Friday, December 16, 2011

December 2011

December’s full moon is called The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon –During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

When I read this I thought about how a long dark night occurs this month along side the holidays…and the holidays are certainly long and dark for many people..especially now. Then of course, I thought of John and remembered a story that was told to me once. Apparently he was always late for everything and while people were waiting for him to show up they would be complaining about him…only to completely forget about it when he showed up…I was told…when John came…the party started! Now, the question is…how did that happen? What the heck did he do that caused that to be his moniker? I know his friends may be able to answer it better than I can because they witnessed it…but I think that his success with people was that he gave them 100% of his attention…if you were to see him at a party you knew he was just so interested in whoever he was talking to…after my parents 50th anniversary party he informed me that a friend of my fathers was a “home brewer” of beer…and I do think this was what got him going on that…because later on he joined the club that the man belonged to…he was the youngest member by a long shot…but he took from these people the love of brewing and a wealth of information (when he was old enough to enter a contest he won first prize …first time out of the gate!) 

John just was aware of the fact that other people have stuff to share…and it is so worth the effort to put yourself out there a little to find it out! He had to come into this life with this info…I certainly didn’t give that skill to him ( I knew that guy a long time and never knew that fact about him)… I think this skill of John’s created a person who everyone loved…because he would justify your existence by giving you all of himself…soooo… this month I thought it would be nice for us all to do the same…very difficult gift to give because many are so busy with lists and lists of “to dos”,  but, how about just doing simple things like looking into the eyes of a waitress or a clerk at the store when you shop and acknowledge them in some way…like looking into their eyes and saying thank you…so they know you really did mean it…We really don’t know what hardships others are carrying around…you may just be the one person who has been able to lift the spirits of another human…just by doing that…now that is a wonderful gift to give the world this month…and it costs nothing more than using your memory!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Full moon November 2011

Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

I think I have a perfect story for November…because it has to do with giving thanks. When John decided to give the band a shot they started touring the country and were asked to do a “show” at the studio of a web based radio station called WOXY. It was about to go off the air (but later saved and I think it still exist…but not sure because I don’t listen to music anymore) ..anyway,  John’s band was to be the last act to appear live. They did a few songs and then they were interviewed. We were so excited to be able to hear him do his first interview…it was cool to think that there were people outside of the family that thought the music was good…so we all gathered around the computer to hear it…and I was shocked to listen to some band member explain that they were shocked by the number of people who came to their shows…and then this little voice said “thank you though…thanks for coming”…and that little voice was John!!! My John, who was one of the smartest and most knowledgeable people on the planet …and his only contribution to the conversation was; “thank you for coming?’  I couldn’t believe that was all he could find to say…the kid who had his own cable TV show in High School, who went to the National History Fair Competition using a Beatles topic …couldn’t think of a music related comment?

When he came home from the tour I chuckled when I asked him what the heck was he thinking just thanking people for coming to the show and he looked at me and asked if that was a bad thing to say…I felt a little bad saying no, but couldn’t he think of more music related comments…and he just shrugged and let it go….

I have always felt badly about that…and …as usual he proved he knew better than I did about what was important in life…if I had to pick one constant comment made about him from others it would be that he was kind…he knew what was important to say…and today…I can not remember one single word from that interview…I only remember that he thanked his fans….and I know that they appreciated it too…because at least one kid came all the way from Ohio for his funeral….I bet he thanked that kid for coming to his show…and that kid thanked him in return ...kindness begets kindness.

So, this month…let’s all try to just thank people who are deserving and see what happens…You don’t have to be a the worlds smartest person or a great orator..just keep it simple…and be confident that when you are being kind…simple is truly best!!

Here is the link if you want to listen…it is a little funny once you hear the story.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 2011 Hunters Moon

Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – This full Moon is often referred to as the
Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native
Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling
from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for
the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late
September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that
come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of
winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special
honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western
and among many Native American tribes

It is curious that I would find that October is a harvest
moon because the story I am going to tell you today uses the medical term
“harvesting”, which to me is so gross but when you think about how a harvest
sustains people for a long winter and if crops were left in the field, they would
rot and not useful to anyone…so, taken in context of the greater is a
wonderful thing.

Now, to my story….My mom had to have a piece of her lung
removed and her doctor was the head of the transplant team at Brigham and
Women’s hospital in Boston. During
the intake he asked about her family and of course, she told the story of John.
About half way through the story the Doctor interrupted my mom and told her he
knew about John, and he finished the story…and then added that “your grandson
saved quite a few lives” because he was an organ donor. I knew this was true
because I took him to get his first drivers license and I know we discussed it,
there was no question in his mind that he would become a donor. Who knew …. Who
ever thinks….that when you discuss this with your 16 year old baby… it may
actually come to pass. Of course I didn’t know about it when he died because he
was a “grown up” and they would not have consulted me.

What I couldn’t figure out is how…John was in 50 degree
water for more than 24 hours! Well, my sister who is a nurse told me that he
was in the perfect medium to preserve things….again…who knew?

Naturally I had a little sob session when my mom told me
this story….I started to think how if John were still here I would ask him “are
you proud of yourself?” just as I had asked him one million times when he was
alive and did something he should be proud of…and I smiled…because I knew he
would be. I could even hear him as a toddler saying; ”I’m fwoud (proud) to you” when I did something he thought was great.

Then this morning, on the Today show, they interviewed a
bride who just received a heart transplant and she mentioned that if she got
the chance she would tell the family of the donor that part of their loved one
lives on and gets to experience all the things that she will experience in her
life… and I thought how much John would love that…to be experiencing millions
of new things…through as many people as he could…it is perfect for him….a dream
come true…and I smiled just thinking of it (for a change)

So…my message this month is to consider offering this chance
to do for others…I once didn’t want to donate my eyes until my husband
mentioned that my 20/400 vision was better than being blind…and just think
about what I am going to “see” when then are used by the next person!!! It
would be great if we could pass this idea on to other people…I never talk about
it because I do think it is a private issue…but maybe if people who are on the
fence (as I was about my eyes) may change their minds if they think about this
issue from the point of view of this story!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 2011 - Full Corn Moon

Full Corn Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon.

I have been asked twice in as many days what’s up with my full moon posts…I have been busy helping out with the babies and I just figured that I was a pest sending these things out every month…anyone who knows me is well aware that I struggle to do what I suggest in my Blog …John was my inspiration… when he died I would look back on his life and noticed that he did so many small acts of kindness for so many people…and he never looked for recognition for them…they were just a part of his personality. The fact that the world wasn’t going to continue to get the benefits of John seemed a shame to me…hence the Blog. When I first mentioned that I was considering this undertaking Lauren asked if I could think of enough stories about John to keep it going…and as those of you who knew him would agree…I can!!

The idea of this months blog came to me as I read the book Caleb’s Crossing which is about the Wampanoag Indians of Cape Cod. As I read I was reminded of a project Lauren was assigned in 3rd grade. She was to pick an Indian tribe to research and she picked the Wampanoag’s because we have a house in Mashpee; where they currently have a library etc. Well, at the time, it was impossible to get information that a third grader could read and comprehend so I got a book written for adults and every night I would read the story of the Wampanoag’s to the kids. At the time, John was in first grade and he would sit beside me on Lauren’s double bed listening to how the colonists tricked the Indians into giving up their land and how they used the laws of England to their advantage when dealing with the innocent and trusting tribe…I have to admit, it was interesting and very sad for me but the most poignant part of the story was when that little face looked up at me one night and said…”Mommy, I hate us!” He sat there listening for so many nights and got it…he knew that we were descendents of the group of people who moved into this country and just took over…using the land to suit our purpose…without any consideration for the original owners!!! I always loved the words he used…not having the vocabulary yet for anything more complicated…he said it all…simply and perfectly!

And that is my story…wouldn’t it be nice if people in power could use it for good…and not take advantage of a situation? It could be as easy as being patient with someone who was not as “quick” as you are…or a child sticking up for another who is bullied at school! The fact is when we have power we can and should be aware of it and try to use it as it was meant to be….so I thought it would be fun this month to be aware of the moments when we have been given power and try to use it to its best advantage…I think that we may all be surprised how often that we do have some power in life! So, win-win…we realize we do have some power and we use it for the better of all!! I know by my next blog John will be saying …I LOVE US!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Full Buck Moon

I am sorry I have been away for a few months …my daughter just had twins and I have been blessed to have the opportunity to help her out…but at my age it is a BIG job and every month I seem to loose track of time until the full moon is long gone. In fact, I might have missed it again had they had not mentioned it on the news .. Apparently it is the buck moon …because this is the month when bucks antlers begin to show…interesting don’t you think?

Now for the blog…my daughter named her son John after her brother but it is the baby girl Ginger, who looks so much like my John, it’s scary!! And she acts like him too…very alert but often fussy…(we used to call him “Cryin’ John Ryan”) … I naturally offer to take her when she is unhappy…I don’t really mind her crying the way I did his…I guess it is because now I know that it will end and she will turn out great.. I don’t have the “I am not a good enough mother thing” hanging over my head anymore.

Lauren paid me a tremendous complement the other day when she told me that when she is home with the twins by herself and they are both carrying on she copies the things she has seen me do with them…I only hope that she understands I was NOT like this when I was the mom…I was a nervous wreck ….and I was constantly wishing they would get a little older thinking that whatever was bugging me at the time would be better when they grew up a little…

Then….as I walked into the yarn shop the other day I overheard another mom complaining about her 23 year old son…he was driving around in an unregistered car even though the mom had told him to get it rectified for weeks!!! She was so frustrated with him…but you could still hear the love in her voice. … and it brought me right back…back to the days that I was that mom…going to the bank to cover John’s overdrafts….putting in an extra $50.00 to give him a cushion and having the teller tell me that wasn’t even going to cover his fees….and calling to yell at him to tell me when he was getting low on funds so we can avoid those crazy fees!!!

Naturally I told her my story…how great he turned out in spite of all his little quirks…I told her that her son would be fine too…and I told her how much I wish I could have him back to yell at…how much I wish I could have my life back…

And then it hit me…we all spend too much time wishing our life away…can’t wait until my baby can sleep all night, or drive himself to baseball practice…on and on…when we should be stopping to think that tomorrow may never come to us…today may be all we have…and today IS great…especially when you are looking back… message to you this month is to take minute to stop this month and appreciate your life as it is today…and believe it is good, because it probably is good..Certainly better than the alternative!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Full Moon

When the super perigee moon hits the sky, like a big pizza pie, that's amore.

Check out the full moon this evening--it could be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual. Why, you ask…well, the moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth; when the moon seems big, as it will tonight, it's on the “perigee” side and about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at any other time.

So what makes tonight special? "The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee--a near-perfect coincidence that happens only every 18 years or so," says Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The best time to view the moon will be at about sunset. There's an illusion during a low-hanging moon that makes it seem larger when seen behind trees and buildings. Despite seeming so near, our closest neighbor in space will still be 221,000 miles away!

Naturally when I found out about the big moon today I felt I had to spend the time talking about how John was “bigger than life”…and he was…at least to me. I thought to myself how the heck am I going to write about this theme without it sounding like I am just being his mom? What would be my message here? I went over my notes (I write things down when they come to me for fear I may be stranded someday on the full moon) …but as has been the case in every single month since I began this blog… a thought just came to me…

I told you the story of the girl who went to school with John who dreamt about him the night she found out she was pregnant with her son…how he came to her and told her that her little boy was for her. Well, last month another one of his friends from high school emailed me to tell me of a dream she had of him and how it has helped her deal with her fathers terminal illness…She told me that previous to her dream she had been just so “devastated” by her situation…and after her dream and visit with John she awoke and was calm for the first time in quite a while.

I like to think that John can, and does visit people who he knew (just wish he would come to his own house once in a while). Anything that keeps him alive for me is what I choose to believe…

But then I really started thinking about this particular story and the pattern that was developing … I realized the power he had…and still has … to help people. After all this time… these kids went to high school with John, they have lived for many years and had many experiences since 2004! They have certainly met other people who have no doubt loved and cared for them…yet, they chose (or allowed their subconscious to choose) John to be the person who could give them the peace they needed it…..It is amazing when you really think of it that way.…Big…like the moon, and powerful..

Naturally, I wondered if anyone would ever dream of me when they needed comforting….

Alright….to be honest, I only spent one second on that thought…I knew immediately no one would ever dream of me when they needed comfort! Who am I kidding?? I can barely take care of myself never mind being there for others…but I feel bad about that…and I wonder how do you get there? What qualities do you need that would make someone call on YOU in a dream to help them? I really don’t know, but John apparently did, and that is really something special.

So tonight, be sure to spend a minute looking at that great big moon and try to think of just one thing you can do to get to be the person people dream of when they are in need…because in the world we live today…that is a Big and Powerful gift to give to each other.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Februrary 2011

This month I found interesting new names for the February Full Moon...Apparently various American Indian tribes had different names as did the Colonialists themselves! Clearly they had winters like the one we have had this year...

Colonial moon - trappers moon
Cherokee Indians - bony moon
Choctaw Indians - famine moon
Dakota Sioux - moon when trees pop

We would have fit right in with the Sioux this year because during the first storm in December a big tree fell on John's Jeep and totaled it..Oddly, it was one of the tress that his tree house was built on! It took my husband a whole month to let it actually sat in the garage for all the other storms so it wouldn't get snow in it (the tree feel right where the roof meets the windshield) I don't know what was see it every day with the smashed in windshield or to not see it in the driveway when I come home from work! Just another little piece of him that is gone..I am so glad that he lives on through all his many, many incredible friends! I hang on to that and every time I hear from one of you I am so thankful I could cry!

This leads me to this months blog..I happened to be watching TV just before Valentines Day and saw the add for Hallmark that advertised "I love us" and I thought about something Lauren constantly says about her life with John...and it was just that ...she has said time and time again..."I loved us"..and she says it in a way that makes me think that she can't believe that it was taken away from she always knew that what they had was special...she appreciated it and didn't need it to be gone to realize it...she just knew...always

Lauren and her husband are expecting twins in May and the first thing she said to me when she found out that they are having a boy and a girl was "Mom, I think that John is telling me that he liked us too" I know she misses him every day just as I do..he would have been such a funny uncle!!! Sometimes I think maybe a little too "funny"...(anyone who had him for a camp counselor or babysitter will surely agree and probably share...something I am almost afraid to hear about!!)

But that is just what was so special about him..he always gave you a memory..good or bad (funny that now I even think he was kinda funny when he was bad..I think I realize he was just being a kid..and when I think of the adult he became I know that the little mistakes he made along the way were the moments we would all laugh about later in life .. and how wonderful it is to have them ..and how badly I wish he were here to laugh along with us hear his perspective on those listen to him tell the stories from his interesting perspective and Lauren from hers...telling me what a crazy mother I was or reminding me when I overacted to something...etc..etc. I am SURE they would be able to go on and on....

I know that is what Lauren misses the most ..having the other piece of her childhood...the one who could fill in the names or places or dates ..who lived her life with her..and that is what I wish for you this month..I hope you can take a second to say " I love us" as you think of your family and friends..reflect on how lucky you are to have each is a very precious and fragile gift that has been given to you and can be just as quickly taken away...and maybe take a moment to tell those you love just that...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Snow Moon

Only a few Indian tribes called the January full moon the Snow Moon ...most used it in February... but I think that if they had a January like this one...Snow Moon would have been used!
I am going to tell you a funny story about John and snow...
He was the WORST worker around the house...I couldn't get him to do things and once he was finally helping out he would find countless ways to get out of it...bathroom breaks went on forever..etc... he was so frustrating and I felt so bad for his sister who was the opposite..never had to ask her to help and she would stick it out til the job was finished, never even complaining that he was slacker. Well, to get around it on snow days I would tell them that one had to shovel the back walk and the other one shoveled the front, and first out could pick.... I figured it would reward the hard worker and hopefully motivate the other...
didn't work....
he didn't give a fig and therefore was always stuck with the worst job...but he just took the hit (but still needed lots of prompts to get going) The only part of this plan that worked was that I think Lauren may have felt rewarded for a change...but John just didn't care...he was attention was always somewhere retrospect...probably on more important things in life.
Which leads me to the message of the month...try to look past the pieces of your life that you currently think are SO important and look at the big picture of what is really and truly worthwhile.
Good luck with is hard...I don't know how he did it...I sometimes this he came into this life knowing it... because he never spoke of it...he just moved through life doing it...and I wish I realized it when I could have talked to him about I just have to hope I am doing it right...
one thing I do know is he was happier than most of us...and content...and I think that if we spend a little time every day thinking of what is really important to us and focusing on it we may find we are too..
good luck and try to enjoy the snow or at least laugh when you think of him shoveling!