Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why do it?

I was a blog stalker long before I became a blog writer. It took me a while to actually get up enough nerve to start my own blog. It just seemed so personal, so raw, so...out there.

The only blog Tony ever read before mine was written by The Fat Cyclist. It's a delightfully witty blog all about cycling. What's not to love right? An entire blog dedicated to cycling....re-capping epic rides, rating the latest equipment, the best tasting recovery drink, a new found trail, etc. etc. It was easy to see why he was smitten.

So when I started my blog, Tony kept telling me that it wasn't very funny. After all, he was used to Fatty's charm. And frankly, I didn't care. Well, that's not exactly true. Of course I care what he thinks. His opinion matters to me more than anyones'. But in my heart, I felt strongly about the purpose of my blog, and I still do.

There are many reasons for blogging. Some people use it as a sort of scrapbook, some use it as a connection to the outside world; to some it's just the trendy thing to do. It really doesn't matter. But for me, my blog is really just for me. Sure I enjoy connecting with others; I read each little comment, I delight in sharing my world with my friends. But writing my posts has always been more about recording my thoughts and emotions rather than entertaining the masses. I just seem to have so many thoughts rolling around in my brain that writing them out often seems to quiet things down.

That's not to say that all of my posts are profound or even well written. Simply, I want a record of this period of my life. I want to remember certain moments and feelings. I wish I were more prolific in my writing, more consistent. I wish my blog were more complete. My life is filled with abundance and yet, I can't always find the words to express how infinitely blessed I feel. But that's okay. I'll just keep plugging along, writing when the mood strikes me, and remembering my purpose. I am accountable only to myself.

That being said, I have a renewed commitment to document the small and simple things. On several occassions during the past few weeks, my friend Tami has told me how grateful she is that she started a blog. Because of her blog she has taken countless pictures of her baby Joy. Capturing forever her silliness, her messiness, her beauty. What treasures those pictures are now that Joy is gone.

Many of my blogging friends took the challenge this year to post a picture a day. Knowing my personality all too well, and knowing how much I loathed a daily commitment of anything, I quickly dismissed all invitations to jump on the bandwagon.

I have been forever changed by this tragedy in Tami's life, and while I wish there were an alternate ending, I am most grateful for the lessons and feelings I have garnered while at her side. I can't promise a daily post. But this I know for sure: I'm leaving my camera out; ready and waiting to capture small moments, inane images of my family, my life's work.

Enjoy it here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No Regrets

A year ago today, I learned that my dad had Stage IV cancer and was terminally ill. I don't know if I can adequately articulate just how difficult this past year has been. The illness in and of itself is barbaric. The pain, more excrutiating and overwhelming than I could have ever imagined...physically for him, emotionally for me.

Aside from the insidiousness that is cancer, I have found myself having to endure some of the most painful and awkward situations imagineable. Due to the choices my dad has made for his life, I have had to dig deep, finding forgiveness and uncommon courage along the way. I have had to bite my tongue, put on a happy face, swallow my pride and really be in the moment...all for my dad.

There have been days, weeks even, where my life seems somewhat normal. Stressful, yes. But manageable. And then, I hit the wall. As I did this week. I watch as the cancer seeps into his bones and invades his vital organs. The grief washes over me as I wonder if this is the beginning of the end.

I have started a small laundry list of the simple, often inane things I will miss about him. Through my tears I recommit to repair my relationship with him; hoping for the blessed peace which will surely accompany the reconciliation.

I often think of Baby Joy and the words her brave father spoke at her funeral. He said he had no regrets, that as far as Joy was concerned, his conscious was clear. He had done right by her. Oh that I should be so lucky.

Perhaps time is the only blessing of cancer. Quiet moments between diagnosis and death; moments spent remembering, communicating, healing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lil Ski Stud

video

Cole is really starting to become a pretty skier. I am beginning to see a few moves that remind me of his daddy. Must be in the Parkinson genes.

video

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Music to My Ears

This morning, Miles started to whine just as we were getting ready for family prayer. I hurried down the hall to change his poopy diaper while Tony gathered Cole and Rachel in the family room.

Quietly I tiptoed back into the kitchen so as to not disrupt the prayer in progress. As if on cue, Cole began to pray for me.

"Thank you that mom can stay home with us. Please bless her that she will have the strength and energy she needs to take care of our family. Please bless her to have patience with Miles when he is a pain. And Heavenly Father, please bless Miles to sleep through the night."

Just a few simple phrases uttered in quiet prayer, gentle pleas with the Father to watch over me. My spirit was immediately buoyed by this kind consideration from my 11 year old. My work here matters. My family is mindful of me.

And then I wondered, do my children feel this same strength when they hear me pray for them? This quiet moment this morning brought clarity and an assurance that indeed my prayers are significant, and offer my children a unique sense of comfort and support. In all of the hustle and bustle of the morning rush, the pancake turning and lunch packing, I realize that the best thing I can do for my children each day is to humbly supplicate my Father on their behalf.

Friday, February 1, 2008