I really did have a senior’s moment

3 Comments

I was working on an itinerary for an upcoming bus tour this fall and flashed back to a bus tour we had last fall.

old couple-743330

(image credit)

Was I guilty of ageism?  Perhaps.  But when the senior’s euchre tournament bus tour arrived at the lodge on that fateful Sunday, I was genuinely dreading the three days that would follow.  I made an egregious error in judgement.

Admittedly, the tour had not begun well for the 42 participants but the fault was not ours.  A slight hiccup in their agenda had caused them to arrive an hour and a half early and we were thoroughly unprepared for the sudden onset of walkers, luggage and upset elders.  We did our best to scramble and be as accommodating as possible.   I made a witty speech welcoming them on behalf of the owners and staff and my words were met with sullen stares and moderate contempt.  It was a bumpy start.

Once we regained control, our momentum increased and we began to get everyone settled into their rooms. I had entered first and once Betty and Rose reached those three stairs Betty took the lead.  Once she was at the top, Rose began to follow.  Betty reached for the door frame and found nothing but a handful of air.  As I turned to look behind me, Betty, doing her best impression of a tree being felled in the forest, fell straight backwards and took Rose out, using her as a cushion for the fall.  The two ladies I had escorted to their room had just fallen and couldn’t get up.   Thankfully we got them into an upright and relatively stable position and, after many unqualified examinations, we deemed they were medically stable.

The group’s first dinner was an interesting event.  Still unsure of their surroundings, many uttered complaints that hung in the air like angry cartoon balloons.  There were threats of husbands being called to retrieve them the following morning and the night was punctuated by another woman being hit in the head by a heartily kicked-open kitchen door.  In the span of six hours, we had potentially concussed three women.

But then something changed.  Over the course of the following 60 hours, attitude and understanding rapidly evolved on both sides.  We understood the nature of their initial frustration and they understood the nature of our good will and hospitality.  By the end of their three night stay, I was calling them all by their first name and I was truly sad to see them climb the stairs to get back on the bus.  There were many hugs and talks of seeing them again next year.  I will admit that I was close to tears saying goodbye to these lovely souls.

Perhaps it was the sideways glances I got from Rose that reminded me so much of my mom.  Maybe it was that bond of parenthood I have been missing since my mom and dad passed.  Whatever the reason, I will be ready and willing to welcome that next bus tour with open arms and use this enlightening experience as a lesson for the future.

You breathe in while I exhale

2 Comments

You breathe in while I exhale.

Every molecule of our existence

is suspended in a moment of time.

Energy,  moving in an undulating wave,

 is passing between us. 

Intensity burns.

Your breath invades every part of my being.

The air is charged with electricity

and my breath is caught for a moment.

Your eyes reflect mine,

and you see the piece of the puzzle

that has been missing.

you breathein

Our eyes close,

but we see each other more clearly

than we ever have before.

Your touch only confirms what I believe.

Our love existed before we met,

in a time long ago, destined to happen again.

We knew we would meet once more,

we didn’t know when,

but our souls will meet over and over.

You breathe in while I exhale,

because this breath will always belong to us.

 (image credit)

Making sure the next step is the right step

2 Comments

I have had a small epiphany today.  I call it small because to most it would be a normal occurrence but to me it was evidence of the changing of a tide within myself.

When it comes to life-changing events I have always faced them head on.  I react without much thought, relying only on intuition.  I don’t allow myself to wallow in the horrible circumstance, instead I am always looking for the next logical step.  I give myself pause to reflect after the dust has settled but, during the crisis, I am continually thinking ahead and moving forward, never giving a second thought to the cause but always striving for the solution.

But when it comes to the finer, more minute details of life I tend to fester and over-think the little things.   I replay the scene in my head over and over and, after a multitude of scenarios have been beaten into submission in my over-active imagination, I am eventually able to put the proverbial pencil to paper and draw the logical conclusion.

Until that moment of clarity, my mind is a churning mess.  I analyse, over-analyse, recreate the scene in a way it never happened.  I create dialogues in my head that never occurred and have myself convinced that this miniscule event has become epic in proportion to actual reality.

Personal growth is a journey taken one step at a time and today I took another step.  It was a small thing in the grand scheme of my life but one that I normally would have allowed to gnaw on my subconscious until my brain hurt.  Instead of allowing the situation to spiral out of control in my alternate reality, I diffused the ticking time bomb before the digital clock even began counting down the seconds. The drama was over before it began and I understood what it meant to take the high road.

High-road

(image credit: 5feet20.com)

Perhaps wisdom does really come with age.  Or perhaps I am just tired of spending so much time creating scenarios in my head that never existed in the first place.  Regardless of the reason, I am glad I was able to teeter on the precipice of discomfort and take a step forward that was foreign to me.  That one small step in my day was a giant step on the path of my life.

The truest definition of me

8 Comments

The Earth enveloped the roots,

held them close in its embrace,

and nourished the growth of new life.

IMG_1950[1]

 We placed our memories,

written in black ink,

and surrounded those roots with our love,

our cherished memories

and our hope for, one day, reuniting with those we have lost.

IMG_1951[1]

 Each new leaf,

green with the promise of perpetuation,

reminds us that life goes on

and that we must find the joy and not the sadness

in the days in which we live.

***

We finally had the chance to place the rocks around my mom’s memorial tree yesterday.  After a lovely, and filling, brunch my family and I gathered around the tree I planted in my mom’s memory and we placed the river rocks etched with words that represented what friends and family remembered about her.  The best part of this moment is that is was not a somber occasion but a time filled with meaningful memories of a wonderful woman.  It was a brief juncture in our day where we could remember the happy times and not be plagued with the sadness and the sense of loss.

I cannot think of a better tribute for Mother’s Day.  My mom would be happy to know that we are able to embrace the multitude of wonderful moments we had in our lives and not focus on the fact that she was not able to be here to help us celebrate.  The power of what she was in lives is more than enough to compensate for the reality that she not physically here.

Her memory and the many lessons she taught will continue to exist within us.   Her love grows with each hug we give our family and our friends and we do her justice by continuing to live each day as if she were still here and covertly guiding our every move.

She would want us to be happy.  She would urge us to sacrifice ourselves for the things we believe in, the things we truly want, and she would tell us to never give up.  I can hear her voice in my head saying “if it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for”.

I would move the Earth and the Sun to have her here for one more day but I will live each day contented by the fact that she resides in my heart.  Her voice is strong in my ears and her determination flows in my veins.

I am my mother’s daughter and I celebrate the fact that there is no stronger definition of me.

Happy Mother’s Day

2 Comments

mom-holding-baby

She birthed me and swaddled me,

she showered me with love.

Her arms always embraced me,

they fit me like a glove.

Her words were the only ones,

that could help to heal my scars.

Hers was the only light,

that would comfort me in the dark.

She woke me up to play with me,

she laughed at all my jokes.

She sang with me to old musicals,

although she couldn’t hold the notes.

Her faith in my abilities,

has stood the test of time.

She’s the portrait of what a mother should be,

and I’m glad that she is mine.

So, here’s to you, mom, on this special day,

my love for you has no end.

You’re my giver of life, my confidant,

and will always be my best friend.

And though my wishes are sent further today,

into a world I am unable to touch.

I know you hear my words of love

and they will forever mean just as much.

***

I wrote this two years ago when my mom was still alive and added the last stanza in her memory. The words today ring just as true as they did then. I hope she is planting her heavenly garden and the sun is shining on her face.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

roses

A wish saved for someone else

4 Comments

Stars dapple the blackened sky of night.

I sit, chilled, pondering, not the expanse of the universe

but, the magical quality of those stars.

The silence of the night deafens me,

but the light from those stars has a musical quality,

tickling my senses as they twinkle.

Their ethereal incandescence is a gift.

The night is alive.

Constellations form as the night hurries to meet the morning.

Patterns shift as the world rotates on its axis.

I take in the wonder that is above me,

but I look away before it’s too late.

I want to share my sky,

hoping that a shooting star is seen

by someone who needs the wish more than I.

starry-night-alex-ruiz

(image credit: fineartamerica.com)

A place in the woods

6 Comments

cabin

There is a place in the woods where my heart is free,

and my mind has been known to roam.

There are four walls and a roof that wait for me,

and long for me to call it my home.

The mass of buildings and lanes of traffic

are replaced with hills and trees.

The soothing sounds of Mother Nature’s lullaby

truly put my mind at ease.

I am homesick for a place I’ve never seen,

a place where my heart is replete,

a home where my soul is understood

 and a home where I feel genuinely complete.

The barren land beckons, the rolling earth lures,

I hear it calling my name.

I know when I finally find this haven

my life will never be the same.

I will shed the layers of the pretense I’ve lived

and genuinely feel at peace.

I will feel naked among the rocks and the trees,

and my life will have found a new lease.

There is a place in the woods where my heart is free,

and my mind has been known to roam.

I hope to one day discover this place,

and forever call it my home.

 (image credit)