Sunday, December 23, 2018

Living through the humbugs

It's been a while since I have posted on my blogs. I admit I have had a bad case of the holiday doldrums.
For those of us who are mourning the loss of a loved one - no matter how long ago the loss occurred - this time of year is especially hard.
No matter how much of a smile we put on our face and how much we immerse ourselves in the holiday cheer and activities, there is always a little part of us that is aware that someone is not here and they are not enjoying this season with us - or we with them.
I guess that's really the harder part. I like to think that they are able to be with us in some capacity and are still happy to be around us. It's we on this side of the veil who really feel their absence.
Yes, we get signs and we are very thankful for them.
But let's be honest - and I am by no means being ungrateful - a sign is not the same as hearing their laughter or feeling that hug or kiss.
So, it's hard.
And this year, for whatever reason, feels harder than the last few.
Maybe it's because this year in general has been difficult for me.
I have been dealing with a tough health challenge since January 3rd. First one thing, and then another.
I'm still going forward but there have been days when just being able to reach out and get one of John's hugs would have made everything else so much more bearable.
And then to top it off, I have a house challenge now as well. John was always the one who fixed everything. I never had to worry if something went wrong, or broke, or just refused to work.
Now - I need "a guy" for everything. And how do you know you have the right "guy"?
My sweetheart is doing his best to guide me because I truly believe he is still looking out for me and sending the right people to me at the right time.
But I still worry.
So, yes, I have the bah humbugs and maybe you do, too.
I'm not going to sit here and say I know a cure.
I don't.
But if this applies to you too, I can tell you that you are not alone.
And maybe that's all we can do right now. Just be there for each other.
And if you know someone who is struggling this time of year, reach out to them. No, they can't get a hug from their sweetheart.
But they can get one from you.
Or a phone call.
Or a recommendation for a guy to fix what's broken.
That's it. That's all I've got right now.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Don't let anyone besmirch your aura!

This saying makes me smile for two reasons - because it's true and because it reminds me of John.
Many years ago, he decided to take a year off from nursing and joined an MLM company selling ozone air purifiers. John has always been a very good salesman and we believed in the product and him.
As it turned out, the year's selling proved less than successful so he went back to being a nurse and was very happy. But not before having some interesting experiences.
One in particular stands out for me.
One afternoon John came home after spending about an hour at a woman's home trying to explain the advantage of our machines. John told me how she had one complaint after another, finding fault with everything he said. It soon became clear that John was not going to make a sale and why she had even agreed to the demo was beyond understanding.
John laughed as he told me how he finally reached his limit, stood up, and said to her "You are besmirching my aura! Sorry, but I have to go." and he left.
A little background - John and I had been on our spiritual journey for several years at that point - studying Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Gregg Braden, The Law of Attraction, etc. We were becoming quite comfortable with that aspect of our life.
So much so, apparently, that John felt his inner peace was not worth sitting and experiencing that particular woman's negative energy.
Good for him!
And that is the lesson.
Our inner peace is both important and valuable. Some people are just energy vampires and it's perfectly okay for us to protect ourselves from them. No matter who they are.
I remember another occasion when John and I were in a restaurant and we could just feel the uncomfortable energy emanating from the table next to us. The couple seated there were obviously not happy about something - more than likely with each other. Regardless, it was palpable and we changed our table and immediately felt better.
There is a woman in our local grocery store who is always scowling and complaining about something. I can't tolerate being anywhere near her and will change checkout lanes to avoid her.
Sometimes, you can't avoid the situation. Do the best you can in that instance by slowing your breathing. Concentrate on a good thought. Visualize drawing your energy sphere closer in to yourself so that you are not touching the other's negativity.
Just remember, it's okay to protect yourself.
Don't let anyone besmirch your aura!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The gratitude holiday can be hard

This is the week when our fellow country-people typically put aside all differences and gather around the table with family and friends and articulate what each is grateful for, just before diving into a meal piled high with calories.
A fantasy if I ever heard one.
The fact is that there is much sadness in our country this week for many reasons and I personally know of many families who are hurting and might be hard put to verbalize gratitude right now.
But maybe there is strength and character in the trying.
I don't know. I'm having trouble myself this week.
The holidays are hard at best. We put Hallmark expectations on ourselves and then feel bad when we fall short.
Financial hardship.
Family discord.
Health challenges.
Death and dying.
How are we to feel grateful with all that swirling around us?
I lost a very dear friend two weeks ago today. Alzheimer's disease stole her from us. My heart still hurts from that loss.
My own health challenge is raising its ugly head again this week and I start another round of doctor appointments to look for another solution.
And then, of course, there is my eternal underlying constant - John is not physically here with me anymore.
My way of noting Thanksgiving is to pretty much ignore it. Since I'm vegetarian now, I, of course, dispense with the usual dinner menu. So, instead, I will gorge on sweet potatoes and various other meatless dishes. Then I will sip wine while I curl up on the sofa with my cats and dog and read or watch some rented movies.
But I don't say that because I want people to feel sorry for me.
No, celebrating Thanksgiving Day in that way is exactly what makes me feel better.
And I encourage anyone else who is struggling with this holiday to do what makes your soul feel better too.
Be with friends and family.
Or don't.
Or stay home.
Eat a festive meal.
Or not.
The point is, there are no rules.
Don't set yourself up with expectations and then scold yourself when you haven't met them.
That is a recipe for disaster and unhappiness.
There is no Thanksgiving Police.
But I do encourage you to find something to be grateful for, no matter what it is. That is good for your soul.
I am grateful for having friends who did think to invite me over, even if I declined. And then respected my choice.
I am grateful for the love of my cats and dog who will be cuddling on the sofa with me.
I am grateful for the friendship of my friend who died. We had twenty-plus years together and she was a mentor and wonderful friend. She sat next to me during John's funeral and held my hand throughout.
And I am grateful for the marriage I had - and still have - with John and the love he continues to show me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The signs are there

No matter how many times I experience it, I am always amazed how our loved ones can reach out to us from across the veil and get a message to us.
Case in point:
I needed to go to the bank yesterday and thought I would save time by going through the drive-through on my way to meeting a couple of friends for lunch.
What was supposed to be a 3 minute transaction [it was only a deposit] turned into a 10 minute plus ordeal. I have no idea what the teller was doing but she came back once as if looking for my deposit slip and then still took a while after that. I was tempted to go around and inside - I was getting so frustrated and a line was forming behind me. And there is never a line at this particular small bank.
Finally, she finished and I was on my way.
Furious. Aggravated. Doing a slow burn.
Got out on the main road out of town and decided to just put it behind me.
As it always happens when I am driving, my thoughts turned to John.
And I realized that the next day [today] would mark 8 years and 5 months since he passed.
I still miss him so much. Sometimes the sadness is just overwhelming and at that moment it was. I remember thinking how much suicide would be a relief. Not that I would do it. But I definitely understand why someone would want to. I was feeling bereft. Alone. Wondering why I was still here and not wanting to be.
And then I noticed the license plate of the car ahead of me.
It was a Texas plate and the phone number of the dealer was on the license plate holder. The last 3 numbers in the phone number were 413.
John likes to use numbers to get my attention.
43 is a favorite of his. He was born in 1943.
443 is another one - it doesn't show up as often and it gets my attention when it does. He was born in April 1943.
But 413 is one that only rarely shows up. John's birthday is April 13.
And he was born in Texas.
I think John did not like the thoughts that were going through my head at the time I saw that plate and he really wanted me to just stop and know he is still here with me. Loving me.
And our time for reunion will come when it's supposed to.
If I hadn't been detained at the bank for so long I never would have seen that car and those numbers.
I don't know how they do it, but our soul mates are trying so hard to show us they are still here with us.
I belong to several Facebook groups that deal with losing our loved ones, our soul mates, and looking for ways to get signs, to stay connected.
So many feel alone and abandoned and want a sign, any sign.
Don't give up. They are there.
Even something as simple as a number on a Texas license plate.
We are still loved.
Love never dies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Love Will Never End

I have been missing John so much these last couple of days. So much that it actually hurts. My heart aches.
Then my Love sent me this song and two feathers.
Thank you, Sweetheart.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

There are no coincidences

I just had an experience that I want to share.
I belong to a wonderful Facebook group dedicated to those of us who are still in love with, and still connected to, our Soul Mates. Through it I have met some very wonderful and dear people.
Just now one of them Louise posted about a new friend she had made and talk veered to how we still love our other halves, even in death. That our love is even stronger.
That led to the mention of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's well-known sonnet How Do I Love Thee?
I hadn't read it in a long time so I looked it up just so I could read it again. It's always been my favorite of hers.
This is what I found:

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. 

Beautiful, yes.
But that's not what caught my eye.
I had no idea it's also known as Sonnet 43.
That is the number that John uses to catch my attention, to say Hello, to reach out to me, to let me know that he is here, with me.
It's a number that pops up in the most wonderful ways.
Almost on a daily basis.
And now here it is again.
In a sonnet about love, just when my friend and I were talking about our beloved Soul Mates.
That was NOT a coincidence.
That was John confirming for both of us that we are correct.
Love lives on.
There is love between us still.
Thank you, John.
I love you.