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Archive for the ‘Love and loss’ Category

Note: I wrote this blog nearly a month ago and am just now getting around to posting it because a good friend has been asking for it for ages and I thought she could use a small pick-me-up. This one’s for you, Liz…

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Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

This winter has been one full of challenges, stresses, adaptation, loss, learning, sickness, and love. Yes, love. Without it, I’m not sure I would’ve come out as relatively unscathed on this end.

This winter, New England received more snow than it had in years. It was blizzard after blizzard. It was cold and unrelenting. Even worse, my body appeared to be taking lessons.

One thing that I’ve always prided myself on is being able to rise from just about anything and everything stronger and smiling. After December, I was petering on the edge, still smiling, but straining and struggling not to lose myself. But after the second month of medical hell, I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t going to rise.

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People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
-Mother Theresa

Sometimes I can find no words for what’s going on in the world around me. For what’s happening to those I love. For the pain and hurt I see. My solution? I steal words.

Mother Theresa is one of my favorite sources. She finds the words that my heart wants to say but is too distraught, too lost to find.

When I am hurt or see a loved one in pain, my first instinct is to pull it all back, to retreat. I often describe myself as being as vulnerable as a sea cucumber. I’m sensitive and out in the open. My only defense is looking pathetic and harmless enough that no one would want to harm me. (I mean, seriously, have you ever seen a sea cucumber?) But that’s not the answer.

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“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal!” – Mark Timothy Allen

While saying goodbye to my uncle, he held me tight. Although he had just lost his husband (my uncle Mark), Jeff touched me by his words: “Since last Tuesday, I’ve been trying really hard to find the little blessings in life.”

I think that’s important. Sometimes, we get caught up in the pains – both small and large – in life. They’re probably more memorable. After all, how frequently do we overlook things like having dinner with a friend, hugging goodbye, or receiving an “I love you” from a loved one? Especially when they’re overshadowed by crummy bosses, viruses, and inadequate income. What if that was your last dinner, your last hug, your last “I love you”?

My uncle told us that one of his “little blessings” was having Keith and me out from Boston. And our little blessing was being able to be there for loved ones who were in pain. Before I was reminded of this blessing, it was overshadowed by loss, pain, and stress of travel. See? It’s easy for these blessings to be obscured.

So I dug deep and found some wonderful “little blessings” from the past week:

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