and when Joshua was learning to talk he said Dad-Dad instead of Grand Dad and the name stuck.
Nicknames and their stories are so sweet, aren't they?
My father has made a living with his hands.
He is super talented and can build anything.
His work ethic is impeccable.
I really love my Dad.
Lately I have been aware of how many friends have lost their fathers and it reminds me to be so grateful that I can call my father up anytime or drive for 10 minutes and see him in person.
There have been so many struggles in the past five years that I often wonder how I have kept my sanity. Many times I have thought that these are the days I will long for when my parents or in-laws pass away. I won't remember these times for their troubles I will say....
'oh, remember that time? that was when my dad was still alive' ...'
remember that day, that was when your mother was still with us.'
Just writing that brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.
My memory will be kind to me.
I won't say remember that day my car did not pass inspection and I was freezing cold but refused to turn the heat on because the propane was so expensive and we were still managing (barely) two mortgages and I was sick of concrete floors and unfinished houses.
I won't say that. I will say.....
'remember when our family friend passed away and it was a beautiful day
and I called my father to make plans to meet him at the funeral
and he made plans to help us put some trim on our windows?
remember that day when my dad was still alive'
That will be what I remember.
Let us keep it in perspective today, okay?
Let us know that our troubles are blessings in disguise.
Let us remember that if we tossed all of our troubles into a pile
we would rush back to grab our own.
Let us know that this day is precious and fleeting and this life is temporary.
Sometimes when life gets you down and it's raining...again and you start to forget all the reasons to be grateful there is an easy and inexpensive cure.
Put your beautiful daughters in the car. Drive to your local A&W.
Pull up to the outdoor eating area. Stay in your car.
Push the button to call inside the restaurant.
Order three rootbeer floats.
Wait less then 10 minutes.
Pay the nice waitress.
And then the dilemma begins...do I drink the rootbeer or eat the ice cream?
All of your problems disappear as you ponder....
do I let the ice cream melt into the rootbeer making the whole thing some dreamy creamy milkshakey kind of heaven in a glass OR do I eat the ice cream with bits of crystallized rootbeer and then drink the remaining rootbeer? I personally love the crystallized rootbeer so I always choose option #2.
Look at that tiny hand in his....so safe and loved.
I remember this feeling as a little girl, so sure of my father's love for me.
What a gift we give to our children in even the simplest of moments.
Just to know that they are loved.
That they are enough just the way they are.
Recently Lilly asked me if I was proud of her for finishing her chores.
Of course I was but at the same time I thought to myself...here it starts...looking outide of herself for validation. To be told that she is enough and that it is connected to what she does.
And I am not saying that kids should not do chores.Just to be clear.
So, I said to her 'You did do a great job. It's important to pick up our things. But did you know that I love you just because you are you. I love you just the way you are. No matter what.'
She just smiled and hugged me with a little sparkle in her eye.
So that has got me thinking lately about 'enough'.
How often we don't think we are enough.
If you were totally honest with yourself, how many times a day is there a thought of not enoughness running through your mind. I am not thin enough, I didn't handle that situation with my child good enough, I wasn't a good enough listener to my friend/husband/mother....., I didn't clean the house enough, I didn't eat healthy enough, I didn't study enough, I didn't exercise enough......
The underlying theme to every single one of these thoughts is that I am not enough just the way I am.
When did that start?
When did I decide that my presence here on the planet at this precise moment in time was not enough. That I have to do more, be more, give more...to be validated...to be loved....to be enough.
I want to stop this self abuse.
It is making me exhausted.
How about you?
Have you had enough of thinking that you are not enough?
Say it with me.......I AM ENOUGH.
Think of somebody who loves you.....just as you are.
Can you love yourself like that?
Think of how much you are loved by the force that created you.
JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE HERE.
BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU.
I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.
No...seriously...I really did! How cool is that??? I did not know it until this year and of course kindergarten was a few years back but I just found it amazing that I could know someone for so long and then find something out that was always true but I never knew it. I think about that in terms of things that are good and true about myself that I don't really know or accept fully. All the things that friends or family compliment me on but I can't really take it in. Does that come from being told 'don't let your head get too big' or 'nobody likes a braggart'.....It's funny, because I feel like I am at a point in my life where if I don't let in what it is that others are saying....and finally, finally, finally realize that it is inside of me and always has been then why even bother to get out of bed anymore.
I stumbled upon this little tidbit from Pema tonight and I think it's time to eat my own strawberry. How about you? Can you just let the tigers do their thing and eat the damn strawberry anyway?
“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to love yourself and your world
I love the color orange....and these pumpkins are so beautiful.
I love this girl.....she is so beautiful.
Inside and out.
Everyday I am amazed at this blessing that was bestowed upon us.
Look at that sun shining itself towards my driveway.
A photo of Belle's last year as Guardian of the Christmas Tree.
I remember this night....it was Christmas Eve......
it was so quiet and snowing and had a magical quality about it.
It was just Belle and I.
The rest of the house was sleeping soundly.
I knew in my heart this was her last Christmas.
It was precious and beautiful.
Just four days before Belle passed away our vet was at the house doing the annual checkups on the dogs and giving rabies shots. She felt Belle was better off not having the shot because of her age and declining health. We discussed the decision that would have to be made at some point.
It was her feeling that Belle was still happy to see us when we got home.
She still ate her food and did not seem to be in any pain.
She felt that Belle still had joy in her life and I agreed with her.
Belle seemed to overhear us and decided to impart the message that today
she was still fully ALIVE and planned to stay that way.
During this discussion Belle took off down the driveway.
This was more exercise than she had in one year.
After her little jaunt she promptly got inside Lilly's frog tent and went to sleep.
She slept there for four hours.
The sun was shining down and it was that wonderful fall sun that never feels too hot but just soaks up into your bones. She stretched a few times and stood up only to turn around and change her position.
She seemed so contented and happy. She had just had a bath and all was well with her world.
Then four days later she had several strokes in the early morning hours and had to be put to sleep.
It has been nine days and our house still feels so empty without her.
Fifteen years is a very long time.
I have a feeling that I will miss her forever.
This pain is a sign that I am alive and I have known the joy of having a companion like Belle.
My children will never think of their childhood and not think of Belle.
I forget she is gone for a couple of hours and then I remember.
I feel the loss again.
There is even something beautiful about the way my heart aches for her.
My heart overflows with gratitude tonight.
For so many things...but here is the list for this one precious day.
Orange pumpkins bursting with all their pumpkiness
that just 4 months ago were teeny tiny seeds.
Our precious Lilly.
The setting sun reminding us that we have had the privilege to
live one more day on this incredible planet.
Memories of our best Christmas tree so far in the history of our family.
Seriously....I LOVED that tree.
A magical Christmas Eve with my family tucked in and safe all under one roof
with my sweet, sweet Belle making it all the more precious.
The little voice inside of me that said 'cherish this night, she won't be with you next Christmas'.
And cherish it I did.
Veternarians that come to your house and show compassion and love and