When Worlds Collide

There are times in life when we are are busy enjoying every moment, drinking it all in as much as we can.  And aren’t those times beautiful?  And I wonder, how many of those times would we have if everything always went according to plan?  Sometimes the best things that happen are when the plan goes off the rails, and we are left to figure it out.  Sometimes the best adventures are on the paths we had no idea we would take.

How many times have we wished for a compass or an instruction book to get us through those hard or difficult times?  How many times have we worked hard to try to keep our plans in place, determined to make life turn out just the way we wanted? I do it too.  But there is a saying: Man plans and God laughs.  But would we want it any other way?

The way answer is to say that we want that instruction book, or compass, to tell us what we need to do when we are confused or feel lost.  But what about all those unexpected paths that lead to the most wonderful adventures?  Think about all that might be missed it life went exactly as planned. Think about the people we would never meet, the adventures we would miss, the laughter of the spontaneous joke or the thrill of the first unplanned kiss.

As hard as it has been to navigate the past few years I would not want it any other way.  Because now I find myself in a wonderful, unplanned place, on a path that is wide open. And if life had gone the way I planned, none of what is in front of me now would be happening at all.

And so it is time to take that leap of faith and settle into the unknown. And what not,  really, what else have you got to do? Take it all in and enjoy the paths, people and circumstances that come along. Because I think it is the surprises in life, the things which we are not looking for, that can turn out to be the sweetest moments of all.

Life is short. Make it spectacular.

All as it Should

The holiday season can be a hard time for those who have lost loved ones. It can be a hard time for those who are alone, or those who have moved away from family, or those who find themselves in the middle of a transition in their life. Facing the holidays can be daunting as you try to figure out what to do and how.

We all have those moments were we realize that there has been a shift . It could be a change in season, a relationship, a job, or life.  And in this holiday season, there has been a huge shift in my life.

Last holiday season was one of the worst I have ever experienced. It was the first without both of my parents. There had been so much loss including love and siblings, that I was truly devastated.

When hard times happen, you have c choice to let it drag you down, or use it to rise above. I chose to make love so present in my life that it is tangible.  So, if I didn’t have any family, I was going to make it the best Framily holiday ever.

An interesting and wonderful thing happens with you live life with love forward…it is returned back to you.  Several wonderful close friends extended invitations for Thanksgiving. And then I got an invitation from a dear cousin, and immediately excepted.  Excited to see them, I hit the road for the short trip Thanksgiving morning.  And the adventure began…

It was wonderful, seeing everyone, catching up, and laughing. My heart was full and happy as I saw family that I had not seen in a year or more. There was so much love in that house an in those conversations.  Many smiles and hugs and genuine conversations. So much support.

I had forgotten what it was like to have a family. To have those who love you and whom you love around.  In the midst of grief and being so busy, I had forgotten what it was like to feel loved.

And then as I snuggled down into the sheets and under the big blankets of my cousins bed, I realized that I was no longer alone.

And I felt so loved and so not alone, that I slept deeper than I had in a few years. I woke up  feeling light and happy and wonderful.

The rest of the Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the family compound, then visiting my dearest friends, more laughter, drinks, good food and more love.

Finally, my life has shifted. And I ma so thankful and happy that I just sat down and sobbed when I go home. This is it. This is the life I have wanted and worked and prayed for. This is life as it should be.

I am no longer alone. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends. This is all that life should be. And this is the life that I am blessed to have.

Life is short. Love much, love hard, and love forward.

This. Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for this past year and for the friends who have been with me throughout. I am thankful for my family of choice, for the love and support they give me. I am thankful for the laughter and plans and memories and the day to day small, amazing, wonderful moments that make life rich. Mostly, I am thankful for the love, in all its forms. I am thankful for this life, this amazing, beautiful, tragic, happy, magic, crazy, wonderful, beautiful life, and all that it encompasses.

Life is short and precious, make it spectacular.

Winter setting in

Temperatures are dipping down to freezing in a bit below, which is a bit unusual during this time of the year for us here in the South. It is a little early for such cold weather and snow flurries. But no matter, I’ll take it.

Indeed it seems that winter is setting in. The heat is on the fireplaces have fires in them, warm blankets and soft sheets and fluffy pillows are on the beds. And instead of coax, my drink of choice on these cold winter nights is tea.

The holidays are quickly approaching and I’m ready. I am ready for both hibernation and adventure which may sound like complete contradictions, but they are not. I want to snuggle down in the warm blankets, with hot tea, or good wine, and movies. And I want to go out and explore and enjoy all that this life has to give. Finally comfortable in my role now. Finally comfortable with the new normal. And this season will be a happy one.

Many of my new family have extended invitations for the holidays, and get-togethers, and catching up. And everywhere I look I’m reminded of all the love that’s there for me, just for the asking. Actually it’s there even if I don’t ask for it. And it feels good, and wonderful, and warm.

The repairs are underway, and we’ll be wrapping up soon. The house is a mess right now, but soon we’ll be cleaned and decorated for the holidays. And soon I’ll be in bed, wrapped up in a cozy blanket. Yes winter is setting in, and there is nothing like the warmth from The Hearth to warm the heart.

Hi Guys

Hi Guys,

Mom and Dad, I love and miss you so much, more than words can say.

I have been doing everything to take care of the estate.  We had buyers for the compound then two weeks before closing hurricane Michael cam e through.  It didn’t destroy the place (thanks to your incredible design and insistence that it be build beyond code Dad), but it did sustain damage.  Contractors are working on it. I have no idea what I am doing, but think I have navigated it pretty well.  I hope you are proud, and I hope I have done things up to your incredible standards. Thank you for teaching me such integrity.

When I go there now, I see glimpses of you and Dad, but I don’t feel you there anymore. I think you guys are off dancing somewhere else in the universe, happy to be together. And I think you come back to visit when I am there, but you do not stay. After all, there must be so much to do in the afterlife. And I am sure that you are the social butterfly you always were, Mom, Making friends and laughing where ever you go  And Dad, I know you are just happy to be with her, warmed by the light of her. So many people have and are helping me because of how much they loved you guys.

In a way I wonder if the hurricane was when you guys decided to leave the compound, use it as your exit. Mom, the gardens you made were destroyed, but most of the fruit trees made it. I guess in a way this makes it (emotionally) easier to sell, which is a blessing in it’s own way.

The family is a mess, if you can say it even exists at all.  I have tried to put the siblings back together, but some things cannot be unbroken. And so I accept that I am alone.  The cousins have been wonderful though, even though I have not had time to talk to them much.  But they are very loving and kind.  They are my last connection to you Dad and I want to keep those relationships going.  I plan to see them all this coming year.

Mom, I cannot believe it has been almost 2.5 years since you passed away. I don;t know how I have done all of this without you.  Accept I know you and God have been guiding me. I feel you so close sometimes, that I almost feel like I could reach out and touch you.  But I can’t. I wish you would visit me more in my dreams. And I love when you and Dad give me signs, like the rainbow yesterday.

As hard as it will be to finally sell the compound, I am looking forward to the closure.  You guys know how hard this has all been and how long it has taken to handle everything.  It is time for that closure and for me to live my life, finally free. I am planning where to go and what to do after it all settles down.  I am thinking of what I want life to be for me. I am not sure what it all looks like yet, but there is time.

The holidays (I think) will be easier this year than last.  Last year was rough. But that first year always is. I am ready for it now. And I am taking a friends advice…I am not making it about family, but about love and friendships and laughter and making good memories. I will be with friends who, I am learning, are our family of choice. I wonder if you ever spent a Christmas alone like I did last year, Mom. And I wonder was it hard for your too?  But this year is different.

I used to hate the idea of time passing without you guys. I still hate it, but I cannot change it, so instead I am learning to embrace it more.  I look forward to not being able to say “My Dad died last year.” Because it means that I am moving forward like I know you would want me to. Like I know that I have to. I know that the best way to honor you, and to honor God, is to find all the Joy that life can hold.  And I will.  I will make this life spectacular. All the while, never forgetting that it is your blood that flows through my veins, my beautiful, beautiful parents.

I am going to decorate for Christmas like crazy this year. Two Christmas trees and ALL of the decorations. I will sit and be warm in the glow of everything Christmas and feel close to you both. I will not only embrace the holidays, I will choose to flourish and be  love. And if I don’t have family around, then I will make my own world with all of my friends I love and who love me the most. Life can never be the same, but I can choose to make a life where I am happy and loved.  If we write our own lives, then I can do that. If I don’t feel like I fit in or belong, then I will create my own world where I do.

I still listen to your voicemails, and they make me smile. I never want to forget the sound of your voices. Please keep watching over me and guiding me. And I hope that I make you proud. I have tried very hard to have Grace, but still be tough when needed. It can be a hard balance sometimes. Somehow both of you mastered it, and I hope to one day as well.

I hope you guys are happy where ever you are. And I often wonder, when I look at the moon, if you see it too from your view? Or are you magnificent stars, seeing the moon for yourself? Do you get to see the world, like you always wanted, traveling a new wavelength we cannot yet understand here on Earth? If so, I bet it is spectacular. Or, are you angels, helping just like you did here, just in a different way?

Know that I love you so very much, more than words can say. I honestly don;t know if I love you or miss you more? I carry you with me always. ee cummings said it best. Love you guys, always.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)




Thoughts in Action

Life has been busy and hectic these days.  Getting everything organized and situated with the repairs of the family compound, looking for the next contract, planning trips, having meetings, doing freelance…it has been quite exhausting. Which accounts for the lack of writing the  last few weeks.  There have been plenty of things to write, but the ideas usually come when I am either knee deep in something, or late at night when I am too exhausted to type.

My house is littered with notes scribbled here and there, on everything from envelopes to notepads, to napkins, to receipts.  Ideas of what to write about, thoughts and feelings, written out in every room. Because I don’t want to miss any ideas.

And yet here I am, almost 1am, barely able to keep my eyes open to write. But here are some notes.  If you ever wanted to know what it is like inside a writer’s head, here is a peek.

Note 1:

Something happens in the quiet. In the quiet, we don’t try to keep our minds occupied all of the time. Our mind gets to wonder in cracks and crevices deep within, our mind explores different thoughts down the Avenues of awareness. But first we have to let our mind not be occupied. And that can be scary, because it is as if we are afraid to be alone with our own thoughts. It is is as if we are afraid to not be occupied 100% of time. We seem to be uncomfortable with true down time and being truly unplugged and in tune with our own thoughts.

But it is when our mind is not occupied or entertained that our own imagination is allowed to wonder. And creativity comes alive. It is during this time that we can solves problems, while daydreaming and letting our minds wonder. It is where the spark of curiosity starts, as the thoughts lead us to new discoveries.

But first we must be alone with ourselves, our thoughts and our minds. And we must run the risk of being bored.  They always say that everything you want is just outside of your comfort zone.

Note 2

I saw a rainbow driving back from my parents place, and I always think of rainbows is a sign and a smile for my dear Mom. Especially when I asked for a rainbow not 5 minutes before seeing this one. What was interesting about this rainbow is that it wasn’t in my line of view.

If I sat normally in the driver’s chair of my car the rainbow would have be covered up by the roof . Only when I leaned forward did I catch a glimpse of this beautiful full rainbow. And isn’t that true in life as well? How many times are the solutions, and solutions that we’re working so hard for, is just out of our view? How many times are the answers for we seek right there as well? And we just have to hold on a little bit longer, pray a little bit more, take a few more steps, before the things that are just outside our peripheral come into focus. Just another reason why I know I can’t give up, because the reasons, the answer, everything  I seek, it’s just outside my line of view.

And sometimes we have to shift a bit to see what is right in front of us.  Sometimes that is all it takes.