Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Growing In


Well-worn leather shoes.

High neck sweaters.

Bobby pins and long beaded necklaces.

Clearance brassieres and cotton camisoles.

Fabric scraps transformed into hair ties.

A cameo brooch.

Scarves adorned by polka dots, paisley and plaid.

Jeans aged so they carry dusty memories in their seams.

A soft oatmeal-colored sweater with deep pockets and shiny buttons.

A wardrobe fit for an elderly-fashionably obtuse woman.

Maybe one day, I'll grow into it.









Friday, October 18, 2013

Celebrations & The Chaos Theory


       Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word connection as:

noun \kə-ˈnek-shən\
                                              

: something that joins or connects two or more things
: the act of connecting two or more things or the state of being connected
: a situation in which two or more things have the same cause, origin, goal, etc.        
     
      Last week, I had the privilege to perform a wedding ceremony for two people whom I love very much. The wedding was small, but overflowing with love. We met in a park not far from the couple's home. Family and friends circled around them as they exchanged rings, vows and roses.
 
Tears were shed, laughs were let out into the Universe and while many in attendance did not know one another...we all felt connected by our mutual love for the happy couple.
Hugging a complete stranger that day felt as natural as hugging your oldest friend.
We were connected by a single moment.

Yesterday, I was gently reminded people are connected by much more than the joyous moments they experience together or the mutual friends they have. People are connected by the similarities of their own lives. Sometimes the connecting factor is something as simple as your title:

Mother
Daughter
Sister
Friend

Your role in life, while not directly connected to someone, can connect you more than you know.

As I thought about the varied ways in which we are all connected, my mind kept circling around "the butterfly effect". The butterfly effect is a phrase which engulfs the more technical notion of the chaos theory. The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny and unnoticeable changes in the atmosphere that can ultimately cause a tornado to appear.
The flapping wing represents a small change at the start of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale occurrences.

Meaning:

Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the direction of the system might have been different or non-existent.

I learned yesterday that a dear friend of mine lost her mother to a hard battle with cancer.

While I do not know her mother well - I do know what it is to mother.
While I do not know the intricacies of their relationship - I know what it is to not only share a kinship with my daughter, but a friendship unlike any other in my life.

I was fortunate enough to spend the entire day with my family yesterday.

After learning of my friend's loss my day seemed somehow different.

It felt purposely slow. I felt myself drawing out every laugh, hand-hold and hug.
That day - that moment, suddenly seemed more important than anything else in the world.
The sun felt warmer.
Hugs were tighter.
Tickles were longer.
Bedtime was delayed by cuddles.


I had a beautiful day yesterday with my family and I know my friend's mother played a part in that.
The importance of the day, the warm sun, the tight hugs, the long tickles and delayed bedtime...all because of Renee's wings.

My heart is with you all.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Motherhood


Motherhood is stepping into a new life

It’s trading in carefully selected outfits for whatever is clean

It’s ponytails and roots that need to be touched up

It’s grabbing the stuff out of the bottom of the sink knowing it’s the nicest mess you’ll clean all day

It is reading books and checking fevers and getting peed on

Motherhood is changing

It’s a refrigerator that used to be a refrigerator but now doubles as an art gallery

It’s eating cold dinners and helping the “goo-goo’s” transform into words

Its sticky fingers that don’t seem so sticky when they wrap around yours

It’s kissing foreheads and finding hot-wheels in the microwave

Motherhood is knowing why the sun is bright and why farts stink and what’s inside of Mayonnaise

It’s a true understanding of how wonderful a quiet house can be

It is heavy sighs as you look at yourself naked in the mirror

It’s being envious of freedom and small waists until you hear your daughter say, “Mommy, you smell like Christmas.”

It’s being, both, ecstatic and sad when your kids learn to wipe their own butts

Motherhood is stages

It’s dropping the kids off at school at 8:00 a.m. and listening to the clock tick violently until 3:00

It is soul searching

It’s wondering what your purpose is when the kids don’t need you anymore

It’s finding yourself

It’s re-learning your name because for the last six years you have been “So and So’s Mom”

Motherhood is understanding that being a mother doesn’t define you-

What kind of mother you are defines you
 
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

No Words Needed To Defy Gravity


There was a time in my life when I was quiet.


It was a brief and unremembered time of my youth, but I am told by those who knew me all those years ago it is true. In fact, I have been loud for so long I believe it has actually reversed the years I spent hiding behind my grandmother when company would come over.

Over the course of my life I have come to appreciate and understand the power of spoken words. The combination of words, inflection and the moment they are sent out into the surrounding air all combine to form a single event that can pass by swiftly or change the course of your life forever.

Words are powerful, folks.

I have always believed words and our ability to communicate with them are the most powerful resource human-beings possess... I believed this until last Tuesday.

I was having a bad day.  I cannot pinpoint what triggered it, but it was an emotional day for me.

It could have been anything:

My busy life.
The childrens starting school again.
Work crossing the vague (yet sacred) line between work and home.
Not enough time with my family.
The distance that forms between friends when lives get busy and separation forms.

It could have been one of these things, all of them or a random combination of the five.

After a few crying spells, I decided to go to the one place that can almost instantly make me feel better about myself:

Wal-Mart.

There I was, minding my own business when I ran into the last person I ever expected to see:
My friend, Taylor.



(Time out- A little history on my friendship with Taylor)

I met Taylor a little over a year ago. She was extremely quiet, and I am fairly certain I terrified her the first time I met her.
The teacher in me gravitates toward her because I want to help her communicate with the world, but I also just think she is a marvelous human being. I am frantically trying to find new things to keep her busy while also providing her with an opportunity to challenge herself socially. (Basically I make up an event and have her provide artwork for it...she loves it.)

Taylor struggles daily to find the right words to use for individual situations, but creating a masterpiece out of an empty sidewalk and a few pieces of chalk is as autonomic as breathing.

It is wonderful and amazing and marvelous and will have me scratching my head until I am a very old lady.
(Time in- Back to the story)



There I was, all melancholy and having a bad day, when I ran into Taylor.

It took a few moments for my emotional brain to register the fact that Taylor was working at Wal-Mart.

She wasn't working at a library, or behind a computer but AT WAL-MART.

I was shocked. We exchanged pleasantries, I made a few inappropriate jokes and I left the conversation stunned.

I was barely around the corner before a huge smile overtook my face and tears started making their way toward the ground.

Every piece of my bad day instantly dissolved.

The fact is... on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 the girl who can rarely find words left me speechless for what I'm sure won't be the last time in my life.


To Taylor:

Thank you. Without uttering a single syllable you have helped me this week more than I could ever express.

Thank you for being brave.

Thank you for reminding me that bad days are just that--they are only bad until something good finds you. (Maybe it's in the dairy section at Wal-Mart)

Thank you for making my entire week better.

Thank you for reminding me while our struggles follow us wherever we go it is possible to forge ahead and keep them where they belong...behind us.

Thank you for proving my blind optimism and hope for the world (if just this one time) to be true.

Thank you for reminding me that sometimes the loudest messages are not ones we hear with our ears, but with out hearts.

I am so very proud of you.



http://youtu.be/3g4ekwTd6Ig



























      

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Maze of Life

 There are things I remember about my life with such clarity I sometimes frighten myself.  To hear me tell it, I can remember the cortical reaction inside of my mother's womb that began my life.

To offset these days of perfect memory retrieval, there are also days I forget to put on a bra or spend fifteen minutes looking for car keys only to discover them in my hand.

It's all very "Holly Golightly", but without the natural grace to accompany the antics.

The things I remember, the moments that sweep over me in such clarity I feel as though I am reliving the moment-- I have found these beautiful memories are almost always triggered by something very simple.

Last week, I was helping my daughter work a maze. The maze stated it was designed for children between the ages of four and eight, but to save my fragile self esteem... I am going to go ahead and call bullshit on that.

There I am with my daughter ,attempting to solve this puzzle that was clearly designed for  elementary children with Savants Syndrome, when I remembered solving mazes by starting at the end and working my way to the beginning. Anytime I worked a maze in school, I almost always started at the end and finished it; I found it was faster, it was easier and it was less frustrating.

Folks, hold onto your shit because I am about to blow your mind:


Life...is like a maze. One begins on a path with no plans or ideas, and eventually it's as though we are racing to beat a deadline. We find ourselves in a blind panic, frantically grasping for affirmation that we are doing things right. Disappointment mounts when the paths eventually curve, collide and dead end. We find ourselves standing in the middle of dozens intersecting paths, shaking our fists skyward and shouting, "Who in the fuck designed this thing?!"


 Many of you have heard me say a million times of all the things I want to be, in the end, I just want to be happy.

Happiness is what waits at the end of my maze.

However, I think I have been going about this whole "finding happiness" business the wrong way. I should start at the end and work my way to the beginning. If all I want is to be happy, why can't I start there and see where I end up?

Be happy now, and wait for the end to find me.I am confident if I hold fast to the optimism that has always filled my mind...I will eventually collide with happiness in a big messy splash of "I never thought life could be this good".


http://youtu.be/ndnS1RXZJzM














Thursday, January 17, 2013

Going Through the Change

 I have been thinking often about my friendships; those I have recently developed and my older friendships that are evaporating within the folds of busy and changing lives.

 As I thought about the changes taking place in my life, I was reminded of something the protagonist of  the novel "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" said:

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody.” 


We've all been at this place, and we often wonder what brought about the change in the friendship.

Was it something I did?
Who stopped calling who?
Was it something I said?

Is it just a difference of opinion or a seperation of lives?

In my case, I think it's a combination. Mostly the seperation of lives- but,  generally a case of "out growing" a friendship.

Long-time friendships are the most difficult to let go of. The kind of friendships that are rooted in notes being passed across classrooms, pinky promises and slumber party antics.

As much as one would like to retain those friendships as they are, the ever-changing world around us makes it difficult. It is a reality that many people are faced with, and while it is something we all learn to be true...the affirmation of loss is never easy to accept.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are several friendships that have passed through my life in a hurried wave of "Thank God that is over" or "Wow. That bitch is too crazy for color t.v."

However, I have many friendships that I have watched slowly slip through my fingers like grains of sand. Regardless of how tightly my fingers are held together; I am not able to keep it from disappearing.

I have learned blaming myself fixes nothing. Self-blame has actually given me a complex that I may never outgrow. Unfortunately, there is rarely a cure for people who take the blame for things that are not their fault. (I've found chocolate and cupcakes help a lot, though.)

The key is learning that no one is to blame when things like this happen. It isn't a matter of who stopped calling who, or who forgot to return an email.

The key is remembrance and acceptance. Cherish the memories brought to life by your friendship and accept that the world continues to change.

People change; Therefore the friendships they hold with others...change.

Acceptance is a process, but I'm getting there.