A Woman's Wealth

If a woman's wealth were measured by the love her family has for her, I hope I would be counted among the richest of the world!

If a woman's wealth were measured by how much love she has for her family, I know I would be at the top of the list.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Knock Knock

Knock Knock!  Who's there?  Anyone?  Really, is anyone still out there?  I thought I might start blogging again.  It seems like the only journal I will be able to keep :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. Not just service members, but those who have passed before us.
Last week I had the privilege of attending a conference in Washington DC. I had never been there. While there, I was able to take a few hours out and “sightsee”. I cringe to use that word when talking about visiting the memorials of our nation. Sightseeing sounds so frivolous and frivolous is not a word I would use in conjunction with what I saw and felt.

First of all, just being there felt surreal in a way. To know there was sooo much history right in front of me. It was amazing. Then I saw many of the war memorials. Since it was the week before Memorial Day, some of the memorials were being cleaned and were not in their full glory. However, the reason and intent of the memorial was very evident.

I walked slowly along the WWII memorial. One, because it was amazing (as all of them were), and two, since it was right before the big weekend there were a LOT of WWII veterans there so I walked slowly to hear some of what was being said. Many of them were talking to the person who was pushing their wheel chair or holding them on one side while they walked with a cane on the other. They would say stuff like "I was a fighter pilot", or where they served, or talked about the guys they served with. I did not get to hear too much because they were very soft spoken when talking. Some because they were reverent, some because they were lost in the past, some because of both. I stood back because I knew these were personal feelings. When I could feel the weight of their feelings and memories I moved on because I felt I was intruding.

I have heard all my life about what the veterans have done for this country and how grateful I should be for our service members. Since I am the daughter in a military family, granddaughter of military, and was a military wife for 7 years, I know this, and I appreciate it. However, nothing could have made me feel this as profoundly as I did in Washington DC when I went to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

I started to walk along the walls and to look at the names of thousands of service members who died either in the war, or as a result of injuries sustained in the war. They were faceless names of men and women who meant nothing more to me than the fact they served my country and I was appreciative. I kept scanning names I did not know; not really seeing them. Then I happened upon a scene that lasted only seconds but will forever be with me. There was a woman who had her camera pointed at someone standing at the wall just a few feet away. Not wanting to walk in front of her, I walked around. In that instant I glanced at the woman who was having her picture taken. There she stood, she was either in her 70’s or 80’s. I am not sure of her age because the raw grief on her face made it difficult to tell. She stood there looking at the camera with her finger on a name, oblivious to all those around her. The camera clicked and she turned her attention to the name. The tears were running freely down her face. The grief was so potent that I turned away in shame because I was intruding on such a personal and sacred moment. It lasted only seconds, but it seemed like a lifetime.

I handed the person with the camera a tissue to give to the woman, and I turned away and kept walking. No words were exchanged. Nothing. What could be said? I became profoundly aware that I did not understand what it meant to have true gratitude in my heart for our service members. Especially for the ones who lost their lives. Most importantly, I never thought to have gratitude for the family members who lost their loved ones.  At least not beyond the initial learning of the death.  Here it is, decades later and this woman’s grief seemed as fresh for her as when she lost her husband, child, fiancĂ©, friend or whomever it was that was so dear to her heart.

I think the significant part of it was, it could have been my mother standing at the wall with her finger on my father’s name while I captured a minuscule picture of her grief through a camera lens. It brought reality to my door. My father served in that war and did not lose his life.  However, I am sure there are profound things he did lose such as his innocence, his ability to see mankind only at it's best, and so forth.  He has never said, and we have never asked.

How grateful I am to the service members of this nation, to their families who sacrifice, to the families who have continued on, to the service members who pay the ultimate price. I am humbled and grateful to the woman at the wall who unintentionally, and unwittingly, shamed me from my box of “platitude gratitude”.  She let me know that I am a blessed woman to live in a country so free; bought for me with a huge price tag that was, by no means, free.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thanks Mom and Dad

Thanks Mom and Dad

Today is my birthday.  I am being celebrated.  First at home with cards and a gift to Amazon, then here at work with a sugar free cake and plant (thanks Maura and Shelly).  However, upon reflection, it dawns on me that I did the easy part.  All I did was “get birthed”.  So, I would like to take a minute to celebrate my parents.  After all, they did the hard part, and I am not just referring to my teenage years J.

Mom and Dad…thanks for falling in love.  Too many kids today are born to parents who have fallen in “lust”.  Thanks for having the real deal.  Because of that I learned what I wanted in a marriage and have, hopefully, carried that forward to what my kids want in a marriage too.  Because you actually love each other, I was able to see that marriage is not always smooth sailing but if you love and respect a person, you learn to appreciate the queasy feeling when you have to ride the marriage roller coaster. I learned when you love someone you want them to feel good and be happy.  That has taught me to be a better person.

Thanks for disciplining me.  I would like to say I am sorry for every thing I have ever done wrong…but I can’t.  I am sorry for any grief you guys had at my doing, but I am glad for (almost) anything I did.  It taught me a few things.  One, to sometimes push the envelope if I feel strongly about something; two, there are consequences for my actions both good and bad; three how to love my children in spite of their actions.

Thank you for teaching me to be independent.  Dad, thank you for being in the military and then to have “wandering” feet when out of the military.  I learned that I wanted and deserved a husband (and father for my children) who did what needed to be done to support his family.  I also had the privilege of learning self reliance from those experiences.  I watched Mom handle things while you were gone.  I learned from her that I am capable of doing what needs to be done for the benefit of my family regardless of whether my husband was in the vicinity or not.  I am not a helpless female…I am Woman, hear me roar!....Thanks Mom.  This has been beneficial to my marriage to because Orey knows I am capable of doing what needs to be done when he is not around.  He trusts all is well with his family and this makes it easier for him to focus on whatever thing has temporarily going on and is away from us.

Dad, thanks for not being rich in money.  I learned being poor is not a disease and can actually have benefits.  I learned to enjoy spending time with my family playing games, or reading, or baking.  I value family because I was not taught to value money over family.  Mom, thanks for working to make ends meet.  I learned that I can be an awesome mother and work outside the home.  I learned that a job is important but no matter what, but my family comes first….always, even at the expense of my job.  Deborah once said that she would not believe it could be possible to work outside the home and still be a “full time” mom if she had not seen it with her own eyes.  I take that as high praise and would like you to know I learned it from you.

Thank you for teaching me to be a “hands on” parent and being involved in my kids’s life. I am not sure they have always appreciated it…maybe secretly they did :)
Thank you for choosing to have a family, for giving birth to me, for gazing lovingly upon my newborn face and knowing in your heart of hearts that you wanted the best for me. That you would do everything in your power to make my life a good one, even though you worried about if you were up to the challenges of being a good parent. I know you did this. How do I know? Because I did the same to every one of my children, and I only learned from the best.

Happy Birthday to me! Thanks Mom and Dad. Mwah!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Defined Woman

I had a conversation recently and the subject of how many children I have came up.  Interestingly enough, for years we have been the subject of large family discrimination…I know, weird.  When it first happened I only had 5 at the time.  Now I have 10 so you can imagine what people say now J 

That being said, I want to take this time and space to thank my children for all they do to define me.  Lots of people go through life trying to figure out who they are and what their purpose is.  I have the luxury and honor of not having that burden.  My purpose is to be who I am which is my husband’s wife, my children’s mother, and me as a person.  I know, some of you cringed when I stated it in those terms.  There was a time when I might have too.

When I was young I heard many women say they had lost themselves and now they are just known as “Tom’s wife”, or “Jonnie or Sue’s mother”.  They had such disdain in their voice that I swore I would never fall into that pit.  Guess what?!  I didn’t fall into that pit!  I ran gloriously and willingly!  What bliss and freedom is to be had when you embrace it.

Again, I see the cringing.  Let me explain.  I was 16 when I met my husband, 17 when I left Marina Feliz and became Mrs. Orey Crounk.  I was 18 when I added the title of Maura’s mom, 20 for Deborah’s mom, 25 for Rebekah’s mom, 26 for Alexander’s mom, 27 for Marina’s mom, 29 for Keith’s mom (even though he and Alexander are the same age, I did not become “mom” to him til he was about 3), 41 for Eric’s mom, 46 for Gabriel and JadaLynn’s mom, 47 for Tristan’s mom.  Not to mention the wonderful title of Granna to Juliet, Seth, Breana, Bethanie, Dean, Eli and Abigail. 

I love all these titles.  They are like badges of honor and glory.  I have to ask the question, if I chose to disdain these titles and search for the “real me”, what would I find?  Who would I find?  Would I be happy or lonely?  Would I be caring or selfish?  Would I be immoral because I am always searching for that one thing or one person who “completes” me?  Hmmm, I wonder…..but not too hard.

The core of the issue is, I would not turn from these titles any more than I would turn from sustenance.  These titles define who I am, a life well lived, memories that fill my mind and heart, and a constant reminder of what blessings are placed in my life.  I do not try to “find myself” because I am never lost.  Attached to each of these titles is a beautiful person whom I love dearly and have a unique relationship individually with.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.

So, to my husband, children, and grandchildren, thank you for defining who I am as a person.  Thank you for making me important in your life.  Thank you for giving me a title to be proud of!  I love you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do you ever wish you could be something you are not?

If you answered "no" to that question then I say "you go Girl (or guy)!!". I, on the other hand, cannot answer no. I love my life and it is a good life. I like who I am. Sometimes, I just don't like "how" I am. There are things about me that I wish I could change. Things like how I handle money, or how I have no couth, or how I step on toes and feelings. It's not as if I enjoy doing ridiculous stuff, it just seems to come to me naturally...and I hate it. But yet I do it.

My saving grace is that my family loves me and accepts me. They don't always like me when I do things, and I can't blame them, but they love me because they know it is not something I do to be hurtful. I am grateful for them and for the forgiveness they extend me continously.

Thank you and I love you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary! Okay, it is Orey's too :) We are not doing anything sectacular today because we have enjoyed an anniversary "season" it seems. The highlight was when the kids threw a surprise anniversary party for us. That was amazing and so very wonderful! Thank you kids for that wonderful gift.

The special thing that I will do today to celebrate 30 years married to a wonderful man who just happens to be my soulmate, it to reflect on the events of all those years. Both bad and good. I will think of our families, our family we created together, the friends we have made and lost throughout the years, the decisions we made in life to get where we are and so forth. That should take the whole week or more :)

If you are reading this then you probably know us and are a part of our history. Thank you for being a part of something so wonderful that my greatest wish is that everyone would be able to experience this.

Here's to another 30 years times a billion or more!!!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Can't Imagine

I can't imagine what it must feel like to have someone come up to you and tell you that you will lose your child. You are not a fit parent and it does not look good. Then hand you the baby to love on for an hour. How does that feel to hold that precious baby in your arms not knowing when the last time you will hold him will be. My heart aches for this mother. I love her and have much compassion for her. At the end of the hour, that someone literally had to remove the baby from your arms because you don't want to let him go. I wonder how different her life would be if she had the life she (and every child) truly deserves. On the other hand, how different my life would be....incomplete.

I pray for blessings of comfort and peace on her. I would like it if you would do the same. She needs the prayers....and the love. I am grateful she loves her children enough to want a better life for them. I am grateful she chose me to be their mother. Thank you L...with all my heart! I love you.