Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"What's Your Secret?"

Today has been a very good day. I decided to take a trip to the mall and shop for end-of-school-year gifts for the kids' teachers, aides & William's therapists. Nothing like waiting until the last minute~ tomorrow is the last day of school for them! That's me... Ms. Procrastinator.

After stopping at the gas station to fill up the car, off I went, driving down the highway, listening to the soundtrack of Wicked, singing along at the top of my lungs. Yes, a good day.

I thought about buying the components to make some nice beaded key rings as gifts, and spent quite a long time at the crafts store, picking out just the right pieces. I had an armload when I remembered I wanted to look at the stencils. I realized the other day that it would probably be wise to have more than one stencil for the border I'll be doing in the side hall, kitchen and breakfast areas. I could set a few of them up and just move on down the line with my stencil creams. Suddenly I recalled that 5 years ago, when William was aging out of the Early Intervention program, I had stencilled some canvas bags for his therapists. Knowing that I did not want to take the time to stencil a dozen or so bags by tomorrow morning, I thought about iron on transfers to decorate bags. On my way through the aisles looking for canvas bags, I passed by the frames. Oh, right, I wanted some new frames! I loaded up with 3 nice ones, then found the bags. My arms were full, so I went back to the front of the store to the bead section and put all those components back where they belonged, then off to the back of the store where the canvas bags were to grab those. On my way to the register, I found some fabric markers and the iron on transfers. Phew!

I put the goodies out in my car and then went back into the mall, off to visit the newest store there (and one of my favorites), Sephora. Along the way I got distracted. Victoria's Secret was having a sale. I couldn't pass that up. Then I couldn't resist Express and their sale. I found what I needed at Sephora, and decided it was time to grab a coffee and head home. Well, not coffee... the Starbucks is right across from Sephora~ I had to have a Venti Soy Caramel Machiatto... yummmmmmm.

After the young man at the register helped the couple in front of me, he looked at me. The coolest thing happened. His eyes lit up, and he broke into a big smile. I ordered my drink and an apple fritter, and he passed the machiatto order on to the barista. He turned back to me and paused, smiling. "I have to tell you~ there is something about you... you have this very young soul about you, light and young. I can't really explain it, but it just surrounds you." I smiled and thanked him. Then he asked, "What is your secret?" I joked about having a portrait in my attic that ages instead of me. Poor thing looked a little confused by that answer, so I added, "I'm just truly happy." That seemed to make more sense to him.

As I walked through the mall to my car, and on my way home, I thought about what he asked... What is my secret? I had time to think about it~ we live more than 45 minutes from the mall.

It's not the first time someone has commented on the spirit about me. There was just something about the way this young man's eyes lit up when he saw me that made me want to figure this out. So as I drove, I thought.... and thought.. and talked to myself. Yes, I am happy, but so are lots of people. I love my life, really truly deeply love this life I am living.

I could not always say that. I have been to the depths of despair~ life ending despair. All I can say is there were some moments in that darkness when a quiet calm voice whispered to me to hold on... that my future was waiting for me. That voice was there again when I was preparing to take a solo trip to Rochester NY to set up and sell at a booth at a wholesale gift show. The voice told me I would find myself there. I thought it meant I would find myself in solitude. Nope. I met Robert there, and by finding him, I truly did find myself. And that calm voice again spoke to me on my way home from that trip, after Robert and I parted. I was driving along, thinking of this man I had just spent a few days with, thinking of how I finally felt like this is why I held on to life all those years ago, and as I crested a hill, the sun was coming up, and the voice told me simply, "God is Love... this is your future."

So, back to my secret. If there is one.

I am an optimist~ I don't have time for the negatives, for drama.

I let go of the stress that comes with life. Things usually have a way of working out, so why worry? If something doesn't work out, maybe it's just for this moment that it wasn't meant to be, and something better will come up.

I have an infinite supply of love, caring, understanding, and faith. Even in the tough times. Especially in the tough times.

If I want to cry, I cry. If I want to laugh, I laugh.

Set your goals high, dream big, and know that you may have to work hard for them.

Practice compassion. Be generous.

Be passionate~ about life, about love, about family.

If I think of anything else, I will add them.

Not much to my secret, is there?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Busiest Week Ever....

Well, I'm sure there will probably be busier weeks to come, but wow! What a week it has been!!!!

June 1st we had not just one, but two graduations~ Steve from college and Doug from high school! We went to Doug's, and Brittany took pictures from Steve's. It was a gorgeous day, with a nice breeze to offset the heat. I am stunned sometimes at how quickly time passes. It seems like just yesterday these boys were only just beginning their school days!

Jim and Steph had arrived before we did, mainly because I gave them the wrong time~ turns out Steve's was at noon and Doug's was at 1, but still there was no way for me to be at both, not without a transporter, anyway.
My Doug~
Doug's car~ Robert had gotten it for him at Christmas~ it's an '86 BMW... which he loves, though I laugh at him owning a car that is as old as his brother Steve!
Doug coming down the track~
On his way to receive his diploma!
The moment~
About to toss his cap up!
Rubbing his head because someone else's cap came down on his forehead~
My happy graduate!!!
My Doug & me~
Robert, Doug & Sarah

Steve's graduation~
I am still very pained that I missed this. He kept saying it was no big deal~ well, he's not a parent yet. Luckily, Brittany did get photos for us!
My new college graduate!

Steve & Brittany~ what a gorgeous couple they are~
I absolutely love this picture~ that is the best smile~ that's Steve's usual smile!

And the next day was my 47th birthday. I took a break from painting, which if you're wondering, no, I didn't meet my deadline... oh well.
We finally bought a lighter for the candles~ Steve & I went through so many matches when we lit Robert's candles in April, that the candles we lit first were pretty small by the time we got to the last candle.
William is fascinated~
We huffed & puffed and blew those candles out!
Kisses from my honey~
Doug & Sarah
I love this little boy! And yes, he is in dire need of a haircut!