Friday

Worthy. (On a serious note...I can't be funny allll the time!)



As I carefully looked over my thousands of followers on Facebook and thousands of hits on my blog,  the  little voice in me told me I wasn't worthy.  Thankfully, the big voice in me, who has finally stepped up to the plate to make herself heard more regularly told the little one to shut up and reminded her of why I most certainly am worthy of so many amazing followers.  I am not going to float my boat, I am not going to brag, but what I am going to do is list a few of my life credentials to help you understand why you can trust me to be your go-to girl when you're having a tough day, or a rough mom-moment, an ugly, self-loathing day, or just plain old need a safe cyber friend to lean on.  If I can find the laughter in life, so can you. Trust me.

This is true.  Lucky for me, I have several inner voices.  Some of them louder than others!

I suffered a severe, rare illness.  At 20 years old, in my second semester of my Junior year of college.  I started getting severe headaches that lasted all day, every day, for weeks.  I had my eyes checked, tried to manage my stress level, changed my diet, but nothing worked.  One day, my vision went out and I fell over while working my part-time job near my university.  A dozen tests and several spinal taps later, I was diagnosed with a very rare disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri. Though usually treatable, this is an awful illness that implies your body has a brain tumor by swelling of the optic nerve, and increased pressure in the skull.  Take the worse headache you've every had, multiply it by 10, add ringing in your ears and dizziness every day all day for 6 months and that's what I lived through.  I had a six month treatment of steroids and strong diuretics and eventually, one glorious day, I was me again.  I survived it with no vision loss by some miracle, and no other scars other than that of having to leave college in such an abrupt and painful way.



Nothing makes you appreciate life and health more than having a severe headache for 6 months straight.

I am divorced.  I married in my early twenties.  I married him because I thought I could save him. I thought I could show him what happiness really was. He was sad, and put to work in a restaurant 7 days a week, 13 hours a day since he was 13.  He never finished school because he was taught that he would make more money owning a restaurant than anything a degree could bring.  The problem was my definition of happiness (family, laughter, simplicity, friends) was very different from his definition of happiness (money, power, cars, success).  When I finally came to understand this epiphany of sorts, my son was 9 months old.  I wasn't strong enough to leave him for me, but I looked at that child in the eyes and drew the strength I needed, I knew I could leave for his sake.  The day of our divorce, we walked out into the parking lot side by side.  I looked at him and with one big breath I told him I forgave him for everything he put me through, hugged him hard and we parted ways.  Truly, it was the best gift I have ever given myself.  Forgiveness.  We have seen each other every other weekend for 10 years now.  We are kind and respectful of each other and that is a wonderful thing.  We laugh often, too. He is happy with his family and I am happy with mine.  I looked at pain and fear in the eye, and I held its glance then I held my head high and moved forward one step at a time.  To this day, it was the greatest gift of a life lesson I could've ever asked for.

It seems like an oxymoron but it's not.

I was a single mom.  I was on my own with just my son for almost two years before I met my husband.  I worked so hard to provide for us and take care of a home, and spend quality time with him.  My self-esteem was still reeling from the divorce and I had confidence issues.  One day, my company was bought out by a bigger company.  The new CEO went around and did one-on-one interviews with the employees they inherited.  He and I spoke for some time about the company, my job, and my daily grind.  He proposed a sales job to me knowing I was a single mom and would benefit from the flexibility.  I quickly said that there was no way I could sell anything.  He asked me to trust him that I would and could be very successful in sales and promised me that after two weeks, if I truly hated it, I could go back to the office job.  He, a complete stranger, believed in me when I didn't believe in myself.  I went on to be salesman of the year, making a ludicrous amount of money my first year there - and through that success, allowed my spirit to soar in ways it hadn't in years.  Through my drive and my success, I learned to love myself after so many years of finding ways to hate myself.  It was at my peak of happiness that I happened to meet Hubs.  I wasn't looking.  I was just happy in life, happy with myself - and he was just an added gift.

Sounds trite - but these are words to live by.

I watched Cancer kill my friend.  My husband's brother's wife had Cancer when I met her.  She was in remission from breast cancer and ovarian cancer when we fell in love with each other at a family get together.  Her sense of humor and mild manner instantly connected us.  When Hubs and I got engaged, I asked her to be in the wedding and we were giddy as we began to make plans.  Days later, a routine check up showed the Cancer was back in the form of a brain tumor.  She stood tall and strong while the rest of us tried not to crumble.  She chose The Capitol Grille in Boston for a huge family dinner 2 nights before her surgery and insisted we all have a ball.  We laughed in the face of fear.  We took that tumor by the balls and threatened it and yelled at it.  We followed her lead.  The morning of her surgery, when she was finally awake and alert, I went in to see her, and the first words out of her mouth were about her shaved head.  I was so relieved to know that she was still the same girl she was at the restaurant.  Months later, the tumor grew back and without hesitation she agreed to have another go at removing it.  The night before her surgery, she emailed me her Chili recipe that I raved about so often.  She wrote in the email subject line:  Chili Recipe: In case I lose my mind and can't remember where I put it.  Little did I know that would be the last joke we shared.  The next day, the doctor had reported they got most of the tumor, but that she was not showing signs of the same girl we knew.  She would talk in numbers or colors or nonsense.  We were hoping it was temporary, but it wasn't.  My dear friend was there but gone.  I was in the final stages of planning a wedding and moving up to live with Hubs so I had stopped working.  My brother -n- law- to -be was still working so I quickly offered to come a few days a week and stay with her.  She was in a rehab facility for some time, suffered infections and what not, and was finally able to go home.  She had to wear a helmet to protect her head since she had parts of her skull removed from infection.  We bedazzled that baby right up but it was still an awful reminder of what we had lost.  As I helped her bathe, I would tear up looking at her wounded body, scarred from surgeries of every kind.  She fought that bastard with everything she had. She made it to our wedding and even wore her bridesmaid dress we picked out along with a beautiful pink scarf.  She didn't really know what was going on the outside, but I think on the inside she was happy.  She died one month later at 36 years young.

This is an understatement.
I have suffered the senseless loss of a family member.  When I was in flight training school I got a call from my mom saying my grandfather misstepped going down the stairs and suffered a blow to the head on the concrete basement floor.  I didn't make it in time to say good bye to him.  He never saw me get married.  He never knew my children.  The last thing he said to me before I left for Flight School was, "I never had to worry about you.  You are always going to be ok."  That is all I have left to go on.  It made me realize we walk on the edge of disaster every single day.  One misstep or one wrong move  - who knows what fate has in store for you.

I could go on.  But I won't.  What I will say to you all if you've made it this far, is that I appreciate you.  I appreciate your struggles, your past, your future.  We all have a cross to bear at some point in our lives. Whether our wounds are self-inflicted or brought on by someone else; whether our lives are muddy or clear; whether we choose a road full of bumps and potholes or smooth sailing on calm waters, we are all human.  We are all trying to make our way.  We can all learn from each other.  I'm here for you with a soft place to land, a safe place to go, a fun little corner of a crazy world.  Let's laugh a little, let's support each other a little, let's make the world a smaller place. 

LET'S DO THIS!

Wishing you blue skies and green lights now and always..
~DG

Hold life in your hands like a precious gift...because it is just that.




37 comments:

  1. You are without a doubt an amazing woman who is most certainly worthy of those of us who love checking in on you daily for laughs and friendship. You've been through so much which makes you very relatable and down to earth...something I truly appreciate in you. Great post, momma....thank you for bringing me smiles everyday!

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  2. You are amazing and I am so glad I found your blog. Thank you for the laughs and for helping me get through my crazy day. Beth

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  3. DG, you are amazing! I love that you are not only funny and serios, but honest and real. This was beautiful. xoxo

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  4. I agree with everybody, you are amazing!!!!

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  5. you're pretty freakin great and definitely worthy of any success that you receive! you can reach a ton of people with your blog, awesome job reminding us that though tough things happen in your life, the sun is shining on the other side! :)

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  6. all of this has make you amazing. You said something like that yesterday. you are so worthy. Thanks for sharing all this. I do feel I know you more now and love you even more. Respect.

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  7. Your awesome. I have never really joing a blog but you somehow make me laugh and help me through my crazy day... so happy to have found this blog! keep doing what you are doing...

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  9. *wipes her tears*

    Thank you. That's all. Just thank you. xoxoxO!!!

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  10. At the risk of repeating what everyone else has said, I'll say it anyway - You are amazing. Your major hits in life as you tried so valiantly to live fully remind me so much of mine. You are a warrior who has been battle-scarred but not battle-scared. Thank you for your courage and transparency in sharing this with us. You have turned what looked for me to be another day spent in the pits as instead an opportunity to hold the gaze of fear without blinking, and even to return to what heals me (and I hope those who read it) - writing. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a new hero. <3

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    1. Wow - that was so great to read. Thank you for your post.

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  11. This was very touching and mirrored many events in my own life. I'm sitting at my desk right now tearing up a little. There are so many days when life is so unexpectedly overwhelming that it seems impossible to recover from. Then, a day comes when the sun is shining and all is right again. Life. What a ride.

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  12. I sit here with tears in my eyes. I, too, have been through so many things, and although sometimes I look back in fear, I do know that I MADE IT THROUGH and I am stronger than ever! Thank you for sharing....

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  13. I honestly feel blessed to have found your blog.
    To me, you are the ultimate 'Rock Star' of the
    Mommy world!

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    1. Maggie you are too kind. Thank you my friend.

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  14. I just found you from seeing you post on MTM's facebook page, and I took the time to read this entire entry. I'm hooked. You are my new best friend - thank you for your honesty; you just put a lot of things in perspective for me and I will be a faithful follower. Thank you!!!

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    1. OMG I am blown away. Thank you for your response. xo

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  15. I am so, so glad I already had a cold when I read this, because it meant I had a stack of tissue at hand. Thank goodness for small miracles!

    This part struck me:
    The day of our divorce, we walked out into the parking lot side by side. I looked at him and with one big breath I told him I forgave him for everything he put me through, hugged him hard and we parted ways. Truly, it was the best gift I have ever given myself. Forgiveness.
    I love reading true, genuine words on forgiveness. Life is much better for it, and it's not doing a disservice to ourselves or minimizing what we've experienced to grant it. It's better for us. It's better for the world. I love it when I see words that capture this.

    Then, there was the totality of your post. Word magic. I feel so much love having read this, and am grateful to know and be moved by you. Rock on, rockin' lady.

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  16. Thankyou Domestic Goddess..I am a Mum of 5 children, up and down with happiness in my marriage, not really knowing what road to take in my life at almost 37..I have days where I feel I can do ANYTHING...today is not one of those. I found your blog through facebook and felt that you were speaking directly to me...I am also new to blogging...but feel that all I write is depressing :/ thankyou for your words, I will be a regular follower from this day forward x

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    1. Marie..do you remember the song Baker Street by Gerry Raferty?
      I heard this song in a department store when I was at my numbest point of my nightmarriage. It spoke to me. Why do I keep saying maybe next year I'll be happy? I want to be happy NOW. I had $525 to my name because he was the moneykeeper (control). I was scared and my self esteem was sub zero. But through the eyes of my child, I saw a hope in me that I didn't have in myself. I hope and pray that you can see how beautiful and strong you are. Please let me know if I can help you in any way. xo

      'another year and then you'll be happy, just one more and then you'll be happy. But you're crying, you're crying now...'

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    2. Fireswan thank you for trusting me with your words. When you started out on your dream of being a doctor did you imagine how many countless people you would help? Let them help you now and reach out to someone to help you through this tough time. Death can often make us scared, doubtful, and question even the simplest of things. Allow yourself some quiet time to grieve but lean on those you help you in a positive way. The world needs you. Please contact me if you need me for anything. You've got a friend in me. Honestly.

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  17. Thank you. My grandmother died this week, and work has been going badly. I am recovering from moderate depression, and my suicidal thoughts this week are getting worse. My wedding also looks like it will be stalled, and my exam for becoming a doctor is stressing me out immensely.

    This made me feel a little better. Thank you.

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  18. Fireswan - this might help. xo
    https://www.facebook.com/gripsuicide#!/gripsuicide?sk=info

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  19. You have worked your little tail off to be where you are today and so of course you deserve everything that you have. You are most certainly worthy! Don't even doubt that for a second. Next time you doubt it, let me know and I'll tell you to knock it off. You have a great sense of humor and a funny wit and a real talent for writing. You also have an amazing talent for making everyone feel that they're special. I don't know how you do it, but I know you do, because I've seen you in action. Congratulations on your success and I wish you nothing more than MORE success.

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    1. Your words mean so much to me. Thank you. I think the greatest gift and compliment is that I make people feel special. That fills me with so much joy to read. Thanks so much. xo

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  20. ... thank goodness for the big voice and the ability to listen!!!

    What an amazing story you have and to be able to shine through, share your story and want to help others is so very kind and thoughtful...its a beautiful thing!

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