Thursday, January 5, 2012

History of My World Birth to Age 5

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Bubs!

Thanks to social media, I am learning more and more about myself.  For example, last year, I came to realization that I was a special needs child. Today, I made an amazing - to me, anyway - discovery about my family dynamics.  But most importantly, my Bubs has a birthday today.

So, I had a letter to write today.  My great-nephew reached an important milestone - age 13.  I had to share how much his history fills my heart with joy and love.  I love that he is family.  He probably wouldn't know me if we passed on the street.  His is the only photo at my desk.

I haven't seen him in over six years!  Haven't seen any of my family from California in that long - including mom.  The last time we lived in close proximity was over 10 years ago.  Yes, Bubs was just a tiny little guy when we left La Quinta.  I remember, both my nieces and their toddlers spent the night quite often after the hubs left ahead of us to start his job in Texas.  Those were special times.  Bubs and Ani (nicknames) were so much fun!  I'm smiling now, I love babies - these little ones could not be more loved by we Carilos.

So in his letter, Bubs, will read how the birth of his mom was one of the best things to happen to me.  I was a first-time auntie to the sweetest baby ever.  I'll tell  him how much I loved babysitting his mom when she was a toddler... How hard it was to bite my tongue when she became a tiny bit of a handful as a teen - very strong willed... How when she grew up and got pregnant, we all adored that growing baby in her tummy.  My kids were very young when Bubs was born and they loved driving to their cousin Nini's house to visit him.  We loved the giggles, the babbling, watching him learn to walk and talk.  He was such a funny little guy.

He'll also read how much I loved that he referred to me as "Hawaii" while we lived there - obviously I was no longer a familiar figure in his life.  He'll know that every visit to California, he was top of the list to pick up and go out to do something fun with.  He always will be. I'll ask him to give his little sister and new brother whom I haven't met bunches of kisses from me.  I love you, Bubba.  Try not to be too much trouble for your mom.  Stay sweet.  Hugs and kisses from your Auntie Lee; aka Hawaii

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First week of 2012

Nice turn out, and it's only day three!   Thanks for visiting my blog readers in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, China.

Big Mistake

Yesterday I proudly tweeted:

 Lillian Carilo 

 I was braver and bolder than yesterday. Asked: "Are you "with us" or without?"

Whisper of response to my question was a barely audible "With you."  All right, then.

Today, I discovered how terribly wrong I've gone about EVERYTHING.

I have a clue.  I've made a mistake.  A big, BIG mistake. I've made so many mistakes!  And, it's too late to try to fix.  Damage done.  AND... it's all my fault.  All of it.  I've known all along.  And, I guess I just thought being a pushover would do more good than actually getting pushed around.  Oh my God.  I hate how strong this emotional blow feels.

How could he possibly think our boy wasn't interested in college!  How could he be so wrong?  Why didn't I bother him with all the details while he was away.  I should have said, "NO," that January when that job offer finally came.  He was offered a job which required him to work on project out of the country.  But he "had" to take it - our health insurance was about to cease.  We needed to keep my illness managed.  We needed to keep his health managed.  We needed to do everything possible to restore our situation after he had been laid off from his VP job.  He should not have left us, because the inevitable - what we are going through now -could not be avoided.  I KNOW THAT NOW.  What happened after Texas lay-off should have been proof enough!

I didn't think - really, really THINK.  How could I have been so thoughtless.  It pains me so badly that, today, he is of the assumption that our beautiful, boy would not have dreamed of going to college?  After all, we - my boy and I - worked so hard to keep his spirits up, to not let him become discouraged by his self imposed burden of being "the man of the house" while dad was away.  He was just a boy.  A boy who needed his dad home to teach him to drive, to share yard work, to shovel snow, to help keep us all safe from harm, especially the girls.  He needed dad to protect him from fear of everything a kid faces as he nears young adulthood.

But dad had to leave.  And we only saw him about 100 days over three years.  And, although there were nightly telephone calls to check in, they were minimal.  He'd call each of us on our cell phones, I don't know what was shared.  Now I wish I did.  I wish I could have sat by and listened to the kids as they said good night.  I wish I would have thought to bother him with the mundane.  Our boy was struggling; depression was overtaking his ability to manage studies.  I was doing the best I could while being scared everyday.

But, that was what the university and film school t-shirts were all about... lifting his spirits, planting the seed of possibility in his head.  He wore his NYU t-shirt while studying for SATs.  He shared photo of himself wearing UCLA Film School logo in front of dvd collection to be shown during his EDCSD cyber-school graduation bio presentation.  He worked so hard to turn his grades around... make us proud.  Of course, he wanted to go to college.  I'm sure still does; still wants to study film.  He does study film.  We don't sit here for hours talking about the movie we just watched; he's hashing it out, he's researched it.  He knows the director's work. From production, to marketing, to box-office, critique... He does a complete study of the film.  That's why I always have a headache after we've viewed a movie together; for the most part, we've discussed it from it's inception to the very end - whether why it became an award-nominated film or never had stood a chance.  Hit or miss, it's a new lesson in movie-making each time.

Of course, he wanted to go to college.  But he wasn't going to insist we make it happen for him, especially the way his grades were suffering.  Especially since the school let him down so tragically when they ignored his calling to attention the cheating problem he discovered among his peers.  He was let down when teachers, counselors and administrators turned on him, made him seem the one doing all the wrong.  I'm getting sick just going over it in my head as I type.  We let him down.  All of us.  He was supposed to go to college.  But, instead, he's feeding us.  Working his job at the bookstore; bringing home pay to put food on the table.

His sister was not the only who received onslaught of constant mailings from colleges and universities during junior and senior year, our boy did too.  But I guess Dad missed it all while he was away.


Our boy:

I'm sorry we forgot.  Dad forgot how important it was to teach you how to drive.  Did we forget about that letter to Disney Adventures magazine you had me write to tell them that you wanted to work for Disney after watching The Lion King... you were just a tiny boy then.  I've never forgotten. I should have told your sisters everyday, how lucky we were to have you here at home, protecting us everyday that dad was away.  I wish I could have been stronger. But mostly,  I regret the "I give up." example I've set.   Sorry about all the mistakes I've made.  So, so sorry; so very, very sorry.

Please, please, please know... I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU.  I'm so proud to be your mom.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'm Fifty!

Well almost... give me a couple of years.  I love that my birthday's in January.  I love January's wintery, cold, wet weather.  No matter where I've lived, my favorite gift to ask for each year is a gorgeous blue sky peeking through rain-filled clouds ready to burst the minute I step outside.  I love that over my lifetime, that's exactly what I've gotten on my birthday.  I love the rain.  That's what I want on my birthday.

Not quite fifty, but working my way there as healthy as possible, is what I am aiming for.  I never thought I'd see 27 after all.  Mom may have survived a major stroke at 27, but I was positive I wouldn't even get there.  Sylvia didn't see 36, I prayed I would not suffer same fate as she.  I have missed her everyday for almost 17 years.

What I am going to do is lose 50 lbs before I reach age 50.  Should be easy, right?  Started South Beach meal plan today.  I've managed to lose 30lbs following meal plan in the past; shouldn't be a problem re-working it now.  It can only be a benefit when it comes to staving off full blown diabetes. As of today, my weight checks in at 1-3lbs.  Sure, I'm going to share that.  HA!


So here I am a few weeks shy of turning 48.  It's only January 2nd and everyone's focus is on keeping New Year's resolutions, but that's not for me... never has been, actually.  I know I'm weak, so why bother.  This year however, while not resolving to begin or stop doing anything in particular,  I am anticipating change.  I must prepare for upcoming monumental life altering events (in addition to continuing suffering ongoing trauma carrying over from last year).  I've raised, and come May, seen two of my children reach completion of grade school.  They've reached their time to move on; I wouldn't stop them.  No one stopped me.

Winter break ends for my high schoolers tonight.  My oldest daughter has spent her holiday relaxing from grueling studies that led up to finals before school let out mid-December.  This weekend, she was back hitting the books and drafting essay to submit with college applications.  She wants to go to college.  She's hoping for a full scholarship.  She wants to teach.  She is so smart.  I love her so much.  I want all her hopes and wishes and dreams to come true.  I hope college happens for her.  She accomplished what was asked of her... was an outstanding student. I hope it pays off and that she is able to pursue her dream of attending university.

But... I am missing her already.


So this is the plan.  I will relish every single moment with her until the day I hug and kiss her good-bye.