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Memories

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Graceful Aging

It is with love that I get to help my Mother grow old gracefully.  I used to wonder what that meant as I was growing up but I also got to see my mother model the role with my grandmother.  She always found time to help her or hold her up in her not so good times.  All my life my best role model is the Mother that God gave to me.  Her laughter is contagious, her smile lights up a room and she is the best listener I know.  She offers her words of wisdom whether I ask for it or not but many times even when I am not asking for it, her words make me think before I jump in and make a mistake.  Her compassion for everyone is amazing.

Her spirit, honesty, values and stories continue to amaze me.  She does her best to continue to fight even though she realizes that her body is growing weak.  To me that makes her fearless as she sees her mortality as not an end but a beginning.  I know she longs to be with my father who has long gone before her but her job to help form us and the next generation was not complete.  She takes that duty very seriously and her smile is always eager to visit as she witnesses the newest generations growing up before her.

God had true wisdom when he gave us mothers and gave women the strength to give back to their families tirelessly.    As I helped her do basic things this weekend she kept thanking me and telling me that God knew she needed girls and was so blessed to have three that she is so proud of.  She told me she didn’t feel she was aging gracefully but no longer had enough fight to care.  To me she will always be gracious and graceful as she never stops sharing her heart and her love……even if it is only her words or a smile.  Thanks Mom.

Memories

Flashback to a simpler time in life to the year 1965….50 years ago when life had much less complication and stress.  My family unit consisted of six and the potential in the faces of the children was only matched by our innocence.  We began a journey that led us through the country following our parents as we moved with Dad’s military career.  None of us knew what the years would bring and for one moment frozen in time a photographer helped us to capture life in the 1960’s when we knew we were loved.  Little did we know where our paths would lead and the strength we would find along the way.  This last week my mother turned 81 and I see the light in her eyes begin to fade.  She dreams of my father who has long gone before her.  Even thought she continues to guide us and be there for us, time has changed her outlook on what is left of life.  Her words of wisdom ring in my ears and I spend as much time as possible with her to share her stories again and again.  I want to store each memory of her to freeze it in my brain like the picture.  It makes me smile when my mother tells it like she sees it.

Now I see my own children in a picture just like the one from 1965 but with their own families.  I think about what trials they must live through.  The family time is such an important time in life yet I see the wisdom my parents shared being passed down through generations.  The love, encouragement, joy and hard work continue but in a far different world.  Simpler time?  Not really, and until we can put others needs before our own like the ones a mother does for her children, we will not solve the true needs of the world. Hate will continue to multiply and grow like wildfire.  Don’t be afraid to hug your children, elderly, loved ones and friends.  It is only through sharing your faith and love that we can help our children change the world.   Our choices do matter and make a difference.  Choose to be a role model, share your values, talk to your children, hug your family tight.  Love them to the moon and back for love will conquer over hate if we dare to share the memories we all hold so dear.

Motherhood

An all inclusive word, motherhood, meant to involve years of hard work, caring, cajoling and encouraging our young to grow up not as we do but as we say.  One must definitely lead by example to obtain the best results.  I was reminded of this as I watched the ducks over this last summer at a pond where I met one of my friends just to walk.  There is nothing more uncertain or stressful as being a Mother.  When my mother used to tell me that having children was the easy part it took me until I had my own children to realize that the years I would spend teaching them as they grew up would mean the most and be the most challenging.  Learning to speak a language that my children heard and observing their responses to see the results of my words.

Our house was always full of our girls, their friends and teammates.  I enjoyed watching my two beautiful daughters turn into women and begin to raise their own children.  I have many times been very proud of how they show their love and tough love to mold my grandchildren.  I have been privileged to see five generations together and the values and morals that built a strong family unit who cares about each and everyone in that unit as if they were a child of their own.

As I sail into the sunset and watch my mother I see her still connect with the great grandchildren and treat each one as the special individual they truly are.  Her strength and courage to realize she still makes a big impact keeps her moving on as she knows the goals God has set for her.  I love you Mom, as you continue to guide me, love me and encourage me each time we speak.  Just like the ducks in the pond, life regenerates itself and we not only learn what we live, we pass it on to the next generation.

Whether or Weather

Whether we choose to be affected by the weather depends a great deal on where we glean our perspectives.  Reality shows bring us life in Alaska or the desert or the ocean.  Many of us never get to go far from home and so the day to day drudgery of winter wears on those of us in the northeast.  I watch the weather forecast tell me that we are in for 8-12 inches of snow by morning and my joints tell me it is coming before it even drops a flake.

It begins at first as a fine mist almost rain like and then the white dots begin to appear.  It is fine droplets at first and then picks up in intensity and begins to blanket the ground with a fresh outlook.  Hour by hour goes by and I see outside my window the areas where my flowers bloomed covered in total white.  Knowing we are probably not going to get to work tomorrow I watch as my family gets out the snow machines in anticipation of fun rides on the mountains nearby.

As I get older I recall all the fun times I got out and did the very same things, snow angels, preparing for a fun day off to play in the snow and barely sleeping in anticipation of flying across the fields with the wind and cold.  Now my arthritic hands don’t work very well and my bones tell me it is time to watch from the window as my grandchildren do those very same things I used to do.  When they ask me to join them I fear going out and breaking something instead of havng the bravado of not caring and come what may.

So whether you choose to participate in the weather at large or watch from afar, life’s perspectives change over time and circumstances.  My heart says I am still twenty but my body says “oh no you are not!”

Mid Summer Moon

While looking through some of my pictures of last summer I came upon some beautiful moon pictures that I just love.  I was not sure they would come out as I hung out my window to snap them.  The moon seemed so close that night I felt it was just above the trees around my house.  I grabbed my camera and began to shoot the pictures as the light from the moon danced off the clouds and left hues of purple, green, grey, yellow and white.  It can almost be compared to the Northern Lights even though we are very far away from there.  I had never taken pictures at night that came out quite like these.  I am fascinated by this moon and hope that all of you enjoy it as much as I did.

Looking back on all the great pictures from last summer and fall helps me to make it through the greys and darker days of winter where I live.  We get little sunlight but today was bright at times and the sun warmed my soul as I got a day off to enjoy it.  Memories of that warmth led me in search of some special pictures to share.  As my body tells me I must slow down I have come to appreciate some of the sights that got by me when I was younger and in a hurry.  I seem to have found something that helps me share my experiences in the photos I have taken.  It took me a long time to go back to college and when I needed an art to complete my degree, photography not only called my name but became my new best friend.