aloha every day

aloha every day

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dear Mom,

Strength. Intuition. Humor. Selflessness. Forethought. Comfort. Grace. Humility. Joy. Passion. Empathy.
Unbounded Love

These are what make you a woman.

When I heard you say out loud that this surgery was removing what was left of your womanhood, 
that what would remain would be a
of a woman,
my heart officially broke.

So I got to thinking:
"What defines womanhood?"
Because it certainly can't be our physical parts.
These can be taken from us,
but the woman definitely remains.   
As I sit here by your side while you sleep on this, our 3rd night in the hospital,
I can hear you breathing.
The first night, even breathing wasn't so easy.
Your STRENGTH has brought you this far.    

How is it that you and I can be feeling the same way at the same time?  It is the magic otherwise known as a woman's INTUITION.  It is this, more than any physical body part that I am thankful to have inherited from you.

The moment we stepped into this hospital, you had one goal: To make every person you came into contact with laugh. Your sense of HUMOR has blessed your relationships with others, including every nurse in this hospital.  In fact, one didn't want to leave you yesterday as her shift ended.  Your humor has always been intact: My friends still talk about the bikini night shirt you wore to every sleep over at our house!

The night before your surgery, you wanted to go to the grocery store; not to buy things for yourself, but to stock your kitchen for your sons who would be staying at your house for a few nights.  You were, and always have been, SELFLESS.  There is no greater COMFORT than knowing that your mom is nearby, in thought or in presence.

Your GRACE has been a guiding light these last few days.  
As you said earlier today, "If you treat the nurses kindly, without demanding, you will be treated that way in return." It takes HUMILITY to think of others first when you are in too much pain to help yourself.  

The last few days, you have been visited by your first grandson, Jackson.  The moment his face pokes out from behind the curtain, your JOY is unmistakable.  Your PASSION for being "Grammy" trumps any pain that may come your way.

When the doctors told you that you needed to get up and walk, the task seemed monstrous.  You had been bedridden for 2 days and your strength was extremely low.  However, as you began to walk, your goal quickly shifted from walking only a few steps, to making it to the door of your neighbor (who had been yelling "hello" from down the hall for 2 days straight).  Your EMPATHY for a man who didn't have visitors brightened his day (even though he seemed more interested in his pillow, he knew you were there to see him), and everyone else's around you.

Although there is so much more I could say, the largest, most significant aspect of your womanhood is your UNBOUNDED LOVE for my brothers and me.  Even in your heavily medicated states these last few days, you've been more concerned for us than for yourself; always checking on whether we've eaten, slept, etc. "You can never stop being a mother," you said...over and over again.

And so, as you and I head home tomorrow, we may be leaving a large piece of you behind.
But your womanhood?
It remains fully intact.
No one can EVER take that from you.

I love you forever and forever,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walk in your footsteps

The weather report said "partly cloudy." I came anyway; I find my peace here, I reconnect, reaffirm, reroot, replenish, refresh here. I am my most-grounded me here.

Before claiming my spot for the next few hours, I walked the length of the beach, then turned around retraced my route.  Lately, I have been counting my steps while walking anywhere.  It's my way to release anxious thoughts, to be present.  528, 530, 532...I count by twos, every second step because, well, I have a few theories on that: an attempt at efficiency, pure laziness, or, most likely, my undying need to organize my life.  Everything in my life.  

So, I turned around to retrace my route, and there they were:
My Own Footsteps
Stepping in each one became my goal;
I even stopped counting.  
I was IN the need for distraction.

The first few footsteps were simple to retraceI quickly became aware that stepping in each footprint was not only increasingly difficult the further I went, 
but also that the path I had already tread was no longer my best path.

And isn't that a pivotal thought for life?
We cannot re-do what has already been done.
We may look back upon the footsteps in our lives, but stepping in them again is not only inefficient, it is increasingly impossible.
The further back in your path you try to retrace, the more the outline of the footsteps have been washed away by the tides of life.    After a while, what once was footsteps now only carries their partial resemblance.

How did my walk end up, you ask?
Ah....that partially cloudy day was absent of the fluffy whites.
A temperate 75 degrees warmed my skin as I basked in the glory of a beautiful beach shared only by one other ocean-lover (in human form).
Mother ocean created frequent shorebreaks that misted my face and made me smile with complete delight and abandonment.
Spring is here, with summer following shortly behind;
Both forging their own paths forward.