In Pursuit of Family

Sometimes you lose the very thing you were hoping to find.  It is in those moments that you feel your heart-break into a million pieces.  It is even more painful to watch someone  you love scrambling to put those pieces back together.  It has been a little over a year since my husband lost his mother.  Ever since, he has held onto the hope that he and his brothers could forge a bond that had previously been separated by miles and miles of road. 

Determined to make the first step at building this bond, he traded his east coast lifestyle for southwestern flair.  It was reminiscent of the old western movies that talk about the new frontier.  People would risk their lives for the hope of building an uncertain future.  Some were after gold and others were after the peace and tranquility of frontier life and their own piece of land.  He wanted so badly to discover in his brother a family bond that would carry on the legacy of his mom. 

But sometimes you lose the very thing you were hoping to find. 

Just like for some of those old western settlers, a harsh reality greeted him.  The visions they had of fertile land and mountains of gold were often replaced with harsh dry earth, famine and disease.  In his pursuit of family he was left broken and more alone than he had ever felt.  Everything he believed about the integrity, character, and loyalty of his brother turned out to be an exaggerated version of a deeply rooted lie. 

I am sure he questioned himself, even when he would tell me that the only family he needed was me and our son.  I am sure he was ashamed of having the dream, making the pursuit, and believing the lie. 

I want him to know that the most important part of his mission was the pursuit.  Only by making the decision to seek what you want will you be able to figure out whether you ever really needed it, or even wanted it at all.  I love him for the pursuit.  I love that he was willing to take the risk, because sometimes you lose the very thing you were hoping to find. 

But sometimes, like this time, you don’t.  You find something even better.  In his pursuit of family, he learned that he had already created his very own.

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


At the Base of the Mountain

It has been a while since I graced these pages, but I am back.  A lot has changed.  I picked up and moved from Washington, DC to New Mexico.  I had never been here and did not know what to expect.  I fully trusted my husband’s belief that I would love it.  I can say that I do like the place, but it was not love at first sight.  Upon first arrival I marveled at its beauty but hated the slowness.  There is no sense of urgency here, not a green light, not in the line at Target, not even at a fast food restaurant.  It was a little jarring at first. It made me want to scream MOVE IT, or FASTER!!  It took me two weeks to get with this new pace. 

There is also no real love of politics and debate here.  It is like the mountains insulate you as if there is a barrier between me and the “real world”.  Huffington Post has been my savior by giving me glimpses of what is going on everywhere else.  I am also not a fan of the famous green chile here.  I can take it or leave it actually.  Let’s just say the first few weeks I was in shock and missed home with a passion.

But something happened.  Somewhere between desperately searching for political conversation and avoiding green chile I happened upon this stillness.  Every day when I leave the house I can see the majestic view of the Sandia Mountains.  Sometimes it sits against a cloudless blue sky and other times the top is covered with pure white clouds which my son tells us is a hat.  Even at night in darkness as thick as a blanket, you can still feel its presence. 

It sits there, still.  It is the one thing in the scenery that never changes.  We drive, and walk, and live around it and it kind of embraces the place.  We sit at the base of the mountain and after weeks of waking to its glory it has humbled me.  It has reminded me of all that came before me and all that will remain when I am gone.  It lets me know that there are greater things than my small problems and stresses.  The one thing I would love to take away from this place is the mountain and its humbling presence.

I want to take it to remind me to let go of the small stuff and to just sit and be still once in a while.  Though the pace here is slow, sometimes you need to slow down and bit and notice what is around you.  I am forever changed.

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


When the Confetti Falls

When the confetti fell the evening we elected Barack Obama, the future seemed full of possibilities.  We had spoken.  We had won.  By we, I mean those of us who dared to dream of a better country, better healthcare, and most importantly a better future.  Not only did our president finally believe what we did, but he promised to do his part in making us healthier, more educated, and more able to say with pride that we are Americans. 

When the confetti fell I cried.  I cried for every tear and blood soaked step African-American’s and women had to take towards gaining voting rights.  I cried for every slave who looked to the sky and believed that we would one day gain our freedom and be able to stand as men and women.  I cried for my forefathers who never got to see this day.  I cried because Dr. King’s dream was no longer so out of focus; the clouds were opening up for his vision to become reality. 

When the confetti fell I knew.  I knew that it would take more than just this one man and his hope for us all to make this work.  He said that day that it would take all of us.  He saw the congressional gridlock and the partisan struggle ahead and tried to warn us.  I knew that I had to do my part too.

When the confetti fell I embraced.  I embraced the idea that in order for me to have the best things in life that I had to make room for others to have it also.  I embraced the value of being unselfish and realized that my dream for my family could only be realized by also having that same dream for my fellow citizens.

When the confetti fell I committed.  I committed to the good and the bad.  I committed to the fact that it would not be easy.  I committed to stand by the ideals that this President had talked about his whole campaign.  I committed to never waver.

Now the confetti has long been swept away.  Tough compromises have been made in order to make what we voted for on that cool evening in November palatable to those who do not want change.  Racial epithets have been  hurled.  Nooses hung.  Lies told.  And we started to forget.

But the truth is in that confetti. 

 If I could only find a bag of it and go to every person who cried that night and toss some over their head. 

If I only I could find every person that knew on that night that this would be a struggle. 

If only I could find everyone who embraced the mission that night to do unto others as we would have done to ourselves. 

If only I could find every person who committed that night to take the road less traveled and not look back.   

I rubbed my belly that night, full of my unborn son who would be born just a month later.  I realized that the confetti was falling for him too.  Now at almost 2 years old, I have a constant reminder of my duty to make sure his future is full of the possibility I voted for on that night.  With this duty comes the reality that I may not see one bit of the promise of election night, but that I must stay committed despite that.  My vote today will reflect that choice, will yours?

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Posted by on November 2, 2010 in Uncategorized


Integrity and Grace

“…Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security”

This phrase, taken from President Obama’s address regarding the ending of combat missions in Iraq, was tweeted by Michael Moore along with the question, “Um, anyone agree w/ that?”  I am a huge Michael Moore supporter.  I have loved all of his films and admire his tenacity and bravery in uncovering the truth.  However, he did what many of the so-called hate mongers and one-sided news media outlets have been doing to President Obama since he began running for the office of President; he failed to note the rest of the comment.  I will provide the entire statement for you here:

“Now, it is time to turn the page.  As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.  The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experience as we confront the many challenges ahead.”

When you read the phrase in context, um yeah many would agree with that.  What is so difficult about looking beyond our differences?  As much as I think George Bush was a horrible president, I do believe that in his mind, he was doing what he felt was right.  Maybe it was selfish and only benefited him and his cronies, but we all know he was not a huge humanitarian when he was elected right?  My beliefs differ vastly from former President Bush, but what good does it do to constantly dwell on what he did or did not do?  We can’t get those two terms back.  All we can do now is take steps to change things.  It takes a grace and integrity that I don’t even think I have yet, to not use the 18 minutes addressing the country to bash everyone and everything that was wrong with Bush and his administration.  Negativity breeds negativity, as we have all witnessed with tea-party rallies. Bashing Bush and his policies only fuels the anger many feel about him and republicans in general.  But what does that anger lead to?  If only we all could move beyond differences and live in the present without constantly attempting to re-live the past.  What should Obama have said, that Bush is a war hungry tyrant who cares nothing for our troops?  What good would that do?  People who consistently bash other people tend to be the same people attempting to hide their own flaws.  What President Obama did do with this speech is to remind us how much sacrifice it took for those troops to fight for us and our way of life.  How about we let the President be the stand-up guy he demonstrates that he is.  After all, integrity and grace are in very short supply these days.

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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Politics