My Gift

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I’ve held back my very personal life experience, but now it’s time to share.  Universal Connection is a truth — thanks to Erika Kind for that reminder.

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Mother’s Day 2015

You were my mother first — a petite, beautiful (and frightened) nineteen-year-old totally separated from your family and all that was familiar, including what to do with a baby. So I let you practice on me…how to deal with those sleepless nights and unrelenting colic, meal preparation and household duties (and unrelenting colic). And there was that new relationship of being wife to a charming, but demanding and opinionated husband (and unrelenting colicky baby). Okay, enough with the colic — it finally went away years later after Marilyn, your fifth baby, was a few months old.

What patience you had with me, reading books till I could recite them to you, paper dolls and tea parties, games, and answering my unending stream of questions — more than any three-year-old ever, you once said. Then you gifted me with a baby sister Linda, and I thought that was great, even better than the puppy Jesus I had earlier! You now got to practice your time management and prioritization with Daddy-plus-two. And as Linda grew into her own, you were exposed to a new challenge of sibling intervention and mediation. I thought I excelled at the role of surrogate “grown up”, but Linda was not so good at playing opposite my lead (even today she rejects that role)!

Then Billy (finally a boy!) entered the scene. Linda had a real sibling now who liked to have adventures, and I was free to go back to management. Daddy’s posterity was assured now, and life could just evolve for a while. Huge vistas opened when you learned to drive Daddy’s pickup truck in your mid-twenties. You could now have freedom…freedom to go to Springhill to the grocery store, to run errands for Daddy — picking up supplies for him, taking care of business for him — oh, and have chores done and supper ready. Then you could check on homework and get us to bed. But there were pole-fishing trips and country picnics to Nowhere in Particular and neighborhood visits where you took us and helped us to create memories as you mentored us to play and enjoy our kids.

Five years passed and you were getting pretty comfortable being a wife, and were a nurturing and capable mother, and you were good at playing the in-law role. Life was good, but we kids were getting so big…hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a baby?

And it was. Connie was so adorable and angelic, and she filled those long empty days while Linda, Billy, and I were gone to school. Life settled in, and we adjusted well to our new family of five.

Was it that Mother was going to run out of chances to learn and practice mothering? Was there a bulletin or a memo that went out into the ethers that the Swain family was complete and this was the final “casting call”? “Hold up! Wait for me!” and here came precious Marilyn, the perfect near-twin for Connie. Now with Daddy-plus-five, life was in high gear (it’s a good thing Daddy had all the answers to help you with all of the problems).

No non-parent can anticipate the lessons you learn from one child, so with five you were playing the lottery. You have played the parent role beautifully, and faithfully (no major time-outs, only short naps here and there along the way). You may be only four-feet-something tall on the outside, but there is an incredible eight-feet-something tall wise and beautiful spirit that emerges from the inside, occasionally tinged with fire and most often with laughter. I’m a better person because you’re my mom — The world is a better place because you’re here!

Nutsrok

1st row Kathleen Holdaway, Ellie Blizzard,Johnny Bell2nd John a0002        Kathleen Holdaway in flowered dress0002 parents wedding pic

mother  Mother in her yard

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As a Mother’s Day tribute, I am printing pictures made over the course of Mother’s life.  She is the tiny blonde child in the oldest picture and the lovely woman easily identifiable in the rest.  I can only say she is the finest woman and the best mother I have ever known.  I love you Mother.

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Butterflies Are Impossible

Many of you are familiar with lbeth’s stories and writings. Her husband Bud is evidently a ‘closet’ poet and captured these beautiful thoughts in a poignant piece that has touched my heart for many years. I first saw it as an insert for the memorial service for my teenage son, and it touched the depths of my soul.

To try to control beauty or love is to squash its very essence.

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Nutsrok – Our family’s gone live on the web!

If you love storytelling and family, check out  https://www.nutsrok.com

Tweaking the Days of the Weak

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If Sun-days are for Reflection,

What is the nature of the other days?

Introspection, Rejection, Dejection,

Interjection, Projection,

And finally Perfection!

Change Happens — Judgement is Optional

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Enlightenment is evolutionary, and my awareness is that we have to experience or dabble in many philosophies to ascend. So we’re all where we need to be – maybe there’s no urgency to push others to the consciousness level where we are. The element that is very difficult to shift out of is judgement (which is really only perception) that makes us so passionate to keep others that we love in our space.

What if? … you choose new freedom ‘out of the box’ as a gift to give  yourself, but it doesn’t fit those you love so much – at this time?

What if? …  others you love are still in chrysalis stage and you have discovered and are trying out your wings? That doesn’t diminish the truth that all are part of the butterfly clan, does it? 

So, be a bit gentler on yourself – and them —  Change happens in perfect timing!

Death Times Two

People who have not done The Journey of death of a child think that time heals and the survivors move on after the raw pain clears (a few weeks or a few months). So often there is a discomfort which causes some friends to withdraw, making the loss even harder. We need our friends, and normalcy, and to talk about our children! Loss is not contagious, and those in loss certainly do not want others to feel guilty. It isn’t time that heals (that’s just a marker), but it’s allowing ourselves to find ‘The Gifts in the Ashes’ — and we need connection.

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