Proof

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So, now there is scientific evidence that going to the beach is good for you.  Researchers say it helps cure depression, boosts creativity, and reduces stress.  Duh!

In his Easter sermon, Pastor Steve was asking folks to try to think of their best day ever.  Closing my eyes, per his request, and thinking, of course I thought of the days when my kids were born, when I got married.  But when I thought of my best regular days, I thought of the beach: the lake, the ocean, the sun, sand and water.  It is where I feel relaxed, peaceful, and happy.  It is where I feel joy.

I know, of course, that those are days when I am not working, or doing laundry or scrubbing toilets.  I wonder, though, if I could work, launder, scrub, and then be close enough to go for a stroll, to sit and soak in the sun and feel the rhythm of the water, I wonder if I would feel less stress and more contentment.

I want to find out.

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Almost Home

    Almost Home (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

I saw my life this morning
Lying at the bottom of a drawer
All this stuff I’m saving
God knows what this junk is for
And whatever I believed in
This is all I have to show
What the hell were all reasons
For holding on for such dear life
Here’s where I let go
I’m not running
I’m not hiding
I’m not reaching
I’m just resting in the arms of the great wide open
Gonna pull my soul in
And I’m almost home
I saw you this morning
You were looking straight at me
From an ancient photograph
Stuck between letters and some keys
I was lost just for a moment
In the ache of old goodbyes
Sometimes all that we can know is
There’s no such thing as no regrets
Baby it’s all right
I’m not running
I’m not hiding…

Right now this song speaks to me.  I’ve played it so many times Maggie rolls her eyes when she hears it.  But it soothes my heart. I wonder, what am I holding onto?  Why do I cling to what I’ve always known and treasured instead of moving toward something else?  Maybe even something better.

Listen.  It is quiet.  It is still.  I am not running, hiding, reaching.  I am learning to hear what is in the silence, to embrace all the empty spaces and not rush to fill them.  I have regrets, I’ve said good-byes – too many – and it is all right.  I’m all right.  I’m letting go.  I’m almost home.

 

 

Conversation

alzheirmer's picture

“What’s the name of that lady?”

“What lady?”

“The one with the horse farm?”

“Linda?”

“NO!”

“The one across from the old house?”

“NO!”

“The one from Senator Bell farm?”

“NO!”

She’s exasperated and I want to help and I am so tempted to just say, “I know who you mean.” But then if there’s a follow up question about the lady will I know the answer?  Will she know if I make it up?  What if she does and it makes it worse?  What do I do! These conversations are frequent and frustrating… and other F words come to mind.

Finally, she is able to grab onto the name and spit it out.  “Beth!  Beth is the one I mean.”

“Okay, yes.”  Beth doesn’t own a horse farm, but that isn’t really the point, is it. “I know Beth.”

Long pause.  Giant sigh.  “What was I going to say about Beth?” she asks.

I hate Alzheimer’s.

Peel your own orange

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My kids speak fluent sarcasm and I love this about them.  I love that I can joke with them and they get it.  The other morning they were getting ready for school, making their breakfast and packing lunches.  Sam told me he wanted a ham and cheese sandwich and Moira retorted, “Have fun making it!”  She was making her own roast beef sandwich.  About this time, Maggie wandered into the kitchen asking for a bagel with cream cheese.  “Bagels on the counter, cream cheese in the fridge,” I told her, as I sat at the counter and sipped my coffee.

Sam says, “You know mom, some parents actually make their kids’ breakfast and pack their lunches.”  Sarcasm.  Told you – they speak it.  “Yes, I’ve heard that,” I answered, not getting up.

“So why don’t you?” he asked.

“Because mom wants you to be independent,” Moira answered for me.  “So when you get to college you won’t starve!”

“Sure, that’s it,” I said.  “Why else?”  I wondered.  I wasn’t asking so much as thinking out loud.  Most of my parenting is gut-reaction.  Then, later, I might go back and reflect.

“I heard a story about a kid who was 9 and didn’t know how to peel an orange,” Moira said.  “His mom always peeled it and packed it in his lunch and then one day it wasn’t peeled and he didn’t know how and asked his teacher.”

Maggie giggled.  “I can peel my own oranges.  I’ve done it since I was like, 3!”

They all thought not knowing how to peel an orange was funny.  Meanwhile, I’d had either too much or not enough coffee and was thinking deep thoughts for so early in the morning.

“Yes, but that’s the point.  I want you to always peel your own orange, or at least know how!   I also don’t want you to think you need someone to do things for you all the time.  Somebody feed me, somebody wash my clothes, somebody do my work…  If you are hungry, get some food.  If your clothes need to be cleaned, wash them.  If there’s work to be done, do it!  You can depend on yourself.”

“So,” Sam says, “You’re saying that you’re sitting there drinking coffee while we pack our own lunches and get our own breakfast because you are a good parent?”  He grins that wonderful grin of his.

“Exactly!”  I answer.

“Or you could just be lazy,” he says.

“Or it could be both,” I reply, and wink at him.  The kids all laugh and I pour more coffee and watch my independent, smart, sarcastic kids and I feel quite cheerful for so early in the morning.