I do.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


I could name this day “the twenty pound day”.  Have you ever had one of those days by which, at day’s end, you feel twenty pounds lighter?  Yes, yes, I know.  A) I know tomorrow and the days to follow will add thirty pounds of concerns, and B) in reality, total wishful thinking on my part.  After two weeks of seemingly justifiable indulgences of French fries (ok, months of those yummy potato goodies), leftover birthday cake and the extravaganza of county fair food, I might be dreaming that a day could strip off those aftereffects.  

Hmm. No.  It’s called a diet, Steph.  No fancy, cuddly words or labels.  It’s not cleansing the cells of my mind and body of any toxicity.  Steph, you just have to shut your mouth!

Still, there is no other way to describe the day.  On a path which at times seemed more wishful thinking than reality, a journey of faith, I also had to reckon with the disgusting fact that despite all the miracles with which I have blessed, a piece of me will doubt, no matter how hard I try.  It’s horrible really.  I look at my jar of mustard seeds to remind me of the power of the tiniest bit of pure faith.  And still, I need to ask forgiveness of the universe that I have, at times, doubted.  There are miracles.  I am not abandoned.

Is it Christmas?

July is my favorite time to begin thinking of the holidays.  I have always been that way.  February I used to grab a golf club just to pop five or so balls into the woods, hearing them crisply cut the frigid air, feeling like I had just swung at a 1.25 inch sphere of solid lead.  July?  July I dream of snow!  It’s true!  I should stop my story there, leaving you with the impression that I, for sure, must therefore, in conclusion, and with utmost certainty of logic, be one of those women who have all their holiday shopping done by September’s end.  Um. ….burst the bubble moment…no.  That’s happened once.  I just play around with Christmas in my head….as I pull weeds or sit in the sun.  

There are some very practical, reasonable reasons why I feel lighter.  Of course, these are also the same events which should stress me out in the months ahead.  But I could not even see this part of the path..I had been so scared.  I had…doubted.

Rather than listing those events, the real reason was the gift of words.  I was amazed at the impact of words today.  Do we really know sometimes, the gift our words can be?  The choice of words?  The deliverer of words.  Oh, even the mention of the topic of words wells up memories and foreshadowing of the possibilities of danger.  Equally so, is there nothing so wicked as one’s words?


In the years which my father was sick, holidays or parts of holidays seemed to get mish-mashed.  A hospital stay might cause the present opening to be delayed.  Or that hospital stay might mean we all strive to make sure my son, then an infant, had presents to open.  The adults in the family were quite content, on that particular Christmas, with being alive.  The rest of the gift opening?  Would have to wait.  Sometimes we would be opening presents in March!  Which, when you think about it, is very comical.  There are a few members in ones family who, with rigidity, would participate in such flip-flopped holidays with – delicately as I can possibly state this – less than a ‘Ho Ho Ho’ type attitude.

One particular Christmas, in fact, my son’s second Christmas, my father had fallen.  At the time, the local hospital still had one floor dedicated to longer stay patients who needed rehabilitation.  The practice had not been established yet, that nursing homes would or even could accommodate shorter stays for the purpose of physical rehabilitation.  My parents had bought him a plastic toddler dump truck.  And that is how he finally walked, except that he did not walk.  He went from the speediest of crawlers to the champion of running….pushing that dump truck down almost deserted fourth floor hospital hallways.  It must have been like pulling on the deserted highway at 3 am in the moonlight (not that I have ever, ever done that!)….Except in that toasty warm hospital, my son had cheering sections of the medical personnel at the nurses’ stations and the dozen patients on that floor.  Christmas.

(I have this peculiar fascination and adoration of those homes who have Christmas decorations still lit in random trees in the backyard or the Santa lit on the back door or… the Christmas tree which stays lit in the room behind all rooms, barely visible from the scrutiny of the “street side”.  Why do they flip the switch each night, to light up those decorations past Easter, I wonder.  Is it memories?  Is it laziness?  Or, as tears start to well-up in ones eyes, who are they waiting for?)

So, my mom and I, we have this habit of delayed – perhaps I could coin it – the holidays that keep ‘holidaying’.  I opened my birthday card from her.  Nope, I should be more accurate.  It was a card from ‘we’, from my mother and father, like an understood entity.  They would never be anything but a ‘one’ without the other.  And I know it is a store bought card with commercialized greetings..but the words?

The words said what I had longed to hear from her my whole life. Totally serious.  And especially after the past few years, to be alone and rejected by much of my world that had been my whole world, to begin again.  Those words were golden.

And she signed it…perfectly….with her heart behind his.

So, what makes a person say to oneself, “Keep going?”  What makes a person say, “Forgive me G-d, for doubting.” But even though I carry a pinch of doubt within me, I will never abandon this wonderful path.  What makes a person not disqualify oneself?

Maybe it is the same force in the laughter of earlier this week.  Maybe it is in the power of the love, the laughter and the light of both.

And maybe the best acceptance speech is when a person says to their own essence, to their own soul..

“I do.”



#ido #thebeautifuljourney #imjustme #thebrickdandelion #recovery #windsparadox






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