The truest definition of me

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The Earth enveloped the roots,

held them close in its embrace,

and nourished the growth of new life.

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 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.

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 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

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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

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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.

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(image credit: fineartamerica.com)

A place in the woods

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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)

Shrinking bladder, hidden youth

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Gracefully getting older has its down side.  I used to enjoy interruption-free nights of unadulterated sleep but all of that has changed.  I have tried to reset my internal alarm clock but I still find myself waking, usually around 3:30 each morning, and playing the familiar game of find the bathroom in the dark.  If I have to be awake at that insane hour, I’m not going to assault my senses by turning the lights on.

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And it doesn’t matter if I have made the preemptive strike and visited the loo just before I crawl into bed for the night, the gentle reminder that I am no longer in my 20’s drags me from my slumber.  I generally lie in bed hoping the call of  nature will stop but there is no answering machine and that call just keeps ringing incessantly until I answer it.  When I finally return to bed I become a victim of my brain while my bladder falls back into its own deep sleep.

I have yet to find the switch that activates every functioning neuron in my head as soon as I wake up.  Those neurons jump into hyper-drive and begin to organize my thoughts into categories.  The first is usually work.  I go through what I expect to accomplish the next day at my job.  Those thoughts become more creative and morph into ideas for blog posts.  Thankfully I have a voice recorder on my phone so I can trap those ideas before they dissipate into the still air that I should be inhaling gently as I sleep!

I’m not sure when it happened.  I didn’t get the memo that my body was ready to start playing tricks on me.  I wasn’t prepared and had no way to defend myself from the attack.

I am going to construct a heart-felt letter to my bladder in the hope that it will rethink its nightly call and read it out loud tomorrow morning at 3:30 when I am lying in bed, wide awake, with nothing better to do!

 

 

It’s all about choosing the right club

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“Many people only talk about that perfect drive they had on the 14th hole, but you rarely hear about the other 17 holes.” ~ M.S.

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(image credit)

Life is very much like a game of golf.  The scenery is stunning, the fresh air is vital but the course can be very unfavorable.  There are moments when you feel like you should just give up.  And then it happens.  For one brief, shining moment, the Gods smile on you and you drive it straight down the middle of the fairway about 300 yards.

At that moment the rest of the world ceases to exist.  All of the bad shots that happened in the past disappear and are replaced with the vision of that perfect drive.  You are only able to focus on that dimpled ball in the distance surrounded by nothing but the manicured path of greatness.

But those other seventeen holes are the lessons that keep us humble.  Those muffed shots and missed putts are the fuel that keeps our fire burning.  Those missed opportunities are what keep us coming back again and again to try to be better than we were the last time.  If life wasn’t remotely challenging, it would hardly be worth living.  Like the game of golf, you never know what to expect in life.  Some days you should be playing at the Masters and some days you are stuck at the mini-putt.

Golf is a great analogy for life.  In golf, unless you are a professional player, the only real competition you have is yourself.  Life is the same way.  You can only try to be better than the person you were yesterday.  You can never compare your life to anyone else’s life because your approach is different and the winds can change the trajectory of your reality in the blink of an eye.  You most likely play the game of life with different clubs and your follow through will never be the same as your competitors.

Life or golf – it’s all about picking the right club to help you get the distance you need.  Keep your head down, focus, follow through and always go for it.  Life, like golf, always gives you a second chance and that Mulligan could be the second chance that will change the outcome of your game – of golf, or of life.

Life is about a lot of things

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Yesterday began as nothing special.  But that nothing special day changed drastically when my car made the familiar turn onto my road and I casually glanced along the macadam towards my house.  What I saw on the road made me do a double-take and tears instantly welled in the corners of my eyes.

A random woman, a stranger, was walking her two small dogs, one black and one white, down my road and for a split second I could have sworn it was my mother.  When she was still alive, my mother chose to park her car in my driveway and walk her two small dogs, one black and one white, on my road because it was a much quieter street than hers was.  When I came home from work, I would see the silhouette of my mother and her two sidekicks as they simultaneously pulled her in a myriad number of directions.  It was a struggle for her but she walked those little dogs until she could walk them no more.

Before I realized it, I had come to a complete stop and simply watched this woman walking down the road.  I don’t know how many minutes passed before the fading contour of her shadow turned onto the side road and disappeared.  The clock of my nothing special day stopped and I couldn’t move.  I could barely breathe.

The hopeful part of me anticipated that the woman would turn around and come back.  The stubborn part of me was willing to sit in the middle of the road until she did because the child in me thought for a split second that my mother would be the one to round that corner on her way back.

Eventually I collected myself and pulled my car into the driveway.  I was already on the verge of an ugly cry and I stood in front of the Birch sapling I planted last year in her memory and nothing could stop that surge of emotion from escaping.  But the cry was much shorter than I expected.  As I looked at that young sapling, struggling to grow again after such an arduous winter, I realized that life does go on.  We endure many hardships, we suffer through tough times, but beauty always has a way of sneaking into our lives, even when we think the best things in our lives have been taken.

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(this photo was taken last year, shortly after it was planted)

Life evolves.  Life is about birth, growth, love and death.  But life is also about remembering, cherishing, holding on to memories and carrying on.  Life is about chance encounters, reconnecting with friends, deja vu and finding new things to love.  And life is about knowing you were once able love something so much that it physically hurts when you realize it is gone forever.

Life is about a lot of things.  But good or bad, life happens every day.  I am just thankful that I am still able to wake up each morning, engage with the people I still have in my life and spend time remembering those who have been able to emerge from their cocoon and spread their wings in a new reality.

Life is about a lot of things.  But most of all, life is about finding some happiness in the saddest part of your day.