Archives

It Sounds Like A Story To Tell It

If you knew our Mom, you would know that she was fiercely dedicated to making everything even. Growing up, our tradition was that when one of us had a birthday, the other one got a ‘little something’ too. Mom always made sure that we felt special, even when it wasn’t our day.

So it would perhaps come as no surprise that when my sister recently attended a breast cancer fundraiser, that she might win something because she put her raffle tickets into many buckets in the hopes of winning. But when she put her ticket in for number 92, without telling anyone, she said a little prayer and asked our Mom to let me (her sister) win something as I’ve had some health issues. My sister thought this basket looked like it belonged to me as it looked like our Mom. She scattered her other tickets in different baskets, including 95 as she’d always wanted a kindle…

As the gift basket tickets were being called, she was unaware that she won number 92. When her friend pointed out that she had the winning ticket, she went up to claim it and was startled to see that it was the exact basket she had asked our Mom to give to me. A few minutes later when 95 was called and it was her ticket that won, she began to cry and explained to her friend the story.

It was my sister’s birthday the other day. Hence the gifts, equally won, from our Mom to her girls. Even as I write this story to you, I know I am not giving it the justice it deserves because it’s so much more than just winning two baskets. It’s not even about the wins. It’s about the big picture in so many different ways.

It’s about my sister feeling our Mom heard her prayer. It’s about Mom showing that she’s listening. It’s about my sister thinking about me too when she’s at a fundraiser. It’s about the sharing of so many memories together that has so powerfully bonded us in times of strife. It’s about the tradition of giving, even when it’s not your birthday. It’s about inclusion, sisterhood, love and camaraderie. It’s about knowing that nobody else in the world has the childhood memories that we have, nor the silly stories, nor the experiences we’ve been through as we’ve traversed the adult journey into losing our loved ones.

It’s about believing that the veil is thin to the other side. It’s about everlasting, unconditional love which our Mom taught us. It’s about sharing. It’s about gratitude. It’s about kindness. It’s about so much more than I could ever have explained in a post.

So when we went out to lunch, after she shared the baskets with me and we opened them, each of us donned a necklace and smiling the whole afternoon, we enjoyed our time together as we do. As we waited for our table for lunch, we ducked into a small store and found a vase and flower to decorate our lunch table with Mom in mind.

A simple, yet elegant, white dahlia just like Mom. What a beautiful reminder of where we came from and how we’ve grown. Thanks for reading…

Shine On!

xo

Reason, Season and a Lifetime

A teacher is a candle who spends their whole life giving light to all of their students.

I never knew there was a World Teacher Day until I saw it on my calendar, so here I am. Because as a retired Spanish teacher, and a blogger who uses – SHINE ON – to end her posts, well, it was only fitting for me to write today.

Perhaps though I’ll go in a bit of a different direction. Because I think that the world is our classroom and all of her inhabitants are our teachers. Each relationship we have teaches us something else. We learn much from the people in our lives. That poem about reason, season or lifetime seems fitting at this juncture. We are blessed to learn something from each relationship we are in. I found this poem by Brian A. Chalker which I think explains it very well. Read on…

Reason, Season and a Lifetime


People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason, you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway), and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being part of my life…..

My heartfelt gratitude to all of you with whom I have been in contact, had a relationship, and learned from as my teachers. You have shaped my life in amazing ways and I am truly grateful for all of you.

Shine On!

xo

Good Thinking

I did not write this – but WOW does it speak to my heart!!! Worth the read.

“Barely the day started and… it’s already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.

… and the month is already over.

… and the year is almost over.

… and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.

… and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.

and we realize it’s too late to go back…

So… Let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time…

Let’s keep looking for activities that we like…

Let’s put some color in our grey…

Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.

And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left.

Let’s try to eliminate the afters…

I’m doing it after…

I’ll say after…

I’ll think about it after…

We leave everything for later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don’t understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee gets cold…

Afterwards, priorities change…

Afterwards, the charm is broken…

Afterwards, health passes…

Afterwards, the kids grow up…

Afterwards parents get old…

Afterwards, promises are forgotten…

afterwards, the day becomes the night…

Afterwards life ends…

And then it’s often too late….

So… Let’s leave nothing for later…

Because still waiting see you later, we can lose the best moments,

the best experiences,

best friends,

the best family…

The day is today… The moment is now…”

Shine On!

xo

Emergence

I want to introduce you to my dear friend Iris, by way of her blog which you can find here! While she’s not on WordPress like the rest of us, she’s got amazing insight to share and her post today had me immediately writing one to present her to you because I feel many of you will resonate with her messages.

The post I am referring to is titled On Loss, but after 9/11, perhaps it’s fitting that it should be now. (Fitting, the southern term – my Mom or her family must be around!) – because you know the veil is currently thin with the full moon in Pisces and six planets in retrograde etc. But alas, I get off subject…

What came to me after reading Iris’ post was: a deep harkening to the soul…be present it whispers…be grateful…take the time to listen, to hold sacred which is just what I’m planning to do today.

Many of us have suffered losses. I have many loved ones who have passed away and their love stays with me in the deepest part of my soul. Tucked away like a small reminder of what once was. A treasured memory now almost dusty, but still warmed by my soul’s affection for and with them.

Iris has another website as well so you can really get to know her which is thelightanddarkofday.com As someone who has benefited from her gifts, I can heartily recommend booking a session with her as she is warm, inviting and full of inner wisdom which radiates within us. Please tell her I sent you if you should decide to reach out to her. She can let you know what session would best benefit you. She’s been a dear friend to me, as well as an insightful companion and mentor. Her understanding of our world and its creatures as well as the humanity and heart of all that beats within is incredible. You will find yourself grateful for the gift of Iris as I do.

Shine On!

xo

Twenty One Years Ago Today

Does it seem like it happened twenty one years ago? Do you remember where you were? Because I do. I was teaching in my classroom. My class had left the room and the front office called to tell me what was going on. I quickly turned on the television as there weren’t any students in the room and watched the South Tower of the World Trade Center fall in real time. It was surreal to me and I remember how my mind couldn’t quite grasp the reality of what I was seeing at that very moment.

Students came back in for the next class I was teaching and I had to remain calm, but I was a little more than shaky. Luckily, at that time my students were still blissfully unaware of what was occurring and we forged on, business as usual. By later in the day word had spread as parents had come to take their children safely home. We had many parents who worked in NYC at the time and many at the World Trade Center. Some of those parents never came home, which was a tragedy that as a community we all mourned, along with their families.

I remember how my Mom used to talk about the day that JFK was shot and how everyone remembered that day and where they were. I feel that 9/11 is similar especially for those of us on the East Coast. It changed our world in ways that we still feel today…twenty one years later.

I still get teary on this day. I don’t know why, but I do. So on this quiet Sunday morning, I ask that you take a few moments in stillness with me for all of the souls who passed in this tragedy and for all of those who were so affected by it.

We have not forgotten. You are always remembered. God bless.

Shine On!

xo

Remember You Are Loved

There have been a few people in my life who have sadly taken theirs, so when I heard it was World Suicide Prevention Day, I felt it was important to honor it. Please accept my heartfelt hugs to those of you who know someone(s) who have chosen this path. For me, I know that any passing leaves a deep sadness in its wake, but somehow it seems a suicide feels more tragic to me, as if it were preventable on some level, even if we didn’t have control over it ourselves.

Preventing a suicide is key:

The key to me is to listen with an open heart and mind to those who are hurting. To care about them and let them know how much you care. To be with those who are hurting. To listen beyond what’s being said to what is silenced. To hold sacred space for them while encouraging their participation in this world. To gently take their hand and walk with them for as long as it takes. To be aware that ‘I’m fine” may not mean “I’m fine” in the way you want to believe it does. To always let people know you love and care for them and that you’re really here for them through thick and thin. They are never alone…

For those who are hurting:

To allow someone to hold our hands when we’re feeling low. To open up to trusted friends and family. To talk about it. To write about it. To get the feelings out when they are messy so that the despair doesn’t fill us up inside. To try. To share. To ask for help. To receive help. To believe that this will help us. To see beyond the present moment and ourselves. To realize there are other choices. To take baby steps towards healing. To feel the love that others have for us. To realize and know we are never alone. To think beyond that present moment as to how an potential action affects those around us and question how we can save ourselves and others. Because we can stay here and get help and feel better…

While I am not suicidal, we have all had low moments in our lifetimes I think and so we can understand how someone may feel in that moment…let’s make sure that all who inhabit our earth feel our heartlights shining so that we can help each and every person so that no one feels alone again.

Shine On!

xo

Do You Have A Teddy Bear Story To Share?

I never knew there was a National Teddy Bear Day, did you? Well, it’s today which means I have to write about it! Because I still have my original Teddy Bear – aptly named Teddy – who looks all of his age plus a few decades. Yes, he has been loved that much over the years! Then, I have his sibling named Tedriana. Tedriana was made with much love by my Mom who decided one year to make my sister and me matching teddy bears as Christmas gifts. I have to ask my sister if she still has hers!

There’s something quite charming about a Teddy Bear, don’t you think? While mine doesn’t look very pretty anymore, as he’s lost all of his hair, I don’t care. He’s very special to me and I can’t get rid of him. I don’t sleep with him anymore (obviously), but I will confess that he holds a special place in my heart and if need be, I would hold him for comfort. So far, I’ve been able to resist, but knowing he’s there is helpful.

What is it about a Teddy Bear? Is he part of the comfort of childhood? Was Teddy the friend when you were younger whom you trusted to tell your secrets to? Who was always ready with a hug to calm you? Did you even have a Teddy? Or was your comfort stuffed plush a different animal or a precious blankie?

Come on…spill your secrets to me, please! Don’t be shy…I’m sure your Teddy or Tedriana would love the notoriety on this special day!

Shine On!

xo

Two Hearts

I watched a movie on Netflix called Two Hearts. Have you seen it? While I don’t want to give away the story, nor the plot in case you’re interested, instead I’ll give you my takeaway from it. Because I cried while watching the movie because it hit home a few times.

“Life is short,” is a line we’ve heard time and again, but until we’re in that position of loss or grieving, we sometimes forget that nobody knows how long any of us have here on Earth. In an instant, circumstances can change dramatically and we are left without warning. Having lost many loved ones, I understand this, as you probably do as well. It isn’t easy when someone we love passes away, nor when we are battling an illness that makes life uncertain.

Regrets for words left unsaid or for those harshly delivered makes healing harder for those left behind. Focusing on the smaller annoyances and not seeing the bigger picture also play into guilt later on. Seeing the good in people and voicing your loving support is important – to the giver and to the receiver. Unfortunately, this may be a lesson learned a little too late for some people.

So here’s my gentle reminder – remember to reach out to those whom you love and cherish. Show your loving support so that you know that they know how you feel. Be mindful of how much of a difference you can make by your loving presence in someone’s life. We are all connected here. Plant seeds of kindness and watch them grow. Understanding and love are like Miracle Grow to people as they bloom when the supply of support, love and patience are delivered daily like sunlight.

Shine On!

xo

Life Is Fleeting

Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me.

Robin Williams

Today marks two years since my Mom passed away. It feels like only yesterday and yet at the same time, it feels like years have passed since my sister and I were with her that fateful day. I awoke this morning at 5:30am, much earlier than usual, only to remember that two years ago, at that same hour, we were with her as she was transitioning. I wondered if on some level she had awakened me so I could be there to honor her at her hour. I spent the next hour in prayer, perusing through the multitude of photos and videos of our family, remembering the good times we spent together.

It’s a strange feeling to remember that you’re all alone. Only those of us who have lost our parents will understand that bereft feeling that startles you without warning. For so much has changed since she passed away. I’m still recovering from Open Heart Surgery and while my Mom wouldn’t have been capable to help me recuperate, it would have been lovely to have her here. To know that she was with me even if she couldn’t do anything more than pray for me. Thank the Good Lord that my parents gave me my sister for whom I am so grateful. She has been a Godsend to me.

I have learned that they are always with me. Even though I have many loved ones on the other side, I know they are around me. I can catch glimpses of them. I know our precious pets can too as I watch them track someone in the room who is invisible to the naked human eye. They know. They hear. They are aware of the loving energy that surrounds us.

I have a friend whose husband passed away and he makes his presence known in many ways to his still living wife. While you may not ‘believe’ in such things, I have born witness to some unexplainable events, coincidences and synchronicities that keep my faith strong in the belief that we are energy and those who have passed can communicate with those of us still here on earth.

I like this quote from Robin Williams especially because I’m a skywatcher myself and love to catch a glimpse of a shooting star as it streaks across the night sky. While I had never heard this quote before, I thought it was apropos. So tonight, you know I’ll be sitting on my front porch, watching the night sky.

Have you ever had any moments when you believed you received a visit from a departed loved one? I’d love to hear about them if you’d please share! Keep shining your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

Angels Walk Among Us

Throughout my lifetime, I have been blessed. I know this and I don’t take it for granted. In fact, I want to celebrate it so that you can see it in your lives too! Because when we see with a grateful heart, we understand that we are never alone. God sends us angels in all different forms to help us along the way. Strangers who become friends. People who go out of their way for others whom they don’t know. Information and synchronicities that come out of nowhere that are the key to unlocking certain situations. Wisdom that’s shared simply because it will help someone else. Do you see what I mean?

These human angels walk among us. Have you ever wondered how you got the right person on the phone when you were trying to fix something? Or noticed a stranger in line at the grocery store doing something so kind and it makes your day? Have you ever been nudged to reach out to someone to help them? Why, that’s God’s way of expanding his angelic kindness through us!

If you’re not a believer in God, but perhaps in Mother Nature’s infinite wisdom or the Universal Laws or something else, I feel as if it is all similar when we connect with kindness with others. Can you feel it?

Since the start of this next chapter with my heart, I have met so many angels along the way that it’s been amazing. The Divine Timing of our meet cutes has been extraordinary. But I know (big inner smile) that there’s a soul plan here at work. It’s not by chance most likely. It’s got more of an angelic feel to it and I am relishing in all of it.

For when we are grateful, when we acknowledge the blessings, we open our hearts/minds/souls to more of the same. When we receive with grace, we can also give out and flow with the loving energies that are so healing.

Not just now, but throughout my life, angelic humans have made their presence known to me, helping me when needed in extraordinary ways. My sister and I have had many of these experiences and we are so grateful to continue to have them. We marvel at each encounter which solidifies our thinking.

So I hope that if you are nudged to get out of your comfort zone to connect with someone else that you will not hesitate. Sometimes we are the catalyst for joyfully changing someone else’s life and that’s the best feeling ever! For those of you, who like me, have been the recipient, let’s continue to pass it along, spreading kindness and love with each personal encounter.

Our world aches to grow in love so let’s feed it! Keep shining your heartlights for we can see them!

Shine On!

xo