Monthly Archives: May 2012

I Am Your God

I know sometimes the world seems really scary,
I know sometimes that it seems so dark to you
Sometimes your woes seem more than you can carry —
I am Your God. I’m the One you should run to.

I know sometimes you are feeling so much pain,
I know sometimes you are feeling very weak.
Sometimes you feel you will break under the strain —
I am Your God. I am the One you should seek.

I know sometimes the world can make you weary,
I know sometimes you feel like you’re going to cry.
Sometimes you feel as though your life is dreary —
I am Your God. I will help you to get by.

I know sometimes you think I cause all the stress,
I know sometimes you think that I do not see.
Sometimes you think I really couldn’t care less —
I am Your God. Don’t stop believing in Me.

The Reason I Was Born Into The World

I have often pondered the question of why I was born into the world, as I am sure many of my earthly brothers and sisters have. After all, I was born into a family of five other sisters and one brother, so why was I added?

As far as birth order is concerned, I am the middle child. But there were seven years between my older brother and I, and I have three younger sisters; so in a way, I am also the oldest child of the younger set of children. I therefore have the attributes of both a middle child and an oldest child.

My parents were poor and could ill-afford so many children, but being the good Catholics that they were, I imagine that any formal birth control was out of the question. Many years ago I came to terms with the fact that my mother was not excited by the discovery of her pregnancy with me. But again, being one of the faithful, she learned to accept what the Lord had given her, not to mention the three children who came after me.

I think I was born to make my mother proud. She always used to say to me: “Cindy, I think you can do anything that you set your mind to.”  She was always so happy when I would receive special awards from school, when I graduated with honors, and when I decided to go back to nursing school.

I think I was born into my family to act as a peacemaker. I was always the one who would try to make things better. For instance, if two sisters weren’t talking to each other, for whatever reason, I would be the one to step in and try to get them to make up so everyone would be happy again. And if there was an argument, I never took sides, no matter what. I just couldn’t do it. I never wanted any trouble to start up because of me, and I would do anything to avoid it. I would try to keep the peace at whatever cost.

I think I was born into my family to be a good big sister to my three younger sisters. I remember I always tried to teach them things that I knew how to do, like when my great-Aunt Emma taught me how to knit, I taught them how to knit. I also taught them how to play games, like Jacks and Seven-Up. As we grew older, I would take them to places like movies. I remember taking them to see The Sound of Music, and they still talk about it to this day. We made some lovely memories together that warm us now that we’re older, and it feels good to think that maybe I was a good big sister.

I think I was born into the world to help people. I was a nurse for twenty-five years and worked in the operating room. During that time I must have assisted on literally thousands or surgeries—surgeries that made people’s lives better, surgeries that cured people, surgeries that actually saved lives! I’m proud of that, and I thank God every day that I was able to do this wonderful work for all those years.

I think I was born into the world to meet my husband, fall in love, and raise a family. I believe that my husband is my soul mate, and if I had not been born, maybe he would be alone right now. Because I was born, there are three wonderful adults in the world who are our children, and the world is lucky to have them. I don’t think the world would be the same place without them. I’m so proud of them. And some day maybe they’ll have children who might grow up to find a cure for cancer or AIDS or do something else important for the entire world. And all because I was born. You never know.

But you know what? When it comes right down to it, does anyone really know for sure why s/he was born? Probably not. It’s only guesswork. Only God in His heaven knows for sure. But I am sure that I’m truly glad I’m here.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:  “By virtue of being born to humanity, every human being has a right to the development and fulfillment of his potentialities as a human being.”  ~ Ashley Montagu ~

The Road of Life

The roads we must travel are far and many.
There are several curves and forks along the road,
With endless storms to be weathered through,
Along with many dangers which are unforetold.

When we start out we are quite optimistic,
For we’re certain we’ll easily find the way.
We’re confident that life will go just as we plan it,
With nothing but sunshine and roses each day.

But then we discover life is not as we thought,
And we must strive harder to achieve every goal.
As we do, we may find a new facet to life—
Something we needed to make our life whole.

The real lesson to be learned is the one that is here,
Even though there’s a mountain you wish to ascend:
“It is good to have an end to journey towards;
But it is the journey that matters in the end.” 1

1 Quote is by Ursula K. LeGuin

Life Is What You Make It

Life is what you make it. . . now this is a subject that I believe I can write about with a fair amount of personal knowledge. When I write about this subject, I’m not just guessing — I’m actually telling about what I have experienced. As a matter of fact, as I reflect more on this subject, I have a great deal of experience in this area.

I believe that the above statement is true — Life is what you make it. The actual quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt and the entire quote goes like this: “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” Now here was a woman who didn’t mince her words. What she meant was that you can be content with your life or you can be unhappy with your life; it’s up to you. Your life will be whatever you make it to be. Let me give you some examples from my own life because that’s the best yardstick I have by which to measure the truth in this statement.

When I was growing up, our family was, for loss of a better word, “poor.” I grew up as the middle child of seven children. My father, who had been a truck driver, was disabled from working because of illness. My mother stayed home to take care of him and us children.  At that time, a woman working outside the home was not the usual thing to do. Therefore, in order to keep a roof over our heads, clothing on our backs, and food in our stomachs, we lived in a public housing project and on welfare. We had an elementary school which was built- in the center of the project; therefore, all the children who attended were in the same situation as we were.

Now our project was actually a very lovely place in which to grow up. Everyone took a lot of pride in their home, or apartment. The lawns were fertilized or sodded and mowed. The children were taught to respect others’ property, so there was no vandalism. There was no violence or crime. It was an everyday normal neighborhood, except for the fact that it was in a housing project.

How did we fare in the welfare system? Money was tight, which I heard years later from my mother. But my mother knew how to stretch a dollar, and she could prepare the most delicious meals for nine people and it would cost ten dollars or less. Most of the clothing I wore were hand-me-downs from my cousin, Sandy. I remember how excited I would get each time I knew my aunt was coming to visit, and my mom would tell me she was bringing some “new” clothes for me. I didn’t care that they were second-hand. I was just happy that they were something new to wear.

That attitude is the attitude we all grew up with — to be happy with what you have, to be happy with the life that God has given you, to be happy to be loved by your family. We didn’t realize we were poor. We thought our house (housing unit) was wonderful. We had great friends and our family loved us. Those were the most important things, so we were content. We lived happy so we were happy.

Have you ever heard the expression: “You need an attitude adjustment”? Attitude affects everything you do, say and feel. I know many people who struggle with their attitudes, and most of the time their attitude problems affect their lives in such a way that they keep them from being happy. I believe that if these people had “attitude adjustments,” then perhaps they would be happier in their lives.

I also have experience in this area as an adult. I worked full-time as an R.N. in the operating room for over twenty years. I was friends with everyone in the Surgery Department, as well as other departments, because I worked as the Charge Nurse of the department for six years. I had the respect of the surgeons, and I had seniority, with the choice shifts and at the top of the pay scale. I loved my career. Life couldn’t be better at that point in time. My husband and I had a happy marriage, and three fabulous children. We had a wonderful life together. Basically, we had just about everything we could want.

Then one day my world came crashing down. I became seriously ill, with one medical condition occurring after another. All of a sudden I could no longer work. I was permanently disabled from the career I loved so much, and I was sentenced to spending most of my days in bed.

I won’t lie to you. I became depressed about my situation; I couldn’t believe such a thing had happened to me, and I couldn’t understand why God would allow such a thing to occur. What had I ever done to deserve such a fate? It was at that moment, when I began to ask those questions, that my attitude changed. I was no longer the cheerful, happy person I used to be. I no longer saw the glass half-full; rather, I saw the glass half-empty. This was not the way I grew up. I decided in those moments to be unhappy, plain and simple.

After watching me struggle with this for a few months, my husband came to one day and said this to me, “Cindy, I know you’re sick and I’m sorry that this has happened to you, because you know how much I love you. But you know what? I think you need your attitude adjusted.” I felt as though someone had thrown a bucket of cold water in my face. I’ll admit that at first I was quite upset by what he said to me, but then after thinking about it, I realized that what he said was true. I needed to hear those words. Idid need my attitude adjusted, and the only one who could change my attitude was me.

Sure, my life had been so wonderful not so long ago and all of a sudden it was taken away as fast as you can blow out a candle, but things could be worse. I could be all alone, with no family, no friends, and no God who loves me. After thinking about it, I knew I had the things that were important in life, the things that make me happy. In that moment I readjusted my attitude back to where it had been all my life and I was happy again.

Yes, I do have days in which the pain is almost unbearable and I think I may not make it through, but somehow I always do, and my family, the ones I love, are always there, and I’m happy. Because after all, life is what you make it. Always has been. Always will be.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:  “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  ~ Maya Angelou ~

Memories of the Sea

I grew up in Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” so I’m used to bodies of water. The biggest lake in Minnesota that I’ve ever seen is Mille Lacs Lake, which is Minnesota’s second largest lake. It’s a huge lake, spanning 132,000 surface acres or slightly more than 200 square miles, with maximum depths which barely exceed 40 feet, while much of the main lake falls into the 20 to 38 foot depth ranges. When you stand on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake, you cannot see across the lake to the other shore; that is how huge this lake is. I remember the first time when I saw this lake. I must have been eight or nine years old, and I was awestruck by the enormity of the lake, and the fact that I couldn’t see across to the other side. I guess this was the closest thing I came to the sea while growing up.

Mille Lacs Lake

Mille Lacs Lake (Photo credit: Jvstin)

As I was growing up, the sea I knew was connected with history. I especially remember the little ditty: “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two.” How many of us learned that tune when we learned about Columbus and his discovery of America? Of course now we know that it was probably the Vikings who did this, but nevertheless, these are my childhood memories. History records the pilgrims crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the Mayflower in search of religious freedom. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner,” America’s national anthem, in 1814, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. We also could never forget the tragedy of the sinking of the R.M.S.Titanic on April 5, 1912, after it struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the fatalities of 1,503 people. Let us not forget the wars which were fought on the seas, and the lives which were lost and buried at sea; not to mention the tsunamis which resulted in great catastrophes and deaths in the recent past. Then there are the entertaining tales of fantasy on the sea with swashbuckling pirates, buried treasure, and mermaids. All of these are the closest I came to the sea as I was growing up.

When I was thirty-two, my husband and I traveled to Philadelphia, PA with my sister and her husband. During that trip, we went to Atlantic City, and at last, for the first time in my life, I saw the Atlantic Ocean. I was amazed at the vastness of the sea as my husband and I strolled hand in hand along the boardwalk. I was excited by the salty smell of the sea air and the crashing sound of the waves as they came upon the shore. It was then that I realized that the sea was a lot different from Mille Lacs Lake, and that the ocean was so much more awesome. The sea from this trip added memories to my heart and pictures to my photo album.
The Atlantic Ocean as seen from the airplane

The Atlantic Ocean as seen from the airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About eleven years later, we took an ocean cruise for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. First we flew to California, which is where we would board the ship for our cruise. I’ll never forget our trip to Venice Beach and how we walked along the shore of the Pacific Ocean at sunset, feeling the warm sand between our toes. Then we set sail for Mexico on our Royal Caribbean luxury liner, the Rhapsody of the Seas. Sailing on the ocean was new, and now we experienced the gentle rocking and swaying motion as the ship rode the waves. We had beautiful weather, and the trip was smooth. We saw dolphins and even spotted two whales, which was a real treat. When we reached Cabo San Lucas, we disembarked for a trip to the beach. After sailing in a glass-bottom boat, seeing beautiful fish of colors and sizes we had never before laid our eyes upon, we decided to picnic at the beach, which was practically deserted at the time. I have never seen water so blue nor so pristine. It was a warm day, and so we ventured out into the waves. It was the first time I ever swam in the ocean (well, actually I waded). I remember thinking how fortunate we were to be on this trip to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage. The sea from this trip will always be remembered because of the sentiments that twenty-five years of marriage added to it.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Photo credit: RobertCiavarro)

Then a few years later, unexpectedly, we took a trip to Disneyworld in Florida. My husband’s sister won this trip for four people and asked my husband if we would like to have the trip. He bought the entire trip from her for half-price. I never thought we’d go to Disneyworld, although it was a place where the kids always wanted to go, and it seemed as though this was trip was meant to be for us since it practically just fell into our laps. Our son, who was in college at the time, didn’t want to take time off from his studies, although we offered to buy another ticket so that all five of us could go together. So in the end my husband and I and our two daughters traveled to Disneyworld, and I missed our son the entire time we were there. We did spend most of the trip at the Disneyworld Parks; however, our daughters had never seen the ocean. Therefore, on one day we decided to visit the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral along with the Atlantic Ocean. It was a very windy day as we walked down to the beach from the parking lot. The girls wanted to swim in the ocean, but my husband and I opted to sit on the beach and observe. As we watched our girls play in the waves just off the shore, a lump formed in my throat. My heart was warmed knowing that finally our daughters were on their dream trip to Disneyworld, a trip they would always remember, and finally they could say they had seen the ocean and swam in it. The sea from this trip brought me joy because it granted our daughters a longed-for wish. The following is a poem which I wrote on August 4, 2010. When I wrote it, I was remembering our two daughters when we were at the ocean.



Come with me; we’ll play by the sea,
Come see how happy we will be,
Playing by the ocean so blue,
Having fun as little girls do,
It will be grand — just you and me.

Our young hearts will be filled with glee,
Come run barefoot and feel so free,
All my secrets I will tell you,
Come with me . . . . .

The sea is fine, you will agree,
Even though it may be windy,
We will find such a lovely view,
And we will build sand castles, too.
We will find fun, I guarantee,
Come with me . . . . .


The World Is Mine If I Have You

Our love exceeds the mountains’ heights,
In your embrace my soul delights,
Dark storms of life we shall pass through,
The world is mine if I have you.

Rainbow hues reside in our love,
You I want to be worthy of,
With one kiss let our love be true,
The world is mine if I have you.

So may our love be like the dawn,
When all the fears and doubts are gone,
Let us our vows of love renew,
The world is mine if I have you.

Our love exceeds the mountains’ heights,
The world is mine if I have you.

My Mother

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She makes sure I am safe each day, 
And leads me so I do not stray.
She is my helper and my guide,
I know in her I can confide.
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She tries to teach me right from wrong,
I know her love is there all along.
She wants the best for me; it’s plain to see,
I must try to be the best that I can be.
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She’s always there when things get rough,
And when I feel I’ve had enough.
She gives the very best advice,
Which is to the point and most precise.
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I know that when I’m feeling sad,
She’ll do her utmost to make me glad.
She ‘s my teacher, and she’s my friend,
And I will love her to the very end.
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Who is this person I’m speaking of?
The one that I adore and love?
There’s only one, there could be no other,
My beautiful, wonderful, lovely Mother. 
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Oh, How Time Flies . . .

Oh, how time flies . . . yesterday our middle child Sarah became a college graduate. It seems like it was only yesterday when I was putting her on the bus to go to kindergarten. I remember how happy she was on that day. She was so excited to be starting a new adventure.

I can even picture how she looked standing on the bus stop with the other new kindergarteners, waiting for the school bus to arrive. She proudly carried her new school bag on her back, feeling as though she were a “big girl” now that she was going to attend school just like her older brother, Joe. After the bus drove away with her waving happily good-bye to me from one of windows, I returned home and had a good cry over how time flies.

My daughter Sarah on the first day of kindergarten

Oh, how time flies . . . in ten short weeks Sarah will be a blushing bride. I remember when she was a little girl and played make-believe as a bride. She would place a towel on her head and pretend that it was her veil, and hold dandelions in her hands to use for her bridal bouquet.

But soon I will watch as she marches down the aisle on the arm of her father into the arms of the man who will become her husband, the husband who loves her, and the husband whom she’ll spend the rest of her life with. Together they’ll build a good marriage, with a future full of hopes and dreams. Their life together will be full of ups and downs, good times and bad, but they are going to promise to be together through it all, just like my husband and I have been. Together they will learn about the joys and sorrows that life has to bring, and that their love is always their stronghold. And I know that when I see my daughter on the arm of my husband, I’ll probably cry then, too, over how time flies.

My daughter Sarah and her fiance Axel


Her curly hair is precious to me,
I’ve counted each freckle that you see.
With every sunset she grows older.
I would like to forever hold her.

Then off to school she goes each day,
And I miss her more than I can say.
Soon friends mean more to her than me
And I wonder, what happened to family?

Prom is a night I won’t soon forget,
She wore a beautiful dress of violet.
Her hair in curls, a smile on her face—
She was truly all beauty and grace.

She graduated with honors that year,
It was hard for me not to shed a tear.
To college then she was gone away—
I knew she’d come back another day.

After two years she found her true love,
The man she’s always been dreaming of.
Now she is going to be his wife;
Together they will start a new life.

So now my darling will leave my nest,
I know that everything’s for the best.
But I’ll always dream of my little girl
With all those freckles and lovely curls!


My Beloved Mother

Today is my mother’s birthday, and although she is no longer with us,  I know that she watches over her family with love from heaven.  She has always remained alive in our memories and in our hearts. This poem is for you, Mom. I love you.




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I remember my Mother lovingly,
My memories of her are crystal clear.
I remember her acceptance and her love,
Memories which are so dear.

She married my Father because she loved him,
Then seven children did she bear,
It didn’t matter how many children she had,
Because she always showed me she did care.

The house she kept was immaculate,
Not a speck of dirt was in sight,
She set me quite an example,
As she worked both day and night.

She encouraged me to do my best,
Whether it be at home or at school,
She taught me how to get along with others,
That I must obey the golden rule.

She showed me how to do unto others,
As you would have them do unto you,
That I needed to be kind and caring,
And to myself I must always be true.

She brought me to church each Sunday,
And she taught me to love our Lord,
How to cherish and care for others,
That in Heaven I’d get my reward.

My Mother was my helper and guide,
She was my teacher and friend.
I loved my Mother with all my heart,
Until the very end.

My greatest regret is that she’s not here,
To meet my children today,
To be their Grandma and show them her love,
Or guide them along their way.

Yes, my beloved Mother is in Heaven now,
She is with the God she adores.
I know when I die she will be there,
To open wide Heaven’s Doors.

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The Empty Nest Will Be Full Once More

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have been suffering from empty nest syndrome, and my husband and children can probably attest to that better than anyone.

It’s the same old story. As any parent knows, it seems like you spend the better half of your lives raising your children and then one day, much sooner than you ever expect, they “fly the nest” and you’re left with empty bedrooms and wondering just what you’re going to do with the extra time you all of a sudden seem to have on your hands. No more running to hockey games, baseball games, dance recitals, orchestra concerts, theater performances, or any of the dozens and dozens of rehearsals and practices that you have to haul your kids to just to get them to the end products.

Let’s not even take into consideration the hundreds—no—thousands of dollars that you shell out in equipment, uniforms, costumes, uniforms, instruments, fees, tickets, and the list goes on and on and on.

Face it: we parents do put a lot of effort, time, and money into our kids. We’re not even talking about doctors’ visits, dental visits, food, clothing, shelter, etc. And what about all the love and caring we show our children, and the necessary (although sometimes unwanted) attention we give our children?

Then all of a sudden, and it seems as though it’s in the blink of an eye, they’re out the door, and you’re left with an empty nest. It can be a difficult time to adjust to, and some of us have a more difficult time than others.

I was one of those mothers. I did have a difficult time adjusting. But guess what? I did get used to it. Now my husband and I have our daily routine that we enjoy. We’ve become settled in our life as empty nesters, and have discovered that it’s really not as bad as we thought it would be.

empty nest syndrome

empty nest syndrome (Photo credit: butterfingers laura)

But come tomorrow our nest will be full once more. Our daughters are returning home from college for the summer. Sarah is returning home for the summer before she marries in August, and her fiance Axel is coming with her. He’ll be spending the summer in our camper in the back yard. Our youngest daughter Stephanie is returning home for the summer before returning as a senior to the university in the fall.

And guess what? I can hardly wait. I’m ready for our nest to be full once more. After all, we have our whole lives to be alone, but not very long before our children will be gone for good. As parents, the one thing we’ve learned to be is adaptable. And besides, we can learn to be empty nesters any time.

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:  “When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.”             ~ Erma Bombeck ~

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