Stay humble, work hard and relax harder …

Yesterday was my son’s first full day at home in 2 months. I am so HAPPY he is back! He has been very busy at school, so keeping in touch this semester has seemed different. Not difficult and not distant, just different. George has created a nice life for himself at school with friends, clubs, sports and church. And he’s a good student. It’s really all a mom could ever ask for. I honestly couldn’t be happy for him. The thing that blows my mind though, is that he handles almost everything on his own now. Shopping, scheduling, meetings, appointments, etc. It has been such relief to see him take these responsibilities over easily and master being an adult. We have always had a great relationship so thankfully he balances all of that out, still asking for advice and assistance when he really feels he needs it. As a mom, I needed him to get to THIS place in his life NOW. Why? WeIl, if it all works out George will be studying abroad the entire next school year. This is also something he’s handled all on his own. Which has shown me so much about my son. He is driven. He is responsible. He knows what he wants and he is capable of making it all happen. And somehow he maintains an air of humility that is rare to see these days.

Yesterday, we had fun. George loves to cook so we shopped at his favorite butcher’s market to get food for his week home. We planned out our week ahead. And we also started researching and shopping for some of the bigger items he may need for his year abroad. It’s all very exciting! I am so thankful that he includes me in all of that when he can and I am grateful that there are pieces of it that I can still help him with. And it really helps me have a better understanding of what his year away will be like. A familiarity of sorts. I think he knows that including me in what he can somehow makes it all a little easier for me knowing he will be so far away for so long.

If I had to describe my son in one word (it’s really impossible to do that) I would choose KIND. He knows that I will never let my fears hold any of my children back from chasing their dreams. So he does his best to ease my nerves when he can. Even if he has no time in his day, he will find the time to reach out to me if he thinks I’m worried. I appreciate his compassion. And I appreciate him so much.

Yesterday I surprised George by sending him off for his first day spa visit. This was DEFINITELY not something he would have ever planned for himself. Not. At. All. But I sure think he deserved it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stay humble, work hard and relax harder!!!

A life well lived …

Some people are so special that when they come into your life they not only make a profound impact on you, but also on many lives through you. Their influence ripples like a stone cast into a lake. It’s vast, beautiful and seemingly never ending. Their wisdom, guidance, compassion and devotion is weaved into the hearts and minds of everyone that they are directly or loosely associated with. And when they leave us, there is an acute understanding that the world has lost a hero.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you encounter a life well lived!!!

Judgmental …

I try very hard to mind my own business. I don’t like getting sucked into anything that isn’t mine to own. Nor do I like to draw conclusions on partial information or observations. It can lead to assumptions that are altogether inaccurate. I like to believe I’m more compassionate than that. So, I try not to go there.

That being said …

I had to get my car serviced today. I also had a long run that I needed to get done. So I combined the two. I dropped off my car, declined the loaner car and said I’d be back in a few hours after I was done running. Two birds. One stone. Perfect!

As I was situating myself for my run I overheard a man on his phone. He was upset about how some home improvements were being handled and was attempting to contact the person who such complaints would be reported to. I was taken back by a few words he used to describe his situation. Not bad words, just BIG words to describe things that seemed to overly exaggerate his circumstance. But I STOPPED myself right THERE. Who was I to think such things? I don’t know his whole situation. He could be having 20 other things going on right now that made everything he described seem (or be) justified. Basically I said to myself, “Look here woman, you just lace up YOUR shoes and don’t give this man another thought until you have walked a mile in HIS shoes.” Oh yes, I gave myself a talking to! And off I went on my run.

I was fairly limited on where I could run waiting for my car. I didn’t want to keep getting stuck at street signals so I mapped out a 1.40 mile loop of sorts that I could do over and over again without having to stop. This loop brought me back past the dealership quite a few times. Boring views, to say the least!

Anyway, on about my forth pass by the dealership I came to the main driveway and saw a car approaching the street. I could tell the person driving was not looking in my direction. Even worse, the whole way up to the street, stopped at the street to turn and finally in making their turn out of the driveway, they never once looked in my direction. NOT. ONCE. I stopped next to them hoping to make eye contact them so I would know that it was safe for me to pass. But that never happened. I was standing there so long that I even thought of gently knocking on their window to let them know that I was there. But when I realized who was driving, I decided not to. It was the man I mentioned earlier. He was on his phone. Holding it too, which is a BIG NO NO in California. He was talking up a storm. I waited patiently for him to go. And he did so without ever seeing me standing inches from his car. Ugh. Needless to say, I could no longer remain on higher ground. I could no longer give him the benefit of the doubt nor did I want to. I didn’t care what was going on with him. I was upset that he was so distracted that he didn’t notice me, literally standing right next to him. Oy. THANK GOD I was paying attention because CLEARLY Mr. Big Word Complain-y Pants wasn’t. So much for staying compassionate. BIG sigh …

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t judgmental!!!

Celebrating EXTRA …

Today is World Down Syndrome Day! And we all know that I have someone very special in my life who has Down Syndrome. My beautiful 8 year old daughter Reese!

March 21st is a global day of awareness that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. How cool is that?!?! This date was chosen to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome (3/21) found in individuals with Down Syndrome. Today I celebrate Reese and the amazing community of people with whom we share our lives.

I was told when I was 15 weeks pregnant that Reese had Down Syndrome. I did not grieve or cry. I did the complete opposite. My heart was immediately filled with hope for the future. And not just for my future or hers. From the moment that I was told that she had Down Syndrome I knew that Reese was going to change the world for the better. It was like a blanket of understanding that I had never felt before. And I have witnessed her work her magic time and time again ever since. She has softened the hardest of hearts and changed the most ridged of minds. I am so proud of her! This little girl of mine is smart, silly, kind and caring. Her compassion for others runs deep. She is a bright light in this dark world. She has taught me SO SO SO much and has showed me what real strength and perseverance looks like. And best of all, she loves me HUGE! Reese is an incredible human being and I am humbled that God chose me to be her mommy. It is truly a blessing and an honor.

I love you my Reesey Roo. You are my hero!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate EXTRA!!!

Changed for the better …

I have been fighting a cold all week. Yuck. Unfortunately this little virus has made the residual fatigue left from the meningitis, that much worse. Sadly, I had this problem before. For the first few years, after my initial bout, anytime I’d catch a minor cold I would get very fatigued and experience stiffness in my neck. Yuck, yuck. But it’s OK, it passes. It’s also a good reminder that I’m still not 100% myself yet. “Good” meaning that it reminds me that I still need to cut myself some slack regarding my recovery. I can be very impatient with myself. If I’ve learned one thing from recovering from this virus (twice) it’s that it teaches you to be patient. To slow down. And be kind to yourself. It’s truly a life lesson in self care. Or two, in my case. HA! Anyway, my kids know that I’ve been struggling a bit this week and have been great. They have kept me laughing and have been super helpful. These kids have such kind hearts. I am truly blessed.

Last night Libs and I stayed up later than we had hoped to. We were pretty busy and at the end of our night when we were chatting we both realized that time had gotten away from us. It was late and we both needed sleep! I set my alarm clock and fell straight to asleep. I woke up once at 2 am and fell back to sleep right away. Which is unusual for me. Sadly, if I wake up, I’m up! Another indicator that I am not feeling like myself. 

Well, the next thing I know it’s 6:25 am! I accidentally set my alarm for 6:30 am, not 5:30 am. Ugh! I bolted from my bed to make sure G3 and Libs were awake but what I found completely shocked me! Both kids were not only awake and ready for school, Libs had already left! She even remembered that she has her first a physical therapy appointment this afternoon and brought extra clothes to change into. HOLY MOLY!

Now granted, Libs and G3 are teenagers in high school but this completely blew me away. There were days early in my recovery that they had to be quite independent. But as I got better we started to assume the same routines again. I guess it all stuck with them. Their independence has surprised me time and time again since October. Which is GREAT since G3 leaves for college in August. Their compassion and their ability to read when they need to “step it up” to help another person has been incredible. My kids had great hearts before I got sick, but since then, it has made them so much more in tune with the needs of others. And they willingly put themselves out, to help.

Meningitis is an awful unpleasant terrible experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But I can’t deny that it has positively influenced all of us. It has fostered determination, independence and compassion. Things that I never thought that we lacked in our hearts. Which you would think should frustrate me, but it doesn’t. Why?!?! Because I know that no matter how “evolved” we think that we may be, God can still prepare us for even bigger things. Things that we can’t see or understand without change. And I like that. I like knowing that God has more planned for us and that we aren’t done becoming the people we are meant to be. For me, it makes all the struggles … worth it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you change for the better!!!

Be a good human …

You never know the struggles that lie beneath a person’s surface. It’s one reason I believe wholeheartedly that being helpful and kind is crucial. Not just individually either. This kind of goodness is in the best interest of humanity as a whole. Could you imagine if our FIRST instinct was to help that rude person or to be kind to that seemly hateful soul? I know in this day and age we must be cautious and discerning when giving help. It’s sad! Our world is undoubtedly damaged. But I’m still going to hold out hope that genuine compassion still has a place here. And I plan to continue using it abundantly.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are a good human!!!