Posted on January 4, 2011


We’re a pretty ordinary family. I’m up by 4am to read, write, and listen to music. Kelley comes down at 5:30 and leaves when I wake up Kyle and Connor at 6. Sometimes Kenny, James and Madeleine will wake up then, too, We read before the boys leave at 7:10. Then I’ll sit with Frank from 7  til about 7:30. I always bring the cocoa. Every day. Then I’ll collect the laundry, straighten the house, get the little ones breakfast, and head out for the bus. Depending on the weather, Kenny and James will coax me outside to scooter, take a walk, and to play. Since we’ve moved I don’t drive anywhere. There’s no need. Kelley gets home at 1:30, the boys at 3, and Madeleine at 4. Everyone scavenges for food until we eat dinner. I don’t like focusing on dinner and I often burn things. I’ll get some of my creative urges at that time of day and forget about food I’ve started cooking. Then it gets pretty quiet as everyone scatters to finish their day. Sometimes there’s a lot of running in the house. In the colder months.  I always go to sleep before everyone else. So Frank puts the little ones to bed. Brody has been reading to them and spending time with them before bed.

So ordinary. But I’m grateful for every minute of it.

Brody leaves today and when he comes back the little ones will’ve grown. Kelley will be gone. A lot will’ve changed. I know that about life.

I’ve been reflecting this week about love and what it means to me. Everything just flows along until there is change brought about by choice or sometimes tragedy. Until then, my feelings are neatly tucked away because everything is okay.

But it’s time to say goodbye again. And time to cry. My tears have nothing to do with faith in the future and seeing Brody again, watching Kelley, and Lauren leave for college again, or seeing Allison getting married. They are not for the future with my husband who’ll probably leave this earth much too soon, or the thought of the kids missing him so much.  They are from the place that holds all those thoughts and says this is what it feels like to love. Feel it. Enjoy it. Those tears mean you’ve felt something. My heart never tells me that it’ll be okay or that I’m weak or emotional. And I never feel better after I cry. I feel spent. Exhausted, but clean and very aware. For me it takes a lot of courage to let those feelings come out.

Most people I know aren’t comfortable with emotion. I live in it. I don’t know why. But I feel very fortunate to feel so deeply.  To me it feels like heaven. That’s what heaven is to me. Love.

When someone is walking away from me I feel intense love. Not with everyone. And not all the time. But, when it comes it’s a witness to me of how deeply that person is rooted in my heart. When I cry it feels like a moment of that love shared. Out in the open. I live very much in the present and those feelings are for the now. They are a gift to me. I’ve learned that I can’t count on the future working out the way I think it should. So, I’m becoming better at enjoying the moment.

The moments that mean so much to me and my relationships are always so small. A hug, a handwritten note, a story with a child, a request to sit on my lap, a surprise punch in the arm from my teenage boys, or a random and an unsolicited thank you for dinner, or a trip in the car. I relish phone calls. Those are very special and such a welcome surprise in an ordinary day. All the little things add up to fill my heart. I’m grateful for every bit of it. And I try to remember to give, too. That takes courage for me, to be like a child and give, not knowing or caring if I’m an unwelcome visitor.

I find myself watching people all the time, and I’ve concluded that not everyone I meet wants a relationship with me. One moment there’s an opportunity to become friends, and then, for some reason a wall goes up.  I’ll meet people on a walk, in the store, or through friends. I love looking for people sitting on benches. They’re fun to talk to. Then there are other times when you have an immediate connection with someone and the friendship grows. I’ve experienced both with people in my own family and with people I’ve just met. So, I enjoy whatever there is to any given relationship and having done that I know that one more corner of my heart has a name on it. I’m always saddened when walls go up. There’s nothing good about not getting to know another person’s heart. And life is long enough to fill it with so many.

Today will be like every other day. And that’s okay with me. I’ll hug my Brodes tightly in the kitchen as his dad watches. I’ll hug him and kiss him until he finally makes his way to the car. If they don’t leave quickly, I know I ‘ll make my way to the car to touch him one last time. Sounds so over-the-top! But, I savor every minute until distance doesn’t let me anymore. And I know that he has that special place in his heart full of those little, ordinary, everyday things that are evidence of my love for him. He’ll smile and hold his mom close. He won’t tell me it’ll be okay. Because he knows nothing is wrong. Everything is right.

Know that if you are my friend I do love you. I appreciate who you are and I know that I know some of you more than others. Know how much it means to me to be accepted for who I am and to be loved back. Know that all I expect, but can’t demand, is that you share who you are. That you trust me. And, more than likely, I’ll have quiet moments when I think of you and I’ll cry. Because you’ve touched my heart. And I thank you.

That’s what my tears mean to say.

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