Friday, June 28, 2013

Dog days of summer

Geo and Sam seize the moment.
For me, summer is the season for slowing down, relishing in the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, losing myself in novels and non-fiction alike, and reflecting on the nuances of my life.  

The season calls to me: "quiet the rumble; listen." 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Room for us all

A man with his thoughts, the Labyrinth on Bowen, 2012.
He's made room there on the bench, lest another should seek a place to sit and rest.  In truth, it's how he lives his life, creating gracious space.  It's a place where, as Rick explains, "the other person shines- a place where people are helped to know, deep in their person, that they are unique, important and loved.  It is a place where they are free to tell their story without fear of judgment; a place where the most vulnerable feel safe to grieve, to cry, to rant and to laugh out loud."

I know.  This pensive man has extended it to me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Looking back with gratitude

A mother's gaze, June 2012.
Last June I traveled to Maryland to assist my sisters in preparing our mother's home for the real estate market and to say a final farewell to her.  Saying goodbye is a simple gesture carried out by most of us on a daily basis.  But those goodbyes most often assume the very real likelihood of future hellos.  This one felt final.

After some private time in her room, we made our way to the dining room where I felt it would be easier on us both to have a task to attend to, then transition with a hug and a kiss and ...well, then I would leave.  Here she is holding a bit of soft food in her mouth, managing the milieu and her daughter with unwavering grace.  Look at her gaze, how she latches on to my face, how she leans in as if to emphasize her commitment to the moment.  I too shared that commitment; there was no where else I wanted to be.

As it turned out, we were blessed with more time together.  In January of this year, I traveled to Maryland with Josh to see Mimi and be intentional with a final goodbye.  Josh had not seen her since 2008, a lifetime ago by any number of measures, but with Alzheimer's, the changes were indeed many.  What was unchanged was their easy comfort with each other and their mutual admiration.

Head to head, without words, January 2013.

Much has unfolded since last June.  Our mother is no longer living, yet her presence is palpable.  Suffice it to say that this grieving process is ongoing and I continue
to put one foot in front of the other, and I remember.  Oh, how I remember.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Barrier or support?

"Give yourself the power to transform your experience of any unwanted condition into one with which you care to live." 

~ Ben Zander, from The Art of Possibility


Friday, June 14, 2013

From this place where I reside

"The best way to evaluate whether we are moving in the direction of greater well-being is by listening to our inner messages of comfort or distress.  Our highest evolutionary path is the one that generates the least resistance and the greatest joy."

~ David Simon, Co-founder of the Chopra Center

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Together in grief

Children of a common parentage:
 Jeffrey, Georganne, Melinda & Jennifer
Wilde Lake, Columbia, MD
June 9, 2013
There comes a time for saying goodbye.  It is a gift to be able to share it with those you love. 

"Give good gifts, one to another,
peace, joy and comfort gladly bestow,
harbor no ill 'gainst sister or brother,
ease life's journey as you onward go."

~ Shaker hymn, Give Good Gifts

Standing by.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beyond barriers

We all have them.  Some are real; some perceived.  I'm working on identifying the self-imposed ones, those barriers that keep us from going forward or pushing through to the other side.  

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." 

~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Looking back

June 1, 1980, flanked by my parents.
A lifetime ago we exchanged wedding vows in the shade of a tree, so very young were we.