My weekend was filled with that special kind of lovely.
Time with my amazing mom. The company of the most amazing man a woman could ask for. The love of two crazy pups, who “told” Grandma that Mommy really needed flowers for Mother’s Day, and Grandma delivered.
In our family there is no distinction between the kids who come on four legs and the ones who come on two.
Calla lilies. Elegant trumpets of purple, pink and ivory perfection now grace my kitchen table.
Yellow orchids tilt joyfully toward the sun, their new home next to my family room window.
And outside, the greatest gift I could ask for. My father’s little apple tree, now ours, its tiny trunk just shy of four feet tall, delicate branches reaching for the sky with all their might, bearing fruit for the very first time. I have counted five little apples in all, scattered about, but there is one special twosome. Joined in harmony, robust and thriving. My heart sings and swells with this progress.
As a woman living with compromised health, I spend a lot of time at home. For that reason and for many others, I want to walk into every room, turn every corner, step outside into my backyard sanctuary and always see a reason to smile.
Beautiful flowers and a happy little fruit tree make for a beautiful start. The flowers representing so many things, like simple beauty, and my father’s thriving little apple tree representing so much more. It means, to me, that his happiness and passion have found a way to live on, nearly three years after he left us.
There is no greater gift he can give me.
It is simply without question. Despite loss, despite illness, despite every pain and challenge, mine is a life filled with infinite love and blessings.
May you always find the good and light in your life, and feel the same.
Have an amazing week.
On this glorious Mother’s Day weekend, I want to spend every moment I can with the beautiful woman who gave me life.
She is my teacher, my hope, the keeper of my every wish and secret. I want to slow down and linger over her gorgeous smile. I want to hold the hands that have nurtured and comforted me over these many years. I want her to know how much I, how much we as her children, cherish and appreciate her.
Because this woman’s devotion and generosity know no end.
This weekend, I want to set aside all that hurts and just bask in the love of family. There is no greater gift.
Have a beautiful weekend, everyone.
And Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there.
And Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mom.
Thank you for everything.
Most of all, thank you for showing me, and everyone who has the blessing of you, what it means to love.
I refuse to sugar coat it friends.
I haven’t been in a good place. I have wanted to give up, disappear, simply forget who I am.
I feel in my heart that my soul is meant for something different; like it is meant for so much more than me being sick. I accept my illness as part of my journey, but lately it has completely defined it.
Completely defined me.
And I just can’t figure out how to break away from that.
I want things to look up. If I can’t be well, I can at least take the small but integral step toward choosing happiness. And maybe, just maybe, that small step will help me break free.
This morning I sat outside in my backyard and closed my eyes. It continues to amaze me how healing the simplest things can be. Like sunshine. And birds. Flowers. Colors. Warmth.
Make it a beautiful day everyone.
Let’s always remember to slow down and notice the simple and unassuming.
With love always to you and yours.
“There is pleasure and there is bliss. Forgo the first to possess the second.”
At my last doctor’s appointment, I sat quietly as she, in her signature diligence, took notes and organized my ever growing file. It was much of the same ~ lab and biopsy results, seemingly endless chat about my worsening symptoms. I don’t know what possessed me to look down and see what she was writing, but my eyes fell to several lines at the top of a crisp white page.
Expected duration of condition:
She looked up at me, catching my defeated gaze and quivering lip. The pain seared through my hips and back, a steady burn trickling down to my knees. I shifted in the hard plastic chair and looked away from her empathetic smile.
“Don’t lose hope,” she said as she grasped my aching hand. “This doesn’t mean it will be this way. We can find a way to manage this. We just need to keep trying.”
I managed to smile back, nod and thank her as tears silently threatened. I prayed for the strength to make it to my car before I lost all control. Ten minutes later, with shaking hands and tears flowing freely, I was home. I went straight to my bedroom, drew the curtains closed, buried myself under the covers and, literally, shut out the world. No phone calls. No emails or texts. Nothing. No matter how urgent.
My dear husband arrived hours later, scared to find me in my cocoon, my shell, makeshift armor made of bedclothes.
“What can I do for you?” he whispered, leaning down to gently pull the covers away, stroking my hair with his calloused hand.
Words failed me. All I could do was shake my head and cry. I felt his lips against my forehead, and the sheet against my shoulders as he gently pulled it up around me. I felt his weight shift from the bed. I heard footsteps. The door closing.
I prayed for sleep. Anything to escape the pain, the shadow of illness, the uncertainty of all of it. Prayers were answered. I don’t know how long I was asleep, but when I awakened I turned to the bedside table and found something that wasn’t there before. A white envelope, with his handwriting on the outside.
For You My Love.
With shaking hands I reached over and grasped it, tearing the envelope carefully. I sobbed as I read the treasure that was tucked inside. I traced my fingertips over every loving word. And just like that, a wave of devotion and gratitude and every wonderful emotion imaginable washed over me.
Everything I felt before slipped away.
Then I realized it. I need to let go of this fear that I constantly carry around ~ the fear of disappointing the people I love.
I need to always remember that this journey isn’t mine alone. I am walking this path with an unbelievably compassionate and loving man, who, in the face of everything, loves me.
I need to stop wishing for something different. This is God’s plan for me. I need to keep the faith and trust it.
Whatever it is that challenges us, we simply can’t lose hope. I know I say it a lot, but it’s true. Love wins. Our love for others, their love for us, and our love for ourselves.
Our love for the world and our love for life.
Have a beautiful month everyone, and a beautiful week.
Friends, I hope this post finds you happy and refreshed as we start this week.
Normally my Sundays are spent resting and in the comfort of my home. My health prevents me from venturing out the way I used to. A thirty minute trip to the grocery store can feel monumental. Some days I’m alright, but on most days I’m not. And most days lately have been bad days.
So on Saturday evening, I was a bit surprised, pleasantly surprised, when my husband asked if I would like to go to the zoo the following morning.
It may sound silly and a little pathetic, but when I’m out with my husband he has a way of making me feel secure. If I get sick or tired wherever we are, I know he will handle the situation beautifully, and get me home quickly if need be. But being sensitive to how I feel, he is often reluctant to suggest we go out and have fun. I in turn am reluctant to make the same suggestions, because I never want to be a burden on him.
The thought of going to the zoo had me smiling. We love animals. And it had been a while since quality time together involved more than being stuck at home, holding hands on the couch and finding something mutually appealing to watch on TV. So I answered his question with a happily enthusiastic “yes.”
We arrived before noon. The zoo’s residents seemed to prefer late morning naps to playing and being busy. We are experiencing our first real heat of spring here in Northern California, and we guessed that the unseasonable warmth had something to do with their behavior. It made it impossible for me to get any good photos, with everyone sleeping under trees or shelters, hiding from view. My husband sensed my disappointment.
“Let’s see what the giraffes are doing. Maybe they are out and about,” he said as he grasped my hand and led me in that direction.
It is always interesting with our giraffe friends. They were standing outside, looking curiously as everyone passed or looked back at them with equal curiosity. But it was some of the same. As a burgeoning photographer, I felt disappointed when my super tall friends preferred the shade to the sunshine. I took my camera out and tried anyway, hoping for something special to come out of it.
And then I got this one.
I think it captures the mysterious and peaceful beauty they possess.
Sometimes I find myself in moments like this, looking at this majesty, this miracle of life, and I am literally moved to tears. I deliberately contemplate my place in this world, and the most incredible thoughts flood my mind and the most amazing emotions fill my heart. I walk and share this earth with animals who are six feet tall when they are born. Creatures with hearts that weigh 25 pounds. Beings that have necks over two meters long, yet they have the exact same number of cervical vertebrae as me.
Little human me.
We continued to watch them. Our smiles grew as we stood there, still holding hands, watching a parent and small child approach our tall friends with a young blonde woman, her black polo shirt identifying her as zoo personnel. It was feeding time. My thoughts returned to the magic of it. An animal eighteen feet tall, yet so gentle that it can lovingly take food from a three-year-old’s chubby hand, make her smile and laugh, and give her the experience of a lifetime.
It was a perfect moment. A perfect day. And it reminded me how I never want to lose my love for life and knowledge, and everything that is good. That despite how hard things feel, some things in this world are just amazing, and I always want to know that sense of wonder.
May you always know it, too.
Have a gorgeous week, everyone.