My Focus

I woke up one day and I was hand in hand with a handsome man, tall with jet black hair, masculine features, broad shoulders, well dressed, confident and exciting to be with.  As we walked hand in hand on the cobblestone road, weaving between magnificent architecture puzzled together like a maze leading us on our adventure, the sun shined down brightly upon us as we pondered where we should eat our next meal.  Which cafe or bistro shall we choose?  Would I like to sit here, outside in the cool breeze, beneath a red umbrella, resting my feet as the waiter sets exquisitely plated, savory, foreign foods from this land which we are discovering bite by bite.

Today, this memory is captured in my mind, floating around as I sit in my comfy living room, wearing my favorite pajama pants beside the tree which is peering down at me.  The holiday is over and you simply cannot walk through the house. I need to begin the cleanup, however I have decided to indulge in the memories of days gone by.  I don’t want to face the countless number of boxes, as one would imagine with four “nice” children and a generous grandmother, and after that task, my bed is covered with clean laundry, knotted together, just aching to be folded and sorted into the appropriate drawers.  I am aware that my overwhelming feelings don’t just stem from the monstrous mess scattered throughout the house or the heaping mountain of laundry, but from the lack of distraction my focus will have as of tomorrow.  No more joyous gift giving and secret planning for loved ones. The morning was filled with so much genuine magic and Christmas spirit that it had brought a tear to three adults eyes. However, now I am back to reality.  Back to the bills in which I have no idea how I will pay and more problematic situations in which I have no clue how to improve or change.

Sigh. . . but for tonight and for right now, I’m hand in hand, with that man, in a land far away eating wonderful food on the street, with a new dress resting in a bag beside me. The mess and the problems will just have to wait . . .

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A Post for Peace

My husband goes to work, as so many men do.  However, instead of picking up his dry cleaning and knotting his tie, he velcros on his steel plated vest, resting over his heart and loads his weapon, securing it on his hip.  Tonight, I squeeze him for a second longer before he walks out my door, acknowledging the potential danger which he may encounter, unlike most days when I push frightening thoughts out of my mind.  Tonight, we all face the reality of the sacrifice of his profession.  His shiny metal badge and patch on his arm are more than a uniform today, they are a target.  Before I lay my head down at night, I whisper a prayer into my pillow, asking for his safety, the safety of my two brothers and two cousins, who also share his occupation, along with the thousands of others who willingly go to work wearing armor, hoping it will keep them alive, if need be.

The other day my husband was asked to wear his vest and gun at all times.  As police officers were being followed home from work and beaten.  Yesterday, two officers were assassinated, execution style while sitting on post in their police car. It is very easy to have an opinion of someones actions, however if I injected a spectator in the same scenario they would be afraid, because being a police officer is a scary job.  They go to work hoping not to get into an altercation. They respond to a domestic call, walking in blindly into strangers homes.  They show up after the rape, after the kidnap and after the tragic car wreck.  The things these men and women see and deal with is enough to put any normal being into therapy for the rest of their days.  However the men and women who serve and protect, are brave, strong and intelligent individuals, which we rely on to right the wrong, show up when we are desperate and afraid and protect us as a society.

Tonight I cringe as the loud clack of metal echos through the hallway.  He ever so cautiously lock and reloads then slings his weapon on his hip.  This post is a prayer for peace and an end to violence against the men and women going to work, doing their job.  My condolences go out the the families that lost a hero.

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A Meditation . . .

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I wrote this some time ago, trying to describe the feeling of taking a warm shower after a long day.  I was hoping to capture the moment when I submerge my head in the water and drown out all sound.  For me, that is a place of clarity, where I can just let it all go.  Either that or I need to get out more. Well, either way, here it is.

A chill set deep inside my bones, muscles tense, mind running. I peel away my clothing until they are slouched at me feet. With the twist of a knob, my oasis awaits. The steam climbs up my legs, eventually clouding my vision. Putting my right foot forward, I step towards the pulsing water, letting it slip over my body like an oversized shirt. I am engulfed in its warmth. My thoughts are fleeting like every bead of water rushing down. The inner voice has drained my emotions with anxiety, worry, fear. The water vibrating my back allows me to relax, sighing out all which I cannot change. I surrender my head to the current. It is here where I find the silence. I am just the soul, seeking shelter as the water saturates my home. It is here I reside, safe and warm, unharmed and unaffected. I sit quietly watching, listening as the water pounces off, I can hear each solitary drop tap dancing and echoing within. The voices have vanished, leaving me as I am. Traveling within the walls my soul has been placed. Warmth, light, quiet and peace. I am. I am. I am.

Confessions of a Late Night Scandal

I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just come right out and say it.

I ate the chocolate covered pretzels (sigh).  I didn’t mean to, honest.  Let me explain, please!

It was late at night and I was shutting off the lights, moving the elf, dumping the last few cups lying around, out in the sink for the morning, typical night.  On my way into the bedroom, the dim light caught the reflection of the box.  The metallic, red color, perfectly tied white bow, and a peek-a-boo window, there it was just sitting there, begging me to look in its direction.  I pretended not notice, looking through my drawers for something more comfortable to slip into.  I turned my back to it, as I let my pants and bra fall to my feet and when I looked over my shoulder, it was faced in my direction. My lips curled up in a smirk and I quickly put on the oversized shirt for bed.  “No, you don’t belong to me” I whispered, as I bit down on my bottom lip, trying to control my urge to rip it open and indulge. I took a few steps closer and it became more persuasive, to seemingly show me more of what I was turning down. I felt hot and a moment of weakness passed over me.  It happened so quick, I tore everything off it in a moment, until I had what I was looking for, a mixture of sweet and salty decadence.  It was as good as it looked and it hit the spot.

When it was over, I went into the bathroom to clean up, stepping over the evidence on my bedroom floor. I felt like I was going to be sick. It was wrong and I knew it.  I had bought them as a holiday gift, they were not for me.  I fell weak to its seduction and I’m sorry. I am reminded of the shame when I look at my list of people I need to buy for, I have had to painfully re-write the name for whom it was intended for.  The store clerk questioned me,”I thought you crossed everyone off last week?” I slid the revised list in my pocket and lied, “I miscounted.”

My guilt has forced me to move all of them out of my bedroom. This will never happen again. I swear! I have moved forward and so should you.

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Lock The Door

Some days my face is twisted with stress and my mind in spinning like a top. I am out of answers, dry of ideas and simply weak.  On those days your arms around me aren’t just a loving embrace, but my protection from all that I cannot fix.  I can hide my face in your chest and press the pause button, call a “time out” on life. You have an ability to sense when I cannot stand tall next to you as a partner. When I am fragile and run down, you don’t think twice or need to be asked, you instinctually know to carry me.  When I have a problem, you present a solution. When I am in trouble, I look for you to save me.  When we don’t have enough, you always get more.

When the chaos of the evening routine is in motion, you bring order. When tears swell up and slide down little cheeks, you can find laughter. You sharpen the pencils and break out the books to see them through their school work. You help dole out portions of a hearty meal to our little one’s hungry bellies and help pull their arms through their pajama shirts.  As bedtime draws near, you aid in scrubbing their little teeth clean and kiss them atop their head while pulling the blankets to their chin.

As nighttime arrives, our eyes are heavy and the day has ended, you are just starting to begin.  You collect your things and tie your laces, prepare your bag and get ready to leave.  One last kiss goodnight as you zipper your coat before it’s time to head out.  You walk down the stairs with your keys rattling in your hand and close the door behind you, for your day has just begun.  But before you start your car and travel to work and become  the person you need to be to do your job successfully, you always manage to take a second, even in the pouring rain or blistery snow, to turn around and lock the door. Of the many roles you play in our family, Dad, father, fixer, Santa, human toy, you always remember, without being asked, to be our protector.  You always lock the door.

My words will never be sufficient for the love and gratitude I have for you, so this will have to do.  With everything that I am and all that I stand for, please know that I love you deeply.

Now if you could just remember to take the garbage out with you!

A Letter To My Son

My son just recently turned eight!  I am in shock as I sort through photographs of him, tiny and chubby, but still ever so handsome.  Now when he hugs me his head rests just under my chin.  In his class, his teacher plans a week long celebration for the birthday child.  One of the ways to celebrate was to have me write him a letter.  So I did. Here it is.

Dear My Eight Year Old Boy,

In Paris, France there is a bridge called the Pont Marie. This bridge is known as the “Kissing Bridge” because it is believed if you kiss your true love and make a wish as you pass underneath, the wish will come true.  Some time ago, your father and I took a boat ride down the Seine in Paris. When we passed under this famous bridge, we kissed, and I made a wish.  Nine months later, my wish came true, it was you.

As my first child, you changed me from being just a woman to a mother. I will always be grateful to you, as I believe being a mother is one of my purposes in life.

You have grown into an amazing person. You are athletic, smart and funny.  You are extremely talented in your writing and drawings. I have seen you be a great friend to others and a role model to your sisters.  You are compassionate, caring and patient, you have to be with three younger sisters!

As you know, I always ask you to do your best.  The reason is because I know that your best will take you wherever you want to go in life.  Please always remember this. Oh, and good hair helps! 😉

To an awesome, extraordinary 8 year old, Happy Birthday! We are always here for you and will always support you.

Always know, all the love I have in my heart, I have for you!

Love,

Mommy

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Write letters to your children and save them! I am grateful to have been asked to do this and intend on continuing to write all of my children a letter every year.  What do you think?