Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This picture just summed it all up for me perfectly. Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the way you feel. Most times...this is the way Joy feels for me...sometimes it just sneaks up on you in the most unexpected places or times. Being aware enough to spot it...even though it may not be as beautiful or awe-inspiring as you had hoped..that's what I'm learning to do.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Wow time flies when you're traveling a ton! I can not believe it has been nearly two weeks since I last posted anything! So geesh we've done lots of moving since I last wrote...we camped in Key West for a couple of nights picture at left. I have only camped with Aiden NEVER with Koen and NEVER alone...so to say I was worried is a HUGE understatement. In true Aiden and Koen fashion they exceeded my expectations as they love LOVED camping. No issues, any potential crisis I had anticipated were averted. PHEW. It was great to enjoy the sites of beautiful Key West. Somewhat bitter sweet as Katie and I took our Honeymoon here over 5 years ago. It was more bizarre than painful for me to be there in this fashion and I don't know if I can clearly explain it. I think maybe I was just stunned to be back here knowing the dreams we had once spoken about in these places had only partially come true. It allowed me some interesting reflection and at times made angry but Key West is so beautiful and wildly creative I found the anger dissipate as I walked about. Interesting for me to say the least.
We then moved on to Miami, but before that stopped by the everglades which was a fascinating thing to see. The wildlife in this part of the country is just spectacular and vast. Most interesting for the boys and me were all the alligators roaming about...even some right on the trail less than a foot away. Nothing like seeing wildlife thrive in it's natural environment...what a pleasure.
While on this trip I've resounded to stretch myself in many different ways. I desire to meet people of all walks of life who really know how to live...just really get it...more importantly for me, people who have found themselves faced with adverse situations and really risen above. I was blessed to be able to stay with a family who are friends with my friend Robert. I have never spoken to them before (which was a stretch for me), but after having stayed with them for just 24 hours I left feeling SO enriched I learned so much being in their midst. This family has a 12 year old son who is autistic, he does not speak but he does not need to...to be in his presence was spectacular. I loved watching my children interact with him to learn about something different and embrace it instead of fear it. I myself just watched him and learned... joy literally pouring out of him, when he was happy you knew...leaping in a beautiful way, yelling out with no pretense of what is the appropriate volume he was the epitomy of someone who is real, transparent, and vulnerable. More impressive are his parents, there just are not words that can describe people of this calibre. They are huge advocates for autism, speaking at conferences helping others come to grips and embrace this life. They embrace, love and learn from their son in incredible ways. I think what I will remember the most is a conversation we had where I was speaking of how much I struggled with strangers staring at Katie as she was frail and broken physically. I often found myself trying to catch the eye of every person that walked by so they would know I was watching them...in my mind it prevented them from looking at her, it was my way to protect her, but it was maddening for me. I was telling this story to someone who is all too familiar with the glances of wonder from strangers everywhere she goes. Her response was, I am so lucky and blessed that everyday, everywhere I go I get to see people (if even for 30 seconds) remember how fortunate they are with what they have in life. She was so blessed by the stares of strangers and I found my own perspective shift. Geesh...I could go on and on for hours about the amazing attitude of this family I just have to say I was changed and blessed to have crossed paths with such quality people. If everyone in the world had this type of outlook we could move mountains!
So the great adventure moved forward, I was lucky enough to spend a day with an old co-worker and his beautiful family in Coral Springs, it was great to just sit back as our children entertained one another...I needed that break from the craziness of parenting. We then pressed on to St. Petersburg where we spent a couple of days with my friends Stuart and Troy. I must say if my boys turn out to be even 1/2 as loving and compassionate as these two I will have done something right by the world...it was great to spend time together and really get to know one another better. It seems each place we go I just fall in love with everyone we stay with more and more. I am just amazed by the kindness, the hospitality, the love that people shower on us. It is amazing, I am grateful beyond words. FINALLY we've spent the last couple of days in Panama City Beach just relaxing and enjoying the sights. We will leave Florida tomorrow morning en route to New Orleans. I am excited to move on to places of this great country I have never laid eyes on before. Good things to come, we continually grow as we challenge ourselves on this journey.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I love the word becoming, I always have....I'm thinking maybe I should get this word tattood somewhere on my person...(sorry mom). Isn't it funny that this word has THESE two meanings... 1. To change and grow and 2. To be pleasing in appearance...I don't think it is a coincidence at all that this word has both of these meanings behind it...because if in fact we are living a life that grows us and is not stagnant...be it hard to be stretched in certain ways or not...that alone is beautiful..and we will only be MORE beautiful for having "becomed" (I know that's not a real word but it is true right?). I am becoming more and more everyday and if I am not I need to figure out how to change more to make it so.
I have all sorts of thoughts this evening..and I'll try not to be all over the board..(with heavy emphasis on TRY)..so I'm just going to spat out my thoughts..and you can pick and choose what makes sense...and then maybe you can try to help me make sense of it. I certainly feel like I am on a path of "becoming"...this trip has been great...PRECISELY, exactly, absolutely what my little broken spirit needed. I love the adventures we've been having, I love that there is NOTHING we HAVE to do on any given day, I call the shots as to our daily activities. I especially love not having the drama's of everyday life that frustrate and stunt us, and I guess what I mean by that..is when you have SO much change in life, on a very regular basis, there is no time to be wrapped up in the petty spats or insignificant squabbles which seem to sneak in to your life and relationships. Instead I'm lucky enough to be around different people in different environments and pull the lessons that need to be pulled..and then we move on...it is a freedom I can not rightfully explain but I have come to appreciate the feeling.
This leads me to my next thought...who knows what it is about the conversations I have been absolutely blessed to be having these past months...but wowee people sure have opened up and sometimes I feel just blown away by your own RTV-ness with me. Some of you far out reach even my own attempts, I believe, and so I thank you SO incredibly much for being willing to put yourself out there...NOT to mention the overwhelming outpouring of all things related to Katie and how she changed you, made you look at things differently, inspired all the very best in you. It is beyond unfortunate to not have her here anymore, it is a grief and sorrow I will never ever shake, HOWEVER to hear your experiences, the words, the music, the call to action...to see how you manifest your own grief into goodness I truly sometimes do not feel worthy of ALL that I have been privy to these past 6 months...and that is ONLY because people have been so damn RTV and I LOVE IT! SO I've been wondering lately why it is so that we do not live this way on a regular basis...I find myself asking this question REGULARLY: Do those that inspire me and move me, do they know indeed just HOW much I love them and am regularly changed by them? AND IF NOT WHY NOT? Why do we wait for such travesties in life to share our feelings..why did Katie not get this showering of affection when she was walking amongst us? What a shame, and so I have resounded to try to be more honest to those I hold dear...it's hard to do sometimes...I'm becoming (there's that word again) better at it...it is a process indeed...
And then after all of this...after all the great travel experiences, and after I am reminded everyday how fantastically wonderful Katie was I'm a left with such sadness...such a feeling that no one on the planet "gets" me like Katie got me...like we got each other...it is a lonliness I have never known, it is uncertainty like I have never known and so again I am becoming. Trying to sort it all out, where do I belong, because it feels like no place...and so I seek and seek and seek believing at my core that God will make it so painfully obvious if I only remain open and willing to be molded...to which I scream...here I am Lord...make me and mold me because I am open to ANYTHING. Such odd ups and downs right now. I'm not saying I don't like it...it just is uncomfortable this gap...but hey at least we are on the greatest journey to find whatever is to be...and for this I KNOW CERTAINLY that I am blessed abundantly to have this opportunity... so I go from there and have hope the next chapter will be revealed when the time is right.