Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

A Holiday Season for the Birds

“We missed you at the dinner,” my mother said.

“I missed being there,” I replied, sincerely.

We let the sadness sit in silence for a moment.

I’ve missed so many important occasions over the past decade.

Family reunions, weddings, birthdays, baby showers and this year, our Christmas gathering, have all happened without me.

Mother always tells me who showed up and gives me bits of updates on my loved ones.  Loved ones I’ve lost contact with, except through photos or indirect stories.

I’m trying not to let things get me down this holiday season, but so far, it is a huge challenge.

Not only am I in more pain from fibromyalgia and a few new ailments too, my son and I are not getting along.  It’s a double dose of holiday grief!

While talking with Mother about the Christmas gathering that I wasn’t able to attend, I immediately felt my heart-strings pull.  My efforts to be positive seemed to pay off because right away I decided to try and take joy in her account of the gathering.  I was surprised when soon I was smiling, as I imagined one of my great nieces bringing one of her cousins five wrapped presents.

“I don’t know if she got the other ones anything, but she sure had five,” Mother said, with that pure joy a Great-Grandmother has.  “She had every one of them wrapped too,” she added with a little laugh.

After a few minutes into the conversation, I walked to the window where I could see a flock of Robins in the yard. They love the grassy lawn where I live and they are spectacular to see!  They always seem to come when the light shows their silhouettes under the Sycamore tree.  Many of them move toward my door, and I get to see them up close and personal as they lean in towards the ground, turning their heads slightly, listening for earthworms.

Robin listening for worms

The Robin Listens

“Hey Mother!  The Robins are here!”

I’ve told her about the Robins before.

Amidst the flock were other birds about the same size as Robins, but with black with golden stripes.  One or two had iridescent blue heads, so perhaps they were young Common Grackles.

Sometimes, when I mention the birds in my yard over the phone to people, they’re silent for a moment afterward.  I always wonder if they think I’m making up these tales of many birds!

Mother was quiet for a moment, but then she remarked that I should, “send a photo to that wildlife magazine.”

I wish I could.  I wish I could, if for no other reason than to make her proud.  She would be happy to see one of my photos in a magazine.

I’m in pain and can’t sit long enough to complete even the most simplest of photo projects.

“Now,” I started telling my bird tales again, “there are Black-capped Chickadees, two or three bluejay, some Orioles, and the Hawk has landed on the ground!”

As if that wasn’t enough, a flock of Cardinals were perched on the bushes by the treeline!

“It’s a winged-oasis out there!” I told Mother.  “It’s so beautiful!”

I didn’t have the energy to go outside to take a photo.  At least, not yet.

I was happy to see the pretty winged visitors, as always, but when I’m feeling unusually blue, I am especially grateful because the beauty and life they bring lifts a part of my spirit every time.

I sensed my mother knew, or somehow, she could feel what I saw.

Mother and I have always had a connection on a level other than this physical one that we can see and understand.

Our talk ended when my son called.  “I hope he’ll stay and have the chocolate croissants with me,” I remarked to Mother.

He’s in the habit of taking food that I cooked to his apartment to eat.  He won’t visit me at home or talk to me much lately.

The hawk was still on the ground when my son arrived.  A neighbor walked by and we each watched the bird for a few minutes.

He was excited over the beautiful pastries and gave me a hug, thanking me for baking them, but he took his croissants and headed back home.  I was disappointed, but at least I knew he would enjoy them and that gave me comfort.

Practicing gratitude helps me get through hard times, even if the feeling only last for a little while.  I need to remember the better times and keep hope alive.

I’m glad for the ability to enjoy the natural world around me.  The wild ones keep coming back, so I have plenty of chances to take in nature’s beauty!

The hawk was still in the yard when my son left, but was perched on the electric wires.

I reached for my Canon!

The Red-shouldered hawk and that streak of beautiful Carolina sky!

Getting closer to the red-shouldered hawk

“How close are you going to get?”

Red-shouldered hawk perched on wire in backyard

“That’s Close Enough.”

Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses.

Peace and Happy Holidays!

Your blogger, Michelle.

Thank You, Tiny.

Returning to Nature

Taking Comfort in our Great Mother

Before you go, I want to tell you how grateful I am to have known you.  I want to say thank you, my four-legged friend.

Thank you for being such a dear loyal friend to my son.  Thank you for communicating with me during times when he, and you, needed me.  Thank you for loving him.

Thank you for your tremendous patience.  You’ve lived a life of many stories, my dear friend, and I will never forget them.  I will never forget you.

I will however remember the fun times, because my girl Free, who lives where you are going, taught me this is the best way to let a beloved Dog go to, “The place that’s the best,” with, “The Spirits in the Sky.”

Thank you for loving my son, especially when he wasn’t well.  Thank you for always thinking of him, letting him know you loved him, no matter how far away you were from each other.  Thank you so much!

Thank you for making people laugh with your playful antics.  Thank you for sticking by us through thick and thin.  Truly, you have, and I am in tremendous gratitude.

Thank you for never biting anyone.  You scared me a few times, but it is best that you didn’t act on your instincts, even though they were correct and the people may have indeed deserved a nip, or two.

Tiny, thank you for loving me.  I wasn’t sure if you would like living with me, but you did,  I could always tell. 

I know you feel closest to my son and I love you for that, but when he wasn’t here, I always felt proud that you followed me around, watched out for me and slept at the end of my feet.  You were such a great little, “Foot-Feller.”

Tiny, I will always love you.  Always.  You will live in my heart because there is a place in it shaped exactly like you.

I’d also like to say thank you for loving my girl.  She was afraid of so much when she first left that stinky shelter and came to live with me.  She sure wasn’t scared of you! 

I’ll never forget what it looked like to see two dogs fall crazy in-love with each other.  I did and it was beautiful.  My new girl’s eyes widened big and her mouth literally dropped open when you walked in our door.  She was stunned!  It was so funny.  I could see the love she felt for you!  It was amazing.

Thank you for always treating her like a Princess.  She thinks she is one now, I guess.

She sure has been a good nurse hasn’t she?  Boy, I’ll have to do something really special for her, like take her for a walk where she can pretend she’s hunting squirrels.

She will miss you Tiny.  We all will.  I will give her lots of hugs and extra love.

I promise, per your only request of me during the past few months, to be here for your true Master.  He is my son and you know I love him with all my heart and soul.  I’m honored that you asked and very grateful that I heard.

I will do the best I can to keep my head up.  I know I got pretty sad when the Vet told me you had cancer.  I did and I have cried a lot, but I promise I’ll be okay.  I may cry for a while, but you know me Tiny.  I do cry.

I will help your best friend get another four-legged companion when the time is right.  I promise.

Thank you, Tiny.  You are the most amazing boy dog I have ever known and loved.  You are my grand-dog!  Thank you for being my friend and sweet foot-feller.

I could say a lot more.  I could.  I could thank you for all the times you’ve been there for us, but I must stop writing.  I want to come lie down beside you.  I guess, it is our last night together.

We will go to the Vet tomorrow.  We will go.

Thank You, Tiny.

We Love You Forever!

Photos of Tiny in this post.

Versatile Blogger Award ~ A call to write

From Michelle's Dogkisses's Blog, Thank You!

Thank you my fellow bloggers, Lynda R. CookSue Dreamwalker from Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary and Paul Handover at Learning from Dogs, for nominating Dogkisses’s blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

An Update on 12/29/11:  My genuine thanks goes to Deb, from Dorky Deb’s Blog, for also having nominated me for this blog.

I love awards!  I haven’t been the most attentive blogger over the past six months, so I really appreciate that folks remembered my blog.  With that said, I felt a call to write this post.  Thanks for the inspiration!

Now.  The Rules as listed on the recently created VBA blog.

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

The blogs I am nominating for The Versatile Blogging Award are as follows:

Ash, from her blog, Wolfdreams (http://wolfdreams.wordpress.com/)  A true mountain woman, terrific writer and, strong survivor!

John Hayden at Dispatches from Consternation (http://lifeaftersixty.wordpress.com/)  John is a former newsman, blogging about politics, living simple and frugality.  I love his blog!

Leslie Sigal Javorek from IconDoIt  (http://icondoit.wordpress.com/)  If you’ve ever visited my blog before, then you may know that I absolutely love Leslie’s icons.  Much more than her awesome icons and art, Leslie is a survivor, determined not until she is ready and, a talented writer.  Go see!

Planet Jan (http://planetjan.wordpress.com/)   A blog by a witty and predictably funny teacher.

Barbara from My life, His Addiction (http://parentofheroinaddict.blogspot.com/)  A strong woman and Mother writing about the experience of her son’s addiction to heroin.  Moving and real.

Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia by Rossa Forbes (http://holisticschizophrenia.blogspot.com/)  This blog speaks for itself, but is very well written and resourceful. 

Dorky Deb who is not dorky at all, but a true blogger with 100% of heart and soul! (I’m pretty sure Deb has received this award, which exempts her from another round of acceptance, but wanted to nominate her anyway, because I enjoy her blog and photography).

Pamela Spiro Wagner from Wagblog, (http://wagblog.wordpress.com/)  Pam is an author, artist and survivor.  She writes an amazing blog about life with schizophrenia/bipolar illness.  Take a tour “through Vision Therapy and narcolepsy, Global Warming and just about anything else that interests me as well!”

Rosemary from Seeking Equilibrium (http://rosemaryl.blogspot.com/)  A professional well researched and written blog about living with pain from fibromyalgia.  A long-standing favorite blog of mine!

Dominique at 4Walls and AView  An Airforce Vet, author and “prolific blogger” writing about living with ME and FMS.  Dominique has a strong spirit and clear writing voice.  Her blog inspires me for several reasons, but you’ll have to visit to see why.

Amanda McMillen at (Insert Something Witty) (http://mcmillenwrites.wordpress.com/)  I recently discovered this blog via a comment.  In her words, “Schizophrenic, writer, mother, and sometimes inspired to greatness,” I look forward to reading more of Amanda’s posts.

Forgive me for only nominating 11 bloggers for this award, but I promise, the ones I chose are interesting and definitely worth your time to visit. 

More Rules ;)…  I’m required to tell you seven things about myself.

1.  I love fine chocolate.

2.  I’m a country girl in my heart.

3.  Clogging was a required class for fifth graders where I went to middle school.

4.  I take on the burdens of the world, but I don’t like being blamed for what is either not my  fault or out of my control.

5.  I love blogging and when I can’t, it makes me a little sad.

6.  If I am ever a bride again, I want a wedding dress very much like this one! (The bride in red. Open photo to view larger image and see how pretty!)

7.  I love dogs as much as I do people.

In Gratitude, with wishes that everyone is blessed with love, peace and joy!

Michelle, keeper of Dogkisses’s blog.

Thank you for the Prayers

Healing and HummingbirdIMAGE CREDIT:  Sarjana’s Medicine Wheel via Flickr

I would like to express my deepest gratitude for each prayer spoken, good thought and healing wishes for my son and I, along with the great amount of support many people have offered since my earlier post.

The days have been long and demanded my attention or I would have posted an earlier update.

My son is continuing to receive inpatient medical care.  His symptoms have lessened to some degree.  I am grateful for this, even though I understand that he’d rather not be in a hospital.  I wish he didn’t have to be in one, however,  I must have hope that his medical team will offer new choices and opportunities for his recovery in the community.

I’ve strayed from writing much about my son or his illness in my blog, mostly because I began to feel that I was crossing an invisible line of loyalty.   I don’t want to infringe upon his privacy nor betray his trust and the latter feels rather compromised.

I would most likely feel easier about sharing my concerns or feelings and his progress if his diagnosis was a more accepted, less stigmatized and certainly, a better understood illness or condition.

One thing I want to share is that after I asked for prayers, there has been an experience of Grace, even if fleeting or intermittent. 

Grace is the moments when peace has flooded my heart and the nights when sleep came after my mind had gone round and round, thinking of all that is out of my control.

Grace is also the moments I’ve had with my son when I had more to offer than anxiety, worry or sadness.

My son and I used to meditate together when he was a child.  He knows what I speak of when I talk about an inner peace.  He used to call our meditations going to his happy place. 

He didn’t feel like doing a meditation together during a recent visit when I suggested it, but he called me afterwards to tell me he’d like to try the next time he sees me.

I believe the moments of Grace came from your prayers and healing wishes, along with a willingness I have also felt, to be open and receive them.

Again, I am most grateful for your generous support. 

Thank you!

Michelle.

“Keep quiet, undisturbed, and the wisdom and the power will come on their own….. Abandon all desires, keep your mind silent and you shall discover….. Desirelessness is the highest bliss.”
~I Am That Nisargadatta Maharaj

As always, thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s Blog.