Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

The Really Big Fat Stinky Elephant in the Middle of the Room

donanobispacem01.jpg“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”  Mother Teresa

The really big fat stinky elephant in the middle of the room 

Is blocking my view. 

What did I chant when I was a child?

“Can’t go under it. 

Can’t go over it. 

Can’t go through it.”

What did I learn as an adult? 

Guess I need to eat it. 

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.” 

My elephant has a name:  SonInIraq.

No matter what I do,

Where I go,

How fast I peddle,

SonInIraq is still there. 

And will be there for the next year.

In the meantime:

I work, I pray, I go about my day. 

I write letters

And email

And shop for items

To brighten his day.

My military family grows.

I write and email and shop for items for

Two young men I do not know.

They serve with SonInIraq.

Their mothers do the same.

I don’t watch the news (good advise received from a mom who’s been here, done this). 

I join with families in our Family Readiness Group and “Walk to Iraq and Back”

With phone in hand.  Always. 

Sometimes I dance to Iraq and back. 

It counts.

Moving is good.

I note the time, then add nine hours. 

That’s what time it is for SonInIraq.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Army Mom, Blogroll, Family, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, Winter | 6 Comments

Best Lines

townelake1.jpg“Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Carpe Diem Quotes, Freelance Writing, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Peace, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writers Who Say It Way Better Than Me, Writing | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday to You/Happy Anniversary to Me

birthday_candles_215.gif There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

On this day in 1993, I had a baby. 

The thing is, I didn’t know I was sick.  I was pregnant.  Way pregnant.  And what way pregnant woman do you know that doesn’t have swollen ankles and difficulty breathing?

It’s a miracle I lived through that day. 

This morning as I look across the Happy Birthday breakfast table at my fifteen year old son, I get a little teary.  I’m so thankful for the miracle that he is, for the joy he brings to the table, not to mention the miracle that allows me to be here to bear witness to this remarkable young man’s life. 

The words of the birthday prayers found in the back of the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer come to me as I watch my son scarf down french toast as only a teenaged boy can do.  For him I thought of this prayer:

“Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

And for the 15th Anniversary of the Day I Survived, I thought of this one:

“O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant as she begins another year. Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen her trust in your goodness all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ”   

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Episcopalians, Family, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, PPCM, Winter | 2 Comments

Happy 2008 Y’all

donanobispacem0.jpgGratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. – John Milton

Happy New Year.  The tree is down.  Decoration filled boxes line the fitness room like ghosts of Christmas past standing sentinel around the treadmill where the spirit of New Year’s Resolution #1 invites me to join her.  I look past my sprained, taped ankle and wave.  See you in a few days

Tree-Related Injury aside, it’s good to be back at work after observing the twelve day Christmas holiday.  I experience the same epiphany each year:  Twelve days isn’t such a long time, yet it seems so when I observe Christmas as a season rather than a day. 

Maybe it seemed like a long time because I crammed so much rest, play, concerts, events, music, church, travel, dinners,  parties, food, wine and company into twelve days.  

Or maybe it’s because stores are decorated for Valentine’s Day by the 2nd day of Christmas.  By the 4th day of Christmas I saw a St. Patrick’s Day display, by the 7th day of Christmas, bathing suit clad mannequins. 

Or maybe it seemed like a long time because when I looked past the red decorations on the tree inside I saw the yellow ribbon tied around the tree outside.

Twelve days isn’t such a long time, but sometimes, it seems so.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Army Mom, Christmas, Epiphany, Episcopalians, Family, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | Leave a comment

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

screensaver-7_29.jpgA Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.–Eva K. Logue

December 22, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Best Lines, Christmas, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | Leave a comment

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

425640808_a904b23226_o.jpgPeople are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – Elizabeth Kubler Ross 

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Another F-ing Thought for the Day, Best Lines, Blogroll, Christmas, Heart, I Read, Inspiration, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | 2 Comments

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

donanobispacem0.jpg “A noted poet was once asked in an interview if he could explain one of his poems ‘in ordinary terms.’ He replied with some feeling, ‘If I could say what I meant in ordinary terms I would not have had to write the poem.’ – Dr. Brian Linard, A Way to the Heart of Christmas

The Advent Season- A time to wait.  And while we wait, we’re asked to remember and anticipate.  At the same time.  Which pretty much sums up my own season of waiting, remembering and anticipating that I’m sure all military families with loved ones deployed far from home experience. 

I find myself drawn to poetry these days.  And songs.  And art.  They comfort me.  The words and the music and the objects of art give me something tangible to hang my thoughts and feelings on as I wait, remember and anticipate.  I’m grateful for the poets, the lyricists and the artists who sum up with their work what I’m thinking and feeling.  They do so way better than I can.  

(And even though I make it a point to keep this blog as positive and as uplifting as possible, I have to say, if I hear the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas one more freaking time, I might shove the radio into the radiator while punching out.)

Today, I read Longfellow’s poem, Christmas Bells.  It’s a classic, I’ve read many times before.  I’ve even sung the words.  The tune hums in my head as I write.  But today, the poem touched my heart.  Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
 

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep.
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The wrong shall fail,
The right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men!”

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Army Mom, Best Lines, Blogroll, Christmas, Family, Heart, I Read, Inspiration, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, Winter, Writerly Stuff, Writers | 4 Comments