Thursday, August 11, 2011

Was Pat Benetar Right? Is Love Really a Battlefield?

Am I crazy?

This question often runs through my mind.

Usually it is because I swear I left the car keys on the hook but they are no where to be did they end up in the refrigerator?

It often times creeps in my mind when I reflect back on decisions I have made....going on a 14 hour drive with three young children, reading the Harry Potter books out loud to the boys when they were younger (um...ever heard of books on tape Barb?), deciding to run a half or full marathon every month (no I don't think that one is crazy but I know a lot of people think it is). 

Or I make a decision to jump out of a plane - OK that one may actually make me officially crazy.

Today the thought crossed my mind several times as I reflected on several recent conversations I have had with a variety of friends....all unrelated conversations and friends that have no connection to one another.

In all instances, our conversations somehow landed on relationships.  I suppose this isn't a common topic of conversation however two of the individuals are also single so when we "catch-up", this tends to be as common a topic as baseball schedules, homework and school activities are with my fellow mom friends.

The two individuals have VERY different perspectives however all the conversations always make me a bit cynical.   I am so shocked and dismayed that people have such a negative outlook on relationships.  Of course, I am in the minority being single from a very successful loving relationship with the love of my life.  There was no bitterness or misunderstanding in the end of our relationship.

However, I must admit, I have been on the receiving end of some of these "anti" relationship  relationships.  Granted, I am not out there looking to replace Brian....and as a mother of three children, I am not looking for anything serious - no remarriage or moving in with anyone.  I have three children to raise and protect, so I tend to keep the dating and kids separate.

Unfortunately, I have been involved with individuals I knew had histories of commitment phobia - and that was OK since they were very upfront although still disappointing since we always had fun - but at least I knew it wasn't me.  These individuals self awareness of their commitment issues do concern me because they continue to get involved in "relationships", diving in then running....much different than the individual that just dates.  These guys actually want a relationship although they know they will probably bail....but are willing to keep trying....with the same results....and leaving a trail of damage behind them.  A very vicious cycle.  Unfortunately, I think this scenario is more common that I would have ever suspected..

Then there is the other end of the spectrum.....yes, I have been lucky to gotten experience in both options.  Individuals that are very much interested in a serious relationship and profess their love, the future with you, etc, etc, etc....but in reality was no different than the first example.

Which scenario is worse?  In my mind, it is a pretty even tie.  Both leave a lot of damage - to all parties involved.

As I reflected on these two scenarios after the different conversations I have had the last few weeks, I realized that it is a mine field out there.....there are a lot of people walking around with broken hearts and distrust, which unfortunately although I came out of a very loving relationship, my involvement with those that were not from loving relationships, has made me a bit cynical myself.

Yes, Pat were right - Love IS a Battlefield!

I have found myself to be much more guarded, not willing to trust (although I am still dumbfounded that others would want to hurt people they care about.....but I understand it is all our individual baggage that causes this), and finally, the light bulb went off that because of all this baggage floating around the mine field, no one should take anything personally.

One last thought though, as someone that lost the love of her life because cancer randomly picked him to steal, it drives me nuts to see others that don't value the love in their relationships and are so willing to walk isn't easy folks.....and it doesn't come please stop taking it for granted.  Perhaps then, and only then, we can get rid of that mine field.

So as I sit home alone less than 10 days from the anniversary of my husband's passing, please do this for me.....those of you that are in a serious loving relationship, please remember WHY you love your partner......remember what it was that drew you to that individual - before the kids, before the crazy work schedules, before the soccer and baseball and ballet and gymnastics.  Look over at them and see their beauty....and give them a hug and kiss....for no reason.

Be in love....enjoy love. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Day My World Began Moving in Slow Motion

Seven years ago today my world started moving in slow motion.

Really....just like in the movies.

I remember the start of it all clearly.....I was playing with Rachel after having arrived home with the kids after work.  It was a Friday evening and I was surprised that Brian wasn't home yet.  It was a Friday after all.....why was he working late?

Rachel and I werein the living room when suddenly she began taking her first steps.  I shouted for the boys to join me watching this major accomplishment by their soon to be 1 year old sister.

Suddenly the phone rang.  Brian was on the other end of the line.

It was at this moment that my life began moving in slow motion....Brian was calling me to let me know he was in the hospital, that he went for some routine blood work and was admitted.  I could tell from his voice that he realized this wasn't "routine."  This was the first time I ever heard a little fear and uncertainty from Brian.

Our world would change forever from that very moment.  7 years ago today.

Brian never did see his baby daughter walk.

An apology in advance to my friends....this is when I start to go into a "funk" without really realizing it.  The next two weeks are met with the "7 years ago today" thought process when I wake up.  It always surprises me when I realize I have arrived into my yearly "funk."

I am hoping that this year by writing about it, I may have a different experience and not end up in the tailspin I found myself in last year.    Thank goodness for the LIVESTRONG community for helping me out of this state last can read more about this at How LIVESTRONG Saved Me From the Tilt-A-Whirl.

In addition to my wonderful friends I am surrounded by each and every day, the LIVESTRONG community has assisted me in moving  forward with my life.....these are the people in my world that "get it", that understand the terrible impact cancer can make on peoples lives, that provide the hope and support when times are rough, that reach out across the miles to check in, send a virtual hug, make me laugh.  It is without them that my life would still be moving in slow motion on some days, and spinning out of control on others.

It is for this reason, I am so passionate about fundraising for LIVESTRONG....and I keep running....and running....and running - RUNNINGSTRONG for HOPE.

I will not stop anytime soon - please consider supporting me and my efforts by donating any amount - $5 for the 5 more minutes we'd all love to have with our loved ones lost to cancer, $25 to have a loved one added to the Tribute Wall and added to the list I run in honor of...$1 or $10 or $100 - 86% of your donation goes to provide the support I have benefited from all these years.
Click here for Barbara's fundraising page

I am forever indebted to my LIVESTRONG family - THANK YOU!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five for Five on the Fifth

Today is August 5th.

Just another day of summer...right? 

Not in my world.  Each of the next 15 days is significant to me.

Seven years ago, today was the LAST day cancer was not part of our daily world.  Tomorrow is the day Brian was admitted to the hospital and the cancer journey began.

Today was still filled with hope of a life time together.  I would do anything to have 5 minutes back with Brian....and my sister....and my mother....and my father.

So, in honor of today, I am asking you to join me in donating $5 to LIVESTRONG - $5 for 5 minutes on the 5th. 

Together we can kick cancer to the curb.....I'll do the running!