More Than Words Can Say

I am reading a book entitled “Breakfast with Buddha” and there’s a point where the protagonist writes a letter to his daughter, simply providing a lighthearted status of his current road trip; but mostly to tell her he misses and loves her. The author states in a roundabout way that parents do not have the best method to express the love for their children.

In a way, I agree. It is clumsy sometimes. We feel like our children simply do not get the depth of this love;  which feels to us parents like a failure to communicate. While reading this portion of the book, I felt compelled to try to capture my feelings in order to communicate them to my son. I’d like to take the time to do it before it is too late to do it. In doing so, I know for sure he understands exactly how I feel.

Dear Ev,

I want you to know, that when I say “I love you” it’s just not a simple platitude. Those words contain a myriad of dimensions behind it. You are a gift to your father and me. An embodiment of the best and worst of both of us. And I love every aspect of you. From your smile to your moodiness. Your laughter tickles the heck out of me to my core. When you were conceived, I could feel an inner joy within me that did feel like a playful tickle. I could only smile and giggle with the spark of life I was promoting in those 9 months.

As young parents your father and I never wanted to share you with anyone. Reluctant to share you with Grandma and Grandpa because we loved spending time with you. You never had babysitters because we took you everywhere with us. The one and only time we ever had been separated from you was on our wedding anniversary after you were born and we chose to take a night out as a couple for dinner. We hated leaving you, and cut the dinner short to just be with you.

You taught us a depth of loving and caring I don’t think either one of us really understood until you were born. When you hurt, we hurt. When you found joy we were over the moon. When you were angry, it took all of ourselves not to burst in laughter over the triviality over which set you ablaze.

The man you are becoming makes me beam with pride. You are organized and so very considerate. It has always been a source of joy knowing how you care for others (your network of friends and family). When I hear you ask “How was your day?” to either me or your dad with a genuine interest and concern, I feel so very happy to know you are exactly the person we hoped to have in our lives and in others’ lives.

Even in your youth you have been a caregiver. Your heart is the best part of you. I hope you know how much of an impact you have on everyone you mentor and befriend. I respect the heck out of you and your values. I had always hoped you would have the integrity I lacked and avoid the weaknesses I had.

As you grow older, I pray and encourage you to become more independent and self sufficient. The pride in knowing you did it all yourself is the best feeling ever. Use your resources – your network of friends, coworkers, and family as well as technology to help you find your solutions and answers to the problems at hand.

Know that there are little pockets of notes to you in places in the house. Your baby book for example has letters to you from both me and your father. I kept a journal while I was pregnant with you to let you know how I cared for myself in preparation for you. And every book I have kept in the house, I kept because the stories were so profound that I hope that you pick one up and read it too.

It is a constant fear of mine that you may not find true happiness and life will deal you some hard lessons. But in the end, it is a part of the growth process. Whenever you are faced with an obstacle I hope you have the presence of mind to step back after the brief freak out and know that there is an opportunity to learn from the experience in order to grow and be a better version of you in the end.

Life is a constant path towards learning. The more you experience the more you grow. When I encourage you to travel and meet people it is to expand your experience. I know at this point you are not a fan of just getting out there but I hope that changes over time and you do get to go to fun places and meet outstanding people and become lifelong friends. Expand your circle of friends as they become your extended family when both your dad and I pass on. Know that I hated that you had no other siblings because I wanted you to always have someone you can count on to share your feelings and frustrations like both your dad and I had with our siblings.

And in every journey out you have, no matter how mundane, always be open to those moments that makes you smile. Take nothing for granted. Be present in the moment. It could be a pleasant exchange with a complete stranger or it could be a funny bumper sticker on the car in front of you. Find reasons to go through life observantly and not like a mindless automaton. That last way is easiest but it’s the least fun. So empty.

Also know that I am so excited to see ultimately the man you become. I bargain with the reaper every day to let me have this one indulgence. I want to see the fully grown you. It is what I live for. It’s not just the cats.

All my love,

Judgement Meme

To those sporting those Judgiepants…

Prejudice noun /ˈprejədəs/

Prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case.

So many types to mention but I want to address the one most are guilty of every day. One of which does not come up when you google ‘Types of Prejudice’. I reckon I consider this type as Prejudice of Condition.

Lately, I have observed this prejudice first hand. But I was not a stranger to it in the past. Back then it enraged me. Now? Not so much. But it does disappoint me.

So what is prejudice of condition? Let’s explore some examples.

Take Sally for example, she wears decent clothes, holds a steady job; but recently, has indicated that she is having cash problems. Those around her judge her statement as disingenuous as she always has what appears to be nice clothes, perfectly manicured nails. “Hell, if she can spend the cash on clothes and manicures, she’s not as skint as she says. What a liar!”

No one knows she was forced to max her credit card to pay for unexpected repairs on her car, she does her own nails and her clothes are from a charity shop.

Another example comes in the form of a meme which has circulated on facebook timelines for several years now. Even I have shared it to remind those around me to be less quick to judge.

“You can’t see my problems, you can’t see my pain. You don’t understand the thoughts going round in my brain. My illness is not visible, it’s not on display. But it’s a battle I fight with each and every day…”

For those with chronic illness, including me, we endure each day knowing we will have good ones and just plain horrible ones. We never know what the next day will be. Our minds are preoccupied with what this could very well be and we fight the fears with the mantra that it may not be since the tests were negative the last time. Just because we continue to fight– to appear normal — doesn’t mean our situation is made up or any less real. We want normal lives, and we will do what we can when we can. We live with what we have and try to make the best of it even in our worst moments.

It is sad to discover someone close to you is judging based on their definition of what sick should look like just because you canceled plans when you weren’t feeling well enough to cater to them. Because after all, it is all about them.


Finally, the last example is the one I think I am most susceptible to committing and being the target at the same time. Judging personality based on visage. I have resting bitch face. I know what it is like to be judged by my relaxed demeanor. Some people find me very off putting due to my expression. I haven’t minded too much because the introvert in me is kind of relieved.

But I have been very guilty of doing the same. Not just with people with resting bitch face, but with others whose outward appearance seems intimidating and I assume they are cold or abusive in nature when actually they probably are super kind and warm.

It’s a terrible thing, prejudgements. Because in these judgements we prevent caring relationships to be formed or maintained. Be wary of your quick to conclude thoughts when dealing with others. Remind yourself of how it feels to be judged without the full information.

On Strength and Weakness

I stumbled across a click bait slideshow of the 20 bitchiest quotes from Bette Davis a few days back and had to smile over the featured quote in this post. (source:

I could think of several people who fit her description with whom I came into contact in my life. As such, her quote seems to me  brutally honest and I had wished someone would have shared this pearl of wisdom with me so I could have been more prepared to identify it before my energies were wasted in those relationships.

I find that what impressed me most is learning that Ms. Davis, in real life outside of acting, was just as brassy and open as many of the characters she portrayed. I always admired her craft. She chose such complex and outstanding roles of women, often intimidating, steely, cold and, yes, bitchy. But strong. Even when she had the challenge with the tragic Charlotte Vale, in “Now Voyager” she knocked the viewers’ socks off with her stunning performance, letting vulnerability and weakness take the forefront. That film was a game changer for me in my fandom of her work.

The thing is, I was surrounded by very strong and considerably bitchy women in my life. Never once did I see them exhibit any weakness which I thought was daunting. The expectation was that to be a survivor, a success, one never showed weakness. No matter how heavy the burden, you shoulder it. No pity parties, no crying. You do what needs to be done.

I survived because I was tougher than anybody else”– Bette Davis

I thought it was the norm that when the going got tough, you pull up your big girl/boy pants, take a breath and keep going. Mostly this is true because it is so easy to get lost in the drama of the situation and feel sorry for yourself and simply give up. Lately this week has given me pause in terms of not letting some of that weakness show. I cracked a little and finally let out the stress, the anxiety and the fear. I cried on the way to the grocery store. When I pulled in to park, I realized my eyes were more than likely swollen, puffy and my face very flushed. So for that moment of release, I sat there spending the time to pack it all back in, taking that deep breath and carry on.

I learned right there on the slow walk into the store, that moments of weakness are needed. I had to let it out as keeping it in was tearing me down, mentally and physically. Sometimes one can find more strength from showing or recognizing weakness and tending to it for just that moment. Asking for a break, a little help, or just disconnecting to let it out some.

One cannot be strong all the time and it is okay to take that moment to let the stress of the burden out; briefly, but out.  Denying the toll life’s challenges take on one’s self will manifest in different, more self-destructive ways. Recognize it and tend to it.