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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

I realize I don’t have many pictures of me with my friends, and I haven’t had time today to sort through old high school pictures for the times I brought my camera on debate trips or pictures from the few events I do have pictures of me with friends.  Many of my friends aren’t local to me anymore and as I’ve said for years, they live in my phone now.  My friends that live in my phone aren’t any less real to me than those I see around town or go walking with, they just live farther away on a map.

My friends have helped me through so many hard times and celebrated the good times with me that it’s hard for me to find the words to describe why and how of my gratitude but that doesn’t make it any less real or tangible.  Instead of fumbling over those thoughts I’m simply going to say thank you for being in my life.

The two friends up above might not realize it quite yet, but they’re quickly becoming best friends and it makes me smile to watch.  I fully expect moans of protest when they see this, but it has to be said.

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Lonely?

I know fully well that lonely can be so intense it physically hurts. Surprisingly my loneliest times have been when something positive happens and it seems silly to bother anyone over little things, or when there is an a-ha moment you want to talk about but the best you can do is to blog about it. The hard times I’ve had caring shoulders to cry on, swing conversations, and walks to share.

This past week I wondered how it is possible to have ever felt invisible. I have so many marvelous friends who do amazing things for us, even more than I realize I’m sure. It’s like my family has their own cheerleading squad. 

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I have Dad’s eyes. Not his beautiful hazel irises but his tear ducts that can occasionally be tight as steel but usually resembles some kind of slow watering system. I never realized growing up that men aren’t “suppose” to cry, the men I love the most have excellent tear ducts maintained by frequent flushing.

It’s been a great few weeks, and an amazing weekend full of peace, admiration, gratitude, realization and pride in a job well done. It’s been amazing and exhausting. I’m beat and not done yet either.  
I worked today, the exact kind of day that is the reason I became a nurse. I didn’t walk out feeling like I was wearing a superman cape or had significantly changed the course of well, anything, but I found joy in today. In seeing a patients face light up when his wife walked into the room (adding that to ‘the list’) and a twinkle come back into his eyes. I didn’t do anything spectacular but I was happy to see improvement today and be there for those moments and see family be supportive, loving, and kind. The kind of perfectly normal work day that makes me get all fluffy eyed. 
Driving home my mind ran to a list of different sorts. Things I still needed to do tonight, so I ran to the store and bought the wrong sized sheets, took a break from have to’s so I could water the flowers and fill the bird feeders. I walked to the north flower bed and noticed something. 
North Side where the rose thicket still annoys me
I just stood there and cried.  Someone who I can stick a name to came by and mowed down the stupid wild roses that won’t die, the weeds, the foxtails, the everything all the way to the back fence. Mowing was on a list, one that wasn’t going to be prioritized until next week but in quiet unsung acts of service this ward is a perfect example if what a ward family is and why I can’t picture being anywhere else. Those mowed down weeds all whispered “you are loved, and you matter”
Thank you, so very very much. I can’t even begin to say how much you mean to me and have since we first moved here. 

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I have been blessed that no matter where I am in life I have had good friends as long as I let them into my life. I’ve done things within friendships that I wish I could take back and change, there are friendships that the tides of change have ended and friendships I’ve chosen to end. Some I miss greatly, some I think back on fondly, and a few I regret most of the friendship (I won’t discount how much I’ve learned and grown from those). Friends have always been there for me and I am deeply grateful for each whisper, giggle, comforting hug and late night conversation. 

Time and distance both change friendships in many ways. In elementary school cancer is what stole my best friend away from me. I look back on the sleepovers, late night giggles and the times that we just sat together because Charlet didn’t feel up to anything else and am grateful for each moment.  High school brought hours of dragging main and working on the next great prank for our seminary teacher and that all ended after graduation. Friends who wouldn’t have been a friend if they didn’t have kids in the same program where I was better known as Charlet/Michael/Kaede’s Mom than Heather. So many seasons and different friends for each.
Then came hard decisions, some chaos, hard things and difficult times and in the shake up my friends were shaken up too. Friendly acquaintances turned into rock solid support, coworkers turned into a safe harbor, people I barely knew turned into a personal cheerleading squad for when I didn’t believe in myself. When things turned difficult a few weeks ago I knew exactly where my support system was and I have doubts that they will continue to be there for me because they’ve already stood through my storm with me. 
Then this afternoon I realized how blessed I am to know there are friends who have my back. Thank you more than words can express. 

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Real friends

I was browsing Pinterest humor and found this ecard.

I don’t have many (any?) friends who would help me hide a body but I do have friends who I’ve shown up on their doorstep without even a word of what was wrong they knew I needed a hug. I have no doubts that they would have done anything in their power to help, all without needing a why.
On one late night call that had a friend come to me I was asked what was going on. I didn’t have the time or even ability to put into words at that moment what was wrong. With no clue about what was wrong I was given the most powerful blessing I can remember. 
I have people around me that I cherish deeply because they care about me, not just the what. So, for all those friends that I hold so dear and are understanding of most everything thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me tear up and my eyelids overflow over a funny e-card. Most (all?) of you have no idea how you have changed my life. 
~Heather

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Remember back when I finished, in a mostly timely manner, my 30 days of gratitude and I said I wanted to make it a weekly event?  No?  Whew, well then maybe you won’t care that I forgot too.

I remembered. 
If I were to detail out all of my gratitudes now in individual posts I’d be good for the rest of the year and likely still forget something, someone or a situation.  Not to mention the many little things that I’m unaware of while being globally thankful for a good day. 
Today I’m grateful for people.  From Dad who can do almost anything, Mom who would have stayed home from Alaska if I’d just asked {this year or others} and is the best laminator using clear contact paper that I know to brothers who sent me falling off cliffs, had many graveyard shift conversations, fixed my {whatever} and are only a phone call away. 
In the Mormon Messages video Mountains to Climb Elder Eyring says “the Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up” I fully believe that many of God’s miracles are done by ordinary people listening to the spirit and doing what needs to be done, much like the line in Fried Green Tomatoes that says “I believe God has angels walking around disguised as people…”  I don’t know what unseen angels are by my sides but I have friends in walking distance to the north, south, east, and west that bear me up, hold me when I can’t manage on my own, listen when I need to talk and don’t ask questions when I need to not talk. The list of reasons I am grateful for them looks much like a picture of Santa going through the naughty or nice list of all the kids in the world, for the most part innumerable. I’ve received cards, late night visits to keep me together, kid taxing, smiles and hugs each act of kindness or service keeps me going when I am not certain I can otherwise. Your thoughts and feelings that you have shared with me are invaluable. 

A significant part of my list is ward leadership. I’ve tried to journal some of the feelings I’ve had from blessings that I received and I don’t think those words exsist in the English language. Having a Priesthood blessing being only a call away is amazing–especially when that call comes in the middle of the night. Home Teachers truly do a lion’s share of the Lord’s work in quiet regular visits to their families. I have new visiting teachers, and I know that in the past Visiting Teachers have been just as important. 
Working last night in not my home department made me realize how much my work family means to me. The quiet support I get at work helps keep me going from one drip titration to the next. 3west people I miss you too, feel free to call me when the floor is crazier than you can staff.
I’m grateful for the people who are trained to help others, particularly those who love their job.
To strangers going through hard times and blogging about it, thanks you are an inspiration. Those who can tell a story and make me laugh I am grateful you share your talent. Laughter is a potent medication. 
My heart is full of gratitude tonight for all of you. 

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It just so happens that after my standard crazy day that follows an unplanned {and un slept for} shift has left me with some peace.  For right now, I know I’m doing okay.  Even if just for tonight, my house is filled with love and peace among the bickering and list of chores not yet done.

A long talk with a friend that I look up on a regular basis, several walks, an attempt at humor that turned worse {well, funnier?} than intended rolled into evening softball games.  I have got to figure something different out for dinner on softball nights, but we’re finally all fed.  I sat on the swing at twilight for my favorite 15 minutes of the week wishing it could last longer.

Sitting and waiting for the girls tonight when I realized how much peace has followed me through today and I started to wonder how?  With all of life’s current chaos and stress {including the really, really long list of things I can’t do anything about and refuse to accept} and has difficult of a Mother’s Day as yesterday was today has been  peaceful.  Some of it I can make sense of, I had two different conversations with amazing people — but I often talk to them on really bad days and while I end up being encouraged and perhaps finding enough strength for just one more hour they don’t turn my entire mood around.  Then the story Richard G. Scott tells in Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy about being troubled by something, turning to prayer and then taking a nap to wake up to peace.  Never having a similar experience I filed it away into my memory of “that’s cool” where things sometimes get lost forever until today.

I can’t remember the answer {yes, I know now what I’m reading tonight} but in response to the overwhelming peace Richard G. Scott asks how it is done.  I only remember the beginning of the story, not the end but will search for it tonight.  I’d say I’ll come back and edit the information in, but I know better than to promise something like that.

I have had several friends on my mind today, some I’ve known less than a year but have been great to talk to and laugh with {even as I’m ignoring my oh so sore tailbone} others I’ve known longer, for as long as we’ve lived in Cedar and some friends from my childhood and high school years.  I truly am blessed with great friends during most of my life, I get far more from them than I give.  Games of hopscotch and jump rope have changed for playing “weed or flower” or being grateful that we’re both too tired and too hot to go for a walk on the time we’d arranged to go walking and settle instead for sitting and chatting.  Local help is only a phone call away and slightly less tangible support lives inside my computer and has seen me through twice weekly weight checks, endless appointments, moving, Monday night hijinks and so much more. Thank you so much for the part you play in my life, I am grateful for all of my friends and the impact they have on my life.

It’s just this side of tomorrow and I have laundry to switch over, a couch to reassemble, and a story to find.  I hope everyone can catch a moment of the peace I’ve had today.

{Heather}

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