Tag Archives: love

A great miracle happened t(here).

17 Dec

There is this thing that happens as you grow up;

your family traditions stop being the rituals you have customarily shared with your parents and elders, but they start to evolve, slowly, into things that are perhaps unique and new.

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah.

Instead of celebrating with parents or family members or friends, as we typically would, it was just the four of us. My little family.

And really, that is how I remember celebrating Hanukkah with my family of four as a chlid. Sure, I remember the big family gatherings, but my most vivid and evocative memories are of chanting the blessings with my parents, wearing matching flannel nightgowns with my little sister, (always with ruffles at the seams) and instead of singing “Az ‘egmor beshir mizmor, Khanukat hamizbeakh.” I thought that it was actually “Azegmore, and hear me snore.”

So last night, after dinner, my daughter got dressed in a flannel nightgown, with ruffles at the seams, and I held my son as I chanted the blessings (since I am really the only one in my house now who knows them all). And it was different, but it was lovely. We have a mountain of presents for my daughter, from grandparents, great-grandparents and friends, but last night we gave her our “big gift”: a blanket that has a hood that looks like a cat and glows in the dark. She saw a commercial for it on the television and had been asking for it for weeks, and so when she pulled this 19 dollar gift out of the Hanukkah bag she squealed with delight. And I could tell that she really appreciated her gift. It didn’t get lost in a sea of excitement and wrapping paper. She wore it and folded it and watched it light up. And every time I checked on her last night, she was in a different position in bed, cuddling her new blanket in some way.

It was a strange feeling, to be the grown up in all of this; the one to light the candles and say the blessings and give the gifts. And it stuck with me throughout the night. As I was tidying up the kitchen before bed, a penny fell from the sky. Now, I don’t know that it actually fell from the sky, but it fell from somewhere above and knocked me in the head before landing, face up, on the ground beside me.

A penny from heaven. A 2014 penny, at that, which seemed particularly apt in the light of yesterday’s words about this past year.

We are growing up around here. And that’s ok.

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate,

and to anyone and everyone else, I wish you a year of light, love,

and maybe even a miracle or two.

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What a sweet way to start the day!

17 Dec

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It is 7 o’clock in the morning, I have not yet set foot out of bed, yet the delivery man has already come to my door with a magical Hanukkah present and I just don’t even know what to say besides:

It is official;

I have a Fairy Peepmother.

Just like I always say,

I have the BEST Peeps.

Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts,

the middle of our tummies

and the insides of our teeth!

Let us celebrate.

16 Dec

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This morning, I woke up to a pleasant surprise. I got an email from an old high school friend–

Well, really, if I am being honest, she is an old high school friend of my husband’s; to me, she was just this incredibly beautiful and cool Senior whom I looked at and admired from afar. Come to think of it, to this day, I don’t know that she knows this; that my Freshman friends and I would look at her Senior yearbook portrait in awe. She is that pretty. But she’s also nice. And fun. And brave. And my husband’s high school friends deserve a post of their own, so look out for that.

She sent me this article, to give, as she said, “a little bit of mojo”, which is amazing.

The article talks about how 2014, for many, was an awful year; for some, their worst yet.

I would raise my hand with those people. I say it all the time. This has been the worst year of my life. But the also the most meaningful, for sure. And that is what this article is all about. The author could have gone into my brain and taken the words right from inside my head. If you know my writing, you will see.

She writes,

“Because 2014 was hard for many, many people.

For you, it might be going down as one of the worst years you can remember.

For you, it may have brought you to your knees more times than you could count.

For you, it may have left you breathless … hopeless … tired and weary.

But before you eagerly slam the door on 2014, I ask you to look down at your hands.

See that dirt under your fingernails?

My friend, that is beautiful. That is remarkable. That is significant.

You could have let go. But you didn’t.

You could have given up. But you didn’t.

You hung on.

You hung on.

And here’s what I believe:

I believe 2014 was not your worst year, but possibly your greatest.

Your Year of Greatest Strength
Your Year of Greatest Faith
Your Year of Greatest Hope
Your Year of Greatest Patience
Your Year of Greatest Risk
Your Year of Greatest Determination
Your Year of Greatest Courage

Just look at that dirt beneath your fingernails.

That is what you are made of.

Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it remarkable? Isn’t it significant?

It was your Year of Greatest Survival.

And you lived to tell about it.

Thank you for holding on.

Let us celebrate.

Let us celebrate.”

Just as I wrote last month, this year, all I want to do is to live and to do so fully. My poor friends; You should see how many emails they get from me about Christmas cookies and Secret Santas and our New Year’s Eve menu. How many screenshots I send with inspirational quotes and love notes. But the fact that I can not only feel but feel excitment? I am holding onto that, I am holding on with every ounce of strength I can muster.

And so it was a normal Tuesday morning this morning and we were up early, and we are supposed to be on a tropical island,

but instead, I was cuddled up on the couch and my daughter was across the room, and my son was playing on the floor and my husband called from the kitchen that we were out of coffee. He would make a run to the coffee shop and get us all treats, he said.

And when he left, I called my daughter over to me. “I want you,” I said, as I held out my arms to her and then wrapped them around her, kissed her face, and snuggled her close to me.

“I want you to be happy,” was her reply.

Let us celebrate, indeed.

(This morning’s coffee was sponsored c/o Twin and Go Go)

Kale shakes and I are getting a divorce.

11 Dec

Irreconcilable differences.

It has been a disaster from the start.

Today, I decided to try again.

And I was so proud; I took our picture sharing this smoothie that tastes like tropical fruit and salad and was planning to say something like, “Kale, Take two! Woo!”

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Oh, look at us. Drinking our superfoods in harmony.

But, being home with a one year old and all, I didn’t get a chance to publish that post.

Instead I was chasing the baby and playing trains and trying to wrap gifts and was chatting on the phone with my friend about her son’s school conference when…

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Yup.

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I told my friend and hurried off the phone to clean. She couldn’t believe that it had happened AGAIN. I texted my husband.

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I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

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From now on we give kale the cold shoulder.

Kale, it was tolerable while it lasted. But, I’m sorry. It is over.

You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.

“You keep sayin’ you’ve got something for me.”

7 Dec

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I guess it’s kind of an unspoken rule that when you go to your (fairy) godmother’s house, you’ll come home with something fabulous.

So not only did my daughter get sparkly Elsa Jelly Beans and a book of Frozen stickers, but we got to come home with these bad boys.

I just hope that my kid will share.

#godparentsrule

“Trapped in the circumference of my head.”

4 Dec

This is not a happy post. But it is hopeful. And hopeful is the best we can do.

***

I love home decorating, especially covering my walls with meaningful pieces, as  511 suggests.

But in all honesty, I am not yet in a place in my life where I can collect a lot of real art;

I have my framed piece from the Festival Internacional de Musica en Barcelona in my Living Room

and a photo of Keith Richards that my dad shot as the Stones played in Hyde Park last summer, which hangs in my Entry Way.

And this and that.

I have but one piece of true art in my home, and it means a great deal to me. It is a framed and signed poem by Ray Bradbury, given to us as a wedding gift, from an incredibly person in our lives.

It is so significant for so many reasons; I am obsessed with words;

It is something so unique and rare;

It reminds me (us) of just how complex, complicated, confusing and often consuming the human mind can be.

Here is the text:

THE POET CONDIDERS HIS RESOURCES

The autumn sea, October sea
Tears darkened seams inconstantly
And stitches clouds with rain and fire
And charcoals hearths with dead desire
And turns old souls on burning spit,
Forget all Good, because of it;
Because of traveling night and clouds
Which bury moon in winding shrouds
The heart is buried , blood turned ice
And all the fruit jams, teas, and spice
Are pantry poisoned, forced to change
By weathers that incline to strange.
So what was dead now bolts upright
To knock is head on lid`s midnight,
And while all cold things jump and start,
Antarctica floes in warm heart
And tropic seas of blood are purged
By nightmare iceburgs, once submerged
Which now lift blizzard brows to seize
Sane room, sane door, sane locks ,sane keys,
And shriek the tumblers , warp the walls
With panic-colored storms and squalls.
And all of it, both live and dead ?
. . .
Trapped in circumference of my head.

Ray Bradbury 1979

Tonight I am brought back to the piece I wrote about depression, entitled, “Oh Captain, My Captain”, in which I discussed mental illness after Robin Williams’ devastating suicide.

In that piece, I made a plea to the people reading to help to protect their friends. I also tried to remind sufferers that they are not alone.

But today I had a conversation that explains it so perfectly.

If you have never experienced depression (which as of two years ago, I had not, in any way) it is very hard to understand.

It is insidious and it is debilitating.

But I think the most confusing part, despite the notion of “But you have so much, what could possibly be making you sad?”

is the feeling of abject loneliness.

Someone who is depressed feels so lonely. They can be surrounded by people, with friends, at a holiday dinner, not alone in any way, but still terribly lonely.

It feels like drowning.

I am welling up with tears even typing this, as it is the worst feeling imaginable.

I am lucky enough to have a network of soul friends, as I call them, who can relate to me on this deep level of understanding that only sufferers can. But my heart aches for them, my stomach gnaws at itself, every time I hear that they were unable to get out of bed that day, or are feeling at their lowest, or can’t imagine ever feeling better.

I am not a doctor. I am also not “better”. I am still dealing with a lot. But, if there is any message I can impart to you

(and hopefully, if you know someone in need, you can share this with them, I implore you),

it is that things can and will get better. Even at the worst of times, when you can’t move or breathe or open your eyes because everything looks too bleak, but you can’t close your eyes because your brain is pounding you with it’s incessant ruminations and chatter,

it will pass.

That spell will pass.

I believe in intervention. I believe in therapy. I believe in medicine. I believe in alternative medicine. I believe in support systems.

I believe in holding your best friend’s hand and saying “I am not going to let you go anywhere.”

This post may seem out of the blue, as the last thing I posted about was my son watching Bravo TV, but trust me, it needs to be said.

Much love.

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The little feather that could.

2 Dec

This morning was a morning like most others.

We watched an episode of My Little Pony, found the “Tuesday” underwear from my daughter’s drawer, hurried her off to school, as my son and I stayed in our pajamas.

My son and I snuggled up in bed for a good two hours and napped together, as I fell asleep to the rhythmic sounds of his breathing.

And then we went to the eye doctor. And we got some unexpected news. My son had to get glasses at 11 months to correct his farsightedness, just like his sister before him. He also had to have a minor surgical procedure to unblock a clogged tear duct, and I feel so fortunate to say that it went very well.

Today, we learned that my son’s eye crossing is not exactly like my daughters, and my sister’s before her, and my mother before her ; he not only is extremely farsighted, but he also has a weak eye muscle. This will require a surgery, and it is a much more extensive surgery than the little tear duct probing. And my heart stopped beating.

Let me stop right now.

I realize that my son is getting eye surgery.

In the scheme of life, this is a blip. It is a slightly large blip, but I recognize that parents, every hour, are given far worse news about far worse procedures and prognoses, so please do not think for one second that I do not have perspective. I do. I send all of the love I can muster to those parents and those children and those families.

But I also have the knowledge that my son will have to go under general anesthesia, be intubated, and face some pain afterwards. And, this surgery will not do anything to correct his vision.

The eye doctor said, “Boy, this one can’t catch a break, can he?” and I replied with, “None of us can this year!”

And I was thinking about my son’s first year;

He had a mother who went a little crazy and then was later hospitalized. He has been to the Emergency Room FIVE times now: once in utero, twice for RSV (which lead him to a most depressing Christmas week stay in the children’s ward of the local hospital), once for Carbon Monoxide poisoning and then, finally, for slicing his wrist on my mirrored coffee table, requiring seven stitches. He hasn’t had it so easy.

But just like the realization that I had a week ago, when it occurred to me that my sweet son is the best thing to have ever happened to me,

I had another epiphany today.

He is my strength symbol.

Right before we left for the Ophthalmologist, I found this tiny, stray feather stuck to the inside of the wrist of my sweater.

It gave me the feeling that I always get when I see feathers, which is that I can be strong and that there are people watching over us to guide and protect us, even through the darkest of days.

And then I got this crappy news from the eye doctor and I looked back down at my feather and tried to figure it out. What was it telling me?

And I got it:

My son is my strength symbol.

He has shown me bravery, fortitude and resilience like nothing I have ever seen.

He has had a tough year with some tough circumstances, and wakes up with a smile on his face every single day, showing seven little teeth, gapped and perfect.

So, my tiny feather, you are my inspiration. You show me what it means to be courageous. You have faced so much in such a short time and I am so, so, proud to be your mother.

You are my little hero.

And we will just keep chugging along.

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