“And Then There Are The Other Heroes”

There are many heroes out in the world today keeping us safe, taking care of us and trying to keep life going, yet I believe there is another hero we don’t give credit to and that’s our children.

The definition of a “hero” is: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

And I admire my children, your children and the youth of the world who are living through these uncertain times right along with us. They are heroes as well.

They’re quarantined home just like the rest of us, they can’t see their friends or family, they can’t go to school and for some, there will be no senior class trip or high school/college graduation. Imagine what they’re feeling and thinking. Imagine how WE would feel at that age.

I look at my 18 and 22 year old in amazement. I’m empathetic and can feel what they’re feeling and think to myself that I would have gone crazy at that age being stuck in the house with my parents and siblings! It truly would have driven me out of my mind. Yet here they are, just like the rest of us: quarantined.

None of us have ever seen something like this in our lifetime and I hope that we never do again, but here are our children. They’re young with an entire lifetime ahead of them and look at their lives now. They’re quarantined just like the rest of us, but the difference is we had that life and freedom at a young age and right now they don’t. As adults we can sit here in quarantine and wonder what life will be like after it’s over. They are just beginning their lives, thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, or where they want to live. They’re looking and planning towards a future that is uncertain. Imagine all those thoughts that go through their minds. I imagine them when I see that look of boredom on their faces, or the sadness over not seeing their friends. I imagine them when I talk to my kids who live across the country and can hear the sadness in their voices or a tone of disappointment knowing that the life they started on their own is all changed. All of them were laid off from the jobs that they loved because of the quarantine. They all comply with the orders that we’ve been given, including wearing gloves, masks and social distancing. I have to say, it breaks my heart to see pictures of my kids wearing masks. 

I love my five children with all that I am and when this quarantine starts to get to me or they start to drive me crazy I remind myself of how it must feel for them. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel so bad for me and I understand about their bad days because I remember all the fun and freedom I lived through as a teenager, the times that they can’t right now.

My kids are handling it better than I would have expected. They’re constantly watching out for me because I’m “high risk” and there are days they put my well-being above their own. They’re making the best of this quarantine and doing what they can to laugh, smile and have fun together…and they even include me!

I have to believe that they’ll come through this stronger and with an even deeper gratitude for freedom and life than they had already had.

There are many people out there that are “heroes,” and I count my kids among them.

Here’s to my five kids, your kids, and the youth of the world: “Thank you for handling this as well as you are. I know it’s not easy, but thank you for doing what needs to be done. You are my hero!”

In the end, we’re all heroes for staying home and saving lives by doing so.

Hang in there…you’ve got this!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~your_custom_beautiful_quotes_here (1)

“My Family…Together Again”

Two of my five children live at home, so there are moments I feel the pang of the “empty nest” syndrome. I’ve gotten used to my three oldest living across the country, only seeing them every year or two, so I don’t feel that pain of missing them all living home very often. They’ve been living out of my home for years now and I’m used to my two youngest being the only ones living with me.

Yet yesterday things felt like the old days and I was reminded of just how much I miss having a house filled with five children.

My oldest flew in yesterday morning from the West Coast and it must have been close to family2two years since I’ve seen him. He brought home his beautiful girl for all of us to meet and she was amazing! We all fell in love with her instantly and I’d like to believe that she felt the same about us.

I raced to the airport early in the morning to pick them both up and the tears fell as I saw him. They both walked towards me with open arms, hugs, kisses and some amazing West Coast energy! Just what this mom needed!

Yet seeing him was so much more than a hug…it brought back floods of emotions and memories of having them all live at home together. I remembered family dinners at the table every night and weekends filled with a stream of teenagers in and out and hanging around. It was heaven.

And yesterday felt like old times for me. Seeing him with his two youngest brothers, introducing them to his girl, teasing them and laughing I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace, of happiness…of true joy.

I had forgotten what it was like to have my family together like that. These days even myfamily3 two youngest are working or going to school and I feel as though they’ve already left the nest.

Last night felt like old times, even though two of my kids were missing. It felt like the family I remembered; the family that grew up and moved on to their own adult lives. Yet as I remembered the memories I was also watching them all together and making new ones. Suddenly the babies and teenagers I remembered were sitting at a restaurant out to dinner with me…yet they were grown up! They had become men in what feels like an instant.

And my four boys have grown up into amazing men, and I don’t say that just because I’m their mom.

They are respectful, kind, compassionate and non-judgmental. They are truly the type of people I had hoped and wished that they would grow up to be.

And they are.

I sat in amazement last night, savoring every moment, taking in all that surrounded me. It was a night I’ll remember forever, until the next time we can all be together to make new memories.

I felt so much pride for these boys last night, especially my oldest. I watched how he spoke to and treated his girl…he loves her, she loves him, and the respect they have for one another is the type a mother hopes her child will find in a partner.

familyAnd he found that.

And I couldn’t be happier for him.

It was incredible night of being a family together again.

It was a night of my heart being so filled with love that it could have exploded.

These boys of mine…they are a gift to the world.

And they have been and always will be a gift to me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

family4

 

All photos by Anne Dennish

 

 

“A Flood Of Emotions”

Isn’t it funny how one random moment in your day can bring back a flood of emotions from a moment in your past? I had such a moment yesterday…and for just an hour or so it allowed a literal flood of pain and heartache from my past.

And I want to share it with you because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: when I write from the heart and share my most intimate emotions with you, it’s therapeutic for me. It takes those emotions out of my soul and puts them onto paper…and it’s truly a good thing for me. And I hope it’s a good for those of you going through a similar situation.

Yesterday the Jersey Shore suffered from a tremendous amount of rain, causing massive floods in our surrounding areas. There were those that needed to be taken from their homes and cars by boat. I didn’t go through anything that extreme but what I did go through was painful in its’ own right.

The rains hit hard in the morning and around 11 am my son, Noah, went down into our basement. I heard him say “Mom, you better get down here.”

My heart sank because I knew it wasn’t going to be good and it wasn’t: my basement was flooded. I went down the stairs and looked around. There was water everywhere and all I could focus on was the cardboard boxes filled with their favorite childhood books and memories soaked in water. I knew right then and there that we had lost all of those things we felt “important.” Water was everywhere and I was overwhelmed with where to even start.

Yet I knew in my heart where to start and it was to start throwing things out.

And through the hours that my youngest, Sam, and I filled one garbage bag after another with their childhood memories I began to think of a time in my life over 7 years ago when I was going through another time of throwing my “memories” in the trash.

It was over 7 years ago that I was getting out of a second marriage that never should have happened. At that time I had lost the house I designed, built and lived in for over 20 years. I lost my home, my car, and all the money the kids and I had saved up over the years. That second marriage cost me more than I could say. I remember two dumpsters in my driveway for two weeks as the kids and I threw out as much as we could, knowing that we were moving to a much smaller house.

I can remember the heartache of throwing out things that had meant so much to me and to them but we didn’t have much choice. The home we lived in was so much larger than the home we were moving to and still live in. I had to keep telling myself that it was just “stuff” and that I could take the memories with me.

It was a painful time to lose literally everything I had…that we had…yet we did it. And we moved into our “Cozy Cottage.”

And we were fine. We were happy.

I moved in here with nothing. No car, no money and no job, yet we had each other and within a few weeks I had a job and another car. And we survived.

And I’ve been rebuilding my life ever since.

Yet today brought all those emotions back again and I’ll admit that I shed a few tears as I filled garbage bag after garbage bag with yet more memories. It was tough and I felt overwhelmed. I kept filling bags of their favorite children’s books to stuffed animals, one right after another, and Sam just kept bringing them up the stairs and out the door to the trash. It wasn’t the exact “Mother/Son” day I would have planned.

But we did it and there’s still another couple of days to finish up the task.

Yet after my tears spilled of another time of throwing out things that meant something to me, I began to pull myself together and remind myself that they are just the possessions, just the “stuff” that we had compiled for many years. Throwing the stuff out didn’t erase the memories…it just got rid of the physical stuff, but it will never erase the emotional stuff we gained from the years we had it.

Life is a funny thing sometimes. There comes a moment in all our lives that brings back a moment from the past, and oftentimes it’s a painful memory. Yet we seemed to have learned from the past that when those sad memories come back we know better…we feel the pain, the sadness, and the heartache and let it go much sooner than we had in the past. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the things that we had tried to forget because we shouldn’t forget anything…we should learn from it, accept it and move forward.

Because, after all, we don’t ever lose the precious moments we have of our children or loved ones; they are embedded in our minds and hearts forever. The physical possession is a wonderful thing to have but losing it doesn’t erase what our heart holds deep inside.

Our hearts take pictures of those moments in life that mean the most and no flood, no fire, and no one person can ever take that away.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

piglet flood 1

“Don’t Take Gratitude For Granted”

 

Life changes in the blink of an eye and what we have one day can be gone tomorrow. So often we allow life to get so busy that we forget to see what’s right in front us: the people who love us.

We know in our hearts that we’re grateful for them, yet so often that gratitude is put on the back burner and the ones we love are left feeling “taken for granted.” We all need love in one form or another, whether it’s from your family or children, friends or a significant other.

“Love lifts us up when life tries to pull us down.”

Take a look at your life at this very moment and count your blessings. Be grateful for the people in it that love and support you and for the life you are gifted to live every day.

Don’t let the world and all the sadness and craziness in it cloud the beauty in your life. Live your life everyday in gratitude for the people in your life, for the job you love, for the career you are pursuing. Be grateful for another new day in your life; another day in which you can share your love and gratitude with others.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“The One Word I Despise: Victim”

I don’t get angry very often and I try not to get upset at someone who says hurtful things to me, but I will tell you this, there is but ONE WORD that will make my blood boil and fill me with an anger that makes my head spin: VICTIM! Aside from those emotions, it hurts my heart, because I’m not that.

And recently someone decided to publicly call me that. The comments were nasty, untrue, and bordering on “threatening.” And they called me a “victim.”

There’s not many people who have called me that, in fact, I know of only two and those two people live unhappy lives and take their negative feelings about themselves and turn them on me. And the moment those two people called me that I wished them love and light and sent them on their way. The friendship had served its’ time and was done, because if you think that’s what I am then you have no place in my life. I will not surround myself with anyone that believes that of me.

I am not a victim, I am a survivor and proud of that.

I am a survivor of divorce, domestic violence, emotional abuse and breast cancer. I never once saw myself as a victim of any of these things because, while I never wanted to have any of it happen, I accepted them as life lessons. Those things happened to me so that I could learn from them, survive them, and use my voice through my writing to help other’s going through those situations.

Me? A victim?

Not by a long shot.

But there are those that play the victim themselves. They are martyrs and portray themselves as good people, when in reality, they are quick to judge and despise anyone who has something they want. They are jealous and insecure, and in reality, they are the ones who choose to be a victim.

And trust me, I’m not one of them.

I don’t have a perfect life, but it’s perfect for me. I have a wonderful man in my life and have five beautiful children, all of whom I’m very proud of. I am able to pursue my passion of writing every day of my life. I’m surrounded by some amazing friends who always have my back and see me as a survivor. My “bubble” is filled with the people that support me and more importantly, love me.

And none of them believe me to be a victim because they know I’m not.

I write about my past experiences in a positive light, hoping to let others know that they’re not alone, that there’s always hope, and there’s always a way to get through it.

I know that there are people who will judge me, but if you’re going to do that, make sure that you know me. Don’t see me through eyes of hatred and jealousy, see me through the eyes of “truth.”

“Survivor” is one of my favorite words. It means you had enough faith in yourself and your Higher Power to get through the tough times. Life hasn’t always been easy for me, yet I choose to be grateful for every day I wake up, for every experience, good or bad, that life hands me because in the end everything is a lesson to learn so that we can live the best life possible.

And once again I’ll say this: “If you can’t be kind, be quiet.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~