Monthly Archives: February 2013

Letting Go

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letting go quote

Does moving forward mean leaving memories behind?  Is that even possible?  Must we compartmentalize our memories so they no longer keep us frozen in time?  Must we put them into a file and tuck them away deep in our mental and emotional filing cabinets, only to pull out when the weight of the past comes heavily knocking?

Does letting go mean erasing?

So far, in this lifetime, I have never been able to erase anything painful or horrendous or simply unwanted.  Instead, it’s much more a desire to want different, to want better.  It’s been simply planting two feet on the floor and moving forward.  And so far, I haven’t found the magic solution for unwanted memories.  They never leave…not really.

What I’ve discovered instead is how to wrangle the thoughts.  Through much practice, I have learned how to redirect unwanted thoughts.  When they whisper or suddenly burst to mind, I usher them right back out.  Goodbye negative…get the heck out of my mind and heart.

The crippling part is even when they’ve been escorted to the door, at some point they come knocking again.  But with each visit, the sharpness of the image fades, the acuteness of pain eases just a touch.  Still they linger…but perhaps they are supposed to.  Perhaps what we learn from the past should never really leave us, not completely.  Perhaps even as we let go and move forward, we need the lessons from the past to push us on.  We let go, we move forward, but perhaps the fuel behind the acceleration is the actual pain itself.

Southern Belle

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“My nana says when memaw was little, all of their pictures were black and white.  That’s horrible!  I can’t believe it.” Sighing, she added, “Bless her heart.”

One of my first graders said that this week (honest…I wrote it down as soon as she said it).  She’s a southern belle in the making, already using bless your heart…and appropriately!  She’s a doll for sure.  She’s the same little girl that calls a chihuahua a ‘chicka-wa-wa’.

We’ve been learning about long ago and present.  Long ago to first graders is this past Halloween.  Trying to get them to understand that long ago there were no cell-phones or ipads or Play Stations is almost unfathomable to them.  Their eyes get big, their mouths fall open, and I receive many dumbfounded stares.

Long ago…I remember it well.  No cell phones, no cable T.V., no internet, no computers (at least not in my house), no tablets (except the handwriting kind), no 385 channels, no i-anythings.  Realizing how ‘attached’ I’ve gotten to so many of those things, I sometimes miss a calmer, simpler life.  I try to remember what my family did at night when we only had three options for T.V. stations…best I recall, we actually watched the T.V. together…or we played outside…and I do remember listening to a lot of music in my room.

All that being said, I will be the first to admit how spoiled I am these days.  I’m extremely attached to my iphone and the ipad.  Love them both.  Could probably live without Facebook but for some reason I keep checking my page every day anyway.  And where would I be without my computer??

The world is changing, becoming more savvy, more computerized.  The same little girl from above is already computer literate, as most children are.  They are amazing to watch.  Let’s just hope that computers don’t completely take over their lives at some point.  I hope they grow up realizing that the world is full of so many places, so many faces, and so much more just beyond the living room door.  I hope they play outside and listen to music and always realize there are a million color pictures to make.

P.S. - Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. – Happy Valentine’s Day!

A True Rocker

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“A true rocker is going to do whatever the hell she wants to, whether she’s a school teacher, a CEO of a large corporation, or someone’s mommy.  Because that’s what rock and roll is really about:  following your passion with no apologies.  Following that sound in your head that only you can hear.”  Pat Benatar

Follow the sound in your head that only you can hear.  I love reading words that make chills run across my skin.  And those words did.  How often do we ignore the sounds, or the words, and simply conform to what society or our friends or family want us to be?  When do we finally become strong enough to follow our own sound regardless of what others think?  When do we become rockers?

I just finished Pat Benatar’s memoir, Between a Heart and a Rock Place.  I honestly don’t read many autobiographies but this one was very good.  The quote above came from the last chapter and, to me, was the highlight of the book.  She followed the sounds in her head, finding her way in a world where men were the rockers instead of women.

Trying to embrace my inner rocker, I listened to a little voice in my head this past week and gave my very first book to a non-friend, non-family member to read and critique.  The woman is an avid reader, and I do mean avid, and for some reason she kept coming to mind.  On a whim, I asked her to read it and truthfully let me know what I needed to do to make it better. Granted, she’s not an editor but she is someone out of my inner circle and it’s a step.  I’m determined to make steps this year!  (I really want to make jumps but one day at a time is what I keep chanting in my best Pat Benatar voice.)

Follow the sounds in your head that only you can hear.  Incredible advice, inspiring words, and with a little classic rock playing in the background, I plan to do just that.

Forever Beautiful

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Looking in the mirror these days, I’m often startled when I see my mother looking back at me.  When did I age?  When, exactly, did it happen?  And my neck, oh my neck.  It’s my mother’s and it makes me shudder.

My momma would have been sixty-three tomorrow.  Instead she’s been gone for nine years.  She left this world suddenly and without fanfare, and somehow, her face has become frozen in time…never aging a day beyond 54.  Forever beautiful, forever young.  If I think just hard enough, I can still smell her…a powdery cloud of cosmetics, her dashes of perfume, and the spearmint gum she was never without.

Momma’s life was hard, sometimes brutal.  It was filled with the things soap operas and saga-filled novels are made of.  If it could happen, it probably happened to her at some point in her life.  The pain of her life was heartbreaking at times and if I let my heart go there, painful enough to transcend one generation to the next.

Instead of sinking into those sad moments, I try to remember the things I loved so much about my mother.  Her hugs – the squishy kind you only get from certain people in your life.  She would tell me to hug her tighter and she would just hold on.  Her utter devotion to reading – she fostered my love for it and we shared a love for books most of my life.  Her never ending desire to have a better life, even though she never quite got there.  It was her commitment to wanting better, needing better, that pushed my sister and I to become the women we turned out to be – determined, stubborn, sometimes feisty, loyal.

For years I believed that momma left the world without completion, but the longer I age and grow, I realize she completed so much more than I ever knew.  She loved us without hesitation…what an incredible gift to pass onto others.

I often think of the day she passed as her re-birthday.  In a better place, in a softer realm, she got to begin again.  I see her there, her make-up flawless, her shy smile wide and not so shy anymore.  And I know she’s glowing and happy and still forever beautiful.

Momma - 1969

Momma – 1969