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.