Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sounds of Change

Newborn cries in the dark night
Moniter crackling as the sound increases.
Voices raised in laughter during the
Games of hide and go seek.
Building forts of pillow and blankets
While Rafi sings in the background.

"Mom, she doesn't like me anymore!"
Car keys jingling and doors slamming.
Voices raised in cheering during the
Games played on turf and diamonds.
Making popcorn and plates of nachos
While Beyonce sings in the background.

The years fly by...children grow
The sounds flow and ebb too.
But through it all love remains.

Linked to~ Six Word Fridays

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sons and the Girls They Love

Sons and girlfriends.
All the jokes about a mother letting her boy go...
or thinking any girl is not good enough for her baby.
I understand because I have two sons who both have girlfriends.
However I find myself looking at these girls...
learning about what qualities my boys deem important.
And if I'm completely honest....
looking to see if there are glimpses of myself in either of them.

I've learned that if she makes my son happy...
then I am happy.
If she can make him strive to be the best version of himself
then I am pleased.
And if she can look me in the eye, smile, and be herself
then I am at peace.

It's funny because instead of wondering if these girls
are good enough for my boys
I wonder if my boys are treating them the way we have raised them
to treat women.
Do they see the inner beauty along with the outer beauty?
Do they remember she is not "one of the guys"
and adjust their conversation?
Do they encourage her to be independent...strong...capable?
Do they remember that it's not all about them...
it's about her too.
Do they show with their words, their eyes, their actions
that she is someone to be respected?

I know this sounds like a tough list of questions
for a 19 and 17 year old to answer.
Yet, it is essential to me that they do.
Because when I look at the girls
I see myself at that age.
So eager to quick to mold myself
into what I thought was a lovable girl.
I remember my insecurities
and how I often hid my own light
so it wouldn't compete with my boyfriend's.
I want more for these girls.

So, yes, I adore my boys.
And, yes, I will protect them to the end.
But I will also watch over these lovely girls...
and help guide my boys into becoming more
of the men they are becoming.
Men of integrity,
and love.

Linking up with: Pour Your Heart Out

Monday, October 24, 2011

Snapshots of the Mind...and the Heart

Yesterday was a parish celebration...75 year anniversary. It was a gorgeous fall day...sun, wind, and jewel toned leaves creating the backdrop.
I found myself taking mental snapshots all day.

My 6'2" boy alter serving... sporting his beard that he's grown for the football playoffs.  Hiding his yawns & trying so hard to focus on the alter.

My 14 year old baby...all coltish legs and swinging hair...patiently guiding the little kids through the games. Allowing herself to delight in the childish joy with them.

Standing in the food line with a newly single mom...asking her to join our table which is full of laughter...seeing her eyes light up with relief that she belongs.

Seeing my husbands eyes meet mine...countless times throughout the day. Feeling the same thrill go through me as it did when I was 18 years old.

Walking through the parking lot with 3 of my dearest girlfriends. A huge "Winnie-the-Pooh" blustery gust of wind blows our friends wig right off. Saying..."It's not a party till someone loses their hair!" and watching her bend over in side-splitting laughter. .

Feeling the love as these girls and I sing, sway, and raise our red Solo cups ...toasting the day, the joy, the privilege of being alive and in this moment

My mental photo album is precious.
My heart photo album is priceless.

Linking up with: Just Write~ Extraordinary Ordinary

*This is the sixth installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Night Adjustment

Curled up in my favorite chair I can hear the wind blowing outside.  Sipping on my glass of wine, reading my favorite blogs, and trying to stay focused on the blessings.

Sundays are a blessing onto themselves , yet I don't always appreciate them.  Today is one of those less appreciated Sundays.  I didn't take the time to rest.  I allowed myself to become entangled in worries, concerns and "what ifs.  I didn't allow myself to fall into the beauty of the day.

Reflecting on the weekend I realize that I was just not myself.  Not sure why, and in the end it may not really matter.  What does matter is that I was on edge,  full of worry, and short with the people I love the most.

I recognize this which I suppose is a good thing!  Yet, I don't want to lose what I have left of my Sunday to more of the same.  So I'm trying to do an attitude adjustment, and my blog can really help that process.  

As I type my thoughts I can feel the knots slowly unwinding.  I can feel myself relaxing my death grip on my worries.  I can feel myself start to breathe again.

I suppose I blog for many reasons.  Yet, this night I have only one reason.  I want to empty myself so I can be filled with whatever beauty the last moments of this Sunday wants to give me.  

It's a gift.
I need only accept it.
I hope that all of you have had a chance to embrace the beauty of this whatever form it came to you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...well, almost wordless..

Friday Night Lights

I love this photo of my son and his girlfriend.
Partly, because I love them.
Also, I just think it shows a sweet slice of America.
Small town gathered at the stadium on a Friday night.
Under the bright lights with the smell of popcorn
and the crackle of the announcer's voice.

*My son's football days are over...torn ACL.
Not so sweet.
Yet he loves his team and is there at every practice and every game.
That is sweet.*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

At Least For Today

I wake up to the alarm...beeping incessantly.
My head tightening in that familiar ache...Migraine Day.
Shuffling in the semi~dark I find my pills and swallow.
But at least for today I can administer this medication on my own.
No nurse wearing plastic gloves as she places toxic fluid marked with a warning label into my veins.

Waking up the kids who don't want to wake I see the dirty dishes piled in the sink and overflowing onto the surrounding counter.
Messes are in every room. Every. Room.
But at least for today my muscles have strength and I can clean.

Kids calling to me. Putting voice to their needs.
"Please turn the dryer on wrinkle release, Mom!"
"Can you make my lunch?"
"Mine too!"
"Leaving my uniform here. Please bring it to the Ortho. appt."
"Remember're working concession stand tonight!"
"Where's all the stuff you made for bake sale today?!"
Listening I can feel the headache band tighten.
But at least for today I can meet these needs. I don't have to reassure them that mommy won't die today.

The scent of peanut butter and  the bright lights of the kitchen make me nauseous.
Feel the rolling of my stomach.
But at least for today I know this will pass. Nausea won't be my daily companion.

Throwing on my sweats, I cringe as I catch a glance in the mirror.
Bed head hair, dark circled eyes, and bigger than desired body.
Wondering how I can blend in so nobody sees me as I drive to school.
But at least for today I have hair, and my body isn't wasting away from disease.

Tasks and thoughts tumbling through my head.
To do lists forming, growing longer and some panic creeping in.
How will I can all this done today...especially with this migraine?
But at least for today I'm not riding to a CAT scan to find out if my tumor is shrinking or continuing to grow.

Perspective is always something that is needed.
My friend Carrie is going through all of my "but at least for today thoughts".
So although I can't rip this tumor out of her... I can't rid her body of this horrible disease...
At least for today I can pray for her.
At least for today I can love her.
At least for today I can do all I need to do in honor of her because for at least today she isn't able to do these things

**These are the thoughts in my head...unedited.  Carrie, a wife and mom of 2 young children is fighting a battle with advanced cancer. She is so loved. She is so needed. Today is her CAT scan. She's had 8 weeks of chemo with 10 more weeks to go.  If you are someone who prays I ask you to please send up a prayer for her although you don't know her. She has dark hair, blue eyes and a beauty of both face and spirit that lights up a room.  She is a prayer warrior and prays for countless others every day.  I'm asking that the prayers be for her today. Thank you so much to all who can pray.

Linking up with Write On Edge   

Linking up with Pour Your Heart Out

Linking up with Just Write
This is the fifth installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details and some examples here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up.

Linking up with dVerse....a really cool community of poets. Drop in
and sit a spell.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Let Your Light Shine

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. Nelson Mandela

 This quote and this picture came together and made sense for me today.
The quote is talking about shining...
letting yourself shine...
and I've always had difficulty with that particular phrase.
I believe it... I embrace it... but I don't always live it.

This photo is one my husband snapped of me in NYC about 18 months ago.
I love the way the different lights of Madison Ave. shine.
I remember how wonderful I felt at that time of my life. 
I was at my best mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I am not there now.

This quote spoke to me today.
The photo, especially the way the one light shines and highlights my head, spoke to me.
Maybe in a very small way God spoke to me.

Maybe He's reminding my that humbleness is a virtue...
but to humble myself
to the point where I meet countless other's needs but ignore my own,
is not what He desires.
To hide my "light" because I'm afraid of what others think
is not what He desires of me.
 When I do that I'm not being the person He truly created me to be...
and the people who are around me may not allow themselves to shine either.

I know in my heart what I need to do in order to shine.
I know that my physical self needs to be put back in balance.
I've lost my belief that I can do that.
This quote and photo reestablished that belief.

Late in life I'm learning that it isn't vain to shine.
God doesn't smile when I forget to take care of myself.
He placed a light inside me.
It can be a invitation for others to shine brightly.
Shine for Him.

Linking up with "Sunday Citar"

Linking up with Weekend Hop   

Linking with Just.Be.Enough    

Friday, October 7, 2011

Snow Run

Frozen feathers...downy soft yet crisply cold.
Transforming sidewalks and lawns into iced meringue...smooth without a blemish.

My furry friend's nose pressed against the window...mine also there... just a bit higher.
I reach for the leash..seeing her begin her dance without me even uttering w-a-l-k.

My eyes scan the room...sticky dishes, mountains of darks needing to be fluffed and folded.
My ears hear the dispute...the teenage squabbles rising above the blasting song of the week.

The inner chaos of home in sharp contrast to the outer peace waiting beyond the pane.
Soft brown eyes meet my baby blues...longing, loyalty and trust.

I slip into the thick jacket, mismatched mittens, and last year's snow boots.
My partner in crime needs nothing but her silky golden coat.

One more glance at the lived in home.
The scuff marks, the disarray of five lives lovingly intertwined. 

The two of us slip into the sharp cold and we run....footprints painting an abstract in the snow.
Experiencing the best kind of freedom.

Knowing the golden light spilling from the windows will welcome us home.
Just not yet.

This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.
Link up here.

Why Not?

A rule follower all my life.
Coloring within the lines drawn before.
Happily conforming myself...fitting the mold
That was formed, fired and set
By the ones who traveled first.

Happiness was found, contentment there too.
I like coloring neatly and precisely.
Yet need I do it always?
Do I have to keep myself
Limited to what I already know?

Aging has brought wisdom and questions.
Now when faced with a choice
Instead of saying I can not
I choose to say... why not?

Create a blog out of nothing?
I just asked myself...why not?
Sleep in till noon on Monday?
I will ask myself... why not?

Running my first 10 mile race
When I was 44 years old?
I chose to say... why not?

Loving wholeheartedly? Dancing in living rooms?
Eating french fries under the covers?
I delight in saying... why not?

My kids reaching for their dreams?
Kissing my husband in the rain?
I will always say...why not?

Living a life full of intention?
Breathing the joy of being alive?
Letting the love of God flow
Through the minutes and the hours?
I must always say...why not?      
Inspired by the words~ Why not?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Song for Today

If you want to skip my words and just get the good stuff go ahead and take a listen.

For any of you still here...I was excited to see this prompt at Mama Kat's Writer Workshop..."Tell us about your song".  As a self described music junkie I could never in a million years just pick one song.  I think I have an ongoing soundtrack that accompanies my life.  Yet, I could pick a song that sums up how I feel exactly at this moment...on this October 2011. 

The song is called "Unafraid" by Amy Grant.  The lyrics are so authentic and the simplicity of the music just touches my heart. I love how she focuses on her husband, then children, then finally her mom while weaving God through the tapestry of the song.

I'm at a stage in my life where fear is popping up at unexpected (and expected)moments.  The fact that I'm trying to raise three teenagers while trying to look out for aging parents may have something to do with that fear. 

I thought I would share three scenes from the last 24 hours of my life coordinating them with each verse. 

1st verse:
     My husband was off work yesterday and we spent some much needed time together.  (Wink! Wink!) He made me feel beautiful with his actions and words.  Enough said about that.

2nd verse:
     Last night my son left to take his girlfriend home.  A few minutes later I get a call from his girlfriend's phone. My immediate thought accident! I said heart in my throat...and he took a moment to answer.  I immediately went into "mom panic voice". 
    "Cam!! Are you alright?? Talk to me! What's wrong?"  (Praying that there is someone out there who can relate to this so I don't feel completely crazy!)  He answered, "Just wanted to let you know that my phone died. Didn't want you worrying."  My heart returned to it's regular beat, and I felt foolish.  In my defense though I must say that I have got the accident call before....3 times to be my fear in not totally unfounded!
    Along with that comes the fear of what each of my kids are doing when they are away from the nest.  Typical teenage behavior does not seem so typical when it's my own children. Couple that with the knowledge that they are still searching, questioning, and testing their wings...and yes, I'm not too proud to admit that they have not always made the best choices. Needless to say there is a little fear going on here at my end.

3rd verse:
    Went to visit my mom and dad this morning.  Just a drop in visit which are the best!  As I sat and watched my mom's hand tremble while she sipped her coffee, then struggle to get dressed, I realized that she is aging every day, and it is very evident now.  My dad then came home and mentioned that he had fallen in the restaurant  parking lot where he meets his buddies each day.  Once heart is in my throat.  Feelings of protectiveness, love, and longing for the days when they were strong and their footsteps sure rose within me.  It was extra hard to say good-bye to them this morning.

Among all of these small, everyday events I know that God is woven. 
His words come out of my husbands mouth... 
His watchful eyes are on my children...
His strong hands are there to help lead my parents through this last season of their lives...
and when I take the time to ask Him, to invite Him into my day, 
His love can make me unafraid.

This song is mine today...and I claim it. Hope you enjoy

(Amy Grant/Wayne Kirkpatrick)
Woke up this morning
with you in our bed
going over and over
everything you said
Who taught you how to speak
the words that you say
I've always wanted to
be talked to that way
Love has made
has made you unafraid
Watching my children
finding their way
thru struggles and triumphs
and heartbreak
I hope the roads they take
Are making them strong
I'll still be on my knees
Long after they're gone
Love has made
Love has made
Love has made
Has made me unafraid
My lovely mother
Is getting on in years
And the way her body's aging
brings her girls to tears
The way she trembles with
each effort she makes
She just says Heaven's
getting closer each day
Love has made
Love has made
Love has made
Has made her unafraid
Love could make
Love can make
Love will make
Make you unafraid…


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writers Block...and Fear

Staring at this white box...blank except for this first sentence.
Why am I feeling so nervous?
At a loss for words? 
Wanting to say I'm sorry?
Such silliness...but that's how I feel.
I've been gone from my blog because I've been without a working computer. 
I've explained this before...why do I feel that I need to explain again?
Apologizing is something I think I overdo.
It's not as if I've let down anyone.  We, who love to blog, throw our words out there because we HAVE to. It's an urge, a nudging, a need.
I'm sure that there hasn't been anyone out there mad because for some reason Breathe...Shine...Love...hasn't had any new posts for a couple months.  It's my own insecurities, ones I don't even realize I still have that rear their ugly heads and try to hold me back from JUST DOING! That whisper for me to just be quiet...give up.

I've been living my life...writing my story each day with my actions, feelings and prayers.
It's time to give some voice to that story.
So...freeing myself of any guilt.
Typing aimlessly so that black words dance across this white box...any words will do at this point!
Relishing in the fact that my computer is up and I can blog...even if I'm the only one looking at it.
Delighted that I can once again use this space as another way to give life to my 2011 Word of the Year....create.
Rejoicing in the fact that this post is done.
Now blog life can slowly get back to normal.
Hello's good to be back.