When three become one…

Kathy Mattea sings a song, “Who’s Gonna Know.” It’s a slow ballad that rocked my world back in 1994. She sings a chorus of: 

Cause who’s gonna know but me

Who’ll help me recall those small memories

When I’m all that’s left of this family of three

Who’s gonna know but me

I remember thinking, “that’s me.” I’m the only product of my parents. There are his kids. And her kid. But I’m the only “theirs.” But that song played on radios 23 years ago. It’s now 2017, and my Kathy Mattea cassette, yes…I said cassette, is long gone. In those years, a lot has happened. I graduated from college. I moved away. My parents got divorced in 1997, the same year I got married. My dad remarried three years later, my mom remarried later. I had a baby. And another. And life just went along. 

While life was happening, I never thought much about that family of three. I have my dad. I have my mom.  And I’m busy raising two amazing kids. And I’m getting older. Which means my parents are too. And “BAM” it’s now 2017, and they’re both slipping away from me in all senses of the word.

My mom has dementia and Parkinson’s. I am now her court appointed conservator and guardian, as the task was too daunting for her husband to handle. She resides in a facility full time, and no longer recognizes me, her own flesh and blood. My dad is being very well taken car of by his wife, as his memory fails him a little more each day. And he’s beating prostrate cancer as I type. 

My parents are alive, I know this makes me ultimately luckier than others. But the parents of that family of three are not capable of the memories that we shared. And ohmygoodness…I miss them like hell. I was to say to my dad…”do you remember…”but I don’t because I don’t want to frustrate him. I want to call my mom and ask her about that peach cobbler she made, but I can’t because she’s not capable of conversation. And I wish that I had a sibling, who I could revert to, who I could reminisce with, but I don’t. 

I could go on and on, listing what I miss. But it won’t change one damn thing. I can riddle myself with guilt, either my own, or by letting others dump it on me. But that won’t change a damn thing either. This is a “it is what it is” scenario.

So I do the best I can.  I embrace the lucid moments with my mom, though she has yet to recognize me this year. I will repeat this and that to my dad,  27 times if that’s what it takes. And some days, I’m making appointments with a dermatologist for a teenager, and dealing with Medicare. But I’m didn’t the best I can. I’m missing a soccer banquet because I have to drive home, as the $500 plane ticket really wasn’t an option. I’m constantly struggling to trade one guilt with another. 

But it’s what I’ll continue to do, as long as this life will let me. I’ll find the joy in holding my mom’s frail, cold hand. I’ll feed her and giggle when she eats things like peas, that she always passionately hated. I’ll repeat to my dad, time and again, when I’m coming to town. I’ll smile and answer him, every time he asks, “how old are the kids?” I’ll do what I can to grasp the fingertips of what’s left of this family of three. 

Who’s Gonna Know, Kathy Mattea

13 days to go…

I swore I wouldn’t write a blog about weight loss. But here I am, right out the gate…writing about weight loss. I did say I’d write about life, and for me…the two collide.

I’m at a crossroad here. A shitty crossroad. Either “buy new clothes.” Or “lose weight.” Clearly my dislike of shopping has trumped my love of eating.

Let’s rewind a few years back, to that time when I actually met my goal (I accidentally typed “goat” and a quote like that is totally something I would say.) Anyway, after I hit that ever elusive number, I had surgery. It was a hysterectomy that landed me a one way ticket to a five day hospital stay as the result of complications. Then I was gifted with THREE months of NO exercise. And I quit. I just gave up. Surrendered. That was June 2014. Almost three years ago. I had followed the Fast Metabolism Diet, which I liked, but it was a a lot of prep. A whole lot. So, like I said…I quit.

Life happened. And without too much attention to it, in 2.5 years, I gained…gulp…30 pounds.

But, the past is the past, and it’s in the past. It’s not worth spending time there. After doing some research (scouring Pinterest), I jumped on the Whole 30 bandwagon. If you’re not familiar with it, I recommend the getting the book. But the basics are:

  1. No sugar
  2. No grains
  3. No legumes
  4. No dairy
  5. No alcohol

I’ve made it to day 17. I’m still alive. My family is still alive. And I’ve learned some things.

  • I hate zucchini noodles. Just typing that made me want to gag.
  • It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, dammit.
  • No Wine Wednesday, makes for an easy Thursday.
  • Pasta and rice don’t always have to be a side dish.
  • Coconut milk is pretty amazing, even in soup…
  • No Wine Wednesday sucks.
  • My Instant Pot is the best kitchen gadget ever

It’s actually been easier than I thought. I don’t know if it’s the 30 day clock ticking. When the time is up, I’ll have to decide what I’m going to reintroduce, but I will say this, it’s helped to make me very aware as to what I’m stuffing in my face. I’ll update again when I complete the 30 days.

In the meantime, happy Friday…we made it.

…and here we go…

So, here it is. My FIRST EVERRRRRR blog post. I’d like to think that someone will read this, but maybe not. And that’s ok. Because you see, I’m doing this for me, for my family, for my kids…maybe my grandkids. For the record, those grandkids will be in the far, far future.

When I pondered the whole blog thing, I thought I needed to have a “brand” or some sort of common theme. I can’t write a blog entirely about being some 40something  married mom of two. Oh wait…I probably could. But I want to talk about goats, because who doesn’t? And teenagers. And jobs. And second jobs. Oh, there’s cooking, which I love, and there’s eating, which I love more. There are diets to discuss (see my last sentence). And any other damn thing that crosses my mind. And I can, because it’s MY blog.

So then I decide that I’m going to do this, and I have to come up with a name. It’s taken me years. Probably two years. No rush, right?

So here I am, all living on the edge, writing this. But it’s not THAT edge. It’s not the edge of an adventurous undertaking. I really don’t have a huge sense of adventure at all. I live on these edges…

On the edge of insanity. On the edge of my house actually being clean. And somedays on the edge of it being dirty. On the edge of being organized. On the edge of complete chaos. On the edge of crying. On the edge of laughing (sometimes when it’s inappropriate to laugh at all). On the edge of perfection. On the edge of falling apart. You get what I mean.

So please check in now and then to see what’s up. I feel a little pressure to be entertaining, but most of all, I want to stay true to who I am.

So there you have it. I’m over here living on the edge….but not THAT edge.