Choosing Happiness

March 7, 2019 at 12:20 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I think happiness is a choice each one of us either make or decide to be lemon tasters. Life throws an unexpected health crisis, trouble with our teenagers, financial situations, circumstances beyond our control. When life throws a curve ball, how we respond depends on how we overcome the obstacles in our lives. Life should be waking up in the morning ready to face a new day, coffee cup in hand and heading out the door.

Some of my friends are amazed at my positive attitude. After loosing not only my husband from his disease, but then my son a few years later in a tragic car accident, I could have become bitter and angry but instead I chose to trust God. I have always looked at my glass as half full not half empty. I have known some parents who have lost a son or daughter who has never recovered from the loss. I hear people talking about what happens when bad things happen to good people. Crossing the street, and a car almost hits you, being mugged, a spouse leaves, addiction, and the list goes on.

Last summer when we had all the smoke from fires surrounding our area, it was smokey, hot and one did not want to go outside and set on the deck. I was driving home one morning from running a few errands and I saw clouds mixed in with the smoke. As I was driving home, I saw some thick black clouds overhead and marveled at how beautiful the sky looked. I was almost home and could see through the smoke, the forest up ahead. The clouds were starting to mix with the smoke but still a beautiful effect. I try to see the beauty in an otherwise ugly situation. yes the smoke was thick and hard to breathe, but I also noticed a silver lining for my day.

I have always believed in life is what you make it. It is easy to be a lemon taster, nothing ever will go my way, eat worms personality, while others look forward to a brighter today. As we get older, we realize nothing is promised for tomorrow, so make the most of this day. If it a cold, ugly day, build a fire, make a nice pot of soup and have a friend over to enjoy a cozy afternoon of a good movie over lunch, Have your grand-daughter over and make cookies together, a lasting memory for sure. 

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New Year, Same Old Me

January 3, 2019 at 1:24 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I have never been one to make the new years resolutions. Not because I thought I would cheat after the first week, but I try to live a healthy lifestyle anyway; I daily deal with my grief, I keep my stress in check and I make time for me. I found out how important You are. My favorite place to go is the local bookstore. Not because they carry my book mind you, but I can find a new cozy and sit on the couch and escape for a while. I get together with friends often for dinner and a movie.

I have heard it said that I am part of the sandwich generation. So many families are either caring for the aging parents or even raising their grandchildren. The adult children have a different role now. We take care of our households and often take care of our parents as well. I have been caring for my aging mom for ten years now. I remember one day, I came over for dinner one evening and mom asked what was I making for her dinner tonight. That was my clue in. For the most part we get along pretty well.

I was surprised this year-hardly any snow….. What????? I love winter, driving in the snow, seeing the deer along the highway, the cold mornings, the layers, boots, and leggings, my warm sweaters. I am almost sad in two months, I have to put them away again and get ready for Spring. For now, I love looking out my picture window and seeing the forest, hearing the birds singing in the cool mornings, North Idaho is a wonderful place to live.

Someone once asked me if I could change one thing about my life, what would it be? I really would not change anything. I have a great marriage to a wonderful man,unfortunately, he died just six short years after we were married from his disease, we had a beautiful son named Levi, he was the joy in our life and became my world after Jerry passes away. My life was forever changed again when he died in a car accident in 2007. He was only 20. I have learned how to make great lemonade out of the lemons handed to me in my life. I learned life is what you make it, you can live with the glass half full or empty. I have always looked for the beauty in each new day. 

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I Light This candle In Memory

December 11, 2018 at 3:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The holidays can be a stressful time for many, last-minute gift  shopping, Christmas is at your house this year, cleaning the house for guests. And again this year on your mind is that loved one who won’t be here to share the wonderful holiday season. For many, this time of year is lonely, difficult, depressing and easy to just isolate oneself.

A few years ago, I went to a candle light service in honor of my son Levi. I remember being scared to go alone and didn’t want to sit alone and didn’t want anyone to see my cry. When I walked in the door of the building, I was met with such caring staff who made you feel welcome. I was able to sit with a couple I knew so I was not alone. Afterwards, I had some refreshments and went home happy I went.

I know the holidays are stressful,but it is made more difficult when you are missing a special someone again this year. Some folks put an extra place setting in honor of their loved one, some make his/her favorite dessert to add to the desert buffet, others tell a funny story about the loved one at dinner. My son Levi loved chicken nachos, I always make his favorite dish on his birthday with a nice cup of coffee to finish off the meal.

I have the love and support of my family and friends who have encouraged me to never give up, I know I can always count on one of them if I need help, I am invited out to dinner and get to see the town all lit up for Christmas. A nice evening spent with a dear friend. The holidays don’t have to be depressing; They are what you make of it. With so many days left until Santa arrives, strive to stress less, ask for help,maybe this year let family and friends bring a favorite dish, most of all hugs those little ones tight, let them know how much you love them, how much they mean to you and let your loved ones know you appreciate them. I found out we are not promised tomorrow ,so make the most of today.

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A Glass Half-Full

November 18, 2018 at 11:35 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Yesterday while visiting my mom at her rehab facility, I went down to inquire if she had therapy today. The therapist had to get his computer to check. While waiting, I walked down the hallway looking at the beautiful paintings along the walls. One picture drew my attention over the others. The painting was of weeping willows with some new growth starting to sprig out. Alone the winding road was flowers blooming.

I was thinking about my mom and her getting well. She is getting stronger, but needs to work harder to be able to come home. Sometimes, I think we as humans hold back because we liked our past circumstances and we are maybe frightened of a new beginning.Ca n’t is just a four letter word, that is all it is. if you say try to climb the biggest mountain with no real training, I can see the epic failure there, but  fear and anxiety can enter if we are not careful and paralyze is from even trying. 

The older I get, I am learning to keep what is important, let go of what is not, life is too short to be unhappy, your day is what you make it, look for the beauty in each new day, take the time to smell the roses, it is never as bad as it seems. Through the tough years after the deaths of both my husband and my son, I had the love and support of family and friends. They inspired me to keep moving forward and never giving up. I wake up every morning knowing my son is proud of me for healing, and moving forward in my life even though giving up would have been easy.

I have realized through this journey called life, you can always look at your circumstances two ways: the glass is half full or the glass being half empty. My attitude played a major role in my healing, and well-being. My glass has always been half- full. I have so much to be thankful for. God gave me the opportunity to be a wife and a mother even if for a little while.

Around the holidays, I do not even attempt to go to the malls anymore. I do not have the time to be pushed, shoved or moved over for a good deal. There are some die-hard fans of Black Friday who get up before the crack of dawn to get the special deals offered. I usually have my shopping done by June( I am the joke of my friends, yes). I just do not have the time or the patience to stand in a long line waiting to cash out for a gift. 

 

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Forever Changed Lives

September 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , , )

 

 

Lives have been turned upside down, side ways, tumbled, and families are waiting for relief.  From the storms that rage on from Irma and now Jose,the fires raging in the Northwest,to continuing hot,dry conditions.  My home is surrounded by the heavy, nasty smoke in the northwest. I gave up watering my yard,but decided to have mercy on my Hydrangea and cut them back.  We have not had any measurable rainfall since June.

The fires raging out of control in Oregon was deliberately set. I still cannot believe someone can set a fire in a beautiful forest enjoyed by so many FOR FUN. I heard on the news campers are still not following the no camp fire bans and some have resorted to setting around a propane camp fire. Campers are brave souls because when animals get scared, they are more dangerous. I don’t know about you,but  hearing a moose cry outside my camper would be an eerie sound, a bear trying to come inside where it is maybe safer,( he expects a hearty breakfast in the morning). Next Month is the start of hunting season, the game may figure it better to migrate this year to a safer location. (Forget the natural GPS,) It has been a crazy whether this summer soon becoming Fall.

Maybe this is the reason so many homeowners are deciding to stay home and turn the home into a family resort. Backyard grilling station, a nice pool, fire pit, covered patio. I think it a wonderful idea you don’t have to fight the kids to pack, no packing the car, if you forget something, just head back inside-you can now afford the better cuts of meat for your camp out. Oh, burgers and dogs are fine,but sometimes you want to resort live. My favorite summertime commercial showed a mom and daughter in their swim suits, getting ready to sit by backyard pool; later, dad grill dinner, after kids have gone to bed, parents enjoying a glass of wine by the outside fireplace. Anyone can add a vacation feel to your home. After roasting hot dogs over the BBQ, pitch the kids tent in the backyard, (let them listen to the cricket’s chirp over the freeway noise) In the morning,make a pancake station and let everyone add the toppings. Sure to be a big hit.

Families will soon get back to the new normal. Many live in areas that flood every year, tornadoes are common, fires rage on, and choose to rebuild. Many have said they can’t imagine living anywhere else. I pray for hope, peace, getting the fires under control, and Irma and her devastating aftermath. Sometimes you wonder how you can go through so much and keep going strong. Some have lost everything…again…. there is a spirit in these individuals that keep going and fighting. As a Great Nation we still are, e come together, letting go of the fighting, riots, and hate instead showing what we are really made of. We are a melting pot of many ethnic backgrounds,  family values,  traditions, started families, live in small communities, provide for their families,looking forward to the next generation. We live in very uncertain times,we do not know what is around the next corner. Hug your kids extra tight tonight,tell them how much you love them,how proud you are of them and you are glad they are in your live. Nobody is promised tomorrow, make the most out of today.

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Remebering Levi

July 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I will never forget the day my son bought his truck; He took his grandma for a ride, then came back to take his mom for a ride( Grandma was chauffeured around for a couple of months).  Levi was tickled pink that he could afford such a nice vehicle. My son laid carpet and installed granite counter tops so his boss was just as thrilled now there were two trucks to haul daily materials. Levi tired of his truck and bought him his dream car-a Mitsubishi Eclipse. He was proud of his nice new car. He laughed that the color was dark green, his favorite color. His boss frowned because he lost his second truck for materials.

One sunny Sunday morning, Levi and his friends set out to float the river. I remember this particular day was the hottest day of the summer. At eight p.m. I received the call no parent wants-my son was involved in a tragic car accident. I went numb, I could not think of my life without the most important part of my life. My son was placed on life support. After five days and countless prayers later,our lives were forever changed. I often end my posts with the “hug your kids extra tight, tell them how much you love them, and how proud you are of them.” We are not promised tomorrow, only today. Make the most of your day, take the time to have your back yard cook-out,plan your day trip with family and friends.enjoy the beauty of each new day.

Each new day I am given, I am blessed by the love and support of family and friends. I have the best neighbors, live in a great small town where everyone knows each other, when my house needed refreshed, a good friend came over and painted,  another friend helped me turn my house into a beautiful home with Victorian charm. I had to realize even though my life was forever changed with loosing my husband and son, I need to keep moving forward. I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and put on my pajamas at night. I have so many fond memories of the fine young man Levi had become.

Every year, I write a story about my son’s life for hope for other parents going through a similar circumstance. Our lives changed in a way we could not see coming. Every morning you wake up,listen to the birds singing a new song, enjoy the sunshine on your face and  keep moving forward. i am healing more everyday, and I writing helps keep my sons memory alive. thank you all for your support and kind comments. This really helps keep me motivated to keep writing.

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We Will Never Forget

September 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , , )

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 -- FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center. Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 — FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center.
Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

 

My day started out like any other. I was getting ready to open my daycare on this life changing day. I thought it odd that one by one, the parents called to keep the children home this morning. With the day off, I thought I could run some errands and make the most of it. I drove by my church to and I saw many cars in the parking lot. I wondered what could be going on. I parked my car and went inside the coffee shop and watched with others that day the horror unfolding before our eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

My Pastor is a former police officer in Las Vegas , he was called upon to help with the recover efforts at The World trade center. He helped with the bodies being brought in to the make shift morgue. I can remember when he came back he told the congregation that even if a finger came through the door,the finger was saluted because that is how much respect was given tot he heroes who died that tragic day.

It has taken awhile to feel safe again for many Americans. You did not know could happen next. The World trade Center has rebuilt telling the world America is a great nation that will not fold over a coward act. Continue to pray for this next election and continued grace given by God over this nation we love so much.

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The Last Time We Got Gas

July 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , , )

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Nine years ago today I said goodbye to the most important part of my life. my son Levi died in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. My fondest memory and one I am most thankful to God for was the evening before Levi’s accident, I was at my mom’s house having dinner with her and my son. Levi moved out the previous year to help his Grandmother after his Grandpa passed away. Levi was telling us he again was short on cash for his bills. when I was heading home,I sensed from God’s heart to give my son gas money. I went back to mom’s house and shared my tips with Levi. I also asked if we could go put gas in his car together not knowing this was our last evening I would see him. We had fun driving to the gas station. We laughed and joked in his car. When Levi dropped me off at his Grandmas we said I love and goodbye not knowing these would be the last words we would speak to each other. the next day,both our lives were forever changed.

I also did not know until my son was on life support,he was an organ donor. his eyes went to help a six-year-old girl see. She is now 15 years old  and I bet beautiful. Thank you all of you who are organ donors it changes so many lives. Beauty did come from the ashes. God has touched two families lives that day, mine was forever changed in a moment, but another family was given new hope.

Today, I am having dinner with mom, we celebrate with mexican food(Levi’s favorite) I have so many fond memories of the son I raised as a single parent after my husband died from complications of diabetes. Levi and I survived many hardships and difficulties,with the love and support of family and friends, I am moving forward in a brighter future.

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Thank You All Who Have Served.

May 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , , , )

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Today, we honor our fallen heroes,we say thank you for your service to keep our Country free. My twin brother was a Marine, I am blessed he came home safe. So many have lost their lives in combat.

The best photo I have ever seen was of an old gentleman at a parade. He was standing in his uniform saluting as the floats went by him. He understood the value of these fine young men and women having been their himself.

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Finding Peace In Your Life

May 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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It seems life has gotten busier, people are grouchy, more impatient, constantly on cell phones instead of paying attention. No wonder we want to Calgon the remains of the day away.

BBQ season is here, we are whipping our yards into shape to entertain. Kids have games, school year-end is almost here. graduations, baby showers, weddings, whew. Sometimes it is hard to find peace in our busy lives. I hear some say they need to recover from  their weekends. it is amazing how much we cram into a day sometimes.

Summer is almost here. The kids will be out of school, the summer camps, Art on the Green, sand castle competitions, lazy days spent by the lake, water sports, farmers’ markets, friends and family gathering around the fire pit. We have so much to be thankful for. I find the beauty in each new day.

Life has not been the same since my son Levi is no longer with me. July 2007 changed both our lives forever. I find solace my job in health care, I garden some(actually, I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardener). My trees are alive in the back yard. flowers,well… My front yard is the only one on the block with landscaping so it is my duty to try to keep it looking nice.(It would fall on me). Someone planted a Levi tree nine years ago for my son. The tree is now 25 feet tall pine tree.

We often hide our pain with a smile. I am healing and moving forward in my life. I am blessed to have readers of my blog, the love and support of family and friends, time to write, I read somewhere the perfect words. Create a place for healing. This says it all. We cannot pretend a death didn’t happen,we just have to find the grace to deal with the loss and find a place for healing. I cannot thank everyone enough for your ongoing support. I hope I can empower and inspire people to keep moving forward in loss or in our ever busy lives. Life could be like a glass of lemonade. Take time to savor every drop out of life and don’t miss the important things. God Bless you all.

 

 

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