Posted in Life

Unforgotten

Happy birthday Dad, I love you and miss you more than I could ever say. But you already know.

I love this picture of us and without any words I can see the love and bond we shared as father and daughter. A relationship that would have developed into a lifelong friendship and closeness. In a way it has, and although you are not here with me in the physical sense, there are times I feel your presence as if you stood next to me. I know your soul has never left us and you continue to watch over Mom and me. You are never too far away and you live on within our hearts, but it’s so hard not to hug you and laugh with you. You continue to do the best you can, feeling bad of having left us behind, and so many times I have wished we could join in a giant group hug and let everything be ok again. To be a family again, complete.

My life has never been the same, and 45 years after you’re gone, you are missed beyond words. You are unforgotten and your legacy lives on. Sometimes I don’t know how Mom managed to get passed you’re being gone and I look at her in disbelief of what she had to endure and conquer. She is one strong, tough lady, and you were the love of her life. The one that had to fight for her love with her playing hard to get, and the one that made her laugh and feel happiness to the core of her being. Sure other people have endured such pains before and made it past, but it becomes personal when it visits your own front door and makes you see things in an entirely different light. She loved you that much that she choose to be alone, although she had tried to fill her life again, twice, but she couldn’t get past the love she felt for you, and nobody could come close to you. Her decision is something understood by few, and most would see it as her downfall, as a result to her current situation. I can see way past that and I don’t know if I could be that strong. Perhaps I feel this way because I have been strong for too long and if I was in that situation, perhaps I too would have to find a way. I am just not sure if I would want to, and I am grateful that Mom had no other choice, she had me to take care of. I know it is here where her thinking comes in that it is my turn to take care of her, because she did for me. It is here that I wonder if she would even be here if I wasn’t in the picture so many years ago. She found her strengths because of me and because she had no other choice. I see myself in her and I know I have my warrior spirit from her. I know people would tell me that I have overcome incredible odds, that I have been strong in my own ways, that I had no shortage of battles myself. It’s true and it’s amazing how strong you can be, when being strong is all you have left. No doubt about it, but I don’t want to prove anymore that I can do it. I just want to be, understood or not, judged or loved, I am yearning for calmer sees.

Spending ten month with Mom, I feel she got a good glimpse of who I am. She saw, and met the person her daughter grew into, and it was an honor to hear her telling me how much I am like you. There are plenty of things I inherited from Mom, but most of me is a replica of you. The funny side, my way of being, the laughs and jokes, it’s all you and I think you worked your magic through me while I was there. For awhile life was getting as good as it could be for Mom. It was you she saw in me, and it helped her to get better when she was sick and near death. I can see the difference now that I am gone, and her face looks older, wrapped in worry and loneliness again. It is by far no comparison to how it was as I first got there, and I do my best to make her laugh when we FaceTime. Still it’s a drop in the bucket and not nearly enough.

Spending all that time with Mom brought us closer, and I loved her sharing a few stories about you. Stories I never knew and I think it was good for her to talk about it, and good for me to hear it. I have always had such a hunger to know every little detail about you and I hang on to every shred, every picture, every memory of you. Fact is you are missed and life has never been the same. Time doesn’t heal all, but it teaches us to go on, to live with the pain, and a heart that is left behind incomplete.

Happy birthday Dad….forever your girl.

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Posted in Art

Meraki

(v.) to do something with soul, creativity, or love, to put something of yourself in your work.

I’ve always felt that my art was including a piece of me. A part of my life reflecting on the canvas, created with love, passion, and soul.

Here are two more pieces awaiting a clear coat of glossy varnish against a matte backdrop. I hope there will be some interest in the likes of these pieces when the time comes. I shall surely find out. Fingers crossed 😉. Thank you for any and all feedback.

Posted in Inspiration, Spirituality

Healers

We all have healing properties and even more ways to soothe each other. Sometimes it takes a listening ear, a understanding nod, perhaps a smile or a warm hug to lift someone and bring healing to their soul. But in every case the work for healing remains with each and every one of us. We all require healing at times. So whatever end of the stick you might find yourself on any given day, just remember that some days you are the healer and others look to you for help, and other days it is you who is in need of healing.

No matter which one, a healer is not someone you go to for healing. A healer is someone who helps you to find the key within you, for your own ability to heal.

We already have all the answers inside of us, sometimes we just need a little help.

Posted in Mom

Art & Metamorphosis

Mom made some butterfly art the other day which really surprised me. She can knit and might make a tapestry out of cross stitches, but she never really had a thing for doing crafts. She says she has no patience for it which in turn I never understood. Knitting socks is not exactly a thing that doesn’t require patience, but to each their own I guess. The nurses at the home have tried to involve her in classes and events several times without avail, until now it seems.

Talking to Mom, (all is well again, and we both have avoided the subject of a recent incident when she wheeled herself out of the picture because she no longer wanted to talk to me, but didn’t know how to turn the iPad off) she told me that the nurse asked her if she could help her with the butterfly’s. Well played dear nurse and a clever approach, since Mom will not say no when it comes to helping someone. Apparently she has helped this so said nurse a few times already (according to Mom, because the tasks would be too difficult for the old ones and it is what Mom calls the other tenants). Remember that she is 80 years young, and far from being old.

I couldn’t help but smile seeing all the butterfly’s end up on Mom’s wall right next to her bed and at the table where she sits. I think the cutout, and in this case a butterfly was a perfect subject considering how much has changed in a year. Last year on her death bed, Mom has learned to smile much more these days and she truly has left her cocoon and emerged as a butterfly, in metamorphosis and still trying to find her way.

The review – re-evaluation was just a few days ago to determine Mom’s level of care and support needed. This will go for the physical as well as the monetary support and so far I have not heard anything. I thought it might be a touchy subject which made me avoid asking too many questions, but Mom seemed ok and remained calm. A big relief and shortly we should know what’s next and what to expect. Fingers crossed her support continues in every way possible.

Picture courtesy of my cousin Moni who’s birthday is today. Happy birthday, may your day be filled with blessings and special moments.

Posted in Inspiration, Photography

Surrounded by light

Day is over, night has come.

Today is gone, what’s done is done.

Embrace your dreams, through the night.

Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.

….today brought amazing light and it was a beautiful day. There was a glow in the air, reflecting on Washoe Lake, and within my heart. Nothing was missing and I felt rich in every way.

Oh, and today a business name for my dreams was discovered, finalized and available to be registered. Stay tuned for the reveal. 😉

Posted in Mother nature, Photography

Mount Lassen

Came across this oldie but goodie of Lassen Peak today, and it’s got me thinking. I can see it as a metal print, but then again on the other side, I think I can do better. It’s sure nice to look at and I love the colors of the day light fading, but I’m not sure it has that “WOW” factor that just totally grabs you and blows you away. And with that I think I just answered my own question.

The struggle of us artists, always our worst critic, but it also keeps us inspired and striving to get better. Not a bad thing if we learn to celebrate the achievements we already have accomplished.

Posted in Dreams, Inspiration

Chasing dreams

So here it is, and this is what I’ve been up to in my downtime. I’m daring to dream big as I recall some of the comments from coworkers who have felt that I should pursue my talents and stop wasting my time. Perhaps now is that time and things surely have happened for a reason. And if not now, then I don’t know if it will ever be that time. I have to try or die wondering.

I realize that some of those comments were made in regards to my photography and my acrylic paintings of a different kind than those pictured above. Granted those paintings are acrylic too, but they are made up from an entirely new technique and process. So far only a few people have seen them, while giving me their view and input. I appreciate it all and feedback is crucial at this point. All response have been positive so far, and the pieces made will remain with a spot in an ever growing inventory. Please feel free to comment your impressions and feedback. It’s much needed and valued. Thank you.

So far I have made some paintings and have dabbled in soap making, including felted soaps. It’s been fun to make goats milk lavender soap or goats milk honey soap which leaves your skin super soft and smooth without the chemicals. There are so many ideas on the back burner, but right now the goal is to see if I got something here. If this could turn into something like a want, a demand that perhaps some day will support me financially and afford my dreams of life on the bus. Plus there is a financial hurdle at the moment where not all inventory and ideas can come to fruition immediately. Perhaps a garage sale or participating at one of the fairs would give a feel for any interest.

The future will include items containing my photography in a unique way, such as timeless and classic metal prints. Reproductions of my paintings, driftwood art, including other nature pieces, greeting cards, knitted socks, felted stones, postcards with my art, and much, much more.

At the moment I am narrowing down a company name in sync with my values, my love for the wild and many hobbies, my blog, and the many choices life throws our way. It needs to be relatable and make you feel good. It needs to tell you that you are not alone and that your tribe is out there. I’m looking for ” the warriors journey” (my blog) to continue. It needs to echo my love for helping others and empower people. To give back and make a difference.

The products I hope to make need to be as unique and as special as you are, the consumer, and echo a mantra that is wild, free and untamed. It should make you feel good to purchase for yourself or to give as a special gift. You see it’s quite a lot I am trying to tackle. A tall order I know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted in Inspiration, Spirit animals

An old friend returns

An old friend came to visit me today and for a moment I was amazed at how much joy this little critter brought. Why, I don’t know, and maybe it was just the realization and the reminder of how much the simple things mean to me.

In good ole fashion his name is Alvin and he used to come every day, collecting his peanuts and other goodies I put out for him. It was always a highlight whenever I saw him, to watch him stuff his little cheeks near bursting, stop to eat a few, and eventually run off to his little apartment under the shed. There was a time he even brought his lady squirrel and their three babies to feast. It was when the offering (food budget) had to be upped with increased rations due to many more mouths to be fed.

Later on the neighbors cat became a serious stalker and Alvin and his family disappeared. I hated that day and nearly came to hate the cat, which is almost an impossible thing given that I’m an animal lover. But I hated to think of anything bad happening to my little squirrel family. It’s been nearly two years, and although I doubt that it is Alvin returning, another squirrel was sighted today. It appears that he or she had found the apartment under the shed and it was a welcomed sight. The peanuts are out and I hope it’s the start of many special sightings.

So why now I wondered? What is the universe tying to tell me? Sure enough the message came through loud and clear from my squirrel spirit animal. It made sense and there has been little socializing. It wasn’t possible, but I believe this is my reminder that things are changes and to incorporate play once more.

Get ready for coming changes by lightning your load, clearing out and giving away any goods or material possessions that no longer serve you. The best way to deal with the challenging situation that’s before you is to confront it head on and be totally honest with your feelings and thoughts. Be extra vigilant and cautious right now, and be willing to avoid or escape any threatening situations. Prepare for the future by gathering and storing extra food, water, clothing, candles, and money for possible later use. Although you’re actively and aggressively pursuing your goals right now, you need to balance this pursuit with more socializing and play.

Posted in Mom, My story

This and that

It’s been awhile that I have talked about Mom and our journey on here. So many of you have been with me from the beginning, supporting me, and I feel that I have left you hanging a bit, while I was trying to find my way again, getting over some hurdles.

It’s been a tough three month being back in the states, mainly due to struggling with my health and the worst winter in ten years. Go figure, but things are finally looking up. My days are still a mixed bag, but I think overall there is progress and the RA might be easing off. Maybe it’s because the weather is finally turning, maybe it’s because I am full of adrenaline and excitement to chase my dreams. Maybe it is because things are finally moving on and I have accepted a few things for what they are. It doesn’t really matter as long as things continue to improve.

Fact is that Mom struggles to realize how bad things have been for me. Her fears take over at times and she simply can’t understand. There is a re-evaluation scheduled later this week to determine the level of care she requires, which in turn will determine what kind of financial support she receives. She is all upset about it, can’t understand what they want from her, and wants is to go home. I am solely responsible to make this happen for her and she doesn’t want to hear that I have not been well. What a scary time it must be for her and my heart goes out to her even throughout her stubborn phases. She hasn’t talked to me since Friday of last week and I don’t know if something is wrong with the iPad or if she simply is blowing me off. It wouldn’t be the first time and all I can do is wait.

The evaluation should be a good thing for her, although there are pros and cons. The good thing is that she is doing much better compared to last year where she was on her deathbed, but it could also mean less monetary support. She doesn’t care and there is no reasoning with her. I know that everything will find it’s way, all I can do is to strive for my best, to be strong for her, and to keep the faith.

I got to clear out the house a bit today. Well moving things from one place to another is more like it, while making a pile for a garage sale. It felt good, I felt a little lighter, less burdened afterwards, and it was more than I could do in recent weeks passed. It’s a start and I hope the hurt in my wrist is just temporary and will go away. The swelling in my left hand has improved to the point that I can almost make a fist again, and that’s good news. Mars retrograde is still in full swing, and while it can be a time of struggle for many, I think it has been a phase or clarity for me. I’d like to think that I’m back on track. Oh, and I finally heard back from the job today and learned that the Spanish speaking candidate was selected for the position. It’s all good and how things are suppose to be.

I am keeping the faith…

Posted in Chronic illness, Journey

Salvation Prayer

I constantly try to make sense of events in my life, and I always search for the silver lining. No matter how dreadful things get, how gloomy and hopeless a situation appears, there is always a reason, always something to be learned.

Recently I went to a job interview and felt really good about it, despite of not meeting the preferred criteria of speaking Spanish. We chatted for 45 minutes and were in contact for four days after the interview, all the way up to the day a decision was to be made. From there on out, I didn’t hear anything back and decided to email after a few days. Nothing, and nearly a week later the silence has been my answer. I found it really strange, and never in a million years would I have anticipated that outcome. So what does this have to do with a salvation prayer?

  • I took it as a sign that “this”, another job and perhaps getting lost in the shuffle of things was not what I am suppose to do. Instead I am daring to dream big and have decided to pursue my photography, my paintings, writings and other crafts. It started with a “nice” idea, a hope and a dream, and it wasn’t until the other day and a serious kick in the teeth that I became serious about it. I don’t have it all figured out yet, and don’t have to prove anything to anyone, accept myself, but it brings me great purpose and a meaning that reminds me of the beginning and the onset of my chronic illness.
  • About thirteen years ago I was in a similar situation as the RA made its debut. It was not as bad as it has been currently, but nevertheless it was bad enough. Perhaps even scarier because I was new to all of it. I remember it being just as painful, but the overall battle seemed shorter or perhaps I was stronger back then. I don’t know.
  • It was back then that I was introduced to hiking and our beautiful outdoors we call Mother Nature. I found purpose and meaning, a motivation and hunger for more. I combined my hobbies such as my photography, and learned to be still. To listen to what really mattered, to go against the grain and to chase my nirvana. It was as if I started to live again, and guess what – the RA eventually went into remission and I experienced many years after that were pain free.
  • All of this came back to me the other day and another “maybe” introduced itself. Maybe this was all a part of the universes plan for me. Maybe it was time to find that motivation, purpose and meaning once again to offset the stresses. I remembered some of my coworkers always thinking that I wasted my talents working an ordinary job and that I should pursue my gifts. Could it be that this is my now, that time? Was the RA literally forcing me to my luck, and was this my silver lining amongst the chaos? Did everything had meaning in the process, even the silence from the employer who left me hanging? I think so and there are no ordinary moments, are there?
  • Quickly thoughts turned into ideas, into goals and dreams, into motivation, and if there was ever a time to go for it, to let it stand for more than just a dream and die trying, then this is would be that time. It was that day that I came across the salvation prayer and it became my answer. This could be very well be my savior and what could send the RA into remission once more. I have to believe it to be so as this current stage of my being cannot be my truths. It happened before, and it can happen again. Faith and love, my two swords will carry me through.
  • Salvation prayer (for all who read this)
  • “I put this healing in your hands, Raphael. I give you my trust, my love and my attention to your strength. Heal this person with your light and give him/her clarity for their future path. Thank you for your help and grace to share your divine strength with us.
  • Blessed be the kingdom of angels.
  • Blessed be the divine helpers.
  • We are one with you and your healing. This is how healing happens and divine energies flow.
  • We bow in front of you in love and gratitude.”
  • All love flows from heart to heart