Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Any Other Day

Generally, when a woman comes to the door with legal documents in her hand, you think something might be wrong. Today, she came with papers in her hand and along with her came the realization that things might be right.

Like winning a lottery.

Money flowing from hand to hand, the load of life unraveling as the evening wore on... more and more, I felt as if the load had lifted. She could see clearly the difference a few dollars could make, across the palm, across the knee, in her pocket --- she could see.

She understood.

She won the lottery.

I held back, waiting.. Watching... Wishing I could see the end of the game plan. There was an end. I knew there was.

It was there...

Near the late night hour as she walked toward the door, the realization that being a nurturing, caring person, who loved more than she could carry was okay. She agreed that caring was more important than all the lies that could be told and she nodded. Her heart was bigger when she left than when she arrived. She'd been won over, convinced, and believed.

No story left untold...

We held the night hour, keeping the home fire burning and explaining that caring, truly nurturing a child will always win over lying to the child, trying to drive wedges between people who genuinely care for each other.

Caring. Loving. Knowing. Always WIN.

Friday, December 13, 2013

That Mom

When children pack up to move away, a strange thing happens to their view of home, of mom, and of life in general.

Mom becomes expendable. A mean, unreasonable woman who forces them to be who they don't want to be (ooops, it couldn't possibly be the child they're trying to leave behind?)

Home becomes a place where they should be able to leave their 'stuff' indefinitely until they want to retrieve it, from wherever they leave it. If it's in the way, or Mom needs that space, she's supposed to pack it up and put it away where it's safe from harm, other prying eyes or any damage, and it's her responsibility to put it away, if the middle of the coffee table isn't where she wants it left. Always.

But Mom isn't supposed to ask them to help around home, or to expect them to put their things away, because that's just TOO DAMNED MUCH expectation from Mom.

The door is always open. I expect them to be at home here, do what they would do if they did live here, and be part of the family. I never realized that I was to treat them as guests when they come home... I guess, the thought never occurred to me that they wanted to be treated that way, either.

I suppose it's probably the difference between my own expectations and the expectations of others... Evidently, I'm not expecting the same things.

However, I'm that mom...

The door is open, you're always welcome, this is your home if you are here, and I expect you to treat it as such. I'm not good at being a hostess... When I believe the guest is family. I believe my family should be family, not a random guest off the street.

Always. All the time. Not part of the time. And not just when the LIVE here, but forever.

The door is open. I love you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Cost of Boundaries and Loopholes

Sitting on the chair in my office, my daughter shared a story about work... A customer desired a phone and the phone wouldn't arrive in the store until after she picked it up on her way in to work, the next day. She asked the customer to stop by at noon, and the customer asked if she could meet her at the store at ten. She said, "No, I'll be here to open at noon." The customer tried again, "I'd like to have my phone." She said, "I'd like to spend some time with my children, before I come in to work."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Outside the circle

Living with grown children sometimes means giving up the dreams one might have had for retirement. Travel isn't in my near future, and that's okay. I traveled in my youth, and I've traveled enough to know that it isn't where you are but who you're with that matters. The trips across country meant a lot to me, but only because I had family there to share the sunlight, the storms and the world away from home.

But there will come a time when all my children will fly away, like eagles soaring high in the sky achieving heights of their very own, and that time may be coming sooner than I ever wanted to admit. Is it okay?

Am I okay with the idea of living alone?

A Tea Party with Friends

Yes. I'm okay with the drive across country, stopping at a vintage store, an ice cream shop, or a road side park and visiting friends and family occasionally along the way. Short visits. I don't want to stay too long. I'd rather take them out for lunch and be on my way. Maybe stopping for the night in a roadside inn where I can enjoy the sound of morning birds,

I'm looking forward to having a cup of tea with friends and knowing the cookies I bought for the event are still in the pantry. But I'll secretly miss the Grandchildren who would normally have eaten them all up.

I'll remember occasionally the moments when I complained about missing the ability to have a life of my own, while I'm out with friends, chasing rainbows and dreaming of fun things to do. But, on those nights when I have nothing to do, I'll wish my grandchildren were nearby to share a movie or an evening tea party - where we could eat up those cookies.

I'll be living outside the circle, just a ways on the other side of family life, out there, where Mom's live when life isn't quite as full as it was... back then, inside the circle.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family Grudges, Lies and Untruths

Living in a family where grudges against other family members are deep seated, unending, and relentlessly growing, can be difficult no matter how many years you've been in the family. At first, I struggled for acceptance, ignoring the red flags at lies stated about family members, when I knew them to be untrue, then I realized I didn't have to be susceptible to those who perpetuated the grudges, the lies and the problems. If some chose to hang onto the grudges, I could simply allow them to exit my life as they wished. I didn't have to perpetuate the problem by continuing to be part of the family grudge network.

I chose to let go.

I chose to walk away. And walk away, I did. To another far corner of the state, away from the family I loved, because it was simply easier to forgive them their grudges and move on, without them in my life, than it was to continue fighting the battle of righting continuing wrongs. At first, I thought I could just let it all go, forgive, forget and move past the lies. But their lies grew...

No longer were their lies perpetuated against my mother, who was no longer here. She'd forgiven, let them go and moved on to her Heavenly home, without the stumbling blocks of family members who continued to lie about her.

Now, their lies turned to other members of the family. Brutal untruths, when their own plates were dirty, disgusting and damaged. I had chosen to forgive, pray for them and let go of the anger. I continued to let it go. I continued to walk away.

But... I chose to walk further away. Beyond forgiveness and letting go. I chose to remove myself from their presence, from their lies and from their brutal meanness and untruth.

I refused to stoop to lies or even to defending their lies. I left. Leaving didn't mean I didn't love them, it simply meant that I was no longer tolerant of the ignorant perpetuation of the family grudge. I didn't have to participate, to continue to live with it, I could live without the grudge. I could live a better life without condoning and tolerating the stupidity that continued.

When asked by my best friend why I chose not to respond to their lies against my parents, with truths that I knew... Such as the time her father took a log chain to threaten my grandfather and my mom stepped between them. Or the time her father took money, his wife requested from my grandparents for food and bought drinks for everyone in the bar, bragging that his father-in-law gave him the money, when my father was repairing the refrigeration system behind the bar, listening, knowing full well that when he got home, mom would have loaned my grandparents the money to replace what they loaned to my uncle. Fair? No. But what good would perpetuating the grudge have done? Would there be any benefit?

Is there ever any benefit in perpetuating a grudge?

Is there EVER any benefit in stirring up a problem where truly the problem doesn't exist between the two people having a discussion?

Words once spoken can never be taken back. The problem with exchanging frustrations in a situation where there's no real problem to begin with is that no solution can be found. None. No one forgives. No action can be taken if the problem continues to be exchanged in frustration.

Families are torn apart. Lives are ruined. Entire communities are ripped to shreds over... what? Some grudge that nobody really understands or knows how it started? The world could be a better place. And yet... there's that freedom of speech thingie.

I want to say what I feel, but you can't? How does that work again?

Today, I experienced this in many different ways, mostly as people telling me that my opinion isn't worthy of sharing. I had no right to my opinion, my "facts" because mine were WRONG. No, they were mine.

If I can listen and hear your side of the story, why can't you listen to mine? Really?

It's called civility. It's called freedom of speech. It's called respecting the rights of others to BE HEARD.

If I hear you, you need to take a moment and HEAR me. Really listen and HEAR what I'm saying. Don't get in my face and tell me that I'm an idiot because YOUR view is right and mine is not. I have a right to say what I believe too. And, my beliefs are just as justified and valid as yours.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rocking Realm of Power

I was given a rocking chair for mother's day a few years ago. My daughter thought it would be an appropriate gift, and it was definitely something I wanted. I have always loved the rocking chairs out in front of Cracker Barrel. So, I have one.

A few days back, I was asked if I was a Rocking Chair Grandma. All three of my grandchildren currently live with me and we have a mass of toys blocking every pathway through our home, every tabletop is covered by coloring books, crayons and entertainment for little ones, including quite often my desk. So, I considered the question quite thoroughly.

In the process of making a few life changes over the past year, I've let my hair grow out to my natural color, or current lack thereof. Gray appears washed out and colorless, but it is the color God invented for my hair. I'm not a fan. As hard as I've tried to get used to the color, I can't. I struggle with it daily. Every time I pass a mirror, I see the gray and feel old. I'm not. I'm a vibrant young woman with much life to live and gray isn't my color. In fact, as I write this, I've decided that I will be buying hair color on my next visit to the store. I'm tired of feeling old when I see myself in the mirror.

But the question, am I a Rocking Chair Grandma, still exists... The answer, yes. I live in a rocking realm of power. That power that comes to women of age who know that nothing that happens to them is too big for God to overcome. My hope is eternal and not of this world, therefore I have power to change my world. ;)

Being a Grandma rocks!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spunky, Charger, and Mom

Nicknames can be fun. When Oris George started calling me Charger a few years back, I admired the concept and loved hearing the name. It fit. A single parent for more than twelve years, I've been dedicated to my children and determined to raise them well. I have great children, who have become great adults. Three of the four have crossed that plateau, one still clinging to mom's apron strings (he doesn't realize yet, that I've cut him loose), and one still in high school, hanging onto every minute of youth.

Spunky came as a surprise a few weeks back, from a friend here in Denver. She answered the phone, "Hey Spunky, what's up?" She couldn't possibly know how much that new nickname meant, or that it's kept me reaching for the next step on the ladder to success for the past three months. I've struggled to keep up, and life seems to be getting in my way recently. But, having someone give me a nickname that reminded me that I'm spunky, gregarious and motivated helps to keep me in that "charger" mode.

Motivation sometimes comes from knowing that my Hope never fails. I love the positive power of faith in my life and knowing that I can achieve all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Any Other Day

Generally, when a woman comes to the door with legal documents in her hand, you think something might be wrong. Today, she came with papers ...