Tag Archives: birthday

Selfie Request!

This crazy life of mine has left the creative well so dry that I have ignored my blog far too long. I miss it – the writing, the friendships, the community of it all.

After almost 9 solid months in the hospital, since June 22, 2013, with only a brief break in December, my husband finally came home in late March. Since then, we focused on his on-going care and my work, with little energy for anything more than those. Things were buzzing along reasonably well until two weeks ago, when he was readmitted to the hospital. He’s just beginning to heal after surgery yesterday, but once again it will be a challenging and long road.

This is one of our hospital selfies from around his birthday this time last year:


We couldn’t do this without tremendous support from family and friends, near and far. It really does take a village. And sometimes we request strange things from our fellow villagers……..

My husband, Patrick, has a birthday on Tuesday, Aug. 12. Since this will be his second birthday in a row in the hospital, I hit up family and friends to send along birthday cards to fill his room with even more goodness and love. His sister had the great idea of starting a “Send Patrick a Happy Birthday Selfie” campaign.

So, if you’re so inclined, please take a picture of yourself holding up a “Happy Birthday, Patrick!” sign and either email it to me here on the blog (kachlynda at gmail dot com) or post to twitter with the hashtag #happybirthdaypatrick and/or tag me (@kachlynda). We’ll make sure he sees them!


And I hope to be back here again soon.


Filed under Life

Monday Moments: Plus One

My second birthday

Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again. ~ Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Yesterday was my birthday. Unlike last year’s weekend full of celebration, this year was spent far more quietly. In part, the quiet was because I had surgery last Monday, the second one on my hand, so my energy level is still rather low. But also, I think, because I needed to take some time to settle in to another “plus-one” birthday.

Last year was one of those milestone birthdays, you know the kind – the ones ending in a 5 or 0 that mark the passing of a set of years we’d often rather not remember. This one, then, was just that birthday plus one….. where you can still sort of fudge on check-boxes and forms about which age bracket you really belong in.

But also because of the strange path the year since last birthday travelled, it seemed somehow more important to reflect than have a party, to contemplate rather than out-right celebrate. Oh, my husband ensured that good times were had, as he lured me out of my inclination to be a cave-dweller and wish my hand better, taking me out into the sunshine for a day of his company. He knew far better than I that a day of laughter would do more healing than any magical thinking blowing out a candle might accomplish. So off we went to a favorite place for brunch and a bit of silliness at a local science museum. A much-needed day of laughter and joy. And of remembering why I am fortunate to have good friends and family so much a part of my life. You are the gifts in my life, and each conversation or connection is a present I cherish. So thanks for being a part of my world.

And there is reason to celebrate in addition to turning another plus-one. The surgery last Monday seems to have done some good and I am regaining significant use in the finger that proved so troublesome after the previous surgery. My fantastic surgeon and physical therapy team are on me, with therapy every day, to ensure it stays functioning and gets even better as the healing progresses. Amen to that!

So I laughed my way through my birthday, fondly remembering other celebrations from birthdays past – including my mother’s amazing ability to surprise me with a party even when I thought I was on to her.

Birthdays are special, even the plus-one days.

What’s your favorite birthday to remember?


Filed under Life

Monday Moments: Blogoversary!

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it. ~From the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Isn’t that the truth? The old adage that “time flies” really does hold true.

One of the guys that works in the same building I do once spent part of a lunch-hour explaining his theory of time and relativity to me. He thinks the passage of time is all a matter of fractions. His theory goes something like this. When you’re four or five, you haven’t lived a long time. The events in your life seem easy to remember because at that point in your life, they take up a larger percentage of that time. A year can be one-fourth or one-fifth of everything you’ve known. Even at ten, a whole year only takes up one-tenth of your entire life. That’s a goodly amount. Once you get into your thirties, forties and beyond, the percentages sky-rocket. At forty, for example, one year of your life is really only one-fortieth of your existence.

Now I’ve never been a math-wizard, and especially with fractions or story problems, but he made a certain kind of sense. Maybe time flies because there is always more to remember, to add to our memory.

It’s hard to believe that this past weekend marked the first anniversary of Second Memory — a blogoversary! The past year has indeed gone by quite quickly.

And with that celebration in mind, there’s no better time to say “Thanks!” to all of you. Whether you have read just a few words, several posts, or been around since the beginning. Whether you lurk or comment. Whether we’ve gotten to know each other or will likely never meet at all.

You’ve given of your time, you’ve spent moments here with me, you’ve taken time to comment or email, tweet or post on Facebook. And for each of those things, but especially for choosing to spend a bit of your time here on the blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve made this year a fun experience, and I look forward to another year.

So for your Monday Moment this week, pick up something a little sweet and join the celebration!

And thanks, so much, for stopping by.


Filed under Monday Moments


You know when you have found your prince because you not only have a smile on your face but in your heart as well.  ~Author Unknown

How could you not love that face? If you’ve noodled your way around my blog, you’ve read some about my family. But I’ve neglected introducing one of its most important members, and there is no better time to correct that omission than on his birthday. So, I’d like to indulge for a bit and introduce you to the love of my life – my husband, Patrick.

That’s him, up there, as a little sprite. But those big blue eyes and cheeky grin are two of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Plus he’s intelligent, charming, sweet, and –as my mother would say– an all-around good egg. He’s far and away the kindest person I’ve ever met.

As I’ve gone through another round of family photographs, I’ve found a mix of pictures of him, so I thought I’d share some here, with his permission, of course, to celebrate his birthday.

And to round out the week of McCartney/Beatle references…. there’s just something in the way he moves……

*soft sigh*

In front of his house before heading off to school
Happy 14th Birthday!
His first computer, a Commodore 64….
Rocking the hat – Welcome to the ’80s!
With his kid sister, Joanne.
With Joanne on her wedding day
We surprised him with a party on his 40th birthday!

The birthday man and his mother

He’s a Mac guy from way back, so the chance to get a “Mac & PC” picture was irresistible!
Letting ladybugs loose in the hydroponic gardens during the “Behind the Seeds” tour at Epcot’s The Land.
One of my favorite recent pictures, just before dinner out with some good friends.
At one of his favorite places, with the Mouse in Charge!

Happy Birthday, Handsome Man!

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Filed under Life

My Forever Garden

Portrait of My Mother

My Mother, circa 1943-1944

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.”
–Alfred Lord Tennyson

Last Friday, February 25, was my mother’s birthday.  It has been just shy of sixteen years since I’ve seen her.  One of the many things I’ve grown to admire about her since losing her so many years ago was the fact that she not only loved life, but lived it –truly lived it– every moment of every day.  Even while dying.

During the last two years of her life, the longest period of time she was out of the hospital on any given occasion was about ten days.  But despite sometimes intense pain and inordinate frustration, she rarely lost her good humor and never, ever, lost her kind heart.

One of her most memorable characteristics was her ability to give freely of herself.  Just for the pleasure of giving.  She never looked for a return, a gift back, or even a thank-you.  She gave because it made her heart happy.   Every hospital stay, and there were many over the years, ended the same way.  The day prior to her release, she would remind whichever of her children was coming to drive her home to bring “just a few pieces” of her hand-painted china.  Painting was a talent she discovered somewhat late in her life, when she had moved on from wood-fiber flower-making and after her love affair with making jewelry.  The family garage morphed into an artist’s studio, complete with a large kiln, room for plenty of inventory, and eventually, a teaching space for her “Tuesday girls” to come share their talents and learn from her.  So we would run to her studio the next morning, gather a box full of her painted wares, and head to the hospital.  Every nurse, every doctor, every floor-mopper, every blood-draw tech, and every roommate received a piece she had painted, her way of saying thanks for their kindness, even when she didn’t really believe they had been very kind.  Even the woman she nicknamed “Nurse Ratched” for banning her favorite orange sherbet was not left empty-handed.

The extent of my mother’s kindness became poignantly apparent in a letter we received just a few days after she passed away.  Tucked inside a thank-you card was a brief note written by the woman who, as it turned out, had been Mom’s last roommate in the hospital.  The woman had been dismissed several days earlier and penned this note, dated the morning my mother passed away:

March 14

Dear Bonnalee,

That’s such a beautiful name.  I’d never heard it before and I love it.  It fits you beautifully.  I wish I’d known you sooner.  Not in the hospital, but as an everlasting friend.

I pray your health has improved in the past week.

I came home on Monday eve. after I left the hospital on Sunday.  It was sure good to get home.  I’m doing good.  I feel like the wind has gone out of my sails. I felt much better yesterday and am sure it will improve soon. These pretty days there’s so much I’d like to do outside, but I’m not going to let it worry me.

I’d better sign off and get this to the mailbox.  It’s time for my walk.  I want you to know your acquaintance was the highlight of my stay in the hospital.

God Bless You.

Thanks again,


My mother was many things — an artist in multiple media, a wife (three times, widowed twice), a mother (four times), a grandmother.  But in everything she did, she was in her heart, a writer.  While her first husband attended seminary for graduate work, she worked at the local Veteran’s Hospital and wrote instructional manuals about the craft projects she created.  While her second husband spent hours on end tending to his fields of corn and beans, she perfected her painting as well as her recipes and wrote a cookbook.  When she knew her own time was coming to an end, she began writing her story.

She taught her children many things, not the least of which was to have a kind heart and to give freely.  In that, as with her writing, she provided a model to follow, a path to walk through her garden.

I don’t always stay on that path, but the memories of her always lead me back.  And as Tennyson so aptly noted, with those many thoughts of her, I will be able to walk through my garden forever.


Filed under Life, writing