Monday, May 21, 2012

Bright Sunshine ~ Great Breezes ~ Hopeful Wishes

I love dandelions. When the fields are full of the beautiful yellow blossoms, it just looks so pretty against the green grass, then they transform into beautiful white balls of fluff. Each of the little seeds with their own little tuft of white represent a wish. A field full of wishes! How wonderful is that? Because of all the rain we've had and the lack of owning a lawn mower, my grass has grown. Grown, is an understatement, most of the grass is up past my hips and the milkweeds are breast high. I am almost 5'3 so, that is still very tall for grass and weeds! Being unemployed, my daughter and I are living paycheck to paycheck, so, it is very difficult sometimes to decide what to spend the money on. We try to save a tiny bit in case of really needing something, like a lawn mower, but other things happen and we seem to just always be struggling. That alone can get depressing, never mind adding that to my PTSD. I went to to see if perhaps anyone had a reel mower they were giving away, no luck. I also asked my sister if I could borrow their lawn mower, but, it is not running. So, Leah and I sucked it up and went shopping. We found a reel mower at home depot, they had some really nice ones but, we had to go for the least expensive, so that we also had enough money for the groceries and gas that we need for the week. Leah used her skills and assembled it, and was the first to try it out. She really liked it. I was hopeful. I watched her for a little bit, getting anxious to try it. Oh my, I LOVE it! It reminds me of the one my dad used when I was a really little girl. His was red. Or, maybe it was my Grammy's because, it was her yard that I remember him mowing. We have now been mowing for a few hours every day and almost have the front yard done. By the time I make it to the back yard, I will have to make sure to do the front again. It really is great exercise. I love the sound the mower makes and the smell of the freshly cut grass. There isn't the scent of gasoline in the air, just the fresh scent of the grass. I put on my music, mostly listening to the Foo Fighters for music to mow to. Leah and I have such great plans for the yard once it is all finished and I finally get a job! We want to build a patio so that we can sit outside and have some gatherings. We want to have an old fashioned tea party. A fun dress the part party. With little finger sandwiches, like cucumber and tomato. Petite little treats that I can bake up and little breads. Big floppy hats and soft pastel clothes that flow when the breeze comes up. Oh and of course, all kinds of teas in different flavors, from southern sweet tea to hot teas. Yes, that is our wish... So, I am off to go pluck one of those big puffballs full of wishes and I'm going to close my eyes, make a wish, take a deep breath and blow...hopefully one of the wishes will grab a great breeze and make it to the spot where wishes and dreams go waiting to come true. And, if I am really lucky, maybe it will land somewhere for Dave Grohl to pick up and he and the boys will come and play for us! Have a wonderful day, and one of my wishes today is for one of yours to come true!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Little Secrets

Have you ever wondered if you actually did something in your life time that actually really and truly meant something? You know, something that without you in their life, it would have made a huge difference? I have felt like a bad person for such a longtime. I never truly thought of the good I did, only how what I had done had hurt so many people. Mostly myself. To explain myself, I have to go back many years. All the way back to high school. Junior year. My boyfriend that I had been seeing since freshman year and I broke up. It was a huge breakup, not in the sense of we were mean to each other, it just crushed the both of us at the time. A girl, pretending to be my friend was the reason, one of her friends had a crush on my boyfriend and she ... oh well, it doesn't matter. Even the teachers talked of our break up. But, then along came Chucky. Oh yeah, he was the "bad" boy and I thought yeah, I am going to pursue this. We had been friends for awhile and he used to come and sit with my group of friends to watch all the basketball games. He used to make me laugh a lot. My teen-aged crushed heart fell hard and fast for him with his tough exterior and his long thick blonde hair! I was smitten! (okay, SMITTEN...what the hell??? where did that word come from? Shit, I guess I may be getting old after all! Gees SMITTEN!) (big sigh) Anyway, we dated for a while, he came from a troubled family. I came from a great one, he spent as much time with me as he possibly could. I was the bright spot in his life. The place that he could feel safe and loved. He was one of the ones that I hurt! I know, we were only kids, but, I still carry the pain. We spent every waking moment together. I found myself pregnant. 16 years old and pregnant. I continued to go to the same high school. My friends were very supportive, however, their parents were not. It was if I had something contagious. When I told my parents, my mom got mad, but, I made my dad cry! I hurt my dad! Not something that is easy to live with. I immediately put the blame on Chucky! It was ALL his fault that I hurt my parents! I just walked away from him and wouldn't even speak to him. It was easier for my mind to blame him so that I could live with myself. All he wanted to do was love me, I wanted no part of it! He turned to drugs, I turned to staying home. He was sent away and I felt relief. Relief? Dear Lord, forgive me! I decided that the best thing to do for the baby was to give it up for adoption. My wonderful parents supported me in any decision that I was going to make. This was 1975, teenage pregnancy was not common. It wasn't the baby's fault I was this way. All my friends thought that once I saw the baby there would be no way to give the baby away. You couldn't pick the parents back then, so I went through Catholic Charities. My mom took me to all of my appointments and we became very close. She told me stories of how this happened even in her day and things were covered up big time back then. She would also tell me how my dad would still cry at night, but, it was good that he was letting it out and not holding it in. I know she didn't realize just how much that teared me apart. She was a very kind hearted woman and would never purposely hurt anyone. I felt so ashamed. The day came April 3rd 1976. I delivered a healthy baby. I had told the doctors to take the baby immediately out of the delivery room because I didn't want to know or see what I had. I thought if I didn't look, it wouldn't hurt. I delivered at the hospital on the base, that way, no one except my family could come to see me. My mom asked me if she could go see the baby and I told her it was okay. I decided to take a walk and see my baby after all. I needed to know if I was doing the right thing for the baby. I walked down to the nursery and saw this beautiful baby boy! I asked the nurse if I could come in and hold him. He was perfect! So small and sweet. Even holding him I knew, I was too young to be a mom. What kind of life could I ever give him? Love was just not enough! I held him every day, memorizing his little face. I wanted to make sure that I could remember him if I ever saw him again. I figured that he would contact me when he turned 18. Everything was secretive back then and I wasn't allowed to know who adopted him. Maybe they thought that I would try and steal him?
I was okay those years until he turned 18. I used to pray every night that he was in a good home with a family that truly loved him, one that would read to him and when he fell down they would pick him up and kiss his boo boo's. I prayed that he would know so much love and have laughter every day. Mostly I prayed that he would look for me and not hate me. I prayed that I could give my parents their grandchild back.
As the years went on, it got harder and harder. My heart ached to know if he was okay. I had so much shame and guilt. I used to pray that if I ran into anyone from school that they would never ask about my dirty little secret. Because I didn't like myself, I ended up getting married to a cruel man. He made certain to let me know just how lucky I was that he loved me because no one else ever could. He'd get drunk, I'd get hurt. I lied about the bruises to my family and friends. He even broke my nose and threw me down the stairs while I was pregnant with my daughter. But, that is another story that I may tell sometime. I got smart and left him when my daughter was 2 and never looked back. When his 18th birthday came and went I was a wreck but then figured maybe since we went to Catholic Charities, he had to wait until he was 21 to look for me. You may be wondering why I hadn't searched for him. In my mind I just couldn't. I made the decision to give him up, so, in my heart I thought it should be his decision if he wanted to find me. Every time I would see a person be reunited with their birth parent on TV, I ached so badly. My sister Chrissy, always made sure that I was alright when his birthday came along. She was the only one other than Gilly and my daughter that knew how badly I was aching. I tried to hide it, but, I would just get unreachable when his birthday came. His 21st birthday came and went...still nothing. I still carried the shame and prayed no one would find out what a bad person I was. Even my brothers and sisters didn't share my secret with their children, or so I thought. One day while attending Italian class with my friend Betsy, we went by Elizabeta Uno and Elizabeta Due. I got a phone call from my niece Tiffany, but, decided to call her after class. While I was on break, my daughter called me. She told me that Tiffany may have found him! Panic ran through me. When I hung up Betsy had to be told what was happening. As I told her, I thought for sure I would lose my friend. She didn't even bat an eye! She was excited for me. Chrissy had told her children because she hurt so badly for me and every year, Tiffany would search the computer to see if anyone was looking. Then in 2004, she came to a search that she felt just might be him. She wasn't sure why she felt so strongly about this but, she sent him off a note asking him questions and saying that she may be able to help him. My daughter also wrote to him and so, I figured as frightened as I was, I would write to him also. He lived in Ma. and the adoption records were sealed. We had to wait until 2005 for them to be opened. My dad was going to pay for us to have a DNA test done so we wouldn't have to wait. I sat glued to my computer waiting for a note from him. I was beyond obsessed. My husband Gilly said this is just ridiculous, he picked up the phone and called Catholic Charities and told them that he has two people that think they belong to each other and what can he do to get them together? Wow, DUH! why hadn't any of us thought to do that?? When the case worker called me, she said that she had forms we had to fill out and mail back to her with our permission. She asked me why I had waited so long, I explained everything and my prayers, by the end of the conversation, we were both crying. His name is Evan, and we didn't want to wait, we faxed the permission over. I found out at work the next day with my friends by my side...This man was my SON! I cried and they bought me balloons and flowers and a card that said Congratulations, It's a Boy!!! My dirty little secret was out and it wasn't dirty after all. How could something filled with so much love ever be dirty? I had even been too ashamed to tell my best friend Maryann about my secret; until one day, while we were working together, she told me that her son was thinking about trying to find his birth mom. She looked at me and said, just what kind of person could ever do that? That is when I told her. She hugged me so tightly and told me that I made her feel so much better. She loved me so much and never knew the "other side" of adoption. She hoped that her son came from someone like me. I was thankful to see her side of adoption and the joy it brought to her. She is such a wonderful person. She had given me hope that my son had a great life too. On October 12 2004, my darling husband, for our wedding anniversary, gave me my son! It was so wonderful, we laughed and cried and hugged. Leah met her big brother and Evan met his little sister. There was no mistaking that they were brother and sister, they both had the Beane genes! We took pictures and talked for hours. but mostly, we laughed! It was great beyond words. We immediately made plans to have him meet my parents, and anyone else that wanted to come. It was a day so full of love as I watched my dad cry while meeting his grandson. Finally! At least these were tears of joy. My dad was so over joyed that he told Evan as he was hugging him that he had waited for this moment all his life! My mom just kept giggling and saying she was tickled pink. I brought my son back to them. Thank you God!
I know, you think that should have healed me... it did. I felt great! And then it hit me. Hit me like a bug hitting a windshield of a car going 60 miles per hour. If I had hurt this badly all these years? What about Chucky? Oh my God, what had I done to that poor man? He hadn't ever seen his son.
So, with my husband's blessing I started searching. I just had to find him and apologize for the hurt that I had caused him. I had to let him know that our son was a great man! He has wonderful parents that gave him everything that we could not. When I found Chucky, it was through email and fearfully I wrote to him. I apologized for everything and this kind hearted man that had such a rough life, forgave me. He told me it was all okay and that there was no need to have to be sorry. My son had asked me if I would consent to meeting his parents...without hesitation, I said oh yes, I want to thank them. He said, Oh no Betsy, they want to thank you!
All those years of pain vanished in that one little comment. They wanted to thank me?? Yes, I gave them my son to be theirs. From all that hurt I caused what mattered the most was, I blessed some one else's life by letting them become parents.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I miss you! Happy Birthday Dad

That's my dad! Oh my how he loved oysters! One of my dad's favorite things to say while eating these was "I don't believe they are an aphrodisiac because I ate a dozen and only 6 worked!" — I am trying to put on a brave face today and enjoy the sunshine and birds singing. Today is my dad Arthur Beane's birthday and I miss him so much! He came to see me in my dreams last night. I know how lucky I am to have that ability. To see the ones I love in my dreams. I had even made him a cake! I loved baking him birthday cakes! I always came up with new ideas to make for him. He always got a kick out of my cakes! I miss hearing him say "I love you very very much!" I miss teasing him! I miss his jokes. I miss taking him to his doctor appointments. It will be 5 years in November, since he joined my mom and husband. He died only 10 days after my husband and I never cried.I knew he was finally happy again. He suffered so much from the loss of my mom. But, today, I can't seem to stop crying. I know that my entire family feels the same! What a great man my dad was. A war hero, who wanted to be a pilot in the worst way for the Marines, but, after the war he left the Marines to be a police officer in Wakefield, Ma. He soon found out that he couldn't afford four children and his gorgeous bride on the policeman's salary, so he tried to go back into the Marines. They were going to dock him a stripe, which would also make it too difficult to raise his family, so he went into the Air Force. Two weeks into Air Force boot camp, he got a letter from the Marines saying they would take him back and put him in his flight program. Nothing doing (as he would say, he was a man of his word and he gave his word to the Air Force. My parents ended up with seven of us children. They suffered many heart aches in their 62 years of marriage. They lost three babies, survived breast cancer, my dad being hit by a truck, a fire, survived bladder cancer, heart attacks, a stroke... the list goes on. Each thing just made their love stronger. I knew he wouldn't live more than six months after my mom passed. All my friends and our neighborhood loved him. We had a great neighborhood in which we were all like family! I keep in contact with most of them even today. We each have suffered the loss of at least one of our parents. And the parents, all lost a spouse. When my girlfriends came over, they would sit on his lap and play with his hair. He'd get all embarrassed and giggle. He loved to dance. He had flare! I loved watching him dance with my mom and do the polka with his sister Irene. I couldn't wait to grow up and do the polka with my dad after seeing my beautiful sister Teri dance the polka with him at her wedding. She looked like a princess dancing with a king. King Arthur. Growing up, my dad would have us dance with him by standing on his shoes and dancing us around the room. When I grew up, we danced all the time together when ever we were at any function that had music, and, yes, I finally was able to do the polka with him and laughed so much! When I married Gilly in 2002 ( we lived together for 13 years before getting married) my darling father was suffering and had to walk with two canes. He had a crushed bone in his back after he was hit by the truck and suffered all those years in silence. He had told me that he wasn't going to be able to dance with me at my wedding so, the song I was going to have, I just wrote to him in a note. It was Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion).
For all those times you stood by me, For all the truth that you made me see, For all the joy you brought to my life, For all the wrong that you made right, For every dream you made come true, For all the love I found in you... I'll be forever thankful baby Daddy. You're the one who held me up, Never let me fall. You're the one who saw me through, through it all. You were my strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn't speak. You were my eyes when I couldn't see. You saw the best there was in me. Lifted me up when I couldn't reach. You gave me faith 'coz you believed! I'm everything I am Because you loved me! You gave me wings and made me fly. You touched my hand I could touch the sky. I lost my faith, you gave it back to me!! You said no star was out of reach. You stood by me and I stood tall! I had your love I had it all!! I'm grateful for each day you gave me! Maybe I don't know that much, But I know this much is true~ I was blessed because I was loved by you!!!
Of course it made him cry and then on my wedding day, he decided to dance after all with me. It was to Through the Years. It was the last time he danced.
I love you so so much dad and miss you beyond words! I was blessed because I was loved by you

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Losing with Betsy

I have to admit since losing weight and getting healthier, I have chosen fruits to snack on. I usually choose a grapefruit, peeled like an orange to get more of the citrus, (thank you Leah for that trick. I love grapefruits, but I don't like grapefruit juice. Same thing with most fruits for me, grapes and apples...great fruits, yucky juice.
I really love fruit, but, I am a bit picky when it comes to my apples. I really don't like the "delicious" apples. They come in red and gold and I find them mealy or mushy when I bite into them. Yuck! I like good tart apples with a crunchy crispness when you bite into them. Like the Granny Smith brand. They have always been my favorite until just the other day. Don't get me wrong, they are still so wonderful to eat, but, my daughter had me try a Pink Lady. Oh my gosh! They are so wonderful and tart but sweet and so crisp and juicy. My taste buds were so over joyed with this new apple that, I wanted the whole bag!
I am now on the look out for a tree to grow in the yard. I checked and they will grow even up here in Maine! Yay!! I know we will be getting one soon and finding the perfect spot to grow it. I think that they will be my go to apples for baking and applesauce. They would also be great to make into caramel apples. Although, I will have to find a recipe or tweak one so that I can keep on track.
Speaking of which, I lost another pound so for those of you counting, I am down 16 pounds! My sister Chrissy is down over 22 pounds. Way to go sis!!
I was very pleased with losing this week, because, I just celebrated my (gulp) 53rd birthday on the 25th. I am sure all my friends reading this are going to fall over since I have never told the truth about my age, but, I always say I am going to be 25 on the 25th! But, what the hell, I don't look my age and I sure don't act it. I am a big kid with a big heart. Oh and some added poundage too, but, it is coming off, although slowly, but, steadily.
My daughter got the dogs harnesses to make walking them easier. They love them and I walk rain or shine. Up and down our driveway. Three full trips is equal to one mile. I play my music, turn on the pedometer app and off we go. They love it as much as I do.
We walk several times a day and always at least the mile each time. In the evening they listen for Leah's car, which they hear before we even can see it. The house becomes extremely active then, Lily rushes around to find something to have in her mouth for when Leah comes in. She won't ever give it to Leah, but, she HAS to show it to her. It's a funny little ritual that has us laugh every day. And Watson, sweet Watson, he starts talking and jumping up and down. It is hard to settle him down enough to get his "clothes" on him to walk.
Its really my favorite time of the day also. My daughter and I walk, talking the whole time. Sometimes, it is just about the leaves, trees and plants we see growing, wondering what they are. Other times we speak of work and plans. My favorite is when we are laughing. I love her laugh and the way her eyes shine. She speaks in funny voices and speed walks making me laugh too hard to keep up with her!
Yeah, it is my favorite time of the day and every day we heal a little more and make new memories to hold in our hearts!