Friday, May 31, 2013

Frag Attack!

Welcome to Friday Fragments...a wonderful place to be at the end of the week where you can analyze, criticize, ponder, contemplate, adjudicate and atone for the week! Thanks to Mrs4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time!

I must admit that I'm sort of a klutz.  If there is a hole, or raised concrete, my feet will find them.  If something heavy needs lifting, no amount of forethought or planning will keep me away from the inevitable!  It happened this week!  I was cleaning a towel rack/glass shelf combination when the glass shelf became dislodged (how, I will never figure out) and dropped to the floor.  On its way down, it hit the tank to the toilet, breaking the lid, splitting the side so as to begin an ever-so-slow leak and then landing square on my foot.  The glass never shattered, nor chipped (why, I will never figure out), nor was my foot injured in any way!  Go figure!  Being the handy dandy man that my hubs is, everything was repaired with no leaks, and just a slight tell-tale crack on the lid.  The next day when I arrived home from work, I accidentally knocked a travel coffee mug off the table while checking to make sure the coffee had been set for the morning.  This travel mug landed square on one of the weakest of my toes, and felt like someone had just blown it off with a gun!  I yelped a few choice words and hobbled to the nearest chair where I moaned, cried, and showered myself with pity.  By the next morning, the toe was a few shades darker and a few centimeters thicker than it's counterpart, but miraculously, I could stand up, and walk without making a sound!  The first accident was a miracle; the second, a miracle with a message....slow down, woman!

On Wednesday, I met with a friend whom I had not seen for about two years!  We met at the Chicago Botanical Gardens and had a lovely time, which went by so fast that we promised to meet again soon!  I will be sharing this wonderful day on Sundays in My City in two days.  Just spending the time with this good friend, walking, talking and loving the beauty of everything the Gardens had to offer, made my entire week a joy and I will be thinking of the day for weeks to come!  We all have friends whom we can just "pick up where we left off," don't we?  My friend is just one of these wonderful friends!

Hope your week was as eventful as mine!  Enjoy the that I can walk...I will, too!

Please click on the Friday Fragment logo below to be enlightened and entertained from others who join in each week.  Thanks for stopping by!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Friday, May 24, 2013

Is It Friday, Already?

Wow!  Did this week zip by, or what?  And, I have just about nothing, nada, zilch, or zero to show for it, except that I'm still here, the dog is still here, and the Internet is still alive and kicking!  I'm grateful for these three things as my world would not be complete without each of them.  I'm also grateful for Mrs4444 and her Friday Fragments segment which offers us a place to come with our random thoughts, spilling our guts (if we choose to do so) and polishing our writing and/or photography skills.  Since I don't really have any photography skills, I will work on writing, writing and more writing.

I started an office job on Monday at 8:00am.  I was excited to get back into the work force doing what I thought I did best.  By 3:30pm, I was no longer a part of the work force and spent the rest of the day reevaluating my reason for existence.  When I lost interest in banging my head against the steering wheel of my car, I drove home and had a heart-to-heart with the dog.  She was wonderful!  She joined me on the couch and laid her head in my lap.  We both felt good.  We went out for some fresh air and invited the Big Guy (God, to me) to join in the conversation.  It hit me like a brick (funny how that works some times) that I don't have to make a living at something just because it's what I know and have always done. I began to think about other ways to earn a living doing what I know, what I like to do, and how I can be helpful to others at the same time.  I'm still thinking....

Please visit Mrs4444 by clicking on the logo below and see what a bunch of us have been up to this week.  Please also check out my post on Angel's Stairs which started out as a tribute to recent disaster victims, but also serves as a tribute to anyone who has given their life while in service to our great country.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!  Thanks for stopping by today!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A is for Angel's Stairs

Welcome to Round 7 of Alphabe-Thursday, a weekly writing assignment from that darling schoolmarm, Jenny Matlock!  We are starting a new series this week and here is my submission for the Letter "A".

I have always been awestruck at the Crepuscular rays (Angel's Stairs) of sunlight that emanate from the clouds, and have often thought about them guiding new souls on their ascension to Heaven. The following piece is not original (by me), but is very poignant, and very appropriate due to the recent disasters that have plagued not only Americans, but fellow citizens around the world.  I acquired this piece from a friend, Mimi, who posted it shortly after the death of her son, Julian, from brain cancer. 


And if I go,
while you're still here...
know that I live on,
vibrating to a different measure
--behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
so you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
--both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to its fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart,
...I will be there.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Please visit Jenny Matlock, Off On My Tangent by clicking on the Alphabe-Thursday logo below and be delighted as you read the assignments of fellow classmates! 

Jenny Matlock

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Love You, Angel Mom!

Greetings from the Burbs of Chicago!  Happy Mother's Day to moms everywhere!  

As I read all of the wonderful tributes to moms, those who are still here, and those who have passed on, my eyes well up and I have this incredible lump in my throat.  I desperately miss my mom each year at this time, not just because of Mother's Day, but because this was the time when she went home to God. 

Jeanne (Skip) Thomas was an incredible woman, ahead of her time, gifted-but never mentioned it, and was "always" there to listen to my drama.  She gave advice only when asked, yet was sneaky enough to exercise the "power of suggestion" when she felt that I was about to choose a path that couldn't have had a happy ending.  She knew.  How did she know, and why didn't I get that gene?  It doesn't matter.  She shared her gifts with everyone, and she was beloved by all who knew her.

I remember a sunny afternoon at my brother's wedding reception.  She and my dad were just enjoying the day.  I watched as young couples (friends of my brother) would join them for a few minutes, as if to pay homage, and then leave with giant smiles on their faces.  She had that effect on people!  I later found out that she had been chosen to be the "marriage counselor" for the day.  I'm sure she touched a lot of hearts that day. (She was a teacher by profession, but could have gone into psychotherapy - an area for which most teachers already qualify!)

Mom was editor of her college newspaper.  She turned a few heads when she wrote an editorial expressing her opinion, which was critical of a group associated with the government. The "powers" wanted her to retract her story.  She stood firm and refused.  She lost her position because of it, but won the hearts of many for her courage.  She ended up marrying my dad, who was someone from the group that she bashed!

My mother stood by and watched as I fell flat on my face and had to feel the pain of disappointment, but she was always there to help me pick up the pieces.  Today, we (and I speak for myself) enable our kids so they don't have to feel the effects of failure.  She had it right...and it has finally sunk in.  A great lesson for all!

Mom is now in a wonderful place, playing bridge with her BFFs, dancing with my Dad, and watching my brother surf the great Pipeline in Heaven!  Can it get any better than this? 

Thank you mom.  I love you!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope that all moms reading this have a wonderful day, enjoying the people they love!  Please stop by Sundays in My City, hosted by Unknown Mami from the great city of San Francisco.  Just click on the logo below to enjoy the day with others!

Unknown Mami

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hooray for Mommyhood!

Happy Almost Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  A special wish for you to be showered with love, hugs, kisses and cupcakes (and texts from your adult children who live in another city)!  I'm hoping the family remembers to reserve Raul for my massage, Chaz for my hair and make-up, and Richard Gere for my Tango's a Bucket List thing!

Mommyhood, or Motherhood as some refer to it, is an opportunity that lasts a lifetime.  We may not always want it, but it's there, and it's ours!  We have been given gifts from God that are so incredibly unique and special.  It's up to us, and friends, and family, and sometimes perfectly amazing strangers who are sometimes disguised as teachers or doctors, to wrap ourselves around each other in order to grow these wonderful gifts until they learn to grow themselves! Whew!  Not a job for the faint-hearted!

I'm taking my unique and special gifts out to breakfast this weekend at IHOP.  Since I'm paying, I get to pick the place!  After my massage, beautification and dancing, I am meeting a good friend who will accompany me to Listen To Your Mother, St. Louis, which is a performance of live readings by local writers, about their experiences as moms, or experiences about their moms. Fifty percent of the proceeds from this event will go to Connections to Success, an organization that works to help women break the poverty cycle through hope, resources and a plan. I submitted a piece to read for this event, but alas, they could only choose 12 to perform.  I'd like to share my story with you here.

They Call Me Mom!

Mooooooooom! Mommy? Mother! Mama! Thanks, mom! I love you Mommie! Mom….

Each of these statements evokes deep emotional memories for me.  I said these words to my mom, and these very words have come back to me via my children…all four of them…and sometimes simultaneously!  I’m a mom, and a happy, full-fledged member of an extraordinary group known as Motherhood! 

The gift of a child may come to us in different ways. It doesn’t matter how they came to us; just that they are here and we are blessed to have them in our lives. My husband and I planned to have two children…God said “I don’t think so!” I said, "okay.." I was up for the challenge.  What else did I have going on?  My twenties were filled with taking chances and being unaccountable for my actions. I promised myself to grow up in my thirties…and I did, with a vengeance!  My first was born when I was 31 and my fourth, when I was 39.  I grew up, but I also grew younger because of them.  I learned how to play all over again!

I believe that Motherhood extends beyond child-rearing and can include anyone who cares for, nurtures, and stresses relentlessly about the well-being of another person…who could be a sibling, a parent, a pet (or pets), or in many cases…ourselves.   Mothering ourselves is paramount for our survival.  We know exactly what we want and we know how to get it, even if our “want” turns out to be what we “need!”

There are people who have been charged with the “challenge” of Motherhood who are not stepping up to their responsibilities.  Maybe they are unable, or maybe they have no interest in fulfilling this part of their legacy.  I pray that someone will reach out to them and offer help.  

Motherhood, for many of us, is about guiding, not control.  There is, actually, a difference.  I only recently became aware of this having spent years telling my children what to do with their lives.  I still have days where I want to jump into the “Double Dutch” game of life with them, spewing words of experience and wisdom, but then I feel the firm hand of the big guy above covering my mouth and I take a step back.  I now share my thoughts (when I’m asked) being ever-so-careful not to solve their problems, but to give them some options to figure it out themselves! 

On the emotional side, here are some examples of the highest of joys and the deepest of pain to which moms from everywhere can relate. 

Hearing a heartbeat for the first time
Making eye contact with a little one and the mutual smile that ensues
Watching the bus drive away with a kindergartner on that first day of school
Reading the words “I love you” written in crayon…on the wall
Feeling the gentle, final breath as it brushes against the face…forever
Bursting with pride as the Eagle Scout receives his award while the live eagle poops on stage right
Releasing a flood of tears as the pint-sized casket is lowered into the ground
Enduring the endless nights of fevers; amazed at the fleeting years that have vanished
Swallowing the lump in the throat as the bride and father walk down the aisle

All of these are badges of Motherhood. We have certainly earned them, and we wear them with pride. I feel privileged to be a Mother.  I have been deeply touched and I now live my life with more conviction and purpose because of my experiences as a Mom.  I’m thrilled to pieces every time they call me Mom…no matter how they say it!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope that all moms (and dads) are made to feel loved this weekend!

Artwork provided by the The Graphics Fairy, LCC