Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ben's Birthday and Danielle's Enshrinement Party!

What a day...Ben's 18th birthday...and the same day, in Cloverdale California, Danielle's Enshrinement party for her Gohonzon.

I began the day chanting earnestly and sincerely to free my life and swing up into the happiness I know is so near...yet, whose spirit can be so elusive to me...I am ever aware of the karma I am surmounting...of the battle within. And as I was shopping for Ben's party, and Thanksgiving today...suddenly it was like the bottom just dropped out and the front side of my body was just filled with an ache and my heart was beating so fast. There I was, walking through the grocery store thinking of something special to get for my sweet Mommy...and the physical ache almost bowled me over. It was all I could do to finish shopping and almost run out of the store. I called my sister and she said the same exact thing had happened to her in the grocery store on numerous occasions. Of course it makes sense...here we are planning for a major event - two major events. Ben's 18th birthday and Thanksgiving. And Mom's not here for either of them. Last year Dad was here...and we were busy planning Mom's life celebration. When I got home I cried and cooked and chanted in appreciation for having had a Mom who was so wonderful in my life...and for having the two Buddha boys who bring me so much joy...

For Ben's birthday I made a colorful stir fry, and his favorite spice cake. Then I distributed gold wrapped chocolate coins at everyone's plates. Each of us made a wish for Ben's 18th year with each coin. We had some serious wishes about pursuing his dreams, and getting into a college that brings him joy, and making it through the college apps. And I'll just tell you we ended up having a wild and fun time...I mean, think about it...what would YOU wish an 18 year old boy? And to quote Ben, quoting Forest Gump "That's all I'm going to say about that right now."

Some of our wishes were quite dignified...others...hmmmm, not so much!

And I am thinking tonight of Cloverdale California where Danielle is enshrining her Gohonzon in her Gohonzon room as we speak. Julia came down from Ukiah, and many of Danielle's friends are there. She didn't just have an enshrinement...she had a party! Of course! She is so ready to have meetings, and she's already introducing her friends and studying away. There is just something to be said for being ready. She's known me since Aaron was about one year old. We discovered her in the park by our house in San Francisco. When our Nanny turned out to be someone we couldn't trust...we turned to Danielle and ended up bringing our children to her every weekday for many years. She taught me so much about parenting. She was always so respectful to each of the kids she was watching...no matter how dramatic the moment. She'd calmly get down to eye level with the child and say "use your words" in the most soothing tone of voice.
She MADE play doh for goodness sakes! The kids produced great works of art with her. When I asked her secret to having them create great art she said "It's knowing when to take the paper away." Ah. Very wise!

Over the years Danielle heard the boys and me chanting, saw them grow up, and then Aaron and I made the trek to Cloverdale to stay with her this spring. I hung my own Mom's Gohonzon on her wall and we all chanted together...and I have to ask exactly what happened...but she called me ON MY BIRTHDAY and said she wanted to practice. It was one of the coolest gifts ever!
Go Danielle! I am soooo glad you now share Ben's Birthday with him. You have noooo idea how incredibly great your already wonderful life will become now! As you know "A sword will be useless in the hands of a coward." And you are definitely NO coward!!!!" Congratulations!

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