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Posts tagged ‘embrace life’

Feel

Though I love to come her to share my thoughts, experiences and words, there are moments that I come across things that speak so poignantly that it must be given the space to spread to those who deserve to hear it.

 

This letter is one I found this evening that I know so many who have lost, struggled, hurt and suffered, should read.

 

Written by a stranger. But a human. Who has gone through who knows what in their lifetime.

 

May it impact you the way it has for me:

 

There will be days when the tears become waterfalls upon your cheeks Feelings cascading down your skin soaking you to the bone, to your soul.There will be nights when you are so overcome with the weight of being alive that you cannot sleep. You turn and toss in the sea of bed sheets. There will be years when the emotions you held in for so long, for too long, breakthrough in waves and currents that you have not yet learned to swim in.

Breathe my love. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to sit with the feelings and try to understand them. It’s okay to let them hug your body for a while, till you are ready for them to let go. And if it takes longer than most to say goodbye that’s okay. You feel what you feel till you don’t feel it anymore. It takes time. You will not drown in the ocean of emotion. You will float on your back and feel it all, every ripple, every wave as the sun leans in to kiss away your tears.

For every person that told you, “you’re too emotional” I stand before you with arms open wide and say it’s okay love, it’s okay to be emotional.

I love you,

Dele

2013

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties,” – Helen Keller

 

Well, 2013, we’ve had our moments.

 

Good.

 

Bad.

 

Awesome.

 

Terrifying.

 

Everything in between.

 

But you have not conquered me, and for that I am forever grateful and with a reflective heart, shall share some of my favorite moments, because focusing on the shitty is just kind of faux pas and SO last year!

 

 

So with no further ado….

 

  • Going to India- It’s truly has been my favorite stop in my travels. It touched some part of me deep down in my being. Its people. Their smiles. Their spirituality. Their gratitude for life. It was utterly amazing. With some of my highlights being: “working” at the orphanage, the Shreya’s crew and guests and driving around the madness of Bangalore. Thank you for allowing me to visit you. We’ll meet again.
  • Yoga Practice- It’s only natural that it follows India, as it was in India that I was taught their traditional hatha yoga, that I practiced for 3-5 hours a day. Once returning home, I’ve so gratefully been able to carry on my practice nearly every day of the week. Namaste!
  • The AWP- We had our first gala. Launched WidowU. Held over 18 events! Connected with around 1,500 military widows! Created an amazing team. It’s my passion and purpose. Most importantly, all of the amazing fellow military widows I have the honor of taking the journey with! They inspire me beyond words. I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
  • My family- We had some big health scares and I’m just grateful for initiatives and steps taken to ensuring more time with those I love the most. I’m also so glad to having a talking niece! They’re a bit more fun when they can talk!
  • Friends- For those that have been in for the long-haul, those that I’ve reconnected to, and those that have recently entered. I’m grateful for meaningful conversations, drive-in theater dates, food explorations and guidance. Thank y’all!
  • Officiating my first wedding- I was honored to be asked to officiate for a dear friend and her amazing (now) husband! I could have never thought to have been asked, but so grateful to be a part of such an amazing love story.
  • Hawaii and Mexico- Any time on the beach and with those you love is amazing. Add in dolphins, snorkeling, margaritas and sunsets…pretty darn awesome!
  • New York- I’ve been there a bit this year, but all for amazing things! Surprising AWP fans at a school, meetings for AWP partnerships and awards.  It’s been great to us all!
  • Music- Whether it be in the form of ACL Festival, Karaoke, Pandora, SXSW or my LP collection. It lubricates the heart and soul. I don’t think you can ever use the word lubricate without it sounding a bit inappropriate. Forgive me.
  • Spiritual Awareness I had already started a path of awareness in the past couple of years, but in ’13 I loved taking my modern Buddhism course, teaching meditation to other widows, learning about and utilizing Reiki, crystals, essential oils, making malas and getting acupuncture! I’ll leave out the millions of books and notes I have…but they’ve been a part of the journey, too!
  • Happiness- It was somewhat of a “Bigfoot” for a while. Some mysterious and ever fleeting object that seemed more myth than reality. But it’s real and pretty awesome to be immersed in.  Even more than that…it’s a choice. I’m glad I chose to have it become a huge part of 2013.
  • Michael- Ok, he’s got to make any list of mine! I was able to connect with him in ways I never knew possible, and lets just say that we could have filmed “Ghost 2” with the interactions we’ve had 🙂 I feel more than ever that he such a guide and part of every step, decision and interaction. Love you, baby!
  • Everything Else- Conversations, Maximus and Brutus, Queen Latifah, AWP Supporters, Getting rid of cable, A new AWP Logo and SO MUCH MORE!!!

 

There you have it.

Pretty good roster! And I have no doubt, a primer for all that 2014 holds!

AS my motto goes:

Let’s do this shit!

Built

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“A song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment. Which is pretty amazing, when you actually think about it.”
-Sarah Dessen

This Monday will mark our 8 year wedding anniversary.

As I’ve said over the years, I’ve never defined Michael’s life by his death, so the anniversary of his death has never had the burn of the day that symbolizes him and our time together…

Our wedding day.

A day that symbolizes our love.

His love.

The unconditional love he showed myself and everyone else.

The pain and angst enveloped me at times, but one thing always takes me away from any sadness that wears on my soul:

Hearing our wedding song.

He let me choose it, and when the time came for our first dance, we swayed (mostly due to lack of dancing skills) back and forth, lost in the moment, tunnel vision only into each others eyes and the warm glow of our hearts melding even deeper into their eternal bond.

After his death, a year and a half later, the words of the song have guided me through dark moments. They’ve reminded me that everything that I’ve been able to do, survive and embrace, has been built upon his love…his kiss.

And I’ll keep on building.

Happy Anniversary, my love. SILWY

Give me a kiss to build a dream on
And my imagination will thrive upon that kiss
Ah sweetheart, I ask no more than this
A kiss to build a dream on

Ill-Equipped

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It’s a funny thing.

The breaking of the shell that once encased a broken heart.

A shell that unveils a stronger, more resilient heart….person…life.

No longer protected by the bitterness and loathing of what occurred, you find yourself open and vulnerable to the elements of a life you’re ready to live.

With that comes some of life’s irritants; insecurity, doubt and apprehension.

Today, while sharing in these struggles of living fully, a dear friend stated something so poignant, moving and true.

She mentioned how someone told her how ill-equipped she was to be doing what she was, yet she was beyond successful and living a life by her terms. She didn’t meet the “prerequisites” of what usually must be done to reach that state of life, yet she was doing so at a level beyond most.

She told me that to ensure me that what I was doing and how I was living was more than enough.

She made me realize that I am ill-equipped for the norm. For the anticipated. For the path taken by most.

But it made me realize that I was equipped for the extraordinary. The unexpected. The path least taken.

With that comment, and my realization, I smile.

Smile as I stand bright-eyed and bushy-tailed towards all the elements that are bound to cross a soul wide-open to life’s experiences. A life that was never equipped for the anticipated. A life that proudly takes in the unknown.

And hell, I look forward to every second of it!

Faith

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When he died, my faith died.

Faith in a god, life, living…

There was only one thing I wanted to believe, that he’d come back home.

When that didn’t come to fruition, it was believing that life would end shortly thereafter.

It didn’t.

Nothing changed.

It wouldn’t change until I started believing.

Believing that I could survive. That I should survive.

Believing that inhaling and exhaling, at some point, would be a natural process that I didn’t pay attention to, mostly because there were too many times I wished I would have stopped doing both.

Faith became a silly word I loathed using.

I’ve always thought that faith was a belief in something bigger than one’s self.

I forgot that for a while.

But when the turning moment came for me to believe that I could survive….thrive after losing him, so came the moment that I realized a truth.

That I still had faith in our love.

It was bigger than us both.

It still is.

And now, 6.5 years later, that faith has allowed me to know, believe and trust in those things.

With one of the most important being the angels that have guided my way.

Sometimes it was a child smiling at me in line after a night of crying. Other times I know it’s been Michael with the synchronicity that could not be explained. There are even moments when I realize I am one for myself.

Sometimes it just takes us believing.

And with the belief comes the faith.

And with the faith comes a world possibility, in one that once seemed impossible.

And with that, an unveiling of a world or people, things and moments that make once unfathomable seconds, now worth it.

Faith never died. It never will.

Believe me.

“Everyone has an Angel. A Guardian who watches over us. We can’t know what form they’ll take. One day, old man. Next day, little girl. But don’t let appearances fool you, they can be as fierce as any dragon. Yet they’re not here to fight our battles, but to whisper from our heart. Reminding that it’s us. Its everyone of us who holds power over the world we create. You can deny angels exist, Convince ourselves they can’t be real. But they show up anyway, at strange places and at strange times. They can speak through any character we can imagine. They’ll shout through demons if they have to. Daring us, challenging us to fight.”

Load

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It was one day after the one year mark of losing him.

I was on a plane to Spain.

One backpack in tow. Two sets of clothes. Euros. Some photos. My feet.

225 miles to hike on unknown terrain that had no map, but seashells in the ground as markers or random arrows painted on tree trunks.

But before that  flight and the pilgrimage, came the preparation.

Let’s just say that I was not a hiker.

Let’s just say that going to REI was like walking into a baby nursery…I had no clue what the heck I was doing.

I improvised.

Used the knowledge of those that knew a bit more about backpacks, hiking boots and the best underwear to wash in a sink.

When packing, I tried to keep it to the minimum of all needed. Heck, I even was smart enough to not pack a warm jacket (said no one EVER).

From what I had read from past pilgrims, you’d end up with a lighter load by the time you’d reach Santiago (the destination).

It was the journey of a lifetime. A journey that kept me from any distractions (which had a way of being an escape from my harsh reality), and put me smack dab in a room with my thoughts and emotions as I hiked in silence 12 hours a day.

I had no preconceived notions on what the journey would consist of or do for my soul, and that ended up being my most valuable tool to carrying the load on my back and in my heart.

I came across those on the camino that came into it with different expectations.

They wanted to be healed. Cured.

They wanted it so bad that each hope for it all to disappear. was like throwing a rock into one’s pack.

It weighed them down.

Broke them down.

Until arriving to a place of anger and resentment for the journey that they expected to take their load off of them.

Never realizing that it was our duty to adjust our pack as nature and heart told us it was time or where to go.

The camino changed my life.

It changed my perspective on how to live in the now.

To know that everything you need will come at the right moment for your heart (not when your mind tells you it needs it).

By the end of my 20 days in Spain, the other pilgrims were correct.

I had less in my backpack.

I had dumped the unnecessary to see the true essentials, and without even realizing it,  done the same for my soul.

We’ll all take many journeys in our time and it’s our duty to create a load that we have unwavering faith that we can carry…because we can…we will…we just need not  anticipate what that load will bring us.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”-Lena Horne