From High Heels To Orthopedics Shoes!

~Reflections Of A Mom~

 

For a long time, and since Mother's Day just passed, I have been thinking about being a Mom, and where in today's society we fit! Everyone is scheduled, every minute of every day! I feel that society has changed, families have changed, heck the world has changed, so a lot of what I'm thinking and feeling as I age more every day....still applies, at least to many of "We Seniors". The thing is, being a Mom never changes, once you bring that first child into the world.......you are a Mom forever! (If you are 80 and your "child" is 60 you still worry about them!)  -:)

 

With Mother's Day just passing, I have been thinking about my life, and my family, particularly  as my 75 th birthday approaches ( gosh I still don't believe that one!!)  My brain is about 35 and my body, unfortunately is about 95 due to having a joyous, fun, life, most of it spent in high heels due to the nature of my  job and love of dancing....no I wasn't a stripper! -:) I sold Real Estate, for 40 years (still do) and “partied hardy" therefore the name of my blog is “High Heels to Orthopedic Shoes"!

 

I loved being a Mom from the day my children were born, and I still feel that way now, I love, adore, and treasure my sons, I light up when I see them! It makes me incredibly happy! I have what I feel is a "perfect" family! (Don't we all?) Beautiful, smart, handsome, children & grandchildren, living locally, (within 90 minutes’ drive)! I also have some other family, a fabulous sister, & her children & grandchildren BUT, they all live in Wisconsin. (My sister Patti and I are extremely close BUT, obviously we can't see each other often, and my Darling brother Bub died at 58, too soon)! Strangely enough, some of my strongest family bonds are with my younger "girl" cousins, but unfortunately they also live far away. I do have a niece that lives about 40 minutes away, I adore her and her sons but they too have such busy lives that we never see them as often as we used to. All of these women practically lived with me at one time or another some longer than others, hence the bond! Unfortunately, Jim's amazing family all live on the East Coast...so obviously, we don't see them often either since we are California residents!  Families are so scattered now, not like the "old days" & "Leave It to Beaver" living anymore!!

 

When I think of some of my local family, in the deepest part of my heart, I'm beginning to feel that spending time with us a combination of love, and obligation. I know my sons really love me a lot but it is so hard for them to fit us in their busy schedule.  May be it is because I have sons and not daughters! As a daughter, I was totally devoted to my family, but daughters I feel; always keep a closer bond with their parents, so they make the time, no matter what. Plus daughters are usually Moms so they "fret" more over their parents. (That could be annoying!)  -:)

 

I have good friends here with only sons, and they feel the same way. I feel that men tend follow their wives, because as "daughters" they want to and make more time with "their families".  (A Happy Wife Is A Happy Life").  I understand that too, as a daughter, I did the same thing, and quite frankly, my devotion to my family caused some serious problems in my marriage.....so there you are! We all try to accommodate someone; we just want everyone to be happy.

 

Why I really started thinking about this subject was a discussion with friends.

A while back, at a Red Hat luncheon held just before Christmas we were asking each other what we were doing for Christmas. Practically everyone responded, not sure, we all were waiting for our children to "let us know" when they could fit us into their busy schedules. We all agreed, we understand as we realize that today like never before, our children and grandchildren are soooo busy. So what I do, is say to my kids, "let us know when it is a good time, & we will come", guess what.....they hardly ever invite us! So then I said, let me know when you have time to visit....guess what, they hardly ever do. (Their schedules are too packed!) It is pretty sad that I haven't seen some of my older Grandchildren in over a year, granted they go to college, etc., all I'm saying is it is sad! I must say my one son really tries hard to visit; he travels out of the country a lot so his time is very limited, and I do understand, his schedule is horrendous. I have read all the advice columns about mother in law problems. I NEVER wanted to be one of that “awful” mother- in- laws". We always are on time, happy, excited and smiling. We never cause or get involved in controversy, or our children's business, probably the only trouble we cause is that we usually have to spend the night, because neither of us feels comfortable driving back home on the freeways after dark. Sometimes, we come back early before dark, but that cuts our visit sooooo short!

 

My kids lived around the corner from us, (for many years after they were married) and we NEVER, even once, stopped in without calling first....I always respected their privacy. Of course they never respected our privacy, they were the "kids" and this was "their home", that never changed, and I didn't care! I am a Mom!!  I try never to forget occasions, and always send cards to everyone & when we get together, the gifts come out. So you see, I really think we are good, fun, respectful guests.........still, invitations are few and far between! (We smell good too)-:) -:) I have to say though, they are phenomenal parents and attend every sporting event, etc. that their children are or have been involved in. Boy, I really sound whiney!! Especially because we recently spent time with my son's family & friends, and had the best, most fun time I've had in years!!! So forget all the complaining, and bitchy whiney attitude, I do feel a little silly now!

 

I guess what I'm saying is times have changed, I've changed, and I'm just having a bit of a hard time adjusting to it.  Is it my age? Am I feeling insecure? Do my feelings get hurt easier? Is it because I physically hurt all the time, and they hate to see me age? May be it has something to do with the younger generation moving so fast, children's schedules being so packed? Probably, yes to all of the above. What can I do? Get over it and may be write a blog? Go to the movies? Interact with friends more? Get a job....Oh I have one; (I still successfully sell a lot of Real Estate). Okay, I do all that stuff.....but bottom line, in my heart, I still miss my kids & Grandchildren. Besides just blowing off steam occasionally, another reason and the main reason I'm writing this blog is so my children, grandchildren & great grandchildren will really know "who I am". Oddly enough, I don't think they really know me at all. Probably that is partly my fault, I worked all my life, not to "fulfill" myself, but because finances dictated it. By the way, to all the women out there that think "I can have it all", in my humble opinion, you can't, something has to give! During all of this, my sons and I weathered many storms together, divorce, 2nd marriage that ended by my husband’s massive stroke, followed by cancer, finally, death. When I met Jim, they were very uncertain, it had all happened quickly, but we have been together happily for almost 20 years! Needless to say, the "boys" and I were soooo close! I shared with them and included them in every aspect of my life during those years before and after my marriages. We had a strong bond from the day they were born we cried together and laughed together, and played together. My house, in those years, was the hub of the entire family &friend circle of all of us. I never knew a stranger! (Probably because anyone that needed a place to stay stayed with us!) Those days were glorious, and I guess I miss them. But, times have changed, our bodies change, (mine sure has) and quite frankly there is no way I could keep up with that pace.  I'm getting old! Fooey!!

 

Actually the drastic change came when we moved to Summerset, an "over 55 active adult community" "I actually now feel,  in retrospect, my decision,  not only changed my life in positive ways but also,  in the worst way possible, it created a huge divide, in my immediate family!  Nothing I can do now, we love our little home on a "lake"' (that's what the brochure says) it's really a large pond!! -:). We are fortunate to have affordable living, lovely friends, and lots of community activities available, and my Real Estate career of 40 years, is finally picking up again and thriving after the economic slump! Granted, our place isn't huge, but we do have room for company inside. Outside, weather permitting, we have a beautiful patio on our pond that seats up to 14 easily!  So we do have room for our families!  Heck, we couldn't afford to go back anyway, and now my one son has moved to a new area and I wouldn't be surprised if the other moves up the peninsula in the next year or so. So, what’s wrong? We live 90 minutes away, it might as well be 10 hours, and I just miss getting a hug from "my boys"! (Since I originally wrote this, we were invited to spend time at my son's new home, about 2hours NE of our home. Both Grandchildren were gone, but we had a glorious time, we exchanged Christmas gifts, finally, then they treated us to a wonderful dinner out on Sat night and a delightful brunch on Sunday, then we headed home. We also finally got to see my Great Grandson Wyatt, 10 months of smiles & dimples. His Mom, a nurse was able to bring him over for a while Sat.) I was in heaven, I missed them so much!!) It shut me up for a while......-:) -:) Oh, I got my hugs!!  -:) -:)

 

So what can I do? Absolutely nothing!! We can't change our society, (this is a societal thing) age, our location, our health problems, all we can change is our attitude! When the kids were young, rather than scream or yell at them, I would write them a note and tell them “I was disappointed" in them. They would write back, and we would settle our disagreements and apologies, that way. It worked great for us! I guess my "blog" has become a note of sorts, from all Moms to all Families???? If not now, most of you Moms out there will feel the same someday!

 

So where do we fit?? Together, Jim and I!  We are living the best lives we can, on "Our Golden Pond” Fortunately, I do have this wonderful guy who takes care of me.......too much sometimes, I'm horribly spoiled! -:) -:) God forbid the day when something happens to one of us.....I truly dread "that next chapter"!

I still miss my Kids & Grandchildren, and even though we call and text, which is great, as a Mom, I just need a "real" hug occasionally!! All Moms & Grandmas do!!!

 

Unfortunately, I wrote this a couple of months ago, and a few days ago, a wonderful Gal, friend, the delightful "other Grandma" to my older son & his wife's children (also my grandchildren), had a medical problem, was taken to the hospital and while there, suffered a serious "brain bleed".  Since I originally wrote this my friend has been in the hospital over a month. My heart is breaking for the entire family. I have personally been through this stroke situation with my mother, my father and my husband Dave. It is a terrifying and painful journey.  I pray their journey is easier than mine was. My prayers are not only the wonderful, young, fun, Grandmother that is so ill, but also, for the entire family that is suffering so.  They are a large, very close family, and they are devastated! I pray for them all daily.

 

Again, it aptly illustrates my point that life is fleeting, at best, please keep your family close, and enjoy every moment with your parents & Grandparents, we're not going to be here forever. Continue to make wonderful memories with them, so when "their time comes to leave you", you will be filled with joy and happy memories, not regrets.

 

I guess this whole situation has kind of shaken me to my core, I am approximately the same age, way less physically fit (that’s for sure) then my friend, and with a family history of strokes.................and I know how they strike, like lightening, anytime, anywhere, when you least expect it.  From that day on, nothing is the same! A stroke would be my worst nightmare!

 

Well, fortunately, I know to enjoy every day, keep smiling, keep selling those houses, and look forward to the next time I get those hugs from my "Kids & Grandkids"!! Bottom line, I really love my life with "My Jimmy", sand most of all love my wonderful family! I guess my plan is to just be so grateful for my life, my family  and all that I have, and just treasure the moments I do have, like my wonderful day yesterday and the good times I know will come "next time" we all get together. This past Friday, my son came loaded with unbelievable goodies, and spent the day to celebrate an early Mother’s Day! Saturday I received beautiful flowers from both sons. We had a wonderful, fun, relaxed, time together, laughing constantly.......the specific day doesn't matter, when I am with my kids, every day is Mother's Day!!

 

P.S I did get wonderful calls on "the official day"!!

Heart

My Son Dan and his wife Denise
My Son Scott.
I Love Flowers
(Tom) I Am His Second Mom
Doesn't have to be a Special Day for flowers.

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Sue Jones | Reply 16.05.2013 15.39

I loved it! Thank you.

Ina Rae Lapum | Reply 15.05.2013 01.11

Your message is "right on", Karen. Families are the most important part of our lives, no matter how old we become.

Karen 15.05.2013 10.38

Thanks, Hope to see you at Red Hats today!!

Helen Smith | Reply 14.05.2013 19.18

Karen so beautiful you made my day I thought I was writting this.you r a great mom hugs Hele

Karen 14.05.2013 20.32

Helen Darlin, I think I spoke for a lot of Moms & Grandmas! I didn't know you were in the hospital again, I'm glad you're home now Kiddo! Thanks for commenting!

Karen W. | Reply 14.05.2013 16.27

Karen,
Thanks for sharing you eloquent thoughts of most mothers' hearts. I'm so glad you and Jim are still enjoying life on "Golden Pond."
Love,
Karen W.

Karen 14.05.2013 18.13

PS Yes Jim and I are as content & happy as "two old shoes"!!

Karen 14.05.2013 18.09

I'm glad you enjoyed it, I just hop I don't upset my sons, I think they are realists and understand what I'm saying!

Heather Boccia | Reply 14.05.2013 16.21

Karen: What a beautiful letter and thee sentiments made me cry. You are such a special person and I feel honored to be your friend. Heather

Karen 14.05.2013 18.11

Oh Heather my friend,I'm sorry I made you cry, but I know that you understand what I was trying to say!

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