Friday, January 3, 2014

Judgment Day

My sisters and I gathered at Mom's house last night to say good bye to my oldest sister.  She is going  home today and we won't see her for awhile.  A very sad thought.  My middle sister and I begged her to stay but she can't.

While we were talking, my middle sister brought up the ironic coincidence that our mother, who has always prided herself as being the smartest person in the room and physically strong, is now slowly dying of paralysis and dementia.  It started me thinking.

When we were growing up, it was just a fact that when you die there is a Judgment before you get into Heaven.  You are forced to face your worst sins and repent or go to Hell.

I don't believe that, but what if Judgment happens before you die?  What if the way you die depends on how you have lived?

So I started thinking about my worst sins.  Vain, self-righteous, judgmental...  

Yikes!  I have to get movin on this repenting and making amends stuff!  Crap!  I want to be one of those people who die instantly without anguish and pain.  I don't want to linger, dragging out my dying over months and years!

I will not be vain, self-righteous, and judgmental
I will not be vain, self-righteous and judgmental
I will not be vain, self-righteous and judgmental

I can also be small and petty sometimes.  Gee whiz!  This is going to take a lot of work and time!

I guess I'll find out how well I did on repenting when my time comes to die.  Until then, all I can do is try to be aware and make a conscious effort to change.  There is so much to learn in life, so much to do, so much to figure out.  This is what makes life so interesting, so beautiful, so fun.

I don't really believe in Judgment, Hell, or any of the other fearful control strategies.  But I do believe there is a reaction for every action, and I do believe we have lessons to learn in life.  I want to learn these lessons, not out of fear, but because I want to have a joyful life and give joy to others.

Taking inventory of yourself is a good thing.  Not a Judgment, a lesson.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014

I never thought I would see 2014, it seemed so far into the future.  I thought it would be like the Jetsons, with flying cars and robot maids.  What a let down it is to still have the same old things, the same old way.

I would love to believe that 2014 will be a better year than 2013, but I think it will be worse.  I think I will be arranging and attending two funerals of family members.  I think I will be in the midst of cleaning out and selling the house I grew up in.  I think this year will be a nightmare.

There is a part of me who believes it will be a good year.  A year of new beginnings.  I know that nothing is ever all good or all bad, but a combination of the two.  Unfortunately, I am in the black hole of the bad right now, struggling to keep my spirits up.  I'm hanging on the edge by my fingernails.

Something good needs to happen.  Right now.  Anything.  Please.

I think of all the many blessings I have been given, a beautiful planet, wonderful friends and family, abundance in all things that matter like good health.  I know I am better off than the majority.  But today I am in a funk and I think it's okay.  I think it's okay to have one of those days.

It won't last.  Nothing does.  Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Days Gone By

My sisters and I have been going through the family memory chest and we found loads of letters and pictures.  One letter we found was from my father to my mother on August 1948. 

My dad was 27 and madly in love with Mom.  He was in Oklahoma looking for a job, missing Mom like crazy.  She was in Laurel, Mississippi working and waiting for him.  The letter was sweet, screaming anticipation for their reunion.  He was like a kid head over heels in love.

They married in September of 1948, a month after the letter was written.  My brother was born in July of 1949.  They barely had a honeymoon.

We found their wedding picture we thought had been destroyed.

We found the receipt from the motel they stayed in on their honeymoon.  $7. 25.

We found other notes and cards they gave one another, all very sweet.

We found childhood pictures, recital programs, report cards on all four kids.  Pictures of aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends long gone.  Stacks of press releases of Mother's accomplishments and social engagements. 

It was a trip down memory lane with surprises, giggles, and sighs. 

Oh, and for anyone questioning whether I graduated high school....I now have proof.

It has been wonderful spending time with my sisters.  Wonderful going through the chest together.  So many memories.  All of days gone by. 



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Moving Along

It was a wonderful Christmas, best in a long time.  My two sisters and I went back in time and we were children, giggling and enjoying each other.  My youngest son basked in the fun of it all.  My brother joined us on Christmas Eve for laughter and joy, then became ill and missed Christmas.  That was a bummer, but at least we had that time together.

Now it's over and I'm ready to move along.  The air smells like Spring, the Sun is out, the weather is warm.  Time is flying and I'm riding with it.  A new year, a new life, a new beginning.  Bring it.

I don't know what the new year will bring, I think some sadness.  But with all things in life, there is joy with the sorrow and sorrow with the joy.  It is what it is.

I've learned a lot this past year.  Patience, forgiveness, love.  Learning life lessons is what it's all about.  I hope I never stop learning.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas

My sister just drove in from Nevada, we are all here for the first time in.... Can't remember.  Forever I guess.  
As with everything else this past year, Christmas will be a bitter/sweet time.  It is wonderful to have all of my siblings together, I wish Mother could enjoy us being here under the same roof that she could decorate and fuss over.  Instead, we will be visiting her at the nursing home.

My brother and I drove over to see my sister last night the minute she got here.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.  My son was there to enjoy the three of us telling stories about growing up with mom and dad.  They are so jealous over me being the baby!  Just kidding.  They were giving me a lot of grief for having everything and getting everything and being such a brat.  It's true, I was and am.  They love me in spite of it.

I'm sure there will be more stories when my other sister joins in, and I'm sure the laughter will continue.  We aren't a perfect family, but we are family.  We love each other, we fight, we bitch, we moan, we defend to the death.

It's good to be together.  Wish Mom could fuss over us.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Brrrrr!

The high today is 28 degrees, tomorrow 22 degrees.  I really kind of love it.  The sky is grey, the trees are bare, and everything has slowed down to a crawl.  It's peaceful.

Some people suffer from seasonal depression when the weather is like this, but I love the serenity of it.  I can go outside if I want, the cold doesn't bother me, or I can stay in and paint with music guiding my hand.  I can watch movies or read or any number of things.  I have friends and family to spend time with if I want, or I can enjoy my solitude.  I come from abundance of all that matters.

Others aren't as fortunate.  I never forget that.

So I think today I will clean and paint and maybe walk.  I will enjoy this freezing weather and count my blessings.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis The Season

I spent a week in Charleston with my children and grandchildren for Thanksgiving, and now the Christmas rush is on.  My visit to Charleston was a lot of fun, got to hang with good friends and spend time hugging and laughing with my grandsons.  They are so adorable!

Now I'm back in Oklahoma where the weather goes from 70 degrees yesterday to 29 degrees tomorrow.  We have a cold front of ice and snow coming in.  I have to say that I love winter weather in the winter.  I love all of the seasons and I'm glad to be back where they exist.

I came back to bad news and good news, back stabbing bullshit, and the usual chaos of my life here.  It is so weird.  I know this turmoil is temporary, but it's difficult in the mean time.  For all of us.

My brother and I are working together to get things done for Mother and the family.  There is so much to do.

The city put up Christmas lights by Halloween night.  Black Friday has come and gone, the Mall is packed every day with cars on the grass for lack of space.

When I was a child, Christmas was the best time of year.  It started the day after Thanksgiving and every day was an exciting anticipation of The Day.  We four kids were directed to go through the Sears catalogue and make our lists of wishes, the house was decorated to the gills, the parties began.  It was a magical time.

My parents didn't have money to get us everything we wanted, but our Dad's cousins from Chickasha came every year with piles and piles of presents to make up for it.  They didn't have children so we were it.  It was a grand time.  Music, laughter, love, food, magical.

My parents had a policy that anyone who was alone for the holidays was welcome at our home.  Sometimes they were friends, sometimes they were strangers my dad would meet while he was out doing whatever he did.  It was a great addition to the holidays.

Christmas isn't like that anymore.  We fearfully shun strangers, we begin the holiday so early that we are bored and worn out by the time it comes.  There is no joy, only pressure and sadness and competition.

I don't know how we will celebrate Christmas this year with Mom in the nursing home.  It's sad.

I think about my childhood holidays and still feel the warmth and joy that once was.  I cling to those memories and try to be joyful.  I don't want to let go.  I want to be joyful and spread it everywhere.  Just like the old days.