Saturday, August 24, 2019

Little Women


Except that there are five of us.

Growing up my family had close ties to another family just up the road. My sister and I were close friends with the three sisters. Our school district was quite small so classes were often shared among the grades. My best friend from the age of six was the oldest of us. One grade ahead of me she led the way from elementary school to high school. She paved the way through our teen years and into college. Though we are geographically distant, to this day we are as close as ever. I know I can call her any time of day or night and she will pick up the phone.

Her younger sisters were spaced between me and my sister in terms of age. My sister had the privilege of sharing classes with both. And a classroom with the youngest. The bond among the three of them is strong and everlasting.

The years have taken each of us in different directions. Three of us have stayed in New England. One moved to Texas. Another lives in Switzerland.

Their father recently passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. We came together as a family to love, and hold each other tight. Such an event is never the easiest way to reunite. The occasion brought us together to celebrate his life, and our lives together.

Our lives are different from the characters in Louisa May Alcott’s novels, but track closely all the same. We grew up together. Shared triumphs and disappointments. And have experienced life, and loss, together. As adults we continue to be more than friends. We are family.

We are our own Little Women.






If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Inheritance


When I hear the word “inheritance” I think of an estate; where someone has died and bequeathed a financial benefit to a relative. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of inheritance includes “the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations.”

My mother recently moved into a Senior Living Apartment. My sister and her friend did most of the heavy lifting when it came to the move. They packed things in boxes, identified furniture to move, and disassembled the various electronic devices that went with her. I helped with some of the packing. Some.

Sorting through my mother’s things afforded us an opportunity to inherit items that she wanted us to have. There were items that she was not going to take with her, but we had given her as a gift so we “helped ourselves” to the inheritance. At some point, we will have a family gathering to sort through items that others may want. I am sure there are gifts my brother or niece gave her that they would like to keep for themselves.

Sorting through my mother’s vast collection of coffee mugs was interesting. I hope that those she left behind will be inherited by family and friends.

Over the years, there is one mug that I always used when I visit my mother.





I assumed she would take it with her to her new apartment so that I would have “my mug” during my visits. Instead, she asked that I take it with me. It is my inheritance.

Of all the items I could ever inherit, this mug will mean the most to me. My mother is still alive, and I think of her every time I see it. I treasure it when I use it. And I am aware that there will come a time when this mug will be all that I have left as a tangible reminder of my mother’s love for me.

For me, this is the greatest earthly inheritance a daughter can receive from her mother.

Thank you, Mom!


If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Other Gods



You shall have no other gods before me.
Deuteronomy 5:7 (ESV)

This past week there was a national scandal in higher education related to admissions at several elite, private schools. The short version is that wealthy parents used an intermediary to bribe someone so that their child could get into the college or university. There are several layers and different scams, but ultimately it is all the same. Bribery.

One of those parents is Lori Loughlin. When I read the “breaking news” (that came as an email into my in-box at work) I thought: this can’t be! Lori Loughlin? How is this possible?

Many know Ms. Loughlin for her role as Aunt Becky in Full House. Some know her from Hallmark Channel’s Garage Sale Mystery. I know her best as Abigail Stanton on Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. What shocked me most was that the roles she plays are always so wholesome. Additionally, I have seen her on interviews in which she comes across as someone with good ethics and moral standards. I first heard of When Calls the Heart in an interview when she talked about her relationship with Hallmark and how fortunate she was that they let her set a family-friendly schedule of filming so that she could be home more with her children.

I am not devastated. That is too harsh. However, I was disappointed. How could this honest, trustworthy actress who plays these upstanding characters that seek justice and uphold noble standards possibly have done this? Yes, we are all sinful and have fallen short. I am sure she has personal flaws. We all do. But something this big, and this bad, was completely out of character.

You see, I had come to equate her television characters with who she is as a person. She could not possibly be any different from the roles she plays. And while I don’t think James Spader actually is a con man who manipulates people and industry to get what he wants, somehow Lori Loughlin was Abigail Stanton.

However, my heartache is not because Lori Loughlin is human. It is because I created an idol.




If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I'll Remember


She sits, drinking her morning coffee
I ask her if she’d like eggs for breakfast
“Yes, that would be fine”
She takes another sip

“What’s for breakfast?”

Eggs, I remind her
As I empty the dishwasher
We talk about today’s agenda
A trip to the store is planned

“What are you going to make for breakfast?”

I tell her I thought eggs would be nice
Oh yes, she likes eggs
Easter is coming; “Do you remember?”
There was that Easter that it snowed

She likes to travel
And would like to go to Maine
I offer to plan a trip
“But I won’t remember”

I’ll remember for us

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Pennies On The Floor















The pennies scatter
Across the floor
Under the bed
Glass shards interspersed

Gently I stoop
And begin to pick them up
Gloves to prevent cuts
Gloves to keep from getting dirty

It is painstakingly slow
I sit on the floor
And shoo the cats away
I do not want them to get hurt

She would have left them
The glass, the dirt, the chaos
The possibility of harm
No capability to rectify

Angry tears form
I am mad at her for not caring
But she can’t help herself
She does care; she can’t do

This is not what I wished for her


Thursday, September 20, 2018

When Bumblebees Sleep


Early morning.
The temperature is cool.
There is dew on the grass.
There they are.
Tucked underneath the raspberry leaves.

They are asleep. It is too early.
Even for them.
I try not to wake them
As I pick my morning breakfast.
They do not move.

Even as I lift the canes.
They huddle together. Waiting.
For the warmth of the sun.
I find comfort in these friends.
Unexpected companions in my quiet.






If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Finding Joy


Used with permission from David Loose

I cried when I learned there was nothing more the doctors could do.
There were no tears when I heard of your death.
Grief is like that.
It is the living in the hard places.
The desperate wish that things would be different.

You asked if you could call me.
My heart sank when you told me the news.
There were tears when I told my husband.
The grief started then.
All those months ago.

There is always hope.
But I knew differently.
I never want to be that person.
The one who insisted “you’ve got this beat.”
Because life is not like that.

Life is messy.
It caught me off guard.
And hurts in the deepest part of my soul.
Until I remember more of the good times together
Than the past few, painful months.

That is when I find joy.




If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.