Friday, June 21, 2013

The Sentimental Blog Post ... Cuz you knew it was coming.

I'm horribly sentimental. Even more so around my birthday.  Thinking of how things have changed, how I've changed, thinking of how things will never be the same yet somehow the future will be better than I ever expected.  I'm crazy like that.  Mom told me not too long ago "Heather, you need to stop being so sentimental".  I was upset about something I can't even remember now.  More than likely something I needed to let go of that I just wasn't ready too.  I'm a cancer.  We are wired to be sentimental.  And somehow I've learned to appreciate that about myself.

I will soak every ounce of beauty from every experience in to my very core.  The good and the bad.  To me, even the bad/hard/sad/... whatever you call it ... is in it's own way beautiful.  It's life.  It's a gift.  I've learned to embrace it.  Finally.  Change my perceptions to live in the beauty of all things because even when it hurts, even when it's hard, it's still beautiful.  I can live with that.  I can sustain myself, as long as there is beauty.  Another cancer trait.

About a week ago it dawned on me I'm almost 40.  When did that happen?  How did the years go so fast?  How many do I have left?  The questions started flooding about the same time my family had the experience I'm going to share with you.

We were doing are usual summer night routine.  Charcoal lit on the grill, our family relaxing on the back patio laughing and talking about the day.  Darren and I were having a beer.  Just normal stuff for us.  We spend a lot of time hanging out like that.  Just enjoying each others company.  The neighbors had arrived home with some friends and one of the younger boys ended up in our yard jumping on the trampoline.  Now all five of us are kinda on edge at this point.  Because we are a "wild" bunch.  We don't attend church regularly, we have Harley's, we drink beer, we're loud, we laugh, I smoke ... I think you get the idea.  Our neighbors are "good, upstanding, church going, salt of the earth people".  Our yard it not the place for them.  So the boy is finally realized missing and being called for and my son notices the two women obviously talking about us.  And he's upset.  We are being judged, again, right in front of our faces.  He could not understand why Darren and I weren't upset.

Many people here, in this small religious town, look at us and only see what they want to see.  They see our past, our mistakes, our bad habits.  What their eyes do not allow them to see is a family, or happiness, or the spirituality, or the creativity, or the kindness, or the down to earth, or the laughter, or the love that rolls through our home.  Darren and I have had some tough times, really tough, we've worked hard to work things out.  We've both dug in and changed.  For the good of ourselves, our relationship, and our family.  That's what can't be seen by people who don't want to see it.  I'm good with that.  I'm not going let a wonderful night with my family be tarnished by judgement.  I'm not going to allow my happiness to be tarnished with judgement.  The bottom line... we love our life.  We are happy.  And we just don't care what anyone thinks of it.  My only disappointment is that I haven't yet be able to teach my children that.  Teaching and learning is a process.  It takes trial and error.  And in this house we don't give up.  We don't quit.  We forgive.  We love.  We carry on.  We make the best of what we have and where we are and we do it together.  THAT makes for some damn good memories.

So in my "birthday sentiment" I'm going to take today and oooze gratefulness.  Oooze laughter.  Oooze the knowledge of how much this family means to me.  And oooze how much I love them and how much they love me.  And I'll probably do it over a cold Bud Light, on my back patio, with those who love me and accept me just the way I am.  Life is good!  Bring on the next year, I intend to "fly" through this one!  :)

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