Archives for October 2013

Growing in Sharing!

 

Welcome to my blog!

My apologies for deserting it for so long!

As we get deeper into fall, nostalgia settles in for those long, bright,  hot summer days. I miss them. I look back to them and draw energy and light to help me deal with the pain in my heart.

My husband, my mother, and I left rather suddenly last July for Greece. We spent two months with our girls and their families, both in Athens and my hometown, Dimitsana, in Arcadia.

Dimitsana

Dimitsana

A difficult summer from many aspects! Bad economy…my daughter’s marriage that is no longer marriage, and …computer problems. For months now, nothing has been right. Life has been demanding our full attention; not just pulling our strings a bit but hitting us rather hard with thunderbolts, creating a heart -breaking turmoil for our whole family.   

I am not good sharing my pain and I took the easy way out. I “hid.” Thank God, FB stopped recognizing me. Thank God, my computer would conveniently die when I needed to be alone and  revive when I desperately needed a friend.
I could share with a handful of people, strangers or friends. I could not spend hours talking to TWs and other online friends, bringing them down with my troubles. Besides, I needed to be with my family and heal all of us.

 

Cannot help it! I am my parents’ child. I learned from them to believe that 

“My pain is mine, and my joy is to be shared.”

My siblings and I never heard them complain about their troubles; never did they burdened us with them. They did however pass the message to us that,

“difficulties are dealt better with patience, faith,
and trust.”

 

As I said, these past months have been going from crises to crises. We often thought we reached our rope’s end. As soon as we learned to deal with one thing, we found ourselves hanging from a cliff with no net beneath to catch us if we fell. Always, something more challenging demanded our attention. I guess that’s how Life goes: 

 “Teaching us lessons all the way to the end.”

 Even though not out of the woods yet, I am no longer hiding behind a wall. Seems just about all posts I read lately were about “Breaking walls.”  So I am here, out of my hiding place,  sharing…

 “Share with us your summer,”

wrote Christa Sterken in one FB thread.

I am sharing and it feels good!

Very cathartic! To use a Greek word!

Here is what else happened:

 

An eye infection kept me out of sorts and with only one eye for 3 days. This was not easy but  helped me realize that

 

I am blessed with two eyes, even if I need glasses to aid my vision.

For one full week, four generations were living under our roof! Fourteen people: My 93 year old mother, my husband and I, our two girls who live in Greece, our son’s wife, Lee, from Chicago, and her mother, our seven grandchildren!

 

Our summer’s highlight! A blessing and a joy, even though toward the end, high fevers, headaches, and cat allergies, affected some of the children.
Still, we were OK! Ecstatic that children and grandchildren rekindled family relationships!

 

The children from Chicago loved Dimitsana and  Spyros’   hometown. They spend  there a whole day, swimming in the pool, visiting with family and roaming around the village.
 

Our 13 year old grandson, from Chicago was invited to play with the local basketball team in a 3-game tournament, with players 18-25 years-old. Even though their team did not win, our Spyros played better than many of the other players and was cheered not just by the spectators but also by the players themselves.

Grandmotherly pride? You bet!

My daughter Maria’s pizza restaurant is beautiful!  Fits perfectly with the traditional architecture and style of the town. The food is truly great!

 We enjoyed her pizzas, soufflés, appetizers, and the spiced wine she makes herself.

 We also had a pick nick up in the mountains of Mainalon.  The roasted baby lamb with potatoes and the other delicacies we had prepared were mouth-watering. More so  under the shade of spruce and walnut trees and by a fresh water spring!
I missed though not been often enough in touch with my friends…Laura, Lotta, Anne, Kathleen, Kath, Joy, Shelley, Joan, Chris, Dane, Jon, Eric, Arlene, Anastacia, Lori, Christa, Maria, Bonny, and many others… Their soothing “voices” and loving words always ground me to my wise and patient self. I always feel better “talking” to them. I learned to count on their prayers and be grateful for them as I felt blessings coming back to me.

 

Even though tribulations shook us hard enough at times, we were doing a good job handling everything and supporting each other with grace. Our extended families often commented on how patiently and wisely we were handling Life and its difficulties.

 

 Through everything, I was, and still am, grateful for God’s blessings. Every time we were about to fall into despair, God never left us alone. Each and every time, an angel came to our aid. It’ s amazing how it never failed.

 

Truly, our miracles are many and much more vital and meaningful than our difficulties.

 

I suppose, more lessons are still needed on patience and acceptance, support and trust that things are as they should be, that when the time comes it will be better.

 
Through all this, and specifically in Greece, I made a point to look for blessings almost every moment…to feel and sent out love, to take advantage of wisdom and beauty, no matter where I find them. This has kept me going.

Short walks or rides in Arcadia during the summer, gave me a chance to get in touch with my self and nature and took my mind out of the troubles. I marveled at, and identified with, the beautiful mountains; at one point feeling bare yet strong as them, other times, green and sculpted by the hardships of Life.

 

No two mountain tops are similar, neither in shape or color, not in all Arcadia. Yet they are similar that they all bask in the sun and stand tall and unmovable against the winds, the torrents, and the snow.

I carry a mountain within and they carry me. They inspire and encourage me!

 When I felt low, sometimes reaching bottom, then I, somehow, found myself near a mountain valley. What a blessing that was as it reminded me that

 laying low leaves one open and receptive to nutrients… gifts that come to one who patiently and peacefully awaits for grace to trickle down from the highest points.

And people…instead of losing faith in them, giving them acceptance, a smile, a small gift, a kind word, they are ready to share even the little they have. Neighbors and people  showered us with the most sugary tomatoes, tender cucumbers and zucchini, young zucchini hearts and leaves, beautiful flowers and the most delicious figs, all from their gardens.

If I was still feeling tired and low by the end of the day, the spectacular sunsets enlightened my soul like nothing else, except, that is, my grandchildren who could be sweeter than honey…most of the time.
 

My sweetest Friends, old and new TRs, I am OK! Knowing I am blessed with great friends and the chance to get closer to many more is comforting and encouraging. A great responsibility, as well! Even if I am not present all the time, I appreciate and respect all of you, no matter where you are, no matter where your journey takes you.

I am better with one to one relationships. The Tribe is challenging, but I will do my best, especially when NaNoWriMo is over, to be more involved. Yes! I signed for it, with my own real name, as if I did not have enough to do. But,

 

“Challenges bring grown,”

 

and even though I walk my 68th year, I vow to keep growing.

 

Feel free to get personal with me, any time you want. I would love to know you better.  I am not good with technical stuff, but ask and if I can help, I will.

 My e-mail is katiakantzia@msn.com

Wishing you all a wonderful fall and all of God’s blessings!

 

Katina

 

Share in the comments how you deal with Life’s difficulties.