Tag Archives: Quotes

F is for Family and Friends

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.” –Unknown

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating  virtues of humans, are created, strengthened and maintained.” –Winston Churchill

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” –Alex Haley

I think of my family and friends a great deal. They are what either boost my morale or knock me back down to reality. They can break my heart or fill me with joy. Friends come and go, but family remains until death do us part. People often talk about dysfunctional families. When I was younger I thought my family was abnormal, but soon realized there is no such thing as normal.

Many years ago I interviewed my mother long before she began showing signs of dementia. I wanted to discover what made her tick, and in doing so, find out who I am. I learned through deductive reasoning why she became who she is, but I am still trying to see how it links to me. Her memories of her birth family are vivid even now when she is half mad, but she cannot recall events of my childhood. Was her inner life so unbearable then that she blocked it all out? Did having three small children drive her insane? Her mother died when I was three years old, and for many years to follow there were hints and murmurs among adults that she lost her mind with grief. Now, she calls me six or more times a day looking for her long dead mother and sister, crying for someone to come get her and take her home. She also reverts back to the time when my youngest daughter was small. My mother and mother-in-law took turns watching Morgan while I worked. Those were happy times for us all.

So it is only the happy times she recalls. I don’t blame her wanting to go back. If only we all could go back to happier times and relive them with relish. I want to be there for my mother, even though we are miles apart. I wish I could comfort her while she waits to return to the family she lost so long ago.

As for friends? Few stay. I rarely let go of a friendship, unless they let go first or die. My grandfather once said, “If you have one good friend in life you’re damned lucky.” I have a handful who have been around for many years. Will they be there in a flash when I’m in desperate need? It’s doubtful. Mainly because their families come first. I understand.

Instead of allowing my mother’s grief and my longing for friends to drive me insane with depression, all I can do is try to remember something I once heard: we are the memories we keep in our hearts.

As for you, dear reader, cherish your loved ones. Never waste an opportunity to let them know how much you care. Those moments will become the memories that sustain you.

“What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life–to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” –George Eliot

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” –Confucius

 

 

 

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E is for Excuses

“Your will has to be stronger than your excuses. Your will has to be stronger than your fear.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Yes, I have plenty of them.

My excuses for not writing are endless. I’m going through a letting go process right now and it hurts like hell. I’ve spent the last several months sorting through years’ worth of stuff (I’m hesitant to say “junk” because not all of it is or was) as I prepared for a garage sale and putting up my house for sale. Talk about stress. I reread old journals, short stories, and love letters I either wrote or received before tossing into the trash. I cried as I uncovered my children’s old toys and baby clothes, pining for the time when they were little and I was young. When I told a friend how I missed the days when my girls were babies she laughed and said, “Hell, I don’t. I’m ready for my kids to graduate from college and start supporting themselves.”

The garage sale is over and the house sold before it ever went on the market. So, what’s my excuse now? I’m packing and preparing for the big move. Even before all this, I had been feeling stuck in a rut, questioning my abilities, my purpose. Now fear and guilt lurk over my shoulder whenever I allow my mind to wander. What if I’m making a mistake moving now? I’ve lived in the same house for 25 years, filled it with love and memories. I’m only blocks away from my aging parents. I can be at their house in less than five minutes if they should need me. My sister resides in the same town so they won’t be alone, but still . . . Three years ago, when my husband and I made the decision to move once he retired, my parents were doing fine. Now their health is declining and I’m filled with guilt. Lyrics pop into my head and haunt me while I sleep: “Should I stay or should I go?”

But now there is no turning back.

With these thoughts swirling around my brain is it any wonder I have trouble concentrating and thinking about what to write? Which leads to my excuses for continuing to smoke.

I’ve quit smoking so many times I’ve lost count. I quit for two years when pregnant with my oldest daughter. Back then, my excuse for starting back was my divorce from her father. The longest I’ve stopped was six years, before and after my pregnancy with my youngest daughter. Why I ever started again is beyond me. I have no good excuse. I quit recently for two months but a mini-breakdown drove me to the store to buy a pack and puff away. My daughters have a saying, “Mom doesn’t quit smoking. She just takes breaks.”

I have excuses for pretty much everything in my life. I guess we all do. At least these excuses led to me writing today.

There is always a perfectly good excuse, always a reason not to. The hardest freedom to win is the freedom from one’s excuses. ~Robert Brault

“The trick is not how much pain you feel-but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain.
Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses.” Erica Jong

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