Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Through Her Eyes

Today is the feast day of St. Marcella.   I am not sure how many families actually celebrate the feast days of their patron saints, but this is something we have always done in our family... a tradition my Mom started.  So it seemed only appropriate that after all the years and all the feast days that my Mom recognized for us, that I take a moment to remember her on this special day.

Last year around this same time, our entire family was together in Indy for my Mom's feast day (as well as my brother's birthday).   Who knew then what we know now: that it would be our last time together as a family. (reminder:  savor every moment)  It was a joyful occasion, and I am so grateful for those memories.   

The following was sent in an email from my Mom...

to my friend Mary....

in anticipation of all of our arrivals:

"Ray and Jessica are coming here next weekend for a visit.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for no more snow.  Last year when they were supposed to come to IN for Lucy's baptism, all the airports on the east coast were closed due to horrific winter weather.  I hope that doesn't happen again this year.  They wanted to come now, since they do not want to travel closer to the baby's due date of May 15.  Karen, Brian, and Lucy will be here also...always great to have the family together. "

It is those last words that mean so much.   I am eternally grateful that her last days on this earth were blessed with health, happiness...and family. 

And how ironic that today is an unseasonable warm day (61 degrees and sunny).  No snow this year Mom! Lucy and I have been outside enjoying it, and celebrating this wonderful occasion of your special day.

Happy Feast Day Mom!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

On our driveway, after a recent ice storm.

Today, in most Asian countries, begins the fifteen day celebration of Chinese New Year.   It is the year of the dragon, a most revered creature in the lunar calendar.  The dragon is seen as having special significance due to the fact that it is the only mythical creature in the calendar.  Those born this year, and every 12th year before or after, are said to have power, superiority and wisdom.   They will naturally excel and be leaders.  

Typically, this is a joyful time for many in China, as they take time away from jobs to go home and be with families.  Yet even in China the effects of the global economy are taking their toll, and many will not have jobs to go back to after this 15 day celebration is over.   I read a story that in Lucy’s province of Jiangxi, one of the poorest in the country, this is particularly true, with many losing their jobs and income.   A disheartening tale that is resonating around the world.

In China, Yin and Yang continue their dual.  And for me, the same rings true:

As I woke this morning and went about my Monday morning routine, I couldn’t help but think about last year at this time, sharing recipes with my Mom and talking about what each of us were going to try, to celebrate Chinese New Year.  My Mom had sent Lucy a special gift in the mail, wanting to be sure to recognize and honor her culture and heritage.  The disconcerting thing about grief is you just never know when it is going to hit you. 

But then…two things happened that helped me refocus, gain some 'balance', and remember my Mom’s eternal presence.

One~ My sister texted me to set up a time to call, so her second grade students could wish Lucy  “Happy Chinese New Year” (in Chinese, mind you)!   It was so fun, and Lucy had a huge smile on her face while getting her sweet greeting from Lisa’s College Wood second graders.  Thanks so much Lisa- these little things mean more than you could know.  

Two~While walking to the exit lines of the grocery store to check out, a huge bin of children’s books was sitting there.  Never before has there been a bin of books sitting there.   I started rustling through it, only to find the book that was meant for me to find:  “Kai Lan:  The Dragon Dance.”  (For those who don’t know Kai Lan is an animated Chinese character;  Lucy has several of her books and two of her DVDs, most given to her by my Mom.)  Once again, my Mom found a way to grace us with her presence, give Lucy a gift, and let us know she is still right here with us…celebrating.    

Later, I will try a new Chinese recipe for dinner;   one I think my Mom would like.  Happy Chinese New Year! 

Taken from the Summer Palace in China.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Funny Friday

I had been thinking that if a funny story surfaces with our little munchkin throughout the week, maybe I will start posting it on Friday.  After all, don't we all need a little comic relief at the end of the week?  Plus, I figure it is good thing to document these priceless moments.

Well, wouldn't you know that we had just the moment this week?

Lucy is in the throes of potty training, so I guess you could say that she has the toilet on her mind a bit more than most.  You combine this with her lasting love affair of all things electronic (especially Brian and I's cell phones) and you have quite a mix brewing!  Little did I know, but Lucy decided to take my phone with her to the potty.  She has figured out how to take pictures and save them on my phone.  And even though I don't think she really knows how to change the external wallpaper (the picture displayed on the outside screen), she somehow managed to do it.  Next thing I know, I pick up my phone and this is the picture I see:

I guess if she has to be thinking about the potty all the time, she wants to be sure I am too! Brian and I were rolling!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Lucy

It was a little over two years ago that we celebrated Lucy's 1st birthday with her.  What a blessing these last two years have been.  On December 30th, we welcomed year three with an open-house style birthday party.   Friends and family trickled in all day long to visit with our girl on her special day.  We are forever grateful to those who traveled from near and far (especially my family, who came from Indy) and took time out of their busy lives to celebrate with us.  It was my hope that Lucy would feel the love of those who are special to her in her life;   I believe this goal was accomplished.  


My wish for you as you continue to grow and learn and blossom and change, was summed up perfectly by one of our friends in the birthday card they gave you.  Here is what she wrote:

“Praying you will always remember that you are God’s special treasure,
full of gifts and talents, and that as you grow,
you will know His love deep in your heart.”

Happy Birthday Honey Bunny!  Your Daddy and I love you loads! Here's to a beautiful third year of  life.