Thursday, March 14, 2019


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My List of Ten Things I Miss
 Written by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

Last year at this time our family was coping with the loss of our father shortly after he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. It was devastating, overwhelming, and emotionally numbing at times.  The past couple of weeks have crept up on me like a child who creeps up to your bed at night, peers over the edge of the bed, and whispers, "Mommy!" The jolt of those moments is real and instant and makes you feel bad when you shout back in shock. For me, it seems like my emotional connection to my father's death was suspended; waiting in a corner of my mind as if in a temporary, long-term time out.  The past two weeks have nudged those emotions back to the center of the room and away from the corner.  It has been a bitch! And I have tried to embrace it.

Rose Gold Tone Medical ID Jewelry

These emotions of grief and abandonment have shaken me by the shoulders and screamed at me that it's okay to cry.  And so I have cried at damned near everything.  My chest has been heavy with sadness while my neck and shoulders have ached; all this pain from failed attempts to quell the weepy emotional mess of memories that continues to surface. I want to call my siblings and talk to them about what each of us experienced individually and when we were assembled together. Yet I cannot make myself pick up the phone and make those calls.  I don't know what to say or how to effectively share my experiences when I am worried how it will appear to them.

It is hard to explain how precious those moments were to me. The moments we had together as a family meant so much and yet, I feel like my contributions were not nearly enough.  I always wish I could have done more, been more, and understood better.  It is hard to let go of those flashbacks in my memories through each of those last days with my father. Now I wonder how each of my siblings is dealing with their own recollection of the events.  I want to know. I really do. But maybe we're not all ready.  One year has gone by so fast, and many moments feel like they are suspended in time, waiting for us to deal with them.

Dealing with grief is hard, painful, and soul searing at times.  Each of us has our own starting point, and we often take many different paths toward resolution of our loss.  Today, I am offering ten things I miss about what happened last year as we gathered together one more time as a family to say good-bye and comfort one another. This is what I have to offer at the moment, and I hope my siblings will see it and know how much I love and care for them.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019


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This article first appeared on the following site:
Reprinted here with revisions.

Monkey Bars, Mud Pies, and Movement
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez
Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


It's O.K. to let the kiddos enjoy a water play fountain or mud puddle once in a while.  One of the best memories I have from childhood is when my younger brother and I played in a huge mud puddle outside our home.  We were covered in mud and totally soaked in dirty water.  My parents, unbeknownst to us, were filming our antics.  They have the evidence that I encouraged my brother to dip his hair into the filthy muck and we both laughed as the muddy water trickled down his face when he lifted his head.  We had a blast and I'm still amazed that my parents actually let us do that.  My mother said that she never could get all that mud out of our clothing no matter how many times she washed them.  But that memory is priceless. 

Documenting Priceless Memories is an Investment 
in Your Family's History! 

Don't worry, my brother got me back many times over.  He could tell me a story with a straight face and I always believed him.  I kinda still do.  His jokes are legendary and I love it when he sends me my favorite "Far Side" cartoons.  But the amount of fun we had as kids often involved getting as much mud, dirt, and water on ourselves as possible before the street lights came on at night.

  Let's paint, create with play dough, cook in the kitchen, 
and make blanket tents! 

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Kids need lots of opportunities to explore, play, and get messy.  I remember a day when I took my three children to a park right after it rained.  I had not anticipated the play area would be so flooded.  The kids were restless and didn't care that the ground beneath the swing set was muddy.  They had been in the house all day and needed to play.  I hadn't planned for it, but went ahead and let them get messy.  They laughed, had fun, and even made up stories to go along with their muddy adventure.  I couldn't help but laugh with them as I recalled my own muddy memories.  We finally decided to go home when it became too chilly and the wind picked up.  I didn't even mind the clean up of both car and kids following our visit to the park.  

Here are a few things to remember if it's hard for you 
to get on board with the tremendous messes 
that come with childhood:

Kids LOVE Projects!

1.  Kids are washable.  A bit of bath water and some soap and most of them clean up pretty well.  😉

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2.  Messy memories are some of the best.  We also loved lots of finger painting (that often reached beyond their finger tips), 
play dough, cookie creations (lots of flour everywhere), and bubbles. All of these required clean up.

Documenting family memories 
is a great way to preserve your history! 

3.  Dirt, sand, and grass stains were the result of many creative play adventures.  Kids learn through play. 
 Let them have opportunities to explore and get messy! 
Then take them to the laundry mat for a whole new adventure!  (Lol)

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4.  Don't worry too much about the clothes. They outgrow them pretty fast anyways.  Also, shop at thrift stores like Good Will and The ARC to save on clothing costs.  Then you won't feel as bad when the clothes get messed up. Save other clothes for special occasions if you'd like, but be prepared to take pictures right after putting them on the kiddos.  Chances are, that adorable outfit won't stay clean very long. 

Baby Aspen

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Inside Secrets of a Former Child Development Teacher

TIP:  If your child attends a full day child care program/school, please expect that at some point those clothes will become dirty. Please do NOT send them in their best outfits and expect them to look the same way at the end of the day. They need to have fun, and the teachers need to worry about other things besides keeping clothes clean.

5.  Kids LOVE projects!  When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother signed up to receive craft kits once a month.  This kept us occupied and allowed our family to create some incredibly fun things: Candle making, Macrame plant hangers, Decoupage decorations for the wall, Cross stitch Christmas ornaments, and so many more! 


Grow and Make

I have to remind myself on a daily basis that messes comes with childhood.  Now that my three children are much older, I do have expectations that they pick up their room and try to keep the house clean.  (And that battle is for another blog.)

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As I write this, their rooms reflect a disaster of epic proportions and I am trying to breathe through the trauma that occurs when I walk past their I try to keep closed.  But for now, I'll smile at the messy memories as we work toward that next stage in their development. 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Wishing everyone a wonderful week filled 

with challenges, adventures, &
plenty of resources to tackle your goals!

Kindest Regards,
~ Mary

Preserve your memories!