Little Philosophers. 

Three year olds ask the best questions. Those tough-sometimes-you-just-can’t-fully-answer type of questions, don’t they? 

My father called this phase, “The Little Philosophers phase,” because they are curious thoughtful thinkers. And always asking, “why?!”  

  
This morning, after we all finally got buckled into our cozy CRV, McKinley started out, “Why do we need to save the earth? No no no no..Mama. HOW do we save the earth? That’s what I mean.”

“What a great question McKinley.  There are many reasons to save the earth and many ways we can save the earth.  Like, using less water.  Turning off our lights when we’re not using them.  Recycling. The list goes on.” 

I told her to ask all of her friends and teachers, because there was something to  learn from everyone.  So, I said, I would do the same. What are your thoughts on why we should save the earth and/or how we can save the earth?! 

-G

The Circle of Life: Infancy & Death

I’ve neglected my readers for far to long now.  I apologize for that and am ready to get back into the swing of things.  Since my last post– dad passed away.  And McKinley is now 18-months-old stringing words along– “bye-bye dada” and “uh-oh meme.”

Life is full circle.  I’ve heard it a million times and I thought I knew what it meant.  That basically–we start where we end.  It seems simple to understand, but it’s different to have experience.  And, I know that now.  Now, that I’ve watched my father die.

I do not mean to confuse experience in the sense of “doing” or “seeing” something,  but rather experience as a feeling.   An experiential feeling that is created in part by the doing and seeing. For example:

Let’s say a specialist comes into a classroom to speak about Nazi Germany.  Imagine that this young man knows everything about Nazi Germany. Everything. The following day, another speaker comes to the class.  The new speaker says the EXACT same words as the young man the day before.  Except he was an 80-year-old man from Auschwitz.  And the difference between them is not the “experience” itself.  It’s the feeling the experience created for the older man that makes their knowledge different.

My father would always use that example in his philosophy classes when explaining the existence of God.  To know – is different than – to feel. 

So, here I am with an experiential feeling about my father’s passing.  Life, a circle.  I’ve lived through it, I saw it, and I felt it.  I was there every minute and everyday. Watching new life begin and my hero’s life end. And not just end, but transcend.

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In the end of life–we revert back to infancy.  We revert back to toddlerhood–a self-centered world–back to diapers–back to being dependent–back to napping–losing our ability to walk, and then back to sleeping all the time. And in the end of our life, like toddlers, we get frustrated because we can’t communicate the way we want to.  There are surprisingly many similarities.  It was humbling to watch.

Death is just as magical as birth. It’s a privilege and an honor to witness. But, we mourn death and don’t talk about it.  Why?  Why is it such a taboo topic and painted as morbid and horrible?  What– just because death is depressing?  Death is natural. And it’s normal to be sad when you lose someone you love. It’s going to happen.  So–shouldn’t we talk about it?  Why is being sad something negative when sadness is the only way to understand happiness?  Life is all about the journey, and the journey is never flat.

We mourn because our fear of the unknown and our fear of life without the familiar.  Death is truly the greatest testament of our being, our will power, and our core strength. And we will all question— Is the “truth” I’ve always believed, really true?  It is the greatest hill we all must climb.  But never in my life have I worked hard to climb a hill, without ever coming down.  And isn’t down hill so much better?  And isn’t the climb always worth it?

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Life, for me, will never go back.  I’ll always have to push forward.  Like a circle.  Where does a circle really start and end anyways?  It doesn’t. It just continues to go around and around.  Yes, I am suggesting that life after death goes on.  However, I am not suggesting how it goes on.  That I do not know.  But, my father in-law once told me something I’ll never forget.

“You know, death is like being born.  When you’re inside the womb it’s a dark, comfortable place, and it’s all you know.  And then, one day, you are pushed out into this bright light.  This new world you know nothing about.  You are scared and alone.  But, then you realize it’s this beautiful place.  Why wouldn’t death be the same?” 

 

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Definition: Family

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Family is powerful.  Powerful was the first word that came to mind, but the word power doesn’t come close to describing what a family truly embodies.

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When you type “definition: family into Google, “A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household,” shows up.  This is a crappy definition.

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Thefreedictionary.com defines family as, “A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.”

Okay…starting to get warmer, but only because of the word: fundamental.

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A New York Times article asked parenting bloggers like myself to define family, and one responded: “Someone that loves you and someone who is there for you no matter what.”

Now we’re a lot warmer.

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How can one truly define Family?  Family is a pretty loaded concept with sub-unexplainable concepts attached, like love for instance.  Would you agree?   Yes, the blanket definition for family could be people coexisting together in a household but that doesn’t necessarily embody a “family.”  Even saying, “someone that loves you and is always there for you” doesn’t fully explain the concept. It touches on the fundamental part of family, sure, but explain?

Family is subjective.  In my opinion, defining a family in part depends on the existential experience of the individual and who they feel their family is.  Family is a concept people spend their entire lives trying to find, run away from, create, or expand. Sometimes families have nothing to do with biology, and other times families are bound and created by biology.



Families consist of people who love, support, challenge, and fight for you.  Family stands by your side. Family members advocate, teach, grow, learn, and accept one another’s differences and similarities.  And yet, somehow that doesn’t  100% sum it up 🙂

Special thanks today for all the people that love & support me.  My family.  I appreciate every one of you.

~The chance for growth is infinite!~ Georgia

Just Beat it

I am like my father.  I need someone to give it to me straight.  Probably why I am sometimes harmfully honest with people.   But, you can handle it.

My father was diagnosed with Stage 3″B”  Lung cancer.   

I feel as though I have entered this “sandwich” generation of caring for my young daughter while preparing to care for my parents. It’s a tricky place and a humane place to be.   It makes me think:  these are the moments.

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In my life I am always brought back to moments.  Moments of time passing slowly, and others quick.  One of Life’s many contradictions that continue my quest for knowledge.  A particular kind of knowledge. Spiritual knowledge.

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To be frank, people ask, “how are you?”  And the pressure to be positive all the time is exhausting.  What am I supposed to say?  How would you feel?  I just nod and say, “I’m fine.”

When someone close to you is diagnosed with Cancer a million things run through your head.  Your emotions go “haywire.”   Common emotions include: anxious, fearful, sadness, loneliness, hopeful, and inspired.

Anxious because you are unsure. You do not have all the facts or answers.  You enter a world of “unknown” territory. Fearful of loosing someone you love and care deeply for.  Someone you trust.  Someone you look up to.  A hero.  Connected souls. Your father. Then, Sadness sets in.  Then alone.  Hopeful for the best.  We utilize tools like logic and reason.  If A, then B.  If we do not have facts and answers, then we cannot draw conclusions.  No need to be fearful or sad.  Then, inspired to fight! BEAT IT! WIN! SURVIVE!

 

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Stage 3″B” lung cancer is not the full story.  My father almost died.  He had a massive blood clot in his lung, lung cancer, and pneumonia, and…He lived.  My dad already is a survivor. 

The new Michael Mafia Motto: Just Beat It, Michael Jackson    

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“How to: Cancer Party”  to come…

~The Chance for growth is infinite~ Georgia

Practice…Patience

We must be adaptable as parents.

It’s something parents become almost immediately after the birth, and if you don’t, then you’re s**t out of luck, says Darwin.  Survival of the fittest.  And, just because it’s immediate does not imply success or simplicity.  Everyday is a new day presenting new things to learn.  For me, adapting has been the hardest part of parenting (thus far).  In general, people don’t seem to keen on change; Whether it’s change within themselves or their environments.  It symbolizes something unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and scary.  We fear change, yet it is inevitable.  I’ve become a pro at adapting, it’s the acceptance part I’m currently working through, like accepting that it might be awhile before I get to use the restroom alone.

I wanted to share my key ingredient.

Patience.

How do you foster patience?  My answer?  You meditate, or you pray.  Maybe pick up yoga?  And whatever you do, practice!   Practice.

The truth?   We never know it in the moment, but in the end, that unfamiliar, scary, and uncomfortable Change is always worth it.

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~The chance for growth is infinite~ Georgia