Sunday, September 01, 2013
The look on my grandson's face as he checks out his Toy Story cake, particularly Woody saluting him on his third birthday, warms my heart. He is such a joy, and I feel immensely blessed that God has brought him into our lives. I had given up hope of being a grandmother. I have two daughters, and my older daughter was told by doctors that she could not have children. My younger daughter was not interested in having children. And then a miracle happened, and on September 1, 2010, Samuel was born to my older daughter. On December 23, 2011, almost 16 months later, she gave birth to Jacob. So much for the doctors' predictions. God had a better plan for us.
This is Jacob taking a break from the festivities of Sam's birthday celebration to catch up on his reading. Jake is trying to keep up with his older brother. He is growing pretty quickly, and I'm amazed at how independent he can be at 20 months. But he's still a baby and loves to be held, especially when he's sleepy. Recently he has developed a fascination with books, and would sit and turn the pages. Hopefully he'll continue to enjoy reading as he grows up.
It is such a pleasure to be with my grandsons, and I'm so grateful that God, in his infinite mercy, allowed me the opportunity to feel such joy. Thank you for allowing me to introduce you to two awesome little guys, and to share my joy of being a grandma.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
So we decided to get together, 100 in all for a weekend of fun. Many of us had not seen each other in almost 40 years. Names had changed, bodies had assumed different shapes, and faces had aged, but we had one thing in common, we were convent girls.
On the first day we were treated to a tour of the school. About 30 of us participated, and as we congregated in the courtyard, the noisy chatter filled the air. Were we that noisy when we were students? Somehow I doubted it; but everyone was so delighted to see each other, some trying desperately to connect names with faces. Many of us settled for hugs and hopes that our memories will return before the weekend was over.
After touring the chapel, we made our way through the school buildings, excited to see old classrooms, charmed by the improvements that had occurred since we left. We were surprised to find air conditioning. How did we manage without it, some of us wondered. We marveled at the high tech classrooms and the fact that the area that was once the domain of the senior students was now home for the nuns. Eventually we reached the forbidden stairs.
Forbidden stairs, you might ask, and as one of my friends did ask, "why was it forbidden?" Well to this day we are not sure and no one had an answer. Back then, we obeyed without question. Well, at least some of us did. I'm thinking that maybe it was a decision based on a hierarchical structure, or maybe they were too close to the nuns' residence. Maybe they wanted an area exclusively for the staff and administration; or maybe they were afraid that we would have worn down the beautiful carpet and scuffed the highly polished staircase. But forbidden it was, and we were disciplined, as I was, if we were ever caught on them.
We lingered at the top of the staircase, and some in our group continued around to the other. As we faced each other, the discussion turned to boasts of how many managed to traverse those stairs without being caught. We shouted our successes across the stairs. Then the suggestion was made, why don't we all go down the stairs. First one of my classmates ventured, and then another, and then I took a turn. Before we knew it everyone started walking down the stairs, and our tour guide, the current vice principal, who was younger than we were, found herself with a handful of cameras taking pictures of us as we walked down the forbidden staircase.
So after 39 years we finally walked down the stairs that had remained off-limits during our high school years. This time we would not be disciplined. We were once again young ladies, jubilant in our togetherness, happy to be back at our alma mater. It was a beautiful 3-day reunion which welcomed back classmates from Australia, England, Scotland, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, Canada, and other countries, as well as those who decided to remain in Trinidad and/or Tobago. For me it was priceless spending time and catching up with former classmates. I had a wonderful time. It was definitely well worth the 9 hours (6 in the air) travel to Trinidad.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
The year 2012 now has 11 months left. The first one is gone and hopefully many of us have something to celebrate. I lost 7 pounds in January. It is less than I had hoped to lose, and I did not always focus on my goals as I should, yet I am proud of my accomplishment.
When I wrote my last blog, I promised myself to take slow but deliberate steps to achieve my goal, and I did just that. I decided to enjoy every day regardless of any challenges that I might encounter. I treated myself gently, and I looked for at least one accomplishment, regardless of how small, to thank God for at the end of the day. Some days were easier than others, but I was determined to find something in my life that was worth celebrating.
My biggest accomplishment was to wean myself off fast food. I remember arriving at the Burger King drive-thru on New Years Day. I felt like such a traitor to myself as I sat in my car wondering why I was there. I was not hungry, but it had become my regular stop on my way home after visiting my grandchildren. In the past I might have decided to buy something since I was already on the premises, but not this time. I drove away without placing an order, embarrassed that I was even there. At the same time, I thanked God for the strength to not succumb to temptation. That was my last fast food stop, and I have abstained since then.
I don't take much credit for this. I believe that the hand of God is guiding me through this journey, but first, I had to learn to take comfort in His presence and not in junk food. I had to realize that with His help I could overcome temptation. I had to make the decision that my past actions would not mar the beautiful possibilities that awaited me once I decided to walk in faith towards my goal.
And so I make the decision everyday, that from here onward I will work diligently towards my goal. Life is not a plain; there are mountains and valleys, and some days are better than others. However, everyday we can make a commitment that from here onward we will do what it takes to achieve our goals.
Everyday God gives us a new palette on which to paint beauty into our lives. January is gone. Some of us did well; some of us could have done better; some of us did not do what we had set out to do. But it's not too late. As long as we have faith that things can be better from here onward, we have opportunity to find success.
Sunday, January 01, 2012
As the year 2011 neared its end, many of my Facebook family and friends posted "good riddance" messages, and voiced their hopes for a better year in 2012. I was quite happy with 2011. Life happened and I made several mistakes, and some things I consciously did not do, which caused me distress later. But in the midst of it, I realized that life happens, but it's up to me to steer my ship through the storm.
I can't blame deaths, family, bad bosses, the weather, or anything external to me for my situation, although they have the potential to take me off track, and sometimes they did. But I do have an opportunity, with the dawning of this day, and the emerging of the new year, to make changes. The truth is I believe I can fly. I don't mean, that I can soar off a tall building and not fall. But I can do whatever I set my mind to do, and I believe we all have that ability. We just have to believe. There's a beautiful song by a man named Robert Kelly that shares this sentiment. Here are a few verses:
I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I'm leaning on the everlasting arms
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
It all begins with a belief, and faith that once we set our minds to do something, it is all but done. It's not about fast tracking; lasting change usually happens slowly. It's about having a dream and the courage to take the first step and then follow it with another, and another. It's about dodging pain and grief that might meet us along the way, and getting back on track if it knocks us off. It's about believing that we can walk through the open door and claim our prize.
I believe I can fly.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
There was a time when I would say that I felt no different, but that's no longer the case.
I notice that I use my hands more now when I'm trying to get up from a seating position. I don't remember when I started that habit.
There are fine lines on my face; where did they come from?
As the weather cools I am aware that I have knees and other joints, and sometimes they pain a bit.
Oh the joys of growing old . . . and I'm not being sarcastic, since there are joys.
I have more wisdom, patience and understanding now, or at least I think I do.
I realize how important it is to tell someone how much I care before it's too late.
I'm learning the art of letting go of stuff, both materially and emotionally. For example today at the car dealership I found out that my warranty expired on October 29th. My car radio was shorting since the beginning of October. If only I had gone earlier. I fussed with myself for about 15 mins and then I recognized that fussing made no sense. It wouldn't change anything. Guess I will be without a radio until I can afford to fix it. Time to move on.
So what does a year older feel like? It feels painful sometimes, but overall, it feels good to be alive. I can spend time with my daughters and grandson. I can share holidays and celebrations with family and friends. I can still be productive as I work towards my goals and dreams.
For me, a year older feels like an immense blessing for which I am very grateful.
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