Tag Archives: gratitude

Zoe Faye Day– A Poem For Her Parents, And a Plea To My Readers

Standard

Zoe on the wind,

tickles your chin, and whispers across the water,

making cat paws on the golden surface

as she goes.

She carries butterflies and robins by day,

moths and owls by night.

She rustles through the fine fur of smallest mice,

sends pollen of spring trees bursting,

waves the bright waft of hyacinth like a flag,

a smell of Easter.

. . .

No longer grappling,

she goes,

wild and free all around you.

The universe sighs and settles.

. . .

Grains of her being graced your body

since before even your birth, this baby,

burning bright as the fever of sunrise.

You were not given an easy gift,

to launch this lofty life.

Grief in proportion to love is an unfair equation at best,

the burden with which you were blessed.

. . .

In the grace of a tulip, she is present.

In the thunder of the ocean, in the veins of a leaf.

She will inspire song, sculpture, dance–  for it is what we search–

the peace of where she is.

. . .

Zoe on the wind, rustles the leaves of early trees;

she is light creeping up their trunks.

She is a bee, carrying a fleck of nectar back to a hive

that is alive with buzzing sweetness.

————————————————————————————————-

Today, it is an honor today to share with you about Zoe, as I did last year, on April first.    Zoe Faye Young was born to loving and devoted parents, Laura and Zeppo, in October 2011.  She died of a rare and vicious cancer which strikes the youngest of babies and children, called Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor (MRT), only five months later on April 1, 2012.

In those five months, Zoe touched hundreds of lives.

She changed mine, even though I never met her.

Laura kept a blog about Zoe’s life and brave fight with cancer.  Through this blog I learned of Zoe and her amazing life and family.  I was inspired by their story, by their courage, openness, and vulnerability.  They inspired me to not only hold my own children closer, but to also pay closer attention to what was going on in the world around me.  They made me aware of a suffering I previously could never have imagined, and challenged me to not look away, as I had previously would have.

Rather than allow the death of their first daughter to crush them, Laura and Zeppo founded the Zoe Faye Foundation–  a cause entirely focused on supporting families who are dealing with the cancer that took their baby.  They allowed me to be a part of their mission, and I’ve had the privilege of doing my small part to volunteer for fundraisers, drum up awareness, etc.

My title promised a poem and a plea.  So, you read the poem above.  Now comes the plea to my Momaste community:  Today, please take a moment to go to their website and learn a little more about Zoe’s life and her parents’ goals.  If you are able, consider donating to their foundation, or helping another charity dedicated to researching cures for this awful disease.  Consider sharing their website on your own blog or Facebook newsfeed to further spread the story of wee Zoe.

Thanks.

Random Kindness To A Mother’s Heart

Standard

20130503-160427.jpgOur neighbor is a college professor in early childhood education.  We don’t know her well, but all signs point to her being a lovely individual.  She lives in the second floor apartment of the house next door to us, and her office windows open onto our yard.

When Jack was a toddler, she made a point, on more than one occasion, of stopping to talk to us for a moment over the fence.  “I love to hear the two of you play,” she would say.  “You always have the nicest conversations.”

Her words touched me.  Jack was very verbal from an early age, and I loved my chats with him over the sandbox or flowerbed about nature, trucks, or animals.  Both my husband and I had infinite patience for Jack’s endless curiosity and chatter.

Flash forward four years.

We had Emily and in our constant state of emotional and physical exhaustion, things started to disintegrate at home.  Jack became a big brother after ruling our roost for four years by himself, and he did not like it one bit.

Our backyard banter turned into backyard battle as Jack bucked every rule and I balanced a baby on my hip.

I am sure this quiet, scholarly neighbor heard some conversations and confrontations quite different than the lovely idyll of Jack’s solo days.  I’m sure she heard me struggle with him, and him rage at me not only in our backyard, but also from our home, especially in the warmer months when our windows were all open.

There were times (oh there were times!) when I raced frantically though the house to close all the windows while Jack had one of his tantrums, praying no one would think I was hurting him and call the cops on me.

Our neighbor lady caught us at the bus stop one morning, as we waited for Jack’s big, yellow chariot to swoop him up.  She asked him where he was going to school and who his teacher was, etc.  She mentioned she had always loved hearing him play in the yard.

I scoffed awkwardly at this.  “Well, ” I said, “I’m sure you hear many interesting things.”

She looked me straight in the eye and smiled at me.

“Jack just has a really good sense of himself,” she said.

Huh.  Well that was one way to look at my son’s challenging demeanor.

I think of this brief exchange once in a while, and it strikes me as a very great kindness this neighbor, barely more than an acquaintance, offered me that morning.  She could have been really snarky about our noise interrupting her studies, or dug out some child development fact to imply we were doing it all wrong.  But she didn’t.

Instead, she offered me nine of the kindest words ever to meet my mother heart.

What is something kind someone has done for you as a mom when you least expected it?  Have you ever done/said anything to show kindness to another mom you saw struggling?  

MY Inaugural Saturday SHOUT Out– January 25th 2014, Boof And Monk Monk

Standard

Today I would like to give a very, super, happy, fun, yippie skippie, and warm shout out to my pal Monk Monk over at her blog, Boof and Monk Monk.  If you do one thing today, check.  her.  out.

Even though we’ve never met IRL, I’m pretty sure Monk Monk and I were twins separated at birth.  We have this weird blogging kismet where we come up with similar thoughts or topics at the same time, have similar senses of humor, and share similar interests.  Oh and we are both six-foot-tall social workers and mothers of toddlers.  If we hung out together we would constantly be saying, “Jinx, you owe me a coke!” (or a cosmo),  because we would both just be saying the same stuff at the same time.  The only difference between us is that she lived in India and I’m terrified of snakes.  True story.

Monk Monk and I found each other through the former Offbeat Families site, where we had both guest posted.  She commented on a piece I had written on sucking as a working mom and I was drawn to her Wonder Woman avatar like a moth to a flame.  Turns out we both blog here at WP, so it was easy to follow one another’s blogs, and we quickly became friends.  She never hesitates to leave a thoughtful comment or some supportive advice.

Monk Monk is a devoted wife and mom, and currently works as a teacher.  Her adorable little man, Sir Potamus, is often featured in her blogs, teaching her all kinds of life lessons.  She has a passion for heated yoga, her family, and taking photos in thrift stores.  She writes posts that are at once humorous, sensitive, and transcendent.  A recurring theme in her work is adoption, and being an adoptee who has connected with her birth family.

One of my favorite posts from Monk Monk is Coyote Mother.  Trickster Mother.  I love the poetry of this piece.  It has warmth, humor, truth, and strength that really resonated with me long after I read it.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Blog on Monk Monk, you gorgeous yogini!  Momaste loves you!

As many of you read in my teaser post yesterday, I am doing a new segment called Saturday SHOUT Out.  It is a chance for me to give a virtual, but loving pat on the back to a fellow blog-bud out there who has touched my life in a special way, as I have met some truly amazing people through the bloggie boogie.  It was exciting yesterday to see how well-recieved this idea was!  

If you would like to be featured on an upcoming SHOUT Out, please let me know either by emailing me, or in the comments below.  If would also be good karma if you check out the other featured blogs, and add them to your roster of blogs in your reader if you enjoy them, so that we are all sharing the love!   Hugs and MOMASTE!!  

Coming Soon on Momaste!

Standard

Blogging here at WordPress has been a great experience.  It has not only helped me to put mindfulness into practice, but has also connected me to a network of amazing, supportive, compassionate people.  This connectivity has assisted me in my goal of being more mindful, more open, and more grateful.  It has also helped me with accepting myself, thereby making it more possible for me to accept and love others.

So, I am going to be starting a new feature on Momaste.  I’m calling it “Shout Out Saturday”.  On Saturdays, I will write a post featuring some of my favorite bloggers, or posts that I have found beautiful and influential.  I plan to feature one blog per Saturday.

If you are interested in being featured on my “Saturday Shout Out,” please let me know in the comments below.

If you don’t have a blog, but have been a frequent flyer here at Momaste, you can also be featured!  If you would like to share something about your story, a tip about mindfullness or parenting, write a guest post, or let people know a little bit about where you are from and what you are all about.

Thanks so much for being here and there with me on my journey.  I am astounded daily by you.

Momaste.

Check Out My New Page

Standard

If you didn’t notice, I created a new page on my blog.  It is a Gallery of Gratitude.  I got this idea from someone, somewhere on the inter webs, but can’t remember who, so I apologize I can’t give credit where credit is due.

The idea is uploading a bunch of the photos we take every day of all of our minutia, etc., and taking a moment to be grateful for random stuff in our lives.

20140119-210328.jpg

Grateful for boots left out for a week in the kitchen? You bet I am!

I thought this also fit in nicely with the overall theme of mindfulness here on Momaste, since it gives me yet another opportunity to pause and be aware of my life’s charming little details.  I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I forget about being grateful for all that I have.  Sometimes I get really overwhelmed with all the messes and chaos of life, and it is so nice to just stop and feel gratitude for any little thing- even a fragrant tea bag can be a chance to connect with gratitude.

Since I do not post photos of my family on my blog, this project will be even more challenging for me because I can’t just slap up pictures of my kids doing adorable stuff.  Maybe it won’t interest anyone but me, but that’s okay too, since it is mainly a record for me.  But maybe it would inspire you to start a gallery of gratitude too!

Check it out and let me know what you think!  And if you start a Gratitude Gallery of your own, send me the link in your comments so I can check your’s out!  XOXOXO and momaste!