My kids....My heart

My kids....My heart

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dixie Jeanette Ribordy

Time does not really heal all wounds.  Time allows a scar to gently grow and cover the gaping hole in one’s heart that is created by the loss of someone you love.    Today I woke up thinking about the young lives of my students who have just lost their mother and their grandmother and I thought about the loss of my own grandmother.   Today would have been my grandmother’s 93 birthday. This November will mark the fortieth year we have had endure without her love, wisdom and guidance and I still miss her every single day.  
It is astonishing to me that someone who walked this earth for a short fifty three years and said her final goodbye nearly forty years ago could still have such an incredible impact on the way we live our lives, the way we interact with each other and the pride we have in sharing her genes.  

Dixie Jeanette Ribordy, an absolutely amazing woman is responsible for generations of unconditional love.
I was seven when I heard the words, “Grandma has cancer.” I knew immediately in my heart, but probably not in my innocent child’s mind, what that meant. You see, in 1974, cancer meant certain death. It didn’t matter that the beautiful woman who was diagnosed would leave behind grief stricken children, a broken hearted husband and three young granddaughters, each desperately needing her wisdom, guidance, unquestionable devotion and not least of all her amazing ability to love. Cancer doesn’t care. I really don’t know how long it was between the time I first heard those words and that fateful day when I witnessed every one of her children walking through that front door as they came home from the hospital for the very last time. That memory is as clear in my mind as though it was yesterday.
I had an unusually close bond with my grandmother. Her children were more like siblings to me than they were aunts and uncles. They still are. Most of our years were spent living under the same roof – or at least that is the way it seems. Seriously, I think I was a teenager before I could whisper the word “grandma” without welling up. Today, as I sit in front of this computer, fingers furiously typing, my heart is beating a bit faster and the tears I am fighting to suppress are there - just under the surface. When I lost her, I felt like I just wouldn’t be able to go on without her. I have, but only because I have a permanent place where she dwells and that is very squarely in the middle of my heart.
This pains to me say and I am quite sure it will be equally as painful for her children to read, but over the course of the past few years that incredible, unshakeable and absolutely unbreakable bond of being an offspring of Dixie Jeanette Ribordy seems to have lost some of its strength. I know there is no less love than there was before, but the bond has cracks and if they are not tended to, I am afraid those cracks will lead to a permanent break. Acknowledging that is painful – painful in a way that feels like I have a broken limb that won’t ever heal completely. I don’t know how to fix it….and I am a “fixer.”

On this day, the day of her birth~ My wish is that when you are finished reading this blog, you will take a moment to give her the gift of acknowledging the love she would be sharing on this day and every day she lived her life. I ask that today and every day for the rest of your life, you continue to share her love.
Love is her legacy and it is up to every single one of us to continue her legacy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Hope

I don’t really know what I believe. I often refer to myself as a “hoper.

Where many say with absolute certainty that they know where life came from and where it will ultimately lead us – I can only say I hope one day I’ll know.

My mom will tell you with absolute certainty that she’ll meet her own mother in heaven again some day – and, I hope.

Hope. No, its not a religion…. I don’t have one of those.
Instead, I have a deep yearning to connect to something bigger than myself.

I long for the faith of others that indeed there is something out there more magnificent, more forgiving, and far more loving than all of us.

Just weeks ago I found myself on a small boat in a big ocean. While totally immersed in the beauty of the pristine water all around me and the cold pouring rain sprinkling all over my cheeks, my breath was taken at the amazing sight of a whale dancing in the ocean. Of course I didn’t see the dance in all its magnificent glory, but that large tale flying through the air and crashing into the water showed me he was there. Moments later its breath made its way into the air. Overwhelming and pure joy rushed over me and soaked my soul as quickly and as efficiently as the Valdez rain. At that moment, my whole being was immersed in nature’s glory. In that moment, I felt more than just hope.

A few days later on that same small boat in the same large ocean, I watched the dolphins skimming the surface as they played and raced along just feet in front of our boat and I was dazzled by jelly fish waltzing below the surface of the water in all their illustrious colors – magnificent yellows, brilliant greens and extraordinary oranges. Nature – exhilarating, pure and yes, perfect.

There is not a church in the land with more proof of a creator than the absolute beauty of nature. I continue to ask myself, “Is there a supreme being who created this perfection?”

I hope.