... for those who mourn the loss of a soul mate
"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." - Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Awe-inspiring day

This past Sunday Cathy and I attended a one-day workshop in Paradise Valley given by Susanne Wilson, the Carefree Medium. It was called "Mediumship for Non-Mediums" and its goal was to teach ordinary [non-medium] people how to connect with their own loved ones in the Afterlife.
In addition to enjoying a personal friendship with Susanne, I have studied with her for a few years now and wasn't expecting to learn anything especially new. But I knew I would enjoy the day and would be able to reinforce some things I was already aware of.
How wrong I was!
Halfway into the morning Susanne led us all in a guided meditation designed to raise our vibrations and "open" us up to energy and messages. Then we faced other participants in the audience and engaged in what she called "speed reading". It was kind of like speed dating only with Spirit. Each of us had 60 seconds to "read" the person in front of us sharing insights, images, and messages. After that, it was their turn to "read" us. Then time was called, people moved down one in the row and we did it again. And again. For a total of three times - three times we were read and three times we read for a total of six sessions.
We had all been apprehensive. Some of us were even skeptical. After all, weren't we all just ordinary folks? Yes, some of us had had experiences in the past [myself included] but this was perhaps with members of our own family and friends. Certainly not with strangers. How could we possibly pick up anything?
But we did!
And it wasn't anything earth-shattering for the most part. Certainly not on the level that Susanne does herself.
But it was eye-opening, to say the least. Two gentlemen knew I had cats; one even got specific and said they were orange [true!]. Another described me as a perfectionist searching for fulfillment. Another told me I was coming into a place of contentment.
Everything that was told to me during that exercise was accurate.
Yet, the lesson that I came away with was not that we can all be mediums. I know that's not the case. Nor was it, I believe, the truth we were supposed to realize.
No, instead it showed me that we are all connected. We are part of the One Great Mind called Source. Our nature is Love. And because of that we are all qualified to help each other and, in fact, we are supposed to help each other. That is our job here on Earth.
So, thank you, Susanne. Thank you for a wonderful fun day and thank you for helping me realize once again my purpose.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Who would you be if you weren’t who you are? by Betts McCalla

Does that sound like the beginning of a Dr. Seuss story or maybe a Shel Silverstein poem? But, seriously think about the different choices you made during your lifetime at each crucial bump in the road. Each bump steered you in a different direction or possibly bounced you back the way you had come forcing you to redo a part of your life path. I attribute one small business trip and a chance meeting with a friend of a friend to changing my life forever. The tiny ripples set off by the vibrations of that meeting impacted the lives of several people and made life changes that are still being felt today. I think each person has a soul mate and that person is born with an instinct like a homing pigeon to find you and vice versa.

From the time I was a young child I knew I had a soul mate who was searching for me. And I was searching for him. When we finally met in a chance one hour window of possible contact, two thousand miles from my home in a city I was visiting for the first time, it didn’t occur to me that this was my soul mate. I felt like I had met an old friend. Someone I had known a long time ago though how could that be? There was an instant like, a rapport, and somehow a knowingness of his character. And I remember perceiving he had an orange aura. We became best friends, business partners, lovers, married and the keeper of each other's heart.

There were many bumps in our road together signaling changes in direction, in life goals and in opportunities. There were climate changes, there were career changes, and there were life threatening medical issues. Sometimes, I felt like our lives were contained in someone’s pinball machine with a maniac manning the flippers. And then a calmness would descend and it felt like we were floating together in a sun warmed blue lagoon. That last period of peacefulness was for two years and then the pinball wizard took over and nothing was ever the same again. I now picture the pinball machine as broken and decrepit. I choose to not live inside it anymore. I can’t float alone in the blue lagoon either so I’m carefully maneuvering myself over the speed bumps and around the tree roots that spring up to trip me unawares. And somewhere in the distance an orange aura is beckoning to me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day

Today is one of the days I call Hallmark days - days made up for a purpose and then take on a life of their own with card shops, chocolatiers and florists making a bundle off the guilt.
Don't get me wrong. I used to love VDay. It was an excuse to pamper my Love and he to pamper me. But the expectations can get away from us if we're not careful and now those of us who are physically Valentine-less sometimes feel bad when all the activity is going on around us and we can't join in.
So my advice is to be good to your heart today. Today, after all, is a day of the heart and yours is just as important as anyone else's.
Revel in the memories you have. Cherish the love you experienced - and still do. Be grateful for the life you had with your Sweetheart.
We are the lucky ones. We know love and the peace that comes with knowing we still have that love - and always will.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

I've Got a Guy for That ...

Not too long ago, I was talking with two friends, both of them alone after having lived with husbands who were always very handy around the house. For years those two men could be relied on to make sure everything ran smoothly. But then one day they were gone, leaving my friends to figure out ways to maintain their car, fix the plumbing, repair broken appliances and houses, and so on.

I quickly realized that every time one of us encounters a new problem – Joy’s scorpions in the house, Betts’ irrigation leaks and my inoperative landscape lighting, for example – one or the other of us will invariably step in, saying, “Oh, I’ve got a guy for that.” So now, we have teams in place that we share. Joy and I use the same yard guys. Betts uses my irrigation repair guy. And we are all sharing resources as we move toward the ultimate publication of our books.

Once upon a time I, much like Joy and Betts, always relied on my Norm to handle things like car repairs, yard maintenance, the pool and any problem that could be solved by his excellent engineering mind. But as the years have passed, I find that more and more, he is reluctant to take on those tasks. I think part of it is a result of over six years of treatment with a monoclonal antibody, very similar to regular ongoing doses of chemotherapy. It affected him more deeply than we realized at the time but I can still bounce problems off him and ask for his advice. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to have him gone completely.

So, over time, I have built my team of “guys for that.” The yard guys keep the weeds from taking over the world. Thanks to my pool guy, the pool is always sparkling. I have a team that maintains our two fountains monthly. There is the contractor who can always be relied upon to either fix things or recommend someone who can. The electrician, the air conditioning people, the plumbers, the garage door guy, the accountant, the financial advisor and the doctor. The list goes on forever but the fact is that things eventually get done, not neglected.

I never realized how much we can no longer do as we age or as we find ourselves alone, but there it is. That’s why I have those teams of guys. They keep my day to day world humming and my surroundings livable. All of them came to me via word of mouth recommendations.

But then there is the other team of “guys.” They are the ones you call when the pain just becomes more than you can handle, or when you are sick and need someone who loves you to hold your hand and spoon chicken soup into your mouth, or when something goes bump in the night and you need someone to vanquish the closet monsters. Those are the “guys” who love you unconditionally and will be there for you for however long you need them. They are the ones who will take up a sword and fight alongside you defending your fragile self as you make your way through this perilous minefield called grief. They are the ones who will come if only you can find the strength to call. They are the ones who will hear “I need you” and fly to your side. They are the sincerest form of “guys for that.” I call them friends and family. Some call them angels.

Friday, February 10, 2017

What day would you do over? by Betts McCalla

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you.. Jim Croce

What day would you choose as a do over to spend with your soul mate? Would it be the day you met? The day you exchanged your marriage promises? The day you celebrated the birth of a child? I had the flu this week and my body demanded some down time so I stayed a couple of lower energy days in bed and this question among many popped into my head. I spent several hours drifting in and out of a sort of twilight sleep remembering some very fine days: My first visit to New York City strolling hand in hand through Central Park. Attending my first Broadway performance, Applause, followed by a romantic dinner at the Spanish Pavilion. The Christmas morning brunch we enjoyed at the Hotel Waiohai on Kauai watching a mama whale teach her calf to sound. It could have been the day you introduced me to my four future children. Or even the first time we baked Christmas cookies together when I learned the major ingredient for all Swedish cookie recipes is butter. As I lay dozing off and on, I’d drudge up another memory of a lovely day. The day we found our perfect home and realized the back yard was landscaped exactly as you had plotted out our dream yard on a placemat years earlier right down to the terraced fruit orchard and the fountain in the corner. I remembered the day we adopted our first dog after you made the children, my sister and I all promise we were just going to the shelter to look and get an idea of different breeds. We all saw Jennifer but you couldn’t resist our beautiful blonde retriever mix. And as you said, you never promised.

And then I remembered the small days. The days that just were. Like the Saturdays we ran errands and ate tube steaks for lunch at Costco and sampled all the samples. The afternoons you presented me with bouquets of fresh cut blooms from your rose garden when I arrived home from work. The day our new bed arrived and you made it up with our new sheets, bed skirt, comforter and shams so I would be wowed when I saw it. The two lavish surprise birthday parties you threw for me because I never had a birthday party as a child. Any of these days would be perfect to do over. And I know holding these memories in my heart means I treasure them. I wish I could bottle the warmth of your embrace when you hugged me, the sense of being totally protected, the scent of your skin when I nuzzled against your neck, the feeling of heat emanating from your hands as you massaged my shoulders or just placed your hand on the back of my neck. Those are the things I miss most of all.

In spite of being sick this week, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to revisit some of those days we shared, my soul mate and me. And I woke up this morning feeling happy and stronger.

What day would you do over if only you could?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Cathy's post from the other day about love got me thinking. About Love, of course, but my mind went in another direction too. It often does!
No, Cathy's mention about what matters to those who have passed brought an image to mind that, even almost 7 years later, is very clear to me.
My husband John loved to work in the garage. He brought puttering up to an art form. He bought old used car parts from antique Mercedes cars and refurbished them. He always had an old Mercedes car he was working on.
He had a workshop in the garage. It took up all the available space and consequently we always had to park our cars in the driveway. But Arizona always has good weather so it was not a problem. And John enjoyed his hobby so much it was worth it.
But when I walked back into the garage after he passed and saw everything just as he had left it, as if he had just walked out of the room, it really hit me. He wasn't coming back. The things he left behind were just that - things. They didn't matter to him anymore.  The tools, the car parts, the little sponge on his workbench - all were meaningless now. To him.
Yet, to those of us left behind, they are so precious. They are a tether to those we've lost. We can touch something they touched and somehow in our grief it's as if we are still able to touch them.
Clothes, papers, books - a little dried up sponge! - suddenly take up monumental meaning.
And we cling with all our might.
The task is to learn to loosen the grasp and maintain a proper perspective.
It's hard. And it can get out of control. The picture that comes to mind is the crazy woman from the Dickens novel Great Expectations who was jilted on her wedding day and forever dressed in her old wedding dress, wore one shoe, kept her decaying wedding cake, etc.
We don't go to that extreme, of course.
But it's understandable that we want to keep certain objects. And want to keep certain things just as they were.
I felt that way about my wedding ring. I have had to take my wedding ring off on several occasions over the years, mostly for surgeries. But John and I had a little ritual. Whenever one of us had to remove our ring, the other would keep it for safe-keeping and then we had a ritual for putting it back on. The safekeeper would kiss it and slip it back on the finger of the other. John had done that for me many years ago. I can't even remember when it was but that ring had been on my finger since he put it there. And then last Saturday my cat scratched me on that ring finger and overnight my finger became red and swollen. It was obvious the ring had to come off before too long or I risked damage to my finger and worse - the ring might have to be cut off. I couldn't risk that. So I soaped up my finger, hesitated for a second and then quickly, talking to John in my heart and apologizing, I slipped the ring off. The world didn't end but I felt so sad having to do that.
My finger has healed and the ring is back on my finger. And I admit I performed my own ritual. I kissed the ring as John would have and I put it back where it belongs on my hand.
And I learned something. I don't feel John is any less close to me because I was not wearing my ring. He is always with me. I know he is always loving me.
It's okay to move forward. It's okay to put clothes away, to give some away, to move things around.
Our love and our mourning aren't dependent on things.
Our loved ones know that from their side of the veil. It's up to us to learn that too from this side. Love is not dependent on a ring or a shirt. Love lives on. Love is eternal.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Choosing Love

Over the last couple of weeks, I have become aware that I am grumpier and more negative than I think I have ever been before. I think I have been absorbing far too much of the anger that seems to permeate the world around me. I watch the news, read the newspaper, and follow posts on Facebook daily. And frankly, what I see is not happy. I’m not even sure why I keep doing this. It is somewhat like having a sore tooth that I keep poking at to see if it still hurts. It does. Always.

If the world around me wants to go that way, so be it but I am making a choice to, as much as I can, check out of the anger, the negativity, the pessimism. Why? Because I want to make the best of the time I have with those I love. I do not know how much time I have left with them. I do not know if I will transition first or they will. So why should I waste the precious time we have together reflecting a world angst that makes me unhappy with everything and everyone?

I find myself thinking of those who have left us. I am confident that all of them left when the world was in the midst of one crisis, one controversy or another. That is the way the world works and it always will be. Crisis and dissension are a part of life. I also believe that all of those who have passed left behind someone who grieves deeply and wishes they just had one more hour, one more day together to spend in some lighthearted connection, some time when the most important thing was how much they cared for one another.

Those who are gone are no longer wrapped up in the petty differences that tend to consume so many of us in this life. Who is or is not President is not their concern. Who fails to follow through on their promises is not either. Nor are they really worried about who lives where or believes what. They have a much deeper understanding of this life than we do. Their perspective is, I believe, more global. They see the larger picture.

I know our loved ones are now in a place where one emotion and one emotion only rules. Love. If love is the end result for us all, then why not start now?