A postcard from Albania

A postcard arrived in the mail the other day.  All the way from Albania from two of my dearest friends–with a simple, honest, and purely loving message. 

  
This was the front of the postcard.  Though, the heart of the message was on the backside.  Dear Georgia and Jordan, and then a big circle with another circle inside, and the words true love written in the center. In the outter circle the word illusion was repeated alongside the curve. And then focus.  At the very bottom.

I’ve been thinking about this message for some days now.  And I’ve come to it’s meaning.  For me, we live in a world–this circle– that is full of false realities keeping us from finding the truth.  And the truth is: all we need is love. And to focus on a constant pursuit of finding the truth, and spreading love wherever We can. 

This is precisely why I am sharing this with you now. It was a simple postcard, but carried a profound message–which was the point.  I’m grateful for their endless teachings and warmth. For its not everyday you find enlightenment in your friends.  But I find it time and time again within them. 

My sincerest love to all, 

~g

Morning Conversations 

Sometimes, Monday mornings are rough. You know, rolling out of bed groggy while attempting to re-establish weekday routines. Playing out the idea of hooky on a Monday inside your head.  Wishing to sink back into your pillow. Little things can feel rushed Monday morning. Like, conversations with your three-year-old. (Almost four-year-old).   

Over peanut-buttered-jelly toast and applesauce McKinley discussed her dream to me.  And we didn’t rush.  

“Were you by the pink and blue hydrangeas last night?” McKinley asked. 

I played along, “Oh yes! I was.” 

“And did you see Papa? He was playing with me in my dreams last night!”  (She is referring to my late father who passed away). 

“Oh really?! What were you guys doing?” 

“Papa was pushing us on the swings, but I was younger,” says McKinley very grown up. 

  
Sometimes it stirs these bottomless emotions inside me, but other times it brings comfort knowing he visits her. Still keeping us all safe. Still staying close.  

~g

Wordless Wednesday 

   
 

My baby–isn’t so much a baby anymore.

It’s pretty custom to write a fresh blog post for the New Year.  But, this time it’s not about resolutions or solutions.  And, it’s not a trip down memory lane either.  I get tired of reading posts like that.  You know–posts that are full of optimism and hope for the New Year to bring new things.  Posts that ramble on about new goals and ideas.  Posts that reminisce on all the woes and triumphs of the past year.   Seriously though, how many goals do you attempt to achieve in one year and actually achieve them?  Okay, I’m guilty. I’ve written these types of posts.  We all have. But, this year I’m just not feelin’ it.   Don’t get me wrong–I did make a goal list and I’m very excited for 2016.  I’m just choosing not to share it this year, because I’m assuming you’ve read enough of these posts.

  
Maybe it’s because Cora (my youngest) turns 1 today,  and that’s what I want to write about.  The fact that my baby– isn’t so much a baby anymore.  And, it’s totally heartbreaking.   Insert 1,000 tear emoji’s. Sure she will always be my baby, because she is the youngest.   But now, she is a walking toddler.  A freakin’ one-year-old!

  
Each age comes with new responsibilities, stages, and developments.  And, with Cora turning one I’ve slowly entered into this world where my children are starting to fight.  Sibling rivalry has officially begun folks.  Uhh surprise! –Yeah, no.   It’s not fun.

And if you have kids you know how it goes:

Cora is holding a toy.

McKinley grabs the toy.

Cora starts flailing and screaming.  Technically a tantrum. (And not a cute one).  It’s the kind where you actually scrunch up the side of you lip, raise your eyebrows, and say, “Are you serious?”   Then you attempt to correct the situation.

“McKinley, you took that from your sister and she was playing with it.  Please give it back to her and when she is done you can have a turn.”

Boom. Fireworks.

McKinley starts stomping her foot with hand on hip.

My eye starts twitching.

Cora grabs toy from McKinley.

“Hey, that’s mine!” as she grabs back from Cora.

Eyes bulge. Teeth clench.

“If you guys cannot share, then the toy goes.”

Thankfully at this point I can still distract Cora—but with effort.

It’s obviously not all like that.  Now, when McKinley stubs her toe, or is crying about her newest and latest “boo-boo,” Cora toddles over to McKinley and repetitively pats her with both chubby little hands.   And smiles.  McKinley giggles. They hug.  Ah!  I live for these moments.  Every parent does.  Because, It’s better than gold.  It’s a calm and peace that rushes through your mind and body.   Where the world makes sense.  And you understand purpose.  And love simply permeates the room in a profound way.

  
“Cora say, “MA-MA,” come on you can do it!”   McKinley has become an amazing sister.  I think it’s a big milestone–developing that role and understanding what it means to be a sibling.  But, in a year, McKinley has owned it.  Cora cries and in a matter of minutes McKinley returns to the rescue with a teddy bear.

Another aweing thing about having a big One-year-old is that their personality emerges.   Cora is a sweetheart.  And that’s the best word to describe her.  She stumbles over to give my legs a hug while I cook dinner.  And is laid back enough to let me hold her in an Ergo carrier for hours.  She has gentle eyes. You look into them and see a softness. I recognize them, because my father had the same blue eyes.

  
Cheers to parenthood and Happy Birthday to our sweet Cora. We love you!

 ~g 

 

A Meaningful Children’s book–finally published. 

Dear bloggers and faithful followers! My book has finally been published!  It’s been a long and slow two years. BUT with my newest publication Going Through A Maze I thought It would be a good idea to venture down memory lane–Why I wrote the book and how it came to be.  

  
For those who havn’t followed me in the process– I wrote this children’s book during a difficult time, while I was caring for my sick father. 
This book is based on the love and friendship built between a grandfather and granddaughter. It depicts the reality of a family member or friend struggling with cancer in a simplistic way that is appropriate for young and older audiences. The story ultimately is meant to help prompt difficult conversations with children relating to cancer or any serious illness. 

Here are a few past blog posts I wrote from the time my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, to his passing, and then my grieving. 

Please fellow bloggers I need your help.  Repost this and help me spread the word.  Portions of this book are donated to cancer research.  
You can purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other participating bookstores. Available in paperback or ebook. 

All my love & many thanks in advance,

G