The Finish Line

Wait. What’s that I see?  Could it be … Is it?  YES. The finish line!  I made it. I’ve endured until the end. Today is the last day of November, and therefore, the last day of NaBloPoMo 2016, and I have arrived.  Thank you to all who have taken the journey with me. 

I won’t stop blogging altogether but I will take a few days off. After all, I DO have a house to move into. Gotta get rid of that hollow sound. 😉

And … in the arena of good news, another announcement,  I now have ISBNs for the print and ebook version of my book! (Okay, there might be a LOT of exclamation points and capital letters in this final blog of the month, LOL.) That means that the book is one step closer to becoming a reality.  Glimpses Of A Fractured Soul is almost a physical entity! I should get some edits, and a print date, and whatever all comes next very soon. Isn’t that exciting!

Today has been a wonderful day. Good news, and Christmas movies. What more could a girl ask?  Okay, I can think of a few things, but that’s beside the point.

Anyway.  Again, I thank you all for taking this journey with me.  I was skeptical about being able to do it, especially in the month of November, what with holidays and travel. But, I was able to stay true to the daily format even while enjoying family. It actually made for a good way to wind down each day. And, this is a great way to end it! Aloha. ❤

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Empty Things Sound Sad

No, I am not making a political statement. Besides, it might be better for them to be empty  than filled with evil.

I did a walk-thru of the house today. What a difference a day makes!  When I looked at the house it was filled with furniture, and pictures, and warmth. You could tell a family lived there that loved each other and valued their heritage. It was lovely. I think I fell in love with the feeling, the ambiance of the house before even looking around. As soon as I stepped into the house it hugged me and called to me. It felt like home. I knew I had to have it. The lady of the house happened to be there, and feel in love with my love for the house. I was so enamored that I took my daughter by later to look at it through adult, un-infatuated eyes, lol.  Thankfully, she fell in love with it too. It was a long process, but I think we finally see the finish line.

Today however, was a much different story. When we entered, the place was empty. Same walls, same paint, same design, but some how the heart was missing. It felt cold, and, well, empty. Every step echoed loudly. It just was not the same. It was a very lonely sound, hollow and sad. It reminded me that some things, and some people may feel hat way. Especially during the holiday season. I’ll be glad when I get into that house and make it warm and full again. I can’t wait. And, maybe I can do the same for someone who feels like that empty house this season. It doesn’t take much. Hold open a door. Smile. Offer a greeting or assistance if they need it. Make eye contact. Be polite. Yep. I can’t wait to be filled up. Overflowing, even. ❤

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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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