Saturday, March 11, 2017

Coincidence or Sign?

I awoke in the middle of the night. The moon was bright and shone a light across the snow covered ground. There was a peacefulness and I could still see the stars that shone through the night sky.

I climbed back into my warm bed under my down comforter and fell back into a peaceful sleep. My dreams filled me with happiness although when I awoke I could not recall any details.

But as the morning sun shone through the window and fell on my face, I awoke with joy in my heart. I thanked God for allowing me to awake this morning as I recalled 4 years ago when my brother died suddenly in the evening, never to greet another morning. And my friend's wife died in her sleep, not knowing she would never awake to greet another morning.

I'm sure they didn't mind. I'd like to think they felt a great peacefulness that drew them towards that light and away from us.  It is those of us left behind that face the emptiness and pain.

And it reminds me to appreciate each day and live it to the fullest. Of course, that is easier said than done. Some days are just "bad" days. Work is stressful, things go wrong, people anger you. The trick is to make sure this does not become the majority of your days.

As I start this day, I appreciate the sunshine and blue sky. I watch the birds as they fly back and forth to the feeders. I notice buds on the lilac bush, a sign that spring will be arriving. I ask God for help. Help in keeping me strong to continue to see these joys and make it through each day.

I ask for a sign; I wish for a sign. Is God there? Is Ed there? The cynical me says you make signs out of what you want and as these thoughts go through my head, as I gaze out the window, I see the cardinal in the distance. Cynical me asks if cardinals are really a sign; but if it gives me hope and peace, the softer side of me says, why not believe?

But the cynical side of me challenges God. If it's really a sign, then bring that cardinal closer to me. Have him land on this bush in front of me. The skeptic in me snickers as Titmouse and Chickadees fly in and out of the bush.

And then it happens...the bright red cardinal appears. First landing in the lower branches in the bush. But then he moves up the branches to the top so I can see him clearly. And he sits and allows me to absorb the fullness of his presence. He then flies away. But continues to flit in front of my eyes as he flies from tree to tree, reappearing every so often.

A sign or coincidence? Or is coincidence a sign?  You decide...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Old Lady

The following is an excerpt from a post from "Second Firsts". I couldn't have said this better and it exactly captures how I feel and what I struggle with.  Read and you'll understand...

I first saw her in 2013 after my husband died.
She was around 85 years old, grey hair.
Sitting on a rocking chair.
And she was alone.
She was sad.
And she was waiting to die.
I would go visit her at least 20 times a day.
She would look at me and tell me how sad she was.
She would cry every time I visited.
She was always wearing her night gown.
I wondered if she ever did anything else but sit there.
But she never did.
You see the woman was a figment of my imagination.
She was the child of fear.
The mother of insanity.
The sister of grief.
When my husband died I grieved my future more than I grieved my present.
And the more I worried about the future the more I would visit the old lady.
The old lady was me many years from now, alone without any love or companionship in my life.
She was created by me.
So that I could believe my fears.
So I could find the proof that what I am afraid of, is real.
So the mind made it real.

I know that every single person on this earth time travels to the future to a future self that is their worst fear.
How do we stop the visits?
How do we prevent retelling the fictional story to ourselves.

I realize I need to stop visiting this old woman. I do it less often, but I still do it. I know I need to enjoy the moment, appreciate and enjoy each day. I know I need to go do things I enjoy with people who make me smile and laugh. And maybe, if I'm blessed, in the process I will find love again.

But regardless, I know when I am that old woman, sitting on the porch, I want to look back at my life and know I lived it to the fullest. That I loved others and they loved me and that my life, although marred by grief and sadness along the way, overall was a happy life, a life I enjoyed and lived to the fullest.