october 1, 2017

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“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

birthday boy

 

Today was an especially important day. Today, our Hero turned 79 years old. We learned just how bad his heart condition was after his heart attack last year. That, coupled with other significant maladies, pretty much ensured he had very limited time. I can’t tell you how pleasantly surprised, and overwhelmingly grateful, I am that he lived to see this birthday. Make no mistake about it. Shorty Terry is one of the toughest men you will ever meet. Not only has he outlived expectations, he is maintaining his health pretty doggone well, all things considered. 

 

best friends and brothers-in-law

 

Losing Uncle Greg yesterday was not just devastating to the family, it was concerning for our Hero because of his own fragile health; because losing Greg, not two years his junior, drove home his own impending departure; and because he loved and respected Greg deeply. He is heartbroken. In light of Greg’s passing, mom and I had planned to hold off on birthday festivities, that was, until Lois called this morning. God bless her for always going the extra mile for her family. By 10am she had rallied the sisters and the local cousins (she would have rallied the brothers if they lived closer) for a birthday celebration in the sun. It was exactly what we all needed, and it was especially important for our heartbroken Hero. He finally had the birthday party he’d always wanted, and it took the sting out of losing his beloved brother. Once again, today proved that no matter how heartbroken you may be, there is always something to be grateful for. My plate remains overflowing with gratitude. 

 

bonds (not pictured is Aaron Watkins)

february 10, 2016

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“One tree can start a forest; One smile can begin a friendship; One hand can lift a soul; One word can frame a goal; One candle can wipe out darkness; One laugh can conquer gloom; One hope can raise our spirits; One touch can show you care; One life can make a difference, Be that one today.” ~ BJ Gallagher

 

The oldest generation
The oldest generation (Uncle Danny not pictured)

 

The family reconvened for dinner after my uncle Roger’s funeral Saturday before last. My Aunt Charlene, broken hearted as she was, really wanted photos of everyone there. I’ve been steadily working my way through them. Just over a week after we buried Roger, my youngest uncle, James (seated on the right), was hospitalized after a series of strokes. He’s been battling cancer for several years, and it seems the treatments have taken their toll. Dad received a less-than-stellar doctor’s report just days before James took a turn. It’s been a hard winter for The Terry Family so far.

 

the nieces
the nieces

 

Despite it all, I remain ever hopeful. Things will work out as they should, whether we accept it (at first) or not. In the meantime, I have decided to observe Lent which I have never done before. My Grandmother Adams observed Lent every year in her quiet ways. She would often fast during the days, or for a few days at a time, or give up favorite foods for the full 40 days. I never gave it much thought as a personal practice until recently. Over the course of the last several weeks, as illness and death have befallen not just my family but so many others close to me, I am reminded that there are things I can do to draw closer to, and understand more about, what is most meaningful in this life. I figure observing Lent is one practice that could help me in this endeavor. So, on this Ash Wednesday, I have decided to give up sugar for the next 40 days. It will be harder than it sounds considering the American diet (my diet especially), but I will try. And when I feel the urge to eat ice cream I will think of all my family whom I love beyond words. Along the way I might even lose a pound or ten. My body is bound to thank me for that.

 

the nephews
the nephews

november 1, 2015

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“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen

 

collage of happy
collage of happy

 

I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.

december 7, 2013

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Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

~ William Jennings Bryan

growing the new
growing the new

I met someone very important today. It wasn’t an ice covered Nandina, but it’s pretty, isn’t it? Let me back up. Last Saturday I spent five hours clearing the fence of my neighbor’s unwieldy growth. Of course it made me sore, but it got worse as the week went along. By Wednesday I was moving like an old woman, so Doug Boyd recommended massage therapist Jennifer Ernst. She couldn’t see me until today. She was totally worth the wait. The problem might not be my back, but my guts not adjusting to my missing gallbladder. After an hour and a half of intense therapy, my guts felt better than they’ve felt since before I had the surgery, and incidentally, so does my back. It’s this kind of attuned therapist that’s incredibly hard to find. I suspect Jennifer is good in part because of her spiritual acumen. We had an incredibly fulfilling conversation, not just about physical wellness, but spiritual alignment as well. Too few understand how connected the two are.

family
family

As if my day couldn’t get any better, it was cousin Saturday. We usually do breakfast, but for the holiday we chose to exchange gifts and do appetizers. I came away with a full belly, loads of laughs, and this beautiful picture (thanks Zoe!). I even played a little drums for fun. Yes, this was a very important day, and one I am incredibly thankful for.