Friday, June 17, 2011

The Dispatchers of Simple Gifts and Minor Miracles

You get back in this life what you give? This is such a common belief for many, but if there truly is that kind of balance, I cannot fathom what I have done to deserve the people in my life who have been the conductors of small but miraculous and healing events.

Just in the past two weeks:

• There was the check that unexpectedly arrived in the mail, a generous, kind and timely gift sent with concern by someone who is very special.

• There was the beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered on Saturday. The card said “Dear Marie, I wish I could give you a big hug but I’m afraid my arms don’t stretch as far as the U.S.” From a dear, warm hearted friend in the U.K.

• There was an opportunity to volunteer and help some out of work people with their resumes, thanks to a networking referral by a thoughtful colleague. It got me out of the house and into the real world for a little while. This was better for me than for the people I coached.

• There was a freelance writing opportunity, again referred by a friend.

• I was evaluated on Monday to determine what kind of new power chair I needed. The price quote was $25,000. My insurance coverage is $2000. I mentioned this sardonically on Facebook, that it was laughable and unachievable. I instantly received a message that a friend was going to make some calls. Her next message was that she knew of someone who would be willing to give me their never used power chair. For nothing; no charge. I mean within minutes of me posting that note. And indeed it was so. A brand new, pristine chair from a lovely woman I have never even met. My son gave up his afternoon to pick it up for me.

There has been no burning bush, no parting of the Red Sea, no turning water into wine (although I would quite like that), but little miracles none the less. Small marvels that have a profound impact on my life, both the quality and the outlook.

Ok, on second thought, maybe the chair was a pretty big one.

Now, I am only related to two of these people and one is by marriage. Yet every one of them went out of their way to make sure I obtained something I needed. Or something I didn’t even realize I needed. And then, when I thanked them, they demurred and indicated I was special to them in some way.

My cousin-in-law is a very, very good man, a savvy, no nonsense business person, but generous and thoughtful. He has been so kind to me. Talking to him the other day he said “Blood is thicker than water.” Incredible irony, as we are not blood relatives. So I believe the saying needs to be revised: Blood flowing through a loving and giving heart is thicker than water. The sweetness of these people is a mystical thing to me. It is not just about my needs. Their caring spirits are healing to all of us in proximity to them. Their goodness and generosity of spirit cannot be contained.

This has not been limited to the past few days, my friends are remarkable year round. And then there are my readers, who also make such a huge difference in my life. I have a list of both a mile long.

My miracle purveyors this week have simple and ordinary names: John, Marylynn, Jane, Phyllis, Louise, Lisa, James. But that simplicity is misleading. They and others like them are the power that drives goodness through this world.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tag, You're It!

I have been tagged!!

My sweet friend Jane in the UK writes the marvelous blog The Witty Ways of a Wayward Wife. She is TOO funny and totally worth checking out.

At any rate, you will hear more about Jane and what a good friend she truly is in a future post. In the meantime, in her post on Sunday, she tagged me.

I haven’t been tagged in a while and I have always had mixed feelings about it. It can be fun. And I don't want to seem churlish by not participating. But there are always so many rules! And they are always scary and confusing and I don't always understand what they mean, like this:

1) You MUST tag 759 million fellow bloggers.
2) You MUST redirect back to their RSS and TBS and DVD and PCP. And their BVD’s too.
3) If you disobey these rules, your blog will disappear forever and you will become a blogging pariah because in your ignorance you don’t deserve to blog, write or, indeed, live.
4) Might as well give up now, it is clear you are doomed.

But Jane, bless her heart says we can throw away the rules if we want!! Hooray!! I will still stick to a modified set of guidelines, I’m an Episcopalian, not an anarchist. But I will keep them simple.

First here are my answers to the tag questions:

1) If you could be any historical or current character who would you be?

I would love to visit a historical period, like the 1930’s New York City, but I would want to be myself, not someone else.

If I HAD to pick someone else it would be umm…umm…umm… I know! Martha Gellhorn, the journalist. She got to do it all and, for a little while, got to do it all with Hemingway, too. Although I might pass on the 89, almost blind, suicide part at the end. At that point I would switch to become someone else. Hey, if you have magic powers, might as well take advantage of them.

2) Name an interesting fact about yourself.

The most interesting thing about me is there is absolutely nothing interesting about me. lol

I guess the fact that I have a lot of education in a lot of different subjects could be interesting. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, I’m a licensed nurse, a certified Childbirth Educator and I have a Master’s degree in Communication. That is 20 years of school. Yet I still can’t find a job. ha ha ha ha ha ha (that is hysterical, ironic laughter)

3) If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would you change?

Honestly, I would keep a better eye on Cain and Abel than Eve did. Who knows what the world would be like today if those boys had gotten along!

4) What character traits annoy you?

I’m assuming these are character traits in others. None of mine annoy me, whereas other people irk the piss out of me. Such as, people who are know-it-alls. I hate it when someone knows thinks they know more than me.

And people who are hypochondriacs. That drives me straight up the wall! I know so many strong, wonderful people who are sick and would give anything to be healthy. So to hear anyone whine about something minor or non-existent makes me want to slap them into gratitude for their health. Or just slap them, period. I think I might enjoy that. And not in a pervy way, either, so get your mind out of the gutter.

5) Name one thing that you would change in yourself.

Jane and I clearly have the same level of non-existent self esteem –what wouldn’t I change?! I think the only good feature I have is my bum too. Me and Jane, a pair of proud bottoms.

My right earlobe is ok as well. Everything else is negotiable.

6) What do you consider your biggest achievement?

I am 56, single, half blind, fat, unemployed, depressed and can no longer walk without assistance. No contest: my biggest achievement is getting out of bed every morning. Wait…maybe my biggest achievement is not lying down on the railroad tracks? Although, to do that I would still have to get out of bed. So, nope, it definitely is getting out of bed every morning.

TA DA! There you have it. Now my tag-ees and I just have to follow the ultra simple rules:

Rule 1 - No Tag-Backs (Surely you have other friends?!?! Besides, I couldn’t do this again so soon without heavy sedation. Ack, the rules, the rules!!!)

Rule 2 - You must tag a further 8 bloggers (“Or however many you want to says Mrs T making up her own rules as she goes...” I LOVE this part, a direct quote from Jane. However many I want. YESSS!)

Rule 3 - You must answer the questions. (Easy peasey. The questions are all about YOU! Does anyone have a more favorite subject?!?)

Rule 4 - You must have a link back to the people who tagged you. (Ok, even I know how to do this, see intro with link back to Jane.)

I have chosen to tag:

Margaret: Nanny Goats in Panties
Nicky: We Work for Cheese
Kathy: The Junk Drawer
Cardiogirl: Cardiogirl: 19% body fat 100% fun
Jen: Redhead Ranting
Pierre: Pierre’s Lab

Thanks everyone!  Have fun!

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Farewell, Mr. Handsome

Ten years ago my daughter struggled with picking out a name for our new grey kitten. She couldn’t decide between Sparky and Pickles. So our poor little new family member got stuck with Spickles. I maintain his name was actually Edward, because he deserved something with more dignity. But I mostly called him Mr. Handsome or My Sweet Boy, because he was both of those things.

He was an indoor cat, we live on a busy, busy road. But he and our other cat were always angling to get out. He shot out the back door like a rocket yesterday, as he has done before, never venturing farther than the yard. But this time he didn’t come home. My neighbor called me this morning. Mr. Spickles was lying in front of his house. He apparently had been hit by a car.

My heart is aching. He was gentle and affectionate and would climb on me and cling like a baby if he wanted some cuddling. If you rolled up a piece of crackly paper he would gleefully bat it all over the place. He loved to play with our Corgi (read about her here), they would chase each other back and forth through the length of the house. It added a zoo-like atmosphere at times, but was hilarious to watch. By the time Bella the Maniac Shih Tzu came along I think he just wasn’t up to her shenanigans. Or maybe he simply missed his old friend. At any rate, he definitely was slowing down.

I am so grateful to my neighbor and his friends. So kind and compassionate, they gently placed him in a box for me and carried him back to the house. If they hadn’t called, I don’t know when I would have found him. Their thoughtfulness eased the blow a little.

We will bury him behind the garage, next to Corrie, his racing cohort. Goodbye, Mr. Handsome, my sweet boy. Thank you for ten years of unconditional love.

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