Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Another birthday has come and gone. This one was beautiful, in many ways.
Every year since I was a small child, my family has gathered around my mother's table to celebrate my birthday dinner. And ever since I grew old enough to appreciate how fortunate I am to be surrounded by my family (even though they drive me crazy on a regular basis), my heart swells and my eyes mist over when the lights dim and their beloved faces are lit by the glow of flickering candles on a home-baked cake carried in by my mother.
I always knew a day would come when there would be one or more faces missing. I assumed that the first to go would be my grandparents. Any other 36-year-olds out there who still have all four grandparents living in this world? My oldest grandfather at age 95, is frail in body, but he's still as stubborn as a mule. "They're gonna have to shoot me," he says.
No, it wasn't one of my grandparents who was missing from the party. It was my step-dad, gone since he separated from my mother in January of this year.
I was sure that he would forget my birthday. He's notoriously absent-minded and disorganized, and always relied on my mother to notify him of important family dates. Not only that, but he's away in Italy at the moment, far from any reminders of his usual schedule.
I was so sure that he would forget, and so desirous of receiving his blessing for my coming year, that when I spoke to him the day before my birthday, I prompted him to wish me "Happy Birthday".
"Oh," he said, surprised. "I thought it wasn't until tomorrow."
"It is!" I said, more surprised than him. "I didn't think you would remember!"
"It's in my planner," he said. "I was going to call you. I'll still call you tomorrow, to sing to you."
I'm pretty sure my mom must have reminded him, when they had one of their many conversations about the administrative processes they are now going through. But even so, how sweet of him! Singing for someone is always a lovely gift.
Another thing that I kind of forgot was that he's in a different time zone. Usually he doesn't wake up until around 11:00 am. Since his new girlfriend's house is in California, three time zones later, half the time he's not available by phone until after 2:00 pm Toronto time. So imagine my surprise when my phone rang at 8:55 am on Saturday morning. It was my step-dad, singing Happy Birthday to me.
After I got over the shock, I realized that it was 2:55 pm in Italy. Still, this year he earned the distinction of being the first person to wish me a happy birthday on the Actual Day.
It was a good start to an excellent day. A summery sun shone in a blue sky, and there were many good things in store. Friends, family, gifts, cake.
And in the evening, at my mother’s house, when my family sang the birthday song for me, I only felt a little smidge of sadness at my step-dad's absence. My mother leaned over and whispered to me "I eats you last!", her code for "I love you", and even that smidge was erased.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
2.Link the person you received your award from.
3.Nominate 7 other blogs.
4.Put links of those blogs on yours.
- Keera's A Roll in the Universe. How could I not love a blog that features a quote from the Muppets as a sub-title?
- San's A Life With a View. San sees the world through a rainbow-coloured glasses. I love vicariously experiencing that view.
- Aurora's self-titled blog. Beautiful photos, plus I get to hug Aurora in real life now and then.
- Dianne's Forks Off the Moment. Dianne has a big heart and she knows how to use it.
- Syb's No Moron Left Behind. All I have to say about Syb is that she is one of myveryown fave-rits and I lurve her blawg. If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, you won't understand Syb either. ;-)
- Nilsa's Somi. Nilsa is pretty much Superwoman as far as I can tell. Watch her handle ridiculous stress with amazing grace, and be inspired!
- Claire's Country Mouse Tales. Because Claire is adorable, and this award was made for a sweet blog like hers.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
After Jesus came along and found me, and lifted me up to himself, I changed. At first I had trouble writing because my basic assumptions about reality were in flux, and I wasn't even sure who I was anymore. How can you write about "I" when you don't even know who that "I" is?
But now things are settling down, and I still find myself reluctant to return to this blog.
I can't be the old Spark anymore. I no longer stand at such a remove from the world, claiming observer status. Living like that allowed me a measure of protection, and also left me feeling alienated.
Now that I've set my intention to engage lovingly with real people in the real world, my heart has grown. I'm less likely to escape into ironic humour, and more likely to get genuinely emotional as I let myself be impacted by life. It's not that I feel this approach is unwelcome in Blogland, where there are no outsiders. But I'm more vulnerable now that I've dropped my shields. It's one thing to share my new self with trusted family and friends. It's quite another thing to put it out on the internet for anyone to see.
Also, I find myself preoccupied with some very controversial issues at the moment. Nothing I wish to share with a limitless audience. I'm not sure what would be gained by spouting my opinions on these matters, because peoples' minds aren't generally changed by words, but by personal experience.
So that is why again and again, I think about writing for this blog, and come up with question marks.
And yet, here I am!