Tag Archives: blessings

One Year Like Yesterday

It has been a year since my brother-in-law Draco passed away. Time has made it easier for us to bear the loss, and to enjoy thinking of his exploits and funny stories. I think he would have appreciated passing away on the anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of the Star Spangled Banner, too. Draco always did have a flair for the dramatic, though he was careful not to show it. Unless it concerned a martini. Then it had to be the right glass, the right garnish, the right vermouth, even the right pick. He was hilarious.

Sometimes I am caught unawares and the pain of the loss grips me. I was cleaning out a closet and found a shirt he had left behind, and suddenly a torrent of tears let forth, taking me by surprise. Before she left, Eldest’s biggest regret was not being able to wear the bracelet Draco made for her while in basic. And today Texas A&M plays Rice University. He always looked forward to every game, but the Rice games were special, because of the band. Rice’s MOB is rather…. unique, to say the least!

Draco my brother, you are still missed every day. And not a day goes by that I don’t offer up a prayer in Heaven for you and know you are there, looking down and screaming at Manziel to get it together while giving Dallas a scritch. And I promise not to wear any Aggie or maroon stuff. We both know I can jinx it if I do. So, I shall make your favorite dish for dinner in your honor, and we will raise our glasses of lemonade and toast to your memory. We love you…. then, now, and always 🙂

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On Being a Pollyanna

One of my favorite Disney films is Pollyanna. I love watching it, even at this stage in life. Hubby thinks it is too simplistic, but in its defense it is tailor-made for children. As usual, Disney deviated from the original story in order to give the impression of a happier ending. But the simple lessons override that.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Mrs. Snow (Agnes Moorehead) plays a cantankerous hypochondriac with the belief that she is not long for this world, and is determined to make everyone around her as miserable as she feels. After many tries to make her feel better, Pollyanna explodes and informs her that she should be happy that so many people do care, instead of complaining about insignificant and surely non-existent maladies. Simply, no matter how bad things are, there is always someone who cares for you.

Don’t shut yourself from the world.

Mr. Pendergast (Adolphe Menjou) is a hermit. He wants nothing to do with humanity, and wishes to be left alone. When he catches Pollyanna and Jimmy skulking around his house, he tries to scare them away, only to find that by putting Jimmy to work, he finds a lonely soul to fit his. Simply, one is never truly alone in the world.

The Greater Good is neither great, nor good.

Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman) is the town paragon, her father having founded it. She thinks of herself as the pillar on which everyone should rely. She controls the town to honor her father, and refuses to let it change, thinking she knows best. SHE will pay for this, and SHE will pay for that, but in return people have to be grateful, and she also expects the town to adhere to her personal beliefs, which includes controlling the church itself. It takes Pollyanna’s accident to make her see what love and charity really are. Simply, one should do acts of kindness for others, not for oneself.

Always find a reason to be glad.

That was her jones. Pollyanna always looked for the good, or the best, or the happy in people, in places, in things. She had an awful dress, but was glad it wasn’t boy’s trousers. Her father had asked for a doll in the missionary barrels, but received a pair of crutches. She was glad she didn’t need them. Simply, there is always a silver lining.

Sometimes we are bogged down with unfortunate events, sad news, things that are out of our control. I used to be full of worry and angst over the minutiae of every day. Did a payment go through? Did I answer that email? Is the water filter working? One day my daughter (she was 8 years old at the time) asked me why I was always so unhappy. And then my husband asked why I was angry all the time. I hadn’t noticed how my state of mind affected everyone around me. And then I remembered this movie, and found a reason to be glad. Oh, I’m not happy all day. I’m Puerto Rican, after all. But I do find something to be happy about every day.

And that makes all the difference 🙂


Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

Yesterday I was doing some grocery shopping. Kids were complaining of a decided lack of sustenance in the pantry, mainly junkfood. I was complaining of a decided laziness in their bones that prevented them from actually cooking what was available. But I was running very low on coffee and creamer and decided my needs outweighed my crankiness, so off I went to Walmart. Why there? because I didn’t feel like putting on make-up, ok??

Anyway, I got some general school supplies, some new anti-wrinkle cream, just random crap. Eventually I make it to the coffee aisle, whereupon I begin to make my selections: Donut House coffee and some hazelnut cappuccino for Eldest. Standing in front of the vast selection of K-cup coffee is an older couple, looking a bit dazed and confused. Having been in a similar circumstance when I first got my Keurig™, I decided to offer any help in picking out coffee. I’m not a connoisseur by any means, but I figured I knew a bit more than they did. I asked them if they needed any help, and the gentleman turned to me to thank me and asked me for advice.

That’s when I noticed his cap. He was a Marine, and had served in WWII and Korea. He was a little stooped, but when I asked him about his service he stood a little more straight as he spoke of his time in the Marines. He never spoke of the gore and the violence, though. He talked about the field, and his friends, and how even now he sometimes put coffee grinds between his gum and cheek so he wouldn’t wake his wife by using the coffeemaker. He talked about how the only fights he had were over who got the first cup of joe before patrol (first one done, was first one out on patrol). Coffee, he said, kept him sane and kept his world going. As I shook his hand to wish him well, he noticed my Aggie ring. He asked what class I was, and then proceeded to tell me of the Aggies he knew from his time in service: the Aggie who rescued cattle at the expense of a truck’s tires; the Aggie who made pigeon stew; the Aggie who sang before battle. He told me that every Aggie he knew was made from something he could never define, but that was easily recognizable. I told him I felt the same way about my Marine friends. He laughed and told me I was probably right. As I thanked him for his service, he asked me to thank my husband for his. When I asked him how he knew my husband was in the service, he pointed to my purse: Hubby’s Purple Heart, which I always carry with me, was sticking out. I laughed and thanked them both for a lovely time spent in the coffee aisle. They waved and wished me a good day.

In truth the medal could have been my dad’s or my brother’s or mine. But he is a gentleman of another era who learned that only men go into combat. His memories will soon leave us without record but that of what he chooses to leave behind. In that moment, I felt very small. I had been in the presence of greatness by virtue of history. I pray his story is told for a long time, and that children learn good things from it, like the reason those men fought over a cup of coffee.


I’m Not Old Enough For This

I am a bit freaked out today. Today marks a turning point in my life, and as much as I wished to be ready for it, I don’t think I am. No, nothing bad has happened. Everyone is in good health and accounted for. Also, I have my vehicle back so I am once again mobile, as in mom taxi. No, I am simply overwhelmed by the fact that today is my Eldest’s 19th birthday.

woman crying

WHAT HAPPENED????

It was just a while ago that she was catching lizards and geckos outside. Wait, that was literally two or three days ago. But I still remember her coming to me and asking for a pony tail, and picking out her “on”*. I still remember her asking for her sippy cup. I remember going Easter egg hunting and finding ladybugs to catch instead. I remember her crawling into bed with us when she heard thunder. Now she runs outside to take photographs of rain clouds and lightning. It wasn’t too long ago that she was asking for my help in shopping. Now she drives herself and gets whatever she needs.

*sobbing uncontrollably*

I’m not old enough for this. She was the first to make me a mother, and the first to make her way into the world. Her path to adulthood has not been without mistakes, but she has learned from those pitfalls and in that she has shown a maturity that is beyond her years. My baby is growing up, and all I can do is kick her out of the nest encourage her to fly.

I’m not old enough for this. But I do have to accept it. I take comfort in the fact that I will always be her momma. She may think I am a fuddy duddy and don’t know what I’m talking about right now, but just wait. She will face up to my wisdom soon enough 😉

*An “on” is a pony tail holder or hair clip. When they were little, I would hold one up to the girls and ask, “Do you want this on?” They understood “on” to be the name of the item. And they do call them by that to this day 🙂


And on This Day, We Celebrate

Let’s remember what our forefathers were fighting, against and for.

god bless america

It seems that lately we are forgetting to bless what we have. We have forgotten why we fought for independence. We have forgotten to be not just a beacon but also an example to others who are struggling to be free. Instead we find ourselves wondering what the government will do for us now, and how it will take care of us.

We need to remember that WE are the stewards, not the government. WE THE PEOPLE. We need to begin taking care of ourselves again. Remember: that which gives you everything, can also take it away.

The Tree of Liberty seems to be wilting, and it may be time to water it again.


Family Reunion, Binding Since 1809

No, not since 1809. I’m pretty sure the reunions began in the 20th century. Still, Hubby’s family has hosted a reunion since well before I joined it, so it has that going for it. I think. Anyway, this past weekend was especially fun, since my sister-in-law came down for a visit and attended it as well.

family reunion

It was fun, but also very bittersweet. The group was smaller, and some were older, and others gone on. Remembering them was especially hard for some of us that had not attended the reunion in the past few years, but it was also a chance to make resolutions to not let time go by and try to keep in touch with extended family. It was also a chance to learn new things.

The EPA has only 200 armed agents in its Criminal Division.

Play-Doh™ colors fade after a few months.

One is never too old for Play-Doh™.

Lemon pound cake is the equivalent of crack.

First dibs is totally legal.

Memories become sweeter with time.

But most important, Time never stops for anyone. I still live with the regret of waiting to connect with someone because “there’s always next year”. Yes, next year is sure to come, but one isn’t guaranteed the chance. Don’t wait to do tomorrow what you can do today.

Unless it’s the dishes. There’s paper plates for that 🙂


It Seems to Be One of “Those” Days

We all have them. The day when nothing goes right, when everything you try to do seems to fail, when nothing you do is “good enough”. I and a few of my friends are having a rough day, feeling a bit down due to circumstances beyond apparent control. It’s on days like these that I bring out the heavy artillery.

cooler pup

Some of us are feeling the pain of loss, others are feeling ineffective, and perhaps some feel like they have failed in some way. Today is a bit rough for me, recalling the loss of people from long ago and from just this week. But memories always help to ease my heart. Even bad memories have their silver linings. I know that we can get bogged down on the bad. For me, the trick is to make fun of the bad, even if I just flip my finger and just say FIDO! Seems childish, but it works for me, very well and often!

Never forget, my friends: things can always be worse. And always remember, I’m just a social site and a few streets away 🙂


One Small Blessing

Sometimes we get so entrenched in Life that we forget to live and appreciate it.

Last week someone decided to remind me. I received a postcard. It was unsigned with only a simple message:

Just a note to let you know someone is thinking of you ♥

That made me tear up. No, not because I thought it was a stalker warning me. That I can handle. I was overwhelmed that someone would take the time to do that for me. The last time I received an anonymous note like this was in seventh grade, after the Valentine’s Day “secret admirer” carnations had been handed out in class, and I was the only one to not receive any. I’m pretty sure that note came from my Earth Science teacher. Just as in seventh grade, the postcard was a lovely gesture and a comforting one. I can only hope to repay the kindness shown to me soon. But for now, I can only do this.

thank you smiley face

To whoever sent me the postcard, I will keep it always. It will remind me about my blessings, and also to pass that on to others 🙂


On Muster

Today is the 178th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, marking the birth of the Republic of Texas. Normally my post on this day is all about that. But this anniversary has a special meaning today. It is also the day of Aggie Muster. On this day, we come together to celebrate those Aggies who have passed away during the year.

aggie muster

Tonight, we shall be honoring my brother-in-law, known to the blog as LC Draco. We will get together and remember our times at Aggieland, and toast his memory as Aggies do. And during the Roll Call of the Absent, we shall answer, “HERE!!”

Roll Call for the Absent

In many lands and climes this April day
Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.
Our loyalty to country, school, we pray,
and seal our pact with bond of common might.

We live again those happy days of yore
on campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drill
Fond memory brings a sigh — but nothing more;
Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill,

On Corregidor 72 years ago today
A band of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,
Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:
The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar.

Before we part and go upon our way,
We pause to honor those we knew so well;
The old familiar faces we miss so much today
Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.

Softly call the Muster,
Let comrade answer, “Here!”
Their spirits hover ‘round us
As if to bring us cheer!

Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.
We’ll meet some other day
There is no death, but life etern
For our old friends such as they!

Until then, Draco! WHOOP!!


Happy Easter!!

god so loved the world

He is risen!! Hallelujah!!

May y’all have a wonderful day 🙂