Tag Archive | angel

Sing Your Praise


I love music as you may already know.  I used to sing in the church choir when I was a child and adored certain hymns especially the Christmas ones which I know by heart.  A few years ago, our church began to stray from the old standard hymns into a new age type of song which none of us knew.  Since I know how to read music, I had hoped that we would be given the lyrics and notes in order to follow along.  I’m not truly against new songs, but only if I can figure out how to sing them.  But we were only given the words and had to follow along with the cantor.  For me, it wasn’t easy.

I think that’s the way it is in life sometimes too.  Our traditions or the way we thought our lives were going sometimes get jumbled.  The tune of the song which we’ve been singing for years gets changed and we don’t know the new song nor how to sing it.  We stumble because now we’ve lost the tune and the words.  We can try for a bit and just sing the universal la la la but after awhile, it’s clear that we have no idea what’s going on and that’s when we have to listen, become aware and move forward.  Love the traditions but remain open to new ideas, new music and new ways.

For me, singing is another way to pray.  So when I’m all out of prayers, a little uplifting music is harmony to my ears and peace to my soul.  I’ve found that there are sweet examples of religious music which aren’t all about Hallelujah nor pigeon-holed into a certain sect of Christianity.  The songs Amazing Grace and Morning Has Broken are examples which come to mind.  For me, there’s a sense of deep peace which beckons my heart and soul when I hear these songs.  They break the wall of tears which I hold in place so carefully.  It’s freeing you know, to cry to a song which holds so much emotional purpose in your life.  It’s a good way to clear out the tear ducts and bathe your tired eyes.  It’s a cleansing of sorts to let go and allow the peace of God to drain your sadness and fill up your heartlight again with peaceful, kind love and understanding.

Amy Grant is a christian singer whose songs have brought me much joy.  Her album The Collection came out in 2007 and was given to me as a gift from AAngel.  I’ve found much peace and love in her music.  I just thought I’d share one of her songs with you today as a good example of new music which I’ve learned to love.

What’s your favorite hymn or song?  I’d love to know so please share!

Shine On!


Watching a Life Expire

45032131_Your loved on is on a new journey…

Recently I was given the gift of being present with a loved one as she passed away.   Surrounded by loved ones, Anna’s body gently shook twice as she inhaled and exhaled her last breath.  We had been listening for a long time as changes in her breathing pattern ebbed and flowed.  With no heart monitor to watch, we only had her physical form to notice and we kept a sharp eye and ear open for every labored breath.  As her breathing grew steadily more labored and louder, we wondered if we would keep our vigil all night.  After all, there were three of us and we could take turns.  But really nobody wanted to leave her in her last hours even though the doctors weren’t sure if she would last for a few more hours, a few more days or a week.  Steadfastly, we remained and received the honor of being with her when she passed away.  Her last breath shook her body and then all stilled in the ICU.  We waited, looking at each other expectantly waiting for her to draw her next breath.  I looked through the glass door to see her doctor look at me with sad eyes.

“I think she just took her last breath,” one of us said as the three of us huddled together around her now lifeless body.

We said prayers for Anna, tears streaming down our faces, holding hands across the bedsheets as we stood around her bedside.  We told her how much we loved her, what a great life she had lived and how we hoped that Jesus had come to take her home after her well-lived life journey.  We promised to take care of our other Aunt whom she loved.  We murmured gentle reminders of happier memories which are pinned on our hearts.  We promised her that we would take her to be buried with her parents as she wished.  We told her over and over how much we had loved her ~ just like we had done when she was alive.

Quietly one of the nurses slipped in after about 15 minutes and he confirmed that her heart had stopped beating and that indeed that had been her last breath here on Earth.  Silently we watched as he disconnected her from the machines which had given her medicines to comfort her during her last hours.  With much respect for her and for us, he only spoke when we asked him a question.  We needed a few more minutes to allow the reality of what we had just experienced, to sink into our hearts and minds.  We had been with her as she crossed over, just as the 3 of us had been there when my Dad’s heart stopped beating.

It’s a bonding experience for those who are honored to be with a loved one as they pass away.  Sissy, Mom and I have been together twice now and I will say, it’s not for the faint of heart.  Tears pour down our cheeks as we realize the enormity of what we have just experienced together ~ witnessing a loved one’s body stop living.

And I wonder how it must feel to have no pain, no worries and be able to rejoice and to embrace love, light and God’s goodness all at once?  I wonder if she knew we were there and she was not alone?  I wonder that even though her brain had died, could she still hear us and if she knew that we were there with her?

I miss hearing Anna’s voice and seeing her.  I miss her eagle eyes that always caught me as a child if I did something naughty (which wasn’t often mind you!)  I miss the loving being that she was here on Earth for me.  I hope she knows that she is resting permanently next to her parents as was her request and our mission accomplished.  But I feel her more now I think ~ I feel a presence which when I get quiet feels like a friend who’s watching out for me.  Perhaps an added angel over my shoulder?  I could surely use a bit of heavenly strength right about now.

So this post today is for you Anna ~ 84 years young, you lived your life the way you wanted to and we were proud to say you were our Aunt.  Surely you’ve seen/heard our Dad already, because knowing him, he’s part of the welcoming committee with St. Peter, calling out your name loudly and probably swinging on the Pearly Gates!  Rest in Peace dear Aunt Anna and Dad too.  You live on in our hearts.

Shine On!



All Soul’s Day


Today is All Soul’s Day which comes on the heels of All Saint’s Day and Halloween which is also known as the Day of the Dead.  Having quietly celebrated my Dad’s birthday yesterday 2 years after he passed, I realize the importance of such a day of remembrance.  I was unable to write a fitting post yesterday so I guess today’s is good enough.

Today I ask you to remember those whom have passed in your life.  Those souls who have passed away in death and those who have passed out of your life but who are still living ~ for each soul who touches your life has a story and a gift for you.  It is up to you to see that for yourself, to accept the gift and to acknowledge it.  You also give a gift to those with whom you have connected and it is your choice in what gift you leave behind in your wake.  (yes, wake, pun intended).

I had a stormy relationship with my Dad.  For a long time after his passing, I was unable to think of his presence in my life as a gift.  I turned away from the loving thoughts that would have healed my hurting soul.  Anger, resentment and frustration at choices made, situations experienced and life itself ate me up in my heart.  I tried very hard to forgive and forget but it wasn’t until I was ready to release the massive black hole that I came to accept him as he was, flaws and all.  And in accepting him, I was able to see that I was accepting myself.  Geez if I had only not wasted so much time in turmoil, but then my lesson took longer than I expected.  I’ve learned that lessons come in the right time when we are ready to learn.

We have a life here filled with choices that by our free will, we are divinely guided, when we listen with our hearts.  Please take a moment today to listen to your heart ~ fill up your heart with love, light and hope; warm yourself with Divine Guidance; see the good in all people; trust your soul; bless those in your life (past and present) and accept each soul’s gift with gratitude for the experience and beauty that is present in all presence.

Rest in Peace Dad.

Shine On!




I was here

81137089_A distant family member passed yesterday, and then a friend texted me the song below and it made me think of the indelible mark we leave on this Earth when it’s our time to depart.  In most hearts, we want there to be something that says to ourselves and to others, some reaffirmation of “I was here,” so that we can fulfill that need to matter, to be a part of something unique in this world.  To add our brand of something special to the millions of others with whom we connect in our short lives.  Do you feel that need?  Can you feel it?  Do you ever think about it?

So what is your mark that you’ll leave behind?  Is it what you think it should/could/would be?  It’s never too late to change what that ‘dash’ represents in your lifetime.    Do you feel that energy today?  I awoke with something completely different as my post for today, but this just feels right.  As DAngel goes on to her Heaven, we can be reminded of a life well-lived, a family who surely is in mourning over the loss of a soul who tried to fight the cancer that led to her death yet continually kept that bright positivity even when there was nothing left.

You have the power to renew your spirit today and to be able to make a difference, no matter how small in your own life and in the lives of others.  To say, I lived.  I loved.  I was here.

Shine On!


P.S.  HAngel, thanks for leading the way with this song today.  I am heartily grateful for your presence in my life. ♥  Watch the video below ~ and be inspired by Lady Antebellum.

We Bloom, We Wilt.

14726_Human lives bloom and wilt just as flowers. 

We must not be sad that the flower eventually wilts,

But that we had the opportunity to watch it bloom. And could enjoy the beauty that it radiated.

There is always sadness at a funeral.  There are tears.  There is that sense of loss.  There is suffering.  There can be guilt, there can be anger, there can be resentment.  But the one thing I know for sure that there is always at a funeral ~ it’s LOVE.  I just came back from the funeral and repast for CAngel.  I am so happy that I was there for him and for his family because his repast was one that I would like for my own.  For you see, it was a celebration of the person whom we watched grow up, the shared memories of a family who made an even bigger family through their work.  And we were all a part of that family.

I came home from the trip to find the above card in my mailbox from my friend SAngel ~ I just had to share it with you as it was such a beautiful reminder.  Even if it is hard, to celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed is to keep their memories alive.  To share the funny stories, the camaraderie that forms sometimes even between strangers, brings the one who has passed alive for a little while.  And that’s what happened…we laughed.  We cried.  We shared, we remembered and we bonded.  We connected, we made a memory for us all to carry his memory on in a positive way.  We attempted to heal those closest to him ~ to make special memories that will remind them of how much he was loved by so many when they feel sad and alone.  At least that’s what we tried ~ and I pray we succeeded.

To be grateful for having enjoyed the beauty that radiated from a life is priceless.

Shine On!


P.S.  Need to send a card like this, click here!

RIP ~ National Suicide Prevention Week

75776810_When I was in 5th grade, we started middle school in my town.  It was a pretty day in  September.  Before school, we were all lined up outside of the doors of the school when one of the students began telling a story that broke my heart.  Because her Dad was an EMT in town, she relayed the story that my friend NAngel’s Mom had died yesterday.

NAngel, her sister JAngel, my Sissy and I were inseparable, having been friends since we were in kindergarten.  Although JAngel and Sissy were one year apart, they still played together like sisters ~ in fact, we all did, every weekend.  We called their Mom, ‘Mom’ sometimes simply because we spent so much time with them.  She was such a loving and sweet woman, the kind that had cookies after school that she had baked.  A loving home with a dog and a cat and 4 children (add us it made 6) and a great big backyard with a playhouse that was a little girl’s dream.

Heatedly, I remember telling the girl to stop telling lies as she was saying that Mrs. R had taken her life, that she’d committed suicide.  I just couldn’t’ fathom that my friend’s Mom whom I loved like a Mom had died, let alone killed herself!  I remember being so upset that a teacher had to speak with me although I don’t remember who it was.  I just remember that she told me that the student was telling the truth.

My Mom picked us up from school that day.  I got in her car and quietly told my Mom that I heard the saddest story today.  I told her what I had heard, that Mrs. R had died.  My Mom confirmed the news and Sissy and I just sat in the car and cried.  Our hearts were broken.  How could that have happened?

That afternoon, my Mom drove us to Mrs. R’s house.  I’ll never forget that she did that for we were able to be with our friends as they were mourning their Mom’s passing.  I remember that Mrs. R’s Mom was there (the girls’ grandma) and we all just sat together and played with our dolls, talking a bit, but more than anything, just being together.  I remember asking my Mom if the girls could sleep over because if my mind remembers correctly, it was already Friday.   But they didn’t.  We did sleep over their house though a few weeks later and I remember thinking that it was the last place Mom R was.  Wow, I still get a bit choked up when I think of her.

Every September, I think of Mrs. R, even though it is more than 30 years later.  In fact, when my elder child was in 5th grade, her smiling face and sweet nature haunted me.  Because I was the age she had been, with children of the same ages.  I tried multiple times to ‘get’ what she’d been enduring so much to take her life.  But I couldn’t.

My Mom tells the story that Mrs. R visited her a few days beforehand ~ Mrs. R stopped by and they had a cup of coffee together, chatting like the friends they were.  Mrs. R gave my Mom a ladybug figurine.  It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for them to enjoy a visit from time to time.  But this time, it was different ~ it was a goodbye, although my Mom didn’t know it at the time.

I still remember as if it were yesterday.  I think of Mrs. R often and I pray for her.  As an adult, I think about her life differently, but there’s still that little girl inside of me who mourns ‘Mom R.’  For whatever reason, I’ve never been able to get over her passing away nor the fact that she took her own life.

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week so I wanted to honor Mom R.  Oh how I wish that someone had heard the ‘unfine’ in your voice and been able to help you.  You are missed.  You are loved.  You are always remembered.  Rest in Peace.

Shine On!


A Heartwarming Story ~ Making A Difference!

Today’s Blog Post is brought to you by my friend Paul over at GYA Today ~ click here to follow his great blog!  http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/a-perfect-touchdown/   Paul posted this heartwarming story today!

As a cancer survivor myself, I find it even more beautiful when others take time to volunteer to make someone else’s day!  It’s all about Making A Difference!  Guess that’s my theme for the week!

A Perfect Touchdown

QB_and_Breanna_BercegeayRead more and watch the video HERE

Thanks Gregg Doyel for the inspiration!

Have you made a difference today?

Tell us about it! ♥

Shine on!


This Girl Is Not Afraid!

7180This Girl is not AFRAID! Psalm 27:1

Are you still with me ~ stretching out of your comfort zone ~ whatever that means for you?  Are you exploring your Inner Hotshot a bit these days?  Have you looked back to see what you used to be like or what you used to do without fear that you don’t do now?  And are you stretching your limits a bit?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been easing out of my comfort zone, one experience after another and the results have been really good!  I wanted to take this opportunity to check in with you before tomorrow to see if you’re still trying!  I know it’s not easy to be uncomfortable, but take it from me, it’s well-worth it!

I’ve been blessed to have my friend SAngel who has been leading the way for me ~ holding out her hand when I’ve been afraid ~ so that when I need support, a gentle push and even a pat on the back, I know she’s there for me.  It’s an amazing journey these days ~ I’m changing my life and watching it blossom the way I have felt inside!  It’s amazing when you have a supportive friend who knows what you are enduring and who stands by you when you’re uncomfortable and then praises you when you’ve accomplished the task!

Fear holds most of us back ~ the fear of looking silly to others, the fear of not succeeding, the fear of failure, sometimes even the fear of success!

I love this wallet sized inspirational card from SendOutCards.  It’s one of my favorite little gifts that I add to cards when I send them to a friend.  For some reason, the whole butterfly metamorphosis and lack of fear depicted on this card makes it just perfect!

So today, please know that I am sending you this card ~ holding out my hand to you ~ take hold ~ You are not afraid anymore!  You have a friend in me!

Shine On!


Pawprints in my Heart


Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

We have returned home without our darling Chessie Cat.  My heart is breaking and I am so sad.  It was an honor for us to have held this sweet kitty soul in our lives for almost 17 years and it was a blessing to be there when she passed as well.  We wrapped her in the blanket that she has been sitting on for the past week on the couch, which happens to be my husband’s and we also wrapped her in my favorite nighttime sweater ~ snuggled in our love and our smells.

I couldn’t bear to bring home an empty cat carrier, even though she has one from MIL which has her name on it.  So we wrapped her in the blankies and just drove slowly.  I think she enjoyed being able to see out of the windows and feeling the sunshine on her face.  She was actively snuggling into my arms, but keeping her head up, watching the world go by and surely wondering if I had lost my mind since she was outside, riding in the car without being in her carrier.  She never uttered a peep, but leaned her head next to mine and made sure her face was to the warm sunshine.

I think she knew and being her brave, constant angelic self, she continued to hold our gazes.  I held her while she leaned toward my hubby every time he stopped petting her.  She wanted us to know that she was there with us ~ and we wanted her to know that we were there for her as well.

I am bereft now ~ saddened by losing my kitty angel, but I am snuggling our other kitty Tiffy as much as she’ll let me.  I wonder what she is thinking as her sissy is now not here.  I know she knew that Chessie was sick, but watching her today, I don’t see her mourning as much as me.  Perhaps it is easier in the animal world, they know that life goes on and she accepts that Chessie is now in kitty Heaven, feeling healthy and happy.

So perhaps that’s what I have to do as well ~ change my thoughts and my perspective.  Be grateful for the time we’ve enjoyed Chessie’s presence and now be grateful in knowing that she is healthy and happy in Heaven, continuing to watch over me in a different form.  I just have to get my mind around that she isn’t here to purr next to me, but that she’s here in spirit, purring me into health.

Thanks for sharing this time with me throughout the last few posts.  Our lives have peaks and valleys in which we travel ~ connecting with others, reading your comments, being grateful for the time you’ve taken to send a heartfelt comment, has helped me.  Please know how thankful I am for all of you.

Big Hugs ~ Shine On!


Our Sweet Menagerie


Behold ~ let me introduce you to my purrfect daughters who complete the sweet menagerie in our home!  Chessie, is our Maine Coon/Tabby mix who will turn 17 in May.  She was a stray whom we adopted as our first ‘child’ and then there’s Tiffany aka Tiffy, who is our other girl, an American Bobtail who at now 5 years old, has kept our Chessie on her toes for the last 5 years!  Tiffy’s buddy is Jack the goldfish who has outlived his brothers, Manny and Moe by at least a year!  Jack continues to enjoy Tiffy’s affections although we’ve had to put a top on his bowl since Tiffy enjoyed eating his fish flakes with him when he was fed!

It’s funny that this Daily Prompt came today ~ although I’m truly not that surprised since I just made the call to our sweet vet for Chessie.  She’s been losing weight for awhile now and last night began making gurgling noises when she was purring.  Her purr has always been a deep rumble, much like my roar from yesterday’s post.  Chessie has a special place in our hearts in our home for she was our first child and alternately has been my hubby’s girl, my girl and our sons’ girl.  She’s lavished much affection over all of us and coined the much used phrase, “fur therapy” which is a staple in our home.  Fur Therapy is when you receive unconditional love, affection and soul-filled connections from one of our cats.  Not that we humans don’t give that deep love and understanding to eachother as well, but there’s something about holding a furry, warm cat to your heart, soul to soul and feeling that instant love.

Our boys have grown up with Chessie and then when Tiffy arrived, she became the resident fur therapist to the kids as she is younger and easier to handle for the boys considering that Chessie was an only child for quite awhile and Tiffy’s only known being picked up, carried around like a sack of potatoes and just goes with the flow!  Chessie was a bit stunned when we brought home our elder son almost 15 years ago ~ his occasional crying pierced her heart and she would watch over him incessantly, wanting us to soothe him as soon as possible.  By the time our 2nd son arrived, she was well-used to sharing our home with more humans who loved to pet her.

Chessie holds a special place in our hearts, but especially in mine.  For you see, it was her constant presence during my illness that I believe helped in healing me (with the help of the medical field as well).  She never left my side and was always next to me, her rhythmic purring rumbling though my body as she healed me with her spirit, her constant love and her healing vibrations.  You may think I sound a bit squirrelly, but it’s how I feel in my heart.  And for that healing love, I am ever so grateful to her.

Quietly, she has anchored herself to our family and to our hearts.  Her unassuming nature, being a constant sweet presence much like a beloved angel hovering in our home, she has been a constant companion.  There has never been a time in the last 17 years that I haven’t walked in the door to call to my girls and to look for them upon entering our home.  She is our talisman of all goodness.  She accompanied us in the middle of the night to check on the boys when they were sick.  When my hubby would travel, she would wait for his return the first night and then the second night, if he wasn’t home, she would sleep upstairs with me on the bed, keeping one ear cocked listening for any strange sounds.  Many a night I would lie awake in bed wondering what the strange noise I heard downstairs was and I would look over to Chessie to see if she had heard it.  If her head was up and she was listening too, we would descend the stairs together to investigate.  Many times, she would precede me, somehow I always believe, protecting me in case there was something there ~ which thankfully, there never has been!

She’s been laying beside me on the couch the last few days, barely leaving my side and I’ve not left hers either.  My heart absolutely breaks every time I think of the possibility and tears storm my cheeks with the mere thought of what today’s vet appointment could bring.  I know for some people who aren’t pet lovers, nor cat lovers either, this may seem a bit much, but I don’t care.  If you’ve ever been blessed to be loved by an animal or have been a beloved pet owner, you will understand how I feel today.

So I’m off to the vet now ~ I’m praying for peace whatever that may bring us.  We’ve heard that the average life of a cat is 13 years old so we’ve been blessed with almost 17 for which I’m truly grateful.  Please say a prayer for Chessie.  Thank you!

Shine On!



Daily Prompt: Menagerie

Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

(Bonus points for adorable animal photos, and double bonus if they’re taken with your phone!)