I’d Give Anything..

IMG_3617.Photo by Jim Meredith@ jim-meeredith.com

 

I realized lately that I have been saying to myself that I would give anything to be young and strong. I would give anything to feel great everyday at the crack of dawn, plus for the whole day, falling into a well-deserved slumber the whole night through. I tell myself, I’d give anything to do this and that, here and there. I say to myself I’d give anything to be thin at will. I realized this negative self-talk when three big burly brutes set up tables and chairs for a gathering at our home in twenty-four hours. I said to the boss, “Enjoy you youth and your strength, because I’d give anything to be strong like you fellows.” Then and there, I realized my lie.

Well, I’ll have you know, I am totally lying to myself by saying I’ll give anything because I will not. I realize I am begrudging myself as I am. I am telling myself I want to go backwards when in reality all we all have is to go forward.

I would never give up my home, my family, my friends, and life as it is for anything.  Faced with a trade off, I would end up the same as I entered. That’s the truth. I would never change my health situation for something someone else has because there is too much out there that I will not trade even for a second.

So if you say or hear anyone say, “I’d give anything for this or that, they are lying to themselves and don’t even know it. It gives them a momentary spurt of influence, but not a reality.

The House Next Door

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The house next door is getting a new roof. After so many years of wear, it began to leak. I did not know how intricate the work of art between man and materials is in the job of receiving a new   roof, and I have learned to respect it greatly.

Many men have worked the past two weeks, weekends off, to finish the job. I have the best view out of my two-story bedroom window. Men working on the first phase made the most terrifying grinding, ripping, scrapping, wrenching noises as they worked to pull off the old, and tired roof tiles. The tiles were gone, but still they scraped and pulled. Then some slight banging began to secure the edges of the chimney.

The next task was to unload all of the tiling necessary to complete the roofing job. As these men transferred the tiles to the roof, they threw each tile to one man on the first level, who in turn threw the tile to the next level. Tiles passed hands for the rest of the afternoon and were placed in rows where they would be nailed into place beginning the very next day. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! Double bang, bang. Triple bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang for the week and into the next. The roof stands newly shining in this morning’s sun.

The house next door had a big family. The four children were raised, and left to live their own lives. Their sweet, precious, kind and generous momma died and dad is left to live his life. Dad is a righteous, trustworthy, caring, kind person winning a Great Neighbor award.

The yard of the house next door is full of roses, fruit trees, and perch with a view that extends to the valley below all the way to the Santa Susanna Mountains. Now sparkling from the new roof are waves of reflective light and some twinkling going on.

God Bless all of you from the house next door and thank you for all of your kind attention these many years.

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A Metamorphosis

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My eyes have been opened and I am in awe of the process. The first eye opening process came from being very nearsighted.

I saw everything in magnifying glass dimensions. Everything was up close and personal. I was caught looking at another student’s paper during a test in the beginning of 4th grade. The teacher went ballistic on me. After her horrid diatribe, I had the wherewithal to tell her I could not see the board and I did not copy answers. I told her that I had my own answers, but I could not see the board, so I did have to copy the questions. This ended up after much hullabaloo with me seeing an optometrist and getting fitted for my first pair of GLASSES.  I thrived for the next segment of my life, but the nearsighted view of the world, put me into a self-centered arena. Being self-centered is where most people reside. You know what you see, you add what you hear, and you do what you do. For me, the self-centered existence has lingered for the longest time and been the most profound.

The next segment for me was the cocoon, the chrysalis, and the metamorphosis, which is “a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.” This change was paramount to me. Becoming a nice, fairly well rounded person, who has never stopped being nearsighted, self-centered, and just out of a cocoon and constantly learning new things, is a metamorphosed entity in which I hope we all will thrive.

As a Metamorphosed entity one still captures all of the past as it morphs into a new whole. Regarding the nearsightedness in human beings, I want you to know that what I love about myself is that I have been nearsighted all of my life and I live that view. Now that cataracts are just beginning to grow, some one of these days I will have to have cataract surgery. Then, you as well as I have to make a decision. Do you put in a nearsighted lens or a 20/20 lens, or wait until you are nearly blind with indecision. I want to be nearsighted. I can see the world in old dimensions. I can pick up the teeniest little bit of information and I can see this world, as few others have been able to see it. How many of you can say you have seen the world under a microscope? You have no idea what you can see being nearsighted. It is like going around in your life here and there using a magnifying glass. That will/would be hard to give up wouldn’t you say?

Putting in 24/7, 20/20 vision lenses in my eyes to be used day and night, day in and day out, here and there and everywhere would cast my view in completely different vistas. I would not be able to go into my heretofore known world without help. So I would be beholden to the nearness or handiness of a magnifying tool that my eyes have always done for me.

My friend C. says to get the 20/20 vision lens because when you are a really, really old lady, in a retirement or care facility, they will always be losing your glasses, so 20/20 will be helpful. Not having to look for your glasses everyday more than once or twice would be fantastic.

To become a nearsighted lifetime adventurer, a self centered one, or a morphed one will be a future decision, so I am going to, and hope you do, too, make the best of things as they are right NOW!

Here me howl!!! ahhooowwwooooolllllll

This is what I hope the howling brings: a feeling of being alive, conscious aging, realizing a gentle Elder Ego, which is the part of the aging soul. Let each howl fan the flames in which there are steady beams of light announcing that we are still here. I hope that each howl brings peace for our souls, energizes our molecules and electrolytes beyond recognition. Start howling!!!

And tell me what lenses you will request.

The Power of Life!

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Is the power of life a happy accident, a real miracle, or a measured phenomenon?

We realize what we are supposed to understand as we approach living life to the fullest. So, you’ve heard it, and you’ve tried it, and living life to the fullest is only possible when you allow yourself to be satisfied.

Listen to what the 14th Dali Lama says: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future, he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

If you are going to appraise your satisfaction with life, as you know it, you will have to rate it as a whole rather than how you currently feel. We have our ups and downs, our ins and outs, but if you are going to rate your life be very generous. In generosity you will find satisfaction.

It is suggested that you not lie in wait for satisfaction, give it to yourself immediately, so you can start now living in virtuous satisfaction with your life.

Give them more than the Heck Word!

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If you can figure out how to stop Robot calling, one of the major phone companies will give you a million dollars. I hope one of you reading this has some ideas and can put to together a package that will ease our fury at the number of horrible calls and pad your bank account with lots of $$$.

Yesterday morning on a quiet second cup of coffee morning, a call came through and I answered it. The voice on the other end said, “Hi, Grandma, this is your grandson. No way possible, I know the voices of my grandson’s, so I answered back, “Who the hell are you?” He said, “Now why would you talk to your grandson, your oldest one like that.” I said why don’t you talk with Grandpa and he hung up. It made me very sad to think that there are grandmas and grandpas so starved for a call from their grand child; they would fall for this scheme. When they have Grandma in their claws they tell here that *&% has been in a little accident and needs her to wire him some money. He says he will get home and come to see her. This scam has happened often and grandmas across the U.S. have sent money to these Grandma scammers in order to help their precious grandchild. Tears are in my eyes.

Another scam is that you will be called and told that your computer is sending out thousands of naughty emails and they can help you to stop it. You have to turn on your computer and allow them to control your screen and meanwhile all your sacred data is confiscated and you have been scammed. I recently yelled into the phone some obscenities and the scammer got so mad he said in a harsh voice, “Open your damn computer.” I hung up. Hanging up has such finality to it and holds such a sense of control.

You know well about the construction scammers, right? They tell you how nice you were to them in January, this being May, and that you said you had work for them when they call back. Sure! We actually had a scammer plumber recommended highly. He was going to chip up all of the tile flooring and re-pipe. When the person heard that his recommendation went so badly, he came over, dismissed the contractor, and did the work himself at half the price and no digging up tile floors. Saved by the bell. We had already decided not to do it that way, but didn’t know where to turn. Lucky we have such a knowledgeable friend who is a plumber.

Have you had a persuasive call from the IRS? Well you know that the IRS has bigger fish to fry and is not going to call you.

But if you need to be contacted you will be contacted by mail.

The scammer on this one told our friends that they had the sheriff already on the way to arrest them. They waited in fear all night. Oh my, oh my!!

Wireless phones are receiving calls from phone numbers with a three-digit area code that looks domestic. Do not return the call! If you call and they answer you will be charged a fee for connecting and a charge per minute fee, if they can keep you on the phone. How long folks does it take to say the f-word and hang up?

So, if you are out there and can figure out a Scammer Buster, welcome to the million dollars. I applaud you all the way to the bank.

I Told Them What I Wanted to Tell Them!

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Last night I started to speak with you who I have lost in this life. I don’t care if you heard me or not, I hope you did, but I said what I wanted to say, did what I wanted to do and you heard me. I told you what you meant to me, each one of you. You have changed my life and helped me to see blue skies and not wallow in the cloudy moody weather so much. You, I have missed. I long to tell you things I know you would have been delighted to hear. The light on my nightstand gave a couple of on, and off flickers, so you do hear me. I’d like to believe that.

I told you that you have helped me to satisfy many longings and to stand up in my life. You gave me courage to face my fears of inadequacy and my stinging muteness. You told me to act as if I were walking down the street so straight, so tall, and so confident, I would signal my aggressor to cross the street and look away. Oh if that were only true. I told you that I have made strides in all the areas we held dear, and that you would be pleased. I told you I forgot to tell you how very much I would miss you, and how much I depended on our little talks captured here and there. I told you that my life, my internal life, has changed. I live as you lived. If you like what I say then, it is good, and if you do not, it is good, too.

Some of you who were nervous and afraid, I remember you and your longings to show your real selves. So you did and it was lovely when the sparkling dust from the ancient fairies shone down upon you. Now that you are amongst them, where does the light shine?

When the shroud of the angels covered you and kept you safe on stormy nights, you prayed to them and thanked them. Now that you are one of them, to whom do you pray and to whom do you thank?

When you felt God walking beside you and in your exhaustion, he carried you, you thanked him. Do you still have encounters with God? Do you still have the opportunity to thank him?

When you are on a journey up there, do you ever find your way a bit muddled? Do you whisper in your inside voice, asking God to guide your way? When you are with God, do you still have to ask for directions?

Pablo, you had guts of steel. You lived your life in the fast lane. You took chances and reaped the rewards. Finally, somehow, something caught up with you. Are you at peace now, or do you still enjoy the fast lane? Now, do you know you can win all of the time; are you reaping the rewards or do you take it easy in a rocking chair?

You all lie dead in your graves. Some of you purchased sites before the death event and others did not. It does not make a bit of difference to you whether you did purchase or you did not. You are each the same. You are dead. Whatever dead means, is something debatable, but none of you have come back to tell us anything to go on in our search for the meaning of life and the death of it.

ALL MY MOTHER’S CHILDREN (published)

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There on top of a pile of photos from sixty years ago, I found a small photo featuring my mother’s three children. In the photo, we are climbing on monumental stones in Yosemite National Park. I’m a head taller than Taylor who is two heads taller than Stuart. However, this story is not about her three children, but about my mother and her many other children, as you shall see.

I have many fond remembrances of my mother. She loved cheese, and was a very calm and quiet person. She was a very good friend and neighbor and learned to drive a car later in life. She was president of several organizations, after learning to overcome paralyzing shyness earlier in her life. She prepared only the freshest of foods and disliked fish. She fiercely loved her children and would go to the ends of the earth for them. What I did not know about my mother was what I will call her secret life. A life that was lived parallel to ours.

We also had another woman living in our home for 28 years. She was my parent’s housekeeper, Lula. Having someone perform all of the household duties gave my mother a lot of freedom during the daytime hours. My father usually arrived home at exactly 5:30 p.m., and our mother was always waiting for him, dressed to the nines. For many years, I never really could get a grasp of what my mother did with her free time. Whenever we went somewhere together, so many people would greet her and show their love to her. They would gush and smile while blessing her, thanking her and hugging her. I never fully understood what my mother did to deserve all of this love, but I knew that she must be doing something of vast importance.

I wanted to know more about where my mother went and what she did, so one day I made a fake excuse of being at death’s door and stayed home from school. When my mother slipped out the side door, I slipped out right after her. I had to rush because since she did not drive in the earlier years, she had become a speed walker. At first, I followed her to the poultry market on the corner of State and California. As I watched through the window, she was given some sort of paper, and then read back the information to the man behind the counter. He nodded to her in agreement and off she went again. She did not slow down for anything or anyone, even speeding across busy streets. I nearly lost her a few times, but eventually enabled myself to speed along almost as fast as my jaunty mother. She slowed down to read the paper that she had received at the poultry market, and then made a turn into a building that housed several families. She disappeared into one of the doors and did not come back out. I waited as long as I could but finally became bored and headed back home to the comfort of my own bed, since I was supposedly sick.

During those days, it was not common for a child to question the comings and goings of their parents so I never had the nerve to ask my mother what it was that she was doing during her many daytime outings. But every now and then, throughout the years, my curiosity would again get the best of me. At those times I would pull my fake sickness act and again follow my mother. The story was always the same. She would return to the poultry market, receive a piece of paper and off she’d go, again with me in hot pursuit. And each time, she would repeat her disappearing act at a different location. I started to suspect that she was a spy for the FBI. And if she were a spy, then I’d have one of my own dreams realized in my mother.

When my mother decided to get her driver’s license, my father surprised her with a little dark gray ladylike car. She practiced and practiced. She had an obsession with proper hand signals and for months, wherever she went, she could be seen with the driving manual tucked away under her arm just in case she had a spare moment to study. After awhile, she became very confident behind the wheel of her car and passed her driving test with flying colors. I had a sinking feeling inside knowing that I could never follow my mother again once she drove off in her car. There was something more to her life than what we all knew, and her eyes showed it. Her self-confidence started to shine and she was becoming a very special person with many admirable qualities. She was often the center of attention wherever we went and everybody treated her with much love and respect.

One night after my mother started driving her car, she called to say that she would be late and to ‘go ahead without me for dinner’. After that night, more calls started coming with the same message. She started receiving regular telephone calls and would jot down an address and take off in her car without letting us know where she was going.

I vowed to myself that when I was old enough to get my driver’s license, the first thing I’d do would be to follow my mother and see what it was that she was doing when she got the addresses and disappeared. Well, I finally did get my driver’s license. Occasionally, I’d borrow my dad’s spare car and follow my mother. But as usual, I never saw more than her arrival at various residential destinations. And every time, she would do things in the same sequence. She would take her bag from the back seat, disappear into a residential building or home, and not come out for hours. My impatience would always get the best of me and I’d drive off without being able to uncover her secret.

My brothers had no idea that our mother had a parallel life. My father was seemingly unaware of whatever his own wife was doing. When I asked him if he knew where our mother had gone he would answer, “She has a household and children to attend to.” I respected his answer and did not ask again. Life progressed and I ended up moving from our small southeastern town to the west coast of California. There I finished my degrees and settled down with a job, family, home and friends.

Our mother died on August 24, 2009, during the early morning hours. Our family decided on a small graveside service since our family is small and there were very few of my parent’s friends still alive. On the day we buried my mother next to my father, there were over a thousand people lining the burial site. It was astonishing to see this large crowd of people who had all turned out to remember my mother one last time. I thought maybe they had the wrong site. But no, in fact, they were indeed there for my mother. Before the service began I made it a point to connect with as many of them as I could. Through several conversations with some of the mourners, it was made clear to me what my mother had been doing for all those many years. Her secret was that she had been a midwife. She had been very well suited for this position and had all the skills and abilities to perform these duties. From what I learned, she loved her work and had a very sympathetic disposition for all of the women in labor that she dealt with. She was a quiet person and had a very calming effect during such high anxiety situations. It is still astonishing to me that my mother was a midwife. A midwife!

All of the people at her graveside had become very connected to my mother throughout the years. They had all become her extended family through the work that she had done for them. When it came time for the eulogies, many of them had their own stories to tell about when and how my mother had helped them to have a healthy pregnancy and a natural childbirth experience. Many of the children delivered by my mother, now of varying ages, were also there to pay their last respects at her funeral. All of these wonderful people were there to help send her on her way to the almighty.

It took me a bit of time to process the fact that my mother had performed so many amazing miracles without the knowledge of either her family or her friends. I question how she was able to do so much work without any of us ever knowing. She has become elevated to supernatural status in my mind. Alas, I often wonder why did she keep it a secret? Did she know that my father would have put an immediate end to it? Did she think that her children might not understand? Did she want something that she could do just for herself? Perhaps my mother knew that she was on the right path and had the approval of God, as well as the love and cherish of the many connected souls that she dealt with. May the power of holiness and the spirit of the almighty carry my mother to her just reward.

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