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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

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

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

March Madness

No my dear friends, I’m not talking about basketball, but instead about the energies that we find here lately. Yesterday was a very windy day and it has continued today. A polar vortex in our area has arrived even though just last week we had mild spring-like temperatures. However, as you well know, March can be a tricky month weather-wise. My Mom was famous for saying, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Have you heard that saying too?

I’m noticing a lot of people are on edge as well these days. The unrest world-wide with all that’s swirling doesn’t make it easy to navigate as there’s a lot to take in, a lot to process and many people are just plain tired. I hope that you’ve all been doing well. I haven’t been writing here lately and I miss you.

Daffodils always remind me of my Mom as she had them in the middle of the kitchen table (from her garden) during my birthday month. Those bright happy flowers never cease to make me smile when I think of her. Do you have any flowers that remind you of someone special?

Shine On!

xo

A Family Thanksgiving

Saying Grace – Normal Rockwell

This image hung in the kitchen at my parents’ house for decades. On the wall, next to the kitchen table where we ate our daily meals because my Mom loved it. Each time I see this, I think of my Mom because it was so significant to her and part of our upbringing. It’s titled Saying Grace. Are you familiar with it?

For me it’s a good reminder that life is what we make of it. No matter who’s watching, we can be ourselves, authentically us, shining on and comfortable in our own skins. We don’t have to conform to the masses, but instead, stay true to ourselves. Counting our blessings even when they may seem small and passing along traditions that are important to us. Quietly, without fuss or fanfare, the simplicity in Saying Grace comforts me.

Do you feel it too?

Life was simpler then I think and many times Normal Rockwell captured that family-oriented simplicity in everyday living. It makes me grateful for the blessings I’ve received and isn’t that what Thanksgivng is all about? It’s not about the turkey, the sides or the pies. It’s about FAMILY (friends included) coming together with love, understanding and Freedom From Want, even for a short time.

Freedom From Want – Normal Rockwell

Sharing the Thanksgiving feast is a blessing that I count many times over. While both of my parents have now passed, these memories become even more precious as time goes by. Our family’s love continues. We are looking forward to spending time together, my sister’s family and mine. To be remembered, to be included, to share with others is priceless.

My wish for you is to have a Blessed Thanksgiving if it is one of the holidays you celebrate. Even if it isn’t, I send blessings your way too. Take a few minutes to give thanks and share your gratitude for what we concentrate on grows abundantly. I wish you Freedom From Want.

Happy Thanksgiving! We are blessed!

Shine On!

xo

I See The Moon

I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.

My Mom

This morning we awoke to cooler temperatures which were perfect for me. No humidity in the air and just the sensation that all was right in the world. How lovely! So, I took a break from cleaning my house to sit outside on my rocking chair to just relax and watch the world go by. Of course, you know me, I had to look up to the sky because I always find skywatching to be a peacefilled endeavor.

10:54 am Can you see the 1/2 moon? The airplane?

10:56am Look at how the clouds have changed.

What do you see in the clouds? I see angels with trumpets! How about you?

Do you ever take a moment to look up at the sky? Who would have thought that at almost 11am the moon would still be visible in the sky? Isn’t it a lovely sight? I hope you are all having a lovely Saturday start to your weekend! Keep shining your heartlights and remember to look up!

Shine On!

xo

Make A Joyful Noise

I awoke this morning before six am hearing:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: It is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise: Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; And His truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100:1-5 King James Version

I spoke along with my mind, knowing full well that today is the anniversary of my Mom’s passing and this was one of her favorite psalms. I laid there quietly with tears running down my cheeks, repeating the psalm that as children we said before bed every night with her, and in her last moments, we said at her bedside.

Of course you knew I’d be sad today because I loved my Mom. She was special. She was genuine and like me, she loved with her whole heart. But I miss her even more because I’ve been sick, and there’s nothing like a caring Mom to take care of you when you’re home sick. So I’m a bit more vulnerable today than usual.

But I miss her. I miss how she saw life and could absolutely make me laugh, even when I was sad. She saw through people’s baloney. She kept life real. Even with her condition, she didn’t forget some things that became funny over the years. She and my sister (in the photo) always had a good time wherever they went! Can’t you tell?

They made a JOYFUL NOISE and loved every second of it! That’s what life’s about – taking what you’re given and making the best of it. Being in the present moment and realizing the gift that is this precious present moment! I am thankful we had many of those over the years and that my sister and I continue the tradition together.

Thank you for reading today as my heartlight is grateful, but perhaps a bit dimmer than normal. Any love and light would be appreciated if you can spare some? Thank you in advance for sharing!

Shine On!

Xo

On Mother’s Day

This is the first official Mother’s Day without my Mom here on Earth. Last year, with the pandemic, we were unable to see her in person, but at least we could visit with her virtually which was a help, but still not enough. I longed to hug my Mom last year and this year the feeling is overwhelming as she is not here to hug.

I am one of those who feels with her whole heart and who thrives with affection. I am a huge hugger. I always have been as it is innate within me. I get that from my Mom who was also this way.

My Mom taught me so much in my life and I am forever grateful to her. She also loved with her whole heart unconditionally and accepted people for who they were without judgment. She had a strong faith in God and read her Bible, making sure she passed along the Psalms that were important to her. Years later, those Psalms are easily recited after years of repetition at bedtime as children.

I find myself a bit weepy lately. The phrase, “I just miss my Mom” repeats in my head and heart as I struggle this first Mother’s Day. Perhaps it is because her love was such an important part of my life. She gave love unconditionally. She always told us that she loved us, repeatedly. There was never a question in anyone’s heart if she loved them or not, because she did.

Her legacy not only rests within me, my children, and our family, but extends to so many others with whom she connected. I am proud that she was my Mom and that her kind, southern ways were cherished by so many people. She left a legacy of love that still lives within me.

God Bless those who love unconditionally with heartlights which shine brightly. Our world needs you!

Shine On!

xo

The Smell of Spring

March always reminds me of daffodils because they grew in the backyard of my childhood home. Being a March baby, I clearly remember my Mom cutting the daffodils and placing them in a vase on our kitchen table every year around my birthday. To me, daffodils are that joyful expression that Spring is coming (as is my birthday)!

There is something cheerful about seeing the daffodils and smelling the earth starting to come alive in Springtime. I bought myself a handful of daffodils yesterday at the store. As I arranged them in a small vase that was my Mom’s, I was smiling. It’s the little things, those precious moments that I treasure. Don’t you?

It’s been getting warmer here in Jersey and the birds are chatting away more than usual. Perhaps it’s not more than usual, but simply that it’s been so quiet throughout the Winter months. It’s good to hear them prattling away and calling to each other. I have been watching them eat from the suet bird feeders I got this Winter. They are so much fun to watch!

However, I saw that there is a possibility of a snow storm next week and much to everyone else’s chagrin, I’m smiling about it! I love snow as well and would welcome one last snowfall before Spring is officially here. Back in the 70’s I remember a snow storm on my birthday which I loved! Perhaps we have another one in store for 2021?

I hope that all of you are healthy and happy. I haven’t been writing as much lately, but I do think of you often. My darling rabbits and wildlife haven’t been seen in a long while. I’m not sure if they’ve moved, are hibernating or perhaps have met their demise which saddens me. I’m hoping for a resurgence in the Spring. I’ll stay in touch and let you know!

In the meantime, may you have a lovely Thursday afternoon in March wherever you are. May you take a few moments to notice The Presents of Presence in your day. Take an extra moment or two to just be, look up at the sky, notice the grass and the smell of Spring starting. Count your blessings and be grateful for your loved ones by your side. I am grateful for all of you.

Shine On!

xo

Hello March!

I love when Rose Hill Designs by Heather Stillufsen posts one of her designs (like the one above) that speaks to me. In the past you know I have talked about rabbit-rabbit-white-rabbit-white-rabbit every first of the month, but today is a little different. I adore daffodils as they remind me of my Mom who passed last year. Every year in March, the daffodils in her garden would bloom and she would cut a few of them to put in a small vase on our kitchen table. Because my birthday is in March, I have always associated daffodils with my birthday (and my Mom).

So when I saw the design above, I felt drawn to write and to post it. Because I believe that even when we pass away, we leave a little bit of us behind in the memories of our family and friends. A chance remark, a certain phrase, a whiff of Spring or even a small bouquet of daffodils can remind us of the goodness in those who are no longer here. Perhaps it is a sign that they are still among us, even though we can’t see them. Or perhaps it is nothing but a coincidence.

I believe in signs, in synchronicity and that little is chance or coincidence. I’ve had too many inexplicable experiences to believe otherwise which comforts me. So today I wish you a Happy March as well as lucky – Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit White Rabbit!

Shine On!

xo