Accepting Home

Over the last few months, the reality of time and home have been on my mind.  I have been visiting my aging parents more frequently, and reflect on the moment as much.  I think about the past, during my childhood years, growing up the oldest of six siblings.  I believe our childhood mirrored a series or two of the Waltons, that is, without the mountain-we had a hill.  I realize that sounds hokey, but it is what I remembered in our semi-rural dwellings in the Midwest.

Our bare-footed summers were spent running through the woods playing hide and seek, creating secret hideouts in the trees, building dams in the creek, barricading forts in the woods for the “bad guys,” swinging from tree swings, long hours at the local ball field playing soccer, kickball, hotbox and fast-pitch. softball-1619396_1920

When my dad bought a vintage convertible, my brother and sisters and I would volunteer to wash it for him so we would have an excuse to hear stereo.  We would crank up the HiFi (yes, that’s HiFi, Gen Xers and Millenniums, not Wifi) and sing, “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog!”  We were free and loving life.vintage-car-852239_1920

In the winter, we could not wait for the snow to arrive.  The colder the weather and the higher the snowfall made for the best sled train ever.   The oldest kids would rally the neighborhood tots, tweeners and teens.   Everyone would link up their sleds at the top of the longest street in the neighborhood.  There would be at least 15 kids willing to brave the long hill.  This was the one time of year when all kids laid down their arguments and became a movie of interactive, collaborative characters in a winter wonderland.

We had sleds, shovels, toboggans, or whatever would slide through the snow and link into
sled-626832_1920the train.
We laid claim that it was the longest sled train in the universe.  Our parents were certainly amused by our spirit, as they watched us whiz by with kids rolling off and giggling in the snow, and the littlest guy with frosty red cheeks running to catch up shouting, “Hey wait for me.”

Many of those parents still live in that old neighborhood, including my parents.  They have stories to tell about their families and living in the 50’s and through the 80’s.

Aging parents, like mine, sometimes are forced to make decisions about their lives- do we stay or do we move?  Their limitations have become reality.  But, such memories here.  The family home, the memories of celebrated Christmases around the tree with their lit
tle kids ripping open presents, laughing, and singing carols; times around the campfire listening to Mom and Dad’s jokes and stories; music lessons, PTA meetings, dance lessons, 4-H club, scouts, football games, proms, cold brisk soccer games, and graduations. The timeline list of hustle and bustle could write a great American life story for anyone who lived in Maxville Terrace.bonfire-1867275_1920

Recently, when I’ve thought about all of these fleeting moments of joy in my own life, I could not help but wonder what my parents feel, as they approach the last years of their lives.  My mother had recruited a couple of us to help her downsize.  She had been preparing for the “just in case,” moment.  She made it known: “Dad or I could go at any time, but if Dad goes first I just want to be prepared to move.”  Logically thi
quilt-716838_1920nking, she- being the quilter, seamstress, and crafter- would obviously have more things to downsize, so she chose to move forward,ready for whatever emotions she might face, as she gave away fine memories that were attached to each scrap of fabric.  “Oh, this was a piece from
your father’s shirt,” or, “Remember when I made matching dresses from this for you and your sister?”

When I heard her words, I heard a bit of quiver in her voice.  She had been reflecting on the past, too.  As we pulled out old boxes of greeting cards from the closet, she seemed to have a story fwomen-1013116_1920or nearly every one of them.  I recalled some faded stories of the past, as well.  The cards dated back to the 1950’s with angelic faces, romantic watercolor pictures and cartoon characters of the times.

“Look, Mom, this one was when you and dad were married; Oh, Mom, look at this one.  It’s a shower card from when I was born.”  She stopped, looked at them, pondered, and smiled.  This was a moment for both of us.  Time stood still for just a moment.

She knew she couldn’t keep them, as it seemed like leaving a friend behind when we tossed them, one by one, into the wastebasket.  I felt her loss.  I reminisced with her with bittersweet sorrow, as she disguised her own with a smile.

I asked her if we had to dispose of all of them.  She responded quietly, “Well, the memories are all there.  I’m just saving the ones that have special messages written.”  I smiled as she said this, as I knew that she could not give up all of the beautiful cards, particularly the ones with special thoughts.  Giving up the cards were reminders of good memories, some not so good; however, I could see it was difficult.

After, we completed the first phase of downsizing, we paused.  I said, “Mom, I know this can’t be easy for you.”  She smiled and said, “It’s just stuff. I have still have pictures and memories of our family.”  We hugged, and I knew at that moment she was at peace with her decision to downsize.pictures-630378_1920

As I packed up my car with things that were bound for the thrift store, it occurred to me that the two of us were in a place of acceptance with a home that no longer represented a house or even the memories.

 

I sat in the driveway feeling grounded in a truth. My mother and I had explored, reflected, and discovered that our peace was in the women we had become. It was a place in our mind, body, and soul that we truly know as home.

 

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May you find joy in each moment as you discover your own sacred place of home in the heart during this season of love, peace and celebration. 

HippyKatKat is a Core Alignment Mentor and Professional NLP Specialist and Emotional Wisdom Trainer.  She is the founder of Taproots for Life, where she guides women, men and teens to awaken their light within to live a life of joy.at believes that each person deserves to feel grounded with conviction in their own authenticity, with a voice to be heard.

Kat holds a sacred space for people to grow as independent thinkers by exploring, discovering and embracing their true authenticity and to inspire others with love, understanding and empowerment.

Her mentoring has changed lives, locally and internationally.  She is also a writer, herbalist, aromatherapist and lightworker.

Contact info:  info@taproots.com

Visit her website:  www.taprootsforlife.com (currently under construction)

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Awakening to Gratitude- A Family Thanksgiving Message

On Thanksgiving, 2014, I recall that after some masterful cooking in the kitchen, we sat down to a meal.  It had become my  family tradition. After years of both sides of family arguing over whose turn it was that we come to their Thanksgiving, I finally had enough and drew the line in the sand to declare that my own family would be having dinner at our home.

By 1995, my children were at an age (17, 15 and 10) where it was even more important to gather the troops after  shuffling around our schedules and continual running with soccer games, track meets, religion classes, music lessons/concerts, trips to the doctors while balancing all of this with my busy work schedule.  My husband began to cherish and look forward to this time, as well, as he was the grounding force behind the scenes when things got chaotic.  It was his time to relax and enjoy the moment of fun, kids, and food.

In 2014, Thanksgiving was, in my opinion, the perfect feast. [Every year, I seemed lay claim that this was my best culinary year ever. Family cooks, I’m sure you can relate!]  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sauteed green beans, maple carrots, salad, and my traditional RTS (rosemary, sage & thyme) stuffing.  Of course no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without wine and desserts: pumpkin and pecan piesfood-791640_1920

So! I’ve addressed the reason we celebrate with only my family, and, or course, the food – important on this day.   From the kitchen on that blustery 2014 day outside, I beckoned the family from the games they were playing in our warm, cozy living room, shouting the infamous “It’s time to eat!”  Imagine “kids” in their 30’s, running to the table, elbowing each other – now with grandchildren (16, 14, and 12) vying for their place at the table with the adults.  A happy, and familiar, sight for an aging mother’s eyes!

We finally sat down to eat, gazed in amazement around at all the food on the table and, at that moment, I decided that we needed to say out loud what we were thankful for.  I started.  “I am thankful for these days when we are together, laughing, playing and enjoying each other.”  We continued around the table and each person voiced gratitude for things in their life or the day.

Last, but certainly, not least ,was my oldest son, whman-1209574_1920o usually had an entirely different outlook on life.  He paused, swallowed, then said with deep thought, “I’m thankful for each day that I am able to draw a breath of life.”  Silence seized the moment, frozen still in a sudden time-warp of mystic befuddlement.

Everyone heard the message, everyone seemed to want to embrace the message, but were grappling with their own egos to respond delicately to such a profound statement.  My heart drew inward just that moment.  I felt his painful journey to gratitude, yet this was such a precious moment of beauty for the souls sitting around the table.

These words might not have much bearing on the average family at a Thanksgiving table, but this was different.  My son had accomplished living to be 34 years surgery-590536_1920old, battling Cystic Fibrosis since he was born.  His struggle to simply breathe had become a daily battle. Yes, his message was quite different.   How does one find gratitude when faced with the struggles of multiple stomach surgeries, diabetes, pain, and now, just breathe, function, and live life every day?

His words created a very sudden immediate, humbling moment for those around the table.  The family members  who said they were grateful for material things like turkey dinner,the upcoming football game, or something humorous to skate from any emotion that may creep in while listening to everyone else’s heartfelt thanks, were now questioning their own sense of gratitude.  My son was intense yet modest about his words of gratitude.  My son, who was usually the one to issue humor or gregarious quotes. The moment of silence was peaceful, yet this hollow space yearned to be filled.

Then a gift broke the silence..quite humbly, each person at the table began to thank him for giving his heart to this momentous piece of time.   I looked upon my family at this meal in a more loving light, as my heart beat with a heart-1318850_1920great sense of joy and satisfaction.  My children had become beautiful adults and I can be thankful for years to come that they will look out for each other and be grateful for different things in life.

I will always remember my son’s words that day.  It made me think of how precious our lives are on this earth with such little time to create our mark of love and gratitude.

My son’s words made time stand still for just a small moment to allow everyone space to go inward for a self-check of why we exist: To love, be loved, and walk in gratitude every single day of our lives.

May you all find love and peace in your moment at Thanksgiving and  wherever you celebrate gratitude around the world.

HippyKat

Kat helps people awaken the light within to live a life of joy.  She believes that every person deserves to live their authenticity with conviction and a voice to be heard.

She is a Core Alignment Mentor, Professional Neuro Linguistic Programmer and Emotional Wisdom Trainer.  Kat  is also a writer, aromatherapist, and energy worker.  Her work has helped many people overcome fear, anxiety, loss of confidence, memory loss and more.  She conducts 95% of her mentoring over the phone.

Kat is currently taking new clients for December 2016.                                                                        E-mail:  livingmywisdom@gmail.com or  call 314-359-2647