A few lines of latitude

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I consider myself to be an extremely lucky person.  I am fortunate enough to call many people friends and have them reciprocate that sentiment.  There was a saying I remember hearing as a teenager that really stuck with me –  “Friends are the family you choose for yourself”.

Earth-May3

(image credit: planet–earth.ca)

My friends are scattered far and wide.  Some I get to spend many hours with and share philosophies and laughter and others are located in other cities, provinces and countries, even continents.  Some I have never met face to face.  We also share the same ideals and sense of camaraderie but we do it through cyber space and across the blogosphere.

There are no lines of latitude or longitude that can divide a friendship.  Those relationships can span time and distance and there is great comfort knowing that the strength in those friendships gives us the ability to pick up where we left off even after months of being apart.

I have received an overwhelming amount of support from all of my friends, near and far.  Whether they are known in my physical reality or in my cyber reality, the strength and encouragement I have been given has been monumental to getting me through a very trying time.

I wanted to say thank you to all of my friends for really being there for me and sending your words of love and optimism.  Although by kilometers and miles we may seem worlds apart, your words bring you close and keep you in my heart.

From Root to Tip

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tree

(image credit: photo.net)

We are an eclectic band of misfits, each branch of my family tree is twisted and unique.  But life in my forest has been full of adventure and laughter.  From the moment our family tree took root it was nourished by humor, surrounded by love and encouraged to branch out in any direction it was drawn towards.

The apples that fall from that tree do not stray far and we enjoy the camaraderie that only like-minded semi-delusional people can share.  We are nuts but we are family.

I had recently told a tale, based solely in fact, about how my brother tricked me into eating a petrified piece of dog excrement when I was only five years old.  Although I was traumatized as a child I can now see the humor in the “incident”.  Perhaps that humor comes with the foreshadowing of future revenge but we are family and it is divine to forgive.  (nobody said anything about forget)

It is my brother’s birthday today.  I awoke thinking of this day as his pilgrimage into his 50th year.  The common lines of the happy birthday song didn’t seem to do justice to our relationship and this new version flooded my brain at 7:00 am.

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you.

You’re one terrific brother,

but you made me eat poo.

I can only hope he finds as much humor and enjoyment in our gnarled family tree as I do.  From root to tip we are certainly an odd bunch, but I wouldn’t to hang from any other tree!

Happy birthday Jamie!!  Love you.  xx

 

 

Gone but not forgotten – Gargleblaster

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I don’t see her the way I used to,

but every so often she is a shape in the clouds,

she is two leaves forming a pattern

or she is the warm air that lulls me into sleep.

Gone, but not forgotten.

~~

gargle157

This is my first submission for the Gargleblaster challenge.

Gargleblaster: this week’s ultimate question

Is everyone recovered from last week’s gargleblaster binge? Fabulous! Take a deep breath and get ready for the next round. This week’s ultimate question was provided by yeah write editor Michelle, who found it on page 42 of Broken Magic by author and yeah write alum Eric Sipple:

Do you see her much?

Let’s see how you answer this question in 42 words. Be creative!

Flowers – 100 Word Song

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You cried,

enduring pain for me,

loving me with never having met me

and I felt blessed.

You stood,

hands on your hips,

a whimsical smile on your face

and I felt anchored.

You embraced,

you wiped my tears,

you listened and never interrupted

 and I felt understood.

You watched,

allowing me to make mistakes,

but always there to help me mend

and I felt empowered.

~

I cried

when you left me.

 In a dream I saw you,

and watched you float.

You hovered,

our eyes met, you waved,

blew me a kiss

and fell into nothing but flowers.

butterfly-bush-l

~~

Written for the 100 Word Song over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.  Go and check it out if you haven’t yet!!  This week’s song is (Nothing But) Flowers by Talking Heads.  I was really missing my mom last night so this jumped into my head today.

(image credit: thebutterflysite.com)

One more orbit for this girl

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I “borrowed” much of this post from last year on this very day because new words would not come today.

Today is an important day in my life…..today I am acutely aware of the number of years I have been on this ever revolving planet.  A birthday is not a number to me but a moment to celebrate the day I entered this life. (and it’s 45, but I still feel 29 so that counts, right?…..right?)

Today, however, is a difficult birthday.  This is my first birthday in 45 years that my mom hasn’t been the first one to call me in the early hours of the day with birthday wishes.  I did awake at 12:11 this morning and could have sworn I saw my mom and dad standing side by side.  No words were spoken but I guess they were the first to wish me happy birthday in their own way.

I celebrate with many people, some I know well, some I’ve never met, but there is one important celebration that mirrors mine – my Winnie The Pooh.  My mom created a stuffed version of the beloved character for me when I turned one and, to this day, I still have that somewhat tattered foam-filled creature.  McCall’s created a Disney series of patterns in the 1960′s that she duplicated for my brother for his first birthday and again, almost four years later, for my birthday.

He has seen his share of joys and tragedies.  He has undergone facial reconstruction and some botched plastic surgery (thanks to an over-excitable Labrador Retriever that belonged to a roommate) but he still never fails to hang in there to share year after year with me. He and I have weathered many successes and many ominous periods together, but he still remains the same source of comfort he has always been.

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Although it may seem somewhat childish to hang onto a toy that I have long outgrown, Winnie still holds an immeasurable value in my life. He represents a part of my childhood that I hold dear and he continues to represent the faith that I hold in my friendships.  He and I may not be able to communicate on the level that is deemed normal for friends but I still feel comfortable confiding in him, knowing that he will always be there to listen when I need him.

He has been a valuable part of my grieving process over the last three weeks and has found his way back into that comfortable position, tucked into the crook of my arm while I sleep.

Happy birthday Winnie…..may we continue on our journey and have a very long life together!!

Woke Up This Morning – 100-Word Song

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Butterflyinthesky1

Woke up this morning,

and, as always, you were my waking thought.

The tears came before I even knew they were coming

and I silently wept.

I’ve missed you every day since you left.

I reach for the phone to call,

but I know you won’t be there to answer.

Woke up this morning,

with a need to hear your voice.

You must have heard my call,

your laughter now echoes in the back of my mind.

The dull ache in my heart is slowly waning,

replaced by the joy in my memories of you.

Tears cleanse the open wound.

~~

Written for the 100-Word Song challenge at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.  The song choice is Woke up This Morning by Alabama 3.  I was missing my mom a lot this morning so I apologize for the heaviness in this one.

Night breezes seem to whisper

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Dreams

(image credit: panktimehta.blogspot.com)

I have always been fortunate when it comes to dreaming. Not only do I have very vivid dreams splashed with a vast array of colors but I also retain most of my dreams in my waking moments.  Last night was no exception to those rules.

Last night I dreamed of my mom.  It is not the first time she has been in my dreams since she passed a couple of weeks ago but this dream was the first time that she was the main character in the night-time production of my subconscious.  During the wee hours of my REM sleep we were able to have a conversation.

In the bizarre circumstances of my dream she had already passed away but when I was the only other person in the room she would become magically reanimated and we would talk at great length.  When others entered the room she remained still, not a word escaped from her lips.  When I awoke this morning, rather than feeling perplexed I felt deeply comforted and peaceful.  I don’t recall many of the words she uttered to me in my sleep but I do feel a great sense of warmth and a feeling of relief that she is content on the other side.  She no longer carries the chains of the physical limitations she endured with her illness and, finally, she truly feels fine.

Have you ever received messages in your dreams?

 

 

Last Trifecta

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A chorus of silent voices,

joining in harmony around the globe.

Embracing passion,

creating relationships,

making friends.

We placed a bet on the Trifecta,

wagered everything we had.

We all came in first.

trifecta

~~

(image credit: trifectawritingchallenge.com)

Written for the last ever Trifecta challenge – 33 words of our own choosing.  It saddens me that the doors to the Trifecta lounge will be closing but I am thankful for the friends I have made in that lounge.  Thank you to the creators of Trifecta for giving us the opportunity to hone our skills and choose our words wisely.  And thank you for creating a community that will live on in our newly developed friendships.

Owls and butterflies and long-winded sighs

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There are signs everywhere.  I’m not talking about the three-dimensional signs that guide us to our destination or give us information, but the signs that are sent from spirits to let us know they are still with us to help us on our journey of healing.

My friend Sandra passed away in May of 2003, very suddenly and far too young.  Her knowledge of my likes and dislikes was astounding and each time she would learn a nugget of information about me it was stored in her ever-expanding cranium.  She knew when I needed comfort and when it was okay to push my buttons.  Since the day I received the horrible news of her untimely passing, every so often I hear a strain or two of a particular song, faintly at first but I know the tune and where it came from as the notes are processed in my brain.  I have been in the grocery store or at a restaurant when the unmistakable bars of “The Girl From Ipanema” hover around my head and pillage my ears.  She knew how much I loathed that song and that is her way of letting me know she is still with me.  I release a loud sigh when I hear it to let her know she got me again and I can vaguely hear the sound of her infectious laugh.

My father passed away in 2006.  He and I both loved owls.  My Grade 10 art project was oil on canvas and I chose to paint an owl for him as his Christmas present.  I now have that painting hanging in my kitchen.  Over last few years I have had a Barred Owl perch itself in the tree that hovers over my deck.  It will sit on the same branch for hours at a time and seems quite content to be there and do nothing else.  I have had some lengthy conversations with my dad while that owl holds its spot and it seems to listen to every word I say.

Last summer my mother and my sister-in-law released butterflies in my dad’s memory.  It was something my mom had always wanted to do.  Since my mom’s passing on March 7th of this year the butterfly seems to be emerging from its cocoon in many aspects of my life.  Almost every sympathy card I have received is adorned with a butterfly.  The card attached to an arrangement of flowers I received has a butterfly in the top left corner.  The song “Dog and Butterfly” by Heart came to mind today and I haven’t heard that song in decades.  And today, while typing the phrase “there are signs everywhere” into Google, one website grabbed my attention over every other one listed and I clicked on the link.  The picture below was the one featured on the site.

Butterflyinthesky1

Now,  more than ever, I know the spirits of our loved ones stay with us.  It gives me great comfort to know my mom is sending me the message that she is okay on the other side.  It doesn’t diminish the pain of losing her presence from my every day but it does help to know that she is able to talk to me in a way we both understand.  And when summer finally arrives, clawing its way to the surface through the snow and frost-laden ground, I will be waiting for those butterflies to emerge from their cocoons and remind me that life, even after a beautiful creature disappears, does morph into something just as beautiful and ethereal.

 

Another world – Trifecta Challenge

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spiritguide

I cannot remember specific days but I do remember certain moments.  The moments you and I shared that were filled with love.  Moments that will have to satisfy me until we meet again.

~~

Written about the recent loss of my mom in response to this week’s Trifecta Challenge:

Without further ado. . .
SATISFY  (transitive verb) 1a : to carry out the terms of (as a contract) : discharge   b : to meet a financial obligation to

2: to make reparation to (an injured party) : indemnify

3a : to make happy : please   b : to gratify to the full : appease 4a : convince   b : to put an end to (doubt or uncertainty) : dispel 5a : to conform to (as specifications) : be adequate to (an end in view)

Remember:
• Your response must be exactly 33 words.
• You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.