Growing up for me was hard because when I was around 10 years old, or thereabout, my Dad had his first of three heart attacks. My Father was a small business owner, he installed alarms for a living, now he didn’t make much, but just enough to survive with four children and my Mom at home. He was a hard worker, he worked 6 days a week, sometimes twelve-hour days. The time he had his first heart attack, I was in 5th Grade, I had issues in school with learning, because I am a visual learner, this I found out later in life. I also was going to Psychotherapy at the time, because I was having a lot of issues at home as well.
When my Dad had his heart attack, my sister and I had to pick up the slack in the house, we were only ten and eleven years old. However, we had to do laundry and cleaning, not just our rooms, but my sister and I split up all the household chores, including cleaning my parents room and doing their laundry. It was hard, because we were going through our own things in school. Our own lives were now overcome with what we had to do after studying, going to Softball practices, and games. Both of my brothers were out of the house and in College, so they were not available to my sister or myself to speak with in regards to these things we were bombarded with overnight, it seemed. It was just up to us to get things done, while my Mom ran the business, and while my Dad was ill.
This was a very tough time in my life and I had no one to turn to, my sister did not want to hear it, she was just like a robot and did what she had to do and that was that. I had an issue with not being able to approach my Mom now, because she was so tired between going to the hospital and coming home to run the business.
I don’t remember how long this went on, but between the years of 1982, or thereabout, and 1992, my Dad had three heart attacks and a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed on his left side. It was a tough time for all of us, as my Dad had to retire, but he still managed his business and went out on service calls to oversee his staff, but he no longer could work with his hands, or climb a ladder ever again. One thing that was wonderful, that he still was able to do, was drive. He had a “suicide wheel” on his steering wheel, I believe they are illegal now, but he had one at the time. It aided him in steering with one hand and it was definitely a Godsend when he got it and was able to finally drive.
Going back to my story of when I was a teenager; when I was sixteen and a half, I tried to commit suicide for the first time. I took about 1,000 Tylenol, perhaps I thought it would rid me of the pain, emotional pain. I could have had liver failure and my system could have shut down. My parents found me as I was not feeling well, laying on my bedroom floor, passed out and with a weak pulse. I was rushed to the ER, had my stomach pumped and I was sent to the Psychiatric Ward for three months. My parents thought that it was best that I go into a Half-way House that was for behavioral children. I stayed there for a year and a half and left when I turned 18.
My problems did not end there, I went to College, flunked out because I started using drugs and drinking more often than when I started, at twelve years old. I just wanted the pain to go away and every time I was in that house, there was pain, staring me straight in the face. Perhaps it was haunted, I am not sure, perhaps my Mom at times was possessed when she was drinking and when she was a dry drunk (not drinking, but behaviors are still there), but I don’t know. These are things that I put to rest with my Mom when she she moved on from this plane in 2008. I know that she did the best she could with what issues she had to face on her own, taking care of everything and having the onus on her! All on her and there is nothing she could do about it. She had to accept the cards that she was dealt. I do know how that feels, and it isn’t easy being the one to manage the household, let alone with 2 young children at home and 2 boys in College, who still depend on your support at times.
However, I did not understand this at the time, I thought that I was important too and I didn’t feel important anymore, I felt like I was born into some sort of catering job. This wasn’t the case, these things had to happen for me to see how life can change unexpectedly in a split second, without notice. There is no warning and it is the new card you are dealt and you have to learn all over again how to live life. It’s not something anyone wishes upon another, it is just sometimes the way things happen. It can happen time and time again throughout your life on this plane, until the lesson is learned. What is that lesson, you ask? It is something for each of us to decipher on our own, in our own time. Something that I had to learn through a mess of tragedies, to get where I am today.
Moving forward a bit, when Matt was killed and I woke up to the knowledge that he had died in a fire at the Night Club; three hours after I just said goodbye to him and gave him a kiss at the door, I was devastated. We were to get married eight months after he was killed and just bought our house seven months prior to that. My whole timeline changed, my whole life was turned upside down in that split second and if he had stayed home, he may have gotten killed in some other way. This is what he was destined for and his job was now done and he could go home and I think he knew this. He had helped me gain myself back, but when he was killed, I couldn’t see that, I had really lost a huge part of me. I didn’t understand how he could leave me, he was my soul-mate, my other half.
A little over a year after Matt was killed, I met a nice guy online, his name is Greg, I started talking to him because he was going through a very nasty separation with his wife, at the time. The way she left him, so abruptly, reminded me of Matt leaving me so abruptly. I felt his pure of heart, I felt his wonderment still, this woman did not break him, this made him stronger, more pure at heart, and more empowered. He was blessed she left him for someone else. He would not have met me and actually felt true love with anyone else as it is one of those things that is very difficult to find and I found it twice, that still amazes me. I wasn’t even looking, I was just consoling someone who lost their wife and thought of him as another hurt soul that needed a friend, like I needed a friend who knew what I was feeling.
A month and a half later, it was July 4th weekend, so everyone was away and I had nothing to do and neither did Greg, so I came down to Pennsylvania to spend the weekend. Greg was such a gentleman, he paid for a hotel room for me and was such a sweet soul, I still didn’t think anything of it, or did I? 🙂
When I ended up at his house, 8 hours later, I was so exhausted that I asked if I could lay down on his couch for a while before we got dinner. As I lay there, we were talking, I felt energy, it was electric and I didn’t even know what it was. I feel another bzzzz. So I ask Greg if I can hold his hand, he couldn’t deny me, so we held hands and all we felt was pure electricity. We both asked the other if we had felt it, and we both did. It was amazing and still is amazing. I actually never left his side since, we have been together 7 years and have been married almost 6 years. Even though we go through our own issues, we know that life couldn’t be any worse than what we had. We still hear the birds chirping every morning and most of the day, the sun shines in our house like it was a beam of light made just for us.
So life can be great, even though you have ailments, can barely get out of bed, like Greg is now, and you just have to re-adjust your lifestyle and it takes time to get used to, but always remember to slow down your pace, look around you and smile. Smile a lot! Bring your shining smile to the world so that children around the world do not have to go through what I went through, or what other children went through or are going through. Let’s make this a place where children of the world can smile and express themselves appropriately, not through sex, because sex does not equal love.
Let them know reasons why you, as an adult, say things, give examples and don’t be afraid to bring your own experiences into the conversation. You are trying to raise an adolescent into an adult, talk to them, not at them, talk nicely, try to understand them and do not close yourself off to their ideas or thoughts. We can all think we are completely right all of the time, but we aren’t right all of the time, just some of the time and that’s okay, but to listen is to learn and to learn is to listen. This also applies to teenagers as well, they must respect their parents, we have been there and done that, we were once your age. So everyone needs to talk to each other like adults and that is how it is learned. No yelling, no name calling, or “You act like a… or “You look like a ….” These words do not exist anymore as we heading into the Age of Aquarius, into the Golden Age.
© 2011 – 2012, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.