Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hate, forgiveness, moving on.....

I am not quite sure if I will be able to convey all that is in my mind right now. But I am going to try.  It may ramble, as I often do, as thoughts come to my mind, so hang in there!

Since Clay was not named the newest Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night, even though he was the clear winner to most everyone, I have seen many many things being said on the internet in various places.  As someone who was there, I know we stood there stunned.  There was a lot of anger and hurt, that obviously this was not a fair contest after all.  Were we all duped once again?  Was Arsenio in on it?  WHO is to blame?  Does it matter now?  It doesn't change things.  I have learned a long time ago, that when things happen that don't seem to be right or fair, I need to work it out, put it in the past, learn my lesson and move on!  I realize it is very hard for some to do that.  We all have our own journeys and I do not judge.

There is so much hate and name calling at the moment that it is making me uncomfortable.  It is out there for people to read. Even the ones that it is about.  I try to remember that there IS a person on the other end of it, even when it seems that person has no feelings or has done something that might be wrong in our eyes.  I don't believe in punishing them or myself because of them.  Some don't want to go to the Gala for the National Inclusion Project just because Arsenio will be there!  I would hope they could remember the purpose of the gala in the first place.  Raising funds so all children belong. So all children can play. Inclusion.  As a parent of a child with a disability, well young man now, I have lived through a lot of discrimination against him, have seen him treated badly in many ways.  And it hurts.  I have also seen first hand what inclusion can do. Not only for him but for others.  Kids and adults have truly been forever changed.  You can tell people until you are blue in the face, but sometimes it isn't enough. You have to show them.  I remember a long time ago, I belonged to a stay at home mom email group.  Little did I know that one of them that was so AGAINST inclusion sent the rest of them a scathing email about it.  She even went so far to say that it was "Obvious, I did not win the genetic lottery"  That cut deep into my soul....its been a lot of years....but I will never ever forget it. So to me, it IS about the cause.  The bonus of Clay singing?  Awesome of course.  And I realize that is why some people go and not the cause...but it all reality it IS his gala for HIS charity raising money for ALL to belong.  It is their decision who they present to, and now, who performs.  I for one cannot wait to be there!

I have learned to practice forgiveness.  We have talked about it before. Forgiveness is for me.  It is so I can live with myself.  I find it easier to get through each day when I have a forgiving loving heart.  I try to be positive in all I do and encounter.  I have learned that life is too short and if I don't live by those guidelines, I may be robbing myself of that joy I need to find each day, of a smile, a laugh.  I don't like to be sad or angry. I don't like how it feels.

And I don't like the word hate. It is such a bad feeling word that I try never to say it about people.  I could have growing up say I hate my stepfather.. Easily. But it made me uncomfortable then and it does now.  Have I never said it? Probably in anger sure...... but it is such a strong strong word I really try not to.  I prefer LOVE. Like even.  It just makes me feel better in my skin.

I have no idea if this is even close to what I wanted to say, but it is what came through my fingers to the page!

So I try never to say hate, I have to practice forgiveness a lot. But for me, no one else.  And then I try to move on.  That is just what works for me.

Tomorrow I will be sitting in on a Let's All Play training. I know I will be revitalized again. I will be reminded of why the Gala is very important, why the mission of the National Inclusion Project is vital and I cant wait to come home and share all about it!

Hope you can find the joy today...if even a little. For a bit.

And that my friends is what is on my mind right now!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It ISN'T Just About a Singer....

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post a new blog.  Its' been a busy and emotional weekend, ending in a long day of traveling home, so I was going to rest.  But on Facebook, my cousin, who, I DO love, once again made fun, bashed my Clay 'love' so to speak.  He has done it in the past and while I never have appreciated it, tonight it made me mad and made me think, and got me to post tonight.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of Clay Aiken.  But many do not know the whole story, do not understand the whole story.  Many of you, my friends who are also fans, DO understand...

For those of you who don't, I am going to try to tell you, although much of it is hard to put into words.

As you know, ten years ago this month, I was diagnosed with cancer and went through a tough year.  About that time, American Idol 2 was on and we were hooked from the moment we watched Clay during the audition shows.  We watched every week and wanting him to win!  There was just something about his voice and personality that got under your skin.

I got through treatment, yes he came in second, and I had NO idea how much this man and being a fan of him would change my life.

I decided that I would no longer just sit around and watch my life pass me by.  What is the purpose in that?  I knew that life could be short, saw it many times, was faced with it myself.  My new mantra was find your STILL is....for without it, what is the point???

Somehow I found the message boards....imagine boards of people who got it!  Who were Clay Aiken fans....of the voice...and soon, of the man.

Kayla and I got to share many many things that I would never had even imagined.  We traveled from coast to coast, seeing places I would never have dreamed to see.  And I still am.  I just returned from another trip to New York City to attend the Celebrity Apprentice finale.  ME?!  Yeah. I did that...  What a blessed life I am leading. I am thankful each and every day.  But it is far far more than just going 'places'.

It is about the charity Clay started. It began as the Bubel/Aiken Foundation.  Imagine a charity about the one thing I had fought for each and every year for Jamie.   INCLUSION.  Making sure ALL kids belonged.... This charity has evolved into the National Inclusion Project.  It continues to grow and continues to make a difference not only in the lives of the kids with disabilities, but in the lives of the kids without and in the lives of the parents.  This charity has my heart. I have supported it from the beginning and always will.  ALL children matter. Clay gets that...and he is making sure that everyone else does too.

Do yourself a favor, check it out yourself!

But you know what? It is not just about the incredible voice.  It is not just about the heart. It is not just about the Project.  It is about people.  It is about the friends I have made.  People from all over the country, the world even.  Other people who get it.  These people...we hug, we laugh, we cry.  We don't just love Clay Aiken.  We love each other. I cannot imagine my life without them!

Respect. Simple word. One that I wish many would think about......So, my dear cousin, and anyone else, maybe you should think twice next time before you bash, or make fun, or say anything negative.  Try to imagine there might be a reason...or many reasons, that I am a fan of Clay Aiken.

I just hope that others can find something or someone that brings as much joy to their lives as Clay has to mine!

That, my friends, is what is on my mind tonight!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Just two days until Mother's Day.  I was at Target the other day and noticed all these people standing by a pink section of cards.  Took me a minute to realize it was the section for the cards for Mother's Day.  There was a tug on my heart when it dawns on me that once again, I do not need to go to that section as the time for me buying cards for my mom had been done for awhile.  I miss that.  I miss her.  Mind you, my mom and I did not have the closest of relationships. We really never talked about anything important when I was growing up and even when I was an adult.  I could count on my fingers the times she said I love you for the most part of my life.  That changed when I was diagnosed with cancer...then I heard it.  It meant the world to me.  I made sure I told her too. And I make sure I tell my kids.  But then, I always always have.  I knew it was important for them to hear it. I knew what it felt not too.  I KNEW she loved me, in the only way she knew how...but even now, I wish there had been more.  For those of you with close relationships with your mom, I hope you know how lucky you are!  Hug your mom for me. Just because!  I think of mine every day...I AM grateful for the mother I had.  I love her with all my heart.  And I miss her terribly.  We talk about her often around here.  I don't want to forget. I don't want my kids to.

I will celebrate the day because, of course I AM a mother....something I always wanted to be. I was blessed with four wonderful incredible kids.  All of them are unique. All of them have their own talents. Each have such a different personality.  I would like to think, of everything I have done in my life, this is the one thing I am most proud of. Being a mom.  Of course, like most, I think back and wish there were things I did differently, things I did better.  I can only hope I raised them okay. Better than okay. I hope that they will have wonderful lives. That they will be happy. That they will find their joy. Always...

And I hope they know how much I love them.  How proud I am of them.  Always.

May you all have a wonderful mother's day filled with love and good things!

And that is what is on my mind, right now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A lot is on my mind these days.  So many changes happening all the time.  But that IS life, isn't it?  It seems when we are little, it takes forever to grow up.  Sometimes I wonder why the hurry?  Sometimes I think if we knew what it was really like to be 'grown up' we wouldn't be in such a hurry!  Even though at times, it seems like time drags, it really truly flies.  Sometimes I want to scream at it to slow down!  Too many changes happening all too fast!

First, I remember before I was married, I wondered IF I ever would be, wondering if I would have the 4 kids I wanted.  And I got that.  The married. The four kids.  But who ever knew they would grow up so fast?  It seems each one grew up faster than the last one.  It is so hard to wrap my mind around the idea that my YOUNGEST one is almost a junior in college and not one of them is even a teenager any more.  It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that they are grown and moving on, with their own lives.  Prouder of them, I couldn't be, but when we have those babies, does it cross our minds that in an instant, they will be grown and gone? I doubt it.

In the course of growing up, there are many losses.  So so many people have passed on.  I sit sometimes and think about the family things of so long ago. As a child you think those people will be around forever. But again, time passes much too fast, and they are gone.  We can try to keep them close in memories and photographs, but sometimes I just want to hug them, to have a conversation, to hear their voice, see their smile....

The other day I was looking in the mirror. I mean REALLY looking in the mirror.  I could not figure out who was looking back at me.  Where did that face come from?  I still feel the same on the inside.  So when I look in the mirror at that face that is no longer young, it is hard to believe it is the me I feel when looking out.  I see pictures and wonder just how did all the time pass so fast?  Again, who IS that person? I know I should age gracefully, but I don't want to!  Maybe it is because it is a reminder of time flying and things changing both much much too fast!

And that, my friends, is what is on my mind right now!