Tag Archives: celebrations

Words on Wednesday

28 Jul

It’s not always easy celebrating someone’s life while at the same time remembering someone who passed away. It’s an anniversary you’d rather forget. 

July becomes a test of mental and emotional strength every year. Finding the right balance of happiness for kids getting older and reaching milestones and fighting back the sadness because grandpa’s gone and he’s missing out on life he would have enjoyed living. No advice on how to tackle that, how to feel happiness and joy, while sadness lingers in the back and creeps up on you when you don’t expect it. You just take it as it comes and give it what you got.

Finding the happiness in kids turning double digits.  That’s 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 10! Remembering Harold and The Purple Crayon and Goodnight Moon like it was last week. Play-Doh and bubbles. Pictures drawn in Crayola Crayons and paints that come in plastic jars. Rainbows, puppies, snakes, flowers, and smiling stick figures. Now she’s using colored pencils and practicing her best Bob Ross skills on sketch pads and easels with fancy paper. Hitting home runs, watching Bear Grylls, jumping off diving boards, and learning everything about penguins. That’s what happens when kids turn ten.

Then you get a kid turning 13. Yup. The teen begins. Random clerks at a store chuckling and shaking their head at you saying ‘oh, 13, that’s gonna be a fun year for you.’ Like they know something, a parent secret, but not telling you because you’re about to find out in a BIG way. 

13.

Sounds ominous.

I don’t remember it being that way.

But then again I was the 13-year old. Not the parent of one. 

Here we go. On a new roller coaster ride and I don’t know where the turns are, but they’re coming. 

Now no more TV shows with animated characters, they got shows with people and issues. Got my own Wonder Years experience going on here with questions about getting cell phones and driver’s permit. Hang on a second! This one is a to be continued … and those three dots right there, that’s what’s gonna make it interesting. 13 and in 8th grade. I imagine a lot of goings on will be going on. It’s puberty. It’s transition. It’s voice cracking, stinky socks, and peach fuzz on the upper lip about to become a full Magnum P.I. style mustache. It’s funny. But it’s not.

But at least sports is still a common denominator and I still rock as coach and trainer and they come to me for guidance and I can give advice and they’ll listen. Through sports I can still teach life lessons, even without them fully knowing it. It’ll sink it.

I hope. 

13 and 10.

I’ve become a life coach to kids in double digits. It happens to every parent, I know. I’m just realizing it’s happening to me while at the same time celebrating someone that would have been 73, but was taken away too soon.

I imagine a lot of untold stories went with him and I feel bad about that, about not hearing the rest of them, about the unfinished life he had and the years as a grandpa robbed from him. It’s sadness and joy. He probably had so many more memories and pieces of life to share with me, about when he was 10 or 13, or the parent of one. But now I can only hold onto what I got. That’s the tough part. Knowing he had more but we never got around to it because unexpected sickness happened and that sucked. 

From one day to the next. Celebrating your kids to grieving your dad. It’s a state of funk that’s difficult to navigate. But you get up and keep moving. That’s July for me. The world keeps moving even if you want it to stay still. It moves with or without you. 

So I found myself celebrating and being happy one day, sad the next, and bumping it up again the following week. 

No rules on how to do it, just finding ways to live through it.  So even though this writing hiatus was unplanned it was probably needed. Sometimes the words just don’t come out and it was probably for a reason. Settling in and coming off my own birthday as well, trying to turn the page and get the creativity going. I got another 365-day journey around the sun, so it’s a good time to start again. So I went off on an outdoor adventure, away from people, away from the city and tried something new.

Sometimes the Outdoors sprinkles a little magic and you feel different. Sometimes not. 

But luckily that day the cloud of funk lifted and the getaway brought perspective.

 

Buen Camino!

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The Guats Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos

1 Nov

I’m all parented out. On a weekly basis I give about 100 percent, give or take, and with all the festivities that October brought, this month squeezed out every last drop of energy my body possessed. From fall festivals and pumpkin patches to carving Jack-O-Lanterns and trick-o-treating. October kicked my ass.

But like any good parent I didn’t stop at 100 percent … I went for the extra 10 percent on top of that. The overachiever got into me, as did the exhaustion of packing in another activity.

But this one was different. This one had to be done. This one was about culture and remembering family. This one was the Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta. And normally as a good Guatemalan I would have made giant colorful kites and the awesome dish that is fimbre, but I could barely boil water for Mac-N-Cheese so we did without the traditional Guatemalan food, but the festival had plenty of treats to buy.

While exploring all the treats at the festivities, I was happy to explain to my son that this was a celebrations for us … an important day. It was a day of remembering his papa, my dad. We think about him everyday and how much we miss him. And sometimes it sucks and it makes us sad . But on this day we try to remember stories about his life, how he lived it, and how he made us laugh.

Dia de Los Muertos is about honoring those that have passed and I hoped I was able to do that by taking my kids to this celebration and telling them stories about my dad. And in addition to all that reminiscing they seemed to enjoy the culture that came with it.

 

Our day begins ...

Our day begins …

 

As we browsed the festival we ran into some awesome artwork

As we browsed the festival we ran into some awesome artwork.

 

This flask was something I was seriously contemplating.

This flask was something I was seriously contemplating.

 

The little something that caught my eye.

This little something caught my eye.

 

 

But out of all the artwork these tiny hand-crafted skeletons amazed me the most.

But out of all the artwork these tiny hand-crafted skeletons amazed me the most.

 

The altars in the front of the museum were so awesome that my son wanted to know when we were going to build ours ... I need to kick up my Martha Stewart skills.

The altars in the front of the museum were so awesome that my son wanted to know when we were going to build ours … I need to kick up my Martha Stewart skills.

 

After all the artwork we sat to witness the amazing dancers.

After all the artwork we sat to witness the amazing dancers.

 

When the fire came out, my son wanted to go into junior firefighter mode, but I assured him it was part of the dance and it would be taken care of.

When the fire came out, my son wanted to go into junior firefighter mode, but I assured him it was part of the dance and it would be taken care of.

 

As I watching the ladies get ready, I couldn't take my eyes off there awesome wardrobe.

As I was watching the ladies get ready, I couldn’t take my eyes off their awesome wardrobe.

 

These were some of the best dances, but for some reason my kids enjoyed the indigenous high-energy dancers better.

These were some of the best dances, but for some reason my kids enjoyed the indigenous high-energy dancers better. They’re into stomping.

 

As we hung out and watch all the dance troupes take the stage this chic blew me and my kids away with her awesome make-up. My son thought it was so cool he decided he wanted to get festive too.

As we hung out and watched all the dance troupes take the stage this chic blew me and my kids away with her awesome make-up. My son thought it was so cool he decided he wanted to get festive too.

 

It took a while to get to the face painting artist and after my son realized that he couldn't have Batman, he settled on a Dia De Los Muertos masterpiece. He was happy with it.

It took a while to get to the face painting artist, but the wait was worth it. After my son realized that he couldn’t have Batman, he settled on a Dia De Los Muertos masterpiece that had him smiling. My daughter wasn’t into it, she preferred to keep stomping to the music.

 

All of this happened to honor my friend, my dad, my TV watching buddy, the laugher of my jokes, the partner to my adventures, the listener to my stories, and the defender of my dreams.

All of this happened to honor my friend, my TV watching buddy, the laugher of my jokes, the partner to my adventures, the listener to my stories, and the defender of my dreams. It all happened to honor my dad and to remember his life.

 

 

Weekly Image of Life: Celebration

27 Oct

Celebration.

Celebrate friendship.

Celebrate college football.

Celebrate the post-game.

Celebrate with Framboise and other icy cold beverages.

Celebrate with The Band and its leader … Chantel.

Celebrate your inner youth.

Celebrate laughter.

Celebrate memories.

College reunions … a cause for celebration.

Hangovers … not so much.

However, this celebration still rocked.

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Host of Weekly Image of Life Challenge: This Man’s Journey