Monday, July 18, 2016

Amazing Grace

Dear Son,

Today would have been your 45th birthday and it is the second one that I have spent without your earthly presence. The world still spins and I still miss you.

The day you were born your father got kicked out of the delivery room because he wasn't being helpful. You had big shoulders, but you eventually arrived at 23 inches long and 8lbs 10 1/2 ounces. BIG. You were always so slender that I had to buy your pants special from Sears. They had some called "super slim". I would hang all your clothes on individual hangers that would hold the shirt, pants, and socks that would go together to make it easier for you to get dressed. I never dreamed you would be over 6 feet until that day when you were 15 and I bought you a pair of size 12 tennis shoes.

We had many a rough time while you were growing up. You were smarter than I and you ran me ragged. I wasn't alone in that because you were smarter than most of your teachers and others around us. I was happy the day you graduated because I felt like I had made it along with you to the age where you could become responsible for you and there wasn't a draft. I felt you were safe from participating in any wars. You still were taken way to early, but not through that sacrifice.

It is hard when you are staring down at a sweet babies face to know what they will be like in adulthood. After all the trouble you had been in at school for talking, making others laugh and a few other naughty things, who would dream that you would become such a good person so loved by others.

You have done many sweet and thoughtful things for so many people but I am most grateful for the ones you did for me. I especially love the way you loved Dan Tucker and took good care of him. I hope you two have been able to meet up and have fun. I know there are shenanigans within you both waiting to burst out.

Someone has posted a saying on Facebook about heaven having phones. You are global mobile so I wish you would work on the network and get that going because I would love to chat with you as we used to. I know many other people that would like that earth to heaven connection also.

I really love that no matter what was going on in your life, good or challenging, you could always say "God bless" to someone.

I am blessed to be the mother of two loving, intelligent, caring, giving human beings that love God. You and Darcy are both kind and thoughtful. I received an amazing grace in being allowed to be your mom

Obviously no one knows where the next moment will take them, but I am praying for something on the marvelous side for Atlas. Send some good blessings to his mom as well.

Thank you for all the white feathers. I would be happy to bake your favorite birthday dessert if you could drop by for a tad. Bob made his first very own blackberry pie and I am certain he would be happy to share a slice with you.

I was listening to the 2 Cellos station on Pandora today. They played the piece of music called "Hallelujah". I love it. May grace, peace and joy abide in all hearts today. I love and miss you. God Bless. love, mom

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fill your paper with breathings from your soul

Yesterday was my birthday. I went most of my life having my birthday to myself meaning none of my co-workers shared my birthday. When I was in my 40's my sister adopted a boy born on the 1st so since then I have shared with him and three years ago I went to work at the Ben Franklin near where I live and had four other co-workers with my same birth date. That is actually kind of crazy since the store employs less than 100 people.

Unfortunately I had a moment where I let the thought that on my 18th birthday I was pregnant with my son flit through my head. Tears sprang to my eyes and I got a lump in my throat and my gut which persisted for several hours into my birthday adventure. We always play music when we go on an adventure and most music that is about relationships are usually about lovers or spouses. I find things about many of the songs apply to my thoughts and feelings about other relationships in my life. Elvis Presley singing "Memories" is very poignant and there are so many more from the 250 songs loaded on my ipod shuffle.

As I tell you this I don't want to take anything away from my daughter. She was born when I was 15 1/2 and on my 15th birthday I may have thought or wondered if I was pregnant, but I don't think I knew for certain. I was not far enough along to feel her kicking or anything. On the other hand, my son's birthday is in July 2 1/2 months after my birthday so his kicking and such was very much in evidence. I have actually thought many times that even though I had my daughter so young, that she saved my life. I don't know what that means entirely, I just feel it. My son was more of a challenge. I have often said that if the second child had come first there would be no second child.

I don't know how old he was when that thought changed because he made me crazy for years. He challenged every aspect of my being to the nth degree. My secondary thoughts were I wasn't sure if I was going to commit hari-kari or murder. Getting him out of bed and ready for school was a challenge every single day. I was disciplined on a regular basis for being late to work for so many years. When he finally became 18 a miracle happened. I'm hardly ever late for work and I have not been in trouble since then.....well, not total truth, but only things related to me personally.

I don't know if you have ever had this phenomena happen to you, but I have had times in my life where I hardly ever see a particular type car or color anywhere until I buy one for my self and then I suddenly see them all the time. They were actually there all along, I just didn't notice them prior to that time. Since my son died, I have learned about so many other friends or co-workers that have had their children die. One woman I knew in high school had a son who passed away not to long after my son did. It seems crazy and oh so wrong on so many levels yet we are the ones who make up these sayings and have these thoughts. God/dess never promised anyone  any one thing except to love us no matter what.

I am grateful to have had another birthday even if I am missing part of my heart. I hear if you fill broken pieces with gold to mend them and bring them together it will make them stronger. Where do I find the gold for this process?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring....looking forward to it yet dreading it

Spring always makes one feel good. It seems like the air is fresher, life is on the move. Trees are budding. Things are popping up out of the ground. Happiness all around.

I am looking forward to spring yet dreading it at the same time. How could that be?
I love spring. It makes me feel good. What is there to dread? It will arrive officially with the Spring Equinox on March 20th. On April 7th my son will have been gone from this earthly plane for 1 full year. I can't imagine it really, but it exists. I am just getting used to the fact that I can't dial him up and chat with him or that he won't be calling and asking how his mamasita is doing today. This is what I am dreading. The knowledge of one year. No return.
With the coming of spring it seems that all things that died since the first frost and the true depths of winter arrived will return. They do and they don't. The parts that actually died will not return, yet within their inner being is the ability to regenerate new buds, new flowers, growth. So what magic will come and what will spring forth in either my soul, my daughter's soul, my grandson's (his son) soul, or those of the other family members and friends? Will they or I even recognize that this new birth came from the left overs of his leaving?

One of the things that has gotten me through this first year is technology. We curse technology at times because it invades all aspects of our lives and yet at the same time it gives us the ability to do so much. Occasionally that is a big curse in and of itself. Because of technology though, I have saved phone messages and texts. Facebook has so much including videos he took and posted. Then there are videos and photos taken by his friends.  A treasure trove for sure.

I cannot in all honesty feel sorry for myself that he is gone although I want to. Just this past weekend there was a story on the news of a fire in a home with 3 children. They were upstairs and the mother was downstairs. The firemen were not able to save them. That is just one of many stories happening around the world. Everyone has sorrows that they carry around in their heart.....I am not alone, yet I am.  I remember when he first died and I was feeling so devastated, I heard on the news that Vice President Biden had just lost his son. That is when I realized for the first time that I was just one of many of the centuries. Mothers of soldiers must have it the worst.

Actually, as I sit here typing it also dawned on me that mothers who lost their children to drugs must also feel devastated. Their children are still alive, but are not in many ways.

Usually I post something on Christmas day which I think I skipped this year so I am going to add to this post what I sent inside my Christmas cards.

Here goes........

Most years the cards I send are handmade. Occasionally I find a pre-made card that so speaks to me that I must buy it and send it. When I make my cards they are filled with my love and thoughts of the people I will be sending them to. It may be the only time of the year that I communicate with you so it is important to me that they be filled with homemade love, much like cooking and sharing a fine meal with someone.

I may hand deliver some of the local ones, but the rest will go out to the post and into the trusted hands of the postal service to travel far and wide to family and friends. When you open this card, it has carried my love from my home to yours. Let it settle into your heart that you are loved and thought of.

This year has been a hard one as many of you know that my son Byron died in April.

Every day, all over the world, someone has lost a grandparent, a parent, a sibling, a child, an extended family member, or a friend. I am not alone in this loss yet many days it can feel that way.

The reason for Christ mas is the birth of Christ. We celebrate this birth as a special gift to the world. We also view any birth as the miracle it truly is. We do not view death that way as often times how someone dies is tragic and horrific. It does not provide us with a darling little baby that we can hold and love. It does leave us with feelings of loss and emptiness. In my process of thinking on Byron’s death, I realized that dying is also a miracle as we return to our source. From whence we came, so we return regardless of the circumstances and feelings of loss we leave behind us.

So every day of 2016 I want you to remember that you are loved. Your love matters. Give your heart.

Merry Christ mas

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

So long my son. You are always in my heart.

Seems that I come here when something bad has happened or is making me sad. Today it is because my son died on April 7th, 2015. We had a funeral in Salt Lake City and this is what I wrote to speak about.

Unconditional love is something that lives within us all, but the moment you make that first connection with your child, that first look or first touch, cupid’s arrow pierces your heart with a truer and deeper understanding.

When Byron’s son was born, I was lucky enough to be there thanks to the graciousness of Sarah, Atlas’ mother. I thought at the moment the most important thing was seeing Atlas be born, yet there was something else just as important.  It was that unforgettable moment while Byron was holding his son, turned his head, looked into my eyes and I saw unconditional love being born within my son for his son.

Byron held a lot of dreams within himself. Before Atlas was born I would say they may have been more about himself, but since that moment, I believe they have all begun and ended with Atlas in mind.

He wasn’t stingy in his dreams. He was ready and willing to share with anyone. He was happy to bring you along. If you know Byron at all, you will know this to be true.

Sometimes Byron wished that I could dream bigger and more frequently and sometimes I wished that he would dream less.

As my husband said to me the other night, Byron didn’t realize that he was already wealthy and had the pot of gold. It is the wealth of his heart and the many friends and family who loved him.

Within the last few years, Byron started working with what he called a life coach. He only mentioned this to me without giving great detail. He would occasionally say he had just gotten off of the phone with this person and discuss it a little or say that he couldn’t talk long with me long as he needed to get ready for this call. Byron was sorting out and working on all things that he felt could possibly hold him back and keep him from having a totally clear heart.

Many of you sitting here believe that your body is your temple. It is your vessel. You wouldn’t pour poison into your vessel, but we many times carry poison around within us if we carry anger and are unwilling to forgive. Sometimes it is ourselves we need to forgive as well as others. Byron understood this and was seeking to dump anything unworthy. If you feel injury or trespass has happened to you, forgive. If you have caused injury or trespass, seek forgiveness. If you follow his lead, your heart will grow exponentially with love.

Life is truly shorter than we think and it can change in an instant as I recently witnessed. I am going to ask you on Byron’s behalf, to empty your vessel of any poisons. They are not hurting anyone, but the vessel they are contained within.

My husband’s contribution to this day comes from a most apropos piece of music. It is called “One Safe Place” by Marc Cohn.

How many roads you’ve traveled

How many dreams you’ve chased

Across sand and sky and gravel

Looking for one safe place.

Will you make a smoother landing

When you break your fall from grace

Into the arms of understanding

Looking for one safe place

Life is trial by fire

And love’s the sweetest taste

And I pray it lifts us higher

To one safe place

How many roads we’ve traveled

How many dreams we’ve chased

Across sand and sky and gravel looking for one safe place.

I am not always inspired to write poetry, but

I wrote this poem about Byron when he was little.

Laughter, laughter all the way

Chattering throughout the day

He can chase away the darkest clouds

Racing against the wind, the sun in his smile

He can tickle you without a touch, the mischief clear in his eyes

He can be rough and tough, denying your help

Yet when he sleeps or he cuddles in your arms, he is so soft…..

You become enchanted all over again

This Joie de vivre, and you see so much

The man that is coming, the boy that is now

My son.


Lastly, how can you stop a sun(son)-ray from shining?

You most assuredly can’t. You can step into the shade if it is shining too brightly, or maybe a cloud is keeping it from your view, but it is there as sure as the moon and stars are.

I believe Dr. David Viscott once said that to be loved, lovable, and loving is to feel the sun on both sides. So as we step outside today to celebrate together the life and love that was Byron. I am also asking that you bask in that sunshine, feel the warmth and know that Byron is with you always. That sunshine on your shoulder that makes you happy…’s him.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelooooouuuuaaajah!

Maybe you have guessed that I am loving that song. I heard a simple instrumental version recently and really loved it.
Years ago, in another life, I was living in Riverside, CA. I went to midnight mass at St. Catherine's Catholic church with my family. It was very crowded with standing room only and the family was not all together because of that. I love being in a big crowd like that and singing because there is this energy and reverberation that can only come with that situation. It also allows you to sing really loud which I was doing and whatever song we were singing had Hallelujah in it. The man standing next to me told me I sang beautifully which makes me laugh. I can sing, but not beautifully. It was the joy of the moment and singing really loud, but I still feel good when I think about that moment.

I am sitting here in the last hour of Christ mas eve so I can be here in the quiet of the house and the dark of the night while I anticipate the moment the clock clicks over and Christ mas arrives. The tall dark handsome one has gone to bed and my two four legged friends are snug in their beds.

I went out to the grocery store today and realized exactly what a mess we have ourselves in over this one day. People are either very happy or grouchy. I like the happy part more. I just don't think this is what God/dess had in mind for this day. I am still working on my Christ mas cards and probably won't put them out to the mail box until Friday or Saturday. Some people would tsk-tsk me because I am late, but my theory on Christ mas is this....the 12 days of Christ mas begin on Christ mas day and end with the epiphany which means I have all that time to accomplish my goal, visit with family and friends and enjoy the heart of the season. Most people rush around thinking everything has to be done by the 25th of December and they make themselves crazy trying to meet that goal. I used to do that when I had small children, but I learned.

Christ mas is so much more than just shopping and wrapping and pleasing tiny people. I love that it is a time for bringing families together, thinking about what they want or need, breaking bread together and making new memories. Even though we all logically know it is to celebrate the birth of Christ, I still think that gets somewhat pushed to the back in all the hustle and bustle.
I don't belong to a formal religion nor do I want to, and I don't attend any particular church. What I do do is celebrate the wonderfulness of the world around me everyday. I cannot help myself. Nature is amazing. That is only a small portion of the wonder of my day.
 I have friends and family in almost every faith, yet today when I was walking around the grocery store the thought popped into my mind that when peoples of the world started moving to this place called America, they were mostly Christians and Jews. Now they are so many faiths walking the city streets that being politically correct dictates you say "Happy Holidays". The young girl that works at the FedEx store even said that to me. Can't go there. I don't wish to offend anyone, but think about it....the world still mostly revolves around the thought of Christ mas. So I'm going to say it. Merry Christ mas. I even got to say Feliz Navidad to someone today. All the years I was growing up, having children and moving into middle age, I don't know of any Jewish friend that was offended by all the Christ mas goings on. They were happy in their own world celebrating life and faith in a way that is centuries old. Yet there you are.....being a Christian is also centuries old. No matter how many Christian religions there are, celebrating Christ mas is the same. Same same, not same as an old friend of mine would say.

So this is Christ mas, what have I learned?
I want to wish you a Merry Christ mas from the bottom of my heart during a tequila sunrise. Okay, you can laugh now. It was just the order of music on my radio, but it made me laugh at the thought. 

From my heart to yours.....Merry Christ mas. Be abundantly blessed, creatively divine, exceedingly fun, gregarious, helpful, intentional, joyful, kind, loving, meditative, natural, ordinary, playful, quiet, rested, serene, true, understanding, valiant, wise, Xtra of everything I've mentioned, yourself, and zany. No zombies allowed.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Well, it hasn't been a full year since I posted last, but almost.

Here I am on Thanksgiving again thinking about what I have to be grateful for this year.
I could be grouchy and talk about the things I didn't like this year and fill up my page with thoughts on my old tenants. I saw a quote this morning that said "Karma has no deadline". I am hoping that is true. They earned a lot.
Instead I am going to ponder other thoughts.

I always have the usual things I am grateful for such as sunrises, sunsets, running water, hot water heater, a comfy bed, food everyday, love, a warm home, every mistake I ever made....etc. Within all those things are deeper moments of gratitude.

I am actually grateful every morning upon awakening. I sometimes forget to be thankful, but in fact I am. I am awake in the world and I hopefully have another full day here on earth to enjoy the things that capture my soul.
A lot of things in our day are so normal and always there that we almost forget about them. The sweet greeting from the cat (who wants treats), the joy filled dog, birds outside, the view from the big kitchen window that always brings visions of horses and trees. A long embrace and a kiss from my husband before he goes off to work. A peaceful, tasty cup of coffee before starting the day with chores or work.

One of my co-workers lost her partner recently. I cannot imagine my life without my partner. I continue to be grateful that I have a loving partner and a good life with him. I am thankful for the serendipitous moment that brought him into my life and all the moments we have had since.

I recently had to buy heating oil. Although the cost is outrageous, I am thankful I am warm and comfortable. I contemplate the plight of homeless people and how they manage, but I cannot even begin to fathom being cold and seeking a place for rest. My bed is warm and comfortable. I appreciate and am thankful for the person who invented mattresses. I wish warmth and comfort for all.

The truth of Thanksgiving begins with the beginning of our country and immigrants. This land existed and was occupied with it's native peoples. Immigrants (our forefathers) came along and began to co-exist with natives. This country has always been about immigrants. It is very interesting to watch the news and the controversy regarding immigrants. No, we can't take everyone in, and they do need to work and pay as we all do, but we would not exist without them now or ever in our history. Not perfect in the end, but, the beginning started with high ideals. I cannot imagine living elsewhere in the world even though I have tried hard. I am thankful that I am free to be me and you are free to be you.

As you maybe contemplate shopping Black Friday and having a spending hemorrhage, consider purchasing something for a homeless shelter,  the food bank, or a foster child. My work has a giving tree. I pulled a boys wish off of there for an iTunes card and a small t-shirt. I am grateful that I have work and the ability to honor that wish.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, our tenants that lived in our house in Salt Lake moved out. We went to Salt Lake for almost 3 weeks to work on the house hoping to sell it. We have family that live there and we are grateful for the help that we received everyday and that which we have received since then.

May you enjoy the many morsels of the, thoughts, love, comforts, happiness.

Bless the food before us this day, the family and friends beside us, and the love between us. Amen.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Yikes!!!!! My procrastination is profound

Oh my goodness. My procrastination is superb. I just logged in for the first time in, well, let's just say forever. Not that I haven't thought about you because I have, I just can't explain why I haven't written.

Things change it seems and we go from one routine to another and some things get lost or forgotten along the way. It seems this has been one of them.

The last bit of 2012 found us putting our beloved pit bull Abby down. It turned out she had mammary cancer that when it presented itself was too late to treat. She was the best dog. Sweet, gentle and big loving eyes. She never gave us grief over anything. She did however want to be a lap dog which was a bit impossible at 72 pounds. This caused a few problems between her and the little dog, but they were still chums to the end.
Life with just the one dog has been interesting and gets better all the time, but we still miss our Abby girl.

Since I live on a horse farm where approximately 35 horses are boarded, 2012 and 2013 found many of my old or medically infirm friends racing off to meet Epona and have eternal grazing. Each horse had it's own personality and things I loved about each and every one of them. If you have read any previous posts then you know how it breaks my heart when they leave.
The biggest loss has been of Fire this past fall. Fire has always been in our family for the most part. My eldest sister bred some of her fine horses to get her. She was fostered out for awhile until the next sister bought her and has had her ever since. She was best friends with Diva my sisters other mare that departed in the fall of 2009. Fire was 34 and the most elegant Arabian I have ever seen. She had a beautiful prance and fanned her tail in the loveliest of ways in order to poop. I spent every evening with her during her last 3 months or so and it still seems strange not to see her in the barn.

This is Fire and me looking out from her barn during our nightly visit/walk-about.
We did have a darling filly born at the barn the day after my birthday. Gaia is a spark of fun. Fire was the first to know she was coming and trumpeted it to all the others at the barn. I feel like she waited to leave this earthly plane until Gaia was born and she could get to know her.

I started to work at Ben Franklin's art and craft store and it seems like the rest of the fall and the holiday season just went poof!!. But here I am. I shall come back for a visit soon.