Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Ten Years Later- Remembering Hurricane Katrina

August 30th, 2015

Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina-

Rather than writing a wordy post on my thoughts-   (there are always many), I’ll share with you, instead, what I posted on my public Facebook page yesterday.  It sums up so much.

As I sit in reflection of the ten year anniversary of Katrina, I have many thoughts. I remember the destruction, loss, fear, helpless-feelings and uncertainty as the Gulf Coast as we knew it was changed for good.

The one thing I am reminded of time and time again when I hear stories of each persons experience, is the resilience, hope, and determination.

No one cared what your day job was, what your political or religious views were, the color of your skin or your country of birth. It did not matter.

People came together to help each other, to do what they could for their neighbor and fellow man. The bonded together to rebuild lives, communities, homes- committed to rebuilding a better Gulf Coast.

They succeeded and continue to do so.

I can’t help but think that if we, as people, would get out of our own heads and egos, forget all the ‘stuff’ that tears us apart, and come together as a whole- commit ourselves to the process, that bigger and better things would happen beyond the realms of comprehension.

 

 

March 12th, 2015

remembering.Today-  as I was getting something out of a drawer, I came across an old calendar from 2007.  Inside of it were various things-  most of which I tossed in the garbage, but amongst them was a worn envelope-  with Happy Mother’s Day Grandma Tanner written in my ‘young’ handwriting.   I would recognize that handwriting anywhere.

I opened the card, and inside was a Mother’s Day greeting card from our family to my grandma.   Also inside was this hand-made card that I’d created for my grandmother.   (see photo to right)

 

I shared this photo, and the thoughts that came pouring to mind on Facebook-   Below is what I shared:

 

There are moments that are preserved in time, that even when they slip from our minds- a simple card, made with love many years ago- can flood the mind with beautiful memories.
(Mother’s Day card I made for my grandmother Tanner- circa late 1970’s. )

It is often said that we rarely recognize those special/ magical moments as they are happening, but instead, as we later (sometimes much later) look back upon them realize their true value.

I wonder if we were able to step outside of the fact that the ‘ordinary’ moments that we take for granted are actually ‘extraordinary’ moments in the making, if we would embrace and enjoy them even more?

Day 76- 100 Happy Days

February 9th, 2015

76I don’t know if there is anything I love more than a good surprise- so this was no exception.  Thinking about it brings a huge smile to my face.

The words of happy from that day-  Day of surprises from Marcel. Surprise sunflowers, surprise date night (dinner and a movie). Fun fun!! Thanks honey!!

Love

July 16th, 2013

If someone asked me to describe my birthday in one word; it would be love. That’s how I felt- from midnight on my birthday until today, and the love is still going strong.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel loved and greatly blessed each and every day, but the outpouring of love on this particular year, the one that I wasn’t feeling as celebratory of as birthdays’ past, blew the others out of the water. It wasn’t about gifts- (it never is for me) nor any of the other trappings that we tend to assign to ‘happiness’, or even pomp and circumstance, but instead there was love. An abundance of love that left me not only speechless several times during the day- but also so overwhelmed with joy that all I could do was cry. There were, and still aren’t words to describe how I felt. Blessed doesn’t come close, even though I consider myself greatly blessed.

What I did on this day was make a promise to myself. That promise was that anytime I felt sad, overwhelmed or ‘less than’, that I would pause, remember every single person and gesture that made the day what it was- and I would know that nothing was going to dull my sparkle. Aside from the love- I am so beyond words-grateful. It was a life-altering moment for me, in a very transcendent way.

Before my birthday- a dear friend emailed me from vacation to wish me early happys and to tell me that she thought this was going to be my best year EVER. I agreed with her and that was BEFORE my birthday.

I’ve taken some time to think about what I would like to acomplish this coming year, what I would like to let go of, and what I’d love to see more of in my life. It’s time to set goals that will bring all of the above and then some into my life.

Love, it’s all about the love. Thank you. I’m grateful.

On the Eve of My 46th Birthday

July 11th, 2013

I’ve been in quiet introspect most of the week thinking about the ending of yet another year and the beginning of a new one. I know- so many of us do that on the eve of the new calendar year, and I do that too, but then it’s more of a reflection of where the year took me- and the goals I’d like to make for the coming year. On the eve of my 46th birthday, my reflections are a little different.

I see myself as the perpetual student- always learning and growing. So as another year of being me comes to a close, I can’t help but pause and think about the past year and the gifts it has given me.

The biggest gifts this past year and not in any particular order are somewhat the obvious- good health, my family (Marcel obviously falls under family) and true friends. I am grateful beyond words.

Beyond these obvious gifts lie moments of joy- side aching laughter- and pain. Yes, you read that correctly, pain. I’m not going to focus a lot on the painful aspects of the past year, other than to say that some of my biggest life lessons have came through the pain.
Sometimes- things happen. We all tend to want to place blame- but if we can see beyond the shattered hearts and sprinkling of lies, there is great lessons to be found.

My first lesson was- “This isn’t about me.”  When I didn’t get that on the first lesson- the second lesson followed, which was an echo to the first- “This isn’t about me.” … and so the story goes. I think for a while trying to make sense of nonsense had me thinking that somehow someone else’s stuff was in relation to something I had done. I’ve learned that it isn’t- and truth is, it usually isn’t, regardless of how it may look at first glance.

Now granted- I’m far from perfect and I make more than my share of mistakes- and when I do- I am woman enough to admit that.

I learned in a big way about respecting boundaries of others. When you don’t- it says a lot about you. It doesn’t mean people aren’t there for you when you need them- it simply means they can’t always do what you need, because ultimately we have to take care of ourselves first- We can’t expect to be there for others with an empty tank. It’s so important to respect others- even if we don’t understand, and don’t take it personally- it really isn’t about you.

One of my other lessons was that when my integrity is put to the test- that I didn’t blow it. Granted, I wanted to during a few really testing moments- but I did not. I didn’t let someone else’s stuff cause me to go outside of who I am. *See Lessons numbers 1 and 2- It wasn’t about me.*

Earlier in the year- I’d heard a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes- and he talked about letting people go when they walk away. I don’t know about you- but that’s a hard one for me, but it’s something I learned- when people walk away- either physically or mentally- let them go. Trust me, there is a reason for it, and sometimes it’s far beyond the scope of what our minds and eyes can comprehend. Don’t be angry- (or at least try not to be), but instead, wish them well and let them go.

That leads me to another lesson- People don’t always come into our lives for a lifetime. I know- I know- when I have a friendship or any type of relationship with someone- I go into it with my eyes and mind wide open. I usually don’t go into things looking at them as temporary or fleeting relationships- and I do take them seriously. So it’s hard when you have an idea that someone is in your life for a lifetime- and your paths become so different that the road converges in the woods and you have to let go and move on. It’s not easy- but it’s necessary for our own growth. To quote Bishop Jakes again- he mentioned in another sermon that as we grow- if the people we surround ourselves with doesn’t grow along with us (and they don’t always) then we have to let go and move on. Because if they aren’t growing with us- that only means that they can hold us back and keep us from growing. He is right. Another lesson- don’t let anyone dull my sparkle and keep me from growing.

 

Which leads to yet another lesson from this past year- When we have to move on and let go- it is painful. Call it growing pains- if you will. Those are real emotions and not to be swept under the carpet or diminished- instead as Iylana Vanzant so eloquently puts- we have to “feel”, “deal” and then ultimately “heal”.  You can’t skip a step, because it will come back to bite you in the bootay.

In letting go I’ve learned that new doors open, and this year many new doors and opportunities have opened. My business is doing well- and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the learning experiences and the continued vision that I have, with changes and implementations that I believe will continue to allow me to grow and prosper.

I’ve also opened the doors to new friendships- and some friendships that have become deeper and richer. I can’t begin to express the joy that I’ve felt because of these relationships. I am blessed beyond measure.

Today- I had an early happy birthday email from a dear friend. She’s on vacation and will return home at the end of the month- where we’ll be getting together soon after her return. She said she had a feeling that this upcoming year was going to be one of my best ever- and ironically, I’ve had that same feeling. The fact that she thought of me while she has been jetting from place to place warmed my heart- and another true example of friendship in the purest form.

As the last day of my 45th closes and taps on the heels of 46- I am joyous. I am grateful. I am full of love and happiness. Mostly- I am blessed. The new day will dawn and the door is wide open. Opportunities lie at my feet just waiting to be grasped. The sky is the limit- and I feel like soaring.

 

46- I welcome you, and for those of you who are traveling this journey with me- I’m grateful.

Sunshine on Rainy Days

May 22nd, 2013

apron
I’ve been having a few struggles lately.  I’m not ashamed of them, because at least part of it is a struggle that is necessary for growth in my own life.   Sometimes in life we are faced with difficult choices, and while necessary- it doesn’t mean it’s without pain.    It is a chapter closed and other doors will open in its place.    That is how life is-  I believe in order to grow, we also need to be able to recognize when things are no longer working and be willing to let go- especially when we’ve done all that we can.     I’m grateful-   always.

There was also the tornado that hit Oklahoma and the devastation that it left in its wake-  and while I do not watch the news, I couldn’t help but see it in my Facebook and Twitter feeds and it’s heartbreaking.   While I do not claim to understand natural disasters of this magnitude, it always warms my heart to see in the midst of such tragedy- the way people come together with a common interest of helping others.   It proves just how much goodness there is in humanity.

Last night- I found out someone that I’ve known for a few years is on her last days.    She has been fighting cancer for a while and recently found that it had spread.   She’s been in the hospital and contracted sepsis-  Sadly, because of the chemo and the vulnerable state that it has left her body in- the antibiotics haven’t helped and it looks as though she will not pull through.

I feel sad for her husband-   they just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary-   from the confines of the hospital, but they were together and happy.   She has fought hard- and through it all remained positive.   I pray that she is comfortable and not in pain, and that her sweet husband is also filled with peace and comfort as I know these last moments with her will be precious to him as have all the days he’s spent with her.

I’ll admit-   being an emotional person, these things have taken a toll on me..    especially finding out that my own diddy hasn’t been feeling well..  and fighting the urge to hop on a plane and be there for him-  just because he’s diddy and I love him.   Thankfully I have regular contact with mom and diddy- so that makes life much easier, and I know he’s fine- but still- I always want to be there when they aren’t well.

I love my friends-   all of them- each and every one for what they bring into my life.   Even the people who have slipped away from me because we are on different life paths- or people that we lost too soon, such as Carol-  they have forever left a print on my heart and I’ll never forget that.

Today-  I had come home from a little party with a group of wonderful women.   A celebration of a gorgeous new baby- and it was a joyful time.    I heard the bell and it was the mailman.   He had a package for me.  I was puzzled.  I knew I hadn’t ordered anything, so imagine my surprise when I saw the package and it was from someone I’ve known more than half my life and haven’t seen in probably 25 years.    She was the mother of a really good friend of mine growing up-  I loved and admired her, but when I was a teenager they moved to California-   I’ve not seen them since.   In fact-  I often wondered about them and thanks to Facebook- we were all reunited several years ago.    A while back she asked for my address..    I had forgotten about it- but today this beautiful apron arrived-   She made it herself…and I absolutely adore it.  With it was the most beautiful hand-written note that brought tears to my eyes.     It couldn’t have arrived at a better time, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The world is full of beautiful people.   All we have to do is look around and we’ll find them.

Take the time to thank the beautiful people in your life.    If you’re reading this-   thank you.

Blast From the Past

February 17th, 2013

Lately I’ve been on a nostalgia kick. I’ve been thinking about the various things that I loved growing up, and how things change over the decades. When my brother was a kid- Star Wars was the thing. He had all the action figures and still has them to this day. My nephew- who is now almost 13, was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and also watched all the cartoons- the movies- had all the action figures and even went as one of them (don’t ask me which, since I can’t seem to keep up with who’s who.) one year for Halloween. If you click here you can still see just how popular those little turtles are.

Just out of curiosity- I asked my nephew if he still had all his turtle stuff and he responded as though he couldn’t believe that I was asking such a question. It followed with an ‘Of course, I do.” He proceeded to tell me that was just like me still having my old Barbi’s well into my 40’s. He has a point there.

I suspect that one day- when he’s a father- he’ll tell his son about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just the way my brother told him about Star Wars. It’s like passing on a bit of nostalgia and history. It makes my heart smile.

Today

May 28th, 2012

I don’t have a lot today that I can share at the moment. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking today- remembering those who have given so much to protect our freedoms and also having a few ‘ah ha’ moments.

Today is Carol’s birthday. I miss her.

That’s all I have for now. More after I process thoughts.

Comfort

March 7th, 2012

It has been raining, no pouring all day long. It is one of those days where I would have loved to stayed in bed all day and read, but instead I visited a friend, which was far more fun. It was cold out though, and Marcel and I both agreed that we wanted comfort food tonight for dinner and that’s exactly what we had.

He’ll be going to bed early tonight because he’s working morning shift tomorrow- and I’m content listening to the sounds of the falling rain hitting the metal buildings nearby. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and we’d go stay with my great grandpa Mc Leod and the rain would hit the tin roof. There’s nothing quite like that sound- comfort at it’s finest.

In Remembrance-

March 3rd, 2011

 This morning someone very near and dear to my heart sent me a message and suggested I write something cheerful today.  She knows who she is and I’m grateful beyond imagination to have her in my life. 

The picture to your left is tonight’s dinner-  a tostada or (homemade taco’s) as Carol used to call them.   I ate them for the first time at her place, and I’ve made them many times in the years since.   They are one of my favorites although I do try to make them as healthy as possible by using l0w-fat cheese etc. 

These tostada’s (tacos) hold a lot of happy memories for me.   It seemed that every time Carol would make them, there were always extra people at the dinner table that night, but then- that was often the case at their home.     Everyone was welcome and in Carol and Denny’s eyes- the more the merrier.   It was never an inconvenience and I know many of us- myself included aren’t those kind of hosts or hostesses, at least not all of the time.

I think of Carol often and think of the wonderful times that we had together in years past.   I know that I’m not the only one who misses her- but her memory lives on in all of us who loved her and believe me, there were many.

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