When I was a child I constantly had two very distinct dreams.
One was about being able to breath under water.
The other was about a majestic flying white horse that always looked out for me.
I had those dreams so often that I came to recognize them as comforting thoughts. We had a pool in our yard and I just knew that nothing could happen to me in the pool, I’d be safe in the water. (It’s probably why I made sure that all my kids knew how to swim and were members of a swim team – water is your friend, you just need to know how to respect it.)
I didn’t learn until I was older that a flying white horse had already occurred in mythology as Pegasus. Either I was tapping into eternal symbology or I was using someone else’s ideas. In any event, my flying horse regularly took me to fantastic places in my dreams. It was my protector, it kept me safe.
Both dreams were so realistic that upon awakening, I would swear that I could breath underwater or that I could fly on the back of my horse. Continue reading
When I was young (like elementary school young) for whatever reason, one night I decided to make a pronouncement at the family dinner table.
“I have decided on the name I’m going to call my first baby.” I announced. I had put much thought into this and was very proud of my decision.
My statement obviously got everyone’s attention. Forks stopped midway to mouths and everyone looked my way.
“Okay,” my mother said, treading gently “what’s the name?”
We had been studying American Indians in class and I was obviously impressed with what I was learning.
“I am going to call my first baby Little White Flower.” Continue reading
One spring break when I was home from college, like most other students I was absolutely exhausted. But I couldn’t “come down” from the frantic-induced anxiety of my stressful courses. The first night home I slept a total of 4 hours.
The next day, my body finally recognized that I was home. I ate good food. I didn’t have to worry about classwork. I began to relax.
That night I slept for 12 hours straight and didn’t wake up until 10:00 a.m.
After I woke and came downstairs my father cornered me in the kitchen. He was angry that I had slept so much. I was lazy, he told me. I was a sloth. He became more and more agitated as he pointed out that I had wasted my day sleeping.
“Yeah but,” I countered. “4 plus 12 equals 16 divided by 2 is 8.” Continue reading
Many years ago, I had a boyfriend who, although nice, I wasn’t sure we were clicking. I second-guessed myself by thinking I just needed to give the relationship more time and things would eventually work themselves out. Right?
One day I was in the bathroom putting on some makeup. One of my cats pushed open the door a crack and entered. She leaned up against my leg and started meowing a friendly greeting to me. Continue reading
A few of my friends and I joined a Facebook group where we “buy nothing new for the month of January.” This was started because one friend had read an article about a woman who went for some time (I don’t know how long) without buying *anything* new. (Groceries and staples were obviously allowed.)
I joined the group and didn’t think I’d have a tough time doing this. Trust me when you have 6 kids, you figure out, as my grandmother would say, how to :use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” It was years and years before my youngest saw a new winter coat (and then only because it was on sale and I had a coupon.) That’s what you get for being at the end of the line of 6 kids. Continue reading
This weekend I had what I thought was a small pebble in my slipper. I’m one of those people that occasionally walk outside in my slippers so I wasn’t too concerned. I tried shaking the pebble out and it was still there after I put my slipper back on. I tried brushing the bottom of my sock thinking it had been caught in its fibers, but after I put my sock on I could still feel the pebble when I walked
It must be on the inside of my sock (not that unusual, I’ve had it happen before) I took my slipper off and turned my sock inside out. There was a tiny hole in the foot area *exactly* where I felt the pebble in my slipper. Darn, those are my good Columbia wool socks. Continue reading
He doesn’t want me to talk about it. “Mom you always make a story about everything.”
He’s right. I do. It’s how I cope.
Last Friday, I was tired of sitting around, waiting for kids to be picked up, waiting for kids to be dropped off.
“Do you want to go on a hike with me?” I asked one, two, three kids.
Nope, too tired, too hot, no thanks.
So I got in the car, drove a few towns over and started to climb a mountain by myself. Pack Monadnock (pack is Native American for small), it’s a little over 2000 feet, a nice little climb for a summer afternoon.
At the summit, when I was sitting down and enjoying the view, I got a phone call. I needed to come home immediately. My husband was on the way to the hospital because when one of my sons was chopping wood – the blade slipped and went into his leg. Continue reading
I have just returned from taking my son back to college.
The topic originally planned for discussion this week is going to be pushed out in respect to a family in our community who has suffered an unimaginable loss over the weekend.
Even as a professional writer, words are worthless in this situation. As the mother of a young daughter the same age, my heart has also been shattered. There is nothing that can adequately describe the depth of sorrow, the paralyzing numbness of waking up to the reconfirmed hell each morning, and the stabbing pain of grief that threatens to take breath away on a minute by minute basis.
A young, beautiful, and shining light taken far too soon, truly our loss.
Please know that my family sends our deepest and most sincere condolences and we wish your entire family the grace, strength, and courage to go forward. We, along with the rest of the community, stand with and will support you as best we can.
There exist iconic images of loss that are so real, so earth-shakingly poignant, they make us feel like we’ve been punched in the gut. Who, among us, can look at a soldier’s pair of empty boots without feeling a deep and profound sorrow – the sense of loss represented, the death of an individual. A mother’s grief?
A flag flown at half-mast. On September 11th every time I saw our flag lowered in respect, I felt the aching unfairness of it all. The lives that were ended, the potential that was taken away in a heartbeat. The innocence shattered.
I remember watching President Kennedy’s funeral procession with my mother. I was very, very young at the time, hardly aware of my part in life, and yet I remember the horse with the backward boot. Such a strange image, such a perfect image for a nation who felt confused and stranded. Our President was no longer leading the way. He was gone.
Images like these are not intended to prolong our grief and make us constantly feel sorrow. Instead they are created to give us pause, to make us remember what it is we no longer have. To be grateful we were able to be a part of someone’s life whose pain at their loss we feel so deeply. It reminds us that we have been profoundly touched by another.
Thank God there exist images like these. They cut to the chase by making us reflect, helping us to cope. The important thing to remember, however, when you see one is not to dwell on what is gone but instead to move forward, always forward, carrying the loving spirit and the lessons learned behind that loss forever in your heart.