The Chimney Rock Fire


 

 

E VIEW FROM OUR STREETview from our street

For the last week, my neighbors and I have been sitting on the edge of our seats as we watch the surrounding communities being evacuated as a fire rages around us. Since losing our store in the 2003 San Simeon earthquake,  (link below  -I’ve been asked about)

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/a-thing-of-beauty-in-an-unexpectd-place/

I have never looked at people going through a Natural Disaster in quite the same way since that earthquake. Not that I didn’t care, but things like that just seem so far removed  from  your own life. I didn’t truly understand. NOW I do. Before, it all seemed so distant. Now, not so much. Something changes you after experiencing something like that. It is not just strangers going through something on the news. Now, I stop and pray for them and understand. I’d like to think I learned more lessons from that experience; I know at the very least…  I view “things” as just “stuff” a lot more easily since then.
It became clear last night when things got pretty close and I was shaken awake by a very loud, reverse 911 call alerting our area that the neighboring community, where many of our friends reside had just been given their evacuation notice. Even now, it is not clear that we are out of danger. The electricity has gone out a couple of times and that kind of freaks me out because besides the layer of smoke resting on our whole town, I just assumed that our amazing firefighters were getting a handle on things. But have since learned that weather conditions have a lot to do with containment and growth and that it is just unpredictable.

I guess you might say that my bubble popped and I stopped living in lala land and began looking around trying to figure out “IF” we were notified…What would I take? I began taking pictures of things that I might need for insurance purposes and made a mental note of everything sentimental that I would grab. Notes from my dad and my kids, ones from my husband, & my mom. Pictures, important papers,  And then my eyes fell on my Bible. Now days I use an electronic app  as my Bible, and that, not often enough. It is worn and weathered with highlights and underlined verses and something about it comforted me, as I held it for a moment and then placed it inside my “important box.”

Today we still are on stand by but it seems to be moving away from us. We never know until we hear a new report. But I just sat down to take a break and glanced at my Bible and took it with me to read. And realized I’d been missing something so special by not sitting down with that old worn out book.  I flipped through it and God started speaking to me as I read highlighted and underlined verses. It is so crazy how each verse that I’d marked at another time in my life was meant for me to read today…

As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me.    PSALM 56: 16-18 

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.           JAMES 1:12

Jesus knocking

I love how God finds me

right where I am.

whether on solid ground

or on shaky sand

sometimes stepping off the foundation

away from the rock

sometimes ignoring His calling

and  gentle knock

Always so busy

and as

rushed as can be

while He ever so patiently

waits for me.

d. reed

FIRE 2

Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 4; 6-7 

One last thing…. Whatever you may be going through… God is nudging you to remember that HE is just a prayer away.  Praying is like a soft rain after a long drought, it is like falling into your daddy’s arms after a long absence.

 

God Bless you.

Looking Forward


plane in clouds

I have come to the conclusion that I will always need something to look forward to. I was born in Seattle and four years later, my dad was transferred to California, and then Colorado, Missouri and Illinois and then back to California where I grew up in a place called  Palos Verdes. When we moved, my dad promised my mom to always send us “home”. He kept his promise, no matter where we were, every summer, without fail,  we would pack our bags and fly to Seattle. So no matter what, I knew that every summer I had something pretty big to look forward to.

I think that I zeroed in on this particular discovery after my daughter’s wedding. I was so focused on the planning and whatever part I played in the tasks I was given, I didn’t have a lot of time to go to that corner of my mind that is clouded with those things that bring me down. When I was a young mom, I did art shows. I created all year-long and knew that almost half a dozen times a year, I had a place to go. I was a part of a creative group of people who added to my life in ways that I am only just now recognizing.

I have been back in the corporate workforce for over a decade now. (Working for someone else.) My husband has turned my art studio into his office and our indoor office into a guest room slash office that was supposed to be where I was going to write.

Not really the place I had in mind inside my head. But I am there now, writing this. The plan was that I would work part-time and start writing my book. I did write my book. But as I have read and learned, I see the flaws and mistakes in it, and well, at least I have the bones. I know the story. I just need to rewrite it. Easier said then done.

blue house

When I was first married, before kids, I had  the sweetest landlord, Mr. Allen, that was working on the house in front of our apartment. It was an amazing craftsman’s style home and I think that he saw that I loved it as much as he did. Everyday, he would take me on a tour to show me all of the things he’d fixed or installed the day before. Good ole’ Mr. Allen, we were buddies.

We had a little agreement that someday, I would move in there. We even shook on it. But I remember talking to my friend who lived next-door and us agreeing that if he ever finished it, he would probably die. His daughter had a friend that wanted to move in there and so she stepped in and thought she was helping her dad by hiring a carpenter to finish it and sure enough shortly later, he died. I have no doubt that we all have the need to contribute and create and when that seizes, we all seem to falter.

I am not sure if I have a great or profound message here. I guess I just needed to write this out for me. To give myself a kick in the butt so to speak and understand that I am the only one who is in charge here. Regarding my health, both mentally and physically. I can’t wait for anyone to do it for me.  I also know that I am a creative person and I need to create again and look forward to something.

I have not shared my; What I Know For Sure-isms…. for a while so here are a few for those sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for more! (JUST kidding!!!)

  • I must always try to keep myself busy enough so that I don’t pause long enough to allow my mind to wander too far away.
  • Only I can create the version of myself that I want others to see.
  • Success starts when you  believe in yourself.
  • Your own opinion of yourself is what matters first.
  • Telling people your plans does not work as well as showing them.
  • I am my only limit…. people have achieved much more with less.
  • The past is a place of reference, not a place that I need to reside ever again.
  • Sometimes what consumes your mind, can control your life.
  • I can live my life with people but no one can live my life for me.
  • I want to live my life in such a way that someday someone says to me:                        “Because of you I didn’t give up.”

 

 

You Have A Memory On Facebook


I wrote this several years ago when I was going through something that hit me like a Mack Truck. My first husband had recently died and my nest was empty. I was in the process of re-inventing myself and a Friend Request on Facebook literally rocked my world. For almost a year I took a powder. Pouf and I didn’t even know who I was. Once I’d been loyal and honest and felt that I had a decent amount of integrity. And the next, I was falling down a rabbit hole that didn’t have a rope.

Through a lot of work I found my way back but I am not proud of who I became for a while. The Friend request was from someone who’d destroyed my confidence when I was a teenager. The relationship was subtly abusive and hard to describe other than that of a frog sitting in tepid water, who finds himself smack in a pot of boiling water. The getting out and getting over it and the memories almost did me in.

Today I read… YOU HAVE MEMORIES ON FACEBOOK…. It was the post below. I’d written it before too many followed my blog. It was safe. We were all strangers. I am writing a book about my journey. Of abuse, of reconnection, of second chances to say everything you ever wanted to… Like I said, I am not proud of my choices but I don’t regret them because they made me who I am today. Someone who appreciates today and has stopped looking back.

The Post was titled;

YOU CAN’T LOSE SOMETHING YOU NEVER HAD

You remind me of the ocean, the smell of the waves, the scent of summer, of heartache, of endings… of beginnings… of engagements and breaking up, of learning for the first time how to put aside dreams and learn how to survive the pain of heartbreak, you gave me my very first broken heart, you remind me of a never ending love that has weaved it’s way through the decades that have passed, the place in my heart that still hurts if you touch it, you are the reflection of my youth and my hopes and sorrows.

You taught me how to love and were the keeper of my tears. You challenged me and you suffocated me. You believed in me, maybe more than anyone ever has and yet you smothered me, snuffed out all the confidence in me. I sailed boats with you and flew planes!  I mean “I” actually FLEW a plane without an engine because of you! When you believed in me. I believed in me! I discovered that I could do things that I never would have thought of doing, if it had not been for you. Oh how you took me to the top of the world and then, oh but then… you dropped me and oh how I crashed. And even today, I’m not sure that I ever recovered. Maybe that is why I let you back in, to go back and get pieces of me.
You loved me and you hurt me over and over again, you left me found me over a lifetime of hellos and goodbyes, I loved you and I hated you, and yet I forgave you , fantasy and reality cloud into one, I see so clearly and am blinded at the same time, I understand because I know your pain and yet I can’t overlook my own, I give up everything for you and  escape with my life, I never look back and remember it all, I am safe when I am falling, I am silent when I am calling, I lose my soul and find it again, i pray for forgiveness, I believe and I doubt, I fail and I succeed, I dream and then I look back and remember, I laugh and I cry all in the same breath, I dance in my head and ache in my heart, I grasp at my youth and cling to my wisdom, I crumble where I am and gather the lessons I have learned, I turn around and find you, I let go over and over again, I sing from the mountain tops inside the silence of my imagination, my heart is stopped, I thought that I could change things, somehow fit you in to that place you left so long ago and yet the space has been filled, maybe not perfectly but slowly, I think that as I fill it with new dreams around the healing wounds, I might still have a chance at surviving this whole crazy place that I have found myself in, I take a breath as  I fall on my face and pray for strength to stop the madness.. and feel my heart begin beating again. And finally realize that …..

Someday I want my book that I am ripping apart once again, to give hope to the broken hearted and strength to those that haven’t even reckoned with their own strength yet!

Letting It Go


frustrated on computer

As I was waiting for my AOL to kick in, I had to restart it twice. Sometimes I just stop it  mid way of signing on because I know it is not going to do what I need it to do. I reboot it and wahlah it pops on! Such is life… Sometimes I feel like AOL. It takes me a few times, but then I finally “GET’ it!

All of my life, I’ve had certain instances where I know that I have missed a life lesson that I was supposed to get, or at least one that wasn’t supposed to take me so long to grasp, it was so obvious. Recently I have experienced being consumed by my own anger in regard to a wrong doing. Though I am not saying that I was wrong about what had happened. I am saying that sometimes I get so stuck in the negative, that I’ve convinced myself that it feels good down there in the muck and the anger.

sad girl on stairs

Forgiveness just feels much better than anger or harboring ill will or a grudge. And true forgiveness does not need a recount of all the wrongs or even a discussion about what happened. All you need to do is let it go!

girl being free

The times that I have wasted being offended or angry about something and the release I have felt after forgiving that same offender has been epic. In fact, I have realized that I have more room in my heart for them, sometimes in a much more profound way than others who have not hurt me. Perhaps, because that new love is a gift straight from God and the lesson He has given us over and over in so many examples in His Word.

It is a lesson that I have mostly fought and yet one that impacts me greatly each time, I let go and allow Him to take over. And it blows me away each time, how truly amazing it is that I can’t just go straight to that place rather than fighting it the whole way. Though I think that I have finally mastered the concept. Putting it into practice is still a work in progress.

My first example that I can remember was a childhood friend of my first husband’s though both are gone from this world now, I let my hate for this man consume me. In the end, (to not get too lost into an entirely different story) he became gravely ill, I ended up giving him a Bible, that I had another friend take to him… she told me that he cried, in a split second, I was over it, visited him the next day and we cried in each other’s arms. He survived that illness.  And a supernatural kind of healing took place that day and we had an amazing friendship after that.

hugging crying man1

Whether it was a misunderstanding with a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, I have come to terms with the fact that the magic is just in “letting go” not retracing the  words or steps that brought you to this place. (I kind of tend to waste a lot of time obsessing on the wrongs.) But regardless of the gossip or the facts that led you to the negative place, whether it is an actual apology or just a genuine hug. The act of letting go is a little like running around and gathering up all the poison and throwing it away before it harms anyone further. It is only wishing the other person well, and really caring about them so much, that where you literally felt hate just a second prior, it is replaced by a magical kind of love. For, it is in that split second act of forgiveness that you will literally experience the quickest “miracle” that you have ever experienced.

triumphant

       Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 15:1  Proverbs 15:18 Proverbs 19:11                                                            Matthew 18: 21-22 Hebrews 10:17

You Should Have Been There


ceremony site

We are told that life does not come with an instruction book. “It is what it is.” Terri, my bff who died last summer, said that a lot her last year. I didn’t have time to stop. Or no, let me rephrase that, I wouldn’t let myself stop and linger too long in the places where I might miss someone not there the weekend of the wedding. Someone, that should have been.

During the course of the planning, deciding who would sit where, & who would walk who, and what side was which, the reality of who was missing  came in a wave and I let it pass. And then, just walking around the bales of hay, alone after the rehearsal, the night before the wedding… as dusk was falling, and I was caught up in a moment away from the  happy chatter … another wave… But I wouldn’t let it hit me.  To really think about the people missing, the ones who should have been there. Because if I’d let myself I would have come undone. And this wasn’t about me. And I know they each would say, it wasn’t about them either.

My dad. Terri, Lucy, Randy… my grandma…. all gaping holes. All there in spirit I know. My mantra to avoid the pain, to grasp that it really  is what it is… was: just breathe. Sometimes to stop and feel would just be too excruciating. Though I knew you were here. I felt you all. The reason I won’t go visit graves. you are not there. You are in the joy and the love, in the moments that have led to now… but as I look around I still think… It is what it is… And yet…

Yes, You should have been there.

Ceremony day prepping the site

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Maybe there is an instruction book after all. Yes. I know there is.

Part Two – From the Mother of the Bride’s Perspective


This is “it” I promise…

I will try to keep this short. Though my blog is usually about my life and my reflections of it… this is more of a personal gratitude account for all the people that came through for the last year or so and more recently the biggest event that has happened in a while. My baby’s wedding! This is part two! I will try to get it all in… in one more post.

 (Now continued after Danielle – Part One

Wedding dress shoppingrachelrachel2Continuing with Rachel (The Maid of Honor)

I knew that when Rachel came along that she would be Brooke’s “Jody”. Fun and caring and honest and real. With Danielle, the two of them planned one of the rocking-est bachelorette parties I have ever heard of. Rachel was there from the beginning. From trying on the first wedding dresses to helping set up many of the events, she has been there through it all! I have never felt such sister love! They truly care about each other in the most honest kind of way. So happy they have each other forever!bridesmaidsThe Brides Maids…

makeupBrooke has a new sis! And her name IS also Brooke! And she is an amazing addition to my Brooke’s life! She gifted her the make up for the rehearsal pics & the wedding day! And also assisted some of the brides maids! I was so touched as she worked effortlessly and created flawless beauty! We are all blessed in this combining family thing! We all get along! And love each other!

shower fun

Karyn is the one on the right by the door… I claim her! When we were sitting waiting for our financial meetings  at AADA we started talking cuz their last names were next to each other, by the end, I kind of jokingly and kind of seriously, asked her if she would watch over my baby since she’d been in LA a few weeks longer than Brooke and had the most nurturing old soul type of personality in someone so young! Well, she obviously took that job seriously because she is in her wedding almost a decade later! Can I pick em or what?!

Kimmy (of the three in the middle of the pic above) is the one on the left. I’d been hearing such sweet stories about Kimmy for a few years. I knew she was special but had not met her until at the brunch Brooke threw  as a pre- thank you for her bridal party and invited Jody and I! And she did not disappoint. Love her!

Anne (in the middle of Kimmy & Karyn) is a newer friend to me. But also one that I’ve heard so many great stories about –  so that she has also been cemented into my mother’s heart as special friends that make my baby happy!

They all were amazing throughout the process, sitting on the floor at the coffee table gluing and cutting invitations and showing up to all the events. I was impressed with her girls. They all came through with loyal and undying love! They were truly the best bridesmaids in the world! From designing the wedding dress, to running back to town from the cabin to pick up the Rehearsal dinner soup! To setting up tables and chairs and doing dishes. These girls were the BEST!

lars

Lars was the Coordinator, setting up and taking down, it was soooo amazing to have him and Steph as a very amazing presence steph dj               (Am I saying that word too much?) Not sure how else to describe it! Cuzzzz Steph was one of the best and most amazing DJ’s around! I don’t think any of us expected such a professional job! They worked tirelessly through out the event. Hardly stopping! And the groom’s men were also great! Unloading the hay and tables and chairs and helping where ever they could! Amazing ~ friends and family all made such an epic team!

ChrisChris was awesome. Tirelessly catching every moment.                                                       Starting on Friday to the Father of the Daughter Dance the next night. He worked so hard catching the magic and it did not go unnoticed! And Kevin, Oh my. Brooke and Chase sure had some of the most talented people in the industry at this special event! What an accumulation of magic!

kevinKevin singing the First Dance song

And Jared. What can I say? He and Danielle went and picked up and hauled the tables and chairs and bales of hay to and from the site. I love this guy! And I might mention he is one of the greatest dads I know!

jaredceremony site

And Chadly! I’ve never been so proud!! He drove back and forth everyday and showed up looking so handsome with his amazing family! To walk me down the aisle and be there for his sister. He even helped me cook the next day brunch! (And was the muscles behind getting Jim up from the hay seat, a few times!) I love him to the moon and back!

Chad and SophieChad walking me down the aisleflower girls                                    And Amanda. “LOVE her!” Thank Goodness she was there to walk the flower girls down the aisle!

mod_1467043719216And Grandpa! What can I say? We almost lost him a few years ago. He was the perfect choice to officiate! You would have thought that this was his millionth wedding! So eloquent and amazing. Every word was blessed!

 

darwinsFather of the Groom and newest addition to the family besides Brooke!                                                              A few of the  Darwins…..          &…       This little guy… the newest addition to the family!                                             Can you say love?

And Chase’s family! Where do I start? His parents could not have been more amazing. Rolling up their sleeves and helping make everything perfect.

Setting up and cleaning and welcoming us into their family! Tate, Chase’s brother and Arlene his mom, and I especially bonded as they created the most amazing slideshow of Brooke & Chase! I learned a lot about technology and Tate was ever so patient as I fumbled along, trying to contribute all the photos  from Brookie’s life this far! (Unfortunately I don’t have more photos that I have permission to share here… but they are amazing!)

dar 2Brookie's Grandma and MamaMy mother in law and me! Isn’t she beautiful? And an amazing Grandma! Generous and kind and the Matriarch of our family! I love her! And so does Brookie!

JasmineJasmine showing us how to take a picture! Taking pics of my oldest granddaughter Jasmine… When she said…. “Here, Grandma I will show you how to take a picture!” Jody and me and Jas! Lots of loving!

And for all you praying for Jim and his bum knee! I saved the best for last! He was able to walk his baby down the aisle! He gave the most amazing speech and even danced the Father Daughter Dance!

walking our baby down the aisleJim and Brookie baby

She may have been holding him up this time around…

father daughter dance4

You will have to wait for the ceremony…..( I didn’t take any of that in honor of their wishes) I am letting them post those when they get them from their professional photographer. But that’s it for now…  Thank you to all my readers for letting me share here! And thank you to everyone who drove to this destination. That alone was a labor of love!

k and sKeith and Sarah…. Family love!

pinning on the groom's boutineereAnd now I just close by saying May God Bless this couple for many years with lots of love and health and happiness and great success! And together may they make a difference in this world and… live happily ever after!

The end…

(or until the next photo opportunity! :p )

bridal bouquet

Part One – From The Mother Of The Bride’s Perspective


This is going to be a two-part thank you. Because I know I'd lose your    interest if I tried to fit this all in one post. And because when I     began blogging, I once read that you lose your readers if you go too far past 700 words. But so many have asked about the wedding I wanted to try to share with you and to thank everyone for everything!

Brookie's first headshotBrookie’s first headshot

When I was a young mom, I was invited to a bridal shower that my friend was throwing for her  soon to be daughter in law. I sold my paintings and cards in her Bible Book Store and we became good friends. I remember her telling us all a story at the shower; she said “When the doctors placed my new baby boy in my arms, I began to pray for his wife.” And she continued,  “every year I continued to pray for you, and now here you sit.” She said to her daughter in-law to be. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room that day. And it stuck with me for all of these years.

This woman taught me many things in our friendship and that day she taught me how to pray for my kids. So when the nurse placed my new little baby girl in my arms a few years later, I prayed for her husband to be. Not many boys had come and gone before him. But no one that she brought home, ever felt like Chase did. From the moment I met him. I knew he was the one I’d been praying for all those years.

God is so good. He tends to answer me in detail. I rarely doubt that it is just a coincidence anymore. He probably does that for me (answers me in detail) because I am a doubter. Though there is no doubt that Chase is that little boy and then man who I’d been praying for. I prayed for a man who would love my baby, and have integrity and be honorable and that he would love God and my daughter with an everlasting kind of love. That he would be funny and patient and slow to anger. He is every one of those things and more. And when I listened to their vows this weekend, it was good.

Brooke and Chase Engaged

The days leading up to the wedding since they were engaged have felt like a whirlwind. Though we had 18 months to plan, we were on a tight budget & Brooke & Chase paid for a lot themselves, we were blessed with everyone that contributed generously, their own friends from the industry, family and life long friends all were so amazing.

And from the very beginning my boss & sweet friend, rolled up her sleeves & out of the blue would nudge me to create action plans for the shower and wedding and the day after wedding brunch, creating lists & sharing menus for the shower & then brunch that I was in charge of. Not to mention generously gifting them with their honeymoon! (she’d kill me if I posted  her pic – so just imagine an Angel!)       angel

jody and usAuntie Jodyflower crownBrookie and her pre wedding flower after a day of flower shopping with Jody

My bff Jody, “Auntie” to Brooke,partnered hosting  the shower with me at her house,  (because she lives near where Brooke lives and I live 4 hours away). She made all of the flowers, both at her shower & the wedding! Gifting it all!  Though now retired, she opened up her shop again (metaphorically speaking) & created everything! from the the corsages, bountonniers, flower girl & bridal party & bride’s bouquet & head wreaths, all the center piece garlands & hoop, working to the very last-minute. And her husband allowing all of it, driving the drive to and from a very destionationy destination spot! Brooke had a vision in her head and they worked together to create it like magic.

 

Brookie and DanielleThe other Ring Bearer and maker of the wedding gown! Her sweet cuz and nephew! (Ring Bearer #2!)more changescousin lovethe making of the bridal gowndanielle helpingBrookie in her first role as flower girl - a few more followed after that!

Cousins (sisters and besties) Forever!

And her girls were Amazing! Her cousin (Matron of Honor) Danielle, made her dress! I mean she MADE her wedding dress! Seriously! When they were little they spent many hours in my mom’s sewing room as Grandma would set them free to snip and sew and create their own creations. It was so sweet watching an actual wedding gown being born as they worked tirelessly together, Danielle trying to decode the vision in her cousin’s head! As they changed the pattern several times to create the perfect dress. I watched as she patiently re-created it to perfection! Patient and loving and generous and oh my her husband? Well he has been dubbed “FAVORITE Cousin -in law!  To be continued in part two.

Bestiescrafters oh excuse me artists!silly girls Wedding dress shopping

And Rachel! Who could have ever imagined a better Maid of Honor? But like I said…            (I didn’t know there was going to be a Part Two when I started this. But just had to go back up and re-title this post to Part One!)

And Part Two is going to have

 

typed to be continued

A Place


shower8

I have been so wrapped up in work and life and my daughter getting married that I have neglected my writing for far too long. Posting posts from my archives, and just trying to stay afloat. So now that the wedding was magical, and my baby is successfuly married… I can officially announce that I am back! Though it is a bit like Double Dutch, trying to jump back in with both eyes closed. Where to begin?

first dance

First Dance

I will come back to share all of the wedding notes & pics with my loyal readers that might be interested, but in the meantime, I just penned a few silly thoughts that I have written about before. And I have found it all so interesting. It is a bit like the “CALGON take me away”  concept. We all just need that place to land each day. I would love to have a waterproof laptop because I seem to think all of my greatest thoughts while I am in the SHOWER and then pouf* they always seem to wash down the drain before I can find a pen and remember them, or aren’t as profound once I am dried off!

Anyway, I have really needed that place a lot lately. Perhaps I am cleaner than usual! But those long showers tend to clear my head and in the end, life happens and it is what it is. Isn’t it? But I am grateful for it all. The good, the bad, the lessons learned. The chance to make ammends with your past and to embrace each day. I’ve always kind of been stuck in the past or the future and I am finally just learning that today is the answer. To find that place where you can gather yourself and not just face the day but embrace it!

A Place

Inside my shower I’m inside my head

As the years fall down around me

The water rushes as I am ten again

And then fourteen, sixteen, twenty

A place where I can finally cleanse myself

From all the day’s wasteful chatter

Where wisdom seems to find me

Giving me a sense of what really matters

A place where I can just find me again

Sometimes where I’m washed in my own tears

Weary from the pain I feel

A place to cry where no one hears

To cleanse my soul and to talk to God

and then to give it all to Him

to be grateful for every moment

that I’m allowed to do it all again.

Diane Reed ‘16

I Will Always Remember You


 

 

daddy playing the guitar to me

I am blessed to have the dads in my life that I do. We celebrated them today. And I am so grateful for them both. Having said that, I am not sure why this year was especially tough for me. It started out looking for cards. Funny because as a greeting card creator, I usually have taken on that task myself. But my daughter is getting married next Saturday!! And my plate is pretty full. Though I did manage to throw a little BBQ  in honor of our dads, I just couldn’t shake the one that was missing.

You see my dad died at 51 jogging around the block. It is funny to think that he was younger than I am now. Just a few weeks after Father’s Day thirty-four years ago. You would think that the missing him would subside. But it never does. If I think about it long enough, I usually can fall to pieces, at least inside. Like looking for cards. I found some pretty good ones this year. But I had to put back the ones about carrying me and putting band aids on my knee and being there to watch me grow up as I silently whispered…”Daddy I haven’t forgotten you, thank you.”

I remember the long talks and the Saturday drives, You being the one to take me school clothes shopping every year and going to the top floor of your office building so you could make Snoopy Calendars for me and my friends. And you telling me that someday all the disk drives that filled that floor would someday, maybe even in my lifetime, fit on one desk and maybe even in my hand! Oh how I wish you could see just how much your predictions all came to pass.

I remember loving to make you laugh and wanting to show you first when I got an A or learned something new. I remember you loved to read my poems and said you thought I had something special. Sometimes I wonder what you would think of me and I have a million things I want to tell you and a million more I want to ask. All I can say is thank you for being there when I needed you most, whether to just sit there with me through a broken heart,  telling me that I hadn’t even met anyone who deserved me yet, but I would.  And being so happy for me when I was happy again.

You were such a great grandpa for such a short time. But you showered your new grandson with such love. And I have a feeling that you hand picked my baby girl for me from up there in heaven. As I looked through all the pictures to go back and find ones of us. I watched as a whole lifetime passed me by. You missed so much. It isn’t fair…. that the good ones die too young.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy. I will always remember you.

daddy playing the guitar to me

My Dad singing … “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.” (For those born after the sixties, it was a commercial jingle. He was always a funny guy. The hole still is raw if I stay there too long. Today,  I just had to wander back. I am sure there are many that stood in front of the cards this year and remembered too… That the good die young.

The Release of Missing Kylie


A Generous Helping

I am excited to announce the April 9th release of Missing Kylie!

What is it, you ask?

Missing Kylie is a compilation of my writing from Kylie’s diagnosis to the first anniversary of her death. Like everything I write, I have triedto mix laughter together with theheartache of cancer treatment and losing a child. You’ll smile some, cry more- and most importantly, I believeyou will feel somethingwhile reading it. And despite what my macho side has told me all of these years, feelings are good.

The book contains short chapters, many of which started as blog posts, and it is divided into three sections: The Struggle, The Loss, and The Search for Meaning. Although it is organized chronologically, it is less a history of treatment and more a tango with God as I try to maintain my faith through the hardest two years any parent couldimagine.

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I will read yours if you you will read mine… Really?


reading computer screen

I am having another one of my reflective mornings,  with a mug of coffee, watching as the fog tethers over the road in front of my window. I think that I have shared with you that I live near a lake in a gated community. In the summer it can be very busy as boats are pulled in and out and I love it. There is just something about the hustle and bustle of  people living life that makes me happy and I don’t mind living so close to the gate (we are right on the corner.) But my very favorite view, if I could choose is that of twinkling lights of a city and a bridge at night. Watching the world below live their individual lives is kind of comforting to me. But today it is a quiet morning and I just felt the need to check in. Because the hustle and bustle of my own life has me missing out on this side of the bridge so to speak!

city view with bridge

I have not been writing or for that matter, reading a lot here lately and have found that when that happens, my sweet loyal followers still faithfully check in and I know we are a kind of cyber family.  You KNOW who you are! We (hopefully) will always be each other’s inspire-ers and eventually find our way back to one another’s door steps, cyberly or not.  But the others fall off. There is a kind of networking mentality among us here… “I will read yours, if you will read mine.”  And slowly, if your life becomes busy and you don’t  comment or at least “LIKE” all of their posts regularly, they tend to move on. (I just find that so sad. I read when I have time and love to find new bloggers to encourage.) And then there are others that are still just finding me trickle in and it feels good that something is working.

like thumb

Soooo even though this is a soft place to fall, for me… it takes work and I do notice the numbers. As with anything, you make a deposit and you can make a withdrawal. That’s just how it works. You get what you put in. Though there are always those friends that give without expecting anything in return and I am so blessed as I recognize who you are. And strive to be like you!

And how could I miss an opportunity for a good  metaphor? (Ya gotta have seen this one!)     There is Someone else who is always there, … HE is just waiting for me to talk to HIM but whether I do or not, remains ever so faithful and is always there, never moving on. How blessed are we to have HIM as our friend? A constant soft place, whether we check in or not, HE is always there waiting for our next “post.” And ALWAYS to follow HIM!

jesus praying hands

As far as this blog, I started writing here as a place to store my book and my poetry. So it surprised me when one reader started reading and seriously critiquing my first posts. (If you look back you will see in the comments that I was a little taken aback, until I actually began to look forward to those comments.) At first it was annoying, and then I found it pretty affirming. That someone took time out of their day to read every post I’d write. Our friendship kind of evolved. And then abruptly stopped. I think there was a kind of a pattern there that had nothing to do with me… but it made me aware that other people might actually read what I wrote. And to also go out and read other’s posts. I discovered kindred spirits and an amazing little family of validation and affirmation and really have learned to not only admire other writers but love and care about you guys!

blog readers

In my life I have learned that at times in life, everyone is lonely, sad, angry, easily offended,  and that the most annoying and prideful, boasters are usually the most insecure. But I’ve  also been taught great lessons by the  forgivers and joy seekers, the ones that don’t notice the wrong in everyone, the ones that don’t judge, the ones that share their own stories to build others up and to help us know that we really are not alone… the ones that  make me have something to strive for, to always be better.

And it is here that I have discovered greatness.

 

 

Time Is Like A Silent Whisper


 

retro timerI’ve had so many moments that have been capsul-ized by other people stopping me and telling me not to miss them, to embrace everyday, to stop and smell the flowers, that it is rather ironic to be the one telling  the young people I know now in my life, that message of Carpe’ Diem. To enjoy these moments, all of them, even the tough ones, “because someday they will be your good old days.”

I’ve shared before in another post, how my grandma once asked me how old I thought she felt inside. I was about thirty and she was in her early seventies. I asked, “I don’t know grandma how old do you feel?” And she’d said, “about 17” So matter of factly, I never forgot it.

 

NOW I GET it! Sometimes, when I am in the shower, with my eyes closed, there  is something so familiar about doing something I’ve done since I was ten that makes me feel kind of ageless, trying out a new shampoo, takes me back to when I was a teen with my youth in front of me. My hair was a lot longer and my body a lot younger, but I sometimes feel like that young girl when I am standing under that water, and not someone’s grandma!  Maybe everyone has those certain times that just catch you off guard like a rubber band and you are snapped back in time. A scent, a song, a taste, hearing an old friend’s name, sends you there. I know swimming or riding a bike, mowing the lawn or even weeding the rocks takes me back in an instant. As if time stands still while I take a magic carpet ride into yesterday.

A few years later, an older woman, (probably younger than I am today) stopped me in Target when my little baby girl looked up at me (less than 2) and said “Mommy I love you.” And the woman said, “Cherish these days, my daughter just got married and I’d give anything to have these days back again.” I smiled and kind of knew what she meant, but I do feel as if I did cherish every minute of those baby days with my kids. I loved when they’d wake up and it was a new day with new discoveries. But I did kind of rush them, I mean I loved the progress, the first sign of recognition, the first words, first steps. Looking  back,  I could have just been  a little more patient, instead of always looking forward to what came next. Now my daughter is getting married this summer and those memories of those women’s words, one my grandma, and the other a complete stranger resonates more for me now than any other time in my life.

Sometimes when I am in Target, I hear a little baby’s voice  chatting to a half listening mom and I might say something to plant the same seed that was planted in my heart a little less than three decades ago, other times I hear a screaming kid and I wonder if I’d still have the patience. But think… yes I would, it is different when they are your own. Howling or not. You want to scream yourself at times, but in the end, it is the best thing I ever did in my life.

Today there is a part of me that looks back a lot, that knows that someday I will look back with regret if I don’t stop and embrace these days. Because you know what? Every moment, now will someday be our good old days. I have a favorite Winnie The Pooh saying that goes like this:

“Though honey is a very good thing, sometimes right before you taste the honey, is almost as good as when you do!”

winnie pot upside down

 

It is all about embracing the moments before the good things happen. To live in the moment. Even the frustrating ones. To look forward, but not too far ahead so you don’t miss the minute you are in.

Time is like a silent whisper,

a gentle moving nudge

trying to hold it too close

as it evaporates

through our fingers

or letting it go

embracing the moment

as the memory lingers

Diane Reed©

2016

 

Or did you just know?


book shelves in library

What comes first, the reader or the writer? For me, first being read to, and then reading, inspired me to write. It made me think at a very young age,” I can do that.” Or perhaps, I want to do that. I know others do it better. And yet, when we do something well, we just know. A dancer, a singer, a baseball player or an actor. We may have encouragement from parents or teachers and adults prompting us to hone our craft. But it is something more, there is just something inside of each of us when we have found that one thing we want to improve on without anyone telling us to.

It is funny, I remember in about second and third grade, grasping the concept of writing and my favorite authors that inspired me to want to do it too. Roland Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Ray Bradbury and C.S. Lewis, just to name a few.  I know that as an adult, I now have my accrual of favorites and I know that they are both similar and different than my style and that I am always aiming for improving and use them as a sort of an archetype. A model of sorts to sharpen my own skills by their style of writing and their formulas.

When I knew that I could write poetry, or could write verses and rhyme sentences, I studied the greats and it wasn’t as black and white as a certain genre such as Fiction or non-fiction. Poetry is an entirely different concept. I have always loved T.S. Elliot and Of course, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who intrigued me when I’d heard she was an ancestor. Whether or not, I ever have proof of that, just learning that, I think helped to inspire me and for me to feel as if talent might be inherited and hopefully a few blood cells found their way into my bloodline!

Every once and a while don’t you just stop and wonder, why am I doing this? Why can’t I not do this? When did I ever come up with this concept that I might have something worthy of sharing? Do you remember when you first had the notion? Was it some encouraging word from someone else, or did you just know?

Most of my poetry is very Hallmark-ish I always loved Hellen Steiner Rice and I think I tend to count cadence and beats and rhyme accordingly. I am trying not to rhyme. To  dig deep and attempt new things.

Below is a brand new style for me. Not sure I am there yet… It is dark, always dark lately. And very random, no cadence, no formula. I will write a happier one tomorrow! It’s so hard not to rhyme!!!! Not good at not doing that yet! (this is just what came out of me this morning…  I think sometimes, whatever rises up is what needs to be shared… maybe for someone else somewhere…)

On The Brim

cliff girl looking down

as I smell the storm passing

trying to escape where I’ve been

the rain fights with the fog

the storm wins

broken glass eye

it’s hard to see

behind the pain

barely holding on

as it rains

the clutter in my head

crashes in

pieces of glass stare back at me

broken glass3

shattered on the floor

as each finger lets go.

cliff stepping off

Diane Reed

2016

My half of friendship


A Michele's Latte

Friendship is a funny thing as you get older. You understand more. You tolerate more and you cherish more. Hopefully because of what we learn in the end, we give more.  Recently  (all my loyal readers know) that I lost my childhood bestfriend of over a half a century. It has made me reflect on a lot of things this last year, especially since her birthday just passed. A few years earlier, we’d had a silly falling out. In all of the years we’d known each other, that had never happened. Not to say we hadn’t been annoyed with one another in all those years. Probably, no absolutely, her with me and me and at times me, with her. We’d just weathered our feelings silently and moved on and never had so much as a cross word with one another.

This one had to do with one of her friends repeating a conversation she’d overheard me having with my husband. I’d been annoyed at something she’d said to me and was venting in private. This gossip she shared with my best friend was very silly and yet damaging and it took a good month for us to repair, and get through it. Though it probably made our friendship stronger in the end. NOT what this other friend was hoping I am sure. Later, at her funeral, this friend of hers came up to me, pretty drunk and apologized. My daughter said that “liquid apologies” don’t count. But it did for me, because I am all about validation, and sometimes the “liquid” provokes more honesty than anything ever could, and it told me that this woman knew what she’d done. I forgave her. But I do regret that she was allowed to steal even a month of my friendship with my best friend. Something, I must take partial responsibility for allowing.

In all the things I have learned from my friendships, I have learned to embrace every minute. March Madness is a good way to describe the birthdays I have to remember in March. Having one less, made me realize that I am blessed to celebrate the birthdays that I do, and one less is not better!

The other day one of my friends who has recently lost her husband to ALS (one of my husband’s best friends) messaged me to tell me that she’d be in town  and asked if I “had time” to meet. My first reaction to a question like that, usually always is me scrambling to make excuses. And it’s a bummer for me that I have that automatic attitude. In my head, I have so little spare time, that I am selfish with it.  Over the years, I have never been one to have many friends. I hone the ones that I hold dear and for me that is enough. Though there are those few friends I will drop everything to be with and Michele is one of those friends.

I went through a particularly hard time a few years ago. One that I couldn’t share with a lot of friends and Michele didn’t judge me or even nudge me, she just listened. No advice, no opinons, just prayed with me and continued to be my friend through the worst of it. As I was driving to our destination, I felt blessed. A feeling that I usually feel after I’ve met and am glad I ended up saying yes. But this particular morning I was so happy to be going and excited to see my friend who I’d not seen for a while. And it made me think about all of the other times I missed out on by feeling I didn’t have time and saying no to other friend’s invitations.

This special woman that has taught me so much about friendship, who comes to town and seeks “me” out and wants to share “her” time with me. And our time was so special, I kept pushing back the minutes, not wanting to leave.

A Michele

Our place to meet -At Spearhead Coffee in Paso

It made me think… Of all the special women in my life. The ones who have evolved. The ones I would do anything for. The ones that you realize are worth the time. The ones who feel you are worth the time. The ones who you have known for decades, the ones who you work with and suddenly realize that they are one of those ones you include in that small handful, the ones who come through for you in ways you never could imagine, and make you want to do the same. It really is all about the blessing of being the other half of something pretty special called friendship.

A Michele and me

Michele insisted on this selfie!

 

 

Growing Up


 

 

women writing at desk

I wrote all day yesterday. Everyday last week was taken up with different things and so besides getting out there in the beautiful sunshine and mowing the lawn and catching up with my friends next door for a few minutes, and responding to a few work emails and then turning those off, I had a “me” day and made myself sit down and just write. I mean really take the time to relax enough to take notes and regroup and take more notes and focus on that little project I keep promising myself I’ll finish.

woman writing in the sun

It seems as if every day off I’ve had lately, has been consumed with other things that take priority. So yesterday I literally closed the door and spent 8 hours making myself work on my book. Last night my husband complained that I’d barely said four words to him all day. Well, that was an exaggeration. I could tell he wanted to talk about it during a show he doesn’t approve of me watching. And even though I had it recording and could have stopped to probably argue about me taking a day for me, I just didn’t. I probably should have stopped and talked. But I am still working on boundaries and at times my interpretation of them, can be a little selfish.

In the past, if I’d known anyone was remotely upset with me, I’d prickle like a porcupine and get defensive. Today, I think the difference is that I am growing up. Though that kind of sounds oxymoronish here as I still watched the show my “daddy” didn’t approve of. And no I’m not going to tell you what it was, cuz I’m not proud of the fact that I love reality shows! LOL.

The problem with having experienced abuse in the past, is always expecting abuse in the present. I have a friend who is a fellow blogger with a story much worse than mine and she always makes me think. Today my comment to her post made me think about the fact that survivors of abuse have one thing in common, distrust. We are always expecting a repeat of the same.

She got married last year. Found love and is still pinching herself over how happy she is. My comment to her was that I think the secret to her success is that she waited until she grew up. And that the problem with abuse is that we just begin to expect everyone to be the same as our first experience and to not realize that abuse is not the normal. We don’t learn how to argue like grown ups. We just learn to fight back and make everything a drama.

couple talking seriously 2

I am really trying to break that cycle. I tend to over-react to a normal disagreement and feel backed into a corner before I ever even look at the other side. I have just begun to grasp the fact that not everyone comes from that warped abuse perspective and I need to stop dropping that hat on the heads of people who don’t deserve it, while giving myself a break and embracing  my own choices.  Right or wrong. If I want to have a day off, and someone takes it personally, I need to just explain that I need a break, and nothing is wrong.  And to realize that not everything has to be a drama.  Hence; me growing up? Perhaps.

typed to be continued

Like A BAD Haircut


blog make over
I thought my blog needed a little makeover. So I wandered on over to the Admin side of things and giving myself much more technical credit than I  actually deserved, I proceeded to click on “theme” and color swatches. And when I clicked on  “View” it was like looking in a mirror after a bad hair cut. Reality check. “Hey girl, you DON’T know what you are doing!” And I had to go to work reeeally early yesterday! (WHY do I always do things when I don’t have time to do them?)  So I sucked it up and closed my page and jumped into the shower hoping for the first time since I’ve had my blog, that I’d have no visitors. 

gate

A special friend is someone who looks past your broken down gate and                                                   still admires your garden!

But I really do love my readers because even though it looked like a big fat mess, (you know the kind when you are moving around your room  and you are stuck in the middle of a bunch of furniture kind of mess?) A few still managed to muddle through, leaving sweet comments without ever mentioning the state of my blog which looked like a very BAD make-over by someone who had no idea what she was doing!

salon cartoon

So back to the proverbial Salon I went to try to fix things. And still not sure I like it. But I think it is a little easier to read than my last look. Sometimes you just need a change. I’ve always admired the techie people. I find it kind of hot when someone remotely hops on your screen from somewhere completely different and works on the likes of the little mess I’ve gotten myself into. Showing up on my computer screen and wahlah! It is fixed. (So amazing!) But we all have our limitations and I know mine. So weird that my dad was one of the first computer dudes out there and I am his off-spring. But oh well. We all have our talents.

Whatever my limitations, I needed a change!!! Like when you want a new look so you get a hair cut, or change a room around kind of thing. My blog needed a little dusting off. So I took the scissors and gave it a haircut and moved some things around.

hair cut

Just wanted to warn you guys if you came looking for me and it looked as if I moved. Still here, just with a new look.  What do you think? I am still trying to get used to it. But like hair that always will grow back, WordPress has the option to return to the old look if you guys liked that one better. Also beware, I may keep trying new looks.  Poor Linda! (my hair stylist) Knows that about me after over a decade of working on me and sweetly following my lead and going along with stuff I ask her to do even when she knows that eventually I will want to return back! After all these years you’d think that  I’d learned my lesson by now. (At least with my hair!)

make over cartoon

BACKSPACE


writer

You are the pen and today is the page,

your attitude is the ink.

YOU control  the way  you react,

in what you say and do and think.

At times we are bold in the things that we say,

at times we should say nothing at all.

It’s all in the way we write the words on each page,

and the way we want them recalled.

For life does not have a backspace key

for all the things that we say in haste.

So, just remember as you click on SAVE

to review  first, and when needed erase!

S

Diane Reed 2016©

backspace

 

To My Valentine


Love is a funny thing. It is a little like magic. The beginning is like a drug. You can’t get enough of. You can’t wait to see each other, and you want to squeeze in every minute. You never can imagine fighting or disagreeing about anything. And you are on your very best behavior. You dream big and you have a whole story written in your head of how life will be.

And then… slowly you relax and life happens. Bills and kids, sometimes health and jobs  all wrestle for a slot in the daily pages of the life that you planned to write. Sometimes even imperfections and failures of one another nudge their way in and well… “Hey wait a minute!” You think… “This wasn’t in the rough draft in my head!”

Some of us trudge on, some of us check out. Some of us muddle through and are rewarded. I am one of the blessed ones. My husband stuck it out with me. I have not been the easiest person to love at times. (I KNOW, shocker, huh?) Oh and yeah, I still have plans for that story… The best is yet to be!

So Babe this ones for you…

Happy Valentines Day Jimmy!

hugging kids

I remember when I met you

my heart fluttered like a little kid

No butterflies have ever quite felt

the way those first ones did

But over the years I’ve come to realize

and truly understand

that no one in this old world

can love me exactly as you can

For love is not just the way  you feel

When you first fall in love

It’s hanging in and pressing on

even when there’s not enough

It’s fighting and forgiving

and being able to “never mind”

That makes me know I want you

To always be my Valentine!

heartssss

Diane Reed

2016©

I’m over here…behind 1000 vintage plates


Originally posted on Fern & Bone:
Hi old friends, I’ve been away for ages. I’ve made some changes, including my focus here. If you don’t want to hear about antique china, mushy thoughts on love and life, dinner parties, recipes, and weddings, then get. If you’re still here, I have some news… Chase and I are engaged!…


Almost eight years ago, my little girl, all grown up,   packed up her car with all of her most important belongings as I followed behind with more…. on our way to  her new place in LA.  As I drove away with my empty car, feeling like I was in the middle of a bad hallmark movie, I prayed that The Good Lord would watch over my little Country girl!

A lot has happened since then and I couldn’t be more proud. She has carved out quite an unique little piece of the pie for herself in the big city, finished school, made a lot of friends, let go of a few, and found her Prince Charming all inside the last part of this side of a decade! (The wedding is this June!)
I think we both grew up a little since then! Learning how to let go in ways I never imagined was huge for me. But she really is all grown up. Even though she will always be my baby.

Please support my daughter by reading and following her blog. Here is the latest sampling of her most recent adventures! Love you Brookie!

Your Mama

Fern & Bone

Hi old friends,

I’ve been away for ages. I’ve made some changes, including my focus here. If you don’t want to hear about antique china, mushy thoughts on love and life, dinner parties, recipes, and weddings, then get.

If you’re still here, I have some news… Chase and I are engaged! After 5 years together, he proposed on our traditional hike to Elizabeth lake in Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite.) This deserves it’s own post, so I’ll come back to it later, but it sort of sparked everything that follows…

I love everything about weddings, but once we were engaged the idea of actually planning mine seemed daunting. The one thing I did know, was that I wanted antique china, mismatched, but perfectly curated as if one person had traveled and lived and collected her favorite dishes through her life. I wanted my reception to look like we decided to have a wedding in the…

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Conversations


bed

Today I woke up feeling that after an unusual night of bad dreams and having a hard time just sleeping that I’d open my blinds to gloom, the kind where the sky seems lower and the clouds hang heavy. Instead I found a crisp day with sun already settling in.

window opening

I have come to the conclusion that I talk myself into a lot of my bad moods. In fact a lot of my conversations with me have gone that way lately. And then there are those times when I want to have a conversation with someone not there anymore. Some of those times still take my breath away and cut like a knife, while others are like a prick, just a reminder of someone not any less important, but that time has dulled the pain of their leaving my life.

My husband once said to me that my great memory stories all are from the past of somebody else. And that has really bothered me. I want to shake myself sometimes and say: “MOVE ON GIRL! Get over it, look at what is in front of you and live in the moment and soak it in, because someday these will be the moments you remember longingly.”     I get it. He says he knows me better than I do. I’m smiling as I write this. If he knew me as well as I know me, he’d be long gone!

But seriously, I do truly want to embrace every moment. There are a thousand conversations I share with my husband. And I’d miss every one of them if he wasn’t there to have them with me. But sometimes he is kind of “judgy”  And they tend to go a little like this:  “And then I said.… and then he will say….“Oh no, why did you say that?”  Argh!!!! So let me get this straight. I am sharing a story where I am basically throwing myself under the bus, already knowing I messed up by sharing the dumb thing I am sharing that I said and so HOW does pointing THAT out help??! I mean I already feel bad enough if I am telling the story and I already said the stupid thing that I am feeling stupid about.

friends talking

Those are the times I need those friends who just listen. The ones that used to just empathize with me. No matter how stupid we both know what I did or said was. But then I think to myself… I’d reeeeally miss those conversations with my husband,  the one that has stayed even though he thinks he knows me better than I know me. I need to live in this moment and cherish them and him. No matter how annoying both can be sometimes. I know I’d miss them most of all if they were only a memory.

So today was one of those days. I woke up really wishing I could have a conversation with someone who is not in my life anymore. It wasn’t even about anything in particular that I wanted to talk about. I just needed that connection. And I think instead, I had the perfect conversation. With me.

quote about the last chapter

“Funny How Things Change”


 

marineland

I grew up in Palos Verdes, a small town South of Los Angeles. My bedroom window overlooked Marineland and the ocean. (Now a resort – so sad it is no longer there!) When I was younger I was a Mattel toy tester kid. Not officially, but my dad would bring home random tester toys for me. He was a Marketing VP in Sales there, in El Segundo. I wish I still had some of those toys, I bet they’d be worth gold now.

shrinking violet Shrinking Violet – one of my Tester Toys!

We were not rich, but I was blessed. My dad grew up with a single mom and they struggled. A lot. He had to sell magazines to buy his school shoes. I know that my dad worked hard to climb up the ladder. Always making it to Vice President in all his jobs. Transferring us all over the country as he climbed.

Street I grew up onvallon

My friend Terri once told me that she’d been jealous of me  when we were growing up. I had the dad who went on business trips and came home with surprises for me, while her dad was a Cal-Trans guy who stayed home. I kind of thought it might have been nice to have a dad that was home more. I guess everything is relative. “I used to get lost in your house, I thought it was so big.” she’d told me once. (It really wasn’t that big.) “Funny how things change.” she said.

daddy

My dad and me in the living room of the house we rented across the street from Terri’s in San Mateo. So funny, he doesn’t look real happy about having his picture taken.

My best friend was four when we met in San Mateo where we were renting a house across the street from hers. A few years later, we moved. And moved, and moved, until we settled in Palos Verdes.  Things got given away or lost in our moves, hence why I don’t have my first Barbie, or most of the tester toys any longer. Terri had all her firsts. She lived in the same house she always did until she got married and moved out. Her mom saved everything. Though Terri doesn’t have them any longer. She died last summer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that comment, she made so many years ago. “Funny how things change.” It kind of hurt. She was referring to her wealth. She’d made some good choices along the way. I did not. She worked hard and completed college. I went, I still have my units all in a nice little bundle. I know, because I checked a few years ago. (Imagine they still have my records all of these years later!) She became an Interior Designer and was very talented. She married a guy that  ended up grandfathering into his dad’s business and making it very successful. In the end, they probably had more money than both of our parents put together. And though it makes me a little sad to say it, I know that was important to her.

Terri fought cancer for the last twenty years. Not only that, she fought stage four cancer! Having money has its perks, you can design your own medical team as well as try alternatives and it may keep you alive longer than most. And that was truly a blessing. But the comment; “Funny how things change.” Always bothered me. What did she mean by that? I know exactly what she meant. She had a lot of money and I didn’t. I have to admit that I was surprised that she’d always harbored that competitive bone, and hadn’t realized it until she’d made that comment.

I didn’t not have money. I just didn’t have as much as she did. Between her right choices and hard work, and a little dumb luck, marrying a guy that would someday inherit a business that would be very successful, she never wanted nor worried about paying a bill in her adult life, like I have. Don’t get me wrong. I am blessed. I was just never motivated to need more. Maybe because I was a little privileged as a kid, and stupidly, a little embarrassed by it. Maybe the ones who feel they don’t have a lot at an early age seek for more later. I just know that Terri died with a closet full of clothes with price tags still on them and a drawer full of jewelry with some pieces, equaling a whole year of my salary. That being said, she was also one of the most generous people I know.

Losing my best friend and reflecting on our friendship of over a half a century has made me realize what is important and what is not.  That material things really are just so unimportant. But then, She probably knows that now.

I miss her terribly. I am glad that she is not suffering anymore. Her sister gave me one of her leather jackets. Though a material thing of hers, it makes me feel closer to her when I wear it. Losing Terri has taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life. Even if that windfall never comes for me. I don’t need fancy cars, or big houses, I am happy to just be able to pay my bills on time.  And I know that I am blessed. I have a husband that loves me in spite of myself. I have amazing kids and a great family and wonderful friends. And now I even have a job I like going to and a boss I love!

I will always miss Terri. But I am glad she is not suffering anymore. I know now that she is in a place that holds the kind of joy she was always seeking from her “things” here on this earth. She is free from pain and has a new body. I think a lot about her everyday. She has left a gaping hole in my life. I miss the places I would find her, an early morning email waiting for me to open,  a phone call on the way home from work, summer get aways, the way she loved my daughter so much, her quirky  sense of humor,  and laughing at the dumbest things. Sharing things you can only tell your best friend without being judged. (Well probably judged, but that’s okay. Smile.)  I guess now, I just think a lot more about what is important and what is not. And you know she was right It really is Funny how things change.

01p091 One more of me and my dad

Why do we write?


I just watched a video of a Chiropractor healing a young man who was bent over for a very long time. In less than a month of treatments, he stood tall as he walked out the door with plans of becoming a Chiropractor, himself. It was so inspirational, it almost made me want to become one!

http://www.newslinq.com/back-pain-kyphosis/

In a way, I think that we write to heal.

Most of us who are writers, remember when we knew we “had to” write. Like those who sing or dance, paint or act. It is so hard to explain. Right? Even when we don’t do what we are supposed to do, we still really are who we are. Does that make any sense at all?!  If a dancer stops dancing, she is still a dancer. I know that as an artist, I am still an artist. I could still draw a new illustration for one of my greeting cards or make a doll and at times I miss the art shows and the long nights getting ready for the next one, or packing up my car to head for a holiday show, But from the begining, I really feel that if I had to choose, I was always meant to be a writer.

During my art show years, I wrote poems for my cards, I could probably publish a few volumes of what I’ve written. I’m talking hundreds. Some not great, some not so bad. But writing here at WordPress, the last few years has really made me want to write more. Though I go through spells. Really dry spells. Recently writing my story, really did me in. Going back in time, affected me more than I knew. Literally, mood changing, and it was hard for me to snap out of it. But it was also very healing. I know I have a message for women. If just one sees herself in my story and takes back her power, it will be worth it.

writer frustrated

I have realized that I need to go back and adjust parts, tear out others and be more brutally honest. I am glad that somewhere inside myself, I knew that it wasn’t good enough. Fictionally introduced to spare those that might not want “their” story told, I intend to pull out some of those muscles that have become mushy and push on, like an old dancer, who knows that they have not danced their last dance, and still have a few more great performances left.

ballerina sitting on floor

The age old question.  Does everyone have something? Why do some live their whole lives without ever sharing it or letting us know their gift? Why do those of us “have to” do what we do? And why do we sometimes stop? I think it is exhausting at times. To share daily, is like going to the gym, you have to be dedicated.

It is more about exercising our words. It heals us as we write. More often, I have been going back into my archives and having my own AHA moment when I need it the most. Pricking my own soul with a message I wrote years ago. And realize that I really am writing for myself. Trying to reach my center, not really being the expert for anyone else but me.

library shelves

Blogging is a funny thing.  There will be the handful that LIKE this before I can even re-read it myself. The ones who support you just to be nice… And then I have my two or three dozen very loyal readers, who really read because that is what they do. (I love you guys!) And then there are the writers who I have bonded with who read pretty regularly, even if I have been missing for a while, every so often, if I don’t write, I get comments from people reading random old posts of mine, which is amazingly inspiring. And then there are the writers, that support you as you support them. If you don’t work it, you lose them. Like anything, ya gotta work it to stay in shape! Lets just say, like my wedding diet (mother of the bride in June) I am back! Well, I am trying!

ballet

 

It’s A Circumstanial Thing. Right?


 

sad girl staring out window

It has taken me almost a half a century to understand that one of the greatest measuring sticks we have in our life is death. As I have lost friends and family members, recently  I have learned that our legacy is more important than the “things” we gather, here on this earth, because they are all left behind to be given away by someone else anyway. It is more about the things we give away while we are here that really matter most.

And it is not only about material things, even more so, it is about our self and our time. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that I am selfish in giving away pieces of me. I give freely to the people I know love me. But even at times, I’d rather be alone. And if someone is difficult, even if I love them, I have learned to avoid rejection or dysfunction at all costs.

I spend time with a handful of people I choose to, that matter most to me, and don’t really go out of my way to make new friends. My husband is constantly wanting me to reach out to friends at church and I have always dug my heels in, except for a select few. I remember when we moved away from the place I literally grew up, away from all of my friends, to a brand new place and he’d said, “you’ll make new friends.” I told him, I have all the friends I need. Well, that would have been very sad if that was true, because some of those friends now, are the ones in that handful of friends I mentioned earlier, that I have grown to love and choose to hang out with most.

I do know that I tend to want to come home from work which is a “people” job, and retreat into my own little shell away from everyone, not answer too many questions, or have too many plans and just unwind. I know that I disappoint my very socially inclined husband, and I feel bad and then that makes me mad because I feel guilty and that is up there among the top four feelings I hate to feel… Frightened, Sad, Angry & Guilty!

Depression is something I have never bought into. I mean, I know it exists organically. I worked in a Psych Unit for almost six years. It is a very real condition. And there is treatment for that kind of Depression. I’ve witnessed the successes of those treatments. But what I am talking about is admitting that I have it or not. Which I was told that I do by our counselor. And have fought that diagnosis ever since. In fact I got mad and stopped going to counseling. Thinking of course you are going to have to label me. I’m not depressed! I’m mad and angry and exhausted!

I mean, crap happens and you are sad, or scared or angry because of it, right? It’s a circumstantial thing. Depression doesn’t happen to people like me. I go to work every day, I don’t sleep my life away. I laugh and joke and live! You work through the crap and it goes away. Right? Maybe not. Maybe you work through it, but the layers of fear from all the things that have happened in life pile up and you don’t know how to deal. For the first time since then, I have wondered. Maybe she was right?

Fighting a war inside your head is exhausting. Being expected to even know how to begin to talk about it, takes your breath away. Even people like me, who talk for a living. It is like caring too much about everything but being perceived as if you care about nothing. Always looking back, wanting to fix where you were, being afraid to believe in tomorrow. Sometimes faking a smile and saying you are fine, is so much easier than trying to describe your pain. I mean, don’t think that I can explain how I feel when I don’t even understand myself. Always wanting someone to just say “It’s going to all be okay” and  for me to really believe it. And wondering if you will ever feel like it’s really okay.

A lot has happened to a lot of people, horrific things that I can’t even imagine and they have turned around and made their journey into lessons for others. I know that some of my experiences can be an opportunity for a better testimony, that if I can get through it, others can too.

I guess that I’m beginning to realize that finding the courage to understand is our reward.  That it’s okay to cry for the ones that we miss, but so important to embrace the ones that are still here. That fighting for life is making us stronger and that stronger is a very good thing. And that I need to learn how to really and truly, genuinely love the person I have fought for all along… and that, that person is me.
To love God first, and then ourselves is one of the  hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. For I can’t love anyone else until I understand who is loving you.

She builds people up because she knows what it’s like to be torn down.

praying woman's hands

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love Him.                                                                                             1 Corinthians 2:9

Tomorrow IS the Answer!


We have a local site with someone who anonymously keeps us updated on all of the local emergency occurrences  happening in our area via his Facebook page, which I followed since I drive over 50 miles a day, to and from work, and his traffic information seems to be the most up to date. Sadly his recent reports have been on a few local accidents that have occurred on our local train tracks. Even sadder, they seem to not be accidents but suicides.

computer screen frustration

I try not to get sucked into the comment threads, because at times they are so frustrating and can make you look pathetic, wasting even one minute arguing with a stranger, though as a writer that some might describe as opinionated, I can never keep my mouth shut when it comes to the above subject.

When I was a young girl my boyfriend’s mom killed herself. She’d attempted it a few times before that, but succeeded when we were dating. It was one of the most horrific of experiences I’ve ever lived through. And I have never really been able to describe the pain she left behind.

tears

I sincerely believe that if she’d received the right kind of help she would still be here. She was vivacious and funny, smart and beautiful and one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. Everyone loved her. She was a mother, a wife, my boss, and one of my best friends. It happened around this time of year many decades ago, and it still affects me as if it were yesterday. Statistics say that this is a high suicide time of year. And our census was usually up during the holidays at the hospital where I worked many years ago.

I believe that her pain was real. I believe that she was chemically imbalanced and that her issues were organic. And I believe that she could have been helped. I also believe that I was far too young and inexperienced as was my boyfriend to be held responsible for not knowing how to help her. And yet I think that because we couldn’t, it affected us both in ways that we still are dealing with in our own separate lives today. So yeah, I do believe that when someone kills themselves it is no just about them. Having said that, I believe that this woman that I loved, that might have been my children’s grandmother, missed a whole half of her life, I know that she missed weddings, celebrations, births and probably deaths and sadness too. But her life was far from over.

Today I was very disturbed by the comments that a few particular people made defending suicide saying that some people just don’t want help and not condoning it, but making it almost okay and defending the act. It is not okay. The next comment was…. “It’s not about you.” You wanna bet? It’s about everyone involved. And it is something that lives with you forever after. Always asking what could we have done? Even over thirty years later.

My childhood best friend just died of cancer last year. She fought to save her life for twenty years. She did everything she could to fight. She finally didn’t have a choice. I understand that depression is a disease. I understand because I have it. But don’t tell me that it is okay not to fight for life! You do have a choice.

The way that conversation was going could make somebody feel that it was okay not to fight, that if your pain is so great, go ahead and jump in front of a train and maybe kill some people in your wake, don’t think about the people who will have to clean the blood off of the tracks or the conductor who couldn’t stop in time. Suicide is one of the most selfish acts anyone can do. And they may be fighting words for some, but I will never change my opinion. No matter how you do it, Somebody has to find you. And most likely it will be someone who loves you.

I was then told that I must not know  about mental illness. Hmmm, I guess working in an adolescent unit of a private Psych Ward in LA for almost six years does not count? I counseled a lot of kids and adults who were in excruciating pain and I must say that one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced was running into them later in life and being introduced to their families. A husband, they never would have met, and kids they never would have had, and living a life they chose to fight for. Meeting people they never would have met, experiencing celebrations and love and new babies, all that they never would have known if they’d stayed stuck in their hole. Telling me how grateful that they were that we didn’t give up on them!

And so Yeah, I still believe that… Suicide is not the answer and I won’t be a part of ever saying that sometimes the pain may be too great. Perhaps it is for that day, maybe even for several days. But it will get better. I am proof. I have been pretty wasted in the toxic wave of my own depression. To the point of not wanting to go on. But I believed in something greater than my own pain.

Don’t give up today because the sun really will come out again and though you will still have your happy and sad days, you won’t miss the happy ones when you finally decide that…  Tomorrow IS always the ANSWER!

kiss on stoop

 

The future is exciting. Always believe that something wonderful is going to happen.

Dear Past, Thanks for ALL The Lessons! New Future, I am Ready!!


happy smile

Happy New Year everyone! I am thankful for you all. For whatever reason I have been gifted your presence, as you share your valuable time with lil ole me, reading my thoughts and ramblings, I am humbled and honored. It has been so long since I have last posted that I had trouble getting here and accidentally posted a poem I’d written in the past and left in my to be edited pile. Still untitled. But it has gotten a little more activity than I expected, so I have decided to leave it be. Though my intention was to be positive today.

I did not intend this to be a post about resolutions but more of realizations… I wanted to wait until all of the New Year posts had been written, kind of like waiting to go to the gym in February, after all of the New dieters have dwindled to the serious resolution keepers!

But in my reflections I’ve been trying to figure out how to put my thoughts so that you’d GET what I wanted to say…

I guess it’s like this… We all have a story. And we are the authors of our own pages. I think that the quote: Today is the first day of your life! Has been so over done that we have discounted it. But in reality, it is a pretty powerful statement. I know people who wake up everyday with new hope. They just are happy. Or appear to be. Whatever it is… it is inspiring. I am blessed to be married to one of those people. It has defintely been a challenge for him I am sure being married to me. I think sometimes we speak totally different languages in the morning!

Speaking of which, I think that learning new languages is amazing. I wish I had that talent. It is one of the things that has always impressed me. But I think even more than that, learning to be quiet inside our own language is even more impressive. To not say anything at all when I reeeeally want to… is a talent that I am trying to master daily.

I think that this year my intention is to grow, to listen more, to stop judging, to catch myself and ask, what is it that I am seeing that annoys me so much about that person that I might see in myself. And to always wonder why that angry person is angry, it most likely has nothing to do with me.

To ignore the wrongs done to me, to forgive more frequently, but to understand that ultimately in the end, I am doing it for me. For I have wasted so much time in the past being stuck somewhere else – hanging on too long & not letting go.

For…. You can’t push a rope you know!
rope

God bless everyone in the coming year! May it be our BEST one yet!

xoxo

Diane

 

 

This New Version Of Me


rainey window and butterfly

I think that as we grow, no matter what our age, we learn to embrace who we are in a less selfish way. For several decades of my life, I needed everyone else’s approval. And as I look out the window today, I kind of feel like the seasons. A couple of weeks into the “time change” it seems as if the weather has taken a kind of dramatic turn. From sweltering hot to now, checking whether to bring an umbrella or not and layering clothes.

As I sit here before jumping in the shower I look out my window, as fog greets me. Funny how a certain time of day, and type of weather can just snap you back to times of long ago. And so I sit here, enjoying the view, feeling warm and safe and embracing the moment. Such is life. We struggle all of our lives to be our authentic selves and sometimes things change inside of us as quickly as the seasons. While some epiphanies take a little longer, it is life changing when it happens. How I wish it wouldn’t have taken so long. To feel comfortable in my own skin.

I am beginning to like who I am becoming, to see that there is no need to constantly seek out other’s opinions for my life, nor to judge others so much. To talk to a friend or coworker rather than about them, if need be. For after all, we tend to gossip to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. You know? Slowly, I’ve made a committment to stop the negativity. It’s been a long time coming and yet, I’ve grown to realize that the person constantly puffing themselves up in regard to their own accomplishments, transparently feels inadequate in some way, the coworker that is short with you one day, may feel under the weather or have had bad news but still had to come to work to pay the bills. The one gossiping about someone, has the need to bring information to you because they feel they have nothing else to offer. And I’ve realized that I’ve been a version of each of those people throughout my life. While really trying to get to know where someone else has come from. What they have endured in their lives, what might be going on now and to stop judging so much! It really feels great to finally feel as if I am beginning to understand me and who I want to be. I kind of feel like Dorothy when Glinda told her: “You’ve always had the power my dear you just had to learn it for yourself.”

red slippers

Below is a post* that I wrote a few years ago. It was the beginning of my AHA moment and this new version of me. Someone recently LIKED it and it made me go back and reread it and realize how life changing things happening in our lives, may seem like a valley but how eventually God takes us up to the mountain top again. Just you wait and see!

*>>>    https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/getting-over-it/

Filling That Space


Brooke's engagement ring

Something happened the other day that made me really slow down and remember God is in charge in a much bigger way. My daughter lost her engagement ring. All moms hate those calls when that usually bubbly voice is overcome with sadness. In all of the phone calls like that, since she has walked out of our front door into the world she is creating, we have been blessed that more than not have just been fender bender or parking ticket or friendship blip calls and nothing more. But listening to the pain in my baby’s voice and not being able to fix it is devastating. I’ve said before, that a mother’s happiness depends on the heart of her unhappiest child and so since I heard the news, I have woken up every morning praying that she will find it. Though it didn’t cost thousands of dollars, I know that Chase saved up for it and that because he picked it out especially with Brooke in mind….

Brooke and Chase Engaged

She loved it more than any other ring in the world. When she told him she lost it, of course he was sweet and felt bad for her, but showed his true colors by saying all the right things that reminded me of another story, years earlier…

My sweet little niece Adrienne hadn’t had the best examples of loving relationships while growing up. I remember telling her… “Someday, you can make your own life into all the things you missed out on when you were growing up.” And she did. Going out into the world, she dated a bit, but when she found Vance, it was different. He put her first. I am sure she already was in love by the time the accident happened, but I remember her telling me that when she crashed his brand new car on the freeway and called him crying and all he asked was “Are you okay?!” She said at that moment she knew that he was “the one.”

When my first mother in law (her grandma) died, Brookie and I met them for the funeral. We went out to get coffee before the service and though now, I can’t remember the exact story… it went something like this… Adrienne was so happy with the coffee in all her sadness and Vance smiled and said something about how cute she was. It was a silly little conversation, but Brooke saw something in that exchange that  touched her so much that later she told me that she was going to find “a Vance.”

Later, when she grew up a little more and began dating, no guy ever measured up to the love she remembered witnessing all those years earlier. She almost lost faith that there may only be just one Vance out there, until she met Chase. So many small little stories through-out their six years together have all added up to  Chase earning the space she saved so many years ago while watching her cousin’s sweet relationship. She’d been a flower girl in their wedding and felt their love was magic. So years later, she had her template.

Adrienne at the beach

Today, in all of my pain for her in her loss, I know whether the ring is found or not, Chase already said all the right things, just like Vance did.

brooke and chase1brooke and chase4

He loves my baby with the same respect and devotion that Vance loves my sweet niece. And oh yeah as far as happy endings… My sweet niece has created a wonderful little family with God blessing her with the most beautiful children and sweet life. I am sure they’ve had their ups and downs, but it made me realize God answers the bigger prayers.

Adrienne's Family

I pray that Brookie finds her ring, God found her a perfect love. He found her exactly what she asked for. God is definitely a God of answered prayers and he answers in detail!

(Please pray my baby finds her ring!)

Pride: it cometh after the fall too


I HiJacked my sweet friend Louise’s blog today by my long winded comment so I had to REBLOG!!!! She always inspires me to the upteenth degree! Obviously! If you don’t know her work, watch her TED video here on her blog… and read some of her past posts! I guarantee you will FOLLOW her and wait on the edge of your seat for her next brilliant post! She is an artist as well! Can you tell I am one FANatical fan?!

Dare boldly

Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.     — Andrew Murray

I wrote last week about The Fall. About landing on the cold, hard cement in front of my office building downtown and the mind chatter that ensued.

At Choices last week, while chatting with another coach about monkey mind chatter, I shared what happened and told them that I was shocked to see how, even before I knew if I’d broken anything or not, my mind immediately leaped to that place of, “OMG! I hope no one saw me!”

Imagine. Lying on the ground, not even sure if I am hurt or not and all I can think about is my pride.

On Monday, I gave a presentation on homelessness to a group of University students. After the presentation, a woman came up to share the story about her daughter.

“She’s lived in a group…

View original post 244 more words

Someone Else’s Hero


A child is supposed to feel safe. And yet if that is the case, why are so many adults in therapy? Some people had wonderful childhoods and were raised with caring and loving parents who taught them right from wrong, others had good parents and comfortable childhoods and their parents made mistakes but did the best they could. And still, others had horrific childhoods and terrible parents and seem perfectly fine. And yet all of these people have one thing in common. An inner child who is still there.

Recently, I have gone through a process of recognizing my inner child. She is the one who doesn’t trust because those who she trusted hurt her. She is the one who was never allowed to talk about her anger and so she learned how to lash out. She is the one who always wanted a voice, and now speaks too loudly sometimes. She is the one who felt so out of control most of her life, so that now she needs to control EVERTYTHING!. She is the one who was disappointed and so only sees the negative in things so she will never be disappointed again.

Ahhh, that feels so negative. It really isn’t. My inner child remembers the great things too. She loves to learn and organize and create and run and laugh and play. She has a special handful of friends that she trusts with her life and would do anything for. She always looks forward to a good time. She is in there too, all of her. Experiences and memories, Lessons and moments, all moving her along like editing a motion picture.

Stop and close your eyes and find your inner child. Who is he or she, really? If we all got a chance to go back and meet each other’s inner children, and really understand where the guy who cut you off on the freeway or the back stabbing, coworker at work first began, perhaps maybe we would have more compassion for all of them.

The little girl who was always worried that her Daddy wouldn’t get home safely because of his drinking, the little boy who felt brushed aside because his mother was too busy getting ready to go out. The kid who always heard fighting and never knew when the next explosion would take place. The little step son who never could do anything right, the kid who always waited for his dad to show up when each time he never did.

Always lonely, always worried, always brushed aside, feeling unimportant, abandoned,  the one who started out not fitting into his own family, always seeking the perfect place where he could feel as if he belonged. The little girl who had to grow up fast because she wasn’t allowed to be the child. Always fixing, always nurturing.  Always performing, and yet she was just a little girl, but today not quite a grown up.

And yet the parents that did come through, the other family members who stepped up to the plate when they were needed most, the friends and mentors, the teachers, the ones who gave them a voice, the protectors and rescuers, of those who were lucky enough to have them, all MADE A DIFFERENCE.

Today, if we look inside of ourselves, we all can find a piece of that child still lingering inside. Perhaps if we all reached out to just one child we recognized as hurting, and began mentoring instead of criticizing, hugging instead of scolding, teaching instead of berating, sharing with instead of rushing away, we might just break the cycle and begin to lead the way, to find the children and to become the protector, the mentor and the difference maker, in a way that helps lead the child inside of them to a place where we all can grow up and be someone else’s hero. Because…. all of those children eventually grow up to remember the difference makers in their own lives and hopefully, someday, will grow up to  become somebody else’s hero, who someday they will remember made a difference in their life and keep the cycle going as they pay it forward and become a hero.

The things I know for sure.


suitcases

I’ve been traveling a long time with my past and It hasn’t been easy to keep lugging all those suitcases around everywhere I go!  I’ve come to realize that not everyone I started out with, will end the journey with me. Just recently, this reminder has been made crystal clear for me. I guess that I never stopped to understand; just how short life really is! I’ve learned that the only ONE that I can really count on to be there from start to finish is The Lord. And as I’ve grown older, the more comforting that has become.

I’ve also learned that survivor’s guilt is very real, and wondered why I’ve been left behind. What am I supposed to do? Does God have a plan for my life? Is it my responsibility to discover the opportunities He has for me? I know the answers.  I have been given a gift in this reality check,  and with all that knowledge I’ve come to some new conclusions… You don’t need permission to grow or to unpack or just leave those old suitcases behind and move on and you don’t ever have to feel guilty for living your life authentically your way.

typed to be continued

When I started this blog, I titled  it “The One Thing I know For Sure” and periodically I’ve shared daily, weekly and sometimes just monthly, depending upon my schedule. Sometimes, I’ve come here to share my snippets of self-proclaimed wisdom. And all that I feel that I’ve learned throughout this journey that I’ve been on. For after all, you hopefully can’t live over a half a century without learning a few lessons right? So now here I am again sharing  some more “stuff”….

words of dreams

I’ve learned that God does not punish you for your past sins. He just forgives. WE punish our selves by not letting go.

Jesus hem

I’ve learned that Letting go is like getting a third lung! You can finally really breathe again!

triumphant

Ive learned that no amount of guilt can change the past.

lonley girl on rocks

Ive learned that it’s just as hard to let go sometimes as it is to hold on.

silhouette of hands

I’ve learned that it is okay to love & forgive someone, without wanting to spend time with them.

sad woman

I’ve learned that silence is sometimes the best response.

shhh

I’ve learned that we never stop caring, nor can we force others to care.

floor crying girl

I’ve learned to not look back because I will only trip on where I AM going!

suitcasess

I’ve learned that when you realize your kids are a lot like you, you will never really know if the ambivalent feelings you’re feeling are more pride or fear!

mother and daughter hands black and white

I’ve also learned that a mom is only happiest as her unhappiest child.

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I’ve learned that a spiritual man is pretty darn hot!

praying man on his kneespraying handspraying man with hand lifted

I’ve learned that Loyalty rules, and that forgiveness trumps anything I thought I ever really wanted.

praying couple's hands

I’ve learned that a negative mind will never give you a positive life.

crying in bed

I’ve learned that I have spent too much time in the past, not enough in the present and that one of my biggest flaws is that I always have to have something to look forward to!

airline tickets

I have learned that “Though honey is a very good thing, that there is something about right before you taste the honey, that is almost as good as when you do!” (Winnie The Pooh) ©

winnie the pooh in the honey hive

And I’ve learned that the less suitcases you carry with you through life, the faster you can get to what comes next!

suitcase pile2

Diane Reed 2015 ©

A Lion Never Loses Sleep Over The Opinions Of Sheep


pointing

There are people in our lives that lift us up and others that are constantly Debbie Downers, no matter what their gender. People who gossip about everyone and those that listen. And those that won’t. There are people who light up a room when they walk into it and others that are hard to be around. Just like the people on the road that live their lives in a kind of constant road rage, with their hand always on the horn while they tail and cut everyone off in the process, never seeing their own flaws. And then, there are those other set of people who manage to get to one place to another without seeing the flaw in every driver.

traffic3

I’ve used driving as kind of a metaphor to help get my point across. Do you know someone who always has to be mad at somebody? One friend last week and a new one this week? A coworker, a boss, a landlord, a family member, or just some poor stupid stranger on the road? They obsess and talk about their issue of the week with them and then move on to the next victim. Sometimes the people they hate on have no clue, sometimes unfortunately they do. It is just sad that, that person just can’t relax and live their own life and stop worrying about everyone elses. At least until they get their own lives right.

sad man silloette

Some people can’t stand that you are moving on and constantly want to drag your past into today. Don’t let them. It is your life and your choice what today will bring for you. One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard is…. Just don’t react. When you remain silent, you have the power, because when someone does not know what you are thinking they have nothing to respond to.

breaking up

Recently I’ve been surrounded by the death of some very important people in my life and it has really made me slow down and not react so quickly. In a way in reflecting alone, I’ve been in this place of restoration. Choosing what is important and what is not and who I want to be around and who I don’t. Over the years I have systematically chosen to not be around toxic people, but I’ve always kind of felt guilty about it. Just recently, I have given myself permission to let go because eventually everything connects.

lost love on the beach

I may not be where I want to be this minute. But I am not where I used to be yesterday. Every step is mine to take and the direction I choose to go. I can choose to be miserable when I wake up or I can choose to be strong, the energy used in that choice is the same though the end results can be monumental. Anger destroys, it consumes all your energy and is toxic. People around you will begin to avoid you. The secret is to not focus all your energy on fighting the old but building up the new. Change is like a gift we can give ourselves. Do it now. Because sometimes later becomes never.

cemetery foggy

A Lion never loses sleep over the opinions of sheep. Don’t you love it? I just ran into this quote this morning and it rang so true for me today. We need to stop allowing the opinions of others to rule our day. Especially when we know that it’s coming from twisted anger.

sheep in our backyard

We must remember that the strongest people are not the ones who show their strength in front of us, but who have won battles that we will never know anything about. I am stronger because I’ve been weak, I am fearless because I’ve been afraid and I am wise because I’ve been foolish. I am working on the day when I won’t need validation from anyone but God. That is the day, when the world will fear me. For the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack!

lion-05.jpg (1366×768)

Through the magic of the Air


sealing wax

Old friends across the miles

I still recognize your smiles

terri, scott and i

wishing nothing but the best

happy times and all the rest

friends sunbathing

they were the times of our life

How quickly they passed by

peterpan and wendy not a cartoon

We didn’t see it then

how someday we’d just  click on “FRIENDS”

girl flying

And through the magic of the air

Mail... You Got Mail

We’d find each other there.

facebook friend request icon

Diane Reed ’15 ©

To Not Miss The Thermals Along The Way!


airline tickets

 When I was little, my dad would send us to Seattle every year to visit our family. It was a promise he made to my mom (to send us there every year) when he moved us away from there when I was very young. A promise that he kept as long as he was alive. I cherished those summers. And then I grew up and for some reason life got in the way and those trips just stopped. For me at least. I had better things to do. Or so I thought. I’d give anything to have those carefree summers back. I think I miss my grandma and my cousin most of all this time of year. That HIGH of seeing each other after a whole  year was the extreme feeling of love. That feeling of really feeling excited to see each other. The best feeling ever!

little girls playing2

Today, I work through my summers. The other day I mentioned to my boss (also a good friend) “Just you watch, this week will be over and I will be saying can you believe it’s Friday AGAIN?!” And Friday I asked; “Remember what I said about Fridays?”  It kind of scares me how fast life is passing me by. It seems as if only yesterday, falling in love was just something to look forward to. I hadn’t even kissed a boy yet, didn’t know where I’d end up living, if I’d have kids or who’d they be. OR for that matter, WHO I’d be!  Everything was all tucked inside my imagination. And now I know as if there is nothing left for me to look forward to. Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling of it all whirling past me so fast that the dread of it all being over has me missing “life” as it is happening.

woman writing at keyboard

I used to fly sail planes! Believe it or not. It was kind of a fluke. It was another summer in my life, We’d just hopped on my boyfriend’s motorcycle on a beautiful Saturday afternoon starting out to just take a ride along the cliffs of Palos Verdes and ran into these radio controlled sailplanes and ended up driving all the way to Lake Elsinore to see the real things. Before I knew it we were signed up and taking lessons! I remember my instructor, he was from Scotland, His name was Glen, he’d always greet me with “Top of the morning to ya!” We’d had a T-shirt made for him with that on it when I’d completed my course and began soloing! Can you believe it? I actually soloed. I think it is one of the accomplishments in my life that I am most proud of. motorcycle2 Being able to solo entailed a lot. You needed to know all the technical things as well as understand the way thermals worked and how to share one with another plane, how to be aware of the traffic in the sky etc.. Though my boyfriend soloed before me, I soloed with less trips up or lessons. I think Glen kind of just wanted me to beat my boyfriend who was very competitive. So I proudly raced my way to winning something out of our race! I will never forget that plexiglass dome coming down over me without Glen in the seat behind me! I just kept eyeing that red knob that I was supposed to pull at a certain altitude.

tow plane

I watched as the power plane pulled me up, and as it hit a little turbulence, I knew I’d hit it a few seconds later. There was a kind of comfort in that tow plane and the turbulence and knowing what was in store.. but finally as we rose to the correct altitude,  the power plane wiggled it’s tail, the sign for me to release! Yikes! I pulled the red knob and watched the power plane flip a U and go back down to pick up his next tow, as this total feeling of dread and exhilaration  filled me. My boyfriend was filming the whole scene below. I found the landing pattern, looked for other air traffic, eyed the chalk line I was supposed to land on, checked my instruments and remembered all the instructions, “Remember your wing span, don’t waver too much or you’ll clip your wing.” I remembered hearing Glen say as he patted my fuselage. Seriously? Did I really need to know that? You better believe it. Eventually, I learned to find thermals and enjoy the ride like I did when Glen was up there with me, instead of just being pulled up only to focus on landing and nothing else! After several solos and some other interesting stories I could tell, I look back on those days fondly but wonder…“Were you crazy Diane?!” (The things we do when we are young!) And yet, it is kind of like life. We need to pull the red knob sometimes and fly over the unexpected turbulence without any forewarning. To adjust and land. To always land. Yes life is like that, summers come and go, weeks speed by, but we need to stop worrying about pulling that red knob and enjoy the trip both up and down and have faith in our ability to land but to not miss the thermals along the way! Because it actually is about how long you can stay up, catching those thermals and not worrying about the turbulence or always landing so fast!

*Post Note (A friend asked me to write about my Glider days… so I did… >>>>By the way…. This one’s for you: Paywindow7 (Bob) Now you need to write another!) https://paywindow7.wordpress.com/

If You Closed Your Eyes


cruiseliner at dusk

All of our lives we try to fill that place inside

 where we go to find our joy.

 We go on trips and take vacations and make memories…

airline tickets2 airplaine wing sunrise bridge golden gate hotel dinnerwine toasting tub in candle light    beach house boat being pulled by suv sailing1 beach campfire

I’ve found a place inside of me where I can finally go,

where my heart has caught up with my head

and learned  things that it should know

I’ve finally filled the holes inside

with things I’ve learned will stick

not the obviously fancy things

that make me feel full quick

If you took all the pictures

away from the words I write

If you closed your eyes…

Could you

 really see the light?

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IMAG1803-1-20111114-194106

Diane Reed 2015© 


 

I Wish I Could Go Too


peter pan never grow up

I went to Cal Poly yesterday and saw Peter Pan with my daughter. It was the same show she’d played the “grown up” Wendy in almost a decade earlier. It was the last show she was in here at home, before she left for school to attend AADA, The American Acadermy of Dramatic Arts, a drama school that has been around for over a century. Ahhh how I remember those last days. They were so fragile and they’d hit me like a Mack Truck.

I wasn’t prepared for the whole “Empty Nest” thing. In fact, it really kind of creeped up on me. It all started with her driving, and then curfews changing and slowly, me figuring out how to let go. I’d done it almost a decade earlier with her brother and that was hard enough, but there is something about the last one. Anyway, I’d remembered this line in the play at the end and searched all over to try to find it again and couldn’t. I kept wondering… What was that line that had me sobbing in my seat all of those years ago?! So silly.

NOW I KNOW, it was a combination of things that caused it to have had such a strong impact on me, but I was sure that line was so much more than what it was. Maybe it was because my baby was playing the older Wendy and I related to that character so much right then, but it was the scene when Peter came back to find Wendy and was mad at her for growing up. She’d told Jane, her own little girl, all her stories about Peter Pan and was letting her go with him. The line was simply: “I wish I could go too.” At the moment I heard the line back then all those years ago, I guess I felt that I was saying goodbye to my youth as well. NOW, I realize that it hadn’t been the words, but the time in my life.that made everything more meaningful. Not only was I letting my daughter go, but I was giving her wings, letting her fly, to go find her way, to go realize her dreams, to embrace her youth and find her way. It was time for me to stay home. I’d had my chance. It was her turn. Today I’ve realized how stuck I’ve been. But it has been my fault. I am in this time of my life where I am in deep reflection. My parents are getting older. I am having to face realities that I haven’t had to until now. Even my friends are dying, two in two weeks. But I have to realize that, THAT is not the norm. They died too early! “All” my friends are NOT just dying. Sadly, two of our closest friends who’d both fought different illnesses for around twenty years went home to be with the Lord. I knew it was happening, I expected it. But when it did, my world kind of crashed for a minute or two or… well, I’ve been kind of stuck since, in a depression. Focusing on everything negative. This also happened when I turned forty. I wasted my whole 39th year focusing on the next. Funny, but it took the very same play to kind of make me think about it. Lately, I’ve realized that the weeks seem to whip by, as if my life is going in fast motion. I think I got lost for a while. I think that I felt as if I’d missed my chance. My art room is packed away in tubs in the garage, my book is in the archives of my “saved documents” and I’ve kind of felt like Wendy when she knows she has to let her daughter go and live her life saying “I wish I could go too.” But yesterday I realized that it probably wasn’t that line that bothered me… it was the line after Wendy’s wish to go too when Peter said… “Well, you can’t.” “You wanna bet Peter?” Watch me!”

Dr. Suess Editing


writer's block

I’ve been experiencing “writer’s block” for a while now. Though, I don’t think that I’ve ever truly experienced such a serious one. I’ve written several manuscripts, have a card line, and produced a monthly column for a local magazine. A few years ago, I started writing a book that was on my heart for decades. It was one that >I< needed to write. Now, I am wondering… Did I need to write it for me, or is it a story that others might find time worthy as well? Hmmmm. Well, it’s written. Or I guess I should say…I have the bones. The foundation is there.

Some of my “blog’s readers” have given my little project a thumbs up when I’ve shared pieces of it. Some have even helped edit parts of it, here and  there. But I KNOW that it is far from done. The editing has just begun. I’ve done a kind of Dr. Suess editing. Reading it to myself silently, reading it out loud, reading it to others, having them read it to me. Green eggs and ham, Sam I am. Ya know? You have to put it down, come back to it and read it again. In my case, I think that I’ve put it down for almost too long. I know I find new things wrong each time I come back so that might not be a bad thing. Over the course of re-reading it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I use the main character’s name far too much, I use the word “had” a lot (pointed out by one of my favorite editor/friends.) I Tell more than I show… All correctable. I just need to get my rear in gear and  do it. writers trash can In-between the beginning and end of writing this book, I have lost two close friends and just had some emotionally challenging times. And  have been S-T-U-C-K! Literally. But maybe those experiences can oil the keys and help? Another writer friend recently told me…     Thinking about the task at hand, takes more energy than just doing it!

type the end

 She is right. The blank page is not all that scary once you start putting a few words on it. Today, all we need to do, is backspace and re-write! Right?

Sam I am

Inside My Memory


drinks

City lights and jazz in the air

the smell of smoke in my hair,

the first scent of a lit cigarette

are memories I just can’t forget.

city view with bridge

Coppertone still fills my head

reminds me of things you said.

beach chairs

A time of day still makes me smile,

our hearts store them like a file.

Forgotten like a vapor’s mist

don’t mean that they don’t exist.

smoke

 A song or smell has a knack

of snapping us so quickly back,

at any given time you see

I can find you in my memories.

Ah, yes the smell of smoke in my hair

I close my eyes and find you there.

floating face

Keri London

2011©

Side Note* Keri London is my character’s name on my blog: http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com and this poem reflects that work. I am currently STUCK. Have finished the bones of that book and need to go back and edit so I can send it to a real editor and kick my butt into getting motivated again. I let life, work and being “stuck” get in my way. What I am afraid of is… is that I know editing means pretty much rewriting the whole thing! So I write these poems telling myself I am going to use them in my book… by the time I am ready to submit anything, I will probably have enough poems for a book all of it’s own! LOL. Thanks for reading and for my loyal readers who read both… you know I love ya!

xoxo

di/aka keri

Today Was A Bad Day


crying with head down

I smile and life goes on,

I even laughed today,

but something that would normally just annoy me

ruins my whole day.

My feelings are all muddled

and yet I have to face my life.

I have to go to work,

be a mom, a friend a wife.

Things that normally wouldn’t hurt me

fill me with so much pain,

I lash out in anger,

needing someone else to blame.

I want to cry and yell,

to fall into a heap

to make the world go away,

to make it stop, so I can sleep.

I want to ask you why..

you think that I should be okay?

When I just lost my best friend

only yesterday?

My laughter isn’t real

my smile is purely fake

My heart is aching

the whole time I’m awake

The hole is gaping, I can’t forget,

as all day the memories weave

How does anyone do it right?

When there is no perfect way to grieve?

Diane Reed

2015©

Dear Terri


terri, scott and i

We met when we were four years old and from that moment on we were a part of each other’s lives. It all started with a moving box that our new frigidaire came in. Her sister was two years older, and my dad loved to describe the memory… They knocked at the door, eyeing the big old empty box in our front yard and asked, “You got any kids?”

We quickly became buddies and she even shared the little boy next door to me without a problem. We caught frogs in coffee cans, shared the first day of school a few times together, played barbies and learned how to ride two wheelers and stayed out till the street lights came on. I will always treasure those memories those few years we got to live across the street from each other.

When I was growing up, I moved a lot due to my dad’s job. It’s not that easy always having to be the new kid but it’s really not easy being the new kid four times in the middle of a school year when you are in elementary school. I made friends, but there were times when I felt left out or was tired of always being dubbed the “new kid” and just knowing I had Terri was a kind of redeeming grace that carried me through those times.

Through the years we’ve probably written each other a million letters and shared more with each other than someone in our daily lives. There is just something about being able to talk it out in a letter that creates a deeper kind of conversation and a different trust than with someone sitting across the table from you. We’d both find stationey and sealing wax for the occassion and then later, emailed daily for years and years and years!

There was just something about knowing that though she was a thousand of miles away at times, she was also just a letter or a phone call away always. We were in each other’s weddings, had our babies around the same time and emailed each other every single day for years and years. We vacationed with our kids and visited each other as often as our lives permitted. She was my bff.

sealing wax

We had an inside joke about emailing each other…. When we were little, we used to look across the street to see if each other’s garage doors were opened. We knew then that it was okay to knock at each other’s doors and that everyone was up. (No one shut their garage doors back in those days unless they weren’t home or not up yet.) So when we would see an email from each other, we would refer to it as… “I was so glad to come on and see that your garage door was already up!” I have missed that opened garage door for a while now. It has been a funny feeling to want to tell her something and know it will never be opened again.

running through the field2

Today she has been released from this life, from her body, from all the hurts and disappointments this life has held for her to go and celebrate her life and be with our Lord. She lived a wonderful life, had so many people in it that she loved and loved her back. Even in the last two decades of illnesses she managed to weave around it all and embrace life with a passion and energy that few who are gifted with good health, ever manage. We may be missing her but she is in a better place.

I have no doubt that she is enjoying the party being thrown for her right now and will perhaps be in charge of some of the future parties up there in the future! (She always threw a great party!) And I have no doubt that she is preparing amazing places for us all who believe in that better place and in the Lord who has ALREADY embraced her!! Perhaps someday, I will get to live next door to her again! But for today… I am just going to take the time to really miss my very first bff. In these last few months, I have adjusted to the fact that our garage doors will never be opened again, but today it takes my breath away. I guess I always believed in another miracle. God gave her many in her lifetime. I know now the miracle is happening on the other side.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to perpare a place for you. John 14:2

clouds of joy

What Is A Soul Mate?


quote about looking for the answer in your questions

When I was younger I remember asking: “What is a soul mate?” Back then, I had it all twisted. I used to be able to tell you more of what it wasn’t than what it was… but slowly in the last couple of years I think that I have learned a little more and for me, it is not someone who comes bursting onto the homefront and whisks you off on some wild carpet ride that is sure to eventually lose the wind beneath the seat that carries you…  A soul mate is someone whose soul doesn’t knock into yours but bumps lightly and sticks.

Sophie

It is buying a bike for our granddaughter.

Sophie 2

AND a helmet!

Buying a sensible car when he really wants a TRUCK! It is driving for four hours to see a one hour children’s play that our daughter is in. It is going to all the counseling sessions at school when our niece needed her Uncle Jim. It is charging our son’s tires and brakes when we couldn’t afford it to make sure that he and our grandkids were safe. And for always stepping up. It is taking my car and putting gas in it and getting it washed and serviced. It is for knowing all the computer stuff and getting up in the middle of the night to fix something for me when I am in the middle of a project. It is for being the kind of son that  is an example to our kids when I fall so short of my own example.

hand from heaven

And it is for loving me inspite of me, for being the hand that reaches down and pulls me up out of my hole. For making me go to church and have friends and keep going even when I am in one of my funks where I don’t even want to get dressed let alone go out. He is the one who shows up everytime and really gets me even when I don’t have a clue of who I am. He is the one who has forgiven me for things I might not have forgiven him for… And how romantic is that? To be loved so unconditionally? How lucky  blessed am I? I used to wonder if it was possible to fall in love twice in one lifetime with the same person. Today my question has been answered a thousand times over, maybe not in the way that I’d originally asked it but now  I know it is very possible.  I used to not know what a soul mate was, until I found mine. Having a soul mate, well… It is feeling connected at the soul and still feeling how we felt in the very beginning.

hug and kissing

The One In The Mirror


This one’s for you Natalie!! Thank you!!! I deleted this one and wasn’t going to post it because it seems as if all of my posts seem to be about some aha moment where I am pulling myself out of a bad attitude… but your sweet note made me rethink it! So as I said, pulling this one out of the trash, AND… THIS one’s for you my friend!🙂

———————————————————————-

Sometimes it feels as if I have been sucker punched when I look into  the mirror lately. It’s not because I’m not that tanned sized five young girl any longer. It’s much more than that. I could handle that, if that’s all that it was. It is feeling like a failure. As if I have failed me. I feel like a stranger is staring back at me. She looks so tired and worn out and as if there is something missing in her eyes. And it makes me wonder. Where did I go?

I don’t want to see that tired sad older woman staring back at me. And wonder, did I fail her? Did I make the wrong choices? I have so much to be grateful for. Sure, life didn’t really go as I’d planned. But I do have many blessings. I have two great kids and an amazing husband. I have wonderful friends and a loving family. I have fallen in love a few times and had my heart-broken a few more. I’ve had losses and a few bumps along the way but for the most part, life has been good. God has blessed me. So why am I so sad so much of the time? Is it that I feel time is running out? Or that life is creeping up on me too fast and I haven’t done everything that I’ve wanted to? Or even more than a bucket list, accomplished things where I feel I’ve made a difference because you have known me.

standing at window

The other day I was thinking about everything and how I really should be happy. God has answered so many prayers. Sure life isn’t perfect. But I am blessed! I’ve talked about life being this empty book and everyday… you write a new page..

diary gram's But what happens when all the pages are written on????

journal

You get a NEW book

The good thing about living a long time is learning things along the way. We have a lot more to draw from as we go. And if I have learned one thing, it is that life is not over till God decides it is! I realized that I need to start participating in it to find that girl in the mirror that once was there! I know she’s in there somewhere on the other side just waiting to be rediscovered!

mirror middle aged woman

The other day, a man with very sad eyes came to book a room at our event center on the day that it already was booked. My heart broke for him. It was for a Memorial for his wife.  He looked so sad. He shared that it had been very sudden. The things about memorials, is you rarely have a lot of notice. I decided that I was going to make it happen! Though we’d never had such a quick turn over of events in one day, I made the executive decision! And I felt alive knowing that I could do something, no matter how small to help him in his time of grief.

It was a good reminder for me, that life isn’t always a choice. But I can choose to live it while I have the opportunity to do so! He was so grateful when I called to tell him that we would work it out. And it made me happy to feel that I had a tiny bit of power to help. And I have no doubt that  this man was put in my path as a reminder. That I do have the power to choose to live life and live it more abundantly or not. It is my choice. Funny, as I passed the mirror again, I glanced at it  this time, and I  recognized a familiar reflection, someone with life in her eyes, the one living it again!

Deuteronomy 31:8The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

hand from heaven

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

Embracing The Moment


winnie the pooh in the honey hive

“Though honey is a very good thing.” Said Pooh, “There is that moment right before you taste the honey, that is almost as good as when you do.”

I have always loved Pooh in all of his wisdom but if I were to choose just one of his amazing quotes, I think that the one above, resonates with me most. Because “I” am famous for looking back in regret and not embracing the moment. Last year when I was still working at my old job, a bride was getting married on our property. She was radiant, waiting for her maids in waiting. At first she was very sweet and happy waiting alone. But as they continued to make her wait, she quickly turned from a Princess to a Bridezilla at a fast rate of zero to sixty!

As others listened to her rant and rave and really carry on, (along with a few cuss words that Princesses should NOT know) I quietly took her aside and read her the quote I had on a necklace in my shop… “Listen to this” I said, “Though honey is a very good thing, that moment right before you taste the honey is almost as good as when you do.” She looked at me blinking back tears, as I placed the necklace in her hands and said, “this is your moment right before you get to taste the honey!” It was kind of like a little miracle as I watched and saw her expression change the minute it registered. Her face lit up and I knew she understood. Then she instantly snapped out of it and turned back into a beautiful Princess rushing out the door with her bridal party in tow (that in reality, actually only made her wait for all of five minutes.) “How did you do that?” A coworker asked, and I just smiled. “Magic” I winked.

How many times have you missed the moments that God custom made for you? Not just in changing your own attitude but in helping someone else change theirs?

Carpe Diem.

And then I did.


girls gossiping

I am not sure if it is the mind works™ supplements that I am taking from Shaklee™  or if I am just becoming more aware but I have realized that even though I am in a very good place right now, I can get sucked back into a place that I don’t want to be, in a matter of minutes. I have recently run into friends from where I used to work or they have actually come by to visit me and in a matter of zero to sixty, I can find myself right back in that place of dysfunction talking about the past. I have decided that I don’t want to go there ever again. I am not there anymore, I have moved on, both physically, and metaphorphically speaking and it feels good. I rarely think about it and so I have to ask myself why is it so easy to go there when the opportunity arises?

Today something happened that I just couldn’t get past and it almost ruined my day. A few years ago, it would have. But today I felt that I was stuck and worked my way through it. I have recognized how in the past I used to fall down into a very negative place and wallow in it until I couldn’t find a way out. Today, I felt under attack.  A dark spirit tried to rob me of the joy of Easter. I missed the message, I was so obssessed with something that I just couldn’t get past it. And then I did. I mean, I just did.

praying in pew

I can’t explain it, other than I made the choice to let it go and move on. I am not going to say that it was easy. I am not going to say that I didn’t want to rehash the particular issue I was having. But for the first time, I realized that it was up to me to just let it go or not, to stay stuck or move on. To make the choice to have a good time or not. If I stayed stuck the only person that I was really hurting was me. And so I thought about it, about laying it at the foot of the cross and deciding to let go.

Cross at dusk

I also realized that there has always been something about Easter that turns into a bad day. Historcally in my past Easters something negative happens and that is just silly because fifty Easters ago, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, so that is a good thing right? Over the years, I understood more about it but it was an Easter Sunday when I was seven years old that made that Easter special for me.

Jesus kissing praying girl

I guess I am sharing this because lately, I have a heightened awareness of the choices we have. Everything is a choice. And our attitude is the tool that steers us. In sailing, we tack back and forth as the wind fills our sails and pushes us to our destinations. If we let down our sails, what will happen? We stop. We are stuck.We know that all we have to do is put up those sails again to continue. So why is it so hard sometimes to put those sails back up?

sailboat

I have been so stubborn. Today I dropped those sails and missed the wind, I just stopped and felt mad and sad and stuck and then God basically asked me what I was doing, and what was the point. He told me to put the sails back up. I thought about. It was my choice. And then I did.

Just Me


 

 

I’ve always loved this picture! I have the print hanging in my livingroom. And so I share it here, as it inspires my post today…

There is another me… somewhere deep down inside of me. Someone who finds the words to write, but can’t always live up to them. She is the one who can’t stop the tears when she hears a song that reminds her of the ONE who never lets go… She is the one who is ashamed of every moment that she has failed HIM and the one who believes that HE will forgive her. She is the one who believes in the promises that she makes to HIM. And the one who is down on her knees again and again trying to get it right.

And then there is the me, stubborn and bitter, selfish and cruel and resentful of all the things in life that make it so hard to live up to the one inside who tries to be overwhelmed by grace. She is the one who remembers every wrong done to her, every word in every fight, every moment from years and years and years ago. The mistakes made by my parents, past friendships let go, broken relationships, loves gone wrong. Past pains, recent pains, I store them all up and store them in a place that keeps me stuck.

But the one inside, the one who knows better, the one constantly on her knees, prays for the me, the one who can’t forgive, the one who has built the walls, and tries to find me in whatever stuck place I am. She climbs the wall and reaches to help me over. I stand and I hesitantly take her hand but I am still weak, I can’t make it over with all my burdens and so she tells me to let go and I can’t. I become stuck. But she still keeps holding on and I begin to let go and get stronger and finally she pulls me over. And we are there together on the other side!

The other side is better… Not free from pain or life’s burdens but closer to the ONE who never lets go. And free from the past and the burdens that I have kept with me. Suddenly I am lighter and happier and able to live without the burden of always carrying everything with me. Today I decide to live in just today. And now I am on the other side, on my knees. And somehow it has become just me.

Someone who breathed in her babies and knew she should memorize the moments, kissed the boo boos and told them about Jesus and prays for all their dreams. She is the one whose heart broke when she lost the babies she did, and the dreams she had for them… She is the same one who believed in the vows that she breathed on the days she said them, the one who has made a thousand mistakes and will make a thousand more but she is all of me in one, the other me, the me on my knees.

 

Throwback Thursday… from my archives, before you knew me! I am starting to go back into where I was a few years ago and re-work some of the old thoughts I had. It is revealing to see how God really does answer prayer!

 

 

My Second ACT


I am in this weird place right now. I changed jobs several months ago and very recently had a very affirming review from a past employer (now my current boss again) whose opinion matters very much to me.

It is as if a part of my world has come full circle. As I begin to believe in myself for the first time in a long time. To stop second guessing myself, which was one of the few suggestions I was told that I need to improve on. I have a kind of promotion per say as I start this week feeling even more responsible to do my best.

Even though my review reflected that doing my best was already noticed. It has taken me a while to realize that I am in a job I love, working with people I value,  and actually getting paid for my efforts.  striving to do my very best as growing comfortable in the freedom that I’ve been given, trusting my own decisions and branching out in marketing our property and working with an amazing inspire-er and striving to become one as well.

girl flying

The wind beneath my wings

holds me higher than I ever imagined

as I  soar above the Second ACT!

Thanking God for HIS plan

as I realize

He knew exactly what He was doing

as I look back!

Diane Reed 2015

My message here is to believe that there is a bigger plan. To trust that if you give it to God, He will guide you! Trust your nudges! I second guessed mine for far too long! My inner voice was screaming at me, telling me what to do and I tried to tell myself that I was mistaken. Not to believe in me. And for a long time, I just got more and more depressed. Everyone was telling me that I needed to take something for it. How my life could change if I just took “this” or “that” but in reality, all I needed was to trust God’s nudges and me.

I wasn’t happy where I was in my life. Let’s face it, we spend hours at work, if you don’t like what you do, or  the people there you are going to feel depressed. Today, I feel happy when I get in my car to drive to work. I even enjoy my drive there. I feel blessed when I walk in the door and am surrounded by people who I enjoy and a job that challenges me.

My days are not long enough, I never count the hours, except to ask myself where the time has gone? And though I usually look forward to my days off, I also look forward to my days back. I thought I was too old to start over. I thought I was being loyal to my old place of employment, when I needed to be loyal to me.

Are you stuck? Maybe it’s time for your Second ACT!

It Is Well With My Soul


I have written a fictional memoir. It basically happened exactly the way that I described it, but to protect the ones involved who may not wish to be called out, I changed the names to avoid embarassment.

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-end/

It is funny, that though that was a time in my life that was pretty dark, I also have some pretty great memories during those very same days. And now, I really can’t say that I would like to change a lot about my life because I am in the midst of this amazing revelation between me and myself. Amost as if I have found a new friend… in me….

I have a new appreciation for the sentence: “I have been blind and now I can see.”

clouds of joy

I have been in such a dark place for so long that it is just nice to really feel the sunshine and smell the rain, to kiss the soft cheek of a baby and laugh really hard. To love the people I love with every cell of my being and to try to understand that this life is not the end and really have the faith that there is something more. And to try to get in touch with the journey.

BeFunky_triumphant.jpg

We all have this vessel that carries our souls around. But those vessel are all just temporary. What is important is the soul inside the vessel. God gives us each a journey all of our own. And lessons to go with it. We may not have a choice of the vessels we are given. But we do have complete control of the soul it contains.

It is not all about the bad times, it is about embracing the joy and the good that comes out of the lessons that have brought us to this place. Life is not ever going to be perfect. No movie nor best selling book will ever have a story that doesn’t have some ups and downs. That’s just how it is. And it is what we do with the downs that help us appreciate the ups. You can stay stuck in the dark or you can seek the light. And everyday we have the exact same choice. And today…

It is well with my soul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8_EfDqF7YI

I do hope that you take the time to click here. I promise it will be worth a few minutes of your time.

Still The One


friends two little girls with braids

“Love doesn’t keep track of wrong doings.”

It took me over a half a lifetime to understand what that one piece of wisdom that God  has tucked in HIS WORD over and over again, really means. I’m not sure  why it took me so long to truly understand just how simple this message was. For years, it seems as if I’ve been angry at something or someone. My dad used to say that I had a Forest going, with all of the leaves I turned over. I wasn’t always like that. I was a happy little girl. For the most part. But people hurt me and I let it get to me.

peaceful forest

A few years ago, I had a falling out with my childhood Best friend. We’d lasted for over a half a century without so much as a cross exchange. Well, at least on my part. She was the “alpha” in our relationship and pretty sharped tongued at times, and said it like it was. I’d accepted that part of her personality and though she hurt my feelings at times, I’d dealt with it. And then in one stupid afternoon, I used my words to retaliate and let her know that it wasn’t okay. It wasn’t that they were fighting words, or even that they ended our visit on  the spot. It was just that I’d had it and I stood up to her for the first time and it surprised us both and for the most part, changed  the future of our friendship. I am not saying that it is not good to be honest with your feelings, nor to stand up for yourself when the occasion calls. I am just saying that for me, it was not worth it. And it kind of changed the dynamics of a life long friendship. Though we’ve shared a thousand phone calls and texts and emails, and have confided and laughed and cried and laughed again since that last time, I hadn’t been back for a visit since that fateful confrontation. Until…  this last weekend, my daughter and I went to visit her. And she was still the one who I walked to kindergarten with, and failed my driver’s license test in front of… TWICE. She was still the one who was in both of my weddings and I in hers. She was still the one who let me drag her around as I searched for the perfect “first dance” song. She was still the one who ironed my wedding dress twice! We were even both pregnant with our daughters at the same time. She is two months older than me and her daughter is two months older than Brooke! And she is still the one who invested in my daughter’s dream, helping her pay for her first year of school.  She is still the one who my dad sent for when I went through a bad break up, and still the one who was my friend when I sometimes felt that I had no one else. And she was the first one I called when my dad died. She is still the one who has beat this damn cancer over and over again for the last twenty years. We’d planned a visit for her birthday this year, but then she canceled saying that her treatments were taking a toll on her and we should wait until later. But her sister (also my dear friend) called and said not to wait. So my sweet daughter piled in the car with me and we took that six-hour round trip laughing and crying both ways. door ajar The house was still the house she’d designed with loving care. The scent of her home still enveloped us as we walked through her door that I hadn’t walked through for a few years. And there she was. They’d gotten her a hospital bed. We covered her with the blanket we brought her for her birthday. She was able to get up and eat some lunch. I fed her soup. The next day she went on hospice. On the way home, my daughter begged me to get a mammogram. I got one the next day. I guess I am sharing this because I have learned that we don’t always have to make it about us. We don’t always have to be so offended. I mean after all, it worked for over fifty years the way it was. I do have regrets. I wish that I’d just “let it go” because we were best friends forever, we wrote to each other on stationery we picked out especially for the other  and used sealing wax to make it even more special.

sealing wax

Our friendship was one of the greats, the way we loved each other, and the history we shared would be hard to duplicate. But I still regret that one month where we didn’t know what to do so we did nothing. Last night, I read all of our emails since 2007 And you know what? God really has it right…. “Love doesn’t even notice when it’s done wrong.” 1 Corinthian 13:5

friends crying hugging

The Way We Write.


coffee and computer

When my daughter was in High School, she was one of the Drama Kids. They are a special group all of their own. Some mom’s pick their kids up after soccer practice, I picked mine up after rehearsals. It felt like she belonged to a little family that understood each other and it was comforting knowing she had them. I kind of feel like that about the friends I have made here. It is as if we are a family. It is funny, I’ve noticed that the same people who I follow seem to follow one another. All in a little circle of our own. We have found each other and it is comforting. It is as if we all go to the same church, love the same things, like artists or dancers or actors or musicians who hang out with one another because they have that connection with each other that no one else really “GETS”.

dancers

Sometimes I read a line somewhere or wake up in the middle of the night inspired and have to run to my laptop so I won’t lose it.

desk empty

I like clicking on my blog and knowing that I am entering a little neighborhood, where my friends, my family of writers exist. The ones that inspire and nudge, the ones that are my soft place to fall. Many who I have learned to call friend and  and have genuinely grown to love. The ones who I pray for and who pray for me. The ones who advise and mentor the ones who critique and suggest. We are like a writer’s club all having coffee at a cozy little shop that allows us all to gather and read our ramblings.  I love to hear about your writing and what inspires you, imagine where you write and what time.

Fiction_Critique_Meetup_January_19th_edited-1__4536771_ver1.0_640_480

The writer’s studio in my head is a lot like the one I tucked into my last book. It is on the third floor of my imaginary three-story house. The study is warm and cozy with an A framed shaped ceiling, with wall to ceiling built-in bookcases lining both sides. A little gas fireplace sits in the corner of the opposite side of the room next to a window seat  my desk is a heavy wooden, well oiled, antique with a banker’s lamp and a lap top and plenty of drawers. It over looks the tree tops and a little brook below. I usually have a mug of coffee with a splash of cream sitting nearby. And you can find me there every morning before sunrise and sometimes in the middle of the night when my mind forces me up to write.

attic office

In reality, I live in a one story house in a small lakeside community. My house is a little less than 3 miles away. When I am motivated I walk there occasionally and write. My window overlooks the road by the gate where all of the cars come and go, since we live on the corner of the first street inside of the entrance. It gets a little noisey, especially during the summer. I don’t mind though, I find the traffic comforting. One day I sat there writing for so long that I saw an empty moving van drive in and then drive out full. When I get inspired, I “have” to write.

I’d love to hear about your routines. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea so strong that it gets you out of bed? Do you write in a special place? At a special time? What does your “place” look like? I want to go there. Bring me there now with your words. If you please.

The End


Just wanted to share with all of you who have follwed this project that I am finally letting you know that I think that I have finished my book!

keris journal

Keri felt as if the air was being siphened from her lungs as she swallowed, trying to breathe. Her head pounded as she tried to filter out the background noise. The pain was the kind  you feel that stings when something smacks you in the face. It was a surprise, so unexpected. She closed her eyes as she tuned out the voice booming somewhere in her head. There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often now, and lasted longer and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful morning. Their day began with passionate love making and Keri believed that today would be a good day. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned, Jack’s…

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