Tag Archives: spirituality

Embroidery of Life

A pink Rhodochrosite caboshon wirewrapped and dedicated to the memory of Auntie Rose Emmons

We were at a celebration of a long time friend who was retiring after 37 years.
We were in San Jose, CA at the Bella Mia Italian Restaurant. There were just
six of us. Steve and his wife Sue, Monica and Bret, and ZoAnn and I. Steve,
Monica, and ZoAnn taught third grade together in Morgan Hill Unified School
District for many years. They had formed a strong bond of fellowship and
friendship during those critical times. It was one of those special moments in
life when people share their memories with treasured stories of those “Camelot
Moments” in life.

One of the stories was a big surprise. Steve passed around to each of us a
sheet of paper with a story I had shared years before. It was a story from
my Aunt Rose Emmons. The following is the story Steve called Embroidery
of Life.

When I was little, my mother used to sew a great deal. I would sit at
her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She
informed me that she was embroidering. As from the underside I watched
her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her
hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.

She would smile at me, lookd down and gently say, ” Child you go about
your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering
I will put you on my knee and let you see the front side.”

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with some
bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few
moments would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Child,
come and sit on my knee.”

This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower, or a
sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.
Then my Mother would say to me, ” My child, from underneath it did look
messy and jumbled, but you did not realize there was a plan on the top.
It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side, and
you will see what I was doing.

Many times through the years I have looked up to heaven and said,
“Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering
your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The
threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?” The father seems to
tell me, “My child, you go about your business of doing MY business, and
one day I will bring you to heaven and put you on my knee and you will see
the plan from My side.”

It is strange how a story of my Aunt Rose Emmons came back to me from a
dear friend at his retirement celebration. Steve had remembered the story
and typed it up to be shared with us many years later. I was amazed and
very proud of my Aunt. The story has taken on a life of it’s own.

A subtext to this story is that I have seen my Grandmother Mary Brinkman
crochet and embroider using the same hoops mentioned in the story. I have
fond memories of being in the small living room of the little duplex on 5th and
Pearce in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Grandmother sitting and crocheting. I
remember the clicketedy click tickedy tick of her needles and of her quiet
ways. I still have her treasured wedding gift of embroidered pillows
received 50 years ago on June 2, 1962.

Auntie Rose sent this story to me many years ago in an email. I thought it
was one of her personal experience. However, the story can be found in many
places on the web. I have found that the story is a common one. Here is one
link to the story elsewhere:
http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-gods-embroidery/

It does not take away from the reality of it in our family. Grandmother Mary
Brinkman did embroidery and crocheting. The pillows I have are real. The
memories of the house in Milwaukee are also true.

Death Where Are You?

Death where are you?
I walk my path
Enjoying each step
Not knowing,
Yet anticipating
A path of love,
A path of family.

I walk my path
Purposely not afraid,
Yet expectful.
A path of love
A path of family.

I have seen you
I know you!
You are the veil
Between loved ones.
It is a fine and thin
Veil of existence.
I walk my path patiently.
Death, where are you?

Originally written: November 30, 2002

My grandmother visited my mother immediately after her death to wave good-bye from outside of the kitchen window as my mother ironed cloths in the evening. I have friends and aunts who have felt the presence and believe they had communication after their spouse had died. Yet, I know it is improbable to expect direct communications with any deceased person. I wonder what is the mystery permitting some to be visible through the opaque veil between life and death.

Truths Dreams and Hopes

Our truths
Define our personal reality.

We must be on guard
Against our own fanaticisms,

It is an intolerance
For other’s reality.

It is the lack of respect
For other’s realities.

That we create
The destructive forces.

That can overwhelm us
And will rebound against us.

Our truths
Limit our realities, our lives.

Our truths may
Define our reality.

Our dreams may
Define our future.

Dreams provide us hopes
Even in the most dismal circumstances.

Our hopes
Define our needs.

Hopes provide us the ability
To overcome catastrophes.

Without our dreams and hopes
We are overwhelmed by life’s dramas.

We need our dreams and hopes
To be happy, to be sad.

We need our truths
To experience life to the fullest.

Originally written: June 20, 2002

Come Within

Come within,
Join me in discovery.
We are on a journey
Discovering  tidbits.

Come within,
Find tidbits of truth.
The journey may be short,
It may be long.

Come within,
The truths I find
May or may not be yours,
They are my truths today.

I am not profound,
Nor do I expound
Profound truths.

I try to capture the small truths,
That are sometimes
Taken for granted.

It is in living life
And sharing that I seem,
To trip over one
Here or there.

No amount
Of searching purposefully,
Results in a new
Foundling of truth.

It is there full-grown
In the relationships with
Unknowns, knowns,
Hated and beloved.

Originally written:  January  21, 2002

Thanksgiving

 I try to make each moment
A thankful one.

I have so much,
To be thankful for.

For things so great,
And so small.

Each breath, each thought,
Each friend, and family member,

And on and on.
The turkey has been cut,
Table set,

Prayers said,
Food graciously shared,

Songs sung,
Stories shared,

Games played,
And importantly

Thanksgiving re-enacted.

Originally written:  November 23, 2000

I Love Life

Majestic Tetons

 

I love life!
It is so eternally fascinating.

I love each moment!
Precious beyond words.

I live life!
To the fullest, overflowing.

I love earnestly!
Deeply beyond words.
Originally written:  May 15, 2000

Life with bad moments only makes the good moments
even better. The rain and the snow make the sunshine
even brighter. The rainbows promise even more true.
Arguments between loving adults usually ends up
with wonderful makeup moments.

The glass of life can be viewed as half empty and draining.
I adhere to a different view of half full and filling.

Which way do you view your life? 

As I write this I know there are moments in my past
when things were absolutely improbable. The glass of
life did not look like it was filling.  In fact
I thought I saw the bottom of it a few times.

Then gradually through hard work and achieved goals
things got brighter and there was a rainbow.  The
promise was fulfilled.  It is there for all who
pursue it.

Now I Lay Me Down

As I prepare for sleep
I am reminded of the Great Sleep.

When sleep overtakes me,
It is a void, a blankness.

A form of my thoughts,
Are of the Great Sleep.

Then, dreams in black and white,
And drama in vivid colors visit.

Now I lay me down,
My head dents my goose down pillow.

The sheets and covers cold and chilly,
Warm to a nice snuggly place.

To sleep, to dream,
To rest, to re-energize.

Dear Lord, if  I should die,
Passing over to be with family

Before I wake,
And the sun rises on a new day.

I pray my Lord,
On bended knee with humble heart.

My soul to keep,
Drawing me close ever more.

Amen, Amen!
Yes, so be it now and forever.

Originally written:    March 21, 2011

As I drifted off to sleep I said my nightly prayers and slipped into
meditation, I was struck with the thought I was about to willingly
relinquish my conscious thought processes and enter a world of
oblivion.  There was no guarantee I would return to the bright new
dawning of another day.  Yet each night of my life, sometimes eagerly
and sometimes reluctantly I have given myself over to this nightly
ritual.

Each night I trust and have faith all will be well and I will greet the
sunrise. Each night a miracle of sorts occurs.  I enter the nether
world of blankness and dreams.  I awake refreshed, repaired, and
anxious for new experiences. I am profoundly aware a portion of my
existence is outside of my control or conscious intelligence.  It is in the
“hands” of another.

There was a moment just before oblivion when a vagrant thought
entered my mind. A wondering whether there is emptiness or bliss in
the afterlife.   The thought turns into a minute time slice of reluctance
ended by faith in ageless sagas spoken in front of fires by ancestors.
These tales and beliefs passed down in oral and written forms have
become sacred to the various religions and sects.   Now, they fight
amongst themselves about the differences they have created.   The 
differences are of consequence only to themselves.