Words

 

It’s all been said before.
You’ve heard the words.

“Relax.
Go with the flow.
Just focus on today.
Take one moment at a time.”

Right? Right!

Words!
Just words!
No one can tell you how to handle this.
No one can feel what I feel.

Everything will be ok.
 Just breathe!
Focus on this moment.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

But everything doesn’t feel ok.

It’s hard to breathe.

I can’t focus.

I am worried.

Ok.
I will listen.
I will be by your side.
Cry, if you need to.
I’ll hold your hand.
Scream if it helps.
I’ll understand.

Sometimes,
Silence
Is the best advice.

Sometimes,
Being present
Is the best friend.

The words will always be there.
They linger in the air
For just the right moment.
When I’m ready
They’ll be heard.

What Really Matters?

IMG_9485This older me, this wiser me…

looks back before I head into this new year.  This older me, this wiser me reflects on one simple question:  “What really mattered in my life?  What really mattered?

Was it to be popular with others my age (first in school, then in my job, then with other parents, and on and on)?  I wanted so much to be popular.  Did that really matter?

Was it to have nice things (clothes, cars, houses, furniture)?  I longed for nice things, worked hard for nice things, my whole life.  Did those things really matter?

I did so much in my life.  I always wanted more.  I had a career, a marriage, children.  I raced from task to task, wanting to be the best for each of them; always longing to be better than I felt I was, feeling less than perfect all the time.

Did it matter?  Did it really matter?

This older me, this wiser me looks back and thinks…

What really mattered was the laughter, the love, the hugs, the conversations, the moments of pure joy.  None of these things had popularity or fashion or money requirements.  They came to me free of charge with only one requirement; I had to give these things back to others.

This older me, this wiser me…

found peace inside, and with that peace came this simple but profound understanding.  I realized, as I looked back on my memories that when I laughed, others laughed.  When I hugged, I got a hug in return.  When I listened to others, others listened to me.  When I shared my moments of pure joy, it made others happy and they, in turn, shared their’s.  When I gave love, I got loved right back.

So, what really matters in this life?

How about if you STOP!  Stop trying to be… and do… and want… and need… something more. STOP! Stop wishing…and hoping… and longing…for something you don’t have. STOP!  Stop believing that being popular, having a great job, making lots of money is what matters…because… it doesn’t.

In the end, the older you, the wiser you will look back… at the laughter… the love…the hugs…the conversations…the moments of pure joy.

And, they were all free to give and freely given in return.

So, this older me, this wiser me says…

This is my gift to you for the new year.  You don’t have to wait to be old to be wise.  Right now, today, you can bring laughter into your day, you can hug someone and listen (really listen) to someone.  And then, try sharing a moment of pure joy.  See for yourself.  See if, by doing these things, you find love.

And, that, my friends, is what really matters…to love!

 

 

Never Leaving Home

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I left a place that I called “home”
But realized that “home” is not a place at all.
A place is rooms with carpeted floors
A box with windows and paint on the wall.
A “home”, on the other hand,
Is much more than that.
A “home” is pictures, and gifts,
and stories from your past.
A “home” is the collection of treasures
from your children’s younger days.
Those things they wanted kept safe
When they moved away.
A “home” is those stubborn plants
that survive!
They must want to be with me.
They’re still alive!
“Home” is a typewriter,
an old-fashioned pair of shoes,
a harmonica, a magazine rack;
things I could never bear to lose.
“Home is all those things
that I was willing to pack and carry away.
Then, quickly take them out, place them around me.
And then I realize
“Home” never moved away.

I Want To Ask, But I Don’t Want To Know

Journal Entry July 21, 2015  

Part four of how Morning Pages(my journal)helped 
me process through a change.

I want to ask but I don’t want to know or rather, I’m afraid to know the answer.  Are they or are they not moving away?  I don’t know.  To  me no news is good news?!?  I feel like I’ve been through this before.  Gut aches and tears, right there waiting for those words.

Instead, the text yesterday was “Our 12 week appointment went great.  All is well.  Heartbeat 155. J still think’s it’s a girl.  I think it’s a boy.”  And I’m happy for them and I want to distance myself from falling in love again.

My day with my grandson was wonderful, as usual.  He grew over the weekend.  Now he walks to the refrigerator and says “Milk”.  We spent the day doing little things; going to the construction site, watching a excavator dig a big hole, then swinging at the swing park.

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He sat in the swing so long that I thought he was ready to sleep.  So, I encouraged him to stop (“10 more pushes and then we’re going to stop.”) so we could actually get home for his nap.  The ride home woke him up enough that we had time for some lunch and the read several books before his nap.

While he napped, I worked on a video of this past weekend.  I had uploaded a song hoping it would be allowed.  The words were perfect.

Let The River Run

by Bob Seger

I’ve seen the top, I’ve seen the view

Lately, I find, not much is new.

And there’s always a hill out there beyond

Where I could be, where I belong.

Some always take, some have to win.

They leave you with scars, again and again

As they reach for the sky, only to fall,

They never change. I’ve seen them all.

Let the rivers run, like they always do

It’s not up to me.  It’s not up to you.

When we reach the end, when our time is done

Let us all be still while the river runs.

Let the rivers run from the great divide.

I’ll stay with you .  I’ll be by your side.

When we reach the end, when the words are done,

Let us listen well, while the rivers run.

 It’s a beautiful , truthfully peaceful song and I couldn’t use it in the video.  Copyright infringement.  So it’s written here as the message that came to me as I was trying to enjoy the beauty of the weekend that was so hard.

When my daughter and her family move, I will go sit by that river.  I will listen, well, to the messages that flow off the surface of the water.

But for today, I will go back and enjoy that little boy who is growing right before my eyes, and I will “let the river run, as they always do.  It’s not up to me.  It’s not up to you.

Morning Pages Become “Mourning” Pages

They came into the house together, my daughter and son-in-law.  Why?  It didn’t take long to find out.  They had news they needed to share…together!

They were offered a job.  They’ve accepted.  They’ll be moving away in October.

My initial thought was “I want to throw up!”

Instead, I picked up my grandson and gave him a hug.

I’m going to miss taking care of you three days a week.  I’m going to miss watching you grow.  And then, I walked away for a moment.

I wanted to just walk out the door; go home, crawl in bed, pull the blankets up over me…but first, drink a bottle of wine!

Collect yourself, Jane.  You need to let them tell the story.

And so, I walked back into the room.  Then, I found a way to say the right words:  “Life is short.  You have to do the things that make you happy while you can. This is a door (an opportunity) that has presented itself.  You’ll spend your life always wondering “what if” if you don’t walk through that door.  This will provide you with life lessons.  It’s meant to be.”

God, please help me to truly believe all of that.

I cried but hugged them both

Then, I found a way to drive home.  There, I sat with a glass of wine and a stomach ache.  I kept repeating the words I had found to say to them.

  • Life is short.
  • Everyone should do things that make them happy.
  • This is a door.
  • They would regret not walking through it.
  • This will provide life lessons.
  • It’s meant to be!

I prayed to God to just let me fall asleep

I slept.   And then the next morning, my clock radio woke me up to this particular part of this song by Rascal Flatts:

What hurts the most was being so close
And havin' so much to say
And watchin' you walk away
And never knowin' what could've been
And not seein' that lovin' you
Is what I was trying to do

The words say it. I’ve tried to tell my daughter before but it always came across as unsupportive. I want to support.  I thought I had been supporting.  They are walking away from nearly two years of open arms childcare.  They’re walking away from a willingness to continue indefinitely. I was ready to  welcome child number two.  I thought I was loving them the deepest, most profound way I possibly could.  And they are walking away from it all to live hundreds of miles away.

I wrote the words of the song down

in my morning pages and just sat there, looking at them.  And I cried again as I wrote the whole event out in longhand, dumping it onto paper, with all the anger and grief that filled me, hoping that I could find some relief from the pain.

After three pages, I wasn’t crying anymore.

I had moved on to the reality that my daughter is pregnant, has a two year old little boy and she is now moving away from her family, friends, a job she loves, and doctors she trusts.  Her burdens, right now, are heavier than mine.  She doesn’t need to carry me as well.  Stop crying in front of her.  Let her talk about her fears.  Be her mother!  I was able to support her through my divorce from her dad, his death, multiple boyfriend breakups, buying her first home, getting married, having her first baby.  I can support her through this.

She is trying to be a support for her husband.  She loves him and her family.  That doesn’t mean that she no longer loves me.  It also doesn’t me that she is walking away without appreciation for the things I’ve done over the past two years.  It’s time to let go.

And so I closed the journal

with a new resolve.  I closed my eyes for a minute.  They were burning from all the crying and too little sleep.  When I opened my eyes, I said to myself, “Alright, it’s time to open your arms up to your daughter this morning…

With a vow to help her walk through that door.

Loving Dad

    Jason and Ian

 Loving Dad
A dad is joy and comfort
wild play and laughter. A dad is football
golf, baseball games and beer. A hardworking
hard playing man who loves his children with everything
he has. Sometimes, it’s coming up with crazy, silly tickle games.
Sometimes it’s teaching his kids how to yell at the players on the
television screen from the couch. Still a peacekeeper. When he
comes home, mom calms down. He makes her laugh. He tries
so hard to be everything for his family. He has to be strong
and capable, loving yet firm, the problem solver, the
controller. It’s a heavy burden, sometimes
too heavy, to carry. So, being a dad is
a powerful, fragile thing.
Having a dad is
heaven.

A Mother’s Thank You Note – To God

Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to become a mom.

Thank you for trusting me.

I have finally learned how to listen to your messages; to be gentle with myself.

But being a mom wasn’t easy.  I made so many mistakes. I worried all the time.  I questioned myself and my decisions daily.

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Now, I believe that, all along, you were guiding me down the right paths.

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Although the paths were uneven and I lost my balance often,

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It was you who believed that I was strong enough to handle it,

You taught me to be patient; to just keep going.

You helped me to breathe.

Thank you for focusing my attention on the beauty of this gift.

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You were always there, whispering softly, “Appreciate the little things.”

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“It’s your job to build a home.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It just has to be safe and full of love.”

Thank you, God, for filling my world with such joy.

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Through hard days and challenging times, you kept reminding me that I had a  beautiful song inside me.  You helped me to share that song with my children. You kept me positive. You showed me how to point out life’s joy.

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And through all of life’s obligations, your were there to remind me to slow down; to pace myself so I didn’t miss important moments. You were trying to teach me to just go with the flow.

Still, I’d find myself flitting here and there with nervous energy.  I know, now, that it was you who continued to ground me, reminding me, again and again, to just appreciate the  magic and mystery of life.

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And while I was busy guiding and teaching,

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you said, “Remember to take time for fun”

because you knew that all too soon my babies would be grown,

and the nest would be empty.

In the middle of all those years of parenting, I may have been too busy to hear you,

but now I know you were always there.

Now, I am listening.

And now I know that Mother’s Day has been

every day since I became a mom.

It’s me, now, who wants to give thanks

for my two beautiful daughters, who have been the light of my life,

and for my baby grandson who is now flooding my world with new light.

Thank you, God, for giving me a lifetime of gifts.

Erin, Katie, and Me

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Time To Wake Up And Hear The Birds Sing

Oriole1
“Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”

When I was young, my mom would come charging into my bedroom, opening the curtains, and pulling the covers away from my chin, saying in the most irritatingly cheery voice, “Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”  You can just imagine how abrupt and rude that felt, especially to a teenager!

Now, I find myself getting up early and loving the sounds of birds singing, and I’m saying to myself, with a smile, “Time to wake up and hear the birds sing.”  And, I think of my mom.

I ponder the meaning of the words.  “Time to wake up” usually means that it’s time to pay attention.  “Hear the birds sing”, to me, means to listen but not to everything, listen for pleasant things.

So, today, my goal is to pay special attention to kind words, loving gestures, the beauty of a spring day, and the songs of the birds.  And, I will smile and think of my mom!