About Trish

Life is about the journey but the most important part is knowing where you're headed. Get there: A blog about how kindness and work-life balance intertwine. www.getthereblog.wordpress.com

The beginning of something beautiful

planeWe arrived in Brussels early morning after a long night of traveling over the Atlantic. What a wonderful feeling– the world exists wherever you are and it’s always beautiful.

Leaving for JFK after a night of packing and repacking, our plans were finalized with overpacked bags that have already started new aches in our bodies. A transfer in Dublin gave us just enough time to walk up and down the terminal– a quick video-chat home to a friend reminded us both that no one is ever really far away. 

Our mini-plane to Brussels was pleasant. Next to me, a 14 month old slept the entire way home. Once landed, his father asked me where we were from. “Near New York,” I responded. He smiled and told us he was from Brussels. “Welcome home,”  I said with warmth in my smile. I felt it too.

The train to the center of Brussels was on floor -1 and we got there without issue after drinking 2 emergency coffees that our bodies yearned for at 3:30 AM “our time.” 

Without a map, the city center seemed a mess. We gave in and used our phones to direct us where to go. A roquefort salad and white wine mussels (paired with white wine and local beer) was exactly what the doctor ordered. We sat and watched the new world around us happen. We then rushed off to another train station downtown to catch a train to Amsterdam.

The train was booked and the following train as well– but that’s how this trip was going to work. Go with the flow. We settled on a departure time that allowed us to sit and drink in town for an hour longer. 

This is the blessed life, as an accordion player serenades us while I write and Ryan sketches. These are the perfect moments in life where whatever happens, happens.

This is every moment.

Written May 4, 2014 at 2 PM in Brussels, Belgium (the beginning of a 3 week adventure with ryan s crane)

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Faith

I feel conflicted.
I’m so unsure of where I’m supposed to go, what I’m supposed to do.
Follow your heart, they say. Follow your gut.

It’s not for lack of inspiration or motivation.
It’s not knowing which way to go… so many choices and where do they lead?

I’ve learned, many times over, that living for now is far more important than living for later.
Later is never promised, but what do you do when you get there?

I’m worried for my future and conflicted about my present.
These next few steps determine a lot.

Do you pick a path or make one?

Do you reach inside and put your own heart on the table
or continue moving, patiently, in the direction of your dreams?

I’m not patient.
I’m eager to please, I’m eager to do it right.
But I keep asking what I’m doing and I feel I’m coming up short.

Today I know for certain that there is a sun behind these clouds,
but I wish I could tell which way the wind is blowing.

Maybe I’m afraid I’ll miss something.
Maybe it’s time to leap.

A short letter inspired by the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Mademoiselle Reisz,

I am writing you to inform you that I intend on leaving. I am not going far, but I intend on going permanently. I am only letting you know because no one else understands this feeling in the pit of my stomach, this feeling at the center of my very being. I have chosen to write to you because you are the only person who has tasted these depths of isolation. You understand me.

We are outcasts for only the best of reasons. I plan to pursue a future without being owned and without living falsely. I will be completely true and awakened for the first time in my life. Somehow, I will fill this chasm inside of me.

For months I have felt exhilaration and confusion—I have experienced emotions I never knew existed. I am leaving because I do not know what I am doing with my life or what I truly crave. How can I be my own person when I was in such a stupor for so long? I have made my decision to leave and I am holding true because that is the only way I can be confident in who I am, confident that I am not allowing anyone else to own me.

Please let my children know I love them and that I gave them all that I could. Tell them the world is a harsh place and that they must be careful to keep their eyes open in order to stay afloat.

Please tell Robert I love him, and because I love him I must say good-bye.

Sincerely,
Edna
10.4.05

For Loved Ones Lost

Everyone who knew you, loves you.
Everything you were, lives on through us.
Your body is gone, but your life remains in our hearts.
You are in our actions and in our kindness;
Your benevolence will continue through us.
We will be strong for you,
Because you are our strength.
Because we can still laugh with you,
We know we are okay.
When we think of your smile, we smile.
And that’s how we know we have been blessed.

November 2010

Written for Matthew Ryan Dalling’s Memorial Card

Sisters of Mercy

The voice on the other end of a telephone always sets the tone of the conversation to be had.

Ms. Bubbico resides here in the main office, with a recent important transplant from the admissions office… Sister Janice.

Sister Janice, a Sister of Mercy, let my family feel comfortable and secure when she invited my other half, my sister Rita, to attend Lauralton Hall.

It was late in the year; it did not matter.

We had no money– she would arrange everything.

It was very dark; my father had just died a few weeks before in Nicaragua.

She showed us light.

She gave my family our first taste of Mercy Spirit.

She alone set the tone of the conversations that I’ll be having for the rest of my life.
April 2006

Bachelorette Gift

A true blessing only gifted to some:
Wedding bells that are soon to come.
The anticipation and planning are coming to an end,
But the true beginning is just around the bend.

A dark-haired girl with flowers in her hair
Matched with a blonde boy who helped put them there.
Holding hands, wiping tears, kindly consoling all of your fears,
Growing closer through all of the years.

Two families and many friends will come together at last
To admire what we’ve seen bloom in the time that has passed.
A Valentine rose turned into a family, a life;
He has already given you gifts fit for a wife.

The strongest love is a love that grows,
From the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
Know today your friends are celebrating both of you,
As we patiently wait for you both to “I do.”

So take these next few moments to relax and feel at ease,
Know that we all love you and tonight we aim to please!
As soon as you’re done you’ll be ready to celebrate
As we start to get you ready for your next “big date”!
3.4.13

High School

High school is full of inexplicable growth, growing up before you feel ready to… before I knew what was really going on.

It’s feeling older too soon. It’s the first party you attend without parents around. It’s the first car ride with your friend at the wheel.

It is a weird time in your life… the time right before you have a firm idea of who you really are, what you are doing, or why you are doing it.

It comes before you want it, and sometimes you need it before you get it.
It’s wonderful and scary just the same.
April 2006

Choir

The voices of “Advanced Vocal Ensemble” ring through the halls, but no one knows the truth. We’re harmonizing and laughing and enjoying every second we have before the bell tolls, bringing us back to homework, tests, and projects.

First sopranos, second sopranos, first altos, second altos… it never matters what section you’re in because you’re nothing on your own. You help everyone and everyone helps you.

Teamwork and challenges mold girls into a choir that is respected and appreciated by the rest of the school and community.

Caring and laughing mold us into young women who will forever remember these days.
April 2006

The Fountain

Ten years of age and all I can fathom are toys. Boxes upon boxes upon boxes, and no toys can be found. The heat is almost too much for my little bathing suit clad body to take. Every new box holds incredible promise; navigating each sticky piece of tape without my stuffed animals, without My Pretty Pony crushes my juvenile spirit. Leaving the box-swallowed room, I enter my parched paradise.

Surveying my exotic surroundings, it begins to sink in that I am really in Nicaragua. With an increasingly familiar Latin taste, it feels more like my last home, Guatemala, than my first home, Pennsylvania. Here, my grandmother is not making fruit salad in the kitchen anymore; she is in an air-conditioned bedroom with Alzheimer’s disease, exploring the world of Spanish Wheel of Fortune re-runs. My father is making everyone happy in a clothing factory, because he is the sweet, perfect father.

Wiping sweat from my forehead, I smell food. This food it is not pleasing to my palate. The woman cooking it only knows how to cook with outside fires—not ovens. My mother gently reminds her that black beans do not have to be served with every meal. My sister, fourteen, is following me discreetly to ensure my safety in this new world.

While exploring my new abode, I discover a circular fountain at the core of a beautiful garden. The fountain is pleading with me to partake in its jubilant dance. The fountain, sadly, is empty, but I remedy its dry and hot stone interior with the promise of water from a nearby hose. The water filling the fountain becomes a whirling cure for the sultriness of the day. I check on the height of the newly created pool approximately every 20 seconds. The first time I check my knuckles are covered with cooling water. By the 15th time, it has reached my elbow and my excitement overflows.

The water that runs from the end of the green hose fills the placid stone pool. I play a game of pretend—the hose becomes a snake, its nozzle hissing and its green scales growing wet and slimy. Venom spitting, the snake is unstoppable to any common man! Secrets of the jungle are known only to me, and as I turn the nozzle, the fluid ceases.

One toe at a time, my foot sweeps the top of the water, and I sit on the edge bracing myself for the moment that is inevitable. Overwhelmed by anticipation, I fully submerge myself in the fountain. The water eases the sweltering heat, and carries with it an almost baptismal like peace.

That afternoon of fountain dipping in Nicaragua is one of my fondest and most cherished memories of childhood. For a number of reasons, life changed after that dance in the fountain. My father died without warning only three days later and we left one foreign country filled with family to relocate to the United States. Life changed completely. When I recall the sleek, slippery, formfitting water, I feel alive, comforted, and innocent.

August 2005

A Teenage Breakup

Once upon a time, I lived through other people. I lived through arguments and hand holding. I breathed through lungs that could hold more than air. I had shoes that would fit whatever two feet that were brought to me. And my heart beat fully and irrationally.

I was putty.

Life no longer lives in me. I search the eyes of everyone who passes. My kaleidoscope imagination gets the best of me every hour. My lungs hold only what my mind allows. My own feet are tangibly bare.

I am stone.

July 27, 2007