Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Sorting Through Memories

 

folder-for-dads-retirement-certificate1.jpg

I’m very close to finishing up with my dad’s room. Today, I finished the closet, except for some shirts. I already donated about 30 pairs of pants, or as my dad would say, trousers. After wrapping several years of receipts and tax records in paper bags and duct tape  and lugging them to the trash, I finally went to reach up to the top closet shelf. There were more tax records to wrap,  a picture of some general or colonel he must have served under, and finally a large padded envelope. What could it be? Something important, I imagined.

Inside the envelope was a thin red book with the Marine Corps emblem. Opening the book, I discovered it was a folder with my dad’s certificate of retirement after 20 years in the Corps and a photos of him with 17 other retirees in khaki uniforms. My dad was clearly the handsomest. But they made a mistake on the date! The certificate says he retired in 1979. But he retired in June of 1969 right after I finished 6th grade. Oh, well.

I carried the red folder in the chair I keep in my dad’s room, my grief chair, where I go to feeling my feelings, and cried. I’m not sure if it was the significance of the retirement certificate or that I hadn’t cried in a while and have been working intensely on this room for a few days. Then Doodle came in, tail wagging and a concerned look in her big brown eyes. She can be a sweet dog sometimes.

I took a breath and decided to talk to my parents:

“I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were alive. All the challenges and struggles you went through. Your strength. Your courage. Your faith. Thank you for passing that on to me. If you can, guide me, help me to pass that on to my children, even though they are grown.”

My parents responded:

You’ve done a good job. We are proud of you. Just keep setting a good example. Love them. Don’t be afraid to tell them, “Jesus loves you.” He does love them, and he loves you, too.

Talking to my parents helped. Their message helped. Crying helped.

My father’s retirement must have been a big deal. Definitely a relief, but maybe a little scary. Like my retirement. If I’d gotten a retirement certificate, I would’ve hung it on the wall. Or at least the refrigerator.

My father is the person who told me when I was 12 years old, “Nothing is impossible.” His words made an impression. But now, I realize that his life made even more of an impression. Even after his 20 years of military service, my parents faced and overcame big challenges. They want me to clarify that they couldn’t have done it without Jesus.

I still have a little more of Dad’s desk to clean out. No telling what I’ll find there. He saved everything. There’s a cigar box full of shoe laces. And I will never have to buy paper clips again. Here are some things I’ve found in and around my dad’s desk. You never know when you might need some carbon paper.

stuff from dads desk

Later I spent a couple of hours making a collage from one of Mom’s old angel calendars. It was an intensely fun diversion. I think the hands are interesting.

Angel Calenar Collage

Tomorrow, I switch gears and get some yellow paint samples for the kitchen!

 


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One-Liner Wednesday: Rescue

“The World Came to the Rescue.”

(A statement halfway into this news video.)

 

Working together with courage, skill, and cooperation we can accomplish the seemingly impossible.  Over 1000 rescue workers, plus volunteers, plus the hopes and prayers of people around the world focused on the boys in the cave came together for a common goal. Imagine what we could do with this kind of focus and cooperation for peace, for the earth, for finding what we can agree on.

 

Cave rescue

I’m sending prayers to the family and friends of Saman Gunan, (also spelled Kunan)  who died while delivering oxygen tanks to the boys and their coach. He will be remembered well.

Sanan Kunan

∞∞∞∞

One-liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more information, please visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/11/one-liner-wednesday-like-a-ghost-caught-on-camera/

one-liner-wednesday-badge-2018-19

 

 


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Hold On (Or Just Be Held)

Ayla holding clams in her hands (2)

 

Sometimes I feel scared about the direction the world seems to be going in. Some days, I see the goodness clearly. I work to support people working for positive change. I try to be the change, to let go of what I can’t change and change the things I can. I tell myself, I’m doing my part.  Other days, I want to pull the covers over my head in the morning and  watch Star Trek bloopers on YouTube in the afternoon.

When it’s hard to let go because worrying is so familiar, when we don’t know what else to do, we can look to the truth that has always been there for us. We can hold on to what is good and let the worries trickle away through our fingers. What is good remains.

 

A Pueblo Indian Prayer

Hold on to what is good,

even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,

even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,

even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,

even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,

even if someday I’ll be gone

away from you.

 

 

“Hold on,” gave me strength in the darkest times of my past. But when I didn’t feel like I could hold on anymore, a power greater than myself carried me, or dragged me, or just held me, until I was ready to continue on the journey that has turned out to be worth all the heartache. Experience leads me to believe we will be okay. Maybe even better than okay.

 

What do you hold on to when you feel scared?


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Time After Time

Song Lyric Sunday

“Time After Time,” was originally recorded by Cyndi Lauper. While I like Cyndi Lauper, I also found this lyric version sung by Pink. It’s the words I want to focus on, so I picked the Pink one.

I love the chorus:

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time

The song came out right around the time I started thinking about having a baby which led me to thinking more about God. I remember watching the Cyndi Lauper video on TV in the 80s and thinking this song could be about God catching me when I fall, or a parent catching a child, being there, time after time.  Of course it can be about any love that’s faithful, and that’s comforting any way you look at it.

“Time After Time,” was written by Rob Hyman, Cyndi Lauper for the album, She’s So Unusual (1983)

You can find the lyrics at:

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/cyndilauper/timeaftertime.html

Thanks to Helen, at Helen’s Words of Life, for hosting Song Lyric Sunday.  You can find more song lyrics about this week’s prompt, seconds/minutes/hours, at the link below.

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2018/06/16/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-6-17-18/

And thanks to NEWEPICAUTHOR f or the idea to use “Time After Time.”


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Waiting for Spring

hydrangea leaves 2
(From my March Newsletter.)
Sitting here in the middle of March with cold wind whipping at the new buds, I wonder if my young hydrangea will freeze tonight? Do I need to cover it? I’m longing to get outside again like I did in the teaser spring a couple weeks ago. March on the Carolina Coast can be delightfully balmy. We can even have a freakishly warm day in January. But now, it’s still very much winter.

One of the good things about getting older is that we know spring will come. The storms of winter can make us stronger and wiser if we’re willing to learn new skills.

Sometimes we cover the tender plants, and sometimes we wait and see. Letting nature take its course can be scary. But waiting has sometimes worked better for me than trying to fix things my way.

I’m still learning to let go and let God work with my grown-up kids. Trying to “help” my kids too much was not always what they needed. At times, helping them was the right thing to do. But there were other times when standing back would help them figure things out for themselves. Now that they are grown, I need to step back more and let God work. It’s not easy. I’m still going to help them. But I’ll remember that even in past winters when early hydrangea leaves froze, the bush didn’t die. It grew new leaves in the spring. Even that summer when my well-meaning husband ran the little hydrangea over with the lawn mower, it came back. It must have deep roots.

I’m not going to let my adult children freeze, starve, or get run over by a lawn mower if I can help it. I’d face a lawn mower for them today, if I thought it would help. But I also know they can and have faced their own lawn mowers, and unlike a hydrangea, they can get out of the way. But I digress.

The point is, sometimes my way of trying to fix things doesn’t help.

Trying to find a husband my way didn’t work in the long run, though it did teach me important lessons about loving myself and setting boundaries. When I gave my soulmate search to God, God seemed to take an awfully long time, but it was only five years. During that time, I got to practice patience. And God did an awesome job!

So, I need to remind myself of how God comes through for us, even if it takes longer then we think it should. I have to remember that God has a plan for my grown-up children.

Is there something you need to turn over to the care of God?
God’s got it covered.
Spring is on the way.

Rose of Sharon with Dew By Ayla

Photo by my daughter, Ayla

 


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Finding, Loving, Trusting Me First

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Before you found me

I had to find me

Deep in the forest,

Singing to the earth.

Healing my heart

One beat at a time.

.

Before you loved me,

I had to love me.

Knowing my worth

Feeling God’s love

Lifting my spirit

On wings of an eagle.

.

Before I trusted you

I had to trust me

Having the courage

To take one more chance

Walking by faith

Into love’s adventure.