Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life Lesson

For the last month or so I have been mulling over one of those little lessons life has to teach us. As you might well know, in January my darling Annie had a very difficult birth and was extremely lucky to have survived the experience. It turned out perfectly and Annie, once again, walked through fire and came out on the other side in fine health and with a bouncing baby boy to show for all her trouble. But there was a very dark time there, for all of us....I was taking care of little Alex and worrying about Annie and Chris and the new baby and what if....what if....what if. (

I didn't have the time, or frankly, the energy to really think through all the consequences of the situation. I put all my worries into a "box" in my head and firmly put the lid on. Once we knew Annie was going to come home and that her kidneys were very likely to return to full function, there wasn't much point in opening that "box" while I was so busy with helping take care of the baby and Alex, and after a while, Annie, too. I didn't want to look at all those what ifs too closely. Late in January I had to return home for a few days as I had some commitments that I had to fulfill. As I was waiting for my flight at the San Diego airport I let that "box" open and allowed myself a bit of a wallow, a mini pity party, and I feeling mighty sorry for myself. VERY sorry for myself.....poor me.

I bought myself a sandwich since I had a lot of time before the flight was called and as it was nearly noon, most of the available tables at the concession area were pretty full. I saw a nice looking lady, maybe 15 or 20 years my senior, sitting by herself at a two person table. I had noticed this lady at the TSA screening area as she was very well dressed and looked nice. I approached her and asked if I might join her and she was very gracious and welcoming, indicating I should sit down and share the table. We spoke about generalities in a friendly manner for several minutes and then, in response to something she had said, I asked her if she'd been in San Diego on holiday or business? She paused and looked me in the eye, long and hard.

"Neither. I just buried my daughter."

It happened that last October her daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer and the poor woman only lived 84 days after the diagnosis. Her last few weeks were very, very hard, I learned from her grieving mother. The daughter was only 40 and left a 13-year-old child of her own.

This lady proceeded to tell me how hard it was to sit by her daughter's bedside and watch the disease ravage her precious child and how she was just able to tell her little girl that it was okay to leave, it was okay to rest, she could just relax and let go. (How do you do that?) She told me, with tears in her eyes, that she entrusted her child to God's love.

She then swallowed a few times, used her napkin to dry her eyes and told me that she now had to go home and get on with living, as it would not honor her daughter if she allowed the grief and loss to overwhelm her. She had to get up each morning and love life and rejoice in each breath she took.

And then she old me she'd also lost her husband of 53 years last May.
I was wallowing in what ifs?

Life lessons sometimes smack you upside the head like a two-by. I needed that lesson and I hope I've learned it.

My Annie is fine. My Ian is fine. My family is SO lucky and SO blessed and I am SO grateful.

To that dear lady at the San Diego airport, I send you my heart-felt sympathy and many, many thank yous for showing me a better way to handle worry, grief and pain. She was, damn it, truly noble. She was beautiful in her determination to honor her daughter's life by living her life to the fullest extent possible.

I am humbled.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grant Creek Weekend

This has been a weekend of discovery for me. My new camera is amazing and takes photos I never dreamed I would be able to take. And it's so easy! Sometimes you get just the right tool for what you are attempting to do and just the right tool for your skill level, and that's what this new camera is for me---the perfect tool at the perfect time. And the weather cooperated, too. Friday afternoon there was the most amazing rainbow, the brightest double rainbow I have ever seen. I took many photographs of it and the light show lasted a very long time.I also spent quite a bit of time this weekend working on the current journal I have for the Sensual Journey round robin that Deb Denton is hosting. The journal I have now has the theme of "Intimations of Immortality," apparently taken from a poem by William Wordsworth. I am, sadly, unfamiliar with the poem but we have been asked to "explore your senses and share with me that thing (or things) which exist in this world which are truly magical to you." Naturally, I have gone for water, sea life---wet and wonderful things. There is, and has been and always will be, something truly magical for me about being in the water (or even near the water). I am never happier than when I am snorkeling. I love the feel of the water as it glides over my skin, the play of light refracted through the watery lens, the underwater life that abounds and, especially, the silence---where my own breathing and heart beat are loud and any other sounds are muffled. I always fully expect to catch a glimpse of a mermaid or some fantastic fish.

Nonie and I leave for Florida next Friday morning. Really early. We will spend Friday night near the airport in Fort Meyer and then transfer to North Captiva on Saturday, with a stop first at the grocery store where our order will (hopefully!) be "boat bagged" and ready for us to pick it up. We will take Island Girl to the island and will be settled in well by this time next week. I am so ready for this break! Two weeks making art, taking pictures, snorkeling, shelling and just generally turning beach bum sounds like heaven to me. I can't wait!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Update on Ian

Ian is now just over one month old. He is thriving. At his check up the other day he weighed 11 pounds 6 ounces. Born at 8 pounds 15 on the 14th of January, I'd call that a significant weight gain....and, oh, by the way, he rolls over. Really. He has done it for his mother a number of times but he also rolled over for the pediatrician at his check up. I guess he doesn't really care that he shouldn't be rolling over for at least a couple of months.

I think he rolls over because there is no flat side to the boy---he's all rounded. Round things roll over....

Thursday, February 21, 2008


What are the odds that there would be a lunar eclipse the very night that I received my new Nikon D80 Digital camera with the 70mm - 300mm lens? The very same day???? Well, the moon and earth, er.....well, pardon the pun but the universe decided that I should have the opportunity to try to take photos of this celestial event in a dark alley with no time to read the instruction book and not much idea of what to push, how to set the controls or even what I was doing! All in all, I think I got some decent shots and I am extremely pleased with the camera. Just in time for my trip to Florida! My DH is an indulgent soul and has gifted me with this wonderful camera for my birthday. I have been yearning for one ever since I went to the Galapagos Islands last year. Three of the people on my ship had the same camera and I guess you could say I have had camera envy ever since.

Nonie has some of her canvases hung at the Walnut Street Coffee Shop and today was the "opening." The art looks very, very nice and Nonie had some people quite interested in her work already. I hope she makes many sales and does really well. I am quite envious of her recent successes, but I will also be the first one to admit that she has been working hard on her art and has amasses quite a few items to show and/or sell. I, on the other had, have not! So, here's to Nonie! Great success and many sales! And should fame and fortune smile on you, m'dear, keep me in mind as your official photographer, please.