The Passing Of An Irish Princess

The Passing Of An Irish Princess.

I went to a brief musical gathering today. A performance of beautiful harps and violins playing tunes from Ireland and Scandinavia. As I sat and listened to the magically graceful tunes, I closed my eyes and could picture a land far away. A land I’ve never been to, but had always been drawn to. I pictured a certain friend of mine who was also deeply connected to this lush location. A Princess. An Irish Princess to me and so many others. 

I sat at that concert emotionally exhausted, for I was one member of a very close-knit team made up of those who were losing a friend…a sister…or a daughter.

Our young, beautiful, funny Irish Princess was passing away from this earth and we could do nothing to stop it.

Hospice care…

 

 

Frightening words for those of us who have unfortunately experienced it before, and were facing it again. We knew what was coming when the words were mentioned.

So, what did we do? This unlikely band of strong women brought together serendipitously by our princess? We rallied. We rallied around the princess and showered her with love, excitement, stories, pictures, and as many adventures that her riddled body would allow her to experience.

And she was happy.

She was happy for hours. She was happy for days. She was happy for weeks. Several weeks. Was she going to beat the odds and defy what the ominous doctors had predicted?

Unfortunately… no. She was not going to beat the odds…

She didn’t beat the odds.

Our Irish Princess left us this evening. She left us to go to the fields of green and graceful winds. She left to go follow the scent of the Celtic ocean breeze. She left to go across her own horizon and be at peace. Pain free. To be at rest.

So, as I had sat at that musical gathering today and opened my eyes, I had noticed a break in the unforgiving rain we’ve had for so long. A pause. And in that pause the grey mournful clouds had opened up to make way for a glorious bright sun beam. A welcoming beam? A beam from above welcoming our Irish Princess? I’d like to think so.

Farewell beautiful princess. You shared your life with us for far too short of a time. You will be missed by many, and we will all think of you walking in heavenly Irish lavender fields. ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy St. Lucia Day!

Happy St. Lucia Day!

Happy St. Lucia Day! The Swedish celebration of Lucia of light! St. Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each. It describes the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. 

Here is a link to my friend, Jonna Jinton, in Sweden celebrating Lucia. This is a wonderful short film she created herself to share with the world in celebration of St. Lucia Day.

Jonna herself is a wonderfully creative and gifted light. Please visit her blog to find out more about her. http://jonnajinton.se/

May you have a wonderfully delightful Lucia Day!

Attitude, Gratitude and…Popcorn?

Attitude, Gratitude and…Popcorn?

What makes us grateful? What determines our daily attitude? Is it our own mood as an individual? Is that influenced by others or our environment? I would say yes to all of the above.

Recently, I’ve been pondering gratitude and attitude, but also with a little bit of popcorn on the side. Popcorn you say? Why popcorn?

Well, most of us prefer our popcorn in a specific way. Lots of butter, no butter, a little salt, dump it on, etc. But what if we are sharing that said popcorn with someone? Someone we care about. Are we willing to forgo our slathering application of liquid gold to the contained corn in order to allow the other persons own taste bud desires to be fulfilled? I would hope so. As individuals, showing our gratitude for those in our lives is extremely important, but forgotten all too often.

When we are faced with loss, death, grief, and even excitement, happiness and joy. We reflect back to those who have contributed to all of the emotions we feel, whether they are positive or challenging. They’ve helped make us who we are and we must stop at some point and alter our attitude if needed, show our gratitude, and be willing to share our popcorn.

As time with our loved ones becomes limited due to our busy lives, longevity or logistics, it becomes more and more clear to us what is really important. It’s not materialistic belongings. It’s not who was right or wrong about whatever topic, and it certainly isn’t worth potential emotional damage to anyone.

Never taking others for granted. Never losing sight of what you are grateful for and the life you are privileged to have.  And never being afraid to say you’d prefer no butter on your popcorn, but know when to compromise with a little less salt for those we love.

 Hugs to all!     

Thank You For “Me Too” Support!

Thank You….

Thank you so much for all your wonderfully supportive messages. It was so great to read all your kind words you sent me on Facebook and email about my “Me Too” article.

Some women shared personal messages about their experiences, and some without going into any detail to me, just wanted to let me know that they too had similar situations. Perhaps, like me, they just wanted to get it out. Just wanted to finally be able to say “me too” without having to explain anything.

That is what this is all about. To be there for anyone who wants to talk about it, or not talk about it. But just to know that they are not alone.

It’s an unnecessary heavy burden. But if we can all help each other carry some of it by being supportive, it just might get a little lighter for us individually.

 

Hugs to all… ♥

When Women Come Together…

When Women Come Together…

 Today I was going to post about the frustrations I have been feeling since realizing a member of my “circle” wasn’t as supportive as I believed they were, and in fact may have had some negative impact in my life. I could write about that. But I chose another option… Positivity.

We women have a circle.        

A group.

A community.

A tribe.

It can be made up of family, friends, women or men. Sorry men, but this view is mainly about the support women give other women. We can tackle the men contribution on another day.

Your women circle could be made up of two people or ten. But it’s a supportive group. People you would turn to with concerns, frustrations and to celebrate successes. When women come together and let go of the judgement and show support for each other as women, truths come out. Relations happen and connections are formed.

I’ve been part of several women circles, from the military, the dog show world, community theater, other mom groups, and most recently the world of writing and blogging. Yes, some of these circles have had their ups and downs, and unfortunately you do find that some women are in the circle for the wrong reasons. They are in search of a platform to show power, seem to enjoy breaking other women down, or just don’t quite understand the potential greatness that can come from women supporting other women instead of competing with them.

But the majority of the time when you get a group of women together with the same belief that they can draw strength from each other and potentially become unstoppable in their pursuits as individuals or as a group, it can be amazing. That’s when support from other women happens.

It can be a challenge for those of us who are more of introverts. It takes us longer to trust and open up, but once we do we are loyal to the end and will have your back no matter what. Groups made up of both introverts and extroverts are quite intriguing.

Is it our obligation to teach other women about the power of these groups? To teach our daughters and mothers, creating a ripple effect so that we can potentially impact the world? Absolutely.

So, when we are faced with the choice of dwelling on something negative that may have come to our attention, know when to change your course. Be confident in your circle members that still contribute to the greater good for all, and continue to draw strength from them. And some day another member may be drawing strength from you. It’s all about the circle…

 

 

A Day Of Remembrance…

A Day Of Remembrance…

I was unsure how I would write this blog, or even if I ever would at some point. My mother died. It’s still hard to say that after so many years. She left behind an extremely loving husband (my father), myself and 9 of my siblings, (along with 31 grandchildren). Yes, 10 children. That’s a whole other story I’ll tell you about on a different day. But she was the strongest and most inspirational person I’ve known.

Yesterday was her birthday. She loved having her birthday in the fall, because, like me, we shared a love for autumn, Halloween, and everything about the coming of the holidays. A time to cherish your loved ones and be grateful for everything and everyone in your life. She taught me that, and I continue to carry on that belief and instill it in my children.

Typically, on her birthday I like to be by myself. I usually need to be because it’s still so hard for me to realize that she’s not coming back. I don’t know if any of you have ever thought that way? If you’ve lost a loved one, and even though you know in reality they won’t be returning, there are just some days when it’s almost like you expect them to return and you wonder what is delaying them. Like you expect to see them that day. I suppose it depends on what you believe. I know some people think days like that can be a sign your loved one is with you in spirit and making a connection with you. I like to believe that is true.

So yesterday, October 25th, was her birthday. I went on a long hike.

Just me and my cherished dog, Freesia.
The morning started off a bit cold with an extremely dense fog creeping through the town and up into the mountains where we went.
As we started our trek the fog was beginning to burn off just a little as it’s competition the sun crowded its way in.
I was able to get a few shots of the change in scenery as we climbed up to the top of the trail.

 

A nice little trail
I could definitely feel my mother with us as we made our way through the forest. ♥

 

It seemed as though the birds were following us at times.

 

Freesia’s getting a bit tired

 

Once at the top, the view was amazing! The fog still hovered over the little town and the surrounding fields, but at the top it was blue skies and warm sun that greeted us!

 

Such a wonderful hike to clear my mind of all the daily life chaos and just reflect on her.

Happy Birthday Mama

 

Our Lives In A Cage…

Our Lives In A Cage…

Does everyone live in a cage? A Jar? A fishbowl? To some, the city or neighborhoods and the hustle bustle that may come along with those environments are wonderful. Some people thrive on the energy, be it positive or negative. It can be alluring, the high energy and everything that comes along with it. The sounds. The smells. The people. Some crave the excitement, the noise, and the static. But to me, it’s just that. Static.

I am grateful for the times I have lived in cities and various neighborhoods. That urban life helped mold me to who I am now, and reminded me of my true roots in nature I had as a child.

 

We are all happy with the little farm we live on now, but with neighbors on both sides of me in such close proximity, sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating.

In the early morning when I go out to breathe before anyone else is awake, and for that split-second moment as the cool fog rolls across the fields, I have a sense of peace. I can pretend that I don’t see the neighbor’s home, or hear the soft hum from the vehicles on the highway a distance away. But, I still long for the quiet solitude and calm serenity of the forest. Of nature. Of what is home to me.

When my small farm and the beautiful fields that encompass a portion of it just aren’t enough for me and the vacant noise of lawn mowers trimming the pristine turfs and the ever-continuous echo from the road of people walking their dogs or biking by becomes physically piecing to my soul, I must escape.

The forest is calling.

For some it’s the mountains, others the ocean, or perhaps a beautiful park or hiking trail. To open the door to your cage or the lid to your jar, and physically take yourself to those locations can be so healing. The need to breath clean air and see all that nature has to offer is so important for our own quality of life. To touch our soul. Re-charge our batteries. Grasp what is truly in our heart.

For those of us who cannot for whatever reason reside in such locations, we live for the times that we can go. To go to the isolation. The calm. The alone, but not lonely. For nature does not judge. You can go be you and live in the moment in the sound of silence.

What calls to you, dear readers?

 

“Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark”… Barbara Hall

What To Do With The Toxic People In Our Lives…

We all have them. A toxic person. It could be a friend, a family member, a neighbor, spouse, partner, or even an adult child. But what do we do with them? Of course, we continue to care for them and attempt to make that relationship better, but what if nothing works? What if that person is so negative and unhappy in their life that it trickles into the lives of others?

Someone I know recently pondered that maybe we are crazy to keep trying, or maybe we are just good people to continue to give and give positivity with only negativity and harsh treatment in return.

Is that it? Are we just good people and good people will notoriously get dumped on? I think that’s a pretty slippery slope to get on. If we start believing that because we are good, and therefore the negative people in our lives must to be the polar opposite, aka bad, does that in turn mean that we are setting them up for failure or placing a negative label on them? Or is it some type of self-preservation to acquire a belief like that?

Each relationship is going to be different for each person. The level of negativity or toxicity that they deal with will have so many various stages and impacts, that it isn’t fair to group everyone together. However, perhaps we can all find a common ground of how to recognize those toxic people in our lives and make decisions how to move forward by asking ourselves some basic questions.

  1. Who are these people to us? If this person is our adult child or spouse, the decisions we may make to keep them in our lives will most likely be different compared to if they are a neighbor or co-worker.
  2. If they are for example a child or spouse, do we feel loved? Do we feel safe? Or the neighbor or co-worker, do we feel appreciated or respected?
  3. How far are we willing to go with our own happiness at stake? Does this person thrive on taking our happiness? What are we willing to give up or lose?
  4. What have we tried? Do we offer counseling, mediation, neutral ground discussions, etc? Is this person even willing to partake in any of those forums?

The decision to keep a toxic person in your life is going to be a personal one. An important one. A difficult one.

Personally, I found that when I’ve pondered the above questions and depending on the specific relationship and levels of attempts I’ve made, I have unfortunately had to move on with my life without a few toxic people. It was hard, but I never regretted it. But, I’ve also had a couple of extremely negative people in my life, whom after working on specific challenges they had, they successfully dropped a lot of their personal toxins weighting them down, and could mend relationships around them and lose the label of the “toxic person”.

So, is it up to us to change the toxic person? Is it our responsivity to ensure they live a positive life at the expense of our own happiness along the way? Making those individual decisions is just that. An individual decision based on the answers you give yourself to the above questions. You have one life to live. Find your happiness.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”….. Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding Your Inspiration…

What inspires us? Is it nature, other humans, music, the taste of exotic food? I like to think it can be a little of everything, but that each individual craves its own. We desire creativity, we dream, we talk, we think. We search for inspiration even if we don’t always realize what we are searching for.

For me, inspiration can come from a cold dewy morning when I wake up before my children and step outside just to breath in that crisp morning air. Air that is so light, yet so cold that it almost gets caught in your throat as you pull it into your anticipating lungs. You know it’s coming. You know what it will feel like. You crave it, and it’s your inspiration for the day.

Inspiration can also come from other precious things. Like when I watch my little girl playing by herself in her own world. There she will sit, gently singing to her dolls, or dancing to whatever Celtic tune I’ve put on that morning. Her long wavy red hair flowing behind her as she spins and spins. She stops and graces me with her beautiful beaming smile with pride. That’s definitely enough inspiration to get me through several mornings.

Every life is a beautiful life. A precious gift that many don’t cherish enough. If we can find just a little bit of individual inspiration, perhaps we can make our days and the days of the people around us just a little brighter.

What inspires you?

Hugs to all! ♥