What is a mother    

What is a mother 

A mother is love

A mother is tears

Happy , sad, scared tears, tears for the unknown.

A  mother is worry for their health, kindness, calm. joy, hope and faith.

A mother is not caring so much about how I look but how I react, not caring so much about how clean everything is as long as we had fun making the mess.

 A mother is wanting to always keep a child safe while not sheltering them from the real world, wanting them to learn on their own accord at their own pace.

A mother is not always blood

A mother is wanting them to laugh, not the cause of their cries.

A mother is taking a moment to breath, when you want to scream.

A mother is letting go of your trauma to make good memories  for your child.

 A mother is not afraid of saying no or being hurt when they get mad for saying no.

A mother is security

A mother is offering a hug before an interrogation.

A mother is pain

A mother is safety

A mother is you being there for a child no matter how far they stray

A mother is letting them go though you want them to stay


 

Written (2010) while watching my own kids grow, Edited (2020) for the things we both have learned along the way.

 

*Dedicated to the memory of George Floyd, a black man who screamed for his mother while being suffocated to death at the hands of a white police officer.

art for blog

*Palestinian-American artist Shirien Damra’s illustration paying tribute to George Floyd.

 

 

Thanks for reading

Sheri

 

Singularity

I just finished a book titled ‘The time of my life’ by Cecilia Ahern

Its the second time I gravitated to it, only getting a few chapters in the last time and maybe not understanding the concept got bored. This time, after a few weeks stuck at home. #Quarantine2020 I picked it up again.

Its concept is that when we’re ignoring our inner self our outer self suffers. When we pretend we’re fine things go wrong because we’re not paying attention to our lives. For me this was the perfect time to finish this book, to fully grasp its concept. I’m feeling so gross and bloated all the time, stuffing my face because I’m pretending I’m fine, going through the every day motions as though I dont matter.

But I do matter and unfortunately it took a pandemic to realize that I need to take control of my life. So I accepted the offer to start school in September in the special Education teaching program, even though I tried relentlessly to talk myself out of it. And I will see where doing something for myself will take me.

 

 

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This morning this poem popped up in my feed and I felt it. Its one of those descriptions of thoughts that are hard to put into words but this person has, so I’m sharing it.

Thanks for reading,

I wish you a peaceful Sunday.

Sheri

 

 

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSINGULARITY
by Marie Howe

Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?

so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money —

nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone

pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.

For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you.
   Remember?

There was no   Nature.    No
them.   No tests

to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf    or if

the coral reef feels pain.    Trashed
oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;

would that we could wake up   to what we were
— when we were ocean    and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all — nothing

before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.

Can molecules recall it?
what once was?    before anything happened?

No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb      no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is is is is

The end?

216499_4347280282_3279_n

I’ve been married for 13 years (7/7/7)…

 

Together for 19 years (08/18/01)…

 

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And today we hate each other.

This was the last picture we took together (below) a night in Whistler, something I had been booking and planning for the last 10 years, once a year for us. T be able to get away together… Why he’s never planned one is not lost on me. It started for my  30th knowing he wouldn’t plan anything… This year I turn 40, I know he again will not plan anything…

 

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We have 4 beautiful kids together, 7,12,14 and a should be 8 who died at 2 months old.

 

View More: https://preciousmomentswithelissa.pass.us/sheri

We have lost grandparents, all 4, as well as friends and other family to life;death.

It’s hard to see at first that you’ve grown apart until you realize you have been trying too hard to concede. Or at least I did.

We disagree on all things from how the homeless should be treated to the proper way to address the issue of importance in front of our kids. From what he thinks is acceptable in regards to racist or sexist jokes to what I think is me drawing the line.

My kids have been my life. I have spent countless hours awake, scared, crying while he laid snoring beside me.

Planning, organizing, preparing, juggling.

10 years ago I wanted to leave, we went to Mexico with our 2&4 year olds, something I had been begging for. I read Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert while there, it resonated do deeply. I was encouraged to try.

I worked on myself and I did manage to become happier.

But not because of him, because I did things for me, I applied to University and got in and loved my first classes. I felt like me again. I was learning.

It was me willing to work on myself that made me happy, not him. But 10 years later, I still feel lost and alone.

Not to say he hasn’t tried and I haven’t reciprocated but for him its about sex and for me about growth.

I have been trying to graduate from post secondary school since we met really, but in the early days was busy working to pay my rent, and when I could finally, I was with kids, and then when they were in school, I re applied and got in but got pregnant, with a my 3rd who later died. When I had the strength to reapply, I was pregnant again.

My kids have been my everything and he does not get it.

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I was recently accepted to a program that only takes in 38 students a year/ program. We are going through the Covid 19 pandemic.

Everything is shut down. I can pay 500$ and risk losing it if nothing changes. I worry that if my kids who have not been in school for 3 weeks goes until next September when it starts. He says you should just stop caring about regret and do it then. But that was after he said why would you apply now then?

I applied 3 months ago before this started, I was ready to do it full time and sacrifice without “regret” this year of being there for my babies…

We argued, he yells criticism and confusing testaments that make me wonder if he ever listens. Its always been this way.

Why do I stay? What am I waiting for? Why am I so scared?

Something has changed slowly over time. Neither of us care as much. Neither want to try anymore.

When do you concede defeat?

When do you say it’s the End?

Sheri

 

Tangled in knots

The other day I was in charge of coordinating, organising and physically carrying out a lice check from Kindergarten to Grade 5 at our school. Simple enough task…

We got through the youngest ones, I was starting a grade 5 class, these kids roughly 10 turning 11 years old by the end of the year. They are newly aware of the changes in their bodies and brain functions causing them to re think, overthink or over analyze their own reactions and behaviors. A time when we unfortunately become increasingly aware of our surroundings as well as how those around us may perceive us…

I started at the front of the first row, we decided going up and down each row in class with our tools better (faster) and less disruptive to instruction than calling each child out individually into the hall.  I noticed a girl, more than the others were, watching me. I could feel her anxiety. I try my best to make the kids comfortable, I ask them their name, comment how nice their hair color, length, girth, style etc…  is.

I finished the first 2 rows , she was still watching, waiting, I walked past her desk to put the wooden hair separators I had used already into the garbage and grab clean ones. she came close to me and said I have to tell you something. I looked at this beautiful dark skinned girl that was staring at her hands and smiled. She continues, as she is pulling the hood off her head, “you see, I used to have braids (her hair; very tightly curled black hair) and when you take them out its a bit of a mess…” She sort of points to the back of her head. I smile again and say ‘shall I just check quickly now, you have beautiful hair, it will be fine’. I grab my stick and easily separate some hair at the top, but as she warned at the base it was very much a large dreadlock hard to seperate. In that moment so many things flashed into my mind.

How nervous she must have been feeling, but brave she was to approach me, how different than the mostly white and asian students in regards to hair she obviously feels, the anxiety the notice of this lice/hair check clearly gave her as she tensed as soon as I entered the room. How I wanted to take her and spend the hours needed to detangle her hair, though I don’t even know if that’s possible, I felt naive to understanding what ‘black people’ need to deal with in regards to their hair. The shame society has placed on them because of it. She had it hidden after all under a hood. My heart hurt for this little 10 year old girl who deserved nothing but an education in a safe space but clearly felt judge and worry as well.

It also reminded me of the most embarrassing moment of my childhood. The reason I make my kids wash and brush their hair(because my mom didn’t). My mom, a mom of the 80’s whose motto was basically, “they(you) will figure it out” however vague and spread out in options that meant for us…

I was away at Girl guide camp (in grade 5 coincidentally enough) and it was a special weekend, I don’t remember specifically, mothers day, or easter maybe anyway, one of the leaders offered to give all the girls in our cabin of 6 girls french braids to go home in! We were all so excited at how nice we would look! I will never forget the feeling of shame and embarrassment when she got to me. All the other girls looked so pretty in their braids, she could barely comb to the middle half of my head because my hair was so knotted in tangles, she couldn’t or maybe didn’t want to bother, but I remember it was so easy and fast for all the others and she sat there for an hour trying to brush my hair and eventually settled on the top quarter being braided and tying the rest back in a ponytail. After the fact I remember analyzing, were they all laughing at me behind my back? Did she chose me last because she had already noticed my hair was so gross? I don’t remember if it taught me to want to wash and brush my hair more but it did teach me that my mom didn’t care enough about me to not keep me from being so embarrassed.

This girl who tracked my steps around her class, nervously waiting for me to check her knotted hair, I hope I calmed her nerves in how I reacted. I pray she felt relief.

It is an interesting thing in life to have random moments bring us back to old memories, good or bad.

I do believe kids need to learn on their own but they also need constant reminders and help and a little push especially if they don’t want to things they should like bathe, or wear climate appropriate clothing, eat vegetables etc. However, I have a feeling with this girl its not her fault her hair is so tangled.  I really hope she didn’t feel shame that day. I was curious what it takes for  her so I googled it and wow! Here is the link to what I see as an incredibly hard task on top of the rest of your life to deal with every day.

https://www.wikihow.com/Detangle-African-Hair

I have always thought black womens/girls hair is so beautiful and after finding out the lengths they need to go through for it to look that way! I am in awe and admiration. I thought I would include a few other links about detangling hair.

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

7 Easy Steps To Detangling Natural Black Hair Safely

https://www.allure.com/story/single-strand-knots-natural-curly-hair

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/g26325730/best-hair-detangler/

 

 

My Nonnos Hat

20190323_130800_HDRThis was a few days ago because I get immediate brown spots within seconds of being in the sun. I grabbed my Nonnos Hat, a hat I gladly accepted (as well as his suspenders) when he died. Why? They.  Are.  Him.

Growing up I spent most weekends with my grandparents, my Nonna and Nonno. I loved going to their house! It is by far the best memory I have from my childhood.

Anyway, when my Nonna died (my mom’s mom) in 2012 a few months after my daughter, I couldn’t properly grieve at the time losing her but have ten fold since, anyways, I was nervous to go to her funeral, people were still referencing me as the grandaughter who just lost a child. I went alone, my mom asked why I didn’t bring my other kids? I angrily said I think 1 funeral in 2 months is enough! Plus they never knew her that well, they cared for my Nonno because he was more active in visits with them but regardless, it was not necessary to parade them in front of a bunch of old family that they had never met, to watch their mom cry (again) all so she could show off her grandkids. Ugh.

Back to the story, I wore my trusty fedora to her funeral. A hat I wear with Italian pride. A hat I grew up watching my Nonno and Zeo’s wearing. A hat that masked me.

I walked into the room where immediate family is held before they enter the main room after all others have sat down. I sat beside my Nonno, whom I adored. And he looks at me, in my fedora and says ‘ why are you wearing my hat’? I say it’s my hat Nonno. I lift it to show my face and say it’s me Nonno, Sheri. He grabs my face as he does and says Nina, I never knew why (but always loved it) he and his brother Gino always called me Nina.

My mom told me this morning that Zeo Gino died today. That his funeral is next Wednesday (also happens to be my rainbows 6th birthday)

Let’s go back to the last time I saw Zeo Gino, was at my Nonnos funeral 2 years ago. Not well himself having a bad stroke after his son died. He looked at me, touched my face and said ‘Nina’! He had tears in his eyes, as my Nonno did seemingly every time I saw him after my Nonna died. He cried and said it wasn’t fair, that he lost his son and now his brother. I felt his pain. I hugged him. Others looked as if to wonder why I deserved this affection.

Now he is gone. I hope reunited with his son and his brother, my Nonno.

Why does the world work this way? Forcing us to think constantly about life and death as if we are not always thinking about life and death!

I dont know. I just know I am sad.

Thanks for reading.

Sheri

When I have too much feels…

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When I have to much feels I hide. Not literally but behind a fake smile or rushed avoidance.

I have noticed something about myself this month and that is that when I am feeling overwhelmed with strong emotions or a little depressed at life, I become fake in my interactions with everyday encounters. I noticed that I made random jokes I would laugh at myself when talking to others, I smiled and wanted to appear happy and ok.

Tomorrow will be 7 years since my daughter died. Yesterday was 2 years since my Nonno joined my Nonna who died right after my daughter 7 years ago. My best childhood memories are with them, at their home. So every February is emotional for me, when I am alone. A part of me knows people know and wonders if they get annoyed with my grief, maybe that’s why I hide it, it’s been so long, to them.

So I cry alot in private or in my car. I light candles, go for long quiet walks. And run to and from my car to hide when there are people around that I know. I exercise too much, I eat and drink too much. I try to make others laugh. But the rest of the year (except December) I noticed I am more comfortable being the real me maybe because it’s not directly associated with personal deaths. People can’t say ‘ oh she’s like that cause her daughter died in February. I’m just like this…except in February.

Wierd huh?

So when I am feeling ok about life and comfortable with the existence of my grief, I am much more real and willing to open up to someone in an honest way.

O-well.

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

Capture your Grief 2018

Day 17; Gratitude

To be grateful, what is that? Are we grateful of a good deed, grateful for our life, for money, for food, for love? How do we express our gratitude, do we express it only after being reminded, or as a reaction. Is it an innate trait in some but not for others?  To be grateful for a day without tears, or a day without physical pain, can be a simple relief of our everyday stresses. Gratitude is highly underrated and underused but overtly expressed when called out. Could gratitude be taught in school perhaps, teaching expressions of gratefulness for simple things every day. Can we grow our gratitude by being aware our actions and reactions. If we can empathize more with others, show compassion instead of judgment will we feel more honest gratitude. I wish for hat to be true. I wish for a future of empaths and gracious warriors who feel and appreciate the small and necessary over the large and obvious. Today I am grateful to be in a safe place, to be alive, to be able to express myself through writing. I am grateful for today.

 

Day 18; Joy

When someone we love dies suddenly it seems the joy gets sucked out of every aspect of our lives. Food turns bland, colors dull, feelings hurt. The joy of rest turns into dread, dread of the quiet space forced upon our brain to dwell in the pain of our loss. Joy is such a simple word but encompasses so much. The joy in a genuine smile, the joy of laughter between friends, and the joy of a meal shared with family. The feeling of joy disappears and you wonder if it will or is it possible for it to ever return. I think it does very slowly as in years later you may realize you are smiling or laughing and wonder how that happened, you may feel a sort of joy but regret at feeling joy, you may simply experience a lesser joy but joy nonetheless.  There must always be hope for the joy to return.

 

Day 19; Learn

Learning to live a new normal, learning to grieve and accept the loss that is the cause or your discomfort and pain. To re learn a different life without someone that was once pivotal in the way you once lived. Grief or absence of a person can force us to learn things we never had to navigate before, or maybe we decide to learn a new skill to cope or distract. Learning never stops and grief can be an important teacher in our journey of life. Bu only if you allow it to teach you. If you allow the feelings that hurt to be felt, you can learn how to best handle them. For me I learned to garden and grow things and how much I loved it. How it made me feel attached to the mysterious earth that enraptures our bodies and souls. To watch something you plant grow out of nothing, to bloom, to die and re grow can be an amazing tool in accepting the circle of life.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

42872978_10160515421105538_6338006586425868288_o

 

Capture your Grief; Purpose & Essence

 

 

Day 2 Purpose:

What is our purpose here on earth? A question we all ponder and struggle with a many moments in life. As a child we believe our purpose is to play, if we are lucky. As a teenager we believe we are entitled to all we want and though our purpose is to learn and manage our ever changing bodies and minds. As a young adult, we may begin to question our purpose, the things we have been told and taught until now. The real world may be telling us something different, our purpose to understand it all as it unravels. As an adult, I believe our purpose changes multiple times throughout our lives, our years, our weeks even. When a stressful event unfolds that we cannot control, job loss, a break up or divorce, death of a parent, sibling or child or pet. All that we have learned or understood until that point gets thrown out the window, the many facets of grief that these grand changes bring to our lives cause us to re think our purpose, to change our path, our onward trajectory. What is our purpose, I think for every single human it is different but for all we do have some common purposes. To help each other out, to raise up those below. To be kind, to love.  I tell my kids often to help not to hurt. That I believe is a main purpose of human kind. But I only came to that point of view through years of hurt, so I suppose it is all relative to our own personal growth; our purpose.

 

Day 3 Essence:

The essence of being, a state of mind and thought of one self or character. A descriptive term to which how one feels toward something, a feature or quality of a solid or spiritual piece. In essence, I feel like her death taught me so much but in reality it was the pain of losing her that opened my eyes to what I could not see before. The reality that is life. In essence a young naïve mind is protected from the truth until it ventures out and gets hurt or betrayed. In essence they appear to care but their actions say otherwise.

es·sence
noun: essence
  1. the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.
    • Philosophy
      a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
    • an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.
    synonyms: quintessence, soul, spirit, nature; core, heart, crux, nucleus, substance; principle, fundamental quality, sum and substance, warp and woof, reality, actuality;
    Thank you for Reading,

     

    Sheri

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One thing after the next…Keep going.

Today is my 38th birthday and upon reflecting over this last year these past few days, as we do leading up to the day our form came to be however many years ago.

38th bday

38th Birthday 10/02

 

I was reminded of the post I wrote last year.

https://dealingwithmygrief.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/what-37-years-on-earth-has-taught-me/

And oh how so much can happen, change, shift in 365 days!

Much of last year I felt at peace with the things and goings on of life at 36 into 37th year, so it was the opportune moment for this thing called life to turn mine upside down, toss a wrench in it so to speak!

Shortly after I turned 37 last year,  my brother who is an addict and has spent his life on and off the streets, performing one con after the other with minute breaks of sobriety and actual honest work, decided I had helped him out a lot but not enough for him to appreciate. So he attempted with the help of his then girlfriend, I do not know if they are still together because I have cut all ties.

They attempted to steal my identity and create fraudulent accounts and credit cards in my name, they were successful a teeny bit until they dumbly tried with the actual bank I do business with and my bank called me to confirm my new address to send checks to, ironically the same address my low life brother had just sent me because I wanted to send him a Christmas gift… it was stupid how easy it was to find out it was him. I then spent six weeks leading up to Christmas not preparing my own home or enjoying family time, creating memories but going  physically the six big banks here to clear my name and close any fraudulent accounts that may have been successfully opened, there was one- how someone can open an account on line and over the phone with not showing any identification is clearly wrong and should be impossible but he had my full name and correct birthdate and knowledge of my mothers maiden name, so apparently that was sufficient! Those days visiting the banks was on top of the countless hours spent on the phone with online creditors, who also apparently do not need real identification to attempt to open and gain credit cards with, the common question I was asked- ‘was your wallet stolen?’ I replied with why? did this person show you ID? No. It is sad and frustrating that companies and banks are more willing to help their growth and con artist than do their job and protect people with proper background checks. But I digress, it happened, we caught it early before any real damage, I filled a lawsuit but after a short investigation learned that I, me, the victim must travel to where he lived because it was not in the same Province to file charges with the police where the crime was committed even though it was online to banks and to me who live here not there, I had to go to them, to him, to file suit! that is absurd! This caused major stress on me and my family for a few months and still bothers me immensely when someone brings up my brother, my own flesh and blood, someone I always helps when he asked. Now dead to me.

So yeah that was the beginning of the very trying year I just had leading up to this day, my 38th birthday.

That was last November and December that I was dealing with issues do to the fraud, daily. My daughter’s, what would have been sixth birthday on December 30th was tainted by the anger I was dealing with over being victimized.

Christmas with my other three still young enough to love Christmas was also damaged. But hey, it was a new year, the start of 2018.

Low and behold two weeks into the new year my husband lost his job, his job of fifteen years, a job that was his life, that left me alone for many days, weeks, months during the newborn years of our first two kids lives. A job for a company he grew and helped become even more successful tan it was before. A job that moved us three times causing me/us to lose and remake friendships  in three different cities in one decade. He was shocked, he was hurt, felt betrayed and stabbed in the back. Our marriage already having survived the death of our daughter (a feat not many do) had survived all the moves, the sleepless nights of babies, the long hours alone. Death of the pets we got together when we first met, as many long term relationships, our going on eighteen years, has had many struggles and ups and downs. And now this.

us

17th Anniversary

I didn’t know what to do, or how to help, so I got a full time job, I was lucky I was hired a week after he was let go it all happened so fast and the thing I feel for is my kids, yes they suddenly had their dad at home all the time, its not like they were alone, but I, their mother who had always, 24/7 been there, since pushing them out of my loins was suddenly gone. He had to learn how to care, the constant never ending needs of the children and what that entailed or how it consumes all of your time.

I had to learn to let go. It was very hard, I had the guilt, I had the frustration of things not being done my way anymore, my kids over a few months adapted and seemingly needed me less. It broke my heart. All the while my husband was getting increasingly helpless with his job search, angry with is new life of stay at home dad, though now, in hindsight, I think he appreciates the time he was forced to experience with them, actually, I know he does.

Every summer for the last ten years we have vacationed at the same place, the beachfront on Osoyoos British Columbia, but this year we couldn’t, having lost his company car, we couldn’t, it is also the same week each year that is our anniversary and his birthday and this year happened to be his 40th!

Osoyoos BC

Osoyooos BC

 

so we decided to go to Mexico, summer is the cheapest to go there, as its very hot and more popular in the winter months but off we went.

We landed, it was hot, we got to the hotel, it was hot, we checked in, I unpacked the kids things, went to change myself, unzipped my case and found, it was identical to my case, but not my case. Someone grabbed my luggage and left me theres. I know it is this way because we took the second bus off the plane and when we arrived at baggage our cases or the five remaining cases, the ones we took, was all that was left on the carousel. Now what, Oh and they were having an election the next day so all was closed until Tuesday, we landed on Sunday.

We spent our first day in Mexico trying to get a hold of anyone that could help us from the airline or airport that spoke english. It was even more frustrating because as the mom, in my case was all the toiletries, the kids toothbrushes, the sunscreen. Off we went to buy overpriced shampoo and sunscreen, I swam for the first two days in my husbands boxer shorts and the sports bra I had on since leaving for the trip. I had many moments of anger during this trip because I felt like I was being punished this year and this was my tipping point.  I had no idea what for. I help others as much as I possibly can, I always do the right thing with the options presented, I teach kindness and empathy, I show love to all. Why were all these things, these unfortunate events happening?

On day four I had accepted my things were gone, I had decided I would make the best of it, we may never be able to travel back to Mexico, I need to put my big girl undies on and move forward! I had a sort of awakening, I realized all these things were happening because I was too comfortable in life or at the point I had reached thus far. I was being taught to accept over and over, taught that no matter how much control we think we have, we have none.

case

End of Day 4 They found my suitcase!!

 

 

Here I am a year later from when all the crummy things that bottomed out and unraveled over the last year have hopefully come to a close. who knows what the next year will bring but I know I can handle whatever life throws at me because I have so far! Bring it!

Thanks for reading

Namaste,

Sheri

wosdomolder