Better

I have been rather annoyed with myself this past week, for not blogging more.  I told myself that it was okay, that I was taking time out to do things that would improve my mental health and lessen the loss of DSB.  I told myself that starting new routines was what I needed to do in order to move on with my life, and, in some ways, that is true.  In some ways, it isn’t.

Not being on a structured schedule, where I have to be home at a certain time, get dinner on the table by a certain time, spend a certain number of hours at home, and so forth — that’s not structure I need, and it’s structure that I’ve kissed goodbye.

I realized that I have really no reason to wake up at 6:00 a.m. every day, or even 7:00 a.m. for that matter.  I therefore do not have to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m.  What this means is that I can stay out (yes, OUT!) later, enjoying the company of my family, nuclear and extended.  It also means that I can stay up until 10:00 p.m. to watch a tv show or watch a movie.  It means that I can go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and it’s ok to  read for another hour or two, if I’m really into my book.

I mainly feel like, before I had all of these contstraints on me and on my time, and now those heavy chains have been unlocked and I have shed them, leaving them far behind.  Doing what I want to do, unfettered by anyone else’s agenda, is lovely.  Being where I want to be, eating what I want to eat, driving where I want to drive.  It’s all quite freeing.

In some ways, I feel like I’m a bit free-floating, and could possibly use some more structure, but I just feel so HAPPY with the way things are going right now, that maybe that part of me that has always held such tight control over having a schedule and having things PLANNED out, is releasing it’s grip a bit.

Regina asks, “if I kissed you where it’s sore, would you feel better, would you feel anything at all?”  The answer is, yes, I have actually already been kissed (by family, by freedom, by living life, by my pup!) where it is sore, and I do feel much, much better.

 

 

My Current, Personal Pep-Talk

The song below was brought to my brain, courtesy of my dear friend, Mental Mama.  She shared it as a song that reminds her of her significant other, and, as she says,

And it actually depends on the day which of us is “singing” this to the other. 

I have literally played this song over 50 times in the past two days, usually on a continuous loop.  I’ve emailed it to my mom, I’ve told my dad about it, I’m humming it under my breath.  It’s there, it’s stuck.

MM and her significant other may “sing” this to each other, but I think it works for me to sing it to MYSELF.  Read the lyrics, listen to the song.  I am singing JUST THAT to myself.  I’m giving myself a constant pep talk.  I’m not giving up on me or who I am.

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?Well, I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

And when you’re needing your space
To do some navigating
I’ll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, still looking up.

Well, I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

 

Mother’s Day Eve Fish Fry 2014

It’s Mother’s Day Eve and QoD had to have herself a fish-fry.  I know, I know, I wasn’t going to go.  I had 12 hours of sleep last night, and woke up feeling very groggy.  I missed the breakfast I was supposed to have with Dad and his wife.  I barely made it to work on time.  But by 10:15, MAN, was I perky!

So I decided this morning that I was going to go to the fish fry.  I just felt so GOOD and life is AMAZING and whomp-whomp-whomp.  I can’t decide if I’m genuinely feeling just that good, or if this is still some hypomania trailing around.  Probably a little of both.  Twelve hours of sleep will do amazing things if you haven’t had much in the past month.

We had a little rain, so the cooking didn’t even start until around 7:30, which is way too late to start a fish fry, if you’ve ever been to one.  We didn’t have any food until 8:30 and no fish until 9:00.  That’s ok though because I had a great time chatting with everyone.

Everybody was there, Blue Cat and Rock and Tall Tale and QoB and the Big Dawg.  Even Snickers, who used to work at the store until he had some medical problems that put him on disability, was there.  I think a good time was had by all.  The evening mostly consisted of re-telling funny shop stories and everyone giving each other shit.

Blue Cat gave me the most shit of all.  He claims he’s going to “hook me up” with Snickers (who is also his best friend).  I just don’t know about that.  I’m definitely not wanting to be hooked up with anyone period, but Snickers is also a lot older than I am and has a lot of health problems.  I hope Blue Cat is just pulling my chain, but he kept saying about it and swore he was being serious.  I wouldn’t mind hanging out and having fun, but not on a relationship level, at all.

Speaking of getting hooked up, it is feeling really good to be single.  To come home to a house that has only a dog in it.  To not have messes cropping up everywhere.  To not have to be somewhere at a certain time or worry about what he is going to say about something or to not have to cook a dinner how he would like it.  Freedom!  It feels amazing.

You know what else is amazing?  I bought a container of bacon bits at the grocery store on Thursday, and they are still in the pantry, unopened.  That has been unheard of in this house for the last two years.  It’s little things like that, which make me oh-so-happy and grateful he is gone.  I can honestly say that, so far, I don’t really miss him or Rascal.  All I get is this huge sense of relief.

I think Kizzie feels relieved, too.  While she probably misses the playing, Rascal was aggressive about food, territory, and people.  Ok, everything.  And he was the most neurotic dog ever, just SO high strung.  He demanded everyone’s 110% attention, all the time.  Now she’s just Momma’s little puppy again and it seems like she’s really, really happy.  That might be me projecting my happiness onto her, but she sure does SEEM happier.

I probably stayed out a little too late tonight and was definitely almost three hours past taking my meds on time (yikes!) but I took them and the extra olanzapine about 30 minutes ago.  I’m going to take another olanzapine and then one of these new flurazepams and go lie in bed and read.  I will probably pay for all of this tomorrow, but right now I don’t care.  I had fun tonight for the first time in quite awhile, and I wouldn’t take it back.

Grocery Shopping Issues Come Full Circle

For as long as I have been adult, living out on my own, my biggest fear and most dreaded chore has always been going to the grocery store.  At certain points in my life, I have been almost phobic.  During those times, QoB would take my list and do the shopping for me.  Those were the times when the phobia was at it’s worst.  Other times, and oftentimes, she would simply go with me and help me find what I needed in the most efficient manner.

For the past long while, I’ve been able to do my own grocery shopping.  Or rather, I’ve been able to do all the grocery shopping for DSB and myself.  I relied heavily on Dollar General and a tiny IGA in a bad part of town, because they’re small, not crowded, and not very big.  There’s also almost no selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the prices of everything except meat are almost robbery.

When DSB and I were together, I cooked rich, fatty meals that were often cheap and, more importantly, things  he liked.  There were rarely vegetables, mostly because DSB would eat only green beans, corn, and broccoli, and I was an idiot who didn’t just wise up and buy  herself some vegetables, even if he wouldn’t eat them.

There was also the issue of the ginormous amounts of food that DSB would eat.  It would be nothing to buy two pounds of lunch meat, cheese, and a loaf of bread, and for it to be gone in 24 hours.  Without me having eaten a sandwich.  It is almost incomprehensible, looking back.

So, I stopped buying a lot of things because it was too expensive, at the rate that DSB ate things.  We relied heavily on meat and starch.  And gravy.  Good Lord, there was always gravy.  And there were a ton of things that I liked to eat that DSB didn’t.  We didn’t have enough money to cook two different meals each night, so I just went ahead with whatever he wanted.  Total idiocy.

Ok, this was supposed to be a positive post, and here I’ve been ranting for 400 words.  My ap0logies, but I’m not deleting it, because I mean every word of it, and I think you  have to read that part to understand the true beauty of what is to follow.

As a side-note, my emergency visit to the pdoc is tomorrow @ 2:30pm, for those of you who read yesterday’s post.  Hopefully all will be well soon.

Now, here at Day 8 with no DSB, it’s come time to grocery shop.  For the first time since March of 2012, I am shopping just for myself.  I’ve been pumping myself up about it for the past few days, thinking of things I’ll be able to buy, meals I’ll be able to cook, money I’ll be able to save.  It’s actually been on my mind quite a bit.

I’ve been talking things over at work today with Catfish, about grocery shopping, and commented how much I hate the monstrosity of a grocery store that serves the North side of town.  I mentioned that I missed the smaller Dillons’ that was out southwest.  He pointed out that it’s only a five mile difference, and maybe I should just go to that Dillons’.  Catfish can be mighty smart, sometimes.

So, I heeded his advice.  I parked in the smaller parking lot (ya know, one smaller than the size of a football field, like up North) and readied my list.  It wasn’t too busy and I hit the produce aisle first.

I shopped like a woman who has been without fresh fruit and vegetables for two years (close to the truth).  I have apples (Honeycrisp!!) and celery and carrots and bananas and strawberries.

I bought a little tray of sushi for a dinner treat and almost jumped up and down when I realized that YES, I can afford this!  I bought salmon and edamame and the fixins’ for salad and sandwich stuff.  I bought a box of granola bars and it was like I’d been set free.

I bought all those condiments that DSB would  use up in a week, like mayonaisse and BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing and red wine vinegar and soy sauce.

I bought a box of frozen taquitos, because they were on sale and I haven’t had them in a million years.  It was almost more exciting than finding cash in your pocket.

I bought several other things, but those were the highlights.  The bottom line is that I will be eating MUCH healthier, and I will be eating things that I want to eat, and the food will be there when I’m ready to eat it (unlike before when shit disappeared like a Grizzly bear had stalked the fridge).

So, I’ll just say that I’m a little bitter about my food life for the past two years.  I gained a significant amount of weight, living the lifestyle we did, and really did feel stuck in it due to constraints like trying to feed two people on only my weekly money (because DSB rarely bought groceries, and then, only on the 1st) and also just not wanting to argue.

But it’s OVER!  And I am CELEBRATING!

And eating sushi and edamame for dinner.  Because I can.

I feel like this was a big victory, and maybe it seems small to others, but this really is a big huge deal for me.  Go Team Rose!

 

Ten Things of Thankful, Numero Cinco

Anxiety is so unreasonable, at times.  It didn’t want me to post today, but here I am, with a little help from my first two TToT.  Anxiety doesn’t have to win every time.

So:

1) I am thankful first of all for

Israel ‘IZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole

for providing the world with a little happiness in the form of this video:

RIP IZ.  The beauty and simplicity of music was not lost on you, buddy.

 

2)  I am thankful for finding this Dr. Seuss photo quote while attempting to burn off anxiety, pre-post:

Dr-Seuss-Quotes-random-33706483-500-367

 

 

3) The Dr. Seuss photo quote reminds me of all the books Mom used to read to us growing up, and then, as we grew up, that we read to her.  We were reading fools growing up.  I remember carting huge stacks of books home from the library and devouring each one.  To this day, myself, my sister, and my mom are all voracious readers.  I honestly don’t think there is any greater or more life-changing gift you can give your child than the love of reading.  Thank you for that, Madre.  xoxo

teaching-reading-6-500x333

 

 

4) On a related note, I am thankful to Shel Silverstein for bringing awesome books that were funny and ALSO meant something to young people all over.  The man was a true literary genius, and if you have kids, they should

be reading these books.  A couple of my favorites follow:

 

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5)  I am thankful for free farm-fresh eggs (thanks Mom and Big Dawg!).  You can do so much with an egg, the possibilities are almost endless.  Check out some great ideas here.  We do a lot of scrambles with sausage or bacon and potatoes for dinner, egg salad, and the ever-popular egg sandwich on toast.  Leave your favorite way to eat an egg in the comments!

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6)  I am thankful for learning (ever so slowly) how to give up control and just let things be.  It is a constant practice, a continual embracing of willingness.

anxiety

 

7)  I am thankful for good health insurance.  Without it, I would be unmedicated and DSB would be mired in severe debt, or dead.  Likely dead, the way he refuses to go to the doctor when he DOES have insurance.  I don’t think Obamacare was the answer for everyone, but I personally know a lot of people it greatly helped.  Clearly, something is still broken when people are sick and can’t afford to go to the doctor, can’t afford the medicine to get well, the treatment to stay alive.  What kind of society, what kind of government casts people off like that?

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8)  I am thankful for the Regina Spektor Pandora Radio station that I created almost five years ago.  It has bloomed into something totally terrific.  There is almost never a repeat and so much more interesting and new music has piled in on the phone.  If you haven’t tried Pandora, I would highly suggest it.  Who could resist songs like this?

 

9)  I am thankful that getting into this post has almost totally resolved my anxiety.  I have been trying to work through it this past week without using Klonopin, as I felt like I was letting my DBT skills get rusty by not using them, and using the Klonopin instead.  So far, the results have been good.  I’m not saying I’m never taking Klonopin again, because I will, I’m sure — I just don’t want to rely on it as my first choice.

Clonazepammacro.preview

 

10) I’m lastly greatful for TToT.  I know it’s going to be there every week, and I look forward to it.  I like writing it and I like reading everyone else’s.  Feeling down and out?  Participate — writing gratitude lists should be part of everyone’s therapy homework.

You can link up to TToT over at Considerings.  She and the gang will be happy to come and give you a hello!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Things of Thankful, Fourth Edition

It’s the end of another week, and it’s time to link up with Liz at Considerings, among others, and shout-out what has made you thankful this week.  This link-up is one of my favorites, because it usually makes me feel like I just gave myself a really big hug.

FREE_HUGS,_in_Hibiyakoen,_Tokyo_Prefecture

 

1) I am thankful for Easter.  For the chocolate, the jelly beans, the scrape-it-together dinner DSB and I are having.  I’m thankful I’ll get to see my mom for a couple hours and I’m thankful I had a nice chat with my dad this morning.  I’m thankful for the Easter pictures of my nephew and I am thankful that DSB is home for the holiday.  Yay for Easter!

easter

 

2)  I am thankful for my Crock-Pot.  So many a harried evening has been saved by the Crock-Pot.  Feeling a little lazy?  Throw something in the Crock-Pot.  Going to have a crazy day?  Throw something in the Crock-Pot.  Chicken that thawed three days ago and needs to be cooked?  Throw it in the Crock-Pot.  Tonight’s Easter dinner is featuring frozen chicken quarters cooked in the (yes) Crock-Pot, which will then be shredded and sauteed with a BBQ sauce and Italian dressing mixture.  Quite tasty.  And convenient!

This is the exact crock-pot I have, color and all.  I also have a slightly smaller, rounder black one.

This is the exact crock-pot I have, color and all. I also have a slightly smaller, rounder black one.

 

3)  I am thankful for my Nalgene.  I may have posted that on TToT before, but it has been a huge money and thirst-saver for me.  I have always drank a lot of water, but I would also frequently indulge in Sonic drinks, or Taco Bell Happy Hour slushes, you get the point.  That money added up, and I was still always left feeling thirsty.  I now  have a Nalgene (that my mom bought the special cap for…woot woot, Mom!) and I love it.  It is a 48 oz and I drink three or four, sometimes five of these a day.  I love water, as long as it has ice!

Mine is that color blue, but much larger, and with a drink-easy cap.

Mine is that color blue, but much larger, and with a drink-easy cap.

 

4)  I am thankful for Mom helping me get some summer clothes.  I like to be able to show up to work and look clean and put-together and (at least somewhat) cute.  She makes that happen every year, and just this past week she picked me up a few things that were very cute (and fit!).  I appreciate her doing this so much — I am not a good clothes shopper!

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5) Related to number four, I am thankful that I realized yesterday, while at work, that I really AM kinda cute.  I’m a big girl, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be attractive.  I had one of my new outfits on, and I caught a glimpse of my reflection, and was like, really?  That’s not so bad!  Actually half-decent!  I just hope I can hold onto that thought/feeling for awhile.

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6) I am thankful that I deleted the first TToT I wrote today.  I was tired, I wasn’t in a good place, and I was forcing it.  Now I feel the words flowing, am finding great pictures, and feel like this is more “me.”  I almost decided not to do TToT today, because of that first go-round.  Now I’m glad I did.  Here’s to not giving up on yourself.  Hear, hear!

something good every day

 

7)  I am thankful for Mom helping me get the house cleaned up before DSB came home.  She is such a trooper and a great motivator.  I wish I had 1/2 her energy and stamina.  She is in the latter part of her fifties and can outwork most 20ish men.  I know that because I see it happen on a daily basis in the store.  She is very generous with her time in helping me, and in giving me a kick in the ass when I really need to get something done.  Love you, Madre!  xoxo

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8)  I am thankful I am sleeping again, but wonder how much longer until I will be caught up.  I am thankful for the sleepiness and the resting, because missing a week’s sleep could have swung the other direction.  Am I actually having a normal reaction to not getting enough sleep?  Oh my!

sleep_sheep

 

9)  I am thankful for Dollar General, where it seems you can always find that one ingredient you were  missing, without having to go to the actual grocery store.  Also, the milk is always fresh!

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10)  I am thankful last, but not least, to the amazing people who read this blog, comment, like, even those who don’t comment and don’t like.  I know you’re out there.  Within the next three or four days, I should hit 1,000 follows.  Never imagined I’d make it that far!

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Now hurry up, get your TToT done, and link-up over at Considerings!

I Just Want Your Time

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My DSB is finally home.  He actually came home yesterday.  He’s not fixed, but he’s better.  And he’s a little better today than he was yesterday.  Hopefully that trend continues.

Being without my normal DSB time this past week has really thrown me off.  I didn’t sleep.  My eating was more messed up than normal.  I took more PRN’s than usual.  I didn’t feel myself.

DSB and I make it a point to connect, spend time together, be together, be in the same room as each other as much as possible.  Depending on when we wake up and go to bed, even on the days I work and have appointments and other stuff going on, we probably get five or six hours of face time every day.  Maybe more.

I thought that was normal.  I did some asking around, and it’s not.

And it made me realize that DSB and I are not normal.  Of course, we  have the benefit of me working part-time and DSB working when he has a project to do.  It’s like, by being on disability, we are rewarded by having more time for each other.  I don’t know what it would be like if we both worked full-time.

Wait, yes I do.  I’d be crazy and DSB would be in traction, hooked up to oxygen and a heart monitor.

Whatever the reasons are, any amount of time you can spend with your significant other is worthwhile time.  I don’t think it even particularly matters what you’re doing.  Get that face time in, even if you can only manage an hour.  When you don’t, things can get out of whack in a hurry.

When DSB and I first got together, I was in a habit of being very selfish and never making time to spend together.  One day, he played me this song, and he said, “Rose, this is what I’ve been trying to say.”  And I got it, just like that.

 

 

Don’t Live There: Get Up

 

 

 

melt down

 

As anybody who knows me or has talked to me in the last week or has done even a minimally good job at following this blog, ya’ll know the past week or two has been beyond the bounds of stress.  I may have snapped at a few people, been less than my cheerful self, become irritated by small things you asked me to do, seemed overwhelmed at a task that wasn’t that big, not returned your calls, or avoided you all together.

Right here, right now:  I intend to fix that.  Like the picture above says, “cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.”  Well, I think, after tonight, I’ll be done crying it out, at least for a little while.  I could say for a week or a day or a month, but we all know what Father Time can do and how Mother Earth likes to smack us upside the head sometimes, maybe when we’re getting a little too proud or confident.

 

bad day

It’s easy to generalize a bad day into a bad year, for sure.  Especially at the start of the year, when not much time has passed.  It has not been a great year for DSB’s health.  There was the abcess from the kidney removal, the subsequent surgery to remove the abcess, and then, to add insult to injury, a wound vac that must be changed three times a week by a registered nurse.  And now a (going on 5-day) stint in the hospital with pneumonia.  DSB’s 2014 has been unpleasant, medically speaking.

While it’s safe to say that DSB has not had a stellar start to 2014, I can’t take that on as my own.  To generalize that to myself, to say that dearest Rosa has not had a stellar start to 2014, would be a lie that only I would tell myself.  That I have sometimes told myself time and time again, when things between DSB and I were not going well.  Because when someone is sick and someone is tending, tensions grow.  When someone is sick, the other person worries and stress rises.  But Rosa has not  had a bad start to 2014.  Some amazing things have  happened, and I think I have chronicled some of them in my TToT posts.

To, me, I can feel like the woman in that picture above.  I can sense the wonder at the rising or setting sun, the yellowed grasses around me, the sky, the very being of myself.  Some truly wondrous things have happened to me so far this year.  I have:

1) Formed and continued solid friendships with my bloggie friends.

2) Solidified my love for DSB, by choosing right over wrong, trust over lies, consideration for the other over self-indulgence.

3) Forged deeper connections with my inner voice.  I can let that voice out now, and have it be heard, and not worry (too much), about what effect that voice is going to  have on a person that chooses willingly to read what I have written.

4) Given up trying to hide myself from the one who has always hunted me.

5) Learned to forgive, not to forget.  Learned to trade in anxiety and lonesomeness and uncertainty in a fatherly relationship for compassion for what that person must be going through at this time.  We are all human, even dads.

6) Learned to separate myself from that which is negative in my life.  I choose not to have negativity in my life, and won’t tolerate it.  Even if this means giving up people that I thought I cared about.

7) Started to open myself up to the possibility of rejection.  Making jokes, telling fish stories, and selling bait isn’t as easy as you might think.  There is a world of nuance within those walls.

8) Decided to stop counting my breaths as I am trying to fall asleep, and instead to just.breathe.  In, out.  Don’t say it, don’t think it, just do it.  Appreciate the feel of the air through your nose, through your mouth, the rise and fall of your chest, the tickle in your throat.  Don’t put a word on it, just be, just do.

To celebrate, let’s take a listen to my second most favorite meditation practice, singing bowls.  And let’s be honest, Goddess of Mindfulness, my first pick is always the metal, but nowhere else can I get those bowls.  They are addictive and the stories you told me on Wednesday left happy traces of puppies and friends and love on my heart.  Bless you.

Please note that these are quartz singing bowls and they have a very special place in my heart.  If you can (after you get through the commercial-ish first section), do take a listen.  Take off your shoes, set your feet on the floor, sit upright, and breathe.  You can do this.  You really can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Random Commentary

We have to face both new and old situations with a different perspective than what might have been our first.  My first instinct is to lie, and it comes from years of doing so.  With DSB, I had to learn NOT to lie.  To be transparent.  Even about the small, silly shit.  Our relationship has grown from it, but every not and again the old Rosa will creep up and tell a fib.  For no reason.  The new Rosa has to atone for that sin, has to come clean and be forgiven.  You can’t approach every situation the same as you have treated others every day of your life.

 

live

As with my lying, I feel I am making up for the errors and sins of my past, here, now, in every moment that I breathe and speak.  I want this life to be worth living, because I only  have one.  I believe in God, and I believe in his forgiveness.  I believe that if I pray and do right, one life really will be enough.

 

I have posted before that God gives you more than you can  handle.  What you do in that case is reach out to everyone you know, so you can keep holding on.  So you can learn.  So you can grow.  I believe I am strong enough to live through the hardships that have come upon me.  Through many difficult times, I have persevered.  I will continue to do so.  I have my faith, my family, my DSB.  I will persevere.

 

Time changes all things.  I wish my Grandpa and the Bird Lady were still around to meet DSB and know the happiness I have found, after so many years of grief.  I have to believe that they DO see it, that they are looking down.  I don’t think you ever have to FORGET what’s gone, but depending on how traumatic or painful, that might be preferable.  More than likely though, you can use it as a driving force toward accomplishing the next great thing that is in your life’s plan.

Following is DSB and mine’s “song.”  We played it incessantly when we first got together, and he told me it is how he truly feels about me.  There’s talk about waiting for the moment to be right, but always being there.  He is feeling a little better today, so we were able to talk more.  Like the photo above, I look forward to what is to come.

 

Happiness is Right Here

The above song came out right around the time my sister and her (now) husband were planning their wedding.  I think both my mom and I hoped that they would choose it as their wedding song, because it was just so “them.”  Little did we know that they had another very special song in mind.

It seemed like such a magical time.  She had asked me to be her maid of honor, much to my surprise and, er, honor.  I mean really, it meant the world to me that she would ask me to be by her side as she married the man she loved most in the world.  And although I didn’t know her soon-to-be husband in a very deep way, I was convinced that he would treat my sister right and even more convinced that he felt a deep, profound love for her.

Her wedding day that November was the happiest I had in years.  It’s still probably in my top five happiest almost five years later.  It didn’t matter that the guy I was dating at the time was a complete social reject or that my dress didn’t fit right or that my shoes were ill-advised.  I choked up when I saw her walk down the aisle, barely stopping myself from full-on crying.  I was teary-eyed throughout the ceremony, and really, had never experienced tears of joy before.  I actually thought that was a made-up phenomenon.

After the wedding, there was a whirling limo ride through the city, with all the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the happy couple drinking beer that was actually made by my brother-in-law and his friends, and made to taste like champagne!

The reception was lovely, I made a little speech (that went rather well, I was told), and we danced away the night.  I have never danced so much, ever, and don’t think I ever will again.  I actually danced so much that I could barely walk the next day (darn those inadvisable shoes!).  My sister and her husband were so clearly giddy and in love and happy.  My heart warms thinking of it even now.

A car stood waiting to whisk my sister and her husband off to their hotel for the night, as my then-boyfriend helped me maneuver my tipsy parents off to the cars we drove.  A wave goodbye, and they were gone, Mr. and Mrs.  The only time I have ever been happier is holding my new nephew.  More love and happiness brought to me by those two.

I love that my sister made me a part of that day, and that I have been able to see my nephew a few times since he was born.  He is (I think) coming up on three months old now, and my sister has to go back to work.  I probably won’t see him as often, but I plan on asking for some time off every now and again so I can go see my favorite little guy.  Love and  happiness reigns with my sister and that little baby, even through the crying and the tears and the up-all-nights.  There is so much love.  I couldn’t be happier.

Also perfect — the song that they DID choose for their wedding: