Difficult Times

The past few weeks have been trying. Several areas of my life have been in turmoil.  I came home early from the 9 to 5 Monday.  I couldn’t stop crying.

I did what was needed to manage the situation. A little dinner, a little nap, a lot of Scripture and prayer. By the evening, I was better. Drained, but better.

Tuesday was better and today is going fine. Tomorrow is Friday Eve.  So all is well.

The weekend holds promise for a blessed time with the clowns…I mean the girls. Our party theme is clowns and our menu is salads.  I am going retro with a Jell-O molded shrimp salad.  I was thinking maybe my aunt’s Southwestern Salad would be a good one, too.

I should not have been so down after Saturday’s adventures. Fishing, breakfast at the lake, a nap, a buggy ride at the lease.  He and I had a great day.  I was feeling ill on and off all day Saturday, though.  I still don’t know if I was stressed and depressed or fighting a real illness.  That is the thing about the depression. It simulates the symptoms of a cold or the early stages of the flu.  Body aches, fatigue, fuzzy head.  I usually manage the thoughts and feelings pretty well.  Especially the thoughts.  The feelings and the body symptoms are the difficult part to manage.

A lot of prayer, some rest, some talking to golden friends, his nurturing love, His nurturing Love, all worked together to put me on track.

The cherry on top was a short video of a high-kicker from Cali! That made everything grand, again! Funny how grands will do that!

I cannot overstate how grateful I am for the healing I have experienced the past few years. Recovering from the devastating grief our family has suffered has been a slow process.  I still reel from it if I let myself think too much about who is missing in our lives.  But, the future is full of hope.  The future is full of beauty.  The future is full of love.  All the love from all the past loved ones will continue into the future through our generation to the next.

I recently read a book that asked what I would want to be remembered for at my passing. I hope I am remembered for believing in love and the power it holds to restore and renew and prosper the mind, heart and spirit.

My political statement: His Love Matters.

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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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