It Shouldn’t Be Like This: Grieving the Loss of a Parent

A brief narrative on my experience with losing a parent

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Rock-A-Bye-Baby

When my sister-in-law had her baby who is now 17 months, she and her husband were one of the lucky ones who were able to put that baby down at night with rarely any issues, and that baby slept through the night from Day 1. I’m not going to lie, I was a little envious. I’d often joke with her that my both my girls didn’t sleep through the night until they were 3. In all honestly, it wasn’t a joke. It was a nightmare. For my in-laws, it seemed magical, almost to good to be true. Perposterous!

From the moment my girls were infants, they never allowed me to put them down at night without a good hour minimum of rocking them to sleep and deceiving me to believe that they were in full slumber. I didn’t understand what was so special about me that they needed to cling to my every move. As most parents wish for, I just wanted them to go to sleep. Tired and withdrawn after a long day of work while juggling infants and toddlers, I just wanted them to go to sleep. “Go to sleep!” I’d scream in my head while rocking back in forth in the most uncomfortable glider I could have registered for. A few nights, I think I screamed it aloud. Other nights, I found the rocking motion made me doze off before them, waking instantly inspecting to see if they rolled out of my arms. Once it seemed like the coast was clear, I’d lay them in the crib like I was handling a granade. I’d creep out of their room like Mommy Ninja, hoping not to step on that one floor board that would undo all that hard work and set off the granade.

The tradition lasts til this day. I tuck my girls in every night, smelling their sweetness as I lay next to them. They still beg me, “Can you sleep with me?” And even though most nights I’m tired AF, I still do it. I do it because they are growing like weeds. I do it because they still cling to my every move. I do it because I know they love me. I do it because I love them. I will continue to tuck them in, until I get the signal that I’m no longer needed.

I take comfort in knowing that if I’m no longer around to tuck them in, they’ll always have each other.

Then The Thunder Came

Who can relate?

My girls went next door to swim at the neighbor’s pool. So I pour myself a little drinky drink and float around in our pool since no one wanted to hang out with me. My pool float half deflated, thanks kids. Who knows how many days of summer will be left. I am trying to take advantage of some peace and quiet after a hectic morning. The only thing is, I can’t force myself to relax and just enjoy the moment. My mind is a mile a minute right now. And the mom guilt sets in quick. Self: “You should be doing something productive right now.”

#missthegirls #allaloneisnotgoodforme #momtime #selfcare #trying

Then, about 20 minutes in, the thunder came. Everyone out of the pool.

The August Itch

Lately I’ve been feeling like a junkie. I’m going through withdrawls especially after detoxing for the last 5 months. I’ve got the August Itch – anxiety, nervousness, the sweats, trouble sleeping. I need my poison. I need to get back to my classroom.

Every August around this time, I look forward to preparing for a new school year. It’s like New Year’s Eve and the first day of school is one big party. The smell of new crayons, sharpened pencils, freshly waxed floors, brightly decorated walls, and scared new faces. It’s my high.

This year is different. There’s no direction. No leadership. No answers. It is August 25th and yet we have no plan. Dates are pushed back and changed all to often, one day it’s safe, the other day it’s not. Some say they’re cleaning the schools, although others would beg to differ. Teachers, students, and families are terribly confused. It’s a complete wait and see game. “We will tell you the night before when to show up and tell you what to do and how to do it. By the way, here’s a 30 day supply of PPE. And if you don’t like it, you can start writing your resignation letter now.”

True Story. But let’s not get too political here. It’s for the kids.

If any one knows teachers, this is not the way we work. We like to plan ahead, WAY ahead. Planners and organizers, we can’t get enough of them. Name tags written out with fresh new sharpies, class lists studied, seating charts mapped out like a football play book. Working tiredlessly through the nights preceding the first week of school, mastering plans and ice breakers so they roll out seamlessly. But, it’s understandable, we need to be flexible, right?

I’m stuck in limbo. Do I go in to set up, or will I be bringing my classroom home? How many kids will I have? Who will be learning virtually and who will be in my presence, if there’s even an in person option? Do I buy school supplies or do I stock up on more leggings? I got the itch real bad. I miss my colleagues, I miss my classroom, I miss performing everyday, but mostly I miss our kids. The last I stepped into my classroom was sometime in April to grab a few materials. It was like time stood still, tumble weeds rolled around like an old western film. It hurt my heart to be there. I left with a glimmer of hope knowing I’d be back in no time. Nope, no shot.

I just want to go in. Let me at it! Give me my drug, I want it, I need it. Let’s get this party started. Toss the computers! Immerse them in books, drill them with math facts, write some poetry, play jumprope at recess. Give them a damn hug. Whether we are distance learning or going back into the classroom, I’m going in full force, better, and stronger than ever. I will overdose on school if I need to.

Best Mascara Around

I don’t know about you but I can’t bring myself to do it…….falsies. It looks great on you ladies, but spending that money on lash extensions and having to replenish them every few weeks is not budget friendly for me. I’d love to try it, but I can think of better things to spend money on instead of having furry creatures glued to my eyelids.

I haven’t worn much makeup since the world ended. There’s no where to go now where I have to put my face on, but if I do head out, mascara and lip gloss is my only makeup routine at the moment.

I have tried so many mascaras, from the drug store mascaras like Maybeline to the higher end ones like Better Than Sex by Too Faced. But when this baby is on sale I stock up.

Although I am currently invested in Latisse, a more natural approach to grow thicker and fuller lashes, I love my Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara by the IT Cosmentics brand. It seperates lashes while creating the look of fuller and longer lashes. It stays on all day.

Throw it on and you are good to go.

Pros:

  • On sale now, (as of 8/23/20) for $18.75, regular price $25 (still cheaper than extensions)
  • Applies easily
  • Stays on all day
  • Lasts forever
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not available in waterproof, but it doesn’t matter. Unless you are swimming in a pool, it won’t run.

One more thing I must mention is the Bye Bye Makeup Remover from IT. Love, love, love! It literally melts the mascara off when you are removing it, without causing the racoon eyes look. A little dab and swipe, and the mascara melts off. I normaly use makeup remover cloth wipes, but there is no comparison now that I have this makeup remover. And it was a total accident how I stumbled upon it. When you order products right through the IT Cosmetics website, they often send you samples with your order, and the Bye Bye Makeup was one of those samples.

Pros:

  • Literally melts makeup off, absorbs quickly into a cotton ball or whatever you would use to take off makeup.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • No heavy scent or fragrance.

Cons:

  • Slightly greasy, but if you are washing your face afterward, it will come right off.

Right now, almost everything is 20% off on the IT Website. Some products are even up to 40%. Use my referral link to check out all of IT products.

IT Cosmetics Logo (PRNewsFoto/IT Cosmetics)

https://refer.itcosmetics.com/s/lisa16735076

Male Privledge

Full Disclosure: Total rant post right here.

I always knew what it was in the back of mind, but today validated everything I ever thought about Male Privledge. It must be nice to tell a woman to “fuck off”, and not think twice about it. You see, I always was raised to treat people with decency and respect, regardless of who they are. Not to demean them, especially in public. My mama taught me right. And so did my father.

Today, on my way to tutoring a child, I was pulling out of the gas station where I had stopped to purchase an ice cream treat for her. She has been doing well with her multiplication facts and I felt she deserved a little reward. As I continue out of the gas station, what I thought was a friendly gentleman, waves at me to pass. Well, I guess I mistook his kind gesture for something else? I am still cluless and I keep replaying what I did wrong in my head. I pass in front of him while trying to take a left onto the main road. I suddenly hear vicious horn wailing, a series of beeps, and vulger language coming from the “gentleman’s truck” behind me, followed with a few hand gestures. (He must be Itailian too). It took a second, but I realized he’s angry at me. I couldn’t have taken that left fast enough for him. I can see he wanted to turn right, so I kept inching my car into the main road, giving him space to pass to the right of me. Spiteful me would have just sat there and made him wait.

He would not let up on his horn and F bombs. One would have thought I robbed him.

He must have been in such a hurry this Tuesday morning. The belligerent language directed at me, his mom would be ashamed. Over a traffic issue. 100% gauarenteed, on my life, if I was another man, that incident would not have occured.

What did I want to do? I wanted to get out of my car and kick his door in. I WANTED to say, “You fucking asshole, what is your fucking problem? You can’t let people by then take it back you piece of shit! You just want me to pull out into traffic and die all because you’re in a fucking hurry you scumbag! Go kiss your mom with that mouth you douche bag with mommy issues, you fuckface bastard!” Yeah, that would have showed him!!

The North Providence Italian girl in me will never leave, but I have learned to be patient with people and take it for what it’s worth. I normally don’t let people get away with that kind of banter and I usually put them in their place. But I wanted to get to my tutoring job safely, and come home to my kids alive. My question is, why do I have to take this crap in the first place? Why put up with bullshit? Why should I always be submissive to the ridicule of men, especially white men? I always admit when I’m wrong, I don’t have a problem with that, but I am NOT going to let someone think I’m wrong when I’m not. It has to STOP. And even when I am wrong, it’s still no excuse to treat someone that way.

It must be nice for men to walk around with thier balls out thinking they can speak and act however they’d like, espcially towards women. I am someone’s wife. I am someone’s mother. I am someone’s daughter. Would they talk to thier mother, wife, or daughter that way? And if they saw thier own loved ones being mistreated, what would they do? Would they even care?

TAKE THAT!!!

I am tired. I am tired of being made to feel inferior. I am tired of being spoken to, like I live in some region in the middle east where women are not treated as equal partners. I am tired of being submissive. I am tired of having to speak up and defend myself. I’m tired of competing. I’m tired of being told to stand still and look pretty. I’m tired of being made to feel like shit. I am tired of thinking I’m stupid and unworthy. I am tired of men. They have such a privledge that they will never understand.

And to the man in the truck, I hope it was all worth it.

PS. Sorry to the men out there who this doesn’t represent. You know who you are

Let’s get together sometime

We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. We are all too busy, forgetful, we are procrastinators. You know, you bump into that old friend at the market or a family member at the next wedding or funeral, and you say, “Let’s get together sometime.” While the intentions are genuine, that “sometime” is still lurking around somewhere, and you never get together. Fast forward one year later, and you bump into each other, Scolding yourself in your mind, “Crap, we never got together. You are such a horrible person,” Then REPEAT.

When you’re younger, you are wild and free, big dreams and hopes loom over your head. Everyone has a vision. Mine was to be married, to have a career, 2 plus children, and the white picket fence scenario. I was going to be close to my high school friends and we were going to get married together, our children would grow up to be best friends, we would go on couple double dates and family vacations. In the 14 years I’ve been married, I can probably count on 2 hands how many times any of those things happened.

Even with family, I only see them at weddings, birthday parties, and funerals. We try to catch up on a lifetime of moments in a matter of 2 hours. We let emotions overtake us because we truly miss them, we want to learn more, we want that connection, so the infamous words roll out, “Let’s get together sometime.”

I hate it. I feel like such a dissapointment when I see that friend again and we never got together. What does it take to pick up the phone? What does it take to just pencil someone in?

I went to 3 wakes this week. I regretted not seeing that person one last time. Granted, they were older, natural causes took its toll. But I knew it was inevitable, I knew I’d probably never see them again according to the state of condition they were in. They were good people. They were good to my family. They were good to my children. They deserved a visit. They deserved at least a card to know I was thinking about them. Life is so precious, we need to get together. You never know what the next day will bring. The last thing I would want is for someone to leave my funeral and say, “She looked good.” I want them to say, “I am so glad I was able to see her one last time, or talk to her before she passed.”

I hope you all can pick up the phone, and call that person you bumped into at the market, or that family member you shared a drink with at the last wedding. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The last thing anyone wants is to leave the party only to hear, “They looked good.”

We are all busy, we will always be busy, but it’s not an excuse to keep us disconnected with the ones we love. It’s a little white lie we tell ourselves to excuse our behavior.

Pick up the phone, call your person, what do you have to lose?

Circa 2019

Parent moment #90 something

Parenting is……

Waiting in line to get into the gift shop so the kids can buy junk. Child picks out popcorn. But for whatever reason puts the popcorn back on the shelf and decides on something else. Child gets in the car and starts crying and feeling remorseful for not getting the popcorn. Parents find another spot to park, dad waits in the car while mom waits in line for 10 minutes again to buy child the popcorn. Child eats barely a handful of the popcorn. Now it sits on the counter untouched as it goes stale.

I love parenting. But I will never do that AGAIN. Lesson learned

The only reason why it looks 3/4 full is most of it spilled out.