Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Coming!

Although there has been for several weeks, now there's no doubt about it. It's coming. Slowly, surely, inexorably working it's way toward all of us. Spring. Today I heard birds I haven't heard in a long, long time. This week I saw and heard two cranes fly overhead that routinely do so every summer. I haven't heard or seen them since last Fall. The days are a little longer and I can see my koi stirring in the bottom of the water garden. There's a thin cover of ice over the small pond, but beneath, two goldfish slowly maneuver around. About a week and a half ago, we saw tiny shoots of daffodils starting to emerge from the frozen soil. Then it snowed again and again. Just like it's been doing for 3 solid months now. And every day as I walked past the spot where we'd seen the shoots, I'd wonder what was going on under all that snow. Did the little shoots freeze and die? Were they stuck at the place where they were when we last saw them? Kind of frozen in time?. Or was it possible that even under a blanket of snow, they were aware of lengthening days and slightly warmer temperatures? Well the snow has melted and look what's happened.

They've been bravely growing the whole time. And tomorrow is March 1st. Although my mother always said that the real changes in the weather don't start until St. Patrick's day, on March 1st we have little changes. And it's SUCH a relief. I think this winter might actually end after all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

HOT and SPICY!!!!! Say What?

Two days ago I was getting ready to take my morning break. Taking a break like this is kind of new to me so I planned ahead. I'd take it in a grocery store with a coffee break area for the public. Usually I have an orange (in my new, gluten free diet - more about that another time) but today I thought "I SHOULD HAVE A V8!!!". My son, Dan, kind of turned me on to V8. He drinks a large glass every day not only because it tastes good but especially because it's equal to 2 servings of vegetables. So I found the juice aisle and the V8 right in the middle of it. And I was happy to see that they had these handy little six-packs. One can would be just right for my break! So, I bought the six-pack and a newspaper and found a place to enjoy a little down time.

As I scanned the front page of the paper, I absent mindedly opened the V8 and took a drink. Hmmmm. It started to dawn on me that it tasted kind of....peppery? How peculiar. Then I looked at the can right in front of me and saw it. It screamed HOT AND SPICY!! I couldn't believe it. It might as well have been a billboard. And now I felt self conscious. Here I was ... a 62 year-old with Hot And Spicy right in front of me. My mind conjured up pictures of flamenco dancers with smokey HOT SPICY eyes and naughty movies with HOT AND SPICY titles. I wondered if it looked like I thought I was hot and spicy or if it looked like I was looking for hot and spicy

I mused about it throughout the day. How could I have missed HOT AND SPICY right there at eye level in bold letters? Who doesn't notice HOT AND SPICY? Then I berated myself because obviously my eyes were failing and/or I was getting confused and oblivious to what's right in front of me.

After work, in the privacy of my own home, I took out the can to try to figure out how I could have missed something so obvious. And guess what? I just missed it, that's all. It was there but it wasn't in neon. And it didn't say HOT AND SPICY. It said spicy hot. Big deal. Nobody was wondering what that old lady was doing with Hot and Spicy or anything else.

And it occurred to me. Am I creating my own reality. Do I think people see me as different and "old" because that's how I see myself? Maybe people aren't that hard on us oldsters. Maybe we're the ones that are hard on ourselves......

Oh...and for the record, V8 is really VERY good in regular ..... OR Spicy hot!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Year Ago Today

February 26, 2008 rocked our world. And it will never be the same again. The identical twin boys that our daughter was carrying with so much love and anticipation, died. And when they died, something else died too. An innocence and a trust that everything will always eventually be okay. And the innocence that I'm talking about is Beth's. She never assumed but she always trusted.

The pain of losing those beautiful grandsons was extraordinary. It still is. But there's another pain I'm going to talk about today. And that's the pain of having a child in pain.

There is no helplessness like having a child who is suffering and being unable to help. There is no hopelessness like that of wanting with every fiber of your body to help your child but having no hope that you're going to be able to. If somehow Beth could have been my three-year-old little girl again and I could have held her on my lap while she curled in a ball and sobbed, it would have helped me. If I could have just held her and rocked her for awhile until she was comforted, it would have been so much better.

But no. She suffered and I watched and agonized and prayed. But I couldn't help. I wanted to make those babies come back. I wanted to promise that God would send them to her again in another pregnancy. I wanted to do something to take away her terrible pain. But it was hopeless. There was nothing I could do to change what had happened. And that's all I wanted to do.....undo it.

I wish I could say this was the first time that I suffered with one of my children. But it wasn't. I just hope it's the last. I have no regrets though. The moment we have that first child and feel that amazing love, we sign on for whatever happens after that. We share the joys and we share the pain and we wouldn't have it any other way.

I have many memories of that painful day. I know where I was and what I was doing each time the phone rang. I was at the hospital when they were born and during their labor I watched my brave, strong daughter sacrifice her personal comfort so she would feel every detail of having those babies with her. And I've never been so proud of her. Nor so sad for her. I took pride in her bravery and shared her pain. It's a mother's mission. It's a mother's gift.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You Capture Wednesday - Something You Love

In response to my blogger daughter's photo challenge, I'm posting the following pictures. I may not LOVE these guys but I'm definitely fond of them. I really do have a passion for koi.

To see more, click here!

To Blog Or Not To Blog

Hurray! I'm finally doing it! I'm glad I'm doing it and I think it's important that I'm doing it. I have a lot of unimportant thoughts about a myriad of uninteresting things that I need to put down in black and white. Otherwise I might bore my family and friends with them.

What's the impetus in my finally doing it now? It's my wonderful, blogger daughter. She's hosting a photo thing and I want to participate. Now I have to figure out where to go from here.

That's the thing about being in the sixties. What used to seem so easy has gotten a lot more complicated. I've always considered myself a fairly up-to-date 62 year old. After all I have a computer that I really connect with and I've figured out digital photography at least on a basic and very amatuerish level and I can email and file and write documents. But all of a sudden....YIKES! There are blackberries and iphones and ipods and complicated, advanced things that almost seem like too much effort to address.

But I'm 62 and I'm taking another step into the world of internet communications and I feel good about that. And now I have a place to write down all my unimportant, uninteresting thoughts. And I feel very good about that....because somewhere out there somebody might find them interesting and maybe even important. If not, I've got a diary. And that's good too.