Fifty – Memories Are Mine!

3 May

devine (2)A man’s real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.” Alexander Smith

 

          It rained most of last weekend and I decided to take on a long over due challenge of clearing out a storage closet. That’s when I came across a large box of photographs that I have for the longest time meant to put into photo albums and had not, because there were so many of them and I knew it would be time-consuming.

          I decided to make it a family project and enlisted the help of my three teenagers. I popped a large bowl of popcorn and the four of us gathered on the floor in the family room with all these pictures and album books.

          As I thought, it took hours to separate and place the pictures into the books, but that was largely due to the children looking at the pictures and then asking questions about them. Most of the photos were of them when they were small.

          I shared with them where we were and what we were doing at the time of the pictures being taken. I was amazed that they had very little remembrance of the occasions. There were pictures of them eating whiles sitting in their high-chairs and instead of the food going into their mouths they had decorated their faces with it. There were pictures of them learning to ride their bikes and of my daughter and I enjoying a tea party while dressed up like queens. There were pictures of us painting and reading and of their first day of school and even one of their first ride on the school bus. Even more pictures of their first zoo visit, swimming lessons, and even a picture when my youngest son at eighteen months was learning to ice skate, but was falling and mopping the ice with his body most of the time. There were many more of family picnics, camping, fishing and many, many other occasions.

          After all the photographs were placed and put away, I later came across a few picture albums that I kept from when my mother had died. I looked through each and realized I had no or little remembrance of some of the pictures that were within them. I then realized that the pictures that are/were taken maybe shared with others, but the memories are mine. For me, as well as for others to remember – how precious the thought of being able ‘to see’ a moment from time past.

Fifty – Adjusting Life for the Future!

21 Apr

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“Man is unique in nature and among animals in being able to conceive a future.” Crane Brinton

          When I was in my late 20’s, or early 30’s I had in mind that I would have my life set-up so that by 55, I could retire – from a regular day-to-day job.

          At that time, I had no plans, nor any ideal that I would marry and have three children, or that there would be a major recession, which came about over eight years ago and is still affecting our economy.

          Like many American I have been laid off from my job and have even changed jobs. So, as you can imagine this has changed my plans for an early retirement by 5 or even 10 years depending on several factors. To top all of that off the property value in my home has dropped by more than 25%, like most places in this country, which has also affected my plans for retirement.

          After having children and needing a larger place the plan was after they went off to college to down size to a smaller place and have some of those profits to live on.

          I am having to adjust my spending to allow me to save more, invest wisely, and take on side projects that will earn extra money not only for my retirement, but to help the children when they go off to college.

“This is what life is all about, adjusting and making adjustments to adjust!” – DeVine

Fifty- “In Search of a place called ‘there!'”

16 Apr

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          “I tell you that as long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it. That is the law of my life. That is the working within me of Life’s incessant aspiration to higher organization, wider, intenser self-consciousness, and clearer self-understanding.” – George B. Shaw

 

             I have for several weeks had this post formulating in my mind, but giving it substance has taken a while for it to materialize fully.

            What do I mean, ‘there’, and where is ‘there’?

            Those are vital questions and ones that I am in search of answers.

            I was recently researching a topic and came across a video featuring Jada Pinkett-Smith.  For a woman just turning 40, I consider her to be well-balanced in her perception of her life and everything that evolves in her world.  She seems to have a clear understanding of her role with her husband, children and most importantly herself.  With all her money she could easily retire and relax for the rest of her life in superior comfort.  So, I ask myself has she found a place in her life that she considers being ‘there’.

            I thought about Oprah Winfrey with all her billions of dollars and her successful talk show that could have gone on until, whenever.  She however, realized her ‘there’ was not there and that it was time to branch out to find her new ‘there’.

            Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of individuals during this recent recession have come to a place where we realize we are not in our ‘there’.  Some forced out by jobs lost, or lay-offs.  Some stay-at-home moms have no need to stay-at-home any longer, and then there are some folks that just have not been able, for whatever reason, to get on the right track of life to get to their ‘there’.

            As I have now turned fifty, I realize the ‘there’ I once thought was the forever comfort zone for me is not, because I am still evolving, growing into myself, and learning more about what the ‘there’ in my life needs to be at this point in my life.

            I am not ‘there’ with my partner, because what I need is not what he has developed in himself to give.

           I am not ‘there’ with my gift, because I have just recently invested myself in it to make what I do a reality.

          I am not ‘there’ with my friendships, because so much of my yesterdays were reserved for my children, work and home.

            I am not ‘there’ with me, because as they say, “I am still a work in progress.”

            Is not being ‘there’, about being discontent with yourself, your life, your job, and your love ones?  I think not.  I think realizing that there is a ‘there’ presents purpose and reason to life.  So, I am still in search of my ‘there!”

            Have you found your ‘there’?

Fifty – Dealing with others expectations!

6 Apr

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A sensible human once said . . . “She’s the sort of woman who lives for others – you can always tell the others by their hunted expressions.”

                   C.S. Lewis

          This past week was extremely busy, especially with there being a religious holiday and the children being out of school for spring break.

          I was busy preparing special meals, desserts, planning fun activities for everyone to do . . . so I wouldn’t hear that “I’m bored” complaint from my teenagers, and trying to keep everything neat and in order that at the end of each day I was exhausted and felt unappreciated, at least in words.

          My daughter made an interesting comment; when she goes off to college that she “expected” me to continue with all of these “things” I do, because she would be coming home. This was my responsibility according to her.  This seemed to be the consensus of the rest of my children.

          I, however, informed them that it was nice to know that they enjoyed all of my labor to give them these special occasions, but I had other plans for myself.  They all dismissed my comment or indicated where ever I may be that they would be coming there for me to make it happen.

          Later in the week, I was listening to a friend talk about all that she did for her family and how badly they needed her to the point that she had not for years taken a vacation for herself, yet she was feeling unappreciated.  I listened to her talk about their expectation of her and how she felt they could not possibly get alone without her.  I repeated back to her what she was telling me in order to help her realize she had to have some expectations for her life also.  She finally convinced herself that she deserved a break and went on a vacation, but while she was on vacations she allowed them to call her constantly to the point that she should have just stayed home.

          I’m not sure how many people in this world live in that constant state of dependency.  Being fifty, I have understood that I have limits to what I do for others and what I must do for myself to stay healthy, sane and enjoy life.  For women especially, we often allow others to become too depended upon us to the point that we psych ourselves into thinking that others cannot function, nor manager their lives without us.

          I have made it a practice not to live like that, because it is not healthy for those you love and it causes you to have a resentful spirit towards them. Why would you want to put them and yourself in that position anyway?  One day you are not going to be there anymore and wouldn’t you rather know that they can handle the day-to-day life challenges because you have allowed them to or shown them how to.

Think about it, how are you dealing with other’s expectations?

 

Fifty and Smiling

1 Apr

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Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” – J.M. Barrie

     Just today I was walking into a post office when several people passed me and I happily greeted each with a hello even though they were walking pass as if they were too afraid, or too absorbed in their thoughts and from the look on their faces too troubled with the cares of life.

          I have lived in the area for only seven years and from my observation most people have lost common manners when dealing, interacting, or simply passing each other.  I have often  wondered if the reasons were:  We are afraid someone may rob us, or someone maybe  rude to us, or . . . surprisingly, someone will treat us like we are human.  It is sad to think that we cannot exchange common courtesies to one another.

          I went to the store the other day and an elderly woman was having trouble getting out of her car onto the store’s mobile shopping cart.  When I went up to her.  Her first reaction was fear.  A quick smile and “Please allow me to help you” was all that it took to change her disposition.  It saddens me that our seniors have to be fearful when someone approaches them.  I offered my act of kindness as I was raised to do and to honor and respect the elderly.  I am by nature that way, and I pray when I am of age, if needed that someone will share the same kindness towards me.

          As I was watching the series, “The Bible,” last night  it bothered me to see how so many people were easily swayed to be negative, to say harmful and hateful things, and to do senseless acts of hatred.  What bothers me more is that people have not changed over the course of human history.  It’s shameful that we have such low disregard for one another.

           I smile . . . because it reflects who I am, how I feel about who I am and it’s  what I DO!!!!!!

Are you smiling today?

Fifty and in action!

29 Mar

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“I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen, I like to make them happen.” – Winston Churchill

That is exactly how I felt this beautiful day that welcomed spring. This feeling was more intense today as I drew energy from all the wonderful things going on in nature.

I went outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun for a minute, but found myself observing the buds that were swelling on the tree branches, the green blazes of grass that were  now a very visible background to the old browning mass from last year.  I could hear the sound of new life chirping and watched baby bunnies trailing along behind their mom.

This excitement prompted me to challenge my teenage daughter, who is on the school’s tennis team, to a match of tennis. We had a long competitive game. I laughed at her when nearly three-quarters through the match she was winded and tiring, but I had barely broken a sweat.  I mentioned to her how important it is to stay in action throughout one’s life.

I try to live each day challenging something in my life; not only to have fun, or to get things done, but for me to learn and to become better at whatever I may be doing.

Fifty and Socially Connected?

25 Mar

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         “We are half-ruined by conformity, but we should be wholly ruined without it” – Charles Warner

          I was born on the tail-end of what is known as the baby-boomers era. All of this wonderful technology that connects and makes our modern lives convenient was invented by this great group of people. Like many, I am amazed and fascinated by this unlimited use of information technology and how it has changed how we live and work.

          It has simplified, yet complicated my life at the same time. It exists in nearly every area of my life and I have a device for every place I’m at: PC at the office, laptop at home, Navigator in my car and on my cellular phone, which also hosts: a camera, my schedule, the internet, all my social media links, calculator, connect to my bank accounts, which I can take a picture from my cell and deposit, emails and instant texting, I can purchase event and movie tickets, and if by chance I have time I can play games, stream live radio broadcasts, or watch a movie, and if that’s not enough I can pull out my Nook to read or my iPad and do any of the already mentioned things above. My refrigerator is computerized, so it my dishwasher, stove, washer and dryer. I no longer have to cut coupons out of the newspaper I can just show them on my cell to the cashier. I mean how much more convenient can it get.

          But, just this very morning, I was reminded just how simple my life was before all this computerized social connection, even though they serve a necessary purpose such as: Checking my Facebook to see who has requested to be friends with me or see what is posted by others and don’t forget the messages my friends and family find more conventional to leave on my site, or chat as I’m online.

          And this carries me right into posting a few Tweets, which I must remember to add hash tags(#) – with my 140 characters on my Twitter page, and while I’m here let’s check to see what is treading in the world today, and maybe retweet someone else tweet.

          I can get two things or more done at once while I’m on my Pinterest posting to my bulletin board. I’ll just click over to my DeViantArt page and upload this new artwork I want to sale that I just finished and I might as well incorporate it into a document page on my computer to write an article for my blog site later today. I think it looks great so I’m going to link it to my website too.

          As I’m doing this six email alerts popped up, so now I switch over to read from four sites that I have email accounts and reply to those that I must. I also have to keep in mind not to open anything that might be a spam or from someone I don’t know as to keep my system from getting a virus. Gee, these emails are from new persons wanting to connect to my LinkedIn, let me quickly click over here and check out their profiles.

          Wow, I just remembered this is the end of month I need to check my Amazon account to see how many books sold this month and also click over to my Café Press account and see how those T-Shirt sales are coming along.

          Ring, Ring . . . . That’s my Google phone ringing on my computer. Let me save this photo in my cloud here before I answer that.

          About time I get done with all this modern convenient connecting half my morning is over and I’m already on the verge of being mentally drained.

How’s your social connections . . . . Are you socially overloaded?

Fifty- in tune with life!

22 Mar

SCAN0598“Joy rises in me, like as a summer’s morning.”

– Samuel Coleridge 

 

          Each morning when I awaken the first things I see are the tops of evergreen pine trees and the sky.  I have no window treatments as they would only block this beautiful view from my sight.  I need to see and appreciate being alive and to feel a part of the world.

          I have a sound system that runs throughout my house and it plays the sound of the ocean tides 24/7, a soft, settled, backwash most folks would only notice if they are in tune with their surroundings.  It helps create a sense of serenity and a refuge from negative distractions.

          There are all sorts of plants throughout my home to help keep the air pure and fresh, but it also helps me stay connected with the simplicity of life.

           I find being connected to these earthly things help keep me balance as to what is important in my life.  So, each time I have a chance to walk in the rain, chase a snowflake,  dig in my garden, rescue a fallen bird, or gaze at a full moon and a sky filled with billions of twinkling stars I am connected.

 What are you connected to?

Fifty and Being Healthy

21 Mar
SCAN0596“Life must  be lived on a higher platform, to which we are always invited to ascend; there the whole aspect of things changes.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.” – Erich Fromm
 
     During the past two years, five people close to me have died – two of them within the past six days.  Of these five people only one was what I considered in the realm of death’s door by age.  The others:  two died of cancer one was 60 the other 29, one of a heart attack who was only 47 and one of heat stroke only 69.
 
     I reflected on this today because this time each year I have a complete physical and today my cholesterol was at 204, which is into the borderline, my HDL (good cholesterol wast 60, which is good).  Everything else was perfect. 
 
     The cholesterol being somewhat high bothered me because this is the kind of condition that can lead to cardiovascular disease and kill you early.
 
     Having teenagers in the house has placed me in a position where I have been munching on foods that I must remove from my diet such as pizza, which they want to have once a week.  Today was that day, but instead of eating pizza I had a bowl of grilled onions, garlic and spinach, a small apple and a cup of sugarless green tea. 
 
     I could have easily decided to put this adjustment in my diet aside to tomorrow or even waited until Sunday, but I understand that change starts now.  In addition to my morning jog, I went for a walk after dinner.    I do this now because I want to live a full, healthy, and a long life as possible and in order for me to make that a reality I have to control what I do today . . . right now!
 
     Life is very precious and can be taken in a blink of an eye, so we must remember to live fully in the moment, but not for the moment.
 
     Take good care of yourself each and everyday and don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do this day.
 
     DeVine

Fifty with life’s lessons

19 Mar

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“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward,”  – Vernon Law

          Today, I set out to complete several tasks, but was drawn away by others’ need for my attention.

          As I was listening to a dear friend discuss all the negative things going on in her life, I thought about the quote above.  After all these years she hadn’t learned from her life experiences.  I very much wanted to tell her exactly what she should do, but my life experience with her put that thought quickly to rest, because what I would suggest to her she would do the total opposite, so why waste my time.  I assume she only wanted someone to vent her frustration too.  Though I did throw clues here and there, smiling!

          I could have made myself busy, when she called, but speaking with her serves a purpose for me as well that is the lessons she has yet to learn from her experiences I learn from and it encourages me to set boundaries with my children, friends and in all walks of my life – not in a selfish way, but in a way that empowers others with their growth and decision-making.

Do you get caught up in other people’s drama and don’t know how to set boundary for you and their good?

Fifty and Supporting Others

17 Mar

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“Friendship is a strong and habitual inclination in two persons to promote the good and happiness of one another”

– Eustace Budgell

          In my search of an appropriate quote for this post, I found it confusingly difficult to even start.  I had to understand what it was about before I could relate why it was a big deal to me. So here it go?

       At 50, I am a very busy person, mostly because unlike most persons in their 50’s my husband and I had children in my late 30’s, which means I have a set of twins that are 15 and a younger child that is 13. As you can imagine I am very busy with the many sports, school events and outside activities that they are involved in, in addition to my writing:  Books, articles, websites and several blog sites. It is rare that I have time for anything or anyone outside of my stolen time for myself.

DeVine          A newly acquainted friend who is trying to take her business to the next level asked if I could come to her demo-taping.(WhatMatters2Pam).   She’s a professional at what she does, but thought enough to ask me to come along.

          Over the past few months of getting to know each other we have discovered a quality in the other that can help us in our own personal business ventures and have moved forward in providing each other with that support. We have had many interruptions in our lives that has carried us like the ocean waves, but like all waves we come to shore.

          At fifty, I have learned that I do not know it all or even much of it. I have learned that I am enriched when I allow others into my space and when I am able to support them in their dreams I am also supporting my dreams. It kettles the fire in me and encourages me to stay focused and work harder on my goals.

At fifty, I am nowhere near done living, dreaming, learning and supporting others . . . As they say the best is yet to come. But I believe it only comes through living and making dreams come true.

 DeVine

Fifty and adventurous !

14 Mar

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     “Each moment is just a memory once            it’s lived.”

By DeVine

     By nature I am a reserved type of person. I am more of an observer, especially of things that seem to have some element of danger or fear. I am also the type of person who believes in making lasting memories, but you cannot do that by standing on the sidelines, self-contradiction it would seem.

                On each of my many birthday trips I challenge myself to do something I have never, something that takes me out of my comfort zone like: riding a motorcycle, parasailing, banana tube riding, hiking in dense forests, eating something I would not normally, and so on . . . I’m sure you get the picture now.

              On this 50th birthday I decided to go for a helicopter ride. That may not seem fearful to some, but an element of danger is always possible, especially when doing something you are not in control of.

SCAN0615        On this supposed to be  quick ten minute flight, which only cost me twenty dollars, I happened to be the only customer this round. So, the handsome Dominican pilot, who could have easily passed for my brother if I had one, decided to give me a full tour of Punta Cana as a birthday gift, smiling!

I cannot tell you how exciting it was to be soaring across the Atlantic Ocean and within inches of the water. Then he did something that almost made me lose my breakfast, which was turn the helicopter upside down over the water. It’s a good thing I have a strong heart, ha, ha! After, I finally opened my eyes we were zipping up a mountainside and upon clearing its top in plain view were several waterfalls . . . totally breathtaking. Soon we were back on the ground and I walked away with another adventure I will never forget.

These major adventures urge me to have smaller one throughout the year; such as getting in my car when I have free time or a day to myself and driving to a place I have yet to explore. There’s so much to see and do. Live your fullest life today.

What adventures have you lived? If none, what are you waiting for?

Fifty and dancing

13 Mar

devine (2)“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life, it is life itself. – Havelock Ellis

     When I was a small girl, I remember going to the parades and being fascinated by the majorettes. I loved how they danced and made up my mind that one day that would be me out there dancing in front of thousands of spectators.

     For years, I danced in our family livingroom, but I was just dancing to dance that was until one day I met my lifelong, childhood, best friend who loved dancing as much, maybe more than I.

     Together we practiced dance routines the entire summer before entering into high school where we tried-out for majorettes. Of course, we made it! I lived that dream of being a majorette dancing up and down Main Street as I had seen those in my childhood do.

     What brought this to mind today – Several times a week I turn on the kids Xbox, put in their Dance Central disk and dance until I’m out of breath and sweating. It’s a great work out, and it is fun. I often do the challenge dances with my kids and win, because they do not have any rhythm, ha, ha! My teen daughter thinks, I should “Act my age.” Where did that come from and what is it? I am very lady like, but because most of her friend’s parents look and act like they are old and dying I should too. Never!!!! I am healthy and full of life and plan to enjoy my life for as long as I can. I hope that one day she and her brothers will remember to be young at heart and no matter what age they are to enjoy life to the fullest.

     Too appreciate my state of mind and being, today the first lady appeared on the Rickey Lake’s show and they showed her dancing and then I turned the station in time to catch a clip of a YouTube video playing where an eight-six year old woman was dancing . . . What a joy it is to be able to move your body.

When was the last time you danced?

Awakening to Fifty

10 Mar

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“To grow mature is to separate more distinctly, to connect more closely
– Hugo von Hofmannsthal

The day I turned 50 – My teenage daughter humorously announced, “Mom you are now half a century old.”  How naïve, she has no idea how conscious women are about their age.

The day I turned 50 – I swear on that very day menopause kicked in“Oh happy days no more periods!”

The day I turned 50 – To add insult to my already fragile state of being I received in the mail a letter from AARP proclaiming, “You are now 50 and invited to become a member.”   Wow, just what I needed to be officially moved to senior citizen status.

The day I turned 50 – I went to the salon.  The bright lights and mirrors gave immediate notice to three strings of gray hair along my hairline.  The stylist laughed when I said, “I swear they were not there the day before.” She then welcomed me to the club since nature had blessed me for so long.

The day I turned 50 – I went to the gym to exercise and as I was performing my squats the most unbelievable pain shot through my knee – This cannot be real, arthritic!

The day I turned 50 – An older woman at the office hand me her More magazine and shyly offered, “I thought you would enjoy this, it’s really inspiring for mature women.”  I smiled and reflected that I was only a day older from the day before.

The day I turned 50 – after encountering all of those surprises, I gladly boarded a plane to a land I had never been to have an adventure to forget the day I turned 50.  The day wasn’t over it had only begun as the plane landed on the beautiful Island of Punta Cana.  Upon arriving to the resort, I rushed to my suite to put on my bathing suit and hurried to the beach to enjoy the last few hours of day light. As I was walking along the endless stretch of sandy beach, I came upon a young man young enough to be my son, who complimented me saying, “You are so beautiful . . . your skin is the color of a sun-kissed toast.”  I allowed my cover to sail in the air behind me as I walked away feeling great to be 50 . . . not because of what he said, but because I knew it to be true. @DeVine- All rights reserved.

Do you remember turning 50W What was your day like?

Fifty and Taking Time To Breathe

8 Mar

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     Yesterday, I felt so out of sync and today could have been the same, but when I awaken to make sure the kids got off to school I got right up and watched the morning news, which is something I usually do not do. I just do not like crowding my mind and spirit with all the negative things they choose to highlight so early in the morning.
     Right after the kids left I went straight to the lower level of the house to the workout room and put in forty-five minutes of jogging and exercising. I do this first thing to get energy, otherwise it will not get done and I will feel like I’m dragging all day long.
     I had a light, healthy breakfast: an omelette with spinach, tomato, tofu, onions and garlic, one slice of whole wheat bread and about four ounces of orange juice. It was tasty.
     I went to my office to reply to some of the many letters I receive from people who read my books and newsletters or wanting to do business. Before the day was over I had not done what I had initially planned for this day, which was to take time to breathe – I had meant to do something relaxing for myself like go have my nails done that are seriously over due, or go to the mall not so much to shop, but just for a change of pace. I probably would have purchased something, this is the time of year they have many things on clearance, smiling!
     Tomorrow I know will not be a day for me because of the long list of things to do, like: Go to the market, do the laundry, clean-up, prepare dinner and take plates to my mother and father-in-laws, take my son to baseball practice, pick my daughter up from drama class and I then make time for our Friday night family time.
     Well, I have one last thing I can do for me tonight and that is take a long, hot, bubble bath and then curl up in bed and watch one of the only two television shows I have time to view “Scandal,” ha, ha! A lot of drama to go to sleep on, smiling and laughing.
DeVine
What was your ‘fifty’ day like?

Fifty and reflecting!

7 Mar

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“There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning” – Christopher Morley

“It’s funny what difference a day makes,” is how I felt today. Yesterday, the sun was shining brightly and I felt so much energy. I hurried out of bed exercised and went about running errands with the radio in the van up a little louder than normal, thus adding to my energy.

But today, in less than 24 hours, I feel totally different. The sun was not out and I had so many challenging tasks that I felt I had to get done including taking my younger son to the dentist, preparing dinner and getting legal documents together to file against a tenant who’s now two months behind in rent – stress-stress-stress.

The thought of my mother came to mind. Thinking about her last days of life seems to haunt me every once in a while. I wonder if it’s my immorality, if I feel the clock is ticking faster and maybe time is running out, but feeling I haven’t lived in the moments I yearn to yet.

Have you ever had these reflecting days?

Turning Fifty

5 Mar

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“They say the best is yet to come – I will believe and live for it!”

I thought a long time about starting this blog.  Putting a name to it was more mind-blowing then creating the site.  Today I decided was the day.  What prompt this?  I just had a birthday and it came and went without any notice by my family.  The reason for that – over the past twenty-five years I have treated myself to a ‘ it’s all about me trip’, smiling!  The trips were the highlight of my year, my life – being able to go off somewhere, usually an island, and have no responsibilities but myself.   I reserved a suite in an all adult resort, because I didn’t want to have my children along, therefore I definitely didn’t want to have anyone else children around, smiling.

My birthdays were about freedom if for only 4 to 7 days. You see I have been a mother since age 20 and have nearly two generations of kids.  So, though married, I have had very little time for me.  Yes, I completed college and had a career, but the freedom of getting to ‘me’ has never been an option.

This 50th birthday, however I spent with my mother who was slowly dying from cancer. She and I had a strange relationship, not that it was good or bad; it was we knew each other was there and our communication was limited – not like close girlfriends, which I would have liked to have had.  This birthday would be the first and last I would have to share such a relationship with her.

I flew down to Memphis, TN.   She picked me up at the airport in her new pickup (The new pickup was a surprise along with the house full of new furniture she had purchased. I guess in her mind it was her one time to do what she wanted for herself). My mother was a small woman like myself and why she wanted such a large truck I do not know.  Over the next couple days we watched television together laughing and talking about the subject matter of those programs. We went shopping and dining at places she had never wanted to try in the past. On Sunday morning I went to church with her and right afterward she wanted to go to the casino. I questioned her about christian and gambling on Sunday. She laughed and said, “All those folks can lie and say they are there for the buffet, but I’m going to gamble.” She won some money and bless her heart gave it to me.

My mother was not the touching type of person and did not talk very much, but this visit she had so much she wanted to share with me; things I had no ideal she thought about me like – she was so proud of me even after all I had been through she was very proud of me. At that time I didn’t understand why she felt she needed to tell me that. I was speechless. It was touching and I had no ideal it would be the last time her and I would shared such times together. I guess she knew it was close to her time to leave this world.

So today I will begin to share being fifty and finding me with you!

DeVine

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