Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31,2008

Dear Mom,

Today you would have been 58. I can see in my mind's eye the grandmother I would have wanted you to be- loving, kind, running in the yard with Lily, teaching her to plant and grow things. You wouldn't have been that way, of course, but it's what I would have wanted.

There are so many things we could have shared if you had been well. If your mind was whole, your spirit giving. We could have shared the joy in my marriage to this wonderful man, the joy of my daughter, who is just becoming her own person. God, she is so funny mom. Funny, sweet, sassy. She makes me laugh and brings me to tears within seconds of each other. She loves to play, to dance, to sing, to go outside and get filthy. She is so joyful.

Joy is something I am still learning to find. I struggle everyday not to look at the dark side of things, but Lily has taught me alot about living in the moment, and not looking behind. I watch her find delight in the smallest of things, and it teaches me.

Last night we were out on the patio, and she was laughing at her popsicle melting and the drips falling onto her belly and into her bellybutton. She would point, laugh, and go back to eating, then do it all over again. What a gift, to enjoy such a simple thing with all your soul. I am enjoying it as well, because soon enough the world with it's problems will claim some of her joyful nature and rob her of it. I wish I could hold off those days, mom.

I know you see her. I know you watch over her. I also know she sees you sometimes. Not as much anymore, but I remember when she was so tiny and I'd enter her room to smell just the faintest trace of cigarettes and perfume. I knew you were there. Thank you. I know you love her, and I know you have regrets for not being able to be here.

I hope that you are at peace. I hope your life here on earth doesnt haunt you anymore. I know you were so miserable here, mom. I also know you never meant to pass that to me. The path to forgiveness is one I try to walk everyday, but it's been made much easier by Lily's arrival. I know you didn't mean to hurt me, mom. You were sick and you couldn't help it. I can't say it doesn't still hurt, but I can say that forgiveness is very near.

This is the first year that I have ever written to you without bitterness. I find that I don't have much of it left anymore. It seems to have faded and been absorbed in the greatness of my life. I can't sustain it like I used to, and I am so glad. My life is too full with the present to concentrate much on the past.

Mom, I hope you are living with a healed soul now. I hope that whatever torture your mind put you thru in this life is over, and your new life is full of joy and health. I hope you know peace and tranquility.

Watch over me, momma. Watch over Lily. Be kind to yourself in your journey now, no matter where it may be.

I love you.

PS-I remember this song Mom, and everytime I hear it, I think of you. "Let your soul and spirit fly into the Mystic". I hope your soul is flying with joy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An ordinary life

I've been catching up with a friend of mine from junior high/high school whom I tracked down on facebook. We've been talking about the most banal of things- life, marraige, kids, etc.

We chatted for a few minutes today, and she commented on what a nice, ordinary life I have.

At first I took it as a compliment, but as the day wore on, I began to look at that turn of phrase a bit deeper- "nice, ordinary life".

I don't know about you, but mine is anything but. Oh it may look like it from the outside, what with the happy marraige, the beautiful daughter, the dog, the house, the nice car. But my life is so much deeper than that.

There is nothing ordinary in the rush of love I feel for my child, the breathlessness she leaves me with just in being her self.

There is nothing ordinary in the love I have for my husband- my life, my hero, my love, my friend.

In the fact that I have a life I never ever dreamed possible when I was a child.

In the fact that these days I can stand and look in the mirror, and like what I see.

There is nothing ordinary in laughing with my friends until I actually pee myself.

In feeling my heart swell big enough to burst when I watch my baby girl run to me with her arms open.

In lying down at night, in a bed that is soft and giving, in a house that is warm, with a full belly, and with a mind brimming with thoughts, words, and stories.

In drawing the line with my family, in saying no, in saying I love you, and in saying goodbye.

In sitting on my back patio in the warm summer evening, watching my baby eat a popsicle, feeling just the barest breath of wind on my face, and knowing that if heaven is anything like this, I can't wait to get there.

There is nothing ordinary in my life, in my soul, in my love, or in my being.

Thank you, God, for my extraordinary ordinariness. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh. Ma. Gawd.

Picture this: a man calls to his wife from the grage- "I've got a snake out here!!!!"

The wife, being a good and loving companion, goes to the door and begins to scream in the highest pitched voice possible : "KILL IT!!!! KILL IT!!!! KILL THE DAMN THING!!!!"

Then she hears him say... "Oh my god, there are two snakes!"

At this point she screams at decibels only dogs can hear. Only then does she remember she has a daughter and beings to scream "DON'T LET IT EAT MY BABY!!!!!" Her sweet baby looks at her from the driveway and points and laughs, then sits down to enjoy the show.

Her husband yells at her again "Come and help me- I need something to kill it with!!!"

At this point she can't see him or the killer snake(s) because he is hidden by their car, so she tiptoes around it to see he is stepping on the head of one and it's body *shudder* is wrapped around her dear husband's leg.

Any other wife would help. Not this one, oh no. She quickly darts inside and beings screaming like a raving lunatic again. She screams to her baby from the doorway... "Come here! Come here right now before it eats you!!!!" The baby continues to point and laugh.

Her husband then starts laughing. This makes her not only totally irrational, but also angry.

So he points to a shelf in the garage...asks her to hand him a pair of clippers that's "right next to the snake". He means the toilet snake (a plumbing tool) but of course she doesn't know this so she screams and does the hot foot dance all the way back into the house. She begins crying and shaking for good measure.

He's serious now, and he isn't taking no for an answer. The snake is currently cutting off the blood supply to his ankle. So she quickly throws the clippers at him, grabs her poor baby by the arm, and runs like a bat outta hell into the house where she huddles on the couch like a muddled crying mess until he comes to tell her it is finished.

Turns out there WERE two snakes, and one of them was EATING the other.

I am NEVER going outside again.



In sickness and in health...

Yesterday I was sick.

I sent an e-mail apology out to my girls for missing class/training, and within around 2 hours there was a knock at the door. I was sleeping and vaguely heard voices, but feel back to sleep. Five minutes later, another knock, more voices. I went back to sleep, convinced I was hearing things.

When I woke it was to find two beautiful gifts from my good friends Emily and Linda. Grilled cheese, delicious soup, magazines, chocolate, everything I could possibly need to beat the crud.

I immediately sat down and had a nice long cry. Not the reaction you would have expected? Me neither. But it was a good cry- the kind that is full of gratitude, the kind that cleanses.

I can remember quite clearly one of the times I had pneumonia. I was probably 10, and I was miserable. I laid in bed, watching the sun trace across the ceiling of my bedroom, and I cried for my mother. She was at work, not due home for hours. I was so tired and felt so terrible, and I needed...something, someone. I remember falling asleep with tears on my face, the heat of my body radiating out into my small room.

I decided in that moment that sickness was weakness, and I would carry it alone. If I am sick, I will beat it. I will force myself to still go about my routine unless I simply cannot move. I force my body not to give in, because when I lie down memories creep up on me. I go it alone, and rarely even let Mark take care of me.

But yesterday when I saw these simple and loving acts of kindness, I broke a little. A part of my heart that was still hardened melted. I realized that I don't have to go anything alone anymore.

I'm not alone anymore. I'm not alone.

The best part of all of this is that I would do the same for my friends...nothing is too big, no gesture to small. Anything I have is theirs, anything they need. In giving I have been given back threefold.

Part of realizing my strength as a woman is in learning that I don't have to be strong all of the time. I can cry, I can hurt, I can be sick. I can be weak and vulnerable, and those that love me will never use my weakeness against me. Because that's what love is, that's what friendship is- being a fortress for each other when the other is weak.

I used to go to a wonderful church when I was in Texas. I remember quite clearly a sermon that has stuck with me for years now. My pastor was speaking about when our loved ones or friends go thru trying times. He said that the world tells us that this is not our problem, and that we should mind our own business. But the true mark of friendship is in saying- "I cannot get you out of your valley, I cannot save you from your troubles. But I can walk with you, I can make a fire and keep you warm, and I can give my shoulder, my words, or my silence. I can also promise I will never leave you and you will never be lonely."

I never understood that until now. But here it is, all these years later, and those words have meaning.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Moments of Holiness...

I'm always hearing these preachers on TV talking about what is sacred, what is holy, what is godly. It always seems these things they are speaking of can only happen in church, or in a profound life revalation.

I say bull hockey.

Just since waking this morning I have experienced holiness half a dozen times. In the first glimpse of my daughter waking from her dreams, inhaling her scent with my eyes closed. The first sip of coffee, strong and sweet. Feeding Lily her breakfast and watching as she takes in nourishment. Walking out into the brilliant sunshine. Using my body to power thru a long walk/jog. The feeling of my legs working, my feet touching the ground. Watching Lily's sweet little toes bob as we ran. All of this is as holy as any time I have spent in church, prayer, or the pursuit of God.

It's holy because I recognize it as such. Because I acknowledge the blessedness of my life. Because I love God and am grateful for all He has given me, and all he has allowed me to give myself. I am especially grateful for discernment of these moments, and for the ability to take them in a cherish them.

The holy land is right here, in my home. Heaven is between these walls. Holiness is in my daily walk with my family. I cannot make God small enough to fit into one hour every Sunday. He has to follow me home. He has to be there, in everything that I do- from caring for my child, to the mundane task of washing the dishes or wiping down the counters. He is in every movement I make, every word I say, and every breath I take. This is the accumulation of faith. It is not in the big moments, it is in the small ones.

Enjoy your small moments today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


What is luck, really?

I've been having a round of posts with my girlfriends, and alot of them center on luck. "I'm lucky to have you." "I'm so lucky you are in my life."

I admit that I myself am the first one to say this. But I've been thinking alot about it today, and I want to stop using that particular term- lucky.

This word itself is used to express an beautiful idea, but one that is based on the notion that the things and people that come to you are happenstance, random, and not something you have created.

This idea bothers me, because there was no luck involved in my friendships. There was a divine hand, and also alot of acceptance on my part that I would have to put myself out there, no matter how uncomfortable it made me. I would have to open myself up and give of myself to have anyone give back to me. None of this has anything to do with luck.

Instead of saying "I am lucky to have you." I feel it is more appropriate to say "I am so glad we chose each other." or "I am so glad to have you in my life."

Although this change in speech is much clumsier, it conveys better what I am trying to say- not "I am glad the randomness of life dropped you in my lap." but "I choose you, just as you are, to be my friend. I choose to accept and love you, and I choose to open my arms to you because you are good and worthy of love."

Yeah, I know, I am overthinking things. But bear with me.

My friend Emily said something that struck me as really profound. She was telling another dear friend of mine that by her actions she attracted good people to her. That in just being herself, and in being positive and caring and loving, she attracted those things back to her. I like this idea much better. It's much more motivating to be a force of good energy on this earth, if you know you will get those good vibes and care back. As I've grown older, I have found this to be one of the truest things I have ever known.

What you put out comes back to you, over and again.

Today I am committing myself to more love, more care, more laughter, and more joy. I will heap my love and care on my friends, give my smile carelessly to strangers, love and squeeze my family, and forgive liberally.

I will say what I need to say. I will say I love you to those I love, without worry of sounding silly. I will say "I care." I will give and give and give again. I will offer myself, my thoughts, my words, my deeds in abundance, not because I feel lucky, but because I CHOOSE to.

I love you, and I choose you, my friends. Anything, anywhere, anytime, now and always.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Family is what you make of it.

Yeah so here I am again. because apparently I have lots to say.

Gather round- for my wisdom is swift and fleeting.

I love my girlfriends.

Love love love them.

Actually, I don't even love them like friends. I love them like sisters. How did this happen?

God, fate, destiny, cosmic timing, karma? Who knows. All I know is that I am blessed and lucky.

I cannot even put into words how full my heart is right now. How overflowing with love.

For a jaded sarcastic nitwit like me, this is really something.

Six months ago, I cried out to God. I opened my arms and invited Him into my soul, to help me through a dark time.

For the first time in along time, I admitted I needed people. I needed friends, and I needed support. I opened up a wounded place in my soul to the universe, and asked for help.

Now I have sisters. Family.



(S-3, forever and always)

The divine wisdom of Eddie Vedder...

Last night I was listening to music. Yeah, okay, I was feeling sorry for myself and listening to music. I was having an eighth grade moment okay?
Don't judge me. I know you've done the same.

So I'm listening to Pearl Jam, thinking about throwing on my old "Ten" shirt, when I flip on a song I haven't really LISTENED to before. Like really listened.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. You are listening to it now, by the way. If you aren't enjoying it...well bite me.

Anywho, back to the ton of bricks. All my damn life I've been struggling to get over shit I never really chose to carry. My baggage has been lined up behind me like a freight train forever. And you know what? It's no one else's damn choice to keep it there. It's mine. I choose it. I choose not to drop it. I choose to hang on to it.

Cause it's easier than finding out who I am without it. And ain't that lazy? Lazy, and frankly, crappy. Not to mention cowardly.

I've been experimenting lately with just being myself. Not anybody made up, not somebody I think other people want to see. Me. Out there in your face. Like it or leave it. And you know what? People like it. So why don't I trust others and learn to like it myself?

Allright, I'm getting a little wound up and aggressive, but I'm sure some of you know what I mean, right? A few of you? Okay, maybe one other person?

I digress.

I woke up this morning with a new perspective on life. (all thanks to good old Eddie Vedder)

A new perspective and a tremendous zit, but mostly a new perspective.

I take myself faaaaar to fricking seriously.

I need to get waaaaaay over myself.

I need to moooooove along.

My whole adult life it's been "family issues, abandonment issues, depression, blah blah blah." The fact of the matter is I am the master of my thoughts and destiny, and I am making a choice right now: I'm dropping my damn baggage. Dropping it, kicking it down the stairs, and lighting it on fire for good measure.

I've carried it too long, and although it has served me well and done a fantastic job of hobbling me and keeping me from truly living and knowing anybody, it is gone. Enough is enough for god's sake. It's time to start living.

So I'm going to do a little less worrying, a little more laughing, and a whole lot more of loving myself. I'm gonna dance, shake my booty with my daughter, laugh at myself, breathe fresh air, run, laugh with my fabulous girlfriends, and put the past aside.

I am mine. (thank you Eddie)

Location location location....

It seems I must relocate my poor blog. Shutterfly couldn't hang with my loquaciousness. Yeah, okay, I don't really know if that word is spelled right, and frankly it seems a little dirty to me, but I think it is fitting:

talking or tending to talk much or freely; talkative; chattering; babbling; garrulous: a loquacious dinner guest.
characterized by excessive talk; wordy: easily the most loquacious play of the season.

That's me...using many words to say what could be said in just a few. But you're here reading so I must be doing something right.