My Review of Disney Pixar CoCo

So because I am for sure certain that others haven’t seen the movie yet, I will not give out any spoilers.  I will instead tell you how the movie affected me and my family.  We went to see it on Saturday night (December 16).  We had a full day that day.  My son had a play date over that day, and just with some running around, we were looking forward to some family time.

Well one of the first things you will notice is that the movie is super colorful.  Its eye-catching and that alone kept my 3-year-old engaged.  The movie is about a young man named Miguel who wants to become a singer. His family has banned music and all of its influences.  He wants to sing so bad that he ends up in the Land of the Dead to get a blessing from his family.  So the beat marches on to see how this will end for Miguel. The adventure is all over the place. I loved it.  The kids loved it.  Now to the part you need to know:

  1. There is a lot of reference to the dead.  If you are not comfortable and wanting to have this conversation with the little people you may take with you, this isn’t the movie for you.  It can still be enjoyed beyond death but since the whole movie is around it, just be on alert!
  2. If you or your child has recently lost someone this can be a movie that helps or aids in healing. It really helped my kids in expressing the pain of losing their grandmother. I didn’t expect that response but crying is good for the soul, right?!
  3. It was good to see Mexican culture in a positive light.  I loved everything about it
  4. It was long enough to catch my attention and hold it but not too overwhelming long.
  5. It got standing ovation and the movie came out Thanksgiving day, and it’s still has a great impact on the crowds that are viewing it.

Now I am not a big crier but I will tell you this, seeing my 8-year-old with so much emotion got me. I mean she was crying and she doesn’t cry that often either.  I could not help but to be moved.  It helped us as parents as we were overcome with emotion to openly discuss her feelings.  This is why I have to say if you have kids that are of age but don’t want to open this emotional well, then be cautious, view it yourself first.

All in all this movie was solid, it had romance, drama, adventure, and culture.  This is a must see with the right audience.  My younger daughter didn’t tap into the emotional parts of the movie.  However my older two, ages 6 and 8 definitely understood.  We all needed to keep Mom-Mom continually in our hearts.  I have a feeling that her memory will be here in our hearts forever!

Never Forgotten; Year One….

Well as many of my readers and followers know a year ago today, my mother in law transitioned from Earth.  It was such an experience.  This blog is dedicated to the memory of Deborah Ann Wilson-Storr.  We have lost a piece of her and we are trying our best to hold it together. This year has had so many ups and downs.  These are the things that I have personally noticed:

  1. Time right now hasn’t healed our hearts. My kids are still visibly moved by my mother in law’s passing.  My oldest will go to the gravesite but will not get close.  My son is still missing her and asking for her, but then will remember that she’s not here. My youngest was only 2 when she passed away but will say things like momma said….. Trust me it’s really spooky and the things that she says really sounded of things she would have said.  We were super worried that she was the one who didn’t have a close relationship because she was so young.
  2. Holidays and birthdays aren’t the same.  I try to still keep in line with what we would have done if she was here, but you can feel it.  I can’t think of a holiday where we as a family haven’t talked about her and what her presence not being here has meant.  She died right around Halloween and before Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s been hard.
  3. I notice that I didn’t cry as much as I did when she first passed but now I do more and its overwhelming.  I never thought what life would be like without her here. I always thought she would be a part of whatever we were doing and not having her here has been unbearable at moments.
  4. I include her memory in everything. I do not want my kids to loss her memory.
  5. My youngest still inter changes my mom and my mother in law’s name.  They call my mom Hanmom and her Mom-Mom and she will ask to go to mom-mom’s house but she really means my mom.  It’s not just a little slip up, we correct her and she is convinced. She has been asking to go to my mom’s house more lately.  It’s hard to know what a 3rd year old means all the time.
  6. Her passing has made me think of my own parents, and the relationship with my kids.  They are now the main grandparent here on Earth. I want them to be closer. However on grandparents day because of distance we had were honored to ask my mother in law’s best friend to stand in but I remember my son being upset and stating how unfair it was his grandparents weren’t there.
  7. As a mother I want to be sure that my words towards my kids are better.  I do not want any words between me and them to be in left field that when I am no longer here, they don’t have to heal from anything negative.  Her death makes me want to be as honest, right, and more loving to my own children.
  8. Lastly anger.  It has been weird and I try not to bother my husband about it, but I have felt angry at times. Like why there wasn’t more that could be done to keep her here with us a little longer.
  9. Not to take life for granted. I remember my mother in law had this list of these great things she wanted to do like take a trip to the Bahamas, buy a new car, or take her grandkids to Disney and sadly those things never happened. I remember when she was in the hospital and telling me what she was going to do, I told her that I would hold her to it.  Now she can’t and I will forever use that energy to do all of the things I possibly can. I don’t want to wait until later, etc.  I want to be sure that I live my best life daily.  So now I move differently in how I honor myself.  In this, will honor her and be a great testament to my kids at the same time.

Like I have said our interactions between my mother in law had intense moments like any other daughter in law and mother in law could have.  However it was always my desire to be closer to her.  What I enjoyed about her was her ability to handle her money and save.  She has taught me that. I know for a fact that I am a better shopper, a better woman of my finances as well as better at ruling my home because of her.

She taught me how to love my husband. My husband is an only child.  You can imagine above all else of what I have learned, how I may be mending, or how our children are doing is his emptiness.  She showed me how to love unconditionally. I always thought that was something that was so natural but it’s not.  She showed me how to handle people mistreating you, talking about you and still being yourself.  EVERYONE knows how it is to be in “Debbie’s world.”  She never wavered in who she was, how she felt, who she like, or who she didn’t like.  She was her, and she didn’t try to change.  She showed me how to love through people.

Whenever I hear my youngest talk, I say okay little Debbie.  She looks like her too.  My 3-year-old is the most sassy but not disrespectful child I have ever encountered.  She reminds me of my mother in law and I just look at her with a side eye at times just like I would my mother in law if she was here.

family

One thing I would say with anyone who has a in law, to speak up for yourself and not be disrespectful.  I know that at times I came off as disrespectful and I have always admitted that there were things that I could have done like leave etc.  However I can say with 100% certainty is that I was in her full corner when it came to making sure she had the BEST care possible.  It was after I moved from her home that our relationship got back on track.  Also at the end of the day there isn’t anything that was done that I felt like I feel guilty about now that she is gone.  That comes from working things out and learning how to work it out.  I am not saying things were perfect at all, but we left things on the track it should have been on way before she passed.  Also keep in mind that regardless of what is done you can be cordial to an in law.  This is a respectful hello and good-bye especially if children are involved.    Do you know how hard it is to explain to a child while you were “being mean” to that grandparent?  Kids watch what you do regardless of what you say. However even in kidless marriages, it will still matter in how you interact.  You can put distance where it’s needed, I am for that. I did the same for a while too, but when you come back, try.  Always find a try within you.  How you handle those around you matters.  Also keep in mind, that just because you don’t like your in-law, they are the root of your significant other.  The love relationship they have regardless of how many times they complain to you is always going to be there. When that in-law transitions they will resent you if you have treated them any less.  They will not care what was done on the opposite end because the in law won’t be there to speak for themselves.  So be truly careful in how you talk, act, and handle this very delicate relationship. I am telling you it WILL matter.

Deborah, I know you are watching over us, making sure we give your grandbabies anything they ask.  I know you know we will not but you would want us to.  You would want us to give them as many kisses for you. I try daily to do just that and more.  The way you loved those 3 grandkids of yours was nothing more than I could have given and I am their mother. I pray that as we continue in this life, that your memory will burn bright everyday. I pray you are honored in how we move and live daily.  Until you can give me another side eye, I love you!!

The wind has been taken out of our sail….

So as mother’s day comes I always have been in mind of those who do not have their mom.  It is a hard thing. It doesn’t matter if the relationship between you and your mom was the worst on the planet, everybody needs their mom. Outside of Christmas, this time of the year is one of the most hardest times for people.  This year to our surprise we are dealing with the same.  My mother in law passed this past November and it seemed as if life has most definitely changed.

My husband is going to experience his first mother’s day without his mom.  Today I need to put my thoughts to paper and honor her at the same time.  When she passed it happened so fast. There was no moments to breath.  She got sick just about a few days after her birthday in July and never really returned home outside of maybe a day or two. During this time the kids were in the middle, too young to understand but wanting to know why they couldn’t see their mom mom when they wanted to.  Regardless of past times when our relationship was rocky I prided myself on always keeping an open door with her concerning the kids.  If her and the kids requested to see her we made it happen.  This was in addition to regular visits and daily phone calls.  We lived together for quite some time.  As with any mother in law and daughter in law relationship the struggle to be in charge was there.  Its hard in my opinion for two women to live under one room.  Our common ground was always the kids.  If she wanted to do something for the kids as long as it didn’t go against their diet as far as their allergies I was okay with it. She always forgot what they could an couldn’t eat.  She wanted to be able to give them anything and everything she had.  Sometimes it was my need to assert that I was there mom in the way.  Other times it was the “you live here” that got in the way.

Her love for her son was unmatched.  Often times the thin line between separating the relationship of him as a son and him as a father and husband seemed to be the issue if ever there was.  However she loved her son and he loved her.  He is an only child.  We meaning my friends and I and his friends always made fun of him because of it.  He would be the poster boy for the picture perfect momma’s boy.  He hated the term.  He in his mind wanted to be the boy who loved his momma instead.  He was there for her.  She had been sick for quite some time off and on and thus it prevented him in ways from moving away after he graduated college.  She needed him.  So as someone who was fully aware of their relationship before marriage I knew what to expect.  There were conversations between he and I about what I expected in a relationship.  It was never a thing for me to interfere with theirs.  They had their own challenges.  Often times even she wanted my opinion on why he wasn’t as close to her at times.  I remained the same, staying out of it. You know things go, if I speak up on something I would become the bad person and I had went through that once.  I am a quick learner so I quickly hit stage left in the middle of their arguments.  She and I had our trying times.  When we moved out it got much better. It took me some time to visit.  I needed space and I needed it to be on my terms.  I needed time to restore the peace and I wanted it to be because I wanted to come not because I felt obligated.  She felt like I should have just come just because she requested and she was right in some regards. However I needed it to come from a good place and not forced.  I do not and still do not feel that relationships with people should come from title alone.  Love and respect have tobe mutal and sometimes respect earned from both parties to make it work.  You can’t love someone you don’t respect.

In spite of it all, the time apart paid off.  I found we texted more often.  She called more often.  She asked me to come over usually to do stuff but in that she opened up more. It was a relationship forming.  As she got sicker and had to be in and out of the hospital I stepped up as a daughter in law making sure the doctors were doing what they said.  I even almost came to blows with one doctor.  My thing was making sure she had the same treatment as my own mother.  No one wants to be mistreated in hospitals and nursing homes.  During this transition I did what I always did in the background, let marques be a son.  It was his season to do so.  He needed to be there for her.  His job and his family became secondary.  I would have it no other way.  As I look back it was the best thing. Had I put pressure on him he would regret me.  He is already dealing with enough my antics wasn’t needed and I gave him none.  She needed him and in those moments I just watched.  I tried not to ask too many questions.  Just not stressing him was what he needed.  On the faithful day that she took her last breath, I had gotten to the room and had some alone time with her before others arrived.  She and I just talked a week before alone.  She planned to make my favorite meal, pepper steak when she got home.  She wanted me to get the kids Christmas gifts too.  She wanted me to plan a trip to Disney World.  She laid it out there. However at this one on one moment she no longer could tell me what she wanted.  I sat quiet because I had no idea what I was supposed to say.  I just kept telling her that I would look over her son and grandkids.  I told her that I loved her. I was glad that she and I had a really long talk the week before and said love you to each other.  She told me that I wasn’t the issue.  She just wanted to be included and felt like she wouldn’t be and that she and I can talk about what boundaries she would agree on. That was her way of saying let’s make it better.  I took notes, but sadly I watched scared to death as she took her last breath holding my husbands hands that got weak.  I am afraid of death.  I don’t even go to funerals like I probably should.  But I was there.  I still see images of the whole thing unfolding.  However it was peaceful even though it was hard.

At the funeral the part that broke me was that my son who is and was super close to her had been out-of-pocket all morning.  When they wheeled her out of the church he screams somebody get me my mom mom.  I broke.  I was trying to be strong for the house but in that moment reality set in.  The woman who wanted to be there for everything was gone.  My world was changing.  I felt guilty too.  My mom was at the funeral sitting what felt like forever away from me and I wanted and needed her.  I couldn’t calm my son.  He was besides himself and rightfully so.  I ran to my own mother. I just needed to hold her.  I felt bad and still do for my husband.  He is doing as well as he can be these days.  This year I plan on going to my moms the day before so I can be there for him all day Sunday.  I pray that although his lost is great that he will find comfort in knowing that he did all he could for her.  He was there for her.  He loved her and she loved him.  I pray peace and love in his heart this year.

My family and when I say that I mean my immediate family the ones I live with have been hurting since she left.  We know she’s in our hearts but there are times when thing happen and we remember that she would have loved to be there.  We remember she would have had something to say about whatever was going on.  I haven’t taken her number and name out of my phone. Sometimes it comes up when I go to call my own mom.  Her influence in my life will never go away.  I have shared tears, arguments, food, and living space with someone.  I love her and I miss her.

Here are the lessons I learned from my mother in law,

  1. Bills-Pay them on time and keep accurate records.  When I tell you as we went through the things that were left behind she kept her bills from the 90s.  She was always calling making sure she watched every coin that left her account.  She made sure her money was together.
  2. Love-she loved her son and when she passed it was like she passed the torch to me. She showed me what it was really like.  When I leave my kids daily I am more careful of the interactions I have with them. I go above to make sure I say I love them and give hugs and kisses.  I want that if I should not return for their last memories of me to be that of a loving mother, not a mother who was too busy.  My husband’s mom worked for 40 years at Social Security and as a single mom, she still made time and everyone around her knew her son was her pride and joy.
  3. She was strong-although she may have been wrong she was strong in her convictions.  If she believed it was so, she made sure that others knew it too.  I doubt there was anyone in the family who didn’t know where she stood.  Even the ones who may have to say hey that don’t make sense, they knew she wasn’t changing her mind that easily.
  4. Family-she believed in it. This one is a struggle for me.  She knew when people were using her, or if and when others wouldn’t drop everything for her when she needed it but she still was there.  She talked often about doing for her family and how she just wanted everyone to get together more.  She loved family.  I admired that about her.  I had a hard time opening up and letting others in.  It’s usually had to do with once I do and then they do something to hurt me I would push them away so I wouldn’t feel that way again.  She always put herself out there regardless.
  5. Worry-she was one that worried a lot.  Watching her having all kinds of desires that she wanted to happen let me know now to stop putting things off until another day. She wanted to get a new car, travel, and she was retired.  A large part was her health that held her back.  Sometimes it was just thinking if she did for herself in one area it would cause another issue in another area.  She always told me not to do that.

As this Mother’s Day comes along, the memory of Deborah Ann Wilson-Storr shines bright.  For that I honor her!!  Happy Mother’s Day in heaven and thank you for leaving love here on Earth in Marques and your grandkids!!