Crema

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

No Pushing; Stop Pulling March 8, 2016

 

Calvin is nine in dog years, translated to human time – he is about 52ish.  Maybe because he lived on a leash in hot Florida for the last three years, maybe because he is older and not as strong anymore, he wiped out in the MI winter snow.  Result:  torn miniscus or ACL.  Either way, he stopped using that leg for a while.  Thanks to a wise and conservative vet, Calvin is being given time, lots of time, as much time as he needs to heal.  There was an initial prescription for some medicine to reduce the swelling and give initial pain relief.  He also got daily chews to support joint health and encourage joint strength.  I advocated for the continuance of walking this 80 pound lab for his mental health.  The vet agreed but said “no more freedom.”  He is leash restricted.  No zooming around until the healing is complete.

For nine dog years I’ve walked with Calvin.  He is pretty good though not stellar at staying right beside me.  He would prefer to be in front with a bit of strain encouraging me to walk faster.  Not now.  His brisk jog lasts  only a half mile if that.  The rest of his walk is s..l..o..w.  If you would meet Calvin for the first or fifty first time today, you would not see his internal injury on his outer body.    So you would question his limp or hesitation to go up the stairs or clearly painful struggle to lay down.    Its been over six weeks since the wipe out.  And actually, he wiped out once which led to a limp, but the second wipeout a week later took the injury to a more serious level.   When we walk, he does not want to be pulled.  Nor does it help at all to push him to a faster pace.  He is still on the DL.  Pet owners – do you get it?

I get it in human years, in human pain, in human experience of having part of me injured.  But its not on the outside where everyone can see.  In fact, I am trying to keep the outside intact so I can keep interacting with life that I love – the relationship with my husband/best friend; relationships with family, long time friends, new friends in the making; work; play; volunteering; errands; keeping my house and clothes clean; exercising; walking Calvin.  It has been a compact six months of hard – loss, old wounds re-opened, previous emotions of significant loss re-opened, moving, change, more moving, more loss, and all kinds of unfamiliar, new, learning.  It is intense and this most recent loss has wiped me out.   NO PITY PLEASE.  The reason I am sharing this is NOT for the sake of personal condolence.  It is to give a voice to people you know, that may not be able to say, “I’m wiped out.  There is hurting places on the inside you can’t see.  I need time to heal, and it’s not something that can be rushed.”

You who’ve been there, or are there – do you get it?

People who are reading this, look around you at the those you know and interact with.  There might be one or more who is like Calvin, like me right now.  Please, no pushing.  Don’t pull us.  It won’t help the healing for you to try to speed us up or tell us to “keep our chin up”, or say to someone else, “It’s been long enough.  They need to move on now.”  Everyone is unique and what is going on inside might be more complex than you understand, than even they understand.  So how they heal and the time it takes will be unique.  Think about the internally injured person right now.  Take a deep breath.  Another one.  Let go of your need to have them get over it and get better already.  If you can’t, you would love them best by giving them space from you and your need.    If you can, replace the pushing with hugging.  Drop the rope you are trying to pull them with and extend an invitation to have a beer, or a wine and cheese, or ice-cream or go to a funny play. Someone unexpectedly extended the invitation to really listen yesterday.  Those kindnesses are loving and helpful.  But be ready to hand out the rain-check graciously if they can’t say yes this time.   Keep on living your life and let them live into theirs even if it makes you uncomfortable.  Even if it takes a while for them to be like their old self.

I read these words today; words of a person who was overwhelmed by troubles:  “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.”   This was a statement made to God by a man named David.  (Ps 56).  It struck me that I know God cancels my sin, but then goes and collects my tears.  I wonder what he does with them.  Maybe he taps people on the shoulder, or knocks them on the head and sends them out to love the hurting.  Sometimes He does something Greater and floods the hurting with Peace and Comfort that is more profound than people can offer.  I know this personally too.

And one last thing – if you are the one with the hurt who is pushing and pulling on your old self to pull itself up by its proverbial boot straps, I grant you permission to let the old self off the hook for what it cannot possibly accomplish.  There is work for grief to do.  Let it do its job and have its way.  For if it completes the unique task it has, the old self will return whole and changed and equipped with compassion it did not previously have.  It is worth the wait.

I’m eager to walk briskly with Calvin again.   Not just because his leg will be better, but because my heart will be too.  For now, slow is just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

From The Heart of an Elder and the Younger February 29, 2016

Filed under: Authenticity,Cancer,Grief,Loss,Wisdom — lauradegroot @ 10:47 pm
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My dad died.  Andy Ploegstra was born Groundhogs day 1938.  He told that to his oncology nurses each time he came for a chemotherapy treatment.  He wanted them to know when Groundhogs day was; know it came on the same day every year.  He wanted to add humor, a conversation in the midst of being treated for pancreatic/liver cancer, the kind and the stage that would predictably take his life in a few weeks to months.  It didn’t.  He had many many months instead.  Thank you Chemo – for time, for more conversations, for the final gifts my dad had time to give.   He died February 17th, 2016.

Some will understand the arrangements, travel, details, crowds of people who come together for the intense mourning and honoring.  If you know are in the know about that, you are also aware of the mass of people who show up to help that all happen.  Some of those people you don’t even know. If you are remembering your own recent or not so recent story, I know you are also acquainted with grief.

I am sorry for your loss.  Be thankful for your tears, even if they are in your eyes, on your face now because of your dad, your mom, your sweet child, your grandmother, aunt, grandfather, worlds greatest uncle, the friend who blessed your life, the co-worker, neighbor, husband or wife you can’t still hardly breathe without some days.

Right before I left for those necessary days of rituals and closure an elder man shared a sacred story.  On the retelling of this story one evening a  younger man – my 18-year-old nephew – spoke a sacred statement in response to the story.    It’s profoundly true.  The two stories were gifts to me so I shared them at my dad’s memorial service.  I will share them here for all of you whose somebody has died too.

The elder:  “May I have  two minutes of your time before you leave?”

Me:  “Yes of course.”

The elder with his firm hand on my shoulder:  “I am so sorry for the loss of your father.  Based on the stories you told, he sounds like a great guy and you two had a special relationship.  I really am sorry for you.  But…I am jealous of your grief.  My dad was a drunk, not a mean or sloppy drunk….but a drunk and for the last ten years of  his life he got drunker.  When I put him in the grave, there were no tears, there was no grief.  So, I am sorry for your loss, but jealous of your tears.”

Days later in the retelling to some family, the response was mostly ‘wow’ or wordless.  Until the younger man said this:  “Well that only makes sense.  Grief is a byproduct of love.”

Dad, thank you, thank you for my tears, for my grief.  Its big.

 

Day 30: Food Love Stories November 7, 2013

Three Food Love Stories

Key Lime Love

When I turned 40 (yesterday…not really, a few yesteryears ago) my hubby threw me a surprise party.  He planned it via email in one week and no one blew it.  A handmade card from the girls gifted me with “go out with dad and we will stay home alone and pay for your dinner.”  My sweet near 12 year olds offered the gift of bravery and we took them up on it.  JR paid for dinner.  There were 2 calls during dinner which JR took,  passing on the updates from the brave ones.  Of course, they were in on the whole thing.

We pulled in the garage, I opened the door into the kitchen and in 2.5 seconds all of this happened:

  • I noticed the room was pitch black
  • The dog didn’t come to the door
  • The girls would NEVER have all the lights off
  • There was the silhouette of a very tall man dressed in all dark clothing
  • I panicked
  • The lights went on
  • 40 people I love shouted surprise
  • I fell in the doorway.

Horrific fear and delightful surprise slammed into each other.  The next 10 seconds all of this happened:

  • I saw my BFF  sitting on my kitchen stool
  • I went to her and started crying
  • I sobbed, “I LOVE SURPRISES”
  • She laughed and said, “I know you do”
  • I turned and saw all the people and couldn’t say anything
  • Then I saw the table full of everything Key Lime you can think of
  • I indignantly said to my hubby – who pulled off this wonderful surprise,  “Why did you let me order key lime pie at the restaurant?”

He said he didn’t want to blow the surprise over dessert!  It is the best gift he’s ever given me.

Hand Me Downs

When reorganizing my file drawer after moving into our little apartment here, I came across this envelope from my Grandma Rozie (Mother Mary’s mom).  Here’s what was inside:

  • One 4×6 card with a recipe for Never Fail Tomato Soup.  It has a swirly line under the title and this comment:  From Pella’s Choicest Cooking Recipes, green book.
  • “Leanne’s recipe – Delicious” on a Ciba Seeds note page with a recipe for something that has strawberries, yogurt, marshmallows in it and she took it for a potluck in R.Rapids Health Centre
  • 6 newspaper cut outs with recipes for Three Bean Salad, Rhubarb Blueberry Jam, Crock pot Barbecued Roast Beef, Sumi Salad, Creamy Rice Pudding, and Good Moist Coffee Cake
  • A Mutual Telephone Company  ‘tear off and remit with payment’ portion of the bill with a recipe for Penuche frosting on the back.
  • And a newspaper poem.  I’ll just share these few lines:

“All angels don’t have silver wings, Or long gossamer robes of white, Nor do they have haloes,  Of gold that glow both day and night.                                                                       There are those in polyester,  Who hasten to a sick friends’ bed, With love, a bowl of chick soup, And loaf of homemade bread.” 

Foodie language handed down through generations found in an envelope.  That explains a few things I love.

Crunchy Chili and Hard Tack

Michigan in the fall is spectacular.  They have colors there I’ve never seen anywhere else.  Michigan has two of the best things in my life.  1Pyc565026517m

I was just there in soup season, in my sweet spot.  Friday pizza birthday party night was a kitchen that slowly filled up with college students.  They came to celebrate,  meet and be met, and take part in dinner preparation.  I stood in the center of  kneading bread, chopping veggies, grating cheese and thinking, ‘life doesn’t get much better than this for me.’  I laughed when the girls pulled their dough covered hands out of the bowls asking why ‘hers looks different from mine’ and I remembered the missing 1/2 cup of water.  I thankfully handed the many blocks of mozzarella to ‘i want to do something’ helpers.  A meaningful conversation happened by the sink as one shared a piece of her life and learnings so kindly with me.   When it was time for assembly the volume increased around what would go on first, last, on half  or the whole thing.  Evenutally we ate the pizza creations, opened birthday gifts, shared life stories.

A day later, JR and I arrived at the house loaded with groceries once again and started some beans to soak overnight and prepare ingredients for chili the next day.  Prior to church Sunday, we threw ingredients in 2 crockpots and turned them on high.  What smelled good when we returned for lunch turned out to be chili with hard beans.  I took out a pot and poured one crockpot full into it and boiled away.  Even after 2 hours in the crock pot and an hour on the stove the beans were not very done.  Turns out that crunchy chili went well with the missing baking powder cornbread (aka: hard tack).  Yet, this less than perfect food didn’t take away anything from the joy of sitting around the table with my family and their community of delightful friends.   

Getting the food, making the food, eating the food…this is the love language I speak.

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Day 29: Good Things in Stinky Cans November 6, 2013

Final Button 3Part of  today’s post is another repeat from 4 years ago, but it applies to this day, this moment and I needed the reminder. It is more about cat food than people food.

When we moved to SoFL we knew there would be surprises.   We did not expect them to come in the form of real estate.  I know that in the big scheme of life this is minor and momentary, but JR reminded me that I don’t have to deny that it’s discouraging.  Closing on the little townhouse by the sea was set for tomorrow.  That’s not happening.  “Temporary setback;  a minor hiccup; an unfortunate delay” are the sentences I read from realtors and mortgage brokers today.  Hopefully that is true.  Today though, the emotional pot got all stirred up and it just smells stinky.  I will therefore share this earlier post as it was helpful to me.  And when, yes WHEN something good happens, I will report that too.

I will also provide pictures of Pekoe this time.  She is good for a laugh if anyone out there needs that today besides me!

Pekoe is our cross-eyed cat.  She is also cross-bred Siamese & Russian Blue which makes for a super soft, significantly shedding cat coat.  She only likes canned cat food.  She would rather starve than eat that crunchy stuff.  Have you ever smelled a can of cat food?  Stinky!  Pekoe loves it, lives on it. 

Yesterday, I was opening a can of tuna for lunch and started laughing at the realization I too eat stinky food from a can.  A tuna sandwich is a good thing, but the smell of it strongly resembles cat food. 

There are moments in my days, days in my months, seasons in my years that have really stunk.  Circumstances with loss; situations of change; episodes of aggravation;   happenings of hard times; matters of adversity;  scenes of stress and strain; conditions of complication; occasions of anxiety; cases of crisis.  I do not live for them. I do not love them.     

I have found good things in all these stinky cans.  Although the discovery of good isn’t always immediate, it’s always there.   I am often slow to embrace the gifts that are found in the seasons, months, days of what seems repulsive and rotten. I want simplicity and strength.   I need comfort and kindness & encouragement.  I want peace and contentment.  I crave perspective and perseverance and progress.  I hope for wholeness.  These are what I love, what I live on. 

Maybe Pekoe has a cross-sense of smell.  Maybe she knows that the great things in life don’t always smell like it. 

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Day 28: Hearing His Voice November 5, 2013

Final Button 3There are several places I can hear the Originator, Author, Creator.  He speaks the perfect Love Language,  sometimes in conviction, sometimes with clarity, so often summoning me to trust without understanding.  I’m learning to pay attention to His Voice, especially in these places:  ironing space, cooking space, & walking the dog places.  My heart ears are more tuned in, less distracted.  So it is with awe and wonder I receive thoughts from my daughter on baking bread and conflict.  I believe she too is hearing His Voice as she learns the love language of food.

She gave me permission to share.

“Today, baking bread reminds me of conflict.  You see, baking bread takes time. So does conflict. It isn’t something that you can plan into your schedule, or check off of your to-do list. Conflict is often a lengthy process. It is crucial to understand that time spent on resolving conflict is valuable and necessary. Time also allows healing.  It allows those engaged in conflict to come to a new place of understanding. 

You have to stick your hands in the dough and knead it until your forearms are sore. Conflict is the same way:  it requires hard work,  is not “hands-off” or something that one person can back out of.  If they do, the level of conflict might increase, or the friendship could end.  Dough sticks on your hands, fingers, fingernails. Even if you wash it off, remnants remain and crust over until you scratch them off.  Stickiness is also a factor of conflict.  It sticks on your mind, your spirit, your heart.   Sometimes, it does leave small scars that you “scratch” off.  Scars may remind you of the friendship that had to end, or the conflict that improved the friendship.

Baking bread requires multiple tries, and most of the time, much attention to detail. You normally don’t get it right the first time. Or the second. By time five, maybe you have begun to get a handle on things.  During the first (second, third, fourth, fifth) time that you are baking bread, it takes laughter and a great sense of humor to realize that you misread the recipe, and didn’t add enough water to the mix. Once you realize you have misread the recipe, you call your grandma and ask her for help. She gives you wisdom that should have been obvious in the current situation, but clearly that wisdom hadn’t dawned on you. You follow her directions (even when the bread seems hopeless and dry as play-doh) and find that there is hope for the bread (even if it is a little chunky on the inside).   Friendships often need multiple tries.   No one understands friendship or executes it perfectly at any point in life. Laughter is a key ingredient and is always welcome in friendship, and can be used with discretion during times of conflict.  In the midst of conflict, calling a wiser friend, parent, sibling or relative can give perspective, wisdom, joy, and reassurance.

Bread baking is messy.  There may times during the baking process that you need someone to pull up your sleeves and tell you how much flour you have on your sweatshirt. Similarly, friends involved in conflict need to confess their own failures, and express what the other friend did that hurt them.  

Baking bread requires space and creativity & time to rest.   Once you get through the process of mixing the ingredients, you have to let it sit.  And you wait. When the time comes, you punch it down and then let it rise all over again.  Friends must realize that giving each other space during a time of conflict is vital. Space allows for rest, reflection, perspective.  Issues that initiated conflict need time to “sit,” so that they are not blown out of proportion. Sometimes, the issues need re-assessment, or punching down. This re-assessment can allow friends to widen their perspectives, and understand the truth of the issues, not what was assumed.

 Finally, you bake that dough and something beautiful comes from it (hopefully).  You may realize the process is just as memorable as the product.  One of the best parts of friendship is resolving conflict.  Friends may find that conflict helped them to grow as people and as friends.  That’s beautiful.”

 

Here are some pictures of Lauren and a really good friend Scotch, who worked through a lot of conflict.  The results of that friendship…Absolutely Beautiful.

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Day 26: Interview With Mother Mary November 3, 2013

At the beginning of this writing project, I knew I would interview my mother.  It may have been the best 2 hours of my whole week.  And this is how she began:

When I think of food – it wakes up everything in me – wakes up sight, smell, taste; it delights all my senses.”

We set a day and time for the interview.  It was easy to get her sitting down as she is healing from her bionic hip replacement.  She had prepared some thoughts prior to my questions, observations that were news even to me.  Here was the first:

“I love potlucks.  I look at that at those long tables, full of food, realizing I only have room for a small amount of it on my plate.  I think of the first one at this church (in Minnesota) over 20 years ago.  I  couldn’t believe my eyes…there was no color on the table.  Not a green salad in sight, maybe green jello but I doubt it because they only use red or orange.  The food was pretty plain – white, lots of hot dish, but what there was…Rice pudding, it was so delicious.  There were  3 or 4 varieties of that.   People were not as conscious about eating healthy then.  It is different now.  “

Q:  What are your favorite foods? 

A:  Soup because it’s fall. Anything with apples, because its fall;  pie, crisp, baked apples.  Homemade bread..Homemade Jam… Good roast with mashed potatoes and veggies…Salads with lots of interesting things on top.  I prefer to make my own dressing.  I love a good casserole, which probably  explains why I like  potlucks.  I don’t make them often anymore.  Cornbread and baked beans”

Q: Why did you make us breakfast every morning

A:  “Because you kids needed breakfast.  You needed food to think.  In my mind it’s part of being a good mother, having made sure my kids had a good breakfast.”

It turns our she didn’t even eat it herself.  She rotated the following:  boiled eggs, (jeff would eat the yolks and Julia would eat the whites); muffins, french toast, pancakes, rice n raisins, bread pudding, toast fingers, egg sandwiches.  I remember high school final exam week, she would insist I eat breakfast though I wasn’t hungry that early in the morning.  MM ran through a list of ideas until she found one thing I agreed to:  cheese burgers in the electric skillet – between bread or a bun rubbed through the pan burger bits/grease.  Mmmmmm.

Sunday mornings catered to my dad’s favorite:  Homemade dough tea ring or store-bought Danish with jelly or cream cheese filling and scrambled eggs.  What you need to know is that my mother was the church organist.  We had that meal before church, yet 5 kids and one dad all showed up to church on time (she was early to warm up), hair done, dressed up.

She didn’t know the answer to the question:  How did you do that?

A few years ago my mom wrote and published a cookbook.  It was many years between the idea and the finished product.  I admire her and thank her for that accomplishment.  The book gets a lot of use in my kitchen.   Of course, I wanted to print that story.

Q: Why did you write the Cookie Book?

A:  “Because of dad’s great love for cookies.  Also because you kids and your families and I love great cookies too.  I also did it to leave a sign of love and testimony for my kids and grandkids.  Dad’s favorite cookie  is the first recipe in the book.”

T1 and T2 nicknamed my father Mr. Wonderful.   I must insert here that one of the ways my mom speaks food love language, is to leave a container of cookies for Mr. Wonderful when she goes away.  During December she loved a lot more than just dad with her cookies.  There was a stack of containers in the garage all month-long.  (winter in South Dakota means the garage is the same temp as your freezer).  Each had a different type of cookie, candy, or bar that was made only that time of year.  And gallon buckets of homemade chex mix.  Mother Mary would pull out a sample platter anytime someone came over.  I and my siblings went out and snuck out there all month-long to get a thing or two for tea time, night-time, it-sounds-good-now time.

I am craving all those containers right now.   Shoot.

Q:  Why did it take so long to write the Cookie Book?

“I was afraid of the computer; of putting it together; the thought of it all.  It was an overwhelming task.  It finally happened because of Julia (my sister who passed away 2 years ago).  Julia had medical appointments in the city, so I took the computer along and typed while I was waiting for her.  The first time, I only typed one recipe.   There was a young man waiting for his girlfriend, I asked if he knew about computers.  That kid was all over me.  He sat at my elbow, walked me through my questions and beyond.  He was so excited about computers.  I  bought him lunch as a sign of thanks.  He told me that he was looking for work while waiting to go back to school.  I gave him this idea:  give classes for older women who don’t know how to use computers because  you are so good and know how to explain it.”

The young man got her connected to the internet and off she went.   Pretty soon she was ‘whippin them out pretty good.’  Most of the typing happened at Julia’s appointments.

Hannah (the gem my brother John married), may not think she did that much but MM adamantly said, “I could NOT have done it without her.”  Mom wanted those recipes to be written perfectly  before she sent it to Hannah.  Hannah is responsible for all that happened when the recipes were handed over.  Thank You Hannah from all of us who love the Cookie Book!

Q:  How did the cookbook get its name?

A:  “There was a book naming contest at John and Hannah’s kitchen table with their 4 children.  The prize: a root beer float.  The kids came up with lists.  The only stipulation:  I didn’t want my name in the title.     At some point Marybell pipes up, ‘..well why don’t you just call it Cookie Book?’ everyone’s eyes lit up and agreed – ‘that’s what you need to call it.’  I added the subtitle because in the process of writing, you all asked for my salads and your favorite recipe requests.”

The full title of the book is:  Cookie Book;  With Salads and Other Good Stuff.  The ONLY negative about this cookbook is its lack of availability.  I’ve encouraged her for years to make them available to people other than family and special friends.  Maybe you could help me convince her by letting me know that you would want the Cookie Book if you could get one.

Q:  Is Food  a Love Language of yours?

A:  “CANT YOU TELL, but you’re way better at it than I am.  I never thought of food as a love language, but I certainly do now.  I never would have put it in those words, but it is so loving.” 

My Dad says Mother Mary’s  family is way to preoccupied with food  He says that half their life revolves around food or talking about it.  Letters were always full of what they had at this gathering and that gathering.  It was a love language in a letter.

I agree Mr Wonderful that a lot o life has and does revolve around food, in mom’s family and in mine too.  But think of how YOU benefit….no whining.   Here’s how she ended the interview:

“I just finished eating my famous Cottage Cheese Sundae.  It’s so good for you and don’t vary it at all.”   

I needed a reminder of how to put it together.  Here’s how:  Cottage Cheese; pineapple; raisins; nuts, drizzle with honey.

Meet Mother Mary and Mr. Wonderful along with a few others…(there is just one tiny picture MM may not appreciate, but you have to see what a good sport she is…)

Best parents ever

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Julia August 1, 2013

Filed under: Authenticity,Grief,Humor,Laughter,Loss,mental health,Sisters,Suffering — lauradegroot @ 4:12 am

“Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday dear Juuuulia.  #40 is a Big One.  Mom thinks you would have chosen Brats or Mexican food for your birthday supper.  I think I would have given you a great new purse.  Jeffy and Sara are visiting with the little ones – we know you would have been so glad they were theer on your special day.  I wonder if Jim would have sent you black roses like he did on my 40th birthday?  I don’t know what type of cake you liked best.   Just thinking about picking out a card for you makes me giggle…                     Love Laura”

(excerpt from a birthday letter, July 30, 2013)

I think its important to celebrate the day people were born.  No life is random.  I’d like to celebrate my sister Julia’s 40th birthday by sharing a little of her best with others.

She could laugh till she snorted.  Which made other people laugh too.  She was one who knew great sadness but also able to laugh with gusto.  It was contagious when she was with my girls.  I am not certain what she did, but she consistently produced snot, toot, and tear producing laughter when Lauren and Lyndsay were in her presence.

Following a women’s retreat she attended, she called me to share what I must do every day to improve loving myself, just the way I was made.  Her instructions were, “Stand in front of the mirror naked, look at yourself, raise your hands in the air and announce loudly, ‘I AM A MASTERPIECE’!”

I tried it.  I still do on occasion. I’m not sure my self-image improves, but it always makes me laugh.  Go ahead and give it a shot – you’ll know just what I mean!

Julia suffered so much for so long.  Yet in some of her toughest  days spent in offices, clinics, units, hospitals,  she engaged with the suffering.  She went where the sad and lonely, bruised and confused were because those parts of herself were not hidden behind masks.  And though she was frightened by parts of life, she was courageous in this place – a place where I, maybe you avoid because we are frightened by it.   She shared  kind words.  She shared the Good News.  She shared herself not out of pity for others, but from a simple authenticity of one who isn’t afraid of others who hurt.  The world needs more authentic people and less wearing masks.

Maybe the best of her best is a legacy she leaves.  It is being gleaned and repeated by our wise mother who loved Julia

the  longest

the best

the most.

Julia did the best she could.

Honestly, how can I, how can anyone do any more or better than that?

Then why do we all try so hard to?

“Julia, I’m sorry for my part in trying to ‘help’ you or push  you to be someone you were not; to do something more or less than what you could do.  It was selfish; I wanted you to get better.  I believe now,  you did do your best.  You were the very best Julia you could be.  I so admire that about you, though wish I had realized it sooner.   I will try to head in that direction too.  It may take a few more trips to the mirror naked,  and taking off a mask or two, but I hope I can do it as well as you did.  Way To Go SISTER!

Happy Birthday Jules.

Love Laura”

Julia left earth, circled by family song, story, prayer, and love and moved into her Mansion –  a perfect place prepared just for her on October 15, 2011.

 

 
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wa·ter·shed (noun) 1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. 2. an event or period marking a turning point, a change of course.

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