Still Grateful

“What other time of the year is as magical as this?”  —A Wish for Christmas, Hallmark Christmas Movie

I truly believe that if I work at it, I can make every day this magical.  We are home from Dad’s,  and I am still on the emotional high that comes from hanging with my elders and learning wonderful things about life. I mean, a woman who has lived over eighty-eight years has seen a lot and has some stories to tell, right? You’d better believe it! I could ‘sit at her feet’ forever. The thing is, this time, I think I felt more ‘adult’ than I ever have in their presence. And yes, I know I am a grown a$$ed woman. But still.

Auntie entered my bedroom this morning ready to go. She asked, “Where is Electric?” LOL I knew immediately that she was referring to my daughter who talks and moves at lightning speed and rarely seems to stop doing either. She was born that way, a strong-willed little dynamo. In fact, I think I will call her that from now on. Anyway, Auntie was asking because she wanted to talk to her. She asked me instead if she needed to pay a separate gratuity, or if the services came with the room. It seems that Electric had taken out her trash and freshened up her room, and done other little things without being asked. Electric told Auntie later that the only form of payment she would accept would e a hug.  My auntie told me once again that I had done a great job raising my daughter <sniff>, and she called me ‘Bessie Lewis’. Now THAT made me  smile!  Forget smile, that made me all out GRIN! That is my grandmother, her mother’s name. Grandmother was the matriarch of the family, and anyone who knew her knows that being called by her name (meaning you are displaying some of her attributes), is HIGH praise indeed. At least as far as I am concerned. I grinned and said. “Thank you, Auntie, I regard that as the highest of praise! I’m not mad about that at all”, and gave her a wink and a hug, and yes, it made me tear up a little. I mean really. Bessie Lewis! Wow.

My daughter and I always try to leave a place better than when we arrived. I believe I learned that from Grandmother and others, like all of my aunties. The thing is, the more we do and give and listen, the more full and alive we feel.

Because I was born, because YOU were born, because WE were born, I think we ALL can leave this place (earth and life), a MUCH better place than when we arrived. ❤

Family Sunday

Today was another wonderful day with family. It was Sunday, so we all went to church. No, the church did not burst into flames when I entered, lol.  I love spirituality, and the Word, but I am not a huge fan of organized religion. It almost killed me. But, that’s a story for another time.

We had a great time, and the message was timely for me.  The pastor talked about using our gifts, about stepping outside of our comfort zones. She talked about how chaos can happen when you are working outside of your gift. For instance, if you are not a people person, perhaps you should not be an usher, or on the greeting committee and things like that. You should do the thing that you can get lost in, can do for hours and lose all sense of time. The thing that gives you joy. She also talked about how, even though something may be a gift, that does not mean that you don’t need to practice it, to work at it. Take musicians for instance, even musicians that do not read music, and only play by ear must practice their instrument, or use their voice, and learn their craft. That reminded me of doing this daily blog for a month in an effort to hopefully improve my writing craft by getting some practice in. I like practical lessons that can be applied to real life.

We also talked about being thankful, even though ‘Thanksgiving’ is over. We live, we breathe, we see the world, with all her joys and pains, so we should continue to be grateful.

For the Christmas program this year, they are not going to have an actual program, but asked that people bring all types of gifts so they can give them to 100 families in the neighborhood and bring Christmas to some families that may not be able to have it.  Oh joy! I was just telling my aunties yesterday when we were shopping about how I didn’t have any little ones to shop for.  My daughter and I chuckled and said now we can go shopping and get toys and all sorts of things! That is going to be a lot of fun. We will figure out how to get them back to my Dad’s later. And, I think I will look for a fellowship doing something like this closer to home.

This has rekindled my desire to be a part of a community that does for others with no expectation of a return. Before I retired, we used to volunteer at the food bank, and also help out at a soup kitchen. I am excited about the prospect of contacting them to offer my services.

I would say that the holidays have begun, and I have been bitten by that spirit of giving.  There is still a lot of good in this world. I want to be a part of that. ❤

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So much…

Today has been a wonderful day. I am reminded yet again that I have so much to be thankful for. Although it is Black Friday, we did not buy into it. We did go shopping, but not to any of the places that have ridiculous lines and promises of unlikely savings. The thing that I enjoyed most about shopping is that it gave me even more time to interact with my aunties and elders, who are gracious and selfless, shopping for gifts for others.  We have no small children in the family at the moment, but Auntie bought a Thomas the Engine for a little two year old whose name she had drawn, and the other Auntie oohed and ahhed over what earrings she might get for her surprise Santa gift.  Mostly, it was fun just walking about hearing their take on life, on how things had changed, on how much further we have to go, and how they hoped the next few years would not be too much of a setback. It was great listening to their wisdom.

I showed them a picture taken four years of the three of them, my dad and his two sisters, and how they were standing in almost exactly the same spots and positions.

We talked about values, and expectations, about how they were as children, and then as young adults. We talked about our heritage and family tree, which always begins and ends in the United States. We talked about how they had navigated life. We talked about what they used and how they have charted their way through this life so far, and all its trials and triumphs. We talked about the redistribution of ….. weight, lol. Boy, did I learn a lot!  I love these talks. I reminds me of how truly lucky I am, to be born into this family, at this time. We talked about aging, and hat that means for all of us, and what responsibilities and actions we  will take.  My 88 year old Auntie flew in from New York.  We are realizing that there may come a time soon that this will not be an option.

We talked about our beliefs and foundation. We looked at Grandmother’s very old bible, and it reminded me of a song I used to listen to many years ago.  I shared it with them, and, we talked some more. They really liked the song. Tonight, I share it with you, and tomorrow, well, tomorrow it is off to shopping again. ❤

 

Season’s Greeting to all!

For many, today is filled with family, food, fun, and football. Whatever your beliefs, whatever you are doing I hope today is a wonderful day for you!

Season’s Greetings

©2016

Mercedes Lewis

Happy Winter, Happy Spring, Happy Summer, Happy Fall.

Every season has a reason we should celebrate them all.

Each one , its charm, each one, its own reason.

These’s a cause to celebrate, and find joy in each new season.

Winter brings us holidays, both to give and to receive.

Good food, gifts, and family, all are reasons to believe.

Starry nights and warm rain showers hoping new life to bring,

are but two most special happenings that remind us that it’s Spring.

Heat, beaches, pests and sand herald in sweet Summer.

If no water is nearby, it could really be a bummer.

The cooling breeze of autumn as the leaves begin to fall,

reminds us of the sweetness, and the wonder of it all.

So, welcome each season, with its happy, and its sad.

Just remember there’s no season that will ever be all bad.

Celebrate each new season, its course in life to chart.

Make special memories every day and keep them in your heart.

 

Ubuntu

This is the time of year when we focus more on giving thanks, and being aware of the people in our lives that we care about. Not that we don’t think about these things all year long, but there is something about the waning months of the year that just brings it home for us.  We are more aware of our ‘tribes’. 

I have many tribes.  I wear the safety pin. I wear the rainbow. I wear the pink ribbon. I stand in spirit with my native sisters and brothers to proclaim that we need to take care of Mother Earth. I wear the triangle in a circle. I donate time and finances to various organizations. I have multiple family connections that I try to make sure I spend time nurturing. Why do I do these things, for praise, or for something deeper and much more meaningful? I believe it is for reasons that we ourselves cannot even begin explain. We are driven to do things that give us connection and a sense of belonging.

Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “human kindness”. It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness”, and is often translated as “humanity towards others”.  In the Shona language of Zimbabwe it it ‘unhu’. I believe it is what drives all of us to strive for fellowship, understanding, and common ground. It is what, no matter the circumstances, causes us to have faith that a new, better day is always, always on the horizon, but not ever out of reach.

Loosely put, I am because you are, and because you are, I DEFINITELY am. I m ever hopefully that all my tribes will be as one. ❤

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How did they know?

Facebook must have a crystal ball into the future. No? Then how did they come up with the different emoticons for ‘like’ in the nick of time?

It’s like they knew we would need more than one way to express what we were feeling, rather than just clinking ‘like’ and hoping others knew that I meant, ‘I appreciate what you wrote’, rather than agreement or anything else.

I wonder if they are tracking which ‘like’ gets used the most.  I know if they are clocking mine, they will find that of late I have selected the sad, crying faced one more in the last two weeks than any of the others, and more than any other time since they gave us options.

I’m supposed to writing this from my Dad’s house, but today did not go according to plan. We will try again tomorrow. 

I desire to be positive and thankful even though the world is pressing against me. Because of that, I am not sure what to write tonight. So, I will remind myself of this things:

God will not allow more than we are able;

Things will get better;

It is always darkest before the dawn;

This to shall pass, and on and on, and on.

For those who will be spending time with family and taking a break from the internet I say, have a good holiday, be safe, love and enjoy one another.  See you when you return!

And oh yeah, we are all in this together. ❤

together

What did you mean when you said …

I almost got into a facebookument with someone today. That’s an argument with a facebook ‘friend’, and yes, I made up that word.

It would have been so easy to block the person and keep moving, but it was clear that something about the thread on my newsfeed had upset the person. I needed to know what that was, and what or at whom the apparent anger was directed. It was not an easy or simple quest. I engaged the person in a private conversation. I had to dig. I had to ask probing and specific questions. In the end, we were both okay, and I found that what I thought was going on was not what was going on at all. That is the problem with communicating with others in this impersonal way. There are no nuances, no body language, no looking into the eyes to be sure that the message you received was the message intended. We talked about it, I apologized for not understanding, and I let my friend know that I removed the comment because I am certain that many would not understand what the person was trying to convey. He understood, and now I have a new friend, and a better understanding.  I am very glad that I took the time to reach out, not just for me, but for him also. He had asked his higher power(who or whatever that is, it doesn’t matter) to let him meet a new friend today, and to let him be understood! WOW!  What if I had not been compelled to follow through? I’m not saying anything drastic would have happened, but I AM saying that a miracle for both of us would NOT have happened today.

This situation loaned itself to some deep thought on my part. We have been ‘friends’ for some time, but today, we became friends. Does that mean there will not be any more misunderstandings, miscommunications, or even differences of opinion. Of course not! But, now, this person is more to me than a person on a list of ‘friends’. This person is a real, tangible, feeling spirit that I must take care to nurture, or at the very least, as much as is in my power, make sure I do not harm. “Being there’ is not always a physical thing. What a great day! ❤