Saturday, October 6, 2012

Looking Forward

I was sorta just going along comfortable w upcoming birthday....and then my sister told me how old I am turning....which honestly never occurred to me. Lol. 
Since then she keeps asking me everyday how old I will be. I tell her 5 years younger than you ;)
I tease- but really she could care less. 
She is so excited about her birthday later this month. Actually, I do believe she has declared the entire month her birthday celebration.  She has this beautiful energy and glow when she brings it up; which is quite often.
We actually have an announcement of the birthday countdown several times a day. 
Today we are 9 days away from lift off. ;) 
So cool to have someone in their 40s as tickled as a child over upcoming birthday. We all have much to learn from her ♥
It isn't about the age; its about celebrating one more year....
And for her, that is the miracle we were all given.  The answered prayer.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

about Lessons on Flying

I am starting this new blog to share a gift I have been angel that came to earth a little over a decade ago in the form of a tragedy... the new Robin.
Robin was my big sister a long time ago.  This specific role was lost after a head injury in 99 which left her in a coma for some time.  When she awoke, she had to relearn everything from swallowing, to sitting up, to talking... you name it.
And she had no memory of her previous life's experiences.
She knew she had a sister.
But no clue it was me.
Or anything we ever did together.
Just that I existed.
And that's pretty much how her memory has worked.  She remembers facts.  She remembers that she was married, that she was divorced, where she worked... but has no recollection of the events.  It is as if she has read a fact sheet on my sister and committed it to memory.
And everything that she once was, no longer is. However, the woman here is beyond amazing and inspirational... as long as I stop clinging to a ghost, I can see this clearly.
It has taken me a long time to accept this, and even as I write this today, part of it wrestles within me. A loss that is difficult, since this angel came wearing her same body.
To help myself see this angel more clearly for who she is, and to share the lessons she has brought for us, I bring you all Lessons on Flying :)
I hope you are able to learn from her, as she is constantly teaching me, just by being her; coming into the world with eyes and heart of a child :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More to Come

I am currently working on developing some of the chapters already written, while new ones keep forming in my mind.  So many lessons from just one angel.  
I will post another one soon. Please be patient with me. :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Live Like Nobody is Watching

You might begin to see a pattern here, where Robin has put me in a public situation, where she had no boundaries, I felt exposed, and I had to learn to adjust. This was our pattern for a good year after the first time she came into my life. For no one but Robin would I have ever done this. But she got a hold on me immediately from the moment she was dropped from heaven, and put in the body of my big sis. Her pure heart and innocent view of the world, coming from this familiar adult body, made me examine things in ways even a child's eyes could not.
This lesson is no exception.
I am sure I am not alone in my need to not stand out. As you will see, in retrospect, I actually think the people who were “watching” in this story, perhaps held the same fears. Which most likely made it so difficult for them at first, not to watch diligently, wanting for the two of us to “step in line”; a task the new version of Robin did not come with, in any shape or fashion.
I must admit, when I go somewhere, I am completely comfortable with being the spectator rather than the event. Not Robin. When she first emerged from the hospital, although the angelic soul could barely speak above a whisper at most, her tiny little body came with actions that screamed for the world to stop, listen and take note.
She was quite small. Actually beyond small, after months of being fed through tubes, and unable to swallow. It had taken the brain quite some time to figure out on its own how to take food from the mouth and through the digestive process. And we had both struggled together trying to teach it, armed with determination, and humor.
Once she learned to eat, her brain knew no shut off, no longer sending signals to let her know she was full. So eating could sometimes look quite interesting, as if we had just rescued someone from forced starvation and then dropped them off at an All-You-Can eat buffet..
And she loved food immensely., more than a love of people love sex, or money. Eating, being one of the few things she had mastered, became her focus, her source of enjoyment in a body that couldn't do much beyond.
One thing that she had not mastered yet was the eating utensil.
Forks, knives, and spoons combated in her hands, going every direction but the one she was hoping. So typical meal time, I, or who ever she was with, would spoon feed her. She was given her own utensil to try to work with during the meal, but a bulk of the food that made it to her mouth, was coming from another's hand.
This did not stop me from saying yes, when Robin asked if we could go out to dinner one day.
The fact that she voiced something she wanted to do, with her own sweet forced whisper, at all, made me ecstatic. I didn't even think of her challenges, but of her love for food, and how happy it would make her to be able to eat at her favorite restaurant.
Of course my dear, we definitely could manage this one together.
I even made sure she had her favorite sundress on, and helped put on her makeup for the great event. It was almost like her coming out party of sorts. And she looked stunning as usual. My beautiful sister, scars and all was still a sight to see. People still would ask her if she was a model. Yes, that was my sis, and she was nothing less gorgeous for her first social night out.
And heading into that restaurant when eyes came upon us, I knew it was her beauty they were drawn to, and not the chair she was being pushed along in. I knew the looks, the same ones we got prior to the accident, when we entered a room, and all eyes would go to her. I was always happy to step aside and allow her that attention. Seeing those looks that night, was the first moment that didn't feel surreal since her head injury. It almost felt like “old times”.
And truth, when I saw this attention go to what she was, rather than what she was not, that night, I took pride in it. Felt people were seeing her beyond her brain and body's ability, and seeing the beautiful woman that she was, even if they could only see the outside reflection of that.
Sitting down, there was still looks, and obvious discussions as people tried to make sense of what such a beautiful young woman would be doing in that specially-Robin-designed chair, which actually came up to still support her head, which rarely cooperated with the neck at the time. The chair made it so her head rest comfortably in a non-awkward position, but the mere monstrosity that the chair was a specialty, was apparent.
When dinner arrived, I had almost forgotten about her body's limits. She took a fork in her hand, glancing around at the faces still peeking over their conversations at her. She dove into the meal with vigor, trying oh so hard to follow suite with the rest of the consumers. She struggled silently, and awkwardly trying to get those darn noodles to her mouth, and a few did actually make it. I believe just enough noodles to kick in her brain, that she wanted those noodles more than she cared at the eyes on her.
I asked if she wanted my help, feeling a little helpless and embarrassed for her. I just realized that even though I wanted her to have her wish to come to her favorite eatery, I had also placed her in an uncomfortable position of actually trying to feed herself in public. My heart pained as I tried to come up with a remedy to help my sister save face, but she had other ideas.
Letting the fork drop to her plate, she grabbed a fist full of noodles and shoved them into a ravenous mouth. As she did, she looked up at me, as if to say she was sorry. Her eyes glanced around the room, as if she felt the social pressures for a second, that I hadn't seen her notice until then. But the stomach won what ever argument her head may have given, and another fist full of noddles came up to her mouth.
She glanced at me, who now had a smile realizing she wasn't even quite in control of this decision. Her brain and hunger over-rid whatever social pressure floated in the air. Finding my smile she looked around and began laughing. She knew the spectacle she was making of herself, but found humor in the shocked, almost horrified looks from near-by tables.
Once her laughter arose, any fear of “being seen” washed away from my soul. She was happy. She was eating with her hands in a five star restaurant and her heart could not contain more joy.
We both broke into a cycle of laughter, which happened quite a bit with the two of us, since her accident, a language we could both speak and share together.
And once the laughter settled down, I too dropped my fork. Taking a quick glance around, I decided it didn't matter that they all were watching. Robin was enjoying herself way more than any of them could possibly allow themselves. And she was not going to be the only one. Feeling the squishy noodles sink between my fingers, I joined my dear sister's party.
I don't think I ever had a much more enjoyable night out. We laughed, and ate, from our little bubble in the middle of the restaurant, where we forgot to care that others were watching.
Judgment ended when we stop judging ourselves. No one else in that restaurant joined us in our hands-on party, however, our happiness melted away their concerns to make us “step in line”.
The horrified faces softened into gentle and accepting smiles as the evening went on. Perhaps we all just had to step out of our box, for Robin.
Today choose a moment to live as if no one were watching. Look at areas of your life where you too perhaps wrestle with a fork, when the obvious and more joyous answer is to use your hands.Step outside your box, and embrace where ever that takes you.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Don't Be A Stranger

Today Robin and I were talking about the area I live in, which she automatically stated was "posh" as soon as I told her the city. Lol! I have no clue where she even picked up the word.  However, she is looking to know more about where I live, because she is preparing to move herself from the safety of her parents nest, to her own...with me.
So we go over little details to give her a picture of what to expect.
Today I was telling her about the grocery store.  I told her that people there would say hi, and ask how you were doing, and that they didn't even work there.  I love to tell this fact to people who live in the NE where I grew up.  It is so foreign to them.  But to my dear sister, she didn't even skip a beat before I could see the smile beaming across the the phone wires into a vivid pleasant image of her face as she responded:
"Like me?!"
Yes, as a matter of fact, dear sister, just like you.
You will fit right in.
You see my sis is like a child since her head injury, and many of her traits have been quite an adjustment for me...who really likes to blend into the back ground, melt into the walls, and be an observer.
With Robin in your life, you have no luxury.
You have a 30 and now 40 something, with no internal social mores.
I would cringe in my early 20s, taking her somewhere, where we would undoubtedly get stares, and that I'm-so-sorry look of pity at my sisters demise.  She didn't see it at all.  To her, it was new people for her to touch hearts.
Her arms would fly from her lap as I pushed her along in her chair, and would flail about uncontrollably and with wild vigor.
I am sure some people would mistaken this for some type of stroke, or seizure, some would even stop and ask if they could pray with us ;-)
But this was no autonomic misfire, or need for prayer, this was my over-eager sister waving in the world. 
And those who stopped to pray for her, would only leave in tears...when asking that she be healed, she would just explain that she had already been saved... that she was supposed to die, and that God saved her.
As they left in tears, I would grin at my sister, who didn't have a clue how she just reached deep into their hearts with her uninjured soul, and touched them in a place no one else would ever dare.
Slowly, I began to choke back my need to blend, and enjoyed watching the gifts my sister was giving people with her insane wild flailing, and loud chanting of hellos, as we scooted through the public arena.
She was teaching people the gift of love without boundaries.
No hiding behind mores, or fears.
Stepping out, and letting people know you see them... and more importantly, letting them see you are glad they came :)  We all need to feel that, even if it comes from a stranger.
Take Robin's lesson on flight- Smile, or even wave to a stranger today.
Its okay if they don't smile or wave back; they will have meant to...and perhaps they will hand theirs to someone else :-)