Pretty pathetic that I haven't written in well over a year. As someone, whose opinion I value, said recently, I have something to say, interesting things. He's right. I do have a lot to say, and on many different topics, and so, I'm going say them, or at the very least, write them. I was rereading my post from Valentine's Day back in 2011, and I have to say, for the most part, I still own my feelings on the whole subject. If you were not reading back then, I believe we do things for each other all year that show our love for each other, and hopefully we don't save the "I love you's" for one day a year. Everyday is special, and hearing, "I love you" and "you are important to me" really uplifts the spirit even on the craziest of days. Likely the reason that married people live longer than single people. It really is the little things in a relationship that add up. That being said, it was an unexpected surprise, and especially nice, to receive a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from a very special Valentine, and once again my faith in the Happy Heart Holiday was restored.
For a long time, and some would argue, too long, I've resisted dating, never mind a relationship. Afraid of getting hurt, yes, busy being a full-time mom, and working outside of the home, absolutely, but there's time, if you make yourself a priority. Over the summer I was convinced, by that same someone whose opinion I value, that modeling a 'good, healthy relationship" would benefit our children, and needless to say, we would benefit from such a relationship too. I believed in the truth of those of words which motivated me to say yes to our first date six months ago. Of course, I should mention he asked me out once, about 7 years ago, but that didn't go anywhere. Entirely. My. Fault. Another blog, for another day, but for now I will say that I needed time to heal from a previous relationship.
When I was reading my blog entry from two years ago, I was reminded of my favorite line from the movie, "Nights in Rodanthe," when Diane Lane's character is talking to her daughter, and says,
"there's another kind of love, Amanda. One that gives you the courage
to be better than you are, not less than you are. One that makes you
feel that anything is possible. I want you to know that you could have
that. I want you to hold out for it." Hopefully, for most, it happens well before the age of 48. I plan on sharing these words when it's time for me to give advice to the young women in my life. Not that they will listen initially, but hopefully, along the way, they too will learn to hold out for that
really special Valentine. I don't doubt that there will be times when they feel ambivalent about Valentines Day, but like me, I hope their faith is restored by someone very special. Cheers!
P.S. This is the second blog I'm publishing today...I'm on a roll or have waited too long to get back to writing!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Not long ago, I attended a Suicide Prevention forum in town hosted by our local youth services bureau. A young man from town had taken his own life in November of 2011, and the event was, in part, sponsored by his family. I've known this young man's mom for a long time, and had attempted to go to the calling hours. The line went around the funeral home for hours, and I never did get in to express my condolences. Standing in line that night it was evident that this turn of events had left a big hole in the hearts of all that knew him. A wound, that for his family, will never truly heal.
Fourteen months later, his father spoke at the event and urged people to talk about suicide. "This can't be something that is pushed away or ignored," he said. I couldn't think of a better way to share, than to turn this into a topic for my blog.
The forum featured a variety of experts in addition to local residents who were willing to come forward and tell their story about how a friend or family members suicide forever changed their lives.
John Holt, a sports writer and local news anchor at WFSB, Channel 3, in Hartford, CT, talked about losing his brother to suicide in 1999. He urged those of us in attendance at the forum to "let people know you are there for them."
Another guest speaker, Nena Lake, a licensed social worker, shared some startling statistics. More boys than girls commit suicide and boys tend to use more violent methods like guns or hanging. The greatest number of suicides tend to happen between 3pm and midnight when parents may be at work. She stressed that, "suicide affects all ages, races and socioeconomic levels," she said. "It doesn't discriminate."
The resounding message of the evening was that we should talk about suicide and listen to each others needs. Talk. talk. talk and listen. listen. listen. Pay attention to that "gut" feeling that something maybe amiss. Check in with your kids, ask them if they feel safe, secure, and make sure to tell them often that they can talk to you about anything...even if it hurts. Remove the stigma of suicide by talking about it and being honest and frank with questions.