Posts Tagged ‘love’

1000 aaah’s. #2 Fire & Blessings

We had an electrical fire last week that swept through our house like a great storm. An unexpected blizzard pummeled the Northeast, taking down power lines and trees. It was 2am when it made it’s way overhead, snapping an old elm which crashed onto our roof, taking the power lines with it. We awoke to a bang, then a buzzing and snapping. All the lights in the house began to flash like a scene from “Poltergeist”. An oily smoke filled our bedroom. We thought that the insulation in our attic had caught fire.

Our reaction was primal. Check on the baby. Call 911. Turn off the power. Grab the fire extinguisher and look for the source on the smoke. Throw on shoes, a coat, layers for the baby. Run downstairs.

We were getting ready to run to the street when we realized that we could not leave the house! There was a live electrical wire outside. We could hear it snapping and hissing as it hit the snow, like a snake spitting sparks. I was terrified. I held on to our baby as if he was still attached to me.

The Fire Department arrived swiftly. The house was dark and shrouded in smoke. It smelled like melted plastic. The firemen searched with my husband and found the culprit. Two surge protectors had caught fire after being zapped by the force of the current from outside. They were blackened and disfigured, with melted wires torn from the casing.

Thank G-d the Bear had shut off the power, because the firemen said the curtains and the bed would have gone up in flames had he not acted quickly. I was speechless. Evacuate. They said. No heat, no power. We complied.

We stayed with family for a week. We finally got back in last night. All the damage was inside the walls, except for a charred oval branded into the wood floor under our bed and a stink of sour metal. We lost our computer, our circuits upstairs, our washing machine, but we are safe and unscarred and our old house is still standing.

I stand in gratitude for family. For the primal instinct that flows through us. For the love we are lucky to have.

We didn’t NEED a fire to realize how much we have and how easily it can be taken away. But moments like this make you count your blessings. Something I truly needed.

One thousand aaah’s : #1- second chances

Forgive me.

It’s been ages since I have written.
So very much has happened.

Jacob is now every bit a toddler. He’s charming and mischievous and full of love. The Bear has gone back to school to pursue a career in nursing. Our “new” old house finally feels like a homestead. It’s rough around the edges, dusty and cluttered, but warm and welcoming. No pictures on the walls yet. Maybe next year….

I left my job in February to begin my own design strategy consultancy. It was a hard decision, but I remain steadfast and open to what the future holds. I want a fresh start, a new page turning.

I have read that good things sometimes rise from ashes. In the forest, dense new growth often appears after a great fire. Sometimes it is sudden, sometimes it takes years, but the seedlings that spring forth seem intent on taking hold.

I feel that way right now. When I look out, I see promise where there was once was dark, dense undergrowth. I see blank space. Green, wet soil fortified by ash. What is to grow in this new open space?

It’s important for me to sit in gratitude. When I feel my most frightened or alone, I need to sit in my power and remember what I DO have.

I have decided to use this blog to make note of things worth cherishing. Perhaps it will hold meaning for YOU TOO. If you have a comment or something to add, I welcome your thoughts.

I’d like to get to ONE THOUSAND AHA’S. It starts with one:

1. SECOND CHANCES: The promise of unlocking one’s potential and living with mindfulness, passion and intent.

No day like today.

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This one is for Betsy, who urged me to write again. Love you, sister.

My favorite post!

So many times, I have wanted to speak to you, to say “I understand…”

https://romancingthestone.wordpress.com/why-rubyfeather/
sisters

Traversing the summit

It’s been forever since I have written. Jacob is six months old now and sleeping upstairs. Today is a vacation day, but I find myself at the computer.I have team reviews to write, but I find myself distracted.

The snow outside is exquisite. It blankets our yard, and gentle shadows cascade across its surface. I want to roll around in it. Taste it. Come in chilled and wet and exhilarated.

I realized this week that I have been motivated (and often immobilized) by fear. Anxiety about “the worst” happening has seemed to put me in retrograde. Everyone has one of those fault lines. The dark crevass of our psyche where the “worst case sinario” seems to beckon, exascerbating our fears. My family is wonderful and healthy, my marriage solid, my job is exciting. Still, when you have spent your life building things up, you sometimes get consumed by the idea that they can so easily come tumbling down.

I have realized that in my quest to keep everything moving, I am beginning to loose pieces of myself. In fact, some things are moving in the wrong direction! I am like a hiker that has made it to the summit, only to find that she’s climbing the wrong mountain! Although the view is lovely, there are some things that I have lost along the way. I need to pack up, and lighten the load, and make it back down the hill. I’ll only carry what is necessary, like my child and my values. I’ll walk in step with my husband. At times, we can coax the other on, when one feels they cannot continue. When we get back down to the base camp we will decide what we really need for our next adventure. We will leave the gunk behind, pack a little lighter, and set out for the true summit. We will rest, breathe deep and take time for love. This adventure is not time bound!

So, here I go. being a little vague because I have to be. Just know that I will take you with me. And the view along the way, though rough at times, will be lovely.

What’s on Your Hat?

A man lost his way while hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and was rescued six days later. He kept himself alive by staying still and writing his last wishes on his hat. He wrote love notes to his family and children, in the event that he perished.

What would be scribed on your hat if you wanted to leave behind something for your loved ones? What would you wish for ? How would you ask your friends and family to celebrate the life that you have lived?

Welcome Baby Jacob!

It was 1:30 in the morning of July 25 when something tugged at me  from the inside out. It was my second week of home bed rest (after being on hospital confinement for six weeks!). I wobbled over to the bathroom and nearly slipped on the turn. My water had broken all over the second floor of our new house. If you have ever seen that moment in “Ghostbusters” where the guy says “I’ve been slimed!” you can imagine the trail I left behind. Still, I was in complete denial, as this was the one thing we had not prepared for. So much had transpired in the eight weeks prior, that the last thing I expected was the “Honey, my water broke!” scenario.

Half packed bags, Half dressed. Fumbling in the dark. The Bear and I looked like nervous teenagers. He paced back and forth, urging me to get out of the bathroom. Finally I complied.

We had never made the “hospital run” from our new house. Everything on the highway looked foreign and celestial. I felt like the car was floating. I sat on four towels and tried to do some mean yoga breathing.

We were rushed into the operating room I will never forget my husband’s eyes peering out from over his hospital mask. So expectant. So full of love. I think I will remember that face until the day I die.

At 5:46am, our son was born. He was a gorgeous, agile baby with a thick mane of golden brown hair, and a shocking cry. After so many wins and losses, so many trials. He was here!

Welcome, Baby Jacob!  Wow!

Club Bedd- Acts of Grace

Acts of Grace Foundation

It’s hard to believe that I have been here five weeks. Baby Jacob is now 33 weeks cookin’. Only six more days until we reach the milestone I did not think possible. I can’t explain what has helped us get through this. It was such a hard journey. I believe that we are blessed with an amazing support system and a deep sense of faith. My husband has always been one to help me navigate even the darkest moments. Our exceptional nurses, medical team, family and friends have really offered tremendous support. I have also really enjoyed speaking to the lady Rabbi, who is part of the chaplaincy at the hospital, as well as the social workers trained in dealing with these issues.

And all your blog comments and replies that you have left on my posts have ben wonderful. Thank your for sharing your stories and pep talks!

When I first got here, I thought the best way to get through this was to make use of my time. I surrounded myself with DVD’s, colored pencils, scrapbook crafts and markers. I thought that perhaps I should try to “add on to myself” while incarcerated. Learn a new language, or explore books on tape. But, this is really not about my journey, but Jacob’s. My job at this moment is to be an outstanding incubator and advocate for someone who cannot speak for himself. My hope is that he is in his watery bliss, relaxing and kicking away, with no understanding of this risky outer world.

I have moved from a focus on the self, to the couple, and now to the family. 

The next few months will be all about him. Thereafter, he will remain a primary focus of our motivations and deeds . I think what I have learned from this journey, apart from the benefits of  a good night’s sleep, is that love offers great healing power. I have watched myself “grow up” in this bed.

I see the other women on this high-risk floor and try to do what I can to pass a little good energy around. We cannot leave our rooms, except to go downstairs for testing, so we rarely have a chance to meet. When our gurney’s pass each other on the way to the lab, we grab each other’s hands and say “Good luck!!!!” or “Hang in there!!!”. I think this does wonders for us.

And speaking of WONDER , I wanted to let you know about an organization that does wonders for women on bed rest. It is called Acts of Grace Foundation. I believe that the founder can express her heartfelt motivation better than I can, so with permission, I share her story here. Please feel free to reach out to them if they move you. It’s amazing how small things make such a huge difference….

ACTS OF GRACE

WHO WE ARE

Acts of Grace Foundation is here to serve moms on ante partum units in hospitals.  We serve moms through small, simple acts. These simple acts consist of a floral deliveries, crafts to create, providing toiletry items, goody bags, interaction with other high-risk moms through activity nights, gas cards and meal vouchers to families.  Our hope is to make these moms more comfortable and ease the confinement during their hospital stay by providing them with these simple acts of grace.

Pregnancy is known to be a miraculous journey in a woman’s life.  During this period, one will experience joy and hope when planning for a new life.  Not every woman experiences a “normal” pregnancy.  Some women and their families experience complications severe enough to place them on hospital bed rest.  In certain situations, hospital bedrest can be ordered for the duration of the pregnancy.  The journey now becomes one of disbelief as a mom deals with days, weeks, sometimes months of confinement in a hospital room.  In addition to common new-mom anticipation, a mom must also learn to deal with the fears associated with a complicated pregnancy.  These fears can possibly consist of transferring to a hospital away from her support network, assignment of a new doctor, a preterm infant, a very ill newborn and  the risk of the mom’s own health.  A mom and her family may also have to learn to cope with financial strain, the loss of employment, care for her other children, new medications along with side effects and various other stresses of daily living.

GRACE

Joseff and Marlena Diedrich founded Acts of Grace in November of 2007.  The foundation was inspired after the loss of their daughter, Grace.  The Diedrich Family experienced what many experience during pregnancy: hospital bedrest.  Marlena shares a few thoughts of their experience and inspiration below;

In March of 2007 we found out we were having twins.  We were extremely excited and proud, we told anyone we met and everyone we knew!  We spent the next months preparing for the arrival of our two girls.Our due date of October 17, 2007 could not come soon enough!  The pregnancy was going great and I was enjoying every moment of our journey. The girls were developing on target and I was honored to be able to carry our two baby girls.  The morning of August 13, 2007 (30 weeks gestation) I called my doctor due to some concerns of pre term labor.  We were told to meet our doctor on the labor and delivery floor of Sky Ridge Medical Center.  Shortly after our arrival, I was told I was in labor due to complications with our Baby Grace.  We were advised to spend the duration of the pregnancy in the hospital on bed rest to receive a number of IV/oral medications  and for monitoring of our girls.  August 17, I was transferred to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in anticipation of Grace’s delivery.  I cried all day on that Friday.  I did not want to leave my loving doctor’s care nor did I want to face the reality that I was having a high-risk pregnancy.  I was afraid of being under a different medical group’s care, was fearful of the unknown and was saddened that one of our girls was having life threatening complications.  I thought I was in a nightmare, I could not believe what was happening.  Our first days at P/SL we were visited by a number of specialists advising us of Grace’s poor prognosis and what we could expect at the delivery. The plan was to get me to 36 weeks gestation keeping me on the IV/oral medication to control my labor and continue to assess Grace’s unknown condition through further testing.  This news was overwhelming for us.  We had many fears of the unknown and felt completely isolated.  How could this be happening to us?  After a few days of attending the pool at P/SL, I realized there were other women in similar situations and realized how therapeutic it was to interact with them.   I also realized many of the women admitted to P/SL were completely alone.     

On September 27, 2007 (37 weeks gestation) our two beautiful daughters were delivered.  Grace arrived into this world with no signs of life, we were able to bring her sister home with us.  Weeks after being back home, I could not stop thinking about my time in the hospital.  I also could not stop thinking about the other high risk women with their various situations.  I felt that there was a strong need to reach out to pregnant women on hospital bedrest in the community.

We started providing services in April 2008 and look forward to expanding those services to other communities.

http://www.actsofgracefoundation.com/5.html

Watch our video

http://www.vimeo.com/6187727