Happy Birthday, Brother (S dnem ​​rozhdeniya, brat)

Happy Birthday, M! You’ve been such an amazing brother, especially this past year. I’ve seen how much you’ve grown, and how far you have come as a person. You always try to learn and make changes. You work hard on personal and professional development. I KNOW how hard you try to help others each day, even when they don’t deserve it. I’m proud of you. I miss you. And today, I celebrate the hell out of the awesome human-being you are. Love you, dude.

#LibraSeason♎ #MyOGRideOrDie #ThisIsHowWeGetIntoTrouble #Laughter #SameSenseOfHumor #MyBrother #BestLookingDudeInMyFamily #OverTheSpeedLimit #ListeningToTHATSong #FightHardLoveHonestly #GetHonest #HesGotMyBack

Saying Goodbye

I’ve never been happier to say goodbye to a month. 😦 The month I most look forward to every year, October, has been bitter, painful, and full of things I do not want to take into the coming month, or any month in the future, for that matter. I feel like a snake, preparing to shed its skin. I NEVER want to feel the things I have had to feel this month.

I want to persevere in November. I want to pretend the birthday from hell never happened, despite the daily reminders of how demeaning and insulting it was. An epic slap in my face from pretty much every side you can think of (I refuse to celebrate from here on in, unless it’s by myself. People SUCK.). I want to remember who my real friends are. I want to be constantly reminded who my real family is, as opposed to those who simply get the label via birth.

Ultimately, I want to survive this month. I want to successfully achieve the goals on my list, one of which feels absolutely impossible. The last time I felt that way, I nailed it and was able to breathe again. All I want to do is achieve the impossible and breathe. I need to make it to 2017 in one piece.

I also apologize for all delays, as I burned out my laptop battery earlier this month and, to add insult to injury, fried the adapter. Say a little prayer for my laptop, ’cause I’m praying HARD for it.

Survival and deep breaths. Seems simple, but it’s not.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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It’s true.

P.S. And despite all threats, I did not give Cat away to a nice family tonight. She’s been taking care of her poor, sick Mommy when she’s not aggressively attacking her sister. Kitten is right by my side, as always. 🙂 I shall spend tomorrow squeezing them silly!

 

Life’s Battles & Celebrations

Last year, the day after my birthday, my brother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure that required a quadruple bypass. It was an extremely scary time in which I functioned on G-d only knows what, and forced myself to remain strong through prayer and talking to people who did their best to emotionally support me through that horrible time.

Today, I celebrate my brother’s birthday. In the past year, through horrific battles that life has challenged us with, we have become a more united brother & sister. I’m proud of that. The ugliness and evil of others cannot destroy what he & I have built. It’s a horrible situation, but through bad, there is also good.

In the past year my brother has lived through three life-threatening operations and a horrific maze of challenges that have been cruel, harsh, evil, and vicious. I pray that this year is better to him; that promises made are promises kept, and that a year from now, we can laugh instead of cry.

As so many of us know, life itself can be a harsh task master. If you have the power to make someone’s life better, greater, happier, more secure, etc., even if only for a short period of time, then you should be selfless and act, not say one thing and do another. Life is SO short and none of us want to live with regrets. My father (May He Rest In Peace) spent most of his life not speaking to his brother. This would go on for five years, ten years, etc., until eventually my Uncle was 71 and dying from cancer. Instead of calling my father, I was the one to receive the call that my Uncle had cancer and didn’t have much longer to live. I had to break the news to my father and plan a day for the entire family to be together. They bonded in those last moments as though they’d never bonded before, and I know it gave them both a sense of peace. My Uncle passed away, and nearly two years later my father passed, from the exact same disease.

I’d slay dragons and demons to make sure my brother remains alive and in tact. I may very well have to do that; but today I thank all that is Holy that he is alive, that he has survived, and ultimately, that he is MY brother.

I know things are bad at the moment, M, but I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS with you.

Love,

Sis

“They tried to break us, but that didn’t work. And they tried to destroy us, but that didn’t work. They sent every form of evil our way, and still we stood tall. For that is the bond of this blood, once and for all.”  

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Myriad Of Thoughts

I begin this day by wishing my best friend Marion the happiest of birthdays. Not a lot of people can say they are a true friend of mine, but you can say “This is my best friend of 20 years.” There are marriages that don’t last nearly as long. We’re the lucky ones, and sometimes I think I am simply blessed to have you in my life.

You are part angel, part mother/sister/saint, one of the kindest people on the planet, a genuine, generous soul, the person who always has my back and my best interests at heart, and you’ve been my rock through some of the most difficult things I’ve had to endure in my life. Thank you for that, for all of it.

People often say that actions speak louder than words, but with me, my words are in sync with my actions. Know that I am grateful for you, day in and day out. You are an immense blessing, little pom. 🙂 XOXO.

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Where else are my thoughts at the moment? With an old friend, who is battling prostate cancer. I am glad he is surrounded by family and has the support of so many. Unfortunately, I, for the life of me, am having emotional difficulties with this particular situation. I think I am so inundated with my pain at the moment that I am only able to feel compassion and empathy for him, and that someplace, somewhere, over the past few years, I’ve forgotten that there was once love there. Here’s hoping I locate it.

I have some writing projects going on, and I am having difficulties focusing. This past Friday was a snow day, the weekend was beautiful and I pushed myself to really enjoy it, and then Monday was a snow day with barely any snow to speak of, but the schools were closed, the city was shut down, etc. And now, the days will be decent, but the nights will be “Lisa In Siberia”. My body can’t take much more of this insanity. My migraines have been torture and when that hasn’t been affecting me, I’ve had Fibromyalgia pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The next time you overhear someone say it’s “not a real disease”, please send them my way so they can live in my body for a year. I’d love to remember what it’s like to walk without pain. I have been in so much pain that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been falling asleep at crazy hours and taking naps. It is AWFUL to go through daily life feeling so sick and weak, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. I have to be patient with myself and remind myself that self-care is nothing to be ashamed of. Unfortunately, yes, it does make me feel wasteful where time is concerned.

Special thanks to Beauty Stat for starting my new venture off with a bang. 🙂 I am excited to try out the products they sent me (I’ve never been so surprised to see the UPS man. LOL.) and get my beauty loving butt back into the swing of things. There’s more to me than “writer” and “editor” and hopefully some of you will stop on by and give that side of me a try. I will let you all know once it is fully launched, as it is not linked or associated with this platform, but can still be found on WordPress. For those of you that figured it out via Twitter, thank you for being the first to follow me. It means so much. 🙂 XO.

I will be back and forth. I’m not abandoning anything or anyone, but I do have a lot of hours to put into fully launching my new project, not to mention all the education that comes with it. I look at that as a creative adventure.

If I’m not back before next week, know that I am writing.

Be well everyone!

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Yes, this is definitely Marion.

Misery Wants Company; But Misery Can Kiss My Ass

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I’m starting this the night before (Friday @ 8:30 PM EDT) because I don’t know how much writing I’ll be able to do tomorrow, mostly because migraines and lack of sleep have plagued my existence the majority of this week.

Tomorrow is Case Study #2’s birthday. I gave him three potential options for a really nice birthday dinner based solely on his past & current tastes, and things he has mentioned “really wanting” over the past month. Let the record state that NO ONE in history, be it family or friend, has ever cooked a birthday dinner for me, not unless it was a restaurant chef. At the last second, the plan that had been agreed upon became a huge fight. I think we can all safely agree that no man should ever piss off the woman who prepares 70% of his food. I decided to pretend he had a brain fart/age issue and wasn’t truly stupid enough to talk to me the way he did. So, off I went to the store this afternoon to procure the ingredients for said birthday dinner. By the time I got everything on my list, went through the self-checkout, because, believe it or not, the line was non-existent, and put it all in the car, I was ready to fall on the floor of the parking lot.

I left the store with a dull headache that slowly progressed into a migraine. My 23rd migraine, since the 5th of this month. I’m starting to lose my patience with Topamax. The side effects are ones I am used to, but they’ve been rough on me. I’ve been on 50 mgs successfully for a while now, so tonight I will increase it to 75. That means I already took 25 mgs and that I will soon take 50 mgs before bed. It’s not a great hardship, but remembering is half the battle. If there’s one thing I hate about Fibromyalgia, killer migraines, and stress, it is walking around mentally confused. I have yet to say “What day is it?”, but I do have days where I say “Not today. I need to rest my body.”

I have been sleeping like a jet-lagged monkey. Three hours here. Two hours there. Nothing consistent. This will continue until we turn the clocks back in November, which is woefully late considering it is already getting darker earlier each evening, and that is a huge part of what tells my body that it’s time to go to sleep. Darker mornings also mean that my body says “It’s still dark outside, we need to stay asleep.” Unfortunately, the mind does not always shut off when everything gets dark and quiet. Therein lies a huge problem.

26 September 2015~2:23 a.m. EDT

I slept for just under three and a half hours, waking up with an overactive brain. That quickly turned into post-migraine symptoms, which, if you’ve ever had a migraine, you KNOW is not a fun experience. I then found myself staring at Cat and Kitten who were quizzically inquiring as to my state of “If you’re not asleep, perhaps you’d like to feed us? Look how cute we are…” I honestly just want to go the fuck back to bed for eight hours and not be bothered by anything or anyone, but since I’m awake, I might as well accomplish something.

Laundry and pre-prepping Case Study #2’s birthday dinner are my first two orders of business. I can multitask like a boss.  😉 It will also give me time to decide what I want to say in his birthday card without resorting to “I’m sorry we’re related. I hope you never need a bodily organ.”

When it comes to certain family members, I believe they each have different roles they play in your life. We all have a family member we’d prefer not to acknowledge, or one we’re almost certain we might kill one day, if only by “accident”. I often say “I will kill you and tell God it was an accident.” The only problem is, I mean what I say.

In every family there is the peacekeeper, the overachiever/hero/prodigal child, the scapegoat, the outcast/black sheep/lost soul, and the mascot, etc. There are additional roles within the sibling hierarchy, but basically, this sums it up nicely and will have you looking at your own family if you’ve got more than a few siblings to speak of.

Not all families are like this, of course. In my family, the grandchildren were always compared to one another, as if our achievements defined us as individuals. I am the oldest on my mother’s side of the family, but I’d be introduced by my Grandmother long after she introduced my brother and his accomplishments. “This is my Grandson… He’s done this, this, this, this, this, speaks French, has an I.Q. of…oh, and this is his sister.” I would stare at her whenever she did it, because I didn’t see a need for such nonsense, and I let it slide. There was no need to argue with her or point out my own accomplishments, talents, or achievements. She didn’t understand them, so they didn’t matter to her. It didn’t mean she didn’t love me, she simply came from a different generation. I didn’t care about squeezing into the mold to suit people’s needs then, and I’m certainly not going to change now.

Where am I going with this? Case Study #2 is miserable to his core. Apparently turning another year older, turning profusely more grey by the day, looking more like Mr. Clean (He’d kill me if he saw this.), and looking forward to another year where he mistakenly gets taken for my father (Which cracks me up every.single.time.) somehow requires him to be a vicious animal. He is rude, offensive, disrespectful, unappreciative, and I am not having any part of it.

I’m having a difficult year and a few weeks ago his birthday gift “request” was somewhere in the ballpark of $750 before taxes, which in my mind, is a month worth of bills. I just stared at him, because there was no other normal reaction to have. Not once in my entire life have I ever gone so far as to demand (it truly wasn’t a “request”) such an expensive birthday gift from anyone. I am happy to receive books, CD’s, t-shirts, gift cards to my favorite stores that I never get to shop at because I spend my entire year working, etc. I have definitely received some amazing gifts over the years from generous family members, friends, and ex-boyfriends, but there are also years I went out and bought gifts for myself. I’ve never turned to a soul and said “I want THIS. You owe it to me.” NEVER. I’d like a navy blue Lexus for my birthday, but is it the most prudent gift in the world? No. I’d be happy with a nice pair of gloves and a matching scarf to get me through the coming Winter, or a really nice wallet. Something I actually need, and you can add up all of those things and they don’t even range anywhere within his “request” because I live in reality. No one owes me anything, people who give you gifts do so because they want to and because they can, not because you demand it of them.

I guarantee that a month from now, I won’t get so much as a card. Last year, he wished me a happy birthday and patted me on the head as if I was a dog. A few years ago I went away for my birthday so he wouldn’t ruin it. I didn’t get so much as a phone call. He, miserable bastard that he is, gets a beautifully cooked meal (I don’t keep rat poison on hand.) and one of his favorite desserts. I even got candles. I am a complete and utter moron. 😦

Misery may want company, but this year and from here on in, misery can kiss my ass.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Praise Be Friday!

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Happy Friday everyone!
What a rough week. I am so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained that I am finding it difficult to move. Basically, it’s like any other day, but there’s the emotional component to it as well. If it were possible to sleep for 24 hours and not get a migraine from too much sleep, I wouldn’t leave my bed at all tomorrow. Unfortunately, I get tired just taking my migraine medicine, Aleve, and the enormous PN vitamin that is supposed to “give me energy” throughout the day. I didn’t know “energy” equated to “really wants a three hour nap”. They should put that on their web-site, I’m betting it would put them out of business.
I have a lot to think about & do this weekend. I’ve got work which I am sorely behind on (a few focused hours will help me catch up though. Sadly, it won’t make the work any easier.), I have some things to relocate within the house, and I absolutely MUST remember to buy candles before Tuesday afternoon. In fact, I am putting a reminder note into my phone so I don’t forget because there’s no simply excuse. There’s only so much pathetic behavior I can tolerate from myself at the moment.
There are photos to take, research to do, but ultimately, I am glad it’s the weekend and that next week is split in the middle with a day and a half for a holiday. I’m not thrilled about the emotional component, but I have to be strong and do my best. And after next weekend, we begin the month-long countdown to the ultimate yearly celebration. 🙂 It’s hard to wrap my mind around, really. My expectations are in the dirt, so by all means, do what you will to shock and surprise me. I am also looking forward to Samhain. I’m not decorating or passing out candy, but I might roast a pumpkin for myself because I’ve been thinking about pumpkin seeds for months now and I think making my own would be a good idea. I can’t really screw that up too badly, but if I feel incapable, I will buy the seeds on their own. Or I’ll settle for sunflower seeds, we’ll see.
All right lovely readers, I am off for today. Or at the very least, out of things to say. Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the weather! Be well & safe.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.