dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

On Saying Good-bye…

September 2, 1983 I was nine months pregnant.  I had a 4 1/2-year-old girl.  My hubby was on what would turn out to be an 8 1/2 month deployment.  On September 2, 1983, we moved into our home.

The home was not my dream house.  It was not what I had imagined living in.  But, live in it, we did.  Our girls were raised there. They had their birthday parties there, the slumber parties there.  First dates.  Prom dates. Food fights while making Christmas cookies. We laughed there, fought there, lived there.

On Friday, our house will belong to someone else.  We are holding our breath that nothing changes, that the sale will continue to go through with ease.  There is no reason, at this point, something should change, but, still, we hold our breath.

The decision to sell was an easy one for us.  We made the decision and that was that.  We decided on a realtor, which was an easy thing also.  He faxed the papers and we put our signatures on the papers.  That is when it became hard for me.

After signing the papers, we took our puppy for a walk.  As we walked up the hill by our house the tears started.  The tears weren’t the gentle falling of tears that are poignant.  NO, these were heart wrenching sobs that escaped violently from deep within.   Hubby was stunned.  I was stunned!  He gently asked if the tears were tears of sadness, of relief or of joy.    I realized they were all the emotions.  Relief that we no longer would have to be responsible for property thousands of miles away.  Relief that we would no longer have to deal with dead beat renters.  Relief that we did not have to worry with each fire season.  Joy is still laying dormant in my emotions, though.  I know it is there, it just hasn’t come out yet.

The sadness was the emotion I was not expecting.  It has followed me in the weeks since we signed the papers.  It became clear once more when I saw the pictures of the house when it was for sale.  The rooms that had been filled with life and laughter and family  looked sad and alone.  The decks that we had sanded over and over looked forgotten.  The bedrooms belonging to our daughters looked empty.  No clothes were piled on the floor, no half empty water bottles were lying around.

I looked at the pictures and heard the echoes of a life.  Echoes of a family that once lived there.  Echoes that are now memories to cling to.

I know that this is a new season of life for us.  It is an exciting time for us.  Changes are happening everywhere.  Good things.  But, my heart is a little broken and it is hard to say good-bye even to something  you were ready to say good-bye to.

DAF

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Adventures with Little Man…

Last week was one of the fastest moving weeks in my life.  I knew the time would pass quickly, but I didn’t know it would pass at the speed of light.  I truly think I was cheated out of at least four of the days last week.  I know I must have gone from Monday to Friday in one quick swoop.  It just wasn’t fair.

I had planned to do a series on Little Man.  I thought it would be fun and wonderful like the last visit I had with him.  Time to play, time to watch, time to write.  Well, I was correct on two of three accounts.  I did get to play with him and I did get to watch as he did his thing.  I just didn’t have time to write.

Little Man stole the rest of my heart.  Frankly, I have no idea how I am breathing and moving around, as I know this cute little fingers are holding onto my heart miles away.

He stole some of my heart when he was born.  Each visit he captures a few more sections of my heart.  Last Sunday when I walked into his apartment with my sister and niece, he was sitting in his high chair having a snack.  He looked at my sister and my niece with curiosity.  He then looked my way and squealed, “Grammy!”   That did it.  The rest of my heart was dislodged.  It no longer resides within me.  He completed his task and has completely stolen my heart.

I will try to remember all the adventures I had the last week.  They went by quickly, and this old Grammy brain needs to recapture the joy she lived the last week.  The words need to be written so that I don’t forget them.

But, for now, I am home and missing Little Man.  This morning while cleaning I caught myself singing ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’.  Of course it was the way Little Man sings that makes it so special.  Here are his words of his song, “Baa, baa black sheep, have you any Grammy?  Yes sir, yes sir she’s in my jammies.”  There are also verses for the other people in his life, but this verse is my favorite…  What a funny Little Man he is becoming.  I am blessed in knowing him  and am very sad in being back home now.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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grumpy has left the building…

Yesterday I wrote about being grumpy.  I always hesitate to write about moods like these.  It is like shining a beacon on myself, begging to be looked at and either coddled or encouraged.

Yes, I know when moods like these hit, you sometimes need to be encouraged, coddled, or sometimes you just need a good slap upside the head.   I know this because I have many lumps from previous experiences.

After writing the post yesterday we were able to Skype with our daughter and Little Man.  No one can stay grumpy when you see a cute little guy smile as he says, “Grampy,Grammy…”   It melts my heart.  I begin to smile.  That smile turns into a laugh.  Gone are the grumpies.

My daughter looked at hubby seriously and said, “Dad, the next time she gets like this, just text and say, HELP! “  Yes, that is true love.  My kids get me.  They make me laugh.

Later yesterday, my oldest called.  She had some things she needed to talk to me about.  I gave her advice and she apologized for being a bratty kid.  I again smiled.  That smile again turned into a laugh.  All those years of fretting and worrying about the damage I might be doing to my kids, turns out, they were learning lessons for the future…  they now know how crazy they were making their mom at the time.  My oldest is discovering how fun eight year old girls can be.  I love it!  You know, eight year old girls are at that age right before maternal insanity sets in.    All I could tell her was, “Wait until high school…”.   Yes, I am a sage.

Still later in the evening, I called a friend in San Diego.  This friend had been on my mind for the past week.  When she answered the phone she sounded like she was taking her last breath.  I thought maybe I had called just in the nick of time.  Within a few minutes, her inhaler took effect and she was clearly able to ask me, “Why are you grumpy?”  Gotta love a friend who, with their last breath, is wondering what is wrong.

We talked for a bit and laughed a lot and she prayed with me.

Now, I know any of these conversations can elevate and lift a persons’ spirit.  The combination of all three were medicine for my heart.

I tend to keep things in.  I know you never would know that by my writing, but, I do.  I try to hold things in.  I try to handle things by myself.  When things get too much and I feel defeated and weary, I close down.  I think silence will help.  I think grumpiness will be momentary.  It isn’t.  Once allowing the door to silence and grumpiness open, I am not pleasant to be around.  My daughters reminded me of this.

We are people for a reason.  We need to touch other lives.  We need to allow ourselves to be touched.  Most of all, we need to be reminded that God is in control.  I may see my world as crumbling around me, but if I look out my window I will see a beautiful day and roads to explore and air to breathe in.  Life, it is new each day.  Grace is new also.

So, thank you friends and family.  You bless and minister to me and make the gray clouds give way to a better view.

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22, The Message)

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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Love and High School Friends.

When Little Man’s Momma was in high school, she had two very close friends.  The three of them were together through the last couple of  years of high school.  They would go to the dances together, spend weekends together, spend summers together.  They were fun and truly were three amigos.

During the summer before their senior year in high school, I got them each a charm bracelet.   I got three charms exactly alike.  I did this a few times during their senior year.  They each attended local universities, so they would get together during college years, although, it was not a regular time together.  By their senior year in college, they hardly saw one another as a group, but they had their memories of the times they had spent together.

When our daughter got married, one of the girls came.  She spent the time with us and we had a great time reconnecting.  Two days after my daughter’s wedding, she got engaged.  Thus began of time of reconnecting, not only with this one girl, but also with the third amigo.  All three girls married the same year.  I attended a party and both of the girls were there (our daughter was then with her hubby across the country).  At the party I gave the last of the same charms to the girls.  It was fun for me.

Now, that was five years ago.   This past week one of the girls flew and spent some time with our daughter.  She got to meet Little Man and catch up on a friendship.  I have no idea how the visit went, except for the pictures that have appeared on Facebook.  She also posted two videos of Little Man, which I have played over and over.

Friendship is a gift.  Sometimes we meet people in our youth and then lose contact with them and are left with only memories of the times spent together.    I prayed for forever friends for my daughters.  Those friends whom you can be with and continue conversations that started years ago.

Sometimes, though, the conversations started years ago can be interrupted with life and turmoil.  Major events happen and change lives.  This is the case with the two girls that reconnected this week in Little Man’s home.   I hope, though, that this week was a week of  revival for this friendship.

So, today, I think of the three young girls in high school.  I hear the echoes of their laughter and remember the antics that went on.  I think of the three of them today, two of them busy mothers and teachers, the third a busy wife and business person.   I know that the three of them will be forever friends.  Going through life’s adventure, being able to share some of it, and going alone through other events.   They are gifts to each other, and I had the blessing of seeing them from the beginning.

“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.”  (Prov. 17:17) The Message

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF

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Belated Birthday Wishes…

Two days ago marked the 35th year of being a mother.  I cannot believe I have been a mother for that long.

Thirty seven years ago, I was told that I had a very slim chance of having children.  This news did not disturb me as I knew that I serve a God who can do the impossible.   I knew that He was able to give me children even if modern medicine did not think it possible.

Thirty five years ago I received the impossible from God.  Our sweet girl came into this world and the world has never been the same.  I am thankful it has never been the same.

She is a mixture of both her dad and me, but, I think she favors her dad more.  She has his wonderful brown eyes and her grandmother’s cheekbones.  She is tall and graceful.  Her hair is a mass of natural curls that have tangled all her life.  They used to be a cause of great frustration for me, but now, I think they are beautiful.

She has some of me in her also.  She snort laughs.  She has a temper. She trips over imaginary objects that suddenly appear in her path.   She is tenacious (yes, that also means stubborn).

Mostly, she is herself.  She has faced obstacles and has moved on.  She doesn’t know the definition of quit.  I am proud of her.

This week I have often paused and thought of the past thirty-five years.   I have seen much growth, in her and in me.  I have seen her grow from needing constant care, to growing up and away from me.  I have dried tears as an infant, a toddler, over skinned knees and skinned hearts.  We have cried together, in anger and in joy and just because.

So, happy birthday Sweetie.  You were an answer to prayer all those years ago, and today, you are still an answer to my prayers.    May this year hold all the blessings your heart can hold, and may the only tears that fall be tears of joy.

 

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Sharing Some Lunch…

The past couple of days there have been some texts and Facebook messages and last night there was a phone call.  All of these talked about the possibility of meeting our firstborn for lunch.

Now, to  most, this is no big deal.  For hubby and I, this was something thrilling.  Our oldest lives in San Diego.  Her boyfriend is from Georgia and they are visiting his folks and family for Christmas.  They fly back home on Sunday.

Today, we met halfway.  We each drove a couple of hours and met for some lunch together.  It was more than nice.  It was lovely.

To be able to see our oldest walk into the restaurant  with her guy made my heart race.  I was thrilled being able to see her and hug on her.  To feel her and know that she is, in fact, okay.

I forget how lonely my arms get for a hug from my daughters.  Yes, I hug my hubby, and hug friends and hug people at church.  All these hugs are nice, and comforting.  But, nothing beats the hug of your children.  There is something there that makes your heart melt.

We sat for a little over three hours together.  We talked about Christmas and their visit.  We talked about some things in San Diego.  We laughed together and shared a meal.  We were family for three hours.  It was nice.

Tonight, I am grateful for being able to see my firstborn.  I am thankful for today.  It was a good day, a day that will hold warm memories for me until we can see her again.

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF

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Happy Birthday Jesus…

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  We know this.  We have the baby Jesus in the nativity sets in our homes.  We see the pins and the bumper stickers of Jesus is the reason for the season.  This is common knowledge.

When our girls were little we didn’t play up Santa Claus too much.  We didn’t tell them they had to behave or they wouldn’t get gifts.  We didn’t hold Santa over our girls’ heads from October on.  We decided not to do that.  It wasn’t a big deal.  We openly talked about Santa and the girls sat on his lap almost every year.  Santa was not a focus.

 

Giving gifts was a focus.  Celebrating Jesus’ birthday was a big deal.  We went to church either the Sunday before Christmas or on Christmas Eve.  We talked about His gift to us in coming to earth.

Birthdays are a big deal in our house.  Maybe that is why celebrating Jesus’ birthday was a natural fit for us.  We tend to do birthdays up in a big way.  There are banners and cakes and candles and gifts.   We acknowledge birthdays and we celebrate, not really noticing the age that we have passed.  At Christmas, I would have to make a birthday cake and decorate it for Jesus’ birthday.  The girls were adamant about that when they were young.  Eventually, I convinced them that maybe Jesus would rather have brownies or a different type of pie.  They bought that, and it was so much nicer than having a cake to eat on top of the traditional Christmas desserts.

So, on Christmas morning we had a tradition.  Hubby would get up and make certain the tree lights were on.  He would make certain that Christmas had arrived.   By this time the girls had been awake and were giggling and joking and ready to get out of bed.  They could not get out of bed until Hubby had made the decision that Christmas was here.

Out they would come from their rooms.  We would snuggle on the couch and hubby would read most of the second chapter of Luke.  We would listen restlessly and keep our eyes on the presents under the tree.   After the story, we would then give Jesus His birthday presents.  This is something that hubby and I had done for a while before the girls were around.  We continued it throughout their lives.  Their gifts sometimes were the best part of Christmas.

When they were little they would scream out, ” I give Him a big ball”, knowing in their young mind that He was playing with the imagined ball while they spoke it.  We had several years of balls and bicycles and things like that.  As they grew, their gifts changed.  Soon we were hearing that they were giving Him the worry about a certain class, or the frustration over a friendship.  Then, we got to the point where we were hearing  things like, ‘I am going to give Him my time.’

Gifts change through the years.  The thought that goes into giving people gifts changes also.  I love the concept of gifting others.  I try to look while shopping with friends, to see what they are drawn to.  Sometimes I hit it right on the head, other times I am not even close.

I know that many struggle during this time of year.  The commercialization of Christmas is extreme.  Being bombarded by ads and commercials and billboards, it is hard to not cave under the pressure.  I love this time, though.  I love the shopping part.  I love to take the time while shopping for people.  It makes me think about each person I buy for.  I love the time to do that.  I pray for the people as I am shopping for them.  I thank the Lord for the gift they are to me.

This is a birthday celebration time.  We got the greatest gift when He was born.  It is an example of how to give great gifts to others.  I think that is a wonderful thing to celebrate, the gift that others are in our life.  Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

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The Angel….

When Hubby and I were first married, we were young and poor.  We had enough to do things, to eat, pay bills, but there was not much extra leftover.  We were married almost a year when our first Christmas came around.

Hubby was stationed at a command that had access to some land and the members of the command were allowed to cut Christmas trees for their families.  So, one afternoon he went out and cut our first tree.  It was an ugly tree.  Very large and sparse.  I cried when I saw it.  I had dreams of going to a tree lot and picking out our tree together.  Instead, hubby had gone out,hunted, cut and delivered this big monstrosity of a tree.  It was a Thursday when we got our tree.  That night we went out to scout out how much lights, ornaments and garland would cost us.  Payday was Friday and so we needed to know where to put the budget.

We walked into a store the equivalent of today’s Wal-Mart.  We found the lights, the ornaments and then we looked for a tree topper.  I grew up having an angel on the top of the tree, hubby had a star.  He agreed to have an angel on our tree.  We looked at the beautiful angels for the top of the tree.   They were all way out of our price range.  Then, we looked on a lower shelf.  There on the shelf was a solitary cornhusk angel.  She was lovely.  She was the only one.  She was fifty cents.  She was affordable.  We hid her!  We wanted her so badly and we didn’t have fifty cents on us, and we wouldn’t until the next day.  So, we did what we had to.  We put her clear behind some things and we walked out of the store, hoping that she would still be there the next day.

We went to work, got paid, cashed our checks and headed back to the store.  There she was, in her safe place waiting to be taken home with us.

She served us well.  She got a little mildewed over the years, but we didn’t notice.  We loved her and the memories she held.  She knew us from the beginning.

One Christmas, when hubby was deployed on a cruise, I was home with our oldest and our youngest, who was three months old.  It was the first Christmas in our home, the one we were buying.  I went to the garage, retrieved the tree, the ornaments and the box that held our angel.  Opening the box, it was obvious that a field mouse had visited our ornaments during the year.  Our home is on a canyon and field mice are a common sight in our garage.  Some ornaments had been chewed, but our poor angel was hit the hardest.  Her head had been gnawed off and most of her body was in shreds.  I cried.  She was not going to be with us forever.

I wrote hubby and told him the sad news.  I went out and purchased another angel.  This one with a ceramic head and a pretty face. She has a beautiful purple gown on.  I was pleased with my purchase.  I put her on top of the tree and went to bed.  In the morning the angel was on the floor.  I replaced her to her spot and within hours she was back on the floor.  Although she is lovely, she is top-heavy and will continue to do nose dives off the tree top.

I again wrote hubby and told him what was happening.  I kept putting the angel in her place for the entire Christmas season.  Hubby wrote and said he found us an angel while he was in the Philippines.  I was anxious to meet her.

She is lovely.  She has silver wings and a beautiful white dress on.  She stays on the tree top and she is very special.  She is sitting on top of our tree as I write this.  Starting the following year, which was the Christmas of 1984 our girls have taken turns putting the angel on top of the tree.  I have kept a record of the year and who put the angel on the tree.  There are notes like this,  Our oldest had the flu, so Daddy put the angel on the tree.  As years passed, there were no disagreements about who put the angel on the tree.  Soon, it was just me putting the angel on.  This beautiful angel that has hair like Princess Leia…  we laugh at that now, but, we love her.

Today, as we were putting up our tree with our oldest who is winding down her visit with us, I pulled out the box with our angel in it.  I took out a pen and wrote, ” 2013 –  our oldest put the angel on the tree” .   I never thought all those years ago when I started writing down who placed her on the tree that I was recording history.  I saw it as a way to avoid arguments during Christmas time.  But, it is our history.   Reading through the years I remember.  I remember pajamas going from footie pajamas, to nightgowns, to flannel pants and tee shirts to seeing our girls dressed to go out and can we please hurry up with the tree?

Today, I saw my oldest place an ornament and step back to make certain it was well placed.  I laughed as we decorated together, as we centered the tree after I moved it the wrong way and it started to lean.  We talked and shared memories and all the time our little Princess Leia looking angel was looking down from her perch smiling.

Thanks for stopping by.  What do you have on top of your tree?  Just wondering.   DAF

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Daughters…

I have two daughters.  They are the joy in my life.  They don’t live close to me or to each other.  One is on the west coast and the other the east coast.  We are a seven hour flight away from our oldest and a seven hour drive from our youngest.

I never thought of our family being spread out like this.  When they were little, I often thought of Sunday dinners around our table, picnics together in the summer and camping trips together on weekends.  I figured that the house we raised the girls in would be the place that grandchildren would know.

 

Things don’t always work out like we planned them.  But, one other thing I wished for my daughters would be that they would be happy and live the lives they wanted to.  I wanted them (and still do) to discover their possibilities, to have their heart’s desires come true.

 

The girls are different from one another.  Their personalities sometimes seem to be the direct opposite from each other.  They have both said that they do not look like sisters.

 

My oldest is tall, elegant (well, sometimes she can be a klutz, sorry sweetie) and is outgoing.  She brings a burst of life into any room she enters.  She knows very few strangers as she makes friends easily.  She will talk to anyone and will be able to talk about any subject brought up to her.  She is a history fanatic.  She loves anything to do with history.

 

My youngest is not as tall.  She is quiet and reserved (unless around her good friends and I have heard she will dance on a table or two).  She is a lover of literature and a teacher of children.  She observes things around her and then will make a profound statement of what she has seen and learned from.  She is the mother of Little Man and the wife of my dear son-in-law.

 

Both of the girls have faced challenges in their young lives.  My oldest knows what it is like to be bullied.  She had a year of middle school that was the equivalent of a year in hell.  She was impacted by that in ways that I will never know or understand.  She is a fighter and a survivor.  I admire her ability to go through difficulties with grace and strength and then to succeed.  That year flavored her life to a degree and has made her into the woman she is today.

 

My youngest was diagnosed with fibromyalgia during middle school.  It did not stop her.  She went through the rest of her school years with energy and enthusiasm.  This too, made her into the woman she is today.  She often reminds me that she is affected by fibromyalgia, but it does not control her.  I am amazed at her endurance and tenacity in life.

 

Yes, my girls are different from one another.  But, there are similarities in them.  They love dearly and fully.  They laugh often, especially when they are with each other.  They have each other’s backs when it is needed.

 

I have thought about my daughters a lot recently.  I have thought about who they are and what they have become.  I have thought about the joy they have brought my heart and spirit.  I am thankful for them.  They are the true gifts in my life.  They are the ones who bring tears to my eyes easily.  They are the ones that prayers are uttered for throughout the day and night.

During this month of being thankful, I wanted to share with you the two whom I am thankful for.  They have made me into the woman I am today.  They have made me into the crazed woman who is gray and has laugh lines galore.  They are also the ones who helped me become a woman who prays.  I have come to know why a badger is protective of it’s young from my girls.  I have learned that tangled hair hurts when being brushed out, and socks are uncomfortable if not put on the right way.

 

So, girls, I know you have read this.  Forgive me for exposing some personal things about you, but those things have only caused me to admire and love you more.  You are incredible women and I am thankful and proud.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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An Unexpected Day…. 31 Days of Observing….

31 Days Observing 
24 hours ago I received a phone call.  It was my oldest daughter calling.  Her phone calls don’t come often and when we do talk, it is always wonderful.  Last night I heard her voice and my heart rested.  I miss talking with her and I cherish each conversation we have.
Her phone call had a purpose.  Sometimes it is like that.  We call for a reason.  Her reason was what made today an unexpected day.  Her boyfriend was returning from a mission overseas.  He was supposed to land in another city north of us and then continue to southern California.  His flight was diverted to Charleston.  She called when he landed to let us know he was here.
The long and short of it, he came to the house and spent the night.  It was good to see him, and get to know him just a bit better.  It was late by time he arrived at the house, but we stayed up to visit and he had a bite to eat.  He went to bed and I set my alarm to wake up to feed him something filling for breakfast.  He was supposed to leave this city around noon today.
He came down for breakfast to let us know his flight was delayed and we had a day together.  We were glad to have some time with him.  We had breakfast and he did some laundry and we set out to have a day out and about.
We took him to town and we walked along the water and down to the battery and then along the street with the shops.  We stopped and tasted some fudge and headed out to the beach where we walked some more along the ocean.
Dinner we went to a place on a creek and watched the dolphins playing beside us.
Sitting at dinner, listening to my hubby and daughter’s love I thought of how relaxing the day had been.  It was a break in the normal.  We played tourist and we visited with one another.  The day was lovely and the fresh air revived us and tired us out.
He just left for the airport.  It was nice to have him in our home.  It made me realize how much I miss the company of my oldest.  We took her guy to the places we know she loves, so that he could experience similar things as she has.  I thought this would be a good thing, so they could talk about these places and know what they were talking about.  My heart was glad to share with him, but there was an ache in my heart for her.
As he left I hugged him twice, once for him and one for him to pass on to my sweet girl.  It is an easy observation to know this Momma misses her baby more than she lets on.
Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF
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