Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beyond hello

It's been 34 years since we had a conversation, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that our recent attempts have been both awkward and intimate.  I have questions.  Some are about the nuances of his life.  Others are focused on what we had, what we relinquished, and what, if anything, we've learned in the process of looking back.  

There is a path I walk.  It is the place I put one foot in front of the other and repeat the process over and over.  It is where I reside; I call it my life.  It is where I stand still and where I reserve the right to look back at where I've been or ahead to where I'm going.  There are choices involved.  

One never truly knows how a single act can shift the course of another.  Though I strive to be mindful of that, I am reminded how very fragile that thread of intention can be.  My friend Jan once wrote, "Courage, intelligence and love can help any situation and are never out of place."  

Once again, I see that truth made manifest. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Between friends

Jenny & Beth: still at it after 43 years!
We met in 1969 as feisty teens in our newly acquired hometown of Columbia, MD.  She, a transplant from Yellow Springs, OH; me, a new arrival from Etters, PA.  

Today we reunited for lunch and conversation in La Conner amid a spring hailstorm.  

What I really want to say is this.  Nurture your relationships. Stay the course.  Listen to one another's stories.  And keep the flame of love lit.

One foot in front of the other

"Nothing in life should simply be a passage from one place to another.  Each walk should be taken as if it is the only thing you have left."

from Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The work of hands

Sunlight, soil, water.  Air enough.  And tenderness, too.  
      Yet now I know 
   it is the willingness to drop on bended knee--
    to reach down with both hands
       and dig a hole, 
     to lift out handfuls of damp earth--
that allows us to begin 
the sacred work of growing.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

The designer at work

Sunset, March 15, 2013.
Still a master with color and texture; that's our mother, yes it is.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Of dusk and of grief

The setting sun, like a ball of fire,
 on my mother's final day.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,
'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky;
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Fare thee well, precious mother.  Go in peace.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The slow dimming of a remarkable life

Mimi at sunset.
My mother is nearing the end of a long and fruitful life and I shall miss her dearly.  Godspeed Mimi!

Peace like a river.  May it carry you home.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

United in advocacy

Three generations spin a memory, August 2008.
It seems every culture and era has its favorite words or phrases, and many of us have particular words or expressions we use with greater frequency, words that succinctly express our position, focus or philosophy.  NPR did a recent piece on the word 'literally', exploring our cultural misuse and overuse of the word.  This past week my catchword was advocacy.

My mother's declining health and inability to express herself with words surely speaks to the critical importance of advocacy, and fortunately, she has the finest advocate on hand in her youngest daughter, Mindy.  Mindy's level head, superior intuition, and open heart lead her actions and provide exactly what our dear mother needs.  What a beauitful example of compassion in action.

Thank you, Mindy, for your wisdom, willingness and steadfast advocacy.  We stand with you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Money matters of the finest kind

Most of us have, at some point in time, gotten a freebie, some sort of unexpected blessing.  The most memorable one I ever scored was back in the 60s-- until today.  

Sitting in the carwash queue, I noticed the attendant on duty was distracted by an issue with the truck just ahead of me.  He began spraying down my car and never came to the window to ask what I wanted and take my money.  My car lurched forward with my bill still in hand.

You're wondering if I simply accepted the free car wash, right?  Trust me; I considered it briefly, but nah, it just didn't set right with me.  I went inside the gas station, told the clerk what happened, and she rewarded my honesty with a free car wash.  In fact, she gave me two!  Man, I'm on a roll here, folks.

Two hours later, I'm down in Ballard dropping off our tax papers and was delighted to score an unexpected parking space on the busy street by Lee's office.  I opened the car door, stepped out, and found a faded $10 bill folded in half on the grass.  Eureka!  What next?

It's dinner-time, but the day feels young and the possibilities endless!