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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Word Today: Methodically

We had company for dinner last night (we often do) and I really enjoy making big meals. I should clarify: I like cooking, baking, and cleaning - AS LONG AS it's appreciated. I suppose we are all wired that way, right? No one likes to feel taken for granted. A little work seems like a small effort as long as it's enjoyed and appreciated. I was all smiles last night and for good reason. I didn't have to run to the store to provide my family and our guest with healthy food. We have been blessed with meat from our own animals and last evening was no exception to that rule. Even though we are getting to the bottom of the freezer I was able to find nine absolutely lovely pork steaks. The weather was warm all day yesterday so the garden had an abundance of tender asparagus, and I had made a fresh loaf of banana bread early in the morning before the heat set in. Of course, I couldn't forget the potatoes. I don't do anything special with the potatoes, but my husband loves them. I keep telling him, it's HIS sweat equity that makes them so delicious. It's the butter and the raw milk that make the difference. Our milk is full of butterfat and heavy cream and those ingredients are really what gives the potatoes the rich flavor.

Mike, our guest, and Mark, my husband, finished up the barn chores and met me in the driveway where I was grilling the steaks. This was just another blessing because I was grilling them on a 30+ year old grill that my father had purchased at Sears in the 70's. This was the grill I had learned to light as a small child, the same grill we carefully built a wooden fence around when I was about ten years old. Such happy memories ... I miss my dad every day, but being surrounded by those memories helps me remember his wrinkly hands, those twinkly eyes, and his patient demeanor. I still can't swing a hammer and hit the nail - but he patiently helped me saw boards, hammer nails, and build that enclosure for the grill ... and the time I singed off my bangs trying to light the bugger ... he got quite a kick out of that one ...

So, back to last night. We chatted while the steaks finished up and I teased the boys that I hadn't made a thing to go along with the steaks. Of course they knew better that there would be something already simmering when we came inside. They were excited to see the mashed potatoes, asparagus, and the banana bread. By the time we sat down to eat it was well past 10pm. You never would have guessed it was that late based on the conversation around the dinner table. The laughter and smiles as well as the guys asking for seconds is what makes my heart happy.

At some point we got on the subject of cooking and cleaning. Mark said "believe it or not, she really DOES like cleaning" and Mike's eyes widened in disbelief. I told him that cooking and cleaning are methodical and that's what really works for me. He didn't exactly understand what I meant. I explained that you don't necessarily have to move quickly but that doing something that is systematic and rhythmic is therapeutic for me. The back and forth of the vacuum cleaner, the left to right motion of washing dishes, the circular pattern of dusting or wiping tables, etc... if I'm having a bad day, I can get so absorbed in cleaning that by the time I'm done I've completely forgotten what I was frustrated about. Cooking and baking feels the same to me, there is a momentum to the process and as I become s
wept away with that momentum, my worries and troubles are swept in the opposite direction.

And you know what the best part is? Know what's so great about those methodical things I love so much? They bring joy to others!!! My husband and children enjoy a clean house - don't let them fool you, they really do. They love knowing they can invite someone over without checking with me because they know the house will be clean and organized. They also know that there's always enough abundance that we can have company for a meal or offer a guest a cup of coffee, piece of fresh bread, cookies, or a hot meal. I get my crabbies out which makes me smile and then the smiles of our friends and family make my smile even bigger.

Ah yes - it's those late night conversations with friends that seem to bring the most wisdom and happiness.

~May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and wisdom!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Be a Simmering Pot

Good morning!

It is 7:03am my time and I have a load of laundry in the washer, the dishes put away, two children dressed, fed, and out the door for school. The beds are made, the house is clean, and there's a banana bread baking in the oven. Household chores can be methodical which is relaxing for me. It's a great time to think as I am distracted by the whir of the vacuum the hum of the washing machine, or in today's case - the 80 strokes it took to turn my ingredients into a creamy smooth batter in the bread pan. As I was accomplishing things this morning I was recalling a fabulous lunch with friends yesterday. I want to share the conversation with you (it's up to Jill if she wants to share her vegetables...)

I have been blessed with amazing friends from many different walks of life. Some friends travel internationally from one magical destination to another, some have given up corporate jobs to work in local coffee shops, some own large businesses, some write books, some own struggling businesses, and some spend the majority of their time helping others and not really 'working' in the traditional manner at all. I've never really cared what someone's J - O - B was; friendship goes deeper than a paycheck. There is however one thing all my friendships have in common:

We take time for one another

That doesn't sound like anything crazy or off the wall and it isn't a new theory at all. Well...maybe not to you. I was so busy for pretty much my entire 20's that I didn't take time for myself, for vacations, or for friendships. Oddly enough many people stuck with me...which says WAY more about them than it does about me.

Back on track here with my story.

Yesterday, I arrived promptly at 11am at my friend Jill's house. She's an amazing woman and I have been asked many times how we met or how we know one another. It's hard to pinpoint an exact moment but I believe it had something to do with a quaint little pub and her heart-warming smile. She pretty much "had me at hello" and the rest is history. Last week she and her husband popped over for a visit and farm tour. It was now my turn to enjoy an amazing view and a fabulous lunch at their gorgeous home. The visit began with a tour of the house and then we settled in on the patio/deck for a delicious garden-fresh lunch complete with virgin mimosa's. Not only was I blessed with the company of Jill and her husband, a neighbor and her 150 great dane also joined us. There was plenty of great conversation and great food to go around. Time was flying by quickly as we laughed and traded stories about this that and the other thing.

I learned that Jill and her husband had chosen a slower lifestyle when they decided to retire early. They downsized and moved out of the big city. Her husband commented that he was enjoying meeting new people, making new friends, and having time for others and himself. This led us to a conversation about how a slower lifestyle allows for deeper and more meaningful conversations. As I recall our chatter, I think about a pot of boiling water on the stove. That pot serves it's purpose and gets things done, but it is not beautiful and doesn't last. A simmering pot however also serves it's purpose and gets things done, but it lasts longer and is more lovely. Probably not the best analogy, and I should have stuck with "take time to smell the roses" or something similar....
but ..this is my blog and my mixed up thoughts...

It all boils down to me being thankful that I finally have the time to sit and have lunch with friends. Instead of quickly returning text messages or calling people between meetings, I am able to stroll through their gardens and sit on their couches while we share stories and ideas. My friendships are stronger and deeper and my heart is filled to the brim with love and adoration for the multitude of people I can call friend.

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine and time to sit in the garden with friends.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seriously Ben?

Just a few hours ago I was nestled in bed with my broad shouldered handsome husband Mark. I was warm and cozy with one hand on my tummy feeling our baby kick. It would be a few hours until the alarm went off and I remember listening as our older children tossed and made sweet noises in their sleep. I was thinking about how the next few months would fly by and soon we would have three little people in our home. Just as I was rolling my pregnant self over, my cell phone rang. I looked at the time: 2:32am and then noticed the caller identification "unknown". I'm an only child so I couldn't just ignore the call. After all, what if my mother was in ICU or there had been a terrible accident?

"Hello?" I slurred into the phone.

"This is Officer McGregory from Brown County PD. Is this Crystal Bennet?" asked the gruff voice on the other end of the line.

"I haven't been Crystal Bennet in over a decade, but yes - this is Crystal. What can I do for you officer...McGregory was it?" I asked as I sat up and started jotting things down in my journal so I wouldn't miss a detail.

"Yes, McGregory. We just received word from the department in Dublin that there's been a terrible accident. We need you to identify the body of your husband."

"My husband is right here Officer McGregory and certainly he cannot be in two places at once - and I know we are NOT in Dublin Ireland right now." I said sarcastically.

"Mam, this is no laughing matter. I will have an officer from your jurisdiction pay you a visit shortly with the proper documentation. I do know beyond a shadow of doubt that Benjamin Bennet was killed in Dublin last night and since you are his next of kin you will need to identify the body and return state-side with his remains and belongings."

"Thank you officer, I'll wait to hear from the other officer." and I slid off my phone (it would have been much more rewarding if we still had land lines and I could have slammed down the receiver.)

Mark rolled over and asked me what the call had been about. I told him that it seemed like some sort of prank call but somehow my ex-husband had been killed in Dublin Ireland and somehow they think we are still married and that I will be traveling out of the country to identify the body. Mark kissed me gently and said he was positive it was a prank call as well. We snuggled back under the covers and he fell promptly to sleep. My mind kept churning the conversation over and over again.

I knew he hadn't taken my name off our properties, but he said he would do that eventually. But... how could our divorce not be final? I remember the court room, the outfit I had on, the feelings of failure ... It had been a decade or more but I remember most every detail of our painful divorce. If it wasn't final, how could I be married to Mark? There had to be a mistake made somewhere. Maybe this was just a bad dream? I grabbed my phone and checked the call log - nope, not a bad dream...shit!

"Crystal, honey - wake up." Mark said gently as he rubbed my back.

"A squad car just pulled in the yard and the dogs are barking up a storm. I'll go answer the door, but you'll need to throw some clothes on and come down. Okay?"

I quickly waddled to the bathroom first - there would be no throwing on clothes for this girl until I took the call from mother nature first. I didn't mind the big belly, but the frequent bathroom breaks were really cramping my style. I tossed on my barn clothes thought about brushing my teeth and headed down. Mark and two officers were sitting around the kitchen table by the time I shuffled in. Thank goodness Mark was so wonderful, I could smell the coffee brewing which would make whatever the officer's had to say much more bearable. He poured me a cup with cream (just the way I like it) and we sat down to hear the news.

Apparently, Ben's divorce Attorney had forgotten to file the final documents in our divorce. He told Ben about it years ago but since Ben had no intention of getting re-married, he just shrugged his shoulders and moved on with his life. I guess that explains why he had left my name on the real estate deeds - he couldn't take me off. Legally I was married to two men - well sort of them was dead. The officers brought some photos that had been emailed from Dublin. I was glad I hadn't eaten - the pictures were grotesque and apparently a bomb had gone off in a busy part of town and Ben had been one of many fatalities. There was nothing left of his face but it looked like his stocky build. I was hoping my positive identification of the photographs would be enough, but the officers explained that I would need to obtain a Passport in a few hours and board a plane to identify Ben in person.

I stood up to show the officers my large figure again - "I am 26 weeks pregnant, I should not be leaving the country."

Their response was: "I'm sorry ma'am, we have no other options."

I turned and stomped out of the room to take a shower and get dressed properly for travel. As I headed up the stairs I grumbled "Seriously Ben? You screwed up my 20's and now you're trying for my 30's too?"

We made travel arrangements, plans for the children, notified by OBGYN who was none to pleased, and asked someone to fill in for me around the farm. I filled my suitcase, purchased a Passport, and canceled my hair appointment since I would be gone for a few days. Mark dropped me off at the airport and assured me that everything would be fine. I loaded my Kindle after checking through security. If I couldn't be at home getting things done, at least I could use all this wasted time to read some of the books on my wish list.

I was having a hard time concentrating as it hit me what all of this would mean. I would now be the owner of several failing businesses, some rental properties with poor rental histories and even poorer plumbing, and I would somehow have to straighten out finances with Ben's know, the one that split us up because she got pregnant with his love child? Yup...that's the one...if I was still Ben's wife, I would need to make sure that his son was well taken care of. That part wouldn't be so bad, but dealing with the hussy that broke us up? That might be too painful to bear. My mother would complain that Ben was the type of guy who never finished anything he started - apparently she was right again - he couldn't even die correctly much less finish divorcing me. Thank goodness they had seated me alone in first class. If there had been a man sitting next to me as I thought this all through, I might possibly have been provoked enough to slap him across the face.


Really? Could this day get any worse? Now I'm stranded in New York...I would have loved to travel to New York for pleasure (or even Dublin for that matter) but here I am pregnant, on a mission I don't want to be on, and the airport...

They weren't sure how long the delay would be so the airline provided each passenger with a voucher good at the airport lounge and bar. I may not be able to drink any of the gorgeous cocktails, but I could certainly eat my fair share of food. I waddled over and found a seat in the corner. I didn't feel like talking, but people watching had always been a suitable option regardless of my mood.

I ordered a large diet coke, an order of chicken curry, an appetizer of spring rolls, and a cup of chicken noodle soup. I didn't even bat an eye when the waiter asked if anyone would be joining me. I just smiled and told him all the food would be for me and he may as well leave the ticket open as I'd likely be having dessert.

I started on my meal while watching the honeymoon couple at the bar. They couldn't keep their hands off one another. I smiled...that's how Mark and I still were...then my smile faded remembering that he was miles away and we never had time for a honeymoon ourselves.

I nearly jumped out of my seat. Someone had come up behind me (which must have been hard since I was in the furthest table from the door) and laid a hand on my shoulder. The manly voice told me not to turn around. "Be calm Crystal. Don't cause a scene. I'm just going to sit down with you and we can have a chat. Okay Punkin?"

I knew that voice ...

It was Ben.

I didn't turn around but I answered "you're supposed to be dead?"

"That's what I'm here to explain. Don't act like anything is unusual and I'll sit down and explain everything."

The man that sat down looked nothing like my ex-husband. Don't get me wrong, it was most certainly him. He never did have a neck ... and those shoulders were definitely his ... I couldn't say for sure, but it looked like he had dyed his hair, gotten a nose job, lost a good 80 pounds, and definitely changed the style of his dress. Ben had always worn dress shirts and what I called 'pretty boy jeans' and here he was wearing a Yankees ball cap, jersey, and a pair of basketball shorts with tennis shoes.

He told me about the money troubles and how he had gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. He didn't want to file for bankruptcy because that would drag me down too. He apologized for not finalizing the divorce and said he just couldn't do it. He winked and said he secretly liked the thought of still being married. I was trying to listen but just kept shaking my head in disbelief that any of this was happening. He made me promise that when I got to Dublin I would positively identify the body, bring his things back to his parents, and take care of his son, Sam. He assured me that everything would fall into place once I got home.

"The life insurance will be enough to cover the debts. You can sell the real estate. Whatever you do with the businesses is fine, you're better at managing that stuff than I am anyway. Don't worry about all of this. I planned everything out and it will be fine. Got it punkin?"

I really wanted to break down and cry. I wasn't sure how I had gotten involved in another one of his elaborate schemes, or why he thought I'd be able to lie for him...but I just wanted to crawl back in bed next to my wonderful husband and go to sleep. I didn't want to be in New York and I certainly didn't want to be part of any deceptive plan ...

"You won't hear from me again. Just promise you'll take care of things just like I instructed you to."

"Seriously Ben? I can't lie and be part of this." I was pleaded with him now -

"Crystal. You have no choice. If I'm not dead and those business loans aren't paid back, you're in as much trouble as I am. That means Mark is too. I know you're finally happy - so don't screw this up. Okay?"

I nodded my head in agreement. With that, he left ... and I wasn't in the mood for my curry or dessert ...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ready for a Little Dirty Talk?

My mom complains about the language in some books. Then again, I'm sure she would complain about my language if we spent more time together. This post isn't actually about language at all - it just seemed like a catchy way to start things. Today's post is about real dirt ... the kind that lodges itself under your finger nails, the kind you have to dig out of your nose, and the kind that comes with all sorts of nasty smells.

I could go on and on. If you've been tuned-in for quite some time, you'll know that I went from a very clean profession to a farmer/writer/mother/wife. Instead of wearing stockings and Manolo Blanhnik's to the office, I typically wear patched jeans and a pair of rubbery boots that make my feet sweat. My hands are dry and cracked and instead of finding a few bobby pins in my hair at the end of the day, I find things I can't identify that were possibly at one time part of a plant. I am not in any way complaining, but I do get asked a lot of questions that boil down to "what does an average day look like for you?"

So - let's talk dirty and I'll answer that question:

5:40am - alarm goes off letting me know that if I want to brush my teeth alone I need to get up ASAP (my husband is long gone and some days I'm not sure if he came to bed at all...I smell the pillow to see if I can catch a whiff of his shampoo)

6:00am - alarm goes off letting me know it's time for the children to get up (most days I'm still in bed, procrastinating)

6:01am - I run to the bathroom before I sneeze or cough (6 months pregnant will do that to a girl)

6:02am - The house is officially awake. Carmen strips her bed (we can't get passed the bed-wetting quite yet) and I start a load of laundry, Andre and I brush our teeth while Carmen hops in the shower. The next ten minutes or so is spent reminding the children to hurry, checking back-packs, talking about any 'specials' going on for the day, and deciding what clothing would be appropriate based on the weather. On a good day, we have some time to enjoy a glass of water or milk while we chat and other days we run around with hair brushes in hand hoping we haven't missed the bus.

6:50am - The children head out to the bus after a debate about taking bikes, walking with mom, walking without mom, etc...and hopefully our yellow lab puppy is still in his kennel so we don't have to figure that out as he attempts to hop on the bus with the children.

6:51am - If I haven't gone out to the bus with the children, I look around to see what they've forgotten and then make my sprint down the drive-way to bring them a forgotten water bottle, granola bar, folder, or permission slip. (I don't do this in my bathrobe anymore after the windy morning last February)

7:00am - The children hop on the bus and I can start my inside chores. Make coffee, empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, start washing machine, fold clothes, vaccuum floor, sweep kitchen, clothes that closet door the children always leave open, double check that all the beds are made, turn off Carmen's bedroom light... AGAIN ...

7:10am - I grab 2 cups of coffee, pull on my rubber boots, and head out to the barn. This part of the day I leave my phone and watch in the house so there are no time-stamps, just events that fill a few hours:

*Enjoy a cup of coffee with my husband (yes, we do this in the barn ... the trick is to keep your mug with you or use a covered mug so you don't get any cow poop in your java...
*Fill 3 of the 5 gallon water pails
*Lift the pails onto the 4-wheeler
*Drive the 4 wheeler to the calf barn (no running water there)
*Mix up 'formula' or milk replacer for the wet calves and feed them, pet them, sing them a few songs
*Give the older calves clean water and check them over to make sure they are healthy and happy
*Grab the buckets from all the calves and put them on the 4-wheeler along with the empty 5-gallon buckes
*Drive back down to the barn where my husband usually appears out of nowhere to pat me on the rear ...glad he still likes me
*Clean all the buckets/pails
*Fill 3 of the 5 gallon water pails and put them on the 4-wheeler with the now clean buckets
*Drive back to the calf barn and give everyone back their buckets (it's important not to mix them up by the way)
*Give all the calves more water and check them over again to make sure they are happy and healthy before turning out the lights
*Park the 4-wheeler in the garage (being careful not to run over the children's bikes that are often in the way)
*Feed and water bunnies
*Check on pigs
*Feed and water cats and dogs
*Check the garden and grab whatever fresh fruits/veggies can be harvested for the day - place them in the entry way to be cleaned later
*Head back to the barn to find out what needs to be done next (usually move cows around, scrape stalls, check on a cow giving birth, fill the straw cart, run to the vets office for medicine, clean the milkhouse, move the tractor, or something of that nature

9:00am - Head into the house to check phone calls and emails and officially "open" the Relax Consulting office.

9:15am - clean what was harvested from the garden

9:25am - switch laundry and hang 1 or 2 loads on the line, empty the dishwasher, take out whatever meat is going to be cooked later in the day

9:35am - hop in the shower to remove the dirt and grime that has adhered itself to every inch of my body (somehow, the barn smell grabs hold of my hair within moments ... it's nice to be clean, but I hate that first moment when the hot water hits me and I realize how awful I smell)

9:45am - get dressed in whatever is appropriate for the day (barn clothes if I'm hauling wagons or helping with more chores, or good clothes if I have meetings, or comfy clothes if I happen to be sitting at my desk working on a project or writing)

Did I mention that if I weren't pregnant I would be brewing another pot of coffee by now? Instead, I'm making a cup of decaf trying to fool myself...

It's hard to explain what happens from 9:45am until 4:30pm because every day is different. The children get home and need to be fed, wagons need to be hauled, bills need to be paid, etc...and at 4:30 it's time to milk cows again which means time for me to feed calves again ... so all the above steps are repeated.

6:00pm - time to put the children to bed
6:30pm - another shower ... maybe I'll shave the right leg since I only had time to do the left one this morning ... lol

7:00pm - time for me to hop in bed if I have all my work done
8:30pm - time for me to get up and put the finishing touches on supper for my husband (and whoever has been helping in the barn and will be staying for supper)
9:00pm - time to feed the "big kids" who hopefully will be done after supper and will NOT have to go back out and do field work until 1 or 2 in the morning
10:30pm - clean up the kitchen as well as possible and head back up to bed after checking on the children

So - that's pretty much it. It's a great life and I get to spend lots of time with the people I love. I am however usually covered in dirt, cleaning up dirt, or trying not to get dirt on me ...

Thanks for this little chat - it's always fun to get down and dirty with a friend!

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and manure ... because everything grows a little better when it's dirty!!!

~Hugs from Crystal

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Dear Daughter ...

I guess I'll try to quickly explain what remains so confusing in my head and heart most days. I was in love with a handsome young man and we eventually got married. Somewhere between falling in love (or what we thought was love at that time) and getting married. we well ... we hopped into bed together. We were both young, successful, busy in our churches, dedicated to our families, and shocked. Why were we shocked? Because we had somehow managed to be intimate at just the right moment to create life. For weeks I was in denial and making up excuses for the obvious symptoms. I was as small as I had ever been. My husband and I worked together and the men we worked with even commented about how great I looked. I was 20, tall, thin, and yet I was terribly sick. I wen to the walk in clinic expecting to find out I had an ulcer. Not exactly...I happened to be three months pregnant.

It didn't take us long to decide that we couldn't provide the type of home our child deserved. We were Christians and abortion wasn't an option. He was the strong one who kept talking me out of my half-witted and emotional plans. At the time I was in outside sales and I came home with the half-witted idea that I could just keep our baby with me all day. I thought he/she could ride in the car seat and I'd just be really really fast when I went in and out of businesses. My future husband reminded me that not only was that illegal, but that wasn't what God wanted. So we prayed and argued, cried and prayed, cried and argued, and ultimately called a Christian adoption agency.


Tomorrow is our daughter's 15th birthday. So many things have changed. Her father and I are divorced, I have two children and a baby on the way, and most days the me I am today wouldn't even recognize the me I was 35 years ago (if that makes any sense?). I am happy that she is happy but as her little brother and sister grow, they want to know more about her. I often hear "why did you sell my sister?" "why can't she come live with us?" "do you think she's smart?"

I don't really know how to answer all of these questions. Adoption is a difficult concept for a 5 and 6 year old to understand. They know that mommy wanted the best for their sister and we all love her with our whole hearts. I've explained that we didn't "sell" her and that she has amazing parents who love and care for her. I've also had to explain that she will probably never call me "Mommy" even if we are able to meet her someday and when they ask about when she is coming to visit, I remind them that her mommy and daddy have the same responsibility I do - just like it's my job to keep Andre and Carmen safe and do what is best for them, her mommy and daddy make those decisions for her. All I know is that I've always been up front and honest about her. What I did NOT want was one of those Lifetime Movie moments when she rings the doorbell and no one knows who she is or that she exists.

With that, here is what I would say if she were sitting with me right now:

Dear daughter,

My greatest wish for you is that you know how deeply you are loved. The parents who raised you wanted you so badly and prayed so hard for you. We were the  parents who created wanted you. We wanted you to have everything we could not give and we prayed that God to help us love you enough to put your needs before ours. As your mother held you in her arms, I held you up in prayer. If you think I signed those papers and put you out of my mind, you're wrong. You are part of me and not a moment has passed that I haven't loved and prayed for you. Seeing the pictures of your smiling face have been imprinted in my mind. Those pictures are ragged and tattered because they've been cherished for so many years. You may never feel my arms around you and you probably don't remember the soft kisses in the hospital, the songs I sang while I carried you, or the stories I told you to never forget...and you may not ever play catch with your little brothers or teach your little sister to dance. What I want you to know is that we love you with our whole hearts. We talk about how beautiful you are, we know in our hearts that you have a lovely singing voice, a kind heart, and that you are doing well in school. When I tucked your little brother and sister in bed tonight we prayed for you like we do every night but said a special prayer that you have the most amazing birthday tomorrow. 

Someday you'll probably have lots of questions and to be honest, I don't have the answers. Could I have raised you and done a 'just fine' job? I'm sure I could have, but don't you deserve better than 'just fine'? Your little sister is nine years younger than you and I am a totally different person now than I was then ... I think the best answer for why? how come? why not? etc... is just this:

I love you with my whole heart and I trust God. 

Is it really that simple? I think so ... 

I'm crying tears of joy and sorrow as I write this. I am sorry for me ... because my arms long to hold you and my ears want badly to hear your voice while my fingers touch your hair. I am joyful for you, because you are no doubt happy, healthy, and making plans for a fabulous birthday. When you say your prayers tonight, if you feel an extra little squeeze, that was me because I love you so much that neither time or space or miles can separate us.

The womb who carried you and the voice who first sang you lullabies


And for you who may read this, thank you for not judging. Mothers love the best they can - and sometimes that means letting go physically, but I know that my heart could not possibly let go.

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and a heart capable of breaking because it was first capable of loving.