Category Archives: spirituality

Routine

There’s no internet at my parent’s house. But they are still there and I’m grateful for the time we have.

Routines, we all have them.  From the little rituals that get us going in the morning to the major cleaning, exercising, and vacation planning our routines help us get things done.  The problem is that we can be assured that our routines will, at some point, be disrupted.

Disruptions come in many forms.  An illness or injury can throw routines into a jumble.  Taking a trip or having guests will put pressure on our schedules.  Even something as simple as a change in the weather, or season, can throw a routine into chaos.

I feel as though I’ve been living in the land of disrupted routines.  Even when I think I have a handle on it something else seems to rear its ugly head and throw me off my balance.  I’ve been out of town (and not in a restful, renewing or inspiring way).  I’ve been dealing with allergies (spring is early this year).  I’m back into the remodeling project and even just planning has me throwing my hands in the air screaming.

I’m always willing to put off the routine to spend time with old friends.

I’ve missed two weeks of blogging.  The first week I new I was likely to miss.  Out of town and no internet handy it was unlikely I would get to it and didn’t make it a priority.  The second week I was still reeling from the effects of having my routines disrupted, again and again.

I talk about Daily Practice a lot.  Although Daily Practice can be part of the routine, I make a distinction for it.  Daily Practice, for me, is a small action with a big impact.  When I take up a Daily Practice it becomes a top priority, a commitment.  Daily Practice requires an attention, and often an attitude shift.

In the crazy of my world, with my routines all a jumble, I hold on to my Daily Practice like a lifeline.  I may not be as efficient, or effective, but I still do it.  I may not manage to get it done in it’s “normal” timeframe, but I still do it.  I may start with “oh shit, I have to do that.”  but I do it.

Spring coming early isn’t all bad. It does make me smile.

This is one of the many reasons for taking up Daily Practice.  Those small things can keep us going when we are physically, emotionally, and mentally out of sorts.  They become a foundation from which we can build a new routine.  They are a simple constant in an ever changing complex world.

‘Tis the Season

resized_20161207_093548It’s cold and it’s dark.  Thanksgiving was late, so it feels like the other holidays are coming early.  I’m having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit – for any of the holidays.   Yule is fast approaching.  The winter solstice, the longest night of the year, is this week.   All I want to do is crawl under the covers.

Maybe it’s the politics.  Maybe it’s the news stories.  Maybe it’s just a general sense that certain people feel like they now have permission to be rude, racist, misogynistic and all together nasty.  It definitely feels like the longest night.

The thing is, most of the winter holidays are celebrations of hope.  They are a coming together of families, of communities.  Many of them are directly linked to survival, either as an acknowledgement of the ancestors surviving or as a sacred working towards surviving the rest of the winter.

41182543-jewish-holiday-hanukkah-celebration-with-vintage-menorahBoth Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrate the faith, perseverance and fortitude of ancestors in the face of insurmountable odds.  Even the Christmas story has Mary and Joseph finding shelter where there was none to be had.   If our ancestors beat the odds, so can we.  We have their support, their example, and when our own faith wains we can lean on theirs.

The Islamic calendar is lunar, without some of the “corrections” in the Jewish calendar that keep festivals seasonal.  Currently Muslims are also celebrating the birth of the prophet, not Jesus but Mohammad.  Along with the longest night comes the birth of the sun.  In Christianity the savior is born.  There is hope in the metaphor of birth.  There is potential for something better to come along.  There is a new way of approaching the world being born.resized_20161218_142133

During the longest night people came together to share stories.  Like Hans Christian Anderson’s the Little Match Girl they create visions of the futures they wanted to see.  Dreams of sugarplums dance in their heads.  They’re visited by ghosts, ancestors, departed friends, spirits with teaching visions.  Hearth fires are tended, and gifts are exchanged.

In O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi it is the wise (or foolish) sacrifice that is a gift of love.  Yet some of the pressure of our season is that consumer culture that measures how much or how many above how thoughtful, how generous.  Finding the “right” gifts, or making them, is often how I come to the spirit of this season.  And again, this year that has been more difficult.

I’m finding more seasonal joy in sharing a protein bar with a homeless man on the street corner than in exchanging packages.  I’m finding more seasonal joy in being able to encourage a teen I’m driving to school than in writing a holiday letter.  I had more fun shopping for my women’s group ritual (where the presents represented themes rather than being for specific people) than I had baking for the family.resized_20161219_102719

I’m hoping for the hope.  I’m leaning heavily on tradition to see me through.  I’m going through the motions, believing that movement brings movement.  I am reminded of being 9 months pregnant, miserable, impatient and not really knowing what the future would bring.

Let the bells ring out.  May joy and peace be shared with all.  May love and kindness fill the world and vanquish cruelty and hatred.  May you all have a blessed holiday season.

 

Previous blogs about Yuletide:

Yuletide Greetings

Gifting

Holidays

Merry Merry

War on Christmas

 

Giving Thanks

 

The Tower card from the Morgan-Greer Tarot

The Tower card from the Morgan-Greer Tarot

Gratitude is difficult when the world seems to be falling down around our heads.  It is difficult to find gratitude in crisis.  It is difficult to find gratitude when we feel threatened.  It is difficult to find gratitude under stress.  But it is especially during these challenges when we need  gratitude the most.

Practicing gratitude is uplifting.  Even seeing people who seem to have less than we do being grateful can be inspiring.  Knowing what we have to be grateful for is like finding a lifeline in a troubled sea.  When we most need something to hang on to, an active practice of gratitude gives us just that.

Thanksgiving is a highly charged holiday.  There are the family dynamics.  Mixed families, blended families, new relationships create conflict over who gets to be with who when.  There is finding table talk that doesn’t push buttons, make judgements, and generate huge arguments.  There is the food both, expectations and execution, and issues of tradition versus lifestyle.

The First Thanksgiving Jean Louis Gerome Ferris 1863-1930

The First Thanksgiving
Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
1863-1930

Thanksgiving is also highly charged politically.  Not just with the family table, but the actual nature of the holiday itself.  What we celebrate is the coming together of the European settlers and the Native Americans.  The reality of that relationship is not nearly as peaceful or generous.  Even now at Standing Rock Native Americans on their land with their supporters are being treated in ways that have the United Nations, the ACLU, and Amnesty International making statements against our government’s actions.

I am reminded again about the power of gratitude, and so I write reminding you.   Let’s all take a moment, many moments, this week and dig deep into the things we do have to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grateful for all the people who work peacefully and diligently to preserve my civil rights, my breathable air, and my drinkable water.

I am grateful for all the people who work to ensure I have good, healthy food available to me especially all winter long.

I am grateful for all the people who are actively kind to others, who help those in need, who work with populations (in prisons, the mentally ill, impoverished families etc.) that I am not equipped to help.

I am grateful for the small opportunities I have to do my part to bring kindness, and caring, and loving support into the world.

I am grateful for the support I receive (from family, friends and strangers) just to be able to function in this world.

I am grateful to have a platform and readers who support my work. – Thank you!

What are you grateful for?

Author

resized_20161022_171951It’s been awhile since I’ve really felt like an author.  My first book is out of print.  The last few years I’ve been contributing to anthologies rather than writing on my own themes.  I’ve had a hard time making the space to work on my next book.  Life happens.

This past weekend, though, has been a writers week for me.   On Friday I attended Women of Words.   I’ve been a member of this amazingly supportive writers group for over a year, but I’ve had to miss meetings the last few months.  It’s great to feel “back on track.”

Then, as my regular readers know, I went to the Minnesota State University, Mankato Women and Spirituality Conference.  I spent most of the weekend vending my books (and the anthologies) and being “seen” as a writer.  I also gave a well attended workshop on Daily Practice (the next book).

my view for most of the weekend

my view for most of the weekend

There were some gems that dropped into my ears over the course of the weekend.   Some of them were immediately useful.  Others I’m still digesting.  I’ll share.

One of the Women of Words said that when you go to sell your books you need to have the expectation that they will sell.   Now that seems self evident, but I know I have set up vending with “Maybe I’ll sell a few books” in my head.  Not this time, and it made a significant difference in my sales.

The conference keynote speaker, Daisy Hernandez, talked about the power of memoir.  How when we share those personal stories we often find they are much bigger than we are.  In telling our own stories we tell a human story, a culture story, and there are at least elements of that story that belong in other people’s stories as well.  It’s hard for me to share those personal stories, but I know when I do my books are better for it.

My table was across from the artist who drew the cards in the Spirit of Archetypes divination deck.  I drew the Martyr card.   These cards carry “illuminated” and “shadow” meanings.  The shadow of the martyr is exactly what you think.  The illuminated archetype is about conviction and commitment to a purpose.   Like being an author and owning it.

Speaking about Daily Practice

Speaking about Daily Practice

When I speak about Daily Practice, and especially when I speak to women I have to address the issue of “How do I put myself first?”.  This comes across in a lot of ways.  It can be about time.  It can be about priorities.  It can be about reluctance to do self care.  It’s a very prevalent theme when I converse with people about their issues with Daily Practice and it’s certainly been one of my issues as well.

One of the suggestions I give to people who can’t seem to “do it for ourselves” is to dedicate the practice to the Divine.  Make your practice devotional, take a sacred vow to do the practice, add a gratitude component.  Essentially I recommend heightening the perceived value of the practice beyond just something we do for ourselves.

So… it finally occurs to me on the drive home to LISTEN to some of the things that come out of my own mouth.  What if marketing and promotion (the necessary and my least favorite parts of this job) were sacred service?  What if all marketing and promoting was about opening a channel for the Divine to inspire more people?   This one I’m still chewing on, but it tastes a whole lot better with this kind of seasoning.

Samhein/Halloween is New Year for Wiccans.  I’m feeling well packed for a new start.

Pink Rock

A pipestone quarry at Pipestone National Park

A pipestone quarry at Pipestone National Park

Orion and I got home late last night and I have photos to sort through this morning.  So a late posted blog because I have to tell you what we’ve been up to.

We took a weekend trip out to the pink rock country.  We visited Pipestone and Sioux Falls.  As you know this year my women’s group each adopted a diorama from the Bell Museum.  One of those diorama’s was of Pipestone.

Our adventure began by stepping into the diorama.

Standing in the diorama - you can see the pink rock cliff over the prairie in the distance

Standing in the diorama – you can see the pink rock cliff over the prairie in the distance

The tall grass prairie is in bloom at this time of year.  Several of the exhibits at the National Park talk about the herbology of the Native Americans in the area.  This is buffalo country, but the only one’s we saw were statues.

The Sioux Quartzite formations are very dramatic.  They are full of fissures and faces.  Towering above us they still embrace us, like sitting in a circle of elders.

Circle of Elders

Circle of Elders

This site is sacred to many different tribal nations, and that sacred ground is very apparent.  Walking under the cliffs has the feel of being in a cathedral.  The stones sing, as does the river that runs through the site.

Only registered Native Americans from tribes that historically mined the area are allowed to quarry the pipestone.  They still do it by hand, with respect to the land.  The quarries sometimes collapse or fill with water.  There are families who spend years coming out to Pipestone to reclaim quarries that have fallen.  Tending these sites is like a gift to the ancestors and descendants.  It is sacred work.

The oracle looks out over the prairie

The oracle looks out over the prairie

We got to talk with some of the pipestone carvers, who work doing demonstrations at the Information Center.  Carving is also a generational skill.  Travis Erickson has been carving most of his life.  He also saves the pipestone dust from his carving and makes a resin in which he embeds sacred herbs (like flat cedar).  He turns these into amulets also for sale at the museum shop.

Old man in the rock

Old man in the rock

We spent the night at Palisades State Park in South Dakota.  Our hostess reserved cabins so we didn’t have too much haul and carry.  The cabins were not “accessible” but manageable and comfortable, especially since I had help.  We had perfect weather, a late night watching the Perseid meteor shower, and breakfast on the cabin deck. Orion and I didn’t go walking through the park (except the hike to the bathrooms) but some of my friends did and judging from their stories there are some wonderful spots.

Breakfast on the balcony porch

Breakfast on the balcony porch

Sunday we spent in Sioux Falls.  We went visiting family (not mine, but it’s always fun to meet my friend’s parents) and gawking about town.  Apparently Pokemon Go functions as a guidebook to interesting sites.  We found many in Sioux Falls, and made a point to visit a few.  We went to see some of the sculptures on the Augustana College campus.  We drove down the sculpture walk and of course spent some time at the falls.

The statue that drew me to Augustana. Titled Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight it says: "Seek ye wisdom and gain understanding"

The statue that drew me to Augustana. Titled Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight it says: “Seek ye wisdom and gain understanding”

Sioux Falls runs over pink rock, but here it’s not pipestone but quartzite.  The falls powered a mill early in the development of the city.  The ruins (it burned down) form some of the park structure.  Again, we couldn’t have asked for a prettier Sunday afternoon.   Of course the park was full of people and I wasn’t getting the wheelchair out climbing on the rocks.  We did find a spot where we could stand in the spray of the falls and that was refreshing.

Standing in the spray of the falls

Standing in the spray of the falls

This pink rock is Sioux Quartzite

This pink rock is Sioux Quartzite

the old mill, much of the quarrying and construction was done by federal prisoners and indentured servants

the old mill, much of the quarrying and construction was done by federal prisoners and indentured servants

The wildlife appreciated the calmer spots in the rapids

The wildlife appreciated the calmer spots in the rapids

Sioux Falls South Dakota

Sioux Falls South Dakota

 

Paganicon Weekend

Still bad at selfless. Trying to find the next workshop

Still bad at the selfie. Trying to find the next workshop

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and it may take me a bit to come back into my regular routine.   Paganicon happened, which was fun and exciting. I did a presentation on Friday.   It was well attended and I got some very positive feedback.   I have to think it went well.

Ran into Sandy in the vendor room. I knew her from the Priestess Show on Blog talk Radio. We finally got to meet in person! (she took this one)

Ran into Sandy in the vendor room. I knew her from the Priestess Show on Blog talk Radio. We finally got to meet in person! (she took this one)

I spent plenty of time socializing on Friday.  This is a local convention, but it’s getting some buzz on the National scale.  Some of the guests and folks coming in from out-of-town are good friends.  It’s always nice to have the opportunity to touch base in person with those long distance relationships.

Saturday was our political district convention.  Both Orion and I were delegates.   This year Orion is excited about politics and I’m feeling fit enough to make it possible for him to participate at this level.  We struggle with accessibility in these venues.  On caucus night it was the crowds.  For the district convention it was the convention set up itself.

I don't have photos from the political convention but here's Orion at dinner with one of our long distance friends Crystal Blanton.

I don’t have photos from the political convention but here’s Orion at dinner with one of our long distance friends (and also from the Priestess Show) Crystal Blanton.

The building this district historically uses for its convention is technically ADA accessible.   There is a ramp and an elevator.  There are handicapped stalls in the bathrooms.   However the signage is horrible.

To make matters worse the convention was in the auditorium.   You may know most auditorium seating has a small designated area to accommodate wheelchairs.  Depending on the auditorium they may or may not have seating near them for companions.  But at a political convention the rules require that delegates sit in their precincts – not in the special seats on the other side of the room.

We found a spot in a little used aisle.   Little used because the door to that aisle was locked the entire day.  Every time we left we had to get someone to go around and let us back in.   The lighting was horrible.  I had eye fatigue and a burgeoning headache from trying to read the amendments.  Orion is legally blind.  He can read, but he needs good lighting.   I drained my cell phone battery using the flashlight.

I begged someone to take this for me. Not sure I've had my coffee yet!

I begged someone to take this for me. Not sure I’ve had my coffee yet!

In spite of being worn out we swung by Paganicon after the political convention.   It gave Orion a chance to visit with some of his friends.  He picked up a beautiful drum that he’s enjoying.   Orion has an inherent sense of rhythm and perfect pitch.

Sunday morning I was back at Paganicon to do a book signing.  It went pretty well for me after one of the organizers kindly found me a decent cup of coffee to get me through.  I spent the afternoon actually attending the convention, going to workshops and participating in rituals.

It was a good weekend.  I couldn’t have done so much, and at that pace, 3 years ago.   I am so grateful to be able to do these kinds of things again, and to be able to do them with Orion in tow.

Great panel on social justice and systemic issues!

Great panel on social justice and systemic issues (like accessibility)!

 

I was talking about my bariatric surgery and the outcomes with some folks I hadn’t seen for awhile.  These are people who have been in that internal debate about their own weight issues.  I said that I think part of my success is because I’m not focused on the weight or the numbers as much as I’m focused on the things I can do.

I can get down on the floor and up again.  I can go up and down the stairs.  I can walk from one end of the convention to the other and not sit down.  I can stand for my entire presentation and still manage to pack my stuff up when I’m done.  Gratitude keeps me on track.  Excitement about what I can do keeps me pushing to do more.

 

Packing and Unpacking

They're falling off the walls AND falling apart!

They’re falling off the walls AND falling apart!

As I pack boxes, clearing out my kitchen so that “someday” I can get those cabinets replaced (and a few other things taken care of besides) I find myself disheartened.   There is so much to do that it can seem overwhelming.  There isn’t even a start date, much less and end goal in sight.

I’m talking to contractors, talking with bankers, packing boxes and still the day-to-day life goes on.  I have a lot to be grateful for.  Many of my friends have been sick with the spring crud.  Several families I know are experiencing the family member in the hospital in critical condition trauma .   It’s not as though my kitchen is entirely worthless.  I’ve managed to deliver a few meals since I started packing things away.

I’m grateful that I have the time to be helpful to my friends in need.  I’m grateful to be healthy enough to face the tasks of the day.  I’m grateful it’s not Orion in the hospital this time, or me.  I’m grateful for the unseasonably warm weather.  I’m grateful for the blossoms on my jasmine plant.

I have a blooming begonia too!

I have a blooming begonia too!

As I go through my things and pack them away I find myself unpacking old issues that I apparently still carry around.  There have been moments where I’ve caught myself in a memory vortex.  I’ve run into out dated cans and remembered my parents moving out of their “forever” house into their retirement home in the North Woods.  I’ve come across baby spoons and sippy cups and remembered both the child who used them and the one who didn’t.   I dug up cookie cutters and remembered back when I’d bake for large events.

Packing is bittersweet.   I’m trying to keep it reasonable with a one box a day goal.  I’m trying to remember this is an opportunity to declutter.   I can use this to bring more tranquility into my home.  But right now it doesn’t feel tranquil.

Except boxes.  I could bring home more boxes.

Except boxes. I could bring home more boxes.

I’m shopping this week with a friend of my parents.  I chauffeur her around to run errands.  Occasionally I pick something up for myself along the way. Now I have to resist.  I can’t be bringing new things in, knowing I’ll just be packing them away.  New things are for later.  Right now it’s time to pack up the things I’m keeping and to unpack the things it’s time to let go of.

March is a long month, and this week is only half way through.  Best wishes for more sunshine and spring awakening!1

Preparing

What books do I pack?

What books do I pack?

I’m traveling again this week.  I’m going to present a workshop at Pantheacon.   Today I’m feeling just a little overwhelmed because there’s so much still to do!

I have arrangements for hotel and my flights are booked, but I’ve given no thought to getting back and forth from the airport.   I’ve got Orion covered and his meds sorted, but I still have to arrange his transportation and think about what else to put in his bag.

Karina will be staying with Orion for at least some of the time I’m gone.  I suppose that means rather than entirely emptying the refrigerator I should give some thought to what they might eat.   Do I trust that Karina will keep Minnie off of my bed or do I pack away the good blankets?

I know it's hard to say NO to this face!

I know it’s hard to say NO to this face!

Then there is my own packing!  Do I bring books to sell?  How many?  Which ones?  Can I do that and keep my luggage under the weight limits?  Packing for the workshop I’m presenting, and preparing for that, is its own little piece of extra, but exciting.

I’m sure some of my stress is because of what happened last year.  The workshop I’m giving is the one I was planning on doing then.  Having to cancel at the last-minute because of https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/a-big-wrench/ was more than a little discombobulating.  I’m grateful to be doing well, healthy and able to go back this year!

These are flowers near the hotel in San Jose from previous years visits. We won't see the like here until June!

These are flowers near the hotel in San Jose from previous years visits. We won’t see the like here until June!

It’s 11 F here and the temps are dropping.  The high today in San Jose is 77 F.   Packing and planning for what to wear on the plane is an interesting logistical dilemma.  I will definitely throw in a swimsuit!   I may have to pack a winter coat as well.  That depends a lot on how I get back and forth to the airport which puts me back at the beginning of this post.

I need to just breathe.   I need to remember I’ve done this before, I’ll do it again.  I need to trust that whatever decisions I make will be fine.  I need to remember that if I forget anything there’s a good chance there are stores in California.

See you at Pantheacon!

Past blogs about my experiences at Pantheacon:

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/pantheacon-2014/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/california-2/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/california/

 

Happy Imbolc

20160201_105835I’ve written several posts on this Sabbat in the past (links at the bottom).  It’s the time of year when we notice the days are getting longer.  Back before artificial light cows and hens stopped producing in the dark time of the year so it is a time to celebrate the return of eggs and milk.  Many animals are at the “birthing” time in their cycle.  It’s a good time to start things.

For many people who make New Years Resolutions it’s the time to recognize failure.   This is why I don’t do New Years Resolutions any more. Who needs to beat themselves up?  Not me!  But it is a good time for me to recognize where I need to get “back on track”.20160201_110101

Sunshine and winter thaw is a good motivator.   But I’ve got an even better one.  My copies of Pagan Leadership Anthology: An Exploration of Leadership and Community in Paganism and Polytheism  came in the mail!

This anthology, edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood and published by Immanion Press, includes a piece I wrote.   That’s where I need to get “back on track”.   I’ve kept up with the blog, but have been actively avoiding other writing – for no good reason.

Getting the books in the mail reminds me “I am a writer!”   I have authored 2 books  (Manifest Divinity and When Gods Come Knocking) and have published works in 3 anthologies (Pagan Leadership, Bringing Race to the Table, and Rooted in the Body Seeking the Soul).   Writers Write!book_when_gods_come_knocking_small-1 Manifest Divinity Front Cover hi res

The season marks the time to get back into the daily practice of writing.  For me, I find that it helps to set aside a particular amount of time I MUST write each day (with an eye to when I might squeeze that in).   The amount of time can be minuscule.  10 min, 20 min, an hour, how much doesn’t matter.   I need to sit down and do it.  Once I start I’ll write until I’m done, sometimes all day.  It’s the getting started where I need help.bringing race to the tableRooted in the Body

This time of year is the “housekeeping” time of year.   What have you been avoiding that really needs to be done?   Just do it.   Think of it as preparing the way for spring.

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/hope-2/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/stir-crazy/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/bonus-blog/

https://lisaspiral.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/light/

 

Making Memories

"Christmas" this weekend with my parents

“Christmas” this weekend with my parents

My parents are 80 years old.  My Mom had her birthday last month and my Dad is this spring.  It is becoming more and more apparent I won’t have them around forever and so the time I spend with them becomes precious.

My blogging buddy Andra Watkins speaks about the importance of making memories.   She walked the Natchez Trace with her Dad, and then wrote a book about her experience:  Not Without My Father.  She’s got a twitter feed at #makeamemory where people share their stories."Christmas" with my parents

When we asked my Mom what she wanted for her 80th birthday she said she wanted to go out with just her girls.  This isn’t as simple as it sounds.  There are schedules to shuffle, kids to arrange for, and some history of unpleasantness between us.    But it’s what she wanted, so I got on the phone.

We kept it a secret until Mom’s actual birthday.  Then my middle sister (the one who lives closest) gave her a card with an “invitation” inside.  Lunch with your daughters, January 2nd.  She was SO excited!  We didn’t “do Christmas” until just this past weekend so it was nice for her to have something to carry her through the actual holiday.

Even on the day we had a few minor scheduling issues.  I volunteered to pick up my little sister and forgot she’s outside of the GPS maps so we were a little late arriving.   My middle sister was babysitting and needed to drop off her Grandson “on the way”.   She was driving Mom, who also wanted to stop and pick up a few groceries.

Drinks first, then a LOT of food!

Drinks first, then a LOT of food!

In the end we all made it to lunch.  The waitress snapped a photo to prove it.  It was a pleasant leisurely afternoon.   We sat and ate and chit-chatted about nothing important.  We kept it all light and friendly.

My Mom was thrilled.  She still talks about how wonderful it was for us to do that for her.  She says finally, for the first time in her life, she got exactly what she wanted for her birthday.  We made her a memory.

For me, it’s not the lunch that’s the memory.  It’s being able to make my Mother so happy, with such a simple thing.  Aging is hard for her.  She struggles to continue to be relevant, to be heard, to participate and she does better than she thinks.  But this day, for her birthday lunch, she could be the center of attention, “the Mom”, and not have to work at all.

Priceless

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