Monday, April 12, 2010

#21 Stopping to Smell the Roses

Sometimes things change in your life when you least expect them to. You're going on your merry way and all of a sudden you're faced with a truth - a truth you can no longer ignore or pretend isn't there. A truth you know is going to turn your whole world upside down. I was faced with such a truth last week.

I had but two choices - speak my mind or try to ignore that little voice inside of me that has never steered me wrong. That little voice of reason who seems to cut through my selfishness and helps me see when I'm wrong. Some people call it women's intuition I prefer to think of it as my God consciousness. Its that feeling I get when I know I need to start doing or thinking the right thought or action. So I did. And its been painful ever since.

Rarely has been doing the right thing ever been easy and its not usually as near as much fun as doing the wrong thing. Whether it's fessing up to a lie, telling someone "You're right" or just saying "I'm sorry" - doing the right thing can bring about horrible amounts of fear and anxiety. But as my good friend Heather always says "the only way out is through," she just never mentions the fact that the journey is often tough, painful and an excellent example of a time to grow.

Often times I've heard people say life isn't a bed of roses but I had an opportunity this weekend to hear a speaker explain it a little differently. She said life is exactly a bed a roses - full of beautiful wonderful smells but there are a lot of thorns too.

Right now I've pricked myself on a few thorns making my way through this rose bed called life and that's ok. If there's one thing I've learned over the years is that time heals all wounds. Broken hearts mend, frowns eventually turn back into smiles and there is nothing like a good bout of laughter to make you forget your troubles for a while.

Does that mean things are going to change overnight? No. But with each day the pain lessons a bit and the fake smile becomes a little more genuine, the laughter comes a little more frequent and I put one beautifully high heeled foot in front of the other until I can again stop and smell the roses, appreciating the joy they add to my life instead of focusing on the thorns they bring with them.

In the meantime I leave you with this - it's a song a new friend sent to me that touched me today. It's called A note to God.

Monday, April 5, 2010

#20 - Just like Grandma Used to Make

Tonight I did something that I've been too afraid to do for a year. That I've been afraid of screwing up. That I was afraid I just wouldn't get right. That it wouldn't be just like Grandma used to make. I made strawberry jam.

Last year, almost to the day, I lost my Cookie Grandma after a long bout with lung cancer. She was a trooper, fought it for many years but finally succumbed to the disease and passed. I flew back home to California for her funeral last year, spent Easter with my family and flew back here to San Antonio with several jars of my most prized keepsakes...her strawberry jam.

This was the jam she had been making for me since I was a old enough to gum down whole food. I have fond memories of being at her house, watching cartoons and eating toast with Grandmas special strawberry jam. She made it special for her #1 granddaughter who loved strawberries so.

She continued to make it for me long into my childhood and teenage years as I couldn't get enough of it for my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bagels and even peanut butter and jelly burritos - hey don't knock it till you've tried it.

I don't know how I would have survived life as a young adult and struggling reporter without her shipments of jam - lovingly freezer packed to my various markets of the Imperial Valley, Tucson and then weighing down my suitcases back to Texas.

So when she passed the thought of never having that piece of love to adorn my favorite meals left a huge hole in my heart. How could I ever possibly hope to recreate the masterpiece she so lovingly perfected. She had told me many times it was easy...just buy the certo and follow the directions on the box. But I never did it. It just wouldn't have that Cookie Grandma touch I told myself. So I never did...until tonight...on the anniversary of her death I made her jam.

I'll know in a few days how it turned out.