My family is a beautiful patchwork of people. We are unique in all aspects. We have embraced differences both large and small. We are not perfect but we are family. The jokes at the holidays revolve around “tolerating” family. I don’t understand it. Of course I am not looking at it through an in-laws eyes or someone who has an estranged relationship. I look at my family knowing our idiosyncrasies, our quirks, our humor and all the history. I love my quilt of a family. At Thanksgiving I can truly say I am thankful for my loved ones. I was able to communicate with some of my family through technology. With some of my family, I was able to actually enjoy a meal, sharing stories, laughing, and catching up on the events of our year. I was blessed with one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember. At the closing of the day I would like to express my deep gratitude for all the gifts of my life. Thank you!
Do you hear a voice?
Not the radio
Not the TV
Not the endless yammering of the city
Do you hear a voice?
The voice of the loved one who needs you but isn’t sure how to ask. The small melodic voice of a child asking the same question over and over again. The droning voice of your boss reviewing quarterly statements with you. The authoritative voice of an administrator admonishing something you love. The seductive voice of your lover calling you back to bed. The prayerful voice of your soul reaching out to the silence in your heart.
Listen to the voices that speak to you. Listen with a fervor to hear what another is really saying. Take the time to stop, listen and respond if needed. Only when we truly listen do we truly hear what our hearts want.
When traveling just outside of the small city I call home. I found that the trees were looking barren and grey. The spectacular show of autumn is coming to an end for 2013. It is an inevitable course. Autumn is the last show before the muted, quiet, slumber of nature descends. I have always enjoyed the excitement of autumn. Glorious colors, festive holidays, clear crisp days, intermingled with misty cold veils of storms that remind us “old man winter” is on his way. Like the excitement of a New Year’s Eve party. The party is in full swing till the new year arrives and then, just like the first snow storm blowing through, it is over. The anticipation is gone. The end of one year ushered in a new year, now what? I love to see all the changes in the world around me. It gives me hope for a better tomorrow. Even more than that it expresses time moving forward. We all experience life a little differently than the person sitting next to us. It is our responsibility to embrace every moment of our lives and live to our full potential. May grace follow you in all you do, today and every tomorrow.
The anticipation was suffocating. I waited, then I waited some more. I canceled a road trip so I could completely enjoy the season’s first snow fall. I gathered the blankets, pillows, and found a great movie to watch to help me whittle away the time. I coaxed and pleaded for my special someone to stay home from work to lavish in this my own favorite holiday. This was a special day. I made sure I had candles nearby incase the power went out. I kept my phone plugged in, fully charged. I was ready. I checked my phone, looking at radar maps….the storm was so close. I surfed all the social media sites waiting for first reports from the masses. My heart soared when I read my favorite post “It’s snowing!” I was just 20 miles from where that statement originated. Why hadn’t I saw the pristine ice crystals dancing on the wind yet? Patience my head told my heart.
One movie turned into two movies. Dinner was prepared and consumed. The grey outside the window turned to the black of night. I shut the drapes. “One more movie?” He asked, knowing I was pouting worse on the inside than on the out. I sat in the cushy pile of blankets and pillows. I resigned myself to the thought that I would miss the first snowfall by a few miles.
Then it happened! Not a whisper of soft downy flakes cascading down to rest gently on the earth. Not a sleeting, pelting of wet heavy ice globs. It was a torrent of millions of tiny, angry, white flakes! The wind thrashed them up then down. Spun them in circles. Teased them with rest only to roust them to the heavens once again. I love snow! I opened the drapes and contentedly fell asleep watching the show nature had given me!
I sipped my tea and looked cautiously at the woman across the room from me. We had met only a few days earlier. She was well spoken, attractive, funny and kind. I could sense in her a darkness that loomed over her and occasionally rested on her shoulders like a two ton weight no body builder would attempt to lift. She is my cousins girlfriend. Her son calls my cousin “Dad” not in the out-of-respect kind of way but from his boyhood heart. She is family. We talked about so many things, light hearted, easy. Then I broached the infamous innocent question….”What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” The darkness I sensed shadowed her eyes with her response of “I hate the holidays.” My heart sank. Without needing to ask, just the mutual shadow that I know clouds my eyes sometimes, I knew this was not an easy conversation and the past skeletons we had in our own separate lives were somewhat similar.
We all walk different paths to the same end. The only guaranteed event in life is death. How and when we arrive at that party is what we all want to decide. Life is hard. The fairy tales of our childhoods do not always include “happily ever after” in real life. What do we do then? We can choose to wallow in sorrows. We can suffer from ostrich disease (head in the sand and life isn’t really happening) Or we can rise up! We can accept the past, move on to the future and make a better life for the ones we love. It is important to the ones who stay by our sides, who love us, who wish us nothing but success to rise up. I need to be strong to achieve my “happily ever after”. For it is not in the past that shapes our futures but what we choose to learn from our pasts. I felt a kinship with this new friend in my life. We both know our pasts helped shape who we are but refuse to let the negative shape what our future will be.