Gratitude

I am so very grateful for the blessings of this past holiday.  Thanksgiving Day, my daughter and her fiancé came for dinner.  We had a lovely visit and some fun on the target range.

I am grateful for technology that allows us to video chat with our children half a world away.  We plugged the computer into the big screen TV so we could see them larger than life!  My son! A TV star!

When he was a baby and we were living in California, we could only call home once a week and write letters that required an envelope, stamp, and a few days to get to the recipient.  In his young life, how things have changed!

I am grateful for the extended visit we were blessed with by my niece and her lovely family.  The girls are wonderful!  A four year old and a 9 month old.  He was especially touched by the extraordinary affection the baby had for him.  I was able to work on some of my preschool age entertaining skills.  I am still not at full speed.  Though, I did manage to improvise a princess breakfast table for the four year old.  Served in the living room to enjoy morning cartoons, naturally.

I have plans and dreams and ideas for little girls’ play.  I do have some of the toys set up in the guest room.  I want to work on that area some more.  I sense some more furniture moving may be in order.  I keep saying I need to stop that.  My body doesn’t recover from the strain as easily as it once did.

I am grateful to be included in their lives.  Each of my children and their mates, my niece and her husband and their girls.  Grateful to be able to love and enjoy them.

A friend and I had a conversation recently about bitterness.  Most folks go through difficult times, tragic times, even.  We get to choose whether we will be bitter or not.  I could be very bitter about the things that have happened to my loved ones and the losses I have suffered.  But, I want to be happy.  I want to love and be loved.  I want laughter and fun and tenderness and joy.  I want to be part of the lives of children and old folks.   I want to pass along the resilience and good humor given me by those who taught me to not be bitter.

Life is the stuff that happens in between the troubles.  Life is not the troubles.  Get out there and live and there are bound to be troubles.  Heartache, stress, fatigue, questionable situations.  But, in between, there is magic.  Love, joy, connectedness, tender sentimental moments, lazy moments of companionship, a beautiful spot in an ordinary day.

A friend once told me she was in a doctor’s office and rushing out to her next scheduled thing.  She noticed a rose in a vase on the table.  She paused and thought about me.  She reflected that I would stop and notice the rose and comment on how lovely it was.  I hold that as one of the best compliments I have ever received.  I do try to stop and appreciate beauty.  I took one of those aptitude and interests type tests in home economics in high school. I still recall the highest value I have as indicated by the test. Beauty.  My highest value.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What the world counts as beauty may not catch my eye.  But, when the beholder sees beauty, whether in the face of a four year old when her mermaid hair is pulled away from her face for a moment or in the toothless grin of a happy baby, or in the twinkle of brown eyes so familiar and yet so treasured…………..oh how this old gal’s heart pitter patters!

Grateful for making my life simple and choosing to see the beauty. Raining Orchids.  The beauty of my simple life.  Yes, that is me.

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Sweetness

I got to see the nieces this weekend. One was celebrating her fourth birthday.  I did manage to catch her for a split second two or three times to steal a hug and kiss.  The other delight was napping when I got there.  I had to wait till Sleeping Beauty arose to get my hands on her.  And, no, I did not put her down or share her with her other relations.  I had a couple of hours to get a month’s worth of snuggles from the happiest baby on earth.  She is quieter and happier than my daughter was at that age.  That is saying volumes.  Her great-gran and I decided she knew before she was born how loud the other household members are and figured quiet patience was going to be the best course of action!

I stopped by the hospital to see my cousin. She harangued again about my writing a book. (I hope she never stops!)  I don’t have a story to tell.  Well, I don’t know if I do or not.  Certainly, I don’t envision my writing fictional work.  I hardly read fiction.  A good real life adventure story appeals to me vastly more than an imagined and improbable made up story.  Although, I have read some fiction recently.  I have a couple of new novels awaiting a lazy afternoon and a short wish list of a few more titles.  Perhaps allowing myself to relax into such leisure will inspire me to put pen to paper and work out the anecdotes in my memory and notions floating in my mind.

One real reason I put off writing is the same reason I put off reading novels and watching movies. I don’t want my tender heart to ache from things not really happening.  I fear writing will bring out all the carefully stored pain from the grief of losing my loved ones.  Things from the past.  Things not happening now. I despise feeling fear.  I know I will eventually face the fear and beat it back into the hell from which it creeps. I will write the heart ache onto paper and if the tears don’t blur the ink too greatly, I will attempt to share it with the world. If the Lord allows.

Love is the only thing that heals all things. Time is given credit for love’s work.  Time means nothing to some wounds.  Time only passes.  Love is the true healer.  After the passage of time, love comes stealing into a wounded heart.  Someone to love still holds fast.  Someone new to love enters the scene.  The wound is knit together with the bond of lasting love or a new love.  Love is not only for lovers.  It is for mothers and fathers, sons, daughters, and grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, and for friends.  Death, disease, divorce.  Destruction comes.  But, love is greater.   Love is the eternal choice.

Let me have a few someones to love, always. A baby in the mix is pure magic.  But, I will take a near half century old feller who has held fast to me these many years for the daily dose of everyday magic.  Love is what he and I have chosen for each other.  The fear will be faced and the stories written with his courage and His peace to shore me up against the tears.  Love is greater.

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