Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hated or Loved

I've learned some good lessons this week.... lessons about who I am, and what I am. I've had to make choices that don't look good from the outside... but they were the best choices for me. They weren't what other people wanted me to do, and they weren't easy decisions to make.

I spoke in church a couple weeks ago, and was able to speak on a very interesting topic. I spoke on a talk given about how God wants us to find our own answers. So... basically... I told everyone that if you need answers... you have the resources to make the decisions you need to. You have the very same resources available to you as great leaders do. The same scriptures, same doctrine, and the Lord wants you to make decisions for yourself.
We "can't put our faith in the infallability of men" If our faith lies with God, we won't be let down. Because guess what? As much as we want people to be perfect and wonderful... they will make mistakes. Sometimes they are put in positions where we think they can't make mistakes... but they still do. They say things or do things that are stupid! In understanding what our faith is... we can realize that our trust and our answers come from faith in HIM... not faith in a person. Even a person with great intentions can really get things wrong. Believe me... I have been in the wrong... and I have had some wrong done to me!

I have some good friends who are struggling with different challenges. Some are physical challenges some are spiritual challenges, but they all involve family dynamics that are unique.
I so admire the strength and courage of these women. I admire their love and devotion to their families and the wonderful women they are. The decisions I've had to make are so petty in comparison to the choices they are faced with.
It breaks my heart to hear of people are put in situations where they have to "go against the grain". Especially here... where differences seem so apparent! Sometimes people think they know what's best for another person, even with good intentions... but they are wrong. It's hard to tell a person "You have no idea what you're talking about." or "You don't know me."
And I think we'd all be surprised to see what's behind other people's choices in life.

I often think about teenagers... the ones who do everything they are supposed to and the ones who break every rule they are given. On the outside they look so different. One girl may dress modestly, go to church every Sunday, get straight A's, never even THINK about dating before she is 16, play an instrument, be on Seminary Council, and just glow brighter than the sun. On the other hand... another girl may wear too much make-up, sneak out of the house, skip school, have a piercing or two (or three, or four), fight with her parents, and just look like trouble. But what you can't see is the intention of either of their hearts. You can't see what's inside they're mind, what they plead with God about, what they struggle with and what they have endured in their past. And often what they look like on the outside is totally different than the inside.

You can see it in teenagers... but is it any different when we are 30... or 50? What's inside of everyone is different. I think that when we don't fit into a mold we feel there is something wrong with us. We can still try and better ourselves, but not try and fit into a mold that just won't work for us. God can see that I'm square, and he's not going to try and fit a square peg into a round hole! However, I know I'm square... God knows I'm square... but someone else may think I'm round... and that person is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Not that long ago, something was asked of me. I really felt I SHOULD do it. I really WANTED to do it. I even said I would do it... then, for very very personal reasons I could not.
It was nobody's business but my own, and yet I felt so guilty for not being able to do it. I felt like I was letting down everyone... and I worried, and cried, and got so caught up in what people might think.
Mike finally said "who cares!" and it sounded so simple... but I did care. Then I realized that the person I was afraid of letting down was my Father in Heaven. Funny enough... he was the only person I didn't have to explain myself to! He knew exactly my situation and why I couldn't do it. At THAT point it hit me that I knew I wasn't letting him down.
God knows why we do the things we do. He knows the intentions of our hearts.

We tend to have a "one size fits all" approach to life. Especially within smaller or more conformed societies. We know things based on our own experiences... and we like to try and apply the same mold to everyone.
Even with my own parenting the same rules apply to all my children, but I'm still learning that each child is so different... and each needs different ways of learning and growing through different forms of discipline. I believe our Heavenly Father sees us in the same way.

Which is why when all is said and done, we are only judged by the one person who knows what's in our heart. The only one who understands what we've been through, our strengths and weaknesses, and the only one who knows what hand we were dealt.

I've also learned that you find out who really cares about you when you have to "go against the grain". The people who pull away from you when you don't conform... they aren't true friends. It's funny how fast you can gain and loose friends based on the choices you make, and how that choice looks on the outside.
I think that the people truly who care don't even need an explanation. Because that person is just happy that you are doing something that makes you happy. And if people 'hate you for who you are'... than they never really liked you to begin with. And you have to do what's best for you! Hence the quote...

"It's better to be hated for what you are
than to be loved for what you're not"
Marilyn Monroe

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So much to smile about

"This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up.
Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.

As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And babe, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but
you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything...
Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything.

Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about."

-Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No regrets

"We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets."
Marilyn Monroe

We decided to be spontaneous over the weekend and go play up at Solitude Resort. We got the call while we were at church... Mike's brother invited us up to stay at a condo with them.
We literally threw some clothes in a bag and left. Left dishes in the sink... the kitchen counter a mess... kids ripped their dresses off... we grabbed all our snow gear and we jumped in the truck.
Mike kept saying "This is so impromptu!" Which kept making me laugh!
We stayed in the Powderhorn Lodge. They got 25 inches of snow in two days. The condo was amazing, snuggling up by the fire. Visiting with Greg and Anita... and enjoying the snowfall and white mountains from a nice warm lodge! Homemade soup and rolls, pancake breakfast, and warm grilled cheese sand-o's.

Monday morning we woke up to sunshine and knee-deep snow. We took the kids out sledding. It was so much fun! I absolutely hate the cold... so this was the first time I've been out in the snow with the kids for... maybe 9 years?!! In fact, I believe the last time I went sledding I got the name 'Tink'. (I won't elaborate on it any further... but let's just say it was not my best day)

The fun of it was that 'knee-deep' for Mike and I meant shoulder and waist deep for the girls. There was SO MUCH snow it was crazy! I think the most snow I ever seen.

The girls had a hilarious time with uncle Greg. Lexi picked a fight and got whitewashed... then she got him back. The girls were flying off snow jumps and landing face first in the snow. At one point Greg got sprayed with snow so badly that all the hairs on his face were dusted white. Eyebrows... stubble... everything! Sophie said "It's Santa!!!"

We made snow angels, buried each other in the snow, and the younger two girls ate it by the handfuls. Despite my absolute HATE of the cold, Mike even got me to go down on the sled!

We had a great weekend, and I'm so glad we took the opportunity to enjoy some family time together. I love that we are getting closer to Mike's family and building relationships that I treasure!
"You never know what life is like, until you have lived it."
Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What the hell

"Ever notice how 'What the hell' is always the right answer?"
- Marilyn Monroe

Funny how depending on where you put the emphasis on the phrase "What the hell?" it can mean two totally different things. Isn't that true about most of life... depending on where you put the emphasis it's a whole different story.

I feel like the last couple years of my life have been full of decisions. It's been overwhelming at times, and I feel like no matter the decision... it's wrong. I've noticed that the more I care about things... the more I get hurt. The more I invest, or the more I want something... the greater the disappointment.
I'd like to say that I get most everything I want. I don't. I'd love to say that I set goals and usually achieve them. Nope. I also would like to say that I don't put trust in people who I shouldn't. Well... I do that too.
I'm finding that as I get older, I'm learning acceptance. I think maybe I'm learning not to care. Not to expect so much... from myself or others. That way... when I actually accomplish something it comes as a great surprise!
I struggle with my 'follow through'. I have great intentions, and I give it EVERYTHING I've got... for about 5 minutes. (No! a little longer than that) I want immediate results... I want to achieve my goal right when I want it. I struggle with say... endurance.
I think that to approach something with "what the hell?" Is probably my solution. I don't need to analyze it... get scared about it... try and change it... or even let it consume more of my thoughts than necessary.
Oprah (yes... I'm using her as a reference) said that she "doesn't get angry anymore". Now granted... if I were Oprah I would probably not have to get angry about much. But I thought about what a great idea it would be to just "not get angry"... just not allow it.
I think I could still feel sad, disappointed, frustrated... but what if I just took angry out of my emotional options?

Then there's "What the hell?" in response to things I've been faced with where I honestly think "How did I get in this situation?". I recently experienced some things with a group of "friends" that just made me angry. Angry is a polite way of expressing how I felt. I have a real problem when religion finds it's way into places it doesn't belong. Or when people use their authority in the church to try and control things they don't have any business in. An even bigger struggle I have is when petty matters of insecure women become.... Anyways... not the point... At first I was really ticked-off. I fumed just thinking about it. However, I've really tried to keep my feelings to myself, venting my disappointment to some people outside of the group, but trying not the 'stir the pot'.
It surprises me how quickly I can get over something like that if I just remove it from my life. I found myself so upset about it... but it was what it was. There was no changing what happened. It's not the first time I've had to deal with the unique and often confusing culture I choose to live in. Instead of festering in my anger ... I really just felt shocked, disappointed, saddened, and then just walked away from it.

Similar to hurtful relationships in my family. I just distance myself from the situation... and in the long run I end up on the other side, feeling sad for people who still hang on to stuff they don't need to.
I've carried my share of emotional baggage. It's held me back, it's made me angry, it's gotten me in trouble, it's prevented me from doing things I'd like to do. I think in a lot of ways it's caused me unnecessary pain.
I'm going to try to no longer do things I don't want to do. I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not... or let unimportant things affect me. This week, my visiting teachers came over and I didn't need to have my house spotless! I delegated out everything for the class party I was in charge of, and didn't apologize for anything. I was honest about not socializing with people who piss me off. On Sunday, I took two kids to their parents, instead of getting angry about the situation in my Primary class. And guess what?... since Monday the 7th... I've lost 10 pounds. That's 10 pounds in 10 days.

It was so much easier to control what I eat when I wasn't trying to control everything else. But what the hell do I know? I'm just on my way on my handbasket.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small girl in a big world

"I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love."
Marilyn Monroe

My lil' Sofa Loaf. She's more like me than I realize sometimes... our personalities are too alike at times... hence the clash of two strong and opinionated people! I always tell people "the things that make her difficult at times... are the things that I love about her!" She's often all over the place, but I steal the moments of her sweet and soft side. (because I don't get to have them when I want them... only when she's in the mood to give it to me.)

I'm one of those parents who truly wants to know how my child is behaving. I know how my kids behave when I'm around, my fear is how they behave when I'm not there. Sophie's so strong-willed and I don't know how she does with other authority figures.

Sophie has some funny things about her. One of them, she does not see a difference between age or gender. She will speak to a 6 year-old girl the same way she speaks to a 60 year-old man. Recently our ward changed the location of the Primary room. She walked into the room... now being used for Elder's Quorum... walked right to the front of the room, and with an almost disgusted face said "Ummm... what are you guys doing in here?!" she stared at them all and shook her head "I don't know what's going on!" She promptly walked out in the hall and started asking another adult what was going on.

I help in her school class every other week, and see her interacting with the kids. Her teacher said she hasn't had problems with her... but I'm not sure I always believe her.

I spoke with a friend on the phone who told me a story someone told her who witnessed Sophie at her best. Apparently she and another little girl were sticking their tongues out at each other. It went back and forth a couple times... until Sophie had enough! She just got up... walked over to the little girl and licked her face. WHAT??!!!!

So I've always wanted honest feedback from Sophie's teachers... and I definitely got what I asked for last week!

I came in to help and noticed Sophie wasn't there. Her teacher told me that she had gone into the 'special needs' class. Apparently they take a few kids in there each week to help the children with needs have interaction with other Kindergartner's. It was Sophie's week, and her teacher said she likes it and had done it before.

After helping for a bit I see Sophie and a few other kids come in with the teacher of the other class. The teacher walked over to Sophie's teacher and is whispering something to her. I see Sophie's teacher smile, cover her mouth in shock... and I just knew they were talking about Sophie. Sure enough Ms Palmer motions for me to come over.
I went over and Sophie's teacher asks the other teacher to tell me what she had just said. Sophie's teach prefaces it with "You'll think this is funny."

The 'special needs' teacher proceeds to tell me how Sophie was asking why one child couldn't talk. Apparently they were trying to tell her "he hadn't learned yet" and she kept responding with "I don't get it" which of course she says with attitude. Sophie then said "So he's just like a big BABY?!" Then the teacher tells me how rude" Sophie is.
I was a bit taken back... but then she started a sentence with "If she were my child..." and it hit me that she had NO IDEA I was Sophie's mother. Ms. Palmer quickly interrupted her and started defending Sophie. She said "If you knew Sophie..." and "That's just Sophie's personality" and I could tell she felt horrible.
I called Sophie over and explained that Sophie was very "blunt" and also used the word "brash". (offensively bold) I explained to Sophie that saying the child was a "baby" was not nice. She was asking why the child couldn't talk... and literally was asking if he was a big baby.
Of course I cried all the way home. It was exactly what I asked for... I've always asked as she is doing.

At parent-teacher Conference I brought up a few concerns. It worries me that with the school year half over, she doesn't know the names of kids in her class. I noticed after seeing a few kids in her class outside of school, and asking her "who is that?" She responds "someone in my class"
Ms. Palmer said I was right, she points to people or says "Hey you". And she confirmed that it's not normal.

It's as if she cannot 'connect' with people. She also has become obsessed with funny little routines. If someone is leaving the house, there is a 'goodbye' routine. And OH MY GOSH! If for any reason she is not able to do it... or heaven forbid someone leave without telling her... she freaks out!

She has things she does to comfort herself. Sometimes she rocks back and forth. She is very literal... and needs everything explained to her. She's extremely independent, stubborn, and strong-willed. Her fuse is super short and she is quick to anger. She really struggles with some different things.

So with her neuroglogical issues when she was little, she was given 'behavioral therapy'. I understood the importance of physical therapy, but I didn't like the therapist for her behavioral therapy. I didn't do what I should have. I worry that I didn't give her what she needed.

I don't know if her issues early on are in any way connected to her issues now. But I spoke with her Dr. about my concerns. She is overdue for a MRI, and he wants to follow-up on her Chiari (a rare abnormality at the base of the brain that results in brain issue extending into the spinal canal) So she will go to Primary's tomorrow for that. Then we meet with the Neurosurgeon a week from tomorrow.

I'm not really worried about her Chiari, she has not shown physical signs of problems. But I guess it's nice to know if it has grown, or how much.
After that, we will start working on 'behavioral' issues. I know as a mother... my concerns are exaggerated by the desire for her to be happy and healthy. I'm not ready to settle with a blanket statment of "that's just her personality".
She has taught me more than I would ever think I could learn about parenting. Just when I think I know what I'm doing with her, it stops working. I know it will be a process... and I know that her feeling 'unconditionally loved' will be the best medicine I can give her.

I just love my little Sof. She makes me laugh at least once a day. She's a blessing in my life, and a spark of excitement in our family! Love her.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy LOVE Day

So I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's... but I'm also not the bitter people who think it's a "stupid holiday made-up by retailers". I think that if there is a day to celebrate love... that's kinda nice! No need to get angry about it.

Love comes in all forms. I love lots of people... my family, friends, people I'm close to... but I also love the woman who invented Spanx and the strangers who return lost wallets. I really think there is a way to love almost everyone for one reason or another. ("almost everyone" I said)

I'm 'in love' with lots of wonderful things that make my life easier. Clorox wipes, the garage door opener in my car, Dyson... (the weird guy who's apparently dedicated his life to blah, blah, SUCTION, blah) cell phones, laptops, wireless internet, remote controls, my dishwasher, super capacity dryers, clothes that have a little stretch to them, MAC makeup, and I've yet to meet a shoe store I didn't love. Those are just a few things I love.

It does warm my heart to say that my husband is my best friend. We have been through 13 years together. There has been easy times, and harder times. We were both so young, it feels like we've 'grown-up' together. I'm thankful we've found ways to grow together and not apart. We are just about as different as two happily married people can possibly be. Our differences have been a challenge along the way... but no deal-breakers.

'Love' doesn't seem like the right way to describe how I feel about Mike, simply because there is so much more than 'love' that I feel.

Happy Valentine's to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that I love! But especially to my best friend... who happens to have my heart.

"The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead"
-Marilyn Monroe

Monday, February 7, 2011

Perfection is so overrated!

Some of my most favorite quotes ever... come from Marilyn Monroe. It may seem a bit strange, but the woman was smart... smarter than anyone gives her credit for. I may just base all my next few post in dedication to her, maybe that will be my theme for February. She said...

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring"

I don't think I would label myself as a 'perfectionist', but there are certain aspects of my life I do expect perfection. I've realized that in seeking such perfection, I tend to miss the lessons I should be learning from my mistakes and failures.
I get so down on myself, and mad at myself for not meeting my expectations, that I miss what it is I could have learned from my failure. Which is why I think I make the same mistake over and over.
The biggest area of my life where I think this is happening, has to do with my body! My body and my personality! I feel it's easier to control the things around me... but not so easy to make myself as perfect as I think I should be. I'm trying to come to terms with what it is I can... and can't change about myself. Just some of my imperfections...

My pinky fingers are 'freakishly' too small (makes it really hard to play the piano)
I never learned all my times tables, have to use my fingers
I also struggle with addition
I have adult acne
My ankles are super thick... I've yet to find an anklet to fit
I overeat... I feed my emotions
No matter how much weight I lose, I'm built... bigger bones, broad shoulders, and muscular legs
My ears are too small (and I'm not sure they grow)
I don't have toenails on my pinky toes... I paint the little lump on it, and the skin where my nail should be
I have stretch marks from the back of my knees up to my neck
I've never been able to float
I have thin hair, and paper thin fingernails
I can't say the word 'specific' or 'aluminum' without really concentrating
I have a hard time asking for help, a really hard time

I could go on and on! So I think I've spent way too long not liking things about myself. When the truth is... I must accept the flaws that I can't change, and change the flaws I can't accept.
There are flaws about myself that I can work on... things I can change. But there things that bother me, and I have no control over them!
I feel like at 31 years-old, maybe it's time to come to terms with the fact that many of these things will never change... no matter how badly I want them to. Instead... I should be focusing my energy on the things that will make me a happier person. Turning some of the flaws into just unique things that make me who I am.
I am built with bigger bones, broad shoulders and a muscular frame. This has always bothered me... always. I know my feelings won't change overnight, but I think that working out... specifically lifting weights... makes me feel good about myself. I am strong! I can build muscle like nobody's business. If I embrace that fact, focusing on how good it makes me feel to be strong... than I think that I will love my body more. Rather than suffering on the treadmill... because that's what all the skinny girls do, so I think it will make me look like them! Granted, I may turn into this...No! I wouldn't!
But I think I would have a much better body image, and I would feel better!
So this week, I'm not beating myself up for all the things I shouldn't have eaten... I'm going to celebrate the good choices I make! I may have had a few pieces of candy yesterday, but I got in my fruit and veggie servings!... and that's a hard one for me.
KT Tunstall's song 'Under the Weather' has one of my favorite lines...

"You say you feel like a natural person
you haven't got nothing to hide.
So why do you feel imperfection
cut like a sword in your side?"

I think there is a lot of beauty and wisdom in this world that is overlooked because it is not considered perfect. What makes us all interesting... and unique... is that we are not perfect. I don't need to try and keep my house as clean as my friend's, or look as good as my neighbor, or be as good of a Mom as a woman on TV. I have somehow determined that as perfection. Instead... I will be who I am... imperfections included. I will try to realize that some of those imperfections are who I am, how God made me, and let them go.
I will try to learn from my mistakes, not being upset that I'm not perfect, but maybe reevaluating what I am expecting. Being more realistic, and working on the things that I can change.

Friday, February 4, 2011

An uphill battle

That's what I'm fighting... and uphill battle. But this week has gotten me back in the game!... or at least I feel like I'm warming the bench.
After having a couple weeks of high-stress situations, this past week has been much better. Unfortunately 'much better' doesn't mean anything on the scale... but I'm being more responsible, and reaching goals.

First, the caffeine. I have been clean for 5 days, 15 hours, and about 10 minutes. It's a big triumph for me, and I will say that I have felt better. I'm drinking more water, and VitaRain from Costco. I've had a couple key moments... when I really felt I 'needed' a diet Dr Pepper to make it through that day... or that moment. I haven't lost weight, but by drinking diet soda I wasn't drinking any calories. I think that the lack of caffeine has made me feel sluggish, and I'm adjusting to the change in energy. I was surprised that I didn't have headaches... I've had nasty headaches before. I think I did better because I went completely off soda on my trip to Aust/NZ. It's interesting how easy it is to go without something if it's simply not available!

Second, sleeping. Funny enough, I know that the lack of caffeine helps contribute to better sleeping habits. I didn't accomplish my 11pm-8am goal... but 12am-8:30am is moving in the right direction. Now I just have to learn how to turn off the TV! My problem is that I don't watch TV during the day, I record things. So after I put the kids to bed... it's my time to veg. 'Veg' also means feeding my face... but hey... I'm writing it down!

Which brings me to my Third triumph, writing down what I eat. Now... I didn't say what I had to eat, just that I needed to write it down. In the process of writing it down, I see just how much crap I put in my mouth. And even if it's not crap, I still put too much of it in my mouth! Writing down the words 'Chuck-a-Rama' doesn't help me lose weight. But I know I do better when I'm writing it down. (Which is sad to think about what I eat like when I don't write it down!)

A few more triumphs...
I've blogged
my house has stayed 'mostly' clean... 'most' of the time
I've done one load of laundry a day (I know that won't continue through the weekend, but Mon-Thurs is good enough for me)

I'm not ready to add any new goals just yet. I feel like I need to get these things a little more routine first. Baby steps.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Uncle Steve

My uncle came into town this past weekend. He is my Dad's little brother. My sis and I went to dinner with him, and it was an unexpected healing experience for me. I got a lot of questions answered, and I received another perspective on my Dad's life, and my parents relationship.

A little background...

My Dad and Mom became best friends when they were 14 years old. They were 'soul mates' as my uncle put it. Of course their friendship became more than that, and by the end of High School they were a couple... my Dad was a few months younger than my Mom, and a grade behind her... he was able to graduate early with her. He was a football and basketball player and she was on the drill team. They were the definition of 'High School sweethearts'.
Now here is where I have had some holes in their story...
After High School, they moved from Cali up to Provo for college. They only stayed for one semester, then moved back to Cali to get married. They were very young! I was born a year later, and afterward they again moved back to Provo where my Dad worked as a mechanic at the Provo airport, and the training to become a pilot. My Dad's parents started going through a nasty divorce, and my Dad was close to both his Mom and Dad.
My Mom had two more kids... I was 22 months old when my sis came along, and 15 months later another sister. They moved back to Cali again, and six months later my Dad took his own life. I have memories of just about everything following that... the hell that I get to call my childhood.
So my Mom very quickly remarried, and we never spoke about my father. In fact, until I was 8 years old, I was told he died in a car accident. My Mom didn't think I was old enough to know the truth. We were in essence, cut off from that side of the family. I remember hearing my Mom call my Grandma Kit a 'family friend'. I was confused... so very confused.
I do understand the need to protect your children, I feel the need to protect my own children from things. What ever the reasons, I grew up with a lot of questions and a huge void where a father should have been, not to mention a stepfather who hated everything about me.
As I got older, I got some bits and pieces, but everyone had their own perspective on what happened and why my Dad did what he did. Everyone had someone different to blame. The one constant was that everyone... literally everyone... said my Dad was such a great guy, and loved by everyone who knew him. He was kind, generous, loving, and just a really good person. I remember my Mom told me once, that he never once complained. "He never complained about anything I cooked... he never said anything negative to me... ever."

My uncle talked about my Dad, and answered questions that I had about my parents relationship. My Dad suffered from depression, and he would often leave for days at a time. Which is why people didn't worry about him when he left for the last time.
My uncle also confirmed what my Grandpa told me before he died. That both my Mom's and Dad's parents told them they needed to get married. They were obviously doing things that warranted this advise... and whether it was because of religion, or just social pressure of that generation... as my uncle said "They got some bad advise." They were too young, and not getting married for the right reasons.
Now I know that realistically there had to have been many contributing factors. Having a chemical imbalance probably being the most critical factor. My Dad's family suffers from severe disorders, I have an aunt and cousin who are bipolar, another aunt who struggles passively like my Dad, but so much of that family struggles with a range of mental disorders and won't take medication. As where people who are bipolar deal with the manic high's... my Dad's depression kept him on the low's. He was a 'passive depressant'. My uncle confirmed that he really suffered from this disease.
It was such a healing experience to hear him talk about my Dad. Not to mention, everyone tells me that this uncle is the most like my Dad... they have very similar personalities. I told him that it's so nice to visit with him because it actually gives me some reassurance that there is some 'normal blood' from that family. It sounds harsh to say that everyone else in that family is crazy... but honestly most everyone truly is. Without medication, they've lived hard lives... still do.
I can't help but think that if my Dad had lived in a time where he could have had the option of medication... he'd still be here today. I think this is the reason I've never taken my situation for granted. I feel so blessed to live in a day where not only are there great meds, but people are starting to be more accepting of mental disorders. I think that it's important to keep in mind... that I don't take medication for me... I take it for my kids, for Mike, for my family and loved ones. If my life was only about me, I probably wouldn't take medications. I hate the way it makes me feel. But my life affects a lot of people. I think that anyone who struggles with depression needs to remember that while being depressed sucks for you... it really sucks for other people too! Taking medications is not a weakness, it takes strength to be honest about what you might need, or what your family needs.

I realize that I will always have questions about my Dad. That void will always be there... because I know that only he can fill in the gaps. And someday, I believe that I'll have the opportunity to ask him anything I want. Until then... I'm so thankful for the small moments in my life where I get to know him better. My uncle will never know just how much his stories mean to me. I'll be forever thankful.