Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iced Coffee with Lemon

This morning had a rough start. On my way to work, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts to get my morning iced tea. I was on the phone, engrossed in conversation, and it wasn't until I was almost to work that I took a sip. When I did, I realized that it was not iced tea, it was iced coffee...with 2 lemons in it. So annoying!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fighting Forward

Nagging, grabbing and clawing - I resist.
Knowing that candy isn't good for me doesn't make me stop craving it.
Knowing too much of it will make me sick doesn't change the appetite for just a little.

To reach out for support from the source of hurt will only delay healing.
There is strange comfort sought in opening a familiar wound.
When the ache rises and the struggle is lonely, seeking relief by choosing injury becomes a force stronger than letting the ache find peace.

Let the healing progress by the strength of stillness tonight.
Don't seek relief in a choice of no substance.
Deep comfort will settle on the heart of surrender.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dear Grace,

Ouch! You are hurting.

Words fail today.

I don’t know what to say or what to do.

It is in chaos and turmoil that grace is forged.

The price you’ve paid will bring forth a new life.

You will make it. You will overcome. You will be okay.

Darkness will not overtake you.

Peace and strength are holding your hands.

Love is calling your name. Love never looks away.

You are not alone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Flat

I was on my way to do Saturday errands when I merged onto I-95 southbound. As soon as I began to accelerate, I heard a loud noise. I thought it was a loud vehicle driving up behind me. I slowed down and realized the noise was coming from my car. I pulled off to the side of the interstate.

The right rear tire was flat.

I don’t have AAA. My dad and brother live half way across the country. I don’t have a boyfriend or husband.

I’ve never changed a tire before.

Angie and I discussed that this cannot be a difficult thing to do. We can make this happen.

We got the spare out, found the jack and right there at the on-ramp of exit 42, two girls set out to do a man’s job.

There were a few hiccups. I put the jack in the wrong place and started jacking up the wheel-well but not the rest of the car. I readjusted and got that figured out.

Then, once the car was jacked up, I couldn’t get the lug nuts off. I put all my weight into it and they weren’t budging. Ang called dad to make sure I was unscrewing them in the proper direction. Eventually, they loosened up.

Then, I put the tire on the wrong way and couldn’t get the lug nuts to screw back on. Remember, I am a tire changing virgin here. This is my first time.

Not one person stopped to offer help.

After at least 30 minutes in the Connecticut sun, the deed was done and we were on our way.

NASCAR is beeping in on the other line. They want me for the pit crew on the #48 team.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

22 Minutes

When the alarm on my cell phone prompted me to jump out of my bed this a.m., (the best bed in the whole world I might add) the sun was not shining in my window as it usually is. Instead, it was dark, overcast and pouring down rain.

In my house, I have 2 skylights; one in the kitchen and one in the living room. I’ve never lived in a house with skylights before and they are one of the things that sold me on the place when I first looked at buying it. One of my favorite things to do when it’s raining is to lie on my oversized ottoman in the center of my living room and watch the rain fall on the skylights. I didn’t have time for that today but I did get ready and drive to work in the midst of the deluge.

Driving to work is one odd time of the day that I look forward to. I may not always look forward to work but I like the driving part. It’s a time for me to spend approximately 22 mins. (31 mins. if I stop by Dunkin Donuts on the way) deep in thought when I’m generally well rested and energized. I plug in my ipod and listen to music that fuels my mood. Those 22 to 31 mins. each day set the background for the remainder of my day.

Today, the rain also contributed to my pensive state of mind. Something about the sound of rain that is calming to the hustle of all that goes on in the world. I know rain is most often thought of as the downer, the depressing cold, dark drag but today, the rain was a refreshing change to me.

Tomorrow is certain to be sunny, hot and humid and that will be fine as well but as I crawl into the best bed in the whole world tonight, I have been rejuvenated by the rain.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Some things in life are like bumping into an electric fence.

My Dad was a horseshoer by trade. From time to time, I would go to work with him, mostly because he would get me a 20oz. Orange Crush soda and a King-sized Butterfinger bar.

There were only a few days each year when it was a “perfect” time to go to work with Dad because he worked outside. There was no air conditioning or heat in the pasture or barn or paddock where my dad worked. When you are 8 or 9 years old, it is BOR
ING to watch your dad work for 9 hours hammering nails into horses feet with only the occasional cat or dog to pet.

If I wanted an Orange Crush and a Butterfinger, I had to endure a little bit of boredom, so I would try to make the most of it by fiddly-fartin’ with anything that might make the day go by.

My Dad drove a pimped out pick up truck. It was a white, short bed, Toyota with a topper on the back. The sides of the topper opened like wings and inside were custom built wooden boxes that held a variety of horseshoes in different sizes and weights. In the back, was a coal burning forge and a heavy-ass anvil along with the other necessary tools needed to do the job. It was the blacksmith-mobile. Everything in my dad’s truck was covered in coal dust filth. However, the best thing my dad had in the back of his truck was a can of GO-JO, the waterless hand cleanser. That stuff was awesome after the Butterfinger melted and I had tried to drink the Orange Crush by sticking my tongue in the bottle dripping stickiness on my chin.

One day my dad had backed his truck up to a cement slab where he was going to get busy doin’ his job and I opened one of the side wings to get something to get busy fiddlin’ with. I don’t remember what I was rummaging for and it really doesn’t matter because as I backed up and ducked my head to shut the wing-window on the right side of the topper, I bumped my rear-end into the hot electric fence.

An electrified tingle buzzed through my body unexpectedly. I stood for a few seconds in shock as I realized what had just happened. It wasn’t fatal but it caught me off guard and gave me a greater respect for the almost invisible wires that looked so harmless.

There are moments in life when our own carelessness and disregard causes the jolt that we didn’t see coming. It leaves us stunned. It may not kill us but it is painful nonetheless.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving Thoughts

Today has been one of those days when thoughts, random thoughts have been frolicking through my head like butterflies darting through a meadow of dandelions. Today the dialogue in my head rarely paused for a millisecond before bouncing on to the next topic. I feel exhausted. Not because I did anything out of the ordinary today but because the thoughts in my mind have gone from being extra intentional about taking my morning vitamins because I have forgotten them for the past 3 days, to the joy of leaving work early and wondering what I will do with an extra hour and a half of time to do whatever I want, to wondering what the family in Stamford must be going through tonight as they buried their 9 year old child today.

Some things don’t make much sense. The little boy, 9 years old, died of a cancerous brain tumor that 10 months ago, interrupted an otherwise normal family life. One day he was a normal, healthy child and the next day, a simple headache became the turning point on which all of life would change. Now everything looks different for this family and the people connected to them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Walk On

10 ½ months ago I went to Florida for a weekend getaway and while I was there, I heard a statement that resonated with me. I have thought about it many times over the past year. Today I see it from a different vantage point.

A new day begins at midnight. It doesn't look like a new day; it appears to still be night. Those first hours of each new day are filled with darkness. By the time the sun rises, it has been a new day for several hours.

When I first heard this, I found hope in it. I kept thinking that maybe this is how things are in my life. Maybe a new day has actually come but I have to go through a few more dark hours before I will see the light of day. I was still very much in the dark.

Now, nearly a year later, I think the beams of light may be rising from the east. I feel a shifting taking place in the undercurrent of my soul. The dark night of grief is lifting. Hope is swiftly catching up to me. For the first time in a couple of years I feel like I might be ok. I'm beginning to believe once more, that maybe I will be able to love again. My circumstances haven't changed but my perspective is changing.

Stumbling out of the foggy night, I don't want to forget. I cannot allow myself to move on without stopping to acknowledge where I've been. I carry scars from trudging through thickly woven thistles that have sliced my skin. I carry bruises from not being able to see what was in front of me. I carry increased strength from being broken and finding myself emptier than I thought was possible to endure.

Rising off the damp and musty ground, I am immersed in thankfulness. I stand in this moment and my gratitude spills over like a reservoir that cannot contain the quickly melting snow. It's deep. Emotion wells up from my core as I look back and see every moment when I was hanging by a ragged thread, thinking I would lose my grip and plummet to the depths of despair.

The struggle has enlarged my heart. The pain has extended my capacity for love. The suffering has baptized me in grace. The death of my ability to make things work has brought life to desire within me. Though I felt as though I would expire beneath the weight of struggle, pain and suffering instead, I now feel alive in a new way.

I'm finding growth and beauty peeking through the ashes.

It looks different than I thought it would. It's not what I expected. It's not how I had imagined.

It's not the end, just a new beginning...