Three years ago on December 4th, my Grandpap passed away in a Pittsburgh Hospital. He was 91 years old and had lived a full and ripple filled life. Before he passed away, I had the privilege of visiting him in hospital.
… The hallway was brightly lit with fluorescent lights and my shoes squeaked on the shiny tile floor. I could smell cleaning supplies from the newly buffed floor and could sense the importance of this visit in the pit of my stomach. My Mom walked beside me and tried to put on a happy face, but the sadness and worry in her eyes gave her away.
As I walked into Pap's room, I had prepared myself for him to not know me. To my happy surprise, I heard his familiar warm voice say, " I know who that pretty girl is over there, that's my Tara!"
We sang songs to Pap, so many that I can't recall how much time we spent. I had moments where the emotion of the song came pouring out of my tear filled eyes. Mom had to sing louder when that happened. When Grandpapa saw my tears he's take my hand and smile and try to sing with me.
He was thirsty, so I fed him spoonfuls of gelatin thickened water whenever he asked. "So what kind of car do you got? Grandpa asked heartily. "A Chrysler Neon Espresso." I replied. "Good," Pap said. " You make sure you have good tires too, ok?" I smiled and assured him that I did.
He asked how his great grandkids and my husband were and was surprised to know how old they were. "Gee, that little guy was just a baby the last I saw him. Kiss them for me, Ok?" I gave him their pictures from school. He smiled at them.
Time was moving to fast for my liking. It was getting dark out and I had to drive back on unfamiliar roads to get home. I had to get ready to say goodbye. Goodbye just didn't seem like the right words to say.
My Grandpap, my shaman, my storyteller said, " So are you still working for a church? "Yes." I replied with a strained voice. "Good, good I'm happy to hear it."
Grandpap paused for a moment and said, " You keep on working for God till Jesus comes, alright? Wherever you go, take his light with you and share it with whoever you meet. Okay?"
"Yes, I will." I replied with tears streaming down my face and splatting on my shoes and the waxy floor.
I hugged Grandpap a snug as I could, I told him I loved him and how special he was to me.
He said, " I love you too. I'll see you later and don't forget to keep working for God. Ok?
I felt as if I got to release my Grandpap to go home. I never said the words, "Good-bye". I preferred to say " I'll see you later. "
I know I will. He gave the best direction any oral storyteller could. He helped to set my path and I'm trying to follow as best I can.
He was my Shaman, he still is. In the stories I tell and the hope that they give he's still teaching me the way. His ripples have become my ripples and I'm letting them reach as far as possible. No sunset, just oceans to travel. These ripples never stop.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Me, myself and I...
My laughter is loud and fast and free when the people around me aren't embarassed to be
laughing right along-side of me.
My smile is bright and sharp and sweet - most people smile back when they see me on the street.
My tears are close to the exit of my eyes. Appreciating the sentimental is just part of the prize.
Me, myself and I just adore the time when conversation is more about words, cleverness or pride.
Me, myself and I love to see the heart that was so heavy - released to be free.
Me, myself and I desire to become just who we should be: honest, loving and unafraid to be... ME!
Laughter, smiles and tears are a part of who I am to become - who I was at the start.
Give it a chance, allow me some room and you'll get to meet me myself and I pretty soon.
PS. Here are just two wonderful people that make it easy to be me: Thanks Angie, Jackie and Mary ( took this photo) for loving me as I am - back at you!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I got to watch "it's a wonderful life" tonight while I was wrapping some presents and getting the christmas tree started. I loved this flim whan I was little and I still love it to this day. It's the concept that we don't see while we're present, but is so obvious when we're not. Each life touches another. Easch person ripples to the next. What would our daily lives become if we were more aware of this importance?
I know when I'm having a tough day that if I go and visit my great nephew Eli - he will put a smile on my face in less than 10 seconds. When my husband comes to pick me up at work on the Friday of a long week - Smile instantly appears on my face.
Where would I be without them and where would they be without me?
May all the ripples of your life bring pools of smiles you're way and back again.
I had a chance last Saturday to have a "craft day" with my kids and a few close friends. It's amazing what can be created with 4 tables of art supplies and the imagination of about 30 people, I made a twig doll. a christmas gift that I can't at this moment announce and helped my kids tinker away for about 3 hours. The time went so quickly and my son said -" How can it be 2pm - it seem like an hour. Not so bad for a initially sceptical ten year old boy, who thought I was taking him to a "girls" party. Not so much after all.
On the other side of creative is my work world. It's partly because the season is crazy busy and I spend my day driving on erands, walking on errands and moving mass quantities of stuff on all my work errands. There is little time to reflect, let alone take my coat off - so I think this is why I feel least creative there.
I'm not really sure how to work that one out - I'm just trying to be patient and borrow my son's Ipod shuffle so I have a musical muse trying to life-support me through the busy holiday season @ a social service agency. I keep thinking that my work world shall become more like an ipod commercial if I wear the shuffle enough.
I know - not so much.
But a girl has the right to dream dosn't she?
Dreams come from the shadows and moments we allow ourselves to think like a kid at a craft day. Possibly this is the way to cope with the constant movement and errands - rather like the 10 year old boy that thought it was not going to be fun to go to a craft party. Possibly there is a way to have it go faster and more fun than I anticipated?
Ideas bread sleepers?
Now where did that Ipod go again?