Celebrating A Fairy Tale – Happy 33rd Anniversary Mom & Dad

1907816_10154657485580271_19751809240321528_nToday my parents, Bruce and Sedonia, celebrate 33 years of marriage. Their marriage began at the Houston Plaza Club where my mom, a beautiful and radiant woman (still true today) was working as the club receptionist. My dad, a then stockbroker, would spend his lunch break at the club playing backgammon and doing deals.  My mom was drawn to my dad’s quiet nature. There is something about a quiet man that makes a woman think. I imagine that my mom, the opposite of quiet, spent afternoons wondering what the handsome and young Bruce thought of her.

The story goes that one day, after flirting back and forth, my mother got tired of wondering and asked my father (with quite a bit of moxie), “When are you going to ask me out?” Thankfully, Bruce thought well of Sedonia and he asked her to accompany him to a Rockets game for their first date. They went to Chilis for dinner (I guess this used to be a hip first date spot) and then to the Rockets game. My parents both claim that they knew that night. My father called his mom to let her know, “I’ve found her, I’m in love.” Just three months later my dad asked my mom to marry him at Brennars Steak House and she said yes.

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My First Loves – Reflection on a Trip to Houston

It has been twelve years since I left Houston, Texas. I have been reticent to return, perhaps because I associate the city with heat, conservative politics, uncomfortable holiday gatherings and the self-confidence I had as a high school student. IT was only recently, when I decided to begin Katallasso that I thought about returning. I knew that I’d be looking for a ‘base camp,’ some where I would spend one-two weeks/month and I toyed with the idea of making that Houston so I could be close to family. The musing became a reality when I was asked to leave Kenya on short notice due to some security concerns and I had to make a quick decision about where to live. Perhaps fortuitously, one of our dear family friends needed some one to move in and provide her with companionship at the exact same time. I didn’t want to move for the sake of settling uncertainty but prayer and reflection led me to believe that this would be a perfect opportunity to see what it was like to live closer to my family.

August 12th  I moved in with Peggy, a neighbor of ours recently diagnosed with a heart condition that makes moving around challenging. I helped prepare dinner, ran errands for her and spent most of the day working from home so I could check on her as needed. While this slowing down could be annoying to some for me it was the opposite, it gifted me with the time to reacquaint with some of my first loves that have been placed aside during the fast pace of my recent life: family, competitive exercise and fun.

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Texas Pilgrimage – Thoughts on Going Home

“Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.” Donald Miller

It is 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Houston, Texas. The air is hot outside – maybe 70 degrees. We are seated around a table, full of empty wine glasses, dirtied plates and candles that have nearly reached their wicks. My sister Lisa and I decide on this night, of all nights, to talk about the obsessive eating habits I have carried around with me for the last fifteen years.

Before going any further, Lisa deserves an introduction. Lisa is our second born sister; she is 5 ft tall and fiercely loyal to the end. She is brave, smart, beautiful, caring, ruthless and powerful. When one is with Lisa you are keenly aware that you are being observed and measured. Lisa was my first friend. We spent the first decade of our my life playing together, the second decade learning how to grow-up together and the last decade learning how to disagree, yet remain together. It is safe to say that ere are few opinions I value as I do Lisa’s.

So, when Lisa admonished my energy to let go of these traits as week and limited I was wrecked.

“I am trying”, I insist, “And I’ve made so much progress in the last few years.” She retorts, “Yes, you have grown but I believe you can be 100% better.” My dear 81-year-old grandmother attempts to relieve the heavy tension by commenting on how different people understand mercy, self-will and compassion.

Lisa and I carry on for another ten minutes, debating about healing. She presents her closing argument, “You have all you need to get better and we all love you and are supporting you.”

Grace enters the room and my mind clears. I see something in a new light, this letting go of my behaviors; it’s not just about me. These habits are not benefiting anyone, namely Lisa and/or our family I love so dearly.

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