O.M.A. – Other Mother Always

My ex-husband’s mother, Margie, passed away last month and her birthday was yesterday. I am still coming to terms with what that means to me personally and to those who knew her and loved her. She told me once that when someone new comes into your life, you don’t kick anyone out, you just make more room in your heart for them. That was the essence of who she was; loving, all-inclusive, funny, fiercely protective of her loved ones and generous to a fault. She was my rock when I felt I like the riptide of mental instability was pulling me under; she reminded me I was more than a diagnosis and she never gave up on me. She is one of the first people to give me a mirror that wasn’t shattered, distorted or warped; I could see the beauty, the promise, the goodness and the strength that she saw. For this and for too many other reasons to mention, I will carry her with me in my heart, speak her words of love and compassion, make room in my heart for those who need a safe harbor and I will continue to talk to her, sing to her and if I ever do get married again, I know she will be wearing her dancing shoes and dancing up a storm, as promised. Until we meet again.

Fate’s Saving Grace

There are those who go through Life blindly trudging their way through each day, with no direction or purpose in their stride, just trying to make it through until they can escape into the refuge of the night and the fantasy of sleep, only to rise again in the morning and repeat the monotony of another day. They seem to believe that this is their destiny, to accept what is offered to them, no matter how incomplete they may feel, for this is all that they deserve. They like themselves, but do not truly love the person they are; they do what is expected of them and never question what they are told. They exist, but do not enjoy or love the life that is theirs.

If Fate looks kindly upon these people and if they can keep their eyes and hearts open, someone will enter their life who will help them to realize that they are indeed a very special person; that they can realize their hopes and make their dreams a reality. This someone will not tell them what to do, but offer them a way to accomplish what they desire; or maybe by speaking to them, listening to their words, can help them help themselves. By being a different kind of mirror for them to see themselves through, without all the insecurities and faults they see; with a clearer reflection of who they really are.

To encounter a person such as this is a very rare find indeed and should be treasured for their talents and dedication. In a world that is mostly negative and cold, it is exceptionally refreshing to find someone who is positive and warm, genuine and caring and truly desires to help those who do not know how to help themselves.

Such a person may sound like a dream or a character from a child’s book of fairy tales but I have found a person who is all of this and more; she has helped me to realize that I was one of those people stumbling blindly through my days and has given me the praise, encouragement and wisdom that has enabled me to love myself enough to demand more from Life than what is offered, to realize that dreams can become realities and to know that nothing is impossible so long as you believe. I do believe.

 

Just For Fun

There are certain times throughout the day when I find myself slipping away from the present task at hand and moving towards something completely random, like perhaps what my 80th birthday party would look like, who would be there, what would I be wearing and where on Earth would we be celebrating such a fantastic event? Would I be single, widowed, divorced, living in sin or just madly in love? These thoughts keep me from feeling as though “This is all there is” and leads me to entertain thoughts of where I’d LIKE to be. I guess it’s like having a nice glass of wine; it doesn’t take you physically away from where you are, but it does tend to offer a different vibe, perspective and overall softer, gentler view of the world. Like being wrapped in a soft, comfy blanket of cashmere, it’s just that good. Since I no longer enjoy the occasional glass (or bottle, let’s be honest) of wine, these thoughts are a part of my daily escape from the mundane. They also help me to get in touch with what my dreams are for the future, what my soul is craving and what I need to change to make the future brighter and today more livable.

Today, I was knee-deep in work stuff and my brain took a sharp left and took me out of the office completely. I was transported to a pristine beach where a lone horse stood waiting for me. As I rode off into the distance, free from the responsibilities of the day, from the drudgery of the office and the oppressive heat of the valley in October (which, by the way, is supposed to be AUTUMN, not SUMMER!) I could hear my soul sigh in contentment. Of course, I did actually sigh, which brought me back to my desk, but just for those few minutes, I was completely and totally, Somewhere Else.

Daydreaming and flights of fancy are something that we did as children, without instruction or direction. It’s one of the things about kids that I just adore. They aren’t bound by reality, nor by what is possible, only by the limits of their imagination. Too often, we are forced to abandon our “childish” ways and Grow Up. I always wished to be older, never understanding how fantastic and fleeting that time of innocence and wonder really is. But just because I’m now an adult, I don’t have to surrender my childish pleasures. Ice cream for dinner, cartoons on Saturday morning (or Wednesday night, for that matter) giggling uncontrollably, blowing bubbles and flying kites are all things that I can enjoy, regardless of how many candles are on my birthday cake.

I had the pleasure of having an incredible woman in my life earlier on, when I was married. My son’s great-grandmother (we called her GG because he couldn’t say great-grandma when he was a little guy) GG had a way of enjoying the smallest of nature’s wonders, the hummingbird. She would fill her hummingbird feeders and watch them come to eat, marveling at their grace and laughing with enjoyment as they dipped and swayed, delicately feed and then dashed away. GG never seemed old to me, even though she was in her early 90’s by the time she passed (or graduated, as she preferred to say) because she enjoyed her life. She laughed often and kept that child-like wonder and enthusiasm for all the beauty and miracles in nature and in Life. When I would come to pick my son up after a visit, they would be playing together, usually with Play-Doh or Lincoln Logs. She wouldn’t sit on the couch and watch him play; she would be right there with him, on the floor or at the table. Both of them would always be laughing and smiling together, in their own little world.

She had the secret to happiness and long life; live it and enjoy it. She has been my best role model for living a good life and staying young, keeping the child within well-nourished, exercised and entertained. Tonight, after a grown-up dinner with lots of veggies, I’m going to break out the colored pencils and do a little coloring, just for fun.

Happy Hump Day!