Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Looking for Loopholes: Thoughts on my Lenten Discipline

One day later, I’m already looking for loopholes.  Man it’s going to be a long 39 days and counting.  The thing is, even though I used to teach this stuff, I’m still a little fuzzy with the distinction between discipline and punishment.  The word discipline literally means to teach, while the word punishment means something entirely different.  Yeah, well, tell my inner-child that.  The one sitting in the corner with boo-boo lips because she’s not supposed to doctor her de-caffeinated coffee with anything sweet.  This morning, the self-talk sounds a little like this:

“If I give up all sweets, does that really include Splenda?”

“If I give up chocolate, that means I can’t eat M&M’s while watching baseball tonight.  So how am I supposed to watch baseball?” 

“If I give up complaining, God, perish the thought!”

I received an email from a friend sharing an Ash Wednesday reading from the sermon of Lancelot Andrews which was preached before King James I on Ash Wednesday, 1619:  “Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.  Return to the Lord, your God.”  (Joel2:12-13).           

So it’s not about the Splenda?           

 Guess I need to learn a little more about it.  Carpe Diem ya’ll, Michele

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February 22, 2007 Posted by | Episcopalians, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings | 5 Comments

Save a Heart on Valentine’s Day

A Mother’s HeartMy Valentine Wish is for those of you who read this today print the letter  attached and send it to your doctors.  To read my PPCM Biography click here.  To learn more about peri-partum cardiomyopathy click hereHappy Heart Day and by all means, Carpe diem ya’ll, Michele

February 14, 2007 Posted by | Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings | 2 Comments

The Only Way Through It Is Through It

I walk into my fitness room, the long, thin, enclosed breezeway between house and garage, outfitted with gym equipment, where theoretically, we work-out.  This room is our favorite indoor play area.  Because of our fast paced boy’s baseball centric lifestyle, it took months to paint the walls a clean, slate gray, the doors bright red, the trim a sleek black.  Three large ceiling to floor mirrors line one long wall a’la YMCA and shock absorbing matting covers red brick floor.  Our family trophies, family sports related pictures and sports memorabilia are proudly displayed.  One can learn much about how we live life after only a few minutes in this room. 

            Last week, I placed two long rectangular tables down the center of this room to accommodate guests joining us for lunch prior to my mother-in-law’s funeral.  Today, those large tables still stand, now loaded end to end with boxes, on top and underneath, containing for lack of better description, her stuff. Things she held dear that she wanted us to have.  Her stuff also lines all four walls in this room, with only a narrow path leading from exterior to interior doors.  The garage bay is also full.

I find it overwhelming to enter this room, but enter it I must.  The only way through it, is through it.

For days we’ve been sorting through stuff.  I realize soon, life will return to a pre-hospital, pre-funeral hustle.  Baseball season is upon us.  Practice is already underway.  Writing deadlines loom, my husband will return to work on Monday.

 But grief is still as fresh a new coat of paint in this room.  It smells like her house:  a mixture of flowery pot-pourri and mustiness that speak to the things she valued and saved, much like the aroma one encounters when antiquing in quaint tucked away shops on a rainy winter day.

Over the past several days, we’ve chuckled on more than one occasion.  My mother-in-law was a collector of all things sentimental, the word ‘edit’, not in her vocabulary.  Fabric, antique furniture, china, bears, dolls, clowns, tea pots, vintage jewelry, sewing implements; did I mention fabric?     

            This room is such a visual metaphor for life as we’ve known it for the past several months, most especially, the past couple of weeks.  Our son’s baseball bag, back pack and tennis shoes crowding one side of the path, my mother-in-law’s stuff piled every place else, my husband and I sandwiched in between trying our best to pick our way through it.  It makes me remember the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, “one bite at a time.”   Carpe diem ya’ll, Michele

Copyright © 2007 Michele Bernard

February 10, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings | 4 Comments