Going around the same mountain

The Israelites spent 40 years going around and around – I get that.

I feel like I am going around and around the same mountain, and I just can’t get it right.

The same demons keep cropping up – so around I go, making another trip.

I cannot stop a loved one’s addictive behavior. I cannot make the outcome different – so what I am failing to learn?

I see the train wreck down the line, but what don’t I see? Should I just get out of the way and refuse to be collateral damage again?

What about compassion and forgiveness and responsibility and commitment?

Sometimes, I just drop to my knees and ask GOD, how broken do I need to be?

Where is the line? Strong people break too.

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Kindness has power

My mind is rambling today – I just miss my son so much – it is hard to rein in the thoughts. So I am just going to let them run.

When my son was 11 years, he was diagnosed with a condition called mid-aortic syndrome. This is a very rare, dangerous condition that required a complicated and dangerous aortic implant. He was in surgery for over 16 hours and my husband and I spent this time on our knees or pacing about. Unfortunately, there as a problem with the implant and after only a few hours in recovery, Jay was rushed back to surgery for another 4 hours.

I wanted to call my prayer group and tell them to pray harder, but I was out of coins for the phone. Yes, this was back in 92, and I needed coins.

A custodian walked by, busy going about his duties, yet he stopped to notice my tears and care. Without a word, he stuffed a handful of quarters into my hand. I tried to thank him, but he just gave me a hug and a bright smile and strolled off. I did call my prayer team and they did pray harder and my son began to grow stronger. Today I am grateful for the 24 additional years we enjoyed together, and for the act of kindness.

I do not know the kind gentleman’s name and I did not see him again – but he is always in my heart. His small act of kindness is burned indelibly into my memory. There is power in kindness! Just like the loving woman who washed Jesus’ feet, the kindness is remembered.

Today, my husband and I are letting the grief take over – we are just letting it flow. As we do – my mind rambles about. When we first learned we would be parents, we were filled with joy. When we first held our son, we were filled with love. When we lost him, we were filled with pain and sorrow. But, broken as I am, I know I still have value. I can still serve a loving GOD by being kind. Even if it is just some small gesture, a quick smile – I know kindness has power, lifting power that touches everyone, even those who just witness the kindness.

We need the power of kindness in this world today, more than ever – more kindness to all living things.

Just BE

This question is so natural this time of year – a simple question really.  “What are you planning for the holidays?”   In my head, I answer: Isolation. Pain. Sadness. Darkness. Anguish.

My son loved Thanksgiving. He just loved Turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing – the whole menu. I would roast a huge turkey, just to make sure he had plenty of leftovers. He always said the leftovers were one of his favorite parts.  Now, I don’t want to roast a turkey, smell a turkey, or even see a turkey  – maybe never again. It hurts too much. I miss him so very much – always.

Instead of happily rushing into the holidays, my husband and I are bracing for the overwhelming pain, loss, and grief.

Many friends and relatives extended invitations, sincere and heart felt.  We declined them all.

Not because we do not appreciate the invitations. We do.

Not because we do not love the people. We do.

In fact, it is because we love them. I don’t want to drag down some one else’s holiday. I don’t want to make them uncomfortable.  And I just don’t want to pretend I am OK when I am not. I don’t want to put on a happy face – when I feel like crying. This holiday, I need to be able to just “BE”

BE sad or BE broken or BE still or BE hysterical or BE nostalgic or BE in communion with GOD or BE …. whatever I need to BE.

If I am around others, I must consider their feelings. I must conceal my pain and put on the smile facade.  I always feel like I need to BE what they need.

So my husband and I will stay home over the holidays. We will BE with each other. We will remember. We will sob.  We will pray.  We will BE.

I miss you, Jay.

 

Bratty Boss Mare

WildFire is NOT happy with Hector the Mule.  So I created a small paddock for Hecter.  He can see the mares and they can “chat” across the fence.  But he is safely out of range of teeth and hooves.  He also has his very own run in shed and hay bale!  Hopefully, after a couple of weeks, this Bratty Boss Mare will let Hector join her herd.wildfire.png

Housekeeping versus Hospitality

Recently, an acquaintance paid a brief visit to my home.  Upon entering, the guest looked about and “smirked”.  Yeah, I will call it a smirk.  I have visited this person’s home and it is quite stylish, very formal and tidy.

OK, being completely honest – I am NOT the world’s best housekeeper.  I am NOT the worst either.  My house is a simple farm house, no fancy furnishings or carpets.  Everything is more “homey” and functional.  Yes, there is a mule halter hanging on the closet door handle and I have a saddle in the guest room.

I keep up with the laundry.  All dishes are washed and put away promptly and counter tops are cleaned.  Beds are sort of made (dogs have a tendency to unmake them).  I also sweep and mop at least four times a week.   With windows open, my house is filled with good, clean country air – and dust and pollen.   I need to dust and wash windows and put away some clutter – so yeah, my house looks “lived-in”.

I have a dog door, and two dogs – hairy, shedding dogs.  So, there are little hair balls hiding under beds and chairs.  On any given day, there are probably muddy little paw prints about as well.

So, the fact is – if you come to my house looking for dust and dirt and dog hair – you will find it.  But, if you come to my house looking for hospitality, friendship, warmth, acceptance, and a hot meal – you will find that too.  Visitors are welcome to put their feet up on the coffee table or grab a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch.  I don’t freak out if a drink or a snack is spilled.  In fact, dogs handle most spills rather quickly and efficiently.  I invite visiting youngsters to pull out toys and rocking horses and crayons and books, spread them about the living room – and just play.

So, here is my question.  What is more important, housekeeping or hospitality?  Maybe it is just a personal preference, but I want people to “feel at home” in a cluttered, lived-in house with a few stray hair balls and muddy paw prints – oh, and some dust and dog snot on the windows.

 

I did it!!  I rode my horse on beach, next to the ocean

It was a very emotional day.  I rode my WildFire on the beach, even a few steps into the Atlantic Ocean.  I missed my son so much.  He loved the ocean.  Our last days together, were spent by the ocean.  I wanted to call him, to text him photos – to hear his laugh – instead, I searched the sky for signs.  I believe he was there with me.

Disney World first impressions

I am nearly 60 years old, and I visited Disney World for the first time just a few days ago.  I must be honest, it wasn’t the experience I expected.  Maybe it is my age, or maybe it is the grief and depression clouding my perception.  The Disney “experience” was eye-popping!!   The buildings and grounds were beautiful.  The costumes and parades were phenomenal.  The prices were outrageous.  Every possible inch of space was consumed by someone.  I observed many hot, sweating, tense, tired adults and several over-stimulated, tired, squalling children.  I was just over-whelmed – crowded – almost panicky.

My heart went out to the performers who provided an awe-inspiring spectacle, despite over bearing heat.  I cannot imagine how they managed those sweet, joyful smiles while dancing in those hot costumes under a blazing sun.  I pledge my respect and admiration to their talent, professionalism, and commitment.

Our little group made our way inch-by-inch through the throng and into an eatery, already clogged with humanity, some happy and friendly, many not so much.   I studied the faces of the cafeteria employees.  Bergens.  Yep.  Bergens.  If you have seen the move, TROLLS, you know the Bergens.   Bergens are sad, unhappy souls that trudge about through their day.   These poor workers looked so hot, tired, stressed – trudging.   Without thinking, I started singing a portion of the song  when I heard from behind me  “….It’s coming on, It’s coming on….”   I suddenly realized two people in the line were singing with me!

We exchanged a quick knowing glance and giggle.  Then, I kind of felt bad – the cafeteria employees are probably really nice, hard working people just trying to get through a hot, difficult day.  Some people in the line in front of me were short, cross, and just down right rude.  Imagine a whole day of that!!  I made it a point to be kind, to smile, and to say “Thank you.  Have a great day.”  One of five smiled back, made eye contact – and I cheerily added “I appreciate you – thank you so much.”

OK, crossing Disney World off my list – for now.  Maybe I will try again in a few years.  Right now, I am so glad to be back on my farm where I belong!!