Monday, October 3, 2011

Think ......

Mission San Juan Capistrano
I'm not a fan of chain letters and emails. I rarely, if ever pass them on even (especially) when they threaten me within an inch of my life. While the following was not threatening (but did request I forward the email to at least 10 people) I thought the message was a beautiful one. I'm sure this story has been around the block a time or two but this is the first time I had read it. What a lovely message of gratitude that it carries with it. 

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.' One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her, ‘Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him. Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.' This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.
Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children -Think of someone who desires children but they're barren. Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive ~ Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin and we all answer to one MAKER. And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank GOD you're alive and still around.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Beware: Watch your "Social Media Back"

Social Media can be a great thing. It can also be quite unsettling. It can leave you vulnerable. I don't often talk about my past. Not that it was bad or because I did anything crazy. There are parts of ones life that are raw, unresolved and therefore go unspoken. That is until through the beauty of social media they hit you smack dab in the face.

In high school I met & fell in love with Tom a very smart and handsome young man. I was head over heels crazy in love. Of course, hormones took over and at 18 I gave birth to our daughter. Yes, there was s shotgun wedding. Back in the day that's what we did. Sadly, I wasn't the only girl on the block to wind up in that situation. After a very tumultuous two years, this union which was doomed from the get go, came to a crashing halt. While I'll spare you the details, it took me several years to recover from the heartbreak. It took me 18 years to fall in love again.

That chapter had long been closed until I received several anonymous emails telling me that my first husband had passed away several months earlier. It had been nearly three decades since we had spoken, a lifetime ago. He had moved on with his life and I with mine. I remembered him as a vibrant young man and was sad to learn his life ended. He and my daughter never had a real relationship. It had been over 25 years since he had contacted her. I don't even know if he knew he had two grand children. They were never mentioned or recognized in his obituary. His family never had a relationship with my daughter and never met my grand children. Probably didn't even know they existed. We are all o.k. with that.

Now, for the unsettling part. This week someone named Charlotte (who we don't know) posted her condolences on his legacy guest book. She included a photo of my daughter (which Charlotte used as her avatar) and one of my grand-daughters. She used the photos as if they were hers. She did not mention that the avatar she posted was not her and that the girls had nothing to do with her. Both photos have been cropped & edited from a recent photo that was taken of my entire family for Parade Magazine (including my husband of the past 18 years who raised the kids w/me). It's downright creepy.

I can't imagine why someone who we don't know would do this. It serves no purpose. It could certainly be hurtful to his mom, sisters and son. While they know he had a "First Family" we have long been out of their lives and long forgotten. Chapter closed. I have googled "Charlotte" in Land O' Lakes until my fingers went numb. Surprisingly, "Charlotte" does not exist! Then who? Who would feel compelled to do such a thing? Sometimes, the past should be just that. The past.

While I may never know who "Charlotte" is, I think there is a valuable lesson here. You have got to "Watch you Social Media Back" ... People can steal your likeness and use it for anything. They can "edit" your life to fit theirs.

Here's what "Charlotte" wrote:

September 28, 2011
My thoughts and prayer are with your family today Tom. I've just recently learned of your passing. You possessed a spirit that always gave and seldom asked for return. You continue live on in the heart and soul of your diverse and very large family, your multitude of friends from all walks of life, and in the beautiful children and their children you created. Your life and all which it stood for should never be forgotten. May peace surround us all until we meet again.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 had more ups and downs than a Craftmatic bed at the Bunny Ranch

2010 was a year of highs, lows, heartbreak, obstacles and challenges. It was the best and worst. It was the year I learned what I was made of.

The lessons of 2010

Blessings sometimes come disguised as heartbreak.

It was a year with great loss. It began and ended with the passing of loved ones. My dear friend Renee in January, my father in December. I learned that when someone leaves this earth their memory lives on within you, in your thoughts and in your actions. They are never far away.

Laughter is as important to my well being as the air I breathe.

Facing fear never gets easier. I did things I thought I could never do. We moved the entire family, four generation into one house. That in itself was a challenge. Overcoming being squeamish to care for the physical needs of my father is something I never thought I could do, yet I did. Managing to keep joy and laughter in your life when facing impending death while a challenge is not impossible. My dad inspired me every day. He had so many obstacles to deal with just to get through a day, yet he did it with a smile and gratitude.

Not everyone will like me no matter how much I wish they would.

The disillusion of friendship. I learned that misunderstandings can't always be repaired no matter how much you had hoped they would be.

Forgiveness is imperative to moving forward.

Not to rush to judgement. Some of the best surprises of 2010 were things I would have missed out on if I had never explored beyond my initial impression.

Passion is the lifeblood of creativity.

The labyrinth always leads back to the people you respect and care about.

Love, It's that simple.

All in all, it was a very good year. Looking forward to a great 2011. Happy New Year!

All in all, it was a very good year.