Sometimes finding peace can be difficult, especially after the untimely death of a loved one, or natural disasters that destroyed your world as you know it, or after being violated through abuse and acts of rage, or being diagnosed with a disease. Some never find peace after a life-altering event. Through a tremendous loss, how can the strength to get up and move through life and the acts of daily living take place? Some days, how can the strength to simply get up be found? Will peace ever transpire?

      After Jeff died, there were days I simply wanted to go away. Grieving, my heart experienced enormous unbearable pain—to the point I thought I should call 911. I experienced guilt for living, guilt for not saying what I wished I would have said, guilt for saying things I shouldn’t have said. I beat myself up pretty well, and quit doing the activities I had enjoyed. Anxiety, paranoia and what I called “the shakes” wreaked havoc on my body, and I didn’t eat and then ate junk food. Peace evaded me.  

     A friend gave me the book, Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman. Her compilation of her own words and quotes from other writings made all the difference for me. I felt that she understood what I was feeling; she had grieved the death of her sixteen year old daughter, and she shared her heartbreak and how she was consoled in this little book. Reading these 365 daily meditations initiated my healing.

      Peace didn’t find me overnight, or on the thirtieth day, or sixtieth day, or in six months, or even a year after Jeff’s funeral. I began painting and writing to express my grief. A collection of poems about my grief, became The Importance of Calico Lima Beans. Additionally, I sought professional help for the “shakes”, or rather what my therapist, Jessica Miller called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), triggered by Jeff’s death, but rooted in other traumatic events that I had experienced. There are days that tears still surface with memories and my heart aches due to Jeff’s physical absence. But he is here, all around in spirit, watching and taking care. I am forever changed by knowing him and being a part of his journey. I am at peace.

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I'm Sixty Years Old Today

Today I am sixty years old. What a surprise that is to me. Where did the years go? What happened? I still have much I want to accomplish. How many years do I have left to check off the items on my bucket list? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I better get to work!

At a party given in my honor last night, my friend Bonnie asked, “What plans do you have for 2016?”

To answer her question, I have many goals: spend more time with family and friends, get published—which I believe will happen in 2016 via a NOCO writers group anthology, complete the revision of my first novel and finish the second, finish a chapbook on WWII, and paint more.

When I asked Bonnie the same question, she responded, “Be more adventurous.”

Be more adventurous. What a grand goal! I think I’ll add that to my “to-do” list for 2016 and maybe the rest of my life.

Imagine the possibilities if we all vowed to be more adventurous.

      I  thought I would grow old with  my husband, Jeff.  December 28, 2012 a diagnosis of leukemia delivered in the emergency room devastated our lives. He fought a brave, but short battle and died April 5, 2013.
     Not sure where or when or how to start this blog, but I chose today, September 24, 2015.  Today, not for any special reason, except that two weeks ago I returned from a trip to Scotland with a new perspective and ready to post the poetry I wrote during a time when grief was raw and a new emotion for me. That collection of poetry is titled, The Importance of Calico Lima Beans.

     This photo was taken out of my room's window at Hotel Eilean Iarmain on the Ilse of Skye and is my favorite place. I'd love to spend a month writing in this room and daydreaming out of this window.
     A friend asked me if I learned anything about myself while in Scotland. I didn't have to think long  about an answer. In Scotland I found peace, I laughed,  I participated and found joy every day, and the joy I found wasn't due to just the consumption of whiskey. Now, the challenge is, how do I find joy, peace and participate in my daily life now that I've returned home? I began by being open and vulnerable, and taking chances with others and getting rid of items and ideas that bring me no joy

Sunday Scribble

November 22, 2015

Still struggling here with weekly blogging, I ran across an Alfred Hitchcock quote, " The scariest moment is just before you start."  Boy, is that fitting, I'm always wondering how I will write a scene, write this dialogue, write this poem or write this blog. My point here is to start that first sentence or brush stroke, or walk, or push up.

Thanksgiving arrives in four days. I'll have family and friends over and after desert we'll  play a lively game of spoons. For an added activity, I may get my paints out, purchase a few canvases and each of us can paint or write items we are thankful for (I wonder if they'll do it).

Cleaning today, I found an old birthday invitation my mom had saved in a pile of papers that I'd brought home with me on my last trip to Wichita Falls, Texas. The picture of it posted up above. The invite is from 1959, and on the envelope is stamped "Pray for Peace". Enough said.

November 8, 2015

Sunday Scribbles have been a little more difficult to write than I thought they would be. Most of my time writing lately has been focused on Writers Digest's Poem a Day Chap Book Challenger. I"m writing about WWII. I think I became more interested in this time after watching the HBO mini-series, Band of Brothers. So, here I go again with another challenge. the challenge can be checked out here: