Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Letters and Remebrances

I received a letter this weekend from a dear friend of my parents'. She is around 70 years old and has had a difficult time with aging as of late. She sent along with the letter, a little Christmas craft that I will do next Christmas with my kids, and a portrait of herself at age 65. In the letter she thanked me for remembering her and for sending along photos of my kids every year. However, it was the way she worded her last sentence, that has me thinking about it since. "Thanks again sweet girl for honoring me with the gift of rememberance." The letter has brought forth a flood of emotions and memories of how she so influenced my life when I really needed it. If you've read this blog, you know I have Mother issues. I love my Mom, but we do not see eye to eye, and have not always gotten along particularly well. This friend came into my family's life when I was an early teen, awkward and unsure, not fitting into the mold my Mom thought of as a teen girl, and trying to find my way.

She taught me:
That garlic is essential in cooking anything Italian, and that there was such a thing as Italian cuisine, and to appreciate it.
To live and love with an enormous appetite.
That being a broad was just as good as being a lady.
That you can be an adult and still not be a morning person, and it's ok to get up, send people off to school and work, and go back to bed until noon. Someday I hope to do just that!
That Red wine should be enjoyed with heavy foods.
To appreciate and come to adore Neil Diamond, especially "Forever in Blue Jeans".
That every Christmas is an occasion to remember.
That being a mom, did not mean denying yourself passions of the flesh - They had a framed saying in their living room, "God made man from string. He had a little left, so he left a little thing. God made woman from lace, he didn't have enough, so he left a little space. Thank God!"

She brought my Sister and I ornaments every year, and these are still some of my cherished decorations. She also introduced me to Father Nature's in Danville, where I still go, but I only invite people who are important to my life, because to me, this is the place to bring people to show them how important they are to you.

The one memory that has had my blubbering all weekend (PMS, perhaps?) is one she likely does not even know about. My Sister and I were staying the weekend at their home, and we'd gone to bed while waiting for our parents to arrive. When they did, I was still awake, but pretended to be asleep, and I overheard their conversation, when (as parents always do), my folks asked how we behaved, and she replied that I was very patient an generous with my little sister, and she remarked how exceptional that was. The example she brought up was something I had not even given a second thought. That someone had noticed the good in me, and that it was so much a part of who I was, even at that horrible age, was eye opening, and made me understand the need to be kind, and that even when my parents didn't notice, other people did. It is the reason I go out of my way to tell parents how well behaved their children are, and try to make sure to point out their good points and specific examples, while the kid is in earshot.

I need to thank her for all of the gifts she has given me.

Thank-you Lori.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Today I want you to hug your loved ones, and let them know how much they mean to you. I am asking that you send a positive thought, prayer or good vibes to the universe for the people in my life who need it:

Little T - Just turned 3 and has pneumonia, may be in hospital tomorrow morning. I hope for his little body to be able to fight this and regain good health.
D - My dear friend who had a hospital stay related to chemo and low counts. I would like to go visit her and just give her a hug, but I can only provide long distance support.
The R family - recently lost their dad, and though they are all adults, with families of their own, they are also all children who miss their dad.
H - The girl who lost her mom. I want her to be at peace, and to realize that there are things children are not responsible for, and should not have to know about their parents.
N - That she finds comfort in her family, instead of conflict.

All my love and light to you all this week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Musings - on being naked

So I have been thinking lately. A LOT. That's not to say I am normally some animatronic Stepford Wife, I'm not. Occasionally I do ruminate on larger questions and philosophy. My current thoughts are on nakedness. On being naked, on seeing naked, and on living naked. In all aspects.

The Boys are infamous for not wanting to wear clothing while around the house, though in a nod to The Dude's hang up, they do wear underwear. The Dude has issue with anyone sitting on furniture while non-clothed, but that is his issue, not mine. For anyone reading who knows me IRL, I also do not sit naked on my furniture, so no need for hazmat suits when you come to visit... Anyway, The Boys were hanging about, watching TV and asking me to make lunch for them. I asked them to get dressed, and they refused, so I said "fine, then today is topless day", and stripped off my shirt. I started making lunch while topless, and as they wandered in to tell me what they wanted, they were taken aback, and yelling at me to put my shirt back on. I made them a deal that I would as soon as they did. They couldn't run fast enough to get shirts on. I consider that a natural consequences victory for me ;-)

Last night we were at the home of dear friends, and went naked hot tubbing. After we got home, The Dude commented that the husband of the couple had been eyeing my boobs. Well duh. They are big, and they float, and he was sitting across from me, and the hot tub was HOT, too hot to remain completely submerged the entire time, so yes, they were visible, and it doesn't bother me. I'm not necessarily an exhibitionist either. I have a body, and I am at times happy with it, so it really isn't a big deal for me to be naked, in front of my kids, or friends in a hot tub, or bead gathering at a parade...

I  have recently also been rethinking how I think of and treat people in my life. I am trying to ensure that people know how much they mean to me. I am also focusing on transmitting love, and not compartmentalizing my relationships. Opening my heart to people is not easy for me, and means a shift in thinking and feeling, but I have no doubt it is completely worth the effort. That is the nakedness of being open to relationships and being present in my life.

That all leads me to thoughts of intent. If your intent is Love, and the place you are coming from is Love, that doesn't necessarily translate the same to the person on the receiving end of your attention or intentions. And knowing that another person comes from a place of Love, doesn't make the attention any more warranted or desired. It's the difference between attention and scrutiny.

"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it. "

Martin Luther King Jr.

Oh and hat tip to Erin O'Brien for giving me this idea today. And as always to Naked Jen for giving me inspiration to live a naked life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

This wekk there has been quite a lot on my mind. I am working on opening my heart to love in all its forms, and really appreciating all of the love in my life. I am not going to worry about losing it, because that is focusing in the wrong direction. I am focusing on loving. In that vein, I ask that you too live in the present and love those around you. Love them with all your heart.

The people I am thinking of today and asking for positive vibes, prayers, love and light:
Diane - Started chemo last week. She has two young children and her whole family needs strength.
Audrey (both) - love to these two terrific ladies in their battles with cancer.
S - Strength to her and her children while they navigate the rough waters of a relationship ending.
N - Strength to handle health considerations and family drama.

And especially, please send a positive thought right now to all those who are affected by the recent murders in AZ (and elsewhere). And really this is a thought for us all. That we are all able to move forward in a loving and respectful manner. That we do not allow the fear of "other" to rule our hearts and minds. That we can agree to disagree, and not feel like we are forced to resort in a violent manner.

My love to you all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome to the new year - Thoughtful Thursday

This year started in a weird way. One of the fourth grade girls in The Boys' class lost her mother. On New Years Eve. She had a seizure overnight and never woke up.

If you are new here (and I have NO IDEA why you would be), I have a 2nd and 4th grader, and they are in the same class, in public school, and they do not have wildly dissparate learning abilities, it's a really AWESOME COOL program. Want to know more? Go HERE. Oh, and I am the Freckly Red Head in the video on that sight.

Also, we were in a really bad accident a couple of summers ago that involved The Dude having a seizure behind the wheel, and ambulances, and hospitals, and and and... So you can imagine what kind of emotions this is bringing up for The Boys and for me as well. The Youngest has taken to sleeping with Beary again, and The Oldest had a bedwetting incident. The girl at school and her Father have asked that the kids leave her alone, and not talk about it, which makes it hard as well. I've been in a weird place about all of this. Felling badly for the family, trying to help The Boys navigate the situation with empathy. Also trying to help other parents navigate wanting to help but not really being able to.

This has triggered a great deal of self examination, life reassessment - the things I usually do at this time of year anyway and it's just gotten more important. I've had weird and migrating chest pain (like a pinched nerve) since a week before Christmas. I've got some dear friends with breast cancer, have had a heart attack, and noticed that the pain is present/worse when I spend too much time focused on lack. As a result, I've started journaling my gratitude daily. It is much better to focus on everything I have to be grateful for, than worried about what I can't get.

Take a Moment - Right now, and send a prayer, a good vibe, or healing, helpful and loving energy. My heartfelt hopes for good health to you and everyone.

People on my list this week:
Audrey (US) - Is making end of life decisions. Still in chemo, but it is ROUGH.
Diane - Was featured in one of my Wicked Wednesday posts, and has triple negative breast cancer. She starts chemo tomorrow.
H, R, F, NL - All lost a parent during the last weeks of last year. All need your vibes for clarity and peace.

Love those you are with, hug them, tell and show them of your love.