Monday, January 31, 2005

Bless the Broken Road

I've been asked why I've called this journal "Thoughts From Along the Broken Road". If you know me, you probably know that music, more specifically song lyrics, can really strike a chord with me. Sometimes it's a line or 2...or even just the basis for a song that I find some personal meaning in. Other times, it's the whole song beginning to end. But for me to truly love a song the words must speak directly to me, feel like someone climbed inside my head & came out holding my thoughts placed neatly into song form.

I've always said things happen for a reason that may not immediately be clear. But no matter what moments have taken place in my life--and like everyone I have some worth remembering & others I wish I could forget but know I never will--I know that I would not be where I am or the person that I am if even one thing was altered. This is a recurring theme in the performing arts. Who hasn't seen "It's a Wonderful Life" where George Bailey learns just how much one life can truly effect the whole world in ways that weren't at first obvious. And maybe you've heard Garth Brooks sing "The Dance":
And now I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance...

Well, one night I heard a song on one of the multitudes of music award shows playing on the tv in the other room as I half-listened from my seat here in front of the computer. I hardly paid attention at first but something drew me in and before I knew it, I was hearing words that tapped right into my soul:

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
("Bless the Broken Road", Rascal Flatts)

There it was. Some song writer somewhere had captured my philosophy on why things happen the way they do, how we can appear to get so far off course from where we wanted to be, yet somehow wake up one day & find that we've actually reached our destination, just by an alternate route. Sometimes I think I know who my broken road has led me to & other times I wonder but I know that in the end the destination will be clear & those loving arms will be waiting for me, asking "what took you so long to get here?" I have to keep believing that & in the mean time, these are my thoughts as I travel along to a destination unknown that I know will feel like coming home.


Sunday, January 30, 2005

87 years ago today...

...a baby cried. And in my eyes, the world was changed forever for the better.

Happy Birthday Gramp...


Saturday, January 29, 2005

How can this be?!

catherine =) Posted by Hello

She's got a way about her...
and everywhere she goes
a million dreams of love surround her
("She's Got a Way", Billy Joel)

I'm not sure how this happened but will someone slow this little girl down please! It's only been 14 months since that ultrasound photo was taken!


Friday, January 28, 2005

Did someone say Patriots??

Rodney Harrison Interception Touchdown! (photo from Posted by Hello

Can this be smart? Freddie Mitchell (fill-in ego for the "other" Philly receiver--you know, the one with the ankle injury who actually *has* a Pro Bowl pedigree) challenging Patriots veteran strong safety Rodney Harrison who plays hard and more importantly, HITS hard? Didn't we learn anything from Vanderjadt's "ripe for the picking" comment? You topped a conference in which TWO teams with an 8-8 record were in the playoffs. WE won a conference by holding off the #1 scoring offense followed a week later by a victory over the defense that allowed the fewest points to be scored all season. We didn't need a challenge, but thanks for making our fire burn that much brighter. Mr. Mitchell, we have something for you too. Take a good look at this photo--get used to seeing it--cause the Patriots are coming.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

AFC Champions!

Bruschi & the AFC Trophy (photo from Posted by Hello

We're just warming up for holding aloft the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy...stay tuned!


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Happy First Birthday Olivia!

olivia =) Posted by Hello

How adorable is this baby girl?? =) I swear my friends produce the most beautiful babies. Think I could convince one of them to have a couple for me?

Little Olivia:
I hope you know how happy you make your mommy. I can hear it in her voice when she tells me about you. You are what motivates her to further her education, chase a career, not settle for less of a man than she (and you & Tyler) deserve. I know that you were not a pre-planned event. But I can tell you this: you were & are a precious gift, a tiny bright ray of sunshine and I know that your mommy would not go back & do a thing differently. May you always be as strong as your mommy is and stay as beautiful all your life as you are right now, inside & out. Happy first birthday little girl.
"Auntie" Dawn


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Random Thought for the Day

"A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg even though he knows you are slightly cracked." (unknown)

Special thanks to all of you who love me even though the cheese has long ago slid off my cracker. =)


Monday, January 24, 2005

Destination: Dynasty

Deion Branch catches a 60-yard touchdown pass (photo from Posted by Hello

Here we come Jacksonville! (photo from by Hello

So all you unbelievers, what's your excuse now?? I want one valid reason why the Patriots do not deserve to be in the Super Bowl this year! There's no fluke call that went in their favor. (Hey the tuck rule benefits all teams now anyway.) The officials are now calling the games with a much more strict interpretation of the rules which prevents the defense from being too aggressive toward a quarter back. (Toughen up! You're playing with te big boys now!!) We won fair & square, based on merit & talent, hard play & determination. We play as a team, no one greater or more important than the next. The critics now say all teams should sit up & take notice of how the Patriots organization is run: No nonsense on or off the field. No show-boating. No self-centeredness. Just one smoothly running unit driven toward one goal: move the chains, win the game. Sparkling stats don't matter if you lose. Streaks & records are unimportant. Last year does not matter. The goal is the victory in *this* game. The ultimate victory: NFL Champs, Super Bowl victors. This team is obviously doing something right. Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go cheer while my team wins another game! THE game!



Sunday, January 23, 2005

"I was there"

I know that I already did a post today but I couldn't let the day go by without mentioning something...or rather someONE else. I couldn't let the day go by without saying Happy Birthday to someone who's known me for literally more than 25 years and ISN'T family.

"Remember when?" asked Piglet. "Yes, I was with you," said Pooh, and the two friends smiled at the memory.

That was the card she sent me for Christmas. I think about it so often when I think of her now because that sums it up. We've shared it all one way or another. Well ok...maybe not ALL of it lol. But everything that matters.

So Heather: Happy Birthday best friend. I wish you many many more filled with many many more "Remember when?"s. I wish I could have celebrated with you but you know that you are always in my heart.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Not today! Not in OUR house!

Tom Brady proves he's still the man (photo from Fox Sports) Posted by Hello

Super Dillon (photo from Posted by Hello

20 straight home field victories baby! Ain't NO ONE coming into the Patriots' house & walking out the champ! Not even Peyton Manning & his 5 world class receivers. Tell me Touchdown King Peyton: HOW many touchdown passes did you throw for today? Oh, that's right...NONE. Welcome to a game with the "big boys". Enter grit & determination. See the "overcome all obstacles" mentality. Yep, even when you have a wide receiver also playing defense AND special teams because you've suffered so many injuries that you don't have enough guys to cover the gaps & even your back-up players' back-ups have been injured.


Saturday, January 8, 2005

Let Them Be Little...

Seamus =) Posted by Hello

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you're changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon
So let them be little cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little...
("Let Them Be Little", Billy Dean)

It's amazing to me. I guess after 28+ years, it probably shouldn't. I mean, time obviously passes. But when did it start passing by at an ever-increasing speed? Seems like just 3 minutes ago I was ecstatic hearing the news that Neil & Gosia were expecting a wee small baby. It took FOREVER for him to finally get here (just ask Gosia lol...) & now all of a sudden he's ONE today. He's starting to walk. He's his own little person & getting bigger by the minute. And it's not just Seamus. There's Alison's little Olivia too who will be celebrating the first of what I hope are many many happy birthdays in just a few short weeks. And itty bitty Catherine who is more than half way there herself...

Babies? One desperate plea from your "auntie" in Florida: PLEASE SLOW DOWN!! I'm too far away from your sweet smiles & evolving personalities for you all to grow up this fast! And mommies & daddies: Try to enjoy every minute of it for me too. This is one of the times I wish like heck that I wasn't so far away. Even if you *are* buried under 37 feet of snow. Let them be little as long as you can ok? I know there are days that you probably wish you didn't have to do every little thing for them day after day. That your exhausted body wishes babies had snooze buttons so you could just pull the covers over your head for 5 more minutes. But they'll be big soon enough. Kiss them while you can still catch them. =) And keep sending me pictures.

As I soak in the sweet faces of your precious babies, I am remembering how small & warm & soft they all felt when I got the chance to snuggle them. And as I see them change with each new photo, I ask myself where does the time go...?


Thursday, January 6, 2005

Remembering Gramp...

October 1993

Everyone should have had the chance to know my Grandpa. He was a big man, not just in stature, but in spirit. He stood at over 6 feet tall but his presence was of quiet strength. He was a man of few words. A hard worker, at home with his hands in the dirt. As strong in faith as he was in body. A soft spot for his wife--my Grandma--"his sweetheart" he would call her. This is the man I choose to remember. The memories that warm my heart on this day are of the man from my childhood, the way he would want to be remembered. The man I want to believe he was restored to as he crossed through those pearly gates to once again take his sweetheart's hand in his own. I can't believe it's been 2 years today since he slipped from this world's tentative grasp & claimed the rich reward his life here had earned him. He was a good, a GREAT man & I miss him daily. I wish I had taken the time more often to thank him for all that he did for me...but as a man of few words, I like to believe that he knew what I was too young & selfish to articulate. And though he doesn't know it, there is another man in my life, not as large in physical presence as my Gramp, but a source of quiet strength none the less...also a man of few words but whose actions speak volumes...a man with a good heart, a warm smile, a gentle touch. He can't replace my Gramp, no one ever could, but he fills a void in my soul. Much like I didn't thank my Grandpa for all he did for me, I don't know how to thank this man either, although the inability to articulate my gratitude now comes not from youthful selfishness so much as from not having the words to express how thankful I truly am to have him in my life. Like my Grandpa though, I think he knows & understands. Men of few words, truly good men like these...they know what we fail to say...but our worlds are so much better for having them there & I'm glad they somehow know it.


Saturday, January 1, 2005

Another Trip Around the Sun

Hear 'em singing Happy Birthday
Better think about the wish I made
This year gone by ain't been a piece of cake
Every day's a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun
I'm just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning
And it's good to know it's out of my control
If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living
Is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go
No, you never see it coming
Always wind up wondering where it went
Only time will tell if it was time well spent
It's another revelation
Celebrating what I should have done
With these souvenirs of my trip around the sun
Yes, I'll make a resolution
That I'll never make another one
Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun
Just enjoy this ride...Until it's done
("Trip Around the Sun", Martina McBride & Jimmy Buffet)

I keep hearing this song. (For those of you who don't listen to any country music at all, it's a duet by Jimmy Buffet & Martina McBride.) Ok, so I know it points at reflections on a birthday, but it still seems poignant & significant as we start a new year--to me anyway. 2005...I'm going to venture a safe guess & say that if you're reading this, you are probably already aware that the last year has not been the sparkling highlight of my life. Really the 2 before it weren't much better--albeit for their own unique reasons. I guess if you want to get technical, I've been struggling with the "have a good year" thing since 2000. Doesn't matter if we're marking time from birthday candles to birthday candles or one new calendar to the next, I think I've got the picture now that Life doesn't play fair & it's actually rather heartless, insensitive & even downright cruel some days. Not to mention the particularly twisted sense of humor it appears to relish...*sigh*
I'm going to attempt to take the basic muse of this song & try to make it my mantra for 2005. I hope you all find some snippet in the lyrics to inspire you as the days of the new year unfold before you & whiz right by. Before we know it, we'll all be commenting on where the heck 2005 went & trying to remember to date our checks 2006. Another trip around the sun...I'm going to go for fewer regrets, alot more smiles, some laughter & kisses and knowing that the ones I love knew it all 365 days of the year...Those are the souvenirs I want from my 2005. And when all else fails & I feel my grip slipping won't someone please remind me that "it wouldn't change a thing if I let go"...
Happy New Year


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