Archives for posts with tag: inspiration

Once, when Colton was just learning to read he was given an assignment by his teacher to write something about one of his grandparents. He brought me a piece of paper, which still hangs on the fridge to this day. Penciled in little boy hand it said, “Grandma Ellie was my mom’s mom. She loved dogs. She is in heaven.” Boy did she.

Scout claimed me. I had been trolling on the SPCA website pulling up pictures of available dogs and to be honest, I was really looking for a Basset Hound as that was all I had owned for years. Amelia, who was only about 3 at the time, stood next to me as I scrolled through the pictures. When the picture of this white fluffy dog flashed up on the screen she blurted, “Oh! Look how cute that one is!” Read the rest of this entry »

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I remember one night when he was just weeks old.  Me, exhausted at 4 AM trying to feed and soothe him when I heard footsteps on the dry leaves outside the window, along the side of our house.  At first I thought it was a person, but at some point I realized by the shuffle-shuffle sound that it was likely an animal. As I looked out, there peering back up at me were four tiny sets of wide eyes, their little bodies riding on their mother possum’s back as she made her way through the night foraging food. What struck me was how instead of leaving them unprotected in the nest, she carried them with her. This night came just as I was adjusting to motherhood, and the notion that always, always… this child would go wherever I went, both physically and mentally. I was grappling with the hugeness of that responsibility; it seemed so immense in those early days. Then and even still at times, I questioned my ability to be strong enough to carry him through everything that life threw his way. 

It was then I realized that no matter a possum or a person, we are meant to carry our children, always. Little then did I realize the power in this sweet infant boy to carry me.

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I am challenging your definition of survivor because I know differently; because I know a story of an extraordinary survivor. Now, I fully realize that a story of survivorship should have as its centerpiece the one who lived through breast cancer. Keep reading, and you will learn of that survivor.  Identical to the smooth stone dropped quietly in a pool, the ripple effect of breast cancer echoes through lives, through families.  It cascades into the emotional and physical lives of those who stand witness to the struggle. Those who also live through and survive breast cancer.  Lives that in my opinion are equally as brave, if not braver. Lives that demonstrate a different brand of survivorship; that of pluck and determination in enduring the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer equally. For I have come to understand that you don’t have to have cancer cells in your body to be inside the frame of the breast cancer snapshot. And that most often it is those who stood witness and strong in a host of brave and tender ways who define survivorship, who promote it with laser clarity. They are the ones who breathe life into survivorship and never let it out of our site.

In my mind, the tiniest, yet bravest of these survivors are our children.

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Like a hoarder, I collect experiences. My brain is cluttered with a snippet of a memory here, a quote there. The Gandhi and Mother Teresa bin is overflowing and I have a temporal lobe chock full of song lyrics.  As I meander through life and come across a new one, I always experience that delighted gasp that I first felt as child coming across a freshly hatched robin’s egg for the first time; enchantment at the uniqueness; wonder at the preciousness of such a delicate thing. I am awash with awe at the inherent depth of something so simple and small. As with the remnants of that soft blue, blue egg, I gently tuck my gatherings away, certain they will eventually have some use for me in the future. Certain they will serve some vital role if not now then later, as I try to make sense of the world. Certain they are gifts that deserve protecting. Perhaps these collections are the evidence of my belief that almost always the answers to life queries (both large and small) are laid before us like a field of daisies. We just have to choose not only to see them, but gather them up one by one, making in the end a whole beautiful and complete bouquet. These are indeed, my tchotchkes of the mental world.

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