My kids....My heart

My kids....My heart

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Have you ever found yourself missing someone so much that if you pay close enough attention to your body you can feel your heart climbing north into your chest until it actually feels like it is at the base of your throat?  I have.  It’s unbearable and it feels so unfair.

Especially when that someone is lying next to you, straight faced, staring at the dust collecting on the ceiling fan above.   One tear, clinging to his eye lash until finally it can no longer hold on and it rolls gently down his cheeks and rests sadly in the corner of his beautiful lips.  Everything in you screams, “I’m here and I’m going to make you better.”  But in reality, no sound escapes your lips.  In reality, your unwavering love and support may be a comfort but it’s not enough.   It’s hard to imagine that love really isn’t enough. That awareness strikes fear into your heart so much so that it is paralyzing and temporarily, you forget how to breathe.

Have you ever looked into the face of another and knew instinctively that they too battle this fear?  I have.   There are no words – only long, tight hugs that suggest you understand their grief and despair.   So you listen and you whisper, “I’ll pray.”   But in your heart of hearts you have your doubts that prayer will make a change.   Today, prayer is all you have to offer.

Depression is a lonely and dark place.  Not only for the suffering mind of the tortured soul, but for the loved ones who want so desperately to rescue them from this battlefield of hopelessness, but can’t find the road to reach them there.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I could write the secrets my heart holds

I could heal the world with intention

I could live in the present moment, as if I only had today

All people could live their own truth

All children felt protected – every single day

Love was a promise we would always keep

Families always forgave

The spoken word was never a sword

The written word - always the truth

Pain was never more than one could bear

Friends never go away

Memories never fade

Forever was something I could believe

Life was fair

I could sing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Working Mom.........

Okay, so today is my fourth Monday as a “stay at home mom.”  I love summers because they give me the chance to breathe, enjoy some free time, enjoy the company of my children (who are growing up way too fast!) and accomplish things I simply cannot  do during the hectic real life as a mom with a 40ish hour per week job outside the home.  I’m extraordinarily lucky in that I am a stay at home mom for nine weeks every year.   In a sincere effort not to sound judgmental or criticize those wonderful women who have chosen to or have been fortunate enough to choose this path of stay at home mom, I would just like to say: I appreciate the love and support you give to your family and children; however, please refrain from ever, ever - seriously suggesting that the life of a stay at home mom is more difficult than that of a mom who works outside of the home.  A woman who works 40, 50 possibly 60 hours away from home still must come home to cook dinner, wash laundry, assist with homework, iron clothes and prep for the next day’s school day, including wardrobe, and ensuring everyone in the family remains on task.  I guess I could also mention being the taxi driver responsible for getting the kids to and from school (on time) as well as any other activities  they choose to belong to (in my case it was Karate 3 x per week for a minimum of 2 hours per night for six years and now the skatepark).   I am a “working mother” who spent seven years as the PTSO president of her children’s school.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t come across many “stay at home” moms willing to sacrifice their time to volunteer when asked (except for a few beautiful souls).   I also spent  most lunch hours being on  campus with my kids to volunteer for everything ranging from selling snacks, reading books,  helping to plant gardens, supervising after school clubs and attending after school games while my daughter played  softball  and volleyball. 
Having the option of spending 9 weeks away from my jobs each year has  given me a pretty good insight as to how a stay at home mom spends her days.   I will tell you it looks absolutely nothing like my “real life”  or the life of many women who spend their days at the office, bank, school or hospital!       The audacity of comparing a stay at home mother to that of a mother who works outside of the home is absolutely hilarious and actually borders on ridiculousness.   It’s as though someone neglected to realize that everything a stay at home mother does; a mother who works away from the house must also do, but with 50 hours less per week to complete!     I recently read a quote that a stay at home mom is worth about $113,000.00 per year while a working mom is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 69,000,  I call Shenanigans!  Whoever came up with that absurd number is invited to promptly kiss my hard working ass.
Let’s just say, If this were a workday – no way in hell I’d have time to write this blog J

Sunday, March 25, 2012

There is only "We."

It amazes me how quickly we learn and forget lessons. There really is no “us” and “them.” There is only “we.” Ultimately, we will all come to a place in our lives where we fully understand this notion. My hope is that the timing does not come in our last hour.

Without a doubt, there are people in our lives who we hold closer to our hearts, we cheer for a little louder and we love with more passion. What we have to remember collectively is that those people may have a tighter hold on our heart strings but those relationships don’t fill our love to its capacity. Our capacity to love is limitless. Love for one human being NEVER limits the ability to love another – ever.

Withholding love from another because you are angry, disappointed or feel they’ve made poor life choices may buffer you from pain in the moment but ultimately you will suffer because you are closing off your own potential to love and feel loved. Withholding love is the most critical mistake of all. Personally, I’d rather suffer the short term hurt than lose the long term relationship.

Now, if I’m going to be on board the honesty boat (thank you Vanessa & Kate), I cannot pretend that I haven’t been guilty of passing judgment on another or feeling quite angry over decisions they’ve made in their own lives. Learning to love and embrace the person without loving and embracing each of their life decisions, is a freeing experience and a necessary one in opening your hearts and allowing the fullest opportunity to love. After all, it is not my job to critique the life decisions of others, nor is it anyone else’s. The purpose of our lives is not a complicated one – it is quite simple. Love one another, without judgment and without exception.

I’m feeling a bit preachy here and that is not my goal. My goal is simply to remind who ever may take the time to read this blog that time is not endless and we must love each other now. If we don’t get it today – we will someday – but will that day be one day too late?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

So how does one make the biggest impact in this life? You Love

‘Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.’

So, how does one make the biggest impact in this life? You love. Plain and simple, I am certain there is no greater gift you can give. I have been reminded of that very fact in so many ways during the last few weeks and months. It is not that I did not know it before but sometimes we need gentle reminders to get us back on the right path and to remember the true purpose of our lives.

I have chronicled well my mother’s recent illness. Watching her possibly slip away from us had me scared to the very core of my being; it was a fear I had not ever known before. I will not soon forget the unnerving feel of the vibration of my own heart trembling within the walls of my chest. The absolute and unconditional love of her brothers, sisters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, my sister, father, children and husband provided me strength to survive that fear. I have no doubt I would have crumbled without them holding me together. Love, in truth, is what held us all together – loving each other was the only thing we knew to do.

When the most important events take place in our lives, wonderful or tragic~
love is what appears. In celebration and even in sorrow – love ALWAYS takes the front seat. I always make an effort to tell each and everyone in my life how truly blessed I am to be connected with them and how deeply I love them but if I have missed anyone – I say it here – loudly, clearly and with conviction, “I love you and am grateful daily for your love and the opportunity to love you in return.”

It is absolutely beautiful and amazing how love is aslo present in the absence of celebration and or sorrow. Because love is constant and at the root of our every day lives.

Obviously you are reading my blog, so you know I am a school secretary and on the surface that may sound like a pretty mediocre job that does not impact lives on a daily basis. I can tell you with absolute certainty that that is not true because it is not the way I approach my job. My job is not merely to push paperwork, schedule meetings, complete a hundred different crazy tasks at once or even do the morning announcements (although, those who work with me might say that it IS the highlight of my day♥ and I wouldn't disagree!). The most important thing I do is to approach each situation I encounter on a daily basis with a sentiment of love and respect for others. I wish I could say I did this one hundred percent of the time, I don’t – but it is always my intention. Within the past few weeks, we have encountered situations at school that could not be helped or healed by anything other than love. Tight hugs, large smiles, small conversation and simple words of encouragement were needed most and I’m fairly certain those things will not change a grade or increase a test score – but I’m even more certain they will never be forgotten by the child (or teacher) who received them.

I just read and am grateful for the beautiful and heartwarming blog from my dear sweet friend Vanessa Valenzuela who wrote,“There are people in your life – even outside of family – who you know with one hundred percent certainty that they love you. I am lucky enough to know that one of those people in my life is Sherry Stark.” Such beautiful words. I never want a day to pass that the people that I hold closest to my heart will ever question how important they are to me and how dearly I appreciate them being in my life. I know for sure that Vanessa understands how deeply I value our relationship.

I want to convey to every reader of this post ~ Never, ever assume the people you love know it. Never stop telling them or showing them with deeds how incredibly special they are to you and what their presence means in your life. There will be no “do-overs” so say it and show it now.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Idle Time ~ Random Thoughts

If it is your absolute personal truth - it will not change depending upon your audience.

I cannot change someone else’s mindset and in most cases it shouldn’t matter that much to me what someone else thinks. After all, someone else’s belief system surely doesn’t impact the reality I see through my own eyes. Why has my heart always cared so passionately about what another believes is truth? Time to let that one go.

Love should always be unconditional.

I will always only know another human being to the extent they want me to know them. The reality is people will only reveal to you what they want you to know.

Children don’t love their parents as much as their parents love them because if they did they’d never leave home. I love my children so much I can’t imagine that day is in my near future. It is. Thank goodness they don’t love me as much as I love them or they’d never reach their potential to fly.

Fly they must.

Words when spoken gently and sincerely from your heart can wrap around the heart and soul of another human being and comfort them like a warm winter blanket. Words when spoken harshly can cut through the heart like a serrated knife. I know for sure that my heart is only full when my words feel more like a warm winter blanket.

Time is fluid ~ Not a single aspect of life remains static.

Who we are today is not exactly who we were yesterday and not quite who we’ll be tomorrow.