Saturday, December 26, 2009

62 Hours

Christmas has come and gone now, but the memories of the last month linger, and will forever be sweet in my mind. One of the best moments was surprising my 89 year old Father by flying three-thousand miles across the country to bring him eggnog. I had been very concerned over the last few months, he seemed more tired than usual. I kept asking if he was celebrating the season, drinking eggnog, and playing Christmas music? Each time I asked he would say, "No, I need to get some eggnog!" After three weeks of this, I told my husband I needed to go to California for a couple days. I asked my Dad to make sure he was home on Friday between 12:00 and 2:00, because he was getting a delivery that he needed to sign for. When he opened the door, I was standing there holding a big poinsettia and a half gallon of eggnog. He looked as though he didn't know who I was! I said, "What do I have to do to get you to drink your eggnog?" Blank stare..........."Dad, you know who this is right?" "Nooooooo............." he said, "I'm trying to figure out how the UPS lady can look soooooo much like my daughter!" We laughed, hugged, and cried! We danced in our slippers in the kitchen to "Silver Bells," drank eggnog, brought out treasured old family holiday decorations, and enjoyed every moment. I was there for 62 hours....exactly. When it was time to leave, my Dad hugged me longer and harder than he ever had before. We shared "I love you's" and agreed that this had been the best gift ever, the gift of time together. I left at 4:00am, it was so hard to leave. Before I woke Dad to say goodbye, I made him a pot of coffee, washed the dishes in the sink, turned on his tree lights, switched the Christmas music on softly, lit a candle, and set out a Christmas mug with a banana and a muffin. I did everything I could to make him feel like I was still there, and a piece of me still is and will always be in California with my Daddy. 62 hours........the gift of precious it is. When I landed in Boston I called to say I was home safe and he said......"It was a great visit. Do it again! Do it again!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Full Circle

Yesterday I was driving home from the football game where my daughter had been playing flute with the band and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" came on the radio. I wanted to get home ahead of my family so that I could light the fires and set out some food to start off our Thanksgiving celebration. But for now, I was in the car, so I cranked up the music and began singing along. All of sudden, I was transported to a moment in time years earlier with my Mom. I was seated at the snack bar in our kitchen and she was singing the very same song. I was very aware and awake that day......I really listened to her......her voice was joyful and lovely. As I drove, tears started streaming down my cheeks, I looked up to heaven and proclaimed, "I Love You Mom!"

This morning I got up and put the coffee on, lit a couple candles, and turned on some Christmas music to start the day. As synchronicity would have it...."Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was on - so I started singing! I was at the sink and turned around to see Abby seated at the kitchen table and she was listening to me sing. There are moments throughout the course of raising a child that you hope your children will forget, and then there are moments you hope they remember - I hope she remembers this morning and that it comforts her one day, just as the memory of my Mom on that Christmas long ago does me. To all of you.......Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, enjoy each precious moment together.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet Prince

I was flipping through the newspaper the other day when my eyes rested upon an obituary. They had been married for 55 years, he was 88 when he passed, and she wrote, "Rest in peace my Sweet Prince.....until we are reunited." Our lives are "stories" in the making and if we are lucky enough to live a long life, we too will miss our dear loved ones. Hold one another close today - count the moments - and make the moments count. The emphasis each day must be on the present moment and the gifts here and now. I do believe with all my heart that not even death parts us, it's only a temporary removal of our beloveds from sight. We will be together again. But in the meantime, hold close to you those who are still in human form and say the words, "I Love You."

Monday, November 2, 2009

"The Caterpillar's Flight"

The day has finally arrived! I have been writing, editing, revising, shaping, moving, crying, screaming, smiling, laughing, breathing, and celebrating this book for more than eleven years. Today ........The caterpillar took flight! I feel excited, nervous, happy, proud, and at peace. At the moment it was published, I breathed deeply in and out and prayed that it would go out into the world and make a difference. No confetti fell from the sky, no trumpets sounded, no marching band came up the driveway......just me and my cat sitting in my office, on a sunny autumn day, in a house that's 230 years old, on a little plot of land with lots of love surrounding it. What a blessing it is to be able to do what I truly love. Today, I give thanks for the muse that is writing. For me, writing has always been Home. May you seek your highest expression of self today. Go well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Instant Family......Just Add Water

I spent 6 1/2 hours flying across the Atlantic Ocean the other day and did my share of "people watching." Seated in bulk head two isles in front of me was a young woman traveling with her baby and an older man and woman seated next to her. The child was of course beautiful and the mother very skillful in her efforts to soothe and relax the baby on this long flight. I watched her sway, sing, coo, kiss, and hold her sweet child and it brought me gently back to the days when my own daughter was that age. It is no easy task to fly with a baby on your lap. I quickly became apprised through observation that the young woman, the baby, and the older couple were strangers. Within an hour however, I watched the older woman soften to the young travelers next to her. It wasn't long before she was reaching into the diaper bag for the young mother and pulling out bottles and burp cloths. The older gentleman was also shortly taken in by this beautiful mother and child along with his wife. They both took turns holding the baby as the mother visited the bathroom, smiling and talking sweetly to this child as if she were their own. By the end of the flight......they were family. When we landed, I watched them say "Goodbye" and walk away from one another - off to lead their separate lives. I watched the older woman turn wistfully and smile; for 6 1/2 hours while crossing the Atlantic Ocean she was a Grandmother to a child she will most likely never see again, but I suspect a memory was created on all accounts that will be lasting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tales From Wales

I am in Wales and it is utterly enchanting, I love it. I love the sheep grazing in the open fields, the sound of the stream outside my bedroom window, the four hundred year old cottage I am staying in, the mountains, the people, and the energy of this place. I feel a deep spiritual connection here and will take it with me when I leave. We took a day trip to Liverpool yesterday to "Chase the Beatles." It was a wonderful day, I learned many fun facts about their lives and rise to stardom. But the thing that struck me the most was how each of their individual stories met and created one big chapter that changed musical history forever. I kept thinking, as I listened to our tour guide share about how these four young kids met and pursued their passion together that it was all so full of very timely. Any one of us could retell our life story and see where the forks in the road led us to heartbreak, true love, failure, and success. Life is a Magical Mystery Tour, sit back and enjoy the's a beautiful thing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9/11 And This New Day

I am thinking, like many people are this weekend - about 9/11; wondering what the future may or may not have in store for us all. Feeling sadness for those who were murdered on that day, sadness for the heroes who died trying to save precious lives, and sadness for those who try to live their lives in the absence of those they held so dear. Although I was blessed not to have lost anyone personally that day, it was a "close call" for my family. My husband was scheduled to be on the first plane that crashed into the twin towers. The Friday before 9/11 I called Mark at work and begged him not to go on that particular trip; he travels all the time, and it was not like me to insist he stay home. I could not shake a feeling of utter terror in regard to his impending trip. Thankfully, he listened and without argument, cancelled his trip. Every time I hear a widow from 9/11 speak of their loss, my heart goes deeply out to them. In this way, I feel a very personal connection to what nearly "was."

Eight years later.....still no memorial at ground zero except the holes in the ground left empty and hopeless. I pray that by this time next year, there will be pools by which to reflect, and a museum to hold the memories of a day that should never be forgotten. We need to rebuild something at Ground Zero that says to the world and to ourselves.......we are still here.......we remember. Something that tells the world we are a people optimistic and full of faith. We wondered eight years ago how we could go on? How could life ever be the same? Yet here we are alive and continuing to live, despite the events that plague our memories. Let us "live" from this day forward with renewed commitment to be the people that we know we can be. Freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are Divine Gifts. The best way to honor those who died and to strengthen the world for future generations is to live well. Heal, rejoice, forgive, remember; God Bless Us All......The Whole World Over.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife And Musings On Underwear Left On The Floor

Happy Labor Day One And All! Last night we saw "The Time Traveler's Wife." We left the theatre exhausted.....what a sad, happy, disturbing, and thought provoking film. To have no control over when you come and go into the present time with your loved ones, would be sheer torture wouldn't it? Especially if you had to rely on finding anything left lying around to build a decent outfit! Sheesh! What a nightmare! This movie at it's core brings around the point we must all embrace in our daily lives and that is........Live in this moment; a great message, yet we so often forget to do it. Whether we want to look at ourselves as if we are "time travelers" or not, the fact is that we do "come" and then we "go." We aren't promised another day with the ones we love. So, when I got up this morning and saw my husband's underwear on the floor and my daughter's t-shirt, skirt, and sweatshirt scattered in the hallway.........without a word, I simply picked them up and started a load of wash, smiling to myself that they are tucked warmly in their beds and I have the whole day to appreciate their company. Enjoy the day, go well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Husband.....The Bell of Mindfulness

It's a clear crisp morning here in New England. I was sitting on the porch sipping my coffee with my daughter when my husband joined us. We had a slight "altercation" and I had an epiphany that I will share with you now. A few weeks ago I was on retreat. Thich Nhat Hanh was talking about the importance of using the "bell" as a means to return to the breath and be present in this moment. It occurred to me that my husband is in fact "a bell of mindfulness." So from now on, every time he does something that I find irritating........I will do my level best to look at him as though he is a Bell of Mindfulness - a big shiny black cast iron bell, his little head sticking out the top, (Are you laughing Honey?) his legs from the bottom, arms stick out as well as he holds large drum sticks (the kind with the big rubber balls on the ends) in each hand........ and he's ringing that bell............Just for me. :) It's an opportunity for me to breathe deeply, not react, and focus on resolution. It's a great practice and also amuses me quite a lot so that I eventually forget what I was so irritated about. Give it a try! Have a beautiful day, go well.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Forgiveness is the Path to True Happiness

There is no doubt in my mind that without the power of Forgiveness, I would not be alive. Forgiveness set me free. It has allowed me to live, laugh, and love. As a childhood survivor of sexual abuse, I had much to forgive. I thank God that I had the inner fortitude to surrender to this magical energy. Embrace forgiveness each day of your will have a generational impact on everyone in your life. Have a wonderful day, go well.