Saturday, April 28, 2012

Into the West (Annie Lennox & Howard Shore)

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You’ve come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don't say: «We have come now to the end»
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

And all will turn 
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass 
Into the West

Friday, April 27, 2012

8 years.

It has been 8 years since my dear friend Madeleine Grace Paterson-Watt died of cancer. I think of her every day and I will especially tomorrow, April 28th.

I will be traveling to Applegate, CA this weekend for a silent retreat, and tomorrow we are planning to spend the day at Yosemite. I can't imagine a better way to celebrate and remember her life than to be part of God's amazing creation she so loved. I will leave a crane or two behind for her as I did last year.

cranes at the altar at St. Ed's 4/28/11
Madi was a sister to me, and her family is still my family. I think of her and celebrate her life every day.

one of my favorite photos of madi
i love you, my one and only madi <3

The Story of the Flip Flop Necklace

Madeleine joined the angels 8 years ago. She is remembered still as one of the best friends I've ever had.

During the year she was sick, I sent her a card about once a week, to encourage her and remind her I was thinking about her. It was a very small gesture, but it made me feel like I was doing something, since I was so far away and couldn't do much.

The first card I found read something to the effect of "if nothing else makes you feel better, at least you can always buy shoes." It was cute, funny and somewhat relevant... The next time I went to buy a card I found one that said something like: "if you wear boots, you'll look good and be able to kick your problems really hard." And that is how Madi's shoe cards came about. I just thought it would be fun if every card had shoes on them. Why shoes? I was 14 and obsessed with shoes (full disclosure, I still am) and I guess that's why? All I know is that from then on, I bought every card that shoes on them, regardless of the message, so I could send them to Madi. I stocked up, and then once a week, I would cross out "happy birthday" or "happy graduation", etc. and write a short letter. They were the most random musings of my 14 year old mind, things I would tell my dear best friend. And always included how much I loved her, missed her, and hoped she would get better soon.

April 28, 2004, Madi departed this life. And I will never look at a card with a shoe on it without thinking of her.

I don't remember exactly how I came across them, but I found these flip flop necklaces that had ribbons on them for different diseases and kinds of cancer. A gold ribbon is for childhood cancer awareness. When I saw that necklace, I knew I wanted it so I could hold Madi close to my heart every day.

For years I wore that necklace. All the time, often, then occasionally. As the way sometimes things happen, somehow it got lost while I was in college. I searched my dorm, my house, but no luck. Though I didn't wear it as often anymore, it still was nice to be able to wear a little bit of Madi sometimes. Last April, I decided I wanted to replace it. It had been seven years, and there were no more awareness ribbon flip flop necklaces to be found. But I found a metallic gold flip flop necklace and got that one instead.

the new madi necklace
I think of my one and only madi every day. I wear this necklace often, but especially when I need some strength. She will always be one of the strongest people I've ever known.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of God

Most of you know this already, but my mom has cancer. You can learn the full story, see updates about her and leave her messages at her caringbridge site.

My family has been a bit blindsided by this, and we are scrambling to find our footing. What is saving us right now, is the support of everyone around us. There has been such an extreme outpouring of love from people I know from every part of my life. Some are people I haven't talked to in years. And I am reminded just how incredibly blessed I have been in this life.

This is only the beginning of the long, tough journey we have ahead of us. The cancer may be physically in my mother's body, but we are all one body in Christ and I am reminded that we never stand alone. My amazing mother does not stand alone--we have all of you.

Have no doubt, my mama will be dancing at my wedding. And considering I don't have a serious boyfriend right now, this is not anytime soon.

I am struggling right now, my family is struggling right now, but I know we're going to get through this because God is always on our side. And mama is strong, and we are all going to be strong with her.

God is in control.
We've come this far by faith.
God is not through with you yet.
Life is hard. God is good. Let's dance.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Anyway (Mother Teresa)

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, April 16, 2012

since feeling is first (e.e. cummings)

since feeling is first
e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis