An Emptiness that, at Times Seems to Burn

One of my favorite pictures of my father and I.

One of my favorite pictures of my father and I.

On Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, my father passed away and my life and the lives of my family have never been the same. I think about and miss my father every single day. He wasn’t perfect (nobody is) but he was a great man and he loved me unconditionally. He showed me how a man is supposed to love a woman and I’ve yet to meet his equal. I learned how I deserve to be treated from my father and because of him, I will never settle for less than I deserve.

I have written several blog posts about my father and always post something on the anniversary of his passing. With it falling on a Wednesday again this year, it feels harder to deal with, but I know I’ll be okay because his spirit is always watching over me. For this year’s honoring of my father’s memory, I wanted to quote a favorite excerpt from a movie. The movie is Practical Magic and in it, Sally writes her sister a letter that in essence sums up how I feel since my father left this world.

***

Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole inside me … an emptiness that, at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear you could hear the ocean.

And the moon tonight, there’s a circle around it, a sign of trouble not far behind.

I have a dream of being whole, Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes when the wind is warm, or the crickets sing, I dream of a love that even time will lay down and be still for.”

sallys letter

The best presents

girls standing by lilac bush

Last night when I was talking to my youngest daughter, Jaycie, on the phone she asked “So you don’t want any presents?” in disbelief. I’ve been telling her since the weekend that I don’t need “things” on my birthday and that she and her sister Jordan are the best presents I could ever hope for. In response to her question last night, I reminded her of that again, but as she’s 8 and still very much in love with receiving and opening wrapped presents, I dont’ really expect her to understand.

I know how blessed I am to have my two daughters and they bring joy to every day of my life. It’s still hard during times when I don’t have them, but I keep myself busy and make sure I get my work done so I don’t have to do it when I have them. There’s never enough time to do everything in this life, but my girls come first and they always will.

While romantic love has eluded me and may continue to do so for the rest of my life, I’ve got the love I give to and receive from my daughters and that’s more than enough.

Taking a Day

Father and daughter love

My father and I on his 43rd birthday in 1984. I was 7 years old.

Today is my father’s birthday, he would’ve been 74 years old. He died in October of 2009 and I miss him every single day. The ache of missing him gets even stronger starting about a week before his birthday and continuing through the summer birthdays of me, my brothers and my daughters and the holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because they all feel partially empty without his physical presence. Memorial Day is a hard holiday too because my dad served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, but thankfully that weekend I’ll be at the MCNAA Spring Planting Moon Pow-Wow in Randolph, MA, surrounded by great people and lifting my spirit by dancing to the drums in the circle.

I’ve been working hard to finish up most of the week’s work so I could just take a day for myself and do what makes me happy. Although I’m sad without my father, I know his spirit is with me and that he wants me to be happy and so I focus on finding and doing things that give me positive feelings. I didn’t quite succeed at getting all the work I wanted to done so I’ll be doing some of it today, but as I work from home and no longer in an office, it’s a rewarding experience.

I have to take Jazzmin to the vet for some booster shots and I purposely made the appointment this morning because I didn’t really want to bum around the house all day. I’m also taking my mom out to dinner this evening so we can celebrate my dad’s life and be together. We’re going to Olive Garden, one of his favorite restaurants and I plan on toasting him with a cappuccino (no alcohol because I’m driving ;)). In between those two scheduled things, I’m going to squeeze in some work and take Jazzmin for a nice looong walk to enjoy the fresh air on what promises to be another beautiful day!

Taking a day to honor and remember my father is actually something I do every single day, but on his birthday I want to work a bit harder at putting positive energy out into the universe to honor his spirit and thank him for being such an amazing father to me.

Furry purry balls of love (and chaos!)

Daisy and Angel snuggled up watching The Christmas Shepherd on Hallmark Channel tonight.

Daisy and Angel snuggled up watching The Christmas Shepherd on Hallmark Channel tonight.

I’ve had my kittens Daisy and Angel for a little over a month now and it’s definitely been an adventure! I forgot how crazy kittens could be and there are days when I think I’m nuts to be dealing with babies again. The “little darlings” go from being snuggly little furry purry balls of love to absolutely unbelievable balls of chaos in the blink of an eye sometimes!

They run the length of my house and into the basement, they climb curtains, jump at pull chains for ceiling fans, frolic in the bathtub, and happily drag out every bit of string-like substance they can find from hair ties to shoe laces. They’ve retrieved all of Jazz’s tennis balls from the various pieces of furniture they rolled under and they go after flies and ladybugs as though it’s their main mission in life!

Just like when I adopted Jazzmin from the shelter and wished she could tell me what her life was like with her previous owners, I wish the kittens could tell me what their lives were like. They do tell me quite a lot with certain behaviors that are unlike anything I’ve encountered with previous cats or kittens. Whenever I fill the cat food bowl, Daisy and Angel come running from wherever they were and eat eagerly as if it were their last meal. They’re obsessed with water! They’re constantly trying to drink from the dog’s water bowl when I fill it, they jump in sinks, and even tried to drink out of the toilet more than once. When I clean out their litter box, they’re immediately ready to use it, sometimes trying to jump in before I’m done. I do wish they had a bit more patience for such things…

The kittens first encounter with an ice cube. They were fascinated!

The kittens first encounter with an ice cube. They were fascinated!

When I first brought the kittens home, they didn’t seem to know what cat toys were. I had some jingle balls and a trackball toy with a scratching pad and when I showed it to them, they seemed uninterested. The first time I got out the laser pointer to play with them, they were utterly fascinated and had to compete with Jazzmin to chase the elusive red bug. Angel didn’t even know that her tail was something fun to chase until I took it and tickled her face with it one day. Ever since then, she’s loved chasing it while on the couch or the kitchen floor. I find it so difficult to comprehend that such sweet little kittens didn’t know how to play with toys and their own tails!

From everything I’ve witnessed the kittens do, I’ve concluded that their lives before they were brought to the shelter involved fighting for everything they wanted. They treat every meal as if it’s their last, every drink like it will suddenly evaporate, and every toy as if it’s the greatest treasure in the world. They adore snuggling and purr whenever I picked them up. I know they’re happy here and they’ve certainly brought new happiness to my life and the lives of my daughters.

Jordan and Angel

Jordan and Angel

Jaycie petting the snuggling kittens.

Jaycie petting the snuggling kittens.

The kittens snuggled up against Jazzmin.

The kittens snuggled up against Jazzmin.

Angel says "I wuv you, Jazzmin!"

Angel says “I wuv you, Jazzmin!”

The kittens always look the most adorable when I need to get out of bed.

The kittens always look the most adorable when I need to get out of bed.

 

Angel was more snuggly than Daisy when we first got home but over the past month, Daisy has become a good snuggler too. The sister kittens love to sleep on each other and Jazzmin and they always know when I’m a bit down and need some extra furry purry attention. Even when they’re driving me crazy by climbing screens, de-ornamenting the tree, chewing on power cords, and wrestling on the bed when I’m trying to sleep, I still adore them and wonder how I ever survived without them.

Daisy snuggled up against me tonight as I typed this blog.

Daisy snuggled up against me tonight as I typed this blog.

My baby can’t be 12!!!

Jordan loving up her little lemur and sugar glider.

Jordan loving up her little lemur and sugar glider.

When I told my oldest daughter Jordan that I couldn’t go to sleep until I wrote a blog post about her turning 12 today she said “I’d just go to bed,” in her best pre-teenager grumble.

“Sure,” I replied. “Then someday 5-10 years down the road you’ll bring up the fact that I wrote a blog post about your sister’s birthday but not yours.” To that she simply rolled her eyes and went back to reading her Xanth book in bed.

She might think I’m nuts now but she is very much like me and I recognize that so I know she’d be hurt if I didn’t blog about her 12th birthday. Aside from all that, I WANT to write about her birthday!

Jordan's flaming cupcake. I tried to do a snowflake from Frozen.

Jordan’s flaming cupcake. I tried to do a snowflake from Frozen.

My baby can’t be 12! 12 years old??? I remember when she was 12 seconds old and I didn’t even know what gender she was! Then they laid her on my stomach and said it’s a girl and I felt a huge swell of happiness, fulfillment and joy flood my heart and soul. I was meant to be a mom, it came so naturally to me. Well, it came naturally once we left the hospital and got away from the “friendly” nurses trying to tell me what to do and that what I was doing was all wrong. But I digress…

Jordan amazes me every single day. She’s smart, talented, artistic, thoughtful, considerate, kind, caring and yes, a bit of a devil too sometimes. She has the Corbin talent for sarcasm but that’s not really a bad thing. She is who she is and I love her unconditionally. We do butt heads more often as she grows older but I know that deep down she’s still my little girl with the sweet heart.

Flipping through her new Xanth guide with Avi wandering through...

Flipping through her new Xanth guide with Avi wandering through…

 

She doesn’t see the need to follow all the latest crazy fashion trends like chalk in the hair, shorts so short they’re barely underwear, shirts so small/tight/short they’re indecent and the awful hooker heels that I won’t even be caught dead in. She’s a good girl with a great head on her shoulders and I raised her to know right from wrong.

Really, Mom? A picture of me eating?

Really, Mom? A picture of me eating?

 

Do I think I’m done raising her though? Heck no!!! My teenage years were less than kind to me and I’m going to do my best to help her see that she’s not alone and that everyone goes through rough spots, no matter how put together they seem on the outside. We’re all humans with the same muddled emotions but I have faith in her strength, poise and ability to channel all that productively into her creativity and her very bright future! Happy Birthday, Jordan Pie! I love you =)

jordan blowing out candles

Just about to blow out the candles

Bookmark, not bracelet!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie's bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie’s bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

For the last week I’ve been working on my youngest daughter Jaycie’s beaded bracelet…er I mean, bookmark! Every time I’d say I was working on Jaycie’s “bracelet” she’d quickly correct me with “bookmark!” Neither of my girls are fond of wearing jewelry so the two beaded loom projects I designed and made for them turned into bookmarks, not bracelets.

My oldest daughter Jordan requested a Yin Yang based bookmark with flowers and mountains. She sketched up her idea and I used my PatternMaker program to translate into something I could make on one of my two looms. She loved the end result and uses it for a bookmark in one of the three books she’s reading at the same time.

Jordan's fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

Jordan’s fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

My youngest daughter Jaycie didn’t specifically request a bookmark/bracelet but she does love Om Nom from the Cut the Rope app so I started working on a design of him in my PatternMaker program. It took a few tries to get him, the candy, his pal Roto and the cupcake looking recognizable in the pattern but with some input from both my daughters, I finally got it right! Jaycie loved it and asked if I’d make it for her. I promised her I would do just that.

I created the pattern months ago and got busy with other things but I never forgot my promise and neither did Jaycie. She’s been asking me for the past month when I was going to make her bookmark so I finally made the time and started working on it late last week. It’s the widest bracelet/bookmark I’ve ever made on the loom so warping the threads took some time. Weaving on such a wide strip of beads was also tricky to get the hang of but eventually I got with the flow.

I worked on the bookmark as often as I could because I wanted to complete it before our upcoming vacation to New England. Finally, yesterday afternoon I completed the bookmark!

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

After some off loom finishing touches I presented it to Jaycie and she thanked me with a smile before promptly disappearing with it into her bedroom. I later found her playing with it among her stuffed animals. While she may never use it as a bookmark, I know she loves it and that’s enough to fill my heart with joy sweeter than any Cut the Rope candy!

The Power of Three

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One of my favorite shows was/is Charmed. It’s a show about three sister witches who, when they combine their magical powers, are an unstoppable force against evil. This combined force is called The Power of Three.

My two daughters and I possess our own Power of Three and it has wondrous and magical properties. Together we can face and overcome any challenge and our love makes us stronger every day.

Today we went to the Native American Festival at Ganondagan in Victor, NY. We had some rather unexpected and interesting adventures that I’m too tired to share now but through it all, we were a united trio. Spending time with my girls always reminds me how blessed I am to have them. We make each other laugh, we indulge in the fine art of sarcasm and we hold hands to stick together when the trail gets challenging.

We are a formidable trio with a Power of Three capable of overcoming any force that tries to rise against us. Never mess with a Corbin woman because trust me, she’s got some kickbutt family back up 😉