This is the first post of my bi-weekly videoblog. Enjoy!
What a sad day in Paris. The world is wondering — Why?
And as a parent an even more horrifying question is Was my child in that concert hall?
Sitting in my tiny office, I’m trying to come up with a catchy blog that someone will enjoy reading, but all I can think of is the mayhem in Paris.
I’m beyond asking why things like this happen. Instead my mind goes straight to the broken hearts of all the parents who are now grieving for their beloved sons, daughters, and the children they left behind.
I can imagine the horror finding out that my child was killed at the concert. And I can imagine an even greater horror — having to go and identify the body.
This event could have happened now in New York or the Philippines. I have a son in each of these places. Either one of my boys could be in a concert hall that is targeted. If such a terrible thing happened, I would be on the floor curled up and numb to the bone.
This is the reason why I on lean on my faith. For me, what else is there?
We either have faith in ourselves or faith in a higher power that can do the impossible, provide us with peace and comfort and help us find solace when our world becomes upside down. I find that if I only have faith in myself, I’m doing it all on my own and fear appears. Fear gets my nerves in a frenzy because of my need to control the outcome. It is not a good space to be in.
My faith is in God. When I trust and believe in Him, fear lessens. For I know God has the power to protect and shelter my boys from harm and work miracles in their lives. That is where I place my faith.
My point is this — we have no control over the future. We can’t be with our grown children every hour of their lives.
We can only pray for our children on their behalf and have faith that God goes before them in all that they do. Every time I’m done praying for my boys, I hear God saying to me, “I’ve got their backs. Don’t worry.” And I remind myself I can’t worry and pray at the same time.
I know that you will transform whatever evil is going on in Paris into good for your own purpose. At times I don’t understand at all what is happening in this world. Draw Paris close to you.
Deliver them from this heartbreaking event. And give them strength to rise above their pain and help them and the world come together for peace.
Thank you. Amen.
I ran Plan B by my mom. Her eyes lit up.
“Ohhh . . . no terkey? You lazy to cook on Tankgibing? Ok with me . . . too much cooking. You relaxxx. You tell your brather to take me to casino. I play penny slot machine. You know, my hand bery itchy.”
I nod. She tells me all the time that itchy hands and palms is a sign of money coming your way.
“So I go to casino, ok?”
That idea was brilliant. I became lighter. My spirit in me began to dance.
My point is to ask yourself what will make you calm, centered, and grateful on this holiday. Do that.
Thanksgiving is a tradition. It is being with families and friends. However, life is in constant motion. Go with it . . . our kids grow up and move far away. The landscape of the family changes.
If you are hostessing make sure you have your big girl britches on and an effervescent smile.
Otherwise your visitors will feel that undercurrent of being stressed out. They will experience how much shopping, cleaning, and cooking is a chore. Do you want that for the people you love? If not, then do what works for you.
Ol’ Wise One does. He is on the couch. It works for him.
Are your hands and palms itchy? Go to the casino, but just this once — I’m not saying to make it a habit, I’m saying “Enjoy yourself. Be light.”
And what about me on Thanksgiving? Oh, I have great plans. I will go to Starbucks get my latte and use their WiFi to do some social media. Then, I will head to my gym before they close their doors at noon. My church will be open, so I’ll go light a candle for everyone in my tribe.
The rest of my day will remain a mystery. That works for me.
What works for you on this holiday?
Thanksgiving is a day to take note of what we have and what we are grateful for. It is a tradition of getting together and celebrating. As life changes, we change, too.
Remind us each day to be grateful. Being grateful doesn’t just have to be on this day. Open our eyes to take note of what is in front of us and it is enough. Thank you.
It’s almost time for Thanksgiving and where will you be? Will you cook a 20-lbs turkey and a whole ham for your family and friends?
Though I hate to cook daily meals, I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I especially loved it when we had a bigger home and my boys were still close by. I still like to celebrate Thanksgiving at our condo, too.
It is a little smaller, but none the less, I look forward to inviting family and friends who don’t have a place to go to. This vision of mine has become a tug-of-war for many years between me and Ol’ Wise One.
He would just love to be on his couch with his remote control beside him. He is a content, easy to please man. His heart’s desire is to sit and watch hours of football with popcorn, chips, and salsa — all a finger tip away. Then around 2 pm, he turns his attention to gorging on the artery-clogging feast that is Thanksgiving: turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and gas-producing Brussels sprouts with bacon.
We are so opposite in how we like to celebrate the holidays that it is a miracle we are still married. Through the years, I have learned to have a “whatever” attitude with a smile and move on.
“Baby, Thanksgiving will be at my mom’s apartment,” I announce. “I will cook turkey at her home. You don’t have to come. You can watch football until you slip into a coma.”
“My kind of Thanksgiving,” he murmurs while looking at the TV. “Don’t get me wrong. I love your family, but I have a difficult time with the cold season and getting exposed to viruses when lots of people are around.”
Had I known his only desire is to watch football and eat with his remote control by his side on Thanksgiving, I would have said, “Nooooo, I’m not marrying you. I don’t care if that is a big shiny diamond.”
“Like I said, you can stay here and watch football . . . and do your fantasy football in the privacy of your own home.”
“Just how I imagined it,” he says.
Thinking about cooking at my mom’s apartment weighs me down. I feel the heaviness of ham and turkey on each hand as I transport them from my car parked one block away from her apartment door. Then, I think about having to make more exhausting trips to get the other six bags of groceries.
I would have to start cooking at early morning to have Thanksgiving dinner by 2 pm. With all this I’ll need a glass of wine at 11 a.m. at the earliest to reduce my stress level that will rise and rise from all the cooking and cleaning I will need to do.
The more I think about this scenario, the more I ask myself, “Is this what I want? Will this get me in the zone to celebrate this holiday?”
“NO,” my inner voice flatly replies.
Like Ol’ Wise One having his fantasy football, I have a fantasy of my own. And it makes me tingle all over.
I imagine Thanksgiving at my condo. I invite family over and have my two-year-old grandson Napoleon running around doing silly toddler stuff and throwing temper tantrums. I wanted him to be here so we can have pumpkin pie and an Elmo-theme birthday cake for him. But he is not here.
Well, I have come so far. “It’s a fantasy, Lola,” I tell myself. “Move on.”
If I’m not looking forward to stress-inducing Plan A, then my vibe to the universe will be anxiety and dread. . . and I will contaminate everyone around me. Not cool.
I bagged Plan A.
Part 2 tomorrow.
I spent the evening with a Banana, Tina Turner, and Princess Web
and a few more characters at my normal family get together on Halloween.
The big holidays are drawing closer. I just found out my son Ralph will not
come home for Thanksgiving. My other son and his family will be
missing out on my turkey dinner, too. I’m screwed!
This is not the first time I will be without my boys on a holiday.
It’s just déjà vu. I have traveled this path before.
I have come to accept that this is what my life looks like.
At the Halloween party last night, I wanted my grandson Napoleon to be
there to join in on trick-or-treating with his cousins and friends as they were chaperoned
by our family Penquin. We all trust the Penquin to take our kids
out on a cold, dark night for one hour. Right?
Missing Napolean, I reviewed what I did get last night. The Banana had trouble keeping still as
we posed for a family picture.
Tina Turner wanted to get his groove on and demonstrated twerking to the family. The Clown had
‘for your eyes only’ for the pretty Princess Web. AWWW, I get the feeling Clown wanted a treat!
And I know by her looks that Princess Web wanted the Clown to ask her for her cell number.
I would have preferred Napoleon to all these strange characters, but I discovered that I needed them, too. My night was filled with giggles, so much so that a temporary cap on one of my teeth came off.
This is what I know, it is important to make peace with what you don’t have.
I really wanted other family members to be there with me, but their lives are traveling on other roads and highways.
So, I tell myself: Focus on what is in front of you.
Last night, for me that meant:
Be open to: a 7-foot Banana making a split, Tina Turner sending me into a giggle orbit as she twerked away,
and Princess Web wanting your help in her tangled web of desires.
A TRICK or TREAT with Princess Web, anyone?
Help our hearts stay open and keep us mindful to be present today, not tomorrow,
so we don’t miss out on your blessings.
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