agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Holy Week: Tuesday 4/16/19–Will you “walk this week” with me?

(Two sisters and a stranger at a play area in town)

Sometimes our feet end up in an unexpected location. I didn’t plan to meet my grandchildren and daughter-in-law for breakfast this morning, but it was a nice surprise and change of pace.

While there, other children were playing, too. One, a little bit older, helped our little ones put their shoes on when it was time to go. I watched the interaction through a glass partition. I could see the kind body language, the thank you mouthed by my grandchild. The mutual smiles.

Kindness among strangers. Even young strangers…and that was a sweet moment to witness.

When was a stranger kind to you? Or you to them?

I hope you smiled, too. 🌟

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Palm Sunday 4/14/2019

A simple palm.

It’s not an object I think about much, but when this day rolls around each year, I have vivid and specific memories:

the man walking away in New Mexico last year, his back pocket filled with them…

the time several years ago my daughter quietly fashioned crosses out of them in the back pew of a church, to the delight of several people around her…

the reverent way my mom made sure every crucifix in the house was adorned with them…

…and today, my two granddaughters waving them at me as they greeted me at Mass. I was thinking I might hear en guard at any moment, but the novelty wore off quickly.

Small moments that last in the mind’s eye.

The realization that the small moments carry the sweetest stories.

There were successive small sweet moments at Mass today:

A slow hymn played and Emma began whimpering. She feels the music. She and her sister always have. This truth gives me insight into the kind of people they will grow to be…caring, aware, attuned.

Sofia spotted her beloved “Aunt Betty” on the way to communion and stopped to let her know. To greet her, smile at her, visibly be thrilled to see her. Then, tears when we were back in our seats…that last few minutes until she could see her again feeling like an eternity.

To love, to feel love like that. That.

Emma, age 2 1/2, leading me by the hand to light a candle. Waving to Jesus on the way, holding the long match and patiently (as possible…she’s 2) waiting for the flicker to become a flame. Sofia, 3 1/2, arrives just in time to assist.

Lots to think about on this day. It’s a day of anniversaries as well. My own life re-started thanks to skilled doctors and blood donors 28 years ago. I’ve witnessed an extra lifetime of small moments that I said thank you for again today. And… because life is this two sided coin… a life taken 7 years ago: my best friend lost to me and so many who loved her because a drunk made a terrible choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive.

So, a Palm Sunday candle is flickering in a century old church tonight with prayers of thanksgiving for a life spared and prayers of not knowing what words to say when a life is taken, so a tiny flame takes the place of the words.

I don’t have to have the words. Like two little girls remind me, my feelings are enough.

Sometimes, like the people in the Gospel narrative today, we are witnesses. Seeing all the things. Storing them in our hearts. Knowing that we each have a role to play on and off the page.

We enter Holy Week today…a week that I hope to continue some Lenten promises, spend some extra time in silence, and reflect on a lot of things. And hopefully, learn from the small moments and little children that the smallest acts of love and presence still matter the most.


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Friday’s Five –April 12, 2019

It wasn’t all good, dear readers. I don’t want to leave the impression here that everything is hunky-dory every day. 😜

Because you know…life. 😳

HOWEVER, I can generally find at a bare minimum five good things from the previous few days to share here. And, I did! Here they are:

people to encourage and pray for; someone needs your prayers;

red clover swaying on roadsides—I really must stop and get a picture ASAP;

drive-thru with a special sale price for what I actually planned to eat;

a hairdresser who knows without description what to do–even though said hairdresser sees hundreds of people—she still remembers;

Little hands placing little seeds in little cups and little voices saying I so ess-ited! Me too, loves. Me, too.

However your week went, it is likely there were bumpy places. Maybe they were really bad. I’m sorry if they were. Maybe they were just medium bad. Or slightly. But in every day and every circumstance, there is room for a genuine good.

Maybe it’s a hand clasped in yours. Maybe it’s a smile or nod when you really needed it. Maybe it’s a patch of clover on a roadside, or how the moon waits for you to look at it. Keep looking.

🌟


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Friday’s Five 4/5/2019

So much more than five good things this week…because we know we will find the good things when we look. And look, we must.

Birthdays 🎉 I celebrated well and felt much love and goodness from people who mean a great deal to me. Cards, texts, videos, messages. And a special toast with my son. 🍻

Children 👶🏼 I’ve seen my grandchildren this week, laughed with them, listened to them…the latest coined word is “flappers” (AKA flip flops) and I missed you. Oh my…that little sentence…

Clover ❤️ It is blooming garnet on the roadsides and brings my parents to mind. My father the farmer, and my mother the caretaker of photographing the beauty so we would always remember.

Mail 💌 I was a fortunate recipient of a lot of good messages this week. Is there anything nicer than getting real mail? It ranks way up there for me.

Candles 🕯 My daughter lit a candle for me in a church in Greece on my birthday. I lit one the same day in a park in a little town named Hope. My heart lifted with each strike of light.

So much more good, and I am acutely aware that the realization of seeing goodness is not common to all. So, I am grateful I see it.

I hope you do, too.


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Saturday’s Snapshot: Stop for a Sunset

Sometimes the simplest things give us the most joy.

From time to time, an old friend and I simply text one another a sunset pic. It is a tradition that evolved, like friendships do. That same friend celebrated with me tonight. We shared nachos and didn’t think too much about calories. We just enjoyed the delicious food.

Enjoying the moments we are given is important every day, but especially so in Lent.

It may be a time of fasting from some things, but I hope we never fast from seeing the joy in little things.


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Friday’s Five 3/29/19: Good Stuff

We are heading into my birthday week, and so I end this week with five good things from my last year…because as a treasured friend reminded me today Just think what all you have experienced on this trip around the sun. She’s right.

1. Friends like the one above, who remind me of the abundance of life.

2. A trip with my daughter to see places that five years ago, I never dreamed I’d see: Rome, Paris, Austria, Prague.

3. A fun photo and joyful in person message from my son that grand-baby three is on the way.

4. The part time jobs I have now that seem tailor made for my talents and abilities…dream jobs and supportive bosses.

5. Art and writing accomplishments–this year saw some new showings and an award 🥈, some new teaching and workshop opportunities, some new things to want to learn.

Abundance, for sure. It is good to take stock. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in the routine and sameness of life. Looking back is instructive.

May many more “good stuff” moments be around the corner.

For all of us. ✅✅✅✅✅


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Lent//Sunday 3//Free Pass Day

I’m still marveling that Sundays are “freebie” days during Lent. Ha.

Today I heard the hymn Lift High the Cross. It’s a favorite. Lit a candle with my grandchildren. Said a prayer. Several prayers.

Later, I ran into a former coworker while grocery shopping. We shared a strong bond for nine years, and today we share some of the same truths: we are both widows, both grandmothers, both loving our families and friends.

We didn’t see our path outlined, of course. We could not have predicted the dark days we’d see, or the luminous ones that came, too. But today, she stood in a grocery aisle, elegant as always and steadfast.

We caught each other up, and of course the main topic was family and friends.

And I thought I’m so glad I know this woman. I’m so glad there are people like her caring about others.

God gives us so many opportunities every single day to love one another. Even on freebie Lenten Sundays, He reminds me that some of His gifts (like friendship) continue for years and years. And, on this free pass day, I got to spend a few sweet minutes telling her I am thankful for her life.

I know this: I’m grateful every day, for every gift. Sunday included. ☺️