As you may have read from a previous blog or FB posting, I’m in Washington with family due to my younger sisters’ sudden death. It has been tough but healing has begun. The light of day is again sneaking toward me as it becomes reassuring in its comfort.

While sitting in my daughters’ living room, I listen to the birds sing, watch the clouds dissipate into heaven or wherever they go and think about how quickly these days have rolled away. During this visit I have captured hugs, kisses, memories and lots of love from my family. Lives have been mended, stories have been told and misunderstandings forgiven. Sadly, it is often the tears of losing a loved one that seem to wash away the anger, drama or missed opportunities from prior years or perhaps even days. All I know is the essence of those around me will keep me going until the next visit.

As I feel myself wrapped comfortably in Jason’s (my daughters’ wonderful boyfriend…love you Jason) leather chair – one that I swear must have been made with me in mind – I watch the world go by, the view of our beautiful Puget Sound and sweet birds soothing my tired soul.

How is it I can love my life in Colorado and feel so at home but when I’m with my family – regardless of the rain – I feel at home here too? “Because you grew up there,” you say in response to this silly question I have posed. Yes, this has been my home for…let’s just say many years…my life echoing in the trees, water, grass and buildings structured to give us the comfort of living. But my home is now in Colorado – that is what I tell people when they ask where home is. But that isn’t it. I do love the weather in Colorado…lots of sunshine, as you know from my FB postings. Where my home is now, is wherever my husband is…because that is where my heart is. He is my protector, my laughter and my joy.

Regardless of arguments – we continue to grow and understand each other – it is with his love for me that I continue to grow as a person. I no longer look at others with an instant question of “what can I do for them” – instead I think to myself how blessed I am to enjoy their company…simply that. That may sound crass, but what I’m trying to say is I am a people pleaser…if I get a hint someone needs something I try to take care of it. And at times it has been at a bigger cost to me, financially, physically or emotionally.

I’m not a saint, or even a good person sometimes…so if this sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, I’m not. Let me explain – as a child we lived in a situation that created the “pleaser” in me. Always wanting to keep the peace at any cost. Survival became a daily chore to accomplish and therefore a need to do whatever it took to ease the guilt of being substandard in the eyes of many.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I never want to lose the ability to be sensitive to what others need – I just want to gain the balance needed to be good to others and to myself at the same time. I enjoy making people smile, but I too need the inner peace that radiates that I am also caring for myself…as selfish at that may sound.

Even though I sit and ponder life, the sweetness and blessings family add to our life…I will be glad to get home. Home to my husband, his quirky ways of showing his love and protectiveness over me and our home.

As a side note to this blog, I want to add that during our memorial service for my sister, her husband shared a tradition his family did every year during their July 4th celebration. They all stand in a circle and while holding hands they sing along with Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’. With tears of loss and of pride, we all joined in to continue this tradition in my sister Laurie Lee’s honor. As chills ran through me to the words of that beautiful song, I know Laurie was watching and smiling as she felt our love for her, how moved we were in our hearts and the pride we carry because we are blessed to be here…on solid ground. I hope, no matter where your home is, you are blessed to enjoy the liberties of a free country and are able to touch your toes and stand tall on your great land.