Monday, June 29, 2009

Memory Walk

I seemed to have developed a passion for something other than work and my family. I have become passionate about two causes; cancer and Alzheimer's. Both have affected my family and friends. For those who are not aware, this past May, my grandmother passed away after having had Alzheimer's for several years. Two days before Memere's passing, my cousin passed away from her third bout with cancer. This is why I'm getting involved with these two causes. I've already done the Relay for Life Cancer Walk, mentioned on my post back in May, now I'm focusing on the Memory Walk for Alzheimer's.

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, I will be taking part in a Memory Walk to raise money for Alzheimer's research. For those not aware, Alzheimer's can be hereditary. I may not have the best memory out there, but the memories I do have I don't want to lose. Watching my grandmother eventually forget her husband of 60 years, her children, and grandchildren was heartbreaking. To see a once vibrant woman full of wonder and creativity become a shell of herself is extremely difficult. I don't want my mother, my sister, myself, or anyone else to ever have to go through that.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I was raised a Catholic, but have always felt that He doesn't care what faith I am as long as I have faith in Him. I've always had a hard time giving up something so personal as my faith in God into the hands of man. Especially when I've learned how much man has had an influence in the development and creation of my religious faith, and the corruption that many faiths, including my own, have affected our world throughout our ancient and recent history.

I grew up attending church on a weekly basis, and during Lent, a daily basis. I continued that ritual throughout most of my twenties, too. I've prayed for things to happen, however, the big things that I've prayed for never happened, but yet, the big and little things that I haven't prayed for, but left up to Him did. I know that sometimes He says yes, or no, or not right now, but I end up obsessing over it only to end up making myself sick and sometimes left disappointed.

Last spring, Hubby and I decided to put our home for sale. Just so you know how it's going, it's still for sale. Last summer, I prayed religiously (no pun intended) to St. Joseph, patron saint of money matters, among other issues, and to St. Theresa Martin, my patron saint. One Sunday we went to church and saw several vases of roses near the alter. For those who may not know, if prayers to St. Theresa Martin get answered, the one praying will either see roses, smell roses, or receive roses. So, when I saw all of those roses, I was so excited that I almost fell off the kneeler. I couldn't control my excitement. Days went by, weeks, and now months, and nothing but disappointment and a for sale sign still on my lawn.

When I learned on Wednesday that the community that I work in, in their infinite wisdom and panic over our paper mill filing bankruptcy, voted not to approve our budget, I was depressed. I moped around the house all morning and forced myself to take a shower and head out with the kids for a ride.

What have eventually learned in all of this reflection? No, not that he doesn't listen, but to have faith and patience, and to leave it up to Him instead. He knows what's best for me. Sometimes in life I need to make the decisions, but there are times that it's best to let Him guide me. I've had a philosophy since my divorce that everything happens for a reason and I've had experiences that have proven this to me. The life I've led yesterday helps to create not only my future tomorrow, but the person I am today. The choices I make today don't just impact me, but those I run into every day. I have to remember this. So, now when I pray to Him, I tell him I'm leaving it in His hands and that I have faith that He will take care of me. It's a huge test of my faith to do that, but what was said of that mustard seed?

Friday, June 26, 2009


Often times Hubby and I scold the boys for playing their games so much. I could never understand how they can be so engrossed in something that I have such little patience for. I've played video games before, in fact, I've saved the princess on Mario Bros. a few times back in the day. But after a while, other video games became annoying and I lost patience quickly and eventually lost interest.

In an earlier posting I mentioned how I started a FaceBook account, which is part of the reason I've slacked on my blog. Sorry folks. Some of my friends got me into a farming game. At first I resisted, but then curiosity got the best of me and I just had to check it out. I was sent trees, flowers, and animals as gifts, and I wanted to see what the whole game was about. Little by little I learned how it worked. I harvest crops for other "farmers" to gain coins in order to plow my fields and plant my crops. Then I can hire others to harvest my crops when they are ready and gain coins that way too. I was really getting into this.

As our school year was coming to an end, I was beginning to feel a bit let down. I was saying goodbye to a group of kids that I've known since they've been in the 3rd grade, now moving up to the 9th. Not only that, but my district was stressing over the idea that our school budget had to be cut drastically. The economical situation going on right now with our local paper mill filing bankruptcy has really caused anxiety in the community, too. The threat of layoffs are looming heavily overhead. Heading towards my last days of school, I began spending more time on the game. I had a goal to gain enough coins to purchase a house, then every time I reached a certain level, I was able to purchase different animals, or trees, or seeds, or flowers. I eventually purchased a barn, which jumped me immediately to yet another level. Friends were commenting on how quickly I've moved up having started the game way after them. I felt I was successful, accomplishing the goals I set for myself and continuously moving ahead. It was quite the feeling; so unlike my real life.

This past week, Hubby and I sent the boys to bed. He and I were both playing the game (I got him hooked too) and we were both trying to gain as many coins as we could to accomplish whatever goal we had for that night. I finished harvesting for someone else's crops and went to say goodnight. Hubby was not finished yet, so he took a little longer. One, two, three minutes go by and doesn't Kerry call Hubby to go tuck him in. Hubby told him he'd be right there. One, two, three more minutes pass and Kerry said, "Dad. You guys are getting as bad as me and Kenny on those games." We had no choice but to laugh and agree with him. We hadn't realized just how much we were getting into it. It took an 8-year-old to remind us of our growing addiction to this farming game.

I've since wondered about why I got to this point with the game. Why was I so addicted to it? All it is, is growing crops, gaining coins, buying more seeds to grow more crops, occasionally purchasing more land and making it look nice. But what was the appeal for me? Then it hit me. This past Wednesday, I learned that the school budget didn't pass and that I may not have a job in the fall, and I continously hung out on "the farm", harvesting and planting and buying more stuff. Everything else around me got neglected, but I was beginning to feel that successful, satisfying feeling again. That's when I realized that I was attracted to this game because it filled the void that my life had at the time; success and satisfaction. I began imagining the guys on "Big Bang Theory" constantly involved in their role-playing and video games. TV makes fun of these scenarios, but we can all easily fall into these traps. That's how people get into other means of filling the void, giving them this successful and satisfying feeling that they crave. We're all guilty of it in some form or another. Some ways are harmless, but time-wasters, while others are dangerous and illegal. I'm just glad I chose the time-waster.