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Oh … so that explains the kitten

I had horrible dreams last night – meteors crashing to earth and creatures coming out of a mire – of course, I was trying to photograph them.  I’m always taking photographs in my dreams.

And then I dreamed of an abandoned kitten in a desk drawer – I rescued it.

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Other than that, I tossed and turned mostly – denied my dog’s request to go outside and tried to snatch some sleep back that was taken from me.

When I got up, I looked up the significance of meteors – and was surprised to read that they represented success in a project.  I then looked up kitten …

‘To see a kitten in your dream represents a transitional phase toward independence.  You are ready to explore new things that life has to offer.  Alternatively, the dream symbolizes innocence and purity.’

Well, let’s be realistic, I had to assume the first interpretation applied to me.

Got ready, fed the dog, caught up on the news, packed my lunch and went to work.

I spent approximately an hour there before I received a phone call telling me I was laid off.

Just – like – that.

Damn kitten!

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I liken the collecting and packing of personal items at work to that of a child packing to run away.

It’s usually done under emotional and stressful circumstances and you end up leaving important things behind and taking things you don’t need.

It wasn’t until I was driving home, realizing my key chain was one key lighter,  that I remembered I forgot to grab my lunch.

 

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There really isn’t much time to say ‘good bye’ or to leave a place properly when you’ve been asked to leave.

And this isn’t my first redundancy rodeo.  This is the second time this year I’ve been laid off.

Not fired.

Let’s make that clear.  I give 110% in all I do.

I won’t share the reasons or the company – just suffice it to say, changes were inevitable, I just didn’t expect I was on the chopping block today at all. 

Blindsided by that damn kitten.

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I am blessed though.

I am feeling positive.

I have proven to myself that I am capable of rising from the ashes and making the best of a situation, and this time will be no different.

I am not a ‘why me?’ person – I am an optimistic, realistic ‘why not me’ person.

And I have learned many lessons over the past few years and one of them is that you just stay in motion and  keep showing up with a smile on your face and your hard work and attitude will be noticed.

And it was.

I am very fortunate to have some options that I am weighing.

I am very fortunate to have a healthy son.  Loving family.  Amazing friends.

I have my sight, my hearing, my voice – the use of all of my limbs and am pain-free.

Today.

And all I have is today.

With a determined eye to the future and a willingness to change and learn.

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Musings from the laundromat – Lightning Crashes edition

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I sat outside under the night sky last night – feeling the thunder vibrate through me – smelling the rain that did not fall. Lightning flashed in random ‘peek-a-boo’ fashion, making clouds temporarily visible.

And I was contemplating.

Nic goes to England in just 3 days.  For a month at least – perhaps indefinitely, if it is to be his path.

I’ve had so much on my mind lately, time slipped by on cat feet.  Quickly and quietly.

Just what am I going to do alone with my thoughts?  Probably have more of them.

As I stepped inside, ironically, ‘Lightning Crashes’ was being performed acoustically on the tv.  Live was providing my thoughts some  background music.

As if my thoughts need them.

My internal tangents have theme songs and a cast and crew … lighting and screen writers – production staff and catering.  It’s quite heady really.  Independent tangents of course, we have a budget you know.

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But, a tangent was born.  The song reminded me of someone I dated.  He was in a band (shocking, I know.)  He played the bass and when his band performed that particular song, he would come down from the stage and slow dance with me until he had to join in.

The drums and bass aren’t involved until the end of the 2nd verse of the song –  and that is when my dance ended.  Then up on stage he would go and I would find my seat.

I seem to have so many stories like that – but no book.  So many ‘almosts’ but no ‘ever after’.  I’m to blame for most of them, I know.  I pushed people and opportunities away.  So stubborn.  And never willing to settle.

I’ve always had big dreams of what life and love is supposed to be.  I still do.

When you’ve seen what I’ve seen and experienced what I’ve experienced, life gets bigger and so does your soul and heart and dreams.

And I still will not settle.  I will wait.  I will wait for the man with the broken heart and haunted past – who is meant for me.

The first I knew of true love – unconditional, pure love was when I gave birth.  They say that will be the case to first time mothers (and fathers.)  “The minute you lay eyes on that baby, THEN you’ll know what love is.”  ‘They’ were right.

Although, if I’m being honest, when Nicholas Avery Charles was laid in my arms, and when I looked down and said my first word to him “Hi.” I didn’t feel that intense burst of love right away.

I felt like a terrible mother then – wasn’t there supposed to be internal fireworks going on?  A sudden and profound new-found feeling of the maternal variety?

I was madly in love with my son when I carried him.  I loved every hiccup, every kick.  I spoke to him – I caressed my belly and imagined what my baby would look like, what he or she would sound like.  I chose not to know the sex of my baby – I found out (obviously) when the doctor announced “It’s a son.”

I missed being pregnant for a little while after he was born.  I truly missed it.  Perhaps it felt safer carrying him inside of me – where he was alive and mine and protected from the world.  I don’t know.

Oh, the postpartum love came.  It came like a love tsunami – my heart was filled to overflowing.

I barely let him sleep in his crib at home.  I would ‘accidentally’ bump into it so that he would wake up.  “OH! Are you awake?  Let me hold you.”  And for hours I would breathe in the scent of him as he fell back asleep on my chest.

I loved my son with a heart I didn’t know I had.

I would lay down and die for my son if need be.

I would do anything to ensure he has a chance for a life filled with memories, love, hope, dreams and wonder.

And … I would send him away from me.

And I am.

And I hope that he finds those things on his journey.  I’m giving him all I have to give, an opportunity.  A ticket to see more than his small home town.  A chance.

Perhaps years from now, he’ll sit outside as a storm brews and recall this upcoming adventure – lose himself in thought with a smile on his face.  Then go back inside of his home and share a story with his family.

http://youtu.be/ScFNSQ8jaEsimage

If you love someone – get them out!

Nic will be 18 in 18 days.  I’ve struggled with this, of course, I want to keep him close.  I don’t want his childhood to be over.  I don’t want to lose what we have. 

But God doesn’t have grandchildren. 

Nic has his own life waiting for him.  AND, it is HIS life.  I can want things for him – as parents, we do that.  But unless he wants something for himself, it’s not going to happen. 

I could hand him a golden ticket to an Ivy League university – all expenses paid, but unless he WANTS to pursue academics, it would be a waste.  

Tonight, my sons eyes lit up and I saw in him a ‘want’.  A want that I can totally get behind.

My mom just returned from England.  She was visiting my Nannie who just turned 90. 

 I was born in Windsor, England.  Lived there until 1980, when we immigrated to the US.

Before that move, my mom and I traveled.  We went from France to India cross-country.  That deserves a post of its own.  But suffice it to say, I experienced A LOT.  We were crossing borders before they shut them down, Argo had nothing on us. 

I digress.

Nics eyes were shining.  We had been to my moms to collect the bits and pieces she brought back for us. 

Photo time!

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The English sweets I requested.

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Nic with the Union Jack he requested

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Me counting the English currency left over. No, I didn’t get to keep it.

Now look at this photo – this was taken around the corner from my house. 

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It says ‘Get Out’.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know who sprayed that on there.  I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind the tagging. 

Get Out.

Back to Nics shining eyes.

I still have a lot of family in England.  And friends.

Nic has said before that he wants to go to the UK. 

He’ll be graduating High School in May.  My mom will be returning to England in July-ish. 

I will be getting paperwork for a passport.

I will be saving every penny I can save.

I will push Nic out of this desert nest and into my home country.

I want him to have an experience.  I want him to make some memories.  I want him to be submerged in other cultures, other languages, other ideas and lifestyles.  Nic wants this too.

I imagine him traveling to France, perhaps staying in a Hostel.  (Hopefully not one out of that horror movie!) 

Meeting family members he’s never met before.  Spreading his wings and figuring out what he wants next. 

I will miss him.  I don’t want him just going for a few weeks – I want him to take complete advantage of being overseas. 

I WANT to miss him.  I want him to return (if that’s what he chooses) and have a purpose.  Not be stagnant in a small town and enrolled in community college, while vying for one of a few part-time jobs in this area.

Hopefully, he’ll return with memories of adventures and an idea of what he wants to be and how he wants to achieve that.  And I’ll support whatever that is too.

My mind is reeling trying to think of how to make this happen for him.  What can I sell?  How can I save?  I will do this. 

I will do it as if his life depends upon it – because in a lot of ways, it does. 

Really US Embassy?

I have a blogging friend from Pakistan who went through the proper channels to try and obtain a student visa to come to America to further his education and earn a bachelor’s degree in English lit.  The Visa Officer at the US Embassy denied it.

This is after he had to explain why he wanted a second bachelors degree, who was paying for it etc. He provided bank statements, grades from his previous education. And, nope.  They didn’t think he would return to his home country after a school year.

I read this and thought, WTH??

This is a person whose father worked hard and can pay for the college fees (after saving up having taught in a village) and who did everything on the up and up.

Now, I am not someone who has a popular opinion when it comes to immigration – especially illegal.  I believe America was built by immigrants.  Founded by immigrants.  And I’ll tell you what, if I thought I could improve my family’s life by climbing, swimming, hiking into a Country of opportunity – I would!

Yes, there are a lot of people who take advantage of the services offered – but the problem isn’t so much those who do – but the fact that there ARE such services available to those who do.  In my opinion.

Fortunately I didn’t have to climb, sneak or swim.  My mother and I came here legally, we jumped through the hoops, waited out turn in lines and have enjoyed being residents of America since 1980.

When I hear a story like my blog friends though, I get a little pissed.

Anyone can sneak over the border but he can’t come here legally for education?  Not a free ride – a paid for education.  And really, if he stayed, wouldn’t that be America’s gain?  A go getter – an educated, creative contributor.

Grrrr.   Makes me so upset.