Month: December 2015

Ode to Maudy

Ode to Maudy
Flowers

When we first met, I brought you flowers.  I was trying to make a good impression.  Who knew that it was the first and last time I would see you laughing and talking normally before a dreaded stroke would hit on Valentine’s Day 2007?  Looking back, I wish that I had spent a little more time and had asked you more things, but my relationship with Eddy was brand new.  I met him face-to-face the first time I met you.  I was so caught up in meeting Eddy and making a good impression on him (it worked by the way) that I didn’t realize our time was so short.
In a way, you truly brought us together.  After your stroke I came out much more often, fixing meals for your family, being there for Eddy, even making you bread pudding when you were still recovering in the rehab facility.  
When Carl died, Eddy moved in with you and in a lot of ways simply picked up where Carl left off.  He took on the responsibilities of changing the timer on the sprinklers, being home for dinner or picking something up to eat, putting gas in your car, emptying the dishwasher.  I know you must have been so grateful to have him with you to help you grieve through your loss.
And then I came into the picture and mucked it all up.  Eddy took me to Cambria for a weekend get-away and proposed.  I think that completely cemented your dislike for me at the time.  You had already lost Carl, you had suffered a stroke, and now I was taking your Eddy away.  It was like losing Carl all over again.  
For a long time I felt a certain resentment from you, but over time it magically melted away.  We started to enjoy each other’s company.  I loved to make you laugh and I loved to laugh when you brought up particularly embarrassing stories of Eddy or you simply cursed out loud because you could.
The last couple of years before you passed away I enjoyed our monthly day visits.  We would pick a day that I would come and do whatever you wanted to do.  Sometimes it involved doctor’s visits and sometimes just errands to this store or that, but it always included lunch.  I enjoyed using the handicapped placard – what a bonus for parking!
I am a doer and the hardest thing to do was come visit you in the hospital and be completely helpless.  Helpless to help you, helpless to console your family.  It was awful!  Just give me a task, a chore, anything!  I will make it happen!  How hard it was to fluctuate between hope of you getting well and the bad news of imminent death.
It’s been almost two years since you passed and I realize that I need to thank you personally for a few things.  First and foremost, thank you for raising such a great man in your son.  I love him with all my heart and am so blessed to have him in my life.  Much more materialistic – thank you for introducing me to Brighton!  Well, technically I suppose you introduced Eddy who introduced me, but you still get the credit.  Thank you for instilling in your little family the importance of family.  They were and still are completely dedicated to you.  You done did good.
As I sit here and write this, I am looking at a small bouquet of dried flowers from your funeral.  It’s today that I realized that the first and last moments of you for me started and ended with flowers.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “the earth laughs in flowers”.  I will continue to see you laughing (with all of your own teeth as you so proudly declared) in all the flowers I see.



Anticipation

Anticipation
The Gift IS The Anticipation
     As I have mentioned numerous times before, I am a complete movie nerd.  I’m not good at movie trivia or remembering actors or actresses names or what year this or that movie came out, but I can watch them until the cows come home (and secretly I hope they don’t!).  The movie industry has me hooked with anticipation

     In my phone is a list called “Movie Fun”.  At the top of the list are movies coming out that I want to see.  I’ve seen the trailer, loved it, and it goes on my list along with the day it hits theaters.  Next comes the movies on my wishlist for my home library.  If the movie isn’t out on DVD quite yet, the day it does come out is listed right next to it with eager anticipation!

     What is it about anticipation that gets us hooked?  The excitement leading up to our birthdays.  The eve of holidays, especially Christmas.  The sequel to your favorite book or movie.  The sequel to your favorite television series (even if it’s Lost and the ending really didn’t tie up all the loose ends that they had promised).

     The more I thought about anticipation, the more I realized that it is almost more exciting then the actual event.  Anticipation is powerful.  Inevitably, the actual event is much shorter than any waiting I did leading up to it.  I literally have a movie on my list right now that doesn’t come out until Summer 2016 and it’s already been on there a couple of months!  That is a HUGE anticipation period considering the movie will be less than two hours.


I’m spending weeks preparing for Christmas.  Even if I counted the full 24 hours of that day instead of the 16 or so hours I will actually be awake, it’s a lot of prep time in comparison to the actual celebration.

If all of what I said holds true, then the excitement of anticipation is our journey.  
Let me explain.  What are you working towards right now?  Big or small?  My current journey is of being a rockstar podcaster.  I can see it as if it were a trailer to my own podcasting movie.  
I picture myself talking with the people who have already agreed to be on my podcast.  
I picture my office all set up how I have planned                                                                                     and sponsors knocking down the door to have                                                                                         their message on my show.

     What is your current journey that fills you with anticipation?  Are you embracing your journey towards your ultimate goal?  What is your ultimate goal?  How far away is it?  Can you see it as a trailer in your mind of your own movie?  

     The journey can require hard work.  Learn to love this work.  It is our anticipation journey to be embraced, loved, smiled at.  I believe anticipation is the motivating factor for me trying so many things in my life.  I have been and done so many awesome things.  It has been an incredible journey and I can hardly wait to see what’s around the corner for me.  I can hardly wait to see where your journey takes you.


     May your journey be filled with the anticipation of a future rockstar.  Enjoy the anticipation, set a goal to achieve, start your anticipation journey now.  May it be a healthy, happy road less travelled.

Letter Therapy

Letter Therapy
Writing for Sanity
     With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been seeing lots of family.  There have been good visits and bad visits, good food and bad food, smiles and frowns, good movies and bad movies.  I really like to focus on the positive, good moments as this is the purpose of this blog, after all.

     Inevitably, there will be bad moments mixed in.  While this blog is focusing on the positive it doesn’t mean that we don’t experience rough times.  It is finding the positivity in those times that is essential to our sanity and well-being.



     Which brings me to my topic of “Letter Therapy”.  While I was cooking my pumpkin bread pudding I burned my forefinger on the rack in the oven.  It left a line that ran knuckle to knuckle across the top of my finger and hurt when I got water on it while doing dishes or washing my hands.  It was painful, but I knew that it would heal.  In fact, as I write this it is almost completely healed.

     Our Thanksgiving dinner was perfect, but that evening our family had a huge blow-out stemmed from miscommunication that had everyone up in arms.  Feelings got hurt, words tossed around, and arguments ensued.  It was painful, and even now I’m not sure if this particular wound will heal anywhere as fast as my poor finger.  But it hurts in the moment.  It hurts even days later.

     Sometimes it just isn’t possible to talk to get things resolved right away.  Enter “Letter Therapy”.  As per usual, there is a lot of hashing and re-hashing of the moment it went wrong and dissecting every word, every movement, every action.  At some point, if it can’t be immediately resolved, there needs to be a purging of it from your system.



     I decided to write a letter that I would never send.  I started by clarifying what I felt had happened.  I admitted any fault that was mine and apologized for my part in the situation.  I then ranted and raved a bit about how much I hated the situation and that I couldn’t believe it had been so misconstrued and had gone so wrong.  I may have even thrown in a couple of curse words just for good measure.

     I wrote the letter in an evening.  Re-read it in the morning and then let my hubby read it.  It reminded me of the 4th step in a 12-Step Program.  The 4th steps requires you to make a fearless moral inventory while the 5th step is to share it with someone and then burn the list.  I wrote everything down, shared it, and now have let it go.

     I will be the first to admit that it’s not as if it doesn’t hurt anymore or that the problem is gone, but it does give me the freedom to get it out of my system so that the re-living of the moment can stop.  It hasn’t resolved the issue as yet, but it let’s me move on with my life with a cleansing that is ever so helpful.  I believe it is better to try some “Letter Therapy” than point fingers and play the blame game in your head until it is debilitating and is affecting other areas in your life.

     I wish you only the best this holiday season!  If you happen to run into some trouble that cannot be immediately resolved, try some “Letter Therapy” and move on.  Things will work out in the end, but if the end is nowhere in sight, this is a great alternative until your path leads you to a better solution.
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