Footprints in the Sand

When my mom first shared this story with me, even as a child, I easily gleaned its importance to her. We sat on her side of the bed, the room dark, but for her small nightstand light providing a welcoming glow. The words were printed on a bookmark, and she read the story aloud, glancing up to catch my eyes, insuring my rapt attention. And, as a child often does, I wondered in awe of my mother’s wisdom. To me, she was not reading someone else’s words or story. The tie she felt wove its way into her speech so that the language became her own. She stared at me for a moment when her heart had been lifted by the sharing of stirring words. I don’t remember what conversation passed between us after, only that I carried the moment and message forever after. Now, I have a chance to intertwine myself and share my own version.

footprints

I think of my mom often. I think of what our relationship would be now if Alzheimer’s hadn’t come to claim her body and infect her mind. Now I must rely on my memories of my childhood. Memory is such an unreliable thing, but these words I write, they help me remember.

My dad always carried this air of intelligence. When he spoke to me I would marvel at his charisma and strive to earn his approval as he taught me the power of experience and wisdom. He insured I understood the difference between that and intellect, and although both important, the real goal is the journey to wisdom.

My mom did not speak like this. She did not spell out lessons or share time-worn stories riddled with morals. Where my dad’s cleverness and penchant for solving puzzles eagerly filled space with awe, my mom’s heart delicately encased it. And so, I was taught gentleness with wisdom, kindness with logic, and love with reason. These scales are not always balanced, but I yearn to honor them both and make it so.

The Footprints though, my mom did share that story. And how poetic, how unifying when I reflect on it now. My mom marveled at how when the narrator is at the lowest of the low they cry out in anguish to be left alone by their Savior, when in fact He had been carrying them through the bleakest of moments, the darkest of nights.

My mom only had one boyfriend, one husband, one love. She met my dad when she was twenty and that was that. When she was diagnosed he helped her make and complete a bucket list. And now, even as we near the inevitable end, he is still by her side, caring for her more than most spouses will ever have to care for each other. He stayed for better and for the literal worst. Her white knight, her caregiver, her endless one love.

I was in the car the other day listening to Sia. My mind slightly wandering until I hear her sing the words, “Your footprints in the sand“. I remembered the story my mom had shared with me all those years ago. I heard her sing, “but you were carrying me, carrying me to safety” and it hit me.

My mom can no longer make her own footprints in the sand. She could not control her toes to squeeze them through the warm sand, letting it sift over her skin. But now, in her bleakest moments, in her darkest hours, my dad carries her. And I know when she looks back at her journey she will see their path together as they wandered through forests and scaled mountains, as they struggled through hard times and basked in the good, how they raised three children and embedded themselves in a community, how they supported each other through career and job changes, how they embraced nature with an understanding that few posses… Yes, she will look back and see how long they traveled together and then she will marvel when the two footprints become one, knowing exactly who it was that carried her to safety.

carrying

Why is Christmas Special?

Last week, while teaching one my early childhood music classes one of my five-year olds turned to me and said, “Do you want to know why I love Christmas so much!?” I expected him to talk about presents or this “elf on a shelf” or something to that effect, but he followed up with, “Because we always go to Colorado to see my grandma and also because there’s snow there!” Another boy chimed in, “Want to know why Christmas is the best time of year? Because you get to be with all the family you don’t see a lot!”

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Goodbyes with Family & Friends and Beginnings Born from Ends

I meant to publish this post four days ago, the day before I left for California. As I was going through all my family and friends and visiting one last time the title for this post popped in my head. Instead of beginnings from ends I first though of “nights we don’t want to end” because indeed, each of my goodbyes I drew out for hours. Awkwardly standing around saying “alright” about 50 times before finally heading out the door. There were tears, there were embraces that shook from the power of our sobs, but there was always laughter and the reassurance, “See you later.”

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Night

There is something exciting about the night. Light abandons life to hide with shadows that once danced fearlessly about on winged toes, softly grazing the quiet grass. Mystery absorbs the scene, stealing away fact stored deep inside the brain. This is the time thought provokes your heart and you dream of things unattainable in the common daylight. The sun retires to another region, no longer protecting your sense of security. All at once it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and everyone is thrust wildly into battle, a lone soldier. Crazy ideas spit at your mind tempting fear to seize control. The result of this: a body locked in terror, frozen without the hope of resilient youth springing into action. The taste of wild melts into cautious mouths, releasing a flow of once careful words. Nothing matters as it did before. In this black cloak of eternity freedom reigns.

Life Lessons From Furry Friends Pt. 3

Scott

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted one of these, and that’s because Scott stumped me and I refused to go out of order! The original idea was that I would pick one lesson from each pet I have owned. I just could not decide what lesson to pluck from living with Scott. I thought maybe humor because he was such a funny character he always made everyone laugh. Now, I’d just like to tell his story, and maybe by the end I’ll narrow down one word like forgiveness or patience (from part 1 and 2)…and maybe I won’t. :p

Scott

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Day 3 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge

I have saved the best for last! I went from song lyrics, to movies, and now of course, to my favorite writers (although I definitely have more than 3). Also, if you know what the featured image is…props to you!

I want to thank samanthamurdochblog again for nominating me for this challenge. Please do check out her blog as well!

Once again, the rules are post 3 quotes for 3 consecutive days and nominate 3 new people each day.

Check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you haven’t already!

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I Am Human

I am Human. And I don’t need any labels other than that. I don’t need to be defined by my race, by my gender, my sexual orientation, my social class, my religion. I don’t need to be put into a box and told that’s who I can relate to. I don’t need to be called black to hurt when racism occurs. I don’t need to be called gay to grieve when those who are get senselessly murdered. Because I am Human, and when humans attack humans, we all will suffer.

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