Tag Archive | childhood

My Hometown

My Hometown

I’m a Jersey Girl in case you didn’t know.  At one point in my life, Bruce Springsteen and his family were actually living in my hometown.  I’ve met him and talked with him over the years.  I’ve seen him play locally numerous times and I was even at a spontaneous birthday party he had at a local restaurant where he gave an impromptu mini concert with his band and danced with his Mom on the dance floor.  That was such a memorable night!

What I find special about Bruce is how he weaves his stories through his music in a way that touches so many of us.  Around town, he didn’t display his celebrity status.  He was just Bruce, without pretensions which is such a lovely way to be.

So when he played at the Tony Awards, the man playing the piano was so real to me.  While I didn’t grow up in his hometown, the nostalgia in which he paints it was real to me as I know his town too.

If you care to take a listen, maybe this clip will remind you of the beauty of your hometown as you take a walk down your memory lane along the streets of your childhood.

Shine On!

xo

 

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Elevate Your Relationship With Your Child

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Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, I’m writing to you from the heart.  As a parent myself, and a former teacher and as a humanitarian, yes, I’m going to suggest how you parent your sweet children.  You may choose to tune out here and click off my letter or maybe you just might want to read what I have to say to see if it resonates with you.

Let me begin by telling you I am not the perfect parent, teacher nor humanitarian.  Not by a long shot am I perfect.  But I feel the need to tell you honestly what I’m seeing and it’s not pretty dear friends.  You may or may not be aware of it, but it’s there – that wounded spot between you and your child.  You know the one I mean.  You sense it because you know that he’s mad with you and you feel guilty for whatever you’ve not done.  Or maybe you’re really as clueless about it as you seem.  But I don’t buy it.  I think you know, but you’re afraid to touch that wounded part of your child and yourself.

Example:  You are busy with work, your family, your life and all that’s around you.  You live in a tizzy of busy because you are doing the best you can to provide for your family, to work at your career, to be a good wife/husband, to parent, to raise your family and maybe even take care of your own parents as well.  You’re stressed beyond words and everyone knows it.  You are doing the best you can and I applaud you.  But I know you’re not happy because that wound rears its ugly head when it comes to your child.

You feel guilty because your child is wounded by you.  There, let’s speak plainly.  What you say, how you react, what you don’t say or don’t do, has built up a laundry list in your child’s mind to feel wounded by you.  What’s worse is that you think that what he holds against you may be true and if you had more time, if you weren’t working, if you didn’t have so many children, etc., you’d not have made those mistakes.  You’ve got a litany of excuses and guilt that he doesn’t want to hear.  But you’re not telling him that anyway.  You’re living with the wound yourself and it’s festering in your daily interactions with him.  It’s like a runaway train which at every non-stop at a station, gets worse and the momentum of hurt builds.

You must be willing to change in order for you and your child to begin to rebuild your relationship.  I’ve found that honesty works well here as it almost always does when it comes to communication between people, be it parent/child relationships or for that matter, any relationship between people.  Open communication is key.  Taking the quiet opportunity when there’s not a lot of stress involved between you, makes it easier for each person to hear what the other person is saying.  Blame is not an option here so don’t bring it into the conversation.  Explain clearly what you expect from your child and what he can expect from you.  Show examples of when he was successful and when you were as well and highlight the times when you worked together and succeeded at a common goal.  Remind him of the fun times together and let him know how you miss that connection with him.  Tell him plainly how you miss that connection and how you would like to reconnect and ask him for advice.  Let him tell you what he needs from you and you can do the same.  Be on the same page as a team.  Keep the dialogue open and be ready to hear how he feels even if it’s hard.  It may take a few conversations before he will open up, but most teenagers want to reconnect because they need you as much as you need them.  But you need to set the example for that give and take trusting conversation and not react to anything he says that you may not like.  You need to be the grownup and own how what’s happened makes him feel, especially when you may find it hitting too close to home.  It’s hard to accept when your teenager tells you the truth as he sees it and you may have to accept that he’s right and not give excuses as to why you did whatever it is that you did.  This is not to say that you need to take all the blame and guilt here either, for it’s a two way street in any relationship.  But in giving your child the opportunity to speak his mind respectfully, just as it will be when you are given the same opportunity, allows for healing to begin.

It takes time to repair wounds for anyone, but especially that parent/child relationship as it sets the stage for his future relationships.  Even the most wounded of us wants peace and forgiveness and to feel loved and respected.  I don’t think it’s ever too late to try, for you never know when you may succeed.

Relationships fall apart over time and don’t always heal quickly.  But with patience and kindness we can repair and reconnect with others in the most miraculous of ways.  It takes a commitment to reconnect, but I’ve found that it’s so well-worth it when we do!

Work on making your home a safe and loving environment where family means that we love each other and that we work together for the common good and love that binds us.  You role model that in your home – peace, love, kindness – so foster it in every moment!

Be kind to yourself, dear parent.  Sometimes life just happens the way it does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our relationships with effort on both parts.  If you really feel disconnected from your child, make the effort and if it’s not too late, you may be surprised at the amazing relationship that comes out of your opening up the conversation to reconnect in the first place!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

A Heartwarming Story ~ Making A Difference!

Today’s Blog Post is brought to you by my friend Paul over at GYA Today ~ click here to follow his great blog!  http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/a-perfect-touchdown/   Paul posted this heartwarming story today!

As a cancer survivor myself, I find it even more beautiful when others take time to volunteer to make someone else’s day!  It’s all about Making A Difference!  Guess that’s my theme for the week!

A Perfect Touchdown

QB_and_Breanna_BercegeayRead more and watch the video HERE

Thanks Gregg Doyel for the inspiration!

Have you made a difference today?

Tell us about it! ♥

Shine on!

xo

You’re the Beary Best!

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Teddy has been with me since I was about 2 years old when my Aunt Martha supposedly gave him to me.  He is worn and quite fur-less now since he’s been held for so many years.  He was a staple in my bed throughout my childhood.  Teddy protected me, comforted me and held me as I cried.  He is stained now, right down to the fabric of his being from so many years of comforting my tears.  He now wears a baby blue sweater to keep him warm since his fur is gone.  On his sweater is a sparkly white snowflake which is as unique as he is.

If Teddy could talk, he still wouldn’t repeat all of the secrets he knows.  He is just a comforting soul ~ silent witness ~ to a young girl’s childhood.

Teddy still sits at the end of my bed on my hope chest.  A silent protector who no longer needs to stand vigil, but simply be the comforting reminder of love.  Most definitely he has seen better days, but since he’s only seen by my family, he remains at the end of our bed.

I will admit that occasionally when I see him, I do still pick him up to give him a hug.  His comfort is still felt by my heart and as always, is greatly appreciated.

Do you have a special childhood friend?

Shine On!

xo

 

Daily Prompt: Prized Possession

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/daily-prompt-prized-possession/

Thanks For Your Time!

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“Thanks for Your Time” 

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture. Jack stopped suddenly…

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was… my time”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

My 2nd grade teacher, with whom I’m still friends, sent me the above in an email ~ so I made it a post today because I liked it.  I hope you did too!

To everyone who reads this post today ~

“Thanks for your time.”

Shine On!

xo

Do you need to reach out to someone today to say Thank You For Your Time? 

Click here and send a card on me to someone special! 

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Daily Prompt with a Twist

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A Heavenly Place

Today’s daily prompt said:  “Ode to a Playground…A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed.  Write it a memorial,” and today I’m asking for a bit of leniency from you as I answer the question.  You see, last night, my son had a dream that was so vivid to him and it immediately brought me back to my childhood, so I wanted to share it with you.

I’ve been to Heaven.  There, I’ve said it and now those of you who want to can click away…and those who want to stay, please understand that I am opening up to this playground of my past for you.  No, I haven’t died before (although I’ve had a few close calls in my lifetime), but I have experienced Heaven which to me, is a playground of my past.

As a child, I was intuitive and I believe that as children, we are receptive to many energies which surround us but as we grow older, we tend to lose sight of them and stop connecting with them for those imaginings are not thought of as grown up…and yet the funny part I think is after we are grown up, we long to dream again, to open up to possibilities in our lives and we are reminded to stop and smell the roses.  Do you know what I mean?

For you see, I dreamed of Heaven and that dream, although it happened more than 25 years ago, is still as vivid to me as if I had dreamt it last night.  To me it was comforting to feel so at home in a place where I have not been in this lifetime except through dreams.  In fact, I have dreamt of the same house many times in the last 25 years and each time, there are people in the house with whom I speak or share a smile and they can see me ~ except they are all people who have already passed in my lifetime.

Ok, have I lost any of you yet?  Or are you still with me?

I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe that when we close the door to our playground of childhood, we destroy our dreams.  We destroy the ability to create our lives in the way in which our higher selves function.  The key is to not stop believing ~ to not stop the feeling of possibility ~ to continue to hold onto that playground of Heaven where love encompasses our every moment.

Imagine a world where we all kept that love alive in our hearts!

Shine On!

xo

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/daily-prompt-ode/

Bucking Expectations

So yesterday morning I awoke at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I laid awake for a few hours, all sorts of thoughts running through my head, until finally at 4:30am, I made my way downstairs to my laptop and my favorite Breakfast Blend coffee and began my day.

I recently heard that one of my favorite aunts from childhood passed away in August.  She had eventually gotten Alzheimer’s after her hubby passed 13 years ago.  Her husband was my Mom’s brother and he was like a Dad to me.  He was a special man…whenever we (my sister and me) stayed over their house, Uncle L would always have something fun for us to do and Aunt R would make sure that it was a treat beyond our wildest dreams.

For us, life was great going to their house ~ we loved them and their children who were 4 and 7 years older than me.  It was like having an older sister and brother who just adored you and honestly, we adored them!  Life was always fun at their house and we often stayed for days with them.

As a child, they were such happy memories and we were completely oblivious to the complicated adult relationships that surrounded us.  Eventually we got older and stopped staying at their home, but all of those visits are warm, happy memories in my heart.

Time passed and we were let in on the complications, the fights and the ugliness which surrounded the adults and finally, upon my Uncle’s death 13 years ago, the strain broke the relationships and they faded away.  Oh there were a few fights, some back stabbing, he said/she saids…but I was dealing with cancer by then and fighting for my life.  I didn’t have the strength to fight for anything else.  But all the same, it made me sad that all ties were broken with our Aunt and cousins.

This morning I searched the internet until I found Aunt R’s obituary from August.  Funny thing is that by the time my younger son was born, we weren’t in contact, but if we had been, she would have been delighted to know that they shared the same birthday.  It’s sad to me now that it only is known to me because the rest of my family won’t have anything to do with them.

Truly, I’m not sure who’s in the wrong or who’s in the right and frankly, I don’t think I give a hoot anymore.  Life is short my friends and so I decided to BUCK EXPECTATIONS and send sympathy cards to my cousins.  In addition, I sent them each a separate card telling them how I feel.  I am sure that any family reading today’s post will be shocked and appalled, but truly, I don’t care anymore about the past…I want my cousins to know that I honor their Mom and Dad…that I now know what it’s like to lose a parent and I’m not afraid of anyone’s disliking what I’m doing anymore.

This is My Life.

Whew…big words for a little girl, don’t you think?  I preach about sending out love, touching hearts with cards and telling others how you feel now before it’s too late.  I want you to know that sometimes it’s not easy to do and I get it…I do.  But when I opened up my heart today, the words flowed out and I felt love.

I hope that they will receive my cards with the love intended…only time will tell if I should ever get back a response, but I know in my heart that I’ve said my peace, send my heartfelt love and prayers and let them know that no matter what, the love, kindness and beautiful childhood memories in my heart will always be alive…and for that, I am ever grateful.

Thinking of you…

xo