Grateful

Because there is always something or someone to be grateful for. I am grateful for:

♥♥♥The Living God who conquered death and the grave. Without this hope, the grave is a horrifying pit.

♥♥♥My husband and son, and my son’s girlfriend. Love, understanding, care, and so much grace.

♥♥♥My daughter. 30 years by my side, loving me unconditionally and allowing me to be her guide.

Every day, every breath…a gift. Every moment an opportunity to make memories that will last for a life time. May today be filled with gratitude, no matter what is happening in your neck of the woods.

From our family to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Constant Change

Thanksgiving week with all the buzz and frenzy. Plans of the perfect table and yummy family recipes. Traditions kept for generations or the start of new ones. And, yes, the stress to make it all picture perfect.

Growing up, we did not celebrate the thanksgiving holiday. Our little village hadn’t been touched by the traditions of the USA. I remember when we came to “el norte”, Mom had no clue what to do with this “bird” that Dad brought home from work. I gift given to all employees on Thanksgiving. We had an over abundance of turkeys because many family members worked at that place. So Mom, in her industrious self, got to work. For Thanksgiving she made turkey-birria and for Christmas she made turkey-tamales. And, so we had a semblance of new found traditions.

As a married woman we had our share of complete leanness to the “enough for everyone to eat”. As my kids got older we decided to build our own traditions with a traditional thanksgiving meal. I don’t know that any one year was the same, but nothing compared to the complete rending of all we knew to be normal.

Last year, our first without our daughter, I sat in a chair staring at my kitchen. No trip to the grocery store in preparation, no marinating the turkey…NOTHING! Not even a desire to move…just frozen in time with a deep, deep sense of loss, and so much pain.

My two men (my husband and son), as usual, gave me space and allowed me to simply “be”. Eventually they went and found a take-out-place that was open and brought home some food. I know I sat at the table, I know I ate, but the numbness gives me no other details.

This year, by God’s grace, I want to attempt to make a traditional meal and have a traditional dinner. My daughter loved, loved the holidays. I want to honor her memory by making things a bit normal for our family. And, I want to convey to my remaining family, that they are loved, too.

What will happen, remains to be seen. BUT I, at least, have the desire to want to move forward. And, that is enough for today.

How have things changed for you? I’d love to hear your stories ❤

Walking

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4

Walk” – the act of putting one foot in front of the other, causing forward movement. It could be a steady pace, a slow pace, a shuffle or a drag. The moving forward can be clearly evident or barely noticeable.

Through” – Google defines this as, moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location); continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period).

Just to words to chew…to ponder…to meditate on. Just two words to steady the chaotic flow of my mind. Just to words to sink my teeth into, to savor every bit of their meaty meaning. Not a whole book, not a paragraph, not even a sentence, but two words.

Just like my physical body needs nutritious dense foods to function, my mind needs life giving words. Words that bring hope.

When the bottom falls out – heck! when it literally shatters to pieces – from under your feet, you need more than just cliches or pat-answers. When the shell of your precious daughter’s body is being lowered into a hole, ONLY the hope in the God of the Resurrection can keep you from throwing yourself after her.

AND so I walk, believing I will get through to the other side. But as I walk through to the other side, I will, by God’s grace be present for those that are still walking on this journey called life.

Here is to walking together ❤

Continual Process

Morning ya’ll! It sure has been quiet around here, but man has my brain been in a frenzy. Thankfully it is not one of those “brain explosions” that lay me flat, unable to function. No, it has been a steady flow of pondering, meditation, a-ha moments and just plain rethinking. Geesh, you’d think at my age, I’d be done “thinking”. Yeah, not going to happen, not this side of heaven.

As my brain churns, I have found it difficult to “sit down” and put into words what is coming out. In fact, I haven’t even done my regular journal writing, which says so much, since writing is typically the way I sort things out. It’s like having a pile of dirty clothes, which is so overwhelming you don’t know where to start. So instead of doing anything…just one thing…I simply do nothing. And, it is so bugging the heck out of me!

There is also so much apprehension in putting things “out there”. I thought I was doing better, but I’m realizing that I am still “fearful” of speaking/writing whatever my mind is pondering, given that the process is still being worked out. Deep in my sub-conscience I desire to put forth a “finished product”, whatever that may be, instead of the “journey” and the processing with all its twists and turns and deep valleys and mountain highs. Once again, I gasp at this, because I don’t want to put forth a Porcelain Doll image.

I pulled out some of my notes from Natalie Goldber’s Book, “Writing Down The Bones”:

“…doubt is torture…” “If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics out side you.” “…be present, unafraid, open, let the situation give you the subject…” “Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances, be fearless of failure.”

DOUBT, FEAR, OPEN…fearless of failure…! How is it that one gets to the point of not caring what “critics” have to say, yet somehow one finds oneself right back in that funk, that paralyzing funk that threatens to shut ones voice! My therapist says I give people too much power over me. Ya think! It’s my life long story :-/

Questioning what I have to say has been an ongoing struggle (Love of WritingThe Runaway ) Also, thinking that I have to “fight” my way to be heard or having to explain myself over and over. My concept of “healthy” relationships is, well, really skewed. Working on it, though 🙂 I heard actress, Leah Remini say, “I thought I had to fight for everything.” Ok, this sent me into deep, deep thought…which, by the way, continues.

I believe we are always evolving, learning. The day we stop learning, then, we stop maturing and hearing others around us; being open to change and not rigid statutes. I remember a time when I thought 40 years of age was ancient. Let me tell you at 52, that mind set has really changed. There was also a time that I thought if I fulfilled that “proverbial checklist” ALL would go well in the camp. Yup, that magic checklist is non-existent. Hardship and pain are part of this life journey. The question is not avoidance, but how will we handle “it” when comes? And, are we willing to receive help and ask for help when needed? Being vulnerable, transparent, learning to trust.

As you can see, lots going on in this brain of mine. I desire to continue to listen deeply, and write freely. To allow my pen to be ready to write even when the process is messy and unfinished, not waiting until “it” is boxed up, tied neatly with a pretty little bow. Cause let’s face it, if I wait until then, this temporary vessel will be resting in peace (Gosh, I am so ready, but I’m accepting that it’s not time yet).

Monday Musings

The beginning of a new week. Fresh, clean, ready to take on the world! “What will this week bring”, I ask. With energy and stamina after an “off day”, I head to the gym. Oh, Gymboland, you never disappoint with your many side shows and aggravations. It’s usual locker room antics, with it’s noises and views. The selfie station in front of the mirror. The “I own this whole row” spread and the mad-dog faces wanting to look mean and tough. I sometimes wonder if “we” ever left high school? (Gym Rant , Another Gym Rant, Inquiring Mind)

California’s weather is changing and with it lots of coughs and sniffles. Would it be rude to carry a disinfectant spray? People simply do not know how to cover their cough and sneezes. Then you have people with open mouth breathing…goodness! Why?!?!

Nonetheless, got it done! Endorphins flowing to the brain. Ready for the day. Here’s hoping for a “balanced”, productive day 😀

Surreal

Have you ever been in a place that seemed like you were experiencing an out of body experience? Like you are in the audience watching “you”? Yesterday, I was doing my usual grocery shopping, when all of the sudden I became aware of a “whistle”. WHAT?! ME?! WAIT?! NO?!

Today, I came across this:

AND, so in the little things; in the seemingly unrelated things; in the messages that seem to be separate yet are so entangled…I will ENJOY the sound of the whistle 🙂