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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

I love our home

I think it's important to keep the energy of our home positive and happy. It makes me happy to decorate it. I know John likes me to do this. He loved our home too.
I played with this photo in one of my photography apps to give it some Fall character.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I miss the little things that make up our love

Many many years ago I worked as an inpatient oncology nurse. I was chemo certified so part of my job was to administer intravenous chemotherapy to our patients who came in strictly on an out-patient basis. These people were not as immuno-compromised as our overnight patients. They came in, stayed for a few hours while they received their medication, and then - if all went well - they went home. Most times they were accompanied by family members. That gave me a chance to observe how the family dynamics were doing with the stress of the illness, do some teaching, offer support, and just enjoy the interactions.
Even though this was over 20 years ago, I still remember one particular married couple.They were probably both in their sixties. The woman was the patient, receiving chemo for advanced stage breast cancer. She  looked as though she had lost weight recently and her bald head was wrapped in a colorful scarf. But it was obvious that they had a wonderful loving relationship just by how they interacted with each other. Her husband doted on her, sitting with her while she underwent treatment, anticipating her every need. I know he was probably feeling very helpless and wanted to do what he could - anything - to lighten her burden. Over the course of her time with us, I got to know them fairly well.
One particular incident stands out in my mind.
I remember she was going to read a magazine to while away the time and she pulled out her glasses from the bottom of her purse. Right away her husband jumped up and held out his hand.
"Here, let me clean those for you," he said.
He immediately went over to the sink in the room and lovingly washed and dried her glasses before handing them back to her.
It was a small gesture. Something we all do every day.
And yet to this day, whenever I wash my own glasses I think of him. That one small gesture said volumes.
She was loved.
Cared for.
It's the little small things we do for each other that make up the bigger picture of our lives.
And when death robs us of our loved ones, our hands hang idle, longing to do one more loving act.
I ache to be able to caress the soft spot next to John's eyes.
I wish I could cook one of his favorite meals for him again.
Or surprise him with a bag of red vines - his favorite candy.
I often think of the times John would go grocery shopping and come back with a bouquet of flowers for me.
Or make my coffee just the way I liked it.
Or make me soup when I was ill.
It's the every day things that I miss so much.
Each and every day.
That couple I met all those years ago have probably gone on to the next World now but I still remember them and the lesson the husband taught me.
Little gestures of kindness, of affection, of saying I know you and I love you just the way you are are what make the world go round.
How I wish I could share another moment like that with John again.
But I am grateful I was able to share them when we did.
I love you, John.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

To John

I am so happy we shared this lifetime together - and all the lives we shared. Looking forward to eternity with you.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wonderful messages

I feel blessed.
I have been getting some very nice compliments and reviews on my book [since this was on a closed Facebook group I have shielded the group name and participants].
This is just a small sampling of what people are saying. It actually brought tears to my eyes to read all the good thoughts.
I couldn't help but wonder what John thought of all this. That evening, as if to let me know, I found this right in my path as I was walking back into the house.
Thank you, John.
I didn't do this on my own. I know that. I had help from John and my Team on the Other Side. I appreciate all of it.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I still miss John - I still miss my best friend

I have been feeling very down these last few weeks.
I can't say I can identify a particular reason. Maybe it's because our wedding anniversary was the end of last month. One more day without him. One more big day reminding me we can't celebrate together in this world.
Or maybe it's not that. Maybe it's just plain old grief. No reason. Just grief. Grief doesn't have to follow any rule. You can be bopping along all confident and happy and then something - a scent, a word, a song - anything - will remind you of your soul mate and the grief returns and the sunny day is gone.
Or something will cross your mind and for a nano-second, your mind forgets and you think "I must remember to tell J - oh, wait, I can't." And the world crashes in on you. And just like that, the sadness, the longing - it all returns.
That's what it's been like for me recently.
Not constantly.
But enough so that I am aware. Grief is an ever-present companion. An unwelcome roommate.
We have a detente of sorts.
But I would give anything for it to leave.
I miss my best friend, the man who made the sun rise and the birds sing in my heart.
The man whose smile made my day. Whose eyes lit up when I entered a room.
Whose hug eased my sorrows. Whose wise words helped me through life's trials.
Whose love cushioned me, surrounded me, gave me strength.
I forge on. I know I can do this grief thing.
I will make John proud of me.
But I still miss my best friend.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

We are still a team

It's been a heck of a past couple of days. Will get to why in a minute.
But first I am reminded of a saying that John was very fond of: "Things are happening the way they are supposed to." He said it so often it became a game between us. I would get upset about something, he would smile, and I knew what was coming.
Sometimes I would yell at him before the words even came out of his mouth. "I know! I know! Don't say it."
Or I would threaten to punch him if he said it.
But I got the point.
And time and time again since he has passed I have heard him say it in my head.
To the point that I now truly believe it.
Not to mean that things are predestined. No, what I believe is that certain things happen (that we agreed to) so that we could learn and grow from it - or not, if that is our choice.
So, to get back to my last couple of days. I am a big control freak. Ask anyone who knows me. I don't like sudden change and I am at my best when I am in charge. It was great when I was in management. It's hard as a mere human civilian. I always deferred to John when it came to things re the house.
And it's hard for me to ask for help.
But I'm learning.
In a big way.
I was heading into the kitchen and "something" (or someone - I'm thinking John) told me to look up at the living room ceiling. Yikes! A huge spider. Not the little creepy kind that you can squash with a shoe. Remember we live in Arizona. Land of tarantulas and other horrors.
No, this was a huge spider - over three inches across from what I could tell. Possibly more factoring in distance from me and that his legs were somewhat curled. And he was at the uppermost area of my vaulted ceiling. I have a horrible fear of heights so getting on a stepladder and capturing a huge spider was out of the question. I texted some friends, including my handyman and my scorpion guy. I went on our local town Facebook page and asked for suggestions. That was NOT helpful (throw a brick and using a blowtorch were two suggestions). I called a local exterminator but since it was Labor Day (these things ALWAYS happen on a holiday) the best they could offer was a technician coming out the following day. Not good.
So I took a step back.
And started to talk to John, asking him for help. Right after that my handyman texted me back and asked me if I wanted him to come help. Yes, please!
He arrived in about 10 minutes and got to work. With the help of my ladder, a plastic container, and a stiff piece of paper, Mr. Spider was captured and then safely released in the front yard.
With some networking I found out it was a male huntsman spider, one of the largest species in Arizona.

Turned on the shower in the Master bath - no hot water. Not good but, hey, I'm getting better at this Disaster-A-Day program. Called my plumber and they promised someone out by the end of the day. Then they called and said a technician could come within the hour. Was that okay with me? Duh!
Oh, and by the way, his name is Johnny.
Really? I looked heavenward and smiled. I'm seeing a pattern here.
So, I corralled all the animals in safe quarters in case the plumber needed to come inside.  Johnny arrived and immediately saw the problem with the water heater and set to work. An hour later I had hot water. And happy surprise - everything was still under warranty so no charges.
Moral of the story as I am starting to see it:
I can do this problem solving thing. I have it in me. Even when it comes to taking care of the house.
And the other thing is this: John is still here. We are still a team. He told me once through a medium that he is still taking care of things. I believe that. He's just doing it through me now. I have to trust. Myself and him.
I'm learning.
Things happened the way they were supposed to.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

John likes the flowers

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and today I decided to buy myself some flowers to celebrate. I know John would have done that if he were here. When I finished arranging them I turned and happened to look at the oven clock and it said 4:13.
April 13 - 4/13 - is John's birthday and one of the sets of numbers he uses to let me know he is around.
I think he was telling me he approved of the flowers and was glad I had bought them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


For years, a friend of mine has been urging me to watch a TV series called "Saving Hope". I dabbled in it but never took the plunge to watch it every week. I knew it was a medical drama series that also intertwined some interesting metaphysical issues but for some reason I just never took the time to watch it.
Until now.
Last week, she told me that the show had ended and the series finale was wonderful, keeping with the theme of the show. Now my curiosity was piqued.
I rented the first season and binge-watched it.
I'm hooked. I have since requested the rest of the series from my library (for some reason it is not available on Netflix). In fact, I am on my way after I post this to rent Seasons 2 & 3. I'm excited.
As a nurse, of course, I found the medical drama interesting, if not a little graphic. But it was the metaphysical aspect that really got me hooked.
The show revolves around a surgeon (Charlie) who is injured in a car accident and goes into a coma. While in the coma he has a profound out of body experience and finds himself roaming the halls of the hospital where he used to work and encountering other spirits who are either in comas or are in the process of passing over to the afterlife. He also witnesses his fiance Alex (a surgical resident) go through her own turmoil as she tries desperately to save him.
And it was this particular aspect of the show that touched me.
Many scenes showed Charlie sitting next to Alex as she spoke to his comatose body or as she cried and mourned the loss of their life together.
And I wondered - is that what it's like for our loved ones as they watch us go through our grief?
Is that what's it's like for me and John?
I think so. My heart tells me this must be so.
I know I feel him with me and I know it is not my imagination.
Sometimes I think I can have a conversation with him. Thoughts come into my head that I know are not mine but that are comforting.
How else could I feel his presence?
Smell his cologne?
Listen just when a special song plays that speaks directly to what I have just been thinking?
How else could I get signs from them - coins, feathers, and, in my particular case, little pieces of glitter?
The series name is aptly called "Saving Hope", a play on words since the hospital that is the setting is called Hope Zion Hospital.
But this belief that I have about our spirit also gives me hope.
A hope - no, make that a confirmation - that there is more to what we can perceive with just our five senses. That we need to expand our awareness of what consciousness is.
As a nurse, I have always known that we need to be careful around our comatose patients - that they can experience life even though they appear to be totally unaware.
And to those of us who like myself mourn the loss of a loved one I say rejoice! Rejoice in the knowledge that our loved ones live on and are very much with us as we continue our journey until we too cross over and are reunited.
What a wonderful glorious day that will be!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Found some old pictures yesterday

I don't know what year this was taken. Based on how John looks I would date it after the Air Force and before he went to Old Dominion.
So, most likely late 60's, maybe 1967 or 1968. That would make John about 25 or 26 years old.
I still have that guitar. It sits in our living room, a link to John.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Practicing independence

John did so much for us. He took such good care of our home - and me.
It's hard when I have to depend on others now to do things that he once did. I have been lucky in that I have found a lot of good people to fill John's shoes - from landscapers to handyman to A/C repairmen. And I know he is sending these people to me.
But sometimes I just want things done on my time and not wait for others.

This past weekend was one of those times.
First I changed the rug on the deck. Moved furniture. Picked up the old rug.
Got the new rug in place. Put the furniture back.
Turned out great.

Then I wanted a storage unit for the laundry room. I saw one in Target that looked nice and that seemed easy enough for me to put together myself. Dragging the heavy box home was a challenge. Then yesterday I decided to put it together. But I did it.
After putting my furry helpers in the bedroom so I wouldn't have to worry about Sean hiding pieces of hardware, I took a deep breath and started.
And it was nice using John's tools. I felt like he was with me.
I was tired by the time I finished but I think it turned out okay.

John always admired my stubborn streak. He knows I'm never going to change. I know he's smiling.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

I am so blessed

7 billion people on this planet and you picked me.
How lucky am I? I still feel your love - across space, across time.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Another Hello

I saw this the other day when I was out having lunch with friends. A heart and the numbers I see so often from John. John's birthday was April 13, 1943 - 4/43.
Thank you, Sweetheart.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Even the sound of his voice is precious to me

While cleaning out my John's desk a while ago, I found a couple of old cassette tapes that his mother had recorded many years ago. They were of John playing the guitar and singing some old folk songs. The recording was from January 1969. The quality of the recording wasn't very good - it was a recording of a recording. John had been singing for a group of residents at a convalescent home so it was probably in their day room and the acoustics were not the best.

But still it was gold to me. It was my John and he was singing. John serenaded me often in our early years. And he had a very good voice. He had won awards in talent shows and had actually once been the opening act for Judy Collins back in the day when she had appeared back east at some venue.

I know the recording means absolutely nothing to anyone else but I am so glad I have this. I spent yesterday morning making a digital copy of the tapes using my iPad and then transferring the files to my computer and then to Dropbox on my phone so I can carry them around with me and listen to them whenever I want.

At one point while I was making my copies, the tape unraveled in the machine but with the utmost care I was able to salvage it with no ill effects. I'm sure some people today have no idea what that even means.

The last couple of days have been rough with some family issues and I have been missing John a lot and having a grief surge. Hearing him sing again has been a blessing.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Loving message from John

On Friday I was part of a group reading given by my friend who is a medium - Susanne Wilson, known as the Carefree Medium. I have known Susanne for years and she even wrote the Foreword to my book. She is a talented and compassionate woman.
Anyway, John came through and one of the messages he gave was that he was going to send me a special song, probably on my way home.
John often does that so I looked forward to it. As I drove home I turned on Pandora. In my heart, I just knew it was going to be the third song and it was.
It was "I'm Yours" a beautiful song by Jason Mraz [the Pandora version was sung by a different group but the message was the same. It was the song that mattered].

Monday, June 5, 2017

A good moment in time

I dreamt about John last night. It wasn't a visit. Just a dream. But for a little while, the world was right again and there was no sadness.
It felt good.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A happier time

7 years ago today John and I shared our last day together on this earth, this time around.

 Surrounded by loving family.

Monday, April 24, 2017


There is a myth that has been perpetuated for years that we replace all the cells in a human body every 7 years. It's not true. Or rather, to be more accurate, that is partially true
Cells are replaced in our body at various rates of turnover. And some cells - the neurons in our brains - are never replaced.
But it's a nice romantic thought that we can be born anew every few years. Which begs the question - why can I not lose these 10 pounds? But that's a story for another day.
Yet, this theory, flawed as it is, does add some romanticism to the number 7 and change.
And so I find myself coming up on the 7th anniversary of John's death and looking for the magical renewal. I can't say that it has happened although I do feel that I have come a long way from the person I was almost 7 years ago when I awoke on the saddest day of my life.
I've learned a lot - about grief and myself. Being a widow was not something I contemplated on May 23rd. But on May 24th that is what I was.
I have grown into this unwanted role and attempted to come to peace with it. It has not been easy.
One of the things I struggled with most was realizing and accepting that John was not coming home ever again. For a long time I didn't want to change anything - not one thing - in the house. It was as if my brain and my heart were afraid he would return and wonder where things were, where his stuff was. And truth be told, I needed to pretend that was the case. To do any less would have invited madness.
But time does heal. Slowly.
And so finally this past month I was able to take on the monumental task of transforming John's office into a space I could occupy.
John had turned the bonus room off our bedroom - a small room with no door, just an archway - into his own little room, complete with oak rolltop desk, bookcases, computer, etc. It wasn't pretty but it was functional and it was his own space to do with as he pleased.
After he died, I couldn't even bear to go into it. Just being in there for even a few minutes gave me physical symptoms and I would have to leave.
So the room became a catch-all place for stuff and gradually became really unsightly.
My solution was to put a screen across the doorway and not look.
But I knew someday I would be able to fix all that.
And now as the magic 7 approached, I decided the time was now.
So for the past few weeks I have been sorting, and throwing away, and going through.
I made 15 boxes of paperwork to be shredded. I am having a company come to the house to shred all that for me this week.
I threw away a lot of junk. 
I took his desk chair for my own so now I can sit where he sat.
I cleaned.
And now it’s done.
It’s going to be a reading/meditation room.
Yesterday I smudged it. I bought some new pieces to put in there – a chair, a rug, a cabinet to house my crystals and singing bowls. I hung my Indian chime bells.
The cats and I are enjoying the space once again. I feel close to John in the room. His desk is still there - it's behind the screen. But I can read and meditate here and just be. 
I think John would approve.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy birthday, John!

Today is John's birthday - 74!
We've had some great birthday celebrations over the years starting with our first one together when he turned 35.
I am celebrating with him in my heart today.
Love you, Honey.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

My dear sweet uncle

My uncle - a man who has been a father to me - passed away after a brief illness this past Wednesday night.
I will miss him so much.

This is a video I made of some pictures of him. Give it a few seconds to load.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I miss cooking

I miss cooking. Not the every day type of cooking. Not the "We're home from work and it's late and we're starving and what can we throw together?" type of cooking or even the usual run of the mill every day cooking.
No, I miss the cooking days John and I used to have every so often. There were some Saturdays that we would decide to make soup and it would literally take all day. There was one particular soup that was our favorite - potato soup.
Potato soup started out early in the morning by peeling a mound of potatoes. Then we made what was called Garbage Soup. This was a soup that was simmered for hours by making a soup of the potato peels and lots of garlic and spices. This made a broth to base the potato soup on. Some of it we saved and froze for minestrone on another soup Saturday.
After the garbage soup was just right we made the wonderful potato soup. Its aroma would fill the apartment, making us hungry and impatient. To tempt our taste buds even more, I would bake some bread to dunk in the soup. In the early days I made the bread by hand, kneading it on the kitchen counter top, getting out any frustrations from life in its bulk. Later, when we had more money, we bought a bread maker and just timed everything to be ready together.
Then - then! - that evening we would sit down and feast on our day's work - potato soup and crunchy bread. A feast for a king.
Was it an especially tasty meal? Yes, because - potato soup. What's not to like about potato soup? But there was more to it than that.
Making potato soup is one of my favorite memories about my earth life with John. I go back to it often. And I talk about it to my friends with fondness. Making soup with John was a treasure because we spent happy time together. We laughed. We talked. We played with our fur-babies. We hung out in the kitchen all day together. Nothing else mattered on those days. We lived in our own world surrounded by good smells, good food, and love. Lots of love.
There were other meals that we made that took all day, too - lasagna and fried chicken are two that I remember. Each of them reside in my heart for the same reason - more for the love than the actual food.
Today I eat a lot of frozen dinners, usually in front of the TV. Dinner for one just doesn't have that appeal. I could make the soups and lasagna again but it's not the same. I'd rather just cherish the memory of the days I spent with John.
But I miss the cooking - and I miss him.