About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In the Moment

Happiness, not in another place, but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.
         Walt Whitman

     There have been moments in life when I have become totally immersed in absorbing the present. These moments don't occur often, but when they do, I become aware that I'm experiencing something above the realm of everyday survival mode - something to be cherished, something intuitive and inspirational that I must surrender to and enjoy. The senses - sight, touch, hearing, smell, and sometimes taste - are involved.  I lose track of time, obligations, and chores. I'm not referring to any kind of Zen moment that is drug-induced, since these moments are based entirely on real situations. Click goes my brain - remember this! Live this moment fully.

     One of these moments occurred on my wedding day, as I stepped out of my parents' front door to go to the church to begin a new life.  It was late June and the air outside crackled with undulating heat waves; the sky had been scrubbed spotless; my gardenia bouquet radiated almost sickening sweetness in the high temperature; the taste of champagne lingered on my tongue from early toasting.  As anxious as I was to get to the church, I clicked on that magical moment.  Its unabated joy lasted throughout the day.

     The two days (sixteen months apart) when our sons were born provided more surrender, not just because the rigors of natural childbirth were over and I was exhausted, but because unfathomable miracles of creation had just occurred. Each squiggly pink body found its place on my chest with closed eyes and perfect little fingers and toes, right down to the fingernails and one shapely bald head.  Salty tears and hungry squawks filled those moments with ineffable joy. Click.  The tears and cooing repeated themselves each time newborn grandchildren mingled their warmth against mine.

     The clicks have occurred more frequently in recent years.  And they've all involved our grandchildren.

     A tired grandchild climbed into my lap on a recliner, turned on her side, and fell asleep.  I pulled the throw over her, nestling her between my breasts.  One of my arms encircled her torso, another landed against her bum.  As she fell asleep, I watched a tendril of strawberry blond hair fly away from her forehead with each whistling exhale and fly back down with each inhale. I leaned my nose deep into the hair against her back and smelled "No More Tangles."  Her torso expanded and contracted with each breath under my arm while my other hand could feel the muscles of her bum so tight from gymnastics that I was envious.  "Cherish and remember this," I told myself. "Don't move."

     Another granddaughter climbed into my lap to talk while her sister's team was playing a game.  Her head leaned back against my shoulder as I repositioned her legs to one side. Bending to kiss her neck, her curls got entangled in my teeth. "Do you think I could paint my room polka dots?" her voice chirped.
     "Maybe just one wall," I said, "if your mom and dad agree."
     "Would you help me move the furniture in my room?"
     "Of course.  We'll make a drawing first.  Now tell me about next year when your sister leaves your school."
     "Oh, I'll miss her!" she said.  "But I'll be fine."

     Reading nighttime stories has always been a welcome ritual.  In the bed she inherited from my parents, a granddaughter squeezed against the wall to make room for me.  A dozen pillows partially submerged her shoulder-length hair. Flip Flop lay on her other side, a stuffed dog with long ears and floppy legs that somehow had survived ten years but like a real dog, was overdue for a bath.
     I pulled blankets and covers over us, as she pushed her pillow onto my shoulder.  Nursery rhymes and fairy tales had transformed
into chapter books telling of mysterious disappearances and mean kids at school.  I'd become a willing listener instead of a reader.  
     "Please slow down!" I requested in a whisper.  "I want to enjoy every minute."
Flip Flop
  The twins, dressed in khakis, button-downs, and long ties with elastic behind their necks, attended their sister's first Holy Communion.  Seated in the third row of the bursting church, one twin sat between his mother and father.  He rose with each hymn and knelt with each prayer. The other grandma and a cousin sat between us. On my other side, the second twin contented himself by coloring superheroes he pulled from a backpack. Aside from the priest's intonations and the organ, the only sound was my wrist cracking, rotating the box of crayons from the cousin on my right to the twin on my left. A pillar blocked my view, so I focused on the music and the crayons.
     The twin between his parents needed a break. While they stood, he stretched out along the pew.  "Hi, grandma," he said, waving to me.

     Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.
             Omar Khayyam