The Glass Half-full

(c) 2017 Linda M Rhinehart Neas


Today would have been my mother's 88th birthday. I began the day giving thanks for her and all the things that she taught me, knowingly as well as unknowingly. I have said many times that Momma put the "fun" in dysfunctional. The older I get the more I realize what a gift that was. 

You see, life was not easy for Momma or our family. There were multiple issues that constantly reared their ugly heads, sucking the joy out of life. However, Momma would do things during these dark times that showed us how to laugh in the face of adversity, grief, and pain.
  
For instance, I remember having a friend over for lunch when I was young. This had been planned for several days. However, Momma did have much in the house for food because Dad had not gotten paid. (I didn't know this until adulthood.) She never let on that there was an issue. Rather, she created a feast for me and my friend out of tomato soup, crackers with peanut butter and tea. What made it so special was that she served it on her best China. 
  
My friend and I felt so grown-up, we never thought twice about what we were eating, just that we had real China to eat off of with real napkins and tablecloth. For dessert, Momma cut up apples sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, served in delicate glass bowls. Queens should eat as well! 
  
The point I am trying to make is that when we view the glass half-full or look through lenses of rose, we are more able to cope. I realized this after my brother, father and mother died within two years. I was so full of grief. I wasn't going to celebrate Christmas, or my birthday or any other holiday that reminded me of the joy I once knew. Thankfully, a very wise friend snapped me out of my slump by reminding me of something my mother had said to her when she was in a similar situation. My friend had complained to my mother that she was sick of people sending your uplifting notes. 
  
Momma, wiser than I had ever realized, said, "Did you ever think that the notes have been prompted by your loved one? Don't you think he would want you to be happy?" Momma always believed in signs. She would think of someone she loved, see their name or something that person liked and she would become all happy. "They must be thinking of me," she would say. 
  
Today, as I thought of Momma and how much I missed her, I wanted to know she was with me. Suddenly, I had an urge to find the memorial candle that I made several years ago. I hadn't used or seen it in close to three years. Pulling it off the shelf, I immediately saw the yellow butterfly I had decoupaged to the glass. I wasn't consciously thinking of it and yet, here I was with a large yellow butterfly, my mother's symbol, in my hands. My mood instantly changed from one of sadness to one of great joy. I could feel my mother with me. 
  
May we all view the glass as half-full to overflowing. May we learn to see the signs that remind us of how much we are loved. May these moments mend our broken hearts and bring us peace. 
  
Blessings to all.

Read more about Positive Attitudes in this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/well/live/turning-negative-thinkers-into-positive-ones.html

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