My oldest son graduated from high school in 2002. Which was the same year I got my real estate license, and the same year things started to change for me.
Recovering from divorce takes time, and money. I had spent the time healing from it, taking care not to drink or do anything destructive. That is except date a guy who was destructive.
How I missed the signs of emotional abuse from the beginning is beyond me.
He was an angry controlling man who lashed out at me and his daughter. What a complete mess I was in. I wrote before that it would take three events for me to finally break free of him. Continue reading
Have you ever associated an object with an emotion?
I hate desk calendars. I just recently bought one to pull the pages off and stick to the refrigerator. I thought it would be a good way to keep track of my schedule with diet and exercise.
But it didn’t take long to realize it was a source of contention for me. Let me back up and explain. Continue reading
The #MeToo Campaign has been going on for a few months now, and ever single time I see a Me Too post, my stomach knots up, my throat closes and I have to choke back tears. Every single time.
A year ago, my son wrote this open letter to his daughters, my granddaughters. I am asking you to read it, digest it, and share it. Please join me in a new campaign to help the next generation to be filled with #NotMe and #NotUs. Continue reading
…continued from Pieces of the Puzzle
After yesterdays post it took three siblings and me to piece together the sequence of events from that time. I was off by a year. The years following our mother’s death was a blur of disappointment.
But it was 3am Christmas morning, 1971 that our father called my sister Janet downstairs to take him to the hospital. She was just 16 and the only one at home with a driver’s license. Continue reading
Just before my 40th birthday, I got a job in sales for a local furniture/interior decorations store, in a big two story building in the heart of downtown Bend.
It was a bit surreal to be working downtown after all of these years. The last time I’d worked there, was in 1978 when I was 19. Part of starting over after a divorce is taking a step backwards. For me, this was a giant step backwards. Continue reading
I absolutely loved every minute of being pregnant. It helped being 24, fit and in great health. I was ready to be a mom, and when the test came back positive, I was overjoyed.
A few people told me I was too young, but in my heart I was ready. I’d read all of the books and followed every instruction to take excellent care of my body.
The due date was set for January 10, 1984, but my little one was ready early. On the morning of December 30th, I knew I was going to meet my first child that day. As it turned out, my husband and I had sold a home two years prior and our taxes would be due in 1983 on the sale. Our son showed up in the nick of time for us to declare him as a dependent for that year, essentially cancelling out any owed taxes.
And that pretty much sums up our first son. He’s a bit of a rescuer. But I’m getting ahead of myself; let me back up a bit.
Getting a divorce after 18 years of marriage and having two kids is not an easy thing to do.
And it hurts. A lot. For everyone involved.
For that reason, it was extremely important for us to try everything we could to repair our marriage. I’m proud of the fact that we tried to find the answers, for years. It was no easy decision to end it and wasn’t taken lightly by either of us. But once the decision was finally made, a new set of problems arose. Continue reading
I’ve been called out a few times for sharing too much here on my blog. Every time this happens it shakes me slightly. I start to question my motives, and self-doubt creeps in. Which is interesting, because working through self-doubt is really why I’m doing this.
Most of my life I’ve been told to be quiet and keep my ‘dirty laundry’ hidden. Other people have told me how I should be acting, what I should be saying, how I am supposed to think, and even how I’m supposed to look.
I want to stay on the farm…at least in my memory. Continuing the story is going to be hard for me. There are things that I’m embarrassed about, or wish I would have done differently. And most of those happened after we sold the farm.
If you’ve been reading along, you already know my marriage was pretty rocky right from the start. I can’t pin point one thing or say I know exactly what happened, it was more of a chipping away. After many years of this, there was nothing left to save.
At least that’s how I felt about it. I know my husband felt differently.
I could write a hundred different posts about our time on the farm. It was some of the best years of my life. But there were trials for me also. Finding and holding onto friendships in my 30’s was challenging and I lost a few friends along the way.
I read once that we tend to build friendships around our kids when we are new parents, and I can see that was true with me. But one of my friendships started the other way around. Shelly and I became friends first, which lead to our children becoming friends.
As with many families, we women lead the way in organizing family get-togethers and we all had a great time at barbecues, dinners and picnics. This went on for years, until one day it all stopped.
I know I’m supposed to be over this, and it’s probably silly that I’m not, but I don’t know how to let it go. I’ll try to explain what it’s like, maybe you will be able to understand or relate.
I feel like I’m always on ice. That I’m standing on a frozen lake going about my day. Most of the time, the ice is thick and supports me and I am fine. There are times when I’m skating and happy and laughing. Some of the time, it’s a bit slippery and I fall or lose my balance.
And then every once in a while, the ice cracks and I fall through in an instant. I can’t breath, it’s ice cold and I’m scared to death. A few seconds later I realize the water is only three feet deep and all I have to do is stand up.
That’s when I get embarrassed and feel ashamed that I’ve acted like a child. There’s no need to cry or be afraid, it’s just a little cold water, stand up, you’re fine Loretta.
I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life, and I can honestly say I believe I can do anything I put my mind to. John says I throw myself 100% into whatever I’m doing, and I have to agree with him.
But the best job I ever had is being a Mom. It is the most rewarding, and also the most challenging. When my first child was born, I thought I was going to take a few weeks off, and then go back to work.
But one night, when he was just a couple days old, as I was holding him and rocking him back to sleep I looked down at my beautiful little child. I knew in my heart there would be no way I could leave him and go back to my job.
This was my job now. I was 24 and my life changed forever in that moment.
I am very honored that this story was published in Better After 50.
I had to edit the original post to meet the word count of under 750, so I hope you enjoy this version.
I am very proud of this one…
The Day My World Changed
I got married at 21 in a big church, by the justice of the peace.
We had planned to get married in the Catholic Church. But things don’t always turn out as planned.
Getting married in the Catholic Church requires that the couple go through a training of sorts. So we went to classes and counseling with the priest who was to marry us. Things were going okay, until the priest started telling us what the ceremony would look like.
I remember sitting in his tiny office next to Joe as we listened to him tell us this was his ceremony and no, we would not be allowed to say our own vows to each other. I also remember that with just a glance to each other we made the decision that this was not for us.
It’s time I share something with you: I’m not a religious person.
Before you hit the unfollow button, hear me out please.
I grew up in a small town in Michigan and my mother sent us to the Baptist Church there. I think she wanted us to have a foundation of God and church and religion.
We didn’t go often, and I sure don’t remember seeing my dad in church, but we had an understanding of God and Jesus and the bible. After Mom died, none of us went back to the Baptist Church though.
I’ve been accused of having FOMO more than once. You know, Fear of Missing Out? Apparently it’s become such a big deal that it needs its own acronym. I used to take offense to it, thinking I was somehow a bad person because I had it.
I don’t really care anymore. I would rather be accused of having FOMO than regret. Which is where I am today, feeling regret.
I mentioned before that I’m hard on my right foot and my left hand. I wrote about how I ended up with two screws and a fused joint in my right foot. I should probably explain the left hand thing too.
Almost twenty years ago, I had the unique opportunity of learning the trade of saddle making. I love saying that. How many people do you know have learned the skill of making a saddle, from scratch? It was challenging and fun and I am very proud of that accomplishment.
The other day I shared a blog post called A Look Inside. I wrote about feeling off that day, and shared that I spent the day trying to understand why. I got a lot of very nice feedback on it, and several people shared some of their off moments with me too.
I like that so many people have commented and shown support. And I’m using several different platforms to share my blog, in hopes to reach people who can either relate, or just find my stories interesting.
I am also learning as I go, which is sort of the point of the blog. You know, reach 60 and be wise, healthy, happy and content. One thing I’m learning is that there is a bias towards sharing one emotion: Happiness.