Sunday, May 28, 2017

And Then, They're Gone...

Last night, I learned that one of my cousins on my dad's side passed away. It was a tragic tale of drug overdose. While I was not very close to him due to a large age gap, I was close to his siblings, and I can't help feeling heavy for them, even though we haven't seen each other for many years.

What do you do in a situation like this? There are no words to properly emote feelings of empathy. Distance and time makes things hard, almost awkward. My dad's side of the family is terrible at sitting with uncomfortable emotions, so when my dad found out, he just kind of brushed it to the side. But my mother, the leader of the tribe, she knew what to do.

"Get me a phone, I need to call their mom."

So, she called my aunt. And as soon as their two voices exchanged a hello, they both sobbed. I, who really couldn't cry before this, feeling too separated, too distant, started crying. It was a powerful moment of two mothers weeping over a son. How many times throughout history has this happened before? How many needless, tragic deaths have been caused by illness, war,  murder, or drugs, all ending in a mother's tears?

It's strange... I've been pondering death, not really in a morbid way, but in a very real way. When death is close, it makes you aware of what is precious. I think we in the west are too far removed from death. We become cloistered, neurotic, and spiteful, thinking that we have forever to argue about petty, trifle matters. But we don't, we really don't... We only have a short while. So be aware, be tender, be gentle, for death is only a breath away...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May The Noise of Children Never Cease

Because I am the oldest of four children, and my mother has been chronically ill for nearly 16 years, I have pretty much raised my two youngest siblings. I moved away from my family for about 9 months, and felt like an empty nester... Now, I find myself back with my family, and this time someone, my youngest sister, is leaving me... I am incredibly proud of her, but I hate the change and the emotions that it brings...

Growing up and moving on in life is very bittersweet. Good things and bad things come and go, changing the scenery of your life. You can feel alone and quiet and distant, or you can choose to remember the beautiful things you had, and know that the best, permanant things are to come in heaven.

This poem is dedicated to my sibling "children," to parents, teachers, and to anyone who loves the children in their life.


May the noise of children never cease,
May it go on, may it ever increase.
Let your little ones shout and play,
For it won't always be that way.
Let your children know you care,
Let them know you saw them there.
Teach them how to understand,
How to love their fellow man.

Revel in the little things.
Celebrate bugs and butterfly wings.
Let them know that life is hard.
Tell them you will not be far.

And when your curtain call is close,
Let them know they meant the most.
Cherish their sounds, their laugh, their voice,
For life is in your children's noise.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Accept Today For What It Is

Jessie Willcox Smith - Young Girl Sweeping Front Step
Lately, I've found myself getting frustrated. Blame it on being more housebound this week, the mixture of emotions due to my sister getting accepted to college, or the aches and pains that just won't go away no matter what I try.

Today was spent preparing the house for a senior (senior citizen, that is) dance and potluck. I hadn't left the house since Thursday morning, and I felt stuck. I've washed more dishes in my life than I care to recall, and as I washed more dishes, swept more floors, I became angry for a few moments. With each little dish I pick up, with each little sweep of my mop, my back pain steadily increases. For this reason, housework is a slow, painful process. I used to be so fast at it! But as I've gotten older (and by older, I mean 24...) my spinal arthritis has gotten worse, and my hernias feel like they'll never repair.

I began to mentally whine.

But, then I realized something...

I have to accept today for what it is. Not for what I want it to be. Today's challenges, be it a small frustrations with housecleaning or a cosmic, internal conflict between my dark side and God, are scraping away the imperfections of my soul, polishing me like a stone.

Maybe I will never be able to clean very quickly again. Maybe I am doomed to feel like I am wasting my time doing the same chores, day in and day out. But if my heart is settled, and I am doing the best I can do, I am doing just fine...

PS. So excited to have a new blog layout!! I had a great big smile on my face, and my mom looked at me and asked what was making me so happy. Sheepishly, I said "Oh, just blogging!"

Friday, May 12, 2017

Take Yourself Seriously - The Manifesto

Its about time you took yourself seriously.

If you don't, no one else will.

If you don't seriously pursue your dreams, and make the necessary sacrifices to achieve them, they won't realize.

If you don't become a person of your word, saying exactly what you mean, following through with your promises, and cutting right to the point, people won't trust you.

If you are serious about starting something, do it right now! There is not a moment to lose!

I'm taking myself seriously. I am a writer! I have quit one of my jobs in order to pursue this, and I mean it with all of my heart, I shall become what I've always known I was meant to become.

It's time for action! I don't want to be a writer because I want people to know my name, or want my work to be well known. I am supposed to be a writer. Therefore, if I do not write, I am thwarting my destiny, my purpose.

Its scary now, to have this thing before me, this task. Good writing has always been so beautifully difficult because you have no one telling you or overseeing you, showing you exactly what to say and how to say it. It comes down to you and your guts, spilling them out onto the page in your every word.

So, here I am world, full of unspoken words. I can't promise you original thoughts, or well-written stories, or beautiful poetry, but I can promise you that I will observe, that I will think, and that I will try to capture the essence of human experience in the 21st century.

Always yours,

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