I had been following a word prompt lately trying desperately to have something to say. Something that wasn’t truly ridiculous and nothing that was unsympathetic to other’s tragedy that surrounds me. Believe me I am on a cakewalk compared to a lot of people. I am so grateful for my life as torn as it is, I’m not broken, I’ve only been heartbroken and some days lonely. But I read a post of Facebook the other day saying something about, “if you can lift your head off the pillow, you have all you need.” It apparently was something a dying man was saying to his wife about her life after he was gone. I get it. It is so true. I’m here still amongst the living. I have breath, a pulse and a functioning brain. Everything else after that is icing on the cake.
There is so much goodness in my life that it feels strange to display. I am so at peace with everything that at times I feel …..guilty. Society has a way of dictating how we are supposed to feel, how we are supposed to display how we feel. Why am I supposed to feel sad and downtrodden? Who says I’m supposed to wear black. I might as well hide behind a black veil if that is the case. But I won’t and here is why.
I humbly come before you to explain why you see me living, smiling and enjoying my life. PLEASE forgive me if I am repeating myself but I can not pretend anymore.
My husband loved life. He loved me and gave me a good life. He loved the Lord and obeyed him as far as loving me and for those three reasons I am overjoyed.
I miss him so I wear the colors he loved to see me in. He hated that because of my profession I wore a lot of black. When I retired I threw most of it out and started wearing colors again. Color makes me happy and wearing them made him happy. So I honor him with my bright colors. I smile because he lived to make me smile and laugh. That’s all he wanted for me and our children, for us to be happy. He worked to give us security and comfort and we are so fortunate that he took his responsibility to us seriously. He believed in God’s command of what a husband and father’s responsibilities are to his family. He gave us everything he had to give and he is still giving to us more so now than ever before. So please give us a break when you see us having fun and moving on without him. It is just how we choose to pay our respects to the life he gave us. When he looks in on us I want him to see he gave us enough love to last our life time. I want God to see he did his duty.
I did not get to hear last words from his last breath but I did get to have the last words he wrote to me for our vow renewals the previous year. He closed it with, “I give you my hand, my heart and my love from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.” All I can say is I’m still here and I will honor his commitment for as long as I live.
Thank you for perusing and until next time, walk in joy.
Honestly I didn’t want to blog. I feared my usage of the english language was substandard at best. But my daughter thought it would be a good idea for me to journal and started me on my way.
I’ve since learned that like in visual art, your talent is your talent. If it is authentic it will represent you. When I read my posts it reads like the thoughts in my head so it’s acceptable. I no longer worry about past tense or present tense, all the punctuation errors I learned in school and definitely not the grammar. It might be wrong but I only worry about the point of view. It is sincere?Is it humble? Are you hearing what I would have said if I was talking to you directly? Of course I do go back and try to correct my verbiage which might have been pointless because after I post I see yet another mistake I missed.
Like an original painting that is in process that everyone thinks is ugly you finished it for the one person who will see it’s beauty. The person who wants to own it. I have something to say to the universe and only a few will get it and it is okay. Tomorrow is another day I might reach another person.
God just wants us to keep trying and that’s what I’m going to do substandard and all. Besides that, it brings me joy.
Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. I was told to paint. If you remember I had a canvas out waiting to start. I found this picture that I blogged in this post. So I’m updating the post to include my painting. I hope you enjoy it.
During the road trip To Philadelphia I came down for breakfast when I met Patricia. She said people call her Pat, some Tricia but family call her Patricia. She was older than me which made me feel comfortable. I always got along with older women.
After a few casual exchanges I asked if I could sit with her. We had a very long talk. She knew who I was because God sent her to give me a message. She started talking about her past which mirrored mines in so many ways. She gave confirmation to my thoughts. She had me down to the point of my existence. My attempt at existing.
We spoke of issues of abandonment, child molestation, physical abuse, verbal abuse, introverted shyness, being mean spirited, being angry with a hateful tongue, adultery, and all the other adversaries we encountered. Personalities that hid behind my confident smile.
And he still loves me. He chose me. He saved the spirit inside of me for a higher purpose. Elevated me from the mired in which I existed. Everything worked for good in the end. Even down to the reason why we were having breakfast. She was visiting with her daughters for a girl weekend just like me and my girls.
I was feeling hopeful so I showed her the pictures I took earlier that morning. I was so proud of the picture. She explained that I was the tall flower shinning in the light. The smaller flowers were babies in Christ. The flowers with lost peddles were older spirits and the dead flowers were all who had died and were waiting for Christ. The flower standing tall in the sun had come to it’s full potentials and was going to be plucked ….so I’ll tell you what I’ve learned.
Tomorrow is not promised. Live for God today. If you believe that Christ died for the sins of the world and rose again you will have salvation. There is nothing, nothing that can separate God’s love for you. There is nothing you could have done or had done to you that he will forsake you. Ask him for forgiveness with a grateful heart and he will save you. God is a God of love.
Love one another and love yourself.
Forgive yourself and forgive others.
Find joy in everything you do.
Live with appreciation and gratitude.
Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.
Meditation improves your relationship with God.
You don’t have to search for happiness. All God’s love is waiting for you!
Remember last year when I told you guys about Alex auditioning to get into an art program and not placing because he didn’t follow instructions on realism. Well this year the criteria added a new category – one piece of your choice. All the face to face audition pieces had to be realistic. The boy was convinced he didn’t make it in because he was last to audition and was only in there 5 minutes. It was a sad ride home so in Grandmom fashion I said to him, ” We are not meant to win everything and we are not meant to lose everything. Either way, I am proud of you for completing the process.” My thoughts on it was maybe they didn’t waste time on him because they had already accepted him. I covered all bases just in case.
Well the boy did it! Would you like to see his additional entry pieces that I think swayed the judges?
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to post today’s craft because it literally took me a whole day to put it together. This one might be considered another “c” word beside craft. A word like challenge or maybe even chore but for me I like to word chaos.
I over heard a neighbor talking about the neighborhood is “playing keeping up with the Jones’s”. I Had to think about that one for a minute and I decided to tell you about why I hang lights up for Christmas. I know I’ve told you guys about some of my Christmas memories before and here’s another one.
I came up in the 60’s and 70’s when a string of lights went on individual bulbs. I recently saw replacement bulbs in the store and wondered who still uses them? Well I wished I had kept up with the old lights my grandfather used to hang. Every year my Pop-Pop would sit out on the front porch and wash, test, and replace each of the bulbs on those old lights while smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes. He’d be making up stories about us riding in wagons visiting family and how Santa was coming to town and would use those lights to find the house because he didn’t have a fireplace or chimney. My Pop would spins yarns for hours keeping us outside in the Philadelphia coldness of winter while my grandmother made Thanksgiving dinner. Those lights would be up from Thanksgiving until New Years and they were never turned off, or went out or burnt out. He had so much pride in displaying those big bright lights even when everyone else went to the new fangled version. He held fast to the tried and true version until his passing. But I can still see him and those lights.
At our house my Dad would unravel lights and lay them across the living room floor and no matter what he said, somebody would walk by and step on them and break a bulb. In those days if you broke one, the whole string would go out. But my dad had the patience of a saint. He would just laugh and run through those lights until he got them working again and again and again every year. We lived in the first house on the block and he set the tone of the season and he was known as the “light fixer” and would help anyone light up their house. His lights woud be up from Thanksiving until New Years and never burnt out or fell down. He would pack blankets, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies into the station wagon and ride us around West Philadelphia to see the lights. He had so much joy into putting those lights up for us and still lights up his house every year.
Now here I am outside in 60 degree weather putting up lights. Last week I was so excited that I called my dad after going through the lights on my pre-lit Christmas tree. The middle of the tree had burnt out. It took me four hours to find the three bulbs that burnt out but I got them and my tree is fully lit again. I said, “Hey Dad. I feel like I just graduated from the George Stevenson school of Christmas light Repair!” Boy did he find that funny. He laughed and we had a long talk about Christmas past and I felt like I was right around the corner instead of the long distance between us.
So today I hung lights that didn’t connect correctly. I needed a grounded extension cord for some of it. Went to Walmart and got one, took down the lights and got the ideal from my dad to light them up first, connect them then put them up. Everything was in place and working when Alex gets off the school bus and steps on a string going across the front porch, although I told him to go up the walkway! I HAD to go BACK to Walmart and get another string of colored lights because I was NOT going to go through the string. I got them all lit again when for some strange reason a string of colored lights went out on the first shrub. I went back to Walmart and got another string of colored lights and put them up and now a string of white lights are out on the center post so I give in. I’m going to say it’s not the lights so they will burn until New Years but there is a short in the shrub. It’s not the lights!
So neighbor, in case you were wondering,
I’m not trying to keep up with the Jones’s. It’s way more serious than that. I’m trying to keep up with the memories my grandfather (may he rest in peace) and my dad (may God grant him a many more Christmas) left me. I’m trying to light up my generation’s memories in hopes that I’ll stay lit up in their minds and never burn out.
So for the 7th day – Light up your houses!
Until next time, thanks for perusing and have a good night.
One of my neighbors recently did some tree trimming in his backyard and he knows I collect scrapes of almost anything for the musuem’s children art projects that I volunteer on Earth Day. We create art using nature. I had an idea for one small cut of a log. So me and grandson went to work on it yesterday.
Alex and I worked on this one together. When you’ve got wood you can get the boy involved. First we drilled two holes in the log. We then turned it over and hot glued a small branch the length of the diameter of the bigger log to stabilize it. These are the legs. We then shopped around the house for old Christmas decorations.
Alex selected garland. I went for apples and Redbirds clip-on ornaments. I purchased these birds from Walmart after Christmas last year for $.50 a piece. But look around your home and see what you can come up with to upcycle some stray things into one centerpiece. Here’s our results.
Of course it didn’t quite come out the way Alex had hoped. He thought we drilled the holes to make eyes for the log. Maybe next year son.