All of it matters…every minute

Dear Beautiful Girl,

A lot of days can go by very quickly…days that turn to weeks, then weeks that turn to months…and of course, those months turn to years. But each day is made of minutes…..and those minutes really and truly are what make up a life.

Beautiful soul, how are you spending your minutes and your hours…and how is this creating your sacred and important life….this one beautiful life that you have to create?

We can spend each minute the same as we always have….which means creating days, weeks, months and years that will be like they always have been. The way we spend each minute and each day really adds up to how we spend our life.

So each minute matters. If we truly want things to change, dear friend….if we want a different life…we have to do something different with the minutes and the hours of our days. Sometimes we think it takes some kind of big dramatic change…when really it just means starting to do something small with our minutes….minutes that turn to hours….

A life changing decision can be made in minutes. The things it will take to sustain that decision will take minutes and more minutes. When we spend good minutes, and good hours….we have a good life. THAT is what makes a good life.

Your life is sacred and important….your time is sacred and important….your decisions are sacred and important.

May we all live as though our lives are sacred and important, and may we treat each other the same. It matters….all of it matters. YOU matter.

You are so very loved.
xoxo

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It’ll be easier this time….

Dear Frustrated Girl,

Things circle back around sometimes….things you think that you have worked through all the way…and when old lessons come back around sometimes we feel so many feelings of failure.

But this is just how it works, dear soul. We work through as much as we can…then it’s time to take a break from it all, digest it, let it soak in….let ourselves get used to the changes. Sometimes our soul work lets us take a break even when we are not done with it yet…and even though we might think we are done.

If something shows back up in your life, friend…please don’t let it scare you, haunt you or bring you shame. Just know that it must be time to heal a little bit more of it…to learn a little more…to let a little bit more go. Your soul is smart…and your body knows what it can handle. It’s okay if things get worked on a little bit at a time. Just because things circle back around, it doesn’t mean you are a failure…..it just means it’s time for the next lesson.

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And you can do it!! You are brave enough and smart enough. It will be easier this time because you know more than you did last time.

Let yourself begin again….give yourself some credit for how far you have already come….know that you are going to fly right through this and that you will be even smarter on the other side of it. You are doing a great job.

You are going to be okay…you are going to be amazing!

You are so very loved.
xoxo

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No matter how hard the winter is…

Dear Hopeful Girl,

Sometimes winter can last so long, or be so cold and dark and difficult that it seems like it will last forever. This is not just for the actual season of winter….but for the winters of our lives. You know….the times when things were very good and then it seemed as though they died.

Winter is a peculiar time, however….because there is so much going on that can not be seen. There is SO MUCH happening that is restorative and beautiful and lovely and important. So much happens in winter that is such a good example to all of us…and example of how we could live our lives by following the gift that is winter… (just as every season of the year, and every season of life is full of its own gifts) .

It is a time of rest for the plants and the animals…..and maybe just maybe, it is supposed to be a time of rest for us. It is a time when everything is restored and renewed and built back up to get ready for the hard work of spring…the renewal, the rebirth, the new life.

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What if we took it all into our own souls and had a time like this….a time that we give ourselves full permission to have? A time where we are simply restoring, resting, renewing and getting strong for what is to come?

Because no matter how hard the winter is….spring is going to come. No matter how dead the world may look…it is going to come back to life….as green and beautiful as ever. The sun is going to shine and everything is going to grow again….as soon as it is time.

Living in the hope of all of that is a happy place to be, and enjoying the seasons as they come is a happy place to be…..please live in that beautiful hope.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

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Show up just as you are…

Dear Perfectly Imperfect Girl,

How many things have we missed out on because we just couldn’t make ourselves show up the way we were looking or feeling? How many times have we sat on the sidelines because we felt like we weren’t just right to show up just as we are? (and we always figured the day would finally come when we felt like we could show up)

How many “as soon as…..” moments have we had? As soon as I lose weight I will………, as soon as I am in better shape I will………, as soon as I have the right clothes, or car, or neighborhood or degree……I will………

What if we loved ourselves enough to show up exactly as we are? What if we decided to do the things we want to do RIGHT NOW, and show up exactly as we are RIGHT NOW?


showup

Do we really think that the people we love, who are begging us to show up…..do we really think that they want us to wait until we feel like we are perfect? NOPE. The people who love us just want us to show up. They want to be with us. They want to make memories with us.

And……OUR SOULS have things that they want to do…things that we might do all alone, but that our souls don’t want us to wait for, sit out for or try to get in shape for.

Let’s love ourselves enough to show up just as we are. It is time to live, right now…today.

You are enough TODAY, and you are so very loved.
xoxo

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And guess what??? ….life goes on (even if WE don’t feel like we can)

Something that seems really super duper cruel when it feels like your own life is falling apart…is that all around you life is going on. And something that feels ultra super merciful and kind when your life feels like it is falling apart…is that life goes on. It depends on the moment and it depends on the circumstance. Either way….life goes on.

I love that. (and some days I sort of hate it)

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Life goes on after death, and life goes on during death. Life goes on after loss and during loss and before loss. Life goes on whether you are holding your breath and making deals and sleeping away the sorrow. Life just goes on. The weeds keep growing and the babies keep growing and the sun still comes up and goes down every day. The news comes on and people still post selfies and there are still sales all over town and people waiting in line for all sorts of stuff at all sorts of places……people are still singing along to the radio in their cars and people are still waiting for the bus on the street and people are still laughing at the movies and people are still falling in love……..no matter how much things have come to a total stop for us….life just keeps going on.

No matter what.

This is something that we can count on. It just is. Life will just keep going on. This means we can take a rest when we need to and things will still keep humming along. This means that the world is not going to fall apart without us. This means that there is a whole lot that keeps this world moving and we are so connected to everything else…..and that when it’s time, we will go on too. As soon as it is time.

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And it also means that we need to always remember that tomorrow the kids will be one day older…and while life is going on, they are suddenly 5 years older…and then 10. And sometimes life kept going on while we were busy figuring things out and one day we wake up and we have aged. It’s weird….and it’s awesome and it’s beautiful and it’s perfect and it’s tragic. But no matter what….it IS. Life goes on.

I have cried more in the last 3 months than in most of my life combined. I have cried every single day….about life going on and about life ending and then about life going on even though it ended. It is hard. It is hard to grasp and make sense of.

The same time my dad was dying, my daughter sent me the ultrasound photo of her new baby girl. While there was so much loss this year…..there was also baby Leo being born….and something wonderful about baby Leo is that he has absolutely no idea that ANYONE’S life is falling apart…he’s just a happy happy happy guy when he’s happy and he’s a hungry little guy when he’s hungry and a cranky little guy when he’s tired. He’s just living his life and loving it. Leo has been a lifesaver for about a million reasons. He got his first tooth, and he started crawling, and he learned to belly laugh, and he started eating food from his hand to his mouth. He says mama and dada and no.

He’s not old enough yet to have the mistaken belief that something can happen in life that is big enough for life to not be able to go on.

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Please don’t worry, dear friends. No matter what it is. Life goes on…….and even when it feels like it’s going on without you….it’s really just going on FOR YOU so that when you are ready, you’ll be able to jump on and go on too. Sometimes things happen that knock the wind out of us and we think we will never be able to go on…that life will not go on. SO MUCH GOOD is happening simultaneously….right alongside the tragedy, the trauma, the wars, the deaths, the terrorism. SO MUCH GOOD LIFE IS GOING ON ALL AROUND IT. Things are still being planted, and being born. Things are still growing. Things are still being built. People are in love. People are taking good care of each other. People are standing up for each other and protecting each other. Beautiful music is being made. Beautiful art is being made. Beautiful friendships are being made. People are seeing places for the first time. People are doing things for the first time. People are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and births. LIFE IS GOING ON. Really really really good stuff is going on. Life goes on……because people are awesome.

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And whenever we are ready…we can do all of that stuff too….because we are all awesome.

So when it feels like life cannot possibly go on….I promise you….life is still going on. For you. For me. For all of us.

We are all so very loved.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When beginning means doing things you don’t want to do…….

I woke up with a headache. It is January 2nd. I have to do some yucky, very painful stuff I don’t want to do today….at all. I am procrastinating. I just ate a 2 inch slice of cookie dough from the roll of cookie dough in the fridge that we didn’t use at Christmas time that we ran to the store to get so that we could have some kind of home baked goodies around here. It is pretty much the only food in the house right now. I stopped eating sugar and junk a long time ago and I have been doing a really good job. Today I ate cookie dough for breakfast. This year I think I already stink at beginnings. I don’t want to begin yet. I am procrastinating like a pro. I am sitting here in my bathrobe on the couch trying to motivate myself to go get dressed for what I have to do today.

But I’m going to show up where I need to do be today…and I’m going to do what I don’t want to do.

Right now I don’t know how to begin knowing who to be or what to be or what I want to work on next. Yesterday I didn’t care so much. I was just happy and made art and did what I do. I got up and I got dressed to look just like me and I went out and made art.

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I loved the whole day til late last night until I started thinking about what I have to do today.

Today I just feel raw and like I should really have a plan for this year that is amazing and earth shattering and incredible and compelling. I have always been so good at making big things happen. I got in the shower way after midnight last night and went to bed with wet hair….so my hair dried in the exact hairdo that reflects how I feel inside right now. Up in the air.

Last night I kissed my husband goodnight at 12:30 and he said he’s so happy that I made art all day…he’s so happy that I am happy. But I still don’t know who to be or what to be or what I want to work on next that is incredible and compelling and earth shattering.

I don’t want to do what I have to do today and I started dreading it yesterday so much that I went out to the art barn all by myself yesterday morning and I stayed out there and made art til almost midnight…even though it was so cold and I had to go outside to the woodpile every half hour to put more wood in the wood stove so it stayed warm enough to paint. I came inside when I was hungry and the only thing there was to eat was a big tub of cheese puffs from the teenage boy new year’s eve party the night before. I ate those for lunch. At about noon I decided I wanted paint a bird….to collage a bird. I started making patterned papers with the stamps I carved last month while I sat on the couch for days and cried. I never got around to that bird. I made lots of backgrounds for future paintings. That’s the best I could do yesterday to begin something. It was January 1 after all.

Then one of the backgrounds dried and I drew a face on it with charcoal.

Then I started collaging a blue hat on her……and one of the skinny scraps of blue paper fell on her face and looked like a big long tear streaming down her face….so I trimmed it a little….rounded it out….

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and 4 hours later…..she was this……

and I added 3 birds because I know we are never alone…even when we can’t see and hear and feel all of the love and support and truth that is all around us…it is still there.

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Life has been too full of too many things that I don’t want to do.

And way too many things happened that I didn’t want to happen.

And so many things didn’t happen that I sooooo desperately wanted to happen.

I almost turned in my brave girl card this year. I almost resigned. I didn’t feel very brave by the end of the year. I felt beat up. This year kinda broke me, it kicked me in the teeth and in the gut and then when I fell….it seems like it kept kicking. And I just wanted to hold my new grandson and eat chocolate and listen to spanish guitar music and look at pretty things on Pinterest…so I did.

Life has been too full of too many things that I don’t want to do.

And way too many things happened that I didn’t want to happen.

And so many things didn’t happen that I sooooo desperately wanted to happen.

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I don’t want my dad to be gone. It’s not even that I miss him all day long…it’s just that I don’t want him to NOT be 1 mile up the road to the left and then turn left and go 5 miles and turn right and it’s the first house on the left. I don’t want that option gone. I didn’t want him to die and I don’t want him to be gone.

I don’t want to go pick out his gravestone today. I just don’t.

I wanted last year to turn out so differently than it did. I didn’t want to find out that my husband has no memory of all of the things we need to heal from concerning his brain injury….I don’t want to be the only one holding 10 years of horrible and devastating memories. I just don’t.

I don’t want to be in this body that is still recovering from adrenal exhaustion and chronic hives and grief. I want to be in the body that I had 10 years ago. I don’t want to be 35 pounds overweight. I don’t want to have wrinkles. I didn’t want to age so much this year. I just didn’t.

It’s going to take so much time and so much work to get my body to the place I want it to be. I don’t want to do what it’s going to take to get back into shape.  I just don’t.

I am going to show up though. I don’t think anyone there starts out really wanting to do the things that have to be done to be able to begin. Beginning is hard. It just is. Beginning every day, again and again and again is even harder. Staying with the daily beginnings…..showing up to start again every day……..that is hard work.

But it’s where all of the good stuff is.

I hope today you will do something that you don’t want to do that has to be done….that you will begin but just getting up and being who you are…..

I am going to show up today and do something that I don’t want to do and I know for sure that when it is done….I will be so thankful and so glad that I did it. I would have so many regrets if I didn’t show up for it. My sisters are going too and I don’t think they really want to do it either…..and I know for sure that my mom doesn’t. But we are all going to show up.

Then I am going to go to the gym and I will know that there are a whole bunch of others in there who really didn’t want to show up. They just didn’t. They didn’t really want to begin. It’s too hard to begin sometimes. But we all gotta think about the reason we begin…it is so that we can get to  what’s on the other side of the beginning….getting there…and sometimes it’s just got to be enough that we are not where we used to be, even if we didn’t where we would end up when we began.

I’m going to keep showing up to my beautiful life and my beautiful marriage as it is TODAY and my beautiful self as she is today. I am going to keep showing up….even when I don’t want to.

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Will you be brave with me today? I’m going to get out of my bathrobe, I’m going to go make myself a green drink and drink a few glasses of water. I’m going to dress up and go look at gravestones that will have my parent’s names engraved in them. I’m going to show up for that….because it is important. I am going to do something that I really and truly and absolutely don’t want to do…..and that is how I will begin today.

For today….just begin.

xoxo

melody

The truth is that you are beloved

Dear Fabulous, Amazing, Terrific Girl,

Who was it that told you that you aren’t just right exactly as you are? Where did the belief come that you have to work extra hard to belong, to fit in and to be allowed to have peace in your heart about yourself? Who told you that you have to run faster and faster and faster and that you still might not make it to where you are going? Who told you that you need to change? Where did you get the message that you are a disappointment when you aren’t doing things perfectly?

Yes…there are voices screaming those messages all around us. But please, dear friend, please look at where those voices are coming from. Are they coming from mouths and hearts and souls who really know you and care about you? About YOU as an individual? Do those voices really even know you and who you are and what you are about?

One of the funny things about life is that we often believe the one negative voice that is surrounded by the hundreds of positive ones. Please believe the people who love you, the people who know you, the people who want what is best for you…..and let go of any other voices that don’t speak the truth. Even let go of the voices that speak the partial truth but then season it with a few painful jabs here and there that only cause discouragement and doubt. Stick to the truth.

Yes, stick to the truth. The truth is that you are beloved…and that there is nothing you have to do to earn that or to fight for it or to maintain it. You are beloved. Right here, right now. You always have been and you always will be….and that is something that you can count on.

Please believe it.
You are so very loved.
xoxo

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I used to think that EVERYONE was good…a story about the Grace Card and forgiveness

let's stop hurting each other

When I was a little girl…I was absolutely positive that EVERYONE is good. I have learned that this may be the source of my greatest heartbreaks in life. When my parents would try to teach me to stay away from danger…I just thought they were cynical….I figured there was no danger, just misunderstood people. I decided that I would make it sort of a life purpose to prove that everyone is good…even me.

forgiveWell, then I became an adult….and lots of things happened. I made a lot of mistakes…I saw a lot of things that jaded me. I experienced a lot of things that jaded me. For a while, I came to believe that maybe everyone was bad….including me.

That didn’t last for long…because who wants to go around thinking that everyone is bad?

monkey-hugging-bird

What did last, however….was a new “mature” belief that there are good people and there are bad people. Many a tear has been cried over trying to figure out what is good and what is bad and who is good and who is bad…..you know, all of that sorting that we spend so much of our life doing. The hardest part has been the tireless working to be able to deserve being in the good pile. I never knew if I made it or not…but man, I tried…I tried and I tried and I tried. I wanted to be in the good pile.

I was wrong

Even more exhausting has been trying to figure out what and who are in the bad pile. That feels so yucky…..so, what I learned to do is just hide out so I didn’t have to be judged and I didn’t have to do any judging either. I ran out of energy trying to be good all the time. I ran out of energy and endurance to try to do enough to make it every minute of every day into the good pile…..so I was sure that I was gonna be in the bad pile if I couldn’t work so hard to be in the good pile.

I hope you can forgive me

Here’s what I want you to know about this. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a place that I have not been able to sit for a very long time without feeling anguish and sadness and out of place feelings….somewhere that I used to feel very comfortable and is if I belong there….but then a place where I soon felt  jaded and maybe even tricked when I found out that maybe all of it could never possibly be in the good pile….including me.  I want you to think of being in a group where you haven’t felt comfortable and imagine yourself there. Maybe it is because you have unfinished business with the people, maybe it is because you have judged them to be in one pile or another, maybe it is because you feel that they have judged you. Well…..it occurred to me that I was there and I was feeling completely at ease and comfortable, happy and content and loving everyone in the room. I asked myself….”I wonder why I feel okay here now”….and the answer that came to me was……”I used to think that everyone was good…..and now I know better.”

Now…let me explain myself…..

There is just about nothing that causes me more pain than disappointing people…especially people I love and admire. But……I do it all the time. I find that I disappoint people pretty consistently…and it is because of the nature of my work and what I do, lots of people think that I am good, and that I am good all the time. I feel that I disappoint others with how very normal I am, how I greatly lack any superhuman powers, how unsocial I am much of the time, how unorganized and frazzled I can be…and forgetful……how I am not overjoyed and inspiring and vivacious and entertaining 100% of the time…in fact, not even 50% of the time. How tender my heart is and how I can’t really take a lot of negativity, drama or hustle and bustle and how those things kinda make me shut down and find the nearest hiding place. I am really just a normal girl trying to get through the day and trying to spread some light where there is darkness….I am madly in love with my family and my close friends and I love to create. I love to work. I love to make things pretty. I love to share what I know and what has been helpful and healing to me. I love humankind….so very much.  But I am no superhero.

I am not all good….but I am also not all bad. And sometimes, when we think someone is all good and we find out that they are not….we feel blindsided and let the pendulum swing completely the other way and think that they are all bad.

….and sometimes we want to punish them for that, and throw them in the bad pile…..because we might feel tricked or something…but then, looking back, they weren’t ever the ones who told us that they are in the good pile, we just put them there.

I have done it. I have had it done to me. I am done with all of it. We all have so much good and we also struggle with some things that may seem bad to others……when we put others on a pedestal that they never asked to be on, and then punish them for falling off of it….nobody wins…and it causes such tremendous pain for everyone involved. I think this is where forgiveness comes in….

If you think I am all good

What if there wasn’t a good pile or a bad pile? What if we all just gave each other a lifetime grace card like a dear friend actually gave to me…where she told me that she knows my heart, loves my heart, and not matter what mistakes I make, I am already forgiven…….do you know that I wept for hours after that? The relief of it?? What if we approached life KNOWING that everyone is going to make some big mistakes….and that when they did, they weren’t automatically going to get thrown out to the trash pile?

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Well, a few weeks ago…I decided that I am just going to give everyone a lifetime grace card. I can not tell you how the world has changed. It’s funny when we make shifts like this how we look around and think that everyone else has changed because of the enormous changes it makes in our lives…..but that all that has really happened is that we, ourselves have changed…we’ve changed our thoughts, changed our hearts and changed our minds. And…..all that time we were thinking that everyone else needs to change, it is really us that needed to change. THAT IS CALLED FREEDOM.

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This doesn’t mean that we have to have everyone in our lives. I have lived long enough to know that we are not all perfect matches for each other…in fact, sometimes we are a terrible match for someone else when where we are in our lives does not mix well with where they are in their lives…but we certainly don’t need to punish each other for that….or put each other into piles. It is okay when relationships are temporary or nonexistent. It is okay when we need to make strong boundaries to protect ourselves from weak spots that might get wounded. That is our responsibility and makes us responsible, healthy adults. Boundaries are good!

we are perfectly imperfect

None of us are all good and none of us are all bad…and here’s the thing………it is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER our job to decide what pile someone needs to go in anyway. (if those made up piles were even real) What a horrible, heavy, excruciating job that would be…so let’s stop doing it! I love God and I trust God and I know that God is the only one who knows every single thing….the rest of us just need to give each other a lifetime grace card….for our own happiness and health….and for world peace, for reals.

we are works in progress

I am going to ask you to please never believe that I am all good. (and I won’t believe that about you either)  And I am also going to ask you to please never believe that I am all bad. (and I won’t believe that about you either) I promise you that if you think I am all good, I will disappoint you. I don’t want to disappoint you ever, it hurts to disappoint!! I promise you that if you think that I am all bad, I am going to surprise you with the goodness that will come out of me from time to time. I am asking for a grace card. And….I am giving you one….a lifetime grace card.

Finally….I want to post something here that I also posted on my personal FB page, in case I missed anyone…and I really mean all of this….

I just want to say that if I have ever done anything to hurt you, I hope you can forgive me. And…I want you to know that no matter who you are and what we have been through together…I forgive you….and again, I hope you can forgive me. And I love you. And I will work very hard to do better. And I mean that. I think we all have missed out on a lot of wonderful times and wonderful years with people we love because of old grudges, etc. I am soooo done with that. (and lots of times we don’t even know about those old grudges so that is why I am posting this publicly) THAT is my Christmas wish….and my Christmas goal….and my life goal. -okay…onward. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 I love you heart

I forgive you

I hope you can forgive me

If there was one wish I could make…this would be it. That we do away with the piles and we just give each other some grace.

Sending you all SO MUCH LOVE and the courage to GO WHERE THE PEACE IS.

xoxoxoxo

melody

 

Let’s let others own their actions…

Dear Beautiful Souls….

The Holidays can be a rough time because they trigger so many emotions and memories….so many expectations that turn to disappointments.

If you find yourself being on the other side of behavior that feels mean or vindictive or harsh or defensive or argumentative…..try to remember to let others own their actions and their words. Sometimes things we do or say are triggers to other’s unhealed wounds….wounds that have nothing to do with us…but are simply unhealed….and often people will try to punish us for those wounds that were there long before we were…just because we may have innocently and unknowingly triggered those old wounds.

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So don’t get sucked into all of that, and instead just lovingly let others own their own stuff……and make sure you own yours too…..the key to soul freedom is to own your behavior, your reactions and your thoughts….and to let others own theirs.

LOVE AND JOY TO ALL OF YOU! Keep being brave!

xoxo
melody

 

 

So….we just lost our dad…and we want you to know him…….

Kathy and I are sisters….but we are only 2 siblings of 9. We have an incredible family and we all love each other very much.

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Almost a month ago, we lost our dad. We are heartbroken and it has been very hard to keep going while also grieving this enormous loss. We really want you to know him, though. He was fighting a tough battle that we thought he was going to win. We were able to sit with him for over 2 weeks in the hospital, where many beautiful, meaningful and sacred conversations took place….where we got to see even more of exactly who he is……..it has been a heartbreaking, devastating and also an absolutely amazing experience. He was too young to go….we weren’t  ready…and we will miss him so much….we will grieve his loss for the rest of our lives……but we would like to share with all of you who our father was….

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devoted to you

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I had the honor of writing his life sketch and speaking at his funeral. I will just copy and paste it here.  This is a real life hero…….

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Harold Johnson, born May 10, 1938 in Nampa Idaho

We have the great honor of giving you a few beautiful details about our dad’s life…who he was and what he did.

Our dad was so much more about who he was as a human being than what he did or what he collected or what he owned or what he acquired. We hope we can shed even a tiny spark of the huge light that he is.

Although he had many great successes throughout life, his heart was always in his relationships, his goal was always to show more love and acceptance to every human being he encountered and his actions always led toward optimism, happiness and gratitude, no matter what stage of life he was in.

We could tell you that when he was a boy his life was not easy, that he had to work for anything and everything because money was scarce and stability was not to be found….but what we would really want you to know is that he was a spectacularly brilliant, fun, optimistic, adventurous and hard working youngster with big dreams and that he didn’t let anything hold him back, bring him down or make him a cynic. 

It is true that when he was still a teenager, he wanted to enlist in the military but soon found out that he had a heart defect, which kept him from being able to live out that dream….and that he had one of the first open heart surgeries in the United States at only 19 years old as a young husband and father….

But what he would really want you to know about that is that when he met his beloved wife, Myrna Jean, and they were BOTH still teenagers….nothing mattered except for being with her….and that they sailed through that heart surgery together just like they did every other difficulty and trial in their life…and that as he was recovering from such a dramatic surgery at such a young age….he was actually focusing on his brand new son, Michael…and the life he wanted to build for his bride and his son….and soon his whole house full of children.

It is a fact that our dad worked very hard in trade school to become a journeyman electrician, and that he was a favorite to all of his teachers and employers…and that he would ride his motorcycle for miles and miles every day to make sure his employment would provide for his growing family…..

We know that he bought out his partner and owned his own business, a very successful business for a very long time. He was an exceptional employer and a well respected businessman in the community….

But the important thing about all of this that he would want you to know is that it doesn’t really matter what it takes to provide…that you just do whatever you can and you make the most of it…you show up to work with a smile on your face and you go the extra mile, do a throrough and quality job and don’t cut corners….you treat the people you meet along the way with fairness and respect and dignity, even love….that you should always go the extra mile for all of your customers.

…..then you come home and kiss your wife and play with your kids and that makes all of it worth it.

Our dad was a hard worker…he taught us to work hard through multitudes of home projects including an enormous floor to ceiling wall to wall rock fireplace in Mountain Home….a renovated camper project….Mike’s property 

Dad always had something going on and was always helping Mom to make something better or more beautiful….he taught us all to do that. He valued hard work….and he was always very busy….

But something else he taught us by example is that……no matter how busy you get…always make time for fun, and for music and make time to take your wife on a date every Friday night….make time to sit down and talk to your children and to somehow let each of them know that they are loved and that they are special and that they are seen. 

It is true that dad struggled with very difficult health problems all of his life. But, there’s not much he would want you to know about that…..

but what WE want you to know that there was never a day when we would hear him complain about it, or even mention it, no matter how much pain he was in, no matter how tired he was…and that he consistently showed up to his life with a smile, a joke, a song, a memory…..and a youthful heart that was always ready to make more memories, sing more songs and tell more jokes…..and that to the very end, he didn’t let his body keep him from living out his heart’s wishes….and that those wishes were always filled with love and fun.

sunglasses

towing grandkids 2

towing grandkids

barbershop

guitar

He could fix anything, he could figure anything out, he knew facts about just about everything….he is the smartest person we know. He loved history and he loved making his property as beautiful as possible. He had an award winning voice and he loved to play the guitar. He loved cars and loved his cars…he loved tinkering on them and making them even better than they were.

He LOVED singing in the barbershop quartets that he was a part of through all most all of his life….the quartets he was a part of were award winning and he loved to stand on stage with the men he loved to sing with in the competitions…….he loved singing with his sons and he loved singing with his wife. He loved to sing. 

You see, he was so good at so many things….

But the thing that he was very best at was loving….giving….and opening his strong arms to whoever needed that love. He gave the best hugs and the best advice. Though he was good at so very many things, the things he was legendary at were being the most devoted and in love husband to his wife, being the kind of father who believes in you, delights in you and roots you on every step of the way…..

the thing he was good at….was just being good….good to the core, MADE of goodness.

We asked his loved ones to give us some words to describe him, along with a few short sentences about him….here are a few of those…

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I will always remember his great harmony and wonderful tenor voice.

He was always cheerful and I loved to hear him laugh and tell stories.

I will be eternally greatful for his kindness and willingness to serve others and share his blessings.

He is genuine, loving, warm, selfless. My favorite memory has always been his warm greetings, how excited he was to see people and how welcoming he was. I always loved how he’d call out my name and give me a big huge hug, everytime we visited without fail. He gave the best hugs, the kind where he just held you so tight that you had to hold your breath for a while… I’m gonna miss those!

He is loving, Musical, Giving…..Uncle Harold taught me how to milk a goat, how to tie a neck tie and how to sing barbershop music….I’ll always remember how he trasnported me from Nampa to New Plymouth on his Honda, for those long weekends and vacations from school…..How I loved to spend time with him and his family…I always felt so loved and such a part of the family…Whenever I’m feeling down..I try to focus on those times…It makes me happy….

“What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” He sang every “part” perfectly and was an example of acting “well” even when he was sick or in pain. I was very touched to see him always show up to support family, no matter how far away, with all the problems he was facing.

Wise, Warm, Wonderful – the best example of a father, husband, son and uncle that I’ve ever known.

I remember how he and MynaJean took my mother and brothers and me into their family when we lived in New Plymouth. It was a difficult period but one of the most joy filled times of my early life. Motorcycle rides down the canal bank, his electricians truck parked in the driveway, singing mule skinner blues, and always, always so kind and gentle.

Harold is gracious, kind, and totally selfless. So Christ like. A wonderful brother in law. So loving. Such a good example. So musical. The list could go on and on.

He was pure, sincere and delightful beyond measure.

Harold was courageous, endured pain, loved his family a good father and husband. Harold had a passionate love for his family, friends,music, home, and especially for his beautiful Myrna Jean,… one Valentine’s Day they, unknowingly, bought the same beautiful card for each other. Harold moved me and my four little boys numerous times. Always there for us in our time of need He made our life fun,… filled it with guitar playing, foot-stomping, hilarious joke-telling times. I loved listening to the ‘Four Dad’s’ perform their beautiful harmonies…Harold, Chad, Scott and Bruce…they were so very special We followed their performances all over the valley. So thankful we had him in our family.

Dad was smart. He seemed to know how everything worked and what was wrong with anything that was broken. He could fix anything. He was also an inventor. How many cool things did he build with parts from broken machines? Remember that riding mower he souped up that would through the grass about 30 yards? Or the 3-wheeler he build out of 10-speeds and a rototiller engine? Awesome …

Gentle, light-hearted, genuine, a softie. Seems obvious, but I have really fond memories of singing with him or singing for him. Seemed like those singing times where the times when he would bust up laughing because someone got the words wrong or something and it just cracked him up. Oh and his jokes! So funny and usually took about 5 minutes to tell. What was the one about the dead horse in the bathtub? Anyone?

He believed in us. Each of us and our unique gifts and journeys. He would do whatever it took to help us out…. I totalled my first car and didn’t have insurance to cover its repairs, so he towed it back to Mtn Home and he and mom banged all the dents out of it and he fixed the mechanical issues and I had a car to drive again. He loved our mother. He sacrificed and worked so hard to support us…he did whatever it took to bring home a paycheck. He liked being with us. He loved to jam the whole family in the station wagon and take us for rides…generally the highlight of the ‘ride’ was a stop for DP. He was a friend magnet. Our back yard was frequently filled with friends with guitars on the weekends. He served on the school board at New Plymouth for a period of time. The president of the school board once commented that Harold didn’t speak often during their meetings, but when he did, everyone listened because what he said was so well thought out and wise. He was handsome as anything.

When I was about 6, Dad took me to DQ in Nampa on the tank of his Honda 750 and bought me my very own milkshake. Strawberry. I vividly remember that.

I remember riding on the tank and steve would ride behind your dad….Fun times! Especially when he would let me crank the throttle…

Dad was so intelligent. He was the one you went to when you wanted to know how something worked. I remember him reading to us at night – there was a period of time when he read to us every night, and that meant a lot to me. And of course the music – ingrained in my soul, I remember every note of the songs he sang with his buddies, and with Mom. Now I also know how strong he was, courageous, how much he loved life and Mom and his family. Laughter, motorcycles, jokes…loyalty, impeccable character, unfathomable love for so many – how was it that so many felt such deep love from him? He was a miracle, the face of Love – he showed us with his life what real love is. We are so lucky that he is our Dad.

He loved to tell a good joke – usually had a smile on his face, a true gentlemen, the brother my dad never had

loved him like my own dad – He was without guile, meek, humble and there was never a time I didn’t feel loved like a daughter by him. So filled with gratitude to be a part of his eternal family.

I remember his steady Christlike example and unfailing kindness to anyone and everyone he met. His capacity to love and serve was unmatched, always by the side of grandma. I attribute one of my greatest joys in life to his influence, that of music! How the choirs of heaven have been craving his presence!! His laugh and hugs will forever be impressed upon me. I love them and miss them so much. Grandpa I love you!

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We could go on for days and days with memories of our father, and each would point back to the quiet legendary hero that he was and is.

We had the great gift of being able to spend his last few weeks with him, sitting by his bedside both day and night. While in the beginning, we were all hopeful that he would regain his health and return home to continue on living this incredible life he has lived…..we were able to be with him when he found out that his earthly life was going to be over soon….

it was then that we were able to see more clearly than ever who he is and who he always has been…..

as he spent his last days speaking gratitude, kindness and love to his doctors, nurses and every person who came to visit….as he spoke the words “I love your mother so much” more times than we can count. As he told us that he would forever be our guardian angel…..as he courageously showed us how to wrap up a life well lived.

He is a legend.

He is an icon.

He is our hero.

We can’t wait to be with you again someday, Dad.

 

pitchfork

young with grandma