This is a story of my brother, John. He was a very complex figure in my life and for the rest of my family members, I suspect. As the youngest I was shielded from the more intriguing family matters, so I can not be certain of how others felt about him. Though the mixed emotions that I had for John would be clearly defined one day.
His fine intellect was not always apparent as he held people’s attention at the level of his mysterious and sometimes frightening countenance. I admired and respected him, though. I could see beyond that to another part of him, I thought. I was so pleased believing he was able to see that I could be trusted, and talk to me the way that I wanted, without looking down and making exceptions for the little sister. He always had my respect and admiration. And he would come to be my hero.
He saved my spirit and I loved him for the incredible bravery and generosity that he brought forth on my behalf. He put himself in harms way for me in regard to a matter that we never shared with anyone.
That night, when I returned home, John was there and quickly realized something had gone wrong in my life. He demanded to know the trouble and when I told him about what transpired, his disposition immediately changed. He took control of my fear with a response seeming to reveal at least a part of his mysterious nature. He was completely prepared for the situation that I presented to him, so much so that I feared for his safety. Thank heaven, my prayers were answered and no one was confronted that night, but not for lack of John bringing his considerable might to the situation. He went looking for the person involved but could not find him.
John was consumed by the incident so I left him alone to settle down in the aftermath, so that we might, after a reasonable interval, enjoy something of our usual repartee on the ride home. But we had a completely silent ride in our parent’s car, which as I recall, he had started without the benefit of a key. He was so enraged, there was no asking permission which would not have been granted.
His bravery saved me from the depths. Selflessly, he brought all that he had to my defense. He healed me then and even now, I feel he shields me from the memory. Unless I make the decision to recall that day, it is far away from my life. And, when and I do, with each recollection, what I remember is more of John. It is the amazing thing that I’ve noticed. It is the love that remains…and grows!
I love you, John. I thank you. I miss you.
Years had gone by without a thought of the summer at my grandparents farm in Virginia. Then suddenly one day it was there, this forgotten experience, unprovoked and effortlessly revealing itself to me to become my little book of 50 pages.
This extraordinary childhood experience took place in 1957. As I wrote, I felt the warmth and comfort of that time so long ago and so very dear to me now. I was unaware of how much meaning it had brought to my life, this glimpse into their world. It was written with love and a deep and ever-growing appreciation for my family. It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.
Truth is Beauty is Love
“Although your mind’s opaque, try thinking more if just for your own sake.”
There exists only two emotions…
and everything else.
You try to bond with, love, or at least strive for acceptance with some people. But it seems impossible to get beyond a certain point with them. Then one day, you realize that the only reason you have to continue trying is to keep alive the notion that with perseverance you will eventually succeed.
It may be necessary to protect yourself from investing more time because your spirit is at stake in these situations. It almost feels like war, the relentless discussion without end, disguised as intelligent discourse…you’re just not getting it. But why not? You’re using everything at your disposal; being as honest, open, and true as you can possibly be. You’ve been invited to the party but you are the only one there.
You realize the need to take care of yourself, to take the things that you offer from a situation that seems only to reject or belittle your every attempt.
Family is fertile ground for this pointless excursion to nowhere. It is here where it is most difficult to discern the machinations, because surely love exists and isn’t that what we are hoping to experience and isn’t this the place where we want it most? But it can be a minefield of deception that may take years to realize. And that may be all there is to that!
Alas, the classic move is when much later, you are confronted with the person, seeking your attention now. Where have you been after all…rather demanding as a matter of fact, perhaps there is a degree of anger for you’ve given up the pursuit of their approval. This is where you get to say a few choose words if you wish. But as valid as that may seem, you feel little inclination in that direction. Geez…
“Dear Lord, Make me a bird so I can fly far, far far away from here.”
Jenny from “Forrest Gump”
Nevertheless, be love and enjoy the beauty of the day, everyday…create something!
With all that is going on in our world, have we come to realize the personal responsibility that we have to think for ourselves…yet?
How easy it is to disregard that responsibility as there are so many opinions swirling about that you could choose for your own.
But the rest of us will miss what you have to give from referring to the unique personal resource that is yours alone in the entire world.
There exists only two emotions…
love, and everything else.
…interesting that we come back to where we start.
If we are lucky, along the In-Between we confirm the wonder of life that we were made of once.
We likely have a few satisfying answers for all of our efforts,
experiences that meld and shape us,
turn us this way
and we come to know that the pursuit is life.
Little grandchildren and grandparents know.
You are constantly given proof,
You are always invited to believe,
You are eternally being supported in that,
You Are Amazing
Connect with Love
What a difference a day makes!
In becoming the person you were meant to be in this life, bad things will happen to you. What else will coax you from your carefully maintained comfort zone of limiting possibilities?
So what’s really happening when baaaaad things happen?
Upon reflection, I would have to admit that five years ago I was pretty high on myself. I felt sure of and satisfied with my life and rather proud of my accomplishments; creative, active, big thinking problem solver, go to person, answer lady, whatever it takes (so said my ex) big time doer, never sick, etc., there was always something going on, something that I needed to do. I always wore the most intriguing outfits and was fairly certain that I was personally responsible for a few trends. “You’re where you should be all the time and when you’re not you’re with…..”
Well, then I became ill.
For the next two months I lived in my office scouring the internet and printing out pages of reports and findings on suspecting causes.
Doctor after doctor and no one could tell me why or give a cause for “my condition” other than anxiety. So of course I was prescribed medication. Once on impulse I thanked a doctor for his insight because I could feel his growing frustration and impatience with me, and because I so needed at least a feeling of something constructive to come of this latest consultation. He seemed pleased with himself and very condescendingly sent me on my way, sure of his victory over my presentation. Just Imagine, feeling the worst you’ve ever felt and the only action available to you was to alleviate the stress in the person you rely upon to help you. It was clear to me that I would have to find my way to the answers through my own efforts.
What you need is always there for you
On a day that I shall never forget, with one particular specialist, I answered yes to a question all doctors ask during consultation. Until then each time I’d answered no. The question was, “Do you have a headache?”
Driving home from yet another perplexed doctor, I wondered, after 3 months into my investigation of my illness, and so many visits to doctors and emergency rooms what was different this time? Why had I answered yes? I started going backward with all of the details of that day. Everything was unremarkable except for how, uncharacteristically, I had closed the windows of my car leaving only the sunroof open because it was chilly from the night before when it rained. No air, all windows open is my usual. Was there anything else about the car? Yes there was. The engine has recently been replaced. Slowly coming forward to conscientiousness, an ethereal suggestion hinted, “Could carbon monoxide be involved?”
Once at home I immediately I called my general practitioner’s office. I spoke to the nurse and told her I needed the doctor to know about my suspicions regarding my car and carbon monoxide. She called back minutes later to ask if I meant to say carbon dioxide. Really? I started to cry. I had never been so completely frustrated or felt so entirely lost, alone, and desperate. I fell to the floor and prayed, “God in heaven, please help me. Down here no one seems to know anything!” Then, I sensed a clear, authoritative directive to take the carbon monoxide detector from the wall and to place it in the car. I was stunned for a moment. Then I followed through placing the meter in the driver’s seat, I closed the windows, started the engine, got out of the car, and closed the door. After 10 minutes waiting on my porch, I returned to the car to get the meter reading which registered a very high level of carbon monoxide. I was being poisoned by my car’s exhaust fumes!
Stress slipped away and I felt a warm comforting Presence all around me. I didn’t want to stray from it so I continued to lie there enjoying the most amazing sense of security and love and acceptance. I could have been taken away on a breeze. My prayer was answered and I felt safe for the first time in months.
Recovery from this kind injury takes a long time and patient, consistent self-care. What a challenge it is for a previously impatient me!
I am different now. I can’t do-it-all these days but with Grace I’ve learned, in exchange, that when I allow others to do for me I get to experience the beautiful gift of connection existing between us all. I was surprised to find that people seem to gravitate to the opportunity to experience that connection, to express the Love! Amazing!
For a take-charge personality the biggest challenge has been a simple one; to allow others. Though it continues to be my first response, I just don’t get a charge out of reacting in that take-charge way anymore. My good fortune has been that I’ve established some incredible bonds as well as rid myself of a couple of fair-weather-friends (after so many years, who knew, though they have always been rather difficult.) Because of my illness I know some of what’s been missing. And each day I discover more, i.e. my love of writing!
So could it be that the bad things that happen are just an invitation to experience your life from a different perspective, to see what becomes of you? And perhaps it’s all part of the grand design anyway, in revealing the wonder of you, your self, your most precious and amazing gift!
We tend to forget many of the experiences that we’ve had, and easily so as some are truly forgettable, others regrettable, and still others simply because we must get on with our lives. Some events, though we may not think of them when they occur as pertinent or relevant, remain with us somewhere deep inside.
For months I’d been struggling with a perplexing issue which seemed to defy resolution. I was bound on all sides with thinking about it, when suddenly a forgotten memory emerged. Shapes, colors, and details became part of the air around me, dancing in concert with each other to form a story that I would tell in a little book that I would write.
This extraordinary experience of my childhood took place in 1957 in Virginia. As I wrote the words I felt warm and comforting support for a time that I spent with my grandparents, so very dear to me now. Until the time of writing, I was unaware of how much meaning the summer had brought to my life. How impossible that it was safe in my heart all along It is a story of love and an ever-growing appreciation for my family. It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.
Here is an excerpt from my novelette:
Two Little Girls
As far as I was concerned, summer began with the day my father installed the screens in the windows. Early that morning, Mother would have taken the summer sheers from storage to the clothesline in our backyard. By the afternoon, she swooped up the freshened bundle and brought them back indoors to hang on the rods at the tops of the windows. When the transformation was complete, I’d run from room to room to see the curtains flying on the breeze that raced in through the windows of our big old house. Like a magical invitation to adventures possible only with summer, when one day melted into the next and no one asked about the time, I felt that I could fly too and that anything could happen.
There were 5 children in my family. My brother Lionel was the oldest; my sister Cecilia was next, followed by my sister Rose, then my brother Isaac, and me. We spent summertime totally absorbed in keeping pace with our friends as was our Mother in keeping up with us. She mended our scraped knees, our bruised egos, and the holes in my brothers’ dungarees. I remember lemonade and tuna sandwiches, cotton sun dresses and hair ribbons; the pennies I collected for the corner candy store, and my ankle socks that never stayed up. Summers seemed much longer then when hopscotch and jump rope, hide-and-seek and tag, dress-up and make-believe, with my bicycle, my dolls and friends filled the days until suppertime. When August finally came around, among the five of us someone would be chosen to vacation with our grandparents in the country. It was in the year 1957 that I was to spend my first summer there.
I’d thought so often about my first trip to the farm. But like the landing of a cascading boulder, my mother’s cheerful delivery of this summer’s plan completely shattered my vision of it. Leaving little room for the way that reality alters things but similar to most events concerning “the children”, I was quite certain of my unvarying reverie. It was always the same. My brothers and sisters are running through a country field with me, very happily and as usual, following close behind. But everything had been arranged and I alone would spend two weeks on the farm that year.
My family had gathered in the living room when Mother made the announcement. But my frustrating lack of enthusiasm was like a call to dinner in emptying the room of everyone and I found myself alone, save for the dog. While I struggled with the concept of being on my own, Spiky jumped onto the couch next to me. Placing his head upon my foot he kept a concerned and watchful eye over my disposition until we both fell asleep.
Later that day, I listened to Dad’s recollections of farm life adventures while Mother prepared supper. As she filled in with the finer points and particulars she’d taken note of my mixed feelings with her knowing smile that always took the sharp edges off of things. “Don’t forget that your cousin Joanna is just about your age and lives close to Grandpa‘s”, she nearly whispered. Then I thought of the pocket inside the little green suitcase as the place where my Jacks would find a perfect fit.
~~~~~~~ Truth is Beauty is Love ~~~~~~
You are amazing. Create something beautiful today!