Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love's Masterpiece

When Jimmy was born he had tons of dark hair. He actually was covered with fuzz all over his body. We called him our little monkey. On the top of his head in the middle of this dark hair he had a spot about the size of a quarter where his hair was totally white. When going through the hair to the scalp we found there was no pigment in his skin either. He had several other spots that didn't have pigment on his body as well. Just something to make him a little different. Later on you couldn't even tell that he had that spot because his hair went totally blonde for many years. Now he does still have that spot, but on his bald head it is not as obvious as it was when he was a little baby.

Here is the poem I wrote for him when he was 3 months old, almost 39 years ago.

Loves Masterpiece

My baby is love's masterpiece.
From the top of his head, to the tips of his toes,
He's our own very special someone,
Who amazes us as each day comes and goes.

He has a small tuft of brown and blonde hir,
His eyes are full of stars and shining all the while.
A tiny pug nose in a pert little face, and
His mouth is always in a three cornered smile.

My curious little baby, arms flailing in the air,
Hands groping and clasping his new world,
To touch tenderness and love,
His tiny closed fingers are quickly unfurled.

Best of all is his bright personality,
Warming the hearts of his family.
Giving an extra important meaning,
To the lives of his brother, Mommy and Daddy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Special Moments"

I was 18 when Bud and I got married. We ended up in Vegas after a long battle deciding whether to wait to get sealed in the temple (Bud had just joined the church), or have a church wedding, I went to Colorado and South Dakota for the summer. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", and we decided we wanted to be together sooner rather than later. Of course when you are 18 you don't realize what a baby you really are, so sooner didn't seem so crazy then.

Always one to focus on having a marriage, family, and the "happily ever after", I really never had any other goals even though my grades and intelligence probably would have allowed for a different walk in life. Back then it didn't even occur to me that I could have both. I wanted a baby right away. Every little one I saw I would turn to Bud, with my little puppy eyes and say,
"I want one", like a baby was something in a store window you could just order from Santa Claus. Bud, believe it or not, was more practical. He was 24 so I guess he knew how young I was and how long we had to have and raise children. Also, he wanted to have a house first. So we worked toward that goal. In January, 1968 we got our first home. I was barely 20.

That goal accomplished I was immediately ramping up the conversation about that baby I wanted. We had been married a year and 1/2 and we had enjoyed the time together. We were able to be spontaneous and loved time at the beach, battles of the bands, movies, camping. We really "dated". I thought a baby would only add to that happiness. Finally about a year later Bud agreed that we could stop trying not to, and let nature take it's course. We were so excited when we finally knew that baby was on it's way.

This was pre "natural birth", pre "pampers", pre knowing what the sex was until the baby was born. We honestly were shocked that our first was a boy. We were sure that we would only have girls because of the high count of females on both sides of the family. But we had that little boy, and then began the adventure of being a parent.

Marque was the first so all the newness was there, the excitement, the fear, the wonderment of parenting this little life. I've always said he pretty much raised himself, not because we weren't there every step of the way, but because he is a wise spirit so we could just guide him without too much effort.

When he was two I wrote a little poem after I realized that I wanted to try to catch this little guy's antics on paper. Hard to do, but when I read it again I remember those special moments so well of my little two year old. This was the first poem I ever wrote, ever.... I think it might be special to Marque because it was written when he was exactly the same age as Leah is now.

Special Moments

Cars and trucks zoom, Jack-in-the-box pops,
Everything is going busily,
Then from across the room,
My two year old shouts, "I yuv you Mommy."

His head bowed, eyes peering up,
Knowing he's been very naughty,
With inborn psychology,
He looks at me, and says, "I yuv you Mommy."

Crawling on my lap, arms clasping my neck,
As he gives me a hug every so tightly,
This is the best time of all,
When he whispers, "I yuv you Mommy."

I found some pictures I was going to scan of Marque at two, but my scanner/computer aren't talking so I will have to add them later.

Marque, Mommy yuvs you!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Accordian Folder

My kids LOVE to kid me. They are great comedians and I guess I'm good material. For my 60th birthday celebration I actually asked them to do a roast....what was I thinking? Do you really ask for someone to torture you. They did, but it was great fun. I thought I needed to write a few of these things down for my huge following, and so my posterity can remember what a dork their grandmother was, and also see what dorky kids I have and love so much.

This one is Jimmy's take on my Accordian Folder:

"My mom kept her bills in this brown accordian folder. Though it's an extremely efficient tool my mother unintentionally used it as a device of spine wrenching horror. When that binder came out from the entertainment center the huffs, moans, and whining began. It made it virtually impossible to watch tv and ignore her.

'Oh my gosh! We are so in the hole!' And 'how are we going to survive this week?' All questions directed to us with no answer for us to give. It got to the point that when that folder came out we were gone. I don't mean we strolled out, I mean we ran as if Armagedon was nipping at our heels.

Out and out, she did the job she wanted to do. Kept us fed, sheltered, and many days of fun adventures. It's kinda like that experimental medicine they advertise on tv. See, it does it's job, but you'll always have that lawyer at the end.

*Commercial*
"If you're having bill stress, just take one dose of Leslie's folder and you'll be in spirits in no time!"

Lawyer (undertone and fast) "Could cause traumatic childhood memories, can cause irritability, misery, guilt, and the yearning to eat just bread and water for the rest of your natural born life!"


Strange that my kids saw it that way...even in jest. I always remember thinking that kids shouldn't know or feel responsible for finances in the home. I did believe in them feeling part of the family by learning and doing chores, but they are children so they shouldn't worry about money situations. That was my belief, but apparently that "Accordian Folder" had a Mom/Dr. Jekyll effect on me that I had no control over. But, I did do the job, as Jimmy said. I don't think of us realized that we didn't make half the money that our neighbors did because I could stretch a penny like none other.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yep I'm angry!

I don't often feel anger. But, for the past couple of weeks I am very angry, and it's directed at my own body. I am always quick to count the blessings too, so I recognize and appreciate the good things about my body. It's amazing the way my lungs pull oxygen in then push out the carbon dioxide, and how my heart beats in such an amazing fashion flushing the blood through it to my entire body. I am grateful for eyes that see (though less these days), a brain that retains memories (though less these days), arms that embrace, and legs that carry me where I need to go. But that being said it just isn't doing the job it is supposed to do for me.

Last Monday I was laying in bed knowing it was time to get up for work, but instead I just lay there unable to will myself out of bed. As I lay there I felt each muscle as it throbbed it's very own pulse. Massaging my arms I felt knots and bruises everywhere I touched. I found myself singing "The head bone's connected to the neck bone, the neck bone's connected to the shoulder bone". I realized that each muscle, bone and nerve in my body was pulsing to the rhythm of the song and there was an intensity to it throbbing together yet separately. It was no wonder I was so tired.........so extremely exhausted.

In spite of alot of medical issues I "keep on keeping on", except that sometimes, it all hits at once. In Lupus they call that a flare, in fibromyalgia they call it an episode....no matter "it is what it is". There are a few patterns that include my own behavior, other people's choices, and stressful situations that contribute, but one never knows, really. The pain causes exhaustion which causes more pain, etc. It's all very cyclical,

When we were back east this summer my sister, Susan, and I were talking about how grateful we were that her Multiple Sclerosis, and my Lupus weren't as bad as some people dealing with the same issues. Thank you Heavenly Father for that blessing and also for our resilience in the face of those diseases. Susan teaches me how to be patient with suffering, as does my son, who also has an autoimmune disease. I did call attention to the fact that our sister, Lynette, had so much more energy, moved so much better, and was able to take alot of extra steps that we couldn't. Perhaps that's how we could be if we didn't have our diseases.

Recently my family planned a day to the Pumpkin Patch. I was excited to go on this traditional outing with my kids and grandkids, but it came with an awareness that I'm not able to run and do the things I want to do. It came with a price of pain the next day, and the following days. Thank goodness I had already recognized that I couldn't do the Knott's Berry Farm trip with them the next day. That's where the anger comes in....I want my body to function so that I can enjoy all there is to enjoy, so that I can serve all those who need to be served, so that I don't have to look into a crystal ball to see if what I do today will be too hard on my tomorrow's.

I lived for 20 years with back pain. After surgery in 1994 I consider it a miracle that I was one of the lucky one's who was given my life back. I missed so much of my kids lives because of that pain. I felt like I cheated them. Now I feel the same way about missing moments and memories with my grandkids because I am in pain, or if I overdo I will be in pain.

Yep, I am angry with this body. I'm grateful to know that I can feel anger, even if it is with my disfunctioning parts. I'm grateful that in spite of those disfunctioning parts I am still able to function, most of the time. I'm grateful that I have family and friends who understand, remind and forgive me that I can't always do what I want to do.

Well it's 5:30 am so I guess I will try to go back to bed so I can bound out of bed in a couple hours and face another Monday! Yah right....bound out of bed....stupid body!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's all about LOVE!

Isn't it all about LOVE? We sometimes make life so confusing and overwhelming, but I think it is all pretty simple. Just love.

God spells it out pretty clearly for us when he tells us that the first great commandment is " love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. " He also said "and the second is like unto it, thou shalt Love thy neighbour as thyself". We are told that these are the two greatest commandments and everything else hangs on them.

Every morning I open my front door and breathe in the day the Lord has made. It makes it so easy for me to feel His love and to give him my love and gratitude. I start my morning prayers with thankfulness for what is right in front of me, "the air I breathe, the varieties of trees and flowers, the birds". What is amazing is that when I say I am thankful for the birds, they seem to multiply and sing even more beautifully, the grass is greener, the sky bluer. Sometimes I am amazed that this is "the lone and dreary world". It makes me wonder at the beauty the Celestial world will hold for us. When I look at my granddaughter's sweet faces I feel His love so innocently, so completely. How blessed I am. It is apparent the Lord does love me and I feel his love enveloping me. This love makes me want to open my heart more fully so His love can fill every corner. I actually experience taking down the fences, even the barbed wire from around my heart when I open my heart to him.

I always understood and found it very easy to love my neighbor, but tended to forget the other part of that commandment "as you love yourself". How many of us have a difficult time loving ourselves? Sometimes we don't love ourselves because we get stuck in the world's image of who we should be. We forget that we were created by Him, in His image, that makes us unique, special, important, and a Child of God. We cannot mock that. We must look beneath the covering and see the jewel inside. If we aren't afraid of rejection because we see ourselves as God sees us, then it is so much easier to reach out of ourselves to give others love.

One thing that was harder for me was to allow others to love me. I have learned to do that. There are so many people who care for me and want to help me through my rough patches that it has really helped me to open my heart for their love to enter in. My children are so ready to give of what they have for me. It has been difficult to want them to sacrifice for me, yet I have felt their willingness, so I have learned to be more humble in accepting their gifts of love. Friends have opened their hearts and homes to me, literally, and I feel so blessed by their love. All challenges, all trials can be overcome with love.

I sat in the living room of good friends the other day with a group of people who were going to the temple together. Unable to make it to the temple that night because of a fire that made the roads impassable, we ended up back at this home. There was a group of around 20. Our wonderful Bishop stood and shared a word of love, and a blessing upon all of us. Another person asked a question of him and all of us shared. I felt consumed by the love in the room. This is what it's all about.

Love is not a noun it is a verb. It requires action predicated by a feeling. It can compound so easily...when one gives love it is a rule of nature that it will be increased and you WILL get it back. If you open your heart to the Lord, He will help you remove the fences, walls, and barbed wire prickles of pain so that you are able to receive and give more love.

So it is simple--

Love God with everything you have....receive His love with all your heart.
Love yourself....have more of yourself to give.
Love your neighbor....they will love you to the greatest capacity that you can imagine.

Simple, not overwhelming. If we love God then we will have no problem tithing, sacrificing time and energy for our callings, reading His word, recognizing and being grateful for His gifts, etc.

If we love ourselves then we save wasted energy feeling sorry for ourselves. We will understand that we have the power within us to overcome trials, to make choices on how we will deal with the challenges. We find it important to live the Word of Wisdom, and take care of our bodies physical, emotional and spiritual health and then we are more able to reach out to others with love.

If we love our neighbor then it is easy to fufill our stewardships to our family, in the community, and in our church callings, especially visiting and home teaching. We will forgive easily those who harm us, and we will not judge others. How could we be unforgiving and judgemental if we truly feel that spirit of love? We certainly don't want to get overwhelmed living our lives, or the gospel, we just need to love and everything else will fall into place.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"...where troubles melt like lemon drops"

Today on The Spoken Word I heard the most beautiful rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" I have ever heard, including Judy Garland's which has always been my favorite. The "word" was that we were to close off the noise of the world and find peace in quiet, in stillness.

I was laying in bed trying to will myself up to get ready for church and the days meetings but I have been having a bit of a Lupus flare, so I have been pretty much non-functioning for the past few days. On top of that I just learned they are auctioning my house next month, so essentially I am homeless.

Although my Lupus flare speaks otherwise because it can come from stress, I have really come to terms with this additional loss. Like my marriage ending, this has nothing to do with me. It comes about from circumstances. I'm sure I have made mistakes along the way, but essentially I had no more control from this financial disaster than someone who loses their home in a natural disaster like flood or tornado. I usually do have more control with what happens in my life than I have had the last few years, so it has allowed me to come even closer to my Heavenly Father and to rely on the Savior. What a blessing that has been.

So, this morning as I lay in bed I listened to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and my spirit was taken over the rainbow. I felt myself soaring among beautiful fluffy clouds with the birds at my shoulder leading me in peaceful dips and turns to a place where "troubles melt like lemon drops". What peaceful joy to know there is a place beyond the rainbow where we can let our spirits soar unburdened by the weights of the world. We don't need to leave this earth to feel it we can just give ourselves a moment with the Lord and He will lead us there to be renewed, refreshed, dipping in and out of the clouds so that when we are set firmly on the ground we can gather our little troubles around us and lilt through the day with gratitude, hope and peace surrounding us.

Even though it isn't the version that I heard this morning please listen to the following rendition of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and let your spirit relax and renew.

Over the Rainbow-Liriel & Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Late Night Visits

I hear Grace, my newest granddaughter, is doing very well sleeping at night. I was talking to Scott and Cynthia about how hard sleepless nights can be with a baby in the house but sometimes they are the most special moments.
Here is a poem I wrote about Scott when he was 8 months old.

Late Night Visits

It's two o'clock in the morning,
And though the hours flee,
We're enjoying each others company,
My little baby and me!

Daddy and brothers are sleeping,
So we're having our own little tete a tete,
Oh the secrets we're sharing,
Little Scott Andrew and me!

Chatting, tickling, laughing,
Pick him up and hug tightly,
He tastes so sweet, we're cuddling.
My little baby and me!

He runs around investigating,
Feeling really free,
Cuz "no no's" we're ignoring,
My little "turkey" and me!

Scotty's yawning, head nodding,
Into bed tucked tightly,
Late night visit is sweetly ending,
For my little baby and me.

It is so special to know that Grace still allows Mommy and Daddy to occasionally enjoy their "Late Night Visits".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Homey-Do List

My home teacher was coming over today. He always asks me if there is anything he can do. I usually can't think of a thing and he seems disappointed. Today I decided to make a list for him....which led to this poem.
Always had a man around
Now I don’ t know who to call
When having a drip, drip, drip,
Or hanging pictures on a wall

Spiritual needs have to be met
A healing, a blessing, and all
When you’re a sister all alone
Wondering who to call.

Used to just ask hubby
To accomplish the "honey-do" needs,
To wash my car, paint the fence,
Rid the flower bed of weeds.

What, When How and Who?
Who will take on this honey do list?
Who is there to answer the call?
My Home Teacher would be my guess!

My homey can do my "homey-do’s"
He wants to, he begs to, it's really true!
Every month before the visit is through,
He asks for the list of things he can do.

He’ll take out the trash,
Pat my back, give a blessing,
Fix the darn disposal
While teaching a lesson.

It’s nice to know when I don’t have a honey
I have a Homey to follow through.
Thanks my brother, my friend
For wanting to do my "homey-do’s"!

Thank you Brother Ransier for being such a good homey, you’re amazing!
Leslie Trosper July 13, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hurrah, hurrah for the 4th of July!

I was awakened at 2:15 a.m. by the realization that it is the 4th of July. I lay there and try to go back to sleep. Thinking of my gratitude, concern, and prayers for this great nation I can't drift off again. I realize I HAVE to get up, write about my feelings before I will find sleep again. First I pulled up Marque's facebook page, and then his blog. http://www.marqueandsarah.blogspot.com/. These led me to a speech George Washington gave as he left the office as the first President and Commander in Chief, which led me to a speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We are blessed people to live in this land, and gratefully my kids count that as one of their greatest blessings too.
Marque loves this country and all that it stands for as much as I do. I love that he is so able to express it. I love the fact that I can be taught by him now about how to be a patriot. Marque loves the history of America. He loves hearing and reading about the nation growing from it's infancy. His home library is filled with books on the subject of wars, heroes of wars, patriots from the earliest days of America's occupancy, down through the ages. He recognizes we are slipping from the, God given, principles set as foundation of this government. He avidly watches the American History channel, not casually, but with intent. Jimmy too is a patriot. He loves politics. He understands exactly why our government was set up with a division of labor. Hailey and Mady were taught about the powers of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of our government. He too worries about the direction of our country, how misled people are in how they interpret our laws and our constitution. He and Scott also watch the History Channel more than any other TV. Scott stands for his values every day as a police officer. I know he passes them on to people he comes in contact with, whether they be fellow officer, traffic violator, youth, or hardened criminal. I know all my kids will teach their children how to stand when the National Anthem is sung, or when a flag passes by. They will all post a flag in the front of their house so they display their honor for it's standard. I'm grateful that they embraced and personalize their history, their pledge, and are not sloppy in their gratitude for all it's tenets.
It is a code of belief that has been passed to them through my parents, and their parents. My Grandpa Bliss fought in France in World War I. He was 19 and came home with permanent damage to his lungs from a mustard gas bomb while he was in the trenches. Grandma Bliss is the most recent pilgrim to our country in our immediate family. She came from Scotland when she was 18. She embraced the American dream and wanted nothing more than to be considered American. Others kept their Scottish brogue, but Grandma worked hard to remove any doubt in her language that she was anything but American. My Grandfather Johnson lived his patriotism working farms in South Dakota. He rarely left his ranch to see this beautiful c0untry, but I remember his glassy eyes as he stood at Mt. Rushmore and proclaimed his love for the leaders displayed in granite there. We would go to see them at 4th of July frequently. On one particular occasion when we arrived Grandma Johnson came flying out the farmhouse door saying "hoowah, hoowah for the 4th of July!" That's how my mom and I greeted each other yesterday when we talked on the phone. Our roots of patriotism grow deep. I wrote last year in my blog about my family tradition on the 4th and other patriotic holidays of posting our flag. It was an embarrassment to live through, but I'm grateful for system of belief my parents imposed on me, that I eventually embraced wholeheartedly and (apparently successfully) passed on to my children.
I have a very difficult time sitting while the National Anthem and other patriotic songs are sung in church without standing. For a time I was chorister in Relief Society and would have all the sisters (who could do so) stand and sing each song. I have even gone so far as to ask the Bishop if we could please stand when singing. Today is actually the 4th, so I am already thinking about the discomfort of sitting through a patriotic song, or standing anyway, even if by myself. I love Lee Greenwood's song God Bless the USA, especially where he says,
"And I gladly stand up,next to you and defend her still today.‘
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,God bless the USA"!

God bless the USA!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Grandchildren--May 20, 2010

Today is Thursday, May 20, 2010. Within the next two to three days I will have a new grandchild. I was talking to Scott and Cynthia last night about the miracle of it all. We wondered how could anyone go through this event and not believe in God. Could a big bang pulling matter together create the perfect timing of this 9 month creation of life? I think not. I remember at the end of each pregnancy being incredulous that on any given day I could go from a large ball carried in front of me, to a little life being held in my arms. It is all such an amazing gift from the Lord.

Besides the miracle of parenthood, there is the blessing of grandchildren. What a joy it is to be able to be a part, once again, of watching from a front row seat a baby discover the world. I look forward to having this baby close enough to just stop by when she is in every stage of discovery. Hailey, Madyson, and Leah were all so far away when they were born. I could only watch through pictures, visits, and verbal updates from Mom and Dad, and I am SOOOO grateful for technology, but Grace will be closeby so I really do have a front row seat to her world.

Yesterday, Madyson (9) sent me a text. It said “When can we have a date for 3, me, you, and hailey?” How special is that? Samantha said as soon as she got in the car Madyson told her she had been thinking all day that we needed to have a date. I called her back to set a date for our get together and while I was talking to her Hailey called to ask if there was any way I could get away from work Friday to see her final GATE project which is a production. I am sad that I won’t be able to leave work, but so happy that she wants me to be there. This is one of the reasons we developed “Date Day”, sometimes called “Hailey Day” or “Mady Day”. When I am not able to be around for a special award, or some other important event….which fortunately isn’t too often because I really do try to make them all….but if it isn’t possible then we go celebrate on another day. It gives us time together, helps me to talk to them, to enjoy something they enjoy, to build a memory.

Building a memory so they remember their Grandma fondly and builds a bit of a legacy to pass on is important. After all I am not going to be here forever. I want to include here a funny moment with Madyson and Hailey from around 2004. Hailey and I were facing each other having a discussion about life and death. I can’t remember exactly why, but I do remember we had the Childcraft out on the human body. Anyway, Mady was sitting on the couch beside me off in her own world, seemingly uninterested. While we were having the discussion I said to Hailey “It’s just a part of the life cycle, everyone dies sooner or later.” Without missing a beat or even turning her head Madyson patted my leg and said “Sooner for you, huh Grandma?” She followed it with a wink and a cluck of her tongue to let me know this was a joke. She was just 3 ½ at the time. I laughed so hard.

Speaking of laughing hard I had Madyson laughing hysterically one time. I got a new mattress set that made my bed quite high. I was demonstrating how I had to get in bed each night. First I walked up next to the bed, through one leg up, grabbed some sheet and tried to pull myself onto the bed grunting and grimacing. The other method for getting onto the bed was to go back into the hallway, drop to a starting position, run and jump onto the bed somewhat like a pole vaulter makes it over the bar. This again was accompanied with the appropriate amount of facial antics. I delighted in her contagious laughter that was so powerful she had to alternate between holding her aching belly and squeezing her cramping cheeks. It is equally as funny when she still acts out “Grandma getting into her bed” frequently.

Hailey enjoys humor, especially humor accompanied by sarcasm. I tell her that she has a black belt in sarcasm. I know that not everyone enjoys this kind of humor, but apparently we do in the Trosper family. Although I do remember asking Hailey how she got so good at it at such a young age. She said, “It’s rather obvious, look who I lived with for all those years, my dad and my Uncle Scott.” My reply was “I don’t know where they possibly learned sarcasm.” To which she replied “Hmmm, I don’t know Gramma, it couldn’t possibly have been from you, could it?” “No, no way.” Later when I said something apparently with a tinge of sarcasm she said, “Hey Gramma, I think I see a bit of sarcasm on your lip, do you want a napkin for it?” Ha ha ha! Now I don’t care who you are, that’s funny! Obviously I could go on and on about these two girls antics. We have serious moments too. Hailey is at an age (12) where she gets mortified by anything and everything any of us do, do you remember those days? Well, to empower her we made a pact that if I ever embarrassed her she could remind me of the day we made the pact in Coco’s restaurant that she would tell me if I ever made her feel uncomfortable. Shortly afterward we were at John’s Incredible Pizza and I was dancing around as we were walking through the place and Hailey quietly tapped me on the shoulder and did the “eye to eye” gesture, just quietly reminding me that I was being embarrassing . I stopped. Don’t always guarantee I’ll stop that easy, but I did that day. I am so grateful for the special relationship we share.

There have been many moments in these blogs that I have shared the amazing connection that I have with Leah. She is clear up in Utah and that is tremendously sad to me. I want to be there to share those special moments building memories with her as well. I am so grateful that through Marque and Sarah’s blog, and great picture taking I feel like I totally know Leah. They have also made the effort to be here for family activities so we rarely go more than a few months without a Leah connection. She is such a joy. Her smiles, laughter, and character make her an enchanting, precious part of my heart even through cyberspace. She was so accommodating to sit by herself for the first time when I was up there, and take some of her first steps when she was down here. When she was about 6 months she learned how to point when she saw the little stain glass birdies flying in my window. She really loved those birds. I was surprised on her last visit when she was just shy of 18 months that she did an intake of air and pointed at them again. It was obviously a memory of her friends and she waved, pointed and said “goodbye” to them just before she headed home. I just bought her very own birdie to hang in her window. Maybe it will connect her to her California Gramma a little more.

Now, we are just around the corner from a new little one to love and build memories with. Her little bedroom is pink and brown with butterflies and flowers. It’s a perfect place for a little girl. The bassinet is in place next to mommy and daddy’s bed. The closet and drawers are filled with little girlie clothes passed on from cousin Leah, and friends Lauren and BrookLyn besides the new ones that friends, aunties and grandmas just couldn’t resist. All is in readiness, everything is right, just waiting for your little tiny, precious body and spirit to fill our hearts and lives . There is nothing in the world to compare with being a mother, but watching your children be parents to your grandchildren is love to the highest degree. I’m ready little Grace, we all are! Just a few more days!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm lucky I'm a Mom!

It is pretty awesome being a Mom, Mother-in-law, and Grandmother. I have enjoyed this Mother's Day tremendously. But I particularly love the reasons I get to celebrate this day. I believe we as women have a special role to fill and whether we have children are not we are still nurturers. We still have those unique gifts that make us women, and if by chance we get the opportunity to fulfill that role we can touch lives on a more personal level. We feel the love for a child that surpasses all love, except perhaps the love our Heavenly parents feel for us. Because of the love our mother and father give us, we then are able to understand the love of our Mother in Heaven and Father in Heaven.

I don't know how to place pictures in a blog in any certain order, but these are just a few random shots that show what I love about being a mother!

Soon, very soon, I will have a new granddaughter. Her name will be Grace...I am sure she will be a very special addition to the Trosper family. I have a big part of my heart saved just for her!
My Mom....the greatest mother, teacher, mentor, friend anyone could ever have is standing with some other important people in my life. Hailey, Jimmy, Samantha, Sarah, Molly (Sarah's sister), Me holding Leah, and Leah's other cousins Eli, Cole, and Jake.

Mom, Me, Scott, Cynthia, another awesome mother my sister in law Ruth, Emily, Brother Bill, my sister in law Carmen, and my brother Brock.
Baby Daddy Scott, Baby Mama Cynthia, Great Grandma Vee, and Grandma Leslie
Scott and Cynthia are on a whirlwind since they re-connected just over a year ago. Wedding, new house, Scott got his bachelor's degree just after he gave up being a bachelor, and now little Grace is expected May 22nd or sooner! They are cute to watch and love to plan for their life together and for this little baby!
Marque and Sarah are really there for me, and for the family even though they live in Utah. They were down five times last year, so including our trips up to Utah we got to see them so frequently. I kid the boys down here that Marque actually comes to visit me more often than they do~ Marque gives me so much credit for the awesome person he turned out to be. I think he did most of it, but I'll take the credit! Sarah is an incredible mother and the best daughter-in-law I could hope for.
I think I was bugging Jim to smile for this picture and he reminds me so much of his grandpa here. Jim and Samantha are closest in distance to me and they bless my life regularly. It is so much fun watching them build traditions with their girls. So many of them are traditions that we had in our family and it makes me feel so valued that they treasure those things.
Jim and I commute at the same times in the morning, and we talk as we come from opposite directions and pass in the Riverside area. We often joke about how broad our discussions become going from politics, to theology, to family, values and back again in the same conversation. I'm glad to spend this time with Jim each day.
I love going on "Girlie Days" with Hailey and Mady. It is so much fun to enjoy these energetic, intelligent girls company. I hope they always want to hang out with their grandma. They bless my life~
I'm grateful that my boys love, respect, and honor their father as well as me. This helps me to know that they were raised well.... They counsel us now, and it is great and amazing to receive our own counsel back from their mouths.
I put my old "Mom" cake baking and decorating skills to work for Madyson and Leah for their birthday's this year. Madyson's bedroom is decorated like daisies so I made her this daisy cake for her 9th birthday.
It was fun to have Marque, Sarah, and Leah down to help us celebrate October birthdays, among other things. This was Leah's "1 year old" cake. See I still got it a little bit! Mady's birthday is the 12th, mine the 14th, and Leah's the 15th of October. They were great birthday gifts.
One of the easiest ways I know my son's listened to my counsel, and blessed me was with the beautiful daughters they gave me. I can't often call them daughters-in-law because it sounds too dry for the feelings that I have for them. I sometimes refer to them as daughters-in-love because that fits much better. But just as often they are just my daughters-that-I've-waited-forever-for. They are all three beautiful women, and beautiful mothers themselves.
The girls definitely out number the boys now. I was so grateful to God for my three terrific sons, and I am so grateful for the girls in my life now. Here are my three beautiful granddaughters Hailey (12), Leah (1), and Mady (9).
Lovebirds Scott and Cynthia. They took me to breakfast this morning and then went to church with me. I always love taking my kids to church, or anywhere I can show them off. Everyone knows my kids even if they haven't met them because they are always talked about in the highest praises. I only speak the truth. Thanks for such nice gifts too.
I had a bad day one day and called Marque. I was crying and emotional and he could hardly get a word in edgewise so he passed the phone to Sarah. When I took a breath she sweetly calmed me down and passed the phone back to Marque who gave me very wise counsel. The next day I received flowers from him. See why I feel so blessed?
Sweet picture of two of my sweet girls Sarah and Leah.
Samantha and Mom in Palm Springs for a girls weekend.
Look at this love! Sweet Leah! She is gorgeous and always so happy. She lights up my life, for sure.
Hailey at Red Robin's on a "Hailey Day". I love taking the girls out individually to celebrate an award, any special occasion, or just cuz! I hope they will always cherish our memories together!
On these special days the girls get to choose where they want to eat, something special to buy, and if there is anything else they want to do. Here is Mady on a "Mady's Day" modeling in the bargain aisle at Target. Mady LOVES going to Target.
Hailey, Grandma, and Mady at Grandma Grandma's house in Yuma, AZ last Mother's Day.
I dusted off another old skill when I made these poodle skirts for Hailey and her friend for their talent show. They sang and danced to "Chantilly Lace". I love that the girls love singing the old songs with their Grandma. Some of the songs we sing came from their Great Grandma and Great Grandpa when their Grandma was their age. Passing it on down the generations!
Here is the woman that started it all for me. I don't think we look alot alike....sometimes I think that is why I was born in the car....then it couldn't be denied that I was their daughter! LOL She has taught me how to love, give, care, honor, respect, be honest, true, chaste, benevolent. She taught me to want to be a mother from the time I was a little girl. No one could have had more impact on my life than my Mom. I love you Mother!!! Happy Mother's Day.
Jim and family with their grandma, and great grandma!
Scott and Cynthia with Grandma. This was the first time Cynthia and Mom met. She approved!
Leah came into our lives through Caitlin, her birth mother, but she definitely belonged to Marque and Sarah. The Lord has his ways to make things right, and this is so right! She was officially sealed to the family and what a special time that was! One of those moments that take your breath away and make you so grateful to be who you are, and where you are!
And here she is enjoying a simple pleasure with her Daddy!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. These are just a few pictures that tell the story of this mothers heart. I could post so many more pictures, and write a few thousand words and never be able to express adequately the joy I feel being a mom!
From the pages of one of my favorite books:
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my babies you'll be!"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pollyanna?

My whole life people have called me a "Pollyanna". I have always taken that as a compliment because I thought Hayley Mills in the Disney movie of the same name was a positive little girl who changed the world she lived in by her "glad game". I do relate to her attitude that you can always find something good in every situation and every person. It makes life a happier place doesn't it? And I am a happy person, so I guess it works. Or does it?

When I was at a Bliss Family Reunion a few years ago they gave awards for different things, and when they were giving the award for the "Pollyanna" of the family I was surprised that most of my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters shouted my name in unison. The other day my cousin told me I was a real genuine "Pollyanna". Also, one time there was a long conversation on our family website about a picture that was posted when I was 8 years old, noting that I wasn't smiling. They couldn't imagine what was wrong with me that day because apparently many thought that I ALWAYS smile. Well, obviously I don't ALWAYS smile, but I concur that I do usually find the bright side of life, want to fix things (and people) if they aren't working (or happy). I am a grateful person who can find beauty around me, even if my current situation isn't beautiful. So I always enjoy "spurts" of joy, but is this attitude always beneficial? I think I am learning that it isn't.

I was blessed with a forgiving heart, I don't know how to hold a grudge, and I have a large capacity to love unconditionally. I am not patting myself on the back because it is not something I worked hard to attain. It seems either I was just born with it, or it was conditioned into my life at a very young age. Trying to live as closely as I can to Christ's example is important to me, so I have made efforts there, falling short of course, but always trying. It has been brought to my attention by many people that I love very much that perhaps too much of a good thing is "too much of a good thing".

I just googled "Pollyanna" and this are the meanings it listed.
–noun
1.
an excessively or blindly optimistic person.
–adjective
2.
(often lowercase) Also, Pol·ly·an·na·ish. unreasonably or illogically optimistic


Uh-oh! That doesn't sound so good; "blindly optimistic", "unreasonably optimistic"? So "Pollyanna" is probably akin to "Queen of Denial"? As I look at life as it is for me I am recently learning that I really do fall into this description. My Doctors have always told me that my health is affected by unresolved issues and "stuffed feelings". As my last blog indicated, I have had several friends that have seen something in my face, attitude, and shoulders that they thought indicated that I wasn't okay even though I claimed I was. Well, I was okay. Playing my little "glad game" of positivity so well I can fool myself I guess.

Family members and friends have been amazed that Bud and I have retained such a close relationship since our divorce. I was always happily married and in spite of Bud's recent change in his life, views, and desire for marriage...I was still the same person. I tried to be angry because I thought it might make it easier for me, but it just didn't stay....not an emotion I carry around. Bud doesn't mind being in my life as a handyman and a friend. I have always been concerned with his health, needs, emotions, financial situation and relationship with the kids and grandkids....kind of sounds like marriage doesn't it? Guess my brain, heart or some part of me didn't realize I was divorced. Problem is, it is hard for me to be around him. The line blurs and I find myself wanting to stick my hand in his, my arm through his, and even to curl up on his shoulder. Not healthy for either of us. Actually, I thought it was okay to get along, to be friends, to see the best in him and our relationship, but I find it does affect my health. Frequently after I see him, or we have a family get together I have had an increase of pain from my fibromyalgia, more tiredness, and even ended up in the hospital. Problem is, being a "Pollyanna" I don't even tie those things together. I'm just are "glad" I DIDN't have a heart attack after all. Or "glad" that it is a beautiful day today instead of raining causing the fibromyalgia to be worse.

I do believe my "Pollyanna" attitude has a tendency to make me co-dependent. As the "Queen of Denial" I can see that maybe I missed signs that would have told me things in my marriage weren't as good as I believed it to be. There have been other circumstances in my life, and those close to me, that probably would have had a different result if I had actually "seen" them rather than putting my "rose colored" optimistic spin on things. I actually believe that it may just be another way of putting my "head in the sand".

So with the help of my friends and family I am going to be making some changes in my life. I am going to put me at the top of my list once in awhile. After all the Lord said "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, as thyself." How do I change? Do I want to become burdened with the woes of the world, or even my own life? No way! Should I try to feel my feelings, react to them, and then see the brighter side of life? Probably. That way I can protect myself, keep from sending others mixed messages, and resolve issues before they exacerbate. So I am determined to stay positive, find joy in all things, but to take the words "blindly", "unreasonably", and "illogically" out of my optimistic attitude.






Friday, April 30, 2010

Friends who know me better than I know myself!

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart,
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."
Recently I have had a rotating door as several friends have come into my home expressing concern about my well-being. How kind is that?! The only problem is I feel fine. I am happy, content, more organized than I have been for a long time. Things are pretty level. At least I think so.
I tend to be someone who doesn't feel my own feelings too well. There was a time maybe 20 some years ago that I was told by a friend "Leslie, you don't need to learn how to let your feelings out, you need to learn how to let your feelings in."
Pain is not something I feel normally either. This has been a problem on many occasions. Eye pressure is supposed to be somewhere around 18-19. Mine went up to 58 and the Dr. said there is no way I could deal with that pain. There was pain, I could hardly touch my hair without it hurting, but I was touring the Washington monuments with visiting friends. Not normal. Another time in Virginia I had a headache and sense of confusion so I was leaving work, but didn't know which hospital I was insured with. I drove to a hospital about 25 miles and on the way home, but Bud couldn't figure out if I could use this facility, so I drove about 20 miles further to pick him up. By the time we made it to the emergency room my blood pressure was 285/175! You have never seen people move so quickly, so calmly. It has become recognizable that I am in trouble if someone all the sudden gets extremely calm, speaking to me in a very slow, soothing voice. "Okaaaaaaaaaaay Mrs. Traaaawwwwspppeer, we aaare justtttt going..."
There have been many other occasions where not feeling "normal" pain has put me in jeopardy, so pain is really a good thing...a red flag we don't usually ignore.
So about my feelings. I have found that just like pain I tend to ignore, cover up, or just plain not feel my emotions. Never have held a grudge, or been truly angry. I don't have any axes to bury, anywhere. I don't think anyone is mad at me, and I am not mad at anyone. If I get depressed I usually find ways to get beyond it pretty quickly. All that sounds good, but my Dr.'s have always told me that many of my health issues are from unresolved emotions. Not good.
So the other day when this wonderful male friend from church called saying that he and his wife would like to come visit that evening because they felt that something was wrong, "I was just out of step and they were concerned. Three other people had said essentially the same thing within a week, so I was anxious to hear what their concerns were. Maybe they could tell me something I didn't know.
We had a great visit, and shared a bit. We came to the conclusion that I do have things in my life that could be causing me to be somber, or at least contemplative, but that I am okay. They left feeling better and I felt absolutely blessed to have such wonderful friends that are keeping such a good eye on me.
I am fortunate to have a bounty of friends. Some of my friends are those I went to school with many decades ago. Friends from old neighborhoods, Facebook friends, Church friends from many different wards, those I work with, clients I work for, and my family. What a blessed life I lead with so many who care about me, and that I can give love and care too as well.
Isn't it wonderful when we can remind someone of the words to their own song of life. We get to lift their spirit and remind them of their joy, and they can do the same for us.
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart,
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We had Ham!

A few blogs ago I talked about traditions and that one of our Easter traditions was to eat ham. I had opted to have prime rib this year and Jim just thought that was great....but it wasn't Easter. Scott, who was going to buy the prime rib, evidently agreed with him because he got both...prime rib and ham.

We had an awesome Easter. We missed Marque, Sarah, and Leah as we always do when they aren't with us, but they sent me pictures of my little Leah hugging her bunny rabbit that Gramma sent her. She is so sweet!!!! Head cocked and loving it with all her might. (I wish I knew how to download from my phone.)

Anyway, those of us in California went to Palm Springs to the time share. It has an amazing slide going into the pool and Hailey had a blast going down. Jim and Scott tried it a few times too. Mady enjoyed the smaller slide because we just couldn't convince she was really missing out with the big one. The water was warm, sun bright, and we relaxed, talked, played with a ball that skipped across the water, sat in the hot tub under the waterfall. Nice!!!

Bud and I made the spaghetti dinner on Saturday night. Jim and Sam treated us to eggs benedict Easter morning after the girls found their baskets. They are really beginning to trust the fact that Easter bunny will find them wherever they are. What a smart dude! I tell you our family Easter Bunnies (Samantha and Cynthia) really took care of us too. In between watching conference we were back by the pool until we decided it was time to make our appetizers. That was fun.

I had everyone bring ingredients to an appetizer they enjoyed. Then I collected the recipe cards and switched ingredients. Jim and Sam ended up with the ingredients that I brought, Scott and Cynthia got Jim and Sam's appetizer ingredients, Hailey and Mady got Grampa's ingredients and Bud and I got Cynthia and Scott's. The rules were that you had to use those ingredients, but you could use other things that you found too. It was kind of like "Chopped" on Food Network. What fun, and really tasty. Everyone did well.

I also brought pedigree charts for everyone to fill out, and a mad-lib regarding the Trosper Easter. We ran out of time to do the camera Scavenger Hunt I planned so we will have to save that for another holiday.

The prime rib, ham, baked asparagas, fruit salad, and garlic potatoes Scott prepared were yummy and ended the weekend on a very FULL note. We expressed love for each other, and for the Savior, so it was a special time of gratitude as well.

I didn't have a camera so I hope someone will send me pictures so I can add them to the
blog. Puleeeeeeze!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Proud Mom/Gramma!

Our little Leah Caitlyn Bliss Trosper is truly a blessing and a delight to our whole family. When this angel was adopted by Marque and Sarah there was no doubt God was involved. We all knew we could love a child that was not genetically connected to us, but I am absolutely amazed just how much she has touched our hearts.

I get all gooshy and my heart melts when I see pictures of Leah over the internet. One step better is a video so I can hear her chattering along with the pictures. Then to hold her, hug her, feel her heart beat next to mine is just addicting. I want more, more, more.

Marque and Sarah appreciate the birth mom, Caitlyn, so much. Above the rocking chair in Leah's room is a framed piece that has the following words on it. "When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep"
1. Caitlyn
2. Caitlyn
3. Caitlyn
4. Caitlyn

Caitlyn and her family were also adopted by Marque and Sarah. They invite them to be a part of Leah's life. Not too much that it would ever be confusing, but enough that Caitlyn continues to know how grateful they are. And that Leah will some day know that too. They call her their angel. Caitlyn made some mistakes but she didn't compound them by keeping a child she felt she was not ready to raise. She loved her baby enough to give her a better chance. Leah is so blessed that Caitlyn chose Marque and Sarah as her parents with Heavenly Fathers guidance.


Marque and Sarah don't just thank Caitlyn and leave it at that. They are forming a foundation to put their hearts and money where there mouth is. It will offer a scholarship to young mothers who choose adoption rather than abortion or raising the baby as a single teenage parent. This will help them get back to their lives and even take a step forward. The first recipient will be Caitlyn appropriately. The foundation also will help parents seeking adoption as a way to build their family.

It's a beautiful thing and this mom and gramma is so very proud. So very in love and so very proud.

Here is a connection to Marque's blog to read more
http://www.marqueandsarah.blogspot.com/.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Woman Live in Transition

Part of my job, in the insurance industry, is to talk to young people when they get their licenses. One of the things I remind them is that while they are really ready to take this step, their Moms probably are not ready with them. But isn't that always true? Are we really ready for what is ahead when our baby takes that first unsteady step? There is a reason you find mommy's standing outside the kindergarten in tears hugging one another for support. I was never ready for taking that next step in growing up even though my kids were.

So many times, we as women, transition into a new life when circumstances require it. My mother was a working woman until she had a couple little munchkins at home so it was better for her to stay home. I don't know if she even thought about "a choice" or not. When my dad traveled for several weeks out of the month on his job, she became a single parent a large amount of time. Then when he wanted to buy a restaurant the stay at home mom became an instant owner/manager. Transitions, not necessarily of her choosing.

I think we don't even realize how flexible we are to bend and twist our lives to the will and requirements of those we love. A friend of mine went from a single woman, to a care giver for her parents without blinking an eye....transitioning without giving a thought to her own needs. After 10 years her mother recently passed away and she now needs to learn to live her own life. Not as easy as it sounds after giving every thought, every moment to her mother's care.

So is it any surprise that when life changes leave us alone to figure out what we want to do ourselves that we are at a loss. This is where I found myself after my kids were grown and on their own. I had many goals in my life, but they were mostly wrapped around my husband and kids, so I rarely gave a thought to myself. There I was with time to spare and no idea what to do with it. Thus, the "empty nest syndrome". We chart our future to include: graduate from school and seminary, go to college to get a bachelors degree and an M R S degree, find a nice return missionary (or convert some unsuspecting soul), get married in the temple, have children, raise them in a beautiful gospel oriented, nicely decorated, happy home filled with love, get them all off to college, and eternal families of their own. Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder "What now?" Most women don't plan beyond that. We should. Our relationships with our husband, family, and friends need to be nurtured. We need to also stay active in hobbies and interests that are ours alone.

After my kids were all grown I went with a friend to a class at Chaffey College called "Women in Transition". There we found that we were not alone. There were many women questioning "What now?" in the class with us. It has been many years, but one of the things I remember is the teacher asking what we do for ourselves. Most of us replied "Who me? Nothing!"

She encouraged us to write down ways that we would like to be nurtured. She also told us we needed to find a space that we could go to feel peace and relaxation. I immediately went to a florist and set up a plan to come in each week to pick up some fresh flowers for my table at home. Since fresh flowers brighten up my house, they brighten my spirit as well. But that wasn't the main reward, it was that I was important! Important enough to do something for me each week. I was on a budget so I only spent $5.00 on my flowers, but was amazed what delightful bouquets I got for that small price. Somehow taking them out of a florist wrapped in the lovely green floral paper, created just for me, made it even more inviting than picking them up from a local grocery store. I think I need to go to my florist tonight! Just writing about it reminds me of the joy that brought me. I also have always created a wall, usually by my bed, that helps me melt into meditation. Problem is, you have to give yourself that time. I have a cd player right there too, but rarely remember to turn it on. I used to put a little Enya on and drift away into sublime peace.

I was asked a number of years ago who I was and what I enjoyed. My response was that I loved going to soccer games and watching my kids play, or that I loved spending time playing games or going places with my husband, etc. The response was "Now tell me what you like without using your kids, husband, or house in the sentence." Oh my gosh I stuttered and stammered and realized my whole life was wrapped up in them, and that I couldn't think of one thing that didn't include them. It took me a long time of thinking to be able to say that I love writing, spending time with friends, art....oh I love art! Not my own, although I believe some day I would love to paint again. Painting, sculptures-art in museums and in books. They tell such stories. Music is my absolute joy and can bring me up or give me peace with the perfectly chosen artist. I also like decorating for myself and others, spending time in nature (particularly around water), dancing, cruising, traveling....I enjoy the journey as much as the destination. There are so many other things on my list for my transition into retirement.

There are many retired folks who come into my office to pay insurance and love to just sit and talk forever! Now, I know I am a nice person, but still....why would anyone want to sit around an insurance office for an hour? Because they are bored. They need conversation, something to do with their lives. I have friends who say they have trouble getting up in the mornings because they have nothing to do, no goals, no interests, no desires. That would be tough. I am glad I faced this idea of "transitions" a little earlier in my life and have a plan in mind for my semi-retirement now that I am working just three days a week, and for my eventual full retirement.

Transitions usually come into our life unplanned, and we find ourselves unprepared. From the time our babies stand up on their wobbly legs and want to see their little world, when we want to still be cradling them in our arms, to being ready for them to get their drivers licenses and date before we see them as much more than toddlers. We need to be prepared for the transition. We need to set things up for the day that they go to college, marry, and leave our nest. We might need to even think about and get ready for the day we are alone entirely. Because believe me, sometimes those transitions are unexpected as well. Plan ahead to nurture yourself during those unwanted transitions in your life. Cultivate your interests now! It will make those times more tolerable, and maybe even desireable in some ways if you recognize life is full of surprises and curves. While you are taking care of your children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, and your husband.....don't forget you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

....hmmm what shall I write about?

I decided that I needed to write in my blog more often. Not because I have readers, because I don't. But because I have a real desire to write articles, a book, or something, and I need practice.
People have always told me that I have talent in expressing my thoughts. I didn't agree. My writing to me seems very generic. I believe Marque has great talent in putting his thoughts and opinions to word. He has a strong vocabulary that makes things he writes about come alive. Jimmy is really capable of emoting in his writing. Strong sentiments and emotions make his essays and poems passionate. Scott doesn't enjoy writing as much as Jim and Marque, but I know when he was getting his degree he had to do alot of writing. He got all A's so it must have been good. So I would say they have a gift for writing.
My Dad was a good writer too. You could even see his talent when he would sign a birthday card. My mom would always buy the present, get the card, but leave the sentiment to Dad. He wrote me two letters in my life that I cherish. One was when I graduated from High School and the other was the night before I got married. I love taking them out and re-reading them. Holding them in my hands I look at the penmanship...unique, strong, and artistic. Imagining his hand, which I still can picture perfectly, holding the pen doing flourishes just above the paper before setting it down to begin. I can see the little half smile appear as he gets an idea about what to pen. In the letter at my graduation he waxed nostalgic remembering everything that was important all through my life. He recalled friends, boyfriends, events, and tragedies peppering from childhood through this adolescent rite of passage. I was amazed what a full life I had lead, and that it was important to my Dad too. In the letter the night before my wedding when I was 18 years old he wrote a letter expressing love from my Mom and he. I'm absolutely sure he thought I was making a huge mistake taking such a big step at such a young age and he reminded me to "be very sure. When you step up to that altar if you have any doubts..... All your Mom and I want is your happiness." It was replete with emotion, angst, and love. Absolutely beautiful. My mom says I have inherited his gift. I feel my sons have inherited their grandfathers gift as well.
Writing is very important. Journaling can be history, thoughts, emotions, goals, failures, encouraging and discouraging times to be passed on....so can books. The readers are just more numerous and not so prejudiced. They are not just family members but others who might benefit from what is written.
Do I have anything of value to pass on to the general public? Can I express myself well enough to make it interesting, entertaining, and/or beneficial. I have conceded that when I write down what I am feeling at a given time, I can re-read it much later and bring back to mind exactly what the experience was all about. But, I still am not convinced my talent goes any further than that. While I appreciate those friends and family that compliment and encourage me, I do know they are coming from a point of view that isn't exactly objective.
So I just need to write, develop any skills I have, try to find subjects to contemplate on paper, and see how I fair over time. If anyone happens to read this, please send me a subject to write about. I love researching things too. So if it requires research that's okay. Or something that I can philosophize about....I love that too.
I have written a child's book called "An Elf's Christmas Story" that I just need to get published, and don't know how to go about it. My sister, Lynette and I are writing a book about two sisters who are opposite in every way and see their world with a very different perspective. They love each other and being sisters overcomes all differences. It is based on our own childhood experiences. Another book in my head is kind of a self help book called "On a Positive Note..." It will have different chapters on dealing with, and overcoming adversity. Also, I am intending to write a book for the church audience about my life and divorce experience. I think it would be helpful to a specific group of people who may go through similar experiences.
So.....first step.....write. But sometimes to write I need to decide....what shall I write about?