The Older Sibling

I have one sister, she is older. There are many things she says and does that are directly affected by the fact she is the eldest child. I don’t believe I will ever truly understand her thought process or how she views life.

I believe she is a nurturer by nature and being the eldest has caused her to expand her wings in a protective stance frequently. We lost our mother to cancer years ago and are now learning new roles in life as our father is very ill.

My sister appears to trudge along undaunted by the magnitude of choices and decisions to be made concerning dad’s care. What she displays is what I’ve always seen in her, and who she is in my eyes. I don’t doubt her abilities or skills as she forges her way through life even during very trying times. She seems to always appear at the surface of whatever pond life has put before her with some type of tool at her disposal.

Then there’s the other side, the side that is hidden from everyday life and reserved for her family. Her husband and boys know that side of her very well, it’s the side that makes her an all encompassing mom. This is the side I see poking its heart through the strong exterior as she deals with the never ceasing tasks while leading the troops in caring for dad.

I have a ‘big sister’ and I’m very thankful for her, on many levels.

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Understanding Life

My father has been very ill, COPD is absorbing his energy and his existence has changed. My sister and I realize that the days he has left are numbered and that number isn’t very large.

My conversations with him have opened my eyes to a new understanding concerning our existence. I’m finding great importance in understanding how my existence interacts with others and I desire for the ripple I leave in my wake to be of a positive nature, and uplifting. I now choose to see the positive in situations and try to not cause discomfort or stress in other people’s lives.

I’ve realized that my existence does not, nor should it, revolve solely around me and my desires. I am now more concerned about being helpful and not a hindrance. I judge less and become offended less easily. I’ve realized we each have our own time frame in which to reach a point of realization and understanding in life.

Everything happens for a reason though the knowledge and understanding of the reason may be years in arriving if it arrives at all.

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Now that I am confronted with accepting the poor health, and ultimately the death, of my father I find awakening within me the ability to search out and recognize possibilities that lie in my path.

Some things are no longer seen masquerading as fear, but rather as Hidden Possibilities. I am learning to listen to the environment I find myself in and to feel the energies that surround me.

When I calm my Inner Voice I can then hear the suggestions of my  Higher Power. When I follow the direction given I am better prepared to be a part of a positive outcome and peace will be present around me.

Ain’t Life Grand!

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Dead Like Me – Reaping Havoc

At times I enjoy watching TV shows that are mind numbing and other times I prefer the ones that get the gray matter energized. While watching Dead Like Me (created by Bryan Fuller for Showtime Cable Network ) Season 1 Episode 5 Reaping Havoc  {find on} (listing  J.J. Philbin as ‘Written By’ ) I was propelled into Thought Mode by these words narrated by Georgia Lass:

“When you can’t make sense of someone leaving sometimes you try to make sense of what they left behind, and it makes it a whole lot easier when what they left you was beautiful.”

A little piece of wisdom found amongst a collection of thoughts sold to provide an income.

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Our Existence

We start our journey as a young soul eager to learn. Our lessons come packaged each with its own merit and design whose purpose may not be totally understood until many years later.

We develop our personalities and hopefully mature. We soldier on.

As we begin to add to our years as a communal being and part of the society in which we live we learn to prioritize tasks in life. We discover that our active input in life may change the value of a particular life lesson we are destined to learn from, and, if we’re lucky, we learn early in life to hang on tight as the Life Lesson Roller Coaster Ride can have some pretty sharp curves and drops.

As we travel this journey we develop tools to help us navigate and manage our lives. Unfortunately, some of the tools we are exposed to and gravitate towards have a negative effect on our lives. It isn’t until we develop some recovery tools that we realize that a previously collected tool, or more, may not be one we wish to tote around on our journey. We then start to replace tools, and hopefully start to shine.

I’ve reached a particular phase in my journey where I’m existing in and absorbing many different levels of energy, thoughts, memories, laughter and regrets, and they’re not all mine.

My only living parent has a horrible disease, COPD. I’m seeing my father’s very capable body whither into a collection of stresses and desire as he fights for each and every breath in a physical frame that is only a whisper of what it once was. I am now in a position in life I had never even thought of before, caring for a loved one who is suffering. Many years ago, my mother passed away from lung cancer. At that time, I did not have the opportunity to learn to give special care to my primary care giver, who felt and addressed my every need as I grew, for she passed very quickly. I am now in that phase and yearn to offer assistance to my father.

There isn’t much I can do to help him, though I try. I can’t help him breath the way he helped me learn to balance on a bike or to drive a car. I can’t talk things through with him to offer support as he did when it was time for me to learn to make better choices.

What I can do is to emulate the tender love and quiet support my mother never ceased to show me. I can revive her memory and way of being, that I now understand as I view it from a mother and grandmother perspective with clearer vision, as I offer forth that style of love and support to my father during this very difficult time.

My father has often said that the only thing you leave behind that really matters is your children.

I now understand my role as their daughter – to bring to the forefront of my life the best they had to teach me topped with a dose of humility life taught me and flavor it with compassion and understanding.

Ain’t Life Grand.

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Aging, We all do it

I remember being six years old and my biggest concern was eating a popsicle before it dripped down my hand and on to my forearm. Remembering being awkward at twelve conjures up memories minus all the growing pains. Memories from my teens are full of life’s lessons with some pangs from mistakes and some smiles from well made choices. Memories made while co-habituating in society as an adult are the ones that are most vivid with some still packing punch.

Right now I am muddling through life at a time where the lessons are coming at an astonishing pace and they’re filled with many different values. Sometimes I can see what’s new and pick out the values, other times I feel like I’m doing my very best just to  catch as many lessons as possible so I can decipher them later. Unfortunately, I feel I’ve reached a point where I’m ill-equipped to handle what’s coming at me and that my life resembles a circus. But, I keep trudging ahead knowing that everything that is going on is fluid and WILL change, one way or another. There ARE Golden lessons on their way to me and I’m very thankful to be their beneficiary.

I was not raised in a situation where grandparents where an integral part of my life as two had past away and two were not accessible.  I have no memories of how this phase of my life is to be accomplished. No visions pop up of how my mom cared for her aging parents nor memories of my dad supporting his. My earlier life doesn’t include memories of that nature so I’ll have to make new ones who’s creation will be uniquely their own as I now find myself old enough to have an aging parent.

I’m finding that respect for the aging process is dependent on a person’s physical and mental health. We have to understand how our bodies are changing while we choose which path we’ll travel knowing some days will be easier than others. Each day is new and offers brand new opportunities.

There are days I wake up and hear my joints crack or feel a stiffness that doesn’t fad right away. My hair has decided that it’s independence is more important than my vanity. My skin is delicate and requires more water than I desire to drink. My brain has slowed down a bit since it’s added patience and empathy to the processing pattern it’s now using. My eyes are now sending information directly to my heart while by-passing the stops at Judgment and Condemnation. Compassion guards my mouth with only the occasional escapes of “I wish I hadn’t said That’s”.

I believe I’m picking my battles better because I can now see what’s hidden behind the front lines. The tools I’m using don’t require sharpening or mending as often, and my armor fits better though it may not be the latest fashion. Certain things keep popping to the surface or shining brighter than others with Kindness being one of those things I feel emanating from within.

Nothing happens in this life that doesn’t have the possibility of providing an opportunity for growth in one form or another. WE get to be in charge of the direction of growth. WE get to choose whether a memory or regret is created. WE get to choose if they are tears of joy or not. There is so much power bestowed upon us concerning the creation of our memories. Use that power wisely as the ripple it makes in life may touch numerous lives. Be the reason someone smiles.

Ain’t Life Grand!

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Depression has no season or perfect place to ‘be’. It invites itself into our lives, sometimes at the most inopportune times. It can disrupt the best laid out plans leaving chaos looking like well practiced free form dance steps.

Be patient, don’t judge yourself to harshly and for goodness sake don’t give up. Help is out there, keeping holding on till you connect with it.

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Learning to be YOU

My friendships with others helps me to understand the type of person I want to be. My thought processes connected with my actions, and my perceptions, are learning tools of life.

As I age I realize the necessity of actually listening to others, undistracted listening, and of kindness, especially where truth is concerned. Through living life those two traits are being exposed as two of the most valuable traits worthy of pursuing.

Introspection. . . . . invaluable.

Ain’t Life Grand!

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You Know You’ve Matured When. . . . .

I had a conversation with someone yesterday, whom I had not seen in ages. The conversation seemed just a bit odd or not in sync with how a conversation with that person usually goes. She made a hand gesture that when I saw her do it for some unknown reason I began to doubt the statement that she had just made and thought to myself that she had just lied to me. I passed off my thought as unfounded and went on my way.

Today I had to run errands and ended up making some odd decisions such as where to park and what isle to go down first. I frequent this store often enough to have developed regular shopping habits that for some reason I found myself making last minute direction changes. I then ran into that same person, who was with another person, and was greeted by a situation that I felt confirmed my funny feeling of having been lied to.

Here’s the nice part about what I discovered about myself: I wasn’t upset that I felt I had been lied to. I wasn’t upset about what appeared to be the reason for the lie. What I did feel was a pang in my heart that the first person, and the other person who was there that they had felt the need to lie to me. My heart hurt for them. I then made a blanket comment in an effort to politely infer that I was aware of their situation and that I wasn’t hurt or upset by it in an effort to stop them from feeling hurt, or guilty if a lie had been told. I tried to be generic as it was still just a feeling that I had been lied to, nothing was absolute, but I sure didn’t want my presence there to make either of them feel uncomfortable. We chatted for a bit and I went on my way.

As I pondered the encounter on my way home I came to the conclusion that it’s possible that IF it was a lie I had been told that they may have made their choices out of respect for my feelings and didn’t want to hurt me. I was thankful they cared enough to try to limit hurt feelings. Then I thought that the truth can only exist where it has permission to be. I don’t think a 100% truthful life is something that would be an easy or comfortable existence. I don’t fault them, nor do I harbor any ill feelings over what may or may not have happened.

One thing that working with the recently deceased and their family & friends has taught me is that life is fluid and ever changing. I do not want to be thought of as the total sum of my mistakes. My heart is sensitive, and that’s okay. At times I feel the hurt and confusion of others, I try to speak cautiously and to be kind. There is already enough pain floating about looking for a place to land that I do not want to be the reason someone feels pain. I’m sure at times it has happened, and will probably continue to happen, but I don’t do it on purpose or with the desire to cause pain for others.

So, in ending this little written ponder I wish them peace and hope that I am wrong about what I thought occurred. But, if I’m not wrong I harbor no ill will, I share thoughts of understanding and, of course I wish them peace.

Ain’t Life Grand

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Being Thankful & Showing Gratitude

Being grateful for someone or something and showing gratitude can and often are two separate feelings that can and may be displayed differently, if displayed at all.

Gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness is the proper, fitting or called-for response to benefits or beneficence from a benefactor. ”  Definition of Gratitude

As the years have progressed I have found that I find great value in ‘Thank You’s, not only the expressions of my gratitude TO the person(s) whom have bestowed gifts (physical or emotional) to me, but also in RECEIVING Thank Yous from others.

I send Thank You cards in the mail, and/or email & text Thank Yous, depending on the circumstances and individual who bestowed the gift upon me. For me it is very important for the giver to know how much I appreciate their time to think of me, their effort in acquiring the gift and their choosing to give it to me. I am genuinely grateful to be important enough to that person for all those things to occur.

Now, here’s where I need to do some non judgmental work on my thought process – the NOT receiving a Thank You, especially if the gift took a lot of time and effort to create or cost me a lot of money  (because the expense was me making personal sacrifices to have that money to spend on the other person).  When the person does not show gratitude to me as I would to them had the situation been reversed, I then ‘feel’ as though they do not appreciate the gift nor acknowledge the sacrifices I made in order to gift it to them. In turn I seem to translate that to that person not valuing ME very much – which may NOT be the case at all. The other thought that has popped up is that person feeling as though I owe that sacrifice/gift to them so therefore they do not need to show me any gratitude.

I have to remember to NOT assume other people hold and respect the same Value System of emotions and actions as I do, and THAT’S OKAY – we all have our own unique personal value system designed just for us by our upbringing and life’s lessons. I don’t want to be expected to place someone else’s values and beliefs above my own, so therefore I should not expect someone else to do the same.

We are all unique and that’s what makes us special. As we connect and meld into our own little path of existence in the world we help others see their value and to shine. It’s when we all shine as only we can that the world is a brighter and happier place to be.

Ain’t Life Grand!


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