Monday, December 29, 2014


The past three years of my life have been like no other.  While this time is not one that I would ever want to experience again or relive, there are aspects of it that I do not want to lose and want to carry with me as I journey along in this thing called life, my life.

Not so long ago, I read a blog posting on a widow's blog (unfortunately cannot remember which one to credit) which was called the "9/11 Effect."  I remember that time immediately following the devastation and tragedy of 9/11.  I remember how there was such a camaraderie, a pride for being an American... people were nicer, kinder, more understanding.  Then as time went on, that began to fade.  This blog posting compared that to the loss of her husband.  At first there were so many people surrounding her and supporting her.  But as time went on, so did life.  And for most everyone, life continued on in a normal manner.  It's the ones who were the closest that are effected the most, the one's whose lives have been forever changed and struggle to find "normal" since what once was will never be again.  In its place, a new normal needs to be accepted and that is such a difficult thing to do.

This past year, my time on this blog has significantly faded.  I've had plenty of thoughts and plenty of things to write about, but the focus of this blog that has served me so well began to fade.  At first I felt uninspired, but sitting here now reflecting back on 2014, that is a very unfair word to describe what was going on in my mind and in my life.  This year has been phenomenal.  Unfortunately, it is for that very positive reason why I have spent so very little time blogging.

I have found and accepted a new normal.  It was actually something that started the very first day of life without Dale and for me was something that took a solid 3.5 years to create.  I have healed and my thoughts and emotions no longer feel raw.  The hurt, sadness, confusion, and guilt have all faded to an extent.  They have faded enough to allow me to begin Life 2.0.  However, while I am happy to be in a place where those sharp feelings have faded, there are other things that have faded with time as well.

There was a reawakening that happened with me when I found myself in a position I never imagined.  I had to start a new life and because of what happened I saw things differently.  In many ways I felt like the small child along side my 20 month old son experiencing and witnessing things for the first time.  I was in AWE over so many things, simple things and found beauty in life.

I had a chance to start over.  I tried new things and rediscovered myself.  I took control over my life and made choices that I wanted to make, not choices that I felt obligated to make.  I found freedom and independence.  I traveled to places that I wanted to visit.  I found purpose and meaning in so many different places... through travels, reading, experiencing, even with friends that I made and people that I needed to let go of.

Now that I am in this new norm, I am in a place of peace.  I am in a place of happiness.  But that AWE has faded and I fear becoming content.  I am no longer a single mom doing it all alone in a city far away from those closest to me.  It is even hard for me to think of myself as a widow now.  I have not forgotten Dale.  I never will.  He has left a hole within me that will never be filled no matter how good life is.  But, I do not nor cannot define myself as a young widowed mother.  I am no longer that person.

So while I find myself in a phase of life where so much is fading... I know that the only way that I can continue on the path of a happy life is to live as I have for the past three years.  Attempting to understand life and finding myself and love were my driving forces.  These three can never be fully accomplished.  I can't check them off the list as they will always be a work in progress.  However, what once was... the present, has faded.  I know that my past will always be behind me, I can feel it like a hand on my shoulder.  But, I am at a point where I need and want more.  What it is though, I am not sure.  I feel as though I am at a significant crossroad right now.  I have options, but which path to choose?  I am not sure.


Sunday, December 7, 2014


Three years... that's how long I have been sharing my life on this blog.  Three years and nearly 350 posts.  I had no idea what would come of this when I started.  These past three years have been quite incredible, not necessarily incredible in a positive light all the time, but incredible nonetheless.

Three years ago, when I wrote my first post, I did so with the hope of helping to find myself.  I had wanted to find my voice and more importantly, to own it.  This blog served as a therapy for me, one that had lasted longer than any other form of therapy that I needed to get me to where I am today.

Where am I today?  Three years later... I am sitting in my new apartment... the one that I just moved into with the man that is my amazing.  Despite all of the emotions and angst that I have been posting more recently that this move was causing and despite all of the boxes and messes that still linger, I feel at peace.  I feel a weight lifted from my chest and I can breathe again because I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  And that is an amazing feeling.

So happy blog-anniversary to me!  It has been quite a journey.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Where Do I Belong?

Recently I have been more active in reading other widow's blogs.  Active in a sense that I check in and read a couple times a weeks and will even go back to posts that I have missed during the course of that week.  Even more than that, I have even commented several times.  Since becoming a widow myself, I have browsed blogs in the past few years, but not like this.  Never consistently.  And I never commented.  I just knew they were out there and knew that if I ever felt like I needed to feel that connection with other widows, they were out there.

I began frequenting these blogs more often in the past couple of months.  I think what I was really looking for was someone who had moved on.  I was looking for someone to describe what it was like to find another love and to create a new life with him.  I wanted to hear about the promise and hope of a wonderful present and future, but also the struggles that it entailed in truly moving on.  I can't say that I really found that blog.  What I did find is "Widow's Voice:  Seven Widowed Voices Sharing Love, Loss, and Hope."  What I like about this blog is that there are 7 different writers.  They all are all widows and all have their own stories and unique journeys.  There is even a widow who lost her husband to suicide.  I often seek out her posts because we share that commonality (unfortunately) and there is a comfort in that.  However, because of the variety of stories and widows, I have to say that I have felt some connection with each of them.  And it's nice.  Being a widow is an experience like no other, and being in my 30's, even a rarer commonality to find with anyone my age.

I was very proud of myself for commenting, not only because I was opening up my thoughts and feelings at the moment on that topic, but I also opened up my blog.  I made comments signed into my own blog account which opened the door to anyone who happened to click onto my name.  After all of this time, my blog is still a rather hidden blog.  I do not advertise it to anyone, even friends.  It has always been just for me, and for anyone who happened to stumble across it.  But back to the point I wanted to make, it was when I began commenting that I actually began to feel a disconnect with these widows.

It is not just this blog alone, but I have not come across any blogs in which there was trouble in the relationship.  I remember reading another post from another blog in which this widow attended a widow camp.  Even in her post she commented on the many different people she met and the many different stories that they all had.  The one thing that they all had in common was that they lost their husbands and the wonderful life and marriage that they had with him.  She said there were but very few people that she met there that didn't.

I think that is part of what has opened me up more and more about the tumultuous aspects of my relationship with Dale.  I felt as if I were not being genuine in not sharing my whole truth.  To me.  That is part of my story too.  That is my truth.  It has taken me this long to finally feel comfortable enough to reveal this part.  I don't think it was ever about protecting myself.  It was about protecting him.  The truth is ugly and I never wanted to paint him that way.  I think after 3 years of blogging and nearly 400 posts, I did a good job in not doing that.  I was trying to stay focused on the positives.  I needed to.  And I wasn't ready until now to reveal any more.  I needed too.  This move, this new life that is now just days away... it has stirred things up for me emotionally.

I have grown so much since I first began this blog.  And while the posts that I have written in the past month are darkest that I have shared, it is not because I am in a bad place.  I am in such a good place that I know that I am strong enough, brave enough, and confident enough to confront them.  I need to release these thoughts that have resurfaced so that I can let them go.  It is when they get stuck and swim in your head that they become most dangerous.

So where do I belong?  Everywhere and nowhere...

I remember the summer of 2010.  My sister had just gone through a divorce.  I remember sitting in this very apartment looking at my son and my husband and wondering how I could ever start again.  I wondered how I could ever love someone like I loved Dale.  He was the first and only man that I had ever loved and the thought was incomprehensible to me.  It was not that at this point only months, literally months before he took his own life, our marriage was absolutely wonderful.  It wasn't.  It was unhealthy then.  Call it denial, call it ignorance... I'll call it consciously unaware of our reality.  However, what was real to me at that time was my love for him.  I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.  So I do belong with those widows who grieve the loss of their loved one.

I also belong with those silent widows.  The ones who know true fear and horror.  The ones who have seen a different kind of hell.  The ones who can't help but to be thankful for their lives.  That is me too.

It is excruciatingly exhausting to be on both ends of the spectrum.  Like I posted yesterday, I have come to terms with my reality and 95% of the time,  I am in check.  I am balanced.  But when I lean more to one side, it doesn't matter which one, they both have negative consequences of guilt and self doubt.

Where do I belong?  Exactly where I am.

The Theory of... My Feelings

Last week I was at the height of my emotional roller coaster when I watched this trailer.  So when I unsurprisingly found myself crying within 30 seconds, I thought it was because of the beauty of this story.  It's sad and tragic, yet so hopeful and inspiring.  It's a love story.  A beautiful love story with all the glory and all the battles that life can throw at us.  That is something that I felt I could identify with and this short glance at this movie pulled at my heartstrings.  

It wasn't until and hour or so later that night when I began to question why I felt so affected by this movie.  And it was a hard truth.  

I do not know this story.  I never read the book.  I did not see the whole movie.  But what I took from this less than three minute preview is that this young couple had so much promise to have a wonderful life together and he a brilliant future career wise.  Then he was diagnosed with a horrible illness in ALS.  The awe and the inspiration that this short clip released was that despite the devastation and the struggle, they were still able to have that wonderful life and brilliant career... just in a different way.    

In another clip I had found, it focused more on his wife Jane and her strength.  She chose to stay with this man before she even knew what exactly it all would entail.  And she stood by him, until the very end.  Why I was so affected was because watching this drew out my feelings of guilt.  The insecurities and the questions that still exist on my role in what happened in my own life, in my marriage.  I questioned myself and my strength as Dale's wife.  And it was just another painful stab in what has already been a painful process in these past few weeks.  

It wasn't until the next day that I began to process all of my thoughts around what this movie conjured within me.  The thing is, is that I cannot compare my story to this one.  It is not the same and it is unfair to Dale and to myself for having done so.  Dale suffered and struggled with his mental illness for 25 years.   It was a tough and exhausting fight, but we had our moments of pure joy and happiness too.  He did not use all of the resources available to him, but he fought nonetheless and I stood by him for nearly 14 of those years. I never chose to walk away, it was a necessity that I was removed from the picture for the time being.  

I think that is where I get hung up.  There is a gap of 17 days from the last time I saw him to the day that he died.  Within that first week, the only form of communication was severed because even a phone call aroused the demons within him so much so that his mother thought it best that we don't talk for the time being.  It was a safety issue for my son and I just as much as it was for him.  But I was helpless.  There was nothing more that I could do, just hope. 

I think it is just that I still haven't fully comprehended and accepted what led us to that point.  It is hard to admit that.  To others.  To myself.  And one day, to my son.  He will have questions.  He will want answers.  Someday, he will deserve to know the truth.  

Ninety five percent of the time, I internally know and accept the truth.  I know that the decisions that I had made were done so with respect and with love.  I know that I gave everything that I had to my marriage.  And I have no regrets and no guilt.  But there are times, like when I saw this clip that the 5% comes out and I can't help but to wonder why things didn't take a different direction for us.  

It is not as if this story has the happiest of endings.  Perhaps its just because she was able to stand by him until the very end.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Up, Down, and All Around

In 12 days, I will be spending my first night in my new home.  For now, I am still here and I can pretty much guarantee that anything that I post in the next 12 days is going to be about moving.  It has been an emotional roller coaster for me and like I've written in my last couple of posts, it has started to take its toll.  Twelve days.  It's not a countdown as in I'm wishing or hoping those 12 days away, but it is a focal point for me.  It is something that I need to look forward to because when I am at home packing and watching my home deteriorate into a shell full of boxes and emptiness, its comforting to know that there is something absolutely amazing waiting for me when I open the door to my new home and a new chapter in my life.

But, for now, I am up, down and all around.

I actually took this picture myself, walking up the winding staircase to the top of the Arc de Triumphe.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Tough Go

I'd like to think that I am a person that handles stress well.  I feel like I am someone who most often sees the big picture and therefore doesn't sweat the small stuff.  I try my best to deal with things as they come, one by one, until they they pass and when they do I don't usually have a difficult time in letting them go.  However, when multiple stresses seem to be coming right after one another, it always seems like the least significant one is the one that bites me in the ass.  And when it does... I feel the weight of not only that, but of all the recently past stressors that I thought I rid myself of.

There has been lots going on in the past couple of months and I have been dealing with it and handling it rather well until the insignificant one decided to show up last week.  Since then, I feel the weight of everything that is going on and then some.  I have been both physically and emotionally drained this past week.  Even my immune system has weakened as I have found myself with an infection.  I've been quiet and withdrawn and I've had a hard time staying positive.

One thing that I have learned is how to appreciate the process.  When it became official that I was moving, I knew that it was going to be a challenge both physically and mentally.  But I was so happy and excited and ready that I began this process about a month ago full of optimism.  Now, I feel burdened.  I know that the end of my apartment and all that it represents is coming to an end, but it feels like such a slow death.  The packing, the selling, and the memories both the traumatic and even the good have all taken its toll.

This mental hurdle is taking front and center.  This is probably the hardest and most challenging thing that I have had to do since Dale's death.  Taking care of my son, budgeting, started to date again... all things that were challenging, but this is different.  I worked so hard to not get stuck and to move on, face to the sun.  It wasn't until now that I realized how stuck I was in this apartment.  That is why it is so difficult to leave.  I'm not just moving out, I'm moving in... with a man.  There will always be ties and connections, but what is about to happen is going to sever the ties that can be broken.  This is truly moving on.

As happy as I am... As right as this is... It's still... hard.  I don't know how else to describe it.  It's so incredibly difficult.  So much so that I am at the point where I almost wish that I could just take my son and a small suitcase and leave.  Because the constant reminders of what I am leaving whether its a good memory or a bad one, both sting.  And it hurts.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

From 0-9

As my life approaches yet another new beginning, I cannot help but to reflect on my past.  Yesterday, thanks to an article posted on Facebook about the positives of moving, I couldn't help but to think of the many moves that I have made in my life.  As I did that, I fell into sort of a numbers "game."

2:  That is the number of states that I have lived in.

5:  That is the number of different cities I have lived in.

8:  That is the number of homes that I have lived in.

9:  At the end of this month, this will be the new number of homes that I have lived in.

Once I got started, I couldn't help but to think of the many other numbers that hold significance to me.   Dates and times, yes.  But even the single digit numbers hold so much as well.

7:  Seven years ago, I moved to NYC.

4:  Seven years ago, I moved here with a husband, two dogs, and I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant.

0:  Not of those 4 are still alive today.

Those are the tough numbers.  The numbers that have burned and scarred.  The numbers that remind me of how fragile life is and how quickly it can change.

But just as quickly, life can turn in the opposite direction.  And you can find yourself in new place and in a new time that you never imagined you would find yourself in, left with 3 last numbers.

1:  On November 25, I finally have a new and happy anniversary to celebrate.  1 year.  It will be one year since I first met John.

3:  And almost exactly to the very date of that one year anniversary, the three of us will move in together.  A new family will be created.

6:  I actually don't have anything for this number.  I'm sure I could rack my brain and think of something, but the point of this was that I didn't have to think about these numbers.  They are all connected around what is going on in my life right now, which is moving.  So, I don't know what this number holds, not yet.  It would be fitting if it made itself known rather soon.  And even more fitting that it lands itself on the positive side.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Coming Down

In those early months after Dale died, I felt in many ways as if I had put myself inside of a bubble.  A bubble in which I could see out of, but one that protected me from the outside world.  I was so raw and exposed, I needed some type of protection from the outside world so that I could focus solely on my own little world.  During this time was when I decided that all I wanted to let in was the positives.  My son who was only 20 months at that time was my greatest teacher in showing me how to truly appreciate and find beauty in the simplest of things.  I also began this blog during that time and my focus then as it still mainly is now, is to find the silver lining in whatever is going on in my life.  I also looked for other positives in movies, books, new found friendships, you name it and I was looking for that positive.  I needed it.  I didn't want to fall into the darkness because I was afraid of what would happen if I did.

Just weeks after Dale's death, I received a gift.  It came from a friend of my sister's, a woman I had never met before.  She knew of my story through my sister and out of concern and kindness, she sent this to me...

This quote started to mean more to me as time passed and I began to rebuild myself and my life.  As I began to heal, I also began to grow stronger and more confident in myself.  Eventually I found myself.  However, it wasn't a new, reinvented version of myself.  It was the person that I always was inside, just a stronger, wiser version of who I was always meant to be.

Before I found myself though, I found this...

When I saw this, I knew I wanted to have this to put on my wall to remind me of how I wanted to live my life.  And for the most part, I believe that I do.  I think what I have the most difficult time with is asking for what I need.  I still feel uncomfortable asking for help.  But it is something that I am getting better at and it is something that is going to be more prevalent in my day to day life now that John and I will be living together soon.  He wants to help.  He wants to take care of me.  And as wonderful as that sounds, it's also going to require me to embrace vulnerability more.  It's going to be an adjustment for me as I have wrapped myself up in a zone of doing it on my own.  It makes me feel in control of my life and I like that.  But John is wonderful and I trust him.  And I will need to let it go, that control.

For nearly 3 years, I would have considered this blog my way of releasing my creative spirit.  This summer, I decided that I really want to take up photography.  It makes sense.  It has been such an important part of my healing these past three years.  I also feel like I have the personality of a photographer.  I have not yet started this new passion.  I am oozing to, but I just need to get everything else settled in my life right now.  But I can't wait.  :)

Finally, but perhaps most important...

In the midst of all of the sadness, guilt, and confusion, I had this.

These quotes of hope and inspiration have been on my walls for over three years.  Today, I took them down.  In exactly three weeks from today, John and I will have the keys to our home.  So I took these down in preparation for the move.  I took them down and packed them up.  They will come with me to my new home and into my new life.  However, I do not plan on putting them up back onto my walls.  I no longer need these positive reminders.  They have helped lead me to happiness and that is a place I do not on intend on ever losing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daisy Picking

I love it, I love it not.  I love it, I love it not.

That's the kind of relationship I have had with my apartment over the past 4 years.  I've mentioned my apartment numerous times and I'm sure I have mentioned it even more than I recall.  The thing is that my apartment has played such a significant role.

I moved in here the summer of 2010 with my husband, my 10 month old son, and my two dogs.  I found this apartment and ended up choosing this apartment before Dale ever even saw it.  We bought our house that way (you had to move quick back in 2004!) and he said he trusted me to do it again with an apartment.  Well... he wasn't so happy.  He was really upset actually.  This apartment was smaller and not in as nice of a condition as the one we were currently living in at the time.  However, we had already given notice and we had to find a place.  I was the one looking and everything else that I saw in the neighborhood we wanted was smaller and pricier, except this place.  It was smaller, but the biggest I had seen and it was significantly less than others in the neighborhood and $350 less than what were were currently paying.  And since NYC was not a permanent home, I thought we could make it work for a year, two at the most.  It made sense.

So from the very beginning, this place always did feel like mine.  I picked it out, I defended it.  I love it.

Looking back now, this apartment was one of the many things that was just picking at our relationship.  Dale did get over it, as we obviously moved in, but the whole process was awful... the way he made me feel for choosing this place and the actual move itself.  We even had issues getting our deposit back from our old landlords, $2000!  What they were doing was unfair and I was about a step away from going to court in January of 2011.  I dropped the whole issue when Dale accused me of spending more effort trying to get that money back than on him.  January.  2011.  I didn't know that he was in such a poor state mentally.  He hid it well.  What I saw was a man who was just not happy with me.  Nothing I did was good enough and he was mean to me.  Awful actually.  I love it not.

This apartment holds the memories of my son's first steps and his first birthday.  It also holds the memories of our lasts.  Our last times and moments shared as a family.  Our last birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and all of the other day to day memories.  Memories of all five of us, dogs included.   This was that last place that we all called home together.  I love it.

This apartment also holds the worst of the worst.  This apartment saw Dale's unraveling.  This is the place where he threw his worst at me and I saw his demons.  This is the place where he first attempted.  This is the place where he attacked me.  This is the place where I spent my last night with him, holding his hand as he sobbed and sobbed for what he had done until he fell asleep.  All that I knew to do was to reassure him that the person that just choked me was not a monster.  I knew he wasn't, but I also knew that I was afraid and had made the decision then to put the life and safety of our son and my own ahead of his.  The absolute hardest decision I ever had to make and ever will, especially when you know what the possible outcome could be.  A decision no one should ever have to make.  This is also the place where during that same time, I think that Dale also decided to put our son's and my own safety and life above his own, in the only way that his unraveled mind knew how.  This is the place where 17 days later, I got the call.  The call that changed everything.  I love it not.

This apartment is the place that allowed me to maintain what little of the life I once had.  This was the place that I could afford on my own and allowed me to not disrupt my son's life anymore than it had been already by having to move 3 years ago.  This was the place that was so close to work that it made my very difficult life, in those early days, manageable.  This is the place where my son and I became this incredible team.  This is the place that holds all-that-I-can-remember happy, warm, loving memories with my son as grew from a 20 month year old baby to a five year old little man.  This is the place where I somehow battled the pain, grief, confusion, loneliness, and sadness.  This is the place where amongst the rubble of a broken life, I found myself.  This is the place that helped me to decide that NYC is home, a place and a feeling I hadn't truly experienced in my adult life.  I love it.

If these walls could talk, I wonder what they'd say about me.  In these past 4 years, these walls absorbed both the very worst and the very best in life and in the human spirit.  This apartment... I love it and I hate it all at the same time.  Pushing aside all feelings for John, since he is what this move is all about, I don't know if I am happy or sad to be leaving this place.  I know that I hadn't yet, on my own.  There's a part of me that wishes I could stay here and be happy forever.  There is something stagnant and safe in that.  Then there's that part of me that wonders why and how I could have stayed here after all that had happened.  Perhaps it is your pick.  On any given day at any given time, it could be either... I love it.  I love it not.  But more than likely it's a bit of both at the same time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Official...

I'm moving!

I first mentioned this probably back in April, since that is when John and I first began talking about moving in together. Seven months later and we finally have a move-in date, November 23.  Odd date, I know, but since we both have our current apartments until December 1st, it gives us some time to move in at a less hectic pace.

So this apartment... it's pretty cool.  It's very cool actually and I am so excited.  I saw this apartment before, it must have been about a year ago or so when I was looking around and deciding if I wanted to move out of my current apartment before my son started kindergarten and before John was ever in my life.  It was way out of my price range, but it was unique and just one of those apartments that stood out from the rest.  So, you could imagine my surprise and my excitement when John emailed me the link to this very same place last week because he knew I would love it.  We went to look at it the very next day and we both loved it.  We found our home... yay!

Since this is my excited post (there will be more around this gigantic milestone!) let me tell you what makes this apartment so awesome...

1.  My big move, it's literally 2 blocks up and 2 blocks to the right from where I currently live, lol.  I'll still be in my neighborhood, just a different section of it.

2. I am now only 2 blocks away from Prospect Park.  The closer proximity and the live in sitter (lol) gives me more reasons to be able to run more often start running again.

3.  My commute to work will be 7 minutes, instead of 5... sacrifices, sacrifices, ;)

4.  We are in a two block radius of 3 different playgrounds!

5.  We will be in a different school zone.  A school I applied to get my son into, but didn't get into because we were out of zone.  Now we are in!  However, we are still so close to my son's current school, he is going to stay put.  He loves it there and I don't want to disrupt every part of his life.  I will find out my options and make a decision this summer about where he will attend next school year.  Either way, both schools are excellent!

6.  Dishwasher, enough said.  Well, almost...

7.  Washer and dryer in the actual unit!

8.  A new build... from 2007.  Everyone and their mother could not have possibly lived there in only 7 years.

9.  The Kitchen... modern, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops... clean and fresh!

10.  The open floor plan... the kitchen opens up to the living room.  Its a big space and it will be great for entertaining.

11.  The vaulted ceilings and sky lights!    There is so much light in this apartment!  I love natural light and this is actually what hooked both of our attentions.

12.  The balcony off of the master bedroom.  Granted, the bedrooms are not as big as I would have wanted.  But, I would much rather have a large living space, which we do.  So its a trade-off that is worth it as is the private balcony.

13. The rooftop deck!  Awesome!!!  It's completely private too.  It's rather big and we can fit a decent crowd up there, too bad we're moving in November when it will be too cold to spend much time up there.  But... I think I sold this move and this apartment to my son when I told him we could put a sandbox up there (he's obsessed with diggers!).  What is also very cool is the walk way from the door to the terrace.  You actually are on a "ramp" that goes over the kitchen and living room.  There are windows on both sides, so you can actually look into the apartment, again, all private.

14.  I could never afford this place on my own, however it is significantly less than what we both pay in rent combined.  I like that John doesn't live above his means and that we found this awesome home and it's not going to break the bank, we can actually save.

15.  This place is very modern.  I've never done modern before.  It's so fresh and new to me.  It really is starting over and it seems to be cleaning the slate.  That's a good thing.

16.  I love how I loved this apartment on my own.  The apartment itself, the building, the different section of my neighborhood were all things that I loved about this apartment.  I love how John knew that I would love it without my ever telling him.  And I love how things that I love on my own can find their way seamlessly with John.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Moving Mountains, Changing Rivers

A friend shared this video on Facebook this morning and I was absolutely captivated.  First off, Yellowstone Park is stunningly gorgeous.   More importantly, what a wonderful video to share the incredible impact that one animal species has on the planet.  We really must take care of this beautiful planet of ours and the plants and animals that live on it.  

But I am not an active environmentalist (unless you count recycling and donating to the WWF).  When I watched this video, more so than anything, I found it to be inspiring.  There is so much beauty in not just nature itself, but in the way that we are all connected and rely on one another, whether we realize it or not.  

We should never underestimate the power and the significance that we all possess.  If a wolf can change a river, perhaps a mind can move a mountain.

P.S.  Yellowstone Park is at the top of my list of places to take my son for about 3 years now.  I'm hoping in about 3 more, he will be old enough to handle such a rugged trip.  Typically, I don't say this, but I really can't wait!

Third Time's a Charm?!?

Guess what?  The urge got the better of me and I took out and dusted off an old book, The Happiness Project.  Now, I first started this "project"in January of 2012, right when I first began this blog.  I think I got through the first four months and then... lol.  I don't even know when I started it again for the second go around, but I do know that attempt didn't make it as far as the first.

Now, I hate when I start something and not finish it.  It makes me feel unaccomplished.  I feel like there's some loose strings and I hate that!  So why would I think about this book again!?!

Like I posted yesterday, September was a big month.  However, I left one big thing out in yesterday's post.  It's official.  John is moving in.  He's given his landlord notice and thus a date has been set, December 1.  He's moving in with me temporarily and our real "move in to our home date" is February 1st.  Funny that by the time that day comes it will have already been almost a whole year since we talked about moving in together.  But we have given this process much thought.  The extra time was wise and the two months that he will be living with me will save us lots of money for the big move, broker's fees, and a security deposit, ugh!  The nice thing is that we will have enough to buy some new furniture that will be ours.  And that is a nice thought.  But I am getting way off track here, more on all of that later.  Back to THP...

So with this big move coming, and I knew it was coming for months now, it is time to get organized!  I couldn't help but to think of THP because it really whipped me into shape organizationally both times.  I've got lots to do to get ready for John to come in here and I want to make everything as easy and as ready as possible for my move in February.  It's not just organizing, but THP was also about goal setting.  I have some pretty old "To Do" things on my list that really just need to get taken care of.  I want to start off this new life with John as fresh as I can.

As for the rest of the book, I want to tackle some of the other chapters too.  This time around though, I am not going to go in order, I am going to pick and choose as I see fit.  Besides getting reorganized, I also want to make sure that I don't become distracted with all of these big changes that living together will bring.  I still want to stay true to myself and what I believe.  I still want to explore life and try new things both with John and without.  I need to continue to develop my friendships and try to extend out and make more.  So I am hoping that this 3rd time, will be the charm, in that I will get everything that I need and want from this little book of reminders to help me stay on the path of happiness! And... if it ends up that I only see a month or two as fit, then so be it.  It will have served its purpose.

Wow... I really felt the urge to end this with a smiling sunflower, lol.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Time Traditions

September was a big month for us, my son and I.  First, he started kindergarten!  I was a bit nostalgic about the idea of my little guy being big enough to start school, but he was so ready for it.  That's not to say that I wasn't or still am nervous about all the things that go into the school years... the friends he will make, the friends he won't make, behavior, academics, bullies, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the loss of that baby innocence.  But just as everything, I/we need to take each thing, each day as it comes and remember to breathe.

September is also my son's birth month... 09/09/09.  Five years old!  That's a big one too.  Since this birthday was a big one (he's half a decade and old enough to start school) I decided to give him a gift from his father.  I have so many things of Dale's.  Some things I know I will eventually let go of.  Others, I have already planned when to give to my son.  For his 5th birthday, I gave my son an old wooden toy train set.  It was Dale's grandfather's actually.  My son was a bit confused as to how a gift could come from his father and even after explaining it, it still didn't quite set in.  But, he still loved it.  He loves trains and this was the perfect thing to give him at this time in his life.

I wanted to add on to the theme of trains and this past weekend we took a trip to Strasburg, PA aka Traintown U.S.A.  It's about a three hour drive from Brooklyn and I had enough things planned for two days, so we made it an overnighter.  John didn't come with us on this trip and even though I want him to be a part of this family in every way, there are still times when I want my son to myself.  Perhaps with time that will diminish.  But at this point, I still cherish those precious moments when it is still just the two of us.  Besides, it has become a fall time tradition of ours to get away for a weekend in the fall.

It was still too early for the leaves to have changed color and it did rain one of the two days.  But... we had a wonderful time!

First stop, The Choo Choo Barn.  Over 1700 square feet of a model train exhibit.  It was really cool, and tedious!

Second stop, The Train Museum.  Lots of old engines and cars and lots of hands on fun!

The beautiful Lancaster County.

View from the top of a silo.

We stayed at The Red Caboose Motel.  Each room was in an old car.  Yes, we got a red caboose!

Corn Maze at Cherry Crest Farms

Petting Zoo at Cherry Crest Farm... My son got to hold a baby chick (his first time) and we got to see one hatch!

This farm was awesome... the maze, rides, animals, apple cider donuts and even pumpkin pie fudge!
Oh, and the train went right through the farm.  

Our steamy train ride through The Dutch Lands.

View from the train ride... loved this tree isolated by the corn stalks.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014


It didn't take very long at all to wish that I had gone to the game on Thursday.  For anyone who didn't see or hear about Derek Jeter's last game at Yankee Stadium... Wow!

I never intended to write one post about him, let alone two.  But I just couldn't help myself to write this second one because of the series of events that took place on Thursday.

There have been recent times in my life where everything seemed to align.  It was unexplainable, but even more so amazing because events that were planned and unplanned collided in such a way that it seemed surreal yet exactly as it was meant to be.  For me, my trip to the Northwest last summer is what first comes to mind.  There was so much going on at the time with my healing, understanding, and growth both spiritually and mentally.  I wrote extensively about this last year and will not go into detail about it now, but I will say that my trip... it started with a rainbow, as did Derek Jeter's night.
Kevin Meyers photo posted on Twitter

I hope that we all have times in our lives where we feel that we are exactly where we are supposed to be and that everything aligns in our favor so that the events that take place will do so in a way that they feel like they were meant to be.  I don't know of any other stories other than my own and Thursday night's to share.  So, this post isn't so much because it's Derek Jeter,  it's more about something extraordinary happening.

So... instead of me doing the run down, I will link you to a site that already did that for me, photos, videos and all!  Enjoy... history in the making.

P.S.  I have to say that I love how everything aligned so that the Oriole's tied the game and that Jeter was up to bat in the ninth.  What is even better, is that he controlled the ending of this story, his story.  It didn't have to end with him getting the game winning hit... he made it happen.  We all need a little luck and a little help, but in the end we control the outcome of our own stories.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Farewell Captain

Every so often something special happens, something extraordinary.  Most times it lasts for just a moment and if you are lucky enough, you may have had the opportunity to take part in it in some capacity, no matter how big or small.  Sometimes though, what is special grows to extraordinary over time.  What is so great about that is the opportunity to witness and be a part of this grows as well.

Over the past 20 years, something special turned into something extraordinary and is considered by many to be a legend.  I am referring to no other than Derek Jeter.  Baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Whether it was watching games on t.v. with my father, watching him, my sister, or my brother play, or playing myself, the game took up the majority of my leisure time right up until I went to college.  So needless to say, I love and appreciate the game.  I know it and I know of the greats who have played over the years.  Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson... Their stories were great to listen to.  For my generation, Derek Jeter is that person.  He is that person that gave so many people the opportunity over the past 20 years to witness something legendary in the making.

Tonight will be the last time that Jeter puts on his pinstripes and steps on to Yankee Stadium.  An era is ending.  And you don't have to be a Yankee fan or even a die hard baseball fan to feel a bit sad, a bit sentimental about what that means.  I considered attending this game.  I am a baseball fan, I am a Yankee fan, and I am definitely a Derek Jeter fan.  There will be a part of me that will wish that I did go to this game, especially since I live right here in New York City, but I decided not to.

Since I knew that the end was coming, I did take my son to his first Yankee game this past June.  I bought him a Jeter jersey for his Pre-K graduation gift and took him to the game that night with my parents and John.  It was a special night and I am happy that I can tell him that he saw Derek Jeter play.    Over the years, I have seen him play many times myself and I settled for this past Sunday's game to be my last.  Although not his very last game, it was still special.  The crowd stood and cheered for him every time he was up to bat.  It was loud and heartfelt and also sombre at the same time.

When you think about this in the big scheme of things, it is just baseball.  It is just a game.  But if you look and think a bit deeper, it is something a bit more.  And even if you don't see that, isn't it just nice to find something positive and celebratory in life?.. something that so many people can take part in and share?  For me, I have memories of traveling to Toronto, Baltimore, and even NYC before living here with Dale to see Yankee games.  I was at Yankee Stadium exactly 1 month before my son was born, on Dale's birthday and watched them sweep the Red Sox.  One of Dale's best memories was going to a World Series Game in 2001.  Not only was it special because it was a World Series, but because 9/11 just happened and that added a whole different level of spirit and meaning to the game. I am happy to have these memories to share with my son, because they are happy and positive ones about his father.  And I think that it is wonderful that John was a part of this too in that he was there to take my son to his first and only Derek Jeter game.  So many memories :)... thank you Derek Jeter!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Never a Knock

I have been asked several times before if I would ever want to contact Dale through a medium.  My answer has always been no and I don't foresee ever changing my mind on that.  My reasoning, which I believe I have posted about before, is that I have worked so incredibly hard to come to the understanding and acceptance that I have now... I don't want to jeopardize that.  Having said that, I did visit a spiritualist months after Dale had past.  However, it wasn't to contact him.  I just needed something... something positive to look forward to, something to help ease my mind and to help me find a piece of comfort, no matter how small or relevant.  And it did.

I have also been asked if I have ever seen or felt any signs of his presence.  My answer to that has always been no.  I honestly haven't.  That used to frighten me a bit.  Brought up Catholic, I grew up being taught that committing suicide is losing all hope and faith in God and therefore those who did it were sent to hell.  So I tried not to think about the fact that I never really felt his presence in any way.  I didn't want to think that he was in hell.  Dale was already in his own hell here.  He was a good person. And it was/is hard for me to believe that my God would do that.  I know that Dale did lose hope.  He wanted to end the pain.  But he also wanted to be with God too.

The last time I was asked the latter question was just this past summer.  And for the first time, I didn't become troubled or worried when I answered no.  If there is indeed an afterlife (and I do believe that there is something more after what we know as life) I do not think that not feeling Dale indicates the worst.  I have feared that Dale carried anger with him and felt that towards me still.  That made it even more frightening to get a visit.  But I let that go too.I think visits are scary and I don't openly welcome them.  I have never been visited by the child I lost through miscarriage, my uncle, my grandma, or Dale.  My belief is that they are all in a good place.  I trust that.  I will see them all soon enough.  And their presence in life is enough to sustain me.  It has to be because that is all that I have.

My son often tells stories now of things that he has done with "my dad."  Sometimes they are difficult to listen to.  Sometimes I feel like I need to correct him.  Sometimes I feel like I want him to elaborate more and more because the stories sound so wonderful.  I may not welcome visits for no other reason than I don't want to feel spooked especially since I live all alone.  However, I think it would be precious if any one of these stories that my son tells came from a visit that he once had.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What Dreams May Be

In January, I wrote about a reoccurring theme in my dreams at that time which happened to be houses.  At that time, I found that the meaning behind dreaming about houses and what was happening in my life at the time (I had just met John) seemed to coincide.  It made sense.

Fast forward to late spring.  I had never posted about these dreams.  I wish now that I had since I don't remember all of them.  My dreams were becoming more intense.  Dale was now appearing in most, if not all of these dreams that still revolved around homes, however the house itself was not the focus as it was in the past.  One that I remember was that I was moving.  Dale was somehow in my life and in this dream, I wasn't aware that he was dead as I usually am.  Dale had wanted to move with me.  It was expected by him that he would be.  I had to tell him that he couldn't.  I remember his mother being there when I told him.  I don't remember being fearful in or of this dream.  I just remember how difficult it was to tell him this and how awful it made me feel.

A second dream that I had was one in which I was living with John.  Dale was upset.  He was annoyed.  He didn't want to come into our home, but did so grudgingly because of our son.  We sat on an enclosed porch in the front of a house and that is as far as he came in.  I don't remember conversations, but this dream wasn't heated.  Dale kept it together.  It did feel awkward being with both him and John.  But that is all that I remember.

A final dream that I "remember" was one that really got to me.  At the time, I remembered more details.  But not recording them at the time has left me with none.  All that I remember was that I was screaming at Dale to leave me alone.  I wanted him out of my life.

All of these dreams occurred during the time when John and I were truly starting to build and plan a future together.  We decided we were going to move in together.  We were talking about our future together.  This was all happening around the 3rd anniversary of Dale's death, which was a difficult one... I was going through the process consciously and subconsciously of saying goodbye all over again.  And then my mind was quiet...

Until France.  Since my return I have been dreaming again.  I have had a couple of dreams where Dale was present and I was happy for him to be there.  I even think we spoke, which rarely ever happens in any of my dreams with him.  I don't remember details of these dreams either.  I did at the time and I regret not writing any of it down.  It's amazing how quickly a dream can fade.

I had a very disturbing dream last week that I do remember many details of.  In this dream Dale was dead.  He had been dead for quite some time, 2 years I think I recall.  For some reason his body was in a room, which at the time I thought was a living room, but I only recall a sofa and nothing else.  He looked himself, just still.  We (others were in the dream, but didn't recognize anyone) decided it was finally time to bury him.  When he were getting ready to take his body away, a child (not my son or any that I recognize) fell onto his chest.  It hit with such force that it jump started Dale's heart.  It was almost as if he had been frozen.  When he first woke his eyes were absent and he responded to very little.  As time progressed, so did he.  He started to awaken.  I never did get to see him fully back to himself.  But there was a point where he looked at me and I could tell that he really did see me.  This dream was one that was hard to shake.  I had been missing him very much these past few weeks and I wanted him back, back to life. 

My last dream was one that I woke to just this morning.  Dale was again in my dream and he had found us a new place to live.  He did it without neither my input or consent.  But he found a home that he was pumped about showing to me.  In the dream I was annoyed with him as he showed me this place.  I was annoyed because he didn't ask me about it, I didn't like it, and I didn't want to live with him.  John was in my head in this dream and I had wanted to live with him.  It wasn't until I woke that I thought more about this home that Dale had picked. In real life, it was one that he never would have picked out.  This home was run down and patched up.  It had many big empty rooms, but  both the floors and walls were made of a wood that looked like it had been in a fire.  It home itself didn't appear to have been in a fire, but there were pieces of wood patching holes in the walls.  The kitchen didn't really exist.  There was an oven that was in pieces.  And there was an older man working on it, trying to put it back together and to get the house/apt? ready.

When I started to miss Dale when I was in Paris, I kept thinking about all of the wonderful times and memories that we shared.  Enough time had passed so that I had really come to peace with Dale.  I accepted, I forgave, and the bad memories began to fade. That opened up room to really miss him.  This last dream that I just recalled, I think this was my wake up call.  My reminder.  Even if things had turned out differently and Dale was still here, more than likely we would not have been together as a married couple.  This home that was in my dream I think was a representation of what our relationship would have been like today.  There was a lot of damage done, but it was all patched up.  It makes me happy that it was patched up.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way and there's a sense of peace with that too.  However, it wasn't livable.  That is not where were supposed to be and life made sure of it.  I know this, but apparently my brain thinks I need a harsh reminder of this.  I know that John is whom I am supposed to be with now.  I love him immensely and I am happy and thankful that he is in my life.  I am excited about having a present and future with him.  But that doesn't and never will change the fact that I do wish that Dale was still here, and that is something that will never change.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You'd Think...

You'd think that by now I would have posted about my incredible trip to France and some of the awesome views that I captured.

You'd think by now I would have updated on my happy and healthy relationship with John and how things are so wonderful that it puts France in the backseat. 

You'd think by now with all of my self pep talks, insights, and feelings of peace and acceptance that I wouldn't be battling feelings that I didn't even know still existed within me.  But, I am because I do.  And it was actually Paris, France that triggered all of it. 

Prior to our vacation, I had wondered if there was a proposal planned for the romantic getaway to France.  I even started to think about the where and the when and all of that fun wedding planning stuff.  That's where my head was at.  But when we got to Paris, I just couldn't help but to think of Dale.  The city is so grand and full of history, he would have loved it.  To be honest, there isn't a day that goes by where he doesn't cross my mind.   But this was different.  I truly missed him and wished he could have been there to see all that I did.  With accepting what had happened, I really hadn't gone there or had let myself go there in a very long time.  And since I was there on my first getaway with John, it really threw me that I was having these feelings.  Four days into our trip, when we were in Nice I found out the news of Robin Williams' suicide (which I have posted about) and that only added salt to the wound. 

We returned from France the 16th of August, so it has been a month.  In that month's time, I have had some very vivid and thought pondering dreams.  Our brains are so extremely amazing.  Each time that I have woken up from one of these dreams, I can completely make sense as to why I had it. 

You'd think that with all of my conscious thinking that I wouldn't need my subconscious to battle my thoughts while I slept.  But it has, and it's not the first in recent times that it has done so. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I was a in France when I heard the news of Robin Williams.  I read it first on Facebook and even though I was in the gorgeous French Riviera with my new love, I couldn't help but to feel saddened by his death.  Ironic that he never came to mind when I thought about my favorite actor, as he was the lead in two of my most favorite movies, Dead Poet's Society and Good Will Hunting where his role was just as inspirational and moving as the movie themselves.  However, the sadness came from feeling a connection.  A connection that I feel now when I hear of a death by suicide.  I feel an utter sadness for the person who chose to take their own life, not because I know that how that pain feels, but I have seen it.  I've started it straight in the eye and it's a horrific monster.  I also feel a connection to the people left behind as they begin their journey of grieving, healing, and understanding.

There have been quite a few suicides since Dale's that have affected me.  The first one came about a year ago when a man a few years younger than me, from my hometown took his own life.  I can't say that I knew him growing up, but I knew of him.  Our mothers worked together for some time years ago.  My cousin was close with him and his wife.  And I knew his wife when I was very young when we played on the same softball team in elementary school.  I felt for her.  I thought of reaching out.  But I felt very far removed and the best I did was to tell my cousin that if she thought her friend needed someone to reach out, I would be there.  It's hard.  For me.  Other than the safe confines of this blog, I don't speak about it often.  On a day to day basis, it doesn't come up very often anymore.  But even when it did, it was hard to speak of.  And that, makes it hard to reach out to others.

The other one hit closer to home as it happened just a few days before this past Christmas.  He was actually my dad's friend.  I knew him pretty much my whole life.  He was never married, no kids, and had no family living in town.  He became sick a few years ago, diabetes, and since this man didn't drive, my father took him as far as an hour away to his doctor's appointments.  That's how close my father was with him.  I remember I found out the very day that I arrived at my parent's house for Christmas.  I found out, not from them, but on Facebook.  I don't think they knew how to tell me because not only was it a suicide, but it was done the same way as Dale.

So I couldn't help but to be affected when my USA Today app decided to update me while in Nice, with details about Robin Williams' death.  He had hung himself with a belt.  I remember reading that message and just stopping.  My heart sank.  It sank because I didn't need to know that and I especially didn't need to be updated with that news via text message because if I had, how many countless others did as well?  That is the way Dale chose to end his life, exactly.  This is actually the first time I have ever mentioned this on my blog.  My blog of nearly three years.  My anonymous blog.  To me, the how seemed too private.  Too intimate on a whole different level.  The how shouldn't and didn't really matter, what did was the result.  So my heart sank a bit deeper and I felt even more connected with people I've never met and knew nothing about.

I've started to find and read widow's and widower's blogs lately.  I've browsed in the past, but none ever stuck with me.  Now that I have come so far on my journey, I am curious how others have journeyed through healing and into a changed life.  It's nice to find a happy ending once in a while.


I can't help but to leave with some of those memorable scenes from Robin Williams, may you rest in peace.

My Favorite Scence from Good Will Hunting

What Suicide Isn't... This is very well said.



I recently started to watch Breaking Bad on Netflix.  I am not going to go into elaborate details on what this show is about other than to say that the main character has lung cancer.  He's a husband and a father to a teenage boy and a daughter soon to be born.  He found out alone and had made the decision alone that he didn't want to treat it.  During the episode that I watched tonight, the family had an intervention because they want him to make the "right" choice and chose treatment. 

When it was Walter's turn to speak, he said that he had lived most of his life by choices that he hadn't made for himself.  He said that even if treatment extended his life a year or two longer, he questioned what kind of  life that would be after all of the side effects from chemo and all of the stress that it would cause his family.  He didn't want to survive off of the pill after pill he would need to take each day.  He's not curable and he's very aware of that.  So instead of prolonging his life he chose to continue to live life as it is and to avoid an "artificial" life.  

There are arguments for both sides.  However, when it's terminal... when there is just a slight sliver of a miraculous chance that you will live well beyond the few months or year extension and live so relatively normally... I feel like that's a different ballgame.  Dale used to tell me it was selfish for others to want someone to continue on when they couldn't fathom the pain they were in.  Some would say that suicide or even this man's choice to avoid treatment is selfish. 

As a person who knows what it's like to have lost, it's a horrendous place to be.  Would I have wanted Dale to choose differently?  Absolutely.  But, I do wonder if that's how Dale viewed himself at the end, terminal, and he chose to go out on his own terms.  In many ways this is different than a cancer patient, but in many ways it's very similar to anyone who has a painful, killing disease and there seems but little hope.  I'm certain that Dale did feel that he had very little control over his life at that time.  Did he grasp what he thought was the little he could control and make that choice then?  I hope that there was a moment of pure clarity, where his mind stopped racing and the demons quieted, and he was able to make his choice with a sound mind.  Just as Walter wanted to do for himself. 

I've been angered, saddened, and hurt by his decision, but I never thought of Dale as being selfish in the choice that he made. 


For those of us lucky enough to be living without a sickness or a disease, I think back to what Walter said about not living a life based on choices that he made (prior to getting cancer).  That's depressing.  But I am sure that is true for so many people.  Even people who feel liberated.  Or those rebelling... is choosing the opposite really choosing?  I know that I didn't always feel like I had much control over what was happening in my life.  There were many choices that I didn't make, rather I let fate/destiny/life, whatever you want to call it, make decisions for me.  It is a helpless feeling. 

There are many things that I have no control over.  I can't control my landlord and stop him from raising my rent.  But I can choose to move.  I can't control what I am asked to do at work.  But I could choose to apply elsewhere.  We can't control the choices that others make.  But we can control our reactions and decisions that we make.  That's what choices are.  But whether we consciously make them ourselves or let outside forces make them for us, we are still individually responsible for whatever that choice may be and we need to own it.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Where do you begin when you finally felt like you were ready to really start writing and posting again and then... you don't?  You start with the best excuse you can come up with.  9,500. Nine thousand five hundred, that's about how many miles I have traveled in the past 20 days.  That's an average of nearly 8 hours a day and even though I have not been traveling 8 hours a day, I assure you that if I added up the time it took to travel those amount of miles, it would equal way more than that! 

Perhaps I should have reworded the title and called it "Automobile, Train, and Planes" instead.  I definitely used all three.  My adventure began with driving my son across the state to visit grandma and grandpa.  I took a train back home from there so that I wouldn't have to drive back alone, yes alone without my son and also so that I could leave my car behind since I wouldn't be using it back in NYC.  Instead, I returned back to NYC alone so that I could fly off to France with John.  Our first getaway together... Paris and Nice!  It was awesome to say the least. 

So busy, busy and tired, tired.  But so worth it.  It was energizing in its own way.  I have much to write about and so many pictures I'd love to post and share.  This post however, is my ice-breaker.  I'm out of tune and this hopefully will help me get back in sync.  :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Completely Ordinary

I absolutely love this quote.  It sums up exactly how I think and feel when I speak of happiness and amazement.  There is nothing "extraordinary" about me and my life.  I am however trying to live it a way in which I personally feel fulfilled and that does make me feel extraordinarily happy and constantly amazed.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So Much Joy

So much joy... that is what my summer vacation has been so far.  And so far, my summer vacation has been very simple.  What has been bringing me so much joy is my son.  I am having such an amazing time doing the simplest of things with him.  There have been no grand adventures.  So far, all that we have done is visit my parents, go to a few pool parties, spend a couple of mornings at the beach, and  ride bikes to the neighborhood playground.  That's it.  Our biggest day out was today, we took the subway to the Central Park Zoo, ate ice cream, climbed the "mountains" in the park, and played at a playground.  It was a blast!

Since day one of my summer vacation, which has almost been a month, my son has been such a sweetheart!   So much so it reminds me of how he consistently used to be before the terrible threes and what has turned into the sassy fours.  Not that I haven't seen any sweetness in the past two years, lol, but not so as much without the other stuff thrown in between.  And, it has been awesome!

The sassy mouth started around December.  I have to admit, this phase has been my least favorite and the hardest for me.  I hated the threes when he got angry and would throw things.  But my already vocal child now vocalizing his opinion on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Everything!  And not always in a pleasant or appropriate tone, ugh... tested my patience to the very core. 

My little boy is growing up.  He is going to be starting kindergarten in September and in these past few weeks, I've noticed some other changes in him as well.  He looks older.  He's losing more of that baby look to him.  His vocabulary has also changed alot as well.  The words that he uses and the expressions that he uses, lol... they make me laugh!  So yes, I have really been enjoying the extra time that I am fortunate to have with him while I am on summer vacation.  (The perks of being a teacher!)

He is still keeping me on my toes, but even when he is, I can see that light in his eyes.  He's trying to play me.  But deep down he's every bit the sweetheart that I have had a hard time parting with (Only sent him to day care once so far, once!  That's how great it's been!).  And that has brought me so much joy and happiness.  So much I almost don't know what to do with it, but to just enjoy and appreciate every drop of it. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Not always an easy task, but when you make a conscious effort it becomes easier and more habitual.  The reward is... genuinely feeling the truth in this quote.   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Truth

For over the past two and a half years, I have used this blog as an outlet to help me to not only release my thoughts, but to help sort them as well.  This blog was also my way of owning those thoughts and feelings because once they became published, they were out there in the world.  It didn't matter if 100 people viewed my blog, 10, or 0... I wrote them just the same because this was as it still is, for me.  As I think back on the posts that I have written, I realize that there were certain topics or points that I brought up repeatedly.  When I think of them now, I understand why they came up so frequently, and they did because I needed to remind myself of them.  I needed to hear myself say them over and over again because they were topics that I had questioned and even doubted in and about myself. 

Two and a half years ago, when I first began writing, I was still in the beginning stages of healing after the death of my husband, which happened by his own choice.  Suicide.  My life was shattered and not only was the life that I had once known gone, but there so were so many questions.  So many questions, so many doubts, so many uncertainties that completely overwhelmed me.  But I took a deep breath and ever so slowly and ever so carefully, put one foot in front of the other and moved forward the best and only way that I knew how. 

I have always shared my thoughts, my feelings... my life, honestly.  Some things were easy to share and reveal, some took some time.  Two and half years later, I can finally reveal more of my truth.

My truth... I was given a second chance.  You do not need to search long and hard to find a tragic story about a family with one of its members having a mental illness.  Even in the early moments of shock and utter sadness, I was grateful for my own life.  Perhaps that was the driving force behind all that I have tried to accomplish and create in these past few years... my appreciation for life. 

Life is not perfect.  There are tough times, sad times, crazy times, and hard to understand times.  But rarely do I complain.  What do I have to complain about?  The things that I can control, I do.  One of the best feelings is taking ownership of your own life and the decisions that you make.  And I do.  I am creating the best life that I can and there is no freer feeling than to know that you have the power to make that happen.  There are many things that I nor anyone else can control, but that is when you have to let go, as hard as it is, and have faith.  It doesn't need to even be a Godly faith, just something that you can believe in to help you to get through the challenges that life brings to us all.   And I have found that as well.  I cannot say that I feel closer to God or that my beliefs have been strengthened.  But I can say that I have grown spiritually as has my faith in the human spirit.  I do believe that there is more beyond the physical vessels that roam this earth.

My greatest truth... I am happy.  I am happy and I can now say that openly without feeling the need to justify it or to explain how I can be despite what has happened.  That's it, plain and simple, I am happy and I love my life.  Deep down, I always have.  It just took a long time to get to the point where I could drop the guilt and let myself embrace that happiness. 

Another's Treasure


So here it is.  My ugly bracelet.  Yes, I admit it.  It's rather ugly.  There's no rhyme or reason... the beads are random.  But in actuality, that was the purpose.  I made up my mind in the very beginning that I would go with what I felt and I did and this is what I got, a very expensive piece of jewelry that looks, well... lol.  But it is completely sentimental.  It was worth every penny.  I love it and I will treasure it always.  

This will probably be the last time I will ever mention it in my blog (atleast with any detail).  But as with every other post on this blog, it is entirely for my benefit and I am going to do one last rundown of each bead (because frankly, sometimes I forget :/).  So, starting from the left...

1.  The Koi Clasp:  I've never mentioned having this before, but it was actually the first piece that I had on this bracelet.  I figured that it couldn't help to have a little bit of luck with me.  We all need it from time to time.  

2.  Rose Quartz:  The only bead that I have that didn't represent something that I had learned.  Even though it wasn't the last bead that I bought, it did take the last empty space that I had.  I bought it shortly after meeting John.  Rose quartz is believed to heal the broken heart from the past and to invite love in.  All I knew in the beginning with John was that something felt different and that I wanted a solid and genuine shot to see where it could go.  I didn't want my past (my past relationships or past self) to get in the way of that.  

3.   Purple Passion:  My very first bead which symbolized to me the choices that we have in life.  Live the live that you want.  Sometimes it may be hard to see, but there are always choices.  Choose the life that you want and do so with passion.  

4.  Amazonite Bead:  This is a stone of courage and hope.  To me, this is my bead that represents the tough job of maintaining... to maintain (not to become stagnant) all that I have learned and what has become important to me.  

5.  White Petals:  Truth.  Honesty.  Be yourself.  

6.  "Wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure."  A quote from The Alchemist that is engraved onto this bead. 

7.  Blue Desert:  The bead I got after I took my first solo trip to Las Vegas.  The bead that represents independence.  The ability and more important the knowledge and belief that you can do it!

8.  Green Mosiac:  I got this one about a year ago when I felt that I had healed enough where the pieces were able to be put back together.  There's only so much that you can do and there comes a point where you have to let go and let what you started, what you created play out.  And of course, have a little faith that everything will happen the way in which it was meant to .

9.  Lime Prism:  This one represents our inner light.  We all have one.  Let it shine!

10.  Pink Diamonds:  This one represents the war wounds that life can leave upon us.  But if we choose to, we can overcome what life throws at us and become stronger than we ever thought we could be... like a diamond.  

11.  Caring Light:  Ironic that the only bead that I did not buy for myself was the one that was lost the day that my son took my bracelet apart.  What I lost was a leaf, it represented this blog... to speak your truth without fear and with dignity and poise.  I chose this one to replace it because inside of this heart is a tree and it's name is caring light.  It reminded me of this blog's title and so I chose this one to replace what I once had.  

12.  Blue Swirl:  I chose this one to represent forgiveness. 

13.  Black Flower:  I got this one after my dog Argyle died.  To me, it represents the darkness, the tough times that we encounter in life.  However, even the dark times are surrounded by a light.  It may take awhile to find it, but it is always there.  

14.  White Flower:  The opposite which will always be placed next to the black flower bead because I bought this one after my dog Skye died.  This one is about the past.  The past is just that, in the past and it can be a very tough goodbye.  But there is hope, there is a light, and there is much to look forward to.  

15.  Chakra:  My last and final bead which represents the process.  Don't wish it away, don't rush it.  It's hard, I know that I have.  But it is the process that so much learning and beauty in life is had.  

16.  Blue Swirls:  This bead represents balance and how important balance in every aspect of your life is.  I think one of the keys to happiness, atleast my own, is to live a balanced life.

17.  Orange Swirl:  My second bead, I bought this when I was in Las Vegas.  I had made a mistake in doing so and this became my "don't settle" bead.  Don't settle, be patient, be passionate, and do everything that you can to get what you want.  Don't settle for anything less than you deserve.

18.  Simple Beauty:  It is the simple things in life that mean the most.  Take the time to appreciate the beauty in the simplest of things.  

It took my two years and three months to complete my bracelet. This way in which I chose to represent my learning and growth is over and it is a bit sad that there is no room left on my bracelet.  However, I had fun creating it and I appreciate it for what it means to me.  I have enjoyed the process and what led me to the beads that I have, but I also realize that it ended at a perfect time.  It was in February when I finished filling my bracelet.  A perfect time for this ending because there was so much new and exciting things just beginning in my life.  

So this is it... what may seem meaningless and ugly to one may be an other's treasure.  This is mine.