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Today I am 56 years old, and I feel like I’ve been reborn. I had a wonderful birthday. We went to the Marlin Grill at Baytowne Wharf, and they had decorated for Christmas. It was beautiful. Outside we could see the lights of the village, watch a band play, enjoy the outdoor fireplace by my table window, and watch people ice skate in the distance. Hard to believe we’re in Florida, huh? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The steak was the best ever, and I just loved every minute of it. My husband gave me a Sorrelli bracelet to go with a Sorrelli necklace that I have. It’s called Purple Rain and I love, love, love it! Also got a little spending money! So fine. Just a wonderful evening, and I feel like I’ve been set free. I looked at my calendar today, and there is NOTHING on it! No doctors appointments, no pharmacy runs, no hair appointments, no shopping trips, no errands, nothing…It is pure bliss. All I’m making a priority these days is to retrieve some of the sleep I’ve lost since my step-dad died. and I took over the care of my mom. I do good some nights, but others I still stay up too late. But things can’t always change overnight. I’m working on it!

The girls on the Elder Care site that I post to, sent me lots of sparkly birthday wishes, as my name is Sparkle on their board, too. It was such a nice surprise to go to the discussion board, and find all those thoughtful wishes from people who truly understand what I’ve been through with my mom, because they have been through a lot also.

Well, I really do intend to live my life differently from here on out. I want so much to reconnect with some of my old friends, and to make some new ones. I have been isolated for too long. I want to do some things that make me happy also. Tonight I went to the Pottery Barn, and shopped for about an hour. (Something that I have not done (to enjoy myself) in a long time.) I purchased a small Christmas tree to take on our trip (with the lights already on it.) I bought a few other Christmas decorations, and a large kichen rug that I desperately needed, as my old one got chewed up by the vacuum. (Oh the complexities of life…)

Truthfully, I start my new life today. I turn my back on all the negative things in my prior life. I forgive those who need forgiving, and ask forgiveness for myself, and I shake the dust off my feet, and head into the future. Life from this point on is what I make it. How will I handle tough things? How will I perceive myself? What messages from my past do I need to get rid of? What new behaviors and attitudes do I want to adopt? Whose approval is really important? Who loves me unconditionally? When my faith is tested, will I stand strong?

God is the one I want to please, and it is only His approval that matters. I have this one chance at life, and now I want to live it…not just exist, not just struggle through each day. I want to live, as the Bible says, the abundant life. My pastor from years ago, used to teach that prosperity really meant “a good journey.” When all is said and done, what more could we want from life than a good journey? A good journey starts with a good attitude-acceptance of myself and who I am, and faith in my Heavenly Father to transform me into His image. That doesn’t mean that life will always be easy or pleasant, but it does mean we can have joy in the journey. We can also have peace, and rest in His perfect love. All the striving can end, when we know that we are loved and accepted. (It’s what some of us have been searching for all our lives.)

A new life. Not everyone gets a second chance. I will make the most of mine. I will walk into the future, with hope in my heart, for a better tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Sparkle! Let’s Celebrate and Have Some Fun…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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8 Comments

  1. Lonnie, HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE& PEACE ON YOUR NEW JOURNEY.I have been with major problems since Shanes passing.People just dont get the grieving process that continues to live. Everyone expects ypu to move on & go back to pleasing evetyone.Ijust pray & hope i can read your blog over & over & take your great advice.I have found it so hard to be selfish for me, but that only leaves me more miserable.Thank you for the great post! Most of all Good Luck on your new life , you so deserve!HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
    LOVE, PEACE GIRFRIEND, SANDY SHANES MOM

  2. Thanks so much Sandy! It’s so great to hear from you again. Weren’t you the one that had that fabulous story on the Grief Board, about taking the grandkids on the train to see the North Pole, and when you got there it was a couple of inflatables–Santa and something else? I laughed until I cried on that one. So funny still…

    I know that you will always grieve for your precious Shane. It is a loss that you will feel deeply for the rest of your life. I wish that I could hug you.

    You also suffered the loss of Austy, your grandchild, from your day to day life, and that was a huge loss also. At least you still get to visit with him now and then. But I know it’s not the same as being there with him every day.

    People can’t understand the hurts that life brings, until they have been there. But you are a courageous woman to still be on your feet. You WILL make it, and not just make it–you will find a way to the happiness that you deserve.

    I love you, Sandy. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Life is so hard, but we only get one chance at it. We owe it to ourselves, and those we love, to find joy wherever we can! Big Hugs-Lonnette (Lonnie)

  3. Lonnette, Happy, Happy, Happy Belated Birthday and Rebirth. May all the good things happen this year to you and if you feel like faltering please write and I will personally get you back into your new persona immediately.

    Please accept my congrats!! You deserve it.
    Frank

  4. Thanks so much Frank. I am trying to stay positive, and make the most of my life from here on.

    Please accept my sincere sympathy over the loss of your mother. I read about it on Shadowland’s blog, and I was so saddened by the news. You were a wonderful, faithful caregiver, and you will see each other again one day. That is a promise that we can all hold dear, and what a day that will be, when we are reunited with our loved ones, never to suffer or cry anymore.

    Take some time for yourself now, to grieve, to reflect, and to rest. You deserve it! Stay in touch-Lonnette

  5. Sparkle,
    belated Happy Birthday! I wish you all the happiness you deserve. I get so tired of people saying “your reward will be in heaven.” I want it NOW! I want to love and live in this life. It sounds like you have escaped to pursue the blessings of life. The Navajo have a blessing song the sing to greet the morning sun, to start each day in a blessing. Some times it’s hard to get up feeling blessed, but just celebrating the new day helps set our mood for the coming day, and helps to over come the obstacles of the day.

    Happy Happy to you on your today, and the rest of your life.

  6. Thanks so much MarieA:I love the idea of the blessing song to greet the day! It reminds me of the scripture song, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Just looking at each day that way can change our attitude, and put us in a mood of expectation. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs-Sparkle

  7. Happy Belated Birthday (I have been away on a business trip) but I have caught up with your many posts since that time. Sounds like you are moving forward in a positive direction. Good for you! 56 years young…and starting over…treating yourself the ways you deserve to be treated. We could all learn from your acts of kindness. It reminds me though of a phrase I heard long ago…”don’t mistake kindness for weakness”…for truly the kind can be very strong and you are strong Sparkle…very strong. Hold your head up high and remember that the only person you are responsible for is YOU. Take care of YOU and the rest will fall into place…
    Hugs,

  8. Adopted Child: What a blessing to have you come into my life at this time. Your messages have inspired me, encouraged me, and lifted me above all sadness. Thank you so much for your wise and profound words. I look forward to hearing from you again and again. Do you have a blog also? Love and Lots of Hugs-Lonnette


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