A Moment 2/6/14

A genuine moment that catches you.

The realization that in all the shenanigans of existence, you were meant to be just where you are with those that willingly share each day with you.

The space beyond the enticement of insignificant worldly creations. Even more, a moment that escapes the teasing hum of time effortlessly drifting away.

That place ~ where love alone can take you and where life alone could never fake you.

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Teaching 1/18/14

There are moments when teaching is swimming against the current during high tide.

Hands hampered by a snarl of slimy seaweed or feet tangled in some sort of unexpected, restricting debris.

Eyes searching for the beacon, the lighthouse you have faith lies within the distance, a journey worth the trials of traveling.

Against the sting of salt in the eyes or the burn of sea water invading your throat, you maintain hope that each deliberate stroke will find you closer.

Hope, for any one of your efforts, may find you near. The burn, the sting, the weight of the ocean on the recesses of your body may subside and allow a shimmer, a mere sparkle, to light.

And, alas! A single stroke may illuminate but one spark~ providing you the reserve necessary to travel the distance to the ideals of life, you have faith continues to radiate beyond. With this, each stroke, aligned with the breaths of your life, keeps within pace; eyes fixated on that glorious illuminating force~ education.

A Father of the Year

I quickly flung the small box of pads in my cart, only my eyes glancing sideways at the selection.  I rushed past the man that stood obviously perplexed in front of the vast array of feminine products.  My cart was half full of groceries and I just wanted to be done.

“Excusa me? Can you ahhh help me?”  he asked in broken English before I completely passed him.  I was rushing more so as to not embarrass him in what must have been an awkward situation.

“Ohhh…of course,” I responded.  ‘This poor guy’ I thought.

“Ahhh, yes, for my daughter.  She needs.” he continued.

“Does she need these,” I asking pointing to a box of pads, or “these?” I continued pointing to a box of tampons.

His phone rang on face time and I was able to discern a girl’s voice on the other end speaking frantically.

“Oh no, she 12 years old,” he told me as he turned the phone to let his daughter see the options.

I choose a regular pad in plastic packaging that would be appropriate for a 12-year-old and handed it to him. “These are good,” I encouraged.

“Oh no, she say a box,” he was scratching his head now and his cheeks blushed.  His daughter prompting him in the background.

I had never wanted to find a box of pads in my whole life.  This father had been standing in a Market Basket aisle for what seemed like forever for his daughter.

We searched more together, the three of us.  Suddenly, I was not in a rush anymore.

“You may want to try CVS.  They have more of a selection.”  I still waited by him in the aisle as he spoke to his daughter.  I did not want to abandon the search, but it was obvious that the “box” was not in this selection.

He struggled to communicate with me, partly from embarrassment I would imagine.  My heart was full of appreciation for the father he must be to her.  Was he a single father?  I thought of my students who had been raised by a single father and warm blood rushed to my chest.

“Here?” he asked motioning in the direction of CVS.

“Yes, right next door. I think you will find what she is looking for.” I smiled.

He thanked me but continued to stand in the aisle motionless.  I slowly walked away, glancing back at him staring blankly at packages of pads.

I hope he found what she was looking for.

 

 

 

 

Shower

As I reached to open the shower curtain, my other hand cupped my breast.  In the previous days, I had not allowed myself to investigate it.  I gingerly removed my sports bra and turned on the water. A large white bandage pressed against it contorting its natural shape. The sound of the running water comforted me as my hand fall from its protective grasp.  The memory came to as I reached to check the temperature of the water, my fingers bouncing against the stream.

“Is it gone?” I asked as soon as I gained my orientation in the recovery room.

“It is.  You did great.” my surgeon responded.

“How big was it?”

She squinted her eyes and tilted her head, “About the size of a walnut.”  She touched my arm and smiled as I struggled to keep my eyes open.  For the first time in months, I took a deep breath.  I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.

My fingers raised again to the white dressing and scraped at the edges of the tape.  ‘Be strong, Mary,’ I encouraged myself as I peeled away one strip of the tape.  An eternity seemed to pass as I considered what I might unveil.  Another strip of the tape released its grip on my skin with barely any effort.  I was able to remove the entire dressing with the next strip, but I kept my eyes lifted to the bathroom window.  It was a gorgeous spring day.

I knew I had to look down, but I needed a few moments.  I was afraid of what I might see.  With each passing moment, my appreciation for my breast resonated within me.  I suddenly dismissed its aesthetic purposes and became grateful that it had provided nourishment for my babies.  “Thank you,” I whispered as I lowered my gaze.

I stepped into the stream of warm water and lifted my face.  A warm rush soothed my chest.  I was reminded of the warm water that soothed my sore body after my deliveries, as I gingerly cleansed myself.  This shower felt much the same.  New life pulsated against my skin.

In the quiet and solitude of the shower, I discovered renewed strength and peace.  “Thank you,” I repeated as I felt for the small incision. Again, nostalgia overcame me as I stood bare and exposed.  In the sanctuary of the shower, gratitude was once again conceived and has remained with me since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration ✨

Whether you choose to evolve or stay as you are, both require the same amount of energy. The quality of the energy is the only distinction.

Are you choosing to restrain or unleash yourself in this one life you have been given? Only you can make that choice.

Sapling

As if offering to the world a tender sapling, yet its roots were so lovingly planted some time ago.

Entrusting an expansive forest with its potential; a mighty oak is nourished within, this I have come to know.

But for now, its delicate branches sway to the will of the forest, it just may be so.

Yet, it is the life blood of the universe; to the sky it will someday surely grow.

MOM

Trails of steam rose from the tea pot, “Would you like honey?” she asked.

“No… thanks.  Sugar.  I’ll do it Ma,” I replied absentmindedly as I rose from my seat.

The sun streamed in through the bay windows of my childhood home.  From my seat, I was able to catch glimpses of  Brooke and J.T. as they tossed a football in the backyard.

“Everything is always better after a cup of tea,” I could almost hear my Memere comment.  Although she had been gone many years, I could still hear her gentle voice echoing.

With each cup of tea that I shared with my mother, another gem of wisdom could be gleamed.  Often, I would have a few quiet moments with my mother before everyone arrived for our midweek gathering over dinner.  Reflecting now, I can appreciate this time as a gift that is still partially unwrapped.

“You know, Maary, until Sean got sick, I really believed that nothing bad could happen,” she offered to me after her first sip of tea.

She paused, adjusted her seat and glanced out at the traffic spinning around the rotary.

I lifted my gaze from the sugar bowl and looked at her in silence, gently biting my lower lip.  I gave her space. Silence is filled with so many answers.

My mother, my mother; never one to wallow in self-pity.

My mother; resilient, with her youthful spirit marveling at the simplest delights.  A stone, a shell, a tree; all reason to stop and enjoy.

My mother; never once have did I witness her act ugly or bitter despite the trials she had to face.

Yet, my mother; fierce and determined when needed.

When faced with the idiotic threat of losing custody of her six children, she entered law school in her forties stating simply, “I will never allow someone to cause me to feel that vulnerable again.”

“It is true, Maary,” she furthered lowering her cup.  “Wasn’t I lucky!”  she smiled, her baby blue eyes squinting.

“Oh, Ma.” I sensed the weight of her words.  This would be a realization she would repeat to me time and time again.  I loved her so much each time she shared this with me  because I understood the message behind her words.

“You know, when he was a baby I would walk him in his stroller all around our Vermont neighborhood.  On his first day of kindergarten, I had to close the front door on him because he would not get on the bus.  Oh…I feel so bad about that.” Her smile disappeared and she took another sip of tea.

As a mother now, I sensed the piece of her heart that broke when the reality of his disease visited her.  The collage of moments that she tried to knit together to understand his disease.  She never once hesitated to embrace the son he now was, beyond the delusions and hallucinations that taunted him.

Brooke and J.T. burst in the back door, football still in tow. “Memere!” they screeched in unison. “Can you take us to the park?”

“Oh, give me just a second,” she replied jumping up from her seat and her cup of tea that was still hot.

Within moments, she was ready for her “adventure” with them.  Calling up the stairs, “Phil, I am going for a walk with the kids.  Be back in a bit.”

“You coming too Maary?”  she pleaded, her voice brimming with anticipation.

And, there it was. My mother’s innate ability to reset and savor the moments she was given.  How could I not go on this adventure with her?  I had all my life, quietly following her lead without completely comprehending the power of her example.

Wasn’t I lucky?