Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


26 Comments

My Sisters on the Other Side

Yesterday was the birthday of my older sister, Linda. She’s been gone from this world now for almost ten years. Just a year less than Mom. I don’t remember her being in my life when I was very young, but there are pictures that tell a different story.

Infant joanne w Linda and mom

Linda is holding me as Mom plays with her hair.

Little JoAnne and Linda

I remember those wooden shoes hurt my feet. Maybe Linda is trying to comfort me with her hand on my knee.

She was ten years older than me, technically a step sister, but the father who adopted her when he married my mother was much more of a father than the first one.

Linda got married at 16. We saw her now and then, usually during a crisis, like when her son died, then the  few months we stayed with her and her husband and daughter when Dad was in Vietnam, and later when my younger sister died.

After my divorce, Linda and I talked on the phone more. Her love and acceptance reached all the way from California to the Atlantic coast. She was a welcome comfort during that dark time of my life. I kept saying my daughter and I were going to come visit her, but I didn’t realize how sick Linda was, and that sometimes we don’t have as much time as we think we have. Still, I’m grateful beyond words for her love and I know she is in a good place, probably singing hymns with Dad like they did when my parent’s visited her church.

A few days ago, I had all the loose the old family photos laid out on the table so I could add them to the family history album. That’s when I realized how much Linda cared for me when I was young.  I also studied the photos of my younger sister, Mary Kaye.  It’s one thing to die when you’re old – whatever old is… I’m not so sure anymore – But Mary Kaye was young. It was on her 16th birthday, in March of 1975, that Mary Kaye was killed by a drunk driver.

Mary Kaye was not interested in school. She smoked cigarettes and ran away from home once. But she also volunteered with handicapped children and helped with fundraisers for their group home.

Mary Kaye in candy spiper uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye in her candy striper (volunteer) uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye at bake sale and with Lobo

Left: MK is putting the hamster on Lobo’s head. Right: she’s wearing the smiley face T shirt and volunteering at the bake sale for the  Carobell children’s home.

We were very different in many ways. She was more of a free spirit. I was more serious about school and had bigger plans for saving the world.  We were just starting to get beyond our sibling rivalry when she died. I often wonder what she would be like today. I wish my kids had been able to know her. These were my thoughts when I started sobbing at the table full of old photos. My husband was there to comfort me and suggested I take a break from the photos since I’d been at it for a while. I picked up my journal and went to the couch to write my feelings. A few minutes later, I felt Mary Kaye’s presence. I have not felt her presence much like I have my parents who died more recently, but it was very much the same feeling of intense JOY. No clear words, like my father gives me, but clear and unmistakable JOY.

dandelion sun through trees (3)

This evening, I stopped writing this to go for a walk with David and Doodle. Breathing in the cool air, I reached out to Linda and felt the gentle joy of her spirit. Then lightening flashed in the distant clouds. Maybe that was Mary Kaye.

If you have sisters or brothers, parents or children, beloved family by blood or by choice, still living in this world, treasure the moments you have with them. And also know this, our loved ones who have passed on are alive in spirit and in love on the other side.


4 Comments

Joyful Reunion

The video contained in the following article moved me to tears of joy. It’s about a family of Sudanese refugees separated for four years. You can watch their reunion by clicking the link below. I hope your day is filled with gratitude and joyful moments.

http://www.faithwire.com/2016/11/21/sudanese-man-falls-to-his-knees-in-middle-of-texas-airport-to-praise-god-after-emotional-reunion-with-family/


11 Comments

Inside Out: A Fun Movie About Perseverance….and Faith, and Hope

I don’t go to movies much. But when I saw the trailer for Inside Out, an animated film about feelings, I wanted to go. Then a woman from my support group brought it up and we decided to go see it.

The main character (on the outside) is a young girl named Riley. She has a hard time with her family’s move to California. Having moved at least nine times as the child of a 20 year marine, I could feel Riley’s pain.

The characters on the inside include Riley’s feelings: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, and the ever popular, Joy. Inside Out shows how all our feelings have important roles to play in our lives.

My favorite part begins somewhere in the middle when Joy and Sadness get sucked out of brain headquarters, where decisions are made, and have to find a way back carrying some really important core memories.

On their adventure they encounter the worlds of imagination, long term memory and the dark pit where forgotten memories go. They meet Riley’s imaginary friend, who’s actions give me a theory about why I have no memory of my imaginary friend, Auntie Jane, who my mother said I blamed for my misdeeds.

The only problem I had with the movie, and it’s a minor one for me, was that the happy ending of the traditional family with mom and dad, might be hard for children who come from  non-traditional or single parent families. But then, the film provides a great framework with which to identify and talk about feelings that might arise. I’m probably activating Fear’s cousin, Worry, about this. I’m sorry, Worry, but you need to go away.

Watching Inside Out, I laughed, and I cried, joyfully forgetting I was watching a cartoon. I found Inside Out  to be entertaining, original, and visually intriguing. It’s a fun movie that teaches about perseverance, teamwork and problem solving. Now that I think about it, it’s also about faith and hope, too.

I might even go see it again.

Remember: Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.


13 Comments

Moving from Leftovers to the Joy of Being Alive

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word: consume.

 

I will not be consumed by guilt about the extra calories I’ve consumed over the holidays.

The beguiling sugar monster flirts with me, again. What harm can come of this seemingly innocent pleasure? A piece of pumpkin pie, a cookie slipped from the plate in the frig…..

I know the seductive nature of sweet things, and of spicy leftover lasagna calling me from the the refrigerator, on the shelf above the apple pie which sits temptingly on top of the kale salad that’s getting old.

My mantra was to only consume things that were healthy and good for me, mindfully, one bite at a time, only what I need….

I will not feel guilty for not being perfect.

 

I want to be consumed by the urge to stretch and hike the wooded trails breathing crisp air.

I want to be consumed by the love of painting and writing and singing.

I want to be consumed by my lover’s scent, by his love for me.

I want to be consumed by the hope of the new year!

Consumed by the joy of being alive!

If you’d like to join the fun of Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness prompt and post, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/12/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-december-2714/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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. Have fun!


13 Comments

Pain, Gratitude, and Faith

socs-badge

Here’s my Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post on the prompt: degree/degrees.

The first thing that popped up for me was the degree of pain my Dad and a girl named Lily have been feeling recently. Dad has been having a lot of pain in his back near his ribs. When I asked him how much pain he’s been having on a 1 to 10 scale, he said it ranges from 5 to 8. He’s had this pain for at least two weeks, and after his third visit to the ER Thursday, he finally got some muscle relaxers to go with the other pain meds, and he got some good bedside manner from a lady doctor who explained things, like there’s a lot of calcium around his spine. Sometimes it helps to have a little more information. The thing is, my Dad was a marine for 20 years, and he has a lot of leg pain from war wounds in Korea. He’s had a lot of experience with high level pain, and he doesn’t complain too much, and he’s not normally on addictive pain meds. So I know he was really hurting. Thankfully, the muscle relaxers seem to be helping. He had lots of tests, X-rays, blood work, and scans, and they couldn’t find anything wrong except a lot of calcium around his spine.

The other person is Lily, part of our family who lives far from me. She’s a lively girl approaching adolescence who woke up in the middle of the night yelling with intense head pain. She was taken to the ER and lots of test were run, but, like with Dad, they couldn’t find anything wrong on the tests. But Lily was still having an intense degree of head pain. She’s getting better now, but she’s still very weak after a few days and still vomiting. They think it’s an infection or she had a seizure, but still don’t really know.

Pain can be mysterious and frustrating. The examples above quiet my complaints today about a relatively low degree of back pain. Like at a 2 maybe, at most. Part of being almost 59 and not enough exercise, I guess. I’m thankful it’s something I can do something about and that there are exercises, both physical and mental, that can help in addition to the good ol’ Bengay-type rubs and OTC meds.

I’m thankful that Dad and Lily’s pain is easing, and that I can pray for them. I’m thankful to have a degree of faith that is growing every day. There will be pain. Pain lets us know there is something wrong that needs our attention.

There will also be joy. I hope I always have a high degree of gratitude.

Dang, I’m having a hard time not editing this thing.  It’s a mess.

Gratitude, JoAnne, gratitude.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is inspired by Linda, at http://lindaghill.com/2014/10/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-october-2514/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! 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 right 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. Have fun!