Heavy heart

I have a very tender heart~ while I consider this a good thing it can also be hard to have because horrific things overwhelm me emotionally. I am not a person who sees differences in people but more I see that we are all PEOPLE~flawed and capable of doing wrong ~ each and every one of us. But In simple terms we have a MUCH greater tendency to love and care for each other than we do to hate each other.
Oppression,victimization,mistreatment,abuse,discrimination………. all synonyms for persecution. Heavy stuff.
I came to the realization of how people ~ especially African American PEOPLE were so mistreated and discriminated against, abused, victimized, oppressed again all the synonyms for persecution. It was not that long ago, the 60’s, when this persecution was still happening. The mind set that black PEOPLE were not people at all, but items to “own”. I know that the mind set of racism still goes on, that many people still feel the same way. It makes me sick. I literally have no idea what that would be like. No clue at all.
I grew up a middle class white girl in Michigan. I HAVE NO CLUE~! But I want to understand.
That got me to thinking of all the ways we can persecute. As a society, we are called to be cohesive and in harmony & peace with each other. Ideally accepting and loving. There are many subtle ways we persecute each other. Can we say that we always feel that all people are created equal. Do we have a sense of being better than, lets say the man who stands at the intersection with a sign that says… :”will work for food” are we empathetic? Do we help or look away? I have thought that before, but was convicted by my beliefs that I am not to judge but to give to others without expectation.
All people deserve to live their lives as they will, as long as it does not cause others harm. It is funny how as I wrote the last sentence, it came to mind that some people choose to cast judgment on others, because they disagree with how they either are or what they believe in. Persecution…..
The point I am trying to make is about the persecution of anyone. We have all been persecuted in some way. The judgment from others is a persecution of you. The person that forces you to believe what they believe is a persecution of the others free will to choose. As a Christian, I am called to spread the good news, that Jesus died for me and I will live again after death, if I believe. I am not an evangelist, I do not hand out tracts to people on the street, I do not wear a sign saying “Repent the end is near!!” I do try to live a life that is non judgmental (it is not my job to judge), a life that reflects love, charity, generosity, good will, kindness and open mindedness to others. (All others not just the others I feel like) To love others as God has loved me. That is my evangelism to others.
Persecution is when someone oppresses another, abuses another, mistreats another, discriminates another……. We are all called to abolish persecution. ~~be kind one to another. Respect each other. Live in harmony with each other. That is a start. We are all people~ This is what we have to do.
I believe that at this time and on this earth………….. we will not see persecution abolished ~~ but in the next life….. those who have been persecuted will get their full and just reward. Until then please be kind to one another. PLEASE!

thinking……….

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Feeling nostalgic this morning and it makes me kind of sad ~ Sometimes I will look back and think of my mistakes (which do not get me wrong, my mistakes have been lessons in not only humility but lessons in how to be and do better) I have I have so much to be grateful for…… SO MUCH! But there are times that I miss people who were once such a huge part of my life, that for some reason or another are not in my life anymore or are there but living on the peripheral edges of my life.

I believe God puts people in your life for reasons. Sometimes my inability to fully handle the scope of my emotions and the total unpredictable aspects of just being me has proven to be full of thrilling challenges and/or gloomy clouds over my head. I love hard and I am an emotional person~ the last few days I have cried a lot, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with quiet reflection of what I have experienced~ and always with that hint of gratitude that God has me in the palm of His hand through it all.

Most importantly ~tell the people you love that you love them and appreciate them!!

Beyond the Horizon

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As I sit and look out my window, the sky is blue~  August is always kind of precarious with weather ~The air seems to always be damp with humidity one day and then a bit of a chill in the air the next….  My body knows these changes very well.  I hurt for days as the weather changes.  It is not too far off to say, that I blow hot and cold with the weather.  The anticipation of autumn excites me….

I love autumn very much. It is my favorite season.  In my youth my favorite season was always summer.  No school, laying in the sun with baby oil and iodine slathered on me, listening to the radio.  Adventures on bikes, trying to get the attention of neighborhood boys, imagining my future. One of my favorite memories as a kid growing up was riding bikes with my best friend Lori ~  exploring.

The future. Ah… when we are younger we sure do have a lot to look forward to. We have dreams and visions of what we want to do.  I always wanted to be a “homemaker”, a wife and a mom with the possibility of writing my novel from home.  To one day while being a good wife who loves her husband, and a mom who provides love and support to her children, I would while away hours writing my great story with flair and interest.

As I look out my window today,  I do not see  the future.  My children are grown and have  very successful adult lives going for them.  My daughter has written her words and they are published.  My children are accomplished and thriving in their lives. I find it very comforting to know that they are wonderful, productive adults. My sons are amazing dads and husbands ~ My grandchildren are the BEST kid ever! (although I am a bit biased………. )

As I struggle, with chronic illness, I am grateful.  Then I am scared.  Then I am grateful again.  SO much of my life in the last 50 odd years I have been on this earth, has been filled with life, death and all the things in between.  It is hard sometime to see and to accept that I have lived longer than I have left on this earth.   I pray not to live to 100, so in reality I am closer to death than ever.  I do not mean this as a morbid thought, but as a thought provoking thought. I have learned that…Life is eternal and love is immortal.  I believe that death is only a horizon and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight.

I wonder if I am making any difference, if my legacy I leave will be …….when they hear of my name….. will it be … Who?  I am not sure who you are talking about~  or will it be.. Oh my gosh, she was amazing and I am going to miss her.  I am going to keep the faith and enjoy what I have, to thank the Lord each day for not only what I have in my life but WHO is in my life!  I am SO SO BLESSED and for those blessings I am grateful and humbled.

new material??

Just received a comment on my last post… that post was in fact just a copy and paste from 2 years ago regarding the birthday of my oldest child. (from my oldest child…. aha!!  He reads it.)   I  do need to get some new material..  I just get stuck in what is ancient history at times.  That happens as people get older, the nostalgia is strong and the emotions are sentimental.  I have new material and I shall write more when I have time~~   All I can say now is Happy Birthday  “Coco”  ??  I am so very grateful that you are my child~~  Love you too!

Remembering with mindfulness

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The above image is the universal symbol for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome  Institute ~~  It is very prolific the tree represents the family and the dropped leaf is the representation of the baby who passed.  The tree is never the same but can continue to flourish despite the lost branch.

When my youngest brother died in a car accident, just 3 weeks prior to the birth of my second child, he was killed when the car hit a tree at a high speed.  That tree he hit had a huge scar on it.  A gash from where the car hit it, although the gash was there to remind us all of the impact of my brothers death, the tree kept growing.

I recently watched an episode of “Call the Midwife”.  It  is a drama set in the early sixties in a London neighborhood that has midwives to assist with the births of babies.  It is an amazing series that explores the changes and advancements  as well as the changes in birth and infant development. Last night’s episode had the depiction of a mother who was overly cautious and a bit paranoid about her baby daughter getting illnesses.  She would not let the baby sleep in her own bed and was constantly watching over her, much to the dismay of her husband. He tried to console her and help to see that this baby girl would be safe.   As the show continued it is revealed that the couple had a baby boy 3 years prior who died in his sleep (SIDS) and her overcautious  proclivity to hover over the child.

I was so touched and emotional by this story line, because my second child died of SIDS.  It changed me so much!! The wrenching trauma of finding my seemingly healthy baby, dead in his crib, haunts me to this day~~  that is something that NEVER leaves you EVER! I had two subsequent children after Brian died.  Laura was born 13 months after Brian and then Paul was born 13 months after Laura.  I was so overprotective of my children, it became overwhelming at times how much I hovered over my children with the fear that they would die.  The day before Brian died, he was just at the doctor for his wellness check and he was perfectly healthy. That evening he died.  The doctor recommended that Laura be on a apnea monitor. It is a device that will alert us if Laura would stop breathing during sleep.  It was suppose to be a precaution so she would not succumb to SIDS.  Although it would be highly unlikely for a subsequent sibling to die of SIDS it was agreed that this would help alleviate some of my fears. It did not however do that.  I was constantly watching the monitor and her breathing when she was sleeping.  Watching the green light flash with each of her breaths and then touching her to make sure she was indeed breathing.  The doctor would order a sleep study at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.  All of the sleep studies they did were normal and her breathing patterns were normal and she had NO episodes of apnea and yet I was so scared to take her off the monitor. I was already pregnant with Paul when it was suggested that Laura go off the monitor. So we did and then came Paul~~  The same scenario was repeated, he however, had many episodes of apnea, but most of the time the alarm of the monitor would jolt him out of it.  Only one time did I have to pick him up and wake him from the episode.  He also had health issues that brought about many, many hospital stays. He was so good natured as a baby and he took it all in stride!  He outgrew that and was a healthy child and he is still good natured !  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and scared as I went through this.  I had had 4 children by the time I was 25, buried one, and dealt with the anxiety that it may happen again.

I have learned through the years to let go and truly allow God to take care of me. My life has been full of sadness and despair at times, but also so filled with JOY! My memories of my children growing up and forging their own way into the realm of adulthood has been at times caused me such overwhelming gratitude that it takes my breath away! They are such awesome people!  Now as I watch my grandchildren grow I am again overwhelmed with gratitude and so so so much love!  I praise and thank God that I have been so blessed!!

Life is hard and I have seen my share of losses, my son, 2 brothers have died, one from a car accident at 16, and one of cancer at 36.  My parents died very young, my dad was 65 and my mom 70.  I miss them all~~  But I have learned through all this, that I have had the immense privilege to have them in my life and to have enjoyed their existence while they were within this realm of life.  Had the chance to love them and learn from them. The chance to disagree and fight with them and the chance to love them through it all!  (** disclaimer, I can wax poetic about how much I miss them but it was not always ……….. “oh I love you so much!!”  lol) 

Life is also filled with so many, many joy filled and simple pleasures. So many!! I recently spent the afternoon with my youngest grandson, Lane.  He is 13 months old and he is just perfect. We played. We laughed and we snuggled.  As I was driving home I said a prayer of gratitude, as I marveled at how much a this baby has grown, changed and learned in his short little life.  My other 3 grandkids are just as fascinating.  Emma who is now 14, is forging her own way through what is sometimes a scary world.  She snap-chats me often with words of love and how she misses me.  Andrew is 12 and sports obsessed!! He calls me out of the blue just to see how I am doing~ I mean wow!! Then there is Olivia!! She is so full of confidence and at 7 has shown so much creative energy that she will be a force to be reckoned with!!

As I write about the joys of my life, I find the discomfort of the pains in my life ease a bit.  I remember that, although I do not have a lot in regards to material items or money, but I am rich beyond what I could ever imagine.

blooms

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the flowers mesmerize her.. she looks at them as the intricate works of art

She finds the stem, the stamen, the filament, the stigma and the sepal…. to her the flower is something to explore. to discover. to feel. to taste. to enjoy.

to her flowers become her friends in a world where no one will be her friend.

in a world of hatred and ugliness, the flowers provided beauty and love.

but she is careful not to pluck them from the earth, for if she does, then the beauty and love will die. She has found this to be true. She wanted to keep them forever in her room, but found they withered without the earth, the soil and the sun. the water in which she kept in the crystal vase would eventually smell rancid as the stem became slimy and the petals would wilt. these flowers were best left in their natural habitat… but she enjoyed them nonetheless …. each color of the petals were a testament to the beauty they held…. each green leaf and new bud held for her new hope and beauty that she rarely was able to see ….. the hope of a new day, the freshness of the flower and the small intricate details that became her beauty.

if only she could bloom and thrive as well as her flowers did……….

overflowing love

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On April 25th, 2007 this boy came into the world~~ His name is Andrew Francis. My grandson. He is so perfect. Not perfect in the way that he does nothing wrong, but in the way someone is perfectly a charmer, a sports fan, a gamer, a student, a cuddlier (although now that he is 12 ~ the cuddles for grandma are not as frequent so when they happen I take them in and they stay in my heart until the next one comes.) When he is too tired~~~ he is a grumpy butt~~ but even then I love him so much because he reminds me of his dad, my son.

He is smart, funny and charming. Competitive ……. man he is the dude competitive !! Sports obsessed, talented, handsome and charming.

I have watched him grow and explore the world with amazement. It is such an awesome feeling watching him grow into the young man that he is. His parents are doing a wonderful job.

There is no joy that compares to having grand-kids. The joy I had when I had my children was overwhelming at times. The joy I experienced having grand- kids is overwhelming as well………..but to watch your children have children~~ is like having a great dessert after a great meal. Wonderfully satisfying. Enjoyable and satisfying!!

I can’t seem to fathom how fast they grow. How much they learn. How much they love. I am so blessed to be a part of their lives. I pray everyday that they will be safe and loved. I know the love I have for Andrew is a special love. My first grandson~~The “heir apparent” to the family.

Andrew came into the world on this day 12 years ago. It was a wonderful day. This handsome, smart and charming boy brought us all joy and love. Happy Birthday Mr. Andrew, I love you more than you will ever know.!!

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No title ~~ just observation

 

Some times I wonder…….. what is the use and then SUDDENLY…. it appears, something so simple, so pure and so of God, that I have to lift up my head and hands in praise and thank the Lord for His amazing grace, wisdom, insight and miracles.

Each day is filled with miracles of God. Each day can be a fulfillment of miracles, if we only take the time out to see them. I am marveled by my own body and the ability God has given me for the autonomic reflexes of breathing, heart beating and circulation. That is an amazing miracle, yet I can go through the day pissing and moaning about how my body does not work like it used to.

My only hope for today is that I will be in gratitude and praise for Gods abundant gifts He gives me each and every day. It may sound hopelessly optimistic, but it serves me much better and in turn I serve God much better when I give Him praise and thanksgiving. Booyah~!

I will never forget~~ ever

It was a glorious spring morning full of promise and hope. April 8th, 1983~ A morning I will never forget My son was 2 months old & just had his well baby checkup~he was thriving ~~our pediatrician said how well he was doing (a day before)

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Just 4 months prior, my youngest brother Paul was killed in a car accident. He was 16, a sophomore in high school and a promising future ahead of him~ Taken away too soon. The loss devastated our family~ Brian’s birth just 3 weeks after Paul’s death was a welcome joy and a soothing balm for our hearts. His birth provided new hope in all of our lives.

On that sunny April morning, my son had come to the end of his journey here on earth and he quietly slipped from this world and entered into the realm of his heavenly home~~ Brian had died, in his sleep of SIDS. Not many people remember this April day as I do~ it is not just a spring day in April. On that day 36 years ago what started out as an ordinary day, soon became a day which would suddenly be etched in my memory forever. I went to the crib to check on Brian, put my hand on his back to pull up his blanket and was taken aback with fear. I remember that moment with such piercing clarity that it literally gives me a shock .A moment of true panic and fear. Fear that I have never felt since. Fear of it being real, of being above myself and not really seeing what I was seeing. How could this be happening? My heart was forever changed that day…….. and my life would never be the same again. Rest easy my little one & one day I will cradle you in my arms! ( SIDS research is promising~ and you can take precautions with your baby ~learn more~~ at https://sids.org/ )

Hurt

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The pain that comes with hurt can sometimes manifest into resentment and bitterness. I have a tendency to put myself in a place where I can be easily offended because I have been hurt. I react all too often with emotion. I realized that my hurt can trigger a domino effect of emotional chaos that only complicated my hurt and it messes with my well being. (and sometimes the well being of those close to me 😉 )

I can choose to pick up my hurt or I can choose to let them just be placed on the shelf for awhile. Unfortunately, I have found that being led by the hurt opens the door to bitterness and resentments. It really sucks. (for lack of a better term) Being led by the hurt can shut down my heart.

I know the love of an all-consuming God wants me to thrive in all that is good. As I hand over that hurt to Him there is one thing I have learned is the truest form of joy and peace will most certainly come when I let go and Let God.