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Blossoming from the weeds

On my drive home today, I saw an elderly person weeding their front yard.

I was reminded of something that had a profound effect on me almost four years ago.

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It was a time when it was imperative I get out of self.  That I reach out and be of service to others.

Summer in the desert, and I noticed an old woman on my street tending to her weeds.  It was hot.  In the mid 120’s.

I parked, set my belongings inside and walked up the street to her house and called out.

“Hello?”

She didn’t hear me.

“Hello?”

She looked up from her crouched position, and from under her sun hat met my gaze.

“Yes?”

I was eager and just knew that she would think I was wonderful.

“May I help you weed your yard?”

I waited a beat – smile on my face.

“No thank you.” She said, with a peaceful smile on her own face.

I wasn’t expecting that.

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I gauged her expression a moment to be sure she really didn’t want my help … bid her a good day and went home.

Wow.

It hadn’t dawned on me for even a second, that perhaps she was content in her task.

That perhaps she enjoyed what she was doing.

Or that she knew how much more satisfied she would be when the sun went down, looking out at her weed-free yard, that she had done the work.

I have never forgotten her or that moment.

It was an epiphany of sorts for me.

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I’ve heard people speak of what they would do if they won the lottery:

“I’d give some to my family and friends.”

“I’d buy my children houses.”

“I’d find needy people and help them.”

Help them.

Such a noble and selfless intention – yet …

Don’t we have to be careful who we help and how?

Am I doing it for them or me?

Am I helping? Hindering? Enabling?

Are they making an effort to help themselves?  Still have lessons to learn to strengthen them for hard times yet to come?

This comes to mind:

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I personally think life IS always beautiful, (maybe not always what you want it to be, but still beautiful) but I agree with the rest.

Struggles do make you stronger.  And grateful.

If you just hand someone a house – are they going to cherish it?  Will it mean as much to them as it would to someone who saved for years to buy one?

Hand-ups and hand-outs have such a fine dividing line!

It’s hard to know who to help.

Harder still when you don’t know if they’ve struggled – if they are too fragile to have to struggle – if they’ve been put in your path to bestow a blessing on?

Personally, I can look back and I know without doubt,  that I am grateful for my struggles.

I’ve been VERY prideful.  And I’m trying to get over that and accept help when it makes sense.  When the help doesn’t rob me of my spiritual and emotional growth.

Because, my life has blossomed from the weeds.

And I see weeds as blossoms.

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Beauty in every thing, every person and every moment.

I’ve learned to focus on these things.

Stay in those moments – no matter how fleeting – to feel them and move forward with a positive attitude and an open mind and heart.

I look upon life with grateful eyes – a students mind and a peaceful heart.

And I’m so glad I struggled.

And I so love those who helped me along the way – and I love those who did not.

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Today was a beautiful day

Was just sitting outside writing a poem – counting my blessings.  Writing about how wonderful today has been.  
About waking up, having my sight, my hearing – about how grateful I am to rouse my son from sleep and  that he woke  with his sight – his hearing.  
 
The simple fact that I walk to his room – that I have use of my limbs, without pain,  unaided.  Grateful that we have food in the fridge.  That I have medicine in my pill box.
  
Running late today for the school bus turned into an opportunity to spend more time with him as I drove Nic to school.  Then early to work, I looked around at my office and smiled.  I am employed.  
 
Laughed with co-workers and friends and just felt so alive.  And blessed.
 
While I was writing I heard screaming from the house next door.  Angry, shrill venomous shouts.  I don’t know who they were directed at this time – the abusive spouse or the children.  
I shared today that I felt guilty for praying  for myself  of late.  I’ve not been feeling well, and I was scared.   
 
After a moment of silence on the radio for the Boston Marathon victims, I was undone.  
 
I’m scared to die – I want more time.  And yet, a little boys life was cut short.  I shared that I would trade places with him.  And I would.  Let him have more beautiful days. 
Who am I to think I am to be afforded more time?
 
We wonder why the innocent are taken.  Why the ‘good’ die young.   
 
Then while I’m sitting and writing and counting my blessings and interrupted by the anger next door – a thought occurs – do people who are ungrateful, toxic, angry and cruel need more time here because they haven’t figured it out yet?  
 
They don’t know that today was a beautiful day? 
 
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An answered prayer – friends.

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Boy, things can flip on a dime if you want them to and you ask them to.

Last night was a cathartic post for me – after feeling awkward as arse about being gussied up all week.  But before bed, I was feeling a little down in the dumps and my usual prayers started off a little differently.

I started out with a pray for me.  I asked “God, please help me”.  My God is of no specific religion.  He loves me.  He sees into my heart and knows just what I need.  Always.  My Faith is in Love.  That is my God.  He is love.  A higher power that I see in every blade of grass, every ‘weed,’ every smile, every cloud, every note of music.

Anyway.  Last night I was warmed first with a comment from one of my dearest friends on my post.  Then with a message from a friend of years and years ago.  In 6th grade, when I first transplanted to the US, he teased me and called me an English muffin.  He grew into a handsome man who has served his country, makes me laugh on Facebook with his statuses and if I’m being totally honest, if we weren’t in different States, I’d be wanting to spend time with. 😉

Today – I spoke with another friend who I worked with for years in the same industry.  It was so lovely to talk to her on the phone.  After the initial ‘is this really you? It doesn’t sound like you’ it was as if time hadn’t passed at all.

I came back into my office later in the day to find another friend – who I worked side by side with for 6 years.  Literally.  lol.  Our office was small but we got along so well that it was never a bad thing.  We laughed and caught up.   She’d just left a salon appointment a few doors down and stopped in.

But what are the odds of that being today?  I haven’t seen her in over a year.

I am SO very blessed when it comes to friends. My best friend and I email most every day – and one of my favorite people works in the real estate office next door.

Then I got to thinking on the ride home – listening to my guilty pleasure, the Mama Mia soundtrack.  I recant my ‘I have never been in love’ stance in an earlier blog.

I have loved.  I have loved as much as I was capable of at the time.  I gave all I had.

I’m not as broken as I thought I was.  I have issues – who doesn’t?  I also have tons of people who love me just as I am.

 

Dear Nicholas,

The end of the world is right around the corner – and when that doesn’t happen, early next year your birthday will officially dub you ‘an adult’. So tecnically, Mayan calendars aside, the end of the world as I know it is drawing to a close.  

I miss you already. 

No, you’re not going to be booted out at 18, but a chapter will be closed on this amazing story of ours, and a new one in your story begins.

I feel compelled to share with you, and the world, how I feel – before your last magical ‘childhood’ Christmas.  There will be more of course, and they’ll be magical, but the teen years are slipping away and so is my undivided time with you.

Nic driving kid

nic driving teen

Let me start with, I am so very glad you were born.  I have never for one moment regretted a second that you have been in my life.  Raising you alone only served to strengthen our relationship and build a bond that is unbreakable.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s so true.  I did not realize I was capable of loving someone as much as I have always loved you.  I remember ‘accidentally’ bumping into your crib when you were a baby so that you would wake up and I could hold you – look into your eyes.  (That’s why I let you sleep late now lol).

You were my beautiful tow-headed baby boy.

No one has been able to make me laugh the way you do.  We still laugh!  You are 17 years old and we still laugh together.

Do you realize how blessed that makes me feel?  There are kids who don’t even talk to their parents!  How lucky am I?

When you are happy, all is right with the world.  I am peaceful when you are content.

When you are hurting, I am lost.  Wishing I could do more – wishing I could soothe the pain – wishing I could fast forward through your lessons and press play straight into serenity.

The times you’ve said to me, “See, I do listen” after quoting something I’ve said, honestly does surprise me. 

Oh Nic, I hope I’ve said the right things!

nic black and white

I hope you’ve heard that it’s never too late to change – to make things right.  To always do the right thing, even when it’s not easy.  (Especially when it’s not easy!)

I hope you have heard me say not to judge people.  But, we do judge, so don’t judge without information.  And, if you find someone lacking, I hope your heart wants to reach out and fill the empty spaces.

When someone hurts you, I hope you’ve heard me when I have said it’s because somehow, they are hurting.

Contrary to our joke that I ‘never get mad’, I do.  I hope you have heard me apologize.  Mend what’s wrong and let go.  Mad doesn’t feel good.  Okay, maybe for that split pity party second, but not for long.

I hope you find contentment Nicholas.  That one day you’ll know what ‘enough’ means and treasure it.

You have such a loving soul – don’t hide it.  You already march to the beat of your own drum – I hope one day you dance to it.

You’re smart and creative, funny and kind.  You’re the brightest light in my world.

I’m so honored Nic, to even know you.  Grateful to have had the opportunity to love you.  And blessed beyond measure to get to call myself your ‘mom’. 

I’m Nic’s mom!  That fact hits me out of the blue from time to time and fills my heart with joy.

And I want you to know, I never for one second ever doubted that you love me back.

Thank FULL!

I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone string words together in a blog worthy manner – so I’ll share a little photo diary of today.

Over the river (literally) and past the sheep, to grandmothers house we went.

We’re here! My moms house.  That was a long 20 minute drive 😉

Didn’t expect this … was just going for a shot of her front yard tree.  Lovely isn’t it?

Not sure why I’m at the table, the food wasn’t ready. LOL!

NOW it’s ready!

My plate 🙂

My attempt at a ‘serious’ ‘nice’ photo with Nic.  *sigh*

We’re just never going to have a serious mother/son photo are we?

Nic can be serious about eating dessert though

And we’ll end with my Dessert.  Mince and pumpkin pie! 🙂

Hope everyone had a wonderful day.  I am so very thankful for all of my blessings!  Thank you for being one of them.