Category Archives: imagination

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Mom- Infinite

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via Daily Prompt: Infinite

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One of my new resolutions has been to step out of my comfort zone so this morning I decided to take on a daily prompt challenge from WordPress.  The challenge was to write about the word Infinite. Crazy to say but that word conjures up a lot of things for me. The nature of the universe. What it feels like to wait for health test results. The number of New Year’s resolutions I’ve made and broken. The love I have for my children.

It’s hard to think of time in any kind of linear manner. It’s a strange thing to look back at thousands of years of history or to imagine looking forward into the future that same number of years. Time is often categorized as infinite. But is it? Just because we can’t see the beginning or the end doesn’t necessarily make it that. So I muse on the word infinite because I am on the cusp of breaking yet another resolution 8 days into the new year. Perhaps it is my capacity to believe that one year I actually will achieve all that I have resolved to do that is infinite. Or perhaps I need to realize that resolutions in themselves, like time, are not linear.

The word Infinite also conjures up magical things. One’s capacity for love can be infinite. Imagination is infinite. Ideas seem to be infinite. The varied ways to create a product or discover a new scientific method  or publish an epic writing seems infinite. Certainly last year’s election season felt infinite, making the idea of infinite not always a good thing. But I think the beauty of infinite is that there is a promise that nothing lasts forever and there is always time to change. That the human capacity to do so is infinite in itself. That we can all reset and regroup and yes make new resolutions with each calendar day.

Looking out my window, the rain sometimes seems infinite. The same job routine can feel infinite. Time between visits to loved ones feels infinite. Sitting through a boring movie can be infinite. Yet being able to sit here and imagine all that seems infinite, I recognize, is a gift. To be able to sit in a warm home, with a cat sleeping beside me, a cup of coffee on a quiet Sunday morning, yes, with that soft sometimes infinite rain pattering on my roof and I realize my capacity for gratitude is infinite as well. DSCN0506My daily blessing of good health after a life threatening illness feels infinite. The time I get to spend, one more year, one more life event with my children feels infinitely incredible and humbling. That tiny flame of grace makes life feel infinite sometimes. And for that I am infinitely grateful. Happy January Sunday. My next resolution awaits. Namaste.

 

 

 

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Mom – Homecoming

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christmasBing Crosby crooned so many years ago that he would be home for Christmas whether in his dreams or not. The sentiment in that song suggested yearning and hope and the cherished arms of family surrounding the person who had been away from loved ones for some time. It was a prayer and a lament for one who was far from home and longed to be sitting at that familiar and safe hearth. I know that longing very well. I left my home to follow my dreams, going on 40 years now. My pining for home during the holidays was deep and strong but after some time I slowly settled where I was. And if truth be told in all of those years I have only been home for a handful of Christmases.

Looking back, it was not for lack of wanting or trying. Some years I just did not have the money to go home. I suppose I could have asked for it but that was something I was never comfortable with. I felt that I had made this choice to go and I had to live by it. During the passing of years, however, life kind of starting folding in on itself. I have always loved the holidays so I began creating my own Christmas traditions with the loved ones I was with and in the place I was already. I have been fortunate to have had friends to celebrate with. I had a boyfriend, then I had a husband. Then we had a child and then we had another.

We started our own family traditions around our own hearth. The times I went back to my family home, I was in those wonderful celebrations but I was no longer of them. Their Christmas traditions folded in on themselves to adjust to my absence. I have held some of those traditions for my own little family. Certain foods on Christmas day. A festive tree and twinkling lights. But we have created many new traditions for ourselves. I am grateful that my children have memories that have kept their own home alive for them.

The beauty of not being home for Christmas is that you are open to the myriad of ways people celebrate. It could be Christmas but it could just as well be Hanukkah. It could also be Ramadan or Kwanzaa. It could be the Winter Solstice. Wonderful traditions, ceremonies, foods to celebrate the end of a year and the promise of the new one. December is everyone’s month and it is no one’s. Who could possibly claim it for themselves alone? The lights of the stars shine on everyone and I have yet to meet someone from any background who does not wish upon them. It’s a joy to learn other ways to celebrate. Those magical and joyous days are filled with such beauty.

Now my own children are adults. Now they are moving away and creating their own traditions. I find that hard. I find that karma has caught up with me in many ways although I am not really certain that’s how it works. It just feels that way. I want everything to stay the same and it doesn’t. It can’t. That is not the nature of time nor of life. If I have learned anything it has to be this. Some days I can find the traditions that make me long for those more innocent days when I was a child myself. But more often I celebrate the myriad of beautiful traditions that come to me from many sources. Life is a prism. It is a collage. It is the melting pot we are blessed with. What could be more magical then that?solstice

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Eid Mubarak. Blessed Be. May you be home wherever you are.

Confessions of a Baby Boomer Mom – Ribbons

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I have a confession to make. I am a breast cancer survivor and I have never been a fan of the pink ribbon. Just admitting that sounds strange and I can almost hear the gasps coming from fellow survivors and pink ribbon proponents. The pink ribbon has a strong message and it carries a lot of power. I am not trying to diminish any of that. I am just stating it does not reflect my journey.

October was Breast Cancer Awareness month and we were awash in pink. Far beyond the humble pink ribbon, consumers can buy pink watches, pink scarves, pink t-shirts and hats. Professional sport teams wore pink shoes, gloves and strips of pink mixed with their team colors. Pink boas were wrapped jauntily around the necks of those who walked for three days in the name of beating this disease. I am for all of that. I am grateful for the awareness of this deadly killer but cancer of any form is a scourge to humanity. It doesn’t discriminate. It attacks any gender, any age, any socioeconomic group. It can happen to one of any race, of any religion. No one is immune.

I am not sure why I feel the way I do about the pink ribbon. Maybe because once I had breast cancer, it was assumed that I would embrace this badge of courage. I recall the information kit I was given at my doctor’s office shortly after my diagnosis. It was encased in a lovely pink bag. As I battled through treatment I was given gifts of the pink ribbon, bracelets and pins, necklaces, earrings, embossed scarves, coffee mugs and socks, a pink nail polish made especially to honor October. Everywhere was that little twist of pink. So much love and support, so much strength. Except I did not connect with it. I didn’t see myself as wanting to display the battle I went through. Maybe I fervently wanted life to go back to the way it was and that little ribbon was a constant reminder that it never would be.

I do not begrudge anyone who embraces the pink ribbon. It represents something for them I could never imagine. Cancer and the battle to fight it is a very personal journey, any illness is, despite the fact that everyone around you is affected also. A person is faced with so many what ifs and not any guarantees. You are trying to hang onto to some semblance of control even as your body spirals out of your control. Instead you become the property of doctors, nurses, a vast myriad of tests, of the powerful, sickening drugs. A life disrupted. When treatment is done, it’s not really done. There’s a level of mistrust that the cancer is truly gone. There are years of physical, mental and spiritual recovery. There will always be fear of recurrence.

In so many ways the pink ribbon is a symbol of hope, perseverance and defiance. Women, and men too, wear it proudly, wear it in solidarity, in support and for love. But it’s not any of that for me. When October rolls around and everything under the sun is available in pink, I just don’t feel it. I often get strange looks when I express this. I feel as though they wonder how I could possibly reject the pink ribbon that is the blazing symbol of that reluctant sisterhood. I am not sure how to explain it to them except to say that my defiance is a different color.

The pink ribbon represents the continued fight against breast cancer, a fight we seem to be slowly winning. No one is more for that than I am. But I will do it incognito. I do not need to wear any pink to symbolize the fight. The fight was inside me and it was not pink. It was black with rage and grey with fatigue. It was white with hope and green with envy and blue with fragile days of peace. Not a shred of pink in sight.

It’s important for people to have a symbol to rally around. Sometimes in their own sadness and despair it’s the one thing they can cling too. I am happy for those who find comfort in the joy the pink ribbon brings. But I will find my comfort from another source. And keep the prayers for a cure moving forward.

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