“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hide and seek is a fun game when you’re a kid. One kid gets to count to a hundred or whatever is deemed a high enough number and all the other kids run and hide. No one wants to be found right away, but no one wants to be hid so well they are forgotten either.
I remember many days spent, even in teenage years, playing hide and seek with my cousins in the woods behind my grandma’s house. We would spend all afternoon hiding and seeking each other until it either got too dark to see, or we got hot and thirsty enough to go inside.
I have found myself doing a form of hide and seek at times. Emotional hide and seek is not a fun game and not always on purpose, at least for me. I can sometimes get so emotionally entangled in things that it becomes like a strand of barbed wire wrapped around me, digging in, drawing blood and choking me. I wait in that state of turmoil until I finally allow someone close enough to clip the wire and free me from my self-imposed trap.
The problem is that instead of seeking help (like a normal sane person), I allow myself to get tightly bound while I struggle and struggle, until I fall over and lay silent with my own wounds and tears, secretly sulking because no one noticed I fell, or that I’m bleeding, wounded, and in the dark even though I didn’t reach out to anyone in the process. What can I say; I am a mess at times.
I was trying to explain this struggle to several close friends today and the conversations went from frustrated and weepy to silly and comical. I have a couple of friends that are very good at cutting up my long stories and coming back with rather blunt observations. I thank God for these people in my life.
There is after all a point to this post. Hide and seek might be a fun game for kids, but it’s really useless in relationships, unless it’s played the same way the kids play it. If you play emotional hide and seek then both parties in the relationship lose. You lose because your needs are not met and they lose because you failed to communicate what those needs were. No one is really a mind reader and if you need something then you should ask for it, or don’t get upset when it doesn’t happen.
The game might seem the same, but the rules and the outcome for the kids version of hide and seek and the emotional version are quite different.
Cherry Coley ©
If there is one thing I have come to realize the last few weeks it’s that grief is completely unpredictable, and that it will not be ignored. You will not skip by it, you will not just put it off until later, you will get doubled over and knocked down, and then struggle to keep some sort of composure as you muddle through the day.
I have just been sort of going through the motions the last few days, putting one foot in front of the other and acting like everything is fine. It’s not fine; it doesn’t seem real at all. At least 4-5 times I started up the road and thought, “I have to call mom,” then would remember that she’s not there to call. Then my mind would do this weird flip flop of trying to reject that fact and act like it was all just a bad dream. If only we lived in soap opera land that might be true. Then again, I’m not one to stand around plotting and worrying all day.
Somehow I just didn’t plan for this rollercoaster, and feel like I should have seen it coming, I should have anticipated or something. You see, my birthday is tomorrow. It’s never been that big of a deal for any of us. We don’t go way out of the way, or celebrate for weeks or a month, or anything like that. I am not really sure why, we just never have.
Yet, every year my mom would call me at 5 minutes until 5 o’clock and say, “Well, it’s about time you woke up! (insert year)’s ago you kept me up all night long waiting for you to get here! Happy Birthday!” Then later on we would meet up and she would have made a cake and have written out a card. It didn’t hit me until this weekend that I wouldn’t hear that message that used to make me smile and roll my eyes at the same time.
This last Saturday, my oldest daughter went to her Senior Prom. She was simply beautiful, so very grown up looking in her dress with her boyfriend by her side. I had to work so I wasn’t sure I would get to see them before they went to Prom, but they waited and made a special trip to come back by the house so I could snap a few pictures. It was a bittersweet moment, I am so amazed at how much she’s matured and has really grown into a wonderful person, I was nailed again thinking how my parents would have loved to see her all dressed up.
My youngest daughter went to a friend’s house to stay so it was just me, the dog, the cat and boxes of stuff to go through. I was at a really low moment on Saturday, and just let myself cry for a while, talking to my mom as is she was there with me in the room. At one point I asked, “Why, Mom, Why did you leave? Why aren’t you here now?” It was then I looked in the drawer of a cabinet, and found an envelope.
I turned the envelope over and pulled out a birthday card from my mom. There was no date on it, but I know it must’ve been one from the last few years. There she had written “Happy Birthday, Cherry. If wishes were dollars, we’d both be rich. I have so many wonderful wishes for you, and in the end, it’s the thoughts and wishes that count the most anyway. Love, Mom”
Thanks, Mom, you have NO idea how much I needed that! Then again, maybe you do.
Cherry Coley ©
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. –Andy Rooney
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle
I love this quote – I remember it from Winnie the Pooh. When Pooh was feeling weak and scared, Christopher Robin made him memorize this quote to remind him to be brave. Pooh later shared the same thing with Piglet to help him, and so it is that when you take the time to encourage one person, the ripple effect of your kindness will carry on and affect many more than you will ever know.
Cherry Coley (c)
I was going to do an amazing post about the origins of the Fortune Cookie. I love Fortune Cookies, they are fun, offer a bit of wisdom, sometimes sarcasm, sometimes a smile, and lucky numbers too. Yep, it was going to be a light-hearted post all about how a Chinese immigrant from California created them.
However, when I got home I had to mow the lawns, and that took me right at an hour. After that I was hot and itchy from mowing so I took a hot shower, then I found I was tired. I ate dinner, and sat down to watch part of a television series I occasionally watch and, then thought I might write something profound or entertaining.
I am not writing profound or entertaining tonight. Tonight I am going to go meditate and prepare myself for the last day of the week. Tonight, I will be thankful that I am still here, that my kids are both home and healthy, and that we have a roof over our head and food to eat. Tonight, I will simply be thankful.
Perhaps tomorrow I will have more to say, more to research and something nice to share. Tonight I will pray for the people in my life and pause to be thankful for friends and the amazing people I have met along the way that I get to read and share with each day.
Peace be with you.
Cherry Coley (c)
My mom was crocheting a tablecloth. It was a project she started about two years ago or so. She had crocheted a tablecloth for my brother and his wife and asked if I wanted one. I said yes, but not the same pattern.
The pattern we chose was called Cathedral Window. She kept telling me over and over through all the time she was working on it that she didn’t think she would live to see it finished. She had a terrible time with gout and arthritis, but she worked on it whenever she could. I told her if it was too hard, then don’t worry, but she wouldn’t hear of it, she was determined.
Truthfully, I think it was finished, but she loved the pattern and the challenge, so she kept on working on it. So, technically she was right, because she was in the middle of a row and so it wasn’t really finished when she passed away. I am unsure what to do with it. Should I try to finish it? Should I leave it as it is and put it in a display case? Should I have the last row removed and a border put around it to complete it? I just don’t know.
I love it, but it makes me sad because it was on her lap, she had been working on it when she left us. For now I am going to gently pack it and preserve it for when I can look at it with a clear thought process and perhaps a heart a little more healed before I decide what to do.
I miss you, Mom.
Simplify. “Keep it simple” is something I tell myself quiet often and it is the way I want to live. I realized last night that I have been feeling somewhat out of sorts because I have strayed a bit from doing two things that are vital to my well-being. Those two things are keeping it simple, and meditation.
I look around my cluttered (still in the process of unpacking and sorting) house and realize I have been emotionally unpacking and sorting which is not a good thing to do. I have boxes that came from my parents’ house with my mom’s china, some crystal, dishes, blankets, baby clothes and shoes, pictures galore, but going through all of that is making the whole process really slow.
My parents were the type of people that saved everything because you might need it later. In their defense, they grew up in the Great Depression Era where most people had little or no possessions and you simply didn’t throw anything away because there might not be a way to replace it. I get it.
No one should ever keep everything. I am speaking to myself as well as all those people who get emotionally attached to things. I’ve been there, you pick up souvenirs with family, friends on an outing of some kind and it becomes your link to memories and good feelings. You become emotionally attached. There’s nothing wrong with souvenirs so please don’t think I’m saying that, but if you collect and collect and collect then pretty soon you are building new bookshelves to hold the nick knacks, filling up the garage, and even renting extra storage space to hold it all.
I grew up in a house with people who loved to buy treasures and keep them, now as a result, there are a LOT of treasures to go through. One thing sorting so much “stuff” will do is make you realize, there’s really no rational reason to keep all the “stuff.” No one needs that much stuff. You can’t use it all, can’t look at it all, it’s taking up space, and can you really enjoy it if you suddenly find you can’t really clean up because there’s no space to put things? Sorry we can’t have people over, the house is a mess.
Keep it simple, is what I’ve come to repeat to myself a lot lately. If it’s not useful, hasn’t been used in X number of months (for me it’s now 3 months), and doesn’t add beauty to the home, then it needs to go. This sounds easy doesn’t it? It’s not always easy because of emotional attachment. Luckily we have something that will make letting go easier – photographs.
Photos are easily accessible, can be stored in a number of different ways now including: on-line, CD’s, Flash Drives, and of course printed out. They don’t HAVE to take up any room at all AND they can be easily shared with any number of people.
Tonight I’m going through again and sorting the “letting go” areas of our lives. We have a lot of old Barbie’s and Brat dolls to donate among other things. Other children will enjoy them, and those toy chests can be used to store extra blankets or other items we use. Yes, we might take pictures of the toys because memories are memories and photos help to remind us.
Cherry Coley ©