Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, John!

 


Our first Thanksgiving dinner.

So many wonderful memories.

I love you so much. ♥

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Cody

For many of us, losing a furchild is very devastating and extremely sad. Our furchildren are truly part of our family and the grief at their passing can be profound.

My cousin Cynthia and her husband Alan recently suffered the loss of their two-year-old yellow lab Cody.

This is the tribute she wrote to him and I want to share it with you.


CODY’S COMET

From his first steps, as a little tank of a pup, struggling to make it up the steps of our back porch; with his stubby short legs to his last joyful romp in the woods as a full grown two year old, Cody was a comet that streaked across our lives, leaving us way too quickly. Despite this, it was as though Cody bent time, making the time he spent with us feel like so much more.

Watching Cody enjoy the simplest things, made me ponder whether he had been a person in a previous life and now, for the first time, got to experience making the most out of being a dog. Cody took every minute and extracted all the joy it had to offer. This was especially obvious when he’d dive head first into the grass or snow enjoying, I am sure, the thrilling sensation of gliding on it at considerable speed. 

His happy, loving disposition was infectious to humans and canines alike. One of his best buddies, a female pit bull named Logan, had a reputation for refusing to play with other dogs and was known to be aggressive towards any who tried. However, with Cody, she’d let her guard down, as they’d endlessly chased each other through the woods, swam, wrestled and affectionately nuzzled each other at the end of it all. Never once did Logan show aggression. Cody managed to convince Logan to allow another female, named Astra, into their pack.  Cody’s ‘best girl’, a Golden retriever named Camilla, hated to leave her weekly play dates with him, so much so, that she had to be forcibly put into the car. His best ‘guy buddy’, a Standard Poodle named Misha, would make crying sounds each time they met up for their weekly round of wrestle and chase.

Cody’s altruism shone through and his canine brethren picked up on it. His drive to make friends with other dogs was unstoppable. No feat was too big to overcome to meet another dog. Cody was known to, on more than one occasion, swim across a reservoir upon spotting another dog on the other side.

Cody’s love of life and others was infectious. Whether they were casual acquaintances that he’d met during his regular morning walks, or his trips to the local hardware store,  or to Alan’s haircutter and if can you believe this, to our accountant’s office, where everyone lit up when Cody arrived.

Cody came into our lives when we needed him the most. It was a time when the future of our marriage was most at risk. Cody proved to be the perfect tonic. And, Cody unknowingly helped another member of his human pack to persevere through a difficult loss, lifting her out of the depths of depression.

Like all comets, the beauty and excitement that Cody brought into our lives was gone too quickly. But by giving so much during his short time with us, we have many loving and fond memories of this little tank… named Cody.

Cynthia Flowers

November 14, 2020

 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Today is my friend's birthday

Today is my friend's birthday. And I miss her. In any other year, we would be planning a celebratory lunch today. There would be laughter and gifts and hugs. There are 3 of us "sisters' and it has been our custom over the years to celebrate our birthdays and holidays together.

But not this year.

No, this year we celebrate from afar. 

And we mourn what we can't have and hope for what will be next year.

I have lost many people, many souls these past 10 years. My parents, some furbabies, my aunt and uncle who were like parents to me, my mother-in-law who became my mother in her last years - and my beautiful, wonderful husband and soul mate John.

Through all of it, I had my "sisters". But now even that is taken from me.

Many of us who have lost loved ones have gathered together in various forums and we have commiserated. And we have voiced how this year and its challenges has brought our grief back to us anew. It's a strange phenomenon. One loss has amplified others. It was not anything any of us expected.

But this year and its isolation and hardships has taught us something else too. It has shown us what matters.

Friendship matters.

Love matters. 

Reaching out matters. 

Caring for others in whatever way we can matters.

I have actually made new friends this year in spite of the isolation. Through the wonders of social media and Zoom I have been able to see and "touch" others. Those people have kept me going in ways they will never know.

And I have gone inward and learned about myself.

Today is my friend's birthday. She doesn't know it yet but I sent her something that will arrive today to let her know she is still in my heart. And we'll talk on the phone. And I will send her cute texts today to hopefully make her smile.

And I will look forward to next year and the renewed hope of another day.

Namaste.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Guides and angels and spirits - Oh, my!


I am currently taking an online course with Sara Wiseman on intuition and psychic development, how to tune in to Spirit. Today's topic was Guides and Angels. I am a firm believer in all things like this and I am thoroughly enjoying this course. It is opening my eyes and mind to so many things.

Part of today's lesson was to think back to our experiences and see where we may have been the recipient of angelic intervention. I have always been aware of one such incident but it was only after today's introspection that I was able to see an even bigger picture. Bear with me, please. This will be a little long but I think you will find it interesting.

Several years ago, I was driving home from an errand in town. It was early afternoon and I was one block away from home. As I came to the intersection, a car to my right ran the stop sign. I didn't have one on my road so by the time I saw him it was too late. I was already in the intersection, having assumed that he would stop. I fully expected he was going to T-bone me on the passenger side. However, that didn't happen. I remember looking at him and seeing him look back at me and then my car felt fluid. Somehow, I was able to actually steer around the front of his car and I came to a stop just past the intersection. He was gone but I was all right. I went home and cried from the stress and got a big hug from John.

But the story doesn't end there.

This part requires some background. I have believed for many years that at some point in my past (think previous lives) I have either been a race car driver or at the very least, I drove a stick shift. Mind you, I do not even know how to drive a stick shift in this life. Never learned and don’t care to. All my cars have had automatic transmissions. Yet, there have been times when I have been cruising along, bopping to some good music, and suddenly I would find myself reaching for the clutch with my left foot and grabbing the gear shift with my right hand as if to shift the car. It has always been a smooth reaction, a natural body movement. In addition, I have often had a vague feeling of being in a car crash, possibly fiery and life-ending. In fact, once when I was in this mode, I heard ambulance sirens and started to pull over to let it go by only to realize that there was no ambulance in sight.

So, back to my story.

John was diagnosed with skin cancer on his left shoulder in October 2007. He was scheduled for surgery to be performed in the doctor’s office in Scottsdale. On October 23, 2007, at a little after Noon we headed out for the surgeon’s office. We were in John’s car and he was driving. We were barely out of our home town of Fountain Hills when his car’s engine started to make some funny noises. Naturally we were worried that something was wrong. The plan was for me to drive us home after the surgery and if something bad happened with the car John would be unable to help. We decided to turn around and return home to get my car. Twenty minutes later we were back on the road. This time I was driving. A few minutes later, we approached the light at 56th Street and Shea Boulevard, a major cross street. There were three lanes of traffic going in both directions with an extra lane for turning. I was at the light in the middle lane heading west on Shea with one car – a white compact - ahead of me. The light turned green and I proceeded into the intersection. Suddenly, a school bus from the opposite direction and in the turning lane turned into our path. The driver was clearly turning against the light and I had no idea why he was. All I knew is that we were going to hit him head on.


I saw the bus hit the rear of the car in front of us and his bumper went flying. I saw nothing but yellow in front of me and then my body just kicked in. From somewhere in my head I heard “You have done this before.” My left foot shot out and hit the brake. My right hand grabbed the shift and I downshifted. I grabbed the steering wheel and gave it a hard right and then hit the gas. Then I quickly swerved left. The car felt fluid in my hands as if it was gliding around the front of the bus.

All the while I kept hearing that voice in my head. “You’re fine. You’ll be OK. You’ve done this before.”

And somehow…somehow…our car came to a stop in the middle of the intersection and the now stopped bus was behind us. The white car was at the far-right curb and the pissed off driver was standing next to it. But John and I were never hit. Not a scratch on the car or us.

We made it to the surgeon’s office with time to spare.

When we got home, I started John’s car. The noise was gone. The car ran fine and we never had a problem with it after that.

I always thought the voice telling me I had done this before was referring to my thoughts about having driven a stick shift. Now, I know I was wrong. Today I finally pieced it together. The voice was referring to the first near miss with the man who ran the stop sign. That must have been practice for this bigger event.

I am blessed.

Namaste.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Grief can be a gift

I know - I hear you. You are screaming at me that I am crazy. Grief is NOT a gift. It's a hard cruel trick life has played on us. The life we expected is gone forever and nothing will be all right ever again.

But bear with me for a moment.

I said grief can be a gift. And it can. And I acknowledge that that is only one small part of grief. Most of grief is messy and stomach churning and exhausting and so very very hard. But there is a small aspect of grief that can be a gift and that happens slowly and only when we are in the healing stage, that stage when we are able to see outside of the well of grief that we are in.

It happens very subtly. 

One day you notice that you still love your loved one so very much - maybe even more than ever - and it makes you feel happy - happy that you had a life with them, grateful for their love, grateful for the wonderful memories. They still live in your heart and your memories. That is a gift.

You may find yourself opening up more to the world around you, letting people in, treasuring friends who have stood by you. I have never been one to show my emotions but now I am more open to my feelings and I share those feelings with close friends - and you. That is a gift.

John was an inspiration to me and still is. He was a loving, generous man, able to forgive those who hurt him - and there were some who hurt him a lot. I am trying to emulate those qualities because I am just beginning to be able to do that. That is a gift.

I have learned that life is precious and nothing is promised. I am learning to enjoy what is in front of me instead of pining for what could be or something I wish for in the future. I stop and appreciate a sunrise, a hummingbird floating in front of me, coffee with a friend, a silly antic from my dog or one of my cats. That is a gift.

I have always tended to catastrophize. Having experienced the big thing of grief, I now don't sweat the small things so much. I am more willing to let things go - a perceived slight, feeling frustrated about how a certain situation "should" be, life not going my way. I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to fix every circumstance. The Beatles' song "Let It Be" is my new mantra. That is a gift.

I bet you can find gifts too if you think about it. They don't
have to be huge. That's the beauty of a gift.  In fact just the act of thinking gifts from grief are possible is a gift.

Namaste.

Friday, August 28, 2020

An anniversary gift

Today is our wedding anniversary. 

39 years ago today I married my best friend, my soul mate, my Twin Flame. The person who knows me best in all the world, who always has my back, who loves me as I have never known love.

And today I miss him so much.

I asked for a sign, a special sign for our day.

And John came through!

This morning, I walked Bella in our backyard, first thing in the morning as always. Then we came inside and I gave her her breakfast. But she asked to go out again afterwards. I thought this a little odd, but oh, well. She knows what she wants.

As soon as we went outside she went over to something on the deck.


When I checked it out, it was a beautiful owl feather! It had not been there before when we went out. It was right in our path. We would have had to pass it. No, this was newly arrived. Maybe John told Bella to go outside so that I would see his gift? As it turned out, she didn't want to "do" anything except sniff around. But if we hadn't gone out just then, I might never have received this wonderful anniversary present from John.

 

 

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Thank you!

I love you!

Namaste.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Our departed loved ones never leave us

This pandemic has all of us on edge. I am no exception. In fact, I am probably the poster child for worry these days. 

I have OCD tendencies. Add in my nursing knowledge and you can visualize how I have become a cleaning fool.

Last weekend was a perfect example. I finally gathered up my will power and ventured out to get gas for my car. The idea of interacting with the world was crippling. I have not been out of the house in months but I promised myself I would do this. I needed to do this.

It went well. But coming back home I worried what I had infected my car with. So I brought out the Lysol spray and wipes and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned my car. In so doing I noted a flashing light under the dashboard that I swore I had never seen before.

 I checked my car manual. Wasn't there.

I googled and couldn't find an answer.

So, I ruminated.

After an hour of searching, I decided to bring the car into the driveway so I could get a better look [I had been cleaning the car in the garage].

As I drove the car into the driveway I had a sudden strong whiff of John's cologne. By this time, the Lysol smell had dissipated. There was no mistaking what I was now aware of. It was Obsession For Men, what John always wore.

I took this to not only be a sign from him that he was with me but that I should not be worrying. 

Sure enough, another Google search got me my answer. The light was for the anti-theft device on the car and was telling me that it was working. Why I never saw it before I don't know.

The bigger takeaway for me was that I was not alone. and for that I am grateful.

The worry is still there. Some days it's worse than others. 

But I am comforted knowing John is still with me, still watching over me, still aware of what is going on with me.

It's a lesson for all of us.

Namaste.