Monday, September 27, 2010



    I am feeling pretty weird about my life these days.  I am sort of 'twixt and 'tween.  Problem is, I can't figure out between what I'm twixt.  I think there must have been a time in about 11th grade when I wanted to be successful.  Even back then, I am not really sure what that might have looked like once I got there.  In some ways, my life was in a bubble.  Everybody I hung around was college-bound.   Everybody would have a career.  There really wasn't too much discussion about any of that.  I was probably on the low-end of the "Let's all be prestigious and go to college in the Northeast."  I think I opted out of being a cabinet member or district attorney or oral surgeon when I  realized that I didn't know what "syntax" meant on the SAT.  It appears that others in my class knew the meaning----and sure enough all those "syntax-knowers"  have gone on to be quite success-full.  
      Last week, a little six year old friend of mine, was filling out a "Sucess Chart" for school.  "What in the world does success mean?" I nudged her as she bubbled in her  'successes."
Without skipping a beat, she told me, " Success means you're all full up.  Full to the top---full to the brim. You feel full. You can't hold any more."
"Any more  of what?"  I asked. 
"Success-full means you're all full up on love and having friends."
"Oh. Good to know, " said I.  Hmmm. 
   Some days,  I am not really sure how to shuffle parts of my life (back) into this deck--of life. I want the rules to be bent.   One son is grown, but, my other son, Taylor, will never be grown.  In some ways, I think I have decided to stay "ungrown" with him.  This is not going to be a very flattering confession, but some days I wonder, "What the heck? What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?"  That's just on some days---some hours mostly.  (Has anybody out there begun decorating for my pity-party yet?) myself.
And, I can trace those "I'm so tired of this" feelings directly to days when Taylor feels bad and I am completely helpless to 
I am not able to be success-----full.  And I hate it.  I'm not good at just "being."  I have not practiced working on that "being" muscle as much as I'd like to pretend I have.  So, I fight the current.  I flow against it.  I struggle.  I tug.  I pull and then push and resist.  I want things to be different.  I want me to be different.  I want to be success--full---with him.  With life.
     I know what syntax means now.  Turns out, it never was a very hard word to understand.
I wonder why I  assigned that kind of not-knowing to determine my success.
Help me out, here, folks.  Talk to me. 
What is success?  How do you know when you've gotten there?
Full of love?  Full to the brim with love?
Full of friendships and people who  love you?
Maybe I just need to stop trying to swim upstream---against the current.
Is up-stream where success is?  Did I miss it?
Didn't I just come from there---up stream that is?
Oh, I think I just need to  float a while. 
Not doing.
Not a human doing.
A human being.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Yeah...But....Club


           I've never thought of myself as much of a complainer, but lately I have noticed how things get on my nerves--"on my last nerve" as the kids say.  We really weren't allowed to complain much when we were growing up or we'd get......let me see how to say this politically correctly....oh yeah, we'd get spanked.  My father, a Commander in the Navy during WWII, didn't "cotton" to much fussing or making excuses or plain 'ole complaining.  We were told, "Just say Yes Sir and that's all!" 
     So I was well trained.  Until now. 
     Now I hear myself saying out loud----a lot...."Yeah, but.....I....." and then some excuse or reasoning or poor-pitiful-me type words will come gurgling out.   When friends say they lost a lot of weight walking two miles a day, I am quick to chirp,  "Yeah, but, so do I and yadayadayada."  I can "Yeah, but" myself to death about money, friends, work, travel, dieting (oh yeah, I already said that one), and well, you name it.  "Yeah, but, that would take so long."  "Yeah, but, nobody told me it started early." "Yeah, but, I have to get a sitter."  "Yeah, but, I don't want to give up my Saturdays."  You get it.  Yeah, but, nobody wants to read my blogs anyway.
    I got really defensive yesterday when an acquaintance commented that I made it  seem like raising Taylor was so hard.  She, too, has a child with Down Syndrome; we were just comparing notes.  And I heard all of this come out of my mouth: "Yeah, but, your daughter is not in pain.  Yeah, but you are married and have a husband who helps 50/50.  Yeah, but your daughter is still in school.  Yeah, but she is higher functioning than Taylor.  Yeah, but ya'll have more money.  Yeah, but you have more kids at home to help you."  I Yeah-Butted myself all over the place.  But were they just hollow excuses?
And I knew I was feeling defensive and like maybe I wasn't a good mother and like I didn't know how to do this life thing so well----yeah, but, here I am and who better?  Yeah, but.....maybe all of you would be better at my life.
     This is not my temporary so-called life.  This is not like, "Ok, Taylor's going to be retarded for a while and then when he's 32, he's going to read and write on grade level and become a lawyer."  This is the real-deal way it is.  For as long as our lives are---I mean our physical lives.  It's not, "Well you only have to do this for six months and then we're sending in a replacement---or extra troops or a new set of chromosomes or that new pill that's going to make you lose weight and make Taylor pain-free and with an IQ way above room temperature. "   (Yeah, but most of us have that high IQ and look at us! Ooops!)
So, I am taking stock today. 
My "Yeah buts" are keeping me stuck and creating a longing for parts of a life that probably will never be.
Yeah, but, can I love the life I have?
Yeah, but can you love the life you have?
Yeah, but, can we help each other learn to live wholly/holy and fully and happily in our lives? 
Ok. Ok. Yes!  But To loving our lives just as we find them.
Yeah, but, does anybody know how to make my legs look thinner?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sitting Halo


       Last week I got an email from my brother, along with his daughter's blog about  missionary work she is doing with children in Mexico.  Beka's blog updated her family and followers about how she hangs out, shares her heart, and is a witness to the children she is there to serve.  I can't remember now if she left out a word or if I left out a word, but here's what I read from what she wrote: "Sometimes I just sit.......halo."  Within minutes, and after checking lots of other emails, I wrote back to my brother and asked, "What does she mean to "Sit Halo"? (See, I had already unconsciously taken her words for my own meaning.)  I began to picture my precious niece just being a present and caring presence in the lives of children in a very impoverished country. Perhaps without using words, without pushing her beliefs on them---I could see Beka "sitting halo" for the children she  is there to reach.
        Well, come to find out (is that an old person's expression?), Halo is a video game and sitting and playing halo literally meant sitting and playing that video game.   Shucks! Darn. Even damn.  My whole image and the meaning I had assigned "Sitting Halo"  was crumpled up--null and void.  I had about thirty seconds of disappointment that I had so misread her words, but something stuck with me---those words, "Sitting Halo" kept clamoring around in my head.  There was meaning there for me. I was touched by that expression and I  let it just sit inside of me for several days. 
Sitting Halo. 
Holding a person you love--or loved---or need to love---or can't love (you get the picture---insert your favorite name now)--holding a person in a sacred space---in a holy light---surrounded by grace and compassion--and of course--by light.  Light that might give them a bit of hope or a new perspective or a glint/glimmer that they are going to find their paths.  Sitting Halo---my new best phrase--- means even sitting right next to somebody you want so desperately to "fix" and make better and steer down a different road----but maybe your words are all used up and broken-record-sounding---maybe your words would fall on deaf ears or a hardened heart.  And, anyway, maybe your words are not what they need. You know exactly what I'm talking about; you've been there.  You might be there right now.  So, don't say anything.  Just Sit Halo for that person.  Just pray--- if that's the word that makes sense for you life.  Or meditate---- Send them love.  Ask for them to be sheltered and nourished and to be "healed"-----and yes, I know that can mean a zillion different things.  But you get it, don't you? 
      Sit Halo.
 Today I could not do anything to make Taylor feel better.  I had done all there was to do.  I was frustrated and close to tears.  So, I just stood close, was silent, and "Sat Halo."   For me, that meant I prayed for him to be out of pain.  It felt like such a relief to have a place to "go" with my thoughts and for the love I hold for him. I didn't need to tell him what I was doing or why I was doing it.  It is simply (and beautifully) a prayer for watching over---for whatever that person needs to live his /her life's purpose full out.
   For the woman who cuts in front of you in line at Wendy's:  Sit Halo.  For the  friend we have who is  lost and not knowing where to turn in life:  Sit Halo.
For the sister/son/friend  who has not  made contact with you in months:  Sit Halo.  Hold them in that sacred and holy place in your heart.  Say their names---pour  love on top of their names.  See them in your mind's eye completely surrounded by grace and luminous light.  Ask that they will know hope.
Sit Halo. 
I am honored and so touched  to know that there are those of you "out there" Sitting Halo for me. 
Don't say a word.  Hold that intention----for love---for them.
Sit Halo. 


Taylor and Hawkeye