Saturday, January 2, 2016

5 hrs ·

A lot can happen in a year.......
Ode to 2015......
Those that know me know that I would be remiss for not thanking my lucky stars for my friends and family, my children, my co-workers. and my circle of support for
their continued love and strength.
I posted an article around Mother's Day about daughters "circling up" in the wake of their family crisis, and I have to say, I bore witness to a tremendous circling up this year.
One late night in early May, two weeks after delivering her 4th child, my sister Beth, suffered a massive heart attack dubbed "the widow maker". As she was wheeled into the operating room, my sister Jen and I were scrambling to find our parents in Japan. Hitting the Skype button 7,423 times, texting, reaching out to their FB friends in Japan, all the while trying to wake our other sister up to tell her the news.
My fingers couldn't dial fast enough, my heart breaking upon getting voicemail on every one of their phones. Circling up had taken on a whole new meaning that night. Jen jumped in the car and drove the 8 hours to DC from Columbus, family of 4 in tow.
Thankfully, Beth pulled through and is thriving after a terrifyingly intricate surgery and extensive rehab. The meaning of life has never been so palpable as in those moments.
In a world where racial tensions seem to be growing, not dissipating, a new face of terror has cometh with the resurgence of ISIS, and the daily realization that "everything is not awesome", it is this leaning in, the keeping of the faith, the grit, the grind, and the heavy and the slow of life, that buoys us in a world where you just want to carry a steadfast, bullet proof, invisible, yet sturdy anchor.
The girls and I traveled a million miles together. We literally went from sea to shining sea. My rental car rearview mirror full of screams, hitting, pinching, laughter, candy and LIFE. My parents and I grew closer than ever before. My work has taken off in directions I never dreamed.
And at the core of all of it is my recollection of what Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive stated after the sudden tragic death of her husband, David Goldberg. "The only choice of a legacy left to live is nothing will ever be the same, but you can "kick the shit out of option B".
So as we move into a new year, last year's words are of last year's voice. And this year's voice can carry the same language, or maybe step it up a bit, with something new-- in your own time, in your own way.
For to make an end IS to make a beginning.
Happy New Year to you all. Do epic stuff.
Kick the shit out of Option A, B, and C. Don't stop even if you get to Z.
There simply is no other choice.
Love,
Katey + 4



Left Chris, Above, Katey




     As in recent months, I have had the opportunity to respond to my daughter, Katey’s, Facebook posts, I will begin the new year by doing the same. It is such a thrill to read my daughter’s eloquent prose—albeit occasionally peppered with some Phoenix hyperbole, but always spot on. I am proud of her writing skills (good English teachers in Michigan, thank you all), I am proud of her accomplishments, but I am most proud of the compassion she shows for people in need and for the causes she fights (bullying, injustice, women’s rights). 

     The past year has been a banner year for me. Last night at our intimate gathering of friends, we played a fun game called “Things.” A question was asked of each of us, “What was the most memorable thing that happened to you in 2015?” I didn’t hesitate to answer that there were three events that stood out not just for the year, but for my life:
a surprise visit by each of my daughters (coordinated by Mr. Wonderful) and an unforgettable one-woman show on the stage at our beautiful Beckwith Recital Hall at UNCW. Love and accomplishment: what more could I ask for? 

    We all take turns at dealing with crises. I have had my share as my daughters did with family members this year. For those of us on the sidelines helpless to intervene, we witness courage, compassion and strength, so we all learn and thrive from the spirit and power of coming together. Although the crises didn’t directly involve me, I watched as each daughter dropped everything and fled to the scene, offering unselfish hands and hearts. 

     When a close friend of mine had a crisis, I did the same—I dropped everything and ran to her side,  as I know she would have for me. That’s what we need to focus on—-not the haters, the bullies and the power-seekers whom we see in our headlines every day. We need to be the world we want to see instead of complaining that the world is a mess. I have no idea if things were as awful generations ago, but I do believe there is much more good to include in headlines than bad. I realize such things don’t sell newspapers or increase viewership, but maybe someone who is suffering from anxiety might have a more hopeful day if greeted with a story about love and giving.

     I am reading the book, “The Fifth Agreement,” which explains in simple terms how each of us has a unique point of view. In my understanding, the agreement describes our “wiring.” “That’s how you’re wired,” is a message I have received several times in my life, and I never really understood it until now. I highly recommend this best-selling short read to anyone who wants a simple but powerful reminder of how we alone are in charge of our point of view, and no one can take that away from us without our permission. (Interestingly enough, the book is written by a father and son, Ron Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz).

     Happy New Year, everyone. May your point of view be positive and your year be filled with good health and opportunities to grow, thrive and do good things.

        LAUGHTER IS CONTAGIOUS; SPREAD THE VIRUS 
                                                                    Sandy Moulin