Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Soul's Mission

This summer has gone by so quickly that I can't believe that the boys will start their new school so soon!!! We're excited for them to start their next phase at St Rita's Catholic School for middle school. It's a great school, really friendly faculty and it's right next door to Jesuit High School. 

As we've been busy getting the boys prepared for the "next level" we've also been spending lots of time having fun with Dori as much as we can this summer. At times I get sad comparing all the neat milestones and new adventures the boys are experiencing and wishing Dori could have a chance to do all that and more. 

But today like most Sunday's, if I'm not teaching Sunday school then I'm sprawled out on the couch watching Oprah's show Super Soul Sunday. She has spiritual leaders, life coaches, yoga/meditation experts from all walks of life and all ends of the spiritual/religious spectrum. Since Chris and the big boys are gone in Nebraska for a golf tournament this weekend I binged on 3 episodes while hanging out with Dori. 

Today she had a guy who's name I don't remember and whose book she accredits for completely changing her life. He is an expert at the concept of being true & joyful by tapping into your soul's purpose. What really caught my attention was when he talked face to face with a Mother who had twin sons. One of them survived and grew to be healthy & strong. The other twin died only four days after birth. She was having a hard time accepting his death and felt how unfair the death of her son was to her and to their entire family because the pain of the loss was on some days unbearable. 

He looked with his kind eyes right at her and said (I'm paraphrasing) "Your son's soul served its purpose. Even if he only lived for four days, his soul willfully came to this earth and was loved and cherished. Then his soul willfully left this earth after serving its desired purpose. You can't look at your other son as he grows up and think 'my other son should be here graduating too. My other son should be going off to college too. My other son should be getting married and starting a family too.' Why? Because when you do that you're not fully enjoying what your healthy son is accomplishing, and your inadvertently belittling the short time your son was with you. He served his purpose by loving you. He served his purpose by feeling your love and will forever be a part of your family. You are forever changed because his soul successfully is a part of yours and all who loved him.  Focus on THAT accomplishment, focus on what he did not what he never became. His soul did exactly what it intended to do." 

Well as you can imagine I was a crying mess listening to this. While he spoke I chose to close my eyes so I could feel like he was directly talking to me. 

His words were so life affirming, so direct and so comforting. Dori and Wynnie are living their purpose. Their short lives have brought so much love and joy to us that I can just burst of pride. The innocence in their eyes, the sincerity in their smiles and the sweetness of their gestures are beyond description. Their souls weren't made to graduate from Harvard, get married or find the cure for cancer--- their souls are leaving their own legacy. 

I'm so glad I watched that today. There's nothing that could have resonated more strongly with me than that!  We're so proud of ALL our sons and the world they are creating for themselves. Each has their own purpose and their own path. 

Here are some pictures from the past few days: 
Dori after swim time this afternoon 
Smooching on Dori... He didn't seem to mind. 
A couple of weeks ago the boys made memory boxes with our hospice Child Life Specialist. Alex wrote a lot on his box describing all of Wynnie's favorite things. He was really careful and took a lot of pride about making it just perfect.  Ben covered his lid with dozens of hearts. I made a comment like "wow I like all the  hearts you used Ben, it's neat!" He said "I used a lot of hearts to show how much I loved him." 
My kids are my heroes! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dori's conversation with a shark

We're all in a frenzy here at the house with Shark week. In fact, today Jaws is on AMC, so Dori is being introduced to all the awesomeness Jaws (the first, original and best) has in store. 
Here is a conversation exactly as Dori would have with a shark. Dori apologizes for his lack of clothing and ravioli on his face, it was "his feeding time"
See it by clicking here 😉

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dear Ben and Alex

Please read this Ben and Alex... This describes our family and YOU and your big hearts perfectly:

Like last night when we were going to watch the women's World Cup final game and Ben said "aren't we gonna bring Dori into the room with us?" And when we were cheering for Dori Ben started cheering for Wynnie too (to remind us that Dori isn't our only little one... Ben is always "what about Wynnie?" to not leave him out.)

Or for example while we were on vacation and Ben and Alex were talking about what's the first thing they'll do with Wynnie once they see him in Heavem. Or Alex walking by Dori and returning Dori's "hi" and giving him a quick kiss or a pat on the head as he walks on. You boys make us so proud and we just don't tell you enough. 

We had blast learning and having fun in the east coast these past few days. It was awesome to watch the fireworks on the 4th right behind the Lincoln memorial.   The best part was once the fireworks ended people started chanting "USA! USA!" 
All the boats relaxing all day waiting for the fireworks show. We passed and waved during our boat trip to Alexandria, Va. 
Date night in DC ... Had the best brisket nachos! Realize that we are too old to know all the "micro brews" and speciality beers that all the young folk drink. We'd order millers or buds and they'd look at us like we were aliens. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Washington DC and East Coast Vacay

Ben was upset he couldn't go inside the house to visit and wondered why the first family wouldn't come to the windows to wave at everyone. Then they were entertained by counting all the snipers on the White House roof and waving at them. 
There is truly no more perfectly patriotic place to be than here during the 4th of July weekend. So glad Chris planned this for us all. 
The Vietnam Memorial ... If you look on the far right you see the lady tracing the name of her loved one on the wall. 

German Restaurant in Hagerstown, VA
Walked on a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Appotomax Courthouse where Lee surrendered and confederacy was no more. We learned more about the civil war in the 3 days than you could possibly learn. It was neat!  
Cannon at Fort Manasas 

Blue Ridge Mountains scenic drive 

The amazingly powerful WWII Memorial around Bedford, VA. Our tour guide had us all in tears. His dad survived D-Day and he gave a powerful account of his dad's memories of that fateful day. His dad never talked about the war and he never even knew his dad fought in D-Day until this memorial was built. He asked his dad how he survived d-day and his father said by burying himself in the sand and then hiding behind dead soldiers. This was why he never talked about it because he felt ashamed. Sad to think his father lived most of his life not knowing he was a hero. 

We really liked the mountains in Virginia... So beautiful! 
Learned a lot about President Woodrow Wilson in his presidential library in Staunton, Va. This town was so adorable! 
Inside a replica of a WWI trench 
Visited the University of Virginia 
Woodrow Wilson presidential library 
The first night Chris won by a large margin. The second night the boys wanted a rematch so they found another putt putt golf place and Ben only lost by one stroke 
Wow. We had no idea how enormous the Iwo Jima monument is. So wonderful to see. 
Arlington National Cementary 

Very symbolic statue at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery 

Williamsburg, Va ... This was a town focused on the early American colonies. We had tickets for the reinactments at Gettysburg but they were canceled due to potential thunderstorms. 😐
I couldn't help but think of Tropic Thunder with this statue 😕😞

We also visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello plantation.  it was beautiful! He truly felt compelled to bring the world's knowledge to all of those around him. 

We stopped by George Washington's home as well. I didn't realize the full extent of how selfless and what a true hero he was until now.