Monday, February 14, 2011

Look After You

Hey Everyone,
 First off, thanks to everyone who has sent me recipes on email or in the comment area, I'll start getting to those and I'll let you all know how they turn out, plus don't hesitate to keep them coming.

It is just about midnight here on Monday (which is funny because back in the states it is still a good five hours until you all reach Monday, it's times like these when I feel like a time traveler).  The weekend here has been going pretty well.  After all of my classes Friday I did some grocery shopping which was needed.  Saturday I went to Angel Market and had a Latte outside, yes outside, I don't know if any of you are imagining having anything outside anytime soon back in the USA and then today I just worked on a paper all day!  Anyways, now that you all know what I've been up to, its time for one of those blogs that just gets sort of deep, because its good to be deep sometimes (plus I've noticed I've gotten a lot more views on these "deeper" posts and I'm all about the views!).   

Here in the UK its Valentines Day, as it will be in the USA in about five hours.  We all have our thoughts on Valentines Day and I'm not going to boar you by doing the, "here are my five arguments on why Valentines Day is cool or not cool" thing.  All I'm going to say is, whats wrong with celebrating love any day?  Anyways....

Valentines Day means a lot to me, maybe more than it does to most of you reading my blog for a couple of reasons.  This week will both be the 13th anniversary of moving into our house in Mansfield and the 13th anniversary of my Mom's diagnosis with cancer.  On February 14, 1998 me and my family moved into our house in Mansfield Center, Connecticut.  Two days later my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  You can all imagine how difficult this time was, in fact I know that a lot of you who read this blog went right through this difficult fight right with our family.  This period reminds me of both of those things, and as bad as that first week was, it is amazing to think of what came from it.  The number of families in the town that came to us when we needed someone to look after us, whether it was baby sitting while my mom was at treatment or just stopping by with food for us.  Many of these people are still our friends 13 years later, and very much a major part of our lives!  Many of these people introduced us to some of our other friends who we now know very well!

The most important thing I remember from this period though is the strength my mother showed.  She managed to keep going in the face of such a scary illness while raising two small kids (me being in second grade, Christian in Kindergarten).  My mother persevered through this, and came out alive and healthy (yay Mom!).  Not only did she come out of it a better person, but we all did.  All of our friends, all of our family, and especially the four of us.

So, on Valentines Day, and the days surrounding it, I can't help but think about the one thing that is on everyone's mind in some form; LOVE.  Not specifically love in the context most people think about love around now, but the sort of love that gets us through life, all of our doubts, our fears and the demons inside of us.  That is the love that comes from the consistent people, our friends and family (as weird as it may come).  For me and my family 13 years ago, that love came from many of you who read this blog and some who don't.  For me, it is many people, including my friends at home who I miss, some of my new friends, my dog Waggers (love you Waggers!), my brother, my dad, but especially my Mom.

My mom, has poured so much love into not only me, but my brother and my dad, as well as my Grandma (love ya Grandma!-check your mail soon!) and the rest of her family and friends.  She has a contagous smile and an optimism unrivaled by anyone's I've met.   Most of this trip, is because of her, most of who I am is because of her.  So here is to you Mom!  I love you!

Now in terms of love as in what we usually think associated with Valentine's Day, as most of you know I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this, but I was asked today what I thought about relationships and whatnot by a friend of mine back home, so I thought I would say something brief.  All I'm going to say; for all of you love sick, heart broken, smitten people or whatever you may be out there; is something that a certain someone who knows who they are from home tells me time and time again...

"When you care about someone, let them know... honestly."  

I think at some point the rest just works itself out from there.

So Happy Valentines Day everyone.  I'm having an amazing time over here.  I'm happy you are all sharing it with me.  I hope you continue to.    

Up next, something on a chocolaty note!  Possibly BELGIUM?  Yes, there is chocolate there, so I should be all set.



  1. Not much I can say to that one Stephen except...WELL DONE!!

    Your Builder...Tom S

  2. Thanks Tom! You and Rosalind were a big part of what I was talking about and you still are! Miss you all. Happy Valentines Day!

  3. WHOA! Some how this post has the most views of any of my posts and it has only been up for about 14 or 15 hours! I guess its going well! If you wanna leave a comment do it, since everyone is obviously reading it!

  4. Hi Stephen, Happy Valentines Day...Really enjoyed your story on your meaning of February really shows your Love for your Mom, Family and Friends...You are a very "Special Person" Enjoy your day...Uncle Bob

  5. Hi Stephen,

    as usual, the world news is about people behaving in a less than compassionate and loving way towards one another.
    It is therefore truly heartwarming to read your thoughts on the meaning of Valentine`s Day, and most importantly your love for your Mum and family.

    It reassures us that there is enough good and compassionate energy in the world to counterbalance the negative, mean spirited,destructive energy that seems to be the focus in all news outlets!

    Plus...We think your Mum is the best too!!!

    love Rosalind

  6. Hi Stephen,
    You have captured much of what is important in life in your blog. The recognition that life is all about learning, loving, moving through and on from whatever situation or sickness you find yourself dealing with and sticking with and to the people that matter most. Your family, friends and community, not a bad base to build off of! We were very fortunate to have all of them supporting us, but as you wrote, it was mom that lifted us all with her unwavering spirit and determination. We know that you and Christian have it in you to lift yourselves and others.
    Enjoy each and every moment!
    Love you

    ps. Pizza dough recipe to follow!