Thanksgiving Eve, 2015

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Dear Friends,

These past few weeks have been some of the most difficult ones for me in a long time. Faced with almost being unable to walk at night without my leg braces, I have been contemplating going into assisted living.

This is a picture of my beloved Frank. He is the love of my life, my best friend, my teammate in life. He and I talked and talked about my situation, and have come up with a few solutions. I thought that this would be my last holidays at home. I thought I would have to leave my love. I can’t predict the future of my disability, but it is progressive.

I know that I must live in the moment, in the present. As much as I fear the future, I have the love and support of Frank and my sons and daughter-in-laws, my two sisters and my brother. When I live in the past I am unhappy. When I project to the future, I am unhappy. But when I live in the present, I feel the bountiful love and beauty that is my life.

I live in a gorgeous apartment out of which I can see the sunshine on the sheer granite cliff across the way dotted by huge oak trees. I have seen deer, owls, and hawks. A fox walking across the lawn in front of our patio door bode a good omen the night before our wedding last year. And the hummingbirds courted me all Summer long.

This is a special Thanksgiving for me. I can no longer cook a meal, but a neighborhood restaurant is providing us with a turkey dinner, delivered by volunteers. We are having two of my sons, and a daughter-in-law for dessert after they have their meal at their father’s. It will be a loving and fun time, full of smiles and laughter. And I will cherish each moment, knowing that one day in the future I will be in an institution.

I’m writing to encourage each and every one of you, whether you are alone on this holiday or surrounded by friends and loved ones, to cherish the moment. Live in the now that is your life, a gift to you only. It is a gift to do with as you please, to make choices, to rejoice in, to grow. Join with me in my joy of the love and the beauty that is this universe and natural world we live in.

There was a meme running around Facebook recently. It said something like, “We live on a blue planet revolving around a ball of fire in an endless universe, and you don’t believe in miracles?”

I’m not religious, but I am very spiritual. I do believe in miracles because I am one. I’ll write more about why this is another time. Just let it suffice to know that we are all miracles, and the answer to our prayers lie within.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, 2015, I am home. I am loved. I feel the gratitude deep within my heart for all of the blessings in my life. None of us can predict the future, but we all have the present moment to live.

And I am still walking.

With that, I’ll say,

Love,

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

Prose – Life’s Hourly Challenge

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I spent thirty-two years alone.

Sometimes I wonder why, but usually I answer the question with an answer understandable to me. And maybe to others.

I am a writer. I was writing for thirty-two years. It’s true. But there’s more to it than that. There’s more because I’m also a thinker. I needed the silence of my home to think through the demons of my psyche, to untangle my enmeshed past from my present to provide any future I had a promise of happiness. I wasn’t unhappy being alone, I was working hard. I was enjoying the nature I am so in tune with. I was on my patio writing poetry. And thinking.

I still feel the texture of the paper, and the pen in my hand. I see the swirls of half and half in my hot coffee in my morning reverie. I see the nasturtium so full of the orange and yellow they burst out in the pots I had on iron stands. The green of the lawn was as if I was seeing it through a photographic filter, brilliant and lush. My moments of writing were an epiphany and a godsend of nourishment for my soul.

I’m writing in the past tense. I haven’t been out on the patio in the beauty of the nature which is there, nor have I been writing poetry. I am a writer, but I am not writing.

Life gives us an hourly challenge in choices. Over the years alone, I set priorities in place. Perhaps surprisingly, people had always come first, and still do.

One day, I simply decided I wanted and needed to be with a man who would love me, and love being cherished. It wasn’t out of loneliness, but I was missing something I had never had. An intimate equal in all ways. It happened for me; the details aren’t important. What is important are my priorities. I’m not loving instead of writing. I will write again. Instead, my thoughts are with him and a challenge he is facing. I am with him, but we all have independent challenges.

I only hope I can be enough of a support to lighten his burden of worry and take care of him. It’s a simple hope and wish.

This is my hourly challenge.

Prose – The Day for Not Writing Poetry

I don’t know what made today so glorious. Was it sitting in the sunshine on my patio, the sky like an old aggie with the clouds making swirls around the iridescent blue? Was it the lime green of the new growth on the evergreens in contrast with forest green of last winter’s needles? It may have been. It may have been the chipmunk I watched retrieving nuts and berries from a favorite hiding place in the stone wall.

I hand tilled the small strap of garden which I have never used before and planted Sweet Williams seeds there that I had bought; four packs for a dollar. I planted Bleeding Heart seeds in the Portuguese pot, glazed green on the outside that sits on an iron stand; one of two that I bought years ago. The other pot is cobalt blue, and waiting for Nasturtium seeds. The early light hit my retinas just right, feeding me brilliance. Planting the seeds made me feel like I was about to give birth, and hopefully, the evidence will show it, in six to ten days with small sprouts.

I brought my coffee and journal out to the small wrought iron table and chairs, and thought I would write a poem about the whale watch last Summer. But this morning in particular, I was full of the sense of living more than thinking, and it was my choice just to be human and feel, see, hear, smell, and love life. I didn’t want to write about it, in fact, in that state I couldn’t. It wasn’t a time for words.

Poem – The Staghorn Fern, Father’s Day

Poem - The Staghorn Fern, Father's Day

The Staghorn Fern – Father’s Day

You two worked in unison
in everything you did.
So much so that you kept
alive the scraggly Stagorn Fern
by your love, and refuse, too.

Dad, you lovingly hooked it to
the palm tree in a wire basket;
Mom fed it banana peels.
Together you created a mammoth
living thing, this incredible
Staghorn Fern.
Love, air, and even waste creates all.

Now it’s grown over the basket
and threatens to fall from the tree.
But it’s as steadfast as your
love for each other,
the love that created me.