Late night phone calls.
Dinner with friends.
An unexpected note in the mail.
A text message.
A hug. A tear. A laugh.
A shared joke or experience. . .
With my new life, I have found myself in circumstances that I have never experienced before.
Remember - I was married for 26 years.
But beyond that - I have four children.
Over the years we hosted over 10 long-term foreign exchange students.
We have had, over the years - 4 dogs, an iguana, a guinea pig, too many cats to count, 5 chickens, and we fostered hamsters and rabbits for school projects.
We gave refuge to a young girl who was struggling to find her way, a nephew who needed a stepping stone and others.
For almost my entire married life, there was always, about 7 people living under the same roof as me.
(And that does not count the animals.)
And growing up - my childhood home - was very similar.
A little over a year ago, things began to change.
the oldest daughter and grandson moved out, my son moved out, daughter number 3 moved out.
That left the husband, the youngest daughter and myself and the dog.
Then he left.
Now it is the daughter and myself and the dog.
And that means . . .this lady is left with a lot of time in a big house alone.
With the quiet.
Now this is not a whine session or plea for sympathy . . .
this is a realization.
For years - my life has been noisy and chaotic.
And I like chaos.
In fact - I kind of thrive on it.
But in the midst of the chaos, it is important to find those quiet moments to stop and listen.
But sometime - when we stop and listen,
we begin to hear the messages that we have been avoiding for a very, very long time.
And that is where I am right now.
I am on a personal quest to answer and acknowledge some issues that I have kept buried for too long .
And this has found me, on more than one occasion, needing the connection of others.
And that is when the angels seem to appear.
They come in the form of amazing friends and family members.
It continually amazes me -
I will be struggling to work out an issue, feeling alone -
and the phone rings.
Or a text message comes through . . .
or some other form of contact is made.
And the other person is responding to a need to reach out to ME.
And that has made me really stop and appreciate those amazing connections that we have with each other.
A friend recently commented to me that everyone comes into our lives for "a reason, a season, or a lifetime."
I liked that statement -
many of the people that are in my life are just that . . ."lifers".
I am reaching a point where very few are here for a "season" only.
Some were here for a season years ago - but they have returned now.
And I know that now - they will remain for the rest of my life.
We are not meant to go through this life alone.
We are meant to have connections.
And with the upcoming Christmas season, I find myself reflecting even more on the importance of these connections.
I have found myself feeling so much gratitude for these special people, that my heart feels as if it willl burst.
I feel like the Grinch when his heart grows and grows . . .unable to be contained.
And to these special people - I say thank you.
Thank you for following those prompts and for helping me fly during this time.
Thank you for loving me regardless of what is going on and teaching me the lesson of unconditional love.
Thank you for being my angels.
Who is in your life that needs to be reached out to?
Who reaches out to you?
Are you taking them for granted?
Have you told them you love them and appreciate them?
My hope, this holiday season, is that we take the time to slow down and acknowledge those special angels in our lives.
And I don't mean with "gifts" of things - although, I admit -I love gifts.
But I mean, with those all important words of "i love you" and "thank you".
I pray that we take the time to listen and follow through on those prompts.
I pray that we share our wings so we can all fly to our highest potential.