Tuesday, February 16, 2010

my heart

I love five-years-old.

I absolutely love it.


There's so much I want to write about why exactly I love this age, but for now, let it suffice that I love how when I'm tucking my child in to bed at 2:00 AM and their siblings at 3:00 and 5:00 AM, after they woke up because they needed to use the potty and wash their hands and put on some chapstick, and I remind them that I'll be gone when they wake up because for the next five days I'll be attending a business meeting, they give me big hugs and kisses and tell me how much they'll miss me. And one of them takes their brand new stuffed animal (a Pez candy dispenser, nonetheless), and gently places it in to my hands while saying, "Here Mom, take this. It will help you while you are away from me. Sleep with it every night and ALWAYS remember that I love you."

Is there really anything sweeter in this world than a beloved child giving you their beloved stuffed animal ... filled with candy ... to take away on a business trip? I'm thinking no.
Today, as I was driving up to Los Angeles, my mind was distracted by music on the radio and in the midst of it all, totally unprovoked - I had this crazy feeling that there was someone sitting next to me. Although there wasn't anyone except me in the car, I actually glanced over a few times and looked because the sensation that someone was there in the passenger seat was so strong. It was almost like I was in a dream but no - checking, checking, pinching myself, I was definitely wide awake.

So I keep driving and I'm thinking, "Gee, this is odd," and just then - in my mind - I hear a familiar voice whisper, "Hello, Dear."

And that's when it struck me.

Both my cousin Margaret and my Uncle Bill's birthdays are this week. And I know that this week of birthdays isn't going to be particularly easy for my South Carolina family. Because my Uncle Bill was a great man and great men are missed, greatly.
Although it might not be much of a consolation because nothing compares to having someone that we love physically with us, I really believe that Uncle Bill's spirit is here among those that love him. Infact, I'm absolutely convinced he was with me as I drove to LA today. From his spot in the passenger seat, I sensed he was telling me to slow down and watch the road.
Yes, I know! Driving tips from Uncle Bill?!
That really does sound crazy!

Tonight during a business dinner, my boss told me that he's planning to do the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk in Arizona this coming November. Along with 15 other family members, he'll be walking to honor his cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Best of all, he's planning to push his beautiful wife - Lynette, who was diagnosed 20 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis - in her wheelchair, the entire 60-mile course.

A lot of people tell me how much I inspire them and while that certainly flatters me, trust me when I say I'm a watered down version of inspiration relative to some of the people in my life.

People like my husband who is on his own for the next five days with four small children who wake up at random times throughout the night to use the potty and put on chapstick. And my boss who is not only planning to do six triathlons this year but also, push his wife in a wheelchair for three days, over sixty miles. And my cousin, Regina who quite possibly experienced a wider range of emotions in 10 days than many of us will experience in our lifetimes.

The total number of comments on the post about Regina's trip to Haiti was 123. So Charlie and I will be making a donation of $246.00 to Hopital Sacre Couer in Haiti.

As in ... 2, 4, 6 ... 8.

Who do we appreciate?

All 123 of you. A sincere thanks for reading my cousin's story and allowing the lives that she touched to touch your own. And a hearty thank you to all of those who sent notes telling me that you will be making your own donations to the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.

It really feels good to help.

It also feels really good to know that tonight when I lay down in my big king-sized hotel bed, in a blissfully quiet room with my Pez Bear candy dispenser perched on the pillow next to me, the next time I open my eyes will be a whole eight hours from now. After what I hope will be a full night of completely and totally undisturbed sleep.


  1. If you fealt his presence, he was there! What a nice feeling to have :)

  2. That was him! He still worries...Always saying "Slow down Dear. You drive to fast." and you must! So slow down Dear...

    Today and tomorrow will be great days!

    The leading up to the days are hard...I said to Margaret today; "We have to stop making such a big deal out of birthdays." we both laughed and said yeah...and then I said you know what Father always said..."Birthdays are great! They better then the alternative." and with a big sigh I said..laughing "I wonder if he still thinks that?"...It struck us both very funny!

    Maybe he doesn't but I know he wants US to carry on and have a great day!

    AND you are so right GREAT MEN are missed BUT We were so lucky to have had him...and to have shared him.

    I must go make a cake WITHOUT tears...NOT as easy as it sounds! BUT I can do it! CHOCOLATE of course! Maybe with Hot Fudge Sauce...and chocolate ice cream! and more hot fudge sauce...you wanna come over and bring kids...I will make enough for all of us!
    I'll call Anne Marie maybe she can whip up something special too.

    5 year olds are great! I hope you catch up on that sleep.


  3. Stop by on your way back down to SD! You can meet Baby William!!!

  4. That was so thoughtful of you to remember Margaret and Uncle Bill and I know that you are in their thoughts also. Jim had a moment the other day when he said he had a vision of his Mother who was so close to him. HAve a good week.

  5. What a sweet kid! Hope you enjoy a peaceful nights sleep.

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  7. You are all such a special family. We send you love from Croatia....

  8. "Awww" all around.

    We watched the Austin Marathon on Valentine's Day. Our heart was most warmed by a man pushing a stroller. He ran a marathon with a toddler, and his time wasn't shabby. He was in the 5-hour crowd, and we were sitting somewhere around mile 25.

  9. Awe Jen. Thanks for thinking of us again. Wish you were here to share it with us BUT Lots of chocolate later - we all got through. :-) My Dad was a great back seat driver!! ;-) Have a safe trip and hope to talk to you soon. Love, Marg

  10. What a nice vision to see Uncle Bill, he did love you Jen. The birthdays are over, sixteen people "surprised" me for breakfast, with donuts, eggs bacon, it was so nice because I dreaded that day without him. Life is wonderful,death sucks!