Christmas Poem

In my house are many mansions

said the Father of us all.

Wrapped in swaddling, lowly manager

shepherds heard angelic call.

Precious child, dear Redeemer,

prophets told throughout the years.

Son of God, Grace descending

on this earth of pain and fear.

Go before us, dear Jehovah,

guide our feet along the way.

We can find our path

through darkness.

There is hope on Christmas day.

Wrapped in kindness, clothed in mercy,

Saints unite and hear this plea.

We don’t have to wait for heaven

to experience majesty.

Bind the wounded

Help the weary

 Fill the cup that has gone dry.

Transform the Earth to be God’s kingdom

Willing hands reach up to sky.

Sure Love Ya

My Mom’s family has a traditional goodbye saying. Sure Love Ya. It means goodbye, see you soon and you might drive me crazy sometimes but we’re still family.  I have no idea how many times I’ve said that expression in my life. It’s probably been at least a million times. There is another tradition.  Before ending a family gathering, we all huddle in a circle like a sports team and shout the saying. “Sure love ya.” The circle keeps getting bigger as more and more people join the family. 

It’s confession time.  The teenage me thought it was an embarrassing tradition. I hated it!  I only did it because my mother said I had to do it.  I was confident that we were the only family in the entire universe that would do something like that. 

My Grandma died this year. She was my last remaining grandparent Earth-side. We couldn’t meet with Grandma as a large family group to celebrate her birthday like we’ve done in the past. This year we meet on Zoom. It was fun to see various relatives as little Zoom boxes on the screen. We ended our short party with “Sure Love Ya”.  It was both sad and beautiful at the same time. 

I think I finally understand why Grandma liked us to huddle up and express love. I think she was trying to ensure that we still loved each other even after she left us. 

That is what I will remember most about my grandmother Marjorie Hill Smith. She loved. 

I loved my Grandma very much. I will miss her. I know I’m not the only person on Earth who has lost someone they loved this year. There are many souls who are grieving right now. 2020. It’s been a crazy year. I haven’t really liked this year. It’s been hard. REALLY HARD! I’m ready for 2020 to be over and just a chapter in a history textbook.

I have learned something this year though. I’ve learned that love is one of the few constants in our crazy, ever-changing world.

Sure Love Ya to all my dear family and friends.

(My Grandma and I enjoyed baking bread together. )


A Hug from Grandma

I had a miracle this month. Even though my Grandma Theda died back in 2006, she found a way to give me a hug.

Grandma's trophy

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Shawn Larson from the maintenance department at St. David School in Saint David, Arizona. I was really surprised. I’ve had  this blog for years, and no one has ever used the “contact me” button. I thought it was a joke, so I ignored the message. Mr. Larson is a persistent man. He wrote me a second time. This time I paid attention. St. David School was going to remove all memorabilia  from the 1930-1940’s from their school. Mr. Larson was given the task of tossing the items. He felt strongly that this valedictorian trophy should not be thrown away. He wanted it to go to Theda Plumb’s family. He went on a quest to find the family. Here’s where the miracle happens. He found me.

I’ve always admired my grandma Theda Plumb Shelley Adams. She was a trailblazer. She’s an example to me on living life even when it is hard.  I wrote a blog post about her a few years ago. Mr. Larson found the blog post and contacted me.

It feels like a little miracle.

The last few years have been rough for me with lots of unexpected twists and turns.  I’m still in the healing part of the twisting and turning. I’ll come out on top eventually, but it has been a struggle to accept that my life is different than what I expected. During this healing time, I have on several occasions felt a special connection that is difficult to explain. I have felt that love for others continues to live on after we die. It’s more than just a wishful hope that our ancestors somehow act as guardian angles for us. It is a very personal feeling that makes me believe that not only does Grandma know the details of what is going on in my life, but she is rooting for me (and all of her children and grandchildren) to be happy.

It’s a hug from my grandmother.

Joyful Moment #612

I collect joyful moments like some people collect stamps. I put most joyful moments in a small book. Some of my joyful moments are also written on this blog. I had another joyful moment today. It was #612. It happened as I wrote in my journal.

I have been a journal writer since I was a child.  I’m not perfect at it, but I try to write once a month. As I was writing today, I felt joy on reflecting  why 7-year-old me set the goal to record the events of my life once a month.  I set the goal, because of a conversation I had with my father’s step-dad.

Grandpa Adams picture

Grandpa Adams was sick and his health was deteriorating.  This is how most visits to the grandparents worked at that age. I would say hi and then run as fast as I could past Grandma and Grandpa to play outside. This time was different though.  Grandpa asked me to sit by him for a minute. He shared that he kept a journal. He asked me if I kept a journal. I told him no. Grandpa looked at me and then solemnly gave me two promises. He told me that if I kept a journal I would remember my childhood. Grandpa also said that if I kept a journal that I would have a happy life even if sometimes I had bad experiences.

It was a deep conversation to have with a little kid. It made an impact on me. That night I asked my parents to get me a journal from the store. The brown book with the brown flowers is the journal my parents bought me.

My journals

As I was writing in my journal today, I felt joy that I can record my ordinary life. The act of writing it down somehow makes the ordinary turn into “extraordinary”. I get to be the hero (and sometimes the accidental villain) in the great story called my life.

Grandpa Adams’ words came true. I remember many things from my childhood. I also believe that I can have a happy life even if sometimes I have bad experiences.

 

Joyful Moment

When I was nine, I decided I wanted to be smart. I didn’t know how to be smart, so I asked the smartest person I knew for advice.  Grandmas know everything when you’re a kid.

Grandma told me to get a library card and read one book a month.

My library card

I’m happy to report that I’ve followed her advice with a monthly trip to the library. My library card has brought me a lot of joy over the years.

Thanks, Grandma.

Grandma Adams

My life has been blessed by listening to you. What advice have you been given that has blessed your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Majoring in Myself

I have been cleaning out my storage unit the last few days. As I’ve sorted through boxes of mostly junk, I ran across a poem I wrote as a college student. I was lamenting the question. “What do you want to do with your life?”  The poem made me laugh. I found myself asking that very same question this week. Let’s let 21-year old Amee tell 40-something-year-old Amee what to do with the rest of her life.

People often ask me

What do you want to do

When you grow up.

I smile.

I’m twenty-one.

Am I not grown up?

But the question lingers on

Festering in my mind until

I am forced to answer it.

The people want an answer.

A one-word answer

But I refuse to be limited by a

One-word profession.

I want more.

I feel more.

And so dear people

That will be my profession.

I am majoring in myself.

cropped-amee-on-the-path1.jpg

 

What’s in a name?

I swished my broccoli from one side of my plate to the other side with my fork. I normally loved broccoli with cheese but tonight I didn’t have an appetite.  I had serious information to share with my parents and I was afraid they wouldn’t like it.

“I’ve made a decision”, I said solemnly. “You didn’t know how to spell my name when I was born. I’ve fixed that problem though.  I will no longer be Amy spelled ‘A-M-Y’. You may now call me by my real name which is Amee spelled ‘A-M-E-E’.

Mom and Dad didn’t smile.

My younger brother John put his fork done and starred at me.

“Amee spelled “A-M-E-E” is better, I explained. “I just made it up today and I like it”.

“A-M-Y is your legal name”, Dad replied. “It’s on your birth certificate and you might change your mind and want to use your real name. It’s the name your loving parents gave you at birth”.

“We gave you that name, because the baby book says it means love”, Mom jumped in.

I was unmoved by their pleadings.  I liked my spelling better. I knew I wasn’t going to change my mind even when I got older.

“Henceforth now and forever, ” I  declared,  “A-M-E-E is the only  proper way to spell my name”.

My parents smiled and gave me the ‘Oh, aren’t our children cute’ look. Then they went back to eating dinner.

My brother John had more to say about it. He scrunched up his little face and pounded his hands on the table. “You are not allowed to change your name without consulting all of your younger brothers. We say no”.

“I can do what I want”, I cried.  ” I’m 11″.

And so 11-year-old me changed my name. It wasn’t legal, but all of my real friends and family knew how my name was  spelled. I told every school teacher at the start of each  school year how I spelled my name.  My coworkers knew that HR would give me a paycheck with A-M-Y but A-M-E-E did the work and spent the money. This is how it went for the next 30 years. I never went back. I was A-M-E-E, because I said so.

During the divorce process, I decided to finally make the real spelling of my name official. I legally changed the spelling. I am ‘A-M-E-E’ henceforth now and forever.

My sister Jenny threw me a Name Reveal Party to celebrate with decorations, cake and presents.

My name

She got me a big box and filled it with balloons. The nephews and niece went crazy when I opened the box and balloons came flying out.

A Big Box

It was a great day.

 

Wrinkle Prevention

I was in a doctor’s waiting room the other day reading a magazine. There was an article that caught my eye. It was all about preventing wrinkles. Apparently, you can do face exercises to counteract wrinkles. This really interested in me, because as a 40-something year-old I’ve started to develop some laugh lines. The face exercises  involved frowning like this.

Frown Amee

I looked so funny that it made me laugh. Oops. Mission Defeated. I guess I will just have to live with the wrinkles.

 

 

2019: My Year for Joy

It’s a new year. My sister Jenny and I celebrated by participating in a 5K race. We had fun chatting during the race. At the finish line, we got participation medals.

5k sisters

I wrote my New Year’s Resolution on my arm so I could think about it during the 5K. My goal for this year is to have joy. It’s not enough to just survive life. I want to thrive. I want to live in joy.  I  believe the Creator made us for joy. In fact, that is why it’s my goal for the year.

Jenny agreed with me about the joy goal. So, I told her my plan. We would sing the best live your life song ever written as we got near to the finish line. We sang Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” at the top of our lungs. Here are some of the words.
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song.  (Fight Song by Rachel Platten)

We started the song really strong with powerful arms in the air, and then we got the giggles and laughed for several minutes.  It was a fun start to the new year.

What will you do this year to have joy?

The Alarm Clock is Against Me

I think my alarm clock is against me. Take a look at this picture.

Alarm Clock picture

The Snooze button is huge. It’s larger than the button I press to get going for my day. My alarm clock does not want me to get up. It wants me to keep sleeping. It wants me to be late for work. This realization made me giggle this morning. I added it to my joyful list.

The conspiring alarm clock is my #311 joyful moment since I started this blog. What made you joyful today?