Sunday, March 23, 2014

# 506 - Paying Attention to the Beauty

My long-time readers already know that my 7-year-old niece, Shaye, has a very special place in my heart. My sister was in the middle of her first pregnancy when our mother passed away from breast cancer. Shaye was a precious gift to all of us. That little baby helped us heal from the loss of our mother at only 57 years of age.

My mom is in the wheelchair...this was about four months before
she died. At my sister's wedding.

Life bring us suffering, but we must create our own missions and goals in life, which should include savoring the best things around us, the FREE things. We must treasure and appreciate the parts of life that are bigger than our problems for that is where we find our hope to be restored.

In the year of Shaye's birth, I experienced a year of massive of losing my mom, the next of gaining a special niece, my oldest left for college and soon house was destroyed by Hurricane Ike as my youngest daughter began her Senior Year in high-school and that was followed with a serious medical situation due to a broken neck that would need a double-spine surgery to somewhat repair the damage and then my youngest daughter was in a bad car accident that gave her a serious head injury and a broken back...more of a spinal crush/breakage. So, when someone who has been through a lot tells you to savor the best in life, then it might be good advice because those kind of people have truly learned to embrace tactics to overcome insurmountable difficulties.

Life's challenges can sometimes try to beat you over the head.

My Sissy with her daughter, Shaye, about two years old here.

But, the healing moments in my life have been more powerful than the destructive moments. Even now, those healing moments keep coming. This time of year is a bit difficult because the anniversary of my mom's passing is on March 31st. This is the time of year when I often can't help reflecting on memories that I wish to have lived without, but they are a part of me.

However, my Spring Break visit with Shaye came just in time for us to share joy with one another...and for me to remember the beauty my mother shared with all of us. My mom loved her family more than she loved herself, and I try to pass on a little bit of that kind of powerful love to Shaye.

Shaye getting to be in the barn with the chickens. She LOVES
having chickens in her life and being able to tell her friends about them.

Shaye spent four days of her Spring Break with us in the country. We treasure our time with Shaye. But, another bonus to our regular visits with Shaye has been that she gets a front-seat during our major transition from city life to country life.

In fact, over the past couple of months, her second-grade class has been studying different kinds of lifestyles with environments...comparing city life with suburban life and rural life. She told me that she was very happy to be able to tell the class that she has family who lives in the rural country and has a private road as long has her city street lined with houses. She told them about helping out with the chickens, being able to go on hikes through the woods and that she can really see the stars at night without all the city lights blocking their view.

Shaye is blessed to experience both country life and city life. She is already learning how to appreciate and SAVOR beauty in nature and to value the small "free" things because they really aren't so small.

Most often, the things with a "big" price-tag are the most worthless items in our life. They are great distractions, but we cannot let our value system become screwed up. Today's kids need to be taught these lessons.

And as much as I complain about dirt and mud...I must say that I also love it. I just don't like our vehicles being stuck in it or having it tracked inside our residence, but it sure is fun to play in.

And I am so happy that my Sissy does her best to encourage time with her Aunt, with me. I did the same with my daughters to be close to my sister...we sisters share our love for our children; we make a conscious effort to do the right thing for Shaye, to give her a strong support system, especially since she does not have a maternal grandmother.

Sometimes, when I get sad thinking of how Shaye never met her grandma, I remember the moments when the room would be silent, mom would be lying in her bed, very sick, but she'd lay a hand on Robin's pregnant belly as tears rolled down all of our cheeks. So, in a sense, she did meet Shaye...our mom felt her grandbaby growing strong; she shared a room with her unborn grandchild, and I know the most important connections possible were made during those unforgettable touches.

That baby lay comfortably curled and protected in my sissy's belly as we mourned one of the greatest losses we would personally know...the loss of our mother. So now, I want to jump for joy when I see Shaye growing up and displaying so many traits that my mother had.

I love seeing Shaye in the photo below, she is trying to sweetly coax a chick her direction as I try to contain the joy threatening to burst out of me while listening to Shaye's precious voice, "Come here baby, come to me..." she says to the chick.

I love these moments.

And I can see that the beauty in life can be overwhelming. We need it, but some people refuse to recognize it because they need to stay in their place of unhappiness. However, we need to appreciate the beauty that life provides because it can help blanket the ugliness that is always lurking. If we don't stop to look for the beauty or we don't appreciate it...then, it will pass us up or be wasted upon us.

Shaye's first trip to a Feed Store; here she gets to see the chicks.

Don't waste the beauty in nature that is everywhere...soak it in and no matter what has happened in your life or in someone else's life, you need to not feel guilty about savoring moments of joy that nature provides as a FREE GIFT! To waste those gifts would be wrong. A choice to ignore the best and to focus on the worst is not much of a choice, so enjoy the little things, the big things and all in between!

I refuse to let life make me bitter. When all the family and friends are gone and Sgt. Dave is bogged down with work to keep him busy, I might be alone, but I am NEVER lonely. I LOVE to LOVE all that nature has to offer...from the crunch of the leaves under my feet to the bloom of a wild-flower, I love it all. Well, I don't much like the huge bumble bee that chases me in a territorial rage, but I do appreciate the view as I run the other direction. Get it?

Beauty exists; joy is ready to be experienced; love is everywhere...make it yours and help to spread it around, someone else might need to be reminded to appreciate the good in life!

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