I refuse to sugar coat it friends.
I haven’t been in a good place. I have wanted to give up, disappear, simply forget who I am.
I feel in my heart that my soul is meant for something different; like it is meant for so much more than me being sick. I accept my illness as part of my journey, but lately it has completely defined it.
Completely defined me.
And I just can’t figure out how to break away from that.
I want things to look up. If I can’t be well, I can at least take the small but integral step toward choosing happiness. And maybe, just maybe, that small step will help me break free.
This morning I sat outside in my backyard and closed my eyes. It continues to amaze me how healing the simplest things can be. Like sunshine. And birds. Flowers. Colors. Warmth.
Make it a beautiful day everyone.
Let’s always remember to slow down and notice the simple and unassuming.
With love always to you and yours.
The news came on Thursday.
A furry baby I follow on Facebook, sick with cancer, would be going to Rainbow Bridge on Saturday.
His time came.
And I cried.
I cried because he is gone from this physical life. I cried because his Mommy and Daddy hurt so badly; and words, no matter how loving or wise, simply can’t comfort them now. I cried because I know that pain. Holding a living being lovingly in your arms as you feel their soul slip away; to a better place, but away from you. Emptiness. Time standing agonizingly still. Emotion so overwhelming that it feels like it will kill you, and you really don’t care if it does.
Easter morning I looked up at the sky, a sky that was supposed to be gray, wet and ominous. Instead I saw the sun; loving and bright, surrounded by pillows of white and bathed in a sea of deep blue that literally went on forever. Nature’s beauty speaking without words.
Love rushed in and sat strongly upon my heart.
I knew. I knew how I was meant to spend this day.
I found my precious girl sleeping soundly on the couch. I sat quietly next to her, and in her sleepy daze she moved so we would touch, and then halfway into my lap for some cuddles. Her eyes fluttered open and closed and open again as I held her. Her brother, my furry son, was in one of his moods, and didn’t join us. Instead he chose the solitude of his doggie bed on the floor.
The house was quiet, aside from the occasional grind and crash emanating from the garage, the kind of sounds one hears when a man is left to his own devices. I smiled, knowing my husband was out there doing what he loves, and I was inside, holding our sleepy, perfect girl, her body moving so sweetly with each contented breath.
I leaned down to rest my cheek upon her head, and I took in her smell, that sweet spot between her ears where soft gray fur meets white. We held hands. And cuddled. And cuddled some more. I told her I loved her again and again and again.
I just couldn’t take my eyes off her.
This perfect girl, once abandoned at a local park on a chilly early May morning.
This perfect girl, once hungry, frightened and unloved.
This perfect girl, with so much love to give; waiting to find her way to us.
And she did, when her Daddy found her and brought her home.
Now she’s ours.
And I am so ridiculously grateful.
My mind went back to the sweet boy who left this earth just one day before, and how his parents are hurting. How they can’t hold him or smell him or kiss him. How no amount of time or reason or faith can change what is.
But they can always love him.
And he will always love them.
Love never stops.
Love can overcome, even this painful separation.
And love will reunite them in a place that is so beautiful words fail to describe it.
Heaven now has a new angel.
With that thought sitting upon my heart, tears of grief evolved into tears of joy.
Zander, your Mommy and Daddy love you, and we all love you. Please look out for us, sweetheart. Your Mommy and Daddy will be with you again someday. You will find them at Rainbow Bridge, and then you will be with them forever. Until then, be strong, have fun, and say hello to my Molly. She’ll keep you company and play with you. Always know that you were a gift to this world. You made it a better place. And now heaven is even brighter because of you.
Driving on a neighborhood back road recently, I approached an inviting older home with the kind of lovely, peaceful yard that makes you want to just stop and take it all in. It was perfectly shaded, dark hues of green everywhere, blooms creating pops of deep color in perfect contrast.
The home had that lived in feel from the outside. I thought lovingly of my grandparents’ old house. As a child I enjoyed sitting outside on the patio or playing upon the stone walkways, pale violet hydrangeas and glorious green as my backdrop. Back then I adored the East Coast feel of the summer thunderstorms, the sounds and sensation of falling rain, hand in hand with the heat upon my skin; things I just didn’t experience in the warm, always sunny months of a California summer.
Such happy memories.
When I passed this home not far from my own, I also took comfort in its delightful picket fence, flowers winding around it throughout. I spied a splash of violet with blue petals behind it, like nothing I had ever seen before. I stopped and looked closer.
It was a beautiful larkspur. The flower of the month of July. And there were others, a gorgeous range of deep purple to pale pink and then to white.
I went home later that afternoon and headed right for my computer, wanting an impromptu education on all things larkspurs. I learned about their meaning, and how they symbolize love, sweetness and an open heart. Flower meaning hasn’t always resonated with me. I would much rather look at the physical beauty and presence of a flower and decide then whether I like it or not; I assign my own meaning, if you will. Sure, the meaning of specific flowers did once serve a purpose in our history. We can thank the social mores of Victorian England for that, when the language of flowers spoke the sentiments of lovers; it was culturally unacceptable to voice passionate and loving words publicly. A vibrant bouquet would speak them for you.
As for the meaning of the larkspur, I would say all of those things are quite lovely. I can definitely get behind it. Beautiful flower, and beautiful meaning. A winning combination.
There is just something about a flower. When you really study it, contemplate it, it really can be your world for that moment. Little spots of light in a sometimes not-so-easy existence. I know it to be true.
So when I need a lift , to lay my eyes upon that delicious color, so earthy and natural, I will drive past that quaint neighborhood spot and take it all in.
I thank it for its inspiration.
It encourages me to create pretty things, and make my own home and garden more beautiful.
But more important, it inspires me to appreciate the power of what my eyes can see.
Last week, when I heard Davy Jones had passed away at the young age of 66, I went straight to my CD player. I couldn’t help myself. I just had to listen to “Daydream Believer”. And while the news of his death made me sad, all I could do was smile, hearing that sunny song fill the room.
Lately, I feel like smiling more and more. I am starting to have a different outlook on my life. I suppose I have implemented my own little happiness project without even realizing it. And it feels good. I don’t know how or when it started. It just did, and that’s the important thing. Maybe it is growing a little older and a bit wiser. And my father’s passing reminds me every day to make the most of what time I have left. Regardless, there is a randomness and mystery to my new path. And that is why I trust it.
Negative emotions have never made any situation better. Anger, hostility, sadness; none of it feels good. Granted, we can’t escape them. With the positive comes the negative. We can’t have one without the other. Without the pain, we would never know how great it feels to be happy.
The trick is to have the good outweigh the bad. I know, easier said than done. But sometimes all it takes is putting some of the negative to the side. Then the positive can shine through all on its own.
In the thirty something years I have spent on this planet, in this life, I know I have spent entirely too much of it being angry and sad. Angry at my husband, usually over stupid stuff. Sad about things that happened over the years in my family. Pissed at myself. For not being thin enough. Smart enough. Charismatic enough. Rich enough. Healthy enough.
When I started to set aside the anger and sadness, only then did any measure of healing begin to take place in my life. Happiness then had its chance to settle in and find a home. And I know when I am happy, I am an active participant in my life.
I notice more. Like watching my doggies get crazy happy over the simplest things. My Gracie can find a rock in the backyard to play with, and she will strut triumphantly into the house with her treasure. My Jack is never more content than when he has his blue blankie to snuggle in. And both of them get wiggly and bounce all over the furniture when the leashes come out. The simple pleasure of going outside for a walk is enough to make their day. Wow. Rocks, leashes, and a blue blanket. Who knew? Magic happiness makers. And unassuming ones at that.
I have my own simple things. A good book and a comfy couch on a rainy night. A blazing orange sunset against a purple sky. Nothing but green lights on the way home after a long day. Cake batter right out of the bowl. My husband’s laugh.
And a great song that makes you smile.
I listened to “Daydream Believer” again last night. I will always love it. Not just for its uplifting sound, but for what it says. We should all believe in day dreams. I know I do. They make life more than tolerable. They make it happy.
This morning my husband greeted me with a kiss and smile. And while I felt a little tired and achy, not getting the best night’s sleep, his simple but loving gesture reminded me to cheer up and be happy.
I will heed the message.
Just call me his Sleepy Jean.
Rest in peace, Davy:
Photo source (sunset & green light images): http://m.weheartit.com