Tag Archive | family

Found: Empathy & Compassion

Empathy and compassion are the paths that point to finding the road to living a life with great serenity.
Not everyone knows this experience.

image empathy is

My small world is filled family and Friends whose empathy and compassion often not the socks off my bare feet.
I want them to know this 13th day of May 2014 just how much I cherish their caring thoughts, prayers, actions, and genuine feelings for me. I’m one very blessed lady and I never wish to take that for granted.

I was prepared mentally,  physically, and spiritually to have a surgical procedure called a Cholecystectony, the fancy word for Laparoscopic removal of my Gallbladder. I wasn’t prepared for deep sense of love and care I have been shown by family and friends. I don’t mean to suggest that their empathy and compassion are new to me.
Not at all.
I am feeling their care in a new way, it’s me whose feeling the loving care as incredibly blessed gifts. I think for sometime I wasn’t the person who was in touch and mindful of that feeling beyond an awareness that it was there.
I hope I wasn’t actually taking it for granted before,  I think I simply was not giving the compassion from those in my life the reverence it deserves. They deserve.
Empathy is not something everyone gets to experience,  yet it is needed to be able to embrace a sense of compassion.

There are people in my life, close family, and friends who became family by choice that I best describe them as ‘Empaths’. They know what I’m living. They, because of their gifts of empathy and compassion feel deeply what I feel.

image empathy is about standing

They’ve been beside me and privy to my journey of becoming a strong and independent woman, witnessing my  many “first times in life” experiences through the last two years, and they never judge, only support me with their unconditional love and acceptance of who I am.
I’m so blessed.

Self serving post this is, it is All About Me.
It’s important to me that those people in my life hear me say that I am touched in ways again today that leave me completely humbled by your friendship.
And your compassionate loving caring ways. You might think it’s nothing to take a few minutes to phone to just see how I am, I on the other hand think it’s priceless.

I especially need to give a ‘Mama Shout Out’ to my daughter Janis, she has been my personal nurse, confidante, chef, medical insurance specialist, and my heath advocate. As my daughter and best friend she reminds me daily just how imperative it is to be genuine with those in your circle of love, and the reasons behind the joy I find living an authentic life. I love you Cupcake & Thank YOU. ♡

My family/framily = my bros & niece’s, my two ‘sis-out-laws’, my two best gal-pals they know who they are, and last but certainly not the least my artists/clients-partners in music, all of them deserve big love from me for their most amazing support.

I’m deeply overwhelmed with emotions that y’all inspire within my heart and soul. I just needed to express it out loud.
THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!
I love you all to the Moon and Back.

 

©ttaylor2014

 

Mission Accomplished

Road trip home; Mission accomplished

 
Clackamas Oregon 
While I have heard it said that you cannot go back home again I beg to differ. The fact that home may have changed should not alter the fact that home is where it’s always been, and though the people as much as the place change with a blink of the eye. their still home.
Home for me is Clackamas Oregon, and it is where my brothers still are, literally within blocks from where we grew up. My Bros (an endearment I have used for years) unlike me never really ever left the neighborhood we grew up in.
Last weekend my daughter and I made the three-hour road trip across the Cascade mountain range with the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces with a mission. That mission was to surprise my two brothers with a weekend visit. My sister-in laws and my nieces were part of intelligence required to pull off such a feat. But as it happens an unintentional leak accidentally happened and one bro discovered we were coming before we even left.
No biggie, the only expectation I went with was being with my family and seeing a few other life-long friends. 
It was a beautiful balmy and sun filled afternoon when we left Bend, we commented to one another about it being a beautiful day for a road trip. Chatting like my daughter Jani & I do every time we are together with topics flying around us so often I’m not sure anyone else could (or want to) keep up with or conversations. (my daughter’s permission to use her real name when I asked was just a snicker of consent.)
Part of what made this trip so amazingly special to me was my daughter was part of it all. 
Leaving Bend the weather was gorgeous, one of the 300 plus days of sunshine on the high desert of Oregon. As we began to really climb in elevation near Mt Hood though we and fellow travelers were met with slushy to frozen highway conditions, snow falling mixed with some gusty winds. My daughter who has become quite proficient in driving in all kinds of snow and ice conditions navigated the road and other travelers with a nonplussed style, My daughter created a sense of confidence that made the whole trip, including the hour of tense road conditions relaxing for this passenger. Once we reached the summit (5900 ft) and began to descend the road conditions and weather improved, albeit we knew we were traveling down closer to sea level and into the valley with its notorious overcast skies and it’s misty damp air.
Thankfully Mother Nature was on our side this trip.
Traveling with my adult daughter for this trip was such a gift that I decided to make the weekend about comfort and independence as well; so with our reserved room at the more than comfortable Hampton Inn.  After checking in to our room we set foot about to accomplish our mission, heading out to my little brothers who happens to live just a few doors down from my older brother.
Part of the planning was to include open mic night at the pub where my brother often plays. We created quite the entourage even with just us:  My daughter Janis, my older brother Steve, my younger brother Doug, his lady Theresa,  good friend Jamey, my Matron of Honor from 40 plus years ago Linda, my soul daughter & her husband Jamie & Tony, my niece Jodie & her husband Jared. Just now I counted us all, including me there were 11 of us. of course this count does not include the other musicians and friends that are regulars at the pub’s open mic night. 
It was an awesome full house, especially for an open mic night. The music was fine and it was fun, cover tunes that we all knew. Once they started playing The Eagles everyone in the house was singing along.
I love that kind of feeling that live music lets even strangers feel like old friends.

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My Bro Doug and Pete.

me and rex

Me doing what I love; listening to my little brother play.

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My Baby Brother solo.

(not so much a baby I agree, but he will always be my baby brother.)

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Me & Theresa soul sisters and partner’s in crime.

Friday night was just a hoot. And by the end of the evening there were now three of us coming in to the Hampton Inn and passing the front desk. Now mind you please, only two people are registered to our room and since 9/11 here the USA lodging proprietors are required to know who is in their units. An additional per person rate is typically applied beyond double occupancy.

Passing by the front desk there are now three of us, and one of us was feeling a bit three sheets to the wind. (and I am not telling you who it was, but it wasn’t me, and wasn’t my daughter) The night clerk just smiled and welcomed us home from our evening out. Never a word about an added charge, or whose name’s were who. My friend Linda, my daughter Janis & I were in fits of giggles as the nightlife wore on, much like a slumber party of silly 10-year-old girls. Janis fell asleep about midnight leaving Linda and I to catch up until sleep took over about 3:30am.  When I was 16 yrs old I first met Linda, we have been the best of best friends for almost 44 years now. We are both single now and living life far different from our earlier years. I love the comfort in knowing she is always there.

Saturday was all the family day. My grandson, nieces & husbands, grand-niece, all gathered at my little Bro’s. One of the coolest unexpected things to happen was also being able to see two friends I have known since I was 4 yrs old. They are a brother and sister, Dizzy is my oldest brother’s good friend and his little sister Marilyn is my age and we were the very best of friends. Meeting in our closely knit neighborhood when we were just 4 yrs old riding our bikes everywhere we went. We for many years were inseparable, both loved the Beatles and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Seeing these two people I love like family was an unexpected gift. .


If it hadn’t been for my daughter I wouldn’t have these precious photos, I was too overwhelmed by living in the moment to think about capturing it. I am so grateful she did.

Thank you Jani for the weekend and the photos documenting it. Thank you also to Theresa, Sybil, Jodie, and Kelly for being my partners in crime.

Mission accomplished!

 
Going eastward home.  Mt Hood, her majestic self in the sunny skies.

©ttaylor2014

Winter’s Wild Wonderland

Finding delight during the height of the Christmas season brings a special sparkle. I love the classic (might I say vintage?) Christmas songs we all have grown up with, Hearing them year after year brings with them attached memories. I have this my first Christmas being single been especially remembering Christmas with my brothers, and with that has brought the soft feeling of being a bit homesick.

So this year I am going home!

The week after Christmas my daughter & I will be with my brothers & their families. I have a grand-niece who I will be meeting for the first, I am so looking forward to the trip. My brothers don’t know we are coming. My sister in-laws’ and I decided to make a surprise out of it for both my brothers who think they will not see me at all this holiday.

This means a road trip with my daughter as we will be making the trek across the Cascade Mountain range from our small home town on the high desert to the big city of Portland Oregon, Affectionately known as P-town.

All of this is very weather dependent of course. because of the temperamental climate of the wild winter wonderland of the Oregon mountains. Makes me think of the Christmas son Winter Wonderland.

The trip over the mountain pass this time of year can be quite a wild adventure if caught up at 6000-7000 feet above sea level in white out conditions.  (Think good thoughts for us please)

It can also be the most Zenful trip of the year  bringing an incredible sense of peace over your whole being. This stunning winter wonderland drive over the pass very soon begins to creates a calm and quiet that gently blankets the energy inside the car. No one speaks. Everyone feels it. Our breath is literally taken by the crisp and pure beauty that lies in every direction our eyes can scan.

And the silence. the blissful silence of snow. Only the subtle tapping cadence from the studded snow tires needed for traction keep time for the orchestrated quiet.  There is no radio reception, no cell/mobile service, and there is a sense for great reverence for that kind of wild winter wonderland silence. So we honor that for a bit of time and just drive.

We are in the middle of a national forest

 A deep humble sigh escape while softly smiling. Gratitude for the gift of living amongst such spectacular grace of nature is a shared thought. Day dreams about the little cabin nestled under the shelter of the great pines, tall sentry’s guarding at its sides. Then the narratives begin. As we wind through the mountains with the back drop of the sun glancing brilliant light off the snow we begin to spin tales. The stories we tell and build with one another;  the songs we make up on the fly singing together, and the silly laughter.

All part of the magic.

….and then once again the silence will come.

Oregon’s Wild Winter Wonderland.

Merry Christmas Y’all!

©ttaylor2013

WordPress Family Award To Hiatus –

A  new award for this blog., Lady Barefoot Baroness. And just as I was on my way out the proverbial door for a hiatus from all things blogging, I started to include writing  in this hiatus,  but I know the journal writing will be still  an everyday part of processing so this would not be so.

Just briefly before I get on with the business of accepting this award I need to share that I am taking a short vacation from writing here at WordPress. In a note from an insightful friend & mentor who responded to my sharing that I was taking some time off said this;
” I am hopeful you gain the introspective your soul is seeking,”  I repeat these words only because in a nutshell it says clearer than I can why I am taking this time off.  This is a journey that needs my full attention for a period of time.

On to the award….

The WordPress Family Award

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How cool is that?

This award is from my dear & courageous friend; Tersia whose blog ;is @  http://tersiaburger.com/  

The timing of Tersia’s award is as typical of my connection I have with her,  it is spot on. I have this happen with many of those who are part of my blogging family. Seems when I most need some insights they appear with alarming accuracy & timing.

As it has with Tersia’s award.

For this woman who gifts this award is a hero of mine. She is someone who epitomizes the words brave & courageous in my mind. She has more strength than she knows she has. Often when I am reading her blog I am reminded of  F A.A. Milne‘s epic verse from Winnie The Pooh. { Tersia if I have sent this to you before I apologize for being repetitive. This quote is so indicative of how I see you. Thank you so much for thinking of me. }

This beautiful woman Tersia has been through more than any person should in a life time. The timing of her award arriving on my doorstep this week was just the perspective I needed to help gain balance again;  for I have been falling out of my saddle of late. If I could emulate the grace of living through troubled waters like Tersia I would be ever grateful for this. I look to her and see this woman whose daughter was robbed of a long life and find a woman who finds the will to go forward. To move on is one of the most courageous commitments to living life fully I have ever been privy to.

Thank you Tersia. You touched a place in my heart long ago, now you have scribed your name their.

As for passing the award on I will again default on this: You who follow my blog  and have stuck by LBB & me through some transformations recently are my WordPress Family; and you ALL deserve this award. May I ask you to do me a favor? Please  grace your own blog with this award.

Second Generataion of Dirty Mothers

There are were four of them. ( sadly, three of us have now experienced what it is like to lose one of us)

And their names are BB, LM, SG. & our beloved VJ

That would be me and the three women I have grown up with. We are the four original Dirty Mothers.

A good friend whose name is David and we lost back in the 90’s  realized something we were doing which we four women had never given a second thought to, It seemed a natural for us. David thought other wise, he thought it pretty eccentric of us.

We began losing our mothers in the late 1980’s. LM,’s mother sadly was the first to leave this earth. Then it was my mother. SG’s mom & her mom’s identical twin, and lastly VJ’s mom. Since our mothers had also been neighbors & friends the wakes for each mother were neighborhood affairs.  Our friend David  who was a photographer would grace the wake with his montage of personal photographs. Always beautiful, always tasteful.

It is also David who gave us this name. The Dirty Mothers,  Not very feminine sounding I would agree   yet David.. ..being David.. would  just smile; shrug his shoulders,  hold his hands out, palms facing up; as if to say, “and your point is what?”

It really is not as unflattering as it sounds. If you know now what the significance  is to Dirty Mothers you should win a prize  just for being in the know. You might even be considered just as eccentric by your friends as David thought of us.

One of these women I met at birth, mine. (so we are told) SG is the oldest with LM being the baby, and VJ & myself in between; all four of us born in 1955.  Our family’s lived in the same neighborhood and our moms would do the stereo-typical “coffee get together” around the family dining tables most week day mornings. I have a vivid memory of them sitting together at my mom’s table, chatting about many things I did not understand.  VJ rounded us out and made us the  perfect quartet in the 7th grade,  her mom was an acquaintance to our mothers as well.

Finding ourselves having to gather so often in our 30’s  for wakes for our beloved mothers and other people in our joined lives that our dear mutual friend David nick – named us The Dirty Mothers.  An Odd & eccentric name for a group of women who have known each all of their lives. We took to it naturally.

Where.,or how did David come up this unusual name? I know you are wanting to know why this name.  If you  know the why, or are on the same page as David was without me having to tell you than  I am impressed. you can move to the head gf the class.

A hint, the nick name did not come from this song,  However; I could not believe there is a song actually titled with the same name so I am sharing it with this anecdotal story. The Mothers would approve. All of them!

The name comes from an alcoholic mixed drink that we of the now dubbed Dirty Mothers would drink during the wake memorials of our respective mothers. Our friend David spotted this ritual we had begun even before we realized what we were doing.

Hence the club of the Dirty Mothers had been born.

So what is a Dirty Mother you are asking?

We would begin by making this drink in a blender, the trick is proportions. We would begin with taking a half-gallon (2.27 liter) of Half & Half Cream & four oz (28 gm) to six of good quality gold tequila to the mix. Next add the coffee flavored  liquor  such a Kahlua™ y  a 50 to 50 ratio to the tequila. Depending on which Dirty Mother was making the pitcher of Dirty Mothers would be the deciding factor for how much is too much tequila. Blend till frothy, serve on the rocks.  And please Friends if you are going to try this,  do put your seat belts on before you even begin.

My friend and yours: A Dirty Mother.

These women and I would spend the evenings together after all family & friends had finally gone on to their own lives again. We would find a quiet alone place to huddle together, hanging on to one another for the evening or the night – often just spending the night so no one was driving.  Albeit grown-up big girls we found slumber patties to be comforting on such evenings.  We still do. This was not our typical time spent together obviously and we found being together like this required something to loosen our tongues the first time. It then became naturally our thing.

The Dirty Mothers Club.

We’d never had this when it came to the loss of any of our fathers but somehow the connection of being women made this ritual feel exactly like what we were supposed to be doing. What we needed to be doing. Even we felt we had our own mothers blessings. It was a time to spend together sharing tears, and sharing laughter. To this day I have special and cherished memories of these evenings. The painful memories are the  months weeks and or days before the wake, and during the actual memorials. These evenings were the time when our healing began.

There was something about gathering together with my extended family of women. My Dirty Mothers. You see, not only have we been friends our entire lives we are also 2nd generation friends out of four generations of the same families being connected through friendships.

Let me explain…

All four of us have had children, all girls ironically. Our children who are adults, now have children. Each generation has remained friends. Each has been raised together, knowing one another, and as close as can be while growing up without being related by blood. We may be closer in fact having the gift of choosing this our extended family. All this wonder despite living in separate cities, and towns now as adults. Four generations of being friends that made family.

The women of the Dirty Mothers & I know we have been incredibly blessed. We  know we have a special and unique friendship. And we do not take any of it for granted anymore. Like so many

Like so many things in my life…We, The Dirty Mothers have come Full Circle.

©barefootbaroness  ( re-published on FB  01. 2013 )

Work in Progress- 6 Word Saturday

My Granddaughter Is Mini-Mini Me.

She was eccentric at age 4 yrs old. And old soul by age 10, child of the earth by age 13,

My granddaughter – a work in progress. Having a problem committing (nothing is adhered yet) to anything on this page.  Both, my granddaughter (19) and this page layout……..still very much a works in progress.

©tjhelser2012

Share Your world # 41

From Cee’s Share Your World  (SYW)

I have been MIA the last couple weeks for SYW – It us a comfortable feeling to come back and be dong something so familiar.  Cee, our creative founder and producer of  the weekly SYW has amassed for this lively writing challenge an eclectic group. We, these friends Cee’s  who gather each week have become almost like an extended blogging family. I kind of like that. 

If you are interested in joining this awesome blogging family for one week or always all you have to do is follow this link to Cee’s blog:  http://ceeslifephotographyblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/share-your-world-week-41/

The Rest is a walk in the park ~ 

From Cee’s blog

“Here are the four Share Your World questions for this week.    I hope you have some fun playing along.  It sure is fun learning about all of us.”

  • 1. If you could be any animal, what would you be?

I hope birds count. I know technically they don’t but I’ll pretend I am in denial. I would be a Hummingbird. Why? I’d love to be able to move at that speed and yet seem so wonderfully graceful in all that I’d do. And who could object to free flying? Free Falling

  • 2 What makes you feel the most secure?

Simply my faith. Faith in something more powerful than myself, or my insecurities. That is not to say that I don’t have thoughts of human emotions & feelings. But they are based on what my beliefs say to me. I see this as the perfect chance to address beliefs that are in error or askew; and or can be turned around to a more positive belief based on new information. New beliefs.

  • 3. Have you ever jumped out of a plane?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

Are you kidding me? uh.. that would-be no.. and no… I am not even okay being on an airplane! I do it but I hate flying ..well that is a misnomer, because what I hate is the take off and the landing. Now if I had my set of wings…

  • 4. Are you a listener or talker?

I’m both. confidently she says both!

I am a natural listener. I  enjoy & like people to talk about themselves, and what is going in with themselves, or around them. I enjoy hearing stores of life & adventures If you sharing something about yourself I am likely wanting to listen. And probably after ask some questions.

I am also a talker. just ask anyone who has had a conversation or two with me. OR who have received one of infamous emails or snail mail novels. I combine writing and talking… resulting in novel proportion letters. If you are still reading one hurry up… there is another on its way. Please. ~ 😉

©tjhelser2012