Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Always Remember

12 years ago today, 9/11 became a day that Americans will never and should never forget; however, for me this date has had significance for 27 years,  as on September 11, 1986 my beautiful, mother lost her courageous battle with cancer.  Both of these tragic events are still so vivid to me.  I know exactly where I was when I got the call that my mom had passed away.  So many years have passed, and yet it seems like just yesterday and the hurt is still as deep.  Likewise, it seems like no time has passed since I walked into my friend Kara's kitchen to drop Nicky off at her house, because I was 6 months pregnant with Lyndzi and I had to go take my 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  I saw the unbelievable footage on her small, television set and I was absolutely dumbfounded.  I sat for the next 3 hours, tortured by the intense aftermath of the glucose and the terrifying images on the lab TV.

Yesterday Kelsie sweetly reminded me that we had to light a candle for Grandma Lee on Wednesday; and after she had made the comment, I couldn't get the impending date off my mind.  I contemplated what I might write on my Facebook to let my friends know what this day meant for me as it was the day that I had lost my mom and I truly missed her; but knowing that there were SO MANY to be thought of, I was uncertain as to how I wanted to proceed.  When I had a few minutes to jump on Facebook this morning, I was gratified to see how many people had made "never forget" posts, and shared pictures to commemorate  9/11.  I considered writing a post to honor my mom, but with an entire country focused on the tragedy, I decided to go another route; so although no one may have known it, with my mom in mind and always in my heart, I wrote this post:  "Not only is it important that we "never forget", we also need to always remember... Tomorrow is not promised, let go of the pettiness and be grateful for all that we have and each day that we are blessed with. Honor those that have lost their lives for us, by being the best versions of ourselves and making this world a better place."


Within minutes "friends" started liking my post, and even commented; as they felt that what I had written was spot on.  My amazing, friend Tammy, even shared my post on her page, which warmed my heart and validated my feelings.  I am thoroughly thrilled that so many agreed with me, I just hope that they still agree tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that.  You see, although 9/11 was one day that we should  "Never forget" we need to carry that with us EVERYDAY!   When our friends are posting their contrasting political points of view on Facebook, we need to remember that yesterday we all wanted to be ONE America and ban together to "never forget."  Yesterday, we were all united as we recalled the hideous attack and we claimed to be proud to be Americans one and all, that no one should try to harm.    We need to "never forget" that there is no time like the present, and that if something, or someone is important to us, we need to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, because we might not get another chance.  We need to "never forget" that we are all only human and as such we make mistakes and we deserve forgiveness.  We need to "never forget" that it is our duty to live every day to it's fullest  and not waste a single moment on worry or regret, for if we do we are robbing ourselves of precious time that others might not have.


I write this blog tonight as I wrote that post this morning - with all the love in my heart.  With the utmost gratitude for having had an incredible mother, who taught me well during the 19 years that she graced my life.   It is my fervent hope that she is watching down from heaven, comforted by the knowledge that I live every day to make her proud and that I for one still believe in promoting the GREATER GOOD!   I know that we all can DO BETTER. We can be kinder, more tolerant, and work towards a common goal.  We should strive to lead by example and not only when it's convenient or suits our purpose.  We need to teach our children that we do what we say and say what we do.   We need to let the people who are important to us KNOW IT, and be thankful that we live in a country where we are permitted to have differences in opinions in the first place.  We need to commit to memory and practice, that if we should "never forget"  that also means that we should "ALWAYS REMEMBER."

Till next time...
Paige



Sunday, August 18, 2013

I'm Not a Waiter, I'm a WRITER!


Getting back to "The Bumpy Ride" has been very much on my mind lately.   I've spent the past two years helping my family pursue their dreams and since THEY are my dream, I felt that I had to put writing to the side;  but I've really missed it.

I've been giving a lot of thought to making time to write and once again I even contemplated changing the look of my blog, to make yet another fresh start, but alas - I did nothing.  Then this morning, Luis posted this photo of me on Facebook.  He said he'd found it on "The Bumpy Ride" and I was quite surprised to see it. I wondered what he'd been doing here, and when I asked, he said that he'd been Googling "LYNDZI'S" , which is a totally other story - and he came across "The Bumpy Ride" and this photo.  I commented "is this a hint?" Thinking that he was trying to tell me that he'd like me to look like this picture again, OR that he might think that it was time for me to get back to writing - but he just replied "No, hint, found it at The Bumpy Ride!!" So my theories apparently got lost in translation, but I decided to re-visit "The Ride" anyway.  Not having any idea where or how to start, I re-read a couple of posts, hoping for inspiration and then I found it - a typo in an old post.  I actually wrote hear when it should have been here; and I was HORRIFIED!  I immediately tried to remember how to log on, as I was going to try and edit my mistake, and whaddya know; it brought me right to this blank canvas, so I took it as a sign to just get going.

So here I am Riders, if any of you are still out there.  I won't ignore the fact that I never gave you any of the details of my New York trip; and now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I thought it would be such a long story to tell. So... Lyndzi and I took the red eye the night of my 44th birthday.  We flew Jet Blue and we were very excited to have TV's to watch; however, they were not working during our flight.  We don't sweat the small stuff, so we snuggled, slept and woke up in New York City raring to go!  "My sister" Michele picked us up, along with her kids Giancarlo and Masha.  We had a breakfast in a Long Island diner and I immediately felt like I was home.  We went to their beautiful, house in Long Beach, so that they could pack up some things to take to the city, and we were off to our hotel, compliments of Big V.  The hotel was just a few blocks from Times Square, and after visiting with my friend June for a little while, we went to Toys 'R' Us, met my dear, dear friend Rachel, rode the Ferris wheel and did some exploring. We were hit with a torrential rain storm, as we were making our way to  China Town.  We took the subway, (one of my least favorite things to do in NY) and we had to walk so far in the station to get to our actual train, that it felt like we were walking all the way to China Town.  Once we arrived at our stop, it continued to down pour and although we laughed as we ran through the rain - we arrived at the restaurant soaked to the bone.  I'll never forget the feeling, walking into the crowded restaurant and finding friends of mine that didn't know each other, all sitting together waiting for me.  Rachel, Michele, the kids and I greeted Stacy,her daughter Rachel, Bobbi, and Tammy.  How spectacular that even though these women hadn't met each other before, they were all able to figure out that each of them were there to see me.

We had a terrific dinner, and thankfully the rain stopped, so we were able to roam the streets of China Town and Little Italy.  We chatted, walked, shopped and I don't ever remember feeling more comfortable in NYC.  Of course we had to go to Ferrara's and have dessert, and I must say that as we all sat at the table enjoying our treats and the fine company, I was overcome with emotion and moved to tears.  I felt very, very blessed and I kissed my incredible friends good night.

Saturday, at Giancarlo's insistence we experienced the deliciousness that is Shake Shack.  We had amazing burgers and fantastic cheese fries.  Michele tried this burger that had a breaded, fried Portobello mushroom on it and in inimitable Michele style, she shared with all of us.  And as if that wasn't enough, we followed up the meal with the pièce de résistance - Salted Caramel Custard.   Stuffed as we were, we made our way back to the hotel, so that we could get ready for "Mamma Mia."

Bobbie, Dawnie, Jasmine, Michele, me and the kids were all delighted with the fun loving show.  We had fantastic seats (again, thanks to Big V) and we literally danced and sang the whole time.  I think that the only thing that was better than the performance was the look I saw on Lyndzi's face as I watched her fall in love with live, musical theater.  She LOVED it, just as I knew she would and it made the experience complete for me.

Outside the stage door, as the kids waited for autographs, we met my old college friend Eileen, as well as Rachel and her mom, Penny.  We made plans to meet for dinner and were joined by my friend Beth, who I hadn't seen since high school, Dawnie's husband Michael and Rachel's dad - Mr. Schatten, (I've never called him by his first name. LOL)  We had a wonderful dinner at a small Italian restaurant that Rachel knew, and my only regret was that I couldn't chat with everyone at once, because I so appreciated them coming to spend time with me.

Now why in the world I just thought I could get this full trip done in one blog post is beyond me.  So, i'll stop here for now, but PROMISE that I will tell you more in the not so distant future. 


With that being said; a few months ago, I saw the above post on my friend Monique's Facebook page; and I liked it, because I thought it was fantastic; but it also made me feel REALLY bad.  I WAS being a waiter, but not because I wanted to be~ because I didn't know how to make time for me.  So hear me now when I tell you that I'm NOT a waiter, I AM a WRITER and I have every intention of reminding you of that on as regular a basis as possible; so I sure hope that you'll join me again on this "Bumpy Ride."

Till next time...
Paige









Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Brand, New Ride

Safeway is not usually my supermarket of choice (no offense Safeway); but it does happen to be the closest grocery store to my house, so I run in there -(OK - if you know me in real life, you KNOW I don't RUN anywhere); rather I stop there for any last minute necessities or bagels.  I'll give them that.  Compared to their competitors, for a supermarket, they have a decent bagel - but I digress...

So I stopped at Safeway for a couple of things and as I was attempting to select some bananas, I was mesmerized by the woman who breezed by, picked up a bunch, put them in her cart and moved on.  "REALLY?"  I thought, "It's just that easy for her?  No perusing for bruising or checking for firmness?  Just - oh these are bananas, I'll just take em and go?  Wow!  What must THAT be like?

Now I'm sure you're thinking (because you know I HAVE to tell ya what I think you're thinking.) "Seriously?  No blog for five months and she just starts off about picking some bananas like that has ANYTHING to do with (say it with me), "The Greater Good?"  But alas, it does... Somehow, standing there and thinking those thoughts I knew it was time for me to get back to "The Bumpy Ride", which some might say, is for the "Greater Good."; and that is why I chose to start out this long, overdue, post by telling you about the bananas rather than lamenting over what I've been doing and why it's been so long since I've written.

Trust me when I tell you that I don't consider myself any busier than the next person.  Which is to say, that I don't think you need to hear my excuses about how busy I've been and why I haven't been able to write. I can assure you that I am fully aware of the irony of my situation.  It baffles me how I managed to write "The Ride" everyday for a year last year and yet this is the first time in months that I've been able to make time to write.  But I swear to you, it's not for lack of wanting to.  If you're not a first time Rider, then you know I'm the Queen of COMMITMENT and over the past several months, I've had MANY.  So rather than telling you why I've been busy - in the interest of (say it with me) "The Greater Good", I'll tell you what I've learned...  One of the most important jobs of a parent is advocating for the best interests of your child - academically, athletically, emotionally, and psychologically.  It's often hard to know what to do, but it's your responsibility to figure it out and do all you can to help your child achieve all that they're capable of.  I learned that perseverance and honesty pay off. I learned that forgiveness is freeing and that confidence is the cure for anxiety.  I learned that no matter how full your home is, there's always room for one more.  I learned that making people feel good, safe and happy is one of the greatest things I do and its reward is more precious than money.  I've learned that old dogs can learn new tricks.  I've learned that even if your pockets are empty and times are tough, you can always find ways to be charitable.  I've learned that (as I've suspected), I really do have my finger on the pulse of  what's hot and upcoming.  Yes, last year alone, I wrote about Alex Guarnaschelli and how awesome I thought she was and now she's like the Food Network's next big deal.  Just check them out, she's popping up on all their shows. Also, you may recall that I predicted Billy Crystal would host the next Oscars and HELLO, have you heard??   I've learned that time can heal wounds, that help sometimes comes from the most unexpected places and that "Can't" means you haven't REALLY tried.  I've learned that you need to love and accept yourself even when you're not exactly as you'd like to be.  And lastly, (well probably not lastly, but lastly for the sake of this list),  I've learned that I'm not ready to give up on my dream.  And so, if you'll have me, I REALLY want to try and get back on track and start sharing my stories with you again.  There will be tales and pictures from my New York trip, I promise!  As well as all the observational humor that I can muster, and as many recommendations that I can make for yes, (say it with me again) "The Greater Good."

A GREAT big thank you to all of you who've encouraged me to start writing again and to everyone who has missed me and "The Bumpy Ride."  I've made a few changes, such as "The Ride's" new appearance, (please share your thoughts on that), my updated profile picture, AND I've decided that since all the things I am or am not Queen of, really just make me who I am; I'll now be signing off -
Till next time...
Paige