Tuesday, May 24, 2016

And Now.. I Share the Dawn of Each Morning with My Mother

And Now.. I Share the Dawn of Each Morning with My Mother..

How you ask? For she has left this physical world behind, not a few short months ago.

I awake to the sound of the birds around 5am

And I know that she is there..

I feed the cat, grab my coffee and make my way to my writing room

And I know that she is here...

I open the file on my computer labeled, "Gifts from Serenity Pond" and continue work on her book

And I know that she is here..

I peruse through the many small pieces of paper that hold her thoughts from years past

And I know that she is here..

I read and I cry.

Because I know that she is here.

I read and it's as if I know my Mother for the first time

And I know that she is here.

I am not unlike my Mother and I realize this , the more I read

And I know that she is here.

I cry for the woman who wrote these words, her joy and her sorrows captured in words

And I know that she is here.

I cling to the little pieces of paper, wishing her back for just one more day

Yet I know that she is not here, not in this physical space we call Earth

But now I get to share the Dawn of Each Morning with her and the little slips of paper she once wrote upon

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day at Serenity Pond - A Celebration of Love

It was days before Mother's Day this year and I knew my brothers and sister, my nieces and nephews were all thinking about my Mother. How could we not? The commercials on TV run every 5 minutes, stores advertising gifts. The gift we all wanted was just one more day with our Mother, our Grandmother.

The days were silent between us until I called my brother and asked him what he would like to do to celebrate our Mother's life. I suggested we take a ride out to the place in the woods where she lived with her husband and my brother thought we ought to buy some flowers.

I connected with my niece and asked if she would like to join us.

I went to Lowes and asked God and my Mother to direct me to just the right plant/flowers. I walked around in silence, the people walking around me, the lines at the register long and I looked and waited. My brother who lives in Virginia called at the same time and we talked about this very special day, we didn't dwell on the sadness - we just took the time to connect, knowing we needed each other's support.

And then the flowers called to me. The red roses that said - Forever and Always, hardy that last through rough weather. I shared our plans for the day and my find with my brother on the phone and we talked about when he would come to visit.

My niece came to the house and we waited for my brother to pick us up. We drove the familiar road it took to get to my Mother's house and talked of my nieces recent trip to Virginia where she visited my other brother and did some hiking. It was conversation that all of us could handle, light and easy- but inside our hearts were aching watching the scenery go by, the landmarks we had grown to know.

And suddenly we looked to the left to see the most beautiful rainbow. The whole rainbow was visible and I knew it was a sign. A sign of love from above.

We pulled into my Mother's property and parked the car, getting the shovel and flowers. It was raining just a bit and cold. My brother took some time to look out over the pond and I went in the house. And our hearts ached for the woman we called our Mother and Grandmother. Silence was our friend along with the birds and the strong whisper of the wind at the top of the trees.

We started our planting - my brother did the digging along with my niece and I gently put the rose plants in place. One on each side of the front walkway leading to her home. Her husband said they would get the most sunlight in that spot.

My sister in law watered the plants with care. No one said too much we all just focused on what we were there to do. I walked back in the house to return the kitchen gloves I had borrowed. I stood at the sink she stood at so many times and I sobbed for the woman I desperately missed in my life. The woman we all missed so very much.

My sister in law came in to say that my Mom's husband had arrived back home. I was glad - it was something we needed to share with him .

I walked outside and suggested we say a prayer over the rose plants. And we prayed for their abundant growth through whatever came their way - just like my Mother's love was, forever strong , no matter what. We planted two plants - one from her children and one from her grandchildren.

And just as our prayer ended and we contemplated the silence around us at Serenity Pond, we received yet another gift - a colorful rooster and his hen! I smiled, for this is the reason why my Mother loved living here- surrounded by the beauty of nature and the wildlife.

We watched the rooster and hen walk all around us - it didn't seem to bother them that we were there. And we delighted in the moment.

Our stay lasted not too much longer as I took pictures to share with the family members who could not be with us , we said our goodbyes to my Mom's husband and to our visit to Serenity Pond.

As we got  in the car and started back home, tears were shed by all of us and the car was filled with silence. I could hear my brother's tears, so hard and so much in pain. My niece looked out the window at the landscape once again and commented on all the wildlife that seemed to be out that day. My sister in law rubbed her husbands back , with her own tears welling up in her eyes.

We drove most of the way home not saying too much but our hearts clung to each others and I wondered how many more times we would visit here. I didn't know the answer to that, all I know is that it was hard to be there yet, being there we felt her presence.

The pictures here are of our plantings for my family to see and to bring a bit of lightness to our hearts with the rooster and hen!

We all love you so much Mom! Grandma! And yes, what we wouldn't do for one more day with you!

With love from all of us, your children and your grandchildren - may these roses bloom every so brightly with love and courage - just as you loved us and we love you. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Love Letter from Heaven, A Mother's Message to Her Daughter on Mother's Day

And so, as the world goes to brunch, sits around a barbecue, goes to church with their Mom's, I cry.

And I turn on Hallmark to make me feel better, only to tune into a channel where a daughter has lost her Mother at 13.

Yes, I made myself watch the whole movie as the sun was shining brightly outside, knowing I should be out there enjoying. Yet, I sit..as I did this past winter when my Mother died. I went to work and I came home and watched Hallmark movies. Everyday, I did the same thing for months. Shutting myself off from the world in hopes that the pain would somehow go away and I would wake up and my Mom would still be there.

As the days moved on, just as the winter thaw began and the snowdrops came, I woke up just a little bit. And suddenly I realized I had a good day. The daffodils began to bloom and the air became a litter warmer.

And I woke up just a little more. And I had a few more good days.

So now, the tulips take their turn , in all their glory - reds, yellows- rows and rows of them can be found in the gardens and streets as we drive by.

And the days get a little warmer and I have a few more good weeks.

The calendar suddenly turns itself to a special day in May. A day we honor the giver's of our lives - our Mothers.

And the tears once again begin to fall and the need to shut the world out begins again. I watch the entire Hallmark movie where the Nanny had also lost her Mom when she was 16 and the love of God sends the Nanny to this family to heal the 13 year old girl.

And I cried and I cried some more.

The show ended and I turned off the TV, knowing I must move on with the day. I grab a tissue and walked up to my office where I now sit typing this. And as I looked over to the pile of my Mom's writings that I promised to publish for her. I found this:

 My body moves and breathes,
   From inside I watch it and wonder
how and why it does. 
For my spirit lies curled and huddled
   grieving and still.
The "me" of truth lies within
   In pain, in sorrow, in Stillness
Encompassed by darkness
   and a void
nurturing itself
   Healing ever so slowly
One moment at a time.

D.E.A.  Oct. 12, 1996

Thank you Mom.. I know you hear me, I know you are watching me. I know you know what I'm feeling.

I love you to the Moon and back and I miss you everyday.

Happy Mother's Day Mom,

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Grandmother's Love Letter to Her Granddaughter

Dearest Shelby,

      One day when Grandma was a young girl, God said, "I think I will give here a gift."

      And so he did.

     It was a wonderful present.

     The gift was your Daddy.

     Time passed, and God said again, "I think I'll add something to make the gift even better."

     So He added a beautiful ribbon and tied  it with a soft, pretty bow around the first present.

     That pretty Bow was Your Mommy.

     Now, the angels were watching God wrap this Present to me and said,

    "God, we think it's missing something!"

     So, God thought for a moment, then ever so carefully,

   He tied on the prettiest, brightest Star He could find and gave me You!

Love, Punky
January 27th, 1993

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Lamp in the Window

I took a walk in the evening last night to feel the cool, moist springtime air. It was just about 7:30 on a Sunday when everyone is starting to think about the week ahead and winding down their weekends.

As I walked through my quiet neighborhood , I noticed all the lamps in the windows of people's homes. For some reason, I have always felt such a warm and inviting feeling when I see these lights go on just as the darkness is about to come upon us.

Each house that I looked upon had a different light - some tall, some short, old style Tiffany lamps, some chandeliers in the dining room. Some had their curtains drawn , so that it created a dim lighting effect behind it.  And I have funny memories of the "leg lamp" in the window from the Christmas movie - A Christmas Story. My brothers and nephew love that movie - I am not a big fan but they love it and my brother's kids actually bought one for him for Christmas!

I wonder, are the people that live there crawling up under a blanket with a good book near that light? or is the light a beacon for those that are away for awhile and the light is calling them home? Is someone reading the daily newspaper? or perhaps reading a book to their child who is sitting on their lap? Or does this light provide some sort of warmth for them as they go about tidying up the house after a busy weekend?

My mind wanders and creates some story of each house and what the Lamp in the Windows means for them. The imagination soars and all sorts of children and grandparents run through my head. Smells of roast beef dinner and homemade cookies waft through the air, giggles and smiles and hearts that are happy and content.

As darkness comes and my evening walk comes to a close , I cross the street to see the Lamp in my Window calling me home.