I said a prayer upon waking this morning
Asked that gentle come my way
A gentle breeze with promises
Whispered in my ear:

Today there will be sunshine
Flowers will bloom with color
The sky will be blue, spotty with clouds
The warmth will encompass you

You will hear a child's laughter
See the smile upon a face you pass
Bumblebees will buzz around
Coffee will be dark and strong

The doorbell will ring with visitors
They will enter in your cleaned up home
The clock will tick as minutes go by
You will feel spring when you go outside

You won't need to take pills
To make a headache go away
You won't feel sad and cry over nothing
Because you will look in the mirror today:

And upon that recognition
This is who I am
You will find peace within your heart
Won't feel lonely or afraid

Whatever will be will be
Will gather in your thoughts
The worries and ache filling your heart
Will be forced into the back

Today I prayed for gentle
And the breeze whispered in my ear
Today you will find gentle
In this, your life, this is.



Dear Mom,

It is nearly Mother's Day- once again, a day set aside to honor the woman whom gave me life.  The woman whom brings me a security and trust I find with noone else...my mom.

I am on the bus heading towards yet another meeting for Kaeden.  When I was a kid, I had no idea what a difficult job being a mother was.  You made it look so easy-  I always knew I was loved, always had everything I needed and more.  Until I became a mother I had no idea of the sacrifices you made or the pain you had to endure.  I had no idea how when your child's eyes twinkled your heart would glow or how an unexpected hug would make you feel as if you were encased in complete joy.  I had no idea.

Now I know.  As I head to another meeting hoping to find another manner to help my son, I feel the despair, the fear, the anger and unfairness of being a mother...all that I must endure.  Yet, I go, I always go, hanging onto the shred of hope that never leaves my mind or heart when it comes to my children.  Working towards those moments of success, wanting to find them, always searching, until we know without doubt that our child will find happiness, feel love, know care and achievement.

You made motherhood look easy, yet I struggle.  I struggle to come to terms with knowing I can do no more than my best, and never knowing if my best will truly be what is best.

And then, I see him, my son...a tall figure in the distance.  As he moves closer I note his grin, and it gets bigger the closer he comes.  He moves towards me, towering over me, my boy, now already a man, and as he smiles so do I.  His hug wraps me in everything I want, everything I need.  And I hope, oh how I hope, it's all he wants and needs too---my love, my hope, my achievement, my success, my happiness---all wrapped up in one hug, in one boy...

and yet, I have two...one smaller, once younger, one completely opposite from the other in character and drive and desire...yet both so important, so fulfilling, so very mine...

I am mama.

And no matter what else comes and goes in life, whatever good or bad happens, nothing can take that away from me.

 You made motherhood look easy.  I learned it from the very best there is.  I hope my children feel the same when they are forty years old, looking back upon their life.  I hope I made it look easy, that they know, without a doubt, that my best truly was the very best.

Happy Mother's Day Mom.  And thank you.



Freedom.  I felt it.  My mind was empty of all worries and my soul felt like it could fly.  Freedom.  I could taste it.  I could feel it.  I was alive.

Such a simple thing we too often take for granted.  Hop in the car and run get groceries or run to the bank or, oh yeah, i forgot to get salt...hup, in the car, turn the key and seconds later you have what you need.  Driving brings with it freedom and simplicity.  Everything is easy when it takes no effort to achieve, which having a car affords us.

I miss driving.  I mean, I sincerely miss it.  Whenever I used to feel down or discouraged or happy or high, I'd jump in my car, turn on some music depending on my mood, and drive...sometimes to my favorite quiet spot, sometimes shopping, sometimes just take whichever road I first passed.  It always made me feel good, driving, especially out on open Wyoming roads.

Since living in Europe, having a car has been a luxury in place of a necessity.  The first year I lived in Nederland, I had no vehicle.  I did have a bike and public transport, and came to rely upon both to get me where I needed to go.  When I was in active labor with Jari, we got our first car.  Erwin still took the train to work and I had use of the car, but still tended to bike or walk, especially with a newborn and stroller, it was easier to just walk.  But, still, the car was always at my beckoning call, and I was free to use it at my every whim.

When we moved to Belgium, the car came with us.  Erwin's transportation became a bus service which left at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, but he was always home early.  I still had the car, and it became useful for me as I explored our new home, Belgium, Limburg, as well as keeping in touch with old friends in Holland.  In our corner of Belgium, public transport is present (busses, no train), and it's round the clock available, but getting places is almost a chore.  In what would be a 20 minute drive, it takes me  more than an hour by bus.  Just saying...

But back then, I still had the car and was still free to come and go as needed, though I still used my bike for the short distance trips, as I came to discover biking is 1) enjoyable  2) fast  3)  gives no parking headache  4) cheaper  and 5)  healthy.  But on those gray and rainy Belgian days (many)  I could still turn the key and come out on the other side safe and dry.

And then, Erwin's bus service quit running.  He needed the car for work, to provide for our family.  It was a necessity for him, and my luxury was stripped from me.  In the blink of an eye, my freedom was gone.  Having a car is freedom, and nobody can tell me differently.  Hop on a bike and feel the wind on your face, yes, it too is freedom, but limited....

And so, I have become a passenger in life where I used to be a driver.   I no longer have transportation to allow me freedom, which I have had since my 16th birthday...

and I have felt crippled without a car.

And Saturday, I had the car, I had the music, I had my two boy passengers and I had freedom.  And boy, did it feel good.