Posted in Gratitude, Letting Go, Motherless daughters, Saying Goodbye

How to Say Goodbye

How to Say Goodbye

 

How to Say Goodbye  by Nancy Malcolm:

I am unsure of how to tell you goodbye.  I’m holding your hand as if you were holding mine back and my breathing has slowed to match yours.  I sit as close to you as possible, but I don’t know how to say goodbye.  My mind is searching for the right words, but my heart is whispering “don’t go”, “don’t leave me”.  I’m at a loss as to how to say goodbye.

Because my mother died when I was so young, I am both familiar with loss and petrified of it.  For years, I tried to avoid all funerals except when it was a family member or I sensed that I was expected to attend.  Even then, the fear and discomfort I suffered was overwhelming.  It brought a flashback of emotions from long ago as if it were a fresh cut.  I just didn’t know how to say goodbye or let go of a loved one.  It is too much to ask of anyone, really.

How ironic that now I am a hospice volunteer.  Ironic? Or is it divine providence?

When I retired, I wanted to volunteer in some way.  No matter what I researched or thought about, I always came back to hospice.  Even though the thought of it scared me, it also tugged at my heart and settled in.  There were trainings and workshops and the many other volunteers who bade me welcome, saying: “You’re embarking on a sacred journey, friend, a chance to walk with another soul toward peace.  It will change your life forever.”  And they were right.

In my 6 ½ years, I have grown and changed and calmed.  At first, my nerves restricted me.  I felt that old familiar uneasiness and gut-wrenching clinch when I would begin my shift, but by the end of my visit, I would be at peace.  As time went on, I felt my whole insides becoming rewired.

One of my favorite patients still lived at home, when I met him.  He was a widower and had round the clock care. The three of us;  my patient, his caretaker and I shared many a Tuesday afternoon; peacefully sitting on his patio.  If he was feeling good and weather permitted, he and I would stroll around the yard as he pointed out each plant by name. He loved to tell stories about him and his wife gardening together.  As time went on, we just sat on the patio, hand in hand and passed the time in silence, only interrupted by the buzzing of a bee.  Sometimes, he would look over at me and smile, and on more than one occasion, I heard him say, “I’m going to miss my garden.”  “I know”, I said. “I know.”

My hospice patients have become like family, as was the case with a very special woman who I had the pleasure of knowing for three years.  Once a week we would get together to visit.  She would always be sitting in her chair, knitting or crocheting an intricate project.  Over the years she taught me to knit as she also shared stories of her faith and family.  Her eyes would light up when I walked into her room and my heart would always be full when I left.  We had an unconditional love and respect for one another that comforts me still to this day.

I have been so blessed and fortunate to have spent time, space and breath with these beautiful souls.  I’ve learned a lot about life and a lot about dying with dignity and grace.

           -I’ve learned that how you live is most likely how you will die.

           -No matter who you are; soft, human touch comforts.  It tells you, without the need              for words, that you are not alone.

I have had spiritual awakenings and unexplainable happenings.  I have laughed, cried, loved and felt someone else’s fear.  For, after all, we are still ‘ourselves’, even ravaged by disease or weakened with age.  We live until we die, in fact, dying is the last act of living.

The beautiful souls I have known through hospice have healed my heart, even as it breaks for them.  I no longer am afraid.  I no longer resist saying goodbye, when it is time.  Because I know, that just as I am saying goodbye and they are gone from my sight;  there are other souls rejoicing, as they are welcomed home on the other side.

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Posted in Friendship

Why I Write by Ginger Keller Gannaway

WHY I WRITEearly morn2

Yesterday at the Texas Teen Book Festival I heard the powerful writer, poet, rapper Jason Reynolds speak. He talked about a teenaged student he once taught who regularly cussed him out in class, and later Reynolds realized the boy was illiterate. However, this student was also extremely clever, creative, and very resourceful. Not being able to read or write caused him to act out in school because of frustration and anger.  James Reynold and me

Reading and writing can give us powerful ways to connect with our world. Literacy gives us voices. And just like the frustrated toddler who cannot make his mother understand that he does not want apple juice; he wants grape juice because apple juice reminds him of the time his cousin force-fed him a jar of apple sauce, we need to communicate our desires as specifically as possible to those around us. Also, this need to communicate grows larger as we grow older. Our world becomes flooded with information from so many sources, and we receive info all day long so that we often feel the need to respond with our own opinions, thoughts, and dreams. We take in so, so much that we naturally want to give out or give back to the universe that is always trying to get our attention.

Some people respond to the world with physical actions (athletes, dancers, builders, designers); others make music or paint or act or create comedy; others do research, conduct experiments, invent things, or study formulas; others pray, advise, teach, protect, or help others. Some connect to their world through writing. They share ideas that inform and entertain others. They examine past worlds, evaluate our present world, or create new worlds. No matter the method or aim, they write these “words, words, words” to help themselves make sense or even cope with their own lives.

Even though I have written all my life, I did not consider myself a “writer” until about three years ago. Now I remember way back in the third grade when I had gotten on a silly poetry kick where I wrote terrible riddles and rhymes for my classmates. I produced notebooks full of pitiful poems for an audience that admired unoriginal and ridiculous rhymes. (Remember they were 8 years old!)

3rd grade class
Mrs. Sally’s 3rd Grade Class, 1964

“We might cry
and wonder why
Our world’s a mess
with nothing but tests.
But don’t give up.
Don’t hit your pup.
Don’t go in a trance
or poop your pants.
We will soon have nothing to fear
Cause in just 10 days summer is here!”

As a timid, bespectacled girl who walked with a limp, I basked in my peers’ brief attention like a happy turtle on a sunny stone in a small pond. My little head poked out and I was smiling at the bright warmth of their third grade praise. But in less than a week the world returned to its normal ways and I went back to my shell of shyness.

Fast forward 50 years and now I write for family and friends on a blog with a fellow writing friend. The experience actually reminds me a lot of third grade. I feel comfortable and uneasy at the same time. I enjoy the little blue-colored likes and the comment here and there about what I write, yet I also worry that I will either bore or annoy my not-8-year-old audience. However, my writing uneasiness is nowhere as strong as the joy I get when I write. Writing makes me feel worthwhile, and all my physical and emotional shortcomings are revealed only when I decide to uncover them.

Is that not powerful? I control what is thrown up on the computer screen or down on the page. Freedom of expression can be like wiping the sweat from your forehead or pulling a splinter from your thumb or letting out a laugh that I fought to hold in and then I laugh until it almost hurts and I take a deep breath that turns into a soft sigh and ahhhhhh.  All seems right with my world for a short time.

Nowadays even folks who claim to “hate writing” have power of expression with their tweets and their FB posts. And the Instagrammers and the Snapchatters use pictures and videos to express themselves.

BUT the power of words for me is the most special. Words are not full of color and sound and flash and movement. They are mostly basic black and are carefully arranged like sticks and stones in row after row. They could be scrawled on a filthy bathroom wall or printed unevenly on a homemade Valentine or etched into granite or scripted with swirls and dots on a suicide note, but all the words were written to connect with someone, somewhere. These stick figures of anger, pain, love, hope, despair and wit have the ability to cause us to think and to feel deeply.

These days I do not feel powerful about anything in my life except writing. Most of life feels way beyond my control. I scribble my way through heartaches and confusion as well as through successes and celebrations. I fill journals, yellow tablets, cards, and letters with sorrow and regret and joy and gratitude. And whether the words I write make sentences that have honest strength or sentences that have awkward confusion, the sentences are mine. I may throw the words away or rewrite them in different ways or hide them in the back of a junk drawer. But I have power over my words and every time I write I feel less alone and less powerless.

Famous writers tell unknown writers that they should continue writing whether or not their writing ever finds an audience because writers write because they feel they must. It does not matter if anyone ever reads what they have written.

Such advice looks good on paper and sounds good in a pep talk; however, in reality writers usually write for others, not only for themselves. Writers may feel powerful as they write, write, write. However, if their words are never read by others, that power fades over time as their sentences get cozy with a small kind of silence.

So thank you, thank you to those who read my words.

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Posted in Auntie Sue, Gratitude, Introspection, Sittin Ugly

The Nose Knows by Nancy Malcolm

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The Nose Knows:  

One of my favorite smells is coffee in the morning.  I love, love, love my coffee and I’ve been trying to slow down enough to actually breathe in that fresh, nutty scent before I take that first sip.  I do believe that long, fragrant sniff makes it taste even better.

At a time when many folks are choosing “scent-free”, and “free of perfumes” laundry detergent and dryer sheets, I am going the opposite direction.    “Island Fresh”?…Aloha!    “Febreze with Odor Defense”?…yes please!     “Apple Mango Tango”? … Count me in!  I’m just one of those people who enjoys doing laundry and I especially love for my clothes to smell good.  Yes, I sniff my clothes….is that peculiar?   Whenever a grandchild spends time with us, I always send them home with clean clothes.  My daughter sometimes says as she hugs her son,  “Your clothes smell like Nannie!”  Is it a bad thing to have your clothes smell like Nannie’s house?  I think not!  Oh sure, I understand allergies and I do have the ‘clean and clear’ which I gladly use for one of our little ones.  But, for me…..it’s “Tropical Sunrise” and “Moonlight Breeze” all the way!

My brother still makes fun of my nose and refers to it as the family schnoz!  But, this nose has smelt some pretty incredible aromas in this lifetime.  Just last week I had the blessing to breathe in that ‘new baby’ smell.  It was a combination of fresh, musky sweetness and warmth, with a hint of vanilla.  If preciousness has a scent…that was it!DSC_0332

And, what about the smell of chalk dust, floor wax and yeast rolls on the first day of school?

garden-339236_640A fragrant rose or lily

Sweaty little boys who’ve been playing outside (this one is questionable)

A deep breath of air from a crisp New England day       DSC_0250

Remember Claire Burke original potpourri?

Cinnabons fresh out of the oven…

A new book?

Rain

The list is endless really if I choose to just slow down and breathe in this life I’ve been given.  Many of my fondest memories and joyous occasions are marked by a scent that even now when I get a whiff of it, transports me in time.  And what I wouldn’t give to hug Auntie Sue’s neck right now and smell that SCAN0046Clinique Aromatics Elixir or Estee Lauder perfume.  It has been said, that of the five senses, smell is the one with the best memory.  I believe that to be absolutely true.  

 

Nothing in the world smells as good as the person you love. We all know that for sure.   It seems our hearts are directly connected to our sense of smell.  The nose always knows….a scent can paint a more detailed picture than an artist with oils.

 

So, let us daily, breathe in deeply and be mindful to acknowledge this free gift.  ‘Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.’ Helen Keller       Amen.

 

Posted in Falling down, Introspection

I Fall Down Sometimes

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I Fall Down Sometimes:   by Nancy Malcolm
My freshman year of college I went on a trip to Boston with my Dad.  He was attending the Naval War College in Rhode Island, but we met in Boston to do some sightseeing.  After our week of fun, we were literally racing to make my flight home.  As we bounded down two flights of stairs in the parking garage, I tripped on my bell bottom pants and flew end over end to the ground.  Crying, bruised and with a bloody knee, I hobbled onto the plane and found my seat just minutes before take off.  To ease my pain, though, as the plane rose in the sky, I rummaged through my purse to find an old Tarryton 100 cigarette and lit up!  Ahhhh, the good old days, when there was a “smoking section” on airplanes!

I fall down sometimes, but I always get up.

Once, in Ruidoso, New Mexico, I sprang out of the car, after a 30-minute monologue about the beauty of the snow, mountains, clean air and how I couldn’t wait to become “one with nature”.  I took exactly five steps before my feet went out from under me.  It was all in slow motion as my feet casually rose skyward and my bum harshly went downward onto the icy, snow/mud sludge.  With hurt pride and a wet bottom, I hobbled back to the car for dry pants.  

I do fall down sometimes, but I always get back up.

Even now, without much effort, I can recall three other falls on ice.  I always landed on the frozen tundra and embarrassed and/or hurt myself.  You would think an Amarillo girl would be more sure-footed, but not so.

I do fall down sometimes, but I always get back up.  

I could go on and on about my tripping over my feet, stumbling and losing my balance.  I’ve had a lifetime of near misses and bullseyes.  I’ve hurt myself; hurt my pride and bruised more than my ego.  But, in falling, as in life, it’s the getting back up that counts.

Whether you fall down, fall over or fall off, it’s always worth the effort to get back up.  As my friend Minion says, “I don’t trip.  I do random gravity checks.”

Posted in Aging process, Exercise, Introspection, Old Age

I Fall Down A lot by Ginger Keller Gannaway

boo-boo

At 61, I am out-of-shape and off-balance (both physically and mentally).
It makes perfect sense that I’m prone to falls. In the last year or so, I’ve had 3 falls. Each time I felt like it was a slo-mo fall. In those 3 or 4 seconds I told myself, “Get a grip and straighten up! You don’t have to fall.” Of course, I fell faster than I could utter the previous words.

millie bisquit
Two of the falls happened as I was walking my 60 pound dog, Millie. Millie did not yank me down outright, but on both occasions she tugged at her leash enough to throw me off balance. Both times I was not properly monitoring Millie’s unpredictable behavior. For Millie, another dog seven blocks away seems like special canine crack.. Her ears wiggle, her head faces the distraction and her eyes look for what her nose smells. At such times, I wrap her leash tighter in my hand and I search for what has excited her senses. When I discover the approaching dog, I say, “Leave it, Millie” and I follow with “Good girl!” if she fights her urge to bark like a fire alarm and try to run toward the other animal. However, before Fall #1 I was chatting with my brother as we walked and I fell in the damp grass when Millie made an extra-quick turn around. And for Fall #2 I thought Millie and I had safely walked past a strange dog with no barking, and then she split up my “Good” and “Girl” with a sudden halt to smell a branch near a gutter. And both of my knees slapped the pavement in a flash. For both falls I inwardly cursed Millie even though I knew my crappy balance and old lady reflexes were to blame.
Lately, I feel like my skin, my bones, and my internal organs are conspiring to murder me. They are sick and tired of my clumsy stumbles and my spastic trips & falls. “Just die already” they mutter to each other. “All you do is bumble, fumble, and tumble your way thru a day.”
Although my two aforementioned falls were superficial and handled with a few 4X4 band-aids and some Neosporin, my 3rd fall was a bit messier. It happened in the summer when I was in my hometown with my siblings and a very loyal friend cleaning out my grandma’s attic.
Our first mistake was deciding to clean out an attic in a 152 year old house in south Louisiana in August! We would get up early to face the attic’s heat and dirt and chaos, and then get the hell out of Dante’s Inferno before noon. Then we’d walk to Ruby’s for our plate lunch reward. cracked sidewalkThat Monday as we were walking back to our attic work, I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk and made an ungraceful dive into the concrete. The fall included an elbow scrape and a quick head-bounce as a finale. I did not pop up after this fall. I thought I heard muffled snickers, so I pitifully said, “I’m really hurt here.” Loyal Mark immediately tried to help me up, but I told him to hold up as I needed to carefully figure out how I was gonna pull my overweight, off-center self up from the ground.
I managed an unladylike, slow, painful rise from the broken sidewalk as I brushed twigs, grass, and leaves from my palms, forearm, and knees. I straightened my cockeyed glasses and discovered the plastic frame was cracked to the left of the nose bridge. Now I was humiliated, scraped-up, and potentially blind.
“Falling” sounds so much like “failing” and I feel like a falling failure a lot lately.

My mirror states the obvious- “You old…Bitch!” Yet my mind and my heart argue with the obvious truth of my aging. I still understand a novel’s subtle themes or a movie’s complex visual metaphors. My insides still flutter when I hear a powerful song, and I still yearn to enjoy cool going-ons around town. However, when I do go out, the risk of embarrassment has gone way up. My physically crooked, lazy, off-balance, inflexible, unsightly self will most likely show itself to be the 61-year-old specimen it is.
I will continue to fall down a lot. And that’s just a chance I gotta take.

 

Posted in Sleep

Night Night

Night Night

I lay there willing myself not to look, but my eyes peek open and I can tell by the darkness that it is not time to get up.  I try to play games with myself; guess the time, flip this way and that, contemplate reading and finally, I beg…’please let me go back to sleep’.  Exasperated, I cannot stop myself; with one eye I glance at the clock…4:30 a.m.   4:30 a.m.  4:30 a.m. !!      

This is the 10th or millionth day in a row that I have woken up at 4:30 a.m.  I’ve tried going to bed later, earlier, drinking Sleepytime tea, hot showers and reading.  I’ve even tried laying with my butt against the wall and my legs up.  I read about it in Prevention Magazine, so I KNEW it was good advice.  Supposedly lying with your legs up in the air helps the blood flow to your heart and makes you more relaxed so you will sleep soundly through the night.

Trying to get myself close enough to the wall and then throwing my legs up was a little stressful in itself!  Then, I laid there, arms stretched out, meditating on sleep.  9:00 p.m.  Boo walked into the bedroom and the questions began:

“What are you doing now?”

 I gave a short answer:  “ I’m meditating.”

“On what?”

“I’m meditating so I can sleep through the night.”

“With your legs up?”

“Yes”

“Wow!  I’m impressed…I didn’t know you were so flexible!” (wink-wink,  hubba- hubba!) “Are you saying OMMMMM?” (chuckle chuckle)

“I just need a little quiet,”  I sigh and shut my eyes tighter.

“OK, I’ll be out in a jiffy.”   Then I hear the water running, toothbrush hitting the side of the sink and a big ol’ spit.  One cabinet door shut, a pillow fluffed and the door closed.

Inside I was saying “grrr grrrr”, which I’m pretty sure is not the same as “OMMMMMMM”.

After the epic fail of legs in the air, I tried googling what it means if you consistently wake up at 4:30 a.m.  Why do I do things like that?  Is Google my answer to everything?   I’ve read all of the literature:

     5 Things You Must Do For A Goodnight’s Sleep;

     3 Ways to Transform Your Bedroom Into A Sleep Sanctuary;  

     How to Bore Yourself Sleepy;

     Drink Cherry Juice and Sleep Like a Baby and  

     Getting Your ZZZZ’s With Chamomile Tea.

There’s also the advice:  wear socks; hide your clock; progressive relaxation and make your room colder.  But, there was one article that said if you are consistently waking up between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. every day, perhaps ‘The Universe’ is trying to give you a message.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Maybe instead of dreading the 4:30 a.m. wake up call, I should welcome it.  Instead of trying to keep my eyes shut, I should open them to possibilities.

I do know that worry and constant rumination over situations is not the answer.  Worry never has solved a problem for me.  So, ‘Universe’?  If you are trying to tell me something, may I respectfully request a later wake up?  Say, 6:00 a.m.?  I know I would be more receptive to whatever the message might be.  I promise to listen carefully and follow your guidance.  I promise not to pull anymore stunts like legs up the wall or singing show tunes in the middle of the night.  I Promise!

So, let’s try it again, shall we?   Night night….sweet dreams….see you in the morning!  Tomorrow is another day.

“Sleepy soul solidly seeking sound slumber”

Posted in Fathers, fathers and daughters, Introspection, Parents

My Daddy’s Eyes

 

Beauty is a light in the heart.
“Good morning!” the desk clerk said cheerily.

 It was 6:00 a.m. as I padded into the Hampton Inn lobby sitting area.  Everything was softly lit and I was the only patron wandering the hallway….just the ambiance I needed to sit quietly and wake up.  I had my books and writing pad as I headed straight to the coffee: two pumps of hazelnut creamer, half robust, and half decaf.  I sat down and got situated with my coffee and book when I felt a presence or some kind of energy nearby. Suddenly chilled,  I took a long breath in, savoring the blend of hazelnut and coffee aroma.  Finally, taking a sip, my eyes glanced over the top of my coffee cup and I saw him.  Across the room, directly opposite me, was an older gentleman.  He seemed relaxed as he sat with perfect posture,  looking straight at me.

 He had my Daddy’s eyes.

It felt so strange and yet comforting.  He was dressed in worn khaki pants, a plaid shirt, and a tattered baseball cap.  He smiled at me and I smiled back, but his eyes went right through me.

For a split second, I wanted to cry “Daddy!” and go to him for a hug and a whiff of his Old Spice aftershave.  I wanted to take up where we left off and say, “How are you?”  “Where have you been?”  But, I knew the answers.  So I diverted my eyes back to my book.

I didn’t want to stare.  I just wanted one more peek into my Daddy’s eyes, and when I finally dared to look up….he was gone.  There was a voice inside me that begged to follow him,  yet I sat completely still, totally rattled and at the same time….humbled.

As if on cue, the lobby breakfast area began to come alive with sleepy guests wanting a waffle and hot coffee.  I glanced around, wondering if anyone saw what had just happened…did they too, see the gentleman in the baseball cap and plaid shirt?

I’m not at all sure what to think or how to feel about my encounter this morning.  I feel a strange peace and warmth as I remember it.  Was my Daddy wanting to see me too, just one more time?  

I don’t believe I need to figure it out.  I will just accept it as an embrace from above and carry with me the familiar smile and crinkled eyes as my secret reminder.  Maybe it really is true that the eyes are the window to the soul.

Posted in Clueless, Husbands, Marriage

Clueless

Clueless
Yesterday, as I was standing in the kitchen, I witnessed my husband creating a tasty looking lunch.  He made the most divine looking sandwich!  He put it all together and placed it on a plate, grabbed a napkin and walked off.  “So?”, you’re thinking.   “Good for him!  At least he did it himself!”  All that being true, I cleared my throat…. “Boo?  Forget anything?” I asked.

“Oh yea….chips!”

I sweetly said, “Look down.”

“What??”  “Ohhhhh, I think that was there before I came in the kitchen.”

 

What I’m referring to is that in less than ten minutes, he made a sandwich with chips and fixed a tea.  But, on the floor beneath the counter was a piece of cellophane from the chip bag, a lettuce leaf, small sliver of ham and tiny breadcrumbs.  Don’t get me started on the counter top!  Is it just me or do we all agree, it’s not that hard to pick up what you drop?  He was oblivious, AKA Clueless.

 

In our home as in most households across America, we have a “junk drawer.”  Occasionally my husband will ask, “Do we have any tape?” (or fill in the blank…batteries? Glue?  Rubber Bands?)  I’ll say, “Look in the junk drawer,”  and I will hear the drawer open and then close.  Then I will hear, “Can’t find it!”  Is it just me, or don’t most people know that you must rummage through a junk drawer to find things? Objects might have to be moved around…. It’s a junk drawer, for Pete’s sake!   Is he unobservant or just Clueless?

 

Last Christmas my husband surprised me with one more package.  He was so proud of himself as I tore the paper off of a small pink box.  “I got you some new undies!”, he cheered.  Really?  Really Boo?  Is it just me, or do you agree that most mature women don’t shop at Victoria Secrets?  I cautiously opened the box, secretly hoping they weren’t thongs so I wouldn’t be too embarassed in front of the family.  Gratefully, they weren’t thongs, but they were tiny, flimsy and one pair said Juicy on the rear!  “Thank you??”, I stammered.  Clueless.

 

My husband is always willing to grocery shop for us.  He believes he is more efficient and a better bargain hunter.  Occasionally, I will ask for something specific, like a can of artichoke hearts.  This request will totally baffle him and throw him into a tizzy.  The first time I put canned artichoke hearts on the list, he looked at me quizzically and said, “I don’t know if I can do that.”   I described exactly which aisle, where they were located on the shelf and what the can looked like.  I then said, “Just get the plain ones, not marinaded.”  This situation could go in one of several ways, as you might imagine.  An hour and a half later, he returned home from HEB flustered and grouchy.  “They didn’t have any,”  he said.  “I looked everywhere.”  I wish I hadn’t, but I questioned, “Did you ask someone?”  Well….we all know the answer to that!  Only one word sums it up, Clueless.  

What about the time I broke into tears after shopping for a swimsuit?  He was standing outside the dressing room and said sweetly, “Just pick one, I thought they all looked good; but if we’re going back to Nordstrom’s can we stop at that candy store on the way?”
The longer I live, the more I realize that sometimes being Clueless is a cover up for lack of initiative or dare I say laziness?  But, sometimes being Clueless is just the way it is, it’s the whole Men are from Mars thing. Sometimes Clueless is downright endearing and precious, and sometimes……it’s not.  They don’t mean to be unaware or insensitive, bewildered or foolish; they’re just plain… Clueless!

 

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Posted in Friendship

What’s in a Name?

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Some people just ooze sweetness.  When they talk to you their sentences always begin with “honey”, might end with “sweetie”, and usually have a nickname for everyone else.  I wouldn’t say I fall into that category, but I’m somewhere between semi-sweet and a might sugary.

For instance, my husband and I call each other “Boo”.  He’s my “Boo” and I am his!  With Grandchildren it started out with “Love Bug” and sometimes “Honey Bun”, “Butter Cup”, and anything else that pops into my mind.  I fondly remember my Grandma calling me “Darling”.  When I consulted Webster, I found that darling means: dear, dearest, love, sweetheart and beloved.  Darling is pretty all encompassing.  It’s sort of an old-fashioned term of endearment, one which still makes me feel warm and special.

Truthfully, it probably doesn’t matter which affectionate name you use.  All that really counts is the way you say it; your tone and inflection, and most importantly, the crinkle in your eyes as your heart smiles at the object of your love.

Take note of your name for the one you love; whether it’s “honey”, “lovey”, or “baby cakes”.    What’s in a name?

“That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.”

Shakespeare

Posted in Flower meanings, Flowers, Friendship

La Langue des Fleurs

La Langue des Fleurs (1)

There is a delightful, yet, thought provoking book called, “The Language of Flowers”, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  It is beautifully written and paints a vivid description of a memorable woman who uses her gift for flowers to help change the lives of the people she meets.  While doing so, she must learn to heal from her past and lean into her future.

Have you ever thought about the types of flowers you are drawn to and what they say about your character or personality?  I think we all tend to choose our favorite flowers.  Does your spouse always bring you yellow roses?  Are geraniums your go-to garden plant?  For me and my garden, it is azalea’s, hot pink geraniums, Calla lilies, marigolds, zinnias, and mums.  

Just as there are birth month gems, there are birth month flowers.  My birthday is in May, so of course, I have the emerald; but also the Lily of the Valley.  Lily of the Valley means humility, chastity, and sweetness.  My, what a lot to live up to.

Think of all the ways flowers touch our lives.  The bouquet brought to you in the hospital; the unexpected single rose from the one you love; the spray laid upon a casket as a sign of respect and honor.  The type of flowers we choose for each person or occasion speaks volumes about the type of person who chose them.  Dainty and pale, bold and large, even all one color says to the world, “ I am here.  These flowers are part of me and me of them.  Drink in the fragrance and feel my thoughts of you.”

My little granddaughter delights in walking the neighborhood, admiring the flowers and doodle bugs.  She loves anything pink or purple and flowers are no exception.  She will sometimes pluck a flower from its stem and smile as she hands it to me, “Here, Nannie… I got you a flower!”  Time stands still and beauty knows no age limit, as we drink in the flower’s fragrance, gaze at its magnificence and feel the draw toward its delicate attraction.

If I could send you a little bouquet today, it would include pink carnations (I’ll never forget you), gardenias (You’re lovely), irises (Your friendship means so much to me), blue violets (faithfulness) and maybe an orchid (love, beauty, refinement).  Flowers may not be a replacement for telling someone how you really feel about them. Giving a bouquet of flowers is no excuse to not say “I love you.”  But, with the language of flowers you can say less and mean more, and as Lydia M. Child once said,  

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character.”