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Archive for October, 2012

Lessons to Relive: My Favorite Characters

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Everyone has their own tragic story. Bad things, sad things, and depressing things happen to everyone – it’s inescapable. How one handles such travesty and negativity though, is a true testament to their character and faith…

By the age of 18 Stephanie had lost both of her beloved parents. Each was taken from her by an unexpected, yet simple, mistake of life; and though she technically became orphaned, Stephanie lived on with a resolve, love and understanding of life that has become truly enlightening…

It all started with a car accident.

As a young woman Stephanie’s mother was hit by a drunk driver, and though she healed from her wounds, her body and mind never fully recovered. Her career as a model ended suddenly, and she was left alone and unprotected. But life had something else in store for her; a loving family and a new career as a caring, endearing mother…

In a few years Stephanie’s mom was married to a man 22 years her senior – an unlikely couple, but one that flourished under the circumstances. As a broken women Stephanie’s mother found security, and Stephanie’s father found love and family.

But nothing is perfect. Due to health complications Stephanie’s mother couldn’t handle the extreme heat of Phoenix, Arizona, and so she moved herself and her daughter to the milder climate of Prescott, 110 miles away. The long distance relationship was trying, but the family made it work. Mother and daughter would find companionship with each other during the week, and on weekends Stephanie’s father would fly in and the family would enjoy a structured lifestyle.

It was a schizophrenic lifestyle for the young Stephanie, due to the constant shift between playful weekdays and rigid weekends, but nothing an adaptable child couldn’t handle. Unfortunately, such fluctuations were difficult for Stephanie’s mother, especially during her relapses of chronic pain. On such days, she would lie in bed and endure the harsh words of a bratty Stephanie who just wanted to play…

At her young age Stephanie just didn’t understand the effects loneliness and physical pain could have on a damaged woman, and when her mother went in for a routine colonic treatment and returned home sick, Stephanie couldn’t help but feel disgusted. Little did she know that during the checkup, her mother’s colon was punctured… and by the time her mother was brought to the hospital it was too late… even surgery couldn’t help…

Stephanie was 15 was her mom passed.

The following year was one of hardship and emptiness. But a bright light came in the form of Grace; a sweet, gentle and helpful soul that brought the family back together. She was perfect for Stephanie’s father, and in time things settled into place. But the new family’s happiness was short lived… A year after the marriage, Stephanie lost her father in a snowstorm. His plane simply disappeared and only a few fragments were found the following spring.

So before the age of 18, Stephanie had lost both of her parents.

To this day she is still handing and dealing with the shock and pain of such a tragedy, but in a manner that brings hope and light into the world.

You see, Stephanie describes her parents as beloved characters in her favorite book. Though their story is finished and put back on the shelf, their lessons and adoration are carried on forever. No matter where Stephanie goes or what she decides to do, her parents are right there with her. And in a way they are constantly feeding her information and providing her their support… their wisdom becomes her inspiration, fed to her in her dreams, in a realm where both parties can unconsciously meet.

The forces of the world are truly powerful and at times completely incomprehensible; but bottom line is Stephanie never feels alone. Both her playful, lonely mother and structured, organized father are by her side, through thick and thin, and with every step she takes…

And at the end of the day, we all have our own stories to live and our own tragedies to overcome, but if Stephanie has taught us anything; it’s that we always have the support of those who love us, and that the story never truly ends…

Stand Still and Watch the Leaves Turn

Monday, October 1st, 2012

“Around and around the house the leaves fall thick, but never fast, for they come circling down with a dead lightness that is somber and slow.” ~Charles Dickens

The first day of autumn recently passed, and with it went the fast-passed and brilliant lights of summer. A soft blanket has fallen into place that engulfs our world with a sense of calm and tranquility. Faded are the raucous bbqs and hot nights on the town. Now a subtle chill penetrates the air, and settling in with a pumpkin spiced latte and a good read is more appealing…

And once again the world shifts, and with it shifts our consciousness and our priorities. In a sense, the changing of the season is a change in our minds and in our souls, for we are able to view the world in a new light, and with that brings a new openness that reveals new portals of enlightenment. You see, we are essentially forced to think differently because our whole environment is thrown into a flux; Mother Nature takes on a new visage that can we can see and feel and react to.

The fading of the sun; the brilliant foliage of colors; the covered walkways; the hats, scarves and gloves; all alter our perception of our own lives. There is a somber quality in the wind that turns us inwards, makes us bundle-up, and re-think our purposes and desires…

It’s at this moment, the beginning of fall, that I become reflective and critical of my decisions. I guess with the world transforming, I too must make alterations, and the inherent quietness that surrounds me creates the perfect bubble to contemplate. Besides, the excitement and energizing attributes of summer have faded, and with those distractions gone I can get down to the nuts-and-bolts of things.

I can take the time to reevaluate my direction… steady myself for what is to come, or alter my course in search of another ending. After all, don’t we all need a mental reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing? Sure there are aspects in life that we don’t question; but what about those mundane things and obligations — the stuff in life we ready don’t want to do but know we have to?

Well, autumn is the time I thoughtfully analyze what I’m doing, and in turn am reminded of the reasons why I do what I do. Tasks I like and dislike all work together to balance the life I’ve built, and a truly blessed life it is…

There is so much to be thankful for, and in this hectic, impersonal, and busy world we live in, we desperately need those moments of remembrance. We need to rise above the superficiality and remember what we’re truly made of.

I, for example, may live a lavish lifestyle, own beautiful things, and travel the world; but that’s not what defines me. My family and friends shape who I am and bring out the best I have to offer, and for that I am truly thankful.

So as I lay a clean blanket on the bed for the first time in months, and open the window a little more to feel the cool breeze, I take a moment of reverence for the new season and all that it brings. Like the solemn, dying leaf, floating from its branch towards the ground in big, looping spirals; I circle through my vault of memories and decisions, touching lightly on all that I hold dear.