Why you should give love this Valentine’s Day

 Valentine’s Day is this week. When I was a child I loved the holiday. I enjoyed writing the names of all the kids in the class on the cheap store bought cards. I would lay quietly on the floor going through the box of cards one-by-one selecting a card to apply to each of my classmates. I would carefully fold back and forth on the perforated line to slowly tear along those dots sheet-by-sheet and card-by-card. Then with a steady hand I would write the name of each classmate on a card. For the final touch, I would tape a sucker to each envelop. To an adult this would look as a waste of money and time, but to younger me it was an act of love with a hope of reciprocating some much-needed kindness or love back.

That box of cheap store bought Valentine’s Day cards and that bag of suckers was purchased by my younger self with an allowance to which was given by my grandfather. It might have gone unnoticed by many in the classroom, but there were always some classmates that rode the bus with me to school and knew my house was the dilapidated one on a hill with the broken front porch steps and paint peeling on the exterior walls. Those classmates knew, I gave all I had as an elementary student living on a farm in the countryside. Those classmates were my friends and they did just as I wanted. They gave me the gift of friendship, love and kindness in a very small farm town school.

Through the years, college life, marriage and parenting I have not given up on Valentine’s Day. Nope, this holiday is still very important to me. I would like to rephrase that, I would say Valentine’s Day is less important than Christmas and more than Thanksgiving to me. Why? Well, as a lonely child I was given an awful gift of the ability to see sadness in other’s eyes. It hurts me to look in a stranger’s, relatives’ or friend’s eyes to not see or find that special glimmer of love. That is when the inner child of me comes to light.  My inner child does something special for a friend, family member, coworker, stranger or even myself (at times) during this holiday of love to bring love and possible spark to that person.

Why? Well, let me tell you a very tender story of a woman I knew quite well. She was depressed. She was abusive and neglectful to herself and her own children. This woman had loved a man deeply for 17 years. After her divorce, she gave up on herself. She quit her goals. She lost her faith. She stopped loving herself and loving others. Many knew this woman, but she felt alone and had lost her glimmer. On a cold Friday night, after Valentine’s Day this woman took her life by suicide.  She wrote a long thoughtful note. But the key word that broke my heart was that she felt life got “boring.”

               It is true that this woman had broken up with her lover a few months before she took her own life. Maybe she lost her glimmer in her eyes, yet I am not blaming him. I am just saying that if maybe, just maybe if more people were less selfish and gave as I did as a child maybe this woman would still be here today. I am not asking for huge gifts, but this holiday try to find a few dollars to buy a bag of candy, a dozen of cookies, or snack to share with those you do and don’t know so well. If you want to go big, give the gift of time. Invite someone to a cup of coffee or just sit and talk with them. This Valentine’s Day give the gift of love. You never know, it might reward you with a gift of friendship, love or kindness too.

Whatever you do this holiday, do not ignore those whom have lost that glimmer or spark in their eyes. It might even be the one whom you married, love, loved, work with, exercise with or see just passing by. Let’s celebrate this holiday of love with one simple act of love.

P.S.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love you!

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Giving Purpose to Life

I have found myself at a crossroads in life, again. I can tell you that is feels good for once to have choices. I have been writing, parenting, working and spousing for years. If feels good to know I have a purpose in life.

For the last year and a half, I have been recovering from four long and painful surgeries. I found myself weak. The worst part of it all was I felt worthless in a world that was still moving as I laid idle in bed. Many have asked and wondered why I was just laying around. Well, I also suffer IBS, a really bad case. My stomach bleeds when I eat the wrong foods, dehydrate, or take medications. Due to my IBS, I took very few pain pills; instead, I had to lay in bed with my foot elevated on ice. As days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into a year I began to feel as though my life had no purpose. The world around me continued to move even though I was not a part of it.

Then when my baby went off to college this fall I hit bottom, not rock bottom, but almost. I just could not find my purpose in life. My son told me, “this is your time to get healthy and get known for the writing you have been doing your whole life.”

I started my healing journey at a small gym with a trainer. I started with baby steps. Since September, I have gotten a lot of strength back. It all began with a set of 5 pound weights. As my foot and body got stronger, my voice did too. This fall, I received my first notification from Barnes and Noble to accept my children’s books, Best Friend For Christmas, Promise and Snow-po and Tour The Mount Molly. It was the golden key to my future.

Currently, I am working on new stories for my Promise and Snow-po series. I have started my social media campaign. Most important, I have found my new purposes in life. This has given me new and wonderful opportunities to choose from.

Lately, the media has focused so much attention on the great divide in our nation. I sit and watch the media with sadness. Thousands and thousands are protesting, angry, sad and confused. Now, as a person that has just found new purposes life.  I have decided to give back to our nation. The only way we can bridge the gap is with knowledge. Knowledge is more powerful than anything in our world. I have volunteered to help inner city children with homework help. It will give me another new purpose, and hopefully the knowledge to create a new purpose for another person in our nation.

If you are reading this, I would like to encourage you too to give purpose to life by adding value to some else’s.

 

Thanks

Jennifer

Comfortably Numb

Today I woke up with the lyrics of Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd in my head. It has been a long time since I have sat down and written from my heart and soul, but today I must.

I stared in the mirror this morning long and hard. I realized one thing, if I am to move beyond this point I must face the sadness inside. The truth is like 90 percent people of this world I have suffered loss, abuse and neglect. Just like the song Comfortably Numb, I had this feeling as a child and now again as an adult.

As I sit listening the song, tears pour down my face. In my head, I see the vision of Pink Floyd’s video and suffrage of the child and father at war. While I am not the child in the video, but I too have felt very similar to the little boy sitting numb. Over the years, have learned to overcome those burdens and grow into the woman I am today by staying the moment and looking towards the future.

The question remains. Why is this song plaguing me today? Could it be the looming media and threats of a new war? Is the election really bothering me? Well, maybe, but the real issue is rejection. I have been and always been facing the issue of rejection. I was rejected by my own mother. I was a failed abortion attempt. I lived. I was her biggest failure. While I forgive her and love her, and her ashes sit in a silver heart container in my home, I still deal with the fact that every day of my life I was rejected.

Now, as my writing begins to take stage I have that same feeling of fear of rejection. Maybe, this is why I have become comfortably numb. While I am not feeling pain or happiness. The distance ships in the horizon is my future success. The moving lips could belong to myself or my mother’s. Even though I have this feeling again, I will do as I have done before. I will weep my tears, listen to music and fight. This is life. We live in world of very selfish and sick people, but I will stand up and keep going. I will not let the pain, fear, sadness or anything else keep me from catching that ship in the horizon.

JCV

https://www.bing.com/search?q=comfortably+numb&form=EDGNTC&qs=PF&cvid=12c1c37bc50e465d916a1c21fe0891b6&pq=comfortably+numb

 

First day of kindergarten

The first day of Kindergarten is not the same for every student or every school

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First day of kindergarten

When the blistering hot summer days have you and your family longing for those cooler fall days, there will be some mothers, fathers and grandparents who will take their little one to kindergarten.
On my son’s first day of kindergarten was and still is one of his worst days in his life. Bubba was very upset. He and I were used to being a solo team. His father left when he was two and half and returned when he was four and half. After for about six-months, but only to leave again. Bubba’s father was in love with another country and did not want to be a father. He and I tried to make it work. Financially Bubba’s father was taking care of us, but the lack of his presence was definitely causing Bubba to have attachment issues.

I did not know how much the abonnement affected him until the first day of kindergarten. Bubba had attended a two-year-old preschool program that was three hours twice a week. Then a three-year-old preschool program that met for three hours three times a week. This fall, Bubba was attending a new school with a full day kindergarten program.
On the first day of school, we woke up on time. He dressed into the school uniform, ate breakfast, grabbed his backpack, took a picture and then got in the SUV. During the drive we talked about the all fun he would have. Once we got to the school, Bubba was overwhelmed at all the cars, busses and children in the parking lot. Bubba took off his seatbelt to his car seat, climbed over the seat, began to undress, crying and screaming he did not want to go. I tried to console him. I got in the backseat and tried to reach for him. Instead, I ended up climbing over the seat and helped him put his clothes back on. Together we hugged and talked about all the fun he was going to have at his new school. He calmed down and together we walked to his class hand in hand. Until the moment he saw his teacher and the class full of 20 plus students. Bubba broke down. He clung to both of my legs with all his strength and yelled, “Don’t leave me!”

His teacher with her big fluffy white hair and long dress bent down to his level and said, “Don’t worry, I am your mommy now. You will see her after school, but for now you can act like I am your mommy.”
Bubba proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs and attempted to climb up my legs. That was when the tears I was holding back began to stream down my own face. I picked him up and took him away from the scene. I could not allow his new classmates to stare at him. I carried him to the office and I made small chat with the secretary and Headmaster. Once Bubba had calmed down again I told him that what his teacher said was not true. I was his mommy and always would be. I would not leave him, nor would I forget about him while he was at school. If he were to ever get sick or have great sadness he could tell the teacher he needed to come to the office to ask the secretary to call me. I would stop whatever I was doing to come to school to get him. The secretary smiled in agreement.

He gathered up his courage and once again we walked hand and hand back to his classroom. He took the last seat in the back corner far away from the teacher.

School mornings were never easy for Bubba, but over time they got easier. My son never abused the privilege of calling home sick, but he knew that he could. I always made it to school early to pick him up so he never had to worry if I would be like his father and just leave. The relationship between my son and his teacher was quite toxic. She reminded him many times that she was the mommy now, and my son reminded her that she was not. After many meetings with the teacher and Headmaster, the teacher stopped telling the kids that she was their mommy.

My son learned how to read, add, count, and to do many more things, but to no avail his teacher failed him on the basis of emotional immaturity. I spoke with the Headmaster and came to the conclusion that my son was very smart, could read, write, add, subtract and more but the emotional turmoil of not seeing much of his father had created some attachment issues.
Summer came and we had our glory days of fun filled mornings, swim lessons, nature walks and long afternoons of movies and staying up late playing with friends. In the fall, Bubba went to a new school to repeat kindergarten. The new school was much smaller with only 10 kids per class. The teacher was a male.
On the first day of school, we walked hand and hand to the new classroom. We said our farewells. My son did not cry. He was timid, but the distraction of the collection of birds, bunnies, reptiles, plants and more in the classroom made it much easier for the kids to detach from the parents. My son looked up at me worried and said, “Will you forget about me?”
As I held back tears, I responded, “Of course not, I will be here if you need me. Your teacher can call me anytime and I will stop what I am doing to come to you.”
Then he asked, “Can you please come eat lunch with me?”
The teacher overhearing the conversation shook his head with agreement. “I think that would be nice.”
“Then yes Bubba, I will be here at lunch.” I was shocked that I was welcomed to be a part of Bubba’s first day at school.

The first week of school I ate lunch with Bubba, his class alongside other parents. Lunch was nothing big or glamourous, but it meant everything to my son and the other classmates as they sat alongside their parents, grandparents and more to eat. As days passed fewer parents to include myself would come eat with the class, but never did a week go by that at least one parent would come eat along with the teacher and kindergarteners.
If I could go back in time, I would have never forced Bubba to go to school at the first school he went to for kindergarten. The school had a wonderful academic reputation, but all the heartaches, tears and sadness he suffered from that tragic first day still linger in his head.
The second school fostered a smaller class with more of an ease of transition and the birds, bunnies, plants, trienniums, and more created an environment of ease to create a sense of wonder in Bubba. It was the acceptance of the parental interaction at everyday lunches, field trips and reading time that gave the children a sense of confidence that their moms, dads, grandparents and more would be there at the end of a full day that made the second school the best.

Thank you Headmaster Brother Garrison!

Time to be me again

20160507_095654They always say if you want to see yourself in the eyes of others take a video. Well, this morning I took my first interview video for a new job. The job entails teaching people how to paint or create art. I was ecstatic when I got the request for the video.

 

I hung all my paintings in my spare bedroom and lined the extra paintings along the bottom of the wall. The display was beautiful. The colors were bright. The images are crisp. Most of the paintings are children’s illustrations with a dog, or child or both. The art I saw was above the level of creativity that I felt I could ever do.

 

Then in my black slim leggings, yellow t-shirt, tennis shoes and my painting sweater I stood in front and center of my art holding two of my children’s books. My son standing with my cellphone gave me the signal to speak. The first video was full of “ums…” The second was full of “likes…” Then the third video, I calmed down and spoke honestly about my craft. I told about my books. I went over my watercolor paintings and then I explained the slow progression of my oil paintings. The video was complete, simple and well thought.

 

The problem? I was boring. I was a simple woman in a simple sweater coat. My hair was simple. My makeup was simple. I was simply simple. I remember back in the days when I was anything but simple. I was full of cheer, loud, colorful, energetic, expressive and nothing like the woman explaining the wonderful and colorful art on display. Now, I see my heart and soul displayed on the walls, I wonder if somewhere I lost my soul inside me. Is my spirit broken or is this a phase? I think back to the days of where anything would go and how fresh, fun and energetic I felt. I want that feeling again. I want to be a reflection of the art hanging on the walls. I want to be colorful, crazy and fun. I enjoy the comfort of normalcy but I am I don’t want the dull, boring, nervous, and quiet soul from that video. I want to be more. I want to be me.