RAIN

HE OWES ME

Learning to walk

Learning to walk

By Melissa Flynn

 

 

 I was recently reassured in my desire to inspire the masses. I want to inspire people to: Get Up! Get Out! And to Be Productive!

“He owes me for all that I have done through the years…I have no money. He does. So he has all the power.”

This was from a fifty-something-year-old man who is looking to his brother for financial aid.

I have repeatedly tried to sway this individual in his desire to seek aid. I have asked him to look within himself. I have asked him to find his purpose in life—figure out what he aspires to do.

“Try to only reach out to others when you are in dire need. If you regularly ask for help, others are less likely to be willing.”

I told him as I have told my son, over and over. “I will only help those who are trying to help themselves.”

I tried to explain that we are owners of our own fates. This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by William Ernest Henley.

“…It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

We all have our trials and hardships, at times. But no matter what, we must learn to refocus, never letting our goals out of sight.

Having this conversation reminded me that I have a lot of work to do. Many people are looking for direction. I want to be a guide to all those that are seeking solutions to all of life’s puzzles. I want people to know that there is hope for us all.

Within my soul, I believe that life is meant to be lived. And we all are here for a purpose. Find yours. And remember not to allow other to take control. It only adds to your sorrow.

As for the earlier mentioned individual, I guess time will tell his fate. But as for me, I’m moving on and trying to make my mother proud.

Missed Moments as I Move On

Hello. It’s been a long month, and I’ve missed you all.

I’m unpacking and moving on. And once again, I wish my son were there by my side. I wish this for many reasons – mostly because I want to hold his hand and guide him through life. I want to help insure he succeeds at something. I want to be sure he doesn’t stumble in my footprints. But, as usual, he chooses to go it alone.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my son to come and meet me.

“Why don’t you come out around 1pm? I’ll meet you at the library.”

“The needle is between E and ¼ of a tank.”

“I’ll give you a few dollars of gas to get back home.” I hesitate as I tell him this; he needs to work harder to support himself. He says he is grown and mature, but the evidence shows no signs of this.

He made it out. We talked, we laughed, and I gave him some gas money.

“I can come out to help you tomorrow or Friday.”

“Okay. That’s fine. I have so much to do. And, my shoulder and knee hinder me from getting much done.”

Thursday, Friday and Saturday passed. No sign of Cameron. No explanation. Calls and texts unreturned. What does that mean? What is he thinking? Will he ever come around? Will he ever be there to show his support?

My anger and I moved again, and Cam made it to help. He said he would return a few days later to help and no Cam again. I even texted him to tell him that I was sick with a fever and needed juice and soup. No Cam still.

I may be ranting a bit. But, it is cathartic; ranting is how I vent, and I vent to hide my hurt. I vent to make myself feel better about losing a friend. I vent so I won’t strangle my son. I vent so that his girlfriend can live. Okay. Maybe I went too far there. All life is sacred. But, as I was saying, I vent to not be so angry.

It’s natural to assume that a mother and son would help each other move, so you can understand my disappointment. The root of my hurt is more about what’s obviously missing in our relationship. It may seem as if I only need him, what I truly long for is for him to realize we need each other.  A mother’s love is the only unconditional love. And, though he may think I have some pre-planned agenda for his life, I only want to see him succeed at doing something that he loves. I only want to see that he thrives in this complicated world we live in. I only want him to survive the beating that the world is likely to give him. And though we don’t have to take on this world together, if we were a team, it would be much simpler.

As I ponder our relationship status, I’m reminded of another Cheshire Patch blog. So, I share once again. Before I do, I must say one thing. I love my son more than life.

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The two of us together.

Is he a reflection of me?

I Miss My Best Friend

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

‘I’m not alone. I’m not alone. It will get better. Things will work out. He will come to his senses.’

This cathartic mantra has become a daily routine. This is what I tell myself while I sit home wondering what my young adult son is doing with his life.

Will he eventually allow me to help get him on track? Will he dump that girl? Will he have that life he deserves? Is he eating? Does he have clean clothes?

As parents, we have to find a way to move on and let our kids make their own mistakes. From experience I can tell you that it’s hard. It’s really hard. But, sometimes we just have to believe. We think that if they don’t follow yesterdays plan that tomorrow can’t happen. This is not so.

I miss him. I miss my friend. Being a single parent, we spent most of our time together. We went to movies. We hung out at the library and bookstores. We went to the beach. We went hiking. We even traveled across country together. I miss him. I love him, but I have to move on.

We don’t always think about what it was like to grow up. We tend to forget that we too once only lived for the moment. We too thought we would outlive our youth.

Lately, I have come to some realizations about my parental expectations. I usually think that it is his way or my way. But now, I’m trying to live somewhere in between that. I’m gonna stand back, watch from a distance and let him know that when and if he falls and calls out to me that I will be there.

My birthday and Mother’s Day have come and gone and all I’m left with is a voicemail message. I just wish he could fathom the pain and the emptiness that I feel as I ponder his current predicament. Is he taking care of his needs? Is he really happy?

I’ve been trying to figure this out. What do I do? How do I deal? Who do I go to for these answers? Is it possible to get over wanting to be involved in my son’s day to day? NO.

I just have to wake up every day, put my clothes on and try to live each day to the fullest. Once I acknowledge my limitations, I can then move on to other priorities in my life. Everyone has things that they once put aside to be a parent. So, I get back to making that list – that what-do-I-want-to-do-when-I-grow-up list.

By putting aside my family struggles and unintentional shortcomings, my emotional load is lighter. I just need to add some more lines to my mantra. ‘Rebelling is natural. Growing up is okay. We can’t control our children’s lives. We can’t force our children to understand what they aren’t ready to see.’

Parents try and use their experiences to help foresee the approaching doom. We want to avoid having to watch our children stumble. Every once in a while we get lucky and some children heed our warnings. Other times, we just have to give them some space and hope that our nurturing and teachings have made enough of an impact for them to eventually flourish. Children do absorb more than we realize – it just takes time to simmer.

I can still remember when I first held my baby. He was wrinkly, long, cute and white with blue eyes. He was the sweetest thing that ever was born; with his tiny feet and powder soft skin.

I used to watch him sleep all the time – so peaceful and relaxing.

Now, oh what I would do just to stand in the doorway one more night and watch him sleep.

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But, in the meantime, I move on and take care of me. I love him. I miss him, but what about me?

 

 

Moments, Momentum and My Move

It’s 1:09am and, as usual, I’m wide awake. I know what the problem is too. It’s my non-stop brain. As age settles in and my body starts to shut down, my crazy brain keeps going. So, if anyone knows how to turn off your brain before you go to bed, please send me the instructions. Mine just isn’t working properly. I mean, really. How am I supposed to sleep when my list on the wall has 17 unchecked items on it?

It starts like this:

  1. Book     Charles
  2. Proposal     Sally
  3. Query
  4. Xxxxxxxxxx …….done
  5. Write syllabi
  6. Find a place
  7. Hire movers
  8. Find address’s
  9. Mail letter’s

And the list goes on and on.

Just the other day, a friend said to me, “I don’t know how you keep going and trying. You are the strongest woman I know.”
Of course, I nodded my head as to say ‘no, I’m not.’ I’ve always been bad at accepting compliments. This is mainly because, as many people are, I am my biggest critic. But, it is also because I’m not good at trusting people. People always have alternative motives for saying nice things; that’s what I tell myself.

As I think about whether or not I’m strong and how I keep going, I’m suddenly reminded of an old Cheshire Patch blog. It was about some moments in my life that help sustain me through the bad times. And, right now, with a move upon me and the ongoing recovery, I could use some warm thoughts.

I said I would share for a while, so here you are. This is me sharing and reminiscing. And, as I click to copy and paste, the tears begin to flow.

Moments That Keep Me

Posted on August 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

Okeora

Love Ya!!!

Okeaora at her best!

I wonder who she was on the phone with. Maybe it was
me calling to say that I was going to be late. Sometimes as I sit at my desk,
daydreaming instead of working, this is what I’m thinking about. It’s the one
picture of my mother that always catches my eye – her standing in our kitchen
on Pace Drive and listening intently, so not to miss anything.

Months after my mom died, I put together a collage
of her pictures, her old business card, her obituary, poems given to and
written for her and an envelope of the last time she attempted to send me a
note. This was a gesture meant for both me and my mother. I tell myself that
she can see me looking at her face as I smile and feel her smiling back. I
found this to be cathartic. I found this to be hard.

I used an old board that I had. I taped some
mementoes that I’d enjoy seeing regularly. Then I took it down to the frame
store to have it bordered with our favorite color, ‘green.’ And each day, I get
to see my mom smiling. And though I have pictures of her, I think back to
moments and wish I had more snapshots. Like, I think it would be cool to have a
picture of my mom and her old green Granada. Oh well, I enjoy the keepsakes
that I have.

This past Easter, I sat home alone and watched an
old VCR tape of my mom. She was doing one of her elementary school workshops;
she read folk tales and sang songs to children. She taught them about her African garb. My
mother was so happy with her huge smiles and bright colored clothes.

I remember when I was young and I couldn’t get
enough of her. Then I grew to be a teenager and, though I still loved her, I
had less time for those mother/daughter chats. Then when I was 26 years old, I
lost my mom. My mom died of cancer. Now all I wish for is to be held again.

The saying ‘you never know what you have until it’s
gone’ is real. Mothers are the one love affair that you hope will last forever
– you expect to last forever.

I often daydream about times when I was a young
girl. My mom and I enjoyed watching television together. I can still hear her
calling sometimes, “Me-lis-sa, Me-lis-sa, The Incredible Hulk is on. Do you
want to watch with me?” I’d come running down the stairs and she would always
have the healthy snacks and drinks ready on the coffee table. No need for a
throw cover. I had mom. Good times. Good times.

My mother made me who I am today and gave me so many
warm memories. And though I still dialed her number for months and still cried
for years (and still do), life without her has become easier as time goes by.

People often ask me if the hurt of losing my mother
ever gets better. At times, I have said ‘it never gets better.’ What I wished I
had said is, ‘you will always feel the loss.’ When you lose a loved one, you
feel as if part of your heart has been transplanted elsewhere – as if your
purpose in life is no more; as if your heart has stopped; as if you died; as if
your soul is burnt; as if you could no longer see the world. This barely scratches the surface of what I
felt when my mother died.

Mother’s Day will never be the same. But even with
this emptiness, life can still regain its usefulness. I have my on and off
days, but overall my passion and yearning for life are still there. My mom gave
me that.

Some days, I’m so mad at her for leaving me alone to
figure out this complicated world. And other days, I just remember her love,
her warmth and her smile.

She was beautiful. She was smart. She was eccentric.
She was funny. She was private in ways. She was an extrovert. She was my mom.
And she loved me. She wanted me to be happy. She wanted me to learn and love. That’s
what keeps me going.

And with those thoughts in mind, I keep going; I keep moving on.

P.S. I get my sling off soon, and boy am I excited. Party time.

Light a Fire, Change a Life…

As the fourth of July approaches to fill our skies with fireworks, I’m reminded of how May rang out with its brilliance and June strolled in the same way. I was inspired over and over again.

I gave one of my inspirational ‘How I Got My Move On’ presentations for a group of women in Hartford on June 7th. The talk was very well received, and the level of client participation just knocked me out. By that, I mean to say that my heart is filled with hope. And though a move is upon me, my load feels light.

Here’s a brief clip. This is evidence that this time instead of Bill Cosby, I was the one on fire. Feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have.

http://youtu.be/sMMEWY5pXy0

Side note: I think the shirt makes me look pregnant, but I’m not.

So, as I look back on this experience and look forward to more after my shoulder has healed from surgery, I’m reminded of something I said recently. I posed the question as to whether or not my mother was looking down on me from the heavens and saying ‘that’s my girl.’ Well, right now, reflecting on what I have started in my life, I know she is. She was one who helped others and helped me. Without the love and support of such a great woman, I wouldn’t be able to help others. And now that helping others is my goal, I am sure my mother can see herself in my success. Thank you, mom. I miss you.

As I think back to June 7th, I remember how fulfilling it felt to know that I touched someone’s heart – to know that the dialogue has begun.

“I really appreciate her honesty and openess while sharing her story. I learned some great stuff. It was very informative,” said one of the participants.

So, if you have a group that needs inspiring, think of me.  I have been through many of my own trials and desperate times. They have made me someone who can relate to people at all stages of life’s journey. They have also made me proof of my own main premise; it’s never too late to get your life on track. I come loaded with treats, handouts, giveaways and a fun, free raffle with nice prizes. I create an interactive, fun atmosphere where people can be themselves.

Maya Angelou said, ‘As long as I am here, I will be of use.’ And I will also. I believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth is so that I could be here right now. It’s so that I could reach out and grab your hand and tell you that there are people out here that care. We can hold on to each other and pull until we are all standing straight.

 This is an excerpt from the talk. I designed and implemented it as an inspirational tool to help people (of all ages, sexes and races) with a variety of obstacles think about those roadblocks in a new way, thereby opening a dialogue about more realistic ways to overcome them. My talk is titled: How I Got My Move On: Coping Mechanisms and Goals. It’s about patterns/addictions and moving on.

That’s what I’m all about these days – ‘moving on.’