Sunday, December 24, 2017

A huge Hello from John

My Sweetie came through again last night. I am still totally amazed. Some days I feel I should be used to the ways that John still shows me that he's around. Then other days I doubt and think maybe I am just making all this stuff up to make myself feel better. I think we all have those feelings from time to time.
But last night was unmistakable.
Let me explain.
A friend of ours - John's and mine - came into town this weekend to be with his family. George and his girlfriend were staying with his sister. He texted me on Friday to say Hi but didn't think we would be able to meet because his schedule was so full with family get-togethers. Then, lo and behold, his Saturday evening became free and he wanted to know if we could get together for drinks and snacks.
Of course, I said yes.
I have always enjoyed George's company. Our history goes way back. Years ago - many years ago - literally 34 years ago - John and George met in nursing school. Both were older gents who were going back to school to start second careers. So, these two wonderful people met and struck up an instant friendship. I remember John coming home and telling me about his friend George long before I ever met him.
A couple of years passed. They both graduated.
By this time I was Head Nurse of a children's psych unit in Wilkes Barre PA and needed a staff nurse. John told his friend to apply. He did. He got the job. It worked out great. George was a wonderful nurse and an awesome person and we all got along. George was now my friend too. Officially, a "family" friend.
More years passed. John and I moved to AZ. George visited a couple of times and then, as often happens, we lost touch.
Fast forward more years.
One day I got an email from George. He had been surfing the Internet and looking up people he knew and sadly, he had found John's obituary. He also had found my writing web site and thus was able to get my email address. So, he was writing to say how sorry he was to hear about John and to ask how I was doing.
I was thrilled to hear from him. We caught up. As luck would have it, George has a sister who lives just one town over from me so the next time he was in town visiting his sister we had dinner and renewed our friendship in real time. And talked of John, of course, and remembered and smiled.
So, now through the magic of technology, we can Facebook and text and keep in touch.
And that brings me to yesterday and dinner at Z Tejas in Phoenix.
As I was driving to Phoenix to pick up George and his friend so we could go to dinner, I talked to John. I do that a lot when I drive. I enjoy our quiet time together.
Anyway, I was telling John about the upcoming time with George and invited John to join us, to be with us and have fun as we always did when we got together.
And then I just let that thought go. John was going to do with it what he would.
I picked up George and Fran and off we went. I had made reservations for 7:30. We arrived and I told the waitress we were there. She grabbed 3 menus. I whispered to her that we needed a quiet table because we had a lot of catching up to do. She nodded understanding. Mind you, I had purposely chosen this particular restaurant because it's usually pretty good for conversation and the other restaurants I had researched for this evening all touted "entertainment" which translates into shouting if you want to talk to your dinner companion. So, I had picked this one precisely for no entertainment.
And then, just as we started following the hostess to our table, I heard the strains of a guitar being tuned up and the guitarist mumbling something to the audience as he started to play his next song. He was in the bar area and I couldn't see him but I could definitely hear him. The words "oh, crap" may have been muttered under my breath.
And then...
And then...
He started to sing and I instantly recognized the song - "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles.
Anyone who knows me or who has read my book knows what that song means to me - and to John.  It's one of the ways that John says what I call "Hello's" to me. I knew what it meant.
John was there. He was smiling and happy and he was going to enjoy time with George too.
I was thrilled. As it happened dinner conversation eventually turned to George saying "So, what's new?" and I filled him in on my latest metaphysical doings and I was able to explain what had just happened.
But even if I hadn't been able to do that, I knew what had just happened and it was enough. My heart was full.
Hello, John. Have a seat. So happy you can be with us. Let's all catch up.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Fly high, Aunt Mary

Mary Flowers        1929 - 2017

This has been a very hard week for me and my family.
Last Sunday my aunt and godmother Mary Flowers passed away.
My aunt was more than my aunt to me. She was my second Mom and even saying that doesn't do it justice.
Next to losing John, this is the next hardest loss for me. I bonded with Aunt Mary from infancy. My mother was not the most affectionate mother. My aunt tells me stories how she used to come home from work [she was 19 and working as a secretary in the city] and my mother would be busy doing housework and she would tell my aunt to "go play with the baby" [I was only months old]. My aunt told me she didn't need to be asked. She enjoyed nothing more. She would put on her Frank Sinatra records and she would dance around the room with me. 
When my mother was being crappy to me when I was growing up, it was my aunt that I turned to for unconditional love. She was always there. 
She was a constant I could rely on no matter what. When Alzheimer's took her, it was very hard for everyone. And now she is not suffering anymore so that's good.
I know she is still with me. But we all know it's not the same thing.
But I'm grateful for what I had. I know I am lucky and blessed.
I know she and her husband are so happy to be back together. She and Uncle Al were married for 68 years. he passed earlier this year band she missed him very much. Even in her confusion she was always searching for him.
I know the memories will sustain me until we're all back together.
Aunt Mary will always be in my heart.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A love song from my Honey

Every year I pick a Christmas present that I know John would have bought for me if he were still here.
This year I picked an Echo Show. And yes, I know it's not Christmas yet but QVC was having a sale I couln't pass up.
Anyway, it arrived a couple of days ago and I eagerly set it up. I love having music playing in the house so I told Echo [who I now have baptized "Computer"] to play songs from the 80's. I thought it would be fun to listen to songs that were playing when John and I were in our early years, when we first fell in love, when we moved in together, when we were married.
So Computer obeyed.
And what was the VERY FIRST song that came up?
Randy Travis singing "I'm Gonna Love You Forever."
Yes, I cried.
I know it was John telling me what I needed to hear just then.
Forever and ever and ever and ever Amen.
Me too, John, me too.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Grateful and with a new passion

This part of my life has not turned out the way I had envisioned.
I had thought John and I would grow old together. We would travel, relax at home, play with our furbabies, enjoy hobbies, support each other in whatever endeavors we were attracted to.
But that was not to be. John hadn't even retired yet when our life together ended so suddenly.
And so I am here, wondering what to do with the rest of my time.
How can I make it be worthwhile?
How can I make John proud of me?
How can I become the next best version of me?
This past week I had a session with Susanne Wilson, the Carefree Medium. Susanne and I have become good friends over the last few years. I have had classes with her and I have had readings. This session was different though. Even though John showed up it was not a reading per se. Instead, we focused on deciphering my next goal in this life by engaging the help of my Guides and Angels [and John is definitely in that group; we are still a team].
Without going into all the details just yet, it quickly became apparent that I do definitely have a reason for still being here.
I am to be part of a group of individuals who will help others who are seeking - those people who want to know their purpose, who want to know what else is out there, what is the Afterlife all about, etc.
It's an exciting time for me.
This is my passion.
Through my own loss, I have tried to learn all I can about where John is. In so doing, a whole new world has opened up for me, a world I would not have known about in as much detail had it not been for John's passing before me.
Over the next few weeks and months I will share the progression of my work.
I hope you will join me if this interests you.
If we are still here, we still have work to do.
I aim to do my part.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A hug from John

John came through today in a big way.
I have been very down these past few days. Lots of family stuff going on. Sad stuff.
And I have been really missing John.
This afternoon I was searching in the closet in my office for a large mailing envelope. I couldn’t find the size I wanted but suddenly my fingers touched something wedged in between the envelopes. It wasn’t an envelope and when I pulled it out I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were two notebooks that John and I had used years ago when we went on a marriage retreat. The notebooks are filled with our assignments. John’s essays are literally love letters to me. I couldn’t believe what I was holding.
We had gone to this retreat just to reconnect and have a special space just for us.
I had been looking for these notebooks for years, ever since he died. I knew I had saved them but just could not remember where.
I had prayed to him and anyone else who would listen to help me find them.
I thought for sure they were in his office and I would find them when I pulled that apart but no.
Then I thought my office and looked in all the usual places but no luck.
So I just put the prayer out there to guide me to them some day and lo and behold today they are literally placed in my hands.
I NEVER would have looked there.
And you know why I needed that envelope?
Because of an incorrect item sent to me. I ordered something as a birthday present for a friend in September that never came and then a replacement one was sent and it turned out to be wrong.
I needed that envelope to use for the wrong item.
The vendor asked me to mail it to the recipient it was intended for.
I am astounded by the steps that were orchestrated just to get me to this place.
No matter how often these things happen I am in awe and wonder every single time.
I don’t have to tell you that I cried and I am so happy to have this. I only read a couple of pages. I want to savor this and read a little at a time.
Yesterday I had written in my journal to John. I had poured out my heart about all the things troubling me right now and I had asked him for a hug. I'd say this definitely qualifies.
Thank you, Sweetheart. ❤️💕

Saturday, November 4, 2017

50 years ago

It's not often when you can pinpoint the exact moment when your life changed.
Yes, there are occasions that mark momentous events - marrying your best friend, the birth of a child, the death of your soul mate.
But those are the obvious ones.
I am talking about something that seems totally innocuous on its face but, when you look back on the arc of your life, you can actually say “This. Here. This spot. This day. This thing that I did. That’s when my life started. That’s when I embarked on the road that led me to the exact place I am today. Without that one thing, everything would have been different.”
Today is such a day for me.
Fifty years ago today I had a first date with someone. That someone turned out to be a man I spent some years with off and on, eventually even becoming engaged to him for a short period of time. We never married and eventually even lost touch with each other. Then through the magic of Facebook we reconnected earlier this year. He’s happy now, married, and thriving.
But that is not the point.
The point is if I had not started seeing him, other things would not have happened.
I would not have eventually met and married my first husband.
And if that hadn’t happened, I would not have wound up in Pennsylvania working at a place where I finally met the love of my life.
My John.
My soul mate.
The man whose life completed mine.
I guess the fact that I am approaching 70 years old in a few months is making me feel introspective.
And 50 years is a long time.
I don’t regret that day at all. I was lucky to have known a very nice person who I still like today. I’m glad we have reconnected, even if it’s only on the Internet. It completes the circle, so to speak and I know John is ok with it too.
Truly, I am in awe how life works out.
If not but for...then this wouldn’t have.
Have you ever felt that way? Can you single something out like that?
I feel lucky to be able to see the pattern in my life.
I am grateful.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just when you think you have it all together and you have this grief thing down pat and are in control, something happens and you melt.
Tonight was just such a time.
I met a wonderful group of women this evening. Some ladies in our town formed a small widows group. We met for the first time at a local restaurant and shared. We laughed, we hugged, we nodded at similar stories.
We acknowledged how we will be there for each other. We came from all walks of life. Working, retired; newly widowed, widowed several years - and more.
In the parking lot we waved good-bye and said we looked forward to the next get-together.
I felt good about new friends, new support.
I can do this.
And then -
and then -
On the way home a song came on Pandora ["I Will See You Again" by Westlife] and I cried all the way home.
Not just a little teary.
Big ugly sobbing tears running down my cheeks crying.
The crying will never end.
The missing will never end.
And it's okay.
I miss you, John.
Today I am one day closer to being back with you again.