Hi, I’m Karen. Welcome to my Not So Empty Nest.
Okay…So I’m the girl, who when asked to stand up before a group of strangers and tell everyone “a little about yourself,” in 30 seconds or less, absoposilutely dreads it. Yikes! I always find myself sitting rather uncomfortably on the arbitrary fence between appearing overconfident and utterly ridiculous. Ridiculous always shows up!
I’m Irish, sarcastic, intuitive and philosophical, and while I had to “grow into” my writing, to feel and touch various life experiences, I fervently believe the writing gene was imprinted into my being at birth.
Basically, I’ve been writing in some form or the other since the birth of our firstborn in 1983. Does that make me old? (As she gazes at neck in mirror). Our first child, born with many challenges, led me to a life of special education/inclusion advocacy. My early writings were in the form of speeches before various boards of education, parent and teacher groups, and later at conferences on inclusive education.
I feel as if my life has been an ‘exploration in learning,’ preparing me for this point in time. To realize. To feel with all my senses. And to acknowledge and embrace this partially opened gift.
Fueled by my new life experiences which opened an unclosable window into my soul…I began writing poems and short stories. Then life got too crazy, as life does, and I scribbled musings and observations in my “life notebook” for future reference. As my writing voice grew louder and louder, begging not to be ignored: I re-opened that which had been closed…and here I am today with a renewed reverence for this process called writing.
I’m happily and gratefully living the second chapter – the one that has graciously given me a second chance to do all the things I was too busy or afraid to do the first go around. I am reinventing myself one (not so empty) day at a time.
Finally, I can say I’ve embraced my lifelong passion for writing, thanks to the unconditional love and support of my awesome husband and sweet daughter – hence this blog. As the saying goes…I’m striving to be more “me” than I’ve ever been: by embracing my passion and sowing the seeds of my craft. Helping them to enrich my life by nourishing the source from which they grow. My soul.
My husband, Sam, and I had two amazingly different and beautiful children, together. Our firstborn, a son, changed our world in the most unconventional of ways. Born with hydrocephalus, (which resulted in a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy) we were stretched and twisted and enlightened beyond our wildest imagination. “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.” And such was our life with our son. He helped us to see the world through a different set of eyes. His life and love was miraculous.
Our daughter, born four years later, healthy and happy, was the yin to his yang. Through her exquisite typicalness, she showed us a world of lightness and laughter. She has always been my “resting place” when the world is too much. Beautiful, easy and brilliant. Her love is pure and true. And I couldn’t love her more.
Our journey into the empty nest began in an incomprehensible manner. One that no parent should ever have to experience.
We had to start over in the truest, most basic sense of the word.
After sending our daughter off to college, and losing our brilliantly disabled son, within three months of each other: as the universe violently shook us, reminding us we’re not the captains of this ship we call our world…we began again. As we struggled to come to grips with our loss, I found that which was hidden within the confines of my newly mended heart.
A courage like I’ve never known, allowing me to gain a vibrant new insight.
I’m currently working on my first book, both joyfully afraid and fiercely determined. Finally coming face to face with what’s been tossing about my brain for the last fifteen years.
About Me (in 30 seconds)
* I love all things Chanel and pearlish
* Working in the flower garden is my breathing space
* I consider sarcasm an emotion
* Humor should be a required course (along with philosophy)
* I can’t live without bacon
* Dark chocolate is a necessary food group
* Red wine is considered medicinal
* A morning cappuccino is as important as breathing
* Joie De Vivre is my mantra when menopause doesn’t have me in a funk
* And I consider Imagination crucial to my existence. Whew!
I’m a wanna-be interior decorator who loves refinishing and rearranging furniture, topped off with the never-ending hunt for that perfect accent piece. (Stay tuned for the upcoming, OUR NEST: THE HOUSE section.)
If left to my own device, I would and do spend hours reading, writing, observing, and taking photos of life in and around our Not So Empty Nest.
This blog is composed of my musings on love and life and the inspiration I cull from the totality of our experiences while on this awesome adventure.
It is with great passion, love and consideration that I put a pen to paper.
In the profoundness that has been my life so far, I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And I can think of no greater privilege than to touch someone else’s heart through my writing.
I thank you abundantly and wholeheartedly for visiting. Now don’t be a stranger y’all! (I feel obliged to add Y’ALL, being a freshly implanted southern girl!)
Please be neighborly and leave a note so I can thank you for stopping by and pay you a visit, too.
Be well. Be kind. Always.