Tag Archives: life

Must Be Present to Win

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Life is a verb.  It requires participation and dedication.  And you have to be motivated to stay the course.  I’ve spent so many days just “visiting” life.  I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in.  Who is this actress playing me I often wonder?

Each day I aim to find a new facet of myself.  I have to do something to keep my spirit soaring.  Like old school raffles–you have to be present to win! I’m working on being present…

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A Diet Dr. Pepper and a Smile

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Monday afternoon I received some very sad news.  My mom and stepdad’s dear friend, Terry, died.  I immediatedly started crying as I listened to his SIL’s voicemail.  I called to tell George and he was clearly devastated.  Terry was his “buddy.”

Terry and my mother attended the same dialysis clinic for years.  My mother loved him, and he likewise.  Everytime we talked she would tell me the lastest stories about him.  Terry was also the stepfather to a boy I had a major crush on in high school, so that scored more points for him!

When my mother died Terry was at the service sharing his memories of her.  That meant a lot to me.  He reached out to us in our time of need.  A few months ago, we all went out to dinner and had a great time.  He was such a charming, eccentric person, and the perfect gentleman.

After I calmed down a few hours later, I called his SIL to get information about the arrangements.  I thought I was okay but I starting crying again.  She replied Now you know Terry wanted everyone happy.  He didn’t want anyone crying.  He left specific instructions  to be cremented.  Half of his ashes will go in a Diet Dr. Pepper bottle (his favorite beverage) and spread over one of the Canadian mountain ranges.  The rest will go to his family.  He didn’t want a funeral, but he wanted a party to celebrate his life.    LOL, I should have known!  Everytime I see a Diet Dr. Pepper, I’ll think of him! 

I was telling my friend Kara about his request when she mused that since we both loved tea, maybe we should get cremated and have our ashes placed in teabags!

Of course, George and I  will be there on Saturday to help celebrate his life over Diet Dr. Peppers and lots of smiles.

Mission Accomplished!

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All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable  for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. ~2 Timothy 3:16

Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. ~Matthew 22:29

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4

I was so excited last night when I finished reading the last book in the New Testament.  I loved reading about the Good Shepherd!  I am eager to start on the Old Testament next.  I have planned it to where I will be finished by the end of the year, if not sooner.  When I was younger I started reading the Bible but it was too tedious and I quit.  However, now I am older and wiser and determined to read the good book in its entirety.

I plan to use my deeper knowledge of the Bible to encourage others.  My goal is to have a  scripture on my tongue for any situation.   

The life and words of Jesus moved me.  I felt truimphant, repentant, hopeful,  humbled, but most of all uplifted.  I wish I could have met him!  I am looking forward to the Son shining again!

Black Girl Grieves

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At my grandmother’s repast, someone with a camera snapped a picture of me that perfectly captured the face of grief.  Over the years I have worn that visage many times.

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.

Today marks three months for my husband, too.

I miss them so very much!

Peninsula

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Wetness all around me/True/But I’m no island/Peninsula maybe/Makes no sense/I know/Crazy ~Andre 3000

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of  the continent ~John Donne

For none of us lives to himself… ~Romans 14:7

As strange as it may sound, I pretty much live a life of seclusion.  In fact, one of my most outspoken students refers to me as “a secret.”  It probably doesn’t seem this way considering that I have a blog and post about many private matters. 

But I ‘ve been like this as long as I can remember.  If I really reflect on this side of myself, I know that it is rooted in rejection, fear, longing, and loss.

In some respects I enjoy my sheltered existence.  It limits me from dealing with fickle, crazy, cruel people.  My “island like” behavior serves to protect me from these things.  I was comfortable and safe with the world I had–my husband and my kids.  I could have lived this way forever.

On the other hand, it prevents me from enjoying the fullness of life.  When you are afraid to love or live for the fear of getting hurt or rejected, how can you seize the day? I’m gradually learning that it is okay toallow people into my realm.  It really does make the tempests of life more bearable. 

Life is lonely for me right now.  It’s only when things go wrong that you realize this.  You crave human contact and relationships.  What you once perceived as paradise can turn into a deserted dwelling.  And I don’t believe that God intended for us to live to ourselves.

Change is hard.  I am not quite ready to abandon my island living.  Maybe I am a parrothead at heart!  However, I know that I can’t exist solely to myself.  It’s just not healthy.  So I’m upgrading to a beachfront peninsula!  It’s a small step in the right direction.  I will be connected to others, yet I can retreat unto myself when desired. 

In my own way I am reaching back to those who are stretching themselves to be apart of my life.

Take a Bow

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Tonight two of my girlfriends and I had dinner and a movie.  We went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  When I saw the commercial on tv last night, I thought it looked pretty intriguing so I searched online and viewed two other trailers for the film.  I definitely knew I wanted to see it.

I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, however, I will say that it is so poignantly charming and tender despite its somber undertone (death is everywhere, but life is, too!).  I cried and loved Benjamin right from the start.  I wanted to bring him home with me!

 My tears came for many reasons:

  • My husband loved movies and would have enjoyed this one with me
  • Essentially it is a love story (not just romantic) and reminded me of how much I miss him
  • Having danced ballet virtually my whole life and as a part time teacher, I really loved this facet of the movie
  • The beautiful and timely message that you have to accept both the joys and pains of life
  • The acting was superb

Thankfully I had my two lovely friends there for support.  They graciously allowed me to cry unashamedly.  Walking out of the theatre I had a fresh flow of tears just thinking about how fleeting life really is.  One of my friends joked that perhaps we should have watched The Tale of Despereaux  instead!

But I do wonder what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have thought of this silver screen adaption of his short story…now that’s just the English teacher in me talking!

Griefcase

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I don’t think most mental health professionals support compartmentalizing emotions.  However, as a way to get through the day, I pull out my “griefcase.”   I am constantly in and out of it to examine and understand the following contents:

  • My husband:  Memories of love, laughter, and life…why so soon?
  • Nicholas:  I refuse to let him get caught in the mayhem as he has suffered a major loss as well.  I’m trying to shift my focus onto him and tend to his needs more.
  • Jazmine:  She misses him but is finally to the point where I think she understands that he is in “the sky.”  It just breaks my heart that she has to live without his gentle spirit.  He was definitely a father figure to her.
  • Ethan: I hope he believes (I have a feeling that they and their mom for that matter were told something contrary) that it was not my choice for them to leave.  I pray he feels our love and uses it to help him endure
  • Evan:  My baby…I miss him…I truly hope that his time in treatment wasn’t in vain.  I want him to know how much he is loved by us.  I hope Evan knows how much we were looking forward to him coming home!!! I’m so sorry that he didn’t get to make it!!!
  • Eliza: I have many hurt feelings about her.  Call me naive but I thought I was making a breakthrough with her.  How she was so willing to throw her own kids under the bus to punish me totally befuddles and saddens me.  I feel like I have no closure because I was carelessly discarded when my husband died.  Maybe I should try the letter writing thing where I get my feelings out and then don’t actually mail it.
  • Her brother and sister:  Oh my goodness, evil is alive and well!  People never cease  to amaze me!  And they keep wanting to interact with me for some strange reason.  Her brother called on Christmas Eve.  Her sister called twice the day after Christmas.  Neither the twisted sister or the demented brother will leave a message.  I’m sure you can guess what the brother wants.  Now the sister, who knows?  Unfortunately, I am not stable enough at this point to converse nicely with these lovely people so I continue to ignore any attempts at communication.  I just can’t tolerate any tomfoolery or malarkey.
  • Me: It’s probably more of me stored in the griefcase than anything else.  Am I still a stepmom I wonder frequently?  What do I do with myself?  I don’t want a new life–I liked the one I had.   I’m still a wife it’s just that my husband is dead.  Needless to say, I’m one mixed-up Ms.
  • Our house: Of course everything is just as he left it, especially in the garage.  The Mountain Dew that he was drinking is still in his cup holder.  I don’t want to touch anything and I can’t bear to part with his stuff.  I could try selling the house but I almost feel like I would be leaving him behind.

Coach should add the “griefcase” to their line-up–they would sell well!