*Today Mom would have turned 87 years old. But she was not here with us to celebrate. But she was here in spirit as Bill, Christy and I spent the afternoon together celebrating Mom. When people would ask me how it was throughout the Christmas holidays without Mom being there, I would often answer that there were some hard moments, but, overall, it wasn’t too bad because I was surrounded by my loving family members who helped the time be one of healing instead of constant. Last week when I realized Mom’s birthday was coming up, and that it could be a hard day for all of us, I asked my siblings if they would like to have an sibling out together and go to lunch to celebrate Mom’s birthday and raise a toast in her honor. They both agreed. And it was a wonderful day being with my siblings, sharing stories about Mom, and being with two wonderful people who I love, and who I know love me as well. We went to Coeur d’Alene and had lunch at The Daft Badger, an establishment owned by a friend of Bills. Then we went to Calypso Coffee to finish our afternoon with cups of coffee and more conversation. It was the perfect way to spend the day.
*Last week I had taken the chicken bones from the chicken I had prepared for Christy’s birthday dinner and made a chicken broth in the Crockpot that took about a week. The broth had been sitting in the refrigerator this week, and it was time to make some chicken noodle soup. I went to Yokes and bought some chicken breasts to cook so I could add chunks of chicken to the soup. As I added cut up carrots, celery and onions to the broth to cook and simmer, I made some noodle dough, rolled it out, cut it up, and dropped the noodles into the soup. I made these noodles a month or two ago, and I love how easy it is to make noodles for soup. The soup was absolutely delicious. Homemade broth and homemade noodles add a depth and texture to the soup that really make eating it something special.
*I started writing Gathering Graces on January 16, 2017. My first entry reflected on how I came up with the name, and reflected on what happened in my life on 1/15/2017. I had no idea what a journey this daily writing would take me when I started it a year ago. Writing my daily Gathering Graces help me look at the little things in life that make it wonderful. It helped me work through caring for an ailing mother. It helped me deal with grief once that ailing mother passed away. It helped chronicle my trip to Italy. It helped me realize that what I share, especially about caring for Mom, really helped others who are going through, or anticipate going through something similar. But I also draw strength from the conversations, comments and messages people send me regarding what I write each day. And, for me, it has kept me consistently writing on a daily basis. As I look what I originally wrote as my purpose for writing my daily Gathering Graces, I believe I have fulfilled what I set out to do...
That is what I am going to attempt to do from now on to keep a track for me personally the wonderful things that happen in my life on a daily basis, and to make these things a part of my family and friends near and far who may want a glimpse into my daily life, as I similarly get a glimpse into my brother's daily life.
As I looked at the word "Grace" it fits so well with what I want to share. As a Christian, God granted me grace by redeeming my life from sin. We can say "Grace" before a meal to give thanks. We say someone has grace if they have seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form or proportion.
Grace is also synonymous with mercy, kindness, and goodwill.
In Greek mythology, a Charis, or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from youngest to oldest is Aglaea (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth) and Thalia (Good Cheer). In Roman mythology, they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces".