Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Life lessons learned/rules I live by…

Love deeply
Regret nothing
Never be with someone who devalues your worth
Find joy in every day
Be present and mindful of each moment
Be genuine and true
Be gentle
Be compassionate
Be loyal to family and friends
Do no harm
Share your bed with your dog and/or cat
Allow yourself to cry when something touches you
Don’t be cynical or defensive
Believe that people are more good than bad
Be kind and giving to those in need
Be quiet and listen
Be respectful of others
Be grateful
Travel often
Continue to grow mentally, physically and spiritually
Challenge yourself
Face your fears
Love those who love you back
Eat good food
Read good books
Drink good wine
Experience people who are different than you
Thank God every night that you have been given one more day

The small things/life edited...

My life has gradually become smaller. It has become smaller due to intention.  I have my small world which consists of close family members and friends. My small world also has a few belongings which have meaning to me: family photos, artwork from my now adult son.
I have begun molding my life into a world which I desire. At times, I feel a sadness at the letting go of the people or things in my life which are detritus; those peiple and things which I must let go. My wish is to keep the good memories I have, yet I know I must let some of these people and things go.

Contrary to what the world extols that bigger is better, I’ve come to the realization that for me, the small things are in that sweet spot.  My friends and family have been curated. I’ve edited and revised those material things: my possessions have been culled. The result is the edited version of my life. It has become “lesser than” and the final result is the people and things that matter to me.  These are the small things. This is my edited life.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Heavenly Father (My Testament to Him) …

Heavenly Father knows me; He is aware of me.
He had a plan for me ages before I was born.
He put me on this Earth to gain experiences:
To refine me on this Earth before I return to Him.
So I never despair when life does not go my way.
I know Heavenly Father has a plan for me which was preordained.
I know that when I experience a hardship 
He is testing my faith in Him and that something wonderful will counter the adversity. 
These things I know above all others:  He is aware of me, He loves me, and I am never alone.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

She promised herself...

She promised herself she’d go sometime and do all of those things she was meant to do.  Then suddenly, one day she realized she never knew that sometime had actually come and gone.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Girl, it's gonna be all right...

Tonight I had to say to myself, “Hey, Girl.  It’s okay not to be strong all the time.  You’re human, Girl. Sometimes life can get messy, Girl. You need to give yourself a break.” 

When I talk to myself in this way, I call myself “Girl”. I say to myself  “Girl, if you don’t stop giving from your cup without filling it back up, you’ll have nothing left.” I set myself down, breathe deeply exactly five times and I say to myself, “Girl, it’s gonna be all right. It’s gonna be all right.”

No one knows the question...

There are days when everyone has an answer, 
yet no one knows the question.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ardent love...

you say that you adore me
your ardent love implores me
your desire is to explore me
your ardent love implores me

Saturday, May 6, 2017

That shine...

that’s the thing about the construct we call love.
in the beginning you both have that shine.
you are “in love”; enamored by one another.
the newness of this relationship is fresh, unused.
that newly found sense of love is coruscant.
maybe that shine will endure over time.
there are those rare occasions when it remains.
it is also possible that twinkle may fade away.
it may no longer contain and reflect that shine. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

she is part of me (she will always be part of me)/ an homage to my mother…

she is part of me (she will always be part of me)
i share her reddish wavy hair,
i share her blue/green eyes
i share her pale skin which is sensitive to the sun
i share her ironic sense of humor
i share her frugal tendencies
i share her sensitive nature
i share her tendency to worry
i share her love for close family and friends
she is part of me (she will always be part of me)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Estella Pride...

I think that we are often spectators when it concerns the lives of our ancestors if indeed  we are spectators at all. As children we may have heard a certain ancestor discussed around a Sunday dinner or in a brief passing conversation. Now in my mid-fifties I have found myself wondering about her; about my maternal great grandmother.  Who was Estella Pride?  How did she feel when she became Estella Pride Kernen at 28 years old? It was then and there that I realized by knowing her I would better know myself.

This was the way I originally learned about my maternal great grandmother, Estella Pride. I began to know her out of a cursory curiosity and slowly began to know her as my great grandmother. I began to know this woman who was Estella Pride. This was the woman who was to become Estella Pride Kernen. This was the woman who was to become part of me; who would always be a part of who I am. I found myself thinking about how my great grandmother must have felt as she traveled on a train from Morgantown, West Virginia to become the wife of an Iowa farmer, Carl Kernen.

How Estella Pride must have felt as a young woman who was relocating her life to become a bride, to live a life which she had no knowledge of. How it would have felt to be put on a train headed for rural Iowa which carried her, her piano, her trousseau, to a place she had never been.  To a place she had never known.

Nowadays we women are taught, we are encouraged, to be strong and independent.  We are taught to follow our dreams. This was not the case many decades ago.  Women of that generation were expected to marry an acceptable man.  They were expected to do the expected things, at the expected time, in an expected way. There was a family, there was society telling a young woman who she was and who she was to become: a married woman, a mother, a companion and a support for her spouse.  There were never those options to gain an education or to have a career the way women are given those choices today.

Estella Pride may have been a bit of an anomaly in that she was several years older than the man she married.  According to my grandmother, her mother, Estella, was quite secretive and sensitive about the age difference between she and her husband, Carl Kernen.  So much so that it was said she did not divulge the fact of her being older until she was on her deathbed.

Estella Pride was an educated woman from a proper family.  It wasn’t that my great grandfather wasn’t her equal.  He was just different than her. Carl Kernen was from a different part of the country and had a different past.  I have not discovered how and when my great grandmother and great grandfather had met.  Was this marriage arranged for them in some way?  If so, how must this have felt?

I know Estella Pride only from the time she was an elderly woman and I was a young girl. My great grandmother must have been in her early 90’s at the time.  I remember how I sat in her lap when we visited her in “the old folks home.”  They say that smell, the olfactory sense, is the most primitive of the 5 senses. I believe this is true. I remember Estella smelled of baby powder and Noxzema.  She was a formal, proper lady.  She referred to me as Julia. She was a tall woman and not one of those women who shrank away, who diminished and gradually faded away in her old age.

These are the things I have learned about Estella Pride, my great grandmother. A woman’s worth is not dictated by societal standards nor is it dictated by well-meaning family. If it is who you are or who you aspire to be, it is perfectly acceptable to be a regal, formal lady; to embody class and dignity.  Estella was immaculate in both her dress and her mannerisms.  She seemed to command certain behaviors, a sense of respectability, a sense of decorum.  I do not think these things are often even thought of today. For me, however, when I reflect on these things my thoughts always return to my great grandmother, Estella Pride.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

You do those acts of kindness...

You do those acts of kindness not for the changes it will make in them. You do those acts of kindness for the changes it will make in you.

Irish drunk...

My family and I have under an enormous amount of stress lately due to the failing health of our mother.  My brother texted me and said that when he is in Atlanta on a business trip he'll pick one night when he will be getting "Irish drunk." 

My text back: "Just be safe. I don't mind bailing you out of jail, but I will be royally  pissed off if I have to travel to that little hunk of heaven to do so. It is hot, humid, and  has terrible traffic. Also, Atlanta has more crackers than a saltine factory. In sibling love, your sister, Jules."