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My Hometown

My Hometown

I’m a Jersey Girl in case you didn’t know.  At one point in my life, Bruce Springsteen and his family were actually living in my hometown.  I’ve met him and talked with him over the years.  I’ve seen him play locally numerous times and I was even at a spontaneous birthday party he had at a local restaurant where he gave an impromptu mini concert with his band and danced with his Mom on the dance floor.  That was such a memorable night!

What I find special about Bruce is how he weaves his stories through his music in a way that touches so many of us.  Around town, he didn’t display his celebrity status.  He was just Bruce, without pretensions which is such a lovely way to be.

So when he played at the Tony Awards, the man playing the piano was so real to me.  While I didn’t grow up in his hometown, the nostalgia in which he paints it was real to me as I know his town too.

If you care to take a listen, maybe this clip will remind you of the beauty of your hometown as you take a walk down your memory lane along the streets of your childhood.

Shine On!

xo

 

Although you are far away Dad

72233528_Although you are far away on Father’s Day you’re still here

in my heart in the very warmest way.

I miss my Dad.  My heart and eyes well up with tearful emotion today.  I can’t seem to help it nor control it since yesterday.  And others around me who have not lost their fathers, don’t understand.  I know I didn’t understand until he passed away.  It’s one of those that you don’t seem to really ‘get it’ until you’ve experienced it yourself.  There’s no amount of people telling you how hard or different it is to lose a parent that explains it as well as enduring it on your own.  And then, when it happens, you understand.

Dad and I didn’t always get along and we didn’t understand each other ~ or maybe I should say we understood each other too well, so that’s why we didn’t get along. 🙂   One of my Mom and Sissy’s favorite jabs is to say I am like my Dad.  And truth be told, I am, in many ways.  This is the 2nd Father’s Day without him and I can now say that with a lopsided smile so I guess I am healing.

My Dad was unusual.  He was adored by many and during his time on Earth, he helped many people who were hurting.  Since his passing I have heard stories of how ‘just by being him,’ he helped people get back on their feet who had fallen down, as well as being there for many people’s deaths when there was nobody around.  His powerful life force and connection to others still lingers in those who remain here on Earth.  He was quirky and downright bossy to all.  He did things his way or you could head to the highway.  He was uber-organized, had the most amazing memory for time, dates, people and delighted in telling you the entire ancestry of whomever he was talking about because he knew them so well.  He was an old-time businessman who had clients for generations on end and could help with family matters because he knew the intricate relationships between family members and how to help accomplish what was needed.  One client in particular had nobody left, having outlived her entire family.  He called her every single morning to talk with her until she passed and then quietly made sure that she was buried properly with people in attendance so that she wouldn’t be alone.

On the flip side, he had a mean streak too, cursing up a storm and demanding that things been done the way he wanted them to be done.  On the whole, I guess I’d admit, he was human.  I harshly judged his foibles when I was hurting.  I couldn’t see past the ‘sins’ that so plainly sat in my view.  Childhood memories to present knowledge yawned before me, an ugly litany of what he did, what he said and how we was.  This went on for a long time during his lifetime and after his death.  What I didn’t realize was how much I was hurting and as always, I’d stayed quiet, never daring to reveal how I felt and what I knew.  Instead, I simmered my anger, spewing my sadness once it was too late to speak with him.

Time passed.  Tears flowed.  I tired of feeling so badly, but couldn’t find the way to forgive.  And then I found a wondrous book which changed by life.  It’s a child’s book which I repeatedly read slowly and then it finally dawned on me how I was able to begin the healing process by forgiveness.  The Little Soul and the Sun by Neale Donald Walsch changed me by beginning the healing process in my life.  After I read it, I could see that many times what I ‘saw plainly through my eyes’ as him belittling me, hurting me intentionally etc, was nothing more than his teaching me to be strong and to be blessed.  There were so many a-ha moments after I took the book’s story to heart that they are too numerous to mention, but just as powerful and life-changing to me.

Dad taught me about forgiveness and how to accept others the way we want to be accepted.  He taught me about love, about the power of prayer and emphasized keeping in touch with others.  He showed me the gift of reaching out hand and heart to people in a healing connection.  By example, my Dad left a legacy not of financial solvency, but of unknown numbers of hearts which he touched, he helped and with whom he connected.

So today Dad, no matter how far away you are, you are finally here in my heart, in the warmest way.  I salute you.  I honor your memory and I am grateful that you were mine.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

What About You?

28613_It’s coming up on the 2nd anniversary of my Dad’s passing.  The rainy weather, my Mom’s sadness and my increasing melancholy mood isn’t helping the situation.  But then, a blogger friend reached out and a flood of emotion filled her comment page.  I had to stop myself and apologize.  It was as if the floodgates of someone asking, “what about you?” helped me to breathe in and out the emotion that has been ebbing under the surface these last few weeks.  Her simple question and knowing that she had lost her Mom around the same time, gave me the strength of bonding and of opening up to how I feel these days.  And it’s not that great.  I’m sad and I just don’t know why.

Father’s Day is almost here as well which adds its own twist for we had a hard time communicating.  Many times, Dad and I were at odds.  But as the second anniversary looms much of the anger and resentment which bombarded me has dwindled.  In its place remains a quiet understanding, an acceptance, a reluctance to judge a life that I had previously judged.  What remains is a bereft sadness for words left unsaid which I now say in my heart, a gift of forgiveness from me and a request for forgiveness for myself.  I am tired of carrying this burden.  I now try to allow it to rest.

It’s hard to explain how I feel for I think you needed to know the man in order to understand the complexity.  But then, we are all complex and surely there are others who feel similarly in their grief.  To you, I extend my hand and heart, saying the ever understanding words…

What about you?

Shine On!

xo

My heartfelt thanks to LoriLara ~ please stop by to visit her here.

Please help ~ Orb of Light and Flickering Electricity?

72670098_With deepest sympathy for your loss

I talk with my Mom everyday, sometimes more than 2x a day and yesterday she told me what had happened the night before ~ and I want to tell you so that perhaps you can literally shed some light on the subject ~ pun most definitely intended. ♥

Awakened in the middle of the night, Mom saw a bright white ball of light on her bed.  Her room was darkened, so that no light was visible.  The light could not be reflected from anywhere else.  It was there, on it’s own, positioned on her bed, on her legs.  She said she watched it for a long time, wondering what it was and trying to figure out where it was coming from but she couldn’t see how it could just be there.

She said when she moved her legs, it moved with her.  It just stayed with her, a white orb, settled on top of the covers, on her legs.  It stayed for a long, long time ~ she fell asleep watching it.  And she wondered if it was my Dad, her husband, who died on June 21st last year.

She thought I might think she was losing her mind, but I don’t.  Not at all.  I think perhaps it was my Dad, come to visit her and stay awhile.  To simply let her know that he’s around, watching over her perhaps?  She also told me how her kitchen light blinks crazily at times (he loved to sit at the kitchen table reading the paper) and she’s even had the electrician in twice to check it, but there’s nothing wrong with it.  Jokingly we’ve said it was my Dad because when he passed, the hospital lost all electricity for a few moments until the generator kicked in.

And now that I’m thinking of it, we had a thunderstorm the other day and my lights didn’t go out, but my clicker fireplace went on full blast and wouldn’t turn off ~ the electricity jolt of the lightning also fried my cablebox, internet router and 3 plugs on the tv.  Could that be Dad too?  If it was, I’d like to ask him not to put on such a show and break things! 🙂

I would love it if anyone could shed some light on this as we’re flummoxed.  Do you have any stories of departed loved ones who’ve returned in different ways?  I won’t think you’re crazy if you have had some experiences that you can’t explain ~ please feel free to share.  You know tomorrow’s Father’s Day, perhaps that’s why he’s here?  Didn’t want to miss out on his special day?  Perhaps I need a medium?

Thanks for all of your help!

Shine On!

xo

Yes, keep shining that light Dad! ♥

Seasons Change, Life Changes, You Change…

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Nature’s peace will flow into you just as sunshine flows into trees.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you… while cares will drop off like leaves.

Well my friends, it’s almost the end of summer and I am hanging on to its vestiges with every fiber of my being.  I know most of us are already thinking in terms of fall since school has started but alas, the Fall Equinox officially begins on in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT.   The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night.” The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator.   From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights.

My Dad passed away on June 21st which was the first day of summer which was his favorite season so I guess moving into fall would be just another first to add to our collection.  We’ve endured my parents’ first wedding anniversary without my Dad, my nephew’s & brother-in-law’s birthdays, my husband’s and my wedding anniversary, the first day back to school went by without his traditional call to ask how the day went and various holidays ~ July 4th, Labor Day have already been celebrated without his earthly presence.

I guess that’s where this all ties in together for seasons change…life changes…we are born, we live, we die…and then…?  I won’t go into what happens next, because I am concentrating on the NOW…the PRESENT that we’ve been given.

My suggestion to you is to video tape your loved ones talking about something special…get their voices on tape…take pictures now while life is good because we only have today…we only have my Dad’s voice on the answering machines since he was always calling us.  I am grateful that I kept his last few messages.  My sister took a video of him when he was first put in the hospital, before he started to really go further downhill and it is one that I am ever grateful for because he sent me a message ~ one that I’ll forever cherish.

Which brings me to my passion ~ sending out love.  What’s the legacy you’re leaving behind?  If today was your last day, would your loved ones know how you feel?  Would there be kind words left unsaid?  I used to keep cards from my family that said something very special ~ you know, that note that said how proud of you they were and how much you are loved…those kinds…now I keep the last card sent from others because I’ve now found first hand how much it means to see a loved ones handwriting especially when it says something good.  You see, we all need to feel loved and to feel special.  An unexpected card in the mail, amidst the junk and bills, is a smile giver ~ telling someone now how you feel is a sure-fire way to not feel that there are words left unsaid.  Sending a card with your heartfelt words gives a concrete, hand-held reminder of how you feel ~ one that will be cherished.  And with SendOutCards you can even write it in your own handwriting, but from the comfort of your computer, in your pjs without leaving home!

Do you have 10 minutes and $1?  Of course you do…now use it…be the change you want to see in your life, in your relationships…you can’t change others, but you most certainly can change yourself!

Don’t FALL back into the routine which you’ve know for years…

branch out, let your cares fall like the leaves

and blow the freshness of a new season into your life and into the lives of others!

I’ll help by getting you started…

www.sendoutcards.com/126830

xo

Dad’s Day ~ 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Gratitude Day 23 ~ Crystal Ball

Please indulge me today with a longer post because it’s the beginning of the end of a chapter in our family as well ~ in our 3rd week in ICU with not much change, we are unsure of the future.  I have unashamedly wished often over the last few days for a glimpse at a crystal ball.  I am a planner and I like to KNOW ~ I can usually go with the flow, but now I find I am anxious for the future for my family.

I awoke this morning remembering how as a girl in school, we would happily make those paper chain links of green and red and put them around the classroom.  Everyday we would cut off a link to symbolize one day closer to Christmas vacation.  It occurred to me that I am doing the opposite now with my Dad ~ I beg to add one of those green or red slips of paper so that we can have MORE TIME with him.

Of all the material goods in the world, all that many strive for ~ the one thing that we truly long for is more time…when it comes down to it, we want more time here.  But this thought process isn’t serving me now and I’ve stopped begging for God/Universe to give us more time with my Dad.  I’m reminded of my favorite quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” and I am shifting my thought process.

I believe in Heaven and I once dreamt that I died and went to Heaven.  I can still recall the dream as it was so vivid.  I was in my 20’s at the time and the dream has served me well as I’ve never been afraid to die ~ sad to leave my family and friends here on Earth, but never afraid to experience the wonders of the beautiful Heaven that I experienced in my dream.

So when I change the way I look at what’s happening, I can be happy that my Dad will experience Heaven soon ~ where there’s no pain, only love and where he’ll wait for us until it’s our turn.   When I think of him being released from his Earthly body that’s breaking down, I can smile, knowing that his spirit lives on and can be free of the bonds of his physical body.

But it’s hard because I don’t want to grow up now.  I want to be a Daddy’s girl forever and if my Daddy isn’t here, then I’m not a girl anymore.  Selfish I know, but it’s how I feel this morning.  I wrestle with how I feel about his imminent passing ~ I want him to be peaceful and I want him here and I can’t have both.

So I will tell you that I am Grateful for Time I’ve already had with him…Grateful that this transition has been slow moving so that we 3, AAngel, Mom and me could bond and move together through it.  I am Grateful For Mother’s Day when we sat and talked for a few hours as it’s the last great memory I had of him.  I am Grateful that he came to visit me when I was just out of the hospital…and that we both showed patience and love that day.

I don’t know what today will bring and I’ve given up the crystal ball.  Plans out the window, I’m not asking for knowledge that’s not mine to know now ~ I’m going with the flow today.  So when you don’t think you can give up the way you are thinking, believe me ~ You Can… because if you let it…

Shift Happens.

xo