My mother loved the card she got from my brother. It says, Dalai Lama’s Birthday Party, “Wow, Nothing! Just what I wanted!”
Yesterday was my mother’s 85th birthday. She wanted to have lunch at the Olive Garden, so that’s what we did. At first I thought, “Couldn’t you choose a better restaurant than that for your 85th?” but it didn’t surprise me, and I didn’t say anything.
My brother and his family came up and we all went out to lunch, and then went back to her house, set her up with a Facebook account (on her new iPad!), and Amanda (granddaughter) set her up with iTunes.
I sat there as Amanda asked my mother what kind of music she liked and when she said, “Bob Dylan” I couldn’t believe it. I thought she was mistaken, and must be thinking about another singer, but when Amanda pulled up “Like a Rolling Stone” and my mother said that indeed it was him that she liked, I was taken aback. I didn’t know this about her. She noticed my surprise, and looked at me like, “See, miss smarty-pants, you don’t know everything about me!” …and she was right. How many other things have I missed about her?
It can be so easy to see people in the same old way; to expect them to act like they did in the past, and when they do (even when we don’t like it) there is some satisfaction in being right, some security in expecting nothing to change. But who needs this kind of security? It is such a small box…no room for delight, or happy surprises.
“Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits“. Sarah Breathnach
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Perry's Orchard Christmas trees, $15
Jack told me the other day that the place where we buy our apples, Perry’s Orchard, also sells Christmas trees, and that I had to see them for myself. We both really like the man who owns and runs this orchard/farm. He is friendly, kind and honest. Even though there are places closer to us to buy apples, Jack always takes the drive out to Perry’s, because it makes him feel good. We don’t get our trees there, but I have to say that seeing his trees made me smile.
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness“. Dalai Lama
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my father in 1957
I recently came across this photograph of my father. He was about to turn 32 years old,….the same age as my sons are now (they are 30 and 33). He looks like a little boy to me…under that serious hat and coat. When I take a moment to imagine what his life must have been, to try to see him in a different light, I only feel love for him.
I had originally written another post about my father. One that had to do with a recent interaction with my sons. I emailed it to them first (since it had something to do with them as well), and while neither said not to post it, they were both glad when I didn’t. For so many years, the only talk that I ever heard, even out of my own mouth, were words of criticism for the way my father lived, the money he spent, the places that he went (instead of being home), his lack of communication …
I was taught to do this, as most of us were; to judge everything and everyone that comes into our lives. But I know that this is not a natural state, and it is a heavy burden to carry. I still catch myself doing it every day (but the good thing is, I catch myself!). The Dalai Lama once said, “I do not judge the Universe” (and I think that must mean the people, places and events that are a part of this universe as well).
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” Albert Einstein
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