Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen

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So I did…so there wasn’t…and only I knew….


Plop…when one falls on their face it is usually an embarrassment in a crowd of friends, or strangers that could later have something to talk about over lunch.  So of course doing it at 2a.m., alone in my bathroom lacked any such panache. Nevertheless, when I came too after fainting from the intense pain of a migraine, I realized….I was alone.

Sure, having someone around with that proverbial bowl of chicken soup or a laugh hidden behind are you alright? Is always nice to have…but even more than that, is the hand offering to pull one soul up to the level of another…regardless of the circumstance.

Years ago, I helped run a food bank and it was a life changing time for me, able to see firsthand, the price put on human dignity, much like the dented and unlabeled cans donated for their nourishment.  In a world that has come as far as it brags it has on social media, why is it so difficult to extend a warm hand to those who have fallen, are alone or just in need?

Watching the faces I grew to know and love at the Food Bank, their thankfulness for even the smallest amount of food or personal necessities, was always met with humble thanks and an honest connection of friendship. There were babies I watched grow up, toys I brought from home for older kids, and always, I made sure they knew I saw them first, and not the empty box I attempted to fill.  Sometimes being down on your luck is no different than being flat on your face, and so much is in the balance if a hand is waiting.

Laughing at the commercial for emergency care, with the woman who has fallen and can’t get up, there is something to be said, not for the emergency situation, but the emptiness of the moment…not knowing who would ever know…who would even care.  Social media needs to find an app for that, like adopting the invisible dog from our laptop or checking in a 24 hour security system, to see if the facets are still running.  Guess we get what we pay for, or in my case the price that just ended up being paid.

Children are a gift we are allowed to bring into this world, there is no guarantee however, that we will be a part of their lives once they are grown…whoever started that particular myth should be stuck into their Betty Crocker cookbook and baked!  Friends can come and go at a moment’s notice, only a few ever hang on for the long haul, and just because you marry with the ideas of long term honesty and happiness, doesn’t mean there is a guarantee.  Life just happens….we live it and die in it every day.  However, wouldn’t it be nice if we did it with just a little compassion for those sharing the road?

How hard is it to lighten the load of another with a simple act of kindness? To maybe let a hurting soul know they matter or to offer some dignity back to someone who has all but lost what they once had? And please no – not a Facebook message, like or text! Enough, with the invisible non-caring acts of pseudo companionship.  Labels, titles, names and status have all but ruined what should be a world of hope, enlightenment and love.  I can’t do that because…you might think differently of me if I did…I didn’t want to get into their space….you must be kidding….. 

We have 24 hours to get through the day, for some it is easier than for others, but the bottom line is when we all end the day, it is in darkness…. so why continue it into the daylight? That my friend, is a panic button long overdue for activation.


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Cupcakes and contemplation

feb614Well, that annual event has again occurred…the anniversary of me, otherwise known as a birthday.  So many cupcakes and white cake ago, which today swirl the bowl in a punch line many never live to see…but I’m here…and so are 54 years of memories.

My mother was the original homespun Martha Stewart of birthday parties, so much so I was actually set-up and called into the principal’s office in 6th grade, after a girl hadn’t been invited and wanted revenge. Go figure…guess 1972 was rougher than I remember.  There were always plastic nut cup baskets with candy…like me now, vintage… and selling for $9.99 a piece on eBay, cake from scratch and ice-cream (also homemade) that melted too fast, but oh how the flavor lasted.  I also remember the faces, and a few of the gifts, a Partridge Family Album, Little Kiddles, comic books and once a do it yourself ear piercing set that put my mother on her ear!  The times were as simple as the games we played, and the prizes from the drug store, which mom wrapped so carefully.

By the time I accepted the mantle and was planning birthdays for my own girls, times were different and the evolution of ‘loot bags’ and boy/girl invitations had changed dramatically.  However, the family version was still innocent, with cakes featuring a special ‘gift’ that often themed the party. Oh, the year it was Little Mermaid!  There sat Ariel amid long strands of pulled sugar seaweed…no one noticed the burns on my hands were as red as her hair, which was okay because my daughter was thrilled.  Birthdays after all are a celebration of life for everyone, all those faces and places that made up the village that got us to our place on the calendar.

As we age, birthdays have benchmarks like 13 – 16 – 18 – 21 – 25 and dreaded…..30, which put us into society as useful members that hopefully make a difference.  However, once we’ve joined, unless it is AARP there aren’t as many cards sent, the parties are more political and those nut cups have points attached, limiting how many we get.  Yes, things just aren’t as sweet as the memories we unwrap when the day arrives.  However, we were born, we grew and we lived, and with any luck we will have accomplished something important before the candle burning at both ends goes out.

I was luckier than most since my father and I celebrated in the same week, three days apart and later as a grandmother, the two day bridge between my only granddaughter and me is a gift in itself.  I’ve been able to look not just at my own life as it has changed in a year, but to celebrate those I love, excited to be a part of their moments and yes, commemorate all that living!

This year, I will again celebrate with a furry companion, her second attempt at grabbing cake with me, and I will remember those before her, that barked and danced in excitement sharing my day in years past. I’ll have mom and dad here in spirit, remembering gifts too crazy to admit too, and tears too special to forget and especially those that didn’t celebrate as many as they should have, leaving this world too soon.  After all, It isn’t passing the cake, opening a gift or anticipating the perfect card that makes a birthday special, and it isn’t even the person the day honors, it is instead, all that got them there and the delight and happiness in those that helped, and are able to express it. You see we are often the best gift someone has ever has had in their life, and although we get the cake, they will forever do the celebrating.

So here is to the partially baked cake or messed up frosting given from the heart, the stories how mom almost didn’t make it to the labor room in time, the child laying on the floor embarrassed at the singing of Happy Birthday and countless other memories, which make us who we are in the eyes of others and confirm in our heart and soul, that yes… we have indeed lived…and in gratitude to those I love, I say thank you for what has passed and what is still to come.