Energy never dies, it just changes

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“As long as there is one person on Earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.” ~ Oscar Hammerstein, Carousel

~

I speak aloud to them and their faces later hover in my dreams,

those gone before me.

Perhaps it was their time.

Maybe they were taken before I was ready for them to be gone.

They leave a void on my plane of reality,

a chasm of memories that I jump into during random moments.

I bathe in the forgotten sound of their laughter,

I warm to the memory of their embrace.

But energy never dies.

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They yearn for me to engage them.

They delight in the moments that I recall our past together.

I keep their memory alive with every thought of them,

each recollection of their journey with me.

If I take that moment to remember,

to seek what I saw in them in the physical world,

I give those reflections a new vitality.

When I look into the darkness,

I see beyond the black veil of loss.

I see the light they brought to my life.

The case that once held those beautiful spirits may be gone,

but the mark they left on my soul never leaves me.

They remain in my heart for as long as I allow them.

Each time I look into the stars,

I know they are looking back at me.

Energy never dies.

~

(image credit: totalreikimastery.com)

Giving myself permission to feel joy

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“Find the place inside where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” ~ Joseph Campbell

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This past weekend was more painful than I anticipated it would be.  Saturday was the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing and the anguish of losing her took me by surprise all over again.  I awoke at the exact time I received the dreaded phone call last year and spent the remainder of the day secluding myself from society, friends and family.

It was a much-needed hibernation from reality and time that allowed me to reflect on all of the happy memories and not just dwell in the sadness.  I was able to observe many moments of silence and stillness.  Those quiet moments gave me permission to initially grieve but then to take that grief and smother it with thoughts of a happy life spent with my mom and my dad.

After recognizing my mom’s passing, the ninth anniversary of my dad’s passing occurred two days later on Monday.  As it happened on Saturday, I awoke at 2:15 am on Monday, roughly the time my dad passed, and spent many peaceful moments remembering the good times with him.

Grief can be consuming but joy has a way of quelling the overwhelming emotion and allowing happiness to rise to the surface.  It is difficult in times of sorrow, especially when remembering a loved one who has passed, to be able to bring joy to the moment.  But those who have left us would want us to feel nothing but joy.  My parents would be sad to know that I am still grieving and not embracing the spirit they had when they lived.

It is that force that drives me to find joy in my sadness.  It is their energy that wills me to move beyond the grief and remember their lives in a happy way and not cling to the heartache I feel in their absence.  I will always grieve the loss of my parents but I will also begin to give myself permission to bask in the joy I feel having been a part of their lives.  Hopefully, in time, I will be able to carry that joy into my future and the joy will burn out the pain.

It ain’t a party until something gets celebrated

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I love having a project.  I get really excited about planning a function and making as many things as I can myself.   I planned every part of my wedding down to the finest detail.  I made my own wedding cake and created a wedding cookbook for our guests.  The people who were at our wedding said it was one of the best parties they had been to and talked about it for months after.

I had never been on Pinterest until about eight months ago and now I am addicted.  It has given me so many great recipe ideas as well as crafts and decorating ideas.  Where was this site when I was in my planning stages for my wedding?  Regardless, I have certainly made up for lost time.

My brother’s 50th birthday is rapidly approaching and I am excited to be at the helm of the organization committee, which will mostly be me but that’s the way I like it.  I have been relentlessly surfing Pinterest for some great ideas,  collecting photographs and creating an epic slide show on Power Point.  I have chosen to only pick the relatively innocent photographs since my 50th will follow in four short years and I want to stay on his good side!   (James, read that line over again and let it sink in)

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There are so many great ideas I have saved and now I have to sort through the best of the bunch to choose which ones will work for the party.  I am excited to have all of our friends gathered together again to celebrate the half century my brother has been on this revolving planet.  He truly is one of my best friends and I can’t wait to help him celebrate the past 50 years and help him prepare for the next 50.

 

The year that went by in what feels like a month

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A year ago today, my brother and I lost the most important woman in our lives.  We released butterflies at her celebration of life and we see her wings in so many places.  I wrote this poem for her.  We miss you mom.  xo

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You left us in the early hours,

so peacefully your spirit would roam.

Through a gentle wind and the rising sun,

He called to take you home.

A ladder was built for your journey to light,

each rung meant to make you content.

While bathed in the glowing light of rebirth,

you gracefully began your ascent.

Loving arms awaited you there,

curling you into their embrace.

Heaven welcomed an angel back home,

 rejoicing her love and her grace.

You leave behind your spirit and joy,

in those who loved you each day.

While our days will be saddened by the emptiness we feel,

we know we will see you someday.

We celebrate your rebirth and your newly found wings,

by releasing these spirits of transition.

And hope we can do honour to your memory

by carrying on your tradition.

Learning to laugh at yourself

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I hope you will all indulge me this week.  March 7th looms and I would like to keep as many happy memories as I can at the forefront of my brain.  Since my mom can no longer comment on what I post, her ethereal embarrassment shall be something that will hopefully make us all smile a little.  Some of my best memories are of the funniest times in my life – the memories that made me laugh until I cried and that same laughter that made my mom wet herself.  This is one of the memories I love.

We have always been a family with pets.  Dogs have been a strong presence in our lives and in the early 1980’s mom and I would walk the dogs down the back road that was close to our house.  On one of our walks, our Golden Retriever, Brandy, decided to take it upon himself to walk our Lhasa Apso, Misty.  He took her extra-long leash in his mouth and proudly sauntered down the road, not looking back.   Only mom and I could see the leash wrapped around Misty’s body and, when there was no slack left in the long leash, Brandy dragged Misty down the road backwards for about half a kilometer.  That moment wasn’t just funny, it was absolutely hysterical and mom and I laughed so hard she peed her pants.

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Now, in the 80’s velour was all the rage.  Mom sported many matching leisure suits.  They were comfortable, they were stylish, and they were surprisingly absorbent.  But the variation in color could not hide the fact that my mom had peed her pants.  After we collected ourselves, we made our way back to the house.  We had a crowd of friends over and, knowing that, Mom was in stealth mode, maneuvering out of anyone’s peripheral to sneak in the back door and head for the laundry room in our basement.

She quickly changed her outfit and headed back up to the living room, thinking she had averted humiliation.  What she had NOT counted on, was that her traitor of a daughter had already broadcast the episode to anyone who would listen and had even thrown in some play-by-play action in slow motion.  Not only was I laughing but everyone in the room joined in, even my mom.

That day I learned one of the greatest lessons she ever taught me, even if by accident – if you can’t laugh at yourself, you will miss a great deal of enjoyment in your life.

 

 

And then the muses slowly disappeared…..

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I’ve been dreading writing this week.  I knew it was coming and as much as I thought I could distract myself with topics that did not strike me on an extremely personal level, I was wrong.

I have been enjoying a great relationship with my muse since January 1st.  Together we have posted every day since the start of the new year, sometimes twice a day, and I have become truly immersed in the creative process.  But something drastically changed with the passing of the calendar month.  My muse has slowly retreated from the active space in my mind.  It has nothing to do with the continuing frigid temperatures or the delay of springs’ arrival.  It has everything to do with the looming date of March 7th.

That day in the calendar year of 2014 irrevocably altered my life.  It seems like only hours ago I received that horrific early morning phone call to tell me my mother had passed unexpectedly and my life spun into a tornado-like funnel cloud.  Images, hours, even days blurred.  To think it will be a year on Saturday astounds me.

It feels like I am back in the first moments of coming to terms with the news and yet there have been so many firsts since then.  Birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas….all were celebrated to the best of our ability with her glaring and undeniable absence.  Knowing that she is no longer suffering the effects of her illness is the only comfort I have.  It should ease some of my suffering but the feeling of loss goes much deeper than that.

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At least each day I am still here gives me a chance to hold her memory as close as I would like to hold her in a childlike embrace.  The pain never goes away, we just think about it differently as time moves on.

 

Rabbits and lions and lambs….oh my

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As it is with every first day of the month I will have awoken, most likely at 3:45 am because that is a new and inescapable routine, and hopefully remembered to repeat the phrase “white rabbit” three times before I uttered any other words.  It is a long-standing family tradition and one that is meant to bring luck for the following month.

Today is not only the first of the month, but it is the first of March which brings Spring closer to reality.  After the winter we have just experienced, and still are experiencing,  Spring will be a very welcome companion.  The mercury is predicted to begin rising and the sun will have some warmth in its shine.   I have already begun preparations for my tanning session on the deck and, even if I am fully covered in snow gear, I am going to enjoy every ounce of Vitamin D I can extract from that fire-ball during the high temperature of -5C.

Tanning in the early months of February and March is a family tradition I cannot seem to part with.  When I was a child, we would spend hours in lawn chairs on the frozen lake and absorb all of the goodness from the sun.  There is no better feeling than the first real heat of a Spring day and having those rays welcomed by an eager face.

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This year, I am unsure as to whether the arrival of Spring will be classified as coming in like a lamb, or coming in like a lion.  After the harsh winter and bitter winds we have experienced, it will certainly feel like a lamb, but having March temperatures still hovering around -15 C may classify the entrance into this new month as coming in like a lion.

Groundhog’s shadow or not, Spring is coming.  I just hope it gets here before the rabbits, the lion and the lamb all freeze their asses off!