Daddy’s Hands

Daddy's hands

Two years ago you started your final journey…Hard to believe it has been that long since I have seen you, hugged you, held your beautiful hand. My first love, my teacher, my dear father. I am proud that I was a Daddy’s girl, and honored to be with you during your final journey. I know you and Mom are having a blast, laughing at your silly daughter. I look at my life now, and see how far I have come since first losing you. I made it through the grief of losing both of you, and am thriving now. I am happy. You were the best father in the world, and I cherish our time. Thank you for everything. I love and miss you so much. Tell Mom I love her. Please visit me in my dreams.

Number Two

As I walked in, a wonderful sense of Love came over me. And then without even realizing it, there were tears streaming down my cheeks as I walked from the back of the room past all the pews, closer to the front of the church.

I had gone to sit in the quiet of the beautiful cathedral here in downtown Atlanta. It’s a place I’ve been going for many, many years, and I consider it my spiritual home. I have many times gone there to sit in the quiet the chapel, or been in my own thoughts on a spring day in the little garden Courtyard. Today I just needed to be in quiet contemplation and Remembrance as I sat in the huge Cathedral, below all the stained glass, staring up at the altar, and crying.

This is a hard week for me. They say that the anniversary of a loved one’s death gets a little easier every year. And to some extent that is true. I don’t think you ever get over losing your parents though. But you do learn to live, function and be happy in the “new normal.” And indeed I have. I am even thriving.

And yet here I am, this week, with the memories and thoughts, and missing my Dad so much. I feel as though I have my PhD in grief, and grief management. A very specialized doctorate, it comes after a great deal of Blood, Sweat, tears, and experience.

And as I reflect this week, not only on everything that happened two years ago, but of everything that has happened since. I think, I hope, that my father would be proud of me. I’m thankful every single day, and so very careful not to take any of the goodness that is in my life now for granted. This life, that I have been given, and so blessed to have, is truly amazing and wonderful. I’ve come a long way and many lifetimes since that day two years ago.

And so later on this week, when it is the actual anniversary, I will take time to reflect, and cry, and laugh, and celebrate. I will celebrate my father’s life, the beautiful and wonderful time we had together, and all the victories that I have overcome since. I have that day planned, something I know to do that will honor him, and celebrate this life that has been graciously given to me. This week I will also have love and thankfulness in my heart.

So every year, on the anniversaries of their deaths, I decided not to do anything sad or depressing. I will do something on each of those days to honorand and celebrate them and this beautiful life. And so the tradition continues.

Life is short. Feel all you can, love all you can, cry, and laugh, and miss them all you can. Honor them all you can. And mostly, live your life fully, all you can.

Proud to Be Me

I wrote this two years ago, and I LOVE it.  Very proud to have written it.

To Be Me

I am a woman,
Real, live, not imagined
Magnificent, amazing, dark
You cannot imagine the depth of me
Or the breadth of my smile
Or the source of my strength
Or the very essence

A woman, phenomenally me
I am real in the flesh
And you cannot control me
With remote, joystick or otherwise
I do not obey, and you cannot
Dampen or darken this light
Inside me; it is God-given

I will not be controlled
But I will blow the rules
Rock the boat,
Tell the truth and,
Call you out on lies
Or shortcuts on character
And misquotes and more

I am not here to please
Or pleasure or serve.
I am here to pray
And flourish
And throw my head back
In laughter and joy
And honor the live given to me

I am here to love
With my whole heart
And not settle for half done tries.
I am here to breath fire
Into this life and
Make it dance with the
Brilliance of my soul

I am here to be me.
Ada Burch 2/19/2017

Day of Love

Yes, it is That day, the day dedicated to love: Valentine’s Day. When I was younger, I was all into this day. I wanted the roses, the dinner, the gifts, the romance, the ALL of Valentines. Ah, how age has mellowed me out. I am still a romantic sap, but a bit more practical.

To me, whether single or attached, these days Valentine’s is about the every day love that we experience in our lives. And as I look around, I see so much love. And honestly, isn’t that the great things about life?  Whatever it is that we are looking for, that is exactly what we will find. And examples of every day love are all around.

I have been blessed to have the most wonderful friends. I have so many who are there for me, day and night, through the good and bad, thick and thin. Yes, they are my heart, as it beats over and over.

These are the people who love me no matter how many times I make mistakes, trip and fall, spill things, put my foot in my mouth, break something, need help, forget something, when I look ugly, feel ugly, have gained 10 lbs, eat and entire pizza (not that that has ever happened), have a bad hair day, or month, spill a drink on them, or their significant other  (not that that has ever happened…) and countless other things too numerous too mention.

I also think of the love of my parents, both for each other and for me.They were the love of each others lives. And they both loved me so much. I think about our times together and feel so blessed to have had such wonderful parents.

And I think about all the romantic love I have experienced. And I am appreciative of all of it – the good, the bad, the great, the passionate, the lazy, the weird, the best, the worst, the all of it over the years.  And all the moments. They taught me many things in ht is life, gave me many experiences, taught me about broken hearts, romance, hope, and life in general. And I am thankful for (most) of them.

And I think of how blessed I am, to have loved and top have been loved, and to be loved so much. In my life, in this new beginning, in this space and time, in this struggle, there is not a place I can go to get away from the love in my life. And it will just grow. Because that is what love does when it’s shared. And love is everywhere with me as I start this new beginning, this new adventure in life.

SO celebrate all the many types of love in your life.  Who cares if you aren’t dating anyone, there is still love to be celebrated. And if you look close, sometimes in the microscopic folds of time, you will find more love than you know what to do with. Because it is there. And just like the light, just like the dark, love is one of the fundamental ingredients of the universe.

Life is short. Love it.


Goodnight Sweet Olive

When you adopt a pet, it is a lifetime commintment, as in their lifetime. I am a firm believer in adopting for life.

And when we adopt, we must understand that our pets are completely dependant upon us for everything – food, water, medical care, love and emotional support. I say emotional support as well because animals can become depressed or. Distressed too. For instance, an abusive relationship can have a huge effect on animals too.

And when they becone sick, it is up to us to determine the best way to keep the from suffering. And I always wanted to be a pwt owner that walked that fine line, but managed to catch them before suffering happened. But oh it is so hard, and it is a fine line.

And so my beautiful Miss Olive kitty had liver cancer. And she was starting to suffer. She stopped eating, didnt drink much, her eyes were dilated, she stayed hunched up for a day, she started wanting more time alone and when she did eat, she threw up. It was time.

So I made the appointment , and took her to the vet. It was peaceful and painless and incredibly difficult. I cried the whole time.

She was a wonderful pet that I had for 13 yearsm. She came to me when a neighbor found her and asked that I take her in. She was sweet and sassy, and perfect. And for 13 years she ruled my house. And I will miss her so very much.

You Can’t Take it With You

There are times in life when you just have to take the chance, because Taking Chances is part of living. There is a saying that says everything you want is on the other side of fear. And I really believe that’s true. Everyone knows that the only way to accomplish something truly different than what you’ve been doing, is to completely step out of your comfort zone.

But to do that you must take chances and risks. And so many times is too scary to do. But I wonder why? There are a thousand different reasons. The two biggest I think would be failure, or rejection. Not much as worse than failure, except maybe rejection and getting your heart smashed. But it really doesn’t matter what the risk and the chances are, whether it’s with your heart, or whether it’s with a company or job, or selling everything you own to move to the small island. There are always considerable risks to be factored and Weighed.

There is also something that I have heard for many years, and that is every decision we make is based out of love or out of fear. The decisions we make out of fear will always be the wrong ones. I believe this to be true as well. This is because if we always just sit in our own little world, huddled up afraid to take any chances out there in the big world, we will never accomplish anything or have any kind of life worth living. Even if it means complete failure or rejection or broken heart, it’s worth it if it means you actually took the chance.

And quite honestly so what if we fail? Failure never actually killed anyone, neither has rejection or a broken heart. Though that may be hard to keep in mind in the throes of the negative outcome.

I think that taking risks and chances also keeps us from being bitter, and being complacent and apathetic and that bitterness. We’ve all met those people who are so bitter and angry that they become a shell of who they used to be, and we just sit and look at them and wonder what happened to you? I never want to be that kind of person, I never want anyone to look at me like that. I’m also too stubborn to become like those who hurt me. And refusing to become bitter and angry in this modern world, is a risk in itself. Because that means being open to new experiences and new people, and that can be ridiculously scary and a bit dangerous. But I simply cannot be that much of a pessimist, even though I’ve tried. I end up waking up the next morning with the same excitement about the day and about life and about all the possibilities that lie ahead.

I simply cannot be closed the experiences in the people around me, cannot be closed to being optimistic when I take these risks, these very calculated risk, and everyone thinks I’m crazy. But isn’t that one of the things that makes life so exciting, and exasperating, and thrilling, and scary? Is that we really don’t know how it all ends up, except it always seems to end up just as it should be. The problem is that we don’t know what it should be and that is scary to us.

The moral is the story is that you can’t take it with you, so you might as well be wide open to all the experiences that life has to offer and give you. And even if we get bumped and bruised and cut or even broken along the way, that’s okay. The human body and the human Spirit are both need to be extremely resilient, and you may surprise yourself at how well you get through at all after all. So take the chance, take the risk, and accept the fact that you will either fail or succeed brilliantly. And honestly both are okay because neither one will kill you.

And I wonder why people would choose just stuff away their feelings, and not take any risks? Why would someone stay in a dead-end career or a job that they hate, and never take the chance or the risk I’m trying something new? Isn’t life worth the risk? Isn’t our own happiness worth the risk and the chances? Because it’s uncomfortable if we fail, oh but what if we succeed?

Life is short. So take the chance, be wide-open, be optimistic, dare to dream to be as big, as bold, and as happy as you ever thought you could be. And hang on tight because it’s going to be quite a ride!

Birthday Months

As we launch further into February, I have to look back and smile this past birthday month. There are times in our life when we must celebrate. And I truly believe that your birthday month because one of those times. And it should not just be confined to one day, but the entire month.

And this past month was filled with every kind of celebration for my birthday imaginable. And it was wonderful. There were long conversations, and dinners, and catching up with friends, and exploring new places, and trying new things. There was a vacation, and a trip to a place that I’d wanted to visit for years, and catching up with old friends once there.

And there were smiles, and tears, and laughter, and tasks done and completed, and some things left undone, to wrap up this next month. But most of all, there was a celebration of life. Because this little life that we have, that we are blessed to get, is so short and so fleeting, that we must truly celebrate every single day and every single moment that we possibly can.

And along with this celebration, of life, there’s also the celebration of me. Celebration of my life being returned back to me,. And celebration of the beginning of truly taking care of myself again, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. It’s all wrapped up in there, and I have ignored myself for far too long.

Life is short. Don’t forget to celebrate every minute, and don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. Always be willing to invest in yourself, because yes you are worth it.

A Vacation Worth Learning

Sometimes there is a point in life where you reach burn out. This is when you have been going so hard for so long without any breaks or help, that you just get burned out and overwhelmed. IT could be from work, or home, or family, or any of the above. Burnout is when we take care of everything and everyone…except ourselves And most of the tie it is not intentional. Most of us would love to be able to take care of ourselves along with way, sometimes that is not possible though.

But when we don’t take care of ourselves, we become ragged and torn a bit at the soul. And sometimes we cannot see just how worn out we have become until we step away. It may be a slow realization, or it may be an ah-ha moment, but eventually light comes on.

For me it has been a gradual thing, as all the ways have come to the surface. Getting my lie caught up, so to speak, this past month has made it painfully clear just how much I let things go while taking care of others the past few years. And it is something that was very evident on vacation in Belize.

It has been 8 years since I went on vacation. The trip was long over due. But things were missing, because when you have not taken care of yourself for an extended time, you kind of forget how. So there was no real preparation for the trip, other than packing what bits and pieces of clothing that still fit.

Except that clothes didn’t fit. They were all huge – so big one of my friends said he just thought I lost a lot of weight because none of my clothes fit. What?!? For the last several years there was no time or energy to put into what I looked like, much less the time and effort it took to do anything about it. A piece of clothing being clean was about the only requirement.

My friends had to have an intervention. In Belize. Where I had to repeat that I do not need L and XL sizes (even though that is what was comfortable in the last years). I was only allowed to my S and M sizes…and when I tried o a bathing suit, I was told to hike it up where it did no cover my whole ass, because I was not a grandmother.

And at first I rolled my eyes while following their rigid instruction. Until something wonderful happened – the clothes fit. And I looked good in them. I felt good in them. And this may seem like a shallow thing to write about, but it is significant. because we must take care of ourselves if we have any hope of being happy in this world. That means wearing clothes that fit. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make sure you feel good in what you wear.  Because we have the right to feel good about ourselves.

For me that also means making sure to have spare contact lenses and glasses. These are things I had not thought about or taken the time to do. There is also a dentist appointment to go with those new contacts…Yes, when you are burned out, even the most basic things can seem like too much.

You have the right to stop, breath, and do things that make you happy, make you feel, make you laugh, that move your soul and make you smile. Because those things, even if small, make all the difference. We all need to take care of ourselves, keep up with our health appointments and make sure we are tending to our souls.

And that is why it is important to take vacations, to take time out to breath. It isn’t to brag or post pictures on social media, it is so we are reminded that there is more to life than our current struggles. That there is more that the trauma from which we have come. To remind us of what resonates in our soul, once the stress of the day is removed. It reminds us of Life itsself, and all that having a well lived life has to offer.

Life is short. Take the vacation. buy the dress. Wear the lipstick, dance out loud, and don’t ever take these moments for granted, even the most mundane. And that is what I learned on this vacation. And that is what I must never forget again.

You Better Belize It

There are times in life when we need adventure, when we need a change of scenery, a change of pace, a break. We work hard to strive and reach our goals, we work hard to be better and there must be a reward. Europeans typically take 6 weeks of vacation a year, as they recognize the need to get away and play. But Americans don’t play as much, which is a shame.

Indeed, this has been the first vacation in many years, and it has been ling overdue. Belize. For a week. Beautiful sand, sun, friends, drink and an unbeleivable amount of delicious feastage. Lobster everyday, if not several times a day, while in season. I have eaten everything on the vacation, leaving no culinary stone unturned. I don’t even want to know how much weight I have gained, but it doesnt matter, I regret nothing.

Seeing and spending time with wonderful friends. Meeting new friends, amazing sunrises, beautiful sunsets, an incredible double rainbow, lots of drinks, more laughter than I thought possible, 10lbs, a lost contact lens, a new hat, some snazzy souvenirs, a few rans lines and memories forever. The first trip in a ling time, and,hopefully a sign of more to come.

Life is short. Aleays make time to play.