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Family Harmony

Family Harmony

I drew this card previously on June 23, 2008.

Well, isn’t she right on time?  Just yesterday I wrote a short post about how it was time to go get my daughter – and, at last, have my children home.  Rhythm left first – and before he returned, Stinkerbelle left.  Rhythm came home while Stinkerbelle was still away – and, as of yesterday at 10:45 a.m., we were all reunited.

We talked about the relief we feel in knowing our long term potential.  No longer focusing on a move, we’re now focused on how to turn our house into a home we can all be proud of and comfortable in.  We talked about the new school year starting and what the goals and intentions are socially and academically this year. We went to lunch together after leaving the airport – and, as we do when we three are turned loose in the world unchaperoned, we laughed ourselves to tears and drew attention to ourselves.  Nothing is more fun than an all out giggle fit in a public place with those you love most!

Ran a few errands after lunch, including a trip to a pawn shop to put a set of drums on layaway for Rhythm – a set of drums that matches the guitar T and I surprised him with Friday night.  On the way home from that errand, we talked about how to make Stinkerbelle’s dream of owning horses a reality.  We have the land for it… we just need to build fencing, a stable, and work out the vet/ferrier/feeding details.  I’m going to sell my mom the piece of property she’s on, and can use the funds from that to have things set up for Stinkerbelle’s horse.

When we got home, Stinkerbelle set to unpacking and cleaning her room, Rhythm spent some creative time bonding with his new guitar, and I took a much needed nap.  Though I’d had every intention of doing one more tarot reading yesterday afternoon via email, my personal energy was drained.  As much as I’ve hated postponing, I’ve made peace with myself in deciding I’d do that reading on Tuesday, my next day off.  After my nap, the kids and I found our comfy spots in the living room together and watched Enchanted, a movie with which I was completely tickled.  Loved it!

I also had a few issues regarding my mother yesterday.  There are advantages to having her as my neighbor, but there are times when certain lines are crossed – and I have to find a way to tell her that without upsetting her.  Before we’d even gotten back to Bowling Green from the airport in Nashville, my mother rang Stinkerbelle’s cell phone to ask if Stinkerbelle would go over to her house to color her hair as soon as we got home.  Stinkerbelle agreed and hung up, and I lost my temper.  I cried, really – not of sadness, but of anger and frustration.  I hadn’t seen my daughter in three weeks – she hasn’t even unpacked her clothes, and my mother had no idea whether or not I’d had anything planned – and without asking me first, she just assumed she could take my daughter.  We’ve had that discussion before.  Mom likes to take Stinkerbelle every Saturday to go run errands.  Mom doesn’t like to be alone.  But, Saturdays are the only day off I have of the weekend when there’s no school and I can spend the day with the kids.  I don’t want Stinkerbelle gone every Saturday.  I discussed it with my mom, she respected it for about two Saturdays, then everything went back to the way it was… plans were made without ever consulting me.  I’m going to have to put my foot down if I want to stabilize my own family.  My mom needs to understand that this is my daughter, not her best friend.

So, here’s what the guidebook says:

Card Meaning: Your relationships with family members are healing. As you hold loving thoughts and feelings about the souls involved (including yourself), you experience genuine harmony in your family.

Description: Every person in your life is affected by your beliefs and expectations, including your family members. By drawing this card, you are counseled to hold positive and loving thoughts about anyone who seems to have irritated or hurt you. The more loving energy you send to each person, the more love will be redirected back to you.

Have patience — you are beginning to feel a great healing occurring in your family relationships. The fairies ask you to think of three reasons why you are grateful for each member of your family. If one person seems to particularly frustrate you, think of five reasons why that person is worthy of love. Send blessings and prayers to that person, and your relationship will show immediate signs of improvement.

Affirmation: I see the goodness within each member of my family. My family life is harmonious and filled with love and joy.

Source: Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue, Ph. D.

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“Family Harmony”

Going with T to visit his family spawned all sorts of deep thoughts from me.  There are six siblings all together in his clan… he has four sisters and one brother.  I’d met one sister a while ago, but had yet to meet the other three, nor had I met his mother.  This weekend, I met them all at once and was able to sit out on the porch chatting with them as a whole.  I’d written previously that each of them is so incredibly unique, yet they are bound by a common thread that makes it obvious they’re a family.  I admired the dynamics of their group.  On the way home, T and I talked not only about the dynamics of his family, but of mine as well.

Seeing this card triggers a whole lot of thoughts… thoughts of the recent turmoil between Stinkerbelle and I, and how we’re recovering; thoughts of Rhythm being gone for so long and how much I miss his presence here; thoughts of Atlas and how well he’s grown into his adult self – the troubles he’s going through romantically, the sucesses he’s experiencing financially, and how good it must be to be spending time with his little brother after an entire year of not seeing one another.  This card makes me think of my mother and the trials and tribulations we survive; of my sister, to whom I’ve not spoken in about a year (for no good reason at all other than we’re both ‘busy’); of my little brother and how nice it was to have him visit Kentucky for the first time last month; of my big brother with whom I don’t get along and probably never will, yet who I’d die for in the blink of an eye without question. I think of my father and my dad – two separate entities equally adored; of my grandmother who is fighting a battle against breast cancer.  And then those thoughts run deeper… farther back in time to ancestors, and then ahead in time when some soul may be reflecting on me as one of their ancestors.

Family dynamics – the glue of life.

Here’s what the guidebook says about this card:

Card Meaning: Your relationships with family members are healing. As you hold loving thoughts and feelings about the souls involved (including yourself), you experience genuine harmony within your family.

Description: Every person in your life is affected by your beliefs and expectations, including your family members. By drawing this card, you are counseled to hold positive and loving thoughts about anyone who seems to have irritated or hurt you. The more loving energy you send to each person, the more love will be redirected back to you.

Have patience — you are beginning to feel a great healing occurring in your family relationships. The fairies ask you to think of three reasons why you are grateful for each member of your family. If one person seems to particularly frustrate you, think of five reasons why that person is worthy of love. Send blessings and prayers to that person, and your relationship will show immediate signs of improvement.

Affirmation: I see the goodness within each member of my family. My family life is harmonious and filled with love and joy.

Source: Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue, Ph. D.

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August 2005

She was lying, I knew it. Jealousy was her motive, I figured – but nonetheless, I didn’t consider her at all to be telling the truth. Maybe she just wanted her youth back and chose to live vicariously through me. Then again, maybe it wasn’t jealousy at all. Control is an equally considered suspect. She may have felt like she didn’t have any control over anything else in her life, so she had to show dominance with me. She wasn’t an expert on anything in my book. After all, what did she know about fashion? Her clothes were out of style; her hair was not flattering in cut or color, and she didn’t seem to know anything about the world in which I lived – so why should she have assumed she knew what was best for me? Besides, I’d already learned she wasn’t exactly “obedient” in her youth either. You can imagine my shock, then, when I realized fifteen years later that she wasn’t just “right”; she knew from experience and was trying to save me from reliving her mistakes and feeling her pains. What do you mean my mother was right?

My mom isn’t the only one who shares advice or warnings. All moms of all ages, grandmothers and aunts included – have that instinctive need to dish out advice – and we all know that when we’re fifteen, we feel immortal, invincible, and smarter than everyone else on the planet. How in the world did our parents, or the rest of society for that matter, ever survive before us? I don’t know about you, but when I was fifteen, I was telling my mom how to do her hair, how to wear her make-up, and as if she were only four, I’d try to pick her clothes out for her if ever I was to be seen anywhere with her. I even tried telling her how to drive. Obviously, she couldn’t know what she was talking about when giving advice to me! So, I basically ignored her, thinking her a fool.

Grandma was more of the physical warning system, always preaching to my siblings and me about watching what we eat, brushing our teeth, pushing back the cuticles on our fingernails, washing our faces with Noxzema, not popping our knuckles, and standing up straight so we don’t have future back problems and grow up to be hunch-backs. Mom, on the other hand, was warning us of more of the emotional and spiritual upheavals and pitfalls. When I’d pop off at her in my arrogant juvenile way, she’d not get really angry, but more spiteful and say, “You just wait. Things will look a lot different when you’re thirty and have kids of your own.” In fact, she kept a magnet on our fridge that read, “Avenge yourself, live long enough to be a burden to your children.” When I’d do things really hurtful to her or say things to her that were mean, she was hurt, of course, but she knew in her heart that I was just being a rebellious teen, and looked at me in such a way that said, “You just wait ‘til your kid does something like that to you.” You know what I thought to myself in reply? I bet you do. Try this on for size, “My kids will never talk to me or treat me that way because I will be a much better mother and my children will love and respect me and be my best friends!”

Sound familiar?

Just when I thought I had life all figured out and was on top of the world, everything came crashing down because I realized that every thing my mother, grandmother, and aunts tried to warn me about was coming true! The wall paper of my reality began peeling away in front of my very eyes. My own teen-aged son (at age fifteen, to be ironically exact) also found that the only way to find his independence was through less than kind separation. I started having flashbacks of all the mean things I ever said and did, and found myself wanting to call my mother and apologize. She was right; it did hurt and I do understand now that I have my own kids – whom, by the way, try to tell me how to dress, how to wear my hair, and how to drive. To make matters worse, fifteen-fillings and six crowns later, I realized Grandma may have been onto something when she said all that sugar and soda would be bad for my teeth. They were also right about the whole world changing when I was thirty. Suddenly, the candy bar and soda I had for lunch started hanging around on my backside and the size four jeans began cutting off my circulation. Crows feet found their ways to my eyes, just to the sides of the bags that had formed. My kids began speaking in a language I no longer understood, saying things like “tight”.

I remember the first time I heard that expression. My kids and I had gone shoe shopping; each of the three of them needed a new pair. The boys, being older, were instructed to find their size and try on a pair they liked. Meanwhile, I was looking for something that would fit my much younger daughter. My middle son came to me with a happy face. He’d found what he liked and it fit him. Then the eldest child returns with a pair and says, “Mom… I like these; they’re so tight!” Who could blame me, then, when I replied, “Then try on a bigger pair.” Not only was I out of style and out of the communication loop, but I could no longer identify (or enjoy) the most popular tunes on the radio. To top it all off, I seemed to forget how to program a VCR, remote control for the television, or my new computer. That’s right; I had to ask my kids for help! How did I ever survive before they were born?

They say all women turn into their mothers. You’ll never know how valiantly I resisted and rejected that concept. Maybe all other women turned into their mother, but not me. But, alas, time tells all tales and I realized that they were right. I had become my mother, and it seemed to have happened while my head was turned the other way. Now that I have three children of my own and am “thirty-something”, I’ve lived through some of the experiences and hardships that shaped my mother, experiences that did give her wisdom and make her an expert with my best wishes in mind, I realize how naïve and difficult I was. I think I’ll continue apologizing for many years to come.

Evolving and becoming one of the grown ups has changed many of my perspectives. Knowing what my mother went through with me and with life’s general challenges, I’ve learned to forgive many of the grudges I’d held with me, not realizing it was time to let go of the past, forgive mistakes, and not be so critical of a judge about what kind of a mother I thought she had been. As it turns out, she’s the best mother I could have hoped for – and I’m proud to have carried some of her traits, and then pass them on to my own daughter.

My kids may think I’m an alien who doesn’t understand much, but just wait. They’ll be thirty… some day. Then, they’ll be the ones asking, “What do you mean my mother was right?”

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October 2005
(Rhythm was then age 13, Stinkerbelle was 10)

*

Rhythm comes into my room under the pretense of filling my coffee, but he’s sort of hobbling rather than walking (or bouncing) and has this sullen expression on his face.

“Are you hurt?” I ask.

“Yeah.” He answers with the voice of a victim.

“What happened?”

“See, what happened is…”

Rhythm starts his sentence with his head down, but then I notice he starts to turn his whole self around, so his back was to me, and he was making his wounded way slowly toward my door while wrapping up his story. I think he was trying not to let me see his smile. Why was he smiling, was it a trick? With his back to me and my own thoughts yelping at me, all I heard of his story was…

“… and then she kicked me between the legs.”

I sort of snorted. I can see that he’s hurt, and that part isn’t funny, but something about how he got hurt was fishy.

“Okay, wait.” I gather myself. “You got kicked between the legs, as in between the legs?”

The boy nods. I go back in for confirmation. “Stinkerbelle kicked you in the jewels?”

The boy nods, but then darts for the door as I call out for his sister to get her side of the story.

The girl comes in my room. She’s got this goofy look on her face that says she may be in some sort of trouble, but she’s got the same watery look of trying to hold back a smile.

“Stinkerbelle, did you kick your brother between the legs?”

“Yes, but I didn’t mean to, it was an accident.”

“Girl, how do you accidentally kick a boy in the nuts?”

She giggles, but only because I said nuts.

“See, this is how it goes…”

Her story starts, and I know right away I’m in for a ride. I sit back in my chair, nestle in, and take a sip of the coffee that mysteriously appeared on my desk.

“Rhythm was all up in my face, sticking his finger in my Kool-aid, and then going like this…”

She does a crazy ass gorilla dance with her arms flappin’ all above her head in a monkey-like way and her legs springing up and down, bending at the knees. She even does the facial expressions.
I giggle, but only because she just did a gorilla dance to prove to me that her brother is strange.

“… And then I went,” she panted in continuation, “to gently tap him in the stomach with my foot and I accidentally missed.”

:::head rattle::::

“Okay, wait,” I say, but with no intentions of waiting for anything, “I don’t think I’m on crack, but it sure did just sound to me like you tried to say you were attempting to gently tap your brother in the STOMACH with your foot!

She nods, no longer holding back the grin or the pinched-grin tears.

“Let me get this straight. Your story is that your brother stuck his finger in your Kool-aid, did a gorilla dance in your face, and so you tried to gently tap him in the stomach with your foot.”

She’s cracking up.

Rhythm walks back in the room, as if on cue, and says, “Stinkerbelle, how in the heck can you say you’re aiming for someone’s stomach when your leg doesn’t go that high up?”

“Well, how the heck was I supposed to know my leg wouldn’t go up that high? My eye and aim were on your stomach!” She retorts.

“Yeah, but Stinkerbelle,” interjects Mom (that’s me) “You’re trying to get me to buy the fact that you were trying to gently tap him in the stomach? Duh!”

Everyone laughs, but then Stinkerbelle spins on her brother with that hick drawl she’s picked up since we’ve been here in Kentucky, and says, “Well, yew shouldnta bin all up in my face tryin’ ta hit me!”

“I wasn’t trying to hit you in the face and you know it!” Rhythm defends. “I was goin’ like this…”

Rhythm does the gorilla dance and I lose control.

“Rhythm, you keep your fingers out of your sister’s Kool-aid and don’t go monkey-boy in her face. And Stinkerbelle, don’t try to gently tap boys in their tummies. Your leg doesn’t reach that high. Now get out of my room you two goof balls.”

And then I think to myself, this is one for the books! It’ll be so rewarding when they have kids of their own and I can just smile and nod in the distance.

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Intro: Getting divorced meant many things would change for my chidren and me.  Before the divorce, we were a homeschooling family. I didn’t work, so I was able to devote all of my time and energy to their education and raising them outside of the confines and expectations of society.  After the divorce, however, I’d return to work and the teens would embark on a journey back to public school.  Before the divorce, the kids each had their passions… the Prince took Tae Kwon Do and ranked National Champion several times over.  The Princess was taking horse-riding lessons, nurturing her dreams of becoming an equine vet and care-taker of horses.  After the divorce, those lessons would have to cease due to financial restraints.  Before the divorce, we were vegetarians and had been for a number of years.  Returning to the fast-paced world of social interaction and agendas, we knew we’d have to adjust our diet to accomodate – not only as a matter of convenience (I couldn’t prepare good vegetarian meals for them while I was working fourteen-hour days, and I couldn’t ask them to maintain vegetarian lifestyles on school cafeteria food), but because our bodies would be under greater demand, so we returned to eating meat.  Prior to the divorce, we had eight cats, four dogs, and two birds… the cats and birds would have to be placed in new homes because as I single parent, I couldn’t afford to care for the extra lives.  We managed to hold on to the dogs, but it’s a struggle… and the loss of our other animal family members was tragic to us all.  So many changes… and I saw them before they arrived, so I reached for my children to offer them what security I could… knowing the storm was about to blow through.

“To the Prince and Princess”
Written by:
Wendi Friend
June 17, 2007

The journey on which
we’re about to embark
is more than an
accumulation
of miles
and minutes.

As this
transformation unfolds
Trust in me
You have my word
I will not let us fall.

We will all
make sacrifices
and for that
you will never
fully know
how sorry
I am
and yet
in those things
of which we let go
we will find
hidden treasures

Love and laughter
are our riches
and we
we three
are millionaires

Things…
they don’t matter.
What matters
is that we stand
strong together
that we support
one another
that we believe
in each other
and that our love
be unconditional

Know in your hearts
that in spite of
my own weaknesses
I will provide…
and we will
remain in tact.

Let each step
be a lesson
Let each word
be wisely spoken
Let each beat
of our hearts
beat as one.

I have cried my last tear
I have shed self-centered skin
I will do what needs done
And be a warrior for you.

You have my word
I will not let us fall
So hold my hand
don’t let go
and on the count of three
(by the power of three
And the powers that be)
Take a really big breath
…. and jump.

I’ve gotchya.

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