Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Living Years . . .

Mia, Grandpa Chard and Gabriel on Grandpa's 76th birthday

     I was in fifth grade when my brother Gabriel came into my room in the early morning with a panicked look on his face, "Mia, mom and dad are both gone." My heart instantly sank and fear was my main emotion. We were quiet as we wandered the house looking for them so as not to wake our younger brothers and inflict on them the same torture we were feeling. It's interesting how memory works to pull you back in and even now, as I type this, my chest tightens because I know where this memory leads and I'm sad all over again for those two little kids in my mind and what they will soon feel. In our wanderings and at the same moment we both heard steps on the porch; freezing on the stairs, we both were hit with the same realization: Grandpa. 
     Growing up next door to my Grandparents was a blessing I will count as treasured, forever. Grandma had passed away a few years earlier and Grandpa had become an even bigger part of our lives. I can still see him sitting on the porch in his rocking chair; giving us money to run to Hind's Quick Stop to get coke and snowballs; and watching me mow his lawn and then laugh as he finally realized I was pushing so hard because I never held down the bar that would make it self propel.  I want to think those were the thoughts that were running through my mind as I waited for my mom to walk into the house but mostly I think my mind was blank. One look was all it took, she didn't need to speak because Gabriel and I already knew, Grandpa had died.
     Almost instantly I wanted to see my dad. Was he okay? Was he with Grandpa?  What do you do without a dad in the world? My mind couldn't grasp that last concept and maybe seeing him would help. My mom walked Gabriel and me over to the house so that we could be with Dad and his sister Norma. I will never forget walking into Grandpa's house and hearing the radio playing softly in the background - the song was, "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics. I could see my dad and his sister Norma in Grandpa's room; Gabriel walked to them but I moved into the living room and sat alone, listening to the music and not knowing what to do.
     I heard that song the other day and instantly was brought back to that moment, day and time when Grandpa passed to finally rest with Grandma. That song is the clarion call to all who listen to not live with regret – to speak the things of our hearts because, for this life, there will come a time that it will be too late. I know that my dad and his father didn't share the tortured relationship that the song talks about but I have often had conversations with him about his memories and his life growing up and when he talks about his mom or dad there is a longing in his eyes. Why do we wait? Why do we not let people know what they really mean to us – now – immediately – right away?
So today, in my living year, I want to let people know that I love them, that they have influenced me, that I have seen their kindness and one day only hope to match a small portion of it. I guess tonight it's also my challenge to whoever might read this – don't wait, say what you always hold back and do it now, in the living years . . .

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The best season of all . . .

My favorite time of year has arrived. Fall. The world slows down, the air is crisp and the leaves are crisper. This year I have been able to appreciate what the best season of all means to the city and the country, either way it's beautiful:


I love you Fall!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brothers . . .

. . .  do you remember this day? So. much. work.

But, oh, what a fun trip.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Story - Brandi Carlile

If you have never heard of Brandi Carlile, stop what you are doing, and listen to her. One of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard and such amazing lyrics.  I love the power that is found in music. I love the lyrics to her song, "The Story" -

All of these lines across my face

Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am

But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true, I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines, and I broke all the rules
But,baby, I broke them all for you

Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do, I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
All of our friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess

No they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what I've been through
Like you do, and I was made for you

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am

Oh but these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true, I was made for you

And it's true that I was made for you

Sometimes music helps you say something that words alone can't, maybe one day I can have that kind of gift. I am tired tonight. I am tired of feeling the same emotion over and over again, does that ever happen to anyone else? You think you have it licked and it sneaks up behind you and there you go again:) Well, tomorrow is another day and I'm hoping for a good one . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

like a pendulum.

A Girl on the Swing
Chungmi Kim

She sees the mountain
upside down.

With her long hair 
sweeping the fallen leaves
she swings
like a pendulum.

From the lagoon at sunset
a hundred sparrows fly away.

Wishing them back
she whistles softly.
And downward
she falls into the sky.

I am came across this poem at an extremely dark time of my life. I felt haunted by it. I felt as if I connected with that girl on the swing, having my own things to wish back: childhood, innocence, happiness, love, confidence. But we all know that nothing comes back just by wishing for it. If it were so what would we say for growth or cultivation of character? 

What I didn't realize then, that has come with time, is how truly wishing is a childlike verb. It points to the lack of being able to change your situation; you wish for things for which you have no control, it is what you do when you are helpless. For far too long I have lived my adult life with that childlike verb as my mantra - sitting back and wishing that things were different, that time could be reversed to come out right, to have it all play out fair.

Finally, however, after small steps in the right direction I am finally beginning to swing my pendulum in the opposite direction and realize there is nothing wrong with wishing . . . if . . . it is combined with work. That was what I was forgetting all those years - I am no longer a child. I am no longer a helpless victim of unfairness and pain. I can wish and work my way to the person I long to be. It has taken years and many set backs and there will probably be a few more but I am okay with that, because it is in those moments of set back that I have the free feeling of knowing that I can see a mountain upside down and my hair can touch the leaves as I make my way back up . . .

On Thursday August 9, 2012, I was given a gift that will forever live in my memory; I was able to see what I had set aside all these years as something I didn't deserve - - - love. My parents threw me a surprise birthday party and the inadequate word I keep thinking that would encompass it is LOVE - I certainly felt in and I hope with all my heart that they felt and will continue to feel it from me. 

Thank you. 

And now for the fun . . . . picture madness . . . "deal with it Cate Blanchett!"

Yeah - - - I wasn't expecting a backyard of people:) but oh, was it fun . . .

Love first to the women who made it all possible and worked all summer for this - love you mom!

Enjoying a moment with Pops - thank you Dad! I love you:)

And the prize for the person who came the farthest goes to . . . Aunt Margie! Come on downnnnn!! (What I always assume must be said when a winner is announced - curse you Price is Right!) I love you more than words:)

Closest I will ever come to a celebrity . . . no autographs please.

Such a beautiful night! Thanks to everyone who came:) 

Some of my favorite people on the planet - Paul and Paulette Barnes:)

The wonderful Apedailes!!

Becky and I  - such a dear friend

Fernando and Raquel - it wouldn't have been a celebration without them:)

Los Patiños - - - part of my life for 20+ years, love you!

Mark and Candace Crane - I love these two:)

The Lyon's - Peterson is a better place because you live there!

I must interrupt the guest pics to highlight everyone's favorite part - - - the food! Marcela made and decorated the cutest and most delicious cupcakes - there were ribbon sandwiches, empanadas, fruit, veggies, rolls and so many more delicious treats - someone better tell me if they were good;) I was too busy talking:)

Alex and Val - Seagull Book and HR at the Church would have been so not doable without these friends!

Cassie and Michelle! What can you say for best friends?! So happy they came!

Amber!! Life is so much fun because I know this girl!

Could this group be any cooler?! I pretty much say no - Mackenzie, Jenny, Hayli, Eliza, Jake and Andrea (award for best expression goes to Hayli ;) she wins every time)

Cassie and Michelle with their great husbands - Bryce and Spencer:)

I was so happy that Betty and Gordon came:)

She taught me preschool down the lane . . . isn't that so "small town" . . .

Claudia loved having me pose and I loved her for doing that - It was such a great sunset!

The swing was a fun spot - Eli could really get it going, it was so great that the Ferrell family came!

Natalie and I pretty much go back to birth, haha - My cousin and dear friend!

There was so much fun going on - good food, conversation, and SOCCER - it wouldn't be an Argentine birthday without soccer, I wish I would have joined in:)

Look at Jake taking all those kids on - you rock Jake!

And the highlight for many . . . . the PIÑATA - not one but two! Mason is going for it!

So many fun prizes - my mom made separate bags for the boys and the girls! There isn't anyone more awesome than my madre!

Of course they needed a 30 year Piñata veteran to step in and seal the deal - 

Nothing to it but aggression, haha

Summer Ferrell and I with the perfect birthday hats - such a cutie!!

Mackenzie! I am so grateful for her:)

LoriAnn Ferrell and I  - one of my favorite people on the planet:)

The camera women herself - - - Tia Claudia!

Natalie and her cute Siena

My friends from SLC - seriously love them all: Jen, Hayli, Lesley, Andrea and Kristen! These girls are the coolest, can I please be like them when I grow up?

Alex always being the life of the party:) Love you, Al!!

The day finally coming to a close but not before . . . .

CAKE! Mason will always and forever be my birthday candle blowing out partner - he is a pro!

I didn't get to get a picture with everyone that came but I hope they know how much I love them!! . . . . . . . so . . . . . . until another 30 years pass . . .  . . . . . . .

THAT'S ALL FOLKS . . . . .