Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last Day

This year has been a difficult year. This year has been a year of growth. This year has been one that I am glad to not repeat but glad that I traversed its path.

I am here alone. Missing my husband more than I have for awhile. Looking to the future - not just the next new year. Looking at the horizon - what is ahead? It is so strange to look with a long view, since all we have is this moment in which we sit - the NOW. Yet, I am compelled to attempt that long view - what is ahead? What is my destiny?

When you lose your mate, one of the things that happens is your dreams, your hopes, the future you were building, die with that person. It takes so long to begin to regain the desire, let alone the ability, to think about the future in any coherent fashion.

When Tom first died, my mantra was, "just give me a postage stamp sized piece of ground on which to place my feet, so I can move forward." That was just enough to put one foot in front of the other and most days, it was impossible to stay in the present for very long.

Here today - what are my dreams? What do I want? Where am I going? What is my future? The one thing I know for sure, life is transitory - I could be gone in a flash. The other is - life is precious.

Tonight is a night for reflection, for reading, for talking with friends on the phone, cooking a few nice things to eat and a great bottle of California Chardonnay to open. I will be back to blog later. The most important thing at this moment - this NOW is

to tell each of you that visit here, thank you my friends - how you bring meaning to my life, how I value you - I send love and good wishes to you on this last day of the year. May next year hold all blessings and joy for you. Happy New Year.


Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered: "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, "they are inseparable."

Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Remembering

Once we sit the vigil of our beloved's final day,

life is transformed in ways that only time will reveal.

Time knows what we will learn.

There is an emptiness that is never filled again

and yet

time graces us with wisdom beyond time

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here in the Napa Valley

Happy Christmas, Kwanza and the New Year to come. I have not been on line much since my arrival in California last Thursday. The weather has been stunning - warm, sunny, green, blooming flowers, blue skies all around.

I am thinking of all my blog sisters and brothers - I will be home late on Saturday, December 29th. I look forward to reading about your year-end reflections and to having an opportunity to post some of mine. Thinking of each of you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Making Plans

I am getting ready to go to the California wine country to visit with my mother from December 20 to 29. It will be lovely to see my mom and to spend time with her. And then there is another reason.

It is sooooo cold here - our average December temperature is 30+ degrees - it has been 0 to 17 degrees here for days. Today it was 59 in Yountville!!!!! It looks like shorts and flip-flop weather in comparison.

My friend V is going to arrive on December 22 and spend time with us. He and I are going to stay one night in a french country inn and the rest of the time just hang out at my mother's house. It is a beautiful little town and my mom is very excited to welcome us.

What are your holiday plans?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Latkes are in my Future

I have been up since early this morning - cooking chicken soup and getting ready to have friends for a Hanukah supper this evening. We will light two menorahs and I will cook a bzillion latkes (potato pancakes) ------ mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The applesauce is cooked and last night I roasted big Comice pears in vanilla sugar and a dab of butter for dessert.

It is very cold outside this morning - it warm inside and the smells are heavenly. Happy Saturday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pictures from November 14th


In the week before the third anniversary of Tom's death, I layered the green plastic vase cones from the cemetery with many, many coats of gel medium, acrylic paint and painted different motifs on each one. I then put the "everlasting flowers" in green foam and placed them in the cones.

Here they are - it made me feel good to make and to leave them at graveside. November 14th was a bitterly cold, windy day at Fort Snelling and the flower arrangements felt warm and representative of my love for Tom.

Each anniversary mitigates the pain - each step along the path brings me to the next. Tom, forever in my heart - my life moves forward. Joy abides within.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

In my yard this morning




We did not have a substantial snowfall last year until December 31 - it is definitely snowing here today. These pictures were taken at 10:30 this morning - it is 2:30 pm and it shows no sign of stopping.

A wonderful treat, the snow comes on a Saturday. No driving, no meetings. Just indoors - warm and cozy. Books, hot soup, music, solitude. Doesn't get much better than this right now.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snow is in My Future

Immediate future that is. They are predicting a 4 to 8 inch snowfall beginning tomorrow around noon. I will post snow pictures during the weekend.

I was suffering with a cold all during Thanksgiving, by Tuesday this week, I was healed and felt great. On Wednesday, it returned! Ratz!!!

I worked from home today. I am taking advil, zinc, vitamin c, and drinking lots of fluids. My weekend plan: stay warm, drink tea, read, maybe do an art project, watch a couple of movies, eat the curried carrot soup I made tonight and just get better.

Winter is on the doorstep.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back in the Gym

and it feels great. I got a bit sidetracked between my rotten cold and the holiday. I have renewed my focus on nutrition and am being very mindful of my food choices at each meal.

BRRRRRRRRRRRR - it really cold here - like January - this morning it was zero degrees when I got up. That's right ZERO DEGREES.

I have been busy with back to work, back to workout and getting the house back in order after company --- time to catch up.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Cooking onions, mushrooms, celery, sage, sausage, butter - preparing the turkey and counting my many blessings this morning. Huge, wonderful smells permeate the house.

We are here in the first snowfall of the season. A dusting overnight and now, big fluffy flakes tumbling past the window - covering the deck, frosting the trees. The perfect Thanksgiving morning.

My heart to each of you today. So much gratitude for this blogging community. Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

My friend V is arriving on Tuesday night - my friend photogirl is joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Gratitude - giving thanks. I am cleaning, dreaming, counting my blessings and planning the dinner.

What are you cooking/eating for Thanksgiving OR what is your most memorable Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Angels on this Earth

I found Tom on the floor of our home office on Thursday, November 11th at 5 pm - Tom died at 7:15am November 14, 2004. So many people stepped forward and held us in their arms.

Lisa, Joan, Steve, Bonnie, Bernie, Vanessa, Heidi, Jonathan, Susan, Ann, Hope, Patsy, Rob, Shereda, Mark --- you did everything - I love you and will never forget.

Beginning in the hospital - standing with me as I made the tough decision to remove life support; sitting with me as we held Tom on his final journey.

Going to the funeral home. Selecting casket and clothes. Visiting with the Pastor. Assisting the children and grandchildren to travel safely, be met at the airport and taken home.

Placing all the phone calls - talking with shocked friends. Helping to make decisions no one is prepared to make.

Kicking me in the butt when I did not "want a funeral." Taking the flowers while no one was home; arranging for the food at the service and at the wake at home; making sure the cleaning person came; taking care of all the children during the visitation.

Answering the constant phone calls, talking with people who loved Tom so much and those who worked with him and were stunned by his abrupt departure.

Finding all the papers needed for the military burial. Working with the boys to finish getting the house ready for winter. Being here after everyone went home.

Your unwavering support, your constant love and care saved me so many times. You allowed me to see glimpses of life when I did not believe there was a life ahead.

You were our angels. You, my treasured friends, are angels on this earth. I am healing - standing up with hope and with a new life emerging. These days of remembrance are difficult. Last year, my life ahead felt like a tunnel. Today, my life feels like a sunrise.

I will forever bless each of you. In eternal gratitude, I send my deepest appreciation and love to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An email I received today

Suzann—
I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you this week and hoping it is a time of peaceful remembrance for you. I can still see Tom in my mind’s eye. I simply don’t remember him from photos—I can actually picture what he looks like standing in a room. I consider this remarkable because I have trouble remembering many more people who were closer to me; I can’t recall their faces without referencing a picture from the past. Tom was a man with lots of impact—a quiet strength that continues to live on these years later. I know he’ll be with you on this anniversary, cheering you to keep moving forward. He continues to live on in your heart and mine. Please let me know if you need anything—you are in my thoughts! HHB


The angels on this earth - I am blessed.

PS This is post 301 - how amazing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beautiful Day

......here in St. Paul - November 11 and all my windows are open. I finally had a good night's sleep after a week of being up and about at all hours - sleep the great restorer. Today the following memorial (with a picture) ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press - I did not do a memorial last year - I really like it, this fills me with gratitude and happiness today.


Thomas William Murray
April 23, 1935 – November 14, 2004
Our Strength and Our Guide


Memories are Treasures
I will always be grateful for your love
My husband, my fly-boy, my soul mate, my friend

“No one cries very much unless something of real worth is lost. Tears are the jewels of remembrance – sad, but glistening with the beauty of the past.” – J. Peterson

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fall Into Winter

A cold, steely day today. I looked at condos on Cathedral Hill - that is a beautiful historic district in St. Paul. Our office is on Cathedral Hill. It never hurts to look. I am home and making split pea soup. I am here to snuggle in, talk to my friend V for a bit tonight and then watch movies.

Tomorrow a memorial will be in our newspaper for you know who. It is really beautiful. Tonight I am so grateful that I had my Tom - just filled with gratitude.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh

The days of shock and awe.

Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor and then I voted. Those were two of the last things Tom and I did in the days before November 11, 2004 when I came home to find him on the floor. We voted in the Presidential election and went to see Dr. Scott.

The memories assail me - walking the road. Keep me close.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wow

In the first 14 months of not smoking, I gained 14 pounds. At the end of June, I joined this workout gym, which is one mile from our office. I retained a personal trainer, who designed a weight lifting program for me.

For the past 4 months, I have been quite consistent in doing the full body weight training routine at least 3 days a week. Wednesday morning, I had an appointment with my trainer for a weigh-in and to measure my body fat percentage (sounds fun huh?).

To lose weight in the past, I would have just gone on a diet, restricted my food intake and lost pounds. I am really good at setting goals and meeting them.

I now have a new approach and a new understanding of fitness. It is not about just losing weight. It is about functional fitness - maintaining and building your muscle mass - while removing body fat. It does not matter what the scale says. I am getting smaller and the scale is slightly increasing or staying the same.

I am so happy to report that in 4 months, I have removed 1.25 pounds of body fat and GAINED 6.25 pounds of MUSCLE!!!!! Wow. This is a new framework with a common sense approach. This isn't "weight loss" as I have known it in the past or how we women have been told to go about it.

In the old weight loss paradigm, we go on a "diet" and the scale goes down - we lose both fat and muscle. In this new scenario, you work out, you eat good food at regular intervals and your build your long-term functional fitness - getting it right for good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pathways


On November 14th - the third anniversary of Tom's death - I will be facilitating a Board of Directors' special meeting in Minneapolis. The majority of board members are elected officials and that was the ONLY day they were available in the month of November.

Soooooo - my business partner and I will be there and do our work. Last year, I would not have been able to show up and do anything on November 14 - no matter the client.

The grief journey is a bit like being dropped into mental illness. At times you believe you will never survive; at times you do not want to do so.

Yet, through all the pain - you do survive. For a long time, you wait for "it" to be over. One day you realize, "it" will never be over. "It" becomes a missing piece; a hole in your life; a hole in your heart; a longing in your soul.

Gradually, you climb from the dark pit. You pull yourself from the dismal hole of sorrow and bereavement. Then there comes a day, the first flash of acceptance - you awake to realize that you have taken a giant step into the future. "I am alive." That first realization is stunning. And then you take another step forward.

After all, it is the living that have momentum. That have dreams. Hopes. A future.

Forever, I will miss my husband. This week, I have moments that bring me to my knees. This year, I acknowledge, "I am alive."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blog Tag Lines

When I first started this blog, the tag line under the title was, "When You are Going through Hell - Keep Going." Sometime last year I changed it to, "Walking Through Grief and Loss One Step at a Time."

This morning, I changed it again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement as I have walked this difficult path. You have each made a difference in my journey and my life. The journey continues.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AHHHHH Autumn





So much news - I saw the Soul Reader today!

It is clear and beautiful - perfect Fall days. Here are a few quick pictures taken at Indian Mounds Park. That is the Mississippi River below. I will do a longer post soon. Promise!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lovely Weekend

Here in the burnished Autumn. I raked a ton of leaves this weekend. It was beautiful on Saturday and after a week of rain, it was a pleasure to work outside in the sun. There are still leaves on the trees and the colors are fabulous. I will try to take some pictures in the next couple of days.

Today was massage day - always rejuvenating for D to set up in the downstairs and work every kink out of me - really nice after all those hours of leaf duty. Tonight, feeling connected and flexible.

We are taking Qi Gong lessons in our office on Friday afternoons - it is very energizing. It is our Fall Workplace Wellness project. I have been trying to practice most every day. Check out the link to learn more. Relaxing and energizing at the same time. I highly recommend it.

Anniversary alerts: This TUESDAY is my EIGHTEEN MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF QUITTING SMOKING!!!!! Such an accomplishment. I am truly a non smoker.

November 14th is the third anniversary of Tom's passing. Life moves forward, and yet some things will never change. With gratitude and an enduring sense of contentment for all my blessings - I hope you have a terrific week ahead.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Friends and Family

What a lovely group of smilers - this pic was taken at the end of our party on Sunday.

My dearest friends (J and S) departed today. I am home alone - huuummmmmm - it is wonderful to have company. It is wonderful to have this space.

J and S saw Shellie, the soul reader, yesterday in separate sessions. Their experience with Shellie, awe inspiring.

I am blessed - I am filled with gratitude.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hard to Keep Up Right Now

We are still very, very busy at work AND my bestest friend J and her husband (one of Tom's great friends) arrived Saturday for a visit. We had a very big party today - good food, great friends - I promise I will catch up soon. I hope you all had a good weekend.

Monday, October 08, 2007

More Outdoor Art





This park is right on the water with incredible views of mountains, islands, West Seattle - just amazing. The fountain has a statue of a child with outstretched arms facing the man. The water "uncovers" one or the the other during its water cycle - just lovely.

I came home feeling as though I had a real vacation - rested and relaxed.

The Beautiful Pacific Northwest





These pictures are of the Seattle Art Museum , Olympic Sculpture Park - what an amazing place. I have more pictures but could not upload, I will leave these here and do another post. Public art is such a gift.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rainy Friday Morning

...here in the office, alone and quiet. I am working on a client concept paper, enjoying the creative spirit of the endeavor, when I had this small stab of missing you know who and my old life so very much.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stronger For It

This came in my Daily Om email today -------

October 4, 2007

Mending A Broken Heart


Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like a heavy rain. When experiencing a broken heart, our ethereal selves are saturated with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the physical body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness, and longing is transmuted into a feeling that often cannot be put into words.

Mending a broken heart can seem a task so monumental that we dare not attempt it for fear of damaging ourselves further. But heartbreak, like all emotions, falls under the spell of our conscious influence. 

Often the pain that wounds us most deeply also leaves the most enduring mark upon us.

The shock that becomes the tender, throbbing ache of the heart eventually leads us down the path of enlightenment, blessing our lives with a new depth and richness. 

Acknowledging heartbreak's impermanence by no means dulls its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to sit with our feelings and be in them fully before we can begin to heal.

It is said that time heals all wounds. Time may dull the pain of a broken heart, but it is fully feeling your pain and acknowledging it that will truly help you heal. Dealing with your heartache in a healthy way rather than putting it off for tomorrow is the key to repair. Gentleness more than anything else is called for.

Most important, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Here on a Rainy Sunday





Of course you can see that we went to the Pike Place Market - the two other pictures are the view from the B and B where we are staying this weekend. Very beautiful. Happy Sunday afternoon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Preparing for Vacation

Whew - what an insane time. I spent the weekend working at the duplex - staining the decks and getting ready for the winter ahead. My darling best tenants moved last week - I am happy for them and sad for me - they bought their first home (and it is in my neighborhood) - sooooo, I have been showing prospective renters the space and today I believe I rented it!!!!! Hooray. What a blessing to finalize that prior to leaving for Seattle.

Still very busy at work - good news - as over the holidays no one wants to see their consultants - so we should slow down somewhat. For now, we are blessed and happy to have great work to do.

I am excited to go to the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday. It is many, many years since I have visited Seattle - such a beautiful city. This trip feels like the first vacation I have taken in a very long time.

I am not going to take care of anyone. I am not leaving town to flee my own grief-induced insanity. I am going to explore, to have fun, to take steps forward in a new life that is unfolding. I expect laughter, good food and wine, new experiences and hugs and kisses. How wonderful.

I am taking my camera and should be able to post while I am there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Too Busy -----

That's the good news - we ARE consultants after all and we do not have $$$$$ unless we serve clients. We are engaged in some interesting and inspiring projects - I am so blessed to have the work I do, to have my business partner, J and our dear M, who runs us and our office.

However, between working (we even worked on Saturday this past week), keeping up with my chores, connecting with V in Seattle, and checking in with my Mom - I have been blog-negligent. I try to spin-by those blogs that are closest to my heart, but I have not had a great deal of time to just read, visit, comment and enjoy all those other blogger friends.

I am still here - it is a rainy late afternoon in St. Paul - I am home and cozy - very comforting. I guess I will go a'visiting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Friday


I turned the corner to head down Kellogg Boulevard into downtown St. Paul this morning and the skyline was stunning. I happened to have my camera sitting next to me and no autos behind me. So, here you go. Early morning autumn sky in Minnesota.

It is Friday - I hope everyone has a terrific day. So much to post and catch up - the weekend is upon us.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

September 8, 2007 - 12:32 PM - St. Paul, MN - From My Journal

Keys Cafe on Robert Street.

Sitting after the Farmer's Market. The first hint of Fall pierces my heart. This is the season that brings you closest to me.

How many hand-in-hand at the Market Saturday mornings did we have? How many Keys' breakfasts? This day, I ate spinach omelette (some things do not change). I left the little pot of homemade berry jam untouched and remembered how you gleefully smeared every speck of it on your toast.

How many crystal blue sky days with a tinge of scarlet and orange did we walk and talk through? The crisp of the Fall - the underskirt of summer's last party dress, warm and sunny. It brings deep longing to my heart - and gratitude for memories so sharp and sweet.

I miss you - just that.

Tomorrow - the anniversary of our wedding day - Tomorrow.

Forever in my heart ----- my husband, my soul mate, my friend, my guardian angel.

I will love you for eternity. You said, "throw off the veil of death and live your transformed life." And so I shall. But, forever, forever --- there will be the days of rememberance - walking hand-in-hand in the crisp autumn air. I love you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hey - I have a life

The full moon. I snapped this picture on the first night V was here. We were sitting on my patio, drinking wine and talking. What a beautiful evening.

This visit was so wonderful. Much different than his first trip out here. We were much more relaxed and we did many fun and just plain "everyday" kind of things.

We went to the park and walked. We went to the bookstore, browsed, picked out books and then had coffees. We cooked great dinners. Ate sushi for lunch. Grilled fish. Sat on the deck in the mid-afternoon and shared cold white wine. Took naps. Went to the zoo. And had dinner at a portable table in front of the television while watching a pay per view movie. Oh and talked and talked and talked. It was a lovely few days.

I am going to Seattle to visit with him in late September and he will be here for Thanksgiving. It is such an amazing time. Just one step at a time and with the knowledge that we are friends first. What a blessing.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Stress Test

Please go visit my dear friend Joy at Joy of Six for a wonderful post on checking to see if you are in need of a vacation. Thanks Joy for this important scientific stress test.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Catching Up





I had a wonderful time in New Jersey - I was in Longport - a beautiful small community, 9 or 10 miles from Atlantic City, where my son B and his family have had a cute little house for the past 2 summers. The first two days, the weather was pretty overcast from the hurricane down south. The last few days, it was absolutely beautiful.

One memorable thing was to take my granddaughter for our first joint manicure and pedicure. It is so amazing that one minute you are playing dolls together and the next you are picking out nail polish colors. We walked on the beach most days, cooked tasty meals, had lots of meaningful conversations, watched movies at night and just relaxed. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful son and daughter. I love each of them so much. All in all, it was a fun and relaxing visit. More to come......

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

My friend V is arriving from Seattle tomorrow night for a little visit. Wow, I actually have a life. :) I will post some pictures tomorrow - he will be here until Sunday. More to come.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Home!

Yes, I am. I had a wonderful time. No internet access, no blogs, no email! Yikes. I survived. Lots of pictures to come.

Monday, August 20, 2007

MMMMMMMMM Summer

Lots of tomatoes from my little garden - big, fat heirloom tomatoes, golden, coral, red, and green. I am in love - olive oil, sea salt, and fresh basil. This is what summer is all about.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Darlings


Here are O and E, two of my three beautiful grands. They are spending the summer on the Jersey shore and i am on my way to see them next Wednesday. I have not seen them since October 2005, which is the longest I have gone without seeing my kids and grandkids ever. I am very excited to see them and their parents!

It seems terrible to say that it has been that long since I have visited. It is really difficult to take care of an aging parent on the West Coast, work full time, and travel anywhere east of the Mississippi. Last night, while talking to my DIL, I realized that I have not gone anywhere but to my mother's since the last time I was in Philadelphia to see my son and family. Wow!

The good news is that my mother is doing better, her health has stabilized. We sold the second house when I was home in May, which removed a great deal of stress from her life. Other friends from the City now are helping by coming up every month to visit and do chores. Mom also has met a new woman friend who is in her seventies and drives. She has been taking Mother lots of places and they really enjoy one another's company. Overall, Mother is less isolated. Thank goodness.

So, I am off to the East Coast. I will be in Longport, NJ, which is nearby Atlantic City. I do not know if I will have an internet connection while I am there but I will take tons of pictures.

It is a rainy Saturday in St. Paul - I hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cat Training 1.2


Don't ask!

I love my garden window. I have always kept plants, beloved crystal pieces, small pictures and other things I love to look at in that window. It is a nice focal point in my kitchen.

Donnie, the cat, just loves to jump on things - everything as a matter of fact. He jumps up in there and knocks things down. I have tried putting sticky double sided carpet tape in the window to discourage the behavior - now I am trying my version of "crime scene" tape. Let's see if it makes a difference. Whew, cat training is tough work.

All cat-training ideas would be most appreciated.

Any suggestions????????????

Saturday, August 11, 2007

One Thousand Days, Today.....







that I have walked this widowed road. Two weeks ago, Tom came as a pure golden light to say to me, ".... now you must throw off the veil of death, it is time for you to live your transformed life. Our souls will always dance."

LOVE IS AT THE HEART OF ETERNITY.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Visit with the Soul Reader Part 1


The Soul Reader, who I will call Spirit Woman, greeted me at her really ordinary front door (except that the large gardens on both sides of her door are entirely ringed with hundreds of big chunks of rose quartz) and escorted me to an upstairs room painted purple and filled with crystals, sculpture and other art. The second I walked into that room, I had an overwhelming impulse to remove my shoes and socks. (I did not do so at that time nor did I mention it to her upon my arrival.)

I told her my husband had died in 2004 and I was feeling lighter now. She told me that she would do the work in connecting with my spirit and then we would talk. Spirit Woman also said that she might ask me to do some things/exercises if she thought they could help me to move forward depending what she "saw." She told me I did not have to do anything - just relax and that she wanted me to be totally comfortable with everything.

After sitting in silence while she gazed at me for a few minutes, she wrote some things on a piece of paper and then cleared her throat and said,

"You have been living a parallel life - it is the life of plans, hopes and dreams, the life that you envisioned with Tom. As long as you are living that parallel life, you will not be able to live into the life that is trying to emerge.

Secondly, just as you are living a parallel life, you have a shadow self that is living that life. Your transformed self and transformed life cannot emerge if you hold on to the old life."

She asked me to do two exercises - the first was to honor my old life and the hopes and dreams and to let go of that life and to LET GO OF TOM. She was talking and asking me to repeat these things after her ---- I was fine until she asked me to let go of Tom and that was soooooo difficult. I was not going to say it if I could not envision it and mean it. I finally was able to do so.

Next, she asked that I love, honor, thank and let go of my shadow self. To let go and invite my new self to emerge and begin to fully live. After this exercise, I removed my shoes and socks for the balance of our time together.

I spent over an hour and a half with Spirit Woman so this is really a brief recounting of the experience up to this point. After the second mantra and release was finished - she leaned forward with a very serious look on her face and said, "OK are you ready to continue?" For a minute I had an "OMG - what is about to happen" feeling. The she said, "in a few seconds after I connected with your soul, Tom immediately came into the room and he has been here the entire time." I asked, "where is he?" "Behind you just over your left shoulder." And then she began to speak......

"Tom is a pure spirit - he is pure light - sometimes spirits are still carrying little wisps of their body because they have not completely made the transition. That is not so with Tom - he is pure golden light, very beautiful."

I am going to stop here - I have been wanting to share this but it is intense and I need to do this in a couple of installments. It was one of the most incredible, loving, powerful, and transforming experiences. I had no idea that this would happen when I went to see her. I did not even know if that is what she did - but oh, she is a gifted medium. I am blessed. There is more to come in the next day or so.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Life Changes in an Instant

Just wanted to check in to say that I am fine - the tragedy of the bridge collapse is unfolding around us. So far, everyone I know is safe. Many of the my friends, including my sister/neighbor V, use that bridge daily. Thanks for those of you who have emailed and posted to ask.

Life is a mystery.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Soul Reader

On Friday afternoon, I met with a woman who calls herself a "soul reader." I connected with her through friends who also had met with her. I had no idea what might happen when I arrived at S's quite ordinary home in St. Paul. She is a lovely young woman - married with children - white carpets in her livingroom. We met in an upstairs room, painted a lovely shade of purple, filled with beautiful crystals, statues, artwork.

I have never done anything approaching this before. The closest being, for several years I met with an astrologer at the beginning of each year and she would "read" my astrological chart. Yesterday, I spent 2-1/2 hours with the soul reader. She is a gifted clairvoyant and medium. It was a transformative experience.

She "knew" things about me and asked about things that she would have no idea about, even "guessing" - I am still trying to reflect on and process the entire experience. More to come.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Sacred Pain of Grief

I have been working on a new initiative - it has been my passion now for most of 2007. It is called The Grief Project. Our consulting group is funding the project. It is a national, multi-media, oral history project that will produce a book, an audio CD, and ultimately a documentary DVD. The website is just about ready to launch, we are now searching for a designer who will donate a logo to the project.

The concept is to travel across the country and interview (along with audio and video tape) those who have lost a spouse, life partner or significant other. It's mission is to provide support and solace for those who have yet to walk the widowed road. It also will honor the stories of those who grieve and the memories of their lost loved ones.

There is much, much more to tell but that is all for tonight. I will give more details in a few days.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good Morning

What a beautiful Saturday - I have had a terrific week. Rest, relaxation, working in the garden, catching up with my blog buddies and other reading, having lunch with my friend L and going to the gym. I am off to do my work-out and purchase food for a gathering I am hosting tomorrow. I will sit down for a longer post later tonight. I just wanted to say Happy Saturday - I am filled with gratitude for my life's blessings.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I am still alive

The time is flying - it has been more than a week since I posted. In June, I began a rigorous workout regime. I am really doing well - being consistent, which is the key to success. My regular blog buddies know - I stopped smoking in April 2006. Yippee for me!

As a result of the Quit, I have had some weight gain - I have not worried about it as it is MUCH more important to not smoke than to have some extra poundage. I have done really well on the quit and do not think about smoking at all anymore (except to congratulate myself on doing it!!!). Now is the time to tackle the next step of the process.

Now, I could go on a "diet" - I am really good at doing that and losing when I put my mind to it. However, I do not think that is a good thing at this stage of my life. It is time to build muscle, work on functional fitness and make good food choices based on hunger, NOT on emotional or other needs. So, here I am going to the Gym really consistently - I like my personal trainer and she has me on a good program. This week I will increase the weight of each of my exercises. Yesterday, I had a massage for the first time in 6 weeks and D (my longtime masseuse) said she could feel the difference in my body. Hooray, just the beginning but the beginning of the next part of the journey.

On the days I do not go to the Gym, I work out at home on a combination of my treadmill and elliptical trainer. I bought a heart rate monitor and I highly recommend it as a great fitness tool. Now I know how hard I need to work to keep my heart rate in the zone for good fat removal and heart health. It turns out I wasn't getting the maximum benefit of my workout (my time) by not really monitoring my heart rate. Oh, forget those "heart rate sensors" on the machines, they are so far from being accurate as to be a joke.

So, being really busy at work, carving out the time to get this fitness program firmly established in my routine and taking care of my new buddy, Donny-cat - I have not had the time to be a good blogger.

I am on vacation this week and will catch up and do some posting. If you remember, early in the year I mentioned that I have an exciting new project that is being launched this year. Well, I am ready to blog about it. I will tell you all about it in the next couple of days.

Today is a gorgeous summer day in St. Paul - I am just hanging at home, working in the garden, watering and reveling in my home, my solitude, my blessings and my life. I hope your day is wonderful as well.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A New Addition





Here is the newest addition to my family. I got him from the Humane Society last Thursday. He is 1.5 years old and his name is Donny. I just love him - he is fun and cuddly. I just decided that I needed a companion in my daily life. It was so nice to come home Friday night and have someone here who was excited to see me

The recovery from the oral surgery took some time - the stitches are finally dissolved and I am feeling much better. Thanks for your kind thoughts. I will be online again now and catching up with all of you soon. :)