Summer’s End – on the East End

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Hello! On this beautiful Saturday. I get alittle excited around the end of August.  The island changes, it’s a subtle change of colors and the sunsets, the water color skies, well, it simply takes my breath away. I feel a difference in the air, the  sun light, the cool ocean breezes, I could go on forever about it. Instead, I plan on soaking up every moment of it. My sunflower’s are in full bloom. I photograph them a lot. They bring me such simply joy. I chuckle to myself, it only takes one little tiny seed to create this magnificent flower.  It’s the little things right? The island slowly changes its hue, and the mornings are cooler, the sun is so bright and warm without a trace of humidity. I pronounce it “A menopausal dream”.  The truth is, I never want the days to end. I want to soak up every drop of nature, beach, flowers, festivals, outdoor venues of music. I think to myself? How can I ever leave here? Why would I ever want too? Truth is, I don’t. I never have. That says a lot about travelling down the east coast and realizing my truth. I live in a paradise. I truly appreciate every beach I have visited and collected seashells from. Every sunset I have photographed and watched is truly beautiful, but my home, my roots, I have it all here.

We took a trip out to  “The Hamptons”. Wait! It’s not what you think! I didn’t rent a house with 20 friends and drink myself into a boozy coma.  We headed to a beautiful and unique Sculpture/Gardens, nestled on 16 acres of pure heaven. We were not expecting too much, I just love unique specimens and flowers. This garden was created by an artist Jack Larsen. Longhouse Reserve was his vision and gift to the community.  He wanted it to be a contemplative exhibit. Jack, sir, you did it proud. It houses over 30 sculptures, donated by various artists and sculpter’s from around the globe. He created gardens and textures that all meld with each other. Rare bamboo, bronze, a lily pond, peaceful pools and the most immaculate grounds, this energy is just what the doctor ordered.  Upon entering, there is a “wish tree”. Created by Yoko Ono, you write your wish and attach it to a tree. They send all the wishes to Yoko, and she is incorporating all of them in an art piece in Japan.  I wrote my wish and knew I was on the right “path”. You can follow a guided tour by Mr. Larsen,  via your cell phone. It was peaceful, quiet and very zen to say the least. His vision, and planning of textures and lighting along with lovingly cared for specimens, breathtaking to say the least.  The little treasures of Long Island, they never cease to amaze me.

Today, I am volunteering for Walk out of Darkness. I feel compelled to connect with other survivors of a suicide loss.  The walk for our community will be at  Jones Beach on Oct. 23rd, 2015. It’s surreal, really, I will be walking in honor of my brother Thomas this year. I’m sure, this is part of my journey to healing. It is really important to me to keep his spirit alive and with me, and in some way honor him.  It is extremely sad that this has become my reality.  My love for him drives me to be present and aware.  It is equally important to bring awareness to this epidemic of suicide. Most importantly, suicide prevention.

Be thankful today my friends and readers. Be present and kind. I truly feel, by giving of ourselves, it comes back to us tenfold. Enjoy this glorious weekend and be spontaneous! Go discover something awesome in your town!

 

Love & Blessings

~ leelee

 

Reaching upward

Good Friday everyone. Finally it has arrived with much anticipation and coaxing.  Long Island summers…what can I say? You never want them to end. At least I don’t. Then autumn comes…and I say the same thing! I struggle everyday with even thinking of leaving my homeland. My secret heaven. Our breathtaking island and the ones that secretly surround us. I daydream ALOT about a tiny Victorian cottage at…. The beach. I am blessed to have many beaches around me. All of them unique and tranquil. So, the moment I go over the bridge..heaven. The moment I arrive, I am home. I am peace. I am grateful, elated and thankful. The little things. They become quite big as you age. Grasping the moments, allowing sweet memories to fill your heart. That is what it is about. That is where the true healing begins. Within us.

This leelee moment bucket list. Oh, I have been chipping away at it, seriously.  I just haven’t had the space, time, moments to share them with you. Oh, I will. Cos, well, its on my list!  I have been travelling, and I have remembered to photograph all of the beauty my eyes and heart see and feel.  It might be a simple hybrid sunflower I’ve grown, or a bushel of fresh beans I had just picked. All of those things make me happy.

So the weekend is upon us and I made plans to spoil my lovely daughter to a mommy & daughter Spa day. My generous sales reps gifted me a spa certificate just cause they appreciate me.  So sweet and kind and thoughtful. I thought I would share it with my beautiful, kind babygirl.  We both have had our share of grief, stress, worry and loss. She has been a tremendous support and comfort. I am aware of how brave and strong she has remained. I also know, how hurt and worried she has carried that for awhile. She loves, she cares and she wants our lives to be happy and safe.   I tell her everyday how amazing and loved she is.  My DD. I am proud of her everyday.  I try and teach her to take care of herself, above everything and everyone else.  She is on her own journey and I am cheering from the sidelines in awe. The best is YET to come, I feel it. I love to watch her soar.  The truth is….when I was a little girl,  I dreamed of you. When I was about 6 years old. I remember telling my Mom. I want 6 kids, 3 boys, 3 girls! The moment I found out I was expecting, I felt my dream coming true. You fill my life with love & joy. I am forever blessed because of you.  #loveutothemoon&back.

Enjoy this blessed day, and remember to hug the ones you love close. *peace

 

~leeleebeauty begins

It’s been awhile…huh

Good Morning, beautiful day.  I thought it might be nice to check in, check out.  My last post was in July. It feels like I haven’t blogged in a year. Some days, I wake up and my mind rewinds and then it stops.  Some days, mostly this last year is a blur. A hazy, fuzzy, mish mosh of moments that turn into days, that turn into months. For those who read, you are well aware. I spent the last 7 months drowning in deep grief. I certainly prayed for it to be lifted. Part of it certainly has. I spent the last 7 months in prayer. Sometimes, several times a day. I spent the last months in support groups, counseling,researching, reading, writing, journaling, sharing and grasping every ounce of support I could find. It has helped. Prayer has been my healer and guidance.  God continues to comfort and heal.  I have learned so much through this journey. I have learned so much about Lee Lee.  The hardest lesson by far has been, we can only control ourselves. We can control how we react, or how we don’t react. We can control what we say and what we do. The rest my friends, is out of our control.  This in itself is a daily challenge. It is like reprogramming your brain to react differently.  I may not do it perfectly, but self awareness, acceptance of what you can not control or change is a work in progress.  Because I am a mother, I assumed responsibilities. I was accountable for another human beings welfare, care, nurturing. I take my role, my mothering very seriously.  It’s instinctual as a Mother to protect. We are also the first one to know when something is amiss. I shared some of these challenges in previous posts. I was never so terrified and distraught in my life.  The devastating part, my instincts were right. I swear, I have never wanted to be so wrong.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit I wish I could erase, rewind the last year of my life. Like a do over, a remix, a magic eraser that would restore the life, the girl, the leelee I was before.  Cher sang a catchy tune a few years back….”If I could turn back time”…yeah, I get it, I just can’t. We can’t.  The lessons we learn over and over again. Life is not a dress rehearsal, you don’t get a retake or a rewind. The thing is…Life goes on. No matter what. With or without you. Perhaps, for awhile, I did not want that to happen.  I realize now, it was too painful, too tragic to look ahead. It was disloyal to plan a future, to dream about good things. The main reason was my brothers death. It was simply too painful to picture any future without him next to me, with us, near us. Life without him seemed unbearably painful and sad.  It takes time to allow the grief to lift, to soften, to heal us.  In many ways, it still hurts, daily even, but it will and does lessen.  Acceptance of his suicide took time to even process. The steps in grief are not easy. They are hurdles, each one we overcome in our time, in our own way and place. I have been seeking refuge, peace, serenity and some sort of clarity. A journey within. I do it alone. I slowly started to reach out, find support where I was comfortable sharing my grief. I booked excursions to every beautiful beach I love. I visited friends and family and collected shells and stones. All the while, deepening my faith. Spending that time alone, long walks on the beach. Many sunrises and sunsets that made me cry, weep and miss him so much. I allowed the tears to fall. Tears are cleansing, it is ok to cry.  I sought waterfalls and nature and simple walks with my daughter or a friend. They heal me daily, they lift me and hug me. Softly, they remind me of this beautiful life, this gift of today. Support and friendship and fellowship is so very important during this journey. Seek it whenever you can. It helps. My point is simply this.  Even if your life right now feels like a movie (maybe with a bad ending) or, even if you are feeling overwhelmed and sad. There is a purpose. There is a beginning and a middle and hopefully the end will be your growth and acceptance. We are constantly changing. The secret is to be open to it, to look for the lesson, the purpose, the message and move forward to it.  I shared about leaning into the grief, the pain. It was more about not dancing around it, or medicating it, or denying it. I consider myself quite direct. Perhaps that is how I tackle things. I’m ok with it. It is part of who I am.  The same lesson applies to life. We are only promised one. We don’t know what our fate is. Our health, our duration here on earth. None of that is a given. It simply is a gift of today. When you wake up and pray and find the simple abundance in this day, you find gratitude. Gratitude lifts you to another dimension. You rise above the pain, you are no longer stuck in yesterday’s or the past. It is a very steep climb. Sometimes life is steep. Climb. You will not regret that you tried. You will only regret if you don’t.

My goal eventually is to transform this blog into my little sanctuary of hope and gratitude. To get to a place of teaching and sharing the things leelee loves.  I am blessed to have so much to share. I am slowly getting there. I am in no rush, but my goal is to premier the beauty and love surrounding me. The moments that simply fill me, interest me, inspire me. “Lee Lee Moments” of course! I am excited to share them all with you.  One day at a time please.  Love & Blessings to all <3 xxx

~leeleegreat south bay, march 1

The steep climb

Good Morning!  I know, I’ve been MIA….lots of reasons. Lots of private journaling. I read somewhere to beware of exposing, penning your private thoughts, your private life in your blog. Really? This could be a slight problem. Wait, I have problems! Don’t tell me not to write about them. Perhaps, down the line, I won’t blog about them. Today…like everyday,  I write from the gut, the waning soul and what she feels. I write to release, to convey my deepest emotions. I don’t write about my peony’s, and organic kale. I’m sorry. I’m in the middle of shit, and yeah, shit happens. I also feel that part of being authentic is to be gut wrenching honest, it’s exposing your weakness, your challenges and your heart. Many of you know, I have had heartbreak. I am heartbroken. It’s happened to me multiple times in my life. I also know, the heart heals. In time. Slowly, gently, allowing the heart to mend.  My journey is intimately personal. I am on it, full force, steady now, no holes barred, no stopping me. This is me, raw & uncensored. At times, unleashed.  Here’s a truth. When I sit and blog, I blog like no one reads this. I have no followers, sponsors, blogging friends/community. I don’t get paid, get freebies, or even offers. I’m a guppie in a massive ocean of bloggers. I read a lot of blogs and have followed them for many years. This is part of leelee, the parts I chose to share with you. I am a tiny seed in a vast field of bloggers and journalists. I own this domain and over the last couple of years, allowed myself to publically post my words, my life, my moments. The writer inside is fierce and capable. I didn’t study journalism or writing, I dreamed about doing that. I didn’t take any special computer classes, creative writing classes. I just have always journaled privately. I started as a young teen and I never stopped.  It centers me, deepens me, and in some odd way, comforts me when I share here.

The last six months, you have come to know a different leelee.  You, if you read me,  know  of my pain and deep grief. It isn’t just my brother’s suicide. As odd as that sounds, it isn’t.  It is multiple heartbreaking realities and life. I often sit and think about the last 6 months. This was NOT supposed to be “my” life! Whose life is this anyways? That is truly how I look back and feel. I know I am a survivor. Therefore,  I am surviving, daily rising above and finding the peace again. My road is very long, I can’t even see any end. I just know you wake up everyday and you do the best you can. I also know, there will be sad days, always, and there will be better ones. I figured out you see, LIFE is still here and therefore so am I. Lately, I am feeling a little churn in my belly. It’s telling me to give back, pay it forward…I am anxious to see where this leads me.  I truly believe part of healing, recovery is in the giving back.  Oh & ummm….  Hello Menopause! UGH! I’ll save that for another post! (fans myself).

Lastly, my beautiful son. I continue to send you love, unending deep love and good energy on your journey to wellness. I have prayed every single day for you. I have given your recovery and pain to our Lord, God. Constantly asking for him to lift your pain and anguish and worries.  I am taking this, like everything else. One day at a time. That is all you have to do. My prayers are being answered right now, I love you to the moon & back always xxx

Love & Blessings to all ~ leelee