Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Healing Power of Kindness. My Deepest Gratitude.

My dear, dear blogging, and non-blogging friends. We are nesting ourselves back to better days. Although my heart remains heavier than any weight that I have ever carried, I am finding many blessings in which to take comfort. I could not come back to blogging without expressing my deepest appreciation for all of your kind, compassionate and supportive comments and emails. I read them over and over again, and with each word, I feel my spirit begin to strengthen. Every kindness that you have extended to me has enabled my heart to feel a little bit lighter.

Things are very complicated, right now, as my extended family is stuck in the anger of what has happened. This has created more pain and so much ridiculousness, that I cannot even fathom the direction from which they are coming. I can only pray for them as I do my very best to steer clear of their venom. I must protect myself and my family. You would think that a sudden and tragic death would teach them all about how precious time is, but unfortunately, it has not. I can only take what I have learned, and move forward. I have no other choice.

All of that being said, thank you for sticking with me. The "true-blueness" of your friendship is something that will remain with me, long after the pain subsides. I have never met a group of lovelier individuals. I feel your love and support, and there is absolutely nothing like it. This picture of our Cornish Rex kitties reminds me that ALL living things need companionship. Thank you for sticking close.


Monday, February 18, 2008


We all unfortunately know that life is hard and unfair. We all have difficulties and sorrows. And we all hope that someone is there for us during these times. Those of you who comment here are that support system for Debbie and now more than ever she needs you. I wish you all lived near at this time. The last post of Debbie's showed her two beautiful nieces along with our girls.

This past Sunday, their father and Debbie's only sibling, Robert, died of a massive heart attack. He was 41, in relatively good health and this was totally unexpected. For most of his life he had genetically high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was under the watchful care of a cardiologist. He ate well, exercised 4 times a week and was not overweight. He knew the hand God had dealt him and did what he could to offset it. He had no warning signs.

Please say a prayer for our nieces, their mom and Debbie. Please hug someone dear to you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beloved or A Word About Weaving What Matters

Beloved, you are my sister, you are my daughter, you are my face; you are me. -Toni Morrison

Looking into the faces of these beautiful, extraordinary souls, I am awed by their uniqueness and originality. Each one is like a precious tapestry, woven together by the golden threads of a love story that began years before their conception. Each so perfect , yet so varied in their perfection. Each one a single work of art containing intermingled fibers creating a lineage. A lineage which has gone before and, God willing, will continue forward into a seamless cloth blended together by the women and men who came before them. These are my girls. These are my forever angels.

I often write about my four angel daughters who are the reason for so much of my joy, but there is more. I am also fortunate enough to have two more angels who are ages five and nine. They are my nieces, my younger brother's daughters. My brother and his wife live fairly close to us, so we are able to see these adorable, little redheads on a regular basis. I adore them. I find them fascinating. I am not quite sure how my annoying little brother was able to pull off having such wonderful little girls, but who am I to ask such questions? Anyhow, these two little angels own a piece of my heart. I look at the six angel faces in this photo and I can only imagine the women that these girls will become. I have already had a glimpse of the future in my older angels, and it is heartwarming to see the love and connection and support which they share. Yes, they have each other, a small army of six, but as their worlds expand and enlarge, I can see the admiration and love that they have for their friends and other individuals who come into their worlds. Each one, building on to the tapestry which women create with one another.

As compassionate women, we seem to have a very keen awareness as to the connection that we share with one another. There is a sisterhood amongst women which can be undeniable. A thread that binds us together. A cloth woven together with many textures and colors which when handled properly, can feel like love itself.

I must take a moment to thank you for all of the kind comments, emails and notes which you have left for me during the past several days. I feel like I have been carried through so much of the physical pain, on the wings of women whom I have never even had the pleasure of meeting personally. Each kindness, adds to the strength of the thread which binds us together, increasing the richness of the fabric as our lives mingle and merge. Thank you.

May this beautiful day remind you of the golden thread which runs through the lives of people who take the time to care about each other. May reflecting on the strength and spirit of women who have come before and who will come after, and knowing that you are a part of that strength, add to the fortitude and stability of your life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Feet

These are my happy feet, but sadly, they are not feeling all that happy at the moment. I just had an Epidural Steroid injection done in my lower back, and so, very soon there will be 60 milligrams of steroids coursing through my central nervous system. This will wreak havoc on my ordinarily happy moods for the next several weeks. I must explain and apologize all at once. There is always that very fine line between the cure being worse than the ailment, hence the reason it took me quite a while to make the decision to have this injection performed. The previous one allowed me to stand on my feet for more than twenty minutes at a time, without experiencing excessive amounts of pain. I decided it was once again time to take the bullet out from in between my teeth, and allow my doctor to work her magic. Knowing how the steroids will effect me is a benefit, as I won't think that I am losing my mind for no good reason, this time. However, there will be moments, little pockets of time, when my irrational mind will try to convince my rational mind that I am indeed, losing my marbles. Those will be the times when I will have to dig down very deeply into my own psyche, to remind myself that I will once again, be able to find my "happy feet", and that they are not gone forever.

Our minds tend to play lots of tricks on us, especially when we are feeling ill. It is up to us to have things within our own "tool boxes" which can trick us back into believing that everything is going to be okay. A few of my favorite distractions are my books, my laptop computer, and my five kitties and our dog. I also love getting hugs from my husband and my angel daughters. Their hugs are one of the greatest cures in the world for me. I love chocolate which my husband supplies me with on a regular basis.(Part of the many reasons he is such a keeper!) I love reading your blogs. I also love reading the wonderful comments that you leave for me here. Your kind words make me smile. They make my happy feet even happier!

I was hoping that you would share some of the things that you keep inside of your "tool boxes", to help you move through the gloomier of moods. What are some of your favorite ways to bring your own feet back from dragging to happy? Please share!

May you always find a reason, even in the midst of sadness or pain, to smile just a little bit. And on those days when your feet are not exactly at their happiest, may you try your hardest to get them dancing, once again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Give it All You've Got!

I spent the weekend in Palm Springs cheering angel daughter number two on throughout her cheer competition. This is a picture of her in all of her cheerleading enthusiasm, egging on the crowd! Go AD2!!! She is certainly a spirited young woman, with a whole lot of team spirit. I adore watching her as she flies through the air performing gravity-defying feats and landing on her feet with a smile and a wave.

It was also angel daughter number four's birthday, so we had a lot to celebrate. Life is good, and even though I may not have perfect health, I am so grateful that I am able to enjoy every moment. There is something about knowing that our health can be fleeting that makes the special moments even that much more valuable. I do not think that I totally understood that before I became chronically ill, but there are lessons in every phase of our lives if we allow ourselves absorb them. I am learning, I am trying, I am surviving, I am thriving. What more could I expect out of this life.

More photos and words to follow. I missed all of my dear friends, and I am trying to catch up on all of my favorite blogs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A View From my World

TJ, from Humble Origins, tagged me with a fun request. She asked that I post a photo with the view from my bathroom window. So, as I fought off my very "vicious" kitties, I climbed up onto my bathroom counter to take this photo. I think my kitties were very excited to see me in a new and intriguing place, hence, they decided to attack the camera, just for excitement's sake.

I was having so much fun, that I decided to head downstairs to take a picture of a cabinet which hangs on our kitchen wall. If you look at the top shelf on the right hand side, there is an adorable, little piggy who is looking at the camera. He was made by TJ with her own little hands! I won him in a bidding war on Ebay. His name is Jed. I adore him. He adores me.

While I was on my photographic journey, I found my favorite cat sitting on top of our piano. His name is Arnold, as in Arnold Catzinieger. He has a very delicate "meow", so we thought we should give him a masculine name. We adopted him from the animal shelter on the day that he was supposed to be put to sleep. He is a gorgeous kitty with a very interesting personality. He loves to pose for pictures. I love taking pictures. It's a very symbiotic relationship.

For those of you who live in cold weather climates, I decided that a little burst of color might help to brighten your day, and remind you that Spring is coming! The bloom is from a Camellia plant that resides in our yard. It makes me happy just to look at it.(and yes, this photo was taken today)

TJ, thanks for tagging me with this fun project. Obviously I used a bit of "creative license" while doing this, but I wanted to share more, once I got going. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of "meeting" TJ, head on over to Humble Origins when you have a moment. She is such a caring, supportive person who has a wonderful sense of humor. She is truly a blessing to anyone who is lucky enough to know her.

I will be passing this along upon TJ's request, so when you find a tag asking you to show us the view from your bathroom window, don't be surprised!

May we all be lucky enough to share different views with good friends!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Flight Patterns, or Relearning How to Use Your Own Wings

It is an undeniable fact of life that our babies have souls which begin to sprout wings, from the very moment at which they are born. As parents, we spend much of their childhoods trying to maintain and clip those wings in an effort to keep them from becoming overgrown before their time. We fuss, we bother, we trim, and we pray, that the wings that our children's spirits grow will provide them with all of the lightness that their dreams may carry, but also the weight to know when it is time to stay grounded for a while. We do the best we can to provide a nest which is warm and safe and dry. We slowly nudge them from that nest, in hopes that we will someday be able to watch them soar, flying confidently on their own.

But as parents, what do we do about our own wings? As we become the nurturers, what happens to the wings which are still very much a part of our own souls? This is something that I have been contemplating, for the past several years, as I gently stood back to witness angel daughter number one take to the skies on her own, and I am now anticipating angel daughter number two's departure in the fall. Here she stands at eighteen years old, hanging on the precipice of life with her wings in the ready position. Here I stand, watching with a Mothers eye, and hoping, just hoping, that I have done enough. Enough to set her free. Enough to know that she has exactly what she needs. And enough to continue my own journey towards dusting off my wings, and showing my girls, that mommies can also take flight. In many ways, this is an important time in all of our lives, as we are all on the verge of a test-flight. Our children, because of the newness that using their wings alone brings, and us, because of the fact that we must shake off some layers of dust.

I have four more years before my nest will be completely empty. Four more years to watch as angel daughter number three and finally, angel daughter number four get ready to take flight. At that point, it will have been almost twenty five years since the only wings which I had to concentrate on, were my own. I am both nervous and excited about reinventing myself at that time. I look forward to not only, witnessing what my daughters will become, but also, witnessing my own ability to take flight, in a totally different direction than ever before in my life.

So, I would like to know...What will you do with your wings, as the air-currents change in your own life? Where do you see yourself in five years, and how will you use your wings to get there? Regardless of what may have caused you to tuck away the wings of your soul, how will you use them when you feel ready to soar into a new phase of life?

May you take the time to nurture your own hopes and dreams, and may you never, ever clip your own wings.
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