a beautiful Iris in a month with an R…

My word for this year is LEARN.  

So it just makes sense to use this Year of Sundays to reflect on 52 of my most significant Life Lessons.   Some may seem more significant than others, but each one has changed how I live my life in powerful way.   I’d love to hear if and how any of these same lessons have surfaced in the classroom of Your Life.

lesson47Not all signs are meant for me, but some are.  

Twelve years ago, my family stopped having oyster dressing on Thanksgiving.  I remember the conversation my mom, sister and I had in 2001 about leaving it off the menu.  I was disappointed, but relented.  I still miss it. No matter what other treasures are on my Thanksgiving plate, I always have a sense that something is missing.

I’m over it – almost.

For the past three years, I’ve shared my oyster-dressing-free-Thanksgiving with my mom in the beautifully decorated and love-filled dining room of the Senior Independent Living community where she lives.   This year, as I looked around the room, I tried to look at every face in that room.  Many of Mom’s friends also had adult children sharing Thanksgiving with them.   So there were a lot of happy people in that room.  The generous people who cooked and served our feast were also happy.  They seemed genuinely pleased to be serving us.  And I’m sure they were looking forward to how they’d celebrate when they got home.  

After our feast, I ran an errand for Mom.  While walking the aisles of the store, I noticed a lot of people who didn’t look so happy.  It’s easy to forget that not everyone has someplace to go where they’ll feel loved and served and celebrated. One of the not-so-happy people was a lady leaving the store just ahead of me.   When I asked if I could help her move her groceries into her trunk, she said, “Yes, if you’ll let me tell you a story.”  So after the the transfer was made and the cart returned, we sat on a bench.  Her name is Iris and she’s 92.  Then she told me me the story of her favorite Thanksgiving.  I won’t go into all of the details, except for one.  What made This Particular Thanksgiving so special to Iris was that it was when her grandmother taught her how to make oyster dressing.   And evey year since then, no.matter.what, she fixes oyster dressing.

We  hugged  before Iris went home to make her dressing and I went back to Mom’s to enjoy her stories.   The next day, on my way home from Mom’s, I got supplies to make oyster dressing, which I made almost immediately when I got home and enjoyed immensely.

I’m so thankful when I notice signs that ARE meant for me.

What great signs have you gotten lately? 

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7 thoughts on “a beautiful Iris in a month with an R…

  1. First—- I absolutely LOVE Iris, her story, and you for sharing the experience with us!

    Second—-the sign meant for me happened on Thanksgiving in the form of a the turkey. This was the first time I was cooking a big dinner for Calvin’s family (two of his daughters and their families, his mom and brother, his niece and her mom) and my daughter, her husband, and my grandson. It was a true blending of families and it was the first time I felt the kitchen in Calvin’s house (our home now) was mine, too!

    Because cooking area was limited, I cooked the turkey in a separate roaster…which must get a little warmer than a stove even though the temperature says the same thing. So, after cooking the turkey for the recommended time of 7 hours, when I went to take it out of the roaster, it started to fall off the bones. When actually put on the platter, it looked like it had already been picked….but it was tender and delicious.

    And the sign for me……Life isn’t about perfection. It is about not sweating the small stuff (and it’s MOSTLY small stuff) and embracing the love around me. After three years of “re-configuring” myself, I have realized life is about growing and accepting myself for what I am……imperfections and all. My turkey may not have been pretty, but it was very good! And there’s my sign…… the “heat” of the last three years may have left my outside a little odd looking, but the inside is perfect for me!!!!!

  2. Wonderful post Lisa… We really have to listen, watch, and observe with our ENTIRE being or we will often miss signs that are intended for us… My son Thomas, who has autism and is mostly/functionally non-verbal, listens and observes with his whole being (yes, including smells, textures, tastes, etc.). Thomas reminds me daily that us folks burdened with speech let our speaking get in the way of really LISTENING and OBSERVING everything around us. I suspect Thomas sees and senses a lot of signs that the rest of us miss.

  3. I love this post, Lisa…and I love oyster dressing! Coincidence? 🙂 An encounter with an elderly woman one Thanksgiving nine years ago was a sign for me also: it urged me to to say “yes” to a date with the man who’s now my husband. Thankful for signs…

  4. Judi, THANKS for sharing your beautiful turnkey sign re- minding us all of the perfection of IMperfection;

    Shay, THANKS for hating Thomas’ story with us and how is life is a sign that listening ican be SO much more generous than any verbal response;

    amen & rightbackatcha, Alicia and Kathleen;

    Pickett, SO gratefULL you paid attentiion to THAT sign.

    THANKS to you all for joining in here and in more private ways. you make this year of Learning even richer.

  5. Wonderful story, Lisa. You hadn’t told me this one. What an incredible moment with a lovely lady. And how wonderful of you to really listen.

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