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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to Breathe

I stood looking out across the valley yesterday evening with a wide open sky and beautiful sun set, I breathed in the great beauty before me with tears in my eyes.....I whispered out "Our last summer...." then I let my gratefulness wash over me as I delighted in all the memories I have of this Treasure Valley laid out as far as I can see from up where I stood, in that very moment I was completely still.
I am full of hope, and full of change.
And I am full of understanding NOTHING will ever be same for me......
          My 11 year old friend Tally said to me earlier that she knows how I miss my brother, she can see it in my eyes. 
I hugged her and said "It's going to be a part of me forever now, but you always make me smile and laugh....You are such a good friend!" She explained that she has missed me and all the fun we use to have. I replied hopefully "Well, let's go have an adventure before the summer ends still!"

I stood there a moment in the wonder of panoramic view surrounding me as I told myself "Just breathe."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How to Live....

.....2017's word has been courage and I had no idea the importance in remembering that.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Better Days - Goo Goo Dolls

I look back today on the trauma my family went through when my mother had her stroke, I see my brother Derek being there in the hospital, walking closely with our father and letting us know what to do next......I look back today because I miss my brother so much! Because going through something like that was made easier with him at our sides. Derek was the one I called for everything in the comings and goings of those crazy stressful days.....I look back today with gratefulness that he was there through it all!

Tonight's the night that the world begins again.......

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How Beautiful!

My brother Derek was always good at taking pictures, of really capturing the beauty of the earth all around him!  And I get to delight in his pictures when I look back through the ones he shared online. In fact over all these years of the online world I have followed him knowing his new pictures will AMAZING to see!

Now I think about How beautiful is this world he leaves behind for us to look at of what he saw on his walks, his hikes and his vacation trips.

These magical moments of his life story.

How Beautiful! Thank you my dear Brother for capturing such a moment in time!

.....And For seeing the beauty of this earth every where you go!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

James Blunt - No Tears

Friday, July 14, 2017

How She looks....

Sometimes when I am spending the day with my Mother I can see how young she really is, for she has a playful spirit in wanting to go on new adventures.
She wants a busy social life full of events with friends and family to distract her from her aftermath of her massive stroke.

She likes to laugh, to go out to eat all different kinds of foods. She is always making a list in her head of things she needs or things she wants to give away as gifts for others.
She is also very trapped.
She is very aware of her own selfishness that has been enhanced since her stroke, for it left her trying to survive at the mercy of others who can help her out since she only has one moving hand and leg.

I sat with her yesterday over Mexican food, looking at her curly long gray hair that I twisted up into berets after her long shower. She has been very tired and sleepy when I first arrived out on the farm and in her cozy cottage.
She has a new chair and a couple of new beds in her bedroom along with a new big book shelf full of books. 
(I try to always bring her books)
I feel like her place is looking really good lately, pictures of Derek decorate the wall. Mom has a nice big picture of him cross country skiing right by her bed that I always love seeing it.
It had greeted me at his funeral, my brother's smile is so genuine in that moment out into the forest on a sunny winter's day.

As I sat enjoying lunch with my mother, I realized that I can see she how young she feels inside, whenever she is sick or hurting more from her paralyzed side I feel alarmed by how much she can aged, I feel like I am running out of time with her maybe.....
I worry so easily as all of this has left me in traumatized state of mind, like something really bad could happen to her again. 
I am aware of it in myself as I take my Mom shopping we stroll up and down with a basket to carry the things she wants to buy and we unload it in the cart by the register then go back to shopping because I can push her wheel chair better then trying to push a cart and her chair. (Especially when I am on my own with her then I set it up as easy as possible. For I am never shopping for myself, never in a hurry. never over scheduled nor am I trying to dig into stuff on sale for a better deal. It's about what my mom wants most importantly) 
Last week we went for Chinese food because she wouldn't stop talking about it and so I told her yesterday "I think I like Mexican food far more then Chinese food." She replied very playfully back "Well, I like it ALL. I like food in general!" we laughed.

Lunch was so lovely, I noticed that my Mom looked so beautiful! She looked a lot better then a month ago even, so I was truly grateful to eat and laugh with her!

               Ever since my mother's stroke we've been friends. I sat thinking about how important that has been for me, being close and caring over my mother makes me so grateful and proud. Looking back in many ways we were close as mother and daughter, sitting in the mall at 8pm drinking lime-aids and laughing as she wanted to keep going from sale rack to sale rack but I suggested we sit a moment for a refreshment. She seemed to relax, to talk with me over how she misses being with girls for on that night in time her whole life was about the boys. I had already decided to spend the whole day and night with her at the mall not far from my home back then......
For on that special day I shared with her all about what my life was like, I never complained nor did I end our time together to soon for her. 

So I can understand her obsession with shopping now after her stroke to bring back that sense of excitement and of youth she had before this trauma hit her body. 

I sat admiring my Mother yesterday, her body is older then her soul. I could see it so clearly as she shared on about the things she needs to unload.

I walked beside my mom to the car helping her balance safely on her cane. She looked so good in the sun light with her matching jewelry sparkling for we had spent the morning organizing everything in her bedroom again. It has been 6 full years now.......since July 18, 2011.

I drove us home mentioning upcoming events for her to look forward to in the rest of the summer. I thought about how she and I always talk about Derek, we both get teary eyed as Mom says "It's just so sad that he isn't coming around anymore, I think about him every day when I first wake up and it makes me hurt all over again." I wiped my eyes with my napkin and share back with a soft smile "It will ALWAYS be so very very sad, and that's okay to realize. Okay to always cry."

I had a flashback of last September while I strolled with Mom through Kohls, she looked so good all dressed up for the new day out! 
She was excited to see Clearance signs every where with her hair pinned up decorated by her butterfly berets. With the shopping bag tied to the back of her chair I began helping her look through the racks just as Derek arrived!  That had been such a fun day!... with him making side comments to me as Mom got so frustrated at him, in helping each other hold things for our mother while joking around and even laughing so hard that Mom stated "I can't take YOU kids any where!" and then we laughed all the more!
Oh how that fun shopping day ended with us 3 sitting in my car having drinks and snacks from sonic as Mom couldn't believe that Derek didn't buy a single thing when it was a huge clearance sale through out the whole store!
He grinned at her saying "Even if it's 3 dollars if I don't need it then I am wasting my money." Mom just shook her head in disagreement snapping back "Well, you will never find it again for 3 dollars is what I am saying." my brother giggled at her from the back seat leaning in between us to visit.

  So I spent yesterday with my mom wondering if one day she will say that she never wants to go shopping again? 
I would be completely okay with that, yet shopping wasn't ever my thing. 
Of course I grew up thinking that we should go shopping as a social event.
 With less people over time to go shopping with then I don't really want to go out shopping....
Buying things was never the purpose for me. 
I realized that as Mom said "You should look for some new ties for Tony." her face lit up at the idea and I chuckled while nodding back and stopping to look at them as she was truly happy to be there with me, helping me look for a good deal.
Her awareness of the store, her excitement to get everything on her list and her confidence to rolling on by herself for a bit made me smile because I was in her world, she looked so beautiful in her wheel chair determined to see what was there all around us. 
She commented back over her shoulder up towards me "There could be a sale on men's shirts too." I replied back with a peaceful nod saying "Maybe so."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How it was.....

Whenever I shared about my 4 brothers my face lights up, at least I have been told this many times over the years.....

I love my family very naturally, I try to not cause more stress or drama when I show up but sometimes I loose my temper with my father as he can loose his with me. Yet it's my mother who is use to calling the shots for us, so I guess I saw my parents like people on a Chess Board all of my life......

Being with my brothers was easy, so fun as they were little and energized for a new life, I saw an opportunity for a better family structure through them, for a better family connection.

I will always know that they were born to save our family in the end. We may not like each other at times but we all loved those baby boys!

I had no idea that it was clearly seen my love for my brothers. But it's the best part of my history, being like a second mother will always give me such peace and joy when I look back through all the crazy changes.....

I realize now that I never gave up on my parents even when they were the most difficult to be around, I just set up healthy boundaries for the sake of being there for my 4 brothers still living at home long after my own life took on a new wonderful love story!

It was hard at time to be kept at arms length and to be judged constantly by my Mother and Father for not attending church anymore, nor believing in the bible exactly like them......This is what they used against me whenever I came to see or play with my brothers. 
   I had to learn how to not take it personal but it was very frustrating along the way, I would make gift cards for "A Fun Day in Boise with Big Sissy." that each brother could cash in to do whatever they would like "A movie, A day at the Zoo, Painting pottery, ride paddle boats, a game of tennis or basketball." 
All those years I look back grateful they were in my life even though my parents never allowed them to do any of those things unless they attended too. 
It was so weird to me that especially my mother would never want me to be alone with my brothers as they grew up. I would never of said anything bad about her or her faith so I was confused by all of this....
Even on our week long trip to the Oregon coast she was friendly one moment then very preachy rude and judgmental in the very next, so I knew that I would never go again on a road trip with her like that. Her yo-yo ways made my head spin in such chaotic careful awareness in hoping my responses would keep our adult friendship intact. 
Then I would look at my 6 year old brother Davy on that trip realizing I was there for him, not there to prove our mother wrong about me, instead I would give him a high five or big smile, for I was seeking the good in everything around us! Oh how I still look back in awe of those 3 blonde hair blue eyed boys! 
We made sand castles, we ran through the salty waves and we laughed so hard in the warm fall sun shine! 

...then they grew up way to fast! I tired to never loose contact with them as we go through time.

        The most important fact of all is that I never lost contact with Derek over the busy years of our 20's. We enjoyed a hug or a hello when we bumped into each other as different as we were, we were family as we were comfortable in our own space and our own lives.  
I am thankful looking back, I am truly proud of my 4 brothers even more as time flies by!

For whatever my parents fears were in having me come around their home over all those years, I knew I could only do my best with them........
There is always hope in me, it's always possible even 40 years later.....that my family can heal and be better to each other. 
Like the song "Tonight's the night that the world begins again." I have always believed in that very song!

I thank God for each one of my siblings, even my very strong stubborn Sister, and I never stopped loving my parents with unconditional love even in my days of severe anger towards them. I carried such love to not give up on them.

Grace is the answer for all of this! 
My family history was made bearable because of my 4 brothers, it didn't just end because I would never walk away from them! I will always pray for their safety as I did on the day they were born.

My Mom has often said "If the boys are with Derek then they are very safe, I can relax knowing that." 
I would smile in agreement with her because Derek was always sharing safety tips in everything.....

This all makes me realize how important safety and such good memories are to us in the end. I will try my hardest to create joy, to create love instead of judgement, instead of needing to be right I want to soak in all the light!
I will choose to take in the future with wonder and change the stories from abuse to amazing strength of Goodness! 

I will be in awe of all things because I know there is no limit to healing, to finding a better way through the history into the future.

I am always going to light up when I share How it was......

For I had 4 brothers! and I sure love them!