Family, Love, Mom

A Little Left of Center

Tomorrow, August 31st, 2015, will be the one year anniversary since my mom passed away. For the most part I think I’m doing pretty darn good but sometimes I’m not so sure. I think that’s okay, that it’s all part of the grieving process.

Though lately I’ve been feeling kind of weird. I’m assuming it’s because of tomorrow but I don’t know.

I’ve felt hyper-sensitive, for lack of a better term,  for awhile and I don’t mean like you look at me and I fall apart in tears (okay, one day that DID happen but it’s all good). I mean, for example, in terms of taking a walk and smelling the air and seeing the butterflies and dragonflies lead me on the walking path, and soaking in EVERYTHING around me – colors, textures, sounds, light, air, movement – and feeling like I’m a little to the left of myself and everything feels so exaggerated! It doesn’t feel bad, quite the opposite, but I can’t put an exact word to what it DOES feel like. It’s happened a number of times over the last week or so. It’s happened on the bus, the train, just sitting at my desk in the office, standing in the dining room, walking through the park.

I don’t understand the feelings and I don’t know what to do about them or what I can do about them. Or if I even need to do anything about them at all.

My first husband passed away in early 2010 and while I grieved for him immensely and still think of him frequently, I don’t recall feeling like this when it was coming up on his anniversary. Maybe because we had a little over a year to get used to the idea that he’d be gone and that he knew who I was, even up to the end. And we had many conversations prior to his passing.

With my mom, she didn’t know who we all were the last few months. I strongly feel that she knew we were ‘safe’ and we wouldn’t harm her in any way. She would also get this glint in her eye or make a gesture or say a word that would make you think she’s all there because it was familiar and clear and HER and you thought ‘oh, there she is!’ and then it would pass. And you would keep your smile on your face and still love her because how could you not?

Perhaps what’s happening is that my mom is her angel self and staying near me right now knowing how much I miss her and how much I love her and how much I need her and she’s there to comfort me. I know, I know, everyone says their loved one who passed was the nicest person ever, etc. But you know what? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, she was that person. And there aren’t many of them, let me tell you. They’re quite rare, indeed.

There are people who don’t believe that could be possible, no one can be that nice or that good. But I firmly believe that it’s true. I grew up with an angel. She was my mom. So I think I know what I’ll do. I’ll let these feelings wash over me and just be. Because what I’ve been feeling lately must be an angel nearby, a guardian angel. My mom.

I was going to end this saying to my mom I pray she rests in peace. But you know what? I’m not going to. She’s already at peace.

Instead I say this to my guardian angel, my mom:

I want you to dance!

I want you to sing!

I want you to love the life you have in heaven!

I want you to bask in your happiness!

And I will revel in the memories I have with you!

I love you, mommy, with all my heart and soul!


Patty with her golden hair, in and out of everywhere.

What she does is many things from reading books to making rings.

She reads day in and day out, this what Patty’s future is all about.

She loves all kinds of books, from mysteries to books of jokes.

Patty is lovable in her way, she tries to show it every day.

Sometimes she is happy and then she is sad.

But when her mood is good, everyone is glad.

Written by: My mom (a little something my mom wrote when I was about 10 years old)

Job, Mom, People, Teamwork

Slow Down, Settle In

Slow down and settle in. You’re in for a long post.

I started a new job last July and 5 months later I know I made the right decision to move from accounting/finance to front desk/tenant services coordinator. Finally, after working for over 30 years I found the job I need. Notice I said NEED? I’m not making the amount of money I did when I worked at that ‘other’ place for 25 years, no where near it. But I’m the happiest job-wise than I’ve been in decades. Seriously.

When I first started at the second company I worked at for almost 3 years, I thought that was probably ‘the one’ I’d retire from. I love numbers and the place was a fun one. So combine numbers plus fun and it must be a good place to work, a fun place to be. Not so for me. Not after about 6 months when the rose-colored glasses came off. I won’t disparage the company – I was without an income for two weeks when I was offered the job so gratitude is appropriate here. However, by the time I hit the one year mark I was already itching to leave.

Then I wound up developing new skills and learning new processes after that year, and this kept me intrigued (and with a paycheck) for another 9 or 10 months…still not happy during that time, though. People talking about others behind their backs, rules being exceptions more than the opposite, lack of consistency in processes, etc. I don’t deal well with that. So I started looking elsewhere.

My first goal was to go back to accounting. That’s what I’ve done since 1984 so that’s what I should do, right? Keep doing what I’ve been doing, right? Wrong. After a few months of no success in finding a new job (even with a staffing company helping me), I had to rethink things.

What about all the jobs that I’d had throughout my career? There were various types of accounting roles, of course, but I’d also done a lot of other things. So the key question was, when was I the happiest, contributed the most and felt truly worthy? I realized that being organized, coordinating, having face to face interaction with others, and utilizing my communication skills were the kinds of things that I truly enjoyed, and which made my life flow so much more peacefully.

That changed how I needed to look for a new job and how my resume was set up. I couldn’t very well have all of this accounting and finance info right at the forefront of the resume if I’m not looking for that kind of job. So I rewrote my resume – again and again and again. Until it was right for the new kind of role I desired.

So I started looking for coordinator, administrative type roles. I’d noticed the company that I’m working for now previously when looking for an accounting position. I liked that it was global and in a field I’d never been exposed to before. But hadn’t seen anything appealing to date. Then I saw the tenant services coordinator role. Bingo. That’s it. That’s the one. That’s what I want to do now. I need to do that. NEED to do that.

I spent over 12 hours prepping for a job interview I hadn’t even been offered yet. Googled this, Binged that, etc…I was ready. Then I got the call to go for an interview. Heavens, I thought I was so nervous heading to the interview (which, by the way, I had to bring a change of clothes for work right after because my job was in a very casually dressed environment – if I showed up there in dress slacks and a jacket the gig would be up – they didn’t know I was even looking for a job) and yet I realized I wasn’t. I was excited!

The interview was like talking with someone over coffee. We had a really good connection and chemistry and I left feeling good about the interview.

I went to work and got off the floor above where my group was located and used the ladies room there to change. Later that afternoon I received an email from the interviewer asking for my references. The next morning 3 of the 4 people were contacted. That same afternoon I was offered the position. Holy crap.

Bim. Bam. Boom. Now I have to dress up like the real adults do! Only Monday – Thursday, Friday is jeans day. 🙂

It’s taken a few months to learn the language of property management and commercial real estate and I continue to learn all the time. I’m exposed to some of the accounting aspects that the other three members of my team work on but they aren’t my main responsibility. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m REALLY okay with that. I still love numbers. But I have to admit, I love being the person the tenants have to talk to first (usually). I enjoy meeting the tenants and dealing with the day to day crises (and non-crisis issues). It involves problem solving, it involves others – like the engineers, and it’s keeping my brain engaged.

I hope I am fortunate enough to be able to stay in this field in a similar, if not same, role until I retire. Whenever that might be. The people I work with in the office are golden – funny, tenacious, hard working, great individual contributors and team players. They’re all younger than me and we all just gel together so well. I’m not sure how we lucked out on that but I can’t say a bad thing about any of them. (My other jobs, well, we’ll just leave that issue alone. It’s past tense anyway, right?)

One of the things I’m working on now is a newsletter for the tenants. Sort of a way to keep them in the loop on tenant issues, events going on in the city, contacts in the property management office, all sorts of things. I’m so excited about writing it. But now I have to come up with a name for the newsletter! Perhaps knitting for a bit will help me come up with a name. That sounds like a grand idea; I think I’ll go do that. 🙂

One last, very important thing before I sign off.

It’s been 3 months almost since my mom passed away. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday. Sounds cliche, I know. But there’s a lot of truth to it. I’m doing pretty well but keep my grieving mostly to myself and a few good friends and my loving husband. I’m not expressing how I’m really feeling on Facebook or even here in my blog. I can’t and I won’t for a number of reasons. It’s such a private thing to grieve and I have a lot of emotions coursing through me at any given time. So for all intents and purposes on Facebook or Twitter, I’m fine.

I do appreciate people inquiring how I am; please know that I’m doing as fine as I can be. Life is full of hills and valleys and I can make my way on this journey. I know I can.

Thank you for coming by.

Enjoy your day!

Family, Love, Mom

Mom 8.31.2014

Part of my hesitancy in putting out a new blog post the last couple of months is that I feel I have to explain where I’ve been since the last one (nearly 6 months ago now). But that’s just me putting pressure on myself. So I don’t have to listen that, right? Good, so I won’t.

But I do have a LOT to talk about. I won’t cover everything here because then you’d be reading for about a week. Really, I’m not kidding. Instead, I’ll just talk about a recent event. That seems more appropriate to me because well, of all that’s gone on in the last 6 months, this is THE most important. And it happened less then two weeks ago.

My mom died.

She died on August 31st, 2014 at the age of 70 (she would have been 71 on October 30th) and we had a memorial service/celebration of life for her on September 7th.

And you know what? I’m so terribly sad. I think she’d be okay with me being sad but I also think she’d want me to be relieved for her that she’s no longer in such agony and discomfort. And I get that, I do. It’s going to take awhile, but I know I’ll get there. I’ll rely on my tremendously supportive husband, my dear closest friends, and my loving family. We’ll all rely on each other, we’ll cope and we’ll find our way through this journey together, no matter long it takes.

I have to say something because it’s been on my mind so strongly and for so long now. And I’ve said it to a few people and had discussions with others. But I’m saying this here and now, loud and clear.

No one, I repeat, NO ONE should ever have to experience any sort of memory affliction. It’s evil and it eats away at the person you once knew. It morphs them into a different person. And while you still love this person, deep down it’s not ever quite the same feeling, it’s so different I can’t even explain it. It didn’t lessen my love for my mom, not at all. But it did break my heart.

Admittedly, our family was a bit lucky in that regard because once in a while, when you least expected it, mom talked clear as a bell! It may have only been a word or two or three, or if you were lucky, four or five. But by gosh, you knew she KNEW what she was talking about. And then it was back to not being able to communicate and witnessing her obvious frustration. That’s what makes me the saddest. This woman was such a delight to talk with and be around, so to have speech and thought taken away from her was downright cruel.

I know what some people are thinking. You’re thinking that what I should probably be saddest about is that she isn’t here any longer, and believe me that does sadden me, so deeply I can’t even express it properly. But I’m also profoundly affected by the fact that I can no longer talk to the woman who raised me and my two siblings. The delightful woman that I haven’t been able to talk to for a number of years the way we used to, because of this stupid and cruel disease. I know it seems like these are one and the same thing, her being gone and my not being able to talk to her, but there’s a difference. I just can’t explain it.

I can cope and I will, with the help of others. But I will forever be missing a part of my very being with her no longer here on earth.

I love you, mommy. Forever and ever.

(I’m the child on her lap. This is circa 1968.)