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Posts tagged ‘family’

Memories of sunshine on a rainy day

After three glorious months of perpetual blue skies and sunshine, Portland now shows her winter colors of gray skies and silvery raindrops. But I finally received the package in the mail the other day, with the cds containing all the photographs from my daughter’s wedding. Perfect timing, and a rainy day project emerges as I sort through 700+ pictures taken on that special day.

Through a mother’s eyes they are all perfect pictures. How will I ever narrow it down to a reasonable number? It helped to have a pretty white photo album to place them in that only holds 100 pictures; that set some limits for me. The photo album was a very thoughtful gift from a friend, who knew I would appreciate a special album dedicated only to pictures from my daughter’s wedding. I thought of how small albums such as this as often called “brag books”, and during coffee with a friend this morning it became just that. I was giddy as we looked at the pictures together, pointing out family and friends to her, recalling memories from that lovely day.

And now I have a son-in-law, one who adores my daughter and treats her like a princess. As I looked through the many pictures, I could see so apparent the love they have for each other; the energy of their love radiating through the photographs. They will have their ups and downs, as all couples do. But I feel an intuitive sense of knowing that these two have a strong relationship made up of love, respect and sharing all things with each other. I’ve seen them together in the day to day events of life when I’ve stayed at their home, and they are going to be just fine. And a mother’s heart is reassured that her daughter’s heart is now in the gentle hands of a loving husband.

Ode to a Wedding

She walks down the aisle

Lovely and luminous

He waits to greet her

Glowing with love

They smile at each other

Heartfelt anticipation

Of words to be shared

In the presence of loved ones

The commitment of a lifetime

Once nestled deep in their hearts

Now bursts out in loving vows

As they shower onlookers with wedded bliss

The blushing and very happy bride

The wedding party

Saying their vows

The happy couple

Some time alone

So in love…

A proud and happy mom

Just in case she forgets the words

Having fun with the cake

The first dance as Mr. & Mrs.

Introducing… Mr. & Mrs. Workman!

A very tired flower girl

 

 

 

 

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Learning what friendship is all about

I had sadly wiped the slate of friendship clean throughout the years, focusing all my energies on my husband, my children and my work. The few friends I had seemed to slip away like sand through my fingers, as I blatantly ignored them in favor of my family. My introverted nature didn’t help matters, and I found the only friend I really had to do things with was my husband. Luckily I did manage to keep in touch with a high school friend, Denise, who lived out of state – and I was a poor friend to her, not responding to her invitations to visit. Bless her though, she kept our friendship going even though I was such a weak participant. I found myself becoming so envious of women who had a close circle of female friends. I wanted to be one of those women.

Mistakenly, I thought that having my husband as my only friend was enough. But as our children grew older and didn’t need or want my attention so much, I saw how limited my world of connections with others really was. And I also saw that my spouse and I were really not on the same page in so many ways, and we divorced. Now I was starting over from scratch, trying to remember not only how to make friends, but how to be a good friend. And I have learned so much.

I have learned that sometimes we come together as friends, for reasons unknown, only to find ourselves drifting apart from each other. But that is the way of life at times, and even though we don’t connect with those friends like we used to, they are still a connection in our hearts. I have learned not to burn so many bridges, as life is an ebb and flow, and I may flow back to old friends.

I have learned that we may seek out friends on the basis of shared interests, and it is always a joy to share our passions with one another. When I moved to Portland, these shared interests were a great way to meet people – the book club, the knitting group, the walking group. But as I began to make closer friends from members of these different groups, I realized that sometimes it is so true that opposites attract! In my mind, I had to find friends who liked the same music as me, who followed the same spiritual practice, who had similar lifestyles. How wrong I was on all those counts! I am passionate about music; most of my Portland friends listen to talk radio. But because they do, we have some enlightening discussions. My friend Vanessa in Minnesota loves her political science classes; I haven’t read a newspaper for years now, and I only do so when it is an election year. I find that because of all our unique interests, it opens up the gateway for learning, for discussion, for discovering new possibilities for my life.

Now I realize what friendship is all about. Friendship comes on many different levels.  Some friendships have deeper bonds that allow the sharing of more intimate thoughts, and there are casual friendships that are all about sharing lunch together once a month. Each type of friendship is equally important in our lives. The bond of friendship is one that goes beyond the superficial aspect of shared interests. It is a bond that comes from connecting with the true self of each person, a resonating from soul to soul. My friends are like a beautiful bouquet of flowers – different varieties of lovely blooms that bring me joy in all their unique ways.

My friend Denise & I with the “umbrella man” in Portland

My Minnesota friend Vanessa & I

Out to lunch with the “library ladies”

A Mother’s Day poem

My grown up and out of the nest children were the inspiration for this poem; one of the first poems I wrote when I started writing in earnest, when the words started coming out. Letting go of our dear ones is sometimes the hardest thing a mother has to do, but it is what we are working towards during all those years we raise them – and we hope they are able to fly without falling.

A Mother’s Love

A mother’s love

Is a special kind of love

It is unconditional

You never have to think about it

It just is

And that love allows you

To let go of them

When they are ready

To watch them fly

Of their own accord

But always standing in the wings

If they need a loving reminder

Of how strong they are

 All on their own

 

Coming home

My last post was over two weeks ago, before I left to go back to Minnesota for the holidays, spending time with family and friends. And I wondered how it would feel, going back there after living here in Portland for six months now, having moved here not knowing a soul. I thought perhaps I may find myself in Minnesota, surrounded by my loved ones, with a pang of wanting to move back and be close to them once more. But the truth is, I found myself becoming homesick, for my Rose City – like a kid at summer camp! I kept picturing my cozy apartment, and the streets I love to walk, and most of all the greenery that was still so prevalent even in the middle of December. I bemoaned the lack of color in the Midwest; it was a “brown” Christmas, with not a snowflake in sight.  So I know in my heart where my home is, and as I traveled farther and farther west on the train to go home, I felt my spirits lift in anticipation of the city I have come to love so much, Portland, Oregon.

Welcome Mat

The Universe is rolling out its plush red carpet for me

I sink my feet into it and wiggle my toes, digging in

Feels so good!

I amble down this comfy path

Facing forward, facing towards the place where the sun sets

Slowly though

I don’t want to miss the guideposts along the way

You know, the ones they provide for adventurous travelers

To help them reach their correct destination

And I will know where my place, my home is

With the kind assistance of the Universe

Who puts out a welcome mat

That proclaims

Home Sweet Home

A wedding poem

The inspiration continues, my dry spell of writing seems to be over, for a time anyway. While having my tea this morning, during my morning routine of slowly waking up, I was thinking of my children. I live in Portland now, they live in Minnesota, and Thanksgiving will be the first time I won’t be sharing a holiday with them. I’m going back to Minnesota in December for two weeks, to be there for Christmas, and I’ll be staying at my daughter’s house which is actually her fiance’s house until they get married in September of 2012. And I thought of the two of them, how cute they are together and so in love! Then the words starting coming out, so fast and furious like they do when I am in the flow – so fun! I e-mailed my daughter the finished poem, and she wrote back that both her and her fiance loved it! So much that they want me to read it at their wedding – I am so touched! It means so much to share my words, and being able to read the words I wrote for her and her love will be a joy and an honor. This is an occasion where the writing takes on a whole new meaning….

Devoted to Each Other

I watch them together

I see the exchange of love

 As they gaze into each other’s eyes

Adoration so apparent

A sweet hug in the kitchen

A tender kiss on her forehead

Love expressed

In their shy and private manner

There exists between them

A tolerance of individuality

She accepts the unique wall decorations he chooses

While he makes room for all her clothes

This is unconditional love

This is why they speak the vows

Of forever love

And undying devotion

To each other

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