Friday, May 13, 2011


What comes to mind when you think of perspective? The dictionary defines perspective as: 

  • the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship; 
  • the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship; and, 
  • a mental view or prospect.
Our perspective can change from year to year, month to month, or day to day.  What we once thought was our perspective about an issue can change as we experience life. 

But enough about all that vague and random chatter about perspective.  I've been thinking a lot over the past 2 months.  I've been thinking about what's most important in my life and what means the most to me.  I've been thinking about all of the "what if's" and "why nots" and other really scary things because friends and family and complete strangers have experienced completely life altering events.  

I've laid awake at night, many times just thinking.  Sometimes admitting how we feel is the most difficult step because it makes us vulnerable.  It leaves us open and unguarded.  But if I can't be honest with myself first, then I can't begin to be honest with the people who mean the most to me, right?  And, I've realized this more-so recently because seemingly healthy people are being diagnosed with terminal cancer - their lives are going to end sooner rather than later and they are YOUNG!! They have kids who need them, they have spouses who love and depend upon them.  I've seen seemingly healthy people (in their 30's) drop dead or killed in accidents.  What was the last thing they said to their loved ones?  Did they get the chance to tell their wives they loved them before heading out for the day?  When was the last time they made time to just be together and listen to one another's hopes, dreams, fears, hesitations, excitements?  There are so many things I'm sure those families hoped to accomplish and experience together, and now they won't have that opportunity.  

Perspective.  Life is short.  Times are difficult.  Trust doesn't come easy but can be broken in an instant and take months, sometimes years to be earned again.  Faith is different for every single person and a journey that is always evolving.  Happiness looks different to me than it does to you.  Sometimes life gets confusing - you have to just stop asking questions and start going with the flow.  Say the difficult things to those you love, especially if you want to move forward with them in some way.  Believe in hope and forgiveness, none of us are perfect.  Find beauty in awkward places.  Embrace - Speak - Listen - Love - Laugh.  

In an instant, it can all be gone.  Life can look black where it once looked white.  

Perspective.  How as your perspective changed recently?  

Thursday, February 10, 2011


...forgive us OUR sins, as we forgive those who sin AGAINST us.....

When was the last time you stopped to consider the meaning behind the Lord's Prayer? How many of us just "say" it out of life-long habit? Today those words brought me to tears and reminded me that they are so much more than words.

Yes, I've sinned. Lord knows I am no where near perfect. And, yes, people have sinned against me. The challenge I hand myself starting today, is learning how to forgive those who wronged me, betrayed my trust, and hurt me beyond comprehension. Gotta start I choose by beginning with 2 people specifically, and pray that I will find a place of forgiveness, and ultimately peace. I can't reach out to one yet, I'm just not there. I have reached out to the other, trying so desperately to understand. Sometimes it starts with listening with an open heart. Painful as that may be. 

But when the pain is so real and the reality so harsh, where does one begin? It's hard to even imagine myself feeling whole again. 

Here's what I do is short and in a SNAP, can change and never be the same. You can wake up one morning to a call telling you your brother has taken his own life. You can receive a call one afternoon telling you your mom (or aunt in my case) has died unexpectedly. You can go into the ER for a headache and come to find out 3 days later you've got Stage 4 Melanoma, and begin the fight of your life. Maybe it's not that significant....maybe you "wake up" one day to realize it's just not about you anymore. Whatever the only takes a.....   ***SNAP***  .....and it's all different, forever.

I know I can't and won't apologize for what I feel I was justified in saying - for what no one else was saying, especially when my "mama-bear" complex surfaced. I also know I'm human and a woman (who is, by genetics, "strong-minded")...and so that means learning to forgive may take a little longer. 

So, I guess, here goes...

A Dream

Have you ever had a dream (or nightmare) that after you woke up, perhaps, you recalled to the most finite detail?  Perhaps it was something so outrageous, you laughed knowing it would never actually happen.  Perhaps it then made you wonder what you might have eaten too close to bed to prompt that?  Or, perhaps, like me, you woke up startled and shaken.

It was mid-morning, I believe, and suddenly I was in one of the pretty sitting areas in the assisted living/nursing home my Aunt Eileen lived in prior to her passing.  

(She passed away probably 7 years ago, just before Christmas.  I'm a little ashamed that I don't remember the exact year, so forgive me please.  Aunt Eileen and I had a very special relationship.  She never married, was always a family person, and faithfully cared for my grandmother and uncle for as long as they lived or she was able.)

Though Aunt Eileen passed away years ago, this dream was in present times.  She looked amazing -- healthy, happy, and energetic.  She gave me the best hug - one I remembered from my childhood.  I'd like to think I always held a very special place in her heart.  We immediately began to "catch up".  She was disappointed the kids weren't with me because she really had wanted to meet Owen, and see how Theo had grown, but mostly wanted to meet Miss Claire Aileen.  

It was then that she took my hand in hers -- and looked at me with such tender eyes.  She said, "Claire, I've been so worried about you.  I hear you crying every night and I've heard your pleas and prayers.  I wish I could make things better for you.  I'd take away every moment of your pain if I could.  I also wish I could talk to Ben.  I wish I could help him see he doesn't need to leave you to be happy."  I tried to explain to her....but she just said, "Oh honey, you don't have to tell me because I've heard it all.  I've been right there, you just didn't feel my presence."  I was crying at that point and she just shook her head and said, "I'm always going to be here for you, even if you can't see me.  Please feel my love and support.  And if I had anything to say about it, that man wouldn't walk away from your marriage.  He'd suck it up and stick it out."  

(Just so you know, that last part is totally something she'd's a Walter thing to be so blunt.  I'm afraid the whole fan-damily has this impecible ability to "tell it like it is.")

That's when I woke up.  I was crying and shaking and wondering what had just happened.  

In the hours that followed, I had some very serious realizations.  Some of them made me angry, some of them just made me cry harder.  But perhaps, mostly, it left me wondering many, many things.  Is my overwhelmed heart, mind, and soul trying to tell me something?  Is God finding a way to speak to me, when perhaps I haven't been able to hear him before now?  What am I supposed to do with all these thoughts, emotions, feelings.....what am I supposed to do with a kind of love that I fear cannot be reciprocated by the one person I desperately wish it would?  

So what do you think?  Do you follow your dreams?  Have you ever had an experience like this?  I'd love to hear what you think.  I know that for me, it was the single most alarming (not necessarily in a bad way) dream I can ever recall having.  

Good night and sweet dreams....