One Day, Just Like That, She Was Gone….

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to come to terms with some awful news I received this week. It’s taken me a few days to process it, actually. We all get this news, every so often. No single person on this earth is ever immune.

Most often we are on the supporting side, having not known them, personally. We tell our friends our condolences, and that they lived a good life… The usual statements of hoping we make them feel better, knowing that really only time and distance can do that. So we are just “there” to lend a hand or a hug.

My long time friend Lucy left this world on the 18th of February. My Sister in Arms, and one of my dear friends. I met her many years ago when we were young, silly women who had big goals and dreams to help “save” the world. Or at the very least, the infertility of others. She was a Surrogate Mom, like me. Our surro children are grown now, or nearly grown, and our worlds evolved and have moved on from those days.

We stayed friend, because we had a lot of lifes moments in common. We talked about those moments sometimes, or more often wrote to each other about them. Over the years as we both became busy with our lives and moved several times, we stopped talking on the phone, and began to mostly communicate through email, messenger and Facebook.  It’s life’s funny irony, and we are all guilty of it. She had the biggest laugh that made you always laugh and smile with her.  I missed so many opportunities to hear her laugh, I regret that. And one piece of this awful tragedy that I hope to change.

Lucy was just 46 in September. Almost two years younger than I am, but wiser than most… life had forged her to be that way early on. When I was going through my divorce, she was there. A lot of my friends stepped back, staying passive and out of the “icky” thing that is divorce. But not Lucy, she was there, she listened and she loved me through it. Never once did she make me feel bad about it.  She gave good advice and I admired her ability to give it.  You see, Lucy had polished her ability to be no nonsense, and tell you things that you NEEDED to hear, not WANTED to. I will miss her honest, straight forward advice, that kind of advice is rare. She went through her own divorce just after mine, and I was able to thankfully return some of her advice to her. Probably not as well… but I did my best to try. She was also there to cheer me when I met and was remarried. We were friends, so of course celebrated births and joys as well.

Lucy was an amazing photographer, and landed her dream job at Disney. She was also an accomplished make up artist and performer. One of my favorite things she did was blow stuff up! For a while she worked as a Pyrotechnic Technician and lit off firework displays. Lets just say she was one Bad-Ass Chick. I have missed her photos, and hearing about some of her adventures as lately she’s had some health problems.

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I don’t know how well I an honoring this woman. My friend… there is just so much to her that would take forever to put down here. So many memories, so much laughter. So many lessons. Silly stuff,  like our Surro Moms weekends in Palm Springs. Lucy gave me my first taste of Amaretto and it was GOOD, I don’t think I have had Amaretto since then, honestly? I think I need to order one next time I am out, for Lucy.

Those long hours of talking about life, and all the things girls can talk about for hours. One particular night I remember, we all sat around in our PJ’s complaining about back aches and shoulder pain, most of us females can relate to, from having to wear a bra.  We evolved into the hysterical, pig snorting, pee your pants, kind of laughter as we all tried each others discarded bras’ on our heads!   Theses gab-fests and shenanigans would go on through the wee hours of the morning, because in truth, that’s what happens when  Mom’s are given freedom for the weekend from their usual responsibility and rituals. Those were great times, and I will forever cherish those memories and the friendships that were forged then and are still strong today.

Some of us Surro Moms still gather, not as often as we would like, as life has moved us all in various directions. When we do, we slip right back into that natural rhythm of old friends. We laugh, we eat, and sip wine  in our PJ’s. We talk about our dreams, our failures and we laugh, and love each other, unconditionally.

I have always said, I did not give a gift being a surrogate mother four times that was the cost. Instead, I received the greatest gift of all. I met amazing women that have since become my very best friends. Sadly, on the 18th we all lost one of our own and my heart is hurting. As are all those who were blessed to know her.

Please feel free to share some of your best memories of Lucy below.

My heart goes out to her family, her Dad, Sister, Daughters and Grandchildren.

Farewell, Lucy…. thank you for being you, and for being my friend.  I will truly miss you.

 

Finding A New Groove

I’ll admit, I have been in a funk for a while now. Here I am, a woman in my mid to upper 40’s.. (ahem, 47!! How the heck did that happen so fast?!)

Aside from the fact that I am hurdling like a burning meteor towards the big FIVE-O, I am still trying to build myself into who I am intended to become. Let’s just say, I am a work in progress. Are not we all? That is what the true meaning of life is about, I suppose. Becoming who we are meant to be. I wonder, if once we finally figure it out is that while we are about to die? This is not a totally depressing thought, really…. Life is about the adventure, the unknowing of what is to be…. the wonder, and wandering of it all.

I used to write so much more than I do now. I somehow, over the past few years, lost my motivation. Maybe I felt limited in subject matter and what I am allowed to write about in my life without upsetting some, or offending others. Maybe I was just to busy? Maybe I was distracted by scrolling other people’s lives on social media? I know social media has sucked the life out of a lot of us, and compacted our thoughts to highlight reels, soundbites, and funny cat Memes.

In truth, it’s probably a mixture of everything stated above.  Writing has always been about feeling and expression for me. I just didn’t “feel like it” for those years.

Sure, I have a lot of subject matter I could write about. But, I struggle with what is appropriate? What can I safely express these days? I am at a point in life that I don’t crave conflict. I also don’t want to intentionally upset or offend others. SO, I stuff my thoughts, my feelings, my observations, my emotions…. you know, my voice. Instead, I do a lot of observing of others…. that in itself is a lot I could write about, Lord knows!

Life has handed me some personal challenges. Health, family, raising kids, you know, the usual stuff “dreams” are made of. Some dreams, as we know, can also be nightmares. I do my best to take it day by day, like everyone else. Trying to remember we ALL have this kind of stuff. Best to get on with living and not focus on it all too much. Be kind, good, polite…. that sort of thing we are taught to say/ think/feel.

We live in a society that tells us we always need to be happy, it’s the goal,  after all. That we have to  see only the positive, the good. Ever the optimist! But, this is only one of the human emotions we are subjected to, what about the others?

We are all made so imperfectly perfect.. that’s the kicker. Society has programmed us to ignore the raging elephant in the room, even if it is crashing around, breaking stuff and destroying our lives. IT’s OK, go to your “safe room”…  We are not supposed to talk about our feelings because it might make someone else uncomfortable, removing them from their zen…. it’s always about what others feel, not about owning and acknowledging our own feelings too.

Look, we are supposed to constantly be cheerful! The world is supposed to always be safe and kind…

So, we sit, we smile and we sip our wine. “What we focus on we find”, after all.

We are all pretending! Lets be clear, no one is or should be happy all the time. We throw up our lives on Fakebook, but are we really showing a good rounded perspective of our lives? Of course not! We show the highlight reels, it’s more pleasant, upbeat and positive. We want to pretend to have a life that everyone envies. It’s what’s expected. Sure, we all have those highlights with ups, because for the most part, life is grand! But it’s not always a picnic, so how should we learn to cope? Life is not supposed to work that way (like a highlight reel). We have to grow, and go through difficult “stuff” to become better people. It’s how we learn to genuinely appreciate the good stuff.  It’s perfectly OK when we are not OK every moment.

I wonder as I scroll through Fakebook and Insta-gratification, seeing all the highlights if this isn’t harming our emotional well-being, in the long run? I feel so lonely when I see my friends and family doing things while I am home, scrolling. I am not living in real life, but instead through a screen. That concerns me.  Fortunately, I can identify this feeling in myself and step away. I have stepped away considerably, and I feel better. More focused, more happy. I have more time. I often put my phone in another room. I don’t miss it at all, in fact it is a relief. Especially lately with all the polarizing posts. I fear, no one can agree to get along, even in disagreement. All this turmoil takes its toll on us. That, in addition to seeing just the highlight reels… it’s all too much. I have made a conscious effort. I know I spend less time and can track it better now that I have a new phone that tracks screen time.

I don’t think this is how we are supposed to live as humans. This is not true interconnection or meaningful communication. It is a social network, but it’s not socializing. I do appreciate some aspects, especially living removed from my family and friends. I enjoy it to keep up with everyone, see their kids, grandkids, dogs, etc… I really DO enjoy those highlight reels, to a degree. I am just saying there is more to life. I miss coffee with neighbors, laughing and talking about our days, with friends in “real life”. Remember those days??? Am I the only one who misses those?

Anyway, I am rambling…. I tend to do that!

I am really going to try to express myself more through writing.. Be it good, or bad. Fair warning!!! The first step is already started, I am trying to spend less time scrolling others highlight reels on social media.  I want to write more and spend more time in the moment of experiencing my own life. I originally started blogging back in 2004 as a way to journal my thoughts. I have made some lifelong friends IRL through that expression. They are stuck with me… and we each got to know one another well through our writings. The good, the bad and the ugly….. but that’s what it is about, right?!

I still am unsure where I want to take this blog space? We have enough blogs about cooking, being happy, spirituality and taking care of ourselves. I guess, I will just do what I used to do, and write about what “is”…. sometimes it will be fantastic. Other times it might be sad, angry, amusing, or offensive….. but it will all be me.

I wonder, where do I begin?

I am a wandering….

Just remember…

“Not all who wander are lost” J.R.R. Tolken

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