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.