my why

dreams, inspiration, life, loss, Love, mywhy, parents, passion, Positive Thinking, relationships

mom and dad

Finding your Why. This concept is relatively new to me, it was introduced to me in February 2017 through my current employer. I never had a corporate job until this one, none of my previous employers asked me about my why. Truthfully I didn’t really know what it was right in the beginning, only because I had never thought of it before. Now I see that question everywhere “What is your Why” or “Finding your Why”. I don’t necessarily have just one. It’s the same way I am with picking favorites. Someone says “What’s your favorite song?” I freeze. How do I pick just one? Well I can’t, I’ve never been good at it. My mind immediately starts to weigh the differences. I go to blurt out a song and then my brain says, well wait a minute, what about this one that makes you feel this way, and so on. I used to get frustrated with myself, but then once I accepted that I don’t want to pick a favorite anything I became much happier. Everything is my favorite, and I constantly use that word when I am talking about something I love.

I will tell you though that my number one Why is my parents. I’ve touched on my losing them in some of my prior posts but it was very brief. Honestly I just wasn’t ready to write about them in one entire entry. I lost my dad in August 2015 and my mom in May 2016, their deaths were only 9 months apart. I wish I could say they were my Why for the majority of my life, but I was very selfish, and when I think about it, I was their Why while they were here on this planet, in this realm.

My parents sacrificed so much for their children. My mom and my dad were never married, they separated a few years after I was born and my dad married my step mom not too long after that. I have a brother who is 11 years older than me from my mom’s one and only marriage, and I have 2 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers from my dad’s one and only marriage. I am beyond grateful that my parents set aside their differences and were able to raise me together, yet apart. They were both always there for me no matter what, no matter how many times I screwed up, or treated them poorly, they were always there. They put their children’s lives before their own, time and time again, we were their Why.

And now that they are both gone, they are my ultimate Why. Losing them has taught me how precious life is, how someone’s health can change just like that, how their entire life could change or be gone just like that. I have always stood in my own way, I’ve self sabotaged multiple dreams and passions (I won’t go down that rabbit hole in this post). I have clear memories of me telling my parents about my wild ideas and what I would hope to accomplish. My mom was more fear based and a natural worrier, so her reaction was always “Sarah, I don’t know about that, what if this, this and this happens”. My dad was more encouraging, he would tell me to follow my dreams but that I would have to work hard to achieve them. I knew they always believed in me though, no matter what crazy, creative idea was swirling around in my head, they were in my corner, 100 percent.

There are some days that I don’t want to get out of bed because I miss them so much, but then I think of the disservice that that would be to them. Even though they’re gone, they’re still pushing me, maybe now more than ever. This tragic experience has taught me that I don’t have to settle, for anything, and that I shouldn’t have to. Hell I don’t want to. My dream is to help as many people as I can, touch as many lives as I can, all while being creative. This is when I’m happiest.

I know they’re here with me, guiding me along. I see and feel them, I receive signs from them, sometimes big but most times small. I see their birthdays, my mom’s birthday shows up more often than my dad’s. I talk to them. There are days when I’m not so gracious, days when I get mad because they’re not physically here. Days when I curl up and cry until my eyes are swollen and little red spots pop up all over my face. Days when I just want my mom and dad. But they are few and far between, and sacred. I don’t ever want to stop grieving them, I don’t ever want to stop missing them, and I don’t think I ever will.

They are my Why for wanting to live my best positive life and achieve my wildest dreams. I love you mom and dad.

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guest of the week: jen williams

Guest Blogger, loss, Love

JenWilliams

This week I am featuring my co-worker and friend, Jen Williams. She is a truly talented writer, she sent over a short novel that she wrote years back about her grandmother passing away. She is great at describing situations, I really felt like I was there going through this experience with her. I challenged her to shorten the story for this post and she rose to the occasion. This is a story about loss, love, grief, acceptance, awareness and much more, in only a few short paragraphs. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us Jen.

“You know, I’ve always been good at accepting death. It was never something that scared me. Plenty of people in my life passed away when I was quite young (both my grandfathers, great aunts/uncles and even my own uncle) I was a person of faith so I believed those people went to heaven and we’re happier. However, when I was 16, I really knew what it meant to lose someone. To make a long story short (which literally it’s a long story. I wrote a short novel about it if you’d like to read the WHOLE thing let me know) I didn’t just lose my grandmother, I lost a place at the table. A friend when no one else was there. A comic relief. A voice, though quiet, spoke volumes.

You see, my junior year of high school was not easy. I had a bad relationship with a boy my grandmother told me wasn’t worth my presence. I struggled in school due to my personal life. My parents just struggled in general with work and money and raising a family while taking care of a sick parent. It was a hard October. To paint a better picture for you, my grandmother came to live with my family when I was 9. Throughout the years she was a caretaker for us. A good bit of my teens my mother worked at night and my father worked in the day and played video games all night. My grandmother was the one who made sure my brother and I were taken care of. She made sure that when we were out of line she’d become Grambo (like gramma and Rambo. Get it??) However, the beginning of senior year my grandmother, who was never healthy to begin with, became even more ill. Now at this point, she had already lost a toe due to neglecting diabetes. Well, she had the flu to begin with but while at the hospital learned she had gangrene from a cut on her foot from when she was cutting her toenails. Now, this kind of thing always irritated me because she seemed to always be sick and never took care of herself and here she is possibly losing a whole leg. I felt that she was always causing my parents extra work to take care of her and now we may have to remodel the house again for her to be in a wheelchair. Well a month went by and everything fell apart, literally. Our refrigerator broke as well as our furnace. I spent time in the emergency room. My boyfriend broke up with me. And my grandmother couldn’t fight her infection any longer and she passed away after telling the nurses she was ready and to stop treatment.

Her funeral came and went and it started to hit me. I felt so guilty. Why was I ever upset by who she was? Yes my parents had to do a lot for her and spend a lot of time with her. But why was I jealous of the attention she got? She needed it. I was selfish. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss her at the dinner table giving us updates on the weather (even when they were wrong) or repeating something someone JUST SAID because she wasn’t all there all the time. My house felt empty, cold. Her room just a hollow shell of the moments that were now memories. Christmas won’t be the same without her there. To think, just six months before that, we threw her a surprise party for her 70th which I’m so glad now we did.

Here I am now, almost 10 years later to the day, writing about her. Do I still feel guilty? Not as much as I did. I was a bratty teenager who had a dose of reality. However, I do still miss her. I no longer live in my parents house but when I go there I think of her. Her room was an addition that was torn down and we don’t have the same kitchen table but the memories remain. We talk very fondly of her and we talk about her often. The only thing I honestly regret, is I wish I would’ve listened to her more about not being with that boy in high school and not having some of the friends I did. She worried about me. I feel I still ended up okay in the end. I just wish she was able to see me now. I graduated college, married a great man and own my own home. I just wish she could see that I’m doing okay. But like I said, I do believe in heaven, so I think she knows I am.

I still love you gramma Betty Jean.
Your Jenny Penny”