Feel the Music

In the past four years, I’ve had the pleasure of loving two men. I don’t talk about it much, but love has been on my mind this weekend, as you can see from yesterday’s post.

When I began this Blog it was for a couple of reasons.

One-I wanted my daughter to have a place to go, and read about our life together. Two-I wanted to change somebody’s perspective on life. Not the world, just one persons world.

There is a comment sitting in my comment folder that I will not publish, but this Blog changed her world. There is an email sitting in my Inbox from the son of a dear friend. He found this Blog, and was impacted what I wrote in honor of his Mother.

Hearing this song made me think of the people I’ve loved. It was love that changed their world, and loving them changed mine.

I love to love. That’s what I do. One post at a time.

Grabbing Life’s Moments

It’s noon, and I’m sitting here in my pajamas.

It has surprised me how many people are born on this day. My daughter’s best friend shares her birthday with Valentine’s Day. These two girls are so different, but have a bond that is worth celebrating. For me, Valentine’s Day is just another day on the calendar.

Each day should be a celebration of love.

My daughter announced this morning that she would love to surprise her friend Abby today with a visit for her birthday. My immediate reaction was, “What’s stopping you?”

Her friend lives 1.5 hours away, so they don’t get to see one another much. She made the comment lastnight, that she gets to see Abby, about as often as she sees her boyfriend.

Something about that is just not right, considering she has to fly to see her boyfriend. I had to suppress the Mom in me this morning, when my daughter mentioned her idea of surprising Abby with a visit.

She didn’t get any school done while we were away, which I knew would be the case. She has plenty of school to do, but it’s not going anywhere without her.

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I bought this card for my daughter, and it was the bling that drew me to it. She doesn’t expect anything from me on Valentine’s Day, because we love each other everyday.

Her friend will be shocked that she drove all the way out there to help make her birthday special. Her schoolwork will wait one more day, but this moment won’t. She will eventually graduate, but I hope she never graduates from grabbing life’s moments.

When We Travel

We are flying to Missouri tomorrow.

That is where my daughter’s boyfriend lives. He came here at Christmas, so it’s her turn to go there. I was suckered into this trip, but I’m coming around, and almost excited about it.

I don’t have good memories of traveling during my marriage to her father. It was always stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way now.

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I told myself from the very beginning, I would do this for my daughter. That made it easier to accept because I would do anything for her. As time rolled by, I would ponder the trip, and pull positives from it.

I’m going to think of it as a mini getaway, a change of scenery, or my first plane trip since my Cancer journey.

She will be with her boyfriend most of the time, so I will have a lot of me time. I’m going to work on my book that I started before Cancer.

We are packing today, and it’s very quiet as we do so. I hope she feels my light heart from across the hall. As Mother’s part of our job is to take stress away from our child’s life. That has been my mission anyways. She continually takes the stress out of mine.

Even when we travel.

These Two Worlds

If I sit in the presence of Mr. Smith long enough, the conversation tends to grow deep. Not from me, but from him. I listen, become more quiet, until no words can form. I feel it.

This morning, we were sitting on the back porch, coffee in hand, watching Stork fly in over the lake. I feel a sense of peace when I see Stork. He has always revealed I am in a safe space. This morning, I felt my layers being peeled back one by one, and it was a gentle process. Smith was pointing out how I visit on the weekend, and then I pack up and leave.

I have two lives. The one with Smith on the weekends, and the one with my daughter during the week. My daughter visits some, but that is all it looks like is a weekend visit. My heart is torn between these two worlds.

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Smith has never loved me like I imagined I would be loved. He loves me better.

This morning was one of those times where he gently dug down to the heart of the matter. No more skimming over the surface, and the end result was a feeling of rawness. I thought I was holding it together pretty well, living this double life. But, I don’t have to ‘hold it all together’ anymore.

It’s always been my daughter, and me. Even when I was married to her father, it was really just the two of us. There comes a time where you don’t know which way is home. I have two houses, but which one is home?

Bringing three lives together, and enjoying one life. People say it’s a hard thing to do, but from where I sit, it’s harder not to.

One More Day

I am going to post two Blogs today. It doesn’t happen often, but I have another one in me. If you are reading this, you may want to read the one from this morning, “Which Way Home.” A change of events occurred after posting that one, and I got my one more day.

Note to self. Do not let the dog outside as you’re loading up your truck.

Mr. Smith has a Min Pin, (miniature Doberman Pincher), that decided to race out the door as soon as I opened it. I didn’t think too much about it because he usually comes back in a few minutes. Once I finished loading my truck, I noticed the time was moving closer to my Radiation appointment, and he hadn’t returned. I was going to have to go look for him.

My left breast has a deep burn going on after 21 treatments. I started putting pure Aloe Vera on it yesterday, and thought, it would be nice to have one more day to keep it covered in Aloe. Thanks to Mr. Smith’s dog, I got my one more day. He came home an hour later.

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There was one thing I wanted to do while Smith was at work. To clean up my room.

Smith gave me this room to enjoy as I write, and tinker with stained glass. It got covered up with boxes from Christmas, and the table was full. I love this room and the view! By taking one more day to soothe my soul, I would also have it to heal my burned boob. I took a shower, put on Aloe , my Yoga pants, a comfortable t-shirt, and walked into the room.

I tore down all the empty boxes, and have them ready to be picked up. Then it was time to organize all this glass. Smith’s grandmother used to work with glass, and I am blessed to have all her leftover pieces. The tool caddy needed to be put together completely, so I did that as well. While looking at what I had in the caddy, I realized two things I would need.

While doing a Google search for the items, I felt my heart prompting me to look through the box of glass. Pulling out all of the pieces, and getting down to the bottom of the box. There is where I found the items I needed. The tool caddy is complete, and the room is cleaned, and organized. Sometimes the body and soul just need that one more day.

Which Way Home

I started writing a Blog lastnight, but again didn’t publish it. With this 30 day challenge, I’m learning I can write anytime of day. Mama always said, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Well, in my mind there is nothing publish worthy after 9:00 pm.

This is what’s happening in real-time. I’m sitting at the dining room table at Smith’s house, listening to my favorite CD, drinking coffee from a red mug, and looking out the sliding glass doors at the lake. It rained lastnight, and brought in fog, so the lake is not visible yet. I know the lake is there, but I cannot physically see it yet.

This reminds me of this path of life we’re on. We know we have one, but we can only see so far ahead. God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on. We take a step, and there is more light, but just enough for that step. Sitting here this morning, I wish to see more steps.

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You can see how bright the light is over the lake. The sun is trying to burn away the fog, and restore a visual of what’s there. God is in that ball of fire. He wants us to trust Him even when we cannot see very far ahead. To enjoy the present moment, but keep stepping.

Some ducks swam across the lake, as I made more coffee, and ate a piece of chocolate covered caramel. It would seem I’m on a path with many detours, but they all lead back to my  heart. During the week I am in my little farmhouse, sharing a life with my daughter.

The weekends, I’m usually at the lake with Smith. He is a Chef, and normally has to work on Saturday’s. He’s at work right now, and there is a void where his presence is absent. If he was here, I can see him sitting on the couch trying to find some football on TV. My laptop and I would move to another room and continue writing in a more serene space.

He would come and find me periodically, and make himself known. I can feel him walk into the room, and he may touch me, but he wouldn’t disturb my writing. He enjoys that I write, and encourages me with that. He also tolerates being the subject from time to time.

The sun is becoming brighter as I finish up this Blog. It will be time to start repacking my things, load up my truck, and head to Radiation. Today will be #22 out of 30 treatments.

I was tempted to call and cancel today’s appointment, but that would just prolong the inevitable. Once Radiation is complete, I will have more options. My daughter is staying with her Dad until tomorrow, so it’s very tempting to stay one more day here at the lake.

I used to know where home is. Over time of driving back and forth, I’m not really sure anymore which house is home. For some time now, when I return to the little farmhouse, and walk inside, it feels like a house. My daughter gets there, and it feels more like home, but there is still a void. I find myself each day looking forward to going back to the lake.

Smith is the most patient man I have ever met. He has been waiting for me to decide when to bring all these paths together as one big path, and the three of us to live this life together. Home is where your heart is, and today it’s in this lake house, but getting ready to leave once again. I believe it’s time for me and my heart to decide, which way is home.

 

Eye See You

Yesterday, I drove to the lake to see Mr. Smith. On the drive here, I watched as the outdoor temperature dropped. Checking the weather before I left prompted me to pack items for 70 degree weather. The temperature outside went from the 70’s to the 50’s upon arrival.

Mr. Smith had the doors, and windows of the house open. He had been enjoying the 70 degree temps as well. I walked in, and saw him standing in the sliding glass doorway, and he looked so different. We had not seen each other since Christmas, but we talk everyday. He was wearing flannel lounging pants, a white tank, and had a bandanna tied over his hair.

Mr. Smith is a Chef, and yesterday he looked the part. He looked at ease in his skin.

It caught me off guard, and I tried to respond naturally, but I could not connect. I know who he is, and what he is, but my heart was arguing with my head. We were disconnected.

I started pondering what love is, and that is what I started writing about. Today, I see what my eyes were seeing, and what my heart was showing me. Let’s look at a few examples of love in action. There are many ways he displays his love, but for the sake of brevity, we will stick with examples from yesterday, starting with the state of the house.

Chef knows I live an uncluttered life. He has been doing some ‘spring cleaning’ he says, but I see it differently. The closets, and inside the cabinets have all been cleaned out and organized. You can look around and tell that Chef is willing to share his life.

He has a knack of doing things for both of us, but I believe I receive the biggest thrill. Chef and I love music even though our taste in music are different, there’s one thing we know. It feeds the soul.

He bought something easy for me to play music on. Before yesterday, I had to try and figure out his sound system, and it was hit or miss for me. This morning when he left for work, I hit two buttons, and was quickly listening to my favorite  Jennifer Nettles CD.

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To clear a spot for our simple sound system, he put his knife collection in a closet, but as you can see, he left my Jesus Calling devotional laying out. This is a picture of happiness.

I’ve had a difficult time recently with my part time job, but that is another Blog. Between the stress I was feeling from that, my boob stinging from the radiation, and then this disconnect, I was a mess. I went and laid across the bed, and watched the wind blow outside. Chef came back to check on me, but he knew I was off center, so he gave me space.

Then, I heard it. The music. It started out slow, and soothing, but then it changed.

Chef was in the kitchen, doing what he loves to do. Cook! He was actually cooking a spectacular dinner that I was supposed to be helping with, but I was pondering.

He changed the music to country, which I love. I heard Brad Paisley, and some of the greats singing away. Then the music changed again, but this time, it almost made me cry.

I heard Lionel Richie. Ladies, if your man plays Lionel Richie, that man loves you.

By this time, I was back in front of my laptop trying to do my job, but I could feel the words to each song drifting down the hallway to where I was sitting. Chef was trying to reach me, but give me space. He gave me my 3 minute heads up on dinner being plated as I finished my work. Joining him at the dining room table, I felt like a big bowl of mush.

He will read this Blog at some point today, and I’m grateful he doesn’t embarrass easily. I was concerned for half a minute what he would think, but who am I kidding? He already knows all of this; he knew it yesterday. Chef sees everything, but best of all, he sees me.

To Be Missed

My daughter’s boyfriend is from Missouri. They spent 7 days together over Christmas break. She drove him to the airport yesterday, and returned home with a tear stained face.

They have maintained this long distance relationship for 15 months. He is 19, and she is 17, but they are mature for their ages. I’m encouraging her to write about how they do this.

 

When she came home yesterday evening, I just gave her some space. She cried some more, and I took her tissues. I wanted her to cry and much as she needed, and to feel what was going on. Missing someone is a painful experience, but I would rather have someone to miss than to not. I told her, “It’s good that you miss him. I would be worried if you didn’t.”

Thanks to the almighty airline miles, they get to see one another often. Maybe not as much as they would like, but I believe they are blessed. Once every two, or three months, they reconnect face to face. Their love for one another comes easily, and is refreshing to watch.

I believe that is the way it should be. Love should come easily.

I know people that will have a hard time receiving love because of their idea of how they should be loved. What if you let go of those ideas, and just allowed yourself to be loved? I believe you would be pleasantly surprised how simple it is. This doesn’t mean downsizing your values, but you may need to let go of some expectations on what love should look like.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble, and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” I have found this to be true. Humble, gentle, patient and bearing.

My daughter will see her guy again soon. In the meantime, they will live their lives to the best of their ability, but keep a space in their hearts for one another. It’s good to be missed.

Show Me Love

My daughter and I an amazing relationship.

She is my very best friend, and my hero. She just celebrated her one year anniversary, dating a guy that lives in Missouri. I’ve been sitting here pondering how she at 17, can have a better relationship than most adults.

Some things I see them do is they accept one another for who they are. Flaws and all. They also communicate constantly. If something is bothering her, no matter how trivial, she tells him, and they talk it through.

They have their own lives, but they make one another a priority in it. Her philosophy is, “Treat him the way I want to be treated in return.”

That has worked for us for years. My daughter and I never fight, and have not even raised our voices to one another. We treat one another the way we want to be treated. Children copy what they see. When the time came to leave her father, one of my reasons was, I didn’t want her to grow up and think what she saw was a healthy marriage.

I wanted her to see love.

They give true meaning to the word ‘relationship.’ It’s a work in progress. They are grounded within themselves, so they don’t look to one another for completion. They enjoy their lives, but being together makes life that much sweeter. Watching what they have is like seeing everything love is.

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In this pic, she is super made up. She is a natural beauty, and doesn’t need all this makeup, but it was prom, and they sent me this silly moment. They tried to make me feel included.

This boy is coming to visit on Wednesday. He has never visited us, so this is exciting! All those airline miles her father and I collected over the years came in handy. Her father has flown with her to see him once every 90 days. They are going to ACL is Austin, TX which is exciting enough, but the anticipation of seeing each other face to face is pretty intense.

She is beyond excited, and has it all planned. She is picking him up from the airport, and has an itinerary planned for each day he is here. She wants to show him the best in Texas, but what she may not know is, he’s going to be ecstatic just seeing her.

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Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “Oh, young love.” I am writing this and thinking, I want what they have. It can be like this at any age. When you love someone they should be an intimate part of your life, even if you’re not together. They call to hear one another’s voice, and rarely text. They write letters and mail them to each other.

Will they last? Only God knows that because He has her life planned. Even if they don’t, to be able to have such an amazing relationship at such a young age. What a gift! She has told me before, “I live in amazement of your daily life.”

Well my darling daughter, I get to live in amazement of you in yours. May God continue to bless you in all you do, and in who you love.

Just Be Patient

I just pressed my third cup of coffee out of the Keurig, so you would think I would be feeling energized. It used to help wake me up, and give me a jolt in the mornings. Not so much anymore, so maybe it’s time for a change. I have stopped ‘doing’, and begun ‘letting’.

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I read an article this morning on having no expectations.

This one started out like most, but then it got my attention. Instead of expecting certain things out of life, the one you love, or yourself for that matter…Take the limits off God. I lay all my petitions before Him, so He knows my heart and desired outcome, but then I leave it there. I never know what to expect.

This opens up endless opportunity. As far as relationships go, here are a few things I’ve learned.

1. He Loves Me, But Should Love Himself First.

Does your partner take good care of themselves? The care they take of themselves, will be a reflection of how well they care for you. There should be a healthy balance of self care, and loving you.

2. His Love For Me.

This is where I had to lay all expectations aside. You have heard the saying, “Stop breaking your own heart?” That is what occurs when I expect to be loved at a certain level. Everyone loves differently, and we cannot compare past loves to the present. Those were stepping stones to prepare us for this. It’s not about lowering our expectations. It’s about being open to different.

3. He Encourages My Ideas and Creativity.

If anyone ever tells you, “That’s a stupid idea,” or better yet, “You are stupid.” you will need to hit them with a pipe. Creative ideas sound rather far fetched at first, but it’s that initial seed we plant. Saying it out loud to someone we trust, and value the opinion of, gets the ball rolling. You are not stupid….You are creative and open-minded. Stay that way.

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4. Let Them Love You.

This is where the expectations of your mind can get in the way. Allowing someone to love you the best way they know how, should be enough. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways.” That’s encouraging to me.

5. Let It Be Easy.

I love seeing posts from my friends, announcing 30 or so years of being married, and exclaiming, “Fight for your marriage.” There should be no fighting. If you each are doing the next right thing, making good choices for the greater good, it should flow. Yes, life will come at you with a vengeance and try to destroy what’s good, but there’s a choice.

When one is weak, the other is strong.

That’s just how it works. You hold one another up during the rough times. They always pass, and should make you better because of it. Be with someone that brings out the very best in you, and nudges you to become better.

Get good at waiting on God. He heard you, just be patient.