Fire Ants & Joy!

Her name was Audrey Mortlock, and she was our neighbor in Colorado. She called to tell me she was bringing over a dinner. I’ll never forget it; a beautiful pot-roast with roasted vegetables, homemade rolls and her famous shortbread cookies. So much better than the ramen I had planned on eating that night.

At the time, our third child, Megan had just been born. She told me not worry about dinner but to take the time to hold and rock my baby and play with the older children. She told me ‘they will grow up so fast and you will miss these days’. I didn’t believe her, she was crazy because there was NO way I’d miss this circus! I felt stuck in an endless loop of feeding, diapers, and crying (not just the baby). On top of that, I was also torn between balancing the needs of Jesse and Sarah with Erik out of town most of the time.

Turns out she was right! Looking back to that day 24+ years ago it seems like time has played a trick on me. Like a great magicians disappearing act, I’m standing here wondering “where did it go?”.

Recently, my son was telling me about his sleepless night holding and comforting his sick baby daughter. He said,  “As tired as I am, holding her all night while she slept was such a sweet memory I’ll always cherish.” Funny, I remembered a sleepless night just like that with him when he was a baby that I too cherish.

Thinking back, there are many things I miss most about those crazy days: the bedtime rituals, camping, bath time, make believe stories and believe it or not, the crying baby.

I’m now what society calls an “Empty Nester” for my little birds have all flown from the nest. And now I feel stuck in this loop of grief missing my babies, redefining my purpose, hot flashes and still more crying. But Audrey’s advice “you will miss these days,” is true for whatever season of our life, either old or young, we are in. I tell my children, “If you think it is so – it is so.” That is true for focusing on either the positive or the negative happenings of your day. There is something about today that you are going to miss someday – what is it?

For me some things I’ll miss about today: mountain walks, ski days, holding grand babies, Sunday family dinners, art lessons with my granddaughter and possibly hot flashes? Nah, not that.

So mine and Audrey’s advice: focus on the joys of the “now” before the magic trick of time makes it disappear.

There is another lesson we can learn from sweet Audrey. There is a time we do the reaching out and serving and a time when we need to allow others to serve and carry us. Consider this:

Fire Ants instinctively understand this concept; when floods threaten their home they gather together and by holding onto each other’s legs and mouths they create a live floating raft to support each other through the storm until they can find safe land again.


Many times I have been the recipient of loving people reaching out to help me stay afloat, and at times I have done the supporting. We all will face adversities that threaten us, and we all need each other. It’s a brilliant and simple plan- you lift me and I’ll lift you and together we will ascend.

…All pain is temporary

All sorrow is fleeting

But LOVE is Eternal



PS – Just in case you could use ninja superwomen powers, I’m sharing a secret formula:

 Fire Water a Remedy for Women

(I have discovered drinking this daily helps with women issues, hot flashes, and energy)

Mix ingredients in your water bottle:

Flavored Water

(I have used sparkling waters, kombuchas, and electrolyte mixes such as Sustain by Melaleuca)

1 T. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs)

¼ to ½ tsp. Cayenne (start small) Be aware there are different BPU (Burn Power Units)

Optional add-ins for different needs:

Raw Honey (energy), Ginger (digestion), turmeric (inflammation), cinnamon (circulation) and kefir (probiotics)

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  1. Emily says:

    Thank you for your example Judy. I love you and have always looked up to you.

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