4

The Birthday Mother’s Day Mix

Today was a mixed bag of worries and blessings. People I love are sick and facing hospital stays and tests and unknowns and it is hard to be on the sidelines watching helplessly as the clock ticks by.

In the midst of the craziness that made up my day, my husband told me to check my phone. We were on our way out to run errands and I didn’t give his words a second thought. As I walked to where my phone was, I saw two boxes. One was a long box and a separate box, square and nondescript. It took a minute, but it hit me that this weekend is Mother’s Day.

IMG_4477

 

I opened the boxes and found beautiful long-stemmed roses from my daughter and daughter-in-law. They were gorgeous. In the other box was an ice-pack and a box of truffle cookies.  Each were packaged with lovely notes straight from the heart. I immediately took a couple of pictures and sent a text thanking them for the thoughtful gifts. I am so blessed to be loved and remembered. The gifts are nice, but it’s really the love that means everything.

 

 

DaddyLater in the day, as I checked my phone for messages, I noticed the date. Tomorrow would be my father’s birthday. He would be turning 89 tomorrow if he were still here. 89. Wow. That seems so hard to fathom. Time has gone by so quickly and I miss him so much it guts me. I had a special connection with my Dad – one that I never apologize for even though some people make me feel I should. Dad wasn’t perfect, but to me, he was everything. He loved me – he loved all of us – and that is what I miss. The talks, his deep bass voice, the way he said my name – the advice I never wanted to hear but repeat to myself over and over now. He was my Dad and I miss him.

IMAG4468-1Re-enter Mother’s Day. My mom would also be 89 this year. She was so young when she passed away that 89 doesn’t even seem possible. She will always be young and vibrant to me. She had a smart-assed way of saying what was on her mind and she was SO strong. My sisters got her strength and her wit. I think I got her way of turning inward to process thoughts and feelings. I rarely feel strong. I remember my first Mother’s Day without her. I was living away from home and at the time, long distance calls were quite expensive. I was walking through the mall and passed a group of short wave radio people who had come together to help people make calls home for Mother’s Day. One of the young women asked me if I wanted to call my mom. I just said “No thanks” and walked on. Then her words – “Why, don’t you love your mother?” I wanted to lunge at her and take all my anger out on her, but I didn’t. I just walked away – hurt and feeling lost in this world. It would take many years before I could get through a Mother’s Day without feeling broken.

Now I have the blessing of children and grandchildren and extended family. I am not sad – I am blessed. The timing this year is unusual – Dad’s birthday and Mother’s Day together. So, today I process and just put aside the little girl and remember that I am now the mom and the grandmother and the JOY comes right back.

IMG_4479
Tonight I shared my truffles with my husband with a glass of wine. I sent a Snap Chat to thank my girls for the gift. SO MUCH JOY!

I will stay up until midnight, and wish my Dad a Happy Birthday and wish my Mom a Happy Mother’s Day.

Saturday we are meeting my son and his wife and two of my beautiful grandchildren for a sweet Mother’s Day dinner. We will laugh and celebrate this holiday together for the first time in 20 years. It will be perfect.
Today was a day of reflection mixed with JOY and a little worry, but it brought me to a place of gratitude for all I have been blessed with in this life. We are who we surround ourselves with and by those standards, I’m pretty perfect.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Mom, Happy Mother’s day a little early.

Thank you for everything but most of all thanks for the love and the memories. I miss you both and only hope I can somehow in some small way fill those giant shoes for my family.

Advertisements
1

Kitchen Memories

It’s funny how and when memories flood back.  I never know what will trigger thought patterns, but it is always such a wonderful gift when I am transported back to another place and another time.  I am blessed that most of these memories are from the good parts of my life and not the painful parts.  I think God has been kind to me in that way.

Last night I was cleaning a whole chicken in preparation for roasting.  As I started cleaning the cavity, I was whooshed back to a simple kitchen in Taylor’s Valley, Virginia.  I stood shoulder to shoulder with the second Mom I was to have in my life.

Mary had always been in my life.  She was the mother of my best friend, Susie.  I always thought she was beautiful and caring, but I never really got to know her until years later.  After my Mom passed away, my Dad and Mary dated a little.  They found a kindred connection and two families that had always known each other were suddenly one.  Mary had the greatest respect for all of us and never ever tried to take the place of my Mom.  She had known my mother for most of her adult life and sat with her at the hospital in the latter stages of her illness.  She was an amazing soul and someone I want to write about in more detail.  She was not a woman you can describe without a little flourish.  For a woman who considered herself simple, she was one of the most glamorous I have ever known.

Last night as I had my hands inside this chicken I recalled fondly all the wonderful memories I was given as a result of this relationship.  She was my adviser, my confidant, my friend and my step-mom.  None of those words do her justice.  She was an angel on earth.  Now, we laughed and we poked fun, so she was a quirky angel, but an angel just the same.  She always told everyone I made the BEST coconut cream pie (I only ever made one – and that was with her).  We laughed over squirrel gravy poured down the sink, over cooked spaghetti poured across the linoleum floor, over so many stories.  She shared her stories and her heritage with me as if I was her own.

When my Dad died it was so hard.  We always talked on the phone on the anniversary of his death.  She lifted me up and I hope I helped lift her up.  She never wanted to ‘put anybody out’.  I remember the last time I spent the night at her house.  It was after she had experienced a bad fall.  There was a monitor in her room and the speaker was in my room.  The next morning we got up and had coffee together.  It was then she told me she unplugged the monitor in her room because she didn’t want it to wake me.  That was so ‘Mary’.

My daughter and I talked today about memories and the choices we make to remember the good or to remember the bad.  I am so thankful I have so many good memories – they crowd out all the riff-raff.

Treasure those kitchen moments and the everyday people in your life.  The simple little jokes and funny stories along with a cup of instant coffee and a bowl of Corn Flakes are the ingredients dreams are made of.

P.S.  Chicken infused with memories tastes better than anything you can imagine.

0

What better than to infuse joy?

I came here today to write and forced myself not to read my last entry.   I did not want it to influence what I felt I wanted to say today.

It is my anniversary today.  15 years with a remarkable man who has seen me through so much.  We started this together with the promise that we would be in it to the end.

David and Maggie

So, 15 years later, I realize I am blessed to have found him and I understand how important it is to have your best friend about you in times of joy or in times of sorrow.  We have an amazing family that has grown and grown over our time together.  We have lost family and friends that we loved to our core – it shakes you.  But having that look across the room, or the hand to hold tightly to makes you realize someone understands it all without having to say a word.

For my friends that read this blog, I am so thankful that you come back and check on me.  I see people have visited me even in times when there were no words to share.  Sometimes I come here, too, just to read and remember.  I don’t ever want to forget that I’m human and I don’t want to forget the challenges and joys and yes, even sorrows, that have made me who I am.

I have been busy writing a business plan.  One of the things you have to learn to do is sum up who you are, what you do and where you want to go all in a few short words.  In business, it’s all very defined and very focused.  But what about me as an individual living on a very, very busy planet?  What am I about?

Infuse JOY.

Celebrate every moment and live every moment.  Feel whatever the moment brings to you for this keeps you real.  Sad moments can have joy, just as the happy moments.  Dare to believe in who you are and what you can accomplish.  Celebrate who you are to others.  Maybe it’s a good and trusted friend.  Maybe it’s the sister that keeps you grounded.  Maybe it’s the Mom who will always have your back.  Life tends to discount those things sometimes, but I don’t ever want to lose sight of them.  For me, they are the most important of the roles we will ever have the JOY of experiencing.

I hope today you will infuse JOY in your own life.  Let it be sparkly and loud, or let it be quiet and serene.  It’s everywhere.

Just today I saw it fly across the sky and land in my own back yard.  It’s always there if you just open your heart to find it.

7

Getting Back in the Game

I am allowing myself to finally step out of grief a little and start enjoying my life.  Each and every day my heart still misses Rosie and wants for her.  I am gobsmacked at how different I feel knowing my sister is not here to talk and laugh with.  I know her spirit is here – I feel her presence all the time.  Is it the same?  No, of course not, but it is comforting.  One thing I know about Rosie is that she lived fully each and every minute within whatever boundaries were imposed upon her.  I know it is time to focus on reclaiming my joy and living life fully just like she would have.  So, Rosie, I miss you more than I can ever articulate.  It physically hurts sometimes.  Just know that even though I am moving through this life, I am moving through it a changed person knowing I will never feel your presence here again.  I know there will be a lot more tear-filled days ahead.  Please hold my hand and walk with me and watch from above.  Just be with me as I move back into life.  And I know that when we do see each other again it will be a joyous day!

I am so thankful that BJ’s results were negative for cancer.  I think I held my breath waiting.  When she called me and told me, I finally let myself bawl like a baby.  My walls came tumbling down.  God does indeed answer prayer.  Maybe not always in the way that we want it, but we do get an answer.  I am so very thankful that His answer was what we had all prayed for.  We never know what tomorrow may bring.  I guess that makes it doubly important to live every moment to the fullest.  Love and embrace every person and every experience.  For all of those things are the building blocks that create this life and they are there for each of us to take.  It is as simple as putting out your hand and accepting what is given.  BJ, I cannot tell you how much you mean to me.  Where there were three, there are now two.  At some point one of us will leave the other and then there will be one.  Until that day (and I hope it is a hundred years away) I will breathe you in and out with every breath I take.  We are as one.  Like it or not.  I love you to the moon and we have a lot more memories to make, you and I.

Of course, there is also the job loss.  All of these things have had me so overwhelmed.  I am trying to re-craft my life as best I can, but it is a slow process.  It’s tough out there and you just have to grow a pretty thick skin to get through it all, but get through it I will.  And I know that in some way, my life will be better for having gone through this.  It is just another step along the way.  I have never looked back and I’m not about to start now.

So, what’s ahead for me?  Joy, Simplicity, Love of Life, Faith, Love of Family, and Determination…..just to name a few.  I have a little fictional short story churning in my mind, so I’ll be publishing it on my A Little Big of Soul blog in the coming days.

Life is worth living.  I started this blog when we lost Bella.  It was so hard and I was in such disbelief.  I had to remind myself – Life IS worth living.  I guess after the past few weeks I needed to remind myself again.  It’s all part of the process.  Life IS worth living.

Get on board with me folks – it’s full steam ahead.  As my grandpa used to say…time and tide wait for no man…  Boy, oh, boy, was he smart.

Did I mention it won’t be long until Christmas?  🙂