100,004 Miles

We all have those moments, the ones I like the call the Oh Crap moments.  They are different than the Ah-ha moments which Oprah talks about in that the Oh Crap moments make you realize just how much something really did cost, how much work it took, or some other realization that doesn’t quite qualify as an ah-ha moment.

I had one of those moments to day when I looked down and realized the odometer on my car was about to hit 100,000 miles. I bought the car 4 years ago, yes, that’s 100,000 miles in 4 years.  That was my Oh Crap moment. While my parents were alive and aging, I took as good as care of them as I could from far away.  I lived 4.5-5.0 hours away and for a long time I was going to down to help them almost every weekend.  That is 500 miles round trip.  Every weekend almost, especially in the Spring when they were really busy.

One of the best investments I made was buying that car new, even though a new car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the floor…the reason is because I don’t think that many cars would have been so good to me and so easy to maintain.

The miles on the car reminds me of just how much I did take care of my parents and that there is truly nothing more I could have done for them  That is a good feeling. Several life times have been lived, loved and lost in that 100,004 miles on my car. And that is the miracle of life, it keeps going.

Out with the Inbox

It had been over a year since I cleaned out my email Inbox.  Yesterday was the day…and I had almost 15,000 emails.  I didn’t even know you could have that many unread emails. But there they were, staring at me in the face.  One by one I went through them.

It is interesting the things that come to a stop or pause when dealing with family tragedy. I did not have the time or energy to go through any extraosseous emails form the past year. And it was strange going through all those emails , all those messages. It was like the past 15 months flashed before my eyes, heart and souls in just a matter of hours.

All the memories flooded back as I went through everything.  All the conversations with the family about Mom, the service, the obituary, the bills, the funeral home…Then all the doctors appointments for Dad, emails to and from family keeping everyone updated, The everything with his service and the church and the family and who is staying where and coming from what airline.

There were all the things I had to cancel too, all of my doctors appointments, all of the trips, concerts and other fun things my then boyfriend and I had planned.

All of the emails to and from the grief counselors, from the beginning, to the last ones when they said that I am OK and have made through. All the emails from my best friends and angels, checking in on me, making sure I was OK, sending me inspirational messages.

Over and entire year of my life -the worst year of my entire life, documented in emails. And the emotions came over me with each individual email, playing back in my mind.

Now they are nice and neatly organizes. My trash box is stuffed, but going through all those emails reminded me of how far I have come, how many miles have been traveled and how many tears have been cried.  I have traveled worlds in that amount of time. But now my life, just like the email, is getting in order and falling into place.

Getting Back to Me

Two years ago, I was enjoying going to the gym on a regular basis.  I was running, boxing, doing free weights and even had belly dance classes.  Today, I am reclaiming those goals.  I joined a gym with many locations, and I bought a yoga trapeze swing.  Have you seen those things? It will be a spectacular way to keep fit, and a lot of fun, if I don’t break my neck.

Wing-Yoga-Swing-Inversion-Sling-2-5-meter-full-set-Aerial-Anti-gravity-Yoga-Hammock-Swing

Slowly, I am getting back to me, back to who I was two years ago, and back to where my life was.  I know that after all that has happened, I while I will never be same, not would I want to be, I can get my life back.  I have done all the work to be emotionally and mentally healthy. I am praying, meditating and taking care of my self spiritually, which is so very important. Now it is time for the physical.  This is my time to make myself and my life whatever it is I want it to be.

And so I start out running again, as I did earlier this year before it got so hot.  Now there is no excuse for not working out.  Now, it is my time.  I am so ready to get back to myself, to get back to fit,  and to have fun doing it.

When you are a caretaker, many times you end up being too busy and too tired to take care of yourself.  And that is where I found myself.  I was wearing slouchy, baggy, unattractive clothes, not fixing my hair, being too tired to put on make up, no nail polish, nothing.  I stopped exercising, stopped even trying to look good.  I was just too exhausted.

But now that is not the case.  I have energy, I have the time, I have the desire.  I am rediscovering what it is like to be the girl. I am wearing make up, fixing my hair, and wearing stylish outfits again.  I m embracing life.

And so far so good.  I have a great job, there have been concerts, there is theater coming up, trips to be planned and soon a move into an amazing new house.  I cannot wait. Because this is only the beginning.

A Letter to You Mom

Hi Mom,

It’s me.  It’s been a year since you passed.  Today is a year since your memorial service.  I cannot believe it has been a whole year. A year since I saw you, hugged you, heard your voice.  I play your voice mails often so I can hear you tell me you love me and laugh at some of the other messages.

I don’t really remember the day of your memorial service.  I know we used the plants from Patsy, I know the ladies at the church helped out. I know that Dad was there with Michael.  I know that I spoke or read things at the service.  But I do not really remember anything other than that.  I know that Dad came up to live with us after that, and that he spent most of the night crying and telling me things about his life that I never know before.

I miss you so very much, but I think you would be proud of me.  I am finally through with the deep profound grief.  You know I still miss you, every day.  But I am not so sad anymore.  I am smiling, laughing, dancing and am even joyful.  I know you would not want me to just shrivel up.  I know you want me to be happy because it is you who taught me that your life is bigger than any one event of person.  I was listening when you taught me things Mom.

I tried to take care of Dad as best as I could.  I am sorry about Michael and how he turned out.  I know that you liked him and that you were happy that I had finally found the man of my dreams.  But he wasn’t Mom.  But I know you know that. While he did help take care of Dad, that cannot undo the terrible other things he did.  And all the fights he caused while Dad was here.  I didn’t know how to stop him.

I envision you and Dad as wonderful, beautiful rays of light and energy, zipping and and playing around, being so joyful.  I imagine you guys being mischievous and playful. I imagine you riding on the wings of dragon flies, and being the light for a firefly. I know that you are just as magic now as you were when alive.  And you were magic Mom.  Pure, magic and love. If I am even half the human being, half the woman, half the mother that you were, I will be happy.

A year.  I have missed you every day, and that will continue. But I know that you want me to be happy.  And I am.  But it has been hard to get to the point to be happy without you guys, it has been hard working through the grief.  And Michael didn’t make it any easier.  It’s been easier and I have been happier since he has been out of my life.  Him leaving is the reason why I was finally able to focus on y life and get over through the grief finally.

And finally Mom, I am ready to move forward. I am happy and am ready to start my life in this new normal.  I am ready Mom.  But I will never be used to a life without you guys, so you have to be around.  You still have to give me signs now and then.  And please, show up in my dreams.  I love seeing you in my dreams, because hen I can still hear you, see you, touch you, hug you.  I love those dreams.  I wake up so happy.

I want you to know that it was my honor and privilege to take care of you, to be there, to hold your hand when you passed.  The time we spent together was precious.  You were and are the best mother ever.  I love you so, so very much. And always will.

The Happy Voice

They say that the eyes are windows into the soul….but what about the voice?  As someone who used to be in radio, I can tell you that the voice can show a wide range of emotions and insights as well.  As someone who used to be in radio, the voice can be a very powerful tool.

A It happened a day ago, I was talking to one of my best friends on the phone. And she stopped me mid sentence to say that she had mot heard me this happy in at least a year.  She could tell that I was happy, lighter and no longer sad.  She was so excited to hear it in my voice.

And it is true,  I am happier now than I have been in years actually.  Even today, the anniversary of my Mother’s memorial service I am happier than I have been in a long time.  Don’t get me wrong, a year ago today was horrible.  And my life is so different than I thought it would be.  But my life today is also incredibly blessed.

The time of profound grief is over, so while today is melancholy, and there have been tears, it is better than last year.  One of the biggest improvements is that I got rid on a toxic person with whom I had a toxic relationship. A man who took pleasure in my pain, a man who took pleasure in being vindictive for sport.  A man who tried to deeply scar me, but failed.

Now there is a wonderful new job, great opportunities, and even chances for new relationships and love. The world is truly mine.  And my parents are above me, lvoing me and guiding me as I love forward.

And now there is Peace in my life.  There is no fighting, there are no accusations, there are no arguments, no negativity, no darkness, nothing bad.  There is Peace, love, friendships and goodness.  Getting this toxic person out of my gave me the time, space and peace to heal from my Mother’s death.  It allowed me to fully process everything so I could finally get over the profound grief.  And now everyone can hear it, see it, feel it and experience the happiness that is bubbling up from my soul.

Get those negative, toxic people out f your life and get a happy voice too.

 

The Now in the What

It is the time you have decided will be the time of your life.  You are tired of all the bad and are ready for the good stuff.  You want excitement and friends and family and all that is wonderful.  And then…you look around and wonder…Now what?

This is where I find myself.  After what is arguably the worst year of my life, I have come out of it better, stronger, more.  And I am ready for all the wonderful.  But now what? How exactly does it happen?  How do I go about it?  What do I do now?

I think many find themselves in this place at some point our lives.  I think maybe we must be patient. I will pray, I will meditate, I will follow the good and what makes me happy.  I will follow what brings joy to my life and heart.  I will have fun and share that goodness.

But that doesn’t mean to be busy all the time.  There needs to be moments of rest and reflection.  TO get the house in order, to write, to read, and breath.  This is a hard one for me, because I tend to want everything NOW.  Especially when I make up my mind.  So patience.  Whatever needs to be, whatever is supposed to be, will come. Naturally, organically, truly.  I just have to trust in God, that His timing is perfect and that HE will show me the direction in which to go.

So that is the what next. Trusting and being patient. And having a glass of wine.

Peace if Life

It has taken a while to happen, and it has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears a lot of processing.  But there is finally here.  Peace.  I have Peace. I am at Peace.  And it feels wonderful.

I am at peace with my past.  At peace with all that has transpired.  At peace with the death of my parents, though I will always miss them.  At peace with the end of the toxic relationship that needed to end. I am at peace with the mistakes I have made, and the things I have done, and the things I have left undone.

With Peace there is also a sense of calm and balance and stability.  This may seem counterintuitive to the excitement I have also been feeling, but they go hand in hand. It is simple and basic – that which brings you peace will make you happy.

There is no internal struggle, or external struggle for that matter. It is felt deep in the soul, where the light dances with the dark. It is hard to describe except everything is good.  Everything is right.  It is what happens when you love until there is nothing left.  It is what happens when, like the Velveteen Rabbit, you become Real. It is what happens when you and God rebuild yourself.  And you become very protective of it.  When you feel Peace like this, you don’t want anything to disturb it again.

And so you learn to walk away from anything that causes a wrinkle in in it, the Peace that rocks you to sleep at night.  And so I want to keep this feeling, this wonderful calm after al the storms. And I want it to become the foundation on which I build.