Four Years Journey

It’s been four years sinxe my Mom went into,the hospital and didn’t recover. Four years since the start of that 16 days. I can’t say that the grief gets easier every year, but I can say that youvet better at living with it.

And here I am,four years later. Back then I never woyld have guessed I woyls be living in Texas, with this life that I have now. Not sure where I thought I would be or what I would be dping, but it wasn’t here.

And as I edit the Walk with Mom Series, getting it ready to publish, I relive those days, and that moment in time where my heart shattered. I wish I could have just grieved it instead of handling everything. When you are in charge you dont really get to feel anything, you just have to “Do.”

And so it starts, these 16 days of remembering. Four years ago, a million life times lived.

Life is short and precious. Love hard. Whatever you do, do with all of your heart

How to Gain 20 lbs in 10 Days

This is the title of a book one of my friends and I were think of writing after we spent 10 days eating and drinking our way around Houston and surrounding area. We both agree that it was worth it, and i regret nothing. As Julia Roberts says in “Eat, Pray, Love,” we will not regret enjoying life, we’ll just buy bigger pants.

And that is the thing about life, and about when a friend comes to visit, you must roll up your sleeves and have a good time. You must have fun while, when and where you can.

But in this day and age of protests, racial tension, quarantine and masks, is fun actually possible? Absolutely. If you are willing to adapt a bit.

My friend C and I wore our masks when needed, practiced social distancing while choosing places and activities that would be both fun and not crowded. The result was pure fun and adventure. and the need for bigger pants. The two of us found the best and strongest margaritas, the tastiest crawfish, the fantastic gumbo, great ice cream places, and more. No kind of food was off limits in our tasting of Houston.

We now know first hand why this wonderful city in Texas is said to have some of the best food int he country…because it does. And we tried to eat it all. OR as much as we could. Which is more than we both thought physically possible. But we laughed as the buttons on our pants got tight, and ordered another round of drinks.

Life is short and you only live once. Let’s face it, we can always lose the weight, or just stay in the larger pants. Either way we are happy. And you can never be too happy or have too much fun or make too many great memories. And that is how you gain 20 lbs in 10 days. Now excuse me while I change into my stretchy yoga pants.

Beta Blockers

I have been told and praised many times for having the strength and the courage to leave Atlanta – to just pick up and move 1,000 miles away to this little suburb in Texas. Indeed, many have said that they could not do it and admire that I could. But for me it was more about survival than courage or strength. And there is a time in life when need surpasses fear.

Beta blockers are defines as a class of medications that are predominantly used to manage abnormal heart rhythms, and to protect the heart from a second heart attack after a first heart attack. For me though, I think it goes a bit further, at least in the figurative sense of the word.

Figuratively I say that a broken heart can cause abnormal rhythms and heart attacks. Indeed the continuity of our lives is completely interrupted when we suffer a broken heart. We could say that the heart attacks in the waves of heartbreak that wash over us, as tears flow down our cheeks and noses. So who is to say that the things we do to mend that broken heart and heal ourselves are not, relatively speaking, beta blockers?

My move was a beta blocker, in the vernacular. I moved because of a broken heart. I moved to get away from all the bad that had happened over the last few years. I moved to get a fresh start and be someplace new, with new people, with new places, with new possibilities, in order to put myself back together again. And in doing so, I found the magic elixir that healed my heart and soul. It is amazing what a new address can do for you – when it is not just across town but across the country to a place where you fit.

There is a saying that everything you want is on the other side of fear. I found this to be true. I was terrified to leave Georgia, where I have spent most of my life, and Atlanta where I lived for almost 20 years. That is 20 years of memories and places and thoughts and dreams, and actions…all packed up in boxes. And it was glorious and scary and terrifying and exhilarating and exciting and exhausting. And worth it.

Being brave or strong or having courage doesn’t mean that you aren’t scared. It just means that you do it in spite of the fear. For me I had to do it, despite the fear because I inherently understood that I needed to be away to heal. And I had planned to move away for two years, just not that completely alone when previous plans fell through.

Life is short. Forget the fear. Do what you need to do to heal. Find your Beta blockers and follow through. Take the medicine needed to heal, when it is a change of address or career or relationship. Do it. You won’t regret it.

The Appreciation

As I sit and message with a friend of mine about the goings on about our lives and how we feel. we are both tickled pink and ridiculously happy. But in this day and age of social distancing, quarantine, racial tension and pandemics, can we really be happy? Yes I think so.

It wasn’t so long ago that both my friend and I were not so happy. I was dealing with loss, grief and the handling of estates, and she a bad divorce. We were both in survival mode – that place you go mentally and emotionally to just get through the days without falling apart. When you are trying to keep your head above water, putting all of your effort into not going under, you do not have the energy to notice all the little things are appreciate them. It’s a shame because that is exactly when you need those little things the most.

When the dust settles and the smoke clears froom the emotional storms that have you doing everything not to sink, then you can see clearly. And when that happens you notice that which you were too busty to see before. You have new depth for appreciation and love, and you feel with a deeper sense of eomotion.

I thiknk that maybe that is why I appreciate the little things more now that I have come out of the other side of the bad times. It is like seeing everything in color again after only being able to se ein black and hwite. Everything is so much more beautiful than before. You appreciate beautiful days with great weather, or your favorite song on the radio, or your favoroe movie, or just fixing a delicious meal and sharing it with friends.

And it is the combination of all those little things in our lives that make it worth living. The big moments and events are few and far between, so if we can fill the space with all those perfect little moments then we can fill our lives with joy. We can find Peace in the un-still world, even if the news on TV is chaotic. We can find a deeper sense of purpose within our lives.

Life is short. Pay attention to the little, the small and the every day perfections in the world. And maybe than, in those microscopic miracles we can find the secret to life.

The Ugly

Social media, where would our lives be without it? What were our lives like before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and ever MySpace? And who would have thought when these time wasters first started that they would be used to communicate politics, laws, and legal movements? Indeed, where would life be without all of the social outlets?

Maybe our lives would be much better, much more calm and peaceful and much more settled. Think about it, while they are fun, they can also be a source of misinformation, chaos and stress. And recently this seems to be exactly what it is. It is just ugliness.

The current events have affected me deeply and it is nothing but fighting and nastiness online. Both sides insulting and accusing each other and arguing. The politics, the riots, the looting, the lives lost.

So I have stepped away. And many others are doing the same. It is just too hard to take 24/7, on TV, the radio, all over the publications, everywhere online and on social media. Everyone posting their opinions of who is right and wrong, who did and caused what, and how they hate the other side.

The only thing I want to do is look up the memories on Facebook, as those always make me smile. But outside of that, it is just too rough and ugly out there. We have to be careful and take care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. And sometimes the constant information is too constant and we need a break.

Life is short. Spend on the positive.