Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MIssing My Heart

So, I am a Navy wife. It means so much more than being someone's spouse.... it means being a single parent 90% of the time. It means being Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, plumber, electrician, financial planner, laundress, errand runner, masseuse, cheerleader, shoulder to cry on, person to yell with, professional mover, teacher, real estate mini-mogul, party planner.... well, the list goes on.

I am proud of The Hubster. So proud of him that it is scary. He is an awesome sailor.... he works hard and has been rewarded with ever more difficult jobs because of it. He has been on sea duty since 1999 - 11 years and counting. After this and the next tour it will be 15 consecutive years at sea.... Hard work for everyone involved.

I love him like crazy. I call him my heart, often, and I always mean it. Funny how he wormed his way so deep into my affections when he is so often gone. I wrote him a letter yesterday (yep - snail mail is always fun o get when you are away) telling him some of the things I missed about him. I wanted him to see that he is so much more than a sailor, more than a paycheck and health benefits. See, we are in the very, very beginning of a one-year unaccompanied tour and it really sucks, and I wanted him to know the things I miss. I mean, I can take care of things here - getting the house ready to sell, selling it, packing and prepping to move... taking care of the little emergencies that will crop up over the next year - but there are things he provides that I really can't get anywhere else.

I can't get the special hugs he gives, the ones where he holds me as if I am delicate and precious. The ones that let me know I don't have to be strong all the time and that I can let him be strong for me. the ones that make me feel totally safe and protected.

I can't get his brand of humor anywhere else... the way he will look at me and say something that shocks and cracks me up at the same time.

I can't get my breath taken away by anyone else.

I can't talk to anyone else about some of the things I share with him. he holds my secrets... all of them, and he holds them close.

He doesn't judge me on any level...

We, as a couple, can sit in silence and it isn't uncomfortable. We also often finish each other's sentences which is sometimes a blessing, sometimes not, but always interesting.

I miss the fact that when we settle down for the night we do this little foot thing... it is hard to explain but such a habit that I miss it horribly.

I miss the smell of his neck after a day of work. I miss being able to sneak looks at him while he is getting ready for work or to go out or to go to bed.

In short (now that I have made it long) I miss pretty much everything about him. But, this is what we do, we dedicated, loyal Navy spouses... we miss our hearts.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

18 years ago today.......

So, I was talking to Mama this morning... just like every morning. I talked to her about yesterday, how I had felt, how I was still feeling.... and she said "well, you know why, don't you?" And I didn't. I couldn't tell her why I was feeling this way. I couldn't put words to it except to say that it hurt to breath. Then she said, ever so gently, "Your Daddy."

Eighteen years ago today my father passed away. Yes, two days after my son was born. It was pretty traumatic for everyone.... I loved my Daddy in that full, whole hearted, he can never do anything wrong way... and he loved me back just as fully, just as strongly, totally unconditionally... he was an awesome Daddy.

Yes, he had issues... he was an alcoholic. He quit drinking when I was a teen but that didn't make the years of drinking go away. Granted, we were lucky because he wasn't a mean drunk - he was actually sloppy with love when he had been drinking. He was funny. He was silly. He was drunk. There were other issues, particularly once SIs#1 and Sis#2 had grown and left the house and when Mama traveled... I was the one left at home. I was the one who "handled" him, dealt with the drinking, tried to smooth things over.

It didn't make me love him less... I probably loved him more. I always saw him as "sick" and never thought that it was a conscious choice for him to drink... maybe the first one, but not the ones to follow. I got it. I understood it. And I didn't blame him. It did not change my love for him.... weird but true.

Anyway, he was a great Daddy. I was so angry at him when he died... how dare he doe when his grandbaby was two days old? How dare he leave his daughters and wife to go on without him? He left things unfinished....

It took me a while to get over the angry. It took me even longer to get to a place where I could grieve... after all, a newborn demands all of your attention, I didn't have time to be a new Mommy and a grieving daughter. I think my son was a little over 1 when I finally started to grieve. Now, let me tell you something about grief... when you delay it, for whatever reason, it just sits there and grows.... it becomes a grief of overwhelming proportion and trying to deal with it on your own isn't healthy.

It didn't take me long to find help.... and I will always be grateful for her assistance.

i will always miss my Daddy. I will always tell Papaw stories to my son. (Even his bio-dad tells Papaw stories... there are just too many great ones that have to be passed on.) I will always be grateful for the time I had with him, both during his drinking and his sobriety, and I will always remember, with love and laughter, the safety and contentment he brought to my life and the lives of my sisters.

Rest in Peace, Daddy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Heavy Heart

So, today I have a heavy heart... working on trying to figure that one out.

I have prayed, prayed that my cares and worries be lifted and laid on the Lord... there has been some lightening but not enough to make it any easier to breath.

I am doing something wrong, or not doing something right... I know what it is, I just don't know what it is yet.

I don't have anything funny or deep or amusing to say today. Nothing witty , just his heavy feeling. i definitely won't work on the new book today... not with this heart.

I am pretty sure this has been building... it seems like I have been going through the motions without intent.... does that make any sense? Doing things because I am supposed to or because they are habit, not doing them because it is the right thing or I choose to do them. That is no way to live. The only good thing is that the angry from the other day is gone. I would hate to have both the angry and the heavy heart... I would probably break into pieces if that happened.

I want to go fishing. I want to sit on the beach and watch people have fun. I want to feel lighter than I am... more in touch with people...

I want the heavy to life and feel like I can draw a full breath. I want to be less tense... more relaxed. My muscles are so tight I feel bound.

I have felt this way a few times in my life.... just a few. Not to bad for 46... only a few. But this is different. This is both more and less than other times. More in that it feels so sudden. Less in that I can't find a reason... I almost always know why I feel certain ways and I just can't pinpoint it this time.

So, today will be a day of introspection. No action. No running around trying to be successful or accomplish things. Just me, the day, the beasties and my thoughts.... I may be incidentally productive but my plans for the day are effectively cancelled.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thinking about the day...

Today is TeenDream's 18th birthday. Wow. I can so clearly remember the day he was born.... but isn't that a mom thing?

Something to share with his other parent? Yeah, the one I am not married to anymore and haven't been married to for about 16 years.... the one the really can't stand me?

Something to share with your partner? Yeah, the one that is in the Navy? Deployed for the next 13 months?

Something wonderful to share with the child? Yeah, the one you brought in to the world with tears and joy and agony? the one who is off for the day with other people and a "thanks for the money Mom."?

So, I'm here with the beasties, pouting and feeling a little ignored and lonely. I think, no matter who was with me, or who I talk to today, this will be how I feel for the rest of the day. I will remember the pregnancy - how it wasn't supposed to happen, I wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant much less stay that way.

I wasn't supposed to be able to carry all the way to August so the required c-section was scheduled for July and he was born in June... he is nothing if not always in charge of his own schedule.

i wasn't supposed to be able to raise him on my own, according to his bio-dad. But I guess I wasn't ever really raising him alone with a million friends and all my family helping. And then The Hubster, who has been more of a Dad than I could have ever hoped for. Oh, he had his father... always the Father and not so much of the Dad, the safe place, the "friend" he could/can turn to.... but The Hubster was/is always the Dad.

i joke that TeenDream is often like a little old man.. so set in his opinions (like all teens) and so convinced he knows it all. Were we all that judgement oriented when young? I am pretty sure I was. It is just weird to see him that way.

He is such a light, such a joy to be around - even when he is at his worst "typical teen" behavior I want to be around him. I just love him. i dream for him a life filled with happiness, not the problems, issues, and other non-essential things that I had at his age. I want him to experience that true unconditional love that I have now... not the half-loves that I experienced before.

I just want every thing for him, every single thing he could wish for that will bring him joy - I want that for him. that life, that happiness, that sense of fulfillment you get when you know you are on the right path. I want his life full of faith, joy, love and happiness.

I'm just a mom. Just a mom.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just a great picture of one of my Beasties!

"If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you.
What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down."~ Mary Pickford


So, I woke up grumpy this morning.. well, more than grumpy... I woke up angry and it has settled in to a kind of seething grumpiness. I called Mama... wasn't grumpy withe her but she's Mama, how grumpy can you truly be with a woman tht sweet and intent on your happiness?

I have no idea why I want to yell at everyone. None. And I really do want to yell. One of those deep, but gusting, throat searing yells that hurts your ears. I want to throw things. I have been this angry a few times in my life... one time I threw a Pringle's chip can. I do not recommend doing that. Chips literally exploded out of the can and rained all over the room.

The Beasties are snuggled up with me - I have retreated to my bed and laptop until I can make this stop. I tried to nap - that didn't work. I tried to play around on Facebook. Didn't work. I'm re-reading the Meredith Gentry series by Laurel K Hamilton - her stuff almost always takes me out of my head. DIdn't work. I don't feel like cooking - too hot. Don't feel like leaving the house - too hot and I would probably be pretty hateful to anyone I talked to. I don't even want to really talk to TeenDream - I would be mean to him too.

I keep thinking about taking a bath and using one of my bath bombs from but I don't know that I would actually relax. My neck hurts - damn those spontaneously herniating cervical discs. My back hurts - lumbar discs are al herniated too. My head hurts - probably 'cause I am so angry. And.... I see humor in nothing at all so working on the new book is a no go right now.

I am just a totally miserable human being right now.

I talked to Sis#2 for 2.5 hours yesterday. Don't get me wrong - this mood isn't her fault. One thing I always say is that I hold responsibility for my own feelings. Anyway, talking to her, actually listening to her, can take a lot of energy sometimes. Yesterday it took a lot of energy. She has some issues she is working through (don't we all?) but she is so private (damn secretive if you ask me) that when she finally does call for help she has to go through the whole damn thing from front to present. If she doesn't then you really can't give her good advise. It kind of took more out of me than I thought.

It still doesn't let me know why I am so miserable today. I am lonely - I miss The Hubster. I miss my friends... even the ones right across the street or down the block... I am tired. It is hard holding things together all the time. As a Navy wife that is one of my major jobs. As the wife of a husband deployed for the next 12+ months it sucks.

Maybe I can turn into a hermit like the gal across the street. She is a Navy wife too. I have seen her a total of three times in the last six years and she lives LITERALLY right across the street. She doesn't even go in the back yard. It is sometimes a subject of conversation when a few neighbors get together... no one else sees her either. We know she exists, or she used to anyway, but she is like the invisible man. When he goes out to sea we don't ever see the children either unless they are walking to the 7/11 for candy or slurpees. It really is kind of freaky. I could probably do that. Just hide in the house and never go anywhere. It would be easier for me than her because I have TeenDream, who can drive and grocery shop.

Well, I don't think I can do it long term but I am definitely doing it today. I am better of slumped here in my bed, whining to myself and being grumpy than out in the world spreading hate and discontent.

I guess that is about it for now....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Contest Rules and Entry Information

Entry into the contest can be accomplished in the following ways:

1. become a fan on facebook - current fans will automatically receive an entry

2. bring a new fan to The Almost Successful Sister’s facebook page - message us with the names of people you have invited to join... for each of these that join you will receive an entry and notification that they joined.

3. begin following The Almost Successful Sister's blog - message us on facebook to let us know your screen name

3. buy the book on Kindle and message us a quote - each day a specific quote from a specific story will be requested. Remember - this must be messaged, not posted to the wall. For each correct quote you will receive an entry.

All entries will be recorded by Virginia Witte and Brooke A. Murray

The Contest will run for two weeks from June 25th until midnight July 9th.

The winner will be chosen using and announced July 11th.

The winner will receive a hand bound copy of Unfinished Essays from The Almost Successful Sister, signed by the author - me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm excited!!

So, I got a call from B1 this morning... it was weird since I am on the East Coast and she lives in the Pacific Northwest, but she is an insomniac so it works for us. Anyway, she said "As your marketing and advertising director I am telling you to get on your blog and have a contest."

So here we are, having a contest. I can't believe I am doing this. Wow.

Now, honestly, it is very hard to launch a book when you self-publish. There is no big company behind you, there are no dollars being spent but your own.... difficult. Also, since I chose to publish to Kindle there is no actual book, therefore no readings in bookstores. SIgh.... I'm not sure which is harder, writing the book, deciding to put it out there for the world to read, or trying to sell it.

See, the writing of it was pretty easy. There were issues gong on with my ex, issues with The Hubster, we had just moved into a new house and I did not have access to my son (legal crap that I hated). I had nothing to do but pour my heart out into the computer. I called my Mama and B1 pretty much every day, several times a day to read them bits and pieces and finished products. It was cathartic. It was fascinating to me that I could actually have that much to say - don't know why I was surprised as I am rarely at a loss for words.

Printing it out the first time, well, I was on the phone with B1 and pretty much cried the whole time. It was giving emotional birth. Devastatingly beautiful. I remember taking a copy to Mama. I remember her sharing it with someone else... I felt kind of violated. I had held it so close, was so emotionally attached to it.... and I was terrified. It was one thing for me to write it, another to have family and friends read it, and still another to let someone I didn't really know turn those precious pages.

Thank goodness she liked it.

I told my husband about it. I'm not to sure he believed me. I'm not saying he thought I had lied, I'm just saying it wasn't real to him. After all, I am his wife, not some writer chick. He never asked to read it until he recently found out that B1's husband had. He has read some of it. He has laughed out loud at those same stories. When I asked him what he thought he said "I liked it. Of course, other people would have take it and made it much more complex and descriptive."I wasn't really sure if that was good or not and then he clarified. "I like it that way. You can say with 7 words what other people need 1,000 to accomplish." Between that and his laughing out loud I'm not sure which one I found to be the better compliment.

And I'm writing the second book. It is coming in fits and spurts, but those times are so productive that it is kind of scary. I think it might be easy because all the stories are true. I don't have to make things up, I just have to remember. Of course, there are some opinion and perspective stories in the new book - Men are Stupid is the title. Catchy, huh? I am branching out to keep to the general theme of the book. Of course, it will still have to go through Mama, B1 and Sunny before story order is set and we are ready to publish. They are pretty good at that kind of stuff and I value them for it and so many other things....

Anyway, here we are. And now I need to end this and post the contest rules.

The Cast

So, let me introduce you to the cast of characters you will meet in this blog.

First there is me, Virginia, the almost successful sister. I am 46, mother of one and step-mother of one. I am married to a Navy man... he has been in for 26 years. All three of the men in my life make me crazy.

The Hubster, obviously my husband. He is currently out serving the country somewhere in the Indian Ocean. He will be gone for a year. He is a little OCD, loves to work with his hands, is smarter than he knows, and I love him way too much.

Sailorboy is my step-son. I love him like he is mine. He is in the Navy, like his Dad - something he said he wasn't going to do. He is smart but hasn't got much common sense about things sometimes.

TeenDream is the youngest. He is fantastic, loves to spend my money and save his, smart as a whip, lots of common sense, and sometimes acts like a little old man. Right now he is trying to figure out whether he wants to be a psychologist or an engineer. He is freaky smart so either one is possible. I <3 him muchly.

Mama. My mother. The best mother on the planet and one of my besties. I talk to her everyday and about everything. She is unshockable. She is a wise woman, full of faith and love. Of course, she also lives in her own reality. It is a nice place, her reality, and I visit it often.

B1. Another bestie. I talk to her pretty much every day too. She keeps me pretty grounded when I am off and losing my mind. She will listen, to a point, and then tell me to breathe. She rocks.

Sunny. My Southern California bestie - heart sister.... we talk often and she is a rock for me. When I lived out there we were neighbors and drank champagne almost every Friday - I haven't ever laughed that much with any other person. She was and is a blessing.

The Beasties. My two daschsunds. One mail and one female. They hut things in the yard and bring dismembered animal carcasses into the bedroom and bed. They eat things they aren't supposed to, chew gum they shouldn't, run when it is bathtime, and are two of the best snuggling partners on the planet.

Sis#1 and Sis#2. My sisters. You might have to read the book to understand how I feel about them. I love them, but they make me crazy. Sis#2 more than Sis#1, but still, they make me crazy.

Deacon. My brother-in-law. He loves my Sis#1 and makes her happy, therefore I think he rocks.

Those are the major players in my life and the ones you will hear about the most. There will be others, and there will often be political commentary as well - I hold nothing back when I put "pen to paper".

I have extremely firm views on politics (conservative), religion (conservative), child-rearing (conservative) - see the trend? About the only area where I am a little wild is shoes.... conservative isn't always better there. I love to cook. I love to write, craft, sew, and read. I really love taking care of my family - now that I am going to be an empty-nester I am pretty sure that writing will take the top spot.