Faith, strength & Life goes on…

Hello BLOG world. I’ve missed you more than you know. I am a great silent blogger these days. I have hundreds of blogs filed in my head. I have 1000’s of pictures of all my adventures, trips and memories. I just don’t have 4000 hours to blog about it.  I dream of hiring someone to just get it done for me. To be my ghost writer/blogger twin. I even hinted as much to my talented graphic design daughter. I think I got a speech AND an eye roll.  So she begrudgingly saved all my pics and asked if I still wanted to keep my website  domain open and renewed (Uh…Hell yes),  and preached to me about her full time job and freelance work. I get it. Everyone is super busy. I however, refuse to become a zombie social media freak. I won’t sit on my phone while I have lunch or dinner with family or friends. I won’t chase a Pokémon cult around town. I won’t post my life on FB or even Insta. I have my reasons right now. I won’t ever close my leelee moments blog. I will just do the best that I can today.  prioritize and to live. I intentionally choose that. I have leelee moments all the time! I just suck alittle at penning them here for you.  Sometimes, I daydream, and I see myself in 10 years being a real true blogger! I guess I aspire to become that.  In the meantime, I have little moments, like today, a quiet, sizzling humid, hot Sunday.  I relish and cherish them so much.

So, over a year ago, I attended a support group locally. It is a non for profit support group, specifically created for survivors of a loss from suicide or loss from a drug overdose.  They have 5 skilled and trained facilitators, specializing in traumatic grief and loss.  It was an 8 week workshop  “Healing through Art Therapy”. Very cool, very safe and comforting after losing my brother Thomas, last January to suicide. The community volunteers each week to cook dinner for every one.  love and compassion. I met a variety of survivors there, and we all formed bonds quickly.  Last evening, 12 of us attended  a wedding reception for 2 members from the support group. It was a beautiful historic victorian in E. Setauket, Long Island. We all gathered to celebrate.  What struck me instantly was everyone was smiling. Genuine and real smiles. There was not a lot of sorrow,  plenty of laughter, dancing, drinks and dinner were enjoyed.  I instantly realized, “Life goes On”…no matter what.  A year and a half ago, that statement would sting me and upset me to the core. I could not connect or feel the joy in celebrations. He was gone, he was the party thrower, he was the center and the glue.  The anchor, my big brother, who did it all, gave his all to everyone was no longer here with us. I grieved. The journey and road is very long and winding. I remember being mentally exhausted. I was grateful to rest and sleep whenever I could.  So, soon it will be 18 months since his death. I still miss him everyday, summer time is particularly painful, he loved it so much.  But, last night was profound. All 12 of us survived a death from a suicide. All 12 of us are breathing, living.  For fuck sake, LIFE does go on. Except, last night, gave me some hope. I saw the smiles and healing. I saw the strength in this group to forge on, even in the worst circumstances. Celebrating a union of marriage was renewing and sweet. We are all able to breathe and accept and find peace, even for a moment. The journey is not easy, but it is so worth it.

Peace & Love to you all

 

~Leelee

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