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ad perpetuam memoriam

Today is the day my mother died

though I lost her the day I was born

Found by a family

who tried their best to love me

for her

Being welcomed into this world

meant saying goodbye

I was born into emptiness

It became my friend

Always there when I needed her

and when I wished she would go away

It’s the dull ache of belonging

in the pit of my stomach

It’s the dizziness imagining who you are

and trying to answer why

It’s the scars on my heart left by loneliness

until love made a way

weaving together the unraveled pieces

of who I am and who you were

To be reconciled to our family

destroyed by the loss of you

as I lost you

the day you gave me away

Today is the day my mother died

but her spirit is alive in me.

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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

What Students Really Need to Hear

What Students Really Need to Hear

Such an important piece. So very true. As a former teacher, and as a parent, this matters so much!

AFFECTIVE LIVING

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

I blinked again.

This post is from a fellow blogger and awesome dad that I have the privilege to know and be mentored by. He hit the nail square on its head with this post, echoing exactly how I am feeling today.

The Heffron Family

The kids went back to school this morning.  There were new clothes, a special breakfast, prayers and pictures in the driveway, and two kids looking older than they did just yesterday.

Every parent knows the bittersweet blend of joy in growth and sadness at time passing.  Being home with them during their breaks is a tremendous blessing, but the time passes so quickly.  I blinked again, and summer has ended.

I love being a father.  I love taking care of my kids, playing with them, helping them learn and grow.  I love figuring out some adventure or experiment for us, building things with them, and talking with them.

This summer was wonderful, but it was much too fast again.  There were a few more things I would’ve liked to do with them, from picnics and fishing to bike rides and expanding our tree fort.  Rocket cars were built but still await launch.  Those…

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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sweet Blended Learning

Today, I am participating (virtually) in a blended learning conference through the Online Learning Consortium. It is packed with terrific speakers all showcasing their work and research around blended learning and improving the craft of online teaching. I am passionate about this conference and this work.

One session I always look forward to is the Un-session. An un-session is an informal time devoted to highlighting various best practices and initiatives in a fast-paced, round table setting. Laura Pasquini introduced this year’s #blend14 Un-session beautifully. You can read her overview here.

If you are in the field of online learning, you won’t want to miss this conference! You can also follow the conversation on Twitter (#blend14)!

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Perfect Imperfection

The soles of my feet,
worn and rough,
take the hard road
avoiding eggshells.

My calves,
solid and strong,
chase after dreams
running in circles.

These thighs
rise and fall.
They carry me
and hold you back.

My hips are wide,
stretched and scarred,
birthing beautiful life.

The soft folds of my stomach,
branded by the ebb and flow
of attempted perfection.

Full breasts have nourished and sustained,
remain tempting and seductive.

These shoulders
grow weary,
bear the burden of struggle,
carry the weight of what if.

Greying hair is trademark
of lessons learned –
Hard.
Mistakes repeated.

You need not concern yourself
with the scars of my body.

It is mine to own
to share
as it pleases me.

Wise eyes
see into your soul,
reveal hidden desires
deep within me.

These lips,
softly grazing your skin,
evoke longing
that lingers after they’ve parted.

I hold my chin high.
My pride
will not allow me
to belong to you
to anyone.

Though my body breaks,
I rise inside.

My heart, ignited,
soars with a thirst for passion
that no one,
no one
has been able to quench

Though you have tried
in vain.

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

38 Things

Today is my birthday. Every year, I like to take time to reflect on what the past year has given me and what I have learned. These are just a few of the things I’ve compiled so far. While they are unique to me and my own circumstances, I hope a few will grab you and be reminders for you to live your best life. They have served me well.

1. Life is all about growing: growing up, growing pains, and discovering yourself along the way.

2. Don’t try so hard to make memories with your kids that you miss how awesome they are right now, today, in this moment.

3. If you have daughters, something will always be an emergency.

4. What someone else may not like about you is their problem, not yours.

5. When you think you’ve got nothing left, dig deeper. You will surprise yourself.

6. You are not your body. Whether it is overweight, outdated, or underperforming, it does not define you.

7. We’re all a little crazy. Some just try harder than others.

8. There is no excuse that justifies hurting someone you love.

9. Your mind and your body are far more capable than your fears and anxieties will lead you to believe.

10. Divorce doesn’t have to break you, or your family.

11. Taking time to sit by the lake can bring refuge and peace.

12. Bitterness, anger, resentment, will all eat away at you from the inside and show on the outside.

13. Take good care of your vehicles and they will return the favor.

14. There is no greater sacrificial love on earth than that of a mother who would give her child up for the hope that he or she will have a better life than she could give.

15. Some friendships fare better the second time around. The same can be said for other relationships.

16. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, as comforting as a hug from your child.

17. Hug often.

18. Love others better than yourself.

19. Make time for coffee with friends.

20. Call your mother.

21. Your parents didn’t have it all together either but they were still right about most of it.

22. Your children start out thinking you are amazing. Believe them and don’t let them down.

23. You were not created to live selfishly. Give of yourself to others.

24. Be kind.

25. The truth is easier to defend than a lie.

26. No cell phones at dinner … just good old fashioned conversation and looking at each other face to face.

27. Learn to cook. Love others through food.

28. There are no guarantees. You take what you’ve got and you do your best with it. Count your blessings.

29. Visit those who have invested in you and let them know they are appreciated.

30. Your work will be waiting for you the next day. Your family may not be.

31. Fall in love with someone who lets you be more of who you are, and do the same for them in return.

32. Get up. Dress up. Take pride in yourself. Have standards. Don’t wear sweat pants to the grocery store.

33. I have cultivated a beautiful, healthy friendship with chocolate. It understands me.

34. Pursue your passions. Make time for them. They will keep you fulfilled.

35. Getting lost in a good book at bedtime is the best reason to be tired in the morning.

36. I have accepted that I am not a punctual person. You should too. We will get along much better.

37. The world would be a better place if people would just smile more, hold the door for one another, and use turn signals.

38. Love wins.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sarah’s Prayer

There is another side to my story; one that forms from the very beginning of my existence to acceptance into this world. To truly understand adoption and the blessing it brings, you must also hear the other side of the story. I can never express the gratitude I have for my parents who prayed for me, accepted me, raised me and loved me in a way that never left me feeling alone. This part of the story is the second thread, knit together with the first, to create a beautiful tapestry of faith, through the love of two families. Here is Sarah’s Prayer.

Sarah sat in the new rocking chair looking out the picture window. She stared past her front yard, past the neighbor’s house across the street, and down the block, peering around the corner. She wasn’t looking for anything in particular. She was simply waiting. Waiting was something she had gotten very good at over the past five years. She learned to wait for disappointing test results. She learned to wait for discouraging doctor recommendations. Yet, through it all she learned to wait on God, for she knew there had to be a bigger plan.

Now, Sarah sits waiting again. She prays that this time the news might be worth the wait, the frustration, the heart break. It was only six months ago that she and Abe had been interviewed by the social worker. Sitting at the window on this crisp spring day, Sarah felt like it had been years. They filled out all the paperwork. Sarah meticulously inspected every document herself to be sure they left nothing out. She remembers how elated they both felt when their home inspection was approved and how they bought this rocking chair to celebrate, hoping one day soon to cradle a child in this same chair.

Sarah rocks back and forth. Abe paces. Their minds both replay the two previous phone calls. They held each other, sobbing, the day the first call came. The social worker told them a baby would soon be available for them to adopt – a little boy, blond hair, one month old, a good eater already according to his foster mother. Sarah and Abe were overjoyed anticipating the baby boy’s arrival in their home. Two weeks later a second call came. The birth parents changed their mind and refused to relinquish their rights to the baby boy. Sarah wept. She wept as though she had just lost her own child. Abe was stunned to silence. In time, both turned to God, placed the baby boy in His hands and prayed for the gift of a child.

Today, they wait together for the phone to ring, and when it finally does, they are both afraid to answer.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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