Thursday, December 31, 2015

Old Lang Syne

I know that sometimes my processing disability interferes with my ability to understand musical lyrics. Often, I've thought a song was saying one thing, only to find out from my dear husband or children that I had it all wrong. This revelation is always accompanied by much laughter & usually embarrassment.
However, always with affection.

I don't have that experience with "Old Lang Syne," but as I was pondering the New Year & the past year, I realized I had NO idea what those 3 words mean. So… I did a little research & realized the song is about friendship & memories. How appropriate. It's reminding us to hang on to both. Friendship & memories are significant parts of who we are.

It seems that we've all been told by our parents at one time or another that "We are as good as the company we keep". I do believe that the people we surround ourselves with have a profound impact on us. However, we should never use these words as an excuse to exclude others or keep us from reaching out to someone in need.

I think sometimes we have expectations for our loved ones & friends, & sometimes those expectations come crashing down before our very eyes. Our broken expectations tend to break our hearts & cause hurt on both sides of the relationship. My HOPE this New Year's is that we learn to just let others "be." We appreciate them for who they are.

I HOPE we realize that our expectations are not fair to them. My brother once told me that expecting someone to see life through my eyes was self-righteous. I was about 18 at the time, & his words really made me think. I needed to stop with the mentality of, "Well, I would never..."

If you don't have a New Year's resolution, & you are looking for one, maybe, just maybe, it could be to forgive someone this year. Forgiveness is sweet. It frees you from the shackles of another person. Restoration may be able to take place, or maybe it's just inner peace. I like my resolutions to be of a Spiritual nature, something of eternal value. Yes… I need to shed some pounds. I need to exercise more. I need to stop some bad habits. That's all well & good, but to forgive is divine.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Eyes Wide Open !

I'll be honest, lately my mind has needed some stimulation. Since I've added a cane to my life & secured a handicap parking tag, my life has slowed down a bit. I'm navigating the "new me" with the addition of yet another health issue. This one (as others) has caught me by surprise. Once again, I am exploring unknown territory. Truth is… that's life.

I really needed something to think about besides my unknown territory. It's quite obvious if you follow me on FB, my husband & my grandchildren are my favorite diversions. BUT… along came my baby daughter (age 23) home for Christmas. She's a Community Art Major going to Grad School. Her world is so different than my world, & it's by choice, her choice.

Her mission in life is to use art to help communities heal. When I evaluate how this happened, I know it is a "God thing." How did my little shy girl become so courageous? I can see how her love for helping communities in need evolved, but from whence her courage comes, I stand in awe. That awe points me only to God. Only He can take a meek person & call him/her to such a mission.

As a youth leader, I felt "called." With that calling comes conviction. With that calling comes affirmation of one's beliefs. Most importantly, with that calling comes empowerment. As I look at my daughter, I see empowerment. God has laid some heavy issues on her heart, & she is that one person who can help change the world for the better. She is that one person who isn't afraid to open the eyes of others to truth, to ignored realities of our world.

When she came home, & I began to see how her mind & heart have evolved since she left last August, my mouth dropped open (but I hoped she didn't notice). I tried to remain in the background & just absorb what I was seeing. I wanted to get a full picture. I kept my mouth shut. For me, that's a new objective. Not easy!

This morning as I sat in the quiet of my home, surrounded by a blanket of snow (a snow which clings to each tree branch), I began to read a few articles posted by 2 of my daughters. My eyes began to open, my unstimulated mind began to put the picture together. Thank you, Kristen.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sometimes as a parent, you do your best, but...

This morning I awoke with very little expectation of the day. I was looking forward to a low key Saturday, especially this season of the year. As I did my daily morning ritual, I checked my email & then decided to take a quick peek at Facebook. However, on this day, my quick peek turned into one of deep thought & a collision of memories & shock.

The first thing I saw was a thoughtful article posted by my oldest daughter about Santa Claus. I was so touched by what she wrote when she posted the article, I had to ponder her words for more than a few moments. I read the beautiful article, & thus began my trip down memory lane. My Santa years as a little girl, & then my daughters' Santa years as little girls, & now my grandchildren's Santa years begin…

Sometimes as a parent, you do your best, but you know in the heat of the moment, you aren't getting everything right. AND… as you look back on the childhood you gave your children, you know you didn't get everything right. You take comfort in knowing you did the best you could in each unexpected moment, but sometimes, you wish you would have done better.

So when I saw my daughter's post, I realized that at least in her eyes, I got something right. She cherished her Santa years, & now she is blessing her little one in the same way. In this world of terror & so much unresolved baggage, my heart pondered Christmas Past, & I breathed in the warmth. As I scrolled through my notifications, I ran across something so awful, my heart couldn't bear the news.

Yet another friend had lost her son (at Christmastime). New memories began flashing through my brain. And then, my memories began to collide with my thoughts. My walk down Christmas Lane began crashing with heartache for my friend. The realization of how precious each moment of our life is (whether we get it right or wrong) sat like a lump in my throat.

We don't know how many moments we will have. The word "precious" is highly overused (especially by myself), but each moment, each human being in my life, is precious. I look at my grand babies. They are toddlers now. My eyes don't stop with their beautiful faces or their cute little noses. NO, I ponder each little finger & toe. Their tiny voices are developing, & their little personalities are shining through.

Their antics make me laugh even when I am not with them. Time spent with them is good medicine for all my aches & pain (both physically & emotionally). I remember counting my own little girl's fingers & tows, answering their sweet questions, & wiping their tears. NO, I didn't get everything right, but at least I have moments to hold in my heart. My own mother wiped my tears. My Dad looked under my bed each night. I have those precious moments too.