"If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else." ~ Joseph Campbell
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
“Happy are those who sing with all their heart,
from the bottoms of their hearts.
To find joy in the sky, the trees, the flowers.
There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
Some people on the north side of town saw a few snow flakes falling a couple days ago. All I've seen are the sad and droopy, i.e. frozen, bushes in our yard. I shouldn't complain because lots of people know the real meaning of cold when all I no is the wimpy, whiny version. When I look at trains and planes and automobiles stuck in snowbanks I've got to admit the seat between Dad's bed and his fake fireplace heater is something I don't dare complain about.
There is something pristine, almost sacred, about newly fallen snow. It gives a kind of glistening luster to most everything it touches. In my book, however, the icy beauty diminishes proportionately as the snow banks grow higher.
Like the time we lived in Patuxent River, MD. My then husband was attached to a training squadron that deployed to the Bahamas for mock drills of a military nature. Personally I have always believed the drills were all too coincidentally set according to predictions of snow in the Maryland area. I can't prove this theory but it did occur with surprising regularity that the planes were out of town by the time the first snow flakes fell.
My kitchen window faced out to our backyard where a rather barren looking clothesline stood like a sentinel guarding the bleak winter landscape. On the morning when my husband was preparing to deploy, I was looking out the window, undoubtedly fuming. In came hubby who tried to make light-it's-not-going-to-be-so-bad-I'll-be-home-before-you-know-it chit chat. I wasn't buying it and my shoulder might have been as frigid as the clothes pole. "Look," says the man who was leaving me yet again but forgot to put his smile in his pocket until he left. "It's a snowbird."
"What the hell is a snowbird," I questioned not really expecting my husband to know one bird from another.
"It's kind of a precursor to snow," he said with authority. "When you see one, you can usually count on snow."
"Yeh, right," I thought to myself. "And when I see a leprechaun I can expect to find a pot of gold."
With the benefit of hindsight I realize I did not always send my helo flying husband off to do his duty with the kind goodbye that I should have. And I sure as hell never lapped a window's walk waiting for him to get home. I had two kids to care for which, when he was gone, felt to me like 20. On the other hand I was always glad to welcome him home, even if it was to hand him a tool so he could fix whatever inevitably broke when he was gone.
Off he goes to the Bahamas. Down the snow begins to fall. And fall. And fall. That damned bird was nowhere in sight. I dare say it had probably flown south along with the helos.
One of the mistakes my husband made when he was gone, was to call home. We both knew he was damned if he didn't and damned if he did.
He often started the phone conversations with something about the weather. It was warm, or sunny, or beautiful. Then he'd follow that up with a report of the activities he had engaged in. He'd played tennis, laid on the beach, gone drinking with the boys, been duty free shopping. Somewhere in there he'd mention a sortee or two. Maybe I just had a bad attitude, but it always seemed like he played harder than he worked.
On this particular trip, when he called to tell me about how his new tennis racket had perfected his game, I mentioned in passing that his prized possession, a sporty little red Fiat, was under a blanket of snow. As in you can't see it because it is completely covered. In my mind's eye I can still see that big snow pile with nothing but an antennae sticking out of it and kind of smile at the way Mother Nature has with paybacks.
Geez, I don't know where that came from. What I had intended to say was about the quote I read on Jon Katz's blog which, of course, is full of snow pictures. It made me think of several of my blog friends who are able "to find joy in the sky, the trees, the flowers." They are the kind of people who even though their lives are not pain (or snow) free, they choose to look for flowers.
I haven't been outside much lately. My field of vision is the room where my father lies waiting to die. Some days I don't see anything but the bedside commode, or the stack of dirty laundry. Today, I had a kind of calm about me and saw, not the old man whose words can cut like a knife but a man who is weakening and losing his fight. I approached him with a different attitude (not sure where it came from) and let the time pass rather quietly. His final days are the flowers I see in our relationship. I also saw, on one of many trips to and from the kitchen, my Sweetie who, like the lonely clothes pole, stands guard over the parts of the house I haven't seen in days. His smile is the flower I see when I walk by. And when I read emails,blogs, and Christmas cards from people I've never met or talk on the phone with sisters/friends who share my journey, I can almost smell the heavenly scent of lavender roses. Bless you all.
Wishing for you a bright bokay of flowers to fill your snowy day with joy,
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
- Lunch at the Ritz Carlton
- The Comcast lady who helped me program the CD player so Dad could listen to his favorite music five at a time
- The mothers bringing communion
- Tim Stiles fixing Dad's trapeze
- Jo extending her helping hands
- Apples from Washington St.
- A friendly voice on the Hospice triage phone line
- Time away with my Sweetie
- An unexpected nap on the airbed
- Belly laughs caused by Jib Jab cards
- Weneki's 2010lists
- The dryer repairman
- A surprise flower bokay
- Black cat hugs even when I'm not in the mood
- Apple technical service
- Golden Retrievers and Santa
- Hearing my sister read my luminary story
- Remembering my mother's birthday
- Dad's bath girl calling him Sugar and holding his hand instead of giving him a bath
- My Sweetie laying his hand on my back as I fall asleep
- Our tiny Christmas tree that almost didn't get put up
- A new dryer
- Dan Seals & Don Williams CD
- Hearing Sweetie read The Night Before Christmas and doing sound effects
- Having Johnson here
Friday, December 17, 2010
"A new baby is like the beginning of all things -
Wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."
"Edna J. Le Shan"
Robert Warner "Bobby"Estrada
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Music produces a kind of pleasure that human nature cannot do without.”
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I really shouldn't be sitting here. Dad seems to be sleeping soundly so I should be doing stuff like laundry, putting away the good dishes and whatever else needs to be done. But I just don't feel like it.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
"There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in,
but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it:
to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze."
"The sky is falling!" cried Chicken Little. "The sky is falling!"
Most every day the first email I read is from "gratefulness.org". The daily quotes are always uplifting and thought provoking. When I read the Hillesum quote above, my mind went to a woman Terri has blogged about who is struggling with her own personal darkness. Since Terri has had some experience with the aftermath of one extinquishing her own flame, not to mention her big ol' compassionate heart, I sent the quote on to her. My mind was on people I don't even know who are suffering in a place I've been.
It didn't really occur to me to think about my father, until I came back to check on him. He's had a few pain-filled days. New pain medication seems to be zapping him of the little bit of strength he had. This morning I found him lying in bed, eyes half-closed. I'm just waiting, he said. I could feel his struggle.
Up to now Dad has vocalized being ready to go, but I felt it was more talk than walk. It seemed like he said what was expected of him ... I have cancer, therefore I'm ready to go. I think the change has been slow coming and subtle. Pain, I imagine, can do that. As can medication. I can feel my inner chicken little fluffing up her feathers, preparing to spread the news. Dad is dying. Dad is dying. But instead I sit by the bed and hold his hand, help him to the pot, re-arrange his covers, listen to Montavoni and Henry Mancini play on the easy listening channel. Preparations for tomorrows dinner will have to wait.
I’m reminded today of the spark of light that is ignited in each of us by the Divine One at the moment of our creation in the womb. The light remains with us throughout a lifetime of joys and sorrows, blessings and disasters. The same light that at the end of our days begins to dim. Only the one who created the light knows when it will shine no more. Until then all we can do is wait. Perhaps faith is nothing more than releasing the fear of the dark and relying on the Creator to light our way.
Holy Mother/Father God, thank you for the gift of your light which you loaned to us for our earthly journey. Help us be a mirror which reflects Your light to others whose light flickers and begins to dim. Be with us at the end when we begin to take our final walk home, back to You. As we wait give us patience to accept Your perfect timing, for in You, there is no pain, no fear,no darkness.
Today my wish for you is a quiet prayer of Thanksgiving,