Forgive your Parents Day

March 18th is National Forgive your Parents Day. I always wonder who creates these days , but I have to tell you that this is a good one. I didn’t have great parents and my childhood was marked with lots of trauma. I was able to forgive them both before they died, not in words so much but in a mutual understanding that I tolerated them and showed them respect late in their lives. Was it easy? No it wasn’t. I was raised to show respect to anyone that was older than me. My mother and especially my grandmother instilled that habit into daily life. Am I a better person for it? Of course. Parents aren’t perfect, they were never meant to be, and never will be. The good ones, in my opinion, love their children and try their best to advocate for them throughout their lives. Good parents listen, listen, and listen. Mine weren’t perfect or even close to what I wanted , but to carry them around with me for the rest of my life would have only burdened me. So let go, forgive if you can. Be a better parent than your parents are/were. If we are to ever evolve as humans tell your children that you hope they are going to be better parents than you are.🙏

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day

I know that my title is not an attention grabber and that’s ok. I want to personally recognize this group of people that have made my life easier. This particular group, until you need them and chances are you will need them one day, are there for people at their saddest and most vulnerable moment. The first encounter I had with a funeral director was when I was 19. My oldest brother died in an accident and the family was gathered at the funeral home trying to make arrangements. My parents couldn’t put aside their hurt and anger long enough to bury my brother so they turned and said “ask Missy what she wants”. I was stunned, I wasn’t a parent. I wasn’t even an adult , really. This poor funeral director pulled me aside and walked me through the decisions with such kindness and understanding I couldn’t have made it through that day , or the funeral to come. I don’t remember his face at all just his ability to understand my humiliation, my pain, and my lack of knowledge. He saved that day from being one that could have left me hardened and pissed off.

I have had too many encounters with other funeral homes and the employees that have helped me and I have had people with the same kindness and concern at each one. We may not like talking about what a service these individuals provide , or maybe we tell ourselves that we wouldn’t want to have one as a friend, but I tell you it would make your life better if you did. In recognition of those who provide this service, I say THANK YOU!

Missy

Holidays and sitting them out….

I remember when I was a little girl and how I loved looking forward to a holiday. My younger brother and I celebrated them together in every wish, dream, and moment. It was our time then. We would excite ourselves with the idea of Easter morning chocolate bunnies and spring toys. Christmastime we spent hours thumbing through store catalogs marking the pages of everything we wanted by bending the page or using a permanent black magic marker to circle the desires that year. We would Trick or Treat on Halloween and come home to sort and group our candy in neat little piles before counting them and gorging ourselves. I would always run out of chocolate candy first as I had an enormous sweet tooth and my brother would pretend not to notice that I ate his when mine was gone.

These holidays were my childhood and were some of my best holiday moments. No one realizes that until those moments are long gone. As an adult I was given the gift of having children to celebrate these moments with and I loved every second of every holiday. Even as I celebrated these moments I knew that they would stop some day and my job would warp into the final stage of observer. My participation would be more “watching” than “doing”.

At first the role seemed strange to me but I have learned by watching my children being the “doers” in holiday celebrations just how lucky I really am. I love reliving in my mind how my younger brother and I celebrated together and the only sad part is that he is not here to share our memories together. I watch my children build their own lives and I know how lucky I am to have raised them and had those moments. I still love holidays and the family time that they bring but I have learned that it’s ok to sit them out and let them be celebrated by the here and now. I enjoy watching others live what I have learned. I hope that my children will see someday how wonderful their lives have been as I do now.

Choices in Death

I know it may seem odd since my business is cemetery decorations but I like the idea of green burial. It’s more than just the ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in a word-simple. I think it’s important to have one final decision in life and that is how your death or life will be celebrated. Now this is not a simple choice if you have a child that has proceeded you in death, a husband, a sibling, a partner. I had to make choices for my family members without knowing exactly what they wanted. I tried to make decisions that were appropriate, respectful, and loving but those were choices I made for them, and it was a long time before I forgave myself for something I had no control over. My parents, and siblings have been gone for over 25 years and the pain doesn’t flood me as it once did. The deaths just came suddenly but not surprisingly. I lost my mother, younger brother, and father all within 9 months. I had already buried my stepfather and my oldest brother, and my middle brother would follow in just a few years. I was afraid, afraid to talk to them about death even though most of them were inevitable, but it was so much simpler to just put it away in the back of my mind. What I wasn’t prepared for is I would be the only decision maker, the only one left to make those choices.

I’m an old lady too!

Six years ago my daughter gave me a gift that transformed my life. I realize that is a bold statement but I genuinely feel that way. The gift was an iPad. Now understand that I learned windows on a desktop with lots of tears and bad words. I could email, look at the internet, and do some graphics but nothing like my iPad. It was easy to use, I never felt like the iPad would blow up if I hit the wrong key, and no tears were involved. No I understand you might think that my daughter helped me learn but no she told me I was on my own after setting up my email and cloud account and showing me where I could find apps to download. I taught myself and opened up an online store. I worked social media and with three different printers over 4 years I could master anything. I do almost EVERYTHING online. The reason I tell you this rather long winded story is this: I’m not young. I cringe when I have someone tell me that they can’t learn computer, they can’t keep up, or they don’t want to. I cringe because I am the same age as the people telling me this and all I hear is fear. I help when they ask a question in regards to “online questions” and I even go so far as to do a lot of things for them online which I don’t really mind at all. I do worry how isolated seniors will feel as technology flies at the speed of sound these days. Each year a senior doesn’t learn the more they will not understand what the generation below them is talking about, the more they won’t understand the world and how to function within it, and the more they will be afraid.

The days in between the holidays…

If you have lost of loved one whether it be years ago or as recent as this past year then you know how difficult the holidays are. You might even have some well meaning person to remind you of how hard holidays are without a loved one , as if you didn’t understand.

I lost many loved ones on special or holidays, New Years Eve-brother, Christmastime- brother, stepfather- my wedding anniversary, 4th of July- mother, my birthday- brother. Although this is an unusual amount of loved ones to lose by the age of 40 , it is also an odd number of celebrations to loose loved ones on. I decided i needed to embrace these holidays which is how my business FloralMemorials came about. My husband was a contractor and often had wooden stakes and the idea came to me to paint and decorate them so I could have something to decorate the graves for any holiday or celebration. This need to celebrate has been an amazing experience for me and one that I am most grateful for.

Those deaths have been 20-30 years ago and I have found that those days in between holidays have brought me the most comfort, understanding, clarity, and peace. Every single day a thought drifts through my mind or I drive by a part of town that sparks my memory but always with a smile and no longer with a tear or lump in my throat. Those days in between are just as important if not more than the few holidays we share. Own those days they can’t be given back to you and they are amazing.

Holiday Healing

My family members, as it happened, passed on or near holidays, Christmas time, Fourth of July, my wedding anniversary, New Years Eve, my birthday. It’s not like they planned their deaths to occur on days that would be a constant reminder of their deaths that’s just the way my road in life lead.

I had children that I was raising so I kept my thoughts about this “holiday passing” to myself and refused to let the holidays be anything but happy for my family. It was hard, but not painful to the point I couldn’t function, that would come later.

It’s funny how we can fill our lives and our minds to distract us from our troubles. I told myself that I was a strong person and that I carried on for my kids and their happiness, after all you can’t walk this earth wounded very minute of every day, right?

This is what I learned the hard way…..

Distractions are just that, they keep you busy but you don’t heal. I woke up one morning and my kids were grown and thriving in the world and I looked around for someone I knew and that’s when the grief and pain of losing everyone came down on me like a wave of nausea. It was Christmas time and I fumbled through crying to myself everyday and not understanding why. Grieving, although it might make others uncomfortable, is necessary part of our human function. When we grieve we are aware of our loss and the changes it will make in our lives. When we choose to be the strong soldier our grief will find its way out of our bodies sometime in some form whether we want it to or not.

If you are grieving then carry on and don’t worry so much about others feeling uncomfortable around you, you can always apologize later if you want. Distractions are just that – distractions – not because you are super human or emotionally untouchable it just means you are choosing not to deal with something at that particular moment.

Grief will come, it’s just part of who we are as humans.

Forever 17 in my mind.

While living with my Grandmother, from the age of 19 until my marriage at 25, we would have so many discussions about everything you can imagine. We would spend hours talking about family, kids, sex, marriage, childhood, mistakes, and so much more.

Many of the comments she made during our life discussions have stayed very vivid in my mind. Some of the things she said I didn’t understand completely until I was older or trying to work through one of life’s many twist.


When I saw this beautiful statue I instantly remembered something she said. “You know your body gets older with time but your mind is still remembering the seventeen year old you once were.” I can remember thinking at the time that being seventeen was a good time in her life. As I have grown older I understand so much more of what she was saying. As you grow older your body does fail you, your happy memories of your youth come to mind so much more than they used to, but keeping that  seventeen year old mind and heart is what is so important.

My Grandmother passed away just a few months short of her 104th birthday. I believe she is now forever 17.

This post is in honor of her birthday, October 11.

Millennials are my fav

Now I should start this post by telling you I’m a baby-boomer, and the millennial generation is a favorite group of mine.

WHAT? WHY?

First let me remind anyone reading this post that we were all young even though we are very selective with our memory when it comes to how we behaved, our opinions, our attitudes towards others who were older than us. I can remember thinking that I was smarter, better acting, and our opinions were ,of course, so much more important than our elders. Now having said that, I think we could agree that feeling “all knowing” when you are young is just a normal part of growing as a human.

What really bothers me about the next generation that follows mine is that they are being bombarded by the internet , as well as my generation, as to how pampered, babied, or spoiled they are. Now don’t get me wrong I suffered the same comments when I was young by the generation before mine, but the internet and news seem obsessed with the Millennial generation.

Let me remind anyone reading this that EVERY generation of humans has had a burden to carry: divorce, wars, depressions, social change. And it is completely human to think that our generation was the most remarkable group of humans that ever lived. The Millenials will suffer from this selective memory as they grow older just as every generation before them has.

Now that I’ve covered the WHAT I’m going to tell you WHY!

My children are all of this generation, and as a proud parent I just can’t imagine criticizing an entire group of people from which my children belong. I admire what I have learned from this generation and I have learned a lot. The tech age arrived so quickly and as a mother I had to learn right along side my own kids in order to help them with school and their futures. The tech age surpasssed my knowledge quickly and by the time they were teenagers I was asking them for help learning about one new tech item or another.

This generation holds no fear when it comes to the truth and never ask one a question you don’t want to hear the answer to. My generation was more about hiding truths from our parents than confessing or explaining them. I admire their fearlessness as a group. They don’t fear trying new things, going new places, or starting their lives over and over in various cities and job markets. I never even imagined living anywhere but where I was born and you stayed at a job as long as possible!

Now don’t get me wrong there are some things about Millennials that concern me like tattoos for instance, I do believe the generation following the Millennials will have some comments to make in regards their obsession with body art. I’m also concerned the stress they endure will have on their minds and bodies as the societal burdens they carry will become very heavy, national debt, retirement, parenting, politics, the list is long.

What I pray is that the Millennial generation will come out the other side with some of these current problems solved so they can grow old and complain about the generation that follows.

Today at Apple

It was fear that drove me to believe that others might want to buy my crosses, it was fear that drove me to learn how to use my Apple iPad, it was fear that drove me to learn social media, and yes it was fear that drove me to open Ecommerce shops to try to sell my crosses.

You see, the fear of not learning something that so many others were able to accomplish was greater than my fear of failure. You’ve probably heard the saying, “better to have tried and failed, than to not try at all”. I believe those words and they make sense to me.

The problem is that as we get older we become ever so stubborn and set in our ways. We don’t like to admit our stubbornness out loud or even silently in our minds. What if you had someone say? “I want to help you get this figured out, finished, achieved, or comfortable working on this.”

Not in the real world right? Apple retail stores have such a “someone”. All you have to set up an appointment for your project, learning need, classroom project, family reunion photography, or any idea in your head. You can set a time and the place will be at the Apple retail store.

Which brings me to the second problem when we get older, we hate to ask for help. This is easy too, don’t ask, just go to an Apple store, or make a reservation online , and tell them you would like to spend Today at Apple to (fill in the blank). Bring a friend for courage if needed, and let the fear leave your mind and accomplishment fill your smile.

Free and easy, two of my favorite words!