as the song goes: would you lie with me and just forget the world? (maybe this post is all over the place but it’s kay)

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMom and I traveled down to Athens this week to stay with my great aunt for a few days. She’s 84 and life isn’t really too kind to those whose age is a high number.

Three days, no wifi. Ooph, it was hard! My millennial self struggled. I can’t say I was missed but being online is a daily routine my habitual self didn’t know how to live without. I mean, obviously, I cheated a couple times! I went to a nearby coffee shop to check my social media and put in a couple job applications. Satisfying that compulsion to feel connected through the interwebs.

I discovered there are benefits to this disconnect though…

My great aunt, Irene, reminds me of my grandma. They’re sisters (after all), three years apart, both relatively short women who married tall men. They share a similar spunkiness, a tendency to keep their fridges full, and both very kind hearted. Their commonalities are strong, and sometimes I wonder if when I get older people will say the same for me and my sisters.

But, grandma passed away 10 years ago… and aunt Irene has been not a substitute but a nice reminder of her sister.

Anyways, yesterday, as aunt Irene woke up from her nap, I ended up getting in bed with her to snuggle. It was an action that ended up surprising us both. We enjoyed it a lot and each time I got up for a moment, she’d call for me to come back. We spent a good hour and half laying there as she shared stories about when she was my age, about her sister, and about her late husband, Harris.

It was so neat to feel the world drift away and hear her talk. She told me about Harris and how he wanted to marry her from the moment he set his eyes on her. She lost him over 20 years ago and her heart still aches for him.

Love is this wild thing that I don’t know much about it. At least, not the “in love” part. I know about loving people and I try very hard to love people well, even if I don’t always succeed. But lately, I’ve thought about love a lot and about loving someone deeply and losing that person… and then what’s left?

A heart that’s broken, lost, and confused?

How do you ever move forward

How do you let go

The Christian answer in my head is: God will heal those wounds. And the thing is, he does… sure, but sometimes, I don’t think the whole pain ever leaves. Not really. It’s a thorn that remains in your heart, right? Or so it feels. A thorn that stabs you every day, even if its hollow and faint.

I just don’t think such a pain can ever truly, completely stop.

Perhaps because hearts are made to break. They are fragile and marked by their ability to feel – everything. So, sometimes, when they are shattered… those pieces can only attempt to recreate what they once were. It’s like when you break your ribs, right? Those bones can never heal as they were before but mend within their brokenness. They will create something new of which you are forever reminded that they were once deformed and now changed.

I don’t know, loving is hard but as I laid there listening to my aunt tell me story after story and share her hurt, here’s one thing I know: I’d lay on a damn bed any day with a person I care for and love, just to spend a few moments forgetting about the world.

Maybe that’s selfish, but maybe it’s not… Yet, maybe it’s just savoring those quiet moments that tend to be far and wide apart.

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a thankful daughter

mday

I have a beautiful mamma.  I really do.

She is so wonderful.  Over the course of my life, I haven’t been the easiest of daughter’s.  She’s angered me and I have angered her, but I love her dearly.  I would never change her for an other living soul, as my mother.

She’s Greek with a strong and loud character.  You know if she’s around.  Her favorite thing in life is to tease others.  It’s a strange phenomenon when people don’t like her because EVERYONE loves her.  She embodies a personality of life and knows how to bring excitement to a dying party.  Her thought process is without a filter and she’s the cutest when she scowls me in English.

I may not always show my love to her in the best way, but I do love her.

She reminds me not to let my melancholic thoughts take the best of me.  She’s the best encourager and never fails to give me a positive spin when I need it most.  She’s selfless in relation to her family and gives her heart for those she loves.

Today is Mother’s Day and unfortunately, I am not near her to celebrate her.  However, distance makes my heart grow fonder and learn to love her better.

And so, I say to you, celebrate your mother on this special day!  If you’re near her take the opportunity to show her how much you value her.  Do something special.  Yes, you might feel aggravated by your mother, but leave it aside during this day of recognition.  After all, she gave birth to you – she has the right to drive you crazy…. Well, not true, but maybe for a day!

If nothing else, get her flowers, give her a hug and kiss her on the cheek.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful mothers!!!

like you and me

Sometimes I wish I could tell her.

She’s toughest on herself, yet does not see.

Because she gets lost in her brokenness and her shame and doubt and fears.

She doesn’t understand that she could be free.

If she just learned to love herself, like you and me.

i want her to stay

It’s not easy to let go.  I pride myself in saying, “She never leaves me.”

She hasn’t tried ever.

At least not yet.

I don’t think she’ll ever want to leave.

But then, her eyes drifted.  It was unnerving.  Simple, like a tide in the ocean.

Ever so slowly, softly and gently.

Her gaze moved.

And I am worried she won’t want to stay here for much longer.

And I need her.

I can’t let her go just yet.

 

after the storm

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

– ‘After the Storm’ by Mumford and Sons

I’m stuck on this song, this chorus.  Seriously.  Since Friday night, I’ve been putting the song on repeat.  I’ve tried to stop and listen to another song, but there’s no use.  I’ve got to see this through, play this song and let it embed me.  The lyrics are so powerful.  They strike my heart each time I read them.  Smacking me across the face and gently stroking my hair.  I want to sit and sing and play and get lost in the words.  Stay within the bounds of repetition.  I mean, what do I even address first?  I can’t seem to separate one line from another.  I want to comment, but I don’t know how to begin.  Other than say, imagine when love finally embodies us.  When we become as the Bible has said.  How perfect love casts out fear.  I see love as so powerful, so strong, we struggle to let go, but imagine a love which doesn’t break.  Rather it overcomes.  The fears are put aside and forgotten.  Lost because love has won.  And so, I get over the hill – my barriers.  I find something new as I overcome.  I find grace in my heart and flowers in my hair.  I find life full of courage.  Ugh.  This song is so beautiful.

this one feeling i have

Ιωάννα ( Joanna ) and I.

She has the biggest eyes I have ever seen.  They are round and they are dark brown.  Her eyelashes compliment the majesty of their bright presence.  Those beautiful eyes either emulate joyousness or sorrow.  Regardless, if they are being truthful or not.  I cannot help but be sucked into a lie – knowingly.

Alas, as if she’s the only one.

I have a weakness.  A weakness I often neglect and don’t acknowledge or allow myself to forget.

I wouldn’t call it a downfall.  In more ways than one, it’s a blessing.  One I wouldn’t give up for the world.  You see, my heart explodes the moment I receive the attention of a child or children.  They leave me bruised and ruin by the simplicity of their hearts, minds and souls.

On many occasions, I’ve found myself furious and in pain.  Sometimes, I think I pull myself away from working with children because their parents aggravate me.

Dear parents – your children can feel loneliness, the weight of disappointment, hurt.  They too have feelings.  Although, young and seemingly ignorant, they are not.  Do you know, all their actions reflect you?  Their first observance and studying of another person (other than themselves) is you, mom and dad.  They watch and then take action.  If they yell, it’s because they saw you raise your ignorant voice.

And so, when she heard the words, “Christiana, ready to go?”

“Yeah,” she came running back into the room with tears.

She might have been driving me to craziness, but her tears weighed down my heart.  I’d go crazy just to unburden this little five-year old.

“Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go,” she said, her eyes shined from her tears.

I pulled her near.  Brushed her long hair behind her shoulders and squeezed her.

“I don’t want to play on my own again,” she muffled out.

“Shhh,” I soothed her.  “I have to, but we’ll play again.  When you come back, okay?”

She didn’t want to listen.  She continued to disagree and cry.  I learned (as I should remember) tonight, you can’t really reason with five-year olds.  They don’t really care for logic.

“What’s going on?”  Her grandma came in the room and I knew this wasn’t going to be good.  I didn’t want to say anything, but of course I did.

“She just doesn’t want me to go…” I spoke, quietly – still holding her close.

“Look,” her voice raised immediately and I wanted to close the young one’s ears.  There was no reason for her to be yelled at for nothing she had done or said was wrong.  She just didn’t want to be alone – to play alone.  “Christiana’s mom wants her too.  You can’t be the only one who has her.  What are those tears for?  Stop.”  Pause.  The grandma turned to get pajamas out of the shelf.  “Now, let’s get you changed.”

Meanwhile, as her grandma spoke, the little one rubbed her eyes dry.  Sucking up her upset feelings.  Refusing to let another tear flow.  Keeping herself from showing her true emotions.  I secretly wondered how many times she’d been scolded for reasonable tears.  For tears, any human being would shed.

The older woman left.

She moved to the bed and got her pajamas.

“Hey, it’s okay to cry,” I told her.

Before I left that house, I gave her a kiss and told her I love her.  If a hug could solve all problems, I wish mine had.

I realized a truth – children are capable of the same emotion as I am.  She could feel the deep root of loneliness and crave the present of another person.  Each human needs attention, needs love.

I’m so terrified of one day having the blessing of bearing and/or raising my own children.  For, I am driven by emotions of distress and love for children who I may only see once.  And thinking of having my own, I’m not sure how my heart will bear.

at one point or another… death will come to bid us all farewell

One thing all beings have in common is death.  At one point or another, their heart stops and the blood no longer flows through a body.  They become lifeless.

I’m talking about death and not what comes after.

So far, there has been two people I’ve wished I would have seen before death took them.

My greek grandma and a good friend of my family, Andonis.

She was always a person of perseverance.  A worker who didn’t give up without a fight.  She would walk miles and miles to find food for her siblings and then head back miles and miles to feed them.  She was the oldest.  She was responsible.  She was lovely, with pure affection.  She always gave us little candy’s at church when we asked.  She’d come and do the dishes for us.  Clean our house and feed us.  We called her Rambo because she knew what we were up to.  She knew when we didn’t eat all our food; more specifically, she knew what we did with it.  She knew if we threw it down the toilet, gave it to the dog or put it in the garbage.  She always knew.  She was short, but very warm.  Her heart made her bigger and gave her a voice no one could deny.  She had a heart for animals and fed all the cats that came to her balcony.

I’ve heard the question – If you could have a day with a person long dead, who would it be?  Many answer Mother Teresa or other greatly known people.

I would choose my grandma.  I wish I could share who I am today with her.  Today, I am someone she can truly be proud of.  I wish I could tell her about my life and my accomplishments.  I’d like to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her.  Get to know her.  Ask for forgiveness for not spending more time with her.

I never got to say goodbye.

The worst is that so many people never had the opportunity to meet her.

As for Andonis, when I got back home this summer I knew he was in the hospital.  I wanted to go see him.  Sit with him.  This kind and gentle man, who holds a pure heart for the Lord.  The poor man has been suffering for over half a year.  I wanted to at least let him know he’s not forgotten.

However, I didn’t see him either.  Death met him last night, just as my grandma was met.  I will see them in Heaven, but dear are they missed here one earth.