Sunday, February 26, 2012

Geraniums in the Winter

I love Geraniums. 
I think they are just beautiful and enjoy their blooms all Summer long.  In Fall, before the first sign of frost, I brought my Geranium plant inside.  Yes, I only had one.  But, this one was special.  The reason it was special is because I was able to bring it inside to Winter and it survived seven-years of doing so.  Then, once the warmth of Spring sets in, outside onto my balcony it goes.  There, it usually joins other plants, although if it were the only plant there, that would be fine with me.  The flowers from the blooms are beautiful, 
vibrant and red. 

I suppose that I really loved that plant because it was the only one, that came inside our home for a season.  I imagined that this Geranium beared witness to everything that goes on within our family during the winter time.  It soaked everything up and then, once again, was placed back into the warmth of the Sun, where it glowed and flourished.

Over this last weekend, my eleven-year old son attended a grief camp for kids. 
It was a day-long camp that had been planned weeks before. 
After losing a person that he loved so much, his step-father, I thought this would be a good idea
 -even though, he has been handling it well. 
He carries on- the same, from the heart, dinner-table prayer that his step-father did. 
He washes dishes and cars, the same way his step-dad did. 
He talks about him, cries about him, laughs about him, misses him, 
and does his best to help me out, for him. 
He was there the whole distance to witness how Pulmonary Fibrosis affected him 
and he was there when it was his step-dad's time to go.

My son is a social little-guy.  He loves to spend time with others and enjoys the interaction. 
So, he looked forward to this experience of a grief camp.  We received a letter outlining the day's agenda, and in it, they suggested that we bring a photo of our departed loved one. 
My son chose a photo and on the day of the event, we drove the hour long distance, with my son clutching the picture in the back seat.  Once we arrived, we saw a small parking lot full of cars,
and later, a greeting room full of people.  People just like us; children and family members who have recently lost someone dear.  I did not stay for the camp. 
I wanted my son to feel free to express himself without me hanging around. 
So, I kissed his soft cheek and drove away.

About an hour before the program was ending, I couldn't stay away any longer. 
I went back and entered into a large room, where seated up-front was the group of children. 
Sitting in the rear, where other parents watched, I listened to the host ask the children,
"If you could ask your loved one anything, what would you ask?" 
The children ranged from five-to-fifteen years of age. 
One asked, "Do you know how much I miss you?"
Then, more questions followed.
 "Do you watch over Mom and me?"
"Did it hurt when you died?"
and then,
"Is Heaven beautiful?"

Good thing, they put Kleenex, back there, where I was sitting.
At the end of the program, my son grab a hold of my hand and led me to a table. 
The table-top was filled with laminated photos of our deceased loved-ones, placed into small potted plants. 
During the day, the children had visited a green-house and were able to choose between one, of two-types of plants.  The plants were little sprouts that the kids are to nurture and watch grow,
  all in memory of their loved one. 

Upon leaving, we placed the plant gently into the car.  
As I pulled the car out of the parking lot, I asked him,
"Do you know the name of the plant you chose?" 
 He shook his head, no.
"I chose it because everyone was choosing the other plant and I wanted to be different."  He said.
"Good choice."  I responded, 
"You chose a very lovely plant  -the Geranium." 

As we drove away, I smiled to myself.  My one and only Geranium had died last Fall.
Our family had been so busy in this journey that we had forgotten to bring it in for the Winter.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are You Kind?

Today, I learned that it was the last day of Random Acts of Kindness Week.  I was at the library, checking out a few books and a young man was trying to exchange a $100 bill for a copy he had made worth 10 cents.  The librarian indicated that she did not have change for him on hand.  I knew I had about 1/4 of-a-pound of miscellaneous change somewhere in the bottom of my purse.  Most assuredly, I knew somewhere within the mix was at least a dime. 

So, I said, "I've got that in my purse."  As I fished out the dime. 

The man was so sweet, acting as though I was forking out a thousand bucks. 
It was no problem, I did have the change in my purse. 
The librarian, told me after the man had left, that it was Random Acts of Kindness Week and that I just did my part. 
She is a beautiful person, who wears a flower behind her ear. 
Very smart, of course- well read, and empathetic person, she is. 
At that very moment, she then announced that she noticed I have been choosing similar choices in books reminding her of a time that she chose the same books. 
She had dealt with the loss of a dear, loved one in the past. 
I just nodded, in agreement. 
Yes, I am checking out books about angels, the afterlife, and dreams. 

The librarian, with a flower behind her ear, then told me that when she saw me come in, she printed out a poem for me.  She pushed the piece of paper toward me and as I glanced down at the loving words of the poem, I couldn't believe
-the kindness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Love You

My husband was a very romantic person. 
As I mentioned in Roses Are Red , the first year we dated, he literally, sent me a dozen red roses - every week.  Who does that?  
My hubby did. 
Do you know what is interesting? 
I refused to tell him, "I love you." 
For long into our relationship, I just apologized because I had to be sure before I said it. 
I told him that when I do say those words, it is a promise from my heart. 
That was true. 

After about six-months of dating, 
When, I really noticed the beautiful laugh-lines around his eyes,
I knew I was done for...
I did say those words to him.
 "I Love You."
You know what?
I meant it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I have been having an especially difficult time with the idea that, in this lifetime, I will not see my husband again.  I am not angry at him (yet) or at a Higher Power (yet) for this fact. After all, it is not my husband's fault that Pulmonary Fibrosis has taken his life. 

Lord knows, my hubby did all within his means to stay here -with us.  A higher power must have some kind of plans for my husband's spirit, that is of greater importance to my, little-own, needs.  So, I do not waste energy on this. 

 I do spend a lot of energy thinking about all of the moments that he and I shared together.  I guess that is where I am at.  Sometimes, I feel like I am watching a black-and-white, homemade film of our life together, in my mind.  I wonder, where does this leave me?  Now, where I stand, what am I supposed to move forward with? 

Today is such an overcast day, not a glimpse of sunshine to be seen. 
Here, it is evening and the walls of my kitchen glow a bright salmon color, and is when I realize that the Sun is peaking out. 
 Just long enough to say, "Goodnight!" 

Rushing to the window, I make sure that am a witness of this. 
Then, sure enough the Sun is going down. 
Within the process of watching it recess, I think to myself, "My life with my hubby is exactly like this."
  How absurd it is of me to beg the sunset not to come to its fruition. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Ever Constant Sea

A Dear Friend who lost her husband to Pulmonary Fibrosis sent this to me.  It was something her husband had given to her on a Valentine's Day, years ago.  I thought I would pass this on to you...


Once upon a time loving set me free,
free as any bird who ever heard the wind blow in the trees.
After love had gone I had merely me and my only friend the ever constant sea.
We've been through it all, my old friend and me, summertime and fall have shown us
all the world there is to see.
So if I love again, if love is good to me, I'll share it with my friend...
the ever constant sea.

Excerpt from "The Sea, The Earth, The Sky"

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Laugh Lines

One night, before my hubby and I were married, I had my head on his lap and we were talking.  He was sitting on the couch listening to all the stories of my heart unfold.  All of my most private experiences such as fear, sadness, and loneliness were pouring out from me as though spilling  from a well.  A well, so deep within, that I didn't even know it was there.  

He looked down at me with eyes patient and caring.  Softly caressing my hair, he sat and listened. 
I looked up and noticed tiny, soft, laugh lines that embedded the tender skin around his beautiful blue eyes.  I imagined every time he had ever smiled or laughed. 
There seemed to be a great wisdom and ease that lived within those lines.  
In my moment of distress, I felt soothed. 
I was safe. 

This is the very moment I knew. 
I had fallen head-over-heels in love. 
It struck me like a ton of bricks.  I was in love with a person who made me feel safe and comforted.  He was right here, looking back at me.  I was grateful and lucky.  I sat up and kissed each of the little lines that surrounded his eyes.  Really soft, butterfly kisses. 
He closed his eyes and allowed me to do so. 

I told him how beautiful he was and how I loved his laugh lines. 
He did not believe that he was beautiful. 
He would say, "Nawwww"  and shake his head. 
He shrugged it off.  Just as he shrugged off anything that caused the focus of
 attention to be brought to him. 
But, I knew.