Susan Butterworth. HeartHeels. Taking up my Mat feature image
Life
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Taking up my mat and walking again!

I want to dedicate this post to my sons Ben and Andy who have shown great courage in living with hope in spite of losing their father thirteen years ago to a massive heart attack during a basketball game at their school during a scrimmage with other boys. Watching them rise up and walk again has inspired me to share pieces of this incredible journey with others. While the road has been rocky, it has also given us new ways to keep on going!

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Backyard Party Setting
Inspiration
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Mothering Love in One Another

This day when we celebrate our mothers, I am grateful for the lessons in love that my mother taught me.  Although my mother died 14 years ago, her compassion for others lives deep within me.  There have been times since her death that I’ve been paralyzed by the sadness of losing her.  Seeing people seek the perfect gift for their mothers melts those tears that I think have been neatly tucked away.  As I wipe away the salty tears with my hands, I recall the greatest gift of love given to me by my mother is always with me.  Remembering her unconditional love enables me to reach out to others in like manner.  The courage that it takes to live fully again after loss takes time, but the treasures of giving ourselves over to loving others will far surpass any gift we seek to purchase in a market or store.

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Dog In Park
Blogging, Creative, Life
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Signs of Spring Signal Season of Remembrance

Lately my heart has been heavy with the weight of the anniversary of my husband’s death less than a month away. Even though it’s been 13 years since he so suddenly left us with a fatal heart attack while playing basketball with our son Andy, the budding blossoms of trees, shrubs, and flowers usher in my melancholy and deep yearning for the life we shared as a couple. That fated morning started like any other warm spring day with white pedals bursting forth on the dogwood trees surrounding our home, birds singing, mowers humming in the neighborhood, coffee brewing, newspaper spreading out on the kitchen counter, kids rushing to get showers and dress for school, bees buzzing, dogs barking in the distance, flag flapping in the breeze over the front door, white puffy clouds darting across the blue sky…. but ended in the deafening sounds of emergency vehicles summoned to the gym where David collapsed to the brown rubbery floor with young sweaty boys including Andy watching hopelessly for signs of movement in his lifeless body. It’s a day forever etched in our memories filled with echoes of sirens signaling in a shift in our view of this season of spring!

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Inspiration
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Heart Mending at the Lake

Sitting by water helps me feel closer to my husband David who died years ago. I will often go to the lake that was behind the last house we lived in with our children before he died. I’ll walk my dog around and around the lake remembering what it was like before he died.

If I use my imagination while I’m circling the lake, I can almost believe that he’s just away on a trip and will be home when I get back from my walk. I often walked to get my thoughts straight so that I could work on a writing project for my graduate degree. He would encourage me to take my time; he’d fix dinner on the grill.  It was always nice to come home and smell the aroma of burgers on the grill. I would usually hear the basketball bouncing as Andy was practicing his shots at our new Gorilla Goal. Our golden retriever puppy would start getting excited just like me and tug hard to get me moving faster to see them. We would bound up the driveway and find them sitting at the patio table near the grill just enjoying the sunset and talking about basketball.

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Life
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Birthdays and Joy

Birthdays have always been important to me. I look forward to each one with anticipation and excitement. My fortieth birthday happened to fall on the day that my uncle’s funeral was to take place.  Even though attending his service was hard, I knew that his life would be celebrated which is part of what we do on our own birthdays.  He lived a good life of eighty years in spite of being both physically and mentally handicapped. His speech was often difficult to comprehend, but I was always able to understand him when he said, “I love you.”  His love for a full church and me spoke to his kindness. Being with family and friends who loved my uncle’s sweetness in no way dampened my spirits on this special day of my own birth.

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