Monday, July 27, 2015

The Gifts of Life. Welcome, Precious Children, Welcome....

My heart is full tonight. I’ve been trying to process and sort out the last couple of weeks with little success. Until today.

I’ve been struggling through my grief since Jillian died. One day at a time, one tear at a time. I hear her voice, “Fall seven times, Stand up eight”. I know, honey. I hear you. I do try. Am I trying hard enough? I think I am. But I miss you. I’m angry. And there are days that I just really don’t care. I love my children. I love my family and my friends. And yet…

The summer is screaming by me, with no signs of slowing down. I’m not slowing down. I was hoping that our long awaited vacation would help with some of that. Would force me to slow down and just be.  And it did.

Just before we left for a week at the cottage I’ve rented the last few years, I was admitted to the hospital with a kidney stone. I’m rarely sick, and having to come to terms with the fact that I’m not immune to illness rattled me. But what really opened my eyes is the health I’d been taking for granted. I’d been running, chasing, hiding and not appreciative of the blessing I live with every single day. My health. I’m ashamed. This is not the first time God wacked me over the head to get my attention. J

On a starlit evening, while fishing with my family, I look up to our vast universe, shining and blinking in all its majesty. I’m brought down to the level where I need to be. Grateful. Grateful for my family. Grateful for our Universe, and grateful for the gift of life. 

"I am here tonight. I am alive. I'm with my family, and I'm making memories. It's a pretty big deal". 

Today. Today my world has been blessed with two beautiful new souls. My twin granddaughters. I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. The miracle of birth. The love, the strength and the unbreakable bond of family.

Thank you Lord, for Your everlasting gift of life and for all of your continuous blessings. Thank you for Joshua and Kaytie. Please continue to watch over them in the weeks and months ahead as they care for their children.  

Welcome, precious girls. Your Mimi loves you.

Sydney Jillian Hayes 6lbs, 2oz
Cheyenne Julia Hayes 5lbs 2oz

~Peace and Love

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I AM....

 As we begin to prepare for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend, like so many holidays where the original meaning gets lost, I am grateful. I am grateful to be an American.

I’m not sure where this reflective person comes from sometimes. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become more aware of the world around me. Maybe it’s all part of living and growing older. Maybe it’s menopause. But most likely it’s because I’ve learned how fleeting and precious life is, and how easily it can slip through our fingers without fully appreciating its textured value. Much like the warm sands of Lake Michigan, when summer turns in to fall.

It can be a challenge to be grateful for this great country when it seems that all we see is what we hear. The tickers flying across our screens displaying news headlines that may lead us to wondering, “What is happening in our world”?

       I am free…
Our country is incredibly diverse. We come from all over the world, and with that we bring along different cultures, different religions, and we enjoy the freedom to celebrate them. I am allowed to practice my religion and attend the church of my choosing. I can marry who ever I want. I can choose to divorce, or I can choose to be single.

I have the privilege to work…
I have the opportunity to work where ever I want to. I have the freedom to support myself and to pass down that strong work ethic to my children. I have the freedom to pursue a higher education, to become a veterinarian, an owner of a restaurant, or a master gardener. We are the land of opportunity, and it is my firm belief that if we want it badly enough, we can succeed.

We're encouraged to express our opinions and to be our own individual…
We have the freedom of speech. We can express ourselves freely without censorship or persecution. I have my own blog, and I can write in the knowledge that I have that right. We each have our own religious opinions and political preferences. We have that right.

We are entrepreneurs…
We have the ability to be innovative and to exercise creative thinking.

We support one another….
I am proud of the way our country shows their support after devastating tragedy. This was evident with the terrorist attacks on 9/11.  

The Boston Marathon where two bombs exploded near the marathon's finish line.

And most recently, the tragic shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina

In spite of the controversy and tragedy that we have been historically involved in this past year, I am choosing to remember what my Independence means and why I am grateful. To have the privilege to be an American. And to be proud. Because, I am.

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! " ~Thomas Jefferson

~ Peace and love