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A Baby for Valentine’s Day

We’re going to be grandparents again!

revealWhat a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Of course we have known for quite some time, but there is something magical in the day you see it announced to the world. We are so happy and cannot wait to hold that new life in our arms and see the universe in her eyes.

Life is so magical – so ethereal. As we follow along in our granddaughter’s development, the miracle of life is demonstrated in every tiny moment. We are blessed to be close to our daughter and her wife so that we get to share in all the microscopic changes as they occur.

This granddaughter comes to us by the miracle of IVF – another miracle! Being a believer in the balance between God and science, I believe nothing much happens without the other. We are so blessed and have witnessed God’s hand in this process. The love surrounding our children as they have fought for the miracle of this child is nothing short of miraculous in itself.

I am so touched with the love my daughter and her wife have for each other. This journey has been a long roller-coaster of a ride for them, but they never lost their sense of humor or their determination to share the love they have for each other with a child. They are a strong couple and have what it takes to be in a life-long marriage which makes me so happy and so proud. Our little girl will be loved and cared for beyond belief – and that makes me an even prouder mama!

Last night I spoke with my brother and he was beside himself with joy – just like we are. He is all too familiar with miracles and let’s just say this one was a ‘top of the heap’ kind of miracle – one that we all live for. I am so grateful he was there for me to gush over the news of a new child coming into our lives.

I thought a lot about my sisters today and the conversations we would have had about how exciting this time will be. We would have planned and schemed and just shared the joy with each other. I know they are aware and in some ways have already blessed us, but I still miss them at times like this.

Our co-grandparents are our good friends and we just could not ask for better people to share in our Village. It feels amazing to have a family so filled with joy and love. If only the world could see what we have found by just loving each other.

I do not want to look too far ahead, though – too much to enjoy in these next six months. This will be our sixth grandchild but as it has been with every grandchild – she feels like the first! We are ecstatic and cannot wait to hold her, but I do not want to miss anything in-between. So, I am exercising patience and just staying in the moment.

Hubby and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day other than maybe sharing some wine, having a good home-cooked meal and just spending time together. That’s the way we like it. But today? Today we both got the best Valentine’s gift ever – Mia!

I love you, my girls!  All ‘three’ of you!

I hope your Valentine’s Day was just as spectacular.

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I Will Not Always Be Here

 photo of roses and candyToday I sit between Mother’s Day and my birthday.  I suppose it could be the resting place between two pinnacles on the roller coaster of life. One day filled with love and acknowledgement from your children and the other coming face to face with how fast life is passing. 

Age is a funny thing. You go along and your mind’s eye still sees you as the same core being. Mentally you are the same. Spiritually, you may have grown within your core values, but essentially the same. Still young at heart – you are, after all, the same person you have always been. Then you catch your reflection in the mirror and wonder about the face that returns your stare.

I tease my daughter that I have ‘chicken neck’. It is true, though, and thus the slow adjustment to the new you begins. How do I ease into the new me?

So many things have changed inside me since I started my genealogy work. I have become more aware of how precious life is and more aware of how much easier our life is than it was for our ancestors. Still, we find so much to complain about. 

I started this blog by saying I will not always be here. It is the truth we do not face when we are young, but it is the truth that motivates us to lead a simpler life as we age. Things become less important and people become the most important. We are able to feel the effects of anxiety much faster and self-correct our path.

  As I write this I am sitting in the auto mechanic’s waiting room. The news has been on the TV for two and a half hours. I notice the rhythm of my breathing change as I am being incited to into an environment of fear. It is ok to turn off technology. There is no requirement to watch the negative news stream constantly. Anxiety comes when we are overwhelmed with situations out of our control. I will not always be here, so how do I want to spend my life?

I want the people I love to know it!  I want to laugh and talk and reminisce and experience joy. I want to breathe easily, hold babies and experience endless sunsets. I want to support causes that make a difference. 

Age is such a state of mind. The lady sitting beside me the waiting room is having her oil changed before she leaves on a trip. She easily talks about being 87 and evaluating whether it was time to buy a new car. Perspective.

“I may not always be here.” So what? It is the truth that keeps us on an equal life-playing field with everyone else. We are promised nothing, yet have EVERYTHING available to us. 

I will not always be here, but while I am here, I get to choose. And I choose happiness. I hope you do, too.

 happiness photo 

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Little Girl, Where Are You?

IMAG2858I am a creature of habit. I generally maintain the same routine and take the same route to places I frequently visit. On my route to the grocery store, I fell in love with the adventures of a little girl whom I would never know. I fell in love with her because even passing by her in a moving car I could feel her energy and her spirit.

This charming little spirit lived in a small house in one of the older neighborhoods in my town. Her house was in need of a new coat of paint and the chain-link fence was wavy in appearance where I’m sure at one time it stood rigid and straight. At the front corner of the fence, there was a small tree – leggy from lack of pruning. At the height of its bloom, the leaf spread was still sparse. Between the small tree and the corner of the fence, there were two old chairs, worn from too much sun and not enough attention. As I describe it here, it sounds a little dismal, but this little girl made it anything but that!

If I had occasion to go to the grocery store in the late afternoon, I always saw her. Most days she had a friend and it was obvious the two chairs between the spindly tree and the wavering fence were transformed into a very special place. I could see their shoulders rise as they covered their giggling faces with their tiny hands. They whispered what I can only imagine were amazing secrets into each other’s ears. I caught them toasting each other with imaginary cups and bowing like the princesses they most obviously were.

Today I drove by and noticed the house was changed. The tree was gone and so was the delight of a special secret hideaway.  No old chairs tucked away behind barren branches. Contractor’s trucks were parked there while they painted the exterior. The fence was still standing but I am sure it won’t be there long. I realized at that moment it had been some time since I had seen ‘my little girl’.

I’m sure many people will say how ‘wonderful’ the house looks. It will be transformed from something special to something more ordinary – more cookie cutter. I worry that the house with the special secret place has become the latest victim of gentrification. I hope not, but I suspect so. I want to believe that the little girl with the imagination capable of drawing passing strangers into its force field has found a new and better magical place. I miss her. I was her a long, long time ago….

As I drove home, I was affronted once again by the huge mega-house being built on the lot beside our house. The trees are gone – the places where the hawks stood watch. The house so large that it consumed a double-lot with little green space remaining. The house with the four car garage and cinderblock walls. I wonder what the runoff will be like when hurricane season arrives?

Where are you, little girl? Where did you go?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
By Emily Dickinson

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us -don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

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It’s Been So Long

So long since I put my thoughts down, I almost feel like I have forgotten how.  So much happening it almost makes my head spin.

BJ had surgery – twice in one week.  It was hard to be away from her while she went through this again.  I was so glad to go and spend a week with her after she came home.  We just hung out and talked and laughed and even cried a little – okay, I cried a little, but anyone who knows me knows that is perfectly normal.  We had so much fun.  It was good to be in the mountains, but especially good to be there with my sister.   We are all thinking positively and have put our faith in God and believe He will have a hand in her healing and in guiding her doctors.

I got to spend a couple of precious days with my grandson and they were far too short!  He didn’t quite understand why my sister got so much of my time and why he got so little.  Such a kid.  I love him so much.  Now I need to put my sights on Charleston and Nashville to visit three precious little girls that I miss so very much.

Now I’m home, back at school and trying to keep pace with all that is going on in our lives.  It just seems like the time flies by.

Writing here is harder than I imagined.  Shame on me for taking such a long break.  Maybe I can get back in the swing of things before long.

For now – I am content to know my sister is home and recovering and I am looking forward to her visit – maybe she will even dare to come during hurricane season if I tempt her with gourmet cheese and a nice warm pool…..

Whatcha say, BJ?

Later.

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Being Strong While Shedding Tears

My sister, Rosie, is battling cancer.  She had some tremendous setbacks this week – I think it may have been one of her toughest yet.  Last night she told me something that broke my heart.  She said she tries to stay strong, but in the night, when no one is looking she cries.

We sit on the sidelines and watch the battle.  We are helpless.  We want to take away the pain but it is not within our power.  It hurts so bad to see someone you love hurting, but last night I think I understood for the first time what pressure she was feeling.

I know sometimes I cry alone.  Sometimes I don’t want others to see me.  I can only imagine how hard it must be to battle the biggest battle of your life and not be able to express how you are feeling.  I felt ashamed.

I understand all too well the value of laughter in this fight.  The value of positive thinking.  But if I can have a bad day and feel like I need a good cry, then my beloved sister deserves no less.

Rosie, I love you with all my heart.  I ask you to forgive me for always wanting you to be strong in this fight.  I will be here for you no matter what your mood, no matter what you need to say or how you need to say it.  Do not misunderstand.  I want to keep my sister with the sharp wit.  I want to hear you laugh.  This fight is not over.  You and I are NOT giving up.  But let’s be fair from now on.  Cry when you need to cry.  Laugh when you need to laugh.  Fight when you need to fight.  And know that above all things, you mean the world to me.

I love you with all my heart.

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Once in a While You Just Have to Belly Laugh.

I know a girl that I’ve never seen laugh.  That makes me sad.  Even in my worst hours, I was able to get through it and just REALLY – laugh out loud!

My friend and I were on the computer the other day.  We both just starting laughing at some pages we were viewing.  The laughter started to escalate and pretty soon we were both holding our stomachs, tears were streaming down our faces and we couldn’t catch our breath.  All from a good old fashioned belly laugh.  What a stress reliever!

Find something to make you smile.  Then stretch that muscle into laughter.  Then get down on the ground and just howl!

I guarantee it will make you feel better.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”
Henry Miller

Have a blessed evening.  And go on and really LOL.