Saturday, February 8, 2014

RIP Grandma Junod

A few days ago my long deceased Grandfather rolled up to the gates of Heaven in a big red Cadillac honking the horn wildly.

"Jane! We're way behind schedule! Let's go!" He hollered through the opened passenger door.

"Oh! OK Dearies, we've got to go!" She smiled as she sprinted to the car. Beaming, she waved good bye as my Grandfather punched the gas peddle. And off they rode into their biggest journey by far.

That's how I picture it anyway. It's a sweet way to remember my Grandma Junod who passed away this week at the age of 96.

My Grandmother was a long time sufferer of MS but carried it's burdens with much grace and dignity. My memories of my Grandmother are mostly of her smiling. I honestly don't remember her being cross with anyone. That is unless they hurt one of her own.

I was lucky to have grown up with lots of uncles, aunts and cousins. A trip to Grandpa and Grandma Junod's meant a day of hard play, great laughter and rule bending. The house allowed for some awesome horseplay, all out of eye shot of our Moms and Dads.

When we were given the "we're leaving in 5 minutes" warning we would appear before our parents with sweaty heads, flushed cheeks and Grape Crush soda mustaches.

Cousin time at Grandma and Grandpa's was the best. Sincerely, those times are some of the sweetest memories of childhood I have.

Grandma wasn't a fussy woman. She honestly didn't fuss about the little stuff and lived with the lightest of hearts. When we were all chasing each other around the house, up one stair case and down another it was fine by Grandma. I really think she reveled in the chaotic upheaval that a bunch of rowdy kids created. I assume that because she never seemed to mind and it always left her with a smile on her face.

My Grandmother will be sorely missed by the many people she helped despite her own impairments.
I rather like the idea of her spirit sprinting free from the weight of MS and blazing off into the brilliant glow of Heaven's sun with my the big red Cadillac.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Comforter, Come Fort Her

Love makes your soul crawl out from it's hiding place. 
                                                      -Zora Neale Hurston

Pssst. It's me, Amy.

Psst. Over here! In the couch cushion fort. here! 

I'm not coming out so ya'll are welcome to come in. It's OK. I won't tell anyone you're in here. If they come calling for you I'll disguise my voice and tell them to move on. 

There. Oh, watch your head. That top cushion is a little wobbly. There now, all comfy? Good.

As common protocol requires, I have stocked my tent with Girl Scout Thin Mints, coffee in a thermos, coloring books, crayons, catalogs (yes, they still print those), flashlight and a comforter. 

I now call this couch cushion fort gathering in session. We're all here for different reasons. Me, I'm hiding from life "stuff". It's not unusual at all for a woman of my age to hide out from "stuff". We're not here to judge people. This is a safe place where we can just avoid the realities of big people life for a while. Just long enough to catch our breath, color in Elmo's fur with the perfect color red and crunch away on some tasty cookies. there! Is that cell phone light I see? There are no phones allowed in couch cushion forts. Seriously? Do you want them to find you? Put that away. Oh, you're going to order something from the catalog? OOO. I love that color, girl! That clutch also comes in coral. Oh and don't forget the promo code from the back. 

OK, as I was saying, we're all here for one reason or another. The Thin Mints are a nice draw but mostly we're here avoiding one thing or another. 

For me, it's even hard to settle on one thing that I'm avoiding. Fears, regrets, wishes and dreams are all out there beyond the It's a Bug's Life comforter.

While this is great fun hanging in my couch cushion tent with ya'll, it's time to address some of this stuff head on. 

I usually jot stuff down on a piece of paper to help me sort things out. Can someone pass me the Indigo colored Crayola crayon? Dark blue signifies knowledge and I'm looking for any inspiration I can muster.

This is a great exercise that I do when other methods don't work to clear the clutter in my brain. Crayons ready? Pass me another Thin Mint and we'll get started.  

So, I'm going to list each worry, woe or heavy thought down but make sure that I end the notation with a question mark. This way I'm making sure that the item isn't cemented as a statement but a question. It lessons it's ability to stay locked up in my head and invokes answers to problems.

Here, you try. This Cerulean is a nice dark blue. You can use the back page of my Elmo book if you like. 

Sometimes when you scribble out your challenges on paper you send requests out to the Universe. Your mind and heart are more open to answers. Mine looks something like this:

Fear of my new level of Sjogren's Syndrome?
Regret of not collaborating with that other writer?
Writing is hard when I can't use my eyes and it hurts my hands to type?
I'm feeling left behind?
I waited too long?
We are out of Thin Mints?
I wish daily tasks weren't so hard?
I'm frustrated by that doctor's lack of knowledge and empathy?

Wait. HOLD ON! We're out of Thin Mints? 

Psalms 27:5
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. 

Ah, yes. OK then, who's gonna help me get this living room back together?