my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

and her light will continue to shine ...

 ♥ the inspiration of callie mooney

friday morning, april 12, 2013:  little did i know, that while i was reminiscing about our friend callie, she had just taken her own life the night before.  

my heart is broken.  for callie.  for callie's husband.  for her family.  for his family. for all of us who knew her.  nothing is making this seem real.

all of us knew callie in a different way, just like we all know people in the way that we relate to them and the specific dynamic of our particular relationship.

i know that we will each treasure her in many similar ways and at the same time also many different individual ways ...

i loved callie … my children loved callie … and we have beautiful fun memories to keep like treasures in our pockets and in our hearts.  

discussing legos.  serious stuff. 

but among all of these memories playing through my mind like a home movie, i have been thinking about the most significant way in which callie inspired me.  

callie liked to party and speak her mind and didn't give a rat's behind whether you agreed with her or not.  but this is not the way i am thinking of. 

she could be loud, she told it like it was, she made no apologies.  she loved the zombie movement, was so excited to be part of organizing the charitable Fredericksburg Zombie Walk, and found true friends she loved and said she never wanted to leave, in the Mean Mommies Club.

she declined the Facebook friendship of a friend's teenage son, explaining to him that she uses language and content that she felt was inappropriate for him, and although she very much appreciated knowing him, she didn't want him to see her Facebook world in his newsfeed.  

she played both online games and board games with my children, staying up until 2am on some summer nights, yawning and laughing ... and winning … 

these aren't what i am referring to either.

what i am thinking of is that callie inspired me in a way that no other person has … to love without boundaries.  even though our personalities were very different, she was living confirmation of my beliefs of loving from the inside out.  she made me think about the love that i have for others, about the different kinds of love, different kinds of relationships, and i had to question that love … in a good way.  was i loving someone as completely as callie was?  was it the true inner essence of a person that i was loving, beyond all human accessories, gender identifications, and multi-faceted make up?  if someone i loved changed their identity, would i still love them the same way?  because of who they ARE?  not because of who i think they are or who i want them to be, who the world sees,  or what they have to offer me and my life?

if callie loved you, she loved you in this way.  what an honor!  i can't think of a more important inspiration or contribution to the life of another human being.  my thinking and my heart was opened to this because of her, and i was forever changed.  i can honestly say i never knew another person who loved like callie did.  her love capacity was greater than anyone i had known, and was in fact, unbeknownst to me in terms of capability.  i challenged myself to love as greatly as callie did.  it became part of who i am, and i am proud to say that my own capacity, my own heart, grew like never before.

friday morning, april 12, 2013:  i was sitting on a plane with an empty seat beside me.  writing my previous blogpost "handle with care" about callie and my son.  at the last minute before take off, an elderly gentleman came and sat beside me.  he wore glasses, his hair was very thin, his clothes were of muted color, and he was totally quiet.  i noticed that on his left arm were two rubber bracelets:  the flat kind that are usually colorful and have words embossed on them.  i was taken with this because i typically do not see this older generation wearing these kinds of bracelets.  they stood out against his plain appearance.

i noticed that the words on one bracelet were:

and the words on the other bracelet were:  OUT OF THE DARKNESS

and i felt loss or emptiness standing out against his chest.

i typed them into my post so i wouldn't forget.  i wanted to look them up later.  i felt so drawn to do so and couldn't explain it, yet didn't feel the need to.

i wanted to ask him who he had lost because i felt that he had lost an adult child.

then when he closed his eyes i took a picture of the bracelets.  even though i had written down the information, i wanted to capture that feeling in that moment.  i wanted to be able to bring back the power of that moment to my own chest.

we never spoke.  i wanted to, and i looked at him many times, but he never made eye contact with me.

these bracelets and their messages walked around inside my head all day, tugging at me as i repeatedly put them aside for later.

i woke up the next morning to the news of callie's passing.

i was out of town and couldn't reach anyone, and nothing seemed real.  i was in loving hands, but no matter how disoriented i was, i knew that it was nothing compared to how callie's inner circle was feeling.

since that very moment, things have been a bit of a blur to say the least.

ryan, her husband, said to me, "i don't know how to do this ..." 
i could only reply, "i don't know how to do this either.  i only know that we do it together."

i don't even know how to stop writing this except to offer the following link, from the bracelet beside me on that flight:

and to invite you to please contribute any helpful resources that you know of.

and to please, please share this story of callie's heart …

if we can each love another the way callie did … even just one person in our lifetime, her light will continue to shine ...

     callie came to all of my son's art shows.  her support made his heart super happy...

lego brick fair fist bump.  it is cute, how obvious callie's hand is!

this is not callie's plate but i saw it on my way home from the airport.  one of her nicknames was bunny.

first fridays 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

handle with care

ian has always named everything he has an affinity for … stuffed animals, wild animals in the yard, plants, bugs, body parts … he has a special bond with our friend callie, who is a grown up, and who does the same naming thing.  when they share their "oh yeah i have a such-and-such named so-and-so" it always makes us giggle, and makes them either high five or exchange a silent "i get you" look that makes my heart overflow.

today i was thinking about how special this is ... and how important.

thinking of everything as a "someONE" and not a "someTHING" creates a relational perspective in which we treat these "someones" as if they are equal to us … all living beings.  granted, a stuffed animal isn't living, and we know that, but assigning a stuffed animal a name, and treating that animal as if it were a live being, complete with feelings, needs, thoughts, and desires, isn't a wasted energy.  in fact, it is the opposite. it allows us yet another opportunity to express love, concern, compassion, and peace.  kind of like practice.  or also like the more we give, the more we have.  like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger it becomes.  what could be better than strengthening our love muscle, our compassion muscle.  if it makes us remember to be kinder, if it give us more chances to extend grace and concern, then i say we name everything! 

"Kindness is twice blessed.  It blesses the one who gives it with a sense of his or her own capacity to love, and the person who receives it with a sense of the beneficence of the universe." -Dawna Markova

in my home i have always led my children to help bugs back out to their natural habitat, not to squish them.  my kids have grown up thinking and saying "but what about his family?" when faced with a bug squashing moment.  i never named the bugs, but i wanted them to think before acting, and to consider that just because we are bigger than they are, that doesn't give us the right to determine if they live or die or hurt or become maimed.  just because i don't like them perhaps in the house, that doesn't mean i should take their life into my own hands.  anyway, they were there long before we came along and disrupted their habitat and built a house where they first lived!

in addition to our five pets, ian has  a stuffed pepper named jose, a polar bear named noodles, a bear named puz, a plant named melvin, a wild rabbit that lives in our yard named kevin, one eye named tim, one eye named tom, one nostril named jim, one nostril named joe, one ear named bob, one ear named alfonso.  at one time or another he has also named his shoes, pens, notebooks, blankets, birds outside, cars, crayons, and probably at least half a dozen other things.  i sometimes get the names wrong, but he never does.

some people judge stuffed animal friendships as somewhat unhealthy or relegated to a particular time span of a child's life.  but i would like to point out that such lovingness and concern, from a child for his furry stuffed companion, are more of what this world needs.  why would we want to put a limit or regulation/stipulation on any act of loving?  why limit ourselves in the number of opportunities to love or care … 

“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love” - John Lennon

i am inspired today, to breathe life and love into all creatures, both animate and inanimate ...

to look at ian in a way i haven't looked at him before, even though i would have thought that i have looked at him in every way possible by now.

i admire his heart.  so big in his tiny little body.  so full in his young little life.  so awesome in terms of awe inspiring or awe invoking.

i would like to put a sign on every person.  a sign on every creature: