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The Bougainvillea Plant

*** Hope ***

My lovely bougainvillea plant died the same time my mother did.  Coincidence perhaps?  Not to me.  Most people know I share Wayne Dyer’s view that there are no coincidences in the universe. One might insist the plant died because we were in Europe for 2 weeks and not home to water and care for it.  But I saw it differently.

Where healthy green branches and vibrant colored petals had been, now there were only brown shriveled up sticks and crumpled paper leaves. Every time I crawled in and out of bed and looked out my bedroom window, I was reminded of death and loss, both on a simple and deeper level.

I had been so proud of that bougainvillea and how it had been flourishing.  In Southern California, bougainvilleas seem to grow all over the place.  I have always loved them – their beautiful colors, how they make me think of a tropical vacation and plenty of …

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Lying to my Mother

I told my mom she could go.  I said it was okay.  I told her I would be fine.  I was trying to do the right thing, but I also felt I was being honest.  Well, apparently I lied.

My husband sympathetically summed it up for me:  Sounds like now you want a Do Over. Yes, that is right, I do.  I take it all back.  Every word.  What was I thinking?  Maybe I was so busy reassuring her that I forgot to think of me.  But that’s all I’m left with now – me.  Not her.  And I miss her so much. How in the world could I have announced to her that I would be fine?

As it turns out, I told her this not right before she died – but several months prior – when she suddenly took a turn that really scared me.  She had a couple of very poor days, then 2 of days …

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Aftermath of a Crisis

“I don’t love you anymore

I don’t think I ever did…”

–  from Eurythmics “Don’t Ask Me Why”

I have always loved that part in the Eurythmics song that got massive airplay back in the 90’s on radio stations everywhere.   It was such an “in your face” kind of comment, the type someone who is REALLY hurting says, and I had been that person really hurting from a relationship that had crashed and burned, so yeah, I felt I could relate.  Annie Lennox always sang it so well, with just the right amount of emotion and scorn, as only a person who had really experienced it could do.  I remember feeling as if she and I were soul sisters of sorts, honorary members of the same club.

Those two lines popped in my head again as I read “This is Not the Story You Think It Is” – a novel written by a mom of 2 that I …

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Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

The kids’ passports arrived today. The ones we had to have expedited to us to ensure we’d get them in time – before our big trip.  The trip.  My dream trip – to Italy, France and England – all places I have never been.  I’ve been planning it for months (years really, if you count my dreams) and our departure date is less than 4 weeks away.  And now I think we can’t go.

I’m conflicted, torn, trying to figure out the “right” thing to do.  There is no easy answer.  It is all coming down to a gamble on the “What ifs” and it is becoming a gamble I am not sure I can make.

My mother is not doing well. Funny that 6 words can convey that much. But those 6 words speak volumes of what I’ve been going through lately, even explaining why the kids’ passports needed to be rushed; my head hasn’t been in …

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Want to Live to be 100? Not me – No way!

What is the one headline on magazine covers, the one subject which hundreds of books are written about, the one thing that we secretly (or not so secretly) think we want more than we might ever admit?  No, it is not about knowing how to affair-proof your marriage.  Or how to look 10 pounds thinner in a bathing suit. It is more prevalent in our lives than that.  It is our desire to push aside our mortality, or as one book title puts it: Dare to Be 100.

My 8 year old cannot wait until he hits double digits (the big 1-0).  For him, that sounds SO cool.  I can relate; I’m sure at his age I felt the same.  It seemed like such a big milestone, and an exciting one at that.  So is that what the number 100 does to us adults?  If double digits are cool, are triple digits even cooler??

Or is it perhaps what …

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Dangerous Weapons at Ballparks Everywhere

We say to our children No Weapons at School – and no one questions our judgment.  But what about when our kids are on the baseball field?  We’re not only letting them play with the weapons, we’re putting them in their hands! They stand there, gripping them tightly, swinging them soundly, just hoping and praying for contact. The sound of the ball pinging off the aluminum is heard throughout bleachers at baseball fields all across the country this time of year.  But have we as parents (you know, the responsible ones) ever stopped to consider that maybe what our kids are swinging are deadly weapons – and maybe this is something we need to rethink?

Last week in a near-by community a high school pitcher for Marin Catholic was on the receiving end of one of those weapons.  They estimate that the ball was going about 100 miles per hour after making contact with the metal bat.  The poor …

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Who’s Afraid of Hospice?

As some of you know, I lived in New York for a few years before finally returning to California to “settle” down. Those New York years were BIG years in my life:  Got married.  Had a baby.  Witnessed 9-11.  And in-between those milestones, I dealt with my father suddenly being given 2 weeks to live and being put on Hospice.  Thanks to a holiday visit, I was with him when he was taken to the hospital, there when he was given the diagnosis, and stayed on there for the next (and supposedly final) 2 weeks to be with him and my mom. 2 weeks that turned into 3 weeks that stretched into 4 weeks….until it became apparent the doctors had not been quite right with their diagnosis after all.  (Really? You think?)

During that time I learned first hand about Hospice and the services it provides.  The doctors at the hospital mentioned it casually, after suggesting he have a feeding …

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How Many Candles on the Cake?

Mama, there aren’t enough candles on the cake! My Little One was worried.  She knew from all the talk that Grandma was having a “BIG” birthday – and yet there were only 7 candles on the cake.  Even though I was rushing around, trying to get everything ready, I could see my 5 year old was trying to make sense of it all.

Let’s call it a candle for every decade,” I threw out there, knowing as soon as the words were out there it was going to be problematic.

But that’s not right,” My son immediately spoke up.  “A decade means 10 years and she is turning 90.  You don’t have enough candles!

I had moved on to getting the dessert plates out, and revisiting the candle situation was not what I had in mind.  “Guys, it doesn’t matter!”  Seeing their unconvinced faces out of the corner of my eye, I …

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The Confidence of Youth

Confidence-PostersDefinition of CONFIDENCE (noun): 1. full trust  2. self-reliance, assurance or boldness

Look at the children around you.  Especially the young ones.  So often they are just bursting with confidence.  You see it in how they swagger, with their heads held up high.  You hear it in their voices, for their words carry little doubt in terms of what they feel they will accomplish.  You feel it in their dreams and plans for the future.  Kids talk of being professional athletes, famous actors, inventors, leaders, etc.  They dream big dreams, with all the belief that if they want it, it will come true. So what happens along the way?

On Friday, my son auditioned for his second musical production at our local theatre.  Two days later, the call back list was posted on their website.  I held my breath as I waited for the page to load.  They are quick to say being asked to the call backs does not …

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Ringing out the Old, Ringing in the New

goalsI love this time of year.  I love reflecting over the past, thinking about what I accomplished – and what I did not.  Was the year all I wanted it to be – all I had hoped it would be?  What worked, what didn’t, and what can I use from all that as I sit here thinking of what I want the year AHEAD to be.  Call them resolutions (or not – as some people have a adverse reaction to that word).  Say they are goals, a roadmap, or a plan.  Just don’t miss out on this opportunity to make sure you are creating the life you want, you REALLY want, to lead.

This year is particularly fun, because not only can you look back for the past year, you can look back at the past decade.  Think of where you were back in the year 2000.  Then think of all that has happened in your life.  Perhaps you …

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