A Perfect Day

I opened my eyes, adjusting to the morning light streaming through the crack in the curtains. Byron, my daughter’s dog, had decided to sleep with me last night and once he realized I was awake, he covered my face with kisses in anticipation of a morning walk. He waited patiently while I dressed and we quietly stepped outside onto the back lawn with its cloak of morning dew. Spring flowers were bursting, birds were singing.

Back inside, I started the morning coffee, turned on the computer, and then stuck my head in to see if my daughter and grandson were awake. There they were, in the middle of a morning feed, throwing smiles and kisses my way. Within a few minutes, my daughter brought my little grandson, just nine weeks old, out for morning cuddles while she slept a little longer.

He watched me as I finished my morning writing and emails, those bright Wedgewood Blue eyes not missing a beat. As our gaze caught, his big smile filled my heart.

Maegan woke up and after another bit of visiting, she left for a good long run with the dog along the river trails. My little guy and I had more cuddle and smile time. Holding a little baby in your arms is a precious thing.

When she and the dog returned, a bountiful breakfast and good conversation made for an easy-paced morning. Before I knew it, they had to go to head off for an appointment later in the day.

As I waved goodbye, I said a quiet prayer of gratitude for the love of my daughter, her little guy, and her beloved pet.

I got some computer work finished, notices, letters of thanks, and future appointments and retreated out to the back patio with my book and a warm cup of tea for the rest of the afternoon. The sky was blissfully blue, the birds were still singing, butterflies were dancing and a gentle breeze kept me cool in the warming sun.

Barb Heagy Spring 2015 013-001

Ah . . . this day couldn’t be better. Simple pleasures of shared family love, good food, good conversation, sunshine, spring flowers, butterflies and birds are all I need in my life. At least for this day. This perfect gem of a day.

A Search for Peace

This week has been an eventful week with the election of the Republican Donald Trump to the US Presidency. I thought, “How could that be? How could a man who campaigned on hate, racism, and division of classes and cultures, be voted into power by so many?”

A few days later, I attended my Writers’ Club where a group of seniors gathered together to share their stories. What I heard were stories of war and its casualties. I began to realize that it wasn’t just those who died in battle that suffered. Those who returned with lost limbs, broken hearts and minds, those who grieved loved ones lost, and those who lived at home with fear, separated families and hardships suffered too.

The next day, I attended a Remembrance Day ceremony in my local community. Those who spoke so eloquently, spoke not of the glory of war, but of its cost to families, communities and nations in frightful memories and shattering repercussions that carried on for a lifetime. It was a cry of gratitude for those who died, but even more so, it was a call for peace.

This week on social media, there has been much discussion and rhetoric about the political future of the US and predictions about future decisions and policies. I have come to realize that the reason Trump was elected to power is because there is a large group of citizens that are not happy with the status quo. Most citizens who voted for Trump want only their fair share of the economic pie and a call for honesty that ‘tells it like it is.’ It seems statistically a lot of them were from the working middle class. They don’t want to be rich, they don’t want to be poor. They just want enough. Enough to live comfortably on. That means food for their families, a home over their head, a secure job and future, enough money for a few luxuries now and then, maybe a family vacation once a year. They just want peace and contentment in their lives.

With all the voices I have heard and read this week, I have come to realize that all any of us wants is peace in our lives. We have the right as human beings to it. Sometimes we feel we need to speak out for that right, vote for that right, or fight for that right. Sometimes the repercussions of our shouts for peace are greater than we thought. Sometimes our actions in our quest for peace are not peaceful methods.

I pray for peace. I pray that we each can find peaceful avenues to seek that peace. I pray for ways and means that bind us together in peace, rather than divide us. I pray for leaders that use peaceful means to bring about equality and justice for all. I can start with myself. I can do it by searching for my own inner peace, encouraging and building peace within my family and other relationships, and generously contributing to peace-making, life-building efforts in my community, nation and planet.

All we want is peace. Consider carefully how you can find that peace for yourself.

 

Tragedy and Martyrdom

At the recent wedding of my daughter and her new husband, the room seemed to be immersed in love and positive feelings. It was a room filled with large and close family groupings. One of the extended families consisted of 63 adults, another included five siblings and their parents and partners. All the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely and there was a deep sense of community, family, and love among them. I knew that it was a room filled with people who had experienced pain and deep tragedy in their lives, but they didn’t come across as tragic figures or martyrs.

I watched with pleasure as six adult sisters dressed up in costumes and goofed around at the fun photo booth set up in a corner of the reception hall. I’m sure each one of them had experienced deep tragedy in their lives; they had lost their beloved mother in the past year, one of them I knew had lost a child at a young age, but there they were laughing, embracing and sharing the deep bond they obviously had for each other. At another table, a family member, who is dealing with cancer and is in active chemotherapy treatments, was there laughing uproariously with his large family as they shared stories and love. Most important of all, both families were having fun.

Life should be fun. When bad things happen or things make us unhappy, we can wrap ourselves up in it, cut the tragic figure, “Oh, woe is me!” Sometimes we can even take great pride in our tragedy: “Look at me. Look at how wonderfully I am handling my pain, my loss. Aren’t I wonderful?” We become the great martyr.

The sisters didn’t do that. The father, sick and weak with cancer, didn’t do that. We can’t stop the pain in our lives, but we don’t have to let it become our identity, the suffering martyr, the mourning tragic figure.

To live a life well-lived, let us remember that we are not grief itself. We experience grief. It is not my cancer. It is just the cancer. Don’t make pain your identity. Let it not define who you really are.