Monthly Archives: May 2014

In Memoriam

I remember my ancestors

Ancestors of the blood, ancestors of the heart, ancestors of the spirit

I remember my ancestors

For what is remembered lives

 

I remember my ancestors of the blood

The line back beyond my knowing that made my life possible

There are problems carried in this lineage but there are also blessings

I remember my ancestors of the blood

 

I remember the farmers in my line, who worked the soil and fed their neighbors

I remember the teachers in my line, who believed in learning and literacy

I remember the policemen in my line, who served community and protected the innocent

I remember the entrepreneurs in my line, who risked everything for their families

I remember the travelers in my line, who explored and brought my family here

I remember the children in my line, who died early and brought joy and love

 

I remember my ancestors

Ancestors of the blood, ancestors of the heart, ancestors of the spirit

I remember my ancestors

For what is remembered lives

 

I remember my ancestors of the heart

The members of my family of choice who supported me in my life

We shared good times and bad, and I miss the sharing

I remember my ancestors of the heart

 

I remember the times you challenged me, asking me to be better

I remember the times you comforted me, asking me to stay strong

I remember the times you showed me new things

I remember our laughter

I remember our meals

I remember talking long into the night, sharing dreams

 

I remember too the non-human ancestors of the heart

Gandalf

Gandalf

The pets who were my stalwart companions

The plants and trees which were my comfort and refuge

The places in the past which can no longer be found that I called home

These too are ancestors of the heart

For they have shaped me and supported me as my chosen family

 

I remember my ancestors

Ancestors of the blood, ancestors of the heart, ancestors of the spirit

I remember my ancestors

For what is remembered lives

 

I remember my ancestors of spirit

The heroes and role models who have walked before me

I never knew you, but what you did made my life richer

I remember my ancestors of spirit

 

I remember the firefighters and the freedom fighters

I remember the actors and the artists

I remember the athletes and the explorers

I remember the cooks and the teachers

I remember the scientists and the philosophers

You showed me to go places I’d never been and what kind of person I wanted to be

 

I remember my ancestors

Ancestors of the blood, ancestors of the heart, ancestors of the spirit

I remember my ancestors

For what is remembered lives

 

I am grateful for all my relations.

I am grateful for their love and guidance.

I am grateful for their strength and resilience.

I am grateful for their courage and generosity.

May you be remembered

May you live on

 

 

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Greening

dandelions in the park

dandelions in the park

April showers didn’t bring us much of anything except grey day after grey day.  May showers on the other hand have finally brought spring to the north!  Even on a rainy day, there is enough green to combat the grey.  The world around me is blossoming and I’m making an effort to spend time outside to enjoy it.

Johnny Jump-ups voluntarily spot my lawn

Johnny Jump-ups voluntarily spot my lawn

I like the cooler (but not cold) days and the frequent rains have kept the pollen count to a tolerable level.  I’m trying to reclaim some of my gardens.  It’s still a challenge.  My up and down can get a little unsteady.  My back is limiting both my carrying capacity and how much time I can spend at any one task.  My shoulder makes reaching and pulling a challenge.  Even so I’m making progress and enjoying every minute of it.

Pansy goes in each year for my Mother's Mother an avid gardener with simple tastes.

Pansy goes in each year for my Mother’s Mother an avid gardener with simple tastes.

As I get to dig again in my ancestor garden I call up bittersweet memories of love and loss.  There are people  I honor here who I would love to be able to share this season with, and I suppose in a way I do.  I have mixed feelings as well as I dig through the strawberry bed.  This was my ex-husband’s project.  There’s very little about it that went with my suggestions and so it’s not designed to be easy for me to maintain.  It’s a garden in the front yard and I knew if I didn’t at least make some effort the neighbors would start fussing.  It’s amazing to me how well the strawberries have managed in spite of total neglect for several years.  There’s a resilience in this garden that asks me to be resilient as well.

strawberry blossom

strawberry blossom

With all the fresh new growth and warmth I feel for my friends who are being challenged with the deaths of their loved ones.  This time of year is so contrary to anyone trying to grieve.  I know the feeling where you want the world to stop right along with you, and it doesn’t.  But I also know that there is a gentle consolation inherent in the obvious manifestation of the cycle of life.

Love and blessing to all my friends who are challenged with loss in this season.

Fiddleheads

It’s raining again, but there is a glorious greening.  I’m missing having a decent camera to catch the new growth.

Forgot to take a selfie, so...

Forgot to take a selfie, so…

I had a Mother/Daughter Mother’s Day.  Orion went off for Sunday with his Dad, as usually.  Karina and her puppy came over to spend the day.  She brought me brownies (and returned my favorite pie pan.)   She took me out for coffee and to the grocery store.  That may not seem like much, but her doing the loading/unloading/putting away was a real treat for me.  We also got some new planters and dirt for my tomato plants.  (They won’t go in for a few more weeks.)   Karina set them all up so they are ready for me when the time comes.

Where's Mom?

Where’s Mom?

She had a massage scheduled, so I also got to babysit the puppy.  Minnie is a sweetie, but she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when Karina left her alone with me.  Eventually she settled down and we had a bit of quiet reading time.

Nice to have company along with a good book.

Nice to have company along with a good book.

I have so much to be grateful for with both of my kids.  I’m also grateful I got to see my own Mother last week for lunch and talk to her again on Mother’s Day.

This morning I’m of to do orientation for my volunteer gig (check out last week’s post for more about that.)  Then I hope the rain lets up enough for me to gather some fiddleheads for dinner.    MMMMMMM  the taste of spring!0512140850b

Out of My Head

I’ve been trying to get out of my head all week.  Not an easy task apparently.  Missing the cat hasn’t helped.  Rainy days (day after day after day) hasn’t helped.  Not sleeping (the rain doesn’t help the background pain at all) doesn’t help.  I know I did some things last week.  I maybe even did some cool and important things last week.  I just don’t remember much except the grey.

It occurred to me, in a flash of sunlight, how important the little things are.    I watered the plants.

taken from my car window as I pulled in.

taken from my car window as I pulled in.

I fed the feral cat that took refuge from the rain in my garage.  (No worries, he was gone as soon as the sun came out.) I took Orion to Trader Joe’s.

You have to understand that Friday afternoon our Trader Joe’s does wine tasting.  Most of the time the wine tasting host is a lovely Italian man named Lorenzo.  He teases Orion in Italian and Orion adores him (so of course I do too.)   What’s not to like about that little excursion.  I get groceries, wine, entertainment, a happy Orion and flirting with an Italian.  Life starts looking up.

The other thing I know that gets me out of my own head is helping others.  A Gilda’s Club just opened in Minneapolis (practically in my back yard.)  Some of you will remember Gilda Radner from Saturday Night Live.  When she was dying of breast cancer she found a club for women like herself to just hang out and support each other.  She left them a legacy and they became Gilda’s Clubs.  They’re scattered across the united states and most of them are open and welcoming to anyone of any age who’s dealing with cancer, supporting someone with cancer, or survived having cancer.

I am a cancer survivor myself.  I had colon cancer in my 20’s.  My Mom is a breast cancer survivor.  My cousin is just clear of throat cancer.  There are members of the family who’ve dealt with prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.  My best friend from college died of  Kaposi sarcoma, the skin cancer that is associated with HIV/Aids.  (It’s what Tom Hanks character had in Philadelphia.)  I easily qualify as a member of the club no one wants to belong to.

Since they had their grand opening a week ago I figured I’d stick my head in on my rounds and check it out.  It’s a beautiful building, well designed and appointed.  I sat in on a cooking/nutrition class that was very well done.  I even got a recipe.  I took a tour and saw all their group rooms, the yoga studio, the art room, the teen center and the children’s corner.  They may be understaffed and marginally attended now, but they have the facility to really take off in a very short time.  I put my name in the pool as a volunteer for the front desk.  Hey, it’s walking distance from my house.

Karina's new baby

Karina’s new baby

Maybe I’ve started a new adventure.  Maybe I’ve come full circle.  It’s not as extreme as Karina’s solution.   I’ve become a doggie Grandma to Minnie Mouse.   I’m not stuck in my head anymore.

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