Saturday, March 31, 2012

happy birthday to my forever friend...

i don't remember the day you were born, yet almost every single childhood memory i share with you.  20 months apart, yet inseparable from the beginning, you were a force to be reckoned with from day one.  with a heart larger than most, you felt everything more intensely than the rest of us...passionate and fierce about the things that mattered to you, risking everything to support whatever cause you felt deserved your attention. 

you are my first memory, my first "love"...rarely can i stop the tears when i think back to that moment...i had spent weeks with grandma not knowing exactly why, only that i couldn't see mom and i had no idea where any of you were.  i remember the long drive down from the farm to the city...eventually walking the halls of children's mercy, excited to see mom unaware of what i would really see.  there you both holding in only a diaper with so many little circles attached to you; the monitors that had watched every one of your stats as they fought to keep you alive all those weeks. 

a few more weeks brought yet another car ride...the one that would bring me home, to you.  you were still sick, weak, tired...they put you in bed and told me to leave you alone..."let her rest" mom and grandma told me...but, i couldn't.  i wanted nothing more than to be close to simply touch you.  your tiny fingers were extended through the slats in the crib, at just the right height for me to hold that's what i did.  for how long i don't remember.  thinking back, it feels like forever, but i'm sure it was just a few minutes...but, that's how moments of impact, moments of absolute importance, moments that change you forever...that's how they feel.  i remember knowing in that moment, as i stood there next to you; wishing you were well, vowing then and there to protect you always...that you were mine, that i would love you forever and never want you to hurt again.

i wish i could say that i have been able to keep that promise, but some things are bigger than even a sister's love.  you are an amazing woman...still fierce and passionate; full of emotion, willing to accept differences yet always ready to fight for what you believe in.  you were my first best friend, paving the way for a lifetime of memories.  my mind flips through them like a photo album, stopping to gaze upon the ones that stand out the most.  some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me crazy, and some make me wish we could just go back. 

so, happy 33rd birthday to my first little sister, my first friend...may today mark the beginning of an amazing year.  may your eyes be open to everything it offers and your heart ready to accept every blessing it is certain to hold.  i love you, weisy! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


there are moments when we watch the hearts of those we love break, and ours break right along with them.  arms are never long enough, hands can't possibly hold tight enough, words always come too slow, and we find ourselves feeling helpless in the moments we are needed the most.

there is so much more i want to say about this...i type, delete, and re-type...nothing seems to be coming out right.  what i want to say is that it's our pasts that lead us through these moments...we find the words, or offer gentle silence based upon what worked for us when we were hurting.  sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn't.  but, we bear the burden for eachother regardless...offering whatever we can in the hopes something we say or do gives them even the smallest amount of peace.  and, it is in these moments where we just might find answers to some of the why's in our own life.  kind of a sick irony, but if you really think about it; it's true.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a gentle contentment...

a couple came in this morning...retired,looking to move to the area...something i see all the time.  but, these two were special...charming and sweet, quiet, patient...they had a gentle contentment about them.  he called her his girlfriend...his bride...clearly still very much in love after many years, eight children, 20 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren...something you rarely see these days it seems.  she was happy to let him do most of the talking, not submissive really, just...trusting that he would take care of things.. she shyly shook her head and smiled as he spoke proudly of her career as a P.E. teacher and bragging of her days as a runner.  there was a genuine respect between them...they know their place with each other, within their marriage...something that has come over time i suspect.  it was easy to see they truly value each other and have learned how to care for not only their family, but for the profound role they together play at the head of their family.

i was touched, inspired perhaps, by these two strangers who in a matter of ten minutes practically had me signed up to be a ninth child just so i could enjoy their obvious joy a little bit longer and hopefully gain a little insight into the workings of a "happy" family.  okay, okay....i know, i one's marriage, no one's family is happy all the time - it's just not possible, but there are certainly some that are more so than others and i am constantly trying to figure out the secret.

see, i want that, have always wanted that...and after one failed marriage (please excuse the word "failed", but let's be honest, there really is no other word for it), i am more than a little gun-shy...okay, i'm terrified of that happening again.  does that stop me from hoping for it?  no.  does it stop me from wondering if i will ever find it?  no.  what it does do is make me very aware of what does and doesn't work - for me anyway - in relationships.  i've found that with dating comes the same basic set of questions..."what are you looking for?" and the ever-popular "what are your deal breakers?", certain to be followed up by "what are you willing to compromise on?"  yes, we all have our own answers to these questions and each are valid but i'm not a fan of them.  do they really give us insight?  do they really help us see more than the surface of someone?  truth is, you can't really know someone - and consequently if you're compatible with them - until you spend time with them.  and, as we get older, as we try on different people and learn more about ourselves, we realize that our answers change and evolve based upon where we are at that point in our life.  for example, i am very aware of how someone i'm interested in treats others...and ultimately how he treats my daughter - that is always the deal maker or deal breaker.  she is my final test, my personal guage.  i know what i will give, what i won't take, how i want to be treated, what i'm willing to compromise on, and what i absolutely won't do at this point...and most of it centers around the type of woman i want to be for my daughter...the example i want to set for her, the life i want for her. 

so, how do we find that?  what is the secret?  especially after broken hearts, lost trust, insurmountable insecurities...our own five-piece set of Samsonite that we each carry with us into any relationship at this point...  is it possible?  i fear falling into the same type of relationship that i know doesn't work, on accident of course, but because we automatically gravitate towards what feels familiar even if we can't recognize it at the time.  i don't feel broken anymore.  i feel whole and happy and like i finally have something good to give.  but...i also know i'm guarded, extremely protective of that wholeness, that happiness that i've fought so hard for because i am terrified of feeling like i did with last year's break-up and my divorce before that.  i'm not sure what the answer is, or where the secret lies...perhaps it's different for each of us...or, so very simple that we overlook it or make it harder than it needs to be.  either way, i'm certain that kind of love is possible...i've seen it, and i want it....not just for me, but to show m that kind of love...unconditional, unbroken, open, set that example for her.   

Sunday, March 18, 2012

st. patrick's day shenanigans...

i've never really been out for st. patrick's day - honestly.  never wanted to take the day off work, and then with a kiddo, it just never happened.  sooooo...this year, it fell on a saturday and sarah and i were both without our mini-me's so we decided to make a day of it!  wanna know the sad thing?  i, the one with red hair and freckles, had to actually buy something green to wear - sad, i know.  sarah says, "i love you in green!  you should wear it all the time!!!"  ok, ok, i'll buy more green.  anyway, we made the trek downtown and ended up parking at the plaza where we walked up to westport, and watched the end of the parade then did a little people-watching...THAT is what this day is made for!  seriously.  not only does everyone claim to be irish, but it's like it's a golden ticket to wear and act whatever and however you want without realizing that other people may actually see you.  we saw it all!  a pirate (who actually said "arrrgh" when someone shouted out "ahoy, matey!"), a leprechaun (honest to God, he was shorter than me!), girls with way too little clothes on (but who were bold in their green statement pieces, i.e. bright green stockings that almost distracted you from the plastic stilettos, tiny shorts, and even tinier super tied up, girls hanging out from the bottom, top - i can't make this stuff up!), shamrocks, stripes, and all shades of green!  we decided (not initially taking into consideration the 30-some-odd blocks) to walk from westport to power & light - right, yep, i said walk.  but, it was so much fun!  there were so many people out and everyone was having so much fun!  oh!  and, did i mention we did this SOBER???  i'm not sure we would have made it drunk!  that picture is from the bridge on grand almost to crown center and the train was running underneath us - we had to document our adventure!  we did made it to p&l and the crowd was way more our speed there.  we also found friends and drank some beer, listened to some great music, and did even more people-watching!  aside from the random groping that seems to happen in large crowds, it was a great day!  i spent it with one of my very favorite people and had a blast!  can't wait to do it again soon, weisy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

9:43 a.m....

you were anything but normal from the very beginning...a pregancy that was never supposed to be to a mom who was never supposed to have children.  too hard on her body, her heart would never be able to handle it...all words we had always heard.  so, we worried about her...constantly...fearful that she wouldn't make it....never imagining that you could be anything but whole...anything but perfect. 

they chose to induce never wanted to come out, breech early on and then face up for 27 hours, several of which she pushed through...the drugs did no good...the pain was unbearable even for her...someone who had endured more in her 26 years than most do in a lifetime.  she finally gave up, asked for help when she knew she could do no more. 

there are moments we can't escape from no matter how hard we try to turn the clock back or hit the fast-forward button...we are frozen in time, yet changed instantly...9:43 a.m. on march 9, 2006 was one of those moments.  eyes wide, the color of old soul many took it all in...took us all in...looking back now, it's easy to see you were absorbing everything you could in the short amount of time you were given. 

you would be six.  much has happened in those six years...some incredible, some less so.  you were a blessing, even when it was all over and we were left reeling with pain, questions, and were such a gift and there isn't a day any of us have forgotten you.  


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

entwined in life...

i love knowing that every moment is consequential, that every conversation has the possibility to hold meaning - even if i may not know it at the time.  i love looking back and seeing how something i thought nothing of at the time affected me profoundly.  mostly, i love that we are all entwined in life...that, while sometimes scary if we really think about the true impact of it, we are all connected - our lives are not just ours, our choices don't just impact us, we aren't alone, and if we are truly honest...most of the time our paths look similar if we look just beneath the surface.

the truth is, none of us is one exempt from emotion, safe from pain or resistent to pleasure.  we each have thresholds for sure, walls built brick by brick from each disappointment, each loss...but, we each also have huge capacities to love - sometimes more than we even realize.  we choose to allow ourselves to feel, to experience, to love...choose to let our guard down, to let others in.  sometimes that's the hardest part because it means we are letting go of something that maybe we are hiding behind out of fear or protection.  it's easier to hold back, easier to withold love because we know that once we open ourselves up to it we are also opening ourselves up to the possibility of getting hurt.  and, this applies to every relationship...not just the obvious intimate ones...but in families, friendships, and even with our children.

i woke up early today...thankful for many things, but especially for the people in my life.  my gran taught me to treasure those i hold dear, to remind them of their value, and to never take them for granted.  she gave me the gift of absolute love and acceptance, never expecting anything in return and always making sure anyone in her life knew right where they stood with her.

i think sometimes we don't even realize the immense impact we have on others...that words we say with very simple intent may leave a lasting imprint on whoever they are spoken to.  a few days ago i got this text:  "sometimes i just want to give you a hug to remind you that you're not alone"...simple words, spoken of a simple gesture that said absolutely everything i needed to hear from him in that moment.  the lasting impact of that moment will be felt for a long time.

so, yes, i love knowing that each moment is consequential...that it has the potential to be something amazing...that through those moments our lives are wrapped around each other and because of that, we are never truly alone.  

Monday, March 5, 2012


the dog ate my glasses last week.  ate. them.  new ones are ordered and will (fingers crossed) be in by the end of this week.  in case you're wondering, the dog is still alive and no i didn't flip out completely...i maybe cried a little instead of totally losing it and then finished getting ready for work.   

i keep checking cookbooks out at the library and shamelessly reading them, pouring over amazing pictures and recipes i'm fairly certain i could master if i actually tried.  i'm most drawn to anything passing for breakfast or brunch...but, then i close them and set them aside...reminding myself of two, i don't really cook; and two, i hate cooking for just m and i.  maybe i will try one's a start, right?

morgan asked me yesterday to help her "sew" a dress for lanie - her american girl doll.  coming from a long line of seamstresses, i'm embarrassed to admit that i don't (can't, haven't really ever tried) sew.  BUT, morgan had a little faith in me and we did it!  it's not pretty, nor does it stand a chance of withstanding more than VERY gentle care (mostly because i'm fairly certain the seams would tear or fall out)...but, she believed i could do it and i wanted nothing less than to let her, we did it!  complete with a button and everything!

i realized the other night that when she sleeps, morgan looks like she did when she was little...her long fingers move in the same ways, stretching and reaching - for what i'm not sure...her thick eyelashes rest on little puffy cheeks and her tiny pink lips still look like a those moments, i almost forget that she's suddenly taken back to moments in the middle of the night when the rest of the world was sleeping and it was just she and i getting know each other.  lord, i miss those moments sometimes...don't get me wrong, i love her now, love the conversations we get to have, love watching her learn, love seeing her grow into the little person she is today...but, there are things about them when they're little that can't be replaced and when i see her sleeping, and am hit with the harsh reality that time is passing us by faster than i wish...i get a little sad and long for her to fit in my arms again.

i unfriended him...a week ago.  and then got a text today acknowledging that we were no longer "friends" and wishing me the best.  i could tell from the undertone he was not only surprised by this, but also less than happy.  i haven't responded.  there's nothing to say.  it feels good to let go, to no longer need him or, better yet, to no longer want him to be a part of our lives in any way.  perhaps my only response would be "you made the choice to remove us from your life...i'm simply finishing it for us"...but, that's not me so i will leave it alone....thankful for the honest peace i finally feel about it.

it's almost carter's birthday...he would have been six. 

hope.  this word has been at the front of my mind, weighing on my heart.  why?  honestly, i'm not entirely sure.  there is a scripture that says we are patient for what we hope for....that we will wait patiently for whatever it is we hope for.  interestingly true once i really thought about it.  i'm not very patient as a general rule...anxious and somewhat controling (as someone dear to me recently pointed out...i need to relax and just be, stop trying to control everything so much) assuming that if i stay in control i somehow won't be caught off guard or hurt....right, well, we all know that doesn't really work.  but, i realized that i am patient for that which i hope for...things i still believe i have a shot at...patient with people i hope to build relationships with...quick to offer forgiveness and generosity in these situations, with these people.  what i'm wondering is...should we be so quick to offer patience for things we only hang hope on?  would our patience be better spent on the life, the people, we already have surrounding us?  i don't know.  i'm all for the idea of hope, all for the idea of having something to wish for...but, what about the reality we already have...would it be better to focus more on that?  again, i'm not sure...just something i've thought about lately.

there they are...random monday thoughts...nothing special...nothing important, just life.  someone asked me if i'd ever thought of blogging something everyday...i've thought about it, but never done it.  for two reasons.  one, i don't always have something i either want to share, or think is worth putting into words.  and, two, i don't think anyone would really want to read something i wrote that often.  but, since i was asked...i'm thinking about it.  thoughts?