My Grandparents were married 61 years. It was a beautiful model of love and kindness that I model my marriage after.
My Grandmother says their recipe to a long and happy marriage was communication and holding hands, walking arm in arm through a lifetime.
My Grandfather told me years ago what the key to a beautiful marriage is, “Don’t marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you can’t live without.” (Below: My Grandparents with my Mom)
A few years after my Grandparents’ Golden Anniversary, my Grandfather said, “I am looking forward to our 60th wedding anniversary – our Diamond Anniversary.” (Below: my Grandfather & I dancing the night I was crowned Miss Connecticut)
He worked hard until he was about 85 and then Lyme Disease and cancer hit him aggressively.
But he affirmed, “I will be with My Love for the Diamond celebration!”
And he was, thank God!
We all flew to Europe for the big event. The province they lived in together for over 6 decades presented them with a beautiful certificate and a large bronze medallion along with a mention in the newspapers and on the television.
A year later, he passed away.
That’s the marriage I strive for – I found the right man for me. It took a long time and a lot of crazy boyfriends – not all – but enough to make me realize that when I found him, I knew what my Grandfather was talking about – Phillip’s not just someone I can live with, he’s someone I can’t live without.
My Bright Spot – my husband, my lover…
I don’t push my children. I encourage them.
My husband and I give them opportunities to learn, create and excel and they, in turn, do just that in their own time. Nothing irks me more than ballpark parents screaming at their children from the sidelines.
Our son wanted to become a volunteer member of the firefighter team and Parkour free-runner and our daughter loves ballet, theatre, music and tennis. Those are their choices and we support them and are proud of them.
Check out that swing at 3-years-old!
Our daughter’s principal just read the Kindergarten parents a children’s book at the Parents’ Orientation called Ruby in Her Own Time by Jonathan Emmett. It’s about a little duckling whose egg hatched later than her siblings’, she swam when she wanted to, quacked when she wanted to, left home when she wanted to and came back on her own time (the college reference, says the principal).
The principal wanted to point out to the parents that some Kindergartners are learning their alphabet while others already read but all the children will eventually read. In their own time.
Some kids walk earlier, some later. The point is – they walk.
I believe in that philosophy. With great love and encouragement, I hug and kiss my kids and tell them how proud I am. Ultimately, in the end, they will find what they love to do and I will be there to help them pursue it.
This leads me to this fantastic video (link below) I saw earlier this evening on YouTube with my husband, Phillip. If more parents looked at who their children are rather than what they want them to be, the world might be a happier, more content place.
This video is so beautiful and so inspirational, I hope you take the few minutes to enjoy it and then share it with your friends. It’s about a “bird-chasing” dog who was trained to do one thing since birth but ended up doing something else.
The Bright Spot – if your “dream-chasing” child wants to pursue something, encourage them, help them, give them the opportunities to reach those dreams. And tell those screaming ballpark parents to get a grip; childhood is so short, let your children revel in it. Chase the birds…and your dreams, too!
Mother – Ceil in 1983 Daughter – Linda in 2010
“We have found your mother.”
Those were the words Linda heard after searching months for her birth mother.
Ceil had never held her baby, had never even seen her baby – EVER!
As she walked the halls of the maternity ward and saw the window to the nursery, she knew if she looked through the glass, she would not be able to go through with it – but in the 60s, it was difficult for a woman with a child to find a job, she said women didn’t have credit cards and they could not take out a loan on their own. Ceil wanted her baby to have a mom, a dad and a home.
She turned around in the hallway and went back to her room and sobbed her heart out.
Ceil never had any other children.
44 years later, her daughter found her!
Phillip and I documented the reunion that happened just 6 days ago – you’re invited to share this beautiful moment in the short video below in the next post, just scroll down – but to acutally hear their story, click on the Radio Show flower tab above in the navigation bar above to listen to their heart-wrenching story.
The Bright Spot is clearly family – old and new – love, hope and celebration!
Thursday’s upcoming radio show will be an exclusive interview with a mother and daughter who just met for the first time this week after 44 years. The daughter was given up at birth and the mother had never even seen her once!
Phillip and I documented this amazing event which you can see below (video runs 3 mins. If video pauses, let it buffer then reload the page to enjoy – it’s worth it!)
I read a Precious Moments book to Little Petal two or three times and then came to the page that said, “…but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” Then I turned the page because it was late and I was moving right along.
Little Petal turned the page back and quietly said as she pointed, “Mommy, you missed that part – Thessalonians Chapter 2:Verse 7.”
I was stunned! I didn’t even know she could read or pronounce the word Thessalonian, let alone fill in the words “chapter” and “verse,” both of which weren’t there as it was printed 2:7.
She had just turned 5.
The Bright Spot is our joy as parents watching our children learn and blossom and grow from our teachings. It is certainly an example of how much these little ones absorb whether we realize it or not. They look to us as role models and pick up things we least expect…
Enjoy whatever your faith is and celebrate your beliefs; your children will thrive with a strong foundation. If you read Mission: Bright Spot above, you’ll know I come from a large multicultural, multi-religious family – my beliefs have gotten me through many heartaches and challenges.
It may seem so obvious. Turn the lights on when your teen is out.
But to me it’s more than just a safety issue.
It’s a beacon from home when he rounds the corner on his way back from the firehouse or walking with his buddies. It’s a glow from the porch lights that says “Welcome, you’re back!” It’s a light that shines from our home that embraces him upon return.
To him, it’s probably just a light thing and he switches it off without thinking when he enters the house.
But ages from now, I hope it will be a warm memory of the early years in his life when coming home was a comforting feeling; I hope it gives him a content sentiment in his heart…
…that when he turns on the lights for his teens many years from now, may he remember his Mom and Dad waiting for his safe return to our cozy home so many years before.
I love you, Honey. You are one of my most Brightest Spots in my life.
I’m going now to turn the light on. Love, Mom
Today was a bittersweet day for me. Our Baby Button ~ Little Petal ~ got on the school bus heading to Kindergarten.
Of course, she was beaming and waving. But I didn’t know I would burst into tears when I watched the tail end of the bus drive down the road.
Phillip gave me a great big squeeze even though we both knew they were tears of joy and the bittersweet reality that our youngest was growing up.
Dad and I put her on the bus. Superhero Big Brother and I greeted her upon return.
If you’ve ever had to do this, you know exactly what I mean.
The Bright Spot? Having a network of incredible friends who lift you up in good times, bad times, sorrowful times, joyous times and the transitional times.
I’m attaching some lovely e-mails that I received from Moms and Dads today:
Oh, how I remember the first days of many new beginnings for my daughter. They are so precious. Of course, you know she will be fine. How great it will be when she returns from her day to share her stories about new friends and experiences. My little one turned 30 on July 17th, and can I just tell you there is still never a dull moment. I love it! Rosemarie
I just shared this with Cheryl and she was crying…Robert starts 1st grade on Tuesday…
Miss you! Enjoy the last days of Summer! Robert
B – I remember those days as if they were yesterday. Your tears are tears of joy, you’re raising a bright child who will always make you proud. Victoria started her 3rd year in college, I still take the first school day picture. Enjoy these little pleasures of life! Karen
I know exactly how you felt. When I dropped my kids off at school, they ran inside all excited, leaving me crying at the door. You’ll be fine, my friend. Janet
Mazel Tov! Your little girl is becoming quite a young lady. I know that these are tears of joy! I am so happy for her and for you. Smile…these are the happy milestones we can enjoy and treasure. Nancy
Oh B… she was so adorable on the bus (and in the class, I just know it)! Enjoy every minute…. and tears are ok Shelli
What a wonderful essay for a wonderful life – you & Phillip have given her the strength to excel in her exciting life ahead. Be proud and enjoy the ride. Love, Jim and Linda
Hey girl….I understand you, it was definitely bittersweet with my daughter, too, because now she needs me even less. In a way, I’ve been caring for her the longest…but now the needs are new and different…hang in there…these were some of my best memories. 😉 hugs to you all! c and lz
No tears….the best is yet to come! A new chapter in both your lives. It is going to be amazing, I promise. Love u all, Lilly
For me the hardest thing was when I dropped Katrina, my baby to Kindergarten. I cried so much. It is normal. It is so hard to start losing control and let our kids start getting pushed around from the world!!!! Very hard. Anitta
Ahhhh… Where did the time go!! She seemed very excited for the first day of school. She was ready MOM…. It is always harder for us moms. L
Life is full of precious moments. You just have to know that they can’t pass you by.
There is a story that circulated on the Internet years ago – it was so poignant and touched my heart so deeply, that I printed it out and sent a copy in the mail to everyone I love.
Material things don’t matter to me, my children do. Our home is cozy, our place is warm and inviting, our things are respected and taken care of, but in a nutshell, my children’s happiness and contentment far outweighs any value in material possessions whatsoever.
If you have a hard time getting your head around this notion, please read the story. I hope it changes your perspective.
“Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.
He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.
It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was disheartened and discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us as humans has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, friends, family and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.”
The Bright Spot – that we are affected by stories like this, can learn from them and not make the same mistakes in our lives.
In a world of curdling sippy cups, crushed gold fish crackers under the car seats, and perhaps even your white-knuckled grip on your last ounce of sanity after a day with the kids, the boss or both, this is an exciting day!!
I personally invite you to journey with me together ~ through this blog, its stories, tips, videos, photo galleries & the upcoming radio show ~ as we discuss life, love, parenting, relationships, and empowerment by finding your Bright Spot.
What is the Bright Spot?
When the world deals you a rough hand, it’s looking for the good in any situation. You know, the silver lining, the lesson learned, the insight, the blessing, the take-away value…ultimately, the hope!
But how can I help empower you?” Oh, believe me, I’ve been there -click on Mission “Bright Spot” in the navigation bar above to get the whole story, but here’s just a glimpse of finding that brilliant spot of hope in my life to empower myself over and over again.
Oh, the extremes!!
I’ve dined at Parliament, and have grabbed dollar burgers at Mickey D’s.
I’ve been chauffeured around England in a Rolls Royce, and I’ve had my finely-coiffed hair sucked out of a tornado-ravaged-blown-out back window of a pick-up truck driven by a wannabe cowboy on a first date. Dear Lord, help me empower myself!
I’ve been served decadent dinners on Caribbean beaches by full moon; and served up my own mac&cheese at home on the fly.
I’ve been interrogated by the FBI (nerve-wracking!) and I’ve been hit by lightening (more nerve-wracking!!); when store registers freeze, my husband smiles at the cashiers, “Oh, that’s just my wife; she’s electric!”
I’ve kissed fools and I’ve kissed princes (yep, the kind with crowns and egos) and sometimes the fool was the prince.
I’ve enjoyed scrumptious escargot within Ascot’s Royal Enclosure, and sputtered up chunks of meat when I found out it was black snake soup in China.
I’ve traveled in private planes, & have been scrunched in the back row of economy class next to the toilets.
And I’ve certainly dated my share of losers and learned the hard way what the lesson – the Bright Spot – in each sour relationship was – finding out exactly what I didn’t want in a man or a relationship!
So when my husband came along, I knew instantly. We were only in each other’s company 46 days when we married.
Look, I love flowers but I’m no gardener. I love to eat but I’m no cook.
So who am I? Ultimately, I’m a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a woman seizing every minute with gratitude. Enjoy these moments with those you love.
Look at the lesson, the gift, the blessing in every situation – good or bad – find your Bright Spot and start empowering yourself today!