Saturday, May 21, 2011

"A Farewell to Can't"

"This goodbye doesn't make me sad.  I will not miss you.  I have discovered what it feels like to do the unthinkable.  The hard.  The long.  The challenging.  You have no business here anymore.  From now on, difficult will seem doable.  I will see the impossible as simply not yet conquered.  Farewell, Can't.  You will haunt me never again.  Hello Can.  Welcome to my world!"   (Outward Bound advertisement in Family Circle Magazine)

Thank you Outward Bound for finding the words for me today!  I CAN!!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Endings and new beginnings

It seems impossible that the baby boy I gave birth to in August 1986 has all of his belongings packed into a U Haul  and is ready to leave South Carolina tomorrow morning and head to Centreville, Virginia where he will begin his career and adult life as an Electrical Engineer.  Where did the time go and why did it have to go by so quickly?  I am so very proud of the man he has become and the things he has already accomplished but my heartstrings are stretched beyond their comfort level and I feel them tugging and even fighting to pull him back; slow down, don't go, wait, I'm not ready.  I'm not ready...

Tonight we will go have dinner, the last dinner we will eat together for a while and we will enjoy the easy conversation and his smile.  I will order that piece of chocolate cake I have waited to have for months now and I will share it but it won't fill the enormous hole I am feeling in my heart.  I need him to stay just as I needed his sister to stay but I know I will let him go.  He will do so well and he will be happy.  There is a very special woman waiting for him to arrive and I am certain she can hardly wait to have him there so as my heart fights to let him go and be the man he has become, her heart is skipping beats as she waits for him to arrive.

Here is the letter I wrote to him the morning of his High School graduation.  I feel the need to share it with him again.  I have changed some of the wording to make it appropriate for today.

Some Thoughts as you Walk Towards Your Future

August 8, 1986 seems like just yesterday and yet here you are with a Masters Degree in Electrical  and Computer Engineering ready to leave home to begin your career and set off on a whole new set of adventures.  Daddy and I are so very proud of you!  You have grown to be a fine young man.  You have always given all of yourself to everything you have attempted and the rewards have been many.  I remember those first few hesitant steps which quickly became a run.  I remember the first night you slept without your blanket.  I remember the first time you fell and scraped your knee and wanted me to kiss it and make it all better.  I remember you turning and saying, “bye Momma” the first day of Kindergarten and the tug on my heart with the realization you were not so little anymore.  I remember the first time you stood at home plate all dressed in your new baseball uniform and took your first swing at the ball and the pride and excitement on your face when your bat connected with the ball as you ran to first base.  I remember another baseball that hit you in the mouth leaving stitch marks on your face and turning your lip inside out  and the coach’s comment that you never cried (at least where he could see you).  I remember every award and every disappointment.  You are an amazing son!  Daddy and I will continue to have new memories of you and will always treasure those we have made.  As you walk out the door and down the steps, walk proudly and know that we are there, forever, cheering for you and ready to offer our support.  So stand up straight, keep your head held high and enjoy every moment of your journey!  You have earned it.

And now some advice from your Momma

Always believe in a power higher than yourself, whether or not you call him God.  Talk to him daily even if it just to say thank you.

Be honest especially when it is hard.

Be true to your word.

Appreciate the gifts you have and use them to the best of your ability.

Give of yourself unselfishly.

Make new friends but always cherish the friends you have.  Let them know they are important to you.

Think before you speak in anger.  Words can be deadly weapons.

Never be hesitant to say I’m sorry and mean it when you say it.

Don’t be afraid to share your heart or love unconditionally.

Set realistic goals for yourself but never be afraid to aim high.

Don’t be afraid to fail.  Sometimes we learn more this way.

Reach for the stars!


I love you!

I am ready ..... (sorta)

Step into your future!

Footnote:  Adam has already left the house towards his future.  I could not post this last night as I intended because I needed him to be on his way to avoid the tears that I would undoubtedly shed.  I am ready!  I love you Adam.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

“Everything you need is already inside of you!”

I have a friend who is struggling to find her way in her weight loss journey.  Several days ago she sent me a note expressing her frustration and asked for help.  She told of asking for help in her meeting and not finding what she needed.  She told of setting small goals, five pounds at a time, and falling short.  She told of "blowing it" even after a successful day.  I read the note and thought about how to respond.  I wondered how I could best help her find her way.  I understood!  After some deliberation I sent her a note back and asked her to answer two questions for me:  Why do you want to lose weight? and Who are you losing the weight for?  I haven't heard from her.  I am hoping she is still considering her answers and just hasn't responded.  I hope she does not feel that I too abandoned her.  I also hope she understands the importance of answering these questions for herself even if she chooses not to share her answers with me.

I can say with absolute certainty her weight loss (any ones weight loss) effort will ONLY be successful if your answer to those two questions is anything other than totally selfish.  To win the battle of weight loss you must want to lose weight for you and you alone.  Your reasons must be "self" related; I want to lose this weight because I want to be alive to see my children grow up and have children.  I want to be able to fly in an airplane and not need a seat extender.  I want to shop in the regular sizes in a regular store!   I WANT.. This thinking will work!

Once you have your answers your journey will begin with renewed strength.  Small goals will become easier to reach and maintain.  You will find as each goal is reached and you reflect on why you are working so hard it will become easier to reach your next goal and the next until one day you are exactly where you want to be.  There will still be struggles and days where you "blow it" but they will become smaller and more manageable and there will be fewer.  Your recovery from those days will be quick because you will have a clear understanding of who and why you are working so hard.  You will win the battle.  So friend I will say to you now and the next day and the next, "EVERYTHING you need is already inside of you" dig deep.  I am here beside you ready to catch you when you stumble and cheer for you as you succeed.  You are worth the effort!

Monday, May 2, 2011

You are Beautiful

"Smile!  You are beautiful!"  It was there taped to the mirror in the front office bathroom at work several weeks ago.  It was accompanied by a picture of a grinning baby.  It made me smile!  What a great way to start the day.

Several days later there was a new message, a more powerful message that caused me to stop and reread it.   "Don't let this mirror tell you how beautiful you are."  I read the message every time I am in that bathroom and every time I pause and think about the message. "Don't let this mirror tell you how beautiful you are"....  What is it about this statement that affects me this way?  (I also wonder who is the mysterious person who is posting these messages and why they are doing it but I am grateful for the message.)

Our senses are overloaded daily with images on television, print ads, magazines which show us and tell us what beauty looks like and smells like, feels like and even tastes like.  The advertisers want us to believe we can be beautiful by buying their product or dressing a certain way or even using the "right" toothpaste.  Is beauty really defined  by how a person dresses, how much a person weighs, the color or their hair, their facial characteristics, their skin color, the toothpaste they use or how popular they are; outward  appearances?  Are these the standards you use to define beauty?  Is this the measurement you use for yourself or someone you care for?  Do you believe that beauty can only be defined by a person's outward appearance or does it more truly reflect the essence of a person; how they treat others,and how they live their lives?   What measurements would you use to evaluate beauty if you were completely blind?  

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines beauty as the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.   A particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality. Maybe I don't read this definition the way others do but I don't read anything that says beauty is just about physical appearance.

Smile! You are beautiful!

Don't let this mirror tell you how beautiful you are!