Cheers

Last day of 2013 today.
It all happened.
You saw me through.
Faith, and the prayers of many.
Thankful for unconditional love of family and friends who know me best, better than I know myself.
Joy, Peace and Love are ahead.
In abundance!
Hope is the Light that doesn’t extinguish even in the darkest Dark.
Here’s to making art and writing for real in 2014.
I’m walking toward it, in cowgirl boots!
Happy New Year!
LOVE,
*sparkly heart kind*
Janean

December 31, 2013

moving forward

I purposely stayed out of my Online World yesterday. I wanted to enjoy the moment I was in. I did. There were many beautiful ones. Smiles. Hugs. Laughter. Presents. Discarded wrapping paper. Happy boys. Funny Blue stories. Pictures. Memories of Mike spoken aloud. Other memories held close inside. Not too many tears. May the joy and magic of Christmas live in your hearts all year. Christmas is all about the LOVE. Let’s carry more of that into the new year.

December 26, 2013

like coke bottles

Teenage boy was up and at ‘em early today. We enjoyed sharing morning quiet time. Visiting. Breakfasting without a rush.
I went in to wake up ATB at 7:09am and said, “Last day of school before Christmas Vacation.” I sort of sing-songed it. I picked up his glasses to clean ‘em, from where they were sitting on the nightstand beside his bed. Sweet boy rolled over, while rubbing his eyes awake, and calmly said, “Mom, there are already coke bottles going off inside me.” Even after drinking my morning coffee I still had to ask, “Coke bottles?” My ten year old boy replied, “Mentos. Diet coke. Get it?!” Oh, yes. I so do. Christmastime is for children and grown ups who don’t really wanna be “adults” at all. Christmas is magic, excitement and lots of happy energy about to combust. It’s a feeling that, if you’re lucky, always stays with you. Joy that bubbles up from deep inside.
My first conversation of the morning was with a teacher on the sidewalk. It was sometime before 6am, maybe before 5am. I’m not sure of the time exactly. “Early” covers it completely. I was walking with my Blue dog. We were sort of lollygagging along. She had Blue’s best buddy, Jake, who was dancing at the end of his leash. We visited like the neighbors and friends we are, as the dogs romped and played. I said, “I’m praying for ALL the teachers today.” We shared a smile under the streetlights glow.
Now I know the fifth grade boy description of what it feels like: Every child has coke bottles inside them, you know, like mentos and diet coke. (I’m being sort of a grown up and resisting adding the “Duh.”)
I treated my younger boy a little bit today, by offering to drive him, instead of waiting in the drizzling rain to ride the bus per usual. He needed a little less rush too. By 8:40am both my sons were delivered safely to school.
Their days will go by fast. Mine will too. For this quiet moment though, while I catch my breath and plan, Blue is curled up next to me, each of us on our favorite halves of the family room love seat. I need to make a mega list and wrap up the remaining Christmas To Do. Best of all, I’ll be smiling about coke bottles while I do. Oh, how I love them, and rejoice in the gift of my two sons. Christmas time is about the birth of God’s Son. Long ago. In a land afar. Angels first foretold, then announced his birth. Shepherds followed a star. Wise men began the journey to meet him. Baby Jesus. Born of a virgin. Joseph the carpenter was there, beside the manger. His mother, Mary, pondered all these things in her heart. I’ve always loved that quiet little verse, nestled in Luke 2. I’m a heart ponderer too. Everything changes in a moment. My phone rang, Blue jumped down and front window wild woofed, only to return again to curl beside me, as I work to wrap this up. My heart squeezes, my eyes leak. Tears of joy and the ring of laughter intertwines with the ache of grief. Life goes on. Christmas is coming, whether I’m “ready” or not. I’ll be ready, well, ready enough. Joy. Peace. Hope. Love. Blessings. Thankfulness. The Gift of God’s Son. Christmastime. Like coke bottles going off inside. That covers all the important stuff.

December 20, 2013
Luke 2:19 “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Life whirl

Life whirls by fast, like a marvelous dance.
Then the music stops and you’re dancing alone.

Some couples twirl for many decades.
They marry in their 20’s.
Their family grows with the arrival of babies.
Those babies grow to school age, then graduate from college.
Suddenly your babies have babies of their own.
Decades have flown.
The couple still holds hands and smiles.
They still stand and sway when music plays.
Inside they feel the same.
Outside their hair is silver.
They move a l’il slow, but get there.

Other couples have the music stop abruptly.
It’s the last thing they expect.
They spent a l’il over two decades together.
That’s all ‘twas meant to be.
She sat in the cemetery between their children,
as his body was laid to rest.
They won’t be dancing at their children’s weddings.
He’ll be watching from Heaven instead.

Life whirls by fast, like a marvelous dance.
Then the music stops and you’re dancing alone.
Life still whirls by at a breakneck pace.
Yet, your pace is set on savor.
Home feels good, like a cozy cocoon.
You venture out when necessary.
You pause and marvel at the sunrise.
You lift your face to feel the noonday sun.
You watch the moon wax then wane, and feel a tug.
Days pass.
Nights too.
Family and friends cross your doorstep.
Giving and receiving hugs for hello and goodbye.
Laughter returns, as joy bubbles from within.
Life whirls on.
Dance.
Set your own pace.

I do.
In the kitchen.
Alone.

December 19, 2013
I wish I could tag this “creative writing,” but it is a true story. Mine. After a two year and three month cancer fight, my husband died in August of this year. He had just turned 43. I was still 41. Now I’m 42. We were together over 21 years, counting from our first date. Together nearly half my life, married for 16. I didn’t want to write this poem, but when the words are there you learn to honor them and let them flow. Even when they make you cry crocodile tears that fall as you do. Perhaps this is why my dog was awake extra early today. Coffee and breakfast are next for me while my boys sleep a l’il longer and I can soak up the quiet of the house before chaos and commotion reign again. Zany. Crazy. Wild. Ornery. Rambunctious. Loud. LIFE! It is for living. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of today.
Love,
Janean

P.S. Nearly included this line, “Not quite four months ago, and it’s still hard to believe.” Adding it here as a footnote for now, to mull over later. It’s time to make that coffee, turn on music with the volume low, sing along and sway.

My youngest son slept in this morning. Sweet ten year old boy needed those extra zzzzz’s. The sound of his door creaking open from the top floor drifted down to where I stood in the kitchen. I smiled in anticipation even before I heard his joyful exclamation, “IT’S SNOWING!!!!!” He spied those tiny white flakes through the big picture window. I met him in the front door hallway. He hugged me. We stand nearly eye to eye. A few hours later, on the phone with my father, he told me my mother met the snowy morning in much the same way. Joy is all around us, especially in the simple things, those quiet moments, like a prolonged good morning hug that says, “I love you” without the actual words. Snowflakes are no longer dancing on the wind. My youngest boy has been window gazing periodically, still hopeful for a blizzard and no school snow days. Patience. Winter is just begun.

December 8, 2013

I awoke

I awoke with a smile
I nearly always do
sleep refreshes
body, mind and soul

I awoke with a smile
and lollygagged in bed
purring cat sat atop me
‘til sunlight was shining in

I awoke with a smile
even as I heard
a muffled woof
that’d be Blue dog
testing the airways
from the main floor
to see if I was up

I awoke with a smile
and tonight shall fall asleep
with one too
a quiet curving of lips
upturned
speaking of joy
and contentment
within

February 24, 2013

The melancholy river bears us on. When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird singing as we pass the osier bed. What are you whispering? Sorrow, sorrow. Joy, joy. Woven together, like reeds in moonlight.

Virginia Woolf, A Haunted House, And Other Short Stories (via violentwavesofemotion)

Sighing melancholy sighs at reading this brief quote with many of my favorite things: a river, a weeping willow, joy and moonlight. Oh, sorrow. Yes. Woven amidst the rest, I know you too, but joy ultimately wins. ~Janean

January 31, 2013