Category Archives: Motherhood

HEALED!

This house doesn’t seem to want to swallow me up as it did 5 years ago at the start of my empty nester living. 

I no longer hide in the master suite which seemed like a sailboat far away from shore. Which surrounded me with fog making it impossible to see the lighthouse. 

Soon prayer became a book I started to read but could never finish. I could start a prayer but soon the words left me and the tears found me.  I’ve learned since that tears are a language God only hears! I realizes I didn’t need the words for God to hear my heart. And oh how grateful I am that he understood those tears!

This time alone was a struggle for me! Soon it became my time of reflecting on the past!  The childhood memories, teenage years, rebellious twenties, early marriage years, and the secrets I kept for just about everyone in my life growing up.  It drowned me!  It choked me!  It haunted me!  It almost destroyed me!  It made me angry, a lot!  Was it possible that being a busy wife and mom kept me from facing the hidden demons I had packed away so long ago? Yes!

My empty nest soon played my past I never wanted to think about but thought about a lot! Scene after scene it played out ever childhood hurt, dug up ever teenage regret, wild twenties, early marriage mistakes, and repeated everyone’s secrets over and over in my head until I had no excuse but to scream out for help. So I did.

I plan to write it down here and to keep sharing with you how I healed and now how I live healed!

This empty nest that I thought would kill me actually rescued me. There was nothing left to distract me, keep me busy, or to mask my every emotion.  It forced me to seek God’s help like never before. I desperately needed him to heal my soul, repair my heart, to teach me to forgive and to let go. He certainly did!  I certainly healed, forgave, let go, and I continue too everyday!

The fog is gone and I know how to find my way back to the shore if I ever get lost again!

I enjoy my alone time now and appreciate the planned visits with my adult children.

I’m so thankful for the past five years and all that it has taught me and all that it has taken away from me! 

Stick around and live my over 50 living with me!

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Where Have the last 5 years Gone!

I can not believe 5 years have gone by since my last blog! Wow! The saying, “time flies” is my reality! Where have I been? What have I been doing? How have I been doing? Why has it taken me this long to start writing again? So just jump on board and take this journey with me as I rediscover who I am in my empty nest. I plan to travel, hike mountains, completely go silver, eat and cook foods I never would have before, divorce some weight, light a fire under my 29 years of marriage and overflow it with romance!

I hope to get to know you as you get to know me! Let’s learn from each other and inspire each other to LIVE more!

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Teach me to share my baby!

Let’s go back to the beginning;to the moment when I held my baby for the very first time when the nurse gently laid my bundle of joy in my arms.  The emotions that overwhelmed me just can not be explained or put into words. My smile and tears spoke the words for me.  Those tiny hands and tiny feet were so delicate and soft.  I was very careful touching their arms and legs trying not to rub to hard. I admired their rosie colored cheeks. I combed back their perfectly placed hair.  It was amazing! It was happiness! I was blessed to experience this twice. First when my son was born and three years after him when my daughter was born.

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My family and friends told me to enjoy every minute because time will fly by so quickly. So I did! Kindergarten, high school, dating, graduation, driving, their first job, college, and more dating, then their first love, their first crushing life changing heartbreak, then their first “true love”, and before I knew it I had fast forwarded 20 years! I loved it but I also hated it! I was conflicted with so many emotions just like at their birth but these emotions are so, so different. There’s something very different. Something unfamiliar. Something I’ve not felt before. Something struggling.

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Do you remember when your son/daughter was in kindergarten and you taught them to share their toys but it was hard for them to understand because until then, they didn’t have to? It’s that feeling right there, as a mom, no one and I mean no one ever taught “mom” to share “baby”! Sure they said enjoy the time and blah blah blah but I don’t remember ever being told I would one day have to learn to share them. Maybe it’s just me or maybe I didn’t listen or maybe I just didn’t want to share. Whatever, whichever it was, it for sure was a difficult time for me. Here you are with an adult son/daughter and you are no longer the first person they run to and whisper their secrets to or tell you the joke of the day. Here you find yourself feeling left out in a sense because as “mom” you used to talk about their day with them but now they have a true love they run to first.

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I’m happy they are in love but at the same time I felt like something was taken from me without permission. No one said I would have to share! It’s such a roller coaster ride. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have always encouraged them to seek after love and when you find it don’t let it go. I preached, “You are the Prize and not the Game” to teach them to value their worth. But whoa, I have to share! This was so not in the manuel! This unfamiliar feeling was something I had to deal with slowly and gently yet I had to do it quickly because I didn’t want to be selfish and controlling or that person that Dr. Phil has on his show because their son/daughter wants them to stay away. I want to be that mom that sits back and when she looks at her son/daughter she says, “Look at what a played a part in developing”! Which is a well rounded man/woman loving with their whole heart.

I want to be that mom that knows because her son/daughter don’t come to her with everything now is because she did raise them to be a great independent man/woman. I taught them to share and they taught me to share.

It makes me proud knowing they love with their whole heart and respect the person they are with enough to put them first!

Yesterday

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He walked away this time and it just felt different.  His voice was a tone attempting to sound happy.  As he waved a backward wave, he said, “I love you sis.”  Any time before, it was, “see you later”.  It was all different in every way;his voice, his choice of words, his unexpected visit, his energy, and the vibe it gave me.

It all seemed to film in slow motion;me standing at the front door waving to his backside, the cold winter air chilling me from head to toe, blinking Christmas lights in the background, and that weird unexplainable feeling as if to say he never planned on returning.  I stood at my front door watching him drive off and I prayed a prayer that only God could hear that went something like, “keep him safe, Lord.”  Our family would say our last farewells to him just a few weeks later.  It’s been 8 years now and it still feels like yesterday, but why?

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My brother and I weren’t as close as we could have been but we weren’t distant either.  He was there if I needed him and I was there when he truly needed me.  Did we visit each other often, no.  Did we call each other everday, no.  But, we loved each other.  We fought at times and often went without talking but always found a way to forgive and forget.  He had his lifestyle choices and I had mine.  He knew how I felt about his life choices and I knew how he felt about mine.  We just let each other live and let live.  We didn’t leave anything unspoken.  I used to feel like I didn’t get a chance to tell him goodbye but as I reflect back to yesterday, I realize I did, we both did.  It was that goodbye just weeks before his passing that comforts me still today.  I somehow knew it was our last goodbye.  His passing will always feel like yesterday because time is to short for us all.  Time has a way of standing still when you can’t turn time back.  So, it will always feel like yesterday to me.

His farewell was just the beginning of changes to come in our family at least this is my observation.  It gave us all a rude awakening that life is short and you have to be happy and have no regrets!  I can’t speak for my other 6 brothers or 1 sister but his death pushed me to seek my inner issues and seek my “real happy”.  Sure, I didn’t do anything about it until a year ago but it was the beginning pavement to my healing today! 

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So what happened that caused me to begin to heal, you ask?  Revelation happened!  It was that moment when I realized that what I was so successful in hiding for so long, I didn’t have the strength to control anymore by “hiding” it.  I found myself not able to leave my room or want to get out of bed. I had to deal with that “depression” covered with anger or it would kill me and put me in the same place as my brother.  It still took months later to say the words, “I’m depressed”.

It’s been a full year of healing, seeking God, and letting go.  The “letting go” has been the hardest but I’m better for it today.  The finish line is still within reach but I’m closer than I was, yesterday!

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Healing!

This house doesn’t seem to want to swallow me up as it did months ago.  I’m actually getting closer to finding me in all this space.  I no longer hide in the master suite upstairs which seemed like a ship so far out that a fog made it impossible to see the lighthouse.  On this ship, prayer become a book I started to read but never finished.  I could start a prayer but soon the words left me and the tears found me.  Looking back now, I realize I didn’t need the words for God to hear my heart and how grateful I am that tears are a language he understands!

Regardless, I hid this struggle,  even from the strongest person looking back at me in the mirror. If she could smile, laugh, sing, or sleep (a lot of sleep), this demon stayed under control.  Oh but it would show its face, especially around the Christmas season because it was my time of the year for reflecting on the past!  The childhood memories, teenage years, rebellious twenties, early marriage years, and the secrets kept for just about everyone in my life.  It drowned me!  It choked me!  It haunted me!  It was destroying me!  It made me angry, a lot!  My empty nest stood in replace of my mirror and like a movie it played. Scene after scene it pulled out ever childhood hurt, dug up ever teenage regret, judged my twenties, displayed marriage mistakes, and repeated everyone’s secrets over and over in my head until the coffin cover blew off and exposed myself to me!

This empty nest that I thought would kill me has actually rescued me. There was nothing left to distract me, keep me busy, to mask my every move.  It forced me to seek God’s help like never before to heal my soul, repair the heart, and to teach me to forgive.  Sure, I won’t forget but should I forget what has caused me to be so strong?  This ship is near the shore now and I am not taking my eye off the lighthouse until my feet stand firmly on shore.  This process of healing only began because of my empty nest.  It is because of great sorrow I now have great strength.  And, how grateful I am for it all!

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The wrinkles tell my story!

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It’s 1984 and high school graduation is behind me.  These boys I’m dating are not marriage material but I’m far from saying, “I do” to anyone.  I’m 19 years old which is the same age my daughter Grace is today and I was not about to do the norm and by norm I mean marriage right out of high school or college.  The gym is my second home, I’ve just learned to drive a car, and the world is now calling my name.  To speed this up, the next 8 years are filled with traveling, dating, dancing, laughter, and memories of lessons learned and lessons taught…sorry boys I never meant to hurt you but you were the path that led me to my soul mate!

All I can think about now is marriage!  A blind date? Ok, haven’t done that yet, why not!  Thank you Lord he’s handsome and tall.  He’s making me laugh, ok that’s a plus.  He has a career not just a job, another plus.  The final test…does he have a relationship with the same God I serve?  Well, it would be something I witnessed.  He walked down to the front of the church and I was honored to see him give his life to Christ while on our 3rd date!  We were married 6 months later.

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Now 23 years, 2 kids, a son, a daughter later we had our ups, downs, many blessings, laughter,  failures, farewells to love ones who left us way to early, quick trips to Texas Children’s Hospital, friends moved away, job loss, several homes taken right from under us, financial loss, career change for the better, major surgeries, heartbreaks, graduations, car accidents, floods, snow, and many many wrinkles later. 
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I may be in an empty nest trying to find myself now but I didn’t get here without the hard work of pouring the foundation for their future and ours.  This empty nest is a blessing.   A blessing for my wrinkles.  It’s a pat on my back for raising a well rounded responsible son and daughter.  The silence is loud and the nights are long but it’s showing me that my wrinkles tell the story of how I got here!  This empty house is not a punishment but an accomplishment!

A special thanks to Debi Caballero for the title! I love you!

Being…mom

As a little girl, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up…the sky was the limit! I dreamed of the possibilities. If the sky was the limit, then heck why not? Why not be a teacher, a police officer, a politician, a doctor, or president. But this little girl dreamed about being a mom to a son and a daughter.

I wanted more than anything to raise children. The joy it gave me to hear their first words, see them take their first steps, and to share memories of laughter. The first day of school to their graduation celebration. Their first love and first heartbreak. Helping them choose college courses and driving them to their first jobs. All that came along with being a mom, I wanted! It has given me such great
happiness!

So now that they are grown…a son moved out and a daughter in college, where does that leave my “mom” role? Is it over? Is this it? In one sense yes because I did my mom thing. I raised respectable, independent young adults who now have dreams of possibilities of their own. In another sense no because a woman never, ever stops being “mom” once you are a mom. I mean who else but mom looks at their son or daughter at any age and don’t see those tiny fingers stretching up at you saying, “up up?”

I find and found great comfort, peace, stability, worth, and accomplishment from being a mom! I wouldn’t change one thing!

Nights are long…longer

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It’s easy to stay busy while the sun is up. But these nights are lasting longer than they should!

It’s no surprise that the silence drowns me but the voices in my head keep my mind swimming for shore. Are they eating? Are they happy? Are they sleeping?

Sure I know the God I serve is in control and he says don’t worry but the enemy doesn’t just give up and let you go. He will attempt to defeat us one way or another.

Sure I put my trust in God and my faith is strong but if I’m being honest than I admit that I worry.

It’s a “let it go” process. It starts with closing my eyes. I pray for peace, comfort, and the need to feel less in control. See if having an empty nest has taught me anything its taught me that I can’t control what I simply can’t control!

Less is more.

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It’s amazing how the house is always clean, now. The beds are made and the laundry is done. The dishes are put away and no shoes to trip over in front of the couch. I think I miss all the above…I think.

Those things I was strongly against doesn’t seem so irritating. Could it be because there is nothing to be irritated about or were they really not that important? Could it be that everything is finally as I like it?

I’m not sure what is going on here! These mixed emotions are making me feel guilty, guilty because I’m starting to enjoy it. It feels great having the house run the way you like it, except there’s only me enjoying it so much. A little guilty…I am. What was so wrong in the first place of having a smooth running home? Did it not make them feel as accomplished as it did me?

Well, one thing for sure, less is more. I do less cleaning, less delagating, less stressing, and less complaining.

Vivian Maldonado