for myself.  I lived alone, was overworked, stressed beyond anything I could fathom, and dealing with a major depressive slump.  Her death broke me for a time.  If I was really honest with myself – she was one of the few women in my life.  Besides my older sister so … having her pass felt like there was just another whole inside of myself.  It was a major hole and something that I couldn’t even figure out how to repair.

It crushed me and I know that it sent me spiraling back into a dark void and I became rather closed off for a few days.

Now, this Christmas, I remember baking her bread (my failed attempt here) as well as seeing her house beautifully lit up.  I can remember her and Grandpa tinkering out on the piano playing Christmas music and hymns.  Grandma continued singing while Grandpa tried to keep up with the keys.  So many wonderful memories gathering at her house before Christmas and spending the time with everyone including our cousins.

Her dishing out bags of change for each of the grandkids.  Or being the one to light the Advent candle.

Thinking about Uncle C

My first Uncle was a fantastic man – one whom we only started to reconnect on social media (since his sister and my father split some almost 10 years prior).  It was amazing to get to know this wonderful and kindhearted man as an adult.  I feel that as a kid you just have those aunts and uncles there and never really realize who they actually are.

This Uncle was amazing.  He cared for us and loved us even after his sister and my father split.  He still joked around and was always in high spirits.  Nothing could bring this man down.  Then he had a heart attack and was taken so suddenly.

I shattered a bit during this.  It hurt – I felt the time stopped, but I had a much stronger foundation so my depression wasn’t as drastic as it was when my Grandma died.

During Christmas, I reflect on how I’m pretty sure one year he dressed up as Santa.  (Still can’t prove it.)  How he was always excited to see all us kids rip open our gifts – in fact I believe he encouraged us to make big messes.

Seeing him sneak more dip that another Aunt made or attempting to take our own cookies from under our noses.  I remember that the best way to describe him was he was the spirit of Christmas.  So full of joy, hope, and such a kind soul.

Missing Uncle R

Now it’s been almost 2 months since the passing of someone whom I thought so highly of.  He was the Uncle that my father took us to see the most.  We were all similar in age, so it made sense to spend more time with them.

My Uncle and Aunt had a beautiful relationship.  Something that I really looked up to considering that my father kept bouncing from one failed connection after another.

Seriously – their love was a love for each other was amazing and the strength that my Aunt had for few years my Uncle was sick – she was his rock.  I think they were both each other’s rock which is why their relationship lasted as long and as well as it did.

Who he was…

He was the first person who bought a piece of my art.  He paid a little over the asking price and just smiled while he took it down off the wall.  (It’s still hanging up in their house to this day.)  He was the person who would silently support you or give you a bit of advice if needed.

He made a kick-ass Long Island (I think I’ve been rather tipsy from just one of them) and man did he have some zingers.  For me – he was the quiet man who only spoke when needed to.  Who reminded me so much of my own father that it was sometimes hard to tell their voices apart when they were near.

My social anxiety made it hard to open up or connect with people even those that were family, but with him, I always felt okay.  Like, he didn’t judge me for my awkwardness or just sort of knew that I wasn’t like my older sister (who is amazing and can spark any conversation) or my younger sister (who just oozed out charisma) – perhaps it’s because I saw him as the quiet one I then thought that it was okay for me to be quiet too.

As much as I am feeling devastated by this loss, I’m not broken.  I noticed that I’ve been focusing on all of his amazing strong points and remembering fondly everything.  Every little bit of time spent with him and his family is another piece of the armor that I have on.

Still reflecting…

How proud he was of his backyard.  With us sitting around the fire he built and talking about Grandma after she passed away.  Silent tears falling while we laughed at all the crazy things she did.  Countless cookouts and family events have taken place in that very yard.

Man – could he cook on an open fire!

I remember singing the 12 days of Christmas to my younger sister who was away and couldn’t come home.  All the family chiming into that horrible song and then Uncle took to being monotone while he said his verse “5 gold rings” and all of us laughing about it.

Christmas day over at their place and Aunt and him would have their house decorated beautifully.  Their home was always so warm and inviting.  Even as a grown up I always felt that going into their home was like falling back into my childhood.  The same decorations every year sparked warmth and love.  It was another home.

Perhaps that is why I’m attempting to create such a warm environment here in Canada – because the home I miss has one less person that isn’t there anymore.  So, what better way to respect and honour that person by creating what they shared with me to my new family?

 

Do you have someone you miss during Christmastime?