Tag Archives: love

Love Lessons

10 Mar

it's a...MAY YOUR SOUL STIR Monday! A

He was skittish and detached. A stand in the doorway, a hint of departure, a trivial unaccustomed noise; all invoked violent fits of barking.

As my daughter returned for a temporary stay, he was welcomed as well. Dogs are special creatures, this one no different, with personality and feelings and fears. Not unlike that of humans, his haunts of a past life, characterized his manners.

He was a rescue dog, in every sense of the word. In a congested parking lot, soaked from the rain and soiled from his own feces, he was saved. Blessed with a new life, he still suffered old wounds. He needed time and he needed love.

Eventually he warmed up, coming next to me for closeness. The barking fits, diminished. The wary, reduced.

He’s taught me a lot about myself, about my daughter, and about others. But the thing I’ve learned most…if we all received the offerings of love, patience, and compassion shown this animal; we could heal too.

 

Little Boy Borrowed

24 Feb

it's a...MAY YOUR SOUL STIR Monday! F

He was restless and bored, rapidly getting into mischief. A toothbrush here, a pair of socks there; all toys to a little boy displaced by a tornado.

In a Red Cross shelter, others were restless and bored too, but this boy needed attention…and a diversion. As a volunteer I felt it my obligation to provide just that.

With a well-chosen puzzle, I gathered him for some fun. Sitting on the floor with a coffee table as our headquarters, we undertook the mission. Between mini bouts of frustration, and mini stints of celebration, we completed the challenge.

But that wasn’t enough. He needed more and so did I. A ping-pong paddle and a giant ping-pong ball became our next contest. Working with him ever so patiently, I taught him how to push the ball towards me from different positions. This new game kept our devotion for a long while; with the exception of a moment.

The moment I looked up to see tears lingering in his mother’s eyes. She was sitting quietly by, watching as her son interacted in play. In response to my inquiry, her answer “He’s autistic. He goes to a therapist, but he’s done more in these few minutes then he has in all those months.”

As we walked away, she uttered few words of appreciation. Crying while expressing because he’s different, he is often ignored or ridiculed, and the kindness was priceless.

Later that night, I cried too.

A Night Before Christmas

23 Dec

Twas a night before Christmas
And I just had to believe,
That Santa was listening,
And would soon bring reprieve.

From the hungry, the lonely,
And the grieving ones too.
To the liars, and cheaters,
That they would find truth.

As we hustle and bustle,
It would help us to know,
That our life is to cherish,
And our pace would soon slow.

With bright lights and candles,
We’ve embellished our homes,
The stairwells, the mantles,
And the roofs high and low.

For the season of magic,
And all things we adorn,
Is celebrating the night
Of when Jesus was born.

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

8 Sep

I always got one for them…a Grandparent’s Day card. And I remember Granny telling me just how much it meant.

I wonder what it would mean if they knew how often I think of them now…how time changes perspective. I appreciate how much they did for us. I appreciate the time they gave. And I appreciate the memories left behind.

What a perfect fall day to write it out loud and really remember what it means. From down here to heaven up above…HAPPY GRANDPARENT’S DAY!

Lightning Bugs and Beer

15 May

It’s been eleven years…and still when I see his picture, I get a pit in my stomach, a lump in my throat, and my mind fills with what ifs.

A recent dig through the photo box prompted his return. He was a great love in my life and I miss what we shared.

One of our first dates was atop a picnic table several miles from the city.  With a spectacular view of the night sky, we shared stories, a cooler of beer, and stolen glances.  Against the backdrop of a darkened field, an immeasurable show of lightning bugs graced our presence.  What an incredible setting it was!

We shared more moments of splendor, yet our paths deviated from similar. He in his life, and I in my own, we lay those celebrations behind us.

As day comes, the light from the fire fly grows dim. In the bright of day, it does not exist, yet the flickers of their illumination still linger in my mind.

Dog Days

6 Mar

Sitting across the living room, playing lovingly with his dog, I asked my son “how long will he live?”  Of course his answer was a mere smallness compared to the life we expect of ourselves.  Seeing the adoration and love they offer one another, I questioned how he would deal with the eventual hurt.  His answer “I would rather have a few great years with him, then none without.  All the love is worth all the loss”.

Realizing now I was looking for the heartache, anticipating the inevitable.  Is that how I approach emotional involvement?  Rather than see the beauty in the gift, I see the trauma in the loss?  What a dismal view!

I have come a long way…in wisdom, in perspective, in outlook; but perhaps the void of love in my life is a perfect way to avoid pain.  Have I done this to myself?  Have I shirked the possibility anticipating a negative outcome?

It seems I have some reflecting to do, after all…pain is a price, but love is priceless.

A Love Story

13 Feb

A Love StoryThey walked hand in hand…gently strolling along the sidewalk, their body language a bit perplexing. Admiring as though I was watching a play, I sat at a stop light in my car. They continued their stroll in silence, yet an aura of love encircled them.  Unsure whether to smile or cry, I did both.

Their destination…the front entrance of an Alzheimer’s facility.  It was clear then, the sweet awkwardness.

In that small glimpse into their life, I somehow felt I knew them.  In that moment, I saw the graceful courtship in the midst of a dreadful disease.  In that brief invitation into their world, I saw something special.

I continued my thoughts of them throughout the day, full knowing they were challenged, yet in that moment their life was good.  I wish them more of those moments.

Path to a Friend

6 Feb

I had never met her.  Only from his words of love and adoration, did I have a sense of who she was.

He…a dear friend that lost his life in a fishing accident…was someone special.  He had many friends and united in grief, we muddled through the pain.  After a week of deep emotions and wistful tributes, the silence became a dim cavity of devotion.

I wrote her a letter…his mom.  He spoke so proud and preciously of her, I knew she had to know.  With tears for a woman I had never met, I mailed my heartfelt words.

Months later, still reeling in the pain, I felt a need to revisit the church in which his service was held.  And I felt a need to meet her.

I made my way to the church, trying diligently to keep the tears inside.  A bit early, I paused to look at various pictures on the wall.   A sweet elderly lady asked if she could help me.  I timidly declined.

Making my way to the back of the sanctuary, I took my seat.  I saw the music director who sang at his service, a beautiful accolade in song.   His perch on the raised platform reminded me.  Although the church was large and much space between us, the director felt compelled to come speak with me.  I was a stranger, yet something drew him to me.  I told him who I was and why I was present.  He now pointed to the sweet lady that had approached me in the hall.  That was her.

A bit into the service, I stared into the stained glass to refrain from tears,  just as I had during the memorial service.  But it was too much, too reminiscent of that day.  Feeling the tears flow, I made a quiet exit through the back doors.  As I fled down the hall, I heard someone call my name.  As if she knew me, it was her.

We, these strangers, had now become friends.  In an immediate and unknowable way, we embraced…no words, no explanation…just tears.

That day began a bond of a sweet and perfect friendship.  Although it’s been years since, we carry a place in our hearts…for him, and for each other.  No doubt that day, heaven was directing our paths.

Nevertheless

6 Jan

In the wee morning hours, with a broken heart, an empty bed, and the light of my television, I wrote. Reveling in the aftermath of a break-up, I searched for closure. The significance of the man is no longer, but the importance of this writing still lingers.  One of his last words to me, “nevertheless”, prompted me to reveal my thoughts on paper. It was then I knew I could use words for healing. 

As is, unedited and imperfect, I present my first writing.   Who could know that five years later, I would begin a public endeavor doing just that.  I thank him.

“Nevertheless”

Life, with its twists and turns, does not always present itself to our liking…

I know that people come in and out of our lives for a reason. For those that choose to stay, I cherish. For those that walk away…there is a reason, although sometimes I do not understand. I do know that a diamond in our possession is a precious stone. In someone else’s it is just a thing of envy. Being envious of something just brings ourselves discontent. Instead we should choose to be grateful for those things that are around us and let go of the things that slip through our grasp.

I know I am responsible for some of the things that slip through my fingers, others I am not – they are beyond my control. I realize that in some moments of personal anguish, I speak or act hastily, thereby hurting the people I love most and pushing them away. I wish I could have the moments back when I was wrong, but at forty-six, I am still learning the whys and how comes and strive to fix the things that matter most. Sometimes I have a resolution, other times I do not. I will forever be a work in progress and I make no apologies for that, rather I feel proud of the small accomplishments I continually make and strive for.

Sometimes you just have to let go to release your pain and move ahead. In the aftermath of a divorce, someone told a story of a woman falling off a cliff that in desperation clung to a small branch to hold for dear life. In the darkness, she knew only to cling to that, but in the light of day realized that had she not struggled so and let go, there was a ledge just beneath her feet that would have caught her fall. I am releasing my grasp. It only causes pain and stagnation. I know that I will fall, but the duration of the fall will be shorter than I expect.

I will never say good-bye to my past; instead use it as a tool for learning. I do have a future. I know not what it brings, only that it will provide me joy and sorrow. Joy to be savored and sorrow for lessons learned.

Find a path and enjoy your journey. It may not be the journey you chose, but it is still your journey with yet more twists and turns.

Our Christmas Miracle

26 Dec

I spent the day with her…our Christmas Miracle.

Christmas Day in the hospital…certainly not idyllic circumstances, but compared to just one week earlier…a very Merry Christmas indeed.

One week earlier…my mom rushed to the hospital and began the fight of her life.  Kidneys shut down, no pulse, pneumonia, heart functioning abnormally, unconscious and unresponsive. Unknown to us at the time, an infection was ravaging her body.  Dependent on breath from a machine, her outlook was bleak and dismal.

There were brief moments of hope, but many more moments of despair.  If she survived, most certainly there would be brain damage.

We talked to her.  We held her hand.  We cried…and we prayed.  Who could know that just one week later…we would celebrate Christmas with her in a private room?  No brain issues, no heart issues, functioning kidneys and her lungs breathing life into her.

We get to talk with her now, rather than to her.  When asked how she made it…she speaks with a firm and simple reply.  “God”.

Tears…

19 Dec

TearTears of sadness for the children, their protectors, and their families.

Tears of joy for the outpouring of love around the world.

Tears of sadness for the conclusion of a long career.

Tears of joy for my path to new beginnings.

Tears of sadness for pain my mother has endured.

Tears of joy for the courageous fight she has in her.

Tears…lots and lots of tears.

I Believe in Love

4 Nov

The Facebook project…30 days of thanks.  I missed day one and on day two proclaimed thanks for the safe harbor that is my home.  Pondering other great blessings in preparation, one held its place in my head a bit longer.  That blessing…I still believe in love.

An emotional one I am, the thought made me cry.  Swimming in an abyss of failure, one would think I should raise the proverbial white flag.  While cynicism has made its nasty way inside for other reasons, it has yet to corrupt this basic yearning…a God given desire for an extraordinary love.

I have felt it.  I have known it.  I have been there, but it was fleeting.  I lament over that one…the one that got away.  Particularly my fault in the end…distrust in myself to stay.  Other failures…marked by liars and cheats, bad timing, and indifference.  Those who proclaimed to be someone other than their truth and those who I could not give my heart.  Oh the pain and the heartache that ensued.

In spite of that pain…the dysfunction, turmoil, and disappointments, I have never been more ready.  With an open heart I embrace the potential and my thankfulness that still I believe.

And I do…I believe in love, and I believe in it for me.

Of Faith, Love, and Rattlesnakes

21 Oct

We were on a mission…mission unknown to me, but hand in hand we walked.  We trekked through that pasture, over the unevenness, having to watch each step before we took another.  Unsure of the destination, I knew he loved me and I trusted his course.

His instructions…walk lightly, take small steps, and look straight ahead.  I began to feel apprehension build as he guided me.  Over the rocks, over those crevices, and to the peak of that terrain…we were there.  Still unclear exactly where there was…more instructions ensued.  “Hold my hand tight, do not let go, and be still.”

“Now look down.”

My breath stopped, my heart raced, and my eyes widened.   In those crevices we had maneuvered…hundreds of rattlesnakes lay still beneath us!  He felt me tighten and gripped my hand stronger.  He reminded me to trust him.  And I did.

“Now look up.”

In awe, I took in the beauty and I felt the reward.  We stood on top of that hill…a view of triumph and grandeur.   With poison just below our feet, we had prevailed.  My fear now subsided, we stood high and proud and accomplished…and still he held my hand.

Never alone could I have done that.  Only with the guidance born of love and trust could I have made that trek.  I wonder where my path is taking me now.  As God is holding my hand, I step over rocks.  In whatever form He chooses, I trust I will stand on that hill once again.

New Love

17 Oct

My answer was no…an emphatic no!

Dogs are messy.  Dogs are a responsibility.  Dogs are trouble.  Then he sent a picture.  My son was already smitten and wanted me to feel the same.  I caved…just until other arrangements for a summer residence were made.  So a temporary fence went up for a temporary situation.

Five months later, I am smitten too.  And yes, the dog is messy.  And yes, he’s a responsibility.  And yes, sometimes he’s trouble.  But the moment he positions himself close as if to say “I love you too”…well let’s just say that emphatic no has changed to a heartfelt yes!

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