Sunday, April 23, 2017

Elmwood Zoo April 14, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017


That first sip of coffee. Nothing can describe the pleasure. I am the counselor on site this weekend so I am up early (after another restless night's sleep) and I decided to reread my post from yesterday and two things stood out to me. First, I miss-spelled some words (where was my head at), Second, I could not decide if I sounded as if I was trying to place my thoughts onto paper or felt sorry for myself. I do not believe I feel sorry for myself.  However, I do believe I need to make sense out of the way I feel. One other thing I need to point out is I did not mean that I thought my youngest son was doing the best. What I meant was it was ironic that he is the son I least worry about now.

Back to that coffee. It really tastes delicious. Not only did my husband make the coffee but he brought a cup to me in bed. He is the best!  Since I am working this weekend, I was off Good Friday and what better way to spend a day off than to go to the Elmwood Zoo. This was Aubree's second trip to this particular Zoo however it was the first time she was old enough to be able to enjoy it fully. I will never get tired of experiencing life through the eyes of a small child. I have taken Shaun, Nikolas and Ava to this Zoo on several occasions when they were little and they loved it just as much. It seems I am following the same path taking Aubree to places that I once took the other grandchildren when they were little. Photos to follow at a later time.

And Finally, Happy Birthday in Heaven Grandpop. My grandfather William Joseph Gallagher was born April 15, 1906 and died November 27, 1980.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Emotional Burden

I am always tired. I go to bed at night feeling tired and wake up in the morning feeling tired then spend the entire day feeling tired. I know I am not sleeping at night and the chronic bouts of insomnia I have experienced for years has been a nightly occurrence the last few months. I feel extremely anxious and night time is the worse. As soon as evening is upon me I find myself up and down with an inability to relax or fall asleep then when I finally fall asleep I toss and turn and wake up throughout the night. Bill will ask me what I am worrying about and I always answer I am not worried just anxious then Bill will ask me why I am anxious and I reply with the usual I do not know. I am sure I know what is bothering me. It is just exhausting trying to explain it or I just get sick of talking about it or I just do not want to  bother anyone with it. By nature I have always kept things inside. I was never one to air out my laundry except when I write. It is so much easier for me to communicate by writing than communicate verbally. The interesting thing about this "anxiety" is I can store it away during the day time and it never interferes with my daily duties. I wish I could do the same when night time comes. I often times wonder if I have become a master of the mask.

As much as I did not want to change as a result of the events of 2011, I changed. I am tired. I feel older. I aged. I do not display the energy I once had. I feel slower in pace. I have become a master of survival. By the way, I write much more dramatic than I ever really feel or behave. I loathe drama of any form especially in the behavior of people. So one may wonder if I loathe drama so much why do I work in a profession that is nothing but daily drama. Probably because it is work. However, in my personal life and with the folks I chose to be around I stay away from as much drama as possible.

It is difficult to admit I have one son in state prison another son who I believe struggles with mental health issues and yet another son who has distanced himself from the family. I have not seen my oldest granddaughter in years though once upon a time I shared a close relationship with her. I spend most of my time with my youngest granddaughter because my older grandsons who I have also shared a close relationship are involved in activities and their father keeps his distance. I got one birthday card this past February and it was from the one in prison. Once upon a time, I spent time with my all my grandchildren every weekend. I miss those days as I am very family oriented so now I spend time with my sister and her daughters and I try not to feel envious of their togetherness as a strong family unit or of my sister who can see all of her grandchildren at any time. I also miss my sons and the family life we once had before it was taken over by the impact of drugs especially heroin. Once upon a time, I never spoke about heroin's impact on the lives of those I love dearly however today the stigma has been removed in society as opioid addiction has run rampant.

I also wonder what part I played in all this? I may be a successful counselor however I feel I failed miserably as a mother. Somewhere along their upbringing I "fucked up". I let them down. The thing about the past is one cannot go back and change it. It is what it is. How I wish I could go back to when they were little boys because I would hold them more and love them more and teach them how to solve problems so they would have been better equipped to address problems as they entered their teenage years into adulthood.

I do not blame my oldest son from distancing himself from the family. I am sure it is how he survives all that has happened. I wish my middle son would follow through on seeing a psychiatrist or for that matter "just follow through on everything". My youngest son, the one in prison seems to be doing the best which is so ironic as he lost the most. I remember telling him he had two choices when we knew he would be sent away. I told him he could either engaged in the rift raft and become a better criminal or he can take advantage of all the programs and become a better person. He has chosen to become a better person and takes classes as well as involves self in sporting teams and works as a Peer Specialist running groups and counseling others who are in prison for drug related crimes. He calls several times a week and stays in close contact with family members including his father, myself, his grandparents, my sister, his cousins and his brothers. He also stays in contact with Father Bill who has been a huge support to my entire family during all of this.

And then there is that damn house. The one I have rented out for six years and now decided to finally face it head on. I am not a landlord. I never wanted to be a landlord. I hate dealing with late payments and bounced checks. I want to unburden myself of all of this. I have bled cash in the last six years. So I have spoken to a realtor and sent a certified letter to the tenant instructing her to move out by the end of May. June 1st, I will enter the house to inspect it. I have not been in that house for years. I drove past the house last weekend and I noticed the flowers I planted years ago are blooming. At my residence in Plymouth Meeting, I changed to a monthly lease verses a yearly lease which we will pay a small fortune but gives the peace of mind that we can move out when we want especially if I have a difficult time selling the house.

I shared a lot on this site this morning of things I never talk about in person or that I have ever written about. I do not know if writing all this and admitting I have a son in prison or feel like a failure as a mother will come back and haunt me. I do not know if it will make people angry or if people will shy away from me. I lost a lot of friends and some family members already so I guess it really does not matter either way but it does matter because I am tired. I am tired of pretending everything is ok. I am tired of wearing a mask. I am tired of feeling anxious. I am tired of not sleeping. I am tired of the pain. I am getting older. When is it time to focus on me and what I need? I guess the time is today.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Celebrating Dad's 80th Birthday

Getting Ready for Pop Pop Art's Birthday Party.

When Pop Pop Bill Photo Bombs the picture.

Mom, Amos, Dad, Rita Maryanne

Nicole, Dad, Chrissy

Pop Pop Bill and Aubree


Dad and Me

Aunt Ann, Mom

Chrissy, Dad, Grace, Marianne

Dad and most of his grandchildren (Missing Joe and Ava Zysk, James, Samuel and Aubrey Weleski, Franki, Danny and Matt Maier)
Left to right; Josh, Lynee, Aubree, Nikolas, Raina, Shaun, John, Dad, Nicole, Chrissy, Greg, Antonia, Justin, Shaun, Rita. Sitting on the floor from left to right are Collin, Grace, Christopher, Sophia and Joseph.

Four Sets of Sisters Having a Wonderful and Silly Time
(Pat & Marianne) (Ann & Mary) (Rita & Maryanne) (Nicole & Chrissy)

Singing Happy Birthday which is Aubree's favorite part.

Danny, Frankie and John

My beautiful niece Chrissy