Just Let Go!

Old age is not for the faint of heart! To get there, you have to push through the birth canal, survive childhood, adolescence, peer-pressure, and acne. You go through High School, puppy love, and heartaches. You skip college, get a job and hopefully earn enough money to pay for the used car you bought. Then you fall in love. Get married. Get your own place. And have a kid.

Now the fun begins. With true grit, you battle with his temper tantrums, potty training and cutting up in kindergarten. In Junior and Senior High you struggle through the designer-clothes-thing you can’t afford to buy, wrecked cars, girlfriends from Hell, and strange ideas; like living in the wilderness some day. You feel his pain and heartaches, get frustrated when he rebels, and want to clip his wings but let him fly. You pray for him, lose sleep over him, and want nothing but the best for him.

Then, he gets married and leaves the nest to start a family of his own. You’re happy for him, but you cry and grieve for the mischievous little boy who once was but will never be again.

Then he has kids that feel just like your own. You play with them, read to them, make up stories for them. You dry their eyes, rock them to sleep and tell them how precious they are and how blessed you are to have them in your life.

Then they grow up and have kids of their own. But things are different this go around. Your kid is now the grandparent. It’s time to take a back seat and watch as his grandkids run to him, jump in his arms and giggle with delight as he tickles them. It’s his turn to feel the love and the joy of being a grandparent. It’s his turn to help guide and direct and let them fly. It’s his turn to shine.

By now, you are feeling like a shadow. A stranger in a world where great-grandparents struggle to belong. You know you are still loved, but no longer feel needed or that your opinions are as valuable as they once were. Like sitting in a drifting boat, things that were once bigger than life become tiny specks on the horizon. You cling to your memories, grieve for your losses, and long for the moments in time that once were but will never be again.

This is the part where you face the naked truth that it’s the way of life. That you can’t build your dreams on shifting sand; changing relationships, ideas and opinions. This is the part where we must lower our expectations to protect our fragile feelings from anger, bitterness, and resentment. This is the part where we stop pining for the good old days, keep pressing forward and live each day to its fullest. This is the gut-wrenching part where we must unclench our white-knuckled hearts and just let go.

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Till Death do us Part

I didn’t want another pet

Not that I don’t love animals

I do

As a tender-hearted kid

I rescued a skunk once

And wanted to keep it

Till it sprayed me

Then there were the two baby squirrels

That in spite of all my efforts to save them

They died

And I will never forget the huge tomcat

 With a nub for a tail

That completely stole my heart

He went on the prowl one night

And never returned

And there were puppies and kittens

And hamsters and guinea pigs

And a talking parakeet

All mysteriously went missing

Except for the parakeet

That got sick and died

Then

Not that long ago

Fate delivered to my doorstep

A rambunctious homeless mongrel

That wriggled his way into my heart

And broke it to pieces when he died

 That’s why I didn’t want another pet

You love them then they go missing or they die

Yet

Here I stand gazing into the dingy cage

Tears streaming down my face

Falling in love

With a floppy-eared

Skinny

Long-legged

Thirty-pound mutt

Her wet nose pressed against the heartless cage

Her soulful eyes pleading

Her tail wagging ferociously

And in spite of all the what if’s and’s and but’s

That stormed across my mind

My heart told me I couldn’t leave her

In this stinking noisy prison

Where her beautiful life

May soon be put to an ugly end

So I brought her home with me

To care for her

To play with her

To protect her

To stretch my patience to the outer limits

Through all the chewing

And pooping

And peeing on the floor

And the frenzied running and jumping

And boisterous demands

And to promise to love her

Till death do us part

Paw Prints

Bella Rae

Bella Rae

We’ve never owned a dog like her before

And it’s a wee bit nerve-wracking

Okay it’s a whole bunch nerve-wracking

She’s feisty

Sassy

Strong-willed

Like me

But she’s a dog

And I’m the boss

She’s supposed to listen

When I tell her no

To get in her bed

To pee and poop outside

To stop jumping on the furniture

And charging through the house

And bouncing around like a kangaroo

To stop biting

And scratching

And licking

That constant licking of herself

Like a cat

Lick

Lick

Lick

And she snores

And she farts

And she eats like a pig

  We’re old people

We like things calm and quiet

We like a clean smelling house

Pee-stained-free carpet

And slobber-less tile floors

At least she’s potty trained now

I thought

Till this morning

When she peed and pooped in the living room

And threw up in my bedroom

 I wanted to wring her little neck

Take her back to the pound

And bring home a droopy-eyed over-the-hill bloodhound

But I cleaned up the mess instead

Because I love her

Because she brings more joy than chaos

Because she has left paw prints on my heart

Forever

~ Sandi

Be Your Own Cheerleader!

cheer

Dragging my exhausted, sweaty body through the front door, I excitedly told hubby, who’s still laying in bed, that I jogged an hour and a half!

Barely raising his head off the pillow he murmured,”That’s good.”

That’s good? I felt like jerking him out of bed! If he only knew how my feet burned the entire time and how difficult the hills were and how many times I just wanted to stop!

Disappointed in his half-hearted response I started a much-needed  shower. Then, as if he had cleaned the entire house and mowed the lawn, hubby yelled from the bed, “I cleaned the commode!”

Sometimes we have to be our own cheering section. Not everyone is going to jump up and down for our accomplishments. Not everyone is going to share our enthusiasm. And if that’s the only reason we do something, then we’re doing it for the wrong reason.

And to let hubby off the hook, he is my biggest fan, he just doesn’t always cheer as loud as I’d like him to.

Quiet, Please

QUIET!I don’t like noise

loud music

Barking dogs

Four wheelers zooming through the neighborhood

Sets my soul on fire

I feel violated

That the walls in which I live have been torn down

That intruders have stormed in

Destroying every thread of inner peace

And there’s no place to run

No place to hide where I feel safe

Where I can drown out the noise

Where My heart can stop pounding

Where my nerves can settle down

And all is at rest again

~Sandi

Squirrel Capers

Squirrel By Colin

Every morning he amuses me

Scrambling up and down the tree

Chasing his buddies

Jumping from limb to limb

Sitting on the ground

Eating from his tiny hands

His white belly glistening in the sun

He’s so cute

Until he jumps on the bird feeder

Chases all the birds away

Costing us a fortune

Dumping birdseed on the ground

That’s when I want to wring his scrawny neck

Cut off his bushy tail

And hang it on my car antenna

For all his fellow critters to see

Instead

I let the dog out

He likes squirrels

As much as I like snakes

Like a raging bull

He charges out the door

Barking and growling

His hackles sticking up

His Iron jaws clamping down

Barely missing the little guy

As he scrambles up the tree

Where he belongs

Where I wish he’d stay

Forever

But then

I’d miss all the fun

~Sandi

No Language Barrier

Photo1

I walked with my neighbor this morning

It wasn’t planned

We just began walking at the same time

She speaks very little English

I speak no Philipino

But we walked

Laughing at ourselves

Struggling to help the other understand

She said she is sixty-two

Patting her knees she grimaced

Arthritis

Pointing to the cloudy sky she stammered

The rain is coming

When we reached her house

She pointed to the weeds

In her beautiful flower bed

Patted the small of her back

And I understood well

The pain pulling weeds entails

Stopping at her driveway

We hugged and waved good-by

Wishing each other well

Our walk together helped me realize

That speaking a different language

Or wearing a different skin color

Doesn’t make us different at all

We are all people

Created in God’s image

Our hearts beating the same language

All over the world

~Sandi

The Garden of No Return

Paradise

She had it all

A home in paradise

A husband who adored her

The perfect wardrobe

The perfect diet

No bill collectors

No noisy neighbors

 No rebellious teenagers

But it wasn’t enough

She wanted more

The one thing she couldn’t have

So on that sunny day so long ago

She stood before the forbidden tree

Lusting

Her mouth drooling

To know more

To see more

To be like God

At least that’s what the Deceiver

That slithering snake led her to believe

Shoving her closer to the tree

With his lying forked tongue

Convincing her that God was holding back

I can hear his demented laughter

As she sunk her teeth into the luscious fruit

I can feel her horror

Her grief

Her shame

As the cloak of righteousness

Was stripped away

And her nakedness exposed

I can see her shivering in the freezing cold

Of reality

Of seeing what she had

Of knowing what she lost

Never to own again

I can see her young firm body shriveling

As death began running its course

I can hear her screams of remorse

As she staggered from her beautiful home in paradise

Never to enter again

What a terrible fate had it abruptly ended there

For Adam and Eve

For you and me

But it didn’t

In His love and mercy

God provided a way back to Him

When He sent His Son to die

That we may have eternal life with Him

In Paradise

Forever

~Sandi

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The Deep, Dark Dungeon

Hope in the Darkness

Into the darkness You came

You whispered my name

You took my hand

And the journey began

Down the steep dingy stairwell

Into the dungeon of my soul

Where I dare not tread before

And I was afraid

From the shadows of the past

I saw glaring eyes

Angry faces

Backs turned

Arms crossed

The condemning screams

Pierced my heart

Shattered my soul

Rocked my world

I felt worthless

Unloved

Unwanted

And I wept

I wanted to turn back

Then I felt Your gentle nudge

And we moved on

To the bottom of the stairs

Where I saw a tattered little girl

Gazing into a hazy room

Where her dad sat

Like a corpse

Staring into the abyss

Unaware of her tears

Her pain

Her longing to sit on his lap

To sink into his arms

To feel his heartbeat

His love

His protection

From the angry world in which she lived

But he never looked her way

Ever

Her eyes streaming with tears

She slowly turned around

And there He stood

Like a gentle Giant

Shining like the sun

Smiling down at her

Whispering her name

She stumbled to Him

 Collapsed into His open arms

And cried

And cried

And cried

And there at the bottom of the stairs

Of the dungeon of my soul

I traded my unloving dad

For a Dad who has always loved me

I just couldn’t see it before

I couldn’t believe it

I couldn’t feel it

But now I do

 ~Sandi

If You Love Something, Set it Free

Baby

As I sit here rocking you to sleep in my arms

I kiss your downy head and whisper

I will be the mother I never had

I will help you spread your wings

I will teach you to fly

I will catch you when you fall

I will cheer for you

I will fight for you

I will protect you

I will love honor and respect you

When you marry the girl of your dreams

I will step back

She will be your number one

Your true love

Your soul mate

And I will love her

When you have children

I will take another step back

Allowing you the joy and happiness

Of raising your own your own way

I will be the grandmother I once had

I will hold them on my lap

I will sing to them

Teach them Nursery Rhymes

And soar to unknown worlds with them

When you have grandchildren

I will take another step back

Watching from a distance

Sharing your joy and happiness

Feeling my heart swell with pride

Thanking God for blessing you

Your family and me

And though it may seem that I’ve fallen

Far behind the scenes

I know a piece of your heart

Will always belong to me

Because as I sit here

Holding you tightly in my arms

I promise to set you free

~Sandi