Monday, December 17, 2012

Veni, Veni, Emanuel

As we venture into the last week of Advent, I post this hymn performed by Mannheim Steamroller.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's been 6 months since I have posted.  I post today from sorrow, confusion, grief, and frustration. Senseless killings have occurred at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty 1st graders and six adults were shot and killed by a man who entered the school and went on a rampage.

I started teaching in 1989. I cannot remember a door being locked during the school day. Adults and children could enter the school as they went about their day. Today is different. Doors are locked, security cameras are placed strategically both in and outside of the school.

I do see how our culture has changed - some for the better, some for the worse. I see the lack of innocence in so many children today. I see the actions which tell me that they see and experience too many things that no child should see or hear.  Parents who are focused on their cellphones, Ipods, computers, televisions. Children who can sing the songs with expletives, yet cannot recite a nursery rhyme.

My heart hurts for the parents, families, friends, and schoolmates. Those lives will never be the same again. My heart aches for this country, questioning why - and wondering what will it take for there to be change that will make a difference so this will not happen again. Too many times this has happened. So far nothing has changed.

What is it going to take? Prayers we can be instruments of change so this no longer happens.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week in the Mountains

It's been some time since I have posted. School has ended. A family trip to the mountains offered a spot of refreshment as we found a place on the river and could watch the time go by. Funny how each person's ideal of a vacation plays a part in family. Some of us perfectly content watch time pass us by, while others of us need a plan, something to do. So, we compromise and have a little of this and a little of that planned, with the  in between times where we can just be.

The place on the river offered us scenes of wildlife not seen often until we slow down. Mallard ducks swam in formation on the river with their ducklings, showing them the ropes of what life is as a duck. Canadian geese did the same, though at different times of the day. The occasional snake kept those ever vigilant of those creatures on their toes.

And oh, the lightning bugs - when and where were the last time I saw these insects bringing back memories of childhood? We do not see these anymore where we live - perhaps the mosquito pesticides that are sprayed get them?  I look forward to the day I see my grandson chase and catch them as I did as a child.

Here is a video view of our little piece of quiet we had:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Away but back home

Three nights at the beach with some of my family gave me some away time. Still much work to be done. More to write about here. Trying to get some focus here, which is not so easy. Thank goodness for friends and family.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was pretty confident that I had grieved through most of last year with Mom in the nursing home. I saw the Mom I knew become less of this world and preparing for the next. So  when her death finally came, I felt a sense of relief, knowing that the hardest chapter of her life was over and she could go ahead and enter into the next.

Well, the grieving comes in waves, and just like tides of the ocean, it ebbs and flows. This week I received a note from my cousin, sharing memories of her aunt/my mom. Good memories. And the last sentence hit me. "I know you miss her like crazy." That sentence has stuck with me all this week and I have thought about it a good bit about how it hit me and what it means.

I do miss her like crazy, but I don't miss the last year of her life, where she really was not the Mom I knew. I became her Mom, as she became confused with the roles of who we were. I miss the times before then, the times we were able to enjoy doing things together, watching her enjoy life in her golden years. Seeing the twinkle in her eyes in the excitement of an anticipation of a trip, or going to church, or going out to eat. She loved living in this small town where people knew her by name, catered to her as she became less able to move around (though she fought it, she loved it at the same time). Those are the times I miss.

So life goes on, and one can't just decide to grieve and get it over with. It doesn't work that way. It comes at times we least suspect it and sometimes for no reason at all.

Acts of kindness touch me. I received a letter from one of Mom's doctors - her dermatologist. Handwritten even. A touch on the shoulder asking me if I am ok at school can bring on the tears. But most of all, these gestures of kindness show me how the simplest acts can be so meaningful. The friend who brought over some assorted teas --each time I make a cup of tea and choose from the wonderful hodgepodge, I am thankful for her kindness and gives me time to think about Mom, even it for a very brief moment.

For others, many have not lost a parent - they haven't traveled that road yet. They have not had a significant loss in their family. One day it will happen, and others will show them the way and carry them through the rough times.

I wonder about how I have had to deal with the grieving of my Mom compared to my Dad. I loved both dearly, but my reaction to my Dad's passing was different. I am guessing because Mom lived with us for about 5 years so I saw her daily and saw her decline, where Dad's death was sudden. Or could my grief by a culmination of the two, knowing that both of my parents are  no longer with me? That I do not know, but it's a possibility.

Today at the Eucharistic Prayer, I watched as the bread and the wine was being blessed and the story of the Last Supper was told. I hear it Sunday after Sunday. Today it moved me to tears and by the time we got to the Lord's prayer, I started praying, but finally I had to stop as my tears were flowing and I could no longer continue the prayers. The beauty of the community of believers who carried on with the prayer, carrying me through the prayer with their voices until I could rejoin them later.  Wet prayers, those were. Tears of thanksgiving, tears of grief, tears of the beauty of the Eucharist, and tears perhaps for others whose tears have yet to flow. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Light of my life pictured here

It's been almost a month since Mom's passing. Funny how life goes on - no real pauses outwardly, but I feel the pause inside of me - as in a regrouping, trying to figure out where all is arranged now.  I have taken my knitting as a way of finding time to think with the rhythm of the needles as the single strand of yarn becomes connected into a solid piece of work.

Lots of touching lately - by fellow workers, friends, and acquaintances, letting me know their thoughts are with me. Sometimes nothing is said, and that is ok.

Here is a highlight of this month - brightens my heart. He's three months old now. 
I have no idea why this scarf picture is sideways - it is not in my photo editing program.  Anyway, it's a cashmere scarf made from Yarn Harlot's Reversible Scarf Pattern.  Pretend you are looking at it in the right direction.

Working on a sweater and it is getting to the point where if I take a picture of it you might recognize it as such. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mid January

The blogger window has been open for several days waiting for some words to pop up on the screen. Funny, it has remained blank. Seems I can post a FB update status, but to actually put something together that appears to be a post..... well, it appears to elude me.

Out of sorts best describes the feeling I have right now. I can't really put my finger on any one thing, but can also put it on LOTS of things at the same time. Loss, winter, grief, yearning, lack of focus, all contribute, I believe. At least I can blame it on something. Whether it is that or not, I don't know.

In the meantime, I have been knitting. I am taking a class to knit a top down sweater - for the confident beginner. I believe my skills are a little beyond confident beginner, but how I benefit from this is to learn some little tricks on the way which only another knitter can show you - sometimes when you don't even think you need it. I also benefit from it by the fact that you have a deadline to get to a certain point, so it pushes me forward. I might get this sweater completed before it starts getting warmer here in South Georgia. If I took a picture of the work in progress, it would look all bunched up since it is on a circular needle, so I will spare you a picture. However, I have a little scarf in progress which I will share with you a photo (somehow it ended up above the paragraph, and I'm not fooling with it. I know better.).

I would be remiss if I did not mention how thankful I am for those who continue to show support, knowing that the grief from the loss of a loved one does not go away after a week or two. I found myself driving into the nursing home the other day and then remembered that Mom was gone.

Life continues on.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Today was a day where the loss of Mom has really set. I am grateful for the weeks I have had off for Christmas, but am still feeling quite exhausted, wanting to sleep. Tomorrow work begins again, and am hoping getting into the routine of a schedule will help.

The sympathy cards have been of help, and has allowed the tears to flow (wet prayers).

I am thankful for the spontaneous gathering of friends for supper, even though I didn't feel like good company. They were good company for me.

Even though I knew it was time for Mom to go, I still really really miss her. A lot.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6 months - no post?? Well, here you have it.

It's been about 6 months since I have posted and many life changes have occurred during this time. There is a grandson in our lives and we love him so! Almost 3 months old now, we are thoroughly enjoying him. Interestingly, on the same day he was born, my husband had a heart attack about the same time as his birth. Scary ordeal and very mixed emotions that day. All is well now, but we did have a scare.

Mom's failing health and general decline over the last year was difficult. Weight loss, increased dementia, and a stroke in December found Mom entering into God's heavenly kingdom December 28. Needless to say, we have had quite the year.

It has been very touching and moving to have the love and support of so many especially over the last months of Mom's life. Seeing a loved one, especially a parent, pass away, is one of those things you learn as you go. I am thankful for those who have led me along the way, especially when I didn't really know where we were going along life's path. Well, I DID know where we were going, but didn't always know the steps to take.

So, it has been a week since Mom passed away. Last night I dozed off in the chair and woke up suddenly thinking "Oh, I need to go see Mom" and realized she is no longer here. It feels surreal, as there is a void.

So the new year begins - and I don't know where it will lead me, but I am here.