There are times when family comes together whether it be for Labor Day, Birthdays, or the most celebrated holidays like Christmas but then there are other times that you plan to see each other for no other reason but to just “visit” my family often says. It is the event of just “being” in the same space, same moment, just laughing together…even if you had plans during your time together to forage the bounty of agriculture around you, go to a famous water park, or finally have family photos taken because you are all together. It is these moments that the days and hours don’t matter. Just take that cliché’ term and really “relish in the moments” you have together. No one really knows how much time we have left in this life.
There are so many “holidays” to be together but what about all the months, days, and moments together?? My family was together over the weekend…two birthdays and an anniversary celebrated together. There is hustle and bustle, getting to this place and that, everyone having their own idea about what should or should not happen when we are all together. But that all falls away when you come together with the people you KNOW will always be there.
It was in the moments of sitting in my living room reading “meme’s” from the internet with my sister and our kids in the back room playing that I looked over at her and realized I could just be in the same room with her and know that my life could be peeled back like the skin of an onion and all “my tribe” would be in those layers. In the same space with her makes me feel whole, understood, and complete. She is of my “people”!
Over the years I have gained and lost people in my life…sometimes for the best and for the worst of reasons but these people were placed in my life for a purpose. I have celebrated the holidays with these people. Some are easier to let go of than others. I have learned that other than a few select humans; my family is what is–still, concrete, and steadfast in my life.
I have been told by many over the years to “not over think it” but that is just part of who I am and I don’t think it is necessarily always a negative quality but with some, I think this is how they see it. I admit, to thinking about the consequences of my actions, the things that I say and what will happen even before I have said them, way too much. I think about the words I am wanting to say to someone and then spend too much time trying to figure out if I am going to say them or ask them too much and often, I spend days going back and forth and thus, torturing myself with this second guessing and draining behavior in my life. This was all self inflicted!
There were times in the past that I spent endless amounts of time biting my tongue and trying to be the way I thought others thought I should be because I hate confrontation. I hate the feeling that others might think I am being rude or confrontational. However, who I was, was coming at an expense. There comes a point where you must say what you need too because it begins to tear you apart as a person. This can be where you start to lose who you are or were. So, don’t it! Please don’t!
There are very few people I let into my life some riskier than others but I trust, have faith, and believe the best of them. I will not lie but yes, I do get let down. I will still keep risking this because the value of a relationship/friendship sometimes can change your life forever.
The one true thing I know is that family will always be there. No matter what the circumstances. I could call anyone in my family and if I needed them, no matter what the day. My family is steadfast and loves me unconditionally.
There were times when we had trouble together.
I lived one way and you the other but
We lived under the same roof
Shared chores, the same dining room table
Taking you to school seemed such a burden
Trying to keep track of you
I felt so much pressure around you
I was afraid to take a step this way or that
Our personalities so different
Today, you are grown
With a family of your own
I see photos of you with your son,
Your wife to be, and your step-daughter
Where did this softness come from…?
I always knew you loved our family
But the love for your own…
Takes my breath away
I always wished you would have this
A special gift waiting around the next corner of life
But you waited and it came to you…
I keep hearing in my head
“the world will wait, my son”
And my eyes are wide open
My heart full…
Life will not always be perfect
Marriage and being a parent is hard work
But I am thrilled you have found your
Family…to complete you.
You always said you would protect us
Your life is full, my brother
“and the world can wait”
for you to relish in today
Flame by Foreigner
I have been reminded lately that life is so short. Things can change in the blink of an eye and some people don’t see it coming at all. It feels like running full speed ahead into a brick wall and I won’t break threw it, I bounce back on my butt as if I was a rubber ball hitting that wall.
In the last week, I have found out that one of my family’s dearest friends has cancer. He has just started chemo but his hands are full with work, his other children, and fiancé’. It is the most wonderful person and has been in our lives for the past 13 years. He has a wonderful sense of humor which I believe will take him far in this journey. I saw him before his treatment and I love this guy so much and we have gone through so much in our sudo-family that I couldn’t hold back some tears. I think I hugged him like four times and at the end he was reassuring me that everything would be fine.
Last night I got a call while I was watching a movie that someone I love with my whole heart, had fallen and was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a concussion and doctors were taking x-rays of her entire body. Again, I was again reminded- life is so short. Thankfully, she will only be bruised and sore but she was taken home last night. My children saw the entire fall happen and were great helpers but I could see the worry in their eyes.
I didn’t sleep well last night. My mind filled with love and prayer for these two people and their families. Life changes quickly. My friends and family were lucky at least for yesterday, they are lucky, because things could have been much worse! I have this strong desire to seize the day, carpe diem, or whatever mantra you believe in.
Care for the people who care for you and care of the people who just need to be cared for whether you know them or not. Show the world you are kind and do something for someone else this weekend without expecting anything in return. Pray for more kindness and always have faith.
the water flickers around me and I think of you
you’ve been gone for years and I still feel
my toes in the water at the lake
I’m reminded by
the place you rest now
You, G’ma, and an uncle I don’t remember
the mountains a lush green
tips of trees creating texture where you are
it holds your embrace, grace, and all of my memories
surrounded by water
in a new place and the unflattering color of the canyon
reflects on the water
a slow moving ripple carries itself to the banks all around me
silver fish jump and I can still see you
hear you whisper that you loved me in my ear
the white sail boat wrecked
turned sandbox for
your grandchild and great grandchild
With Arms Wide Open — By Creed
The sun creeps over the peak of the barn
beats down on the dew covered grass
The outer row of the orchard
cast beams of light through the rows inside
So much space and yet I take it for granted every day
not everyone has this, the ability to wake in the morning
and see the day break across the horizon
I prayed for this day to give me clarity, a path
when I woke this morning, to see the world differently
No more guilt, just life experiences
no more trying to please people
at the cost of myself…
I seek true happiness for myself because it is what I need —
at what point should I live and let live
There as a part deep down inside of me that is not satisfied
if I could figure out what it was I would nail it
to the floor and chip away at it until it’s gone
Standing in the rain is an amazing cleanse-
I wished for the rain last night
running down my face, neck, arms and traveling
the length of my body until it falls to the ground
Clouds paint the sky in blues and shades of white
going through the motions, might just get me to tomorrow
My list of chores continues to grow
so, I start at one
take a cleansing breath in and prayer for rain
My children are pretty wonderful! I know I am biased but when they go to their grandparents for a night or two and they jump out of the car upon their return and run to me arms wide open. I know I have done something right. My children are loved deeply and they themselves know how to love. They run to their dad in the same way. My kids come running full speed ahead and wrap their arms around me and squeeze like it could be our last embrace. Every single hug I get from them is this way.
As you have probably figured by my writing, I have twin boys who are twelve and my husband is the eldest of 3 brothers. The gene pool is heavily weighted on my husband’s side…its something crazy like 36 grandchildren and all but one is a girl!! Now, to me that’s a pretty loaded pool of testosterone.
When I got pregnant I remember thinking I wanted a girl but down to my core I knew I was having boys. At first, babies were babies to me-a lot of work and they must be taken care of or literally they wouldn’t survive. As months and years pass now, I have two pre-teen boys that are somewhat independent, love to succeed and want to succeed, desperately want their parents to be proud of them as we both are. And I find myself loosening the reigns a bit, I don’t want to do this because they will always be my babies but they aren’t babies any more.
Each of my son’s have strengths and weakness and their uniqueness to each other and others their age is something for them to be proud of. I have heard for years that my child is different in this way or that and I often cringe at these words where my fists unconsciously squeeze together. See, the word different has a negative notion to it and it defiantly does to my son. So, when someone calls him different I turn into momma bear and in my head their face hits my fist. Now, I am a rational person and do have my best moments when protecting my children’s right in school. But when they are violated I come running in like a bull in a china shop. I am proud of the advocate I am for my children. I would help anyone out their if they struggled in this area.
All of us are unique, special, gifted and some things come easier for others but what someone else struggles with you might succeed at. It is my job to show and teach my children to step in and help others with regard to this.
It is a constant battle for me to remind my sons that I want them to have a strong work ethic, a heart of gold, kindness, how to be gentlemen, and it is ok to fail as long as you get up and go after it even harder than the time before!! I want both of my sons to understand that the reward takes work, back breaking work and you will reap great reward from hard work. There is a time for each of us to win and each of us to fall short. I want them to know graciousness and courage as they move to their teenage years!
Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
There was a time in my life that I stepped away and pulled back from all the people who loved me. I felt stuck in the life I had chosen and couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I was stubborn at my young age and was trying to convince myself that if I just pushed forward it would all workout.
I was falling deeper and deeper into an abyss of darkness and depression and unconsciously began to give up, thinking why would anyone want to hear me talk about this deep dark sadness that no one would understand in hearing. I was so tired of people telling me to just go work out and everything would feel better and be better.
I had thought about my first marriage starting with this burden but had told myself it was the only way. What a crazy thought right? I actually had to convince myself to go through with the wedding.
I sat in this beautiful white dress with a vail draped over one shoulder, eating apple slices, and I was in such a state of panic that I couldn’t contain my nerves and started to have a panic attack. My dear friends and sister were in that room and after I took my anxiety medication, the chaos and stress seemed to slip away. It was as if I was looking through rose colored glasses. Everything was blurry but I felt okay. I was ready to walked down the isle.
When I look back now I wonder how many people thought that marriage was a bad idea. On my side or his side, I am sure there were both. His eyes were welled with tears when I walked to face him and my dad kissed my cheek and presented me to him. Giving me to him and I stood there wanting my dad to say no but he did not.
We got through the vows, the rings, the first kiss, and back down the isle to sign the marriage license. The music swirled around us, people eating and enjoying the venue and love that filled the room that everyone was feeling made me dishonest. I knew that I loved this man but there were too many barriers, too many reasons I should have said no, and they hurt we had caused each other already was unrepairable.
There was a scuffle about what to cut the cake with and why his mother had to be involved, and a gift was given to my new husband but not to me…it was only for him. I cried in the parking lot as his real father and step mom were leaving. Wasn’t this supposed to be the best day of my life?? Why was I hurting so much and why was I alone?
Soon after our married life began, after the honeymoon, we were home trying to fix the problems we had before. They didn’t get better, easier, or go away. They, in fact, got worse. We both tried to figure things out but papers were signed, Thanksgiving my family moved me out of our house in the pouring rain. The rain felt right on a day like that, I was exhausted with my own tears so the rain helped because I was numb. I was numb and I was empty.
I would love to tell you that love won out in end, we had some amazing reconciliation, but we didn’t. There is more to this story but today I’m not ready to go any deeper. As I still feel this sense of loss for the mistakes I made, the part I took in breaking the “us” we once were. I can say, that he is happy and I am happy for that!
Small Bump by Ed Shennan
I wait for you
Quietly you are hidden inside me
No one knows me like you do
Am I afraid of losing you
I wonder where you are
Do you feel
Want to know what you feel
A candle flickers in my window
And I still wait
Find the light I have left for you
Have you looked for it
Do you look for it
Dusted across the sky
I search for you to find romance
The kind you show to me
My heart bleeds for this
Broken for the lack of luster
Have you noticed
I have given up
I can’t talk about it again
I will not beg
Why don’t you see me
This could be a start to something
Beautiful & new
Creating as we go
Whispering through unknown
There are times when situations are put in our path and it is up to you to pay attention to them or not. As individuals we have the opportunity to make choices daily. We decide whether to go left or right, forward or backwards, or pick door one or door two. It’s as simple as saying yes or no but it is never that simple, is it? I think most people tend to over think things and sometimes I am one of these people. However, I am trying something different lately.
I think many people live in the realm of actions cause reactions and choices have consequences so we get so wrapped up in what if this or what if that… that we don’t ever just go with living in the moment. Living in the moment comes more naturally to some people and not so much to others.
I crave more spontaneity in life but often I find myself trying to make a plan or a list of tasks to accomplish things. I am a planner by nature but am realizing lately that I don’t always need a plan. I would like to think I am always prepared but that doesn’t really jive with living in the moment. Why is this? Does life really require a schedule? In my mind, I am trained to create this schedule but when it comes to relishing in the moments, life won’t end without a schedule. It would in fact bring more spontaneity into my life and this is what I crave. I want to try new things and test my own limits. So, I am going to stick to this way of thinking for awhile and see what happens.
Last week my sister called and asked me if I had plans for this weekend. Normally, we are both booked weeks in advance. But not this weekend. Her spontaneous suggestion of getting away to McMenamins for a few nights and getting a few more stamps in our passports was a brilliant idea. So, I decided to jump at the chance and booked our room that day. I always need sister time, heck, I would live next door to her if I could. She is one of my favorite people in this whole world. The laughter, honesty, and trust we have is limitless.
This new leaf I have turned over is to live in the moment and get out of my head, so to speak. Spend less time worrying and more time living. More time with experiences and less time planning them. I will keep you posted on this works out for me.
How do you look at life?