It is interesting how my thoughts run wild at two a.m.
*this photo has nothing to do with the post, but only with how my brain feels right now
I made the mistake tonight at about midnight (when I was having trouble sleeping already) to pull out my journal. The old skool kind. All I really wanted was to find a piece of paper to write my husband a note. I was feeling too lazy to go back downstairs where I knew there was paper. After sifting through my nightstand drawers, and coming across the journal...I opened it up. I didn't go through the pages I had written, but rather rummaged through the little pieces stuck into the front and back covers.
There were polaroids of me and my kids.
Photos of Hubbs and I shortly after we were married.
There were some notes from Hubbs, and a birthday card.
There was also a stack of five papers stapled together.
A collection of thoughts from my father writing about his brother Mike who
took his own life when he was 24 years old.
I recall tucking it away years ago after it was given to me.
I am pretty certain my dad gave it to me.
I remember reading it for the first time the day they were given to me,
but it was painful to read.
I remember my uncle Mike vaguely.
I remember I was only four when he died.
I remember his exotic birds.
I remember his 15 speed road bike.
I remember visiting him a few times with my dad. That is a lot to remember when you are only four. I also remember his funeral. I remember the smells and sounds and pictures in my mind from the evening of the viewing.
I knew better than to read through these sheets of paper in the middle of an already sleepless night. But there I was, unable to find a blank piece of paper to write down some thoughts...so I read what was in front of me.
I didn't know my dad's mother's middle name was Lucy.
I really wish I had known that when I named Millz.
I would have given her that name.
See, these five sheets of paper are filled with some awful, heart-wrenching things.
Things that kids should not have to endure.
Suffice it to say that my grandmother herself once told me as we sat on a porch swing with little six month old J-Man in my arms:
"Kim, you are a good mom. I never was a good mom. I was good at having the baby and that was it. I was an especially bad mother to Mike."
Our relationship with my dad's mom is an interesting one.
If you can understand her saying the things she said to me on that swing, you may understand why my uncle killed himself. Regardless, I love her. I love her very much.
That got me thinking about the pattern of my life.
The game of Tetris if you will.
How the choices that my grandmother made...formed and shaped
the pieces and lives of her children.
I am a firm believer that we can make anything of ourselves, despite how we are raised, or in any condition in which we grow up.
Opposition can do two things...it can make us stronger if we let it, or it can weaken us.
I think sometimes when we are playing the game of life we get SO fed up with the game that we hit the down button and let the pieces pile up until they reach the top of the screen,
and then game. over. If we are lucky, we get to start again...but...
If we choose to, really deeply, we can do the opposite...stretch, turn, twist, and rotate those pieces to fit nicely together until we create a bigger and stronger foundation.
We are very much products of our environment.
I wonder sometimes where I would be now had my energy been put forth into other things besides getting over my parents divorce, or my dad's imprisonment.
I wish that I didn't have to feel like I have been running for the past two years trying to catch my breath from some very challenging trials.
It has, however made for a much more interesting life.
It has stretched me and strengthened me to keep pushing to the next level.
I am really sad that I outlived my uncle. I am sad that he never got to see 25, 26, 27, or 28. That he never got to work through his struggles and emotional sadness and possibly make a better life for himself and for any future family he may have had.
It wasn't happen chance I came across those five papers tonight.
They were the answer to a prayer in my heart.
The prayer to live each day to the fullest.
To try harder, run faster, and love deeper.
Be a better mother, prove it can be done, no matter the difficulty.
And to never give up.
And really...who doesn't love a good game of Tetris?