For the love I have received

One of my dear friends gifted this beautiful note, a giving key and message. Her thoughts on hope, grace, and strength were so impactful.

Truth be told, this dear friend is one of my mentors. A work colleague I so admire that when leaving my position and people asked what I wanted to do with my Master degree, I said “Be Nadira”. Yes, yes I cannot ‘be’ another person, but that is how much I appreciate this woman.

So to receive a note of hope and love and a reminder to be Fearless, was just deeply touching.

 

Fearless

Fearless

I immediately put on the reminder of fearlessness, knowing this will hang from my neck for quite some time as a reminder of who I was a few months ago, who I am know, and who I will grow to be. And a reminder to do it all not in fear, but in love.

To live without fear…what a sharing of love that I have received.

Grounded in faith

Some moments in life make you rely on your faith, whatever that may be.

One such recent moment was learning  that my FrancisCorps Dad was entering hospice. This man is just one of the best. My heart swells when I think about him and his wife. What a beautiful, kind, and welcoming couple.

While in FrancisCorps, we each were given a “FrancisCorps Family”, a sponsor who also got to serve as mentors and supporters to us. My 4 room-mates more than once, commented on how I had the best one!

I remember multiple occasions when I called M&D, be it when everyone else was away for the wkend, and I was alone in the house; or just needed a refuge from the wonderful intensity of the service year. Every time I saw D, he’d call me “Daughter”, something that was so sweet when you are away from family. M also helped me with my resume and think about what career path I wanted to take. On the Fourth of July, I went with them to their small hometown upstate for a parade and family picnic, just like “one of the family”.

While D and I have at times exchanged emails over the years, it has been a good while now since we corresponded. After receiving word of his condition, the last stages of cancer that he had fought off since before I met him 7 years ago, I picked up the phone to get the word out.

There is no missing the irony here that an incredible man may be called home during the Easter season. He truly is one of the best. Nor does it escape my mind of the parallels going on with my own father. I spoke so highly of D to my Dad and vice versa. There were so many similarities, which is probably part of the reason that I loved spending time with him: he was so much like my own Dad. I know these two men would have been good friends if distance was not the obstacle.

For the past few Easter’s, I have reflected on Resurrection and what it means to me. Yet, again, I am not sure where in my life I need reviving. Maybe it is a movement from seeing death as the end, to part of a beginning. Maybe it is just accepting, despite all the terrible sadness in the current situations, that I have the power to do this- reflect on the amazing moments and witness grace. Maybe it’s stepping fearlessly into the future, even less sure than ever what it holds.

Regardless, I go forth with the memories I have of these great men, and am reminded how lucky I am for knowing them.

 

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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!