Friday, April 29, 2011

From Darkness....Light

I love being silly with Dada...
Life has been busy around here.  This has its perks, but also its pitfalls.   When you have experienced the death of someone you love, busy can be good… as it keeps your mind--and heart--occupied.   But then, when that moment of quiet comes, your breath is taken away by reality.   Such is the circle for me.  Yet the goodness that has come with the business is a gift that I am grateful for.   And the clarity that has come in my moments of silence has been enriching. 

Which leads me to one of those moments of clarity….It is a lesson I received a long time ago from a dear friend (thank you, Dave) that has taken on new meaning for me lately.  This is the lesson: you are not able to fully realize the gifts you have received from someone until after the relationship has gone through some major change…or ended.  The way I have come to understand this is that when a relationship has a certain dynamic, such as a teacher/student role (as a mom often is a teacher for her child) this dynamic remains for the life of the relationship.  But then, if some major change occurs, a new dynamic surfaces.  The student now has the space needed to put into action the lessons spread her wings and fly.  Since my Mom has died, I have noticed myself stepping out of the passive role of ‘student’, and taking on the lessons and gifts that she taught me, to a much greater extent than I ever have.  It is an interesting transition that is hard to explain.  But the gist of it is this: my Mom taught me many things, and I am grateful to now have a new perspective...and way of honoring her.

And now, here are some pictures of all the business as of late; lots of family visits, which have been great blessings…
Aunt Maureen and family came down to visit.

Cousins Claire and Connor (in front of the tree we won last year).

The gang...

We love when Aunt Bibbit (Bridget) comes down!

Getting ready for my Easter egg hunt at Aunt Lisa's.

I found one!

There's chocolate in ALL these eggs?
at Aunt Lisa's new house...
Easter morning with cousin Lindsay...

Thanks to Aunt Bibbet for Lucy's Easter dress!

Papa and Dada on Easter Day...
We love you Lucy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old Traditions...and the New

Happy 14th Birthday, Lindsay!

Life is now about creating new traditions, while trying to honor and maintain the old.  It is an artful dance between what the current reality is, what the past was, and what my family decides will be.   We recently danced this dance with the celebration of my niece’s fourteenth birthday.  The new:  Lucy and I going to Indy to surprise Lindsay on her special day.  The old:  making sure Lindsay knows how wonderful she is, showering her with attention, and being together as a family on an important day like the occasion of her birth.  What forever will be:  my Mom’s memory honored and preserved by the traditions she established… as they will continue on for years to come.
My Dad and Lucy, with Lindsay and her rock star friends.

Audrey, Lindsay, Olivia and Kaylee....Lucy loves you!

These cousins love each other lots!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lucy and the Ladybug

In the past, when Lucy and I would be out and about during our day, it was not uncommon to involve my Mom in some way on our outing.  Maybe through a text, or a phone call, or a picture message…  My Mom once told me how she loved knowing what activities Lucy was involved in throughout the day; I think it helped her to feel like she was with us.   I know that is how I felt, and I loved doing it.  So recently, when Spring surfaced for a few days, I knew it was going to be emotional to take Lucy outside to play for the first time since my Mom died.  The typical call or text or picture message to her was not possible.

But then, another grace….

As soon as we walked out onto the driveway, there she was… a red ladybug.  How we saw it, I don’t know. Some of you may remember from my post in October of 2009 that there is a special connection between ladybugs and Chinese adoption.  Within the past few years, ladybugs have held a unique place in my heart.  So here Lucy and I were, just outside, huddled around our ladybug friend, talking to her, letting her crawl on our hands, watching her drop to the driveway and curl up to “go to sleep.”   Lucy’s reaction to our red friend was priceless.  Eventually, she flew away.     We looked and looked for more ladybugs- no luck.  We even looked in the days to follow….no ladybugs. 

How odd that there was this little ladybug waiting for us as soon as we ventured out on our first outing without my Mom. I soon came to realize what had happened; this creature helped me get through yet another “first” without my Mom.  She made Lucy and I laugh and enjoy a special moment.   It became crystal clear to me-- this was my Mom, in some special way, letting me know she was still right there with us.  How short-sighted of me to think otherwise.   Consistent with how things have been going lately, my Mom gave me a reminder of her presence when my earthly limitations clouded this reality.

 And then….

Two days later, Brian checked his phone messages. (Anyone who knows Brian understands why it would take him 2 days to check voice mail).  He asked, “Did you and Lucy send me a message about ladybugs?”  I immediately felt this welling up of emotion, wondering what in the world he was talking about.  It seems that somehow, with my cell phone in my pocket, among the 70+ contacts that I have, my phone dialed Brian’s # (no… I don’t have him on speed dial) and the entire priceless, three minute conversation between Lucy, the ladybug and I was all on his voice mail.   I could barely believe it.  I have listened to this message countless times, and still can’t believe it is all there.  What a blessing; for not only do I have the memory of this experience, I also have it to listen to whenever I want- just Lucy, myself, the ladybug... and my Mom, enjoying a beautiful Spring day.   


God’s graces are so good.

Lucy helping with her first batch of Easter Bread.
Grammy would be so proud...