BLINK! It’s Spring!

I took a sabbatical, a breather, a pause. We must do that you know. Just step back and evaluate the current, the immediate and decide what takes priority. That is what life teaches us. We are thrown a ton of curve balls, obstacles, challenges. I always have said. It is how we handle them, deal with them, and God willing,  triumph and most importantly, learn from them.  I have also learned along the way. Life does not “stop”, it doesn’t really wait. You are either in it or avoiding it.  The hardest lesson by far. Letting it go and relinquishing the thoughts that you have control.  As a mother, this is very difficult to accept and to not want to fix, or make it better. I am learning. My children are grown and yet they need me in a very different way now. I pray I can be the mother they need, when they need me.  There is nothing more important to me.

When 2016 rolled around, I thought, I prayed, things would be easier, simpler, our family would continue to heal and we would take a positive step forward.  Life just doesn’t work that way. So, I dig in hard, scrape my knees and crawl through the mud and pray. I do it everyday. I meditate and ask for guidance and inner peace.  Spring gives me instant renewal and hope. The ice and snow melt. The daffodils and tulips symbolize new growth, new hope.

My nephew Thomas married last week in Texas. We flew down to join and celebrate his marriage. I could see and feel the love between them. I am grateful he found a loving soul, who deeply cares for him. That does my heart good. The only thing missing was his father, my brother. I felt his loss all week long.  I am sure he did too. Again, life does not wait, it just keeps giving.   Knowing he has a partner, a lover, a friend, a wife, fills my heart with Joy.  Love is a beautiful thing. I think he was happy we all attended.  We toured Austin and had some good eats, Taco’s! & BBQ, the weather was awesome and so was Austin.  The only thing missing was you Tom…always missing you.

 

love & hugggs

~leeleeDSC06112

Winter, yeah that may Be happening!

Good Morning, quiet, peaceful Sunday.  My built in weather forecaster, mentioned that we MAY get some real snow in a week or so. I am thoroughly amazed that some people track weather for a hobby. I mean, they look ahead, watch the patterns, they must worship the doppler or weather radar. It’s crazy to me, It’s as if mother nature doesn’t have a mind and a plan of her very own. Silly. I’m a New Yorker, therefore, if I awake and I see that magical, beautiful, white stuff, I take it all in, snow is so pure and beautiful to me and then feverishly WISH for a snow day!  I have 101 idea’s, crafts, decorating, cooking, organizing. I love a snowstorm!  I use it as a mental health me day.

My forecast is more like….am I shopping today? Where first? What can I foolishly talk myself into buying? Silly, right? I can’t resist the 50-80% off clearance sales. I clean up after the holidays, always have. I find cool, useful, beautiful gifts for a fraction of their retail. I often wind up with a few bags of goodies for next year. I wish I had words for 90% off fairy lights…yes, fairy lights…I know, so pretty, but really, I don’t have any fairies yet. This is a shop o holics life I suppose.  Perhaps, it’s a sign, like, I need a fairy around me? or a fairy Godmother? I’m down for that.

I shared last week that we had a small  memorial service for my brother Thomas. We met and we spread his ashes at the gravesite, and I read some of my loving words and we gently, laid him to rest. I thought it was important today to share how this helped me with my grief and healing. I did not know how healing and important his memorial would be. I did not know I would feel a bit of closure and peace from doing it. It was important to me, to acknowledge him. One year passes, some days, nights were endless with grief, other days too busy to obsess. What the service gave me was peace. Perhaps, acknowledging his life, sharing about his pain and suicide, writing about this beautiful, vibrant, loved man, that is so deeply missed, was healing for me. I felt love and compassion and I spoke about accepting and forgiving him. I talked about leaving the anguish, the pain of him leaving there. I talked about moving forward and living life. Living the best we can. I wanted hope to reign. I wanted our children to fully understand, life is worth the fight. Although, he could not fight anymore, we can.

This week, I kept having flashbacks of the balloons we released. We wrote a message on them and released them into the sky. My balloon got tangled in the big oak tree. I fretted for a moment and watched the others soar and climb so high and so fast. I was walking over to my Grandparent’s grave and I looked up and saw my start balloon start to wiggle. It was in deep in the branches and it wiggled. I giggled and watched. It stopped. I looked up again, and it wiggled even more, and then it shot up fast. I instantly felt warm, I felt him, and I thought…he was like that all of his life. Fast, smart, climbing, pushing, shooting to the stars.  I remember watching it soar & rise, and how fast it caught up to the other balloons. I watched it race and chase the other’s and I thought to myself, he was always chasing, running, soaring. He just never slowed down enough to enjoy the ride.  I hope you do now my brother, I love you to the moon & back.

 

Peace*

 

~leelee

a new day, a new year

Good Morning from unseasonably warm New York. Today, January 1st, it is supposed to feel a tiny bit like “winter”. I’m ok with all of it, warm, cold, snow. I love the sunshine a lot, I feel the rays radiate and heal me.  I love the peace that engulfs me when I walk in the woods, nature unselfishly gives that to me. I inhale every “moment”, for that is all we truly have right? So, I read countless blogs about the “year in review” my top “moments of 2015”, all that good shit. I had a hard time conjuring up what I would contribute. What Epic moments could I share here with you? I struggled, felt uncomfortable, defeated in a sense. Yet, my words, my gratitude, my hearts desire pushed me here.  I acknowledge that my heart is still beating although, this year, I felt it shatter, more than once or twice. I sit here this morning, in my warm kitchen, sipping a hot, strong cup of coffee, reflecting, meditating on thoughts and words that I struggle to put together and share here.  I best express it all today with my “new life”.  It is not one I ever even fathomed or would have chosen.  It is the hand that I was dealt, still surreal to me. I have shared here before, that was the by far the most painful, heartbreaking year of my entire life.  A huge part of me wants to celebrate and scream…well, IT”S OVER NOW, and the other grieving, broken part of me wants to scream…take it all back, rewind, redo, please? The crossroad, we all come to this, many times and in many ways in our lives.  Clearly, each day, we wake up with a choice. To keep on living or to just exist.  I wake up everyday, choosing to live. I meditate. I set a daily intention and I pray. I stretch and do my morning wake up Yoga and meditate for the day. I’ve shared this here before. I am astonished, shocked, this shit really works?  Apparently, that whole mind, body, soul thing…it’s for reals.

I thought a lot about my mental lists. I could write a long list of what I lost, what I don’t have, what I lack, what I need to change, my fears or failures or what I have not accomplished, “yet”.  The flipside, the real leelee, well she, now,  is a bit kinder, gentler now. She doesn’t dwell on all that she lacks. She triumphs over tragedy and loss. She gains faith and strength and hope, every single day, simply because I choose that today. She is acutely aware of how tender a tiny rose bud is. How soft her sweet cat feels and softly purrs, content.  She learned that by loving herself, nurturing her bruised heart, sharing her experience, strength and hope with others. It’s a daily process, finding your peace. The reality of life is, we all hurt,  and the beautiful part of living is, we all can heal. There is no need to race to the finish line. There is no rush to be “cured” or over it.  Each day, & yes, some are certainly better than others, we heal.  The process and journey is a very difficult, a deep, steep, a very painful road. I learned to embrace it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I continually learn this reality…We really have no control over any of it. The hardest lesson of all by far. Letting go. So very hard. Time lessens the grief and sadness, but it truly never completely goes away. What does push and prod constant inside me is, …Life, simply goes on.  My faith and my desire to love and laugh and pursue goals and bucket lists  and to deepen my understanding and chase my dreams, that is always there, within me.  It waits for me, so very patiently it waits…for me again, to tap into it, to explore and find that sunset, hike that path, photograph that butterfly or flower, hug someone tightly. That lives and reigns inside me today.  That beauty is steps away, and love is endless and enduring. I’ve learned, that love transcends death. That is the healing I have prayed for. That is the long road and journey I have sought. I still have away to go. I still have moments of sadness and grief. My parents taught me to find the rainbow. They taught me to never give up, to be the best I can be. They taught me to love myself and the rest will fall into place. Many days, I just wish they were here to share it with me.

Wishing all of you love & peace, today and always

 

~ leeleeblue serene sunsetting

100 Posts! & One thing to be thankful for…

Good Morning, this Thanksgiving morning. I am solemn, reflective, quiet and aware.  I was surfing the net and reading various articles. I  read that even though my heart and soul are grieving today for my brother Thomas.  I should dig deeper for a moment.  It suggests to try to find one thing I can be grateful or thankful for.  I allowed myself a moment to acknowledge his absence at his table this year.  First one. Mourning him, it’s natural to feel sad and miss him. He carved a turkey like a surgeon. It was quite serious and methodical. The first bird he carved, he said that he had watched Bobby Flay on Food Network and he was going to replicate that technique. What seemed to be close to an hour later, his wife and I wondered if he could just speed up! Good times. Family.  When it all becomes a memory, you feel it twice as deep. So I will venture over to his home and have dinner with his wife and his kids. A small gathering, simple, easy. The only thing missing, will be him. Always him. He took the wind out of my sail. He took the moment of safety and warmth and  center, the essence of our family, his extended family instantly traumatized, severed,  Just like him. It severed our bonds of unity. He took his soul and his life, himself. You never get over such a thing, ever. You stay. You swallow it. You endure the aftermath. You pray like you never had before. Everyday for forgiveness, acceptance. The hardest work you will ever do. Emotionally, traumatic loss is completely exhausting. On all levels, you go through a complete transformation. Mind, body & spirit are tested beyond your conception. The journey of acceptance of a violent traumatic death is paralyzing. The healing process is slow and steep. You  have a range of deep grief that is suffocating and scary. It won’t last forever. I told myself that in my head. I leaned into it. My body of armor was his love, his kindness and compassion and devotion to everyone he loved. His commitment and  self driven, aggressive, no nonsense man Thomas was. I leaned on him for strength.  You honor his memory and live as though he is watching.  You pour yourself into support groups, you talk about it to someone. You sleep a lot. You walk and breathe fresh air a lot. You eat clean and healthy. You Love yourself harder, richer, with fever. Each day, you see a tiny bit clearer. The whole in your chest is smaller, lighter. You become able to read something and retain it. You show up early again.  You can focus on a tv show, or someone else’s conversation. The memory returns. The brain heals, slowly. You can feel it. I meditate and write volumes of journals, thoughts, love, memories, frustrations, fears. I write it all. I share a tiny bit of me with you. I snuck away to every beach I love. It healed me. I made peace with God, with my family, with Tom.  You remember the 7th of each month, sadly. You educate yourself about suicide. You become a crusader to prevent or help save another lost soul. You make a connection with someone who “gets it”. You plant flowers and remember his love of landscape and gardening.  I sometimes visit him on sunny days. You tend his garden and water your new life. The one that started the day he left us. You listen to the voice inside you. One cries in anguish over his pain and suffering. One whispers in his melodic, soft tone. Lisa, I love you, live in peace. Love life like I did.  Find what you love the most and do it often. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on loving yourself & taking care of yourself. You must be your best. The rest will take care of itself. I hear him tell me. I was sick, I felt I had no other solution. I did not want to die, I just wanted to stop the pain and find peace.  He left, saying to everyone, I love you Always. I believe that, and above all, feel exactly the same for him. That is what I take with me everyday. That is how I survive and honor him. I often envision him with my entire family. Close to my parents and Grandparents. It gives me a moment of peace, clarity in this fucked up, life changing year.   Oh….sorry off on a leelee tangent.  Here comes What I Am Thankful For….

Michael & Danielle – The depth of my love and devotion is beyond the moon & stars, as deep as the ocean can be. You both are part of my soul. I am eternally thankful and blessed to have 2 beautiful, healthy, loving mini me’s. I dreamed of you. I remember, I was about 5, playing house. I said I wanted 6 kids. Like the Brady Bunch! We only had 5, and I wanted an even number. All I truly ever wanted was YOU.  I am acutely aware of how fragile & precious each day is. Our family, all of us, have endured the most difficult and painful, trying, scary year of our lives. A mother worries, it maybe futile or foolish to some. For me, it is impossible to not want to fix, mend, heal all your troubles, struggles. I forever will be your Mama. It is the only thing that I want to be proud of.  I am more than touched by your love. You have helped Mommy heal in many ways this year.  I am proud both of you are trying to be good, kind, loving people. Your happiness and well being is my deepest prayer and hope. I am dedicated to you. Your goals and dreams. They encompass my heart. You two are the constant light and hope that makes me love life.  I always ask that you be honest, open and compassionate to each other. I love how you take care of me and make me feel special, all the time. I see your hearts, by the little things you do for me and with me. My heart overflows with thankfulness, because of my two blessings.   <3 love you always xxx mamabear

 

woohoo! 100 posts. I think it’s some sort of accomplishment? I mean, I didn’t flake out, or stop abruptly and fall off the face of bloggyland! I stood. I climbed, crawled to keep my moments flowing. I learned a few things along the way. When you finally make it to the top of the hill, soak it in for a moment. Record that. Photograph it, pray, smile and be thankful. Be in the moment for as long as you can or wish too. The climb down is a piece of cake, really. Stay on course, it’s worth it <3

 

#lifeisworththefight