We know…

To all those courageously, stubborn people

we love so very much,

who are going through some dark and trying moments

and more than likely too proud to ask for help

thinking it would be some sort of burden or bother.

Thinking also,

that it would be an admission of weakness or failure to reach out

and even worse,

fear of vulnerability or emotion.

So I got an idea

that maybe the best thing to do

is explain what the rest of us already know

and it won’t cost you one second of wondering

and hopefully fills your heart with some sort of comfort

at a moment you may just need it.

never alone

We know it has been hard.

We know you have meltdowns,

and we know you have cried alone.

We know you are fighting and continue to fight

every single day.

We know you won’t let some of us get close enough to assist you

yet we know you do need us discretely from time to time.

We know you wanted to give up more than a few times

but also we know you never will.

We know you keep most of us at arm’s length

so we don’t have to feel the hurt like you do.

We know you would be annoyed and maybe even angry

if you thought we pitied you.

We feel helpless

yet we sit patiently in the background

in the event that you do call on us.

We know you feel beaten down some days and hide it diligently,

as not to draw any undue attention to yourself.

We know you are stubborn in your convictions

but definitely more than capable

when it comes to your endurance and strength.

We know you are not weak or incapable

but we do know you are not super human either.

We know you are a warrior

and although not all warriors win their battles

they sure as hell never back down from a fight.

You see,

we do know more than you think

but we also know enough

to give you the respect and space

to do the things you need to do.

One more thing…

You know who you are!

Have a great day and may God Bless xo

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if I knew then what I know now…

I heard this phrase the other day

and it actually inspired me to finally sit down

and write.

If-I-knew-then3

Yes I know,

long time coming

so hopefully it’s worth the read.

The first thought that came to my mind

was looking back to my younger days.

Being aware of the people

who played such important roles in my life,

I can’t help but realize

that I truly did not have to impress anyone.

There honestly wasn’t a need to fall into any sort of “peer” pressure

and I really didn’t have to try as hard as I did

just to fit in

as I look back on it now.

The connections I made with my friends through the years

were deep-rooted and real from the very beginning.

If I knew then

what I know now

I would have been much more relaxed being me

because those same people

who to this day still have such an impact on my life,

accepted me just they way I was all along

and lo and behold

still do because they continue to make the choice

to stay involved in my life

to this very day.

(even if the jokes I tell are still super corny

and they sometimes wonder if I will ever grow up)

I really never had to improve my appearance

or look a certain way

now that I am completely aware of that,

however I honestly thought I had to

in order to feel accepted.

Case in point:

I actually allowed them to sit me down

and apply make up

which to me was basically the equivalent

to Chinese torture.

(those who know me well are nodding right about now)

I never had to try to be someone I wasn’t

and thank goodness my choice to be simple

funny and ordinary

was just fine by them.

My family saw the potential in me

even if I did make mistakes

and if I would have known then

what I know now,

it would have dawned on me very early on

that no matter what,

I would still be the same wonderful person

with a good heart

and I would never have worried near as much

that I needed approval

to be exactly who God intended me to be.

Life’s journey has us all taking roads

we sometimes aren’t ready for

especially in our younger years

and as we look back to the decisions we made along the way

one thing becomes very clear

that no matter what it was,

or how hard it may have been to get through

we always scrutinize our choices or decisions

good or bad

because of how it may have looked to others.

The way I see it,

nothing is worth regret.

Nothing is worth how others perceive it

or judge it.

Now that I am finally at an age to be considered

“experienced” or “qualified”

or at least

“old enough to know better”

your path,

your life,

your worth,

and most of all your being

is of great importance to you and only you

when the time comes to meet your maker.

I suppose if I got the chance to tell young people

what I have learned

knowing what I know now,

it would be

trust in who you are.

Look at the people around you

that love you unconditionally,

that need you in their life

as much as you need them.

If you feel the need to fit in

or think being important or successful

 to certain people

who don’t genuinely support you

or get you

is all that will ever matter,

you will lose yourself somewhere along the way

trying to be someone you are not

and that creepy word

“regret”

will haunt you one day.

Keep it simple really.

There is only one YOU

and if you pay very close attention to the people

who have liked the “real” you unconditionally from the start,

I can promise they will be loving you

every step of the way.

Life is hard enough as it is,

and what better way to be

going through it

than by being yourself!

inspiration quantity of life

I really could go on and on

but I figure I’ll just put this out there

and let you think through it.

So one more time…

If you knew then,

what you know now

where would your mind take you?

Make it a great day everybody

and may God bless!

who’s ready to chase some rainbows?

inspiration rainbows

I realize there are some

that will get this

and some that won’t

but if there’s anything I am hoping for

once you have read it,

is that you allow yourself

time to just sit and think about it.

We are not put on this earth to simply exist

or present ourselves as emotional warriors,

unscathed or unfeeling,

simply because we come across as upbeat

and seeming as if nothing

can phase us

especially when life

certainly has a way of reminding us

that it isn’t just sunshine or lollipops

or we are as invincible

as everyone might think we are.

Being an eternal optimist,

immunity to suffering is something

we go through like everyone else

but I truly believe that perspective

is the fine line between

winning or losing our battles.

If you cut us

we will bleed

but let me try to explain

as best as I can

why our healing times

might seem a little quicker.

With every success,

every failure or disappointment

in which the curve of life throws at us

we are meant to learn and grow

as individuals.

It is not only about

it just being easy

and without challenge

or being foolish enough to think

that any of us go through life without

our share of emotional scars or broken hearts.

Keeping ourselves trapped into a darkness

that can and will at most times

tear us apart

or to some extent

remove what faith

we may have once believed in so much

when we allow our minds to take us

and keep us there.

Adversity and acceptance

is our way of growing.

Not saying it’s easier

but for all us “rainbow chasers” out there

it’s our way of not only pulling ourselves through

the beautiful moments,

but to give us

on some level

strength to push through the hard ones

and trust me,

this year has been a tough one.

As we approach yet another New year,

we gear ourselves up

into thinking

that what we put our hopes and wishes into,

 should actually happen

and on some level of delusion

believe they will come true

simply because we asked for them

just like everybody else,

but if there is one thing that makes perfect sense to me now

as I sit and think about what I would want

for this New Year if asked,

there is absolutely no doubt

what my response would be.

new year 365 if lucky

That being said,

there is nothing wrong with making ourselves better

even in times of loss.

There is nothing wrong with wanting for others

the happiness and joy they deserve

even though we’ve been denied that feeling

in our own tragic moments.

There is nothing wrong with

accepting  failure or loss

just so long as we understand

it should never be what defines us.

The creation of man

happened for a reason

and I would hate to think

that the only question we ask ourselves

at the end of the day

when things don’t go as planned is

what are we here for

or why even bother?

Each of us were created to make a difference.

Some in big ways and some in little

but the concept really has no bearing

on what it is you do

when you navigate through this life

but rather how you learn

to do it the best way

that you know how

while you are still here.

So take a moment to really look at your life.

Good or bad,

happy or sad,

ask yourself one very important question

especially with who surrounds you this year.

Look at those who know your story

before you decide on what it is

you expect for this coming New Year.

Whether you are a “resolution” person or not,

we all have expectations to improve our lives.

By all means work on improving yourself.

Health and fitness,

success and finance’s

spiritual and emotional

however

they can all lose some appeal

if the people you love the most

aren’t there to cheer for you

or watch you succeed.

So now that I have your attention

decide on what truly matters

come the first new day of the year.

Remind yourself that although life isn’t perfect

or fair at times,

and during the “storms”

where you seem to feel the safest

hiding under a blanket

like some kind of cloaking device,

you really have to ask yourself,

“If I don’t take a peek,

could I be missing something incredible?”

You can remain negative and blind

wasting time under your dark clouds,

or you can change your focus,

accept and acknowledge

that it will be hard to do

and throw away the fear that is holding you back.

The choice is

and will always be

YOURS!

This picture is courtesy of my sister

who said Good morning to my Dad up in heaven

on her drive into town one day

and lo and behold this appeared

giving her enough time to pull over

and take this picture before it quickly disappeared.

From above,

his message was clear.

NEVER stop chasing rainbows!

debbies rainbow

Wishing you all

a year of endless possibilities,

the courage to face whatever may come

but above all 

an unexpected rainbow 

at the very moment you may need one!

From my family to yours,

Happy New Year and may God Bless xoxo

Dear friend, you gotta a minute?

True story!

A few old friends FINALLY get together,

have a terrific evening

laughing and reflecting on good times

and when all is said and done,

these are the words that follow.

“Why did we wait so long to do this?”

which got me to thinking

so here goes…

save-the-excuses-it-s-not-about-having-time-it-s-about-making-time-for-someone

Life has such a way of keeping us busy

and for the most part

out of touch.

We manage throughout every stage of our lives

to make connections with special people

we weren’t really expecting

to appear in the first place,

but they do.

Fate has us meeting the friends we were supposed to meet

who instantly become special pieces of our hearts.

Never forgotten are the cherished memories

 and yet the one thing we all manage to do

is let this thing called

“life”

draw us away from each other.

Relationships, careers, kids

and everything else in between

is the wedge that can put months and even years

between it all

and not to say there is anything wrong with that,

but as time quickly slips away

and the years begin falling behind us

it’s not until than that we will actually

try to put some perspective into things.

We start making statements like

“why did we wait so long for this to happen?”

or

“I can’t believe it’s been this long since we’ve seen each other.”

I don’t think it’s a conscious effort

to ignore or push anyone aside.

Life just gets stupid

and we all fall into that trap

which can make it difficult to gather

but sometimes a phone call is all that is needed

to get the ball rolling,

however there is one thing that we kind of forget

when we are trying to justify our reasons.

 Did you know the telephone was invented in 1876,

(and yes I had to Google that to be sure of myself)

so unless you live in a cave,

 could you be thinking

what I am thinking?

“What the hell excuse do I have now?”

What is interesting

is if we do manage to squeeze in

a much-needed gathering

or get together,

how quickly we realize how time has flown by

once we make the effort.

How precious the moments we once shared

have now brought us back to such an incredible time of our lives.

How much funnier the stupid things we did together

can have us splitting our sides

like it did back in the day

and best of all

how the endearing qualities of our friendships

is what is missed the most

when we actually stop making all those damn excuses.

people-laughing-cartoon

I am no better than most

and I have found myself saying things like,

“we have to get together”

or

” I’ll call you soon.”

which is usually followed silently

in my own mind with

“before it’s too late”

or

“before one of us is gone.”

Sorry for the reality check,

but at this stage of the game,

nothing can stop you dead in your tracks

like regret

or missed opportunities.

As I bring this to an end

what I suppose I’m aiming for

isn’t so much that skies open up for you,

or you have one of those

“A-Ha!” moments

and begin calling every person that matters

on your contact list today

but rather just planting the seed

that life is very short.

As the saying goes

dont_put_off_until_tomorrow_what_you_can_do_today

One more thing to add

is although it may be something that fills your heart

with peace and contentment

once you decide to stop with the excuses

and make that call

or set up a much-needed get together,

there is a very good chance

that the word

“regret”

will quickly be replaced with the word

“grateful”

How incredible is that?

So if you will excuse me,

I am feeling the need

to make a few calls 🙂

Make it a great day

and God bless my friends!

Thanksgiving without you Dad, but the cheese tray is full!

Along with so many others

glancing at an empty chair

this Thanksgiving

our family will be missing

one very special man.

Eddie, Dad, Papa!

dad mother's day 2014

The idea of our first formal holiday

since he passed,

not having him in the middle

of all the chaos

seems rather pointless

to even celebrate.

Dad had a way of making his rounds

with everybody

and usually keeping us in stitches.

The rules were simple

when it came to holiday festivities,

 Mom did all the planning and preparing

(with Mama of course)

and delegating us girls

as to what we could contribute to the big feast.

 Dad would simply be Mom’s chauffeur

to and from the grocery store

but his main function for turkey day

was what he did best,

Entertainment director!

He wasn’t much of a drinker the last few years

but when he did open a beer,

I used to laugh at him

because he would say things like,

“if your Mother asks, this is my first one!”

or

“have a beer with me so I’m not drinking alone!”

I would laugh even harder

because after 50 years of marriage,

Mom knew more about his behaviour

than he did most of the time

but it never got old

and was always amusing to watch.

It’s hard to imagine his wonderful presence

that won’t be sitting with us

and how it really won’t ever be the same

without him,

but while remembering some of those fun times,

something came to mind.

Although his physical presence is missing,

his spirit still has so much power.

In every story we share,

or every moment we remember

Dad will really be with us.

Chances are he’ll be

hovering in the kitchen

and probably wondering when

Mama will start making her gravy

or sneaking cheese from the platter in the fridge

knowing if Mom caught him,

she’d holler,

“Eddie, get out of there, that’s for later!”

I would imagine when the camera’s come out,

(and that is standard Stewart tradition if you are a first time reader)

he’ll be in every shot

doing what he loved doing the most,

being a total ham

(or should I say Turkey)

Case in point: Thanksgiving 2012

thanksgiving 2012a

I think the biggest thing to remember

why I should possibly be thankful

is he gave us so many memories

to be thankful for

regardless of what we are dealing with this year.

I actually started to dread this day

but the one thing that keeps

popping into my mind

is he would be heartbroken

if we didn’t continue to love life

and treasure making new memories

as a family

even without him.

I am sure he is so proud of us

although we are all grieving

in our own ways

yet I can envision that little smile is on his face

knowing that we have all come together

not to be saddened

but more so

to gather and regain,

even more strength.

I can’t lie and say it will be easy

not having him here

however he’s been alongside us all along

and nothing made him more at peace

than being thankful

having his family surrounding him.

So if by chance you have an empty chair

and struggling a bit this Thanksgiving

there is a good possibility

those we are missing

are very busy working the room

and if that doesn’t help,

you may wanna check

the cheese platter in the fridge 😉

From our family to yours…

Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless!

Thanksgiving boy and girl

Shopping on a Saturday…what was I thinking??

not a happy camper

Knowing full well that Wal-Mart

is crazy stupid on a Saturday

especially with a rainy forecast

for the whole weekend

and with the on set

of Halloween and Christmas lurking

around the corner

 I decided to go anyway.

I did my rounds to pick up a few things

and made my way to the check out lines

which as usual

weren’t all open

and long as hell

however I knew this going in

so really I had no one to blame but myself

for taking my chances.

While standing and waiting

in a very long line,

an old fart

(and I am trying to remain nice here)

was ahead of me.

He clearly looked

like someone crapped in his corn flakes

 judging by the scowl on his face,

and he sort of resembled Don Rickles

in a small and very weird way.

don rickles

He managed to stop a young man

wearing his blue vest

and running past us

with a hand full of boxes in his hand.

The old fart needed to make it very clear

how annoyed he was

standing there,

and reaming the poor young lad

for such an inconvenience.

Telling him he had better things to do

than to stand in a long line up

and if they wanted his money

the store should open more registers when it’s this busy.

As the red-faced kid stood there

completely unsure of what to say

(not that the old poop gave him a chance to speak anyway)

he still listened to his grumbling and complaining anyway.

At this point I had enough

and needed to say something.

“Sir, if you’re that upset

why not make your complaint to the store manager

instead of a part-time employee

who looks like he might have just started his job yesterday.”

I pointed to the customer service desk directly ahead of us saying,

“it’s right there, by all means  go for it!”

complaints department

It amuses me

because when some people

who think they can intimidate other people

are challenged,

 how quickly they can turn

into complete chicken sh*ts.

The best part was even though

he spewed off a few times earlier

(and of course in a very loud tone to draw attention)

that he should just leave

and they didn’t deserve to get his money,

  the old poop stayed

to buy what he needed anyway

(a little quieter I may add)

Now don’t get me wrong,

his point is valid

and it’s so annoying to be looking at unused registers

with so many people standing in such long lines

even when the store knows this anyway

and trust me,

patience is not one of my most endearing qualities

and I do get just as aggravated,

however everyone and their dog

and myself included

knows first hand

that complaining to a

young man or young lady

working part-time hours on the weekend

in a little blue vest

will basically get you no-where.

Second of all,

it’s always nuts on a Saturday

and we all know this,

so really you have a decision to make

before you step out the door,

unless playing Russian roulette

with your blood pressure

is some form of entertainment

that you truly enjoy.

stay or go

Oh and please don’t give me the excuse,

Saturday is my only day to shop.

Stores are open 7 days a week

and unless you work all 7 days

doing 16 hour shifts

than I guess you have every right

to bitch and complain

about having to shop on a Saturday.

A quick observation about Mr Grumpy Ass,

he looked like he should be retired,

so I couldn’t help but think

Saturday can’t be his only option.

I used to work retail

many moons ago,

and nothing could ruin my day more

than getting yelled at by some cranky person

for something completely out of my control

or something I knew in my heart

needed to change

but it wasn’t in my hands to make it happen.

So the next time you decide you’re going to go shopping

knowing full well how busy it’s going to be,

and how aggravated you will more than likely become,

take a second to remember this.

That employee you manage to corner

or try to intimidate

(and if you look closely won’t have a name tag saying “store manager”)

isn’t going to sound any alarms

or announce over the loud-speaker

that because you have entered the building

a parade will lead you to your own personal check out lane.

I caught up with that young man after the old poop incident

because I remembered how it felt myself.

What was technically a good day for the most part

was something I couldn’t wrap my head around

because of one very annoyed person

taking aim at me.

I just wanted the young lad to know

that what just happened

was unacceptable

and told him this.

“I hope that man didn’t upset you?”

I asked him to please try to remember one important thing

that I had learned a very long time ago.

“Some people have nothing better to do

than be miserable

so please do yourself a favour

and don’t let one bad moment

destroy a full day of good ones.”

I think he got it

but he did look a bit confused,

so it basically came down to this!

idiots ruin your day

A little something we all need to think about!

Make it a great day everybody 🙂

Honour thy Mother…and than some!

Today is such a special day.

My mother is celebrating her birthday

It’s rude to say the number

but it starts with an “S”

and rhymes with “eventy”

Happy birthday Mom

Let’s see,

stating the obvious would be

what I should do

like how amazing she is

to anyone she knows.

How her whole life has been dedicated to her girls

and her grandchildren.

Her Mother is her rock

and how strong she truly has been

since her husband of 50  years

became one of God’s angels.

(she doesn’t think so, but we know better)

dad mom and mama

How important she values her family

and how blessed she says she is to have such

incredible friends in her life.

What she doesn’t seem to get

is what we all feel about her.

She’s always there for whoever needs her.

If you don’t believe me,

call her and see what happens.

God help anyone who causes any harm

to those she holds dear.

She loves to laugh

and can horse around with the best of them

even though she says Dad

was the best in that department.

mom clowning around

Sorry Mom,

had to 🙂

If she calls you “friend”

you can bet your ass she means it.

She’s never been afraid of hard work.

To this day

she still mows her own lawn

and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Those who have ever entered her home

know what “comfortable” really means

as there is a very good chance

you’ll be asked to sit

and more than likely

you will be fed.

She doesn’t pull punches,

so if you ask what she thinks,

she’ll tell you.

Good, bad or indifferent.

She’s always put everyone first

so today I want that to be different.

I want her to be recognized

not only as a wonderful

Mother, wife, daughter, sister/sister-in-law and friend

but also as a blessing to anyone lucky enough to have known her.

I Thank God every day she is my Mother

and more than that

a very special someone

to so many others.

The road she travels today

has been a bumpy one to say the least,

but if anyone deserves to be recognized

for the goodness in her heart,

hands down,

it’s her.

Have a beautiful day,

you’ve earned it!

Happy Birthday Mom

WE LOVE YOU

more than you can even imagine!

XOXO

all of us