My “sister from another mother” Linda Vorgang has the words “Abundantly Blessed” as part of her email address. Today, I borrow those words from her, because I can’t think of any two words that better describe how I’ve felt for the last few weeks, and I don’t think Linda will mind my using it. Three weeks ago today on February 28th, I went to a concert at a church near our house to hear Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, a gospel group that my cousin Bonita is a member of. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert of amazing Negro spirituals and rousing songs of praise and left that church feeling inspired, uplifted and blessed!!
Since that night, I’ve been on the highest of highs enjoying some really nice accomplishments in my work life, fabulous time with Kendal, design time with a couple of my Lego projects, AND some amazing success with my book. In addition to teaching online, I even went back into the classroom this week for Webster University, a great school where I’ve taught for almost 18 years. It felt good to be back in the classroom “LIVE”, leading a discussion of brilliant men and women earning their Master’s Degrees in Business and Organizational Security Management. Teaching for four straight hours in the evening after working all day can really be tough, but it was exhilarating for me!
There were two significant highlights during this period and I’ve learned something from each one. We were fortunate to spend last Sunday afternoon with Kendal and took her to the Lego store in Tysons. I noticed something new about her right away. She was now talking in complete sentences!! Given that Kim was eight when we met, I haven’t been exposed to kids actually learning to talk. I took three books in the car for our trip to the mall. I showed her the first book to see if she wanted to read that one…. “No, no, no Grammy, not that one”. …. OK, on to the next book… The second book got a resounding “YES!” and she happily began making up her own events that went with the pictures in the book! When it started to rain later she said “it’s really raining out here!” WOW!! I was beyond myself with excitement!!! I already knew we are role models for our kids and grand kids, but being with Kendal and watching her change and grow right before our eyes has proven without a doubt for me that we are blessed to have her in our lives and we owe her OUR BEST every day! We pledge that she will get nothing less!!
The other highlight was my participation in the VA Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday. I was pretty nervous, because earlier this week it finally struck me that this event was a pretty big deal!! I was worried that I wouldn’t measure up in this group primarily made up of accomplished authors and academicians. BUT it worked out better than I could ever have imagined!! Our lively audience enjoyed each of us who presented, and asked thoughtful questions. I felt as if I really belonged in that group, and I was so proud of myself! I sold a few books as well, but for me, it was about the total experience of being with other authors, and enthusiastic readers too!! What a privilege for me!
As for the greatest blessing of all in the last three weeks, it was once again courtesy of Manor Care. I know that my motto this year has been No Expectations, but I truly had no more expectations of Manor Care after they purchased 500 books. Why would anyone think there’d be more?? But there was. Right after the Ministers of Music concert, my contact at Manor Care asked me if I’d be willing to travel and speak to Manor Care audiences!! What???? Really??? But of course I said YES! She said she’d get back to me with details, which we’ve worked out over the past 3 weeks. Because my book is in the Manor Care warehouse, people apparently want to meet me and hear me speak. Who knew? So I’m off in May on a mini book tour!! Woo Hoo!
I can’t end without mentioning that I’m also blessed by the fact that I’m married to a man who loves his spending time with his mother-in-law in spite of her dementia. He took her to an emergency dentist appointment on Thursday while I worked. It doesn’t get much better than that!!
This past year has been amazing, but the last few weeks have been almost overwhelming! I’m soaking it all in, and enjoying every minute of it, very mindful of the fact that I am indeed Abundantly Blessed and Beyond Grateful! As we go about Conquering Life, let’s all ensure that we have a great support system in good times and in bad!! My support system is incredible! Linda left me the most inspirational voicemail on Tuesday and my other “sister from another mother” Kris Lopez sent me the text message of all text messages this morning!
You can’t get through this life alone! I love my life, my family and my friends, and I wish for us all to be Abundantly Blessed!!
I love reading that, Abundantly Blessed. It just makes me feel good. Ret, you are abundantly blessed but because of what you do for others and how you treat others. Being a great friend, sister, co-worker, sister in faith, I cannot say that I have ever seen you be other than respectful, helpful, just in general a great person to those you meet, in 20+ years. You deserve to be Abundantly Blessed (as does your “sister from another Mother”, Linda). Anyone who has met you has also been blessed. You have always been a very productive person, more so than the average person I think. But you have never stopped there, you have always just kept going, doing more, always more. I am so proud of all you have done, all of your accomplishments. You have more than earned your blessings my friend, my sister.
Can’t believe we’ve been together 20 years. We’ve always said we’d grow old together, and with our kids!! Woo Hoo!! Still so much to look forward to in our lives!! I’m so blessed to know you too!! Thrilled that your original dislike for me all those years ago only lasted a few days!!!! It’s something we can always look back on and laugh!!! Love you my sister!!
Don’t know anyone who deserves the accolades more than you. You are definitely an inspirational soul, kind, loving, caring.
Thanks Carole!!! You’re the best!!!
Your words are so inspiring. I also feel so blessed being a part of your accomplishments. Stay strong and safe. I’m always on your side.