Re-gifting!! What Could Happen??? Some post-Holiday thoughts…

We are in the post-Holiday Season… have you thought about RE-GIFTING  any of your less fortunate presents? Please read on…

When one of my daughters was a teen, she was in the hospital, and her friends and my friends went to visit her. Some brought cards, some flowers, some other gifts to cheer her up.

One of my friends, who had just had a baby and I was grateful she took the time to visit, brought her a beautiful white and gold lap blanket. My daughter liked it, but it didn’t become her “security blanket,” as she was passed that age. So, she wrote my friend a thank you note and when she left for college the blanket was left behind.

A while after that event, completely unrelated to it, I went to a women’s church retreat. The church members were allowed to bring friends who were not members, but our personal friends, and many of us did.

The retreat was on the shore of the Atlantic, so we took a group- walk, about 15-20 women. It happened that an unknown woman to me, a friend of a church friend, walked at the same pace. We introduced ourselves and continued to walk and of course, talk.

As we knew nothing about each other, my companion told me a little about herself, especially that she was very hurt by the lack of thoughtfulness of a woman whose children she babysat. In fact, she was so hurt that she was looking for another job!

“What happened?” I asked. “It must have been serious…”

“Indeed, VERY hurtful!” she said, and continued… “The other day, I was cleaning her desk and here there was this… note… I read the note and this person was thanking my employer for the beautiful white and gold lap blanket! I MADE that blanket for one of her babies. I poured my heart in it, and SHE just gave it away to a stranger, whoever Amy is!”

I froze and became very silent, as Amy was my daughter and the “thoughtless employer,” my friend who re-gifted the lap blanket.

I changed the conversation to a less touchy topic and never confessed to my walk-companion the strange, unlikely connection between myself, my friend, the re-gifter, and the woman I had just met!

The lesson?  The purpose of this story was to illustrate the unlikely, but possible consequences of re-gifting.

Life takes us on a winding road, with twists we cannot predict. If  and when we consider re-gifting, it is wise to expect and be prepared for the unexpected, because this is how real life works… and ultimately all we could control is our reaction to what happens in our life, good, bad, or hurtful.

Christmas and Buying STUFF! How to slow down … or at least, TRY …

It is still fresh in my memory, the time when my daughters were growing up. We were shopping crazy until the very last moment, and it still didn’t “feel” enough. Toys, clothing, books (yes, we still read good old fashion  books in a paper format) more toys, more of this and that…

Looking back, I confess that perhaps, in those times I thought this was how I could buy my daughters’ love… or may be I was subconsciously making up for growing up in communist Romania, where Christmas celebrations were either low key, or non-existent but we were allowed to celebrate The New Year and still had a Tree and presents. In truth, a PRESENT.  In those  days, getting one toy and having the luxury to eat bananas, was enough.

But this was not communist Romania, this was America, the land of plenty and I was integrating, plainly said, doing what the vast majority of us does: BUYING INDISCRIMINATELY.

Whatever the combination of psychological reasons, just wrapping up our daughters’  the presents was taking us hours, and with the awareness of today, I wonder how many trees we helped destroy unknowingly…

The feelings I recall having  in those times, when my kids were growing up in America, were of panic… anxiety that it was not enough. It seemed that the measure of love was how much STUFF we were able to place under the Christmas Tree. There was also a “high,” I was experiencing when getting all the stuff, and an even “higher high,” watching my girls unwrap the presents. Some were immediate favorites, others were thrown in a corner and forgotten. Today I would take those less fortunate toys and donate them to a shelter, but in the years of my youth I lacked such wisdom, so, the “stuff” was stored in the basement, and when the basement overflew with unnecessary objects, I started to use the barn in the back of our yard…

Years went by, and after twenty years, our marriage was about to end up in divorce. Divorce, like cancer or suicide are events which in my opinion are so painful to even think about, that as  normal human beings, out of a need to protect ourselves, as a coping mechanism, we refuse to believe they could happen to US. If and when they happen, it is   a shock.  No matter how much our logical minds know all along that  over 50% of marriages end up in divorce, that a suicide is completed every 14 minutes in the U.S. and people die of cancer, it is hard to believe any of such events could be close to our home.

Yet, here I was, in the mist of  the “stuff” accumulated over a period of 20 years, trying to clean the house, no longer our home, before settlement, before the new owners came to inspected their new home. Yes, we sold the house and it all needed to be removed, memories of good and bad times illustrated by the accumulation of things.

At the beginning of the cleaning process, I tried to discriminate, to determine what was worthy of moving with us and what needed to be thrown away.  Suddenly, I realized that more than half the things we have accumulated over the years were not necessary for anything, except the impulse and the greed of the moment to HAVE MORE of this or that!

That feeling of desperation is still with me. The moment when I realized that I was running out of time and  the mountains of broken plastic toys were still spread allover, and I no longer had the time to sort them out.  Things which at the time of purchase had meaning, brought joy and I thought of them as being necessary, suddenly transformed into disposable “stuff.” I started shaving everything in big, extra strength plastic bags. One, two, three, four bags… By the time I was finished placing the trash on our  ex-front lawn for the township  pick up in the morning, the entire fresh, well-maintained lawn was covered by ugly black plastic bags! An ocean of stuff put in a hurry in impersonal black bags. I stopped counting at 53!   Our life of 20 years summed up,  ready for pick up and taken somewhere, in a place I’d never know. What I do know, and am ashamed of, is how I contributed to polluting our Earth and how useless the “stuff” turned out to be.

Since our divorce and the sale of the house, many years ago, each time I am tempted to buy an object, I close my eyes, take a deep breathe and instantly in my mind’s eyes I SEE the ocean of black ugly bags filled with the unnecessary “stuff” of a broken relationship and the pain and confusion that accompanied it. This image alone, is sufficient to make me put back the “stuff,” and instead offer gifts of my heart, presents that could be used. It could be baking a loaf of bread, offering a necessary service, such as a hair-cut or simply writing a note showing love and appreciation.

The lesson I learned is that who truly loves me, appreciates  the part of my soul that goes into  the simple gifts of life.

If there are people in one’s life who measure love by the amount of “stuff” they receive, it is one’s choice to stay with the big black trash bags or not.

The Single, Married Mom!

Hmm… this must be a mistake, she is married or she is single or divorced or widowed. Single but married is  clearly wrong, as the two terms contradict each other, or do they?

If you are one of the Facebook perfect mothers, whose husbands remember your Anniversary, mows the loan without you asking him ten, eleven, twelve times, reads or sings or whatever, spends “quality time,” with your children every day and participates in all their activities, PLEASE STOP READING NOW!!! You are wasting your precious time which could be much better used posting the latest box of chocolates you received from your hubby and red roses.

This post  is written for the  less fortunate,  the “OTHER GROUP OF MOTHERS,” the ones who “act happy,” but are desperate and hide their desperation behind fake smiles… the ones  who stay in married relationships hoping that is the answer and the best thing to do for their children: To have both parents, regardless the secret  truth that one is absent and present only on paper, when BOTH signatures are required by the school!

Never mind that the man, with whom the single married Mom, stays in a relationship, never praises the daughters, and later, when your daughters pick the wrong partners, the single married Mom, wonders why!!! Later, as in TOO late, she has an epiphany:

The FIRST man in a woman’s life is their father! If the father gave the  daughter the message, “you are worthless,” well, she will feel worthless at the very core for the rest of her life (if something, such as good therapy doesn’t interfere with the hidden tragedy of low self-esteem. MARK MY WORDS: GOOD THERAPY! BAD THERAPY WILL DESTROY HER FURTHER!)

Most times, the “worthless”  children do unforgettable, shameful,  wrong acts! If such disasters happen, they suddenly become “your children,” as if you conceived them alone, in the convenience of your single bed. An immaculate conception, or worse!

If once in the Blue Moon, the same worthless children who were ALL yours, do something worthy, accomplish something, suddenly the SAME kids are entirely claimed by Dad and his everlasting efforts. Who cares that you, the married single Mom has been waking up  daily at 6:00 AM, fed the pets (how could we forget, any respectable family must have pets too!) and then made lunch and then shook the kids to make them conscious enough to sit in the back of a van, and drove them to school.

Once upon a time, before going to  the “real work,”  you stop back home in hopes you and  the Dad (not your Dad, the pretend one to your kids,) might have an adult conversation. Translation: A FIGHT!

It doesn’t start as a fight, it never does. He still sips coffee and watches the news or whatever relaxes him before going to work.

After the story that follows, my “pretend” single, married Mom stopped trying to rush back for adult conversations, and this is why…

It feels like yesterday… actually, it feels in the moment, that morning, when the married single Mom attempted to economize and made him lunch because she secretly noticed the credit cards were maxed. She prepared a tray with four compartments, and decorated it with a flower and presented it to the man of the house, while he was still watching the news. What a mortal mistake! To interrupt the intellectual activity  of watching television!

Here is the moment when she  first questioned her intelligence: She presented  the tray and mumble something to the effect that “they” (as in the household) would save $3 to $5, daily if he would consider the humiliating act of eating  lunch from home and not eat  “out” at a vendor, or worse a restaurant.

How could the single married Mom ever forget? His  memorable look, his eyes, which years ago whispered with ease, “I love you,” now spoke flames of hate: How dare YOU insult me! Lunch from home! NEVER!

Before any words were exchanged, he picked up the tray so lovingly decorated, and threw it against the French doors of the perfect American family living room. Shattered glass everywhere, mixed with crushed dreams and tears, topped with sadness and lies, lies to cover the…TRUTH!!!

(How lucky! one might think.  No human victims! What if the kids were at  home, what if they saw what happened? Would anyone be interested in THE TRUTH? WHY WOULD THAT BE RELEVANT?

Truth be told, the kids were  home. In all honesty, one daughter was in the single, married Mom’s  arms and the other still unborn, in the uterus, but why would the truth be revealed now… may be later, may be never… it ALL depends.

For now, let’s say there were just those two adults, once upon a time loving  couple and the lunch off the plastic tray spread everywhere. More precisely, the tray thrown in a corner,  the food allover among the peaces of shattered glass, and the single, married Mom, disoriented and speechless in the mist of it all, watching Him storming out the door! End of adult conversation!

The married, single Mom, cleaned carefully, before the dog had a chance to eat the ham mixed with the shattered glass. She wiped her  pretend tears of happiness and off she went to her job which made money. That job was  her recreational time, the ONLY time when she felt appreciated and needed… and let’s not be too theatrical and stop here for now.

After all, it is a show, isn’t it and Facebook is real!

There are NO such families, there are no single married Moms.


This post… is a joke!    Or is it?

Please if it resonates with you, let me know and we’ll continue to explore what happens to the single married Mom…

Father’s Day, Mother’s Day? SINGLE PARENT??? The Long Term Devastation of a Father’s SUICIDE!!!!

Today is Father’s Day — we don’t celebrate for the sad reason that he killed himself in 2005.

Suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY situation!!! STOP! THINK!!! READ the long, very long consequences for those YOU left behind because YOU thought  they will be better off without you!

Yes, when you were alive you could have been a better dad. This is why our teen daughters were not speaking with you.  True, you weren’t paying child support, took US (your children and the mother of your children, your ex wife, OFF the health insurance without telling me.) Yes, you knew I was about to have cancer surgery and didn’t care, didn’t call on your kids birthdays…but bought a  new car, and killed yourself when it was  reposesed.  A car was more important, as were the drugs.

Yet, you were ALIVE there was HOPE to change, to reconcile, to speak.

What do those left behind have now: guilt mixed with anger, unanswered questions…

The MOTHER, that is unfortunately me, MUST deal with my children’s anger and distortions because I am still ALIVE!!!  My shell of a body is, but my heart is broken. Shattered to pieces by those I adore and are discarding me.

For most of my daughters’ lives I tried to do the best I could with what I had and how I KNEW  at the time. Was I perfect? Hell NO!!! BUT… Was I loving, dedicated and fierce in defending my children and trying to offer them the BEST: education, social life, skills, was I at their head in the hospitals when they were sick? HEAVEN YES!!!

On Mother’s Day, I received a postcard from one of my daughters trips to Bahamas,  and a magnet to “cheer up MY refrigerator. The note said “sorry we cannot have a relationship at this time.”

WAS THIS MY CHILD WHO WROTE THAT NOTE? A therapist perhaps, so we keep the situation “civilized?” No waves, no, no, in our perfect world we only have clear, smooth waters!

OH NO!  Do you SEE the sharks at the bottom?

The deadly shock for me came  when I was dis-invited from her graduation and received pictures which my best friend mailed to me, of my daughter’s graduation and her NEW family ( her husband’s, who didn’t want to get involved in “family drama,”)  I guess that was me (the drama mama who raised two daughters on her own and now is still alive to receive the hits from consequences of  the Dad, who died 9 years ago!) Now, instead of being happy at last, memories are entangled, inappropriate therapies used, a mother-daughter relationship destroyed because what is better than a very long term client who doesn’t get better? May be worse, because inappropriate types of therapies are used.

What is the interest of pharmaceutical companies to cure, when “managing” is “better.” I mean, SAME principle. Follow the money!

I am not rich  financially, I was raised by a mother who told me the only thing no one could take away from you, is your education! She was right, I am not financially rich, but my brain is not poor.

Yes, I am aging, we all do but what hurts is how  the glitter took over my children’s minds and souls to the point of making it okay to  discard  mom who dedicated the last 28 years of her life, to them, UNCONDITIONALLY. True, NOW there was no gain, or reason for ME, so, I was discarded!

For those about 60% of the families who struggle with Father’s Day’s, Mother’s Days, the Holidays, and unappreciated parenting because YOU, ONE PERSON tried to do the job for TWO this is for ALL OF YOU, to know you are NOT ALONE!!! I hope the truth it will make someone feel better. It sucks to feel everyone is happy and perfect except you. Know you, me, others are real and not alone or lonely! Now that the truth is out!

What could anyone take from me when everything was already taken?

I stare at the clear, smooth waters and see the sharks. I JUMP IN AND SWIM!!!

I wish I could” wish you,” my readers, who perhaps relate to this post, HAPPY… something.

But I feel sad and betrayed, so fill in your own blanks and share with us!

I am HAPPY because______________

God bless!


PS If all is perfect in your life, enjoy and don’t share yet another lie! Go on Facebook!