Through the eyes of a child….

It doesn’t take too long when I am with Jean Marc for us to be talking about his Daddy (my brother) who died December 23, 2012. The one thing Jean Marc will always say he misses most is laughing with his Dad. I love that his greatest memory is that his Dad always made him laugh. My heart aches at what a great loss that is. And so in our remembering we remember his goofy, crazy funny things he did and said and we laugh. When Jean Marc laughs, it is a great deep belly laugh….

And tonight we continued our conversation to what kind of mansions are in heaven, how does money work in heaven, what kind of cars do they drive in heaven and lots of wondering and discussing….

And Jean Marc ended our conversation with this thought…

Len and Jean MarcYou know Aunt Trish, one time a long time ago, someone figured out how to go to the moon….

I think I am going to try to figure out a way to send people to heaven and have them come back so we can know more about it….

I think I will go first so I can check in on my Daddy and see if he and Michael Jackson live near each other….

But don’t worry, I won’t be gone forever. Part of my invention is going to be that I can come back and tell you more funny stories of Daddy in heaven.

I am so thankful their hearts were bonded those days back in Haiti….

I love that boy and I love how he loves his Daddy….

 

Do more…

We live in a culture where doing more is often frowned upon and giving and receiving permission to rest, enjoy and just be are what we often crave….

I often reflect on a day and wonder if my doing was productive…

I often wonder if my being brought about what my heart longs for…

I often wonder if my actions, thoughts, words and presence made a difference to anyone….

I want to live with purpose, with intention, and at peace….

I want to love more deeply, live more fully, give more generously and believe with everything in me  that love wins, little things make a big difference and God uses ordinary people every day….

And so today when I found this quote, I realized it was a call to action….

A call to live different…

An invitation to do more….

I invite you to live it out with me and believe it will make a difference!

Do more than belong: participate.

Do more than care: help.

Do more than believe: practice.

Do more than be fair: be kind.

Do more than forgive: forget.

Do more than dream: work.

William Arthur Ward

little girls with dreams….

I saw this today and just love it….

It really speaks for itself….

I wonder if you are a person who invites and encourages a child’s dreams….

Or perhaps you are one who tends to squelch the dreams of a child….

I invite you to become a nurturer of hearts and dreams for the people who are around you…..(no matter what age we are, our hearts hold vision and dreams!)

I know my Dad and Mom taught us to believe that we had the ability to influence whatever burdened or excited our hearts…

I am thankful today that they encouraged us to have big thoughts, big goals, big dreams and big faith….

They had three little girls with dreams and now have three grown daughters with vision…Thank you Dad and Mom!

littlegirlswithdreams

Courage doesn’t always roar….

Sometimes it is the quiet voice that says I will try again tomorrow….

I feel like I am telling myself that a lot lately….

I am trying to live by more of a routine…

For those of you who know me, you know it is not my normal wiring….

And yet, now at the age of 43, I realize there are some things I really do want to ensure are a part of every day….

Writing, eating well and exercise are three of the proposed non negotiables…

(But of course for those to happen I need to get up on time, prepare food, have a plan and carve time out to write and then some)

I look forward to the day when those have become my routine…

When I no longer have to think about them, but somehow my body memory kicks in and they happen…..

And yet for me to have a day where all three have occurred is a rarity…

And so each day I find myself waking up and going at it again….

I wonder if you have goals you set for each day….

I wonder what your non-negotiables are?

I wonder if you are willing to wake up each morning and go again….

Listen to the quiet voice and live with great courage!  We got this!

courage doesn't always roar

 

Clear skies and rain…

I drove to Kalamazoo today and a midst clear skies, we had intense downpours. It was bright up ahead and dark skies loomed behind. A curious picture of the last 7 months of my grief journey.

Beautiful summer days, blessings abound, opportunities to love and be loved….

And yet the reality of grief still downpours on clear days….

The sorrow washes up like a wave and then is gone for a while…

The ache in my heart feels as close as the darkness of the clouds in the rear view mirror and yet I remind that at the same moment there is darkness and threats of storms, there is brightness and clear skies when I shift my eyes to a different view…

One does not replace the other….

Len cottage 2009They are both very present and both very real….

And as I drove and listened to Pandora, I heard two of the songs we sang at Len’s funeral…

There was comfort in those moments for my aching heart….

My brother has spent seven months in heaven and we have lived 7 months on earth without Len.

I miss him every day and yet the sun still shines and life still happens and God is still good.

Conflict…

I used to pride myself in saying I never have conflict…

It felt mature and righteous to feel at peace with all people…

And then I learned maybe I wasn’t living very honestly…

To live at peace with all people is likely living in denial in some relationships, or perhaps a bit unaware of how I impact others or how they impact me…

I clearly remember the season of my life when I realized that honest relationship is sometimes often hard work….

I clearly remember struggling over how could I enter conflict and still feel kind…

And so today when this came to my email, I had a momentary flashback to remembering this struggle…

I had a wave of gratitude that I no longer fear those moments in the same way…

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone,

there is one factor that can make the difference

between damaging your relationship and deepening it.

That factor is attitude. ~ William James 

And I found myself nodding my head and feeling my heart resonate with truth…..feeling very grateful for many who live honestly with me in the day-to-day!

You are loved…

you is kind, you is smartThis is one of my favorite scene’s from the movies…

These words are clear and full of meaning…

I believe these words carries a messages that inspire us to forge ahead…

My friend Julie has forged ahead through some very difficult roads in the past years…

I first met her in 1987 when I was young and venturing into my first full-time job as a patient care assistant at Saint Mary’s Intensive Care Unit. Julie was eager to help me learn the ropes. She was the same during a crazy and chaotic night as she was when we waited for hours for something to happen. She was steady, kind, energetic and ready to assist anyone with anything.

We kept in touch over the years and I always felt as if Julie and I were picking up like we had just talked yesterday…

I was delighted when she walked into Visiting Angels a little over a year ago, because her “little” kids, as I remembered them, were now in college. Julie was willing to give a little more….

Still working at Saint Mary’s, Julie dived into being a great caregiver for a number of our clients…

In addition to meeting their needs, she brought them kindness, commitment, compassion and a delightful, steady presence.

Over the last year, Julie has forged ahead through a re-occurrence of her cancer and battled through  effects of chemo and radiation and discouraging reports. But she forged ahead, serving others and believing that this too shall pass….

Today I talked to my sweet long time friend and she told me she was moving to Trillium Woods, our local Hospice Home. My heart breaks for her as she recognizes that even her will to live will not conquer the disease that ravages her body.

After I hung up, I thought about what it must be like to transfer from the local hospital to the Hospice home, we ordered up some flowers and asked that they be delivered and waiting in her room. The message was simple, it was no longer about forging ahead….

It simply said….

You are loved….

And in so many ways, that says it all!