A Weekend of Orchids

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent time with my aunt and my beloved cousin working on a special project.  How wonderful it was to have time with my cousin not sitting at the side of her hospital bed.  She is the toughest, frailest woman I know and I love her dearly.

I spent time with him.  We traveled to my niece’s home to attend her little girl’s first birthday party.  Our littlest great-niece holds his heart in her little hand.  He adores her and she adores him.  We went early to get some special time with the family.

We were able to help my niece and her husband get things together for the party.  I love the two of them so much.  She was the first child in her generation and I was still at home when she came along.  She was my first baby to love.  Her husband is such a loving, dear man.  He is precious and funny and I am always glad to see him.

The day also brought a moment or two to hug my brother and my wonderful sister-in-law.  My nephew and his sweet wife were there with their charming little boys.  It was great to see them!

Sunday morning brought a surprise to my door.  One of our “like family” friends came to visit.  We were expecting him and thought his wife was coming.  Instead he brought his mother.  She and my mother were best friends growing up.  It was wonderful to spend time with the two of them.  Our visits are usually as part of a large, loud crowd when we all gather.

We don’t all gather nearly often enough.  Mother had us all together three or four times a year and smaller groups rounded up in between those times.  Daddy was either on the ship or didn’t mind when he was home or didn’t say if he did mind.

I will not dwell on that.  We have plans in the works to gather some more.  I have a milestone birthday coming in the summer.  Time for a big party!  Meanwhile,  some smaller gatherings……….perhaps not so far away from Mother’s way afterall.

A note about the photograph.  It is a camping spot we used often and referred to as “the point”.  It is a short walk from my home and is full of memories for the people who loved my mother and her gatherings.  The park is only open for pedestrian day visitors now.  But, there are many ghosts of memories………..

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In the way of living

How often I have let life get in the way of living….too often I don’t make the plans I should make to create the life and legacy I want to have.

This weekly confessional has done more to get me going in the right direction than I ever could have imagined.  Especially, since it isn’t the type of blog I intended.  But, it is what is has become.  A telling of the days passing.

For this evening, I had forgotten it was Monday, I suppose.  He reminded me I needed to write.  Suddenly I was flooded with things to consider.

I wanted to write about my friend losing her mother the other day.  The funeral is upcoming.

I wanted to write about how wonderful the sound of my brother’s voice is on the other end of the phone line.

I wanted to write about the thrill of getting a text from my son asking a simple question.  Just seeing his name on my phone…..

I wanted to write about coordinating Christmas gift buying over the phone with my daughter and her beloved.

I wanted to write about missing the deer stand.  Haven’t made it to the woods in weeks.

I wanted to write about the unexpected places and circumstances that create treasured relationships.

I wanted to explain why I want to live to be an old woman who is vibrant and healthy and self-reliant.

So, here goes the “reader’s digest” version of what should be many different posts.

I hated hearing my friend express regret.  Feeling she didn’t do enough to take care of her mother.  Been in that exact place myself.  I just had to forgive myself and give myself compassion.

I loved discussing with my brother how to manage a salt-free turkey breast for a dear aunt’s dietary needs.  Sharing a suggestion for seasoning it.  Hearing his plans. Looking forward to seeing him in a few days.  Trying to not consider how long it has been since we were together.

I believe my son is way more awesome than a rock star.  He is awesome coolness to the max!  The life he is leading is proof that I have done something right in my life.  Of course, I did not do it alone.  But, nevertheless, I take credit for what part I did play in his upbringing.

I know my daughter is the most perfect woman on the planet. Ever. And, I believe her honey knows it, too.  She is another proof of my personal success in my most important job ever:  being a mother.  My parenting partners and I did a great job with both of them.  He and I give praise and gratitude to Him.

I have needed to do some things instead of sitting in the deer stand.  At least, it seemed they were important at the time.  And, of course, some were.  At least one time, it was just too cold for me to deal with that morning.

I have a friend at work.  She challenges me to reach out of my safety zone and ask for the things I need that I can’t do for myself and also to give myself the care I should for my own sake.  She listens deeply to what I am saying and helps me hear myself.

I want to live to be an old woman, fully capable of taking care of myself and my family. I am living a long life without my mother. I want to be strong and well, though.  Not disabled and in need of care, but giving care and love and support and pots of chicken and dumplin’s.  Holding hands and catching tears as my loved ones go through the trials and the joys of this life.  I have learned how to grieve.  I will grieve again.  There are some I hope and pray never to grieve.  But, I want their grief for me to be brief and full of gladness.

Another fifty years or so should suffice.  As long as there are elders to uplift and children to tend, I will have a purpose for which to get up each morning.  And there is always him.  Needful of my care and attention.  And pots of chicken and dumplin’s.

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