To cry

As long as you can still cry…

A mentor uttered these words recently, reflecting on my current family status of two ill parents. (As many of my readers are dear friends, you know of Dad’s brain tumor and Mom’s long battle with Alzheimer’s). This point on crying struck me. Because, sometimes it felt as if I couldn’t.

Days would come and go- some bad, some good. But between the planning, the urgent needs, the everyday life, the work, and the need for sleep…processing through tears just wasn’t happening.

 

But tonight, the dam broke down. It wasn’t a gut wrenching sob, rather as if a hole punctured a wall. And although we so little think of tears as light, they were. They lifted a burden, even if momentarily, and rays of brightness poked on through.

The cause of this moment… the arrival of multiple cards from friends. Ones of support and love, and reminding me of my inner strength.

Moments later, a cool breeze blew, and wind chimes rang out. A sign of what, I do not know, but a reminder of newness, of cool refreshing moments while in the darkness of night. Springing life after a desolate winter, darkness giving way to dawn.

And in these holy days, a reminder of finding safety and resurrection from depths of despair.

So tonight, finding tears… I gratefully accepted. And love- love that I wish to gratefully share.

 

*** Thank you for all the letters of love and support- how blessed I am.***

This is faith.

March 27th, 2014

Tonight, I had PROMISED myself I would get to bed earlier. It is 2 hours past that time :)

But amazing things happened and I had to write.

 

1. I went to a movie documentary viewing with friends at my young adult group. It was on forgiveness. I left early, but ended up talking to my friend Steve for almost 40 minutes. We shared some of our struggles, some similar hospital stories and moments of sad empathy. But it was so heartening…I needed that convo more than I knew.

2. I received a note from my dear friend from my time in FrancisCorps. Despite how long it has been since we have seen each other (almost 2 years), his letter was so rich, so heartfelt. After living with some in community for a year, sharing interests and losses, dreams for the future, and struggle over the food budget, you are just connected in a deep and meaningful way. N’s compassion is a deep as anyone’s I have ever met. Hence his lifting my family up in prayer is so peace giving.

3. I received a mass card from Catholic Relief Services, an organization I idolize and where I am lucky enough to have a mentor. It blew me away to receive such a beautiful card and heartfelt note to pass on to my Dad. He is going to love this…and be blown away that the organization he has sponsored for years, remembers him at their headquarters!

 

So what are all these things? Evidence of faith. Faith in community, faith in each other, faith in sharing our burdens so as to walk this road together. For me, this is a core tenant in having faith…to go to the depths one has not gone before, but know deeply that you are not alone.

 

Thank you P, S, N, and M!

Private writing

Hi all,

Tomorrow marks a month of great change. Hence my more noticeable absence from this corner and also why I am tending to write more privately.

My thoughts are disjointed and I need to process. While I love sharing, this stuff is just not ready.

So thank you for your patience as I split my writing of words between here and worn journals. I hope to come back to you as an even better writer.

With love, and thanks, and hopefully some grace,

Kate

What it means to fail.

November 2013

 

I don’t fail. Snotty, stuck up… but 100% true. I’m decently risk adverse, I do try new things. …. but full on failure, I don’t let it happen. For whatever reason, it feels like its not me. And I want to change that.

My cousin and I had plans to go rock climbing. We hadn’t been in months, and I hadn’t slipped on a harness since my amazing time in Maine. But when we got to the gym, the crowds disausded us.

So maybe we failed at rock climbing that night, but we succeeded in growing even closer. We chatted about failure, and how it offers wonderful lessons. How no life should be void of this….and what I would do to make sure I was failing.

By the time we left, we had a great list of “things to attempt, and maybe fail at” so that I can learn that failing is not the end of the world. Rather the beginning of a new lesson.

First one on the list….karoke.

And just like that, I booked my birthday at a karaoke bar.

When words fail…

We say thanks.

Thanks for all the love and support from all corners of the earth.

Thanks for the trays of food, bouquets of flowers, and a cleaning service(!).

Thanks for the love of friends new and old, ones who focus on making us smile and ones that offer a shoulder for burdens.

Thanks for the phone calls, texts, emails, and instantaneous visits.

Thanks for being a rock, a shoulder, an advocate, a friend, a sister, a cousin, an aunt or uncle, or even a dance-off partner.

Thanks for the understanding and compassion.

Thanks for patience and prayers.

If you haven’t heard me utter these words directly to you yet, know that I mean them. Though the past ten days have been surreal, I am constantly taken aback by the utter goodness from hundreds of people. Despite the circumstance, you all lift us up. 

****
And while random blog editing, I stumbled upon this post. How similar, in time, circumstances, and feeling, that March three years ago is to today.

May we never stop learning….even from ourselves.

 

Seth Rogen, a man child with heart

Americans whisper the word Alzheimers because their government whispers the word Alzheimer’s. … It is not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point to finally get the attention and funding it deserves and needs.

I am not sure I could love this man more…

He hits the major points:

  • Lack of hope (only disease in the top 10 without at cure, prevent, or slow down its progression).
  • This is the most expensive disease in terms of care.
  • We need help. Every family that is affected by this disease needs more help.

Seth, you are right…it does give me hope that you speak up and care enough to trek to D.C. Heck, if this man-child starts a charity, imagine what we can all do.

 

Don’t want to worry about Alz in your future? Then support legislation and funding to stop this disease

 

 

Curtis Stone’s Spaghetti

Ok, ok…I admit. I got this recipe off of People.com This was once my guilty pleasure reading over lunch, but I haven’t searched the site in ages.

Not until the other day when I had a craving for this recipe. It’s so simple and fresh (two of my favorite elements of an amazing meal).

Below is my adapted recipe. Change as you like!

 

Curtis Stone’s Lemon Garlic Spaghetti and Swiss Chard

Serves 4

  • 1 lb. or bushel of swiss chard, kale, or other hearty green, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. spaghetti
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (more if you are like me and love this flavor!)
  •  Salt and pepper to season
  • 3 oz. Parmesan cheese, shaved or freshly grated
  • 8 oz cooked white beans (optional)

1. Bring large pot with water to boil, as your package of spaghetti details. First cook the greens for about 5 minutes. Remove and bring water back to boil, now cooking spaghetti according to package.

2. Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and brown (less than a minute). Add greens, lemon zest and salt & pepper. Add spaghetti. Then add the lemon juice and 1/2 the cheese to coat (and beans if using them), seasoning with salt and pepper.

Finger licking good!

 

Sunshine

Feb 13, 2013

 You Are My Sunshine

I went to visit Mom. She wasn’t having the greatest of days.

My only sunshine.

After just coming in from lunch, she again wanted to go out. I offered to take her shopping.

You make me happy

She quickly pushed the cart, and I dashed around, finding the items we needed. She greeted the checkout lady by name, and it was reciprocated. Small talk, big talk, appreciation of a job well done and smiles on both their faces.

When skies are grey.

On the ride home, we sang. I first asked if she remembered how she sang to us as kids, and if she remembered this lullaby (an unfair question). She said no, but the minute I began to sing, she joined right in.

You’ll never know, dear

Further along our trek and after a few rounds, Mom joked about how appropriate this song was for the day- a frigid cold one, but with a gorgeous bright blue sky and sun a’shining. Oh, and how we can change the last line to ‘take the SNOW away’!

How much I love you.

And there she was. Sunshine, she reminded me, was her nickname. There was Mom.


Please don’t take my
 Sunshine away. 

Isn’t it easy…

Isn’t it easy to get swept away in the busyness of life? Isn’t it so much harder to sit back, and take a breath.

For me, improv often is that reminder to ‘be in the moment’, to ‘listen to my scene partner’, to not ‘plan ahead’ and to accept. And its tough….and it’s also key to survival thrive-al ( :) )

However, the other night improv was not my pull back into the calm in my life. It was day 2 of my second semester of graduate school. Although I had a wonderful day at a taping of a popular talk show, I was in (physical) pain and stressed out. I started to become too tunnel-vision-esque with school and all the to-do’s. Adding in an improv rehearsal felt wrong. It would accelerate my energy late into the night, not bring me back to a fun and laughter filled pace.

So. I listened. And instead, I went to yoga.

For many of you, this may seem like nothing. But for me, I must admit this was semi-huge. For it allowed me to:

1. Listen fully to what  I needed

2. Recognize that while yes, I had promised myself I would not operate this semester in such a panic-ridden place, it was starting to happen. And that was ok….but in this moment I could also change the direction and

3. Let others be (potentially) mad at me

And yoga was great My friend X was teaching and I worked some things out on the mat to refocus the internal self so that I could launch off again into the wider world.

So, while it can be so easy to be swept away in the crazy of each day, we must celebrate the small moments of change. The ones that allow us to step back and find our peace.

Namaste, kiddos, namaste.