Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Family Traditions & Easter

On Holy Thursday I continue the tradition with my folks of visiting 7 churches to reflect & pray. Each year I have fun listening to my dad plan our route. I find this activity very peaceful & grounding. I enjoy seeing how different people honor God. This year when we went to Sacred Heart Church Our Lady of the Millenium was there. If you have not seen her & you are religious or spiritual (I think there is a difference) I would highly recommend it. It is just breath-taking & a humbling experience. Take a look at the photos on the website! http://www.ourladyofthemillennium.com/ Incidently, on the website there is a link with pictures of John Paul II visit to Chicago 1979. I was in the crowd at Five Holy Martyrs Church as a young teen. I was baptized there & my folks & many members of my family were married there.  


Well my family tried to surprise me for my 30th & didn't succeed. Now for my 40th (or permanent 39th as my mom says!) my family tried again...I found out! Ha! Well I thought maybe because my aunt sent me a card with a check saying "Sorry I missed your party." Just think too much I guess! Ha! 

Not sure if my mom meant to hide the card from me & I just found it but unfortunately I read it to them as well. Dad tried to cover it up but then everything stuck out as a sore thumb after that just like my 30th. 

It was lovely though! My family makes  me feel so very loved! My aunt even told my mom that she & her husband get tired & usually only do 1 thing a day but because it was me they couldn't not come. Wow! It is so incredible to feel so loved. Everyone was so generous & thoughtful to me! Except the cake! Ha! Actually they got 2...Portillos Chocolate cake (YUM!) & a white cake with ice cream. I had one thin slice of both & that is all! The cake was left over but someone got to it the next day! Ha! I'm glad though because they were so kind to me.

Everyone sang Happy Birthday, May the Dear Lord Bless her & Sto Lat (Polish...below)!

Sto lat, sto lat, (For a hundred years, for a hundred years,)
Niech zyje, zyje nam.(May he/she live for us.)
Sto lat, sto lat, (For a hundred years, for a hundred years,)
Niech zyje, zyje nam, .(May he/she live for us.)
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech zyje, zyje nam, (One more time, one more time, may he/she live )
Niech zyje nam! (May he/she live (a hundred years). )

One of my aunts & uncles gave me a beautiful birthday angel by Kathy Hahn which says "God Smiled The Day You Were Born"
http://www.cherrylaneangels.com/html/9191.html and a Precious Moment which says "You Have a Heart of Gold". A cousin of mine framed a bunch of inspirational sayings with drawings & is so very dear to me.
One of my brothers got me a Willow Tree Angel which I collect & my other brother & sister gave me a digital camera which I can't wait to use just to mention a few! Balloons, 2 dozen roses ETC! I got to run around with my cousin's 1 year old twins! That was fun! Ha!   

I'm especially grateful because this was Easter Saturday & people have so much to do on this weekend. It really helped since my birthday was not a day I could really feel like celebrating with having a funeral for someone I love dearly.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spring Break

Well this week is Spring Break. I was hoping to get some good relaxation in this week but so far...no such luck! :-( I am catching up on a few things that have gotten neglected in the last few weeks with my family loses taking up my time. I was actually in the office today from 4:15-9pm! Some Spring Break but then again I will be heading to San Diego next Thursday for a Psychology Symposium & though it will be a bit of work also, it looks to be a wonderful opportunity to relax also. Then of course this weekend is Easter so I'll spend some time relaxing with my nieces! I think I'm just getting ready for Summer! :-) 7 more weeks! YA!

I remember when I was interning for my Masters. The company I worked for put us up in a wonderful hotel for our last week & I didn't have to be at work until 11am. I would get in a lovely relaxing hour in the hot tub before I went to work. Then after work I got in another hour! That was one of the most relaxing weeks! Have to ask Santa for a hot tub! :-) I am going to do my Progressive Relaxation tape tonight though so that will definitely do the trick! A massage is what would do the trick right now though! ;-) A lovely warm beach with soft ocean waves...ohhhh this is really working! Ha! Have to put my ocean waves music on!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bells Are Ringing for the New Angel

Today (technically yesterday) was an extremely difficult day for me. I spent my birthday offering my love & prayers for Father (Uncle) Richie (Joswiak) http://www.legacy.com/chicagotribune/LegacySubPage2.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=3292056 at his funeral services. Every birthday from this day on I will do the same, though it will not be the only day! I will remember you teasing me once again during our last phone conversation. I will remember you giving my family "a bath" of holy water during Easter Basket Blessings - I'll miss you next week! I will remember the laughs at family events! I will remember you having the children coming up to sing "Happy Birthday" & "We Love You, We Do" to baby Jesus at Christmas. I will remember you telling us "Be nice to everyone." I will remember your sweet smile. I hope God gives you a tight hug, like the ones you gave us, and tells you how very much he loves you & how grateful he is for you teaching us about Jesus & Mary and Love. Your love will continue & circle the world. I hope God has you teach all the children in Heaven who did not live long enough to learn about Jesus & Mary. I know you are now our Angel looking over us. And I guess you won our bet!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Sights & Sounds of Angels

It may seem odd that I would choose a bathroom to be full of angels but then that is me! Perhaps if I had a bigger place & had another room I could make it a different room. I love finding angels with real kids in the picture. I have a beautiful poster with the "Love is Kind, Love is Patient" verse to read.

I collect Willow Tree angels - look at some here:
http://canterbearies.com/natcol.html  and I also love Noel's angels, especially Grace, Mercy & the Angel in Blue & Lady of the Lake - Look here http://www.nanoel.com/Controller?action=category&category=1

One of the voices I think is just so Angelic is Cecilia. You can listen to a bit of her songs at http://www.ceciliasings.com/pages/albums_wmhs.html Try "Amazing Grace!" I really disliked that song so much before because it reminded me of funerals. When I was at a conference in AZ, Dr. Dyer played Cecilia's version & every cell in my body tingled! It reached my spirit/soul! I love her version! 

I also love Josh Groban! "To Where You Are" and "You Raise Me Up" is just so heavenly!  "A breathe away not far... to where you are!" "You raise me up so I can stand on mountains, you raise me up,  to walk on stormy seas, I am strong, when I am on your shoulders,  you raise me up to more than I can be." Words which describe what "soulmate" is really all about! "Your Still You" is also wonderful! Listen to Josh here http://www.joshgroban.com/main_news_frame.html

I also love Taylor Dane's "Whenever You Fall"! Lyrics: http://www.lyricsdepot.com/taylor-dayne/whenever-you-fall.html

Celine Dion's "Fly" is so beautiful....can't listen to it without crying! While I like Vanessa Williams version also, Celine's "If I Could" is also lovely! http://www.celinedionusa.com/

If only I could sing like them...with the inner core of my spirit! :-) .

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Who Dishes it?

Maureen Dowd OP-ED Columnist in the NY Times has a piece today called "Dish It Out, Ladies"
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/opinion/13dowd.html?ex=1111381200&en=1b6f2c9b6dec0470&ei=5070 which is EXCELLENT! Her statements are actually supported by Dr. Deborah Tannen's research. Dr Tannen is an expert in Gender Linguistics at Georgetown University http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/tannend/. Maureen talks about how when men criticize others or simply "have an opinion" it is taken seriously & without any offense but if a women were to make the same comments it is not received as such & she is "A Bitch". I have found this to be quite true. SOME men have acted like this towards me. In fact, I recall meetings where at the beginning I would make a suggestion & it was thought to be "not good" but by the end of the meeting a male suggests it & all of a sudden it is "great!" Ha! Dr. Tannen's Video "He Said, She Said" explains why men think women nag them & Much more! It is amazing the perspective each gender takes away about the other after viewing this video! I highly recommend it or any of her books!

Becoming A DragonFly

Last week was VERY difficult! Saying goodbye to my grandma's sister who has been with me for just shy of 40 years was full of tears, as well as laughter. As my cousin said, "she was always there to listen to your secrets and share your news & events." In this woman's nearly 91 years on this planet she always tried to help any way she could, including worrying for you! :-) Many have said she should have authored her "imagined scenes"...perhaps murder mysteries! It was much more difficult than I thought it would be to say goodbye...and Thank You. One of my other cousins read a story she had read to her 3 sons who have lost 3 pieces of their puzzles in the last few months & are inquiring about Heaven. She read them "The Waterbug Story" http://www.widowstooyoung.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=People;action=display;num=1109711231 This story describes how a waterbug transforms into a beautiful dragonfly and can no longer interact with his fellow waterbugs. The waterbugs believe their transformed friend to be dead. It was a very touching story which does help. Last November I had attended the wake of a past professor of mine. The minister spoke of how when we are being born we do not want to be born. We are comfortable in our mother's stomach....it is warm & safe! When we are born, we feel cold with an "unsafe environment" of bright lights & loud noises. After we have adjusted to this "life" we can't imagine being afraid of "life" and we no longer want to leave it. He said it is the same feeling when we die. We think we do not want to & yet when we do "cross over" we will not even understand why we feared dying. It will be so much better than we ever imagined. I have found this somewhat comforting lately. I am very grateful my great aunt was able to know of her first great-grand daughter for a bit before she died. It is amazing the coincidence (or is it) that baby Maura was induced to be born in time! This Waterbug story also makes me think of the Movie "Dragonfly" with Kevin Costner! http://www.dragonflymovie.com/ 


Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Completing Puzzles

I went to visit my great aunt today who is not doing well. I just needed to go. I think for MANY reasons! As I am taking it all in, I had some insight. Not sure if it is correct but interesting none the less.

Perhaps when one's spirit leaves this world it is because the location "our piece" of the puzzle of life has been found & is fitted in perfectly in other's puzzles & our puzzle has been totally completed. Perhaps as a new spirit comes into the world it is like adding a piece to the puzzle & you are searching for its location. Life's path or story is the "searching for the location. " Kind of finding "a home." Do we each have our own puzzle in which other's pieces (their life) fits in our puzzle & we also serve as a piece of their puzzle. We may be a significant part of someone's puzzle & in other's play a smaller role in "the big picture". As we know, some pieces come into our life & don't fit quite correctly or not in the place we are attempting to place them. Sometimes we do not feel a piece is correct even though it is. Sometimes we think it is important & will spend so much time trying to find the place for that piece. We may lose pieces for some time & perhaps find them again. Some may also attempt to work on our puzzle with us & try to place pieces where we do not want them/they do not work. Of course one may not have placed all pieces right side up (recognizing them). They may also be overlapping others.

Just a start...will continue...