Sunday, May 10, 2020

For moms everywhere

If you don't have a mother, I would stand in. 

If you don't have a child, I would understand. 

If you are a child, know that you are loved. 

If you are a daddy mom, know that you are admired. 

If you are a mother, you know the depth of love. 

If you are a grandma, then, of course, you understand. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are blessed to have a mom, blessed to remember a mom's love, blessed to be a parent, and most of all, blessed to have know what it was like to be in your mother's arms. 

Happy Mother's Day with love.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Refer to the example

Example. What a wonderful word! What an awful word! Yes indeed, one of those words with a double blade, depending on the portrayer of said example.

The English language is indeed such an example. We have so many words that mean many different things but are the same: to, too, two. You know what I mean. The confusion of words and meanings must seem impossible for those who do not understand this mishmash language. But for now, 'example' is my word.

From early school days, we know what an example means. Examples are shown in our workbooks and on the blackboard. Examples show us how to do something. They are actions as well as words.... actions as well as words.

Examples. Hm. Right now we are seeing examples. There are two sides to this issue of isolation. I am on the side of caution. There are those on the side of pushing the envelope. However, this is not the issue in this little bunch of words. The issue is how we show what we feel. You and I know that we are examples.

For the last few days, the twins (age almost 8) stayed with us. We have been back and forth for the entire isolation period, knowing that none of the two households are in contact with anyone else. We have practiced distancing and are teaching the children the same. I am amazed at how two eight-year-olds are handling the entire thing. Yes, it is by example.

I am on Facebook and see posts from people raging that they cannot get free being isolated and also those posting fake news on almost anything to reinforce what they want to believe (be it real or not). Examples. Our family is really good at research. We are also pretty good at listening to different views. Perhaps the biggest take away from this is that we allow for change and growth. There is an isolation that happens when we only take in what reinforces what we wish to believe.

I find the people I learn the most from are my grandchildren. They all have a different view of life from ages 21, 18 and two at 8. Their histories are limited, but their views on life are limitless. The simplicity of the youngers' thoughts often blows me away as they did when the girls were young. There is a purity in youth that cuts to the chase. They are examples of possibilities.

So what is taught in the home is taught by example. Raised in a home of yelling and closed-mindedness only feeds the youth who innocently listen. The cycle just repeats over and over again. Can it change?

I was in a rocky first marriage. Having married young enough and in the Bible belt, I was raised that the man ruled the house. A woman had her place in the home. In the home. Children were told to be quiet and have no opinions. What happened in the home stayed in the home. Yes, it was an unhappy marriage. When my husband came home from work, the children were bathed clean and ready to greet Daddy with open arms. The house was clean, the wife was humble and dinner was on the table. It was in all its perfection truly flawed. When another woman came into the picture, I realized that I had lived my life for him and not for me and my children. So I grabbed hold of a life I gave up when I was a young bride and reveled in the freedom. I dropped everything to play with my children and to get to know them better. I tossed out my past of a male glorified world and found out that the examples I had followed were seriously flawed. I loved myself and my life. My ex told me that he didn't like the new me. Hm. He didn't like the old one either. But I had donned the example I wanted my children to know.

Example. I have worn this new me for most of my adult life. It is a 'me' who has changed numerous times and one who has been added too as well. I had to define what my example would be and then pass it on to those I love, allowing them to know their example was sometimes flawed as well as able to grow and change.

Example. We all need to ask ourselves which type of example we want to be. We have no choice whether or not to be an example, because we just are.

Food for thought from an isolated woman making the most of the time.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Love letters

Love letters. Today I wrote love letters to my granddaughters. Sydney is a junior in college. Gabby is a senior in high school. They know I love them.

Love letters. As a grandmom, this isolation has pointed out the years of my life I have lead and those that I hope will continue. A year ago I began copying posts from Facebook that I had written about my family into a document called For My Family. I am on the second document now full of laughter and the simple actions of living life. I also have another page started with feelings, my feeling. It is called Who I Am.

As we age, we realize all the things we did not ask our parents and that other generation. It is important to me that my family has those answers and perhaps be surprised at the captured memories I treasure. For those children too young to keep these memories, I will paint them a picture of their Grammy, their MeMe. This I can give to them. This I can give to me.

This morning I was contemplating what to do for my younger granddaughter who is missing her graduation and prom. She may even start college from home. My heart aches for her. My other granddaughter came home before college kids were told to bring home all their items. Her clothes and other necessities are still in an apartment two hours away. Both of them have no summer jobs to help pay for their educations. So I decided to write letters to them. They are on my mind.

I miss those days when the girls were young. We had tea parties and got into all sorts of trouble, laughing and playing all the time. Our family experienced a difficult time years ago with relationships changed. At one time I saw the girls every day. After this time, I saw them on rare occasions. I know from my own experience that unless a memory is shaken loose, it lies dormant. Maybe dormant for a lifetime. I don't want the girls to forget. I don't want to be that person they didn't know that well. So, yes, I have to give up a little of myself to be as real as I possibly can, so they know me. Perhaps this isolation has shaken loose parts of me that might not have surfaced otherwise.

Love letters. I have the love letters between my parents when they were dating, but I have no love letters from them to me. For all the years I lived with my parents, I knew so little about them, about who they were, about their views, their pain, their joy, their past. Love letters. They are important. This is mine to you.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Love in a grocery bag

In our lifetimes could we ever have imagined this suffering of humanity and the feel of isolation? In many ways, I feel we are better off than most since we are retired. Yet it really isn't easier, is it?

I decided when I first had children that I would live nearby at least one of them even if it meant moving across the country. My kids were raised with extended family a couple thousand miles away. I did not want that for them. Hence, we live near all of my grandchildren which has been wonderful. Now we live close, but still, it seems so far. They come by stopping by at a distance; I just want to touch them, hug them. So close but yet so far.

This is the end of the world as we knew it. Lessons are being learned in the most difficult way. Indeed we are learning new ways of living. Obtaining food has taken on a variety of methods. My son insisted that he shop for us. Feeling guilty, we decided to do 'pick-up' shopping. This failed drastically when pick-up times stretched to more than two hours after the scheduled time. We were going to go to the store ourselves, but I met with the wrath of my son. He doesn't want to take chances with his old mom. Now we are back to my son shopping for us.

It is nice to be loved so deeply. Perhaps all of this is making our loved ones more aware of this tentative life we live and the possibility of losing loved an older generation.

In the future, more and more people might work from home. Large audience events will be handled differently. Our children might even have a different type of education. It will all change.

My sister June equates it to the Depression that our parents went through. It certainly changed their lives. And, in the long run, it affected ours as well.

We must all pull together putting aside our own wishes in order that this will turn around. Please be safe and be smart.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Eggs in a basket

Just like the colors of those dyed eggs in the basket: Red and yellow, black and white, all are equally gorgeous in his sight.

Easter is tomorrow. A time of family and remembering the gift of unwavering love. Our present situation has definitely made life more complicated. But my faith has no boundaries. And it seems that neither does that of the grandchildren.

Me: Honey, I'm sorry we won't be able to have Easter with you on Sunday.
Emma: It's okay, MeMe. The Easter Bunny can still come.

May we always accept the love of God as innocently as those things seen through the eyes of a child. Unsee but absolute.

Happy Easter to you and your loved ones.











Thursday, March 26, 2020

Corona Virus togetherness

So we thought retirement might be hard with that other person home all day long. Oh, my.

I was alone for twenty-five years before I married again at 71. My life was all tucked in around me with no one to consider. I had my own bad habits and really didn't need anyone else's. It is difficult to be with someone 24/7.

With those of you having a retired spouse at home, I can only imagine the changes you have had to make in your daily life. But we do have an advantage over these couples now isolated together. And, for many not only is the spouse at home, but the house is resounding with the noises of bored children.

What do we do with all this togetherness? Even though we were retired, I find myself climbing the walls. I miss my weekly grandkid fix and miss my furry granddog. I miss hanging out with my good friend JoAnne. I feel that urge to escape then reel myself back once more, trying to harness this need to be with people.

There are things I can do, but I find myself weighed down with the immensity of what is happening in the world. We have depression waiting to latch on and keep us even more isolated. Well, that's not going to happen! Not to me. Not to you.

Now is the time to learn from one another. It is the time to care about the world barely noticed before. It is time to grow in faith and possibilities. Time to find out what you are made of.

First, we need to be smart. Our desires are secondary at this point. There are people putting their lives in danger for the masses. If they can do that, we can certainly pull ourselves up and be strong for those around us. We have computers to keep us in touch. So use it! Skype and FaceTime. Write letters to your family even though they live nearby. Keep a diary about your life. Write of your youth, your love of family, your hopes and dreams. There are stories all around you. Write a personal, Messenger note to each of your FB friends. Let them know that you are truly thinking of them.

This is a time of opportunity. It is a lesson in living. In living with others. For me, it is a good time to work on myself. Yep, I am full of flaws. So what better time to work on me. Remember to listen to one another, not just nod your head or grunt in reply. We are literally in this together.

I ask you to make memories with those in your household. Play games, talk, create, learn something new together. Perhaps this is the beginning of beginnings. Be safe. I send you my love.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

I will make do

As kids, we made do with what we had for entertainment. We used tobacco lath for horses, burlap bags for everything from costumes to doll bedding, bales of straw for forts and corncribs for playhouses. With friends, we put on plays, searched the creek bed for turtles and frogs and discovered new things in nature with each season. We could make do.

Cambridge Dictionary: Make Do: to manage to live without things that you would like to have or with things or worse quality than you would like: ex. We didn't have cupboards so we made do with boxes.

Make do. It seems like all my childhood was 'make do'. We did not have much but made do with what we had. A word came up in a conversation with my sister June. Bandana! Any farm kid knows that their dads had a stack of handkerchiefs (or bandanas) that we girls nabbed when we were going to 'make do'. Of course, Mom grabbed them for our runny noses and used them to cover our chests covered with Vicks when we had a cough or wrapped around our necks for the same remedy.

As for us little ones, those blue and red bandanas became diapers for our dolls and sheets for their beds. In church, one of these lively cloths became Cats in a Cradle. Sometimes coins would be tied into the corner for our Sunday School offering. And to keep babies entertained, they became great peek-a-boo cloths.

Then we got a bit older. Mom would take bandanas and create bathing suits for her little girls. A couple tied made the bottom and a string gathering the cloth in the middle then tied behind the neck with the ends tied in the back of the child made the bra. Bandana beauties! Then we got even older. Those bandanas became headbands, neckbands and headscarves.

We saw those handkerchiefs hanging out of our father's work trousers and watched them flap on the clothesline. We carried them into the field to wipe away the sweat. Somehow they became that overlooked staple that did so many things. We never thought about it. We just made do. Everyday things were essentials in times of need. They even went on to be fads.

Yes, we can all make do. We can manage to live without things that we would like to have. In this process of 'make do', our world will rejuvenate itself. Streams and rivers will rest. The air will clear. The earth will make do reliving the peace and clarity it once knew. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for us all. As for now, I will make do.