A Prayer

Many people around me are hurting today.

Today’s post is simply a prayer…

A prayer for comfort for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who just lost their son, and for all those who have lost loved ones…

A prayer for healing for my step-father who is very ill and headed back to the hospital, and for all those who are struggling with health issues…

A prayer for rest for those who are overworked…

A prayer for abundance for those who are struggling financially…

A prayer for sobriety for those with addictions…

A prayer for safety for those in harm’s way…

A prayer for companionship for those who are lonely…

A prayer for courage for those who are afraid…

A prayer for the human condition.

When You’re Right, You’re Right

As Father’s Day comes to a close, I am thinking about all the fathers in my life.

My son, who is celebrating his second Father’s Day, has a baby girl who simply adores him.  I am proud of the dad he is, especially because he didn’t really have a role model.

When I was a teenager, my step-father sewed a skirt I ripped as I cried out of frustration.  He took me to the emergency room when I fell down a flight of stairs and split my noggin open.  And he made some killer cubed steak and gravy too!  He doesn’t sew or cook much anymore.

My brother-in-law is celebrating his first Father’s Day.  He had never held an infant until his own son was born.  By my sister’s own admission, he is a better mother than she could ever be.

My father-in-law is a wonderful man and has treated me like a daughter nearly since the day we met.  He looks out for me, sends me things he knows I would like, and takes a general interest in what’s going on with me.  (I think he likes me better than my husband.)

All kidding aside, my husband learned a lot from his dad.  I always say the line that hooked me was when my husband’s online profile listed one of his favorite things as “telling jokes that make me laugh and my kids roll their eyes.”  I always heard that the best gift a man can give his kids is to love their mother.  Well, we don’t have any children together, but my husband has certainly given his step-children the gift of loving their mother.  And I know it has been good for them.

Finally, I have been thinking about my dad all day.  He could make any situation seem better with just a few  words.  I can remember calling him late at night, because I knew he would be up… and if he wasn’t he would talk to me anyway.  He always knew just what to say.  One of the things he used to say to me, popped into my head first thing this morning.  It was usually after I had done something stupid and he wanted to let me know he was in my corner no matter what.  He would say, “You’re my daughter.  When you’re right, you’re right and when you’re wrong, you’re right.”  Now I was smart enough to know I wasn’t always right… especially in those moments.  But it sure made me feel better.

Little One

This is my oldest son and his daughter (my only granddaughter… so far).  I don’t know what it is about babies that is so enthralling, but I could watch her for hours.  Maybe it is that everything mesmerizes her… everything is an adventure.  Oh, to remember that everything is a miracle!

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Tutoring for a Teenager

My son needed to make up a half credit of Algebra II to complete his graduation requirements.  He attempted Credit Recovery (essentially, online summer school) for the same, with negative results.  This program leaves out one of the most important components of education, which is the aid of a human being who can diagnose problems and coach the student accordingly in real time.  

So I hired a tutor.  Incidentally, I used to tutor through an online tutoring company, so I did my search there.  As I searched for the right tutor, I found a woman I knew.  We had done some personal growth work together, so I knew her character and work ethic.  After I hired her, my son pointed out that she had been a teacher at his previous high school.  He had not been happy about getting a tutor, but knowing that this woman was going to be the one seemed to ease the discomfort for him.

Today was his first session.  It seemed so natural, as the tutor had been to our home in the past and she knew both my son and me.  She has a natural rapport with teenagers, maintaining a good balance between connecting with them as a fellow human being and maintaining authority in the situation.  

As she worked with my son, the tutor quickly spotted holes in his learning and set forth a plan of action to fill those holes and move forward.  I am so grateful for the twists and turns that brought us to this place.  My son (did I mention he was not happy about getting a tutor?) seemed very happy when she left.  He actually told me he liked her.  I am hoping this is going to facilitate his learning process. 

Coming of Age

Today is my son’s 18th birthday.  (It is also my sister’s birthday, and my nephew’s… and mine was yesterday. Whew!  Busy couple of days!)  It is one of the those bittersweet occasions.  I am happy for my adult son, but my little boy is no more.  I only have one more in the nest, so I am a little melancholy… but quite frankly, I’m also a little relieved.

Today I was thinking about where my son Bailey is right now in life.  He just finished school (although he does have a credit recovery course to take this summer).  He doesn’t really know what he wants to do with his life.  The internal pressure must be great, and the possibilities are endless.  Coming of age is exciting and a little scary.

It has been interesting watching my children grow and change.  Interestingly enough, I notice that I am really no different from them.  I am constantly evolving.  I am still learning new things.  And I am still exploring new possibilities.

So as my son moves into adulthood, I hope he finds something he loves to do and that he gets paid well to do it.  I hope he surrounds himself with people who love him and will encourage him (so far, so good).  I hope he honors himself by taking care of his health.  And I hope he is appreciative of everything, especially life itself.

Happy Birthday, Bailey!

 

 

Best Gift Ever

On May 22, 1965, I got the best gift ever.  It fit perfectly (and still does).  It still works.  In fact, the more I use it, the stronger it gets.  I almost lost it last year, so now it is even more precious.  Forty-nine years ago, my mom and dad gave me life in the human form.  (Granted, they purchased the gift nine months earlier… but I don’t want to get technical.)

Several years ago, a wise man taught me that the people who should be getting the card on my birthday were my parents.  Since then I have acknowledged my parents every year at this time… sometimes with a card or letter, sometimes with a phone call or a shout out on Facebook.  My dad isn’t on this plane anymore, so I have to believe that he “knows” I am grateful when I put it out there.  My mom is still vibrant and healthy, so this year my birthday card to her is this blog post.

Mom, I am so grateful that you gave birth to me and raised me to become the person I am today.  I am quite happy with my life, so you must have done a good job.  I know that I was placed in this family because you had things to teach me.  As I have in the past, I will continue to strive to become all I am meant to be.  In the meantime, know that I love you and I a grateful for everything you have given me.

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

 

Human Touch

A friend who attends my spiritual center brought her mother with her for the first time today.  At the end of our service, we all hold hands and sing It’s In Every One Of Us, and many folks get the whole Kum Ba Yah sway going.  My daughter and her husband also brought a friend today, and he had the typical reaction that I’ve seen many have to holding hands and singing with strangers… it weirded him out a little.  But back to my friend…

As we were leaving, I saw my friend and her mother.  She was beaming.  I asked her what she thought and she gave an atypical response to the one I often hear.  She said it had been so long since she had held someone’s hand and she talked about how good it felt.  She even talked about holding her daughter’s hand, which made me realize how fortunate I am that I have a “touchy-feely” family.  My parents always hugged us and kissed us, as I do my children.  Even my youngest son with mild Autism likes hugs and kisses from people he loves.

At the end of my arthritis class at the YMCA, the instructor has participants hold hands for a prayer.  For arthritis sufferers, some of those folks (many of which are 20 years my senior) have a serious grip!

My in-laws are huggers and kissers, as is my husband.  It is one of the good things he attributes to his ex-wife.  My husband still holds my hand when we are in the car, or out in public… or when we’ve just watched a touching scene in a movie.

We know that babies can die from lack of physical attention.  Our skin is our largest organ and full of nerve endings whose stimulation can give us a sense of well being.  Have you ever been to a nursing home where many of the elderly have few visitors?  The first thing many of them do is reach out and grab your hand.

Human touch is critically important.  I encourage you to grab your spouse’s hand, hug your kids, or give your mom and dad a kiss.  Obviously, you have to be discerning, but there are people out there in the world that could use a hug or a hand on their shoulder too.

Fighting for Air and Finishing

Fighting for Air
Fighting for Air

Many of the people I love, and some of those I’ve lost, have tried to quit smoking.  Some have been successful.  Others have not.  I support the Fight for Air Walk because the American Lung Association does help people quit smoking.  My first walk was about the grieving process after losing my dad.  This year’s walk was different.  This was Daddies’ Girls third year walking and after my accident in November, I wasn’t sure I would be able to begin the walk, much less finish it.  As it turns out, I was able to begin and I even finished.  (My left hip is not happy with me.)  Thank goodness for Ibuprofen!

Finished!
Finished!

 

Almost Graduation

Cake for my son and his girlfriend's "completed 13 years of school party."
Cake for my son and his girlfriend’s “completed 13 years of school party.”

My son and his girlfriend would have graduated from high school today except that they both are going to have to make up some credits.  My son failed Algebra II, which he will be taking this summer.  His girlfriend moved from another state with different graduation requirements, so she will be completing a PE requirement  as well as a History credit.

The line on top of the cake, “Look out world, here they come!” was my idea (in lieu of “Congratulations Grads!”).  The books with the stumbling block subjects on the binding was her mother’s idea.  (My aren’t we a clever pair?)  We still wanted to mark this occasion, since she had no control over the situation, and he struggled to get through high school at all.  We wanted to celebrate our soon-to-be grads.  So we did!

 

Bedtime Routine (Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge)

Tubing on my son's Waterpik.
Tubing on my son’s Waterpik.

This challenge has got me seeing everything as a potential subject.  After struggling with some shots of some textured toothbrush handles, I opted for this one of my son’s Waterpik, another part of his bedtime routine.  I took some others as well, but after careful consideration this one made the cut.  Taken with my iPhone 5S.  Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge, Week 2: Macro.