Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The eve of a New Year. Time for reflection of the past year. 2014 will go down as probably the most unbalanced of my life! February brought the miracle of birth, with our dog Gracie giving birth to 11 wonderful, beautiful puppies. That was an amazing experience that I was fortunate to share with her. She woke me up to tell me "it's time!". Not even a week later I got a call from the Ft. Lauderdale police telling me my brother had passed away. He was younger than I, and I thought it was a bad joke for about two minutes on the phone with the officer. It very quickly escalated and I knew, sadly, it was no joke. I'm not sure if the pain of missing someone you were so close to ever goes away, or ever subdues. The memories I have with John have been seared into every inch of my brain, and he is such a big part of who and why I am the man I am today. Protective, yes. Looking out for him when I could. My family lost another member, too. My Uncle Tom. What an amazing person he was, too! A gentle man. I remember staying with my sister Liz at TomnNancy's (they were one name!) after my parents divorced and we moved back to the Midwest. They treated us like their own. I am forever thankful for those two hearts! My extended family (family too) also lost a big person, too- "Aunt Marsha". She was quirky in a good way. She talked sooo fast! She also did the business' payroll and book keeping. It wasn't all sadness. I had a great year in the garden. My chickens produced enough eggs to share. I gave away some tomatoes. I learned about composting! Tonight at midnight Olivia and I will continue our tradition of writing down two lists and burning them. I believe in some traditions it is called a fire puja. On our first list, we write down the negative things in our life: things that hold us back, negative emotions, whatever we want. The second list is what our aspirations are for the new year. The negative list gets burned first. It is a great moment! The second list then gets burned, and when that one is lit, it is lit with hope and faith. Try it! So yes, reflect on your year but none of us have the luxury to dwell in it. Great the first morning of 2015 with a positive thought, and let that positive energy be your way in 2015! Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I am in awe of my daughter. She is young, but darn it if she doesn't do selfless things that put a big 'ol smile on my face and joy in my heart. Today she opened her presents from Grandma and her two aunts. She got some good gifts, and also some cash (that's what she asked for!). She was telling me the things she wanted to buy; a horse set from Whole Foods, $5 to play games at the theater, and the rest to get some other toys. After we drove Grandma and Aunt Midge to the train station, we drove to the theater to catch an early show of "Annie". Traffic was heavy, but we weren't in a rush. I was seeing drivers getting frustrated that it went down to one lane from two, people cutting themselves off, head shakes, the whole 9 yards as Christmas music was playing on the radio. Then on the median, Olivia spotted a homeless man with a sign, asking for money. She said, "dad, I want to give this man some of my money". I asked if she was sure, she said yes. So we rolled down her window, the homeless man came up to the car, and I saw a little hand give the man one of her $5 bills. He seemed so happy! He said thank you so much, I heard a little "you're welcome" from the back seat, and the man just smiled and was so thankful. As we inched forward, I asked her why she wanted to give that man some of her Christmas money, that I was just curious as to why. She said "He's homeless. It looks like he could use some money." My heart melted. I almost cried. But most of all, I wish I could have just jumped into the back seat and gave her a hug! I said I'm sure the man could use the $5 to get something to eat, and that what she did was amazing. She showed me the true meaning of Christmas :)