Daily Archives: November 3, 2010


E.L.E. Moment

We recently saw The Avett Brothers in concert and as you all know, I am (kind of) obsessed with them (just a little bit). During the show there was a definite E.LE. moment that I had to share. As they finished “Salvation Song” the audience sang the last verse a capella ….

“We came for salvation

We came for family
We came for all that’s good
that’s how we’ll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way.”
…and all I could think was “EVERYBODY LOVES EVERYBODY.” 
It was great.  
Today it all cosmically came together even more. 
This morning I read a beautifully written but very sad post about Angela’s passing and as I was tearfully emailing her sister-in-law, Angie, the song “Stand by Me” came on my Avett Brothers Pandora station. Listening to the words in that moment didn’t help the tears, but it did help me to realize that Angela is still with us everyday, in all we do, and she is looking out for us. 
(This was the first time I let myself cry and mourn for Angela since going to her viewing last October. I know we push away those feelings because we don’t want to let ourselves feel the pain; we’d rather be numb. But it is important to remember her, and to remember that, yes, it was a complete and total tragedy that we lost her.)
As I finished up my email, just as I was writing that I would do my best to make sure Angela’s legacy lived on, guess what song came on? 
Yes, “Salvation Song.”
“We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that’s good
that’s how we’ll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way.”
Let me tell you a little more about Angela so you can see how all of these pieces fit together. Angela wrote a paper for me about where she saw herself in ten years. She envisioned herself working for the New Community Project headquarters in Elgin, Il. Their mission is to “Follow Christ toward a new community of justice, peace and respect for God’s earth.”
I shared the lyrics with Angie, and how I felt very moved to make sure I help do for Angela what she can now only do in spirit. 
She quickly wrote back and said that this is all very fitting because today is actually Angela’s birthday.
I had no idea. 
It is sad that the world lost someone that held so much promise,
but it is now even more obvious that she is still with us  
everyday
in all we do
and she is looking out for us
And on her birthday we are going to take a second 
to feel, 
and remember, 
and promise. 
Feel her loss, 
remember her mission, 
and promise to “leave behind the world a better way.”
Just like she would want. 
“We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that’s good
that’s how we’ll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way.”

 This is a note Angela wrote to a classmate after reading her piece on losing a loved one.



What do we know now? Part II 1

I recently wrote a post about what I would tell my thirteen year-old-self if I could go back in time. As a connection to that, I’d like to share an excerpt from one of my favorite bloggers, Nici Holt Cline’s post “Let’s Hike” on Mamalode. 

“…A little piece of that insecure 13 year-old still exists. Sometimes she’s tucked away in my heart, a memory of learning confidence and understanding sadness. And sometimes she’s in my underbelly, unprotected. Right now, I am more confident and secure than I have ever been. I live my life how I want to live it, surround myself with people I want to be with. I care less and less how strangers and acquaintances interpret my choices. But, in all honesty, some cool comments and raised eyebrows still sting right in that familiar spot. I still want people to like me. 

I get so bored and annoyed with myself. When will I REALLY not care? When will I REALLY trust myself? Because, it’s inevitable that I will write about something that someone judges and it’s inevitable that a woman at a restaurant will shoot daggers out of her eyes when I leave my children unattended to grab a fork. It’s also inevitable that the insecurity will fade and I will go on a walk with my family or laugh with girlfriends over wine. All that mud will settle to the bottom of my pool and I will be left with clear, energizing water and a crisp understanding of love and purpose and good. 

I’ve heard people talk about the craziness of life like a hamster on a wheel. I think it’s more like a hike. There are rocky sections, smooth paths and false summits. Holy hell is it tiring and wow is it rewarding. I keep thinking about how we’re all on a hike. Some are on a steep bitch of a switch back while others rest on a rock and each a peach. We take turns in those positions, each of us challenged by different things, each of us experiencing triumphs and failures. We all have vulnerabilities and insecurities. There is a point, in each of us, when we want to give up, turn around, sit down and cry. There is a time when each of us are happily skipping, hydrated and rested. There are some who, when doing well, step over a depleted mama and carry on. There are some who, when another is doing well, give a sharp shove hoping she’ll fall. And, of course, there are many who offer a hand, a hug, an ear no matter their own strength or weakness. It’s up to me to surround myself by and focus on the kind, unjudging people and let the others come and go. 

I am trying like hell to raise good people, demonstrate kind behavior, balance letting go and holding tight. And all that while I am caring for myself, my partner, my friends, my interests, my career. It’s a lot. Sometimes it is too much. It’s in the moments I Want To Throw In The Towel, when the underbelly is soft and malleable, that’s when I am 13 and walking home from school with salty-stained cheeks.

The difference, of course, is that I am 32 and I don’t feel like I have to wipe the tears away and head to my room so nobody knows my pain. Now I admit the sting, self-reflect, embrace the discomfort and roll around in my sensitive brain and honest conversations with good friends. And I’ll tell you, when someone steps over me when I’m down or pushes me when I’m thriving? It hurts. Sometimes my process is messy and I am sure my husband wishes I could let it go in a more streamlined manner. I am getting there.I hear 40 is good for letting other’s opinions roll off your confident back…but, first, I embrace this journey. 

Just like middle schoolers hoping for an invite to a friend’s house, mamas are hoping for an I am picking up what you are putting down, sister. We’re in it together.

Let’s hike. The view is much better when shared.”
Possible Journal Topics:
1. What part of your thirteen year-old self still exists? In what moments does he/she ever make an appearance in your life today? 
2. What are some of your vulnerabilities and insecurities? Do you see similarities with those of your thirteen year-old self? What are your coping mechanisms “in the moments I Want To Throw In The Towel, when the underbelly is soft and malleable”?
3. How do you currently envision your life–like a hamster wheel or like a hike? How would you like to envision it?
4. How can you “offer a hand, a hug, an ear no matter their own strength or weakness” to those around you rather than “step over a depleted mama and carry on” or “give a sharp shove hoping she’ll fall”?

Please share your experiences and writing with me! (you can do it anonymously through the comment box). 

E.L.E.