Category Archives: Adult children

Spartanized

This podcast by Jodi Flynn (Women Taking the Lead) with Joe DeSena caught my eye because 1. I love Jodi’s Podcasts and 2. My nieces and nephew just completed a Spartan Race (not the first for some of them).

My beautiful niece Megan, rocking her Spartan Race medal!

Much of the conversation really resonated with me! I was shocked, because whenever I hear about the Spartan Races, I move right along. I mean, it’s nice for some people…people who like to get all sweaty and dirty and gross. Not bookish, ‘indoorsy’ type people like me.

😀

I could completely relate to Joe’s talking about the topics of ‘concrete, (something else I can’t remember), and ravioli’ (#itsallabouthefood) in the Italian neighborhood where he grew up. That pulled me in, but when he talked about one of the strategies for success is telling everyone you know what you are going to do (“commit publicly”), that was it! I use that strategy all the time! Like, when I lost weight with Weight Watchers (Hey, everyone! I’m counting points today!) and when I write a novel every year for NaNoWriMo (Hey, everyone! I am writing 50,000 words this month!).

Now here I am, thinking about me and Spartan Races in the same thought.

Which brings to mind another thought that I have used for years to keep myself from having to be athletic: How can I do a Spartan Race? I wear glasses! They might fall off and then what would I do?!

NOTE: I have never pretended to be the ‘outdoor type’. 😀

My birthday

 

I hope you all had fun with me this week. In addition to the week of cakes, my daughter gifted me with a cake today, bringing my total to eight for the week, and this is the one with which we celebrated with singing and candles.

Here is today’s cake from Wells IGA: Caramel Sea Salt Cake!

Here is a slideshow of all seven cakes in the BirthdayCakeWalk2017.

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For my actual birthday today, I did more than just eat cake, if you can believe it! I ate whatever I wanted. A chocolate bread from Boulangerie in Kennebunk for breakfast. Sausage Flatbread with a salad from Pizza Napoli in Ogunquit for lunch. So far, that’s all. Oh, and the Salted Caramel Cake from my daughter!

And I tried to include things I love (besides food!) in my day. Connecting with my family and friends! Lilacs! The ocean! Reading! Writing! And of course, a visit to a bookstore!!

Now, for the point: It is my birthday wish that all of YOU have a day like this, too. Why wait for your birthday to be kind to  yourself? Do it now. Today.

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Birthday Week CakeWalk (BWCW) Day 2

Day 2, people!!

Today’s cake is brought to you courtesy of my daughter, who gifted it to me, by way of the Wells IGA. She asked me what I wanted and I told her to surprise me, but to get something she liked, too.

Here it is: Carrot Cake

Grade: Pass. Not as good as the chocolate one I had on Day 1, but still good. I would get it again. It could be that I just have an inherent bias toward chocolate anything, so I have to allow for that.

This one has cream cheese frosting, as expected, which was pretty good.

Mini-Carrot Cake from Wells IGA

Looking forward to Day 3!~ 🙂

The BRAVE Interview #10 May 2017: Andrea

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE Interview with Andrea!

WHO are you? My name is Andrea Maffeo and I am Karen’s sister-in-law.  LOL! I am a medical secretary and have worked for MGH Medical Group for 18 years now. I have been married for over 25 years to the most patient man a wife could ever ask for.  Honestly don’t know what I would do without him.

WHAT is your One Brave Thing? My one brave thing is not something you would expect…….but to me it was my one brave thing.  It’s not something I did for myself like overcome a fear, it’s something I did for someone else.

WHEN did you do it? I did it in July 2016.

WHERE did it occur? Melrose Wakefield Hospital

HOW did you make it happen? Well, that’s a tough one.  I just had to say the dreaded words………’It’s time to let her go.’

WHY did you do it? My mom has never been a well woman, at least not for the past few years.  She was in a rehab/nursing home when she became ill.  She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction.  While having a CT scan she vomited and aspirated.  She ended up in the ICU and all her organs started to fail.  She went into septic shock due to the aspiration.  The only thing that was keeping her alive was the ventilator.  So the decision had to be made.  And since I was her healthcare proxy, my poor dad couldn’t make the decision at the time, I had to make the decision to let her go.  It was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, but I knew it was the right one.  I didn’t want her suffering anymore and I knew neither did she.  This is my One Brave Thing.

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, Andrea!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com, or message me on my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/k.m.creamer.author/!

Hello from Heaven

big-nana

Big Nana with her great-granddaughter Ariana in her kitchen in Nantasket

As I recently wrote, my son moved into his new apartment. Apartments, as we all know, usually need furniture. As a mother, I want to (over) help him with this. When I got my first apartment, my mother and my grandmother went to great lengths to make sure I had everything I might need or want, opening their cupboards, closets, drawers, and wallets to help me get things I didn’t even know I would need. I always knew that I would do the same for my own children one day.

The current need for my son’s apartment is for a kitchen table and chairs. I remembered my grandmother’s kitchen table has been stored at my brother’s house for years. I checked to make sure it was still there and usable. My brother determined (after some digging) that it was.
I started thinking of how my grandmother, Big Nana, spent most of her life helping her family. She has been dead since 2004, but she is still helping her family all these years after her death. Because now her kitchen table and chairs, at which we ate so many wonderful, lovingly prepared meals, will now serve my son and his girlfriend.

And here is the biggest gift of all: when my brother was looking for the chairs, he found a photo Nana, as well as some of my mother and father that I have never seen before.

It feels like they are all saying ‘Hello’ to us from heaven tonight, and letting us know that they are still watching over us and taking care of us, even though they are not here physically with us anymore.

What a wonderful start to 2017.

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Endings and beginnings

box-truckThe new year is already promising to be a very different one from those prior.

My firstborn is moving out and getting his own apartment. I am happy and excited for him.

I am also sad that he is no longer living here. I am still checking the driveway to make sure he is home safe at night, and he moved out almost a week ago. This new feeling that I’m experiencing–I’ve dubbed it HappySad.

I flash back on my own first leave-taking from my family of origin. My mother tearing up. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m afraid I’m never gonna see you.” I reassured her that of course she would still see me. I would come by all the time. I’d call. She just looked at me with those eyes that knew the truth, even as I ‘doth proclaim too much’.
She was right,  of course. I rarely went over. I eventually started calling her once a week because I felt obligated, not out of a true desire to speak to her. I loved my mother, so it wasn’t about that. I don’t know what it was about, to tell you the truth. I just moved out and I didn’t look back (until I had to move back, but that’s another, sadder story).

I was free!

So, as I watched my son excitedly packing up for his move to his first apartment, part of me was channeling my own mother, feeling her exact emotions, I am sure. “I’m never going to see him now,” I thought.

What goes around, comes around.

.

 

The BRAVE Interview #5 December 2016: Jeanne Emerson

Here is #5 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jeanne Emerson!

jeanne-emersonWho: Hi. My name is Jeanne Emerson.  I’m a grandma, gardener, artist, yogi, retired social worker and grieving mother.  I’m fortunate to live in a peaceful and cozy home in southern Maine…it is my sanctuary.  I am calm here, reflective, often tearful and recently, joyful…again.  And, I’m about to celebrate my 65th birthday.  WOW.

What:  I never really thought that I would feel brave about this but I do.  My one brave thing is to allow the feeling of joy back into my life.  My son Scott died three years ago.  He was 35 years old, funny, handsome, loving and very artistic.  His death came as a shock, no preparation…but even if I had been expecting it, it still would have been a shock.  No mother could prepare for this.

When:  The call came at 8:45 on a Tuesday night. (Tuesday has become my least favorite day of the week ever since).

Where:  I was home, the phone rang and the police officer had the nerve to say, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son is dead.”  How could he say something like that about my child??  I hated that officer at that moment.  I couldn’t spare any compassion for him then, no ability to care about how awful that call must have been for him to make.  Compassion could and would come later.

Why:  I’ll never know.  I won’t know why Scott died at such a young age, with so much more to offer, so much more to experience.  (please believe  me, I have driven myself to extreme exhaustion trying to understand).  But here’s what I do understand…healing can happen, life does in fact go on (as much as you may not want it do)…joy can enter again.

How:  This part of the interview is perhaps the easiest to explain.  My joy has come back because of trust.  My husband, Tim, my son Matt, family members and very precious friends believed in me.  They trusted me when I was a wailing mess on the floor, they trusted me when I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying, they trusted me when I couldn’t eat, sleep or get out of my pajamas, they trusted me when I would sit and stare, unable or unwilling to talk.  Somehow they trusted my process, that I just had to go through this my way (albeit dramatic and probably frightening to witness), but trust they did.  AND, miraculously, bit by bit, I started to live again without my son (well, without him in the way I knew him before his death….this is another interview but I KNOW that he is still with me, guiding me, encouraging me in my artistic pursuits, laughing with me and still loving me).  I feel very brave for laughing, running, playing, creating and loving.  This is my most important brave thing….so far.  

Jeanne, thank you so much for your brave, powerful words. ❤

Check out Jeanne’s designs at FOUND in Kennebunk (42 Main St; 207-604-5009) and on her website: emersondesigns.net