Wednesday, March 25, 2015

two years ago

I can't ignore what's swirling through my mind this week.  Nor would I want to. Today on this very day two years ago I lost someone who I knew all of my life.  She was that one constant that I could always count on to be there... just a visit or phone call away.  She fell ill suddenly and never recovered.  She only lasted long enough for me to get to her bedside and say goodbye.

Of course I knew her all of my life.  She was my mom.

I miss her more than any words could say in this space.  Her smile said, "I see you.  I love you.  You are important to me."  I can remember being a little kid in Kindergarten and just wanting to hurry home to be with her.  The last thing I did while she was still alive was hurry home to see her... to be with her.   Did she know I was there?  I hope so.

She loved her family.  She loved life.  I think she would above all else want me to be happy....

So, I'm trying mom.... I'm trying through my tears to see beauty around me the way you did.  The way you taught me through the way you lived.

Here are some images from my week, simple things, that brought me joy and would have brought her joy too.  I can only hope when I am gone that others miss me half as much as I miss her.

A fun whimsical birdhouse

Planting Spring flowers 

A new hibiscus plant

Walking on a rainy day amidst falling pedals

Hyacinths in the Spring

Very fragrant carnation-like blooms

Salmon and asparagus salad

Lettuce sprouting and thyme

Gardenia buds all over the place

A pretty and useful pail

Orchid blooming like crazy

The morning sky

Always in my heart.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

some end of week words

I've been home for a few days now since my trip to Washington state to visit my brother and his family.  I hadn't been there in quite a few years and was so happy to be able to see them and blend into their lives for a little while.  The trip was full of lovely moments.  Good talks, wonderful walks along the river, seeing new things, being with people I love.

The walking, jogging, biking trail next to the river in front of my brother's home

I like to think about all the good things that happened over the course of a week. I'm grateful my life isn't full of extreme busyness as can happen sometimes.  It's nice to be in a season of life when I can have some say as to what my activities are. Choices.

I was able to do some planting this week. Geeze, gardening sure is hard work sometimes and good exercise! Lifting, raking, digging, carrying, bending...

Texas wildflower seeds I sprinkled beginning to pop through the soil
It's nice to see flower and vegetable plants and know in a couple months there will be a lushness to what is now just beginning to grow.  Life.

Flower plants and seeds ...  tomatoes, herbs like thyme, basil, cilantro, parsley and mint...  cucumbers and lettuce... for starters ....

A little bird I rescued from his "stuckness" in one of my house exhaust fans

It's important to not only keep our bodies active but our minds as well. The thought recently came to me that the greatest prayer or wish we could have for ourselves and others is to have peace with ourselves.  Peace with who we are, and with our story and life...  Peace.

I'm learning some new ideas though an old book by M. Scott Peck called Further Along the Road Less Traveled.  It is not only famous people who leave a mark on history, but we all do to a certain extent.  We all do.  Each person is important and to be valued.  "Nothing holds us back more from mental health, from health as a society, and from God than the sense we all have of our own unimportance, unloveliness, and undesirability."  We are likely to think we are too fat, or too unattractive, too old, too young, not clever enough... or any number of "not enoughs".... that keep us feeling unworthy.

As another week draws to a close, I want to move forward a little more toward that peace.... and I pray the same for my friends and family....

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

the never ending "what ifs" of life

“If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything. ”   ~M. Scott Peck

The above quote reminds me of myself. I went through a time when I thought it important to try to control my life as best I could. Try to think out all the "what ifs" and have an answer or solution for each event that might happen. I guess I thought that would save me from hurt and prepare me best to confront whatever came my way. A way of self-protection. I didn't want to be unprepared or blind sided.

Good in theory maybe, but doing so also caused much stress and anxiety, living through each scenario as if it were happening and planning how to confront and solve each problem. Things that never happened.

I think after losing Edd to cancer and then my mom suddenly, I just didn't want to hurt anymore.

The truth is, and as I see it now, there just aren't enough scenarios we can think up. So many of the "what ifs" never happen. Sometimes they do, but why worry about them beforehand? Why suffer unnecessarily? Now I am believing that if and when an event DOES happen, I will deal with it then. Not beforehand, ruining TODAY.

I have thought a lot about suffering in the last ten years or so, especially the last five. I'm not at peace with it, nor will I ever be I suppose, but I've come a long way. There are some things I just can't even think about or I'll be an emotional wreck. Thinking of the suffering of animals or the horrible hurts some humans are experiencing.... but that is what empathy is about. Those without it are in worse shape. Being aware and a part of others' burdens is part of being human... rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.

Suffering is part of living. Pain is a part of our existence. Often people try to burrow into a safe place so they do not have to experience it. Some take drugs or do any number of things to not feel their hurts, but in reality the way we learn is by working through our difficulties and problems. All of life should be a journey in learning more.

Having a plan is good. Very good. It's still a part of my makeup, but now I recognize the limitations and even negative consequences of ... thinking too much perhaps?

It also boils down to living by faith and not fear. I choose to not let fear dominate. Faith and letting go brings peace. Faith that God is ultimately in control and all is as it should be and I don't have to have all the answers... indeed I never will have all the answers. Life is mystery. I cannot change people or events. But I can love and learn and live every day with a grateful heart.