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August 2 What it Means to Me!

August 2, 2016, I received a call from my brother Joel.  Just shortly before he called me, he learned that our mother had suffered a stroke.  That morning still stands out in my mind, as Rich left for work, I went out on our back patio and decided to dig up and transplant a spider plant.  The plant was barely growing between two well-thriving hostas.  As I freed this struggling plant and replaced it in front of my patio doors, I felt as if I had just completed a decisive action.  With a feeling of satisfaction, I smiled, knowing that it was going to be a good day until I received the phone call.  That plant today is growing and sprouting new baby shoots each year.

I remember feeling a sense of disbelief; my mom was a strong woman who was 96 ½ years young.  My brother had to have his information wrong.  However, after promising him, I would get myself together and drive to Michigan to be with mom, I followed up with the hospital to learn her condition was concerning.  (Now what does that mean?)

After getting my family situated, Rich, Alex, and I set out for Detroit.  All we knew at that time was she had suffered what appeared to be a stroke, was blind, and had no idea what happened, or if anything happened.  She had no concept of being blind; she saw what she wanted *in her mind.

Arriving hours later as I approached her hospital room, I feared the worst and hoped for the best.  Mom was sleeping, as I slowly approached her and woke her up.  She sounded like mom, although a bit confused as she began asking questions about why she was in the hospital.  She said she felt fine and wanted to go home.  I reassured she would be staying at the hospital for at least the night we had to identify what may have happened.  Again, she still had no idea she was blind.

August 2, 2016, took us all on a journey we never expected or planned.

From August 2, through October 11, 2019, I was blessed to spend my mother’s last weeks with her.  It was during this time I was able to talk to my mama in a manner I never thought I could.  We went from what I depicted as a love/hate mother-daughter relationship to a loving, trusting, mother-daughter experience.  I grew up during those weeks, even though I didn’t feel ready for the challenges I faced.

I have not felt the same since the transition from Summer to Fall in 2016.  I have held on to the good memories from those weeks, the stories my mama told, some over and over again, while others were in fragments that I may never know the full meaning.  During this period, I felt like I was in limbo just as much as my mom.  Although there was no hope for her recovery, we also had no time table of her fate.  Each day was a blessing and a miracle until she died.

I have been told by the rabbis and the scholarly Jewish community that my mother’s death on the Eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, 2016, was a mitzvah.  My mother was absolved of all her sins in 2076, written into the book of life, and with 2077 on the horizon, she would leave this earthly world in the presence and acceptance of G-D.  However, ever year, Yom Kippur rolls around as I pray for life,I now remember my mother’s life and the love she shared.

August the 2nd will always remind me of the opportunity I had to care for my mother and create a heartful of loving memories!

#1 Going Forward

Today is the day I begin my dream.  Dreams are not just for sleep or zoning out in the middle of the day.  Although that form of dreaming can be inspirational if we focus on what we want and set goals to reach it.  If we don’t, we can be stranded in the what if’s of life.  I refuse to be trapped in my thoughts as I have spent a large portion of my life dreaming, wishing, and wanting.  I have ventured out into the what appears to be the cold dark world with doubters. This time, I will not be stopped by those who chose to impact me negatively.

 

When I elected to take this venture into writing, I began with blogging.  I believe the best blogs I have written are based on self-reflection that others may associate with.  When I receive feedback, I experience an overwhelming sense of wellbeing that I am not the oddity I thought I was.  Blogging, journaling, or writing a book can give me/you a clear picture of the meaning of life.  (Don’t worry I am not going to get deep and dark here.)

 

So, have you guessed my dream?  It is writing a book based on my blogging journals that may not only be my story but yours as well.  I am beginning the climb up the mountain, and I will continue forging ahead.

 

I am looking forward to the feelings of achievement that only I am capable of producing for myself.  I hope you will join me on my climb while I reach for the apex

U Are Not the ONLY ONE facing DEPRESSION

For some families, the 4th of July is for family, picnics or cookouts, and others it is still another workday.  Even if it’s not another workday, you may find yourself alone with no plans either by choice or not.  This holiday like so many others, can breed depression.  If you are one of the millions suffering today (or any day) face your demons and take a step forward into the light!

 

 

 

Depression is more common than you might want to acknowledge, and you are not the only with these symptoms.  Yes, indicators that may be causing you to feel down, worthless, empty, and utterly despondent.  Statistically, 1 out of 15 adults experiences this sense of sadness annually.  If you are one, it is essential to acknowledge it, embrace it, and get the assistance you may need.

 

 

 

 

I have been experiencing depression most of my life.  However, while I was still living at home under the roof of my parents, their answer to this malady was to keep my chin up.  It is easier said than done, and without the proper tools, it may be impossible.  For me, it was all about reliving my feels and crying over my woes.  Once I was cried out, I was too exhausted to feel miserable, so I put on my happy face and attempted to find the smile behind my mask.

 

 

 

After suffering for almost 64 years, I began to acknowledge my demons in the winter of 2014.  Many of those demonic fears were self-imposed and yet I was unaware of that at the time.  My journey began by acknowledging I was ill as I took sick leave from my corporate job that I loved; however, the environment was toxic for me.  It was with this acknowledgment that I sought help.

 

 

Help came through therapies, including psychologically, medically, and spiritually.  What I have learned is I am OK!  Being OK does not mean perfect.  It is the imperfections that make me special, unique, and astonishing.  The opinion of others is not what should define me.  This five plus year journey has taught me to be true to myself.  It is not always comfortable.

 

 

 

 

Stepping out of my comfort zone was difficult, but I wanted to witness the amazement of loving life.  These words are spoken and sung in various ways.  Demi Lovato sings about finding the love and self-confidence inside yourself before you seek acceptance from anyone else.  https://youtu.be/cwLRQn61oUY

 

 

 

 

 

Join me as I continue to share my journey, tell me about yours, and let’s create a safe and loving world.  It’s time to become more aware of our needs while accepting that we are not alone.  Hold out your hand and acceptance the guidance.

 

 

 

 

 

Depression is not a cookie cutter illness, nor is the treatment.

#WANT-2-B-Presidents

This is my opinion – Karen Moss Hale

Last night I had no intention of watching Part 1 of the Democrats Debate.  However, I did watch it, and I was amazed at the talent and mostly the compassion in many of these #WANT-2-B-Presidents.  I went into this not wanting to like Elizabeth Warren, thinking she had her chance in 2016, but I see a different person in her now.  She truly cares; she is the mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, and mentor that we need.  Yet I saw the spark in the eyes of others who I felt were also believable.  I have trusted Julian Castro since his introduction through Obama years ago.  I understood the use of Spanish and English in his remarks last night, however, when my grandparents and yours came here from far-away lands speaking in their tongue, part of becoming a U.S. citizen was learning English and be capable of communicating with all.  I am not against having a native language like Spanish, French, Yiddish, etc., but we all must learn to speak in the same language. We are a melting pot, and we must be able to blend together, bringing our strengths to the table and improving upon our weaknesses.

Personally, Cory Booker is another fine politician and human, and he reminds me of President Obama, and for my family and me although we had our own personal struggles during his period in office, we felt safe and optimistic.  The stats from last night say Booker and Castro were at odds with each other and this is something that we must overcome.  The Democratic System is about choice, freedom, and rights.  It is also about collaboration and not compromise.  Many of the #WANT-2-B-Presidents said it; it is not about starting a new project; it is about taking what we have and making it better.  Whether you agree or not, that is what the Affordable Care Act was about.  It was the starting point to help provide that all AMERICANS have affordable care despite their age and or income level!  Why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we can hold tight to the baby and reconstruct the bath temperature?

Tonight is yet another #WANT-2-B-Presidents debate, and I am sure there will be a lot more rhetoric being spewed, some real and like some else says, some fake!  However, we are still living in a free country where we can listen, observe, discuss, and make the right decision.

  • Healthcare is a given if we are going to grow and capable of living full lives.
  • Education must allow teachers to instruct, guide, and mentor, stop putting handcuffs on them, and education must be equalized for all no matter how economically rich or poor the community is!
  • The government must listen to the constituents, hear what they want, need, and require to be leaders in their families, communities, and beyond.
  • Stop creating wars, communication with our Ally’s and Enemies must be the focus and not threats that bring on retaliation.
  • We MUST face the fact we are killing mother earth, and we have the ability to stop it. New innovations are at our fingertips, and these skills can be taught and change both the political and natural resources climate.

Before my mother died in 2016, I promised her that Donald Trump would not be elected.  Sadly, I could not keep my promise.  Many people enjoyed his promises about “Making America Great Again,” the problem was, it was already Great, and now it is in pain!  We need a new doctor in the house.

New Day Monday

Good Morning World!  Although we all may feel safe in the cocoon of our own home, family, and friends, there are many outside forces producing unrest and fear.  It is necessary for us, you, me, and all those we know to take a step out of our comfort zones and begin challenging the odds.

 

 

 

 

Whether you watched the ABC special last night of the “Flying Wallendas” crossing over Times Square, it was fearful as well as amazingly exciting.  Although this is not a feat for most of us to attempt, the concept of facing one’s fears and taking one step at a time is something we all can and should do.

 

 

 

 

 

Despite our political beliefs, we must find a way to collaborate and communicate.  The art of communication is listening and dissecting fact from fiction.  If we do not confront our distress of the real news and listen only to the fake news, we will not be capable of moving forward and growing.

 

 

 

On this first Monday of Summer 2019, find the sunshine behind the clouds, and be the change you want to see in this overwhelming world.  Take a deep breath and smell the roses, the rain, the freshness of life.  If it feels musty and moldy, this is your opportunity to light the way and clean up the remnants.

 

 

 

 

Empower yourself while lending a hand to those who may need guidance.

Who Said Life IS FAIR?

2 June 2019

So you say life isn’t fair, it’s difficult to find a job, create a successful relationship, and find true happiness.  However, if I have learned one thing in life, nothing comes easy that is worthwhile keeping.  I too have felt these same pangs believing I was the only one struggling in a career, with family, friends, and most of all, self-acceptance.  Acceptance does not mean not trying to improve or look for self-satisfaction, it means finding something about yourself to believe in.

 

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions.  It began with not knowing if my husband had/has a job or not.  Although the situation is not resolved after the initial shock that he may need to make some changes that will affect us both, we both had to grieve, take a deep breath, and keep taking steps in a forward and lateral direction, backward was not/is not a choice.

 

Change is not easy, even if it’s a choice we make.  Any change can be scary and can make for a lot of discomforts.  Before looking in the mirror and making any alterations, we must appreciate what we have on a daily basis — find one thing, and it will multiply to two, three, or more.  “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”  So when a curve ball is thrown, we either catch it or hit it out of the park.  Catching it may throw us off balance or even sting a bit, hitting it out of the park, however, empowers us to make a choice to change!

 

 

 

Empowerment is a choice and prepares us for the rollercoaster of life.  Preparation allows us to be more aware of our surroundings and the fork in the road that lays up ahead.

Do U LOVE COMPOST? I DO!

When you think of beauty you have a very specific ideal that often comes to mind whether it be of a newborn infant pure and innocent, a bride in white perfection, a flower with petals of velvet glistening from a ray of sunshine or new morning dew, or your leftover scraps that you will recycle and or compost to bring forth a new life cycle!

 

 

 

 

Terri-Lynn Pellegri has been a photographer for most of her adult life.  She shoots photos of things that make her smile and as she brings life into her viewfinder.  My friend and sister-in-law is not a PollyAnna but prefers to see the glass flowing over, as love and happiness will never empty the vessel.  If needed, she will pour herself into it to keep it beautifully alive.  You must view her collection of Love Compost, now seen at Uncommon Grounds, in Saratoga Springs, NY.  This collection is just the beginning of her legacy for a global society coming together to save ourselves from destroying Mother Earth.  This collection should be traveling from city to city for individuals like you and me to appreciate enough to make some trashy lifestyles we all have.

 

Most communities have recycling. However, if you don’t recycle or recycle per the rules the separation of those items like plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper will go into the trash piles creating bigger and unusable landfill areas.  However, rinsing out containers, and establishing what is truly recyclable or not is our first commitment, and it is not difficult to do.  Understanding how to compost is another stance we can take, and even for those of us living in a community, condo, apartment or urban area, it is possible to do ‘some’ composting.  If you drink coffee or tea, those ground beans and tea leaves can be added to your plant dirt.  I have seen a remarkable surge in the growth of my plants and I dump the grounds in and around my plants; I let it sit for a couple of days, and then I turn the compost over into the soil.

 

As I observed the photograph display at Uncommon Grounds, I was amazed and excited to see how a banana peel can look so beautiful, or how a cracked eggshell with the right light shining on it can bring happy tears to your eyes when you witness life, not death and not decay.  Each photo is an act of love, and the compassion of saving the earth resonates loud and clear.  Not only are the pictures a lesson to protect our future, but they are also works of art as presentations in our homes.

 

I hope to help Love Compost raise the awareness and funds to take this show worldwide.  I welcome musicians and other artists to consider creating a new LOVE MOVEMENT as we compost our trash in more ways than one!

“Don’t Forget to Laugh”

Last night I had the pleasure of being part of a great event, “Don’t Forget to Laugh” organized by Melinda Smith of Heart Mojo, https://www.spreaker.com/show/heart-mojo-with-melinda-smith.  The entertainment consisted of four amazing comics all with heart and soul; Bill Benden, Tim Folger (no relation to the coffee), Mike Conley, and Michael Gershe.  This talented group of individuals donated their time, energy and passion for an evening to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Melinda Smith has a walk team to support the important message that only money for continued research will help eliminate, cure, or reduce the incidents of this mind altering disease.  It is not just the individual that experiences the loss of memories that suffers but all that engage with them.  Although this disease is not life-threatening, it destroys the nerves that connect in the brain that makes it difficult or impossible to do common every day things like, dressing, eating, and worst of all living in a fog of confusion.  Like many of us, Linda had the experience of watching her grandmother live out her life with this disease.  In fact, not only did her mother become a caregiver but Linda did as well, out of love and need for a family member.

Last night’s event is just one of several Melinda Smith will be coordinating to raise awareness and financial support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia which is kin to this disease.  “Don’t forget to Laugh,” was held at the Funny Stop in Cuyahoga Falls.  Owner Pete Barakat of the club graciously provided the space for this comedy event.  Watch for more information on “Don’t forget to Laugh” coming to Cleveland, and other areas where we can come together to support ourselves and others to help in finding a cure.

 

On a side note,  I want to share that studies show that laughter and music help heal parts of the brain.  So keep laughing, do not lock it away.

Laugh to Keep From Crying Madonna

I can’t lock my door 
Oh, I don’t have no privacy
The only thing that’s mine
Is what’s inside of me

When I’ve had enough
A little voice inside
It says you’ve got to be tough
You’ve got to take it in stride

Sometimes I am foolish
I let it get the best of me
At least I know that my mistakes
Are my responsibility
And

I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I just have to laugh to keep from crying

I don’t have a dime
Oh, to buy those pretty things
But I hear all the evidence
You know it all sounds the same

But I’m still waiting
I’ve got my hands open wide
You know my dream isn’t fading
I keep it hidden inside
Oh

I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I keep on trying

My friends don’t understand
Oh, they think I’ve lost my mind
And I’m choking back the tears
I’ve got to swallow my pride

I just have to laugh, ah
La, ah
Lo, oh
La, ah

Songwriters: CICCONE MADONNA L / BRAY STEPHEN PATE
Laugh to Keep From Crying lyrics © WB Music Corp., Webo Girl Publishing Inc., Momma Hattie’S Muse, COPYRIGHT CONTROL (NON-HFA), WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC., WB MUSIC CORP. O/B/O WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC.

To Touch or Not To Touch – that is the question!

I am asking because I am confused!  When is friendly too friendly?  In the past, family, friends, neighbors, and newly acquainted individuals hugged, touched, and even kissed, without sexual intent or disrespect of invading space.  Most of the baby boomers were brought up in an environment was touch appropriate; it was for comfort, appreciation, as well as a common form of communication.  I am not disavowing that some of these connections may go array whether intentionally or with intent.  However, when did we get so sensitive to expect that a kiss on the head, hand, the cheek is something more than a mere gesture of respect or showing appreciation.  Why is it ‘OK’ for men to hug and tap each other on the shoulder but when a man treats a female equally it is considered too personal and display sexually desire?.

I do not want to live in a world where people are afraid to touch each other or share a conversation that may each work and innuendo is scrutinized.  The “ME TOO MOVEMENT” has does a wonderful thing by bringing inappropriate behavior to the forefront; however, it has destroyed what is natural in the human species, connection.  I am not defending or accusing anyone of poor behavior while we must begin to understand that not everything communicated is in “poor or inappropriate taste,” we should be cognizant of what is acceptable in a human connection.

 

I have shared this previously, I have been molested by a member of the medical community, the therapy taught me to how to get through the remnant of that encounter while learning to trust my instincts while still welcoming appropriate touch and speech when making a connection.  Do we want to live in a world of “Hands Off?”  If so, when will experience the warmth of another human soul?

Could a, Would a, Should a – Follow the Path 2 Day!

Good morning world, it is Saturday, March 30th, just two days before April 1st, also known as April Fools Day!  Well, I don’t plan to fool you or anyone else, what I am planning to do is to fully continue living my life and appreciate each sunrise and sunset even if it is Cloudy & Grey.  As I look at the various messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I am reminded that we only have one life to live and that is now in the present.  We can think of the could a’s, should a’s and would a’s but that would mean something else would have transpired and we cannot guarantee that is the result we would want.  However today we can choose the path and take the journey of life and see where it leads.  Remember every path as curves, turns, ups and downs, the obstacles are what gives us the strength to sort through these challenges.