Monday, July 26, 2010

Having fun

Yesterday, Sunday, we usually go to Church but not yesterday. I got up and told my wife to get dressed we were going on a road trip.

We got ready I packed a small ice chest with a light lunch and away we went. We got on the road about 9:30 am and we were at the beach with our toes in the sand by 12:30. We are so blessed to live to close to the ocean, not a block away but definitely a short drive. We do not do this often enough. It seems that we get bogged down with life's everyday things, and routines and forget to enjoy, have some fun!

When we were first married we would wake up on a Saturday or Sunday and say let's have lunch at..... San Franciso, Sacramento, Ashland, Eureka, and would get up and away we would go, two young people in love and full of adventure. Over time life happens you have kids, jobs, responsibility's, and you somehow forget to have FUN. Well my friends you must NEVER forget to have FUN because life is way too short. I know this all too well, having lost several people in their early to mid 50's.

We drove, held hands, talked, laughed, contemplated, and just enjoyed the day and what it had to offer as we sailed along. It is these times spent with the one you love or ones you love that become some of the best memories. We walked along the beach as the fog was coming in, it was about 60 degree's, that would be about 45 degree's cooler than where we live. It was refreshing, soul healing, FUN, and relaxing all at the same time.

There is something so calming about being on the beach at the ocean, the rhythm of the waves, the sound of the sea gulls, watching a child discover the possibilities of what they can make with just some sand, a pail and some sea weed.....

I need, long for, time spent at a beach with my wife, just the two of us walking the same beaches that we walked when we were first married, when we were young parents, when our kids were teenagers. I love the feeling of it all, it feels like an old friend, comfortable, reassuring, nurturing. The ocean holds healing for me, it somehow soothes my soul. As I tell my wife I needed a ocean fix.. We go to other beaches, areas of the ocean, but there are two places on the Northern California Coast it is Clam Beach , and in Oregon it is Bandon and it's beaches, both places are calming and healing for me....

So find your healing, calming place, go there to rejuvenate your soul. Have FUN while you are doing it. Remember we are NEVER to old have fun, we at times I think just forget how to. So relearn how to have fun, relax, and enjoy yourself, because this is not a dress rehearsal my friend it is YOUR life, make the most of it. I know that I need this reminder from time to time also.

Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birthdays, celebrations and history lessons all in one!

Since last Saturday we have celebrated 5 birthdays in our family!!!! July is a busy birthday month for us.

As we celebrate each birthday I try to reflect on how long we have known the person who is having the birthday. I try and remember when we met, what the circumstances were for that first meeting. Now for all of the birthdays we are celebrating this week they have all been family , wonderful, exasperating, crazy, loveable family!!

Birthdays always offers us a chance to see where we have been, and enjoy the fact that we were there. It also offers us a chance to see where we might be going, and depending on where you have landed on the birthday calendar number that may be a long way or for some of us a shorter distance... but never quit going where you want to go no matter your age.

As we celebrated a 60 year birthday, and a 74 year birthday, I was thinking that I have known these people for over 40 years!!!! I met my wife's family when I was 10 years old, and we won't go into how old I am, OK OK you can do the math !!! But we have been family for quite some time, we have shared weddings, divorces, births of our children, saying good by to loved ones for the last time, and through it all we have remained family, we have been there for each other, we have loved each other through life's challenges .

We are like a crazy patch quilt, all of us different; but stitched together by life and its circumstances, and ebbs and flows. Alone we are just a small part of the universe, but together we are a wonderful crazy mixed up family, that I love and adore. We have our problems, and faults, show me a family that says it doesn't and I will show you a family with a great big closet of denial. But with all of our problems and faults we still love each other and need each other. Life is so much fuller because family is in it.

So today call a family member, crazy or not, and let them know you were thinking of them, if you cannot call, write them a note and drop it in the mail. We all need each other in order to make it to our next birthday what ever birthday that is for you..... so Happy Birthday to all go and celebrate, enjoy and eat a piece of cake for me!
Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life's challenging times........ love can make a difference

This past week has been a difficult one for me. My brother who is younger by two years, was hospitalized for doing things that he should not have been doing.

Our lives growing up were chaotic at best, we come from a long line of alcoholics. So though there were good times there were many more chaotic times due to people, the adults in our lives making bad decisions with alcohol. My brother has done the same, and you throw in years of drug abuse , well you get the picture.

So he is in the hospital, and near death, I am praying for him as I always do but sitting there with him makes me so sad... to see what the decisions that he has made have done to not only him but his family.

Anyway as I am sitting there talking to him, when he is coherent enough to talk. We make small talk, I ask him what the doctors have told him, he tells me that one of his kidneys and his liver had started to shut down and that he was near death and that the doctor has advised him that he should go to a in house treatment program to get himself straightened out.

Now this is not the first time he has been told this by a physician, but he has never been so close to death before. After he tells me what the doctor has said, I sit quietly for a moment and then ask him.... so what are you going to do when you get out of here? I am longing to hear, "Find a
N A and or AA meeting" , but as usual that is not what I hear. I am dumb founded, but then quickly remember this is not the first time he has needed to do this, find a way to stop all this madness.

I have gone to Al Anon off and on for years for my sanity, and to learn how to deal with those around me who are out of control. And one of the lessons that has been brought home to me is that I cannot make the decision for them I must let them go, as hard as it is, let them deal with their problem and be ready to be there for them when they are ready to get the help they need.

This is the hardest lesson for me for I am the oldest, the big brother, the Peace maker, the one who always wants to make it right. I struggle with this, but know that in the end it is my brother who must make the decision, the choice, and bear the struggle to get himself clean and sober.

It is my job to continue to love him in whatever state he is in, to not enable him, but to not alienate him either, to walk that fine line that keeps our communication open so that I can offer him help when he needs it. I find this so hard at times, as I watch him slowly killing himself, and have to just stand by and love him, pray for him, for I have argued, yelled, screamed, cried, and begged him to get help and all of that has not produced the results that I wanted.

So I am now resolved to the fact that I cannot help someone who does not want help. This does not make it any easier for me in fact it makes it at times so difficult that I cannot stand it. But I must give my brother to someone bigger than both of us, I have given him to GOD because I am so weary of worrying about him. I know that my heavenly Father will in his due time help my brother find peace within himself, and give himself to him wholly and completely so that he can be healed from these addictions.

In our daily lives we have friends, family, co workers, who are struggling with addiction, and at times we are at a loss as to how to best help them. For me I have come to the conclusion that I must just love the person where they are, not giving in to their addiction or allowing them to drag me into their problems. But offer a shoulder for support, a love that is unconditional, and to pray for them always.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, know that I know exactly how you fell, know that you cannot change a person who does not want to be changed. But also know that they want , need, long for our love and support for them the person not the addiction. Pray for them, love them, and be there for them for one day I pray they will come to us and we need to be there for them. So love the unlovely, comfort those who need it, and remember that it is only our job to love them no matter where they are at In This Journey Called Life........
Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

4th of July Make some memories

Earlier this week I wrote about 4th of July's gone by, and how the memories are fresh and make me smile even though the events have long passed.

So today I want to say, make memories every day not just for holidays but every day do something that makes you smile and then when you think back you can say YES that was a good day.

As we go into this week end of celebrating our nation's birthday, take a moment and ponder the wonderful Country that we live in, the freedoms that we have, and the vast country side that is there for us to go and see.

Yes we have some problems and issues, and what country does not have these? But for the most part we have an awesome country, we are allowed to practice the religion of our choice, and even when we do not agree with others on their choice they still have that choice, this is HUGE because in other countries around the world this is not true. Thank GOD that we continue to have this right here in our country.

So as you celebrate this week end, with your picnics, fireworks, bar b ques, parties, family reunions, remember that our we are truly blessed to live here in these United States of America. Happy Birthday America, I for one feel ever so blessed to live in the Greatest country on this Earth!!!

Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie