Sunday, December 27, 2015

If Tomorrow Never Comes

     Scouring our digital photos for a specific one I was searching for, I clicked on this image.  At once, I stopped, filled with emotions and memories flooding my thoughts.

December 25th, 2010.  One day after my thirty-fifth birthday, four days before our family would be forced to adapt to a new way of living. 

The next image that enlarged on my computer screen was this one. 

My heart nearly fell out of my chest.  Our family, our children, our world.  Almost lost.  

"What if's" came to my mind for the first time ever about the footings we poured as the foundation of our little tribe we had formed.

     "What if" we knew what was going to happen just days from when this photo was taken, would we have absorbed more from this memory?

     "What if" we would have slowed down more instead of just talking about it?

     "What if" we wouldn't have let the stressors of this life disturb us so much?

     "What if" one of us hadn't lived, would the rest of us know how much we loved them?

     That's the one that became my main focus.  Had I not lived, would the rest of my family understand how much love my heart holds for them?  

     We cannot use "what if's" to look at or change our past, we can use them to look at and change our future.  

     I have been working on this concept for five years now.  Not thinking about "what if's" and just doing what my heart feels regardless of life's circumstances.  

     It can be so hard at times, so hard to keep that positive outlook with the negativity influencing our posse of six. 

    Our teenagers may not want me to hug or tell them that I love them, but I'm doing it anyway because it is true.  They may not want to take things as slow as I do, to stop the moment so I can cuddle up in it and feel the warmth surrounding me, but I'm going to do it anyway. 

     My husband may appear bashful as I stroke his ego for stepping up and choosing to be the protector, mentor and leader of our family until I could again stand by his side in partnership, but I will continue to lift him up with praise.  When our lives fell apart, he dug in his heels instead making an exit.

     My hopes are that each of us will have no regrets of not showing enough affection, not saying I love you or of not sharing in the memories.  At the end of our lives, creating memories are all that really matter, all that we truly look back on and there should be no anguish over, "What if" I had done more.

     When I view these images, no matter if they seem insignificant or historic, that these are moments, memories in the making, that we would have lost out on.   

     If my tomorrow never comes, as it almost did, my family will know how much I loved them, they will know I tried in every way, they will know how much they fill my heart. 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Afternoon with Kate Duryea

     God is not shy about sending me life lessons.  Many of these are moments I have when I am spending time with other people and that is what happened the afternoon that I spent with Kate Duryea.

   I was introduced to Kate by a mutual friend Kim Wallis, who is the founder of Pilates4Pros.  Kate owns an active wear boutique in Ladue, MO, Dimvaloo, which promotes Lorna Jane products and a healthy life style. 

     Kate enjoys photographing clients clothed in her active wear line, especially those that work at living healthier, active lives and who have stories of triumph.  This is where Kim thought I would fit in.  

     Being on the other side of the camera was something new for me.  I become an introvert at the attention and I found myself striving to relax.  There was no need to feel uncomfortable around her, she is an adorable person to interact with and we hit it off very well.  Actually,  I never asked her how she felt about me, but I enjoyed her eccentric personality immensely!

Feeling a little blah about myself, I went into the photo shoot looking to boost myself up a bit.  With any new activity, usually the first time I do not get it right.  It may take a few tries to understand how my new, inflexible body can accomplish the same activity and I was having difficulty on this sunny day.


   I was aggravated that my too early in life, fluctuating hormones had caused a ten pound weight gain that I could not seem to shake. Because of my joint fusions, I was unable to correctly perform the Pilates moves she desired and I let my frustration cloud my creativeness.  The result altered my focus on how I should accommodate in new ways versus my old ways. 


  Realizing that I am that awkward woman now, made me want to cuss or pout like a child, especially with how physically coordinated I was pre-crash.  Kate was a sport as she may have had no idea of the struggle I had going on in my mind and heart that day.  Or of  the sarcastic one liners I was throwing at myself and God as I posed like Elaine from Seinfeld.

     "The only times I get truly disheartened is when I try to be something I'm not."  

     Yes, I am still physically active, but on a different level. I am a substantially different woman, palpably.  I work hard at making you think otherwise, but it is a struggle.  I am not a model for limber poses, I am now a sit by the pool and show off my active wear kind of female.  Still awkwardly exercising, just more privately.

     My day was not a waste.  I met this eclectic entrepreneur who took myself (a cattle farmer) to a vegan restaurant and introduced me to the most amazing chocolate avocado mousse to ever land on my taste buds.  It turns out she is a beef eater too

 Also living through another life lesson handed down from God Himself.  I believe He succeeded in his goals for this day and I also believe He has met his match with me.  I hope He continues to help me grow and holds my hand as I do so.

I will continue to test my limitations, for if I should not, I will never know what I am absolutely capable of.  

And I will maintain a smile as I accept with a sigh what was dealt to me.

*all photos are the copyright of Kate Duryea and Dimvaloo active wear
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