Come on over :)

Hello to you…

If I were a more tech savvy girl, I would not have to up and move.  I know there once was a way to keep the blog but change the name but, being the old fashioned and stubborn girl I am ….it eluded me.

So, I am going to stay on wordpress but am blogging under “Wisdom from the Sisterhood”.  Some of you have already come to visit…thank you.  I love the community we have here, I love what I learn from you all and I love the sharing that we do.  So don’t be a stranger, come on over.  And, you know, if I could serve up some cupcakes to you…I sure would.  I will put up recipes though :).

Hope to see you sooooon!

j

Ending The Silence

Image

Yes, you’re quite right.  She’s been quiet.  Terribly quiet.  Scary quiet.  The kind of quiet that comes when silence is all you can manage.

Life happens that way sometimes.  Change, death, crisis, and chaos will all do that to a person.  If one or two crisis or changes happen, you can recover and sometimes the recovery is easy.  You just shake it off, grow your backbone and move on.  But, when the craziness strikes heavily and all at once, well, stunned is perhaps the only place it’s going to take you and no amount of backbone is going to help you suck it up and move on.   Life can leave you stunned and silent and when it happens like that, time is the only healer.  That is where I have been for the last five months.  Trying so hard just to swim up out of the silence.

Stunned, quiet and reeling from everything that came much too soon and in rapid fire.  It took all of five months to catch my breath and make some changes of my own.  It was five months ago this week that one of my oldest and dearest friend from childhood died quite unexpectedly.  When you talk about something taking your breath away, Mary was just that.  Healthy and happy on April 3rd and dead on the 19th.  Shocking, stunning…all those kind of words applied immediately. ( Just a side note and not to share too many of her personal details but I do want to pass a long to anyone reading this that it was lung and breathing related and, as you meander your way into these next winter months, do not mess with pneumonia.  Please, don’t.  She was healthy, she was vivacious but when the “worst case scenario” drops into your lap, there is just not a lot you can do.  Pneumonia is a tough opponent.  So, be careful out there and if you find yourself on the bad end of pneumonia or anything breathing related….PLEASE….go to the doctor.)

Anyway, as I said, shocked and stunned were my first response for a lot of reasons.  I had known her since first grade and, being from a small town, friends become like family.  There weren’t that many of us so you can’t just drop someone and move to another friend.  People in small towns become like second nature to you and when you lose them, it’s like losing a witness to your life.  There were things ONLY Mary knew.  With her gone, it was as though it no longer happened.  She was witness to the greatest laugh I ever had.  Decades later, when we’d see each other, we still talked about it, laughed about it.  She’d still bring up the time when I was six and I got ALL my hair cut off into a “pixie” cut WAY back in the day.  She would tell me how much I told her I loved the hair cut and I can’t even remember it.  She was my witness and with her gone, it’s like part of my childhood died with her.

Losing Mary was tough and it got tougher when, as parents, I realized the son she left behind was just about the same age as my daughter.  When I saw the pain and anger in him, I thought of my girl and how lost she’d be too.  I realized, as single moms, we both shared an extra set of fears that other parents may not since we played the role of mom and dad full time by ourselves.

Losing friends is not easy.  She was healthy, she was a professional, she was tough and I understood, for the first time, that youth would not guarantee longevity.  Life happens, with your permission and even without.  Life happens and sometimes it’s not at all fair.  And, as I dug in my heels and cried through my tantrum and asked God why… it did not change anything.  All it did was make my head hurt.  Finally, after three months and a memorial service, my angry fog began to clear and a new word emerged from the anger that defined the loss of Mary with more appropriate emotion.  It defined who she was.  And, as the anger cleared, I was finally able to understand it and to feel it.

Gift.

And then another word emerged….Blessing.

I never ever thought I would see gift or blessing as a description for Mary’s passing.  Angry, mad, confused and heart hurt were all better descriptions until I looked across my life and into the faces of my children and realized Mary was a reality check for me.  I can see so much more clearly since her passing.  Yes, I pouted for a few months and God and I were on the outs during those same months but, in looking at the big picture, even I finally get that there are no guarantees… except to appreciate the gifts you are given.  No one ever said everyone gets to kick up their heels until they are eighty.  No one ever said that we will all find Mr. Amazing.  No one ever said all children will be perfect.  No one ever said life will be fair and just and pretty.

Life will be life.

Life will be what you make it.  And, for me, this was the key.  Mary showed me that if your life is not what you want…change it.  If the people you have in your life are not gifts who nurture, love and add to the quality of your life, then change that too!  Don’t crowd your life with unkindness and unkind people and then complain that you aren’t smiling.  CHANGE IT.  Your life is a mix of what you allow into it so make it gorgeous, make it loving and make it YOU.  And, when those beautiful people like Mary pass from your life, soak in the amazing gift they were to you and how lucky you were to have them.  Love what you have as long as you have it and then be thankful for the gift.

I love Mary more today than I ever have.  And, thanks to my dear Mary, my life will be better because she showed me how very lucky I am and she put a very clean mirror in front of my face that clearly showed me I am NOT living the life I should be living.  I have been skating.  Wasting my hours playing on Facebook walls, enduring the unkindness of fake friends, spending time being frustrated by boy brain and chasing after relationships that are not fulfilling or healthy.  Losing Mary helped me to see that I was filling my life with whatever I found along the way .  When I took a step back I realized that a good many of the people I was clustering into my life were not good friends, not good role models for my kids and not even good people sometimes.

Thank to Mary, changes are coming.  Good changes, great changes but not one of them is an easy change.  Mary showed me that I need to grow my own backbone, set healthy standards and boundaries and fill my life with positive pieces because our lives are not meant to be mere trash receptacles set about to catch all the rubbish that abounds in life.   We are all meant for more than that.  Mary also reminded me childhood is a very short period of time and you have to drink it in, chaos and calm are equally important and have to be loved.  So I am off to start loving it all.

I have work ahead, changes to make and children to appreciate.  Next stop…deconstructing a life!

Taking a walk…

 

Yep….I have been gone.

We had a death in the Sisterhood two weeks ago.  It shook me.  It’s actually still shaking me. Other than being in shock still, I am trying to figure out how I feel about it. Not that the universe or God or the Powers that Be  are concerned with my take on it all but, for me, I am processing.  Trying to put into perspective how it is that a healthy 44 year old friend of mine from earliest childhood can be facebooking me on April 1st and be gone by mid month.

Like I said, It still shakes me.

After I heard the news, I took a walk, fell off the blog for a while, tried to clear my head but, really, I’m not sure if it’s clear yet.  I am still around but I am sitting in my quiet place with my faith for a few more minutes….remembering my friend, trying to figure out God and truly appreciating that even when life is not perfect, it is still good and I am fortunate.  Give me a few more days.  I will get the jumble organized soon.  Death is big but I can feel it gelling.  Until then, be well, be happy and be thankful that you can enjoy cold coffee, clean up the mess at home and that you can stand in some awful line and wait behind very impatient people. Appreciate the jasmine blooming, the hydrangea just beginning to leaf out, the Gerbera daisies as they show their full color and appreciate the crazy that flows through your life.

It really is all good.

See you soon :).

The Chicken House

The Chicken House

My grandparents old chicken house. My son is actually standing inside of it. He was curious to say the least! The homemade, rustic ladders and roosts were still in tact 🙂

FACEBOOK: The Cream Always Rises :)

Facebook is a funny place.

Virtual as it may be it is still a well traveled destination. I have been traveling there since near the beginning and was quick to embrace the reestablishment of friendships I’ve lost as well as those misplaced over the years.  In the beginning, it was just love and hugs for those lost souls I was reconnecting with and a cheerful place designed to help friends relive some good memories.  Fun, fun and double fun.

And then it happened.

Facebook began to cultivate drama and crankiness.

The craziness of the virtual friendship shop started to do some wicked stuff.  The friends I thought were tried and true tarnished a bit.  Some people even used Facebook as a platform to splatter meanness across walls.  I started to remember that some of the people I added as friends were not very friendly at all.  It threw me a bit at first but then I remembered, they were simply being themselves.  And, if I started to recall our history with more accuracy,it was then that I remembered…they were just as unkind as they had been once upon a time… many moons ago.  Age and life had taught them little.  I finally understood that people do not change and, these “friends” reminded me of who they had always been.  The part that I started to finally learn was that, most of the time, people simply become MORE of who they are as they age.

The flashy friends were still all that and more, as self absorbed and inconsiderate as they had ever been.  The mean girls were still mean and they had gained not one iota of kindness in their travels.  On the other hand, people who were good and kind and considerate “back in the day” had not changed a bit either.  They were just as loving and sweet as they had ever been.  The really crazy fun part of Facebook, that surprised the heck out of me, was that some of the friends that I was not as close with, perhaps friends from older and younger class years than myself, became some of the most treasured friend discoveries I have made.  Some of them became the best friends of all.

Facebook may take a lot of hits and it certainly has its detractors but, for me, I find it is a good way to stay in touch, it provides a network for parents at home and it is also a good indicator of the friendship value.  Occasionally, as the cream rises and the chaff falls, friends behave badly, out themselves and show you who needs to be culled.  It’s not that they are bad people but sometimes friendships no longer fit and that is okay too.  There is value in growth.  I am thankful for that as well.

I keep my friends list small, I have never understood the value of high counts, and I appreciate the 254 friends and family I keep on my wall.  They are actually very treasured people in my life.  I occasionally peruse my list to make sure the list I keep reflects the value I seek in my life.  Without value, without kindness, friends are unapologetically culled when moments call for it.   I respectfully reserve that right.

Say what you like, detract if you must but I will assure you that the 254 treasures that comprise the faces on my wall are exactly that…treasures, and, in their own way, each one adds value to my life.  Whether it is because they are a treasured part of my history, a warm part of my memories, a part of my present or a key to the future I am building…I appreciate each and every one.