Love Is Like A Box of…..

Love, sweet love…

Box of Chocolates LoveI remember Valentine’s Day.  That was the day when we all used to go to school, dressed in something red/white, hands full of cards that our mothers had gone out and bought us, and we spent all night, trying to remember the names of everyone in our class so as not to miss giving anyone one of our precious little cardboard cut-outs.

None of us really knew what the meaning of Valentine’s Day was supposed to be.  We just knew that it meant getting little candies that tasted horrible with sayings on them that meant nothing to us at that age and counting how many Valentine’s Cards we each got.  The one with the most was considered, “Most Liked”.  How sad that was to have set ourselves up for such rejection.

My husband is a teacher so, I watched him sit down and make up 30 little cards with his class list in front of him, taping a Hershey’s kiss to each one.  It took him well over an hour and a half to do.  Off he went to school this morning with his treasures for his little charges then, phoned me at lunch to tell me that he got a whack of cards in return…probably more than some of his collegues.  I guess old habits don’t get tossed easily.

Some nearly 40 years ago, when I first met my husband, I remember being excited over Valentine’s Day.  The thought of a single rose or some chocolates with a card, telling me that I was the one for him was exciting.  I was just 16 at the time so, everything he said and did was BIG.  Now….meh……

I can’t eat chocolate because it gives me migraines.  I can’t stand the thought that the cost of even a single rose could be spent on something else that doesn’t wilt or the cats will tear apart, leaving petal trails throughout the house that I’ll have to clean up.  After some nearly 33 years of marriage now, it somehow just doesn’t pack the same intrigue and excitement that it used to hold.  The love is there 365 days a year so, we don’t really need to say it with flowers or cards or candy.  As a matter of fact, at this point, it seems rather silly.  His everyday gestures, like making me a tea when I’m busy with other things or, making Sunday brunch for me, complete with turkey bacon to save us both cholestrol pills, means more than anything that could be done on a commercially produced day.

Choose Carefully


Looking at this photo of Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, being taken to hospital after learning of her mother’s sudden death, shakes me to the core.  It’s hard not to empathize with this young woman in the shock that she must have felt in receiving the crushing news that her young and vivacious mother had passed away so unexpectedly and suddenly.

From what has been reported thus far today under leaked reports, allegedly, Houston was found face down, having drowned in the bathtub of her hotel room.  Bottles of prescription sedatives were found amongst her belongings and it has been reported that Houston had partied heavily the evening before, drinking alcohol extensively.

Her eighteen year old daughter, Bobbi had reportedly, also been drinking at the time of her being rushed to hospital.  It’s questionable at this point in time as to whether she was already drinking or whether she had begun to drink upon hearing the devastating news.

Having lived with alcoholics throughout my young life, I learned early on that other people’s choices affect us in one way or another, intended or not.   It’s one thing for someone to say that it’s “their life and they can do what they want with it” but, it’s another to recognize the reality behind that statement.  Nothing we do, has no effect on someone else unless we are living in a cave, alone.

I remember many a night in my childhood where I’d pick my mother up off of the floor after having drank herself into a stupor.  Her choices did affect my life, whether she intended them to or not.  I remember begging and pleading with her, doing everything within my limited powers as a child and teenager, to coax her into getting help to quit her drinking.  The answer was always, “It’s my life and I’m going to do what I want with it!”  The problem was, in her having her right to do what she wanted with her life, those choices took my rights away to have a decent home life and some peace.  It created responsibilities for me that never should have been mine at such a young age.

I made a conscious choice to seek out help for myself in order to never become an alcoholic and put any future children that I had through the type of life that I lived as a child.  I raised a child and gave her every freedom to be a child, without the types of responsibilities that I had endured.  She was offered every support and possible opportunity that my husband and myself could possibly give her.  Very unfortunately, she made her own choices in her life to move out with a drug abuser loser who has suckered her into his web of lies, manipulation and deceit.  She now uses as well and has chosen to have nothing to do with us because of those choices.  Once again, someone else whom I love with all of my soul has made choices that have affected me greatly and deeply on many levels.  In that aspect of Life, I have been affected deeply and hurtfully by the choices of two people I have loved and cared about deeply.  There are wounds that may never heal left behind.

When I look at Whitney Houston and her daughter, Bobbi, it strikes me that when we bring a child into this world, we have the responsibility to make choices that are in that child’s best interests.  Our choices do affect others who love us and depend upon us, whether we like that fact or not.  Sadly, Bobbi will now have to live with her mother’s choices for the rest of her life.  There will be scars and there will also be choices that she will have to make for herself as a result.  It has become the domino effect.  Bobbi will now have to decide whether she will choose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and allow addictions to rule her life or, whether she will seek out proper help and refuse to go down the same path.  Early indications appear to be that she is already on a similar path as her famous mother.

No matter what we feel our rights are, our choices will affect someone else who loves us if we aren’t carefully choosing our paths in this life.  We owe it to not only ourselves but, also to those who love us, to make the best possible choices that we can possibly make.  It’s one thing to not live our entire lives, living for everyone else and another for us to be responsible while making our choices for our own lives.  One need not be a doormat but, one certainly needs to be somewhat responsible.  There’s usually someone else whom we affect in some way or another with them.

Life Is Fragile

As I was editing this blog and setting it up, just about to write my very first entry, my husband came in to tell me that singer, Whitney Houston had died.  Shocked, I switched screens to find news stories to comfirm that this wasn’t simply another star death hoax.  Sadly, it isn’t.  Houston has died at the age of 48 from unknown causes.

She was not taken to hospital which tends to indicate that she had been dead for quite some time.  Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 Pacific time.  An investigation is to begin.

Though it was well known that Houston had been troubled by addictions to drugs and, we can likely conclude that her death was as a result of that in some form or another, it still comes as a shock that the well known singer has passed on so tragically young.  Even sadder was the possibility (though yet uknown) that she had died alone.  Even with all of her fame, money and volumes of people at her disposal, she likely didn’t have a soul with her when she passed.  One can only guess at this point in time that she had preferred to be alone, not knowing her death was imminent.

What is most striking is the look back at so many stars who have passed away in the same fashion, alone and through addictions.  More recently, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and, Heath Ledger to name but a few of many.  In earlier years, it was Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presely.  Yet, each and every one of these stars had a plethora of people, paid and un-paid, ready, willing and able to be at their aid, beckon call and on duty for them.  None of them ever needed to be alone or to have gone unaided, unhelped.  A cry for help was simply a shout away and yet, it was the one call, the one shot that they didn’t make.

As ordinary people, we tend to have a fascination, adoration and for some, obsession for and over those who are in the spot light.  Some will attempt to model or mold ourselves after our favorites in some fashion or another, forgetting that we are all just as important and valuable as our favorite stars.  Let’s face it, we all have at least one, if not many stars that we tend to idolize.  We feel that we know them.  We tend to think of them as people who we can look up to.  However, what we don’t see and don’t know, is often the things that we, ourselves are also struggling with, “The Human Condition”.

All of us have problems.  All of us are struggling in some aspect or another both within ourselves and our lives.  None of us walking this planet are problem free.  Not even these stars.  The question is, are we brave enough to reach out for help or, do we privately drown ourselves in our woes, pain, hurts, sorrows, fears and grief?  It seems that these stars not only drowned in their own, inner struggles but, also tried to hide and squash them with the aid of drugs, alcohol or both.  It created an escape but it became the ultimate escape for many as death.

What we see on the outside of people around us is not always what’s on the inside.  We should never assume by outward appearances that what we see is real.  Behind closed doors, alone, in the middle of the dark night, lays a plethora of troubles that are bubbling up silently and oftentimes, alone.  No one is immune to pain, saddness, troubles or mental and emotional stresses.  Even The Greats are troubled.  It is that fact which we must be ever mindful of as we go through our own life’s journey.  Once we realize that fact, we can reach out for help and help others at the same time.

As an old saying goes, “Life is fragile.  Handle with care.”

We just never know how fragile until it’s in our faces.  There are 7 billion people in this world.  None of us need suffer alone.  Reach out to someone and extend your hand back in return to them or others.

Never let a smile fool you.

May you rest in peace Whitney Houston.

Whitney Houston

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