Here and Now


Today is a new day with a fresh beginning to life. Yesterday, after feeling so blue, I grabbed ‘Doodle’ dog to walk him in a nearby park. Even he had sensed my depression, not leaving my side. Once there, a new appreciation for the here and now shook me from the inside to the out.

There was a slight chill in the air as if to rid my unsettled emotions, tossing them away with the wind. As I looked high up into the measureless magic of the sky, mirrored colors of spring surrounded me. A duck waddled near a pond, trees were in full bloom, daffodils sprouted canary yellow, and God’s beauty was endless.

No, I can’t control or change my father’s circumstances. I cannot heal his bride of cancer or wave a wand to grant wishes of miracles. And, yes, there will be tears and sadness, normal emotions under such unexpected human tragedy. Still, I must hold on to my faith in God together with the power of strength. My father needs my support now nearly as much or more so than ever before. I’m praying he and his wife have a bit of precious time together, free of emotional and physical pain. The simple pleasure of a walk in a park while gazing at a sky of blue.

Seconds to sink their feet in God’s pond of here and now…..

 

The Reminder


trees purple

Early this morning, with hooded lids open in the dark before dawn, I lay in my bed to sounds of a bird chirping outside my window blinds. Lyrics of nature welcomed me to a brand new day.

Dropping paperwork to the top of my desk, I strolled outside with a cup of coffee. Sun splashed to warm my face as I sunk deep, deeper still into the middle of an old foam patio chair. Soon, I felt as though I’d be swallowed up, but I did not care. This was the first of the season. Cushions cuddled me like a babe in the womb, making me feel safe and secure all around.

New neighbors seen moving into bird houses a few weeks earlier flit and flew back and forth between feeders, gathering seed. The sky was painted in royal blue with not a cloud floating by. Twinkling chimes hung from trees ready to bloom near others that were already full and flowered in lavender or cream. I closed my eyes to imagine the tranquility within. It had been a rough go of it since Easter.

My dear father who I have so often written about had found new love again after losing my mother to a long battle with cancer five years ago. As with any blending of families, even adults far apart, there were a few minor adjustments it seemed. Yet, my siblings and I were so very happy for our father. To think he had a second chance in life! There was a smile on his face again, a new step in his stride, and although he was hesitant to begin anew, he finally found the courage by eloping on March 11th. A ‘wedding party’ is scheduled in Arizona on April 23rd.

Sixteen days ago, on March 27, Easter Sunday, my dad’s new bride, Eileen was admitted to ER where she was diagnosed with cancer. My father, of course, is in a state of shock. When all test results came back last Friday, the unbelievable. His wife of three weeks has a very aggressive form of cancer that has spread throughout her body. Last night, it was nearly touch and go.

It’s difficult to concentrate on work these days. My heart aches for Eileen’s physical pain together with the emotional pain of my father. How can life be so unfair? The house they had planned to move into sits empty and waiting…for what?  I feel helpless, but each and every day I send my father messages of support together with pictures of inspiration and encouragement.  He knows that I will be in Arizona together with all of my siblings on April 23rd.

I’m thanking God for nature together with the sweet sounds of the birds today. I’ve been slapped in the face with mortality together with the gift of life. Definitely, not the first time. Perhaps it’s another reminder?

Maybe I’ll sit slumped in this patio chair for the rest of the week…

Blessings to All.

 

Dichotomy of Life


It is the calm after the storm here in St. Louis this morning. There is a bright ball of glow to the east of my home. Glancing through my back window, a cloudless ocean sky, casting slight shadows of tree limbs across the snowy hill behind my brick bungalow. I feel snug, cuddled in my bathrobe of valentine-colored hearts. From inside, the outside looks warm and toasty. A dichotomy between 1 degree and heaven-sent rays of shining sun. The sky begins to cast light upon snow-covered sprouts of spring grasses and freezing bushes nearby.

Sipping coffee here at my desk there is a “ping” that rings from my phone.  An important message to me? Yes, my youngest son has sent me a text. Three words, “At work safely!” I smile to think of him thinking of me.  It hasn’t always been this way. We’ve had our ‘ups and downs.’ He’s had his struggles in a world not always fair to him. He fought childhood wars, trying to save himself and others from what might have been.

Finally, after years of living with Chronic Conditions, the picture behind the camera developed for me. It was hard for me to understand, harder still for my youngest son to get through it all. He was an innocent, napping toddler of three when I disappeared with his little-older brother off to a hospital for days without word or explanation. Upon returning, normal life had disappeared. What was before was never more.

In my heart, my fledgling son ‘gets it’ now. All his time of life’s inner turmoil has led him to where he needs to be. It’s what I’m praying for…..part of God’s plan, you see. The job he started in this new year is going well for him. There is a positive change in the way he looks, how he carries himself, together with the way he speaks. He grins more often than before and has light in his lovely eyes.  Yes, I see. They, come alive! My son has met a girl. There seems to be a young woman in his life. He’s brought her to our home, something he hasn’t often done before. I like her and I’m hoping she likes me.

I’ve seen a dichotomy while living with Chronic Conditions. At least, between my own two sons. One has fiercely struggled on a physical level, yet seems to have been happy nearly every day, while the other has scratched and clawed while battling brawls seemingly impossible to win. And yet, now, I dare say he’s on his way.

As always, it is God who has a plan for my boys. He has blessed my oldest with life, and love, and happiness. My youngest has had to work a bit harder to discover the latter two. Perhaps, finally, it is his time now.

Three words I’ve read on a text fill my heart with hope.

“At work safely!”

*re-published from 3/3/14.

 

 

 

What a difference two years can make!

 

When All Goes Wrong….


Christmas carols turned melancholy soon after boughs of holly were hauled to the curb. A downpour of steady rain fell from a foggy sky. First steady drops in sizes of silver heads atop pins of straight, then pocketed pennies plopped from nimbus clouds under shadows of heaven’s dribbling gates.

For several days, I watched a curling ribbon of water trickle down the hill of my little forest land. Soon it widened, forming a rather large pond near a sewer drain. Loose twigs, bark of dark and soggy leaves washed down a gushing waterfall until they stopped to build a dam of sorts. In the end, local rivers and streams filled to capacity and beyond. Flooding of historic proportions became a constant topic on our local television stations, even making the international news.

The Meramec River is one of the longest free-flowing waterways in Missouri, draining nearly 4,000 feet while meandering over 200 miles until it empties into the mighty Mississippi at a point very close to my home.  I often visit parks near the Meramec River and have shared pictures with you that are close to my heart.

The last of 2015 ended with the New Year beginning in a rage. It seemed the Meramec River was out of control through no fault of its own. While the pond in the back of my yard continued to spread on all sides, big and wide, waters of my lovely river were rising. Higher and higher they inched, quickly covering banks of grass and walls of concrete until it was more than ever before. Streets and highways were underwater, buildings too, while some homes floated away until they slammed into bridges made of steel, crushing them like tin cans of soup. The river flooded into a fast and flowing current of murky madness.

Together with Doodle dog, my husband and I were pretty much stuck. Most roads leading in and out of our subdivision were under water. Basically, we were living on an island! Still, we were blessed with everything needed within the confines of our home. Most importantly, we didn’t have any personal flooding. Others were not so lucky.

By the third day we were able to drive to the point of no return, a main intersection used each and every day, Highway 44 and 141. Stepping out of our car felt like another world. Water rippled just a few feet in front of my shoes. Debris floated under the tips of stop lights while signs of fast food restaurants surely would be slow to invite the next guest inside anytime soon.

Thirty six hours later the Meramec River receded to less than flood stage. All roads are now open, albeit muddy from the sludge. Cleanup has begun in earnest and although pools and puddles of water remain almost everywhere, soon no one driving on highway 44 will ever know.

This morning when I woke the skies were no longer overcast or gray. Sun was shining, splashing across the cheeks of my face. When I opened the door to my paver patio the pond was no longer in the far back of my yard. Perhaps it had dried from new rays of sparkling sun or soaked into wisps of brown winter grass?

Down near the sewer drain, on what was left of the pile of twigs, leaves and dark bark, was a winter bird I had not yet seen this season. He was perched at the very highest point of the dam. There he sang a lovely melody. Perhaps he was calling to his mate in the nearby woods? So beautiful he was under the brilliant sun, black and white with a bright red breast.

When all goes wrong in the world, God makes everything right.

Gifts of a New Year


 To All My Family of Readers:

I was about to click Publish for a new post today when a lovely friend on LinkedIn sent me a beautiful gift begging to be shared. Words of  this prayer touched me deeply as this too, is what I pray for within our brand new year. Immediately upon clicking the link below, the voice of an angel greeted me together with images surely only God could create.

With love and light I wish for you all gifts to be discovered within our blessed New Year.

Kim Gosselin

Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtajxo8d7js  

 

Thank you Lord for giving me

The brand new year ahead

Help me live the way I should

As each new day I tread.

 

Give me gentle wisdom

That I might help a friend

Give me strength and courage

So a shoulder I might lend.

 

The year ahead is empty

Help me fill it with good things

Each new day filled with joy

And the happiness it brings.

 

Please give the leaders of our world

A courage born of peace

That they might lead us gently

And all the fighting cease.

 

Please give to all upon this earth

A heart that’s filled with love

A gentle happy way to live

With Your blessings from above.

Gifts That Only God Can Provide


Yesterday I was flooded with last year’s same day of memories. My ‘Babies of Two’ amazon.com/author/2babiesauthor celebrated their first birthday. A year ago they had been born into this world, taken from their mother’s womb with hopes and prayers that all would be well. It was December 18th 2014.

Last January began and blossomed just as my youngest son met and married a beautiful girl. Before long, springtime was in the air. New life sprouted here and there and everywhere. Grass turned lush and green, flowers bloomed with scents so sweet and birds began to tweet. Soon came an announcement that a new baby was expected the following year. A few weeks later, a surprise for everyone. “We’re going to have twins!”

Often, I drove my daughter-in-law to her doctor’s appointments where an ultrasound machine was in the room. Lights were tuned down low. My face felt all aglow. Directly in front of us was a large screen shining as though lit from behind. Shades of black and white appeared with undertones of dove gray. Little shapes unknown became grand-babies right before my eyes! I thought my heart would stop then and there.

‘Babies of Two’ were not due until early 2015, the time of year when snow starts to settle on branches of trees and into the tracks of animals on curving paths in between. But, from early October until nearly the end, tiny lives and that of their mother were often in jeopardy. Every precaution was taken to prevent and stop early labor until finally nothing more could be done. God had decided the day had come.

Early in the afternoon of December 18th, 2014‘Babies of Two’ arrived one by one. My son was in the delivery room where he comforted his wife while his daughters of newborn were carefully delivered. Immediately afterward they were whisked off to a Special Care Nursery to be monitored 24/7.

Exactly one week later, in the moon of Christmas night, ‘Babies of Two’ snuggled and cuddled next to each other in a cradle of their very own. Out of the hospital and under the roof of their very first home.

Gifts that only God can provide…

Thanking God


To touch a newborn’s innocence is to thank God for living upon this Earth.”

Kim Gosselin

*photo courtesy of Google                                                                                                                                         

Will You Choose The Correct Fork In The Road?


Posted on September 22, 2015 by James North

I recently had the honor of writing a Guest Post for the very talented author, James North. Please visit his terrific site as it has much to offer together with his many publications.  http://jamesnorththrillers.com/

Will You Choose The Correct Fork In The Road?

Everyone comes to crossroads in life, a fork in the road if you will.  At one point in my own, I found myself at a dead-end where all that I knew was gone. My vision for the future was not to be.  In an instant. Tick-tock.  Quickly, like a second-hand on a clock.  A new normal was in store for me and my family from that day forward.

To the left were tears leading me down a pity path.  To the right I felt magical whispers of wind wafting through my hair. Somehow, scents of leaves beneath my crinkled nose. Colors of orange and copper splayed across a sunlit wooden bridge beneath the weathered limbs of hanging trees.  Cross it and everything would be okay if only I believed it to be true.  Yes, please, choose the correct fork in the road.

Metaphors of my life from over twenty years ago when my children were diagnosed with chronic conditions.  The above shaped much of who I am today.  Like my boys, I had to change too. Surprisingly I became a writer.  If not for the two of them, I never would have written a single word.  I prayed every day for God to guide me on the right path, for my words to help others through paper pages that would someday be printed in books.

How I wish my children could have ridden bicycles while licking dripping popsicles.   Or, gone off to birthday parties to steal real crumbs of chocolate cake off colored paper plates!  That would have been a true dream come true for me.  Yet, in all of their little lives, it was never to be.  No, God had other plans for us.

My kindergarten boys who once played with toys are now grown.  They will always be blessings who helped make positive differences in the world.  I thank God for holding my hand to choose the correct fork in the road and with His help, you will too.

fork-in-the-road

God’s Gift


Lovely butterfly in the grass

Edging spindled legs barely seen

Through straw-colored blades

Flitting wings of two slowly…slowly

Taking her time this lovely butterfly

For one brief moment in all of this world

God’s gift to all below

Back and forth, up to down then down to up

Like magic

Brushing square tips of fresh cut lime

Lovely butterfly in the grass

Sunset colors of a summer’s day

Brushstrokes painted upon paper wings

Soon to soar towards warmth of sun

I shall wave a fond farewell

Towards a splash of gold within a sea if blue

Fading…fading

Lovely butterfly once God’s gift to all below