31 December, 2012

THE BEST KIND OF NYE CELEBRATION

I didn't watch the ball drop this New Year's Eve. I didn't even turn on the TV once to check out the Times Square coverage. I didn't drink champagne, or see fireworks, or use noisemakers.

I did go out to dinner with my husband. I did have a wonderful, deep, thoughtful conversation with him that lasted all evening and covered several topics close to my heart. I did drink two glasses of a delicious Malbec and enjoyed an overly-filling dinner. I did toast to 2013 with my partner in life - and I did it with a very grateful heart.

30 December, 2012

WHAT HAVE I DONE?

My younger sister has somehow tricked me into signing up for the Cleveland Half Marathon with her. First move? Buy new shoes, of course. Second move? Try to figure out how to get out of this alive.


29 December, 2012

ANNIVERSARY

When I think of the word "anniversary" I always think of marriage. I suppose it's the most common usage of the word - or at least the most common to me. But all it means is "the date on which an event took place in a previous year." Just a simple statement of fact. It can be used for all sorts of events: first day at a job, first day one committed to being sober, first day you arrived on this planet (also known as your birthday)... but it's not limited to firsts. It can also commemorate lasts: the anniversary of a loved one's death. Their last day on this planet.

I think of that on this day, as I hug my own mother tightly and feel a twinge in my heart for my dear friend who's mother died 7 years ago today. It was rather sudden - a heart failure - and even though the family knew she had a bad heart, her premature departure from this world was not easy to accept. I'm lucky enough not to know this yet, but I would bet that the death of your mother is hard no matter what the circumstances. 

And yet, as I write those words above - heart failure, bad heart, premature departure - I can't help but think that maybe this anniversary was also a first for her. My friend's mother might have had a weak heart by our physical standards, but she had a big & good heart by higher standards. Her heart may have failed her body, but perhaps it allowed her to be released from physical constraints to a place of higher consciousness and true freedom. Her premature departure from this world may have been right on time for her own journey into the first day of a new world for her.

I'd rather think of it that way on this quiet day, on her anniversary.

26 December, 2012

THE HENNS

Yes, there was a snow storm. Some might have even called it a blizzard. But could that stop these two beautiful people from braving the elements and getting hitched? No way. It couldn't even stop my sister from wearing open-toed shoes and a tropical flower in her hair. My heartfelt congratulations, you two! Best wishes for a lifetime of love, trust, and laughter.




25 December, 2012

LIGHT



The celebration of LIGHT is one thing I'm pretty certain I'll embrace forever. 
Today, and all days, it may do us good to remember these words from Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

24 December, 2012

YOU BETTA NOT

We may not be 100% sure how we want to incorporate "Santa" into our daughter's world,
but we are 100% sure that she'll always be adorable when it comes to singing about him.

video

23 December, 2012

SIBLING SOIREE

As we sat in the warm apartment, with delightful foods spread out before us and drinks to celebrate the season, we got to talking about old traditions. Our experiences were different - even the brothers who were merely two years apart in age had varying recollections of how Christmas was celebrated while they were growing up - but there were many similarities and I would guess that most of the people we knew had traditions that were just the same.

Then the conversation turned to new traditions... starting with the two of us that had a child to share in those traditions, and then spreading out to the possible traditions of the other two who had inklings of children in their future. And I loved that conversation. The strong opinions and the vague ideas. The clear answers and the questions that still remain questions. The thoughtful disagreements and the compassionate compliments. It was not a sermon, it was a dialogue. It was not a series of statements, it was an exploration of what could be.



21 December, 2012

THE DAY THE WORLD ENDS

"The day the world ends, no one will be there, just as no one was there when it began. This is a scandal. Such a scandal for the human race that it is indeed capable collectively, out of spite, of hastening the end of the world by all means just so it can enjoy the show."
- Jean Baudrillard, 1987