“I Always Will”


My mom was a memory making mom. She baked with me and always made a big deal about me smelling the vanilla, taught my friends and me how how to paint rocks and play candy store. She got a coffee can  and punched holes in the lid so the neighbor boy and I could catch frogs, she took cardboard boxes and made doll houses with curtains and bathroom tile, beating anything you could buy in a store. She took me to Seattle every summer and at Christmas time, we’d go shopping at the dimestore every week  for a new piece to our Nativity scene. When I was older, she began doing art shows and took me to her botiques or shows and even though I didn’t realize it then, I am sure that is why I have this dream to be a success in doing them now.

Last night, my heart was so pricked by my friend’s son. I had to write about it this morning. My friend and I met many decades ago at a baby shower of another friend. Our husbands were our boyfriends back then, and the girl was my boyfriend’s best friend’s wife, who actually was the only one I knew there that day. Though it was a teensie bit  uncomfortable showing up at a party only knowing one person,  I’d always been pretty okay about going somewhere I didn’t know people, and making new friends. But I went for my boyfriend who wanted me to go. And that is where I met Shari.

Shari’s boyfriend was the brother of my boyfriend’s bestfriend. She welcomed me with open arms, we ended up sitting together and then making a date to go to a movie we both wanted to see, later that night. (A Star Is Born with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kirstofferson) to really give you an idea of how many decades ago this was!

After that, Shari became one of my best friends and we never looked back. Literally.

We made so many memories together. We married our boyfriends. She stuck it out. My husband and I lasted 14 years. (another story) But Shari and I have lasted a lifetime. We both got pregnant within a few months of each other, her first. I remember going to the beach after having hard, flat little stomaches not too long before that and digging holes in the sand so that we could lay on our stomaches! And together, experienced the magic of having our entire lives ahead of us.

She had a grandma who made her memories with her and so together, we had that memory making trait, wanting to make memories for our kids. We used to load up our babies in their strollers and walk downtown all the time. Or take them to the mall or the park. I remember peeking in the windows of empty houses together, looking for rentals as our families grew. We had (2) two traditions we kept for years. The first one was, meeting at Toys R Us late at night, after the kids and our husbands were sound asleep, (they would open 24 hours a day, a few weeks before Christmas) and shopping together without having to fight the crowds and then going out to Bob’s or whatever was open at that time of the morning to have some kidless time was something we looked forward to every year. The other was also at Christmas time, we’d go to The King’s Table in Torrance. It was a kind of smorgasborg where the kids could serve themselves cafeteria style and  then we’d exchange Christmas gifts that we budgeted in especially for each other and we did that for years.

Last night Shari and I were messaging each other on Facebook and her youngest son, now an amazing man and daddy himself, got on and joined our conversation and the subject of memories and the King’s Table came up and I told him, I loved that he remembered that memory. And he just said three simple words that made me cry….  he said, “I always will.”

You see, as I reflect on my life, sometimes I feel as if I’ve made so many mistakes. And worry maybe that those will win out over all of the memories I tried to make. But last night, well, it meant a lot to know that we really did succeed in making some good memories that will always be remembered.

 

 

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Growing through it all


lawn

When I was young my dad told me  I had a forest worth of leaves I said that I was turning over. The fact is, I wanted to be “good.” I tried hard. Whatever I was doing wrong, I wanted to stop and figure out how not to keep doing it. Today, some 50 + years later, I feel a little stuck in that little kid that never seemed to ever win the battle with myself. And if we are talking about buttons, my biggest one is, the guilt button. Feeling as if I have failed everyone else, but mostly myself.

I have been in places in my life, where I have thought. I’m never going to do it right for EVERYONE so, I just abandon all of my efforts and selfishly do what I want. I have always had this wild fantasy of just running away. Luckily as I grew up and learned about responsibility and then became a mother, I stopped running. Though I think when my marriage of fourteen years failed, I went through a mini-breakdown inside of myself and laid the first row of bricks that later would become the wall I began building around myself years ago.

As a kid, I never was one to not say what I felt. I mean, as I grew up, I grew a filter. But have been known to wear my feelings on my sleeve. One thing I have learned is that there is power in not telling people everything you are thinking. I have come to the conclusion that no one is entitled to KNOW everything until or if I am ready to share it. Though that wearing my feelings on my sleeve thing gets in the way a lot, because between the wall and having trouble not showing when I am hurt or angry, it is like an oxymoron raging inside of me. That ambivalence between wanting to do what is right but finding myself doing the opposite.

If you have followed me at all, you know by now, that I love a good metaphor and as I walked outside to turn on my studio the sprinklers turned on, it came to me just how to explain how I feel inside of me, this very minute. I am our lawn. I just mowed it a few days ago, so it still looks freshly manicured. Part of our lawn is pretty real grass that my husband just recently planted, part is still just dirt, (some still struggling to sprout the seeds planted) and the other half is dying old real grass that is having a tough time surviving this summer’s triple digit heat, and the other is just weeds that we pretend is grass or try not to notice isn’t, that we mow and water along with the other. Do you see where I am going with this?

Like the lawn, I am STILL a work in progress. Still worth being worked on. Still learning. Still struggling to grow new seed. Though, there is still a lot of work to do, wasting time on watering the old weeds, seems to be senseless.  But anywaay, my husband tells me that he has some weed killer he is planning on using out there when he can get to it! 🙂

I guess my point is… That I have learned, only God can get the weeds out. But He still tends to the places that I allow. The dead grass, the dirt, and the weeds are where I waste a lot of my time. Even though I see growth where the seeds were planted. I just need to realize that until I stop and hand it ALL over to HIM, I will remain stuck watering the weeds.