Mother’s Day is nothing without Dad.

Truth.

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Mother’s Day in my house, would be nothing without my husband.  When I think about the dad my husband is to our children, truly, “Baby, I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time…” As Paul would sing.  A father loving a mother, and a mother loving a father, this is the greatest gift to give a child.  If we did anything at all right raising our babies it is that we loved each other and them more than anything else in the world.

We didn’t hide our arguments, we didn’t have a ton of them either.  I remember once when we were having a tussle, and Little Ricky asked me, “Are you and daddy gonna get a divorce?”  My heart ached for that little boy, but of course I told him, “No, sweetie.  We are just mad, like you get mad at us sometimes.  When you are…

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Mrs Korwin, Kids and Kidneys…Pass it on.

Reblogging with new number to call for donor information. Please pass this on if the spirit moves you! Share anywhere, Tony’s donor is out there, just need to let them know he’s in need. Thank you from the bottom of a friend’s heart. God be with you.

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I awoke from a dream where I was with our grade school nurse, Mrs Korwin.  At a very young age, I began having a “nervous stomach” where I thought for sure I would throw up, and missed several days of school by actually throwing up.  No one knew what to do with me, because as soon as it was understood that I was staying home, I was fine, watching Leave it to Beaver, and eating peanut butter sandwiches.  It really had my parents befuddled, and the sickness to me as that little girl was as real as the toes on the ends of my feet.

Cue, Mrs. Korwin, a robust woman, with a warm soft bosom and arms that would completely engulf me, and when she laughed her body would wiggle and it was the safest place I knew in those bewildering days.  Mrs. Korwin came up with a “pill”…

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Mrs Korwin, Kids and Kidneys…Pass it on.

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I awoke from a dream where I was with our grade school nurse, Mrs Korwin.  At a very young age, I began having a “nervous stomach” where I thought for sure I would throw up, and missed several days of school by actually throwing up.  No one knew what to do with me, because as soon as it was understood that I was staying home, I was fine, watching Leave it to Beaver, and eating peanut butter sandwiches.  It really had my parents befuddled, and the sickness to me as that little girl was as real as the toes on the ends of my feet.

Cue, Mrs. Korwin, a robust woman, with a warm soft bosom and arms that would completely engulf me, and when she laughed her body would wiggle and it was the safest place I knew in those bewildering days.  Mrs. Korwin came up with a “pill” (no doubt a placebo) that was just for me, and if I felt sick, even if she wasn’t in her office, I could go in and take a pill from my very own bottle and lie down or go back to class.  Mrs. Korwin offered me a place of comfort and peace, that for some reason, I desperately needed. She understood me.

Later, in my final year of high school, she taught me psychology, there were just a few kids in this class, and she really lit the flame of my love of psychology, and at the time, I was in independent art, so she asked if I would paint a mural in her office over the bed, and I painted Winnie the Pooh and his buddies with Bandaids and crutches and a huge tree. It was a gift I could give her and she adored it and loved watching its progress.  Such an encourager.

Years later, I was bouncing my baby son on my hip when I saw her at a graduation and she told me her office was being moved, and  it was making her heart break that they couldn’t move the mural with her.  She made me smile.  She gave love so freely, and in that she brought healing.  She encouraged my love for healing, and she was the reason I went into the medical field, and studied Psych, and I bet there are hundreds of stories like mine from children in that small town, who just needed someone to validate who they were and take note of their special gifts.

I will always honor Mrs. Korwin as one of the greatest mentors of my life.  She lost her battle to cancer some years ago, and I am so glad that I saw her when I was bouncing Ricky on my hip.  I was able to say, “Thank you, because of you I’ve been taking care of the terminally ill, I have studied psychology, and am using my art to bring joy.  I will never forget you.”  She laughed that robust, belly jiggly laugh, and wrapped her arms around me and little Ricky to hide the tears in her eyes.  A moment in time forever caught in my store of beautiful memories.

I recently reconnected with her son, Tony, who is every bit his mother as an encourager and teacher. We all grew up together pretty closely, he was a year ahead, but when you only have 200 kids in your high school, you get to know one another fairly well.  Tony is a little fella, and has always been beloved among us for tons of reasons, he smiles easily, he just was a friend to everyone.  Not surprising that he was his mother’s son.

I found out through our renewed friendship that he had gone through heart surgery some years ago, and now has polycystic kidney disease.  This means that his kidneys are so full of cysts that they are unable to  filter out toxins anymore and he has just had surgery to put in a shunt that will help with dialysis.

I was reading what his students were writing about him, and it brought back the many memories I have of his mom:

“One of my favorite teachers needs a kidney. He unflinchingly allowed me to be the only girl in the computer club, in a tiny little farming town. I’ll never forget one of the teachers hesitantly buzzing him over the speaker system, saying “There’s a girl in here who says you need her to mess with the network cables in the back of our computers?” to which his voice came over the line: “Yes. Let her do it.”  (I love this one!) He also believed me when my cat ate my balsa wood bridge… apparently that’d happened to someone before.  He currently works to teach kids photovoltaics and he is kicking ass at it. Please spread the word.”
And more beautiful comments: You are the greatest teacher I’ve ever had“–Cynthia. “You helped me grow so much in these past three years.“–EF. “I felt like family when I was in your class.“–Francisco. “You bring an aura to people’s lives (that) just makes everyone want to smile.“–Cecilia. “You came to Desert Mirage the year we needed you most.” 
Sound familiar?  The beautiful red apple does not fall far from the tree.
I want to give back to Mrs. Korwin, and to honor her son who has given so freely what she has bestowed upon him — character, humor, empathy, insight, compassion, the desire to teach and watch children thrive. Here is Tony’s plea.  If one person should read this and feel the power of donation upon their heart, please call or write.
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Tony’s picture is so much prettier than his kidneys, I think we should seek a matching kidney to go with his picture.  Don’t you?  Like his students say, Pass the word!

Put a Cap On It

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So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  For me it’s caps.  I want the original caps on until the vessel they came on are empty.  I have a weird affinity to proper capping technique.  In the world of face creams, hair products, tooth pastes, and cleaning products, there are funky caps that can easily be lost, but that is not acceptable in our house, particularly in the girls bathroom.

In our house, we have a boys bathroom and a girls bathroom, even though, I don’t think it was ever a spoken deal, it just happened that way.  One day after I’d taken my nightly bath, I was brushing my teeth and I heard Ricky ask his dad, “Dad, why doesn’t our bathroom smell as good as the girls’?”  That still makes me smile, but anyhow, back to the caps.

Thankfully, Bethani has also inherited  this quirky flaw in our character, and is equally as obsessed in making sure the caps get on, and they get on the right tube.  I love that about her, because, even if there is some clutter in the bathroom, it can easily be solved because the correct caps are on the correct spray cans or hair products and contact solutions.

It seems so simple, but, it makes sense and creates a certain kind of order in the bathroom, and even more, when I take the time to put the right cap on the product, it shows I value it and the money I spent on it.  Girlie (even guy) stuff does not come cheap anymore, and there’s a product for everything–straightener, curly hair serum, SPF 30 lotion, night cream, day cream, zit cream, exfoliant, tooth whitener, contacts solution, contact cleaner, contact sterilizer, patchouli lotion, lavender lotion, lemon grass lotion, basil and lemon bath oil…face cleanser, hair gel curly, hair gel straight..  Aye yi yi!  Just put the right cap on that’s all I’m askin’, then I’ll be happy.

 

 

Mother’s Day is nothing without Dad.

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Mother’s Day in my house, would be nothing without my husband.  When I think about the dad my husband is to our children, truly, “Baby, I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time…” As Paul would sing.  A father loving a mother, and a mother loving a father, this is the greatest gift to give a child.  If we did anything at all right raising our babies it is that we loved each other and them more than anything else in the world.

We didn’t hide our arguments, we didn’t have a ton of them either.  I remember once when we were having a tussle, and Little Ricky asked me, “Are you and daddy gonna get a divorce?”  My heart ached for that little boy, but of course I told him, “No, sweetie.  We are just mad, like you get mad at us sometimes.  When you are mad at us, would you not want us to be your mommy and daddy anymore?”

Rick and I, we are very passionate, we are fiercely cognizant of the love we have for each other and our children, we are always there for each other, the four of us, through thick, thin and sickness and health…hard times, good times, sad times, happy times.

My children’s dad is beloved among my family, a good man, with a strong character and outstanding work ethic, who loves his wife and his children with all of his heart, so much, that once he had a password that was ILMF…  I Love My Family.

But, it wasn’t always this way.  On our wedding day, people, my family included, were making bets that it wouldn’t last.  He was a bad boy, I was a good girl, too many differences to make it work.  But, that’s where they got it wrong.  They didn’t know that later my bad boy groom tucked our little teacup poodle in his pocket and brought her with us on our honeymoon because he couldn’t bear to hear her whimper as we packed. One tiny act, the beginning of many, and most certainly a look into the future and the father he would become.

And from there the births of our children, each one bringing his buried emotions closer to the surface, his heart on his sleeve, where we are careful not to crush it.  He’s a tough guy and will stand up for those he loves and for injustice and he’s a sucker for a love story and his children.  If I am a good momma, it’s because I have a good daddy beside me, we bring both our strengths to our parenting, and together we have raised two pretty darned delightful people, who continue to amaze us everyday.

We had no idea what we were doing back in 1981 when we fell head over heels in love, we just trusted that our love was enough.

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Pascal’s Heart

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We are not what you would call “artsy fartsy” folks, with expensive art hanging on our walls — or the kind of people who linger in art galleries with a martini in hand, rubbing elbows with artists and enthusiasts — not saying that we wouldn’t want to do that. Who wouldn’t?  But, we really do love the art that we have in our home, and when we see something we love, we take a long time deciding where we’d put it (even though art moves around a lot in our home, so we can enjoy it in different rooms) and what it means to us.

We have a bright amazing painting in our family room of colorful flowers on a wooden table next to a bright blue window with orange curtains.  It’s large, painted by Rick’s cousin, a quiet, shy, very fair skinned woman, with deep dark soulful eyes and dark hair.  And her art is her insides, blasting the world with rich color and whimsical settings, so different from the shy artist herself. I love that contrast, and it just makes her art more meaningful to me.

We have fun prints that we’ve found throughout our travels, we framed a watercolor card of Pike’s Market, and, have many art pieces that “cause a pause” when people visit, and we tell the story, and isn’t that what art is? Story telling from the perspective of the artist, and then that of the people who hang the art on their walls?

My new favorite artist draws straight from his beautiful spirit.  One drawing is called The Bully, and one can see the petulance in the bully’s face.  Another is titled, Jasmine, with long wisps of hair, you can tell this artist is just a little bit smitten.  Pascal is a boy just turning nine, who suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, (TSC) that causes tumors to form on vital organs, and is the leading cause of epilepsy and autism.  Young Pascal had brain surgery when he was just two, and has some behavior issues, but mostly is a loving, sweet boy, who communicates what’s inside with his drawings.

His grandmother is my great friend, and she loves showing Pascal’s art.  She sees inside his heart and understands Pascal’s deep affection for, and reaction to, the people in his life.  He’s made drawings of his older brother and younger sister, and when my friend called to tell him that she sold his first piece of art, big brother, Soren, exclaimed excitedly, “Wow, Pascal!  Your art is famous!  You’re like the Vincent Van Gogh in the TSC world!”

The drawing above is my first purchase, and today, I am getting my second.  I love his art, I love what it says about him, what it says about his grandmother who embraces this little boy’s special gifts and shares his joys.  Oh, I’m not sure I can be moved as much by anything as beautiful as Pascal’s “insides”.

I’m dreaming right now of what Pascal will draw next, and who, or what, it will be and how he will view that person or that house or that tree or that flower or that funny grate in the street, or the curb.  I just know whatever it is will be true, it will be honest, it will come from Pascal’s heart, and it will tell a story.