Thursday, August 25, 2011


I'm aware of a change in me these days. I'm not talking about moving on or healing more .... it's a bigger change and more about how I respond to the world and to others in my world. I've written before about how open and gregarious Jim was. How he would pull me out and into the party at times. How I could be closed down, shut off and let the introvert of my personality rule. I could do this because Jim was so extroverted and would cover for me.

But lately I notice that I am opening and far more receptive then I ever remember being. I am willing and wanting to make connections. And this silent change has me operating through my heart far more than my head. This is incredibly hard to explain ... but damned if I'm not going to try!

One example is how, in the past, I might see an acquaintance at the grocery store and rather then go over and say hello I would pretend not to see them and thus just keep moving along without having to engage with that person. I don't do this anymore. I find myself thinking "what would Jim do?" ... and sure enough, I'll walk over and re-introduce myself if need be and just quickly say a few words of recognition and ... well ... connect. And it feels really good to do this. I don't expect the person to remember my name, nor do I think my saying hello is going to make that persons day. But it makes mine, and I blossom a little more for having done it.

That's it I think .... this tight little bud of Mary Lello is blossoming; a part of my being is beginning to open and bloom a little bit. Oh I'm not saying I was a complete wall flower before - I know that's not true - but I didn't really reach out to people. I didn't need to connect with so many people and I would question why Jim needed to do this .. why he always did it. I am understanding it a bit now. Maybe, in that 18 months of such intense caring for Jim while he drifted away, the channeling his words and thoughts for him so he might communicate with others on some level through me, the helping him to walk, caring for his every need at times, a part of Jim Daniels fused into me. A bit of his spirit joined with mine and he left me with this gift ... the gift of wanting to connect more with others.

I'm amazed at some of the connections I'm making and maintaining. It's not like me ... but then again ... it is me now. It's all me now.

And many of you reading this are indeed one of these connections that amazes me and has me feeling so incredibly warm. Hell, even those of you on facebook with me .. some of you I haven't seen for over 30 years and some I've never even met in person and yet ... you have become a friend. You have reached across that cyber-space in some way and connected with me on such a deep level that I'm totally astounded by it. And, the blessing and gift is, I find myself open to it and willing to accept and allow it to happen and you are there and so willing to reach out and touch me. Damn!

This feels like pure grace. And for this, I am incredibly grateful to Jim Daniels who always demonstrated to me how to reach out, how to unfold and open with love and humor, interest and respect for all those people he connected so completely with.

And I feel my own connection now, with all of you.
And I thank you .. for these connections.

I am ... loving you all back,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Child Born

My niece, Jennywren, had her second child yesterday. She and her husband, Jay, opted not to know the gender of this baby until it was born. A gorgeous little boy named Raife. I was in attendance with her first born, Skyla, last August 3, and Jennywren asked me to do acupuncture for her and be at her side with the birth of this second one also. Yes, August 16 - exactly one year apart - Irish twins as we say.

First off I have to say JW is an amazing woman. So much pain endured - and yet love conquers all doesn't it? I'm in awe of this raw, female power. I'm in awe of Jennywren who chose to go the natural route with both births, who was able to still crack jokes and sing along with "Sittin' on the dock of the bay" after a pretty intense contraction, who could look at her husband as that baby's head was crowning and mouth the words "I love you" to him ... and then begin to growl as the next wave pulled her into the task she must complete.

Yup, she amazes me and I'm in awe of this gorgeous, gutsy, funny, full-of-life, creator-of-life woman who is my niece.

I must tell you all though, as that baby's head was crowning somehow the big screen TV got turned on ... now, if you've ever attended a birth you understand this is a pretty intense moment ... and there , directly in front of all of us, in full color was a re-cap of the Red Sox! Frantically, Hanna (JW's sister) figured out how to turn this thing off so we went back to business at hand. When we were all just sitting around holding the new baby I shared what had gone on in my mind when the Red Sox came on during the labor. I told everyone that I knew this little crowned head was going to be a boy. When the TV magically turned on with the Red Sox, I figured there might be a tiny bit of Uncle Jim in this kid and that this little guy might be saying ... "Hell, if I have to poke my head out of here then I at least want to know what's happening with the Red Sox!" This brought a good laugh from the family ... but it truly was my very thought at that moment!

There is a bit more testerone in this family of mine that has a lot of powerful women in it. And attending this birth has me thinking of the song by Blood, Sweat and Tears (just realized how appropriate that is too!) and thus the title of this blog:

"And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born in this world to carry on,
to carry on"

The circles of life on this earth.

Loving you all back,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crow calls

I feed a family of crows. Some of you know this, those of you who are on Facebook with me get to read about the morning actions of this little family pretty frequently. I've been feeding them for a few years now so I've observed three seasons of fledglings. When I first started with the feedings there was only one baby that year. A sweet little crow that had mom, dad and a couple juvenile spouses hovering over him/her. A very spoiled little crow.

This first crow was very brave and far less skittish around me, perhaps because it had grown up and learned to come into the yard when I called in the early morning and put out left over protein scraps. The mated pair - mom and dad - are loud and shrill and won't tolerate my looking up into the tree and acknowledging their existence ... even though they sit directly over my head at times. One good stare from me and they flee to a distant tree, screeching a warning for the world to hear "DON'T LOOK AT ME!" Meanwhile, the little fledgling would watch this tactic, look down at me, make a little "mew" sound as if to say "what the heck was that all about?"

This year there are two young ones. By late summer they are getting much stronger and more adept at flying. They still have a slightly brown head vs. the glimmering black of the adult. They are much smaller then their parents and haven't quite found their "voice" yet ... a bit of bubbling and chirping at times instead of a solid "Caw".

A friend gave me a crow caller - which I've tried out several times. It's hard to make it sound like anything other then a duck or a very loud fart - and my crows aren't buying it. But it's gotten some funny reactions! Because they have excellent memory for faces they know me now. Actually they know my car, my dog and can even recognize me on my bike with helmet and sunglasses on - more then some of my friends can do! But when I step out into the yard they will swoop in now, even when I'm not feeding them. So one afternoon I stepped out and waited for a crow to come into the nearby trees so I could try out the crow call. I blew into the whistle shaped caller and a shrill "quack" escaped. This juvenile crow tilted h/her head and looked down at me as though saying "was that you?" I tried it again. This time she ruffled her entire body and lifted her wings as if to try and shake off this weird noise coming from this human down below. The third time she lost patience and took off proudly demonstrating what a crow should sound like.

The other morning I went out to feed them. I had been giving them fat I'd cut off a pork chop. They really liked this food so when I stepped out they were clearly impatient for me to drop the food and go back inside. But I was waiting for my dog, Ella, to complete her morning business so I wasn't going in right away. The ruckus got louder until the entire family of six birds was literally yelling at me! Wow. I looked up at one and said "HEY! Ask me nicely!" There was silence immediately ... and one of the young ones looked down and gave that sweet little "cawk" sound. I said "thank you" and Ella and I went inside.

This little family of crows got me off the couch a billion years ago when Jim, who was not doing real well and had a lot of trouble walking, had fallen down the stairs and we had spent the entire day in the ER. Laying on the couch that afternoon when we finally got home I thought I might never be able to move again. But then this family of crows appeared. Being excited that I may have found their nest right outside my living room window I pulled myself off the couch to watch them ... and thus found one more tiny reserve of energy to keep going. On some of the mornings when I wake too early I will hear my crows in the distance and know that I'm not the only one up with the first light in the sky.

I'm finding more and more reasons to keep going these days. I'm feeling a new excitement about life again, something I truly didn't believe possible. And always I am in tune with the calls of this family of crows who share this neighborhood with me; who help me smile first thing in the morning, who watch and know when I have gotten out of bed, who recognize and tolerate my strange actions .... and talk to me when no one else is around.

Loving you all back,