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Love You Forever and Always

Had a dream last night…I was waiting in my mother’s room for her – she was out somewhere.  Still at dinner in the dining hall?? Something. The room was quiet and dimly lit.  I had this sense of what she must have experienced so often (every day perhaps).  The stillness.  The quiet.  The loneliness.  Hard to imagine it day in and day out.  I looked up at her clock and it was after 8pm.  Suddenly I got worried.  Where was she?  Had she gotten confused?  Why wasn’t she back yet?  Should I go looking for her?

Then suddenly she appeared at her doorway.  Frail but not as frail as she had been near the end of her life.  I don’t think she was using a walker, as she had needed to after her 90th birthday, after cracking her head open the second time.  It was late, she was tired, and we agreed she needed to just get ready …

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Who’s Afraid of Hospice?

As some of you know, I lived in New York for a few years before finally returning to California to “settle” down. Those New York years were BIG years in my life:  Got married.  Had a baby.  Witnessed 9-11.  And in-between those milestones, I dealt with my father suddenly being given 2 weeks to live and being put on Hospice.  Thanks to a holiday visit, I was with him when he was taken to the hospital, there when he was given the diagnosis, and stayed on there for the next (and supposedly final) 2 weeks to be with him and my mom. 2 weeks that turned into 3 weeks that stretched into 4 weeks….until it became apparent the doctors had not been quite right with their diagnosis after all.  (Really? You think?)

During that time I learned first hand about Hospice and the services it provides.  The doctors at the hospital mentioned it casually, after suggesting he have a feeding …

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The Confidence of Youth

Confidence-PostersDefinition of CONFIDENCE (noun): 1. full trust  2. self-reliance, assurance or boldness

Look at the children around you.  Especially the young ones.  So often they are just bursting with confidence.  You see it in how they swagger, with their heads held up high.  You hear it in their voices, for their words carry little doubt in terms of what they feel they will accomplish.  You feel it in their dreams and plans for the future.  Kids talk of being professional athletes, famous actors, inventors, leaders, etc.  They dream big dreams, with all the belief that if they want it, it will come true. So what happens along the way?

On Friday, my son auditioned for his second musical production at our local theatre.  Two days later, the call back list was posted on their website.  I held my breath as I waited for the page to load.  They are quick to say being asked to the call backs does not …

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How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

RemyHeart“You know how it feels?”  My 8-year old son finally put it into words. “Like my heart has cracked in two, and a piece of it is now gone.”

Yes, I know.  I feel the same.

We lost a member of our family over the Thanksgiving weekend – our dear sweet Remy – who will always be remember by us simply as the best dog in the world.  She was 14, and as I’ve mentioned before, had been with me longer than my children OR my husband.  She was such a special dog – and in her quiet, unassuming way was such a big part of our family – and now she’s gone.

“We must have done something REALLY bad,” my son announced before he crawled into bed that night.  “Because when you do good, good things come back to you.  Since this is a bad thing….” he paused.   “Oh no, no!” I quickly corrected him.  “That doesn’t

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The View at Sunset

Friday Night Sunset

Oh, Mama – Come look,” my Little One called out to me, “Heaven is on fire!

(Don’t you just love kids??  Here this Zen Mama Wannabe thought she was merely looking at another beautiful sunset.)

……..…

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Time to Paint

Two minutes to cover the table in newspaper.  1 minute to get paints, brushes, and paper out of the art drawer.  30 seconds to get old oversized t-shirts on my daughter and myself.  Altogether less than 5 minutes to make my daughter’s wish for a fun afternoon come true.  So why was this the first time I had pulled the paints out in years??!

When my son was little, I did the whole painting thing – like most first time Moms do – only outside of course.  But somewhere along the way, we went through a hectic phase (maybe due to their ages – I don’t remember) and also moved where to it wasn’t so weather-perfect all the time, and that’s when I must have decided painting could be an AT school activity.

My son’s preschool art portfolio is FILLED with wonderful paintings that he did at preschool.  Big, lovely, abstract works that fill the whole sheet of paper.  My …

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Messing Up

I mess up on things a lot.  Especially with this parenting business.  That is why I am a wannabe.  I could tell you all the many ways I screw it up and you would undoubtedly cringe at a lot of them.  I sure do in hindsight.  I’m either the dreaded helicopter parent swooping in too often or too soon OR I don’t pipe up enough, especially in dealings with other kids.  The “Oh, let them work it out – that is how kids learn” philosophy is great in theory, but leaves me feeling conflicted and doubtful most of the time.   And above all I think, you never want to be a parent doubting yourself.

There is a balance – a fine line between helicopter and hands-off, and I for one, don’t have it down.  Mama definitely ain’t got her groove.  Maybe that is what makes me feel the worst.  I feel I should.  I wish I did.  But it still …

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Mama, Will You Marry Me?

My little girl surprised me the other day.  She looked up at me with her big, round, chocolate-colored eyes, and said,

“Mama, when I grow up, I am going to marry YOU!”

I had heard these words many times from my son when he was her age.  They are words that touch your heart and make you smile, mostly from the sincere conviction with which they are spoken.  It is not unexpected to hear them from your son; but when my daughter said them to me, I confess I was caught off guard.

Quickly I searched my brain for the response I had used (over and over) with my son.  About how mommies and sons can’t get married, but what is even better is that because we are mother and son, we will ALWAYS be in each other’s lives.  From now until forever.  He will always have me in his life, and when the right time comes, he’ll meet a …

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Is that a Bird or a Plane — or Santa??!

My son spied Santa last night.  If you had been there you might have thought it was just a shooting star or an airplane high in the dark night sky or something.  But apparently you can’t fool my guy. 

“Hey – Wow!  I just saw Santa flying in the sky!” 

“You – you did?” my husband asked him.  They were driving home from the mall after doing some last minute shopping for yours truly.

“Yep.  I think he was flying around on his sleigh.”

“But, it’s not Christmas Eve yet.  Why would you think Santa would be out in his sleigh?”

“I think he was flying around checking on some of the boys and girls.  And he probably wanted to work on his route.  He’s getting ready for Christmas Eve.”  Uh, duh, dad.

When they came home and told me, he was still pretty excited.  He brought it up again while I was tucking him in bed. 

“I bet

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The Fortunate Ones

We are not lucky, my father would tell me.  Luck is for people that win the lottery.  We are fortunate.

Thanksgiving was my dad’s favorite holiday (with the Fourth of July a close 2nd – as a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy who fought in World War II, he was definitely a patriotic man).  He told me once people always selected Christmas as their favorite time of year, as if that was the right and proper answer (with the birth of Christ and all).  But for him, it was Thanksgiving.  That 4th Thursday in November – a day dedicated to giving thanks, for acknowledging your blessings, and yes, for realizing just how fortunate you are.

Today it feels like all of us are dodging bullets on our own private battlegrounds.  I scolded my husband for saying we are all just one blink away from disaster/crisis/tragedy (fill in the blank) – but he is right.  It is as though we …

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