Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: More About Me

I decided to step back in time.  I realized there may be some who have not been on this roller coaster journey with me since the beginning.  Blogging started as a challenge for me in March of 2013, and 1,547 posts later I am still blogging.  Things have changes some but I am still sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences with you.

So let’s go back to June 22, 2013 and see what was happening:

It has been 84 days of blogging – sharing all of the random tidbits of information that have been stored away in my brain for all of these years.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I know.  Crazy, right?  Today’s post is going to let you get to know me a little bit better.  I know I may loose some readers here but it is a chance I am willing to take since I don’t do it often.  I figure every few weeks, I would share some personal stuff to let you in on life as Hope.

After graduating from Ocean Township High School, I headed off to Roger Williams College (which is now a University) in Bristol, Rhode Island.  A small school on the coast of Rhode Island about 20 minutes from Newport.  I started out in Education but quickly changed my major to Administration of Justice.  I actually excelled in these classes, unlike my first semester of freshman year when I almost flunked out.  This Jersey Girl never let the sand leave my shoes even when I wasn’t in NJ, I was always close to a beach.  After graduation, I stayed in Rhode Island to work for the Governor’s Justice Commission.  A fancy title for a Program person that wrote evaluations and recommendations on services that were available in the Juvenile Justice system for at risk youth in Rhode Island.  My first “funded” position through a grant and I had no clue what it all meant.  I truly thought that I could make a difference.  About 6-months into the job, my Aunt Elsie sent me a job posting for Neptune Township for the Police Department.  I applied and actually got the job!  WOW!  I was headed back home.

Don’t get nervous folks, I wasn’t a police officer – I was a Crime Prevention Specialist.   Fancy title, huh?  Basically, I along with Howard O’Neill who was a cop, were to do crime prevention seminars, rape prevention classes, home safety checks, etc in the community.  You remember McGruff the Crime Dog?  We were partners with him.  It was a job back home and I enjoyed being home, close to family and back at my roots on the Jersey Shore.  For those that have heard me tell the story of why I answer to the name “Heather” this is why.  It was at this job that the Police Commissioner for the ENTIRE time I worked there called me Heather.  I guess that she either didn’t like my name or really wanted Heather for the job.

The casinos opened in Atlantic City and I went to AC for the first time to see the casinos.  There was lots of excitement and the listings for available jobs was long.  At this point, the only casino was Resorts but there were many building and looking for employees. I came back to Neptune and put my resume together.  Never thinking that I had shot.  You guessed it, I got called for an interview by the Director of Security, Gordon Jenkins, for the Claridge Casino Hotel.  The interview was at a little coffee shop in AC at one of the converted motels that was being used for offices.  Gordon was from Las Vegas and was brought in to set things up.  A sweet man who was looking for a secretary that could transition into an Administrator as they go closer to opening.  He always had a smile on his face and loved to have breakfast meetings.  In fact, this is where I developed the habit of putting strawberry jam on cheese omelets.  Don’t knock it till you tried it!  He offered me the job and I jumped on it.  More money.  The excitement of AC.  This was when commuting became a part of my life.  I traveled 5 days a week from Ocean Grove to AC for many months….This was the first part of what I often call “my previous” life.

Treasure your memories, learn from your past and your mistakes, then use the things your have learned to grow in your personal development which will help you in your business.

As I look back on old posts, it helps me to remember.  Memories have been slowly disappearing as a result of the lesions on my brain.  Little did I know how much blogging would help me to catch glimpses of the past.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Happy Birthday Mom!

mom1I’m super excited I get to spend the day with mom… the first time in many years we have actually spent the day together on her birthday.  Yup, today is mom’s birthday.  Not to worry, I tell how old you are because honestly, no one would believe me.

Despite the memory gaps as a result of the MS, I actually have some memories of life with mom.

mom2

I will admit I was a spoiled only child.  I could be difficult at times – like when I refused to move to our new house during middle school.  I actually thought it was my mother’s plot to ruin my life.

Despite the heartache and headaches I gave my parents growing up, Mom was always there. She opened our home to my friends without giving it a second thought.  Ours was the house to go to after a basketball game or when there was no place else to go. The house was always stocked with snacks whether I brought 2, 10, 25 or more people.  I was not always thrilled but I was grateful. After my Junior Prom, my parents made breakfast for over 300 kids. Yes, the parade of non-stop kids through the house was a little more than this teenager was ready for but mom stood strong.  Dad cooking, mom cleaning up and making sure everyone was fed.

My college years brought some struggles. Freshman year, my parents divorced and it wasn’t easy. I was in Rhode Island while mom was home holding down the fort. Scrimping pennies to make sure I had a home to come back to. They were tough years but we had fun. She often traveled to Rhode Island for a weekend where we toured the mansions of Newport, shopped in Fall River and she even camped out in my dorm room. After college, when I moved home to work locally, I moved in with mom. We spent endless nights walking the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.

Fast forward to changing jobs and moving to Atlantic County.  The road got a little rough.  Most struggle during their teen years but our struggles came in my late 20’s and 30’s.  It was during these years, my addiction took hold.  I pulled away and mom practiced some tough love but our relationship survived the test. Then along came Belinda.  There were struggles but through it all – mom was there. She helped emotionally, financially and physically. Despite some differences and hiccups in the road – she was there.

When Belinda left for college and I moved to Brick, it was a rough time for both of us. Lives changed – I had a new hubby and the one hour drive to Mays Landing sometimes feels like an eternity. We don’t spend as much time together as I would like but we do try to plan at least once a month mom and me day.

I probably don’t say it a lot and I am sure at times she wonders what I am thinking but the truth is I learned ALOT from my mom. She taught me: how to be strong when life is rough, how to save and budget (okay, a lesson I still struggle with), the importance of family and about being a mom. She reminds me to believe in myself.  She encourages me to reach for my dreams.  I can honestly say my mom is one of my best friends.xmas-2016-2

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you! I hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Happy 80th Birthday Mom!

NYC with mom

I know that you hate pictures but I really LIKE both of these…..YES! I went there and disclosed your age because you DEFINITELY don’t look it.

Let me tell you a little about this AWESOME woman that I get to all mom.DSC_9178

Growing up, Mom was always there. Our home was always open to my friends – I mean we were the house to go to after a basketball game or when there was no place else to go.  The frig was always stocked, the rec room was always ready and sleeping bags were always handy if someone needed to crash for the night.  I may not have always been thrilled but looking back, I am so grateful.   Grateful that I could pick up the phone and say – I am on my way with 2, 10, 25 or more people.  There was never a hesitation even if she was headed to bed.  After my Junior Prom, my parents made breakfast for over 300 kids.  Yes, the parade of non-stop kids through the house was a little more than this teenager was ready for but mom stood strong.  I mean who wants to ALWAYS hang at your own house,right?

As I left for college there were struggles.  Freshman year, my parents divorced and it wasn’t easy.  I was in Rhode Island while mom was home holding down the fort. Scrimping pennies to make sure that I had a home to come back to. They were tough years but we had fun. She would travel to Rhode Island for a weekend where we toured the mansions of Newport, shopped in Fall River and she even camped out in my dorm room.  It was then that things started to change from mother-daughter to friends.  After college, I headed home to work locally, moving back in with mom. We spent endless nights walking the boardwalk in Ocean Grove.  We were a team even though I am sure that I drove her crazy.

When I moved to South Jersey there were many more years of rocky roads.  My years of addiction were tough on Mom and for that I am sorry.  There were arguments and periods of not talking to each other.  I missed her but my addiction had a hold of my life.  Mom practiced tough love during those years but our relationship survived the test of time.  Along came Belinda and more struggles.  Me as a single mom letting pride and my addiction get in the way.  When I got clean – mom was there.  She helped emotionally, financially and physically. Despite some differences and hiccups in the road – she was there.

When Belinda left for college, I moved to Brick and got married.  It has been tough for both of us. Distance makes it hard to “drop in” when I want on my way home from work. No quick calls to have lunch or dinner together.  Most days communication is via email instead of the phone.

Lives changed – I have a part-time weekend job, my own business, and a hubby.  The one hour drive to Mays Landing sometimes feels like an eternity when I thought nothing of it when I was commuting 2 hours one way to work.  We don’t spend as much time together as I would like.  It is on our TO DO list again this year – “plan at least a day per month with mom”.

I probably don’t say it a lot and I am sure at times she wonders what I am thinking but the truth is I learned ALOT from my mom. She taught me: how to be strong when life is rough, how to save and budget (okay, so this course I failed), the importance of family and about being a mom. She reminds me to believe in myself (you would think I would know this by now). I can honestly say that my mom is one of my best friends.

 happy birthday URU

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.  I hope you are enjoying the sunshine in Florida but I do miss spending today with you.  Thank you for always being there for me. I love you!