Mom or Mim?

My sister died three years ago – July 3, 2015.  My hope over her closing years, her collapsing body graced to the end with an awesome mind, was that she would write a book.  Maybe she did.  Alas, I was not her executor, so never sifted through the boxes of papers in her room, never heard of a manuscript – an incalculable loss.

At this moment in time, can appreciate the forces that might have stopped Mim.  I’ve dabbled in writin – outlined a book “Honor your father & your mother…”, started Badass Grandma (about Mom), penned a children’s book.  But write a book relating back to ME?

Yes.  Today, I waded into my fears & wrote the first sentence of Dream Reweaver – confessions of a positive deviant, return payment to a wondrously abundant Universe, a shout-out to my deeply rooted belief  that our Creator intends every living thing to celebrate life, from first breath to last.

Helping Mom was FUN.  Writing on my own – scary!

Mom didn’t write for posterity – she wrote for herself.  We focused on getting down what she wanted to share with me, sitting side by side, sending it out into cyberspace.  Just do the same.  Write for me, nothing else, nothing less.

Mom or Mim? Which do I emulate?

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“Update could not be installed due to lack of power”

“Update could not be installed die to lack of power.”  An iPad notification packs surprising wisdom.

God, the Universe,, the Great Spirit, our Creator – whatever name is used to describe the Wondrous Whatever behind this crazy loopy thing we call our existence  BEing LIFE constantly runs unscheduled inner updates to help maximize our systems,.

Reading that notification this a.m., something clicked sin my brain, setting off a whoosh of aha awakenings.

Will never know why our standard operating system seems to come with a default desire to side step personal responsibility.  Is it a glitch or does it save a funky purpose?

It sure does a lot of damage!  It’s how demagogues rise to power, offering people what they want to hear & believe, even – or as I’ve learned first hand, especially – when what they say defies reason.

We seem weirdly born with a whackadoodle desire to HAND OVER our power over to others.  I’ve seen it uncountless times in my family, personal & professional life.  In myself.  It’s the #1 reason  I balk at the argument that the. Constitution is written in stone or that the understanding of any group’s founders should remain arbiters of current rules & regs – that’s abdicating here & now responsibility it to long-dead ones.

Is the rise of powerful figures who speak to our deepest fears rather than our highest aspirations tied to an inherent desire to keep our inner power source just strong enough to run basic programs?  To welcoming an other eager to accept responsibility for making our lives work & who typically offers up any number of others  to pin with blame when things go off track?

Worth a ponder.

And a timely reminder to keep my own power source open.  There’s no guessing when the next aha update might try to download into my head heart spirit,

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MacArthur returns!

Not as in the general, gone these many decades.  As in the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship grants, 25 presented every year to people who are usually unknown to most of us but whose creativity productivity contributions are recognized with a HEFTY check & instant celebrity status.

The MacArthur fellowships are near & dear to my heart.  Nine years ago, I had the honor & pleasure of teaching a Social Studies unit on them to my class of at-risk high schoolers, a group of kids who connected to the white hot News, multi-ethnic & gender mix.  Some of the winners were from the metro Philly region, so they saw related articles in local papers, making Social Studies real & relevant!

And I’ll never forget sitting smack dab next to ANN BASTINGS at the 2016 National Center For Creative Aging (NCCA) Conference when Gay Hanna announced from the stage that she’d been named that morning as a MacArthur fellow – thrilling!

Great reads, great discussion points with family, friends, colleagues!

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Underestimating intelligence

To my stunned surprise, I discovered the other day that a LONG sought quote was not from Hill Street Blues, as I erroneously remember, but from The Closer.  Practically fell off my chair, hearing Sanchez say he did’t get the fuss about what do to about elders – “Throw down a carpet in the garage,” aka turn it into a room.

Amen & hallelujah!  We are born, created to be tribal, to live TOGETHER, to make the best of difficult situations.  To understand & respect the intelligence & ideally the wisdom of olders & for them to appreciate & respect the care & ideally the loving support of youngers.

It starts with having a greater awareness of each other’s intellect. Sadly, it feels like the longtime trend is driving down the people doing just that, up & down the age spectrum.

We need to boost our appreciation of each other’s minds.  Was reminded of that while reading about Sy Montgomery’s interactions & revealing moments with OCTOPUSES.  Read her article, Deep Intellect, and ponder how many we too often not only underestimate the intelligence of other creatures, but our fellow Homo sapiens – especially those most near & dear but way older or younger.

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Secrets of centenarians

After spending thirty minutes watching videos that focused on the secrets of centenarians, I decided, “Bosh! Centenarians don’t know more about what makes for LIVING than a kid of eighty – longer years do not insure greater wisdom.”  MY secret to a good great grand life is to be present, whatever is happening.  Which means you’re not, as too many do, dwelling on what was or fretting about what might be.  Don’t be one of those who, when someone comments on what lovely weather it is, intones “Rain is predicted for Friday.”  Enjoy the sun & be happy the plants will be watered on Friday!

It’s a small but mighty virtue called contentment.  And interestingly enough, it’s the topic of an article in today’s NY Times.

And here’s the gist of what those centenarians said is the secret to living to a ripe old age – – whatever your age, LIVE!

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Change of habit

Growing up & deep into adulthood, my core inclination  bent toward cooperation & collaboration, but distorting messages received (perhaps not intentionally sent), left my vision distorted, my emotions messed up.

Took me close to sixty years to wake up to my true nature;  here I be, at sixty-six & dealing with creating instilling cementing the empowering core habits to back up my here & now acceptance of a long muddled self.

For well over fifty years, I was entrenched in SEEING myself as a go-it-aloner kinda gal, even when what I was DOing said otherwise.  That aggressively warped sight doesn’t immediately vanish with aha awareness of reality.  It can be obvious that poor care has left an apple tree unable to bear the abundance of fruit natural for its ideal location & rich soil, but it takes more than the strongest good intentions to restore the damaged tree to its true nature – it requires a skilled arborist to reclaim its health.

These are emotionally perilous days.  I came to the end of my 42-year quest for balance/alignment to find myself facing the gut-wrenching work of pruning away my stunted grow, which still too often persists in bending me AWAY rather TOWARD stated goals,  then nurturing new productive habits that will help my dreams goals plans come to glorious fruition.

FACT :  I’ve come to the end of where >I< – solo, on my own – can tap into book audio video mentors to empower great deep forever change.  Now, I need more.  To change my HABITS requires a form of skilled spiritual emotional mental arborist to help restore the visible, fruit-bearing parts of my psyche, to get back in sync with my healthy, deeply-planted roots.

Consider this my “help wanted” ad.  My season is now; I am eager to bear much fruit.


When a best friend dies

When my mother died at 91, her three closest friends were still living.  Elsa, Gig & Ellen were as dear to me as my cousin, Peggy, another one of Mom’s bests.

After Mom was gone, so were their letters & phone calls, their connection to her life – – and, since my earliest memories, with my own.  One of my great regrets is not making the effort to keep those treasured relationships present in my life, more than sending a Christmas card.

Oh, I wrote to each to say how much she meant to Mom, to me & to our family.  Looking back, I see how easily I could have reached out in deeper, richer, more durable ways, sharing memories & asking for theirs.

I forgot that she was one of their besties, too.

Was reminded of those four unforgettable friends as I read the. article on losing a best friend.  As an unthinking younger, I didn’t fathom  how, when a best passes, the fabric of life is ripped apart, leaving a tear that can’t be repaired.

Mom & I often talked about Aunt Betty, her nearest & dearest across all time – speaking of her younger sister, asking for stories, helped keep her present in Mom’s life decades after “Bets” slipped from us.  Until this moment,  it never dawned on me that a precious opportunity to stay connected AND experience Mom from fresh perspectives slipped through my fingers.

We can never really prepare ourselves for the loss of our best friend, but we can be conscious that there will be an unfillable hole in our heart & life.  And we can be conscious of how we can be there for others if a loved one of ours who is a best of theirs dies.

Reading the article got me thinking about my sister, Mim, who died in July 2015 & how I can reach out to her bests – to Beth & Gray & Penny & Lark, to Mark & Peter, to Mike & Kerry, to ournieces & nephews for their cherished memories & heart impression of her spirit & life.

The article is a great read for any age & a much-appreciated reminder to be aware, to stay connected.  To know we can’t mend the tear, but perhaps we can help bind up the frayed edges.

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