Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Most Beautiful Thing

Today I’m taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things – inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today. Find out more here and see everyone else’s blog posts here.

For my sixteenth birthday, my brother gave me a cat.  Tess was white with a grey patch on her head and lucid green eyes. I took her from my house to my first apartment. It was in that same apartment that she gave birth to her babies. I did what the books said, put my own clothing on the floor for her, in the corner of my closet, dark and warm. She wouldn’t have it; she was determined to have those babies in my arms. She had those babies, each one, as I held her. It was nauseating and beautiful all at once.

  A while later, I was faced with a break up and wanted to leave town, and so I left for an adventure. Leaving her was really difficult.  I missed her something horrible when I was away. Being that I didn’t know how long I would stay in this new city, I went and got myself another cat. I named him Wylie. He was the opposite color of Tess; he was dark grey with a white belly.

Wylie stayed with me during my short stint in another city, sleeping curled around my neck, never leaving my side.  Getting him home was not an easy thing to do. I had no money and in the end, I trusted a cross country truck driver to bring him to my home city. He arrived before me, and was taken in by my family until I arrived home.

Wylie was with me for 18 years. In that time he was my friend, my comfort, and at times, the only constant I had in my life. It was a Sunday night that he slowly died in my arms. The next morning he could not move on his own, he could not close his eyes, he was struggling to breath. With an injection at the vet, Wylie was gone, and I felt like my heart was broken in two.

With Wylie gone, there was emptiness in me, and in my house that I hated. So I did what any pet lover would do, I went to save another cat! I ended up coming home with two, but it is one in particular that I want to tell you about.

His name was Harley. When I saw him, it was love at first sight. I did not want a white cat; I did not want a grey cat. He was the perfect color of soft caramel, creamy orange, and he was beautiful! His big amber eyes looked at me, he tilted his head, he played his cards right. I am sure he knew that he had just imprinted on me, and I was just as much his as he was mine.

At home, he did not want anything to do with me. He hid under my bed, he hissed at me, and with every call, I got his name wrong! On the third day, he emerged. He walked around, I told him his new name would be Harvey, and soon, we were fast friends!

Harvey is an indoor cat, but when someone goes to the door, he runs after them, and he lifts his paw, stretching it high above his head, imploring to go out.

In the morning, when I walk into the kitchen, he races off of my bed, rips past me, jumps first onto my kitchen stool and then leaps onto the counter in front of my window. He’s a hungry guy first thing in the morning.

When I am working downstairs, he jumps on my desk, he rubs everything he can reach, knocks over anything that does not have weight to it, listens to my reprimands for making a mess and wasting my time by having to pick up everything that he has knocked over. He chews any piece of plastic that I do not have covered; he walks on my keyboard and steps in my ink pads.

Harvey is my biggest distraction. Several times a day, I am taken aback by his handsomeness, his mischievous nature, his begging eyes that plead with me to come and snuggle him. I love the downy softness of his underbelly, the rumble that begins in his tummy and up to his throat and comes out in the form of a purr. I adore his cute caramel brown nose and his fur, a softness that I have never felt on any cat I have ever known.

Harvey offers an unconditional love, that every day, is my most beautiful thing!

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting ready for a Blogsplash

On April 24th, I have been invited to partake in a Blog splash to celebrate and share, My Most Beautiful Thing.

This was inspired by Fiona Robyn's latest novel The Most Beautiful Thing, which I have downloaded and am still reading through. I have learned that I am slower at reading a book if it is online and not in my hands where I can pick it up, smell it, turn it's pages!

People from all parts of the world are going to come together, and share their words, and their photos of their most beautiful thing. I have been sitting with this idea, along with the idea of finding something beautiful every day, no matter how small. I know what I am going to write about  as my most beautiful thing, I am just waiting for the moment I am ready to get it out of my head and onto paper (then in type on my blog!)

The other night, I was witness to a very beautiful thing. The rain. The day had been quite dreary, and cool. With evening, came the rain. I loved opening my bedroom window, even if the breeze entering was cool. I have been longing to hear the pitter patter of the rain drops on my gazebo and see the water providing nourishment to my roses under my window and my garden. There are 3 nights each month that the moon shines through my bedroom window, if that night had been one of them, it would have been perfect!

All of the blogspash participants are listed here, if you are interested in participating, consider this your encouragement that you should do so! If you are not interested, please take some time today to consider, what is Your Most Beautiful Thing? Is it the sunshine on your face, the outstretched paws of your pooch greeting you at the end of the day? Maybe your most beautiful thing is the perfectly puckered lips of your baby, the new CD you just listened to, or the sound of your childs laughter. Tell me, what is your most beautiful thing? I hope that every day, we can find one thing that is beautiful, makes us pause for a moment, takes our breath away, or just makes us smile.

Have a great weekend, and thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Power of Music

I came across a video on my Facebook the other day. I tell you, this is what I love about Facebook, it is a remarkable way to connect with people we know, are getting to know, wish we could know. It is an amazing way to share information, inspire ourselves and others. I know that many people say negative things about Facebook, and yes, there are some unconstructive aspects. I just ignore, block, unsubscribe to the bothersome parts, and then set my security settings the way I want to!

But here it is, this little gem of a video that I saw posted on Facebook, and I want to share it with you, if you have not already seen it. The star of the video is a wonderful elderly man, who lights up, comes alive, and brilliancy comes to his eyes. All because his ears are carrying a tune to his heart!

This is what music can do.

This is what the wonderful written word can carry out, lyrics, a story, one’s dream put into words, used as a transportation tool to the heart and the soul!

Here, you will see what lovely truly means. Enjoy, and please share.

Did you like it? Did it move you? Did it make that dark, hard spot in your heart a little softer? Did you smile? I smiled; it inspired me to write this post and share.

It also made me appreciate those artists that I admire, those who inspire me to write the best that I can, those that help me feel it is feasible to make your dreams come true, those that make me get up and dance in the middle of working because I am sometimes just moved to do so! I love that this man, who doesn’t usually recognize his family, and barely speaks, can suddenly name his favorite music. He can lift his head high, name his favorite musician Cab Calloway, and sing a song!

Wow, music is powerful!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Lesson Learned

Anyone who is raising, or has raised, a pre teen kid, knows about fights, disagreements, frustration. Especially if said kid, is a girl!
It’s only Wednesday, and already this week, I have had my fair share of arguments, disappointments, fighting and frustration. Oh and crying, let me not leave out the crying. Mostly by me!
I always ask my daughter, when we are in the making up stage, “what does mom hate most in the world, above anything else?” Her answer is “fighting with me.” Arguing with her is something I do hate. It reminds me of the power of our words with a child, what they remember, what they carry with them, what becomes a part of them, the damage our words can cause. Arguing with her, takes me back to fights in my family that I was witness to. Fights so fierce and so horrible, words that have cut so deep, I can`t imagine the depths to which they have penetrated. They are fights I would never take part in, but ones that are now a part of the fibre of who I am, a part of my being.
When me and my girl argue, I worry about making her feel guilty, causing her hurt feelings, giving her a reason to not trust me, not respect me, or not love me the way a daughter should love her momma.
Most of our fights are about homework, shores, responsibility, tutor. I am sure this is typical. In fact, I know it is. One of the main reasons I quit my job, was to help Haley, to be with her. I wanted to be there, with no work attachments (because I never could leave my job at the door), to help her with her homework, to tutor her, to home school her in the summer. This takes hours of dedication, patience, hard work. My expectations are high, and I truly believe that learning disability or not, we can do anything we truly set our minds to.
I am a perfectionist. There, I said it. While I do NOT expect Haley to be perfect, I do expect her to try her best at all times. I forget that she is only turning 12. I say to myself, shame on me, that I have forgotten what it is like to be a twelve year old girl.
A friend told me something today that I sat with, considered for a while, cried about, and felt it`s truth take over me. She said, of her son with ADD, that a teacher once said to her that you cannot work harder than your kid is working at their education. And there I had it. I was trying harder than my daughter, at her own education. I know, as many people know, that you have to want something with everything that you are, if you truly want for something valuable. She helped me to remember that there is so much more to life for Haley than just how she is doing academically.
Shame on me for losing sight of what is important; it is most important to me that Haley grow into a woman that is a whole person, compassionate, caring, giving, kind and loving. She is already more of all of these things than many adults I know.
I was reminded today that while it may be important to me that Haley know how to write a good essay, or solve a math problem, I know that the best way I can ``teach`` Haley, is to be a good mom, a good person. I can ``teach`` Haley how to spell and count money and write a proper essay. What I want her to LEARN is how to be a lovely, confident woman. This is something I can only do as well as the example I set for her.

I will always help Haley with her learning, she needs the help, and it is part of my job as her mom. I am simply acknowledging that today, I learned a good lesson, and I appreciate the person who helped me to see that!
Thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Joy of Friendship

I am looking at the kids on the large swing in my front yard, sandwiched on the seat together. In my mind, I recite their names. There is Mark, Kerry, Kristie, and Jess our next door neighbor. In front of them is Jess’s little brother Dylan, jumping up and down, yelling something I can’t understand, seeking attention from the only other boy in the group.

A smile plants itself on my face. They’re waiting for my daughter to come home from a yoga class she attends, just down the street. She is minutes away from walking up the street, and I know as soon as she sees the group of kids on the swing, she will start to run towards home. She is not one to run, she doddle's. But I can visualize the pleasure on her face by seeing them there, her friends from school. Not just one, but four of them! So I wanted to watch, I wanted to be witness to her delight

As I guessed, once she cleared the big tree down the street, I could see her, she was running. She flung my yoga mat on the grass and bent down to say hello to Dylan. I walked away, so not to be a nuisance to her, and let her hang out with her group. Of course what she did next did not surprise me. She walked in the door and in such an excited voice said to me, “Mom, my friends are here waiting for me! I am so happy they came to call on me, can you believe it!?”

You see, Haley struggles in social circles, and has yet to find that “best friend”. She is friendly with everyone; she is kind and caring, and many of the kids like her. I am glad for the lovely girl that she is. Soon, she will find a good friend that is equally as glad for the person that she is. I know she will find a best friend; it has just been a bit heartbreaking to watch her search, and long for that friendship.

A few hours went by, the kids played out in our front yard, someone got a bleeding nose, they walked to the school park down the street, and as it started to get dark, Haley came in against her will, and said good bye to her friends. I looked in my front yard, at the yoga mat haphazardly thrown on the grass, a pair of socks, now wet and thrown on opposite sides of the lawn, and a bloody Kleenex left on the swing. I was annoyed, but tried to keep my cool and asked my girl to please go and pick everything up. I knew that later as I was tucking her in, I would explain to her, the need for her to clean up the yard after herself, the same talk that came at the beginning of each spring. What I didn’t want to do is kill her joy, her blissful happiness of having had one evening that a group of friends came to call on her, and that said friends waited for her to come home, that they hung out for the whole evening. I knew that the “clean up the yard” talk could wait until the next mess.

When we were in her room, talking as we always do before she goes to bed, she looked into my eyes, and told me, “Mom, when I saw my friends there, waiting for me, I couldn’t believe it! I was so happy! I know they care about me!” I hugged her tight and told her that of course they did, I was so happy for her. Something tugged at my heart, and I could hear the whisper in my mind, hoping, that it wouldn’t be the last time they came to call on her. She waited so long for this, and I waited so long to see that joy reflecting the light off of her face.

Like only friendship can do!