Monday, February 23, 2009

We rocked the room!

Bonnie Gorski....friend and confidant for over 20 years was so much fun. I think she really surprised herself! She was a back up singer, she danced, she got to know alot of fun people. She was a real trooper. Thanks Bon! Then there's me! I may be fat in this picture, but in my head I'm a size 5, 19 years old, and as cute as a button. And that girl knows how to have fun! So does Sarabeth Dunkley. She was the youngster at the table and I was so glad to get to know her....what an awesome person. After she found out I had been single for 1 day she dedicated a Pat Benatar karaoke number to me.....and boy did she ever rock it. Benatar had nothing on Sarabeth!
These two gals were from Redlands. Terri on the right danced all night, and Susan was the first one up to karaoke and she won the whole contest. Great singer!!! Look forward to seeing them at future events!
Kathleen is from my ward. She has been so sensitive to my situation which I found amazing because her husband just passed away in April. She said she knew her relationship was sure, and she had experienced divorce previously so she knew how that felt too. Ana Maddox is our ward's single representative. She is a total kick! She has activities planned all the time, but even Ana was surprised what a great time we had. I talked her into doing karaoke to Aretha Franklin's "Respect". Sarabeth, Bonnie and I were her back up and we were awesome....if I do say so myself. Ana joined the church almost two years ago and she is one of those amazing converts who want to convert everyone. I asked her to be loud and obnoxious as an object lesson when I was teaching Relief Society and she said no one would even think that she was acting. But, she isn't loud and obnoxious she is contagiously fun!
Sarabeth was so kind hanging out with all us seniors. I don't think she even minded one bit. Bobby who has been a member of the church for just six months, and a widow for a short time was probably there for her first singles event too. I am sure she will be there again because she had so much fun. By the time she got up to karaoke with Ana the whole table became their backup singers and dancers. Kathleen loved dancing too

"I will put on my red shoes, best smile, dazzling personality, and rock the room!" That was my declaration in my last blog. I promised myself that I would end the grieving, and begin a new chapter in my life.

The week before I got a flyer at church that announced a singles event in Redlands. They called it Serendipity. "How serendipitous!" I thought, because it was the very day AFTER my divorce was final. It gave me a time and a purpose to transition from married lady to single gal.

I invited Bonnie Gorski, a friend from OLD Chino days to join me. Her husband Ron passed away a few years ago. I knew whether Bonnie was ready to hit the "single" scene or not, she would support me. Jimmy started coaching me on how to "hang out". He even offered to enroll Bonnie and I in "Jim's Cool School". Marque and he used to pretend to be Australian Surfers (accent and all) in scoping a room. I wondered how Bonnie and I would be conceived as Australian Surfers. He scoffed "You have to find your own MO mom". So we decided we would be authors....or that I would be an author, Bonnie would be my publisher and we would be on a book tour. Bonnie was thinking about it too. Her idea is that we could be belly dancers. Jim really thought we needed his "cool school" after hearing that. As it turned out we didn't need alternate personalities. We just worked the ones we have to the ultimate. Actually I think we just were ready to take this step....symbolically anyway. We made an agreement if either of us wanted to leave we would just give a signal.....and we would be out of there!

But, it was fun! We sat at a great table with awesome fun people. Some of them were from my ward, some from Redlands, a tremendously funny gal from Lake Elsinore, a couple from Redlands....all gals of all ages.....and one lone brave, or very smart, guy.

The agenda included Mexican food, karaoke, and dancing. There were about 90 people there, and there was no hesitation, no silent moments. The moment they opened the mike to karaoke there was someone there. Then when they stopped the karaoke and started the dancing the dance floor was crammed. It was just fun!
Thanks to everyone for making this first very tough step so easy....and so fun! No red shoes, but we really did rock the room!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fini!

42 years, 6 months, 28 days.....and it's over.
NAF = No more
Rest in Peace.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grieving

Saturday is Valentines Day. Day of love. Also next week our divorce is final. I thought I had my emotions all tucked nicely away by now, but I think the blend of those two events are causing an eruption of feelings. It doesn't feel like a volcanic eruption...not that noticeable or powerful. It's more like ebb and flow. Just out of the blue I am teary eyed and my thoughts wander to memories or questioning "why?". If I had a penny for the number of times I asked that little tormenting question I would be wealthy. "Why?" Can that word alone wipe away hope, joy, peace? If I don't learn to look beyond "why?" I won't find any of those things.
I worry about everyone else....my sons who thought their parents, while not perfect, had a perfectly good marriage. How would they deal with this blow to their solid foundation? They always thought we were kind of like Ward and June Cleaver....with a little dorkiness thrown in for flavor. What about my daughters-in-law, who thought they were marrying into a solid and eternal family? It's kind of like they got advertisement for a really good deal, but they didn't read the fine print before they signed on. My grandchildren...how cheated are they? Especially Hailey and Mady who have some history of doing things with Gramma and Grampa. They loved staying the night, going to the park and other adventures, doing crafts...do they deserve this broken alliance?
I feel for my Mom, who taught me through her marriage to my father for 36 years and to Herb for the past 17 years what importance and value marriage commitments have. She has been so supportive from the very beginninng of the slide into divorce. She has managed to continue loving me AND Bud. Then there are my siblings, nephews and nieces. As the oldest I like to think that I have a certain responsibility to set a proper example of how to live a righteous and happy life. Have I let them down?
Our friends are concerned for us. They wonder how it is possible that Bud and Les can split. They watched us holding hands, smooching, leaning on each other. I worry that they will identify and be fearful about their own good marriages.
Most of all I worry about Bud. How can I just stop? A divorce can be final after six months, but feelings, habits, and love take a little longer to subside. I truly have put my husband first for 42 years so now I continue to wonder what is best for him.
My kids are amazing. They have wounded emotions too, I'm sure, but somehow they all seem to have it in perspective. When I allow myself to feel my feelings and let them show, they are able to put salve on my open wounds by reminding me that I had a life of love and memories, and that was real. I need that reassurance because sometimes I wonder how long I was in this marriage by myself. Was it ever what I thought it was? How long was I in total denial? Each one of my sons have told me with certainty that it wasn't imagined. He did love me as devotedly as I thought, and he was that loving husband and father who put himself last and all of us first. It wasn't a role he played, it was real.
Trying to hang onto that notion and to live today and look forward to the future I have words on my wall in the family room that say:
Cherish yesterday
Live today
Dream tomorrow
So luckily the feelings I have had preceeding "cupid" day and "Divorce Final" day are tears on the eyelids, soft torture of the heart instead of the catapulting lava flow of torment and ripped edges.
This month I posted on my voice mail and I believe in the message from Alfred Lord Tennyson that says:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
One of my friends at church was talking to me about grief. There are steps you have to go through to truly heal. But she told me that it isn't like stair steps, instead it is a spiral upwards, so sometimes you revisit the same steps several times. I am grieving. My husband didn't die. He is still around to bless the lives of his children, grandchildren, and even me. But I am mourning the death of a a relationship, a marriage, and to me that is a pretty powerful loss. But, I am strong, and I have a great support system, so I will make it.
I plan to live through this next six days, feel the pain, the memories, the loss. Then on the 21st I will recognize myself as a divorced woman and I will turn the page to that new chapter. As a matter of fact there is a multi-stake singles activity in Redlands that I plan on attending that very day. I will put on my red shoes, my best smile, my dazzling personality and rock the room.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Christmas 2008









I just learned how to post pictures so we will see how this goes. I love Christmas! I have a zillion boxes of decorations, but I only used about 1/8 of them this year.
This is Christmas 2008.

Dinner was at my house with 1/2 of the table here: Scott at the end, Harrison, Kirstin, Monica, and Philip. (The pictures aren't posting where I planned so hopefully you can figure it out...it is a work in progress!) Well no one really reads my blog, so as long as I know I guess I'm okay. LOL
This is the other side of the table to your left. Brock, Carmen, Samantha, Jimmy, and Scott again at the end.

I did a little table for Hailey and Madyson. They loved it!

We had Christmas Eve and morning at
the kids house in Lake Elsinore and
dinner at my house.

We had a great time with my brother Brock's family. Never seems like enough time though. We played balderdash and ate.....Scott made some great hors d'vores to start us off....and then we just kept eating.
One of the neat things about this Christmas is that Joey, my nephew came out Christmas Eve to join us. He took part in all the traditions and stayed over until morning to open presents. It was great having him there.

Mady on the left and Hailey on the right got lots of neat gifts from Santa and
everyone else who loves them. And they are very loved.
Of course everyone felt the love. The gifts covered the floor. We had a hard time believing the financial woes looking at our tree. Next year I think we will trim out some of the excess. Love is not just given through gifts and we all felt the spirit of love so strong.
This year Jim and Scott both got items that would help them with their favorite sport....cooking. Jim got an electric smoker, and Scott got a Dutch oven and cast iron skillets. I'm sure there will be some good meals coming soon! Yessss........

This is a picture of Samantha with her new "Mormon" cookbook.
It actually says on the front cover that there are recipes for lime jello
mormon potatoes, and red punch. LOL

Here's Scott with his Dutch Oven and cast iron skillets.

This is Joey with Jim. Honest, they are cousins!
Well it was the best of Christmases.....sharing love.....family......friends......good food......and the knowledge that the Savior WAS born, lived a life full of example for us to follow, then gave His life for us.....with such love.......in atonement for the sins we commit. How blessed we are.