Posted in Christmas, Family, Holidays

Christmas Day 2020

  • It’s the most wonderful season of the year and Christmas Day has arrived. My wish for you is that a little magic and wonder has found it’s way to your heart in whatever shape and form.
  • If everything is going according to plan, I hope for a few video chats with my family in Germany during the holidays. The holidays are much different this year and the streets in Rothenburg Germany, (picture from last year) and it’s lavish Christmas village and markets, have turned into ghost towns. The streets are deserted and hauntingly empty is the word from my uncle’s side of the family. Something I don’t think anyone has experienced before since this town is usually bustling with tourism and travel from around the globe. Now, hardly a soul stirs and dares, with lockdowns in effect, and safety cautions at the highest priority. This is one time I can wholeheartedly say “hail to technology.” Plans are underway to have multiple households join in on the call. I hope all I have to do is merely accept the chat as I have never Skyped or FaceTimed with more than one person. I’m showing my age here and my fingers are crossed lol.
  • There is a 40% chance of a white Christmas this year. I know that I will miss family and loved ones and most likely the holiday blues will find me at some point. I am planning distraction and a little holiday spirit for myself as I reread the first paragraph of this post, holding the same wish for my heart as well.

    Here is a list of holiday cheer for myself.

    • I will wear a festive, red and white candy cane striped wool hat, with a long tail and a green pompon at the end that has a little jingle
    • My hair will be soft and wavy
    • Red lips and a little glitter is a must on the holidays
    • I am looking to wear something red
    • I will make homemade pooch cookies for cinnamon
    • I will also attempt for the first time ever to make homemade Glühwein (a mulled wine from Germany)
    • Sipping on my hot mulled wine after taking my little girl (Cinnamon) out for a stroll, I think we’ll settle in with a Christmas movie

    May your Christmas and holiday season be merry and bright. And may you be blessed beyond means and measure. Wishing you much health and joy, now and always.

    Posted in Death, Family, Life

    Ascending towards the heavens

    Picture taken from yahoo

    2020 is coming to an end, and what a sad end it is. My aunt passed this morning, exactly two weeks after her husband passed. Both cases Covid 19 related and it’s truly hard to grasp. It feels like an awful nightmare you are hoping to wake up from, but no matter how many times you try, the outcome always remains same with a harsh and awful reality. Just like that, both gone in a matter of two weeks, a family wiped out.

    My cousin, there youngest son who is my age has also tested positive for Covid and I can’t even begin to imagine what must go through his mind. The grief about losing both parents and being sick himself with a vicious disease that claimed the life of his beloved parents. Things change and you truly come to value life and how precious it is when a crisis such as this knocks on your own door. I personally have reason now to despise and hate this vicious killer.

    My heart is truly heavy and aches for the families, all of us left behind trying to come to terms with all the loses encountered over the past two years. Even the non physical ones and countless hours are spent reminiscing and connecting in spirit. Some things are just beyond heartbreaking and don’t get easier in time. As another angel is ascending towards heaven today we cling to memories and beliefs in an effort to comfort our own aching heart.

    Yes my aunt and uncle are reunited in heaven once more, and yes Dad got another one of his sisters to keep him company in heaven. May they all Rest In Peace as we miss them dearly.

    Posted in Death, Family, Loss

    The first day without you

    Yesterday was hard, although I tried my best. And how could it not have been? Over and over the message and my own thoughts about my Uncle’s passing caught up with me, leaving behind such heartache and such a sad feeling. A empty hole I have come to know so well.

    Over and over I found myself wanting to reach out to my cousins, his children and just wrap my arms around them, knowing darn well the tough, heart wrenching road that lies ahead. I remember how much needed to be arranged when Mom passed, how much needed to be taken care of, in a time of disparity, when shock took over, and made you power through those things as if on autopilot. There wasn’t any time to grief, to let it fully sink in, to allow yourself to mourn. I know that my cousins are caught in this trap right now while trying to come to terms that they have just lost their father and might still lose their mother as well. I can’t help but wonder if during this tragedy and while fighting for her own life, she is aware that her husband lost the fight. It is hard to make arrangements, even harder to find closure, which usually comes much later. For right now the fear continues for their mother, who is also hospitalized with Covid.

    My heart is heavy and bleeds love, compassion, and understanding. Over and over, I search for the right words, words that could bring comfort, that I could share to bring some peace to their hearts, and yet I know that such words simply don’t exist. Emails have been sent, and cards are being written, conveying that I am here, that I understand, that they are not alone, offering whatever comfort I can in sharing the grief.

    Other family members have made contact yesterday, in a way and not son many words expressing their own mortality. The generation of my mother and father, the same as their parents, is leaving this earth, slowly fading into dear memories and remembrance. It’s a process inevitable, happening to all of us, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am just not good at it, at all. Would anyone be? Yesterday, in a moment of grief, I said to myself that my heart just feels too much, too strong, too intense. It takes my breath away at times, but should it be any other way?

    One year later after Moms passing and 46 years later after Dads passing, I still feel the pains of a life without them. And the same goes for the animals I have lost over the years. I just feel too much and I know it is in part what kept me from getting another animal, until my Cinnamon Girl came into my life in the mist mysterious of ways.

    Today, another day, I find myself connected in the energetic, continuing to feel the pain of those losses. Not just in the physical, but also in the form of other losses, lost connections and people of the heart who have moved on with their own journey. My day is on hold, sitting, petting Cinnamon, who seems to know, picking up on a low, my own vibrations while I’m dazing into the sunlight that is entering through the blinds. She has squeezed her little body into the tiniest of spots with me, just so she can be as close as possible to me. I imagine I will try to keep myself busy, recognizing that it is my natural reaction and an effort to distract myself from the seriousness that is death and loss.

    Posted in Death, Family, Loss

    Flight towards Heaven

    Heaven got a new angel today and I am remembering my uncle in Germany who was recently hospitalized due to Covid. My aunt (his wife) is also in the hospital and on a ventilator now. What a said time, really any time to lose a loved one, but especially so close to the holidays. My heart is heavy and a wish for his children, my cousins comes to mind over and over. “Much strengths” my heart reminds me of the feeling of loss and grief and what a difficult and hard journey it is. Today I remember his spirit and the last time I saw him, telling stories from his youth, trying to show off his new motorcycle, riding it a little too swift and wiping out in front of an audience. I will hold on to those stories as they bring smile and put aside the tears and the sadness.

    Looking out the window this morning, after receiving the bad news, the sun came over the ridge, resting on my frozen fence. The frost was lifting and rising towards the heavens. I stood and just watched. To me it was symbolic of his spirit rising to be with the other angels already in heaven.

    “When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world by keeping it alive in yourself.”

    ~Patrick Swayze

    Death is final, such a strong emotion. Ruthless and unforgiving, your memory remains but you are just no more. It takes your last breath and time and time it takes the breath of us who are left behind, missing you, trying to find hope and a smile in the memories you left behind.

    Rest in piece my uncle. Your spirit lives on forever.

    Posted in Family, Health

    Thinking of you, always

    It’s been six weeks since my uncle has been hospitalized. During my last visit in Germany we got very close and he has always been my favorite uncle on my fathers side. So much of him reminds me of Dad and it’s easy to see the resemblance in myself and where I got it from.

    This has been a tough year for him, filled with the side effects from the chemo therapy and battling cancer, circulation issues, potentially blocked arteries, infections, the risk of losing a limb, and more. He has been in critical condition but luckily continues to stabilize.

    After being immobil for such a long time, he is basically learning to walk again and is receiving physical therapy. So much of it reminds me of Mom’s journey and what we experienced not too long ago. Just today a drainage tube is being removed and perhaps he can come home next week. Home is home, although it will present a whole other line of worries and concerns if he is not Mobil. But perhaps his appetite can increase since he is not a fan of the hospital food, and his strengths can grow to speed up the recovery process. He is a tough person for sure and I know that there are is a common subject between us, things still left undone that serve as motivation for him to get better.

    Today, another collective prayer goes out to him, sending love and light for his recovery and well being. 🙏🏼

    Posted in Family, War

    Another old gem

    Another old gem surfaced looking through Mom’s paperwork. A picture of my maternal grandparents. Grandma was always a beautiful woman with great style, and grandpa was pretty handsome too, reminding me of Charlie Chaplin a bit. Together they had two daughters, my Mom and her younger sister who is my godmother. Together they have also seen and fought in the war, were prisoners and spent 11 years apart from each other. Grandpa was a prisoner of war and Grandma had to flee the country with Mom who was only 5 years old at the time. It was a miracle Grandpa found his family again through the Red Cross after he was released from prison, and life could continue as a family.

    Posted in Family, Holidays

    Family – Memories

    Meet my four cousins with their Mom (Moms sister and my godmother). This picture was taken at one of the many Christmas markets I got to visit, mostly with family. There is no place like home, especially for the holidays and I am grateful for the time we’ve spent, the closeness we have found in each other and the support of caring for each other. I miss these guys like crazy already and can’t wait until the next time when we connect once more.

    Posted in Death, Family, Loss

    The last of my Clan

    Baby me with my parents

    I felt like an orphan several times since Mom has passed. There is something so lonely about not having your parents anymore. It’s bad enough having to grow up with only one, but having none is a whole different story.

    It’s even frightening to some extend, even if you have led independent life’s for many years just like me. If you have been on your own, responsible and dependable without ever asking for help. I guess there was always some sort of safety cushion you never even fully realized, although you never planned on failing and asking for help. You just weren’t alone and somehow you knew without any further thought about it.

    Now, being without parents, being an only child and a childless one on top, I realize that I am the last of our family, the last of our clan. It all ends with me.

    Posted in Family, Life, Memories, Mom

    Moments like these

    I’d imagine there will be many more moments just like this one. There will always be a surprise lingering and I have found quite a few sorting through some of Moms things.

    Today I found some picture from June of 1998 such as the one above of Mom and me. I was living in the states already, but was here to visit. I remember this picture and she was getting ready to walk Pookey, originally my dog but whom stayed back with her in Germany once I moved. I’m not sure how I managed that at the time, all I know is that I surely couldn’t leave my dog behind these days if I had one.

    I look at this picture now and remember her taking off with the dog while I stayed behind. How I wish that I could take that walk with her now. It’s crazy that we always live a life wishing we would have done this and that, a life with regrets, but I guess it is normal. Perhaps the key is to stay conscious the best we can to have as little of those regretful moments as possible. This can only be achieved through being constantly aware of our actions and the consequences such bring. For us and for all around us.

    I found something else today that pulled on my heartstrings and which dates back to before I left for the states, a long time ago, 30 some years. It’s crazy to think that she held on to it for all these years. I found notes, written notes from me to her. They are just scraps. Scratches, silly notes of communication, instructions to wake me up at a certain time, to bring me a surprise from the store, stuff like that. I think I know why she has kept them. They were written in a funny, joking way. A way Dad would have behaved, and perhaps it reminded her of him.

    I have always struggled to see and feel Moms love. I’ve always needed more. I was a child fully aware of my feelings and my heart was on my sleeve from little on. I’ve always felt too much and throughout life I got hurt because of it, but also experienced beauty and bliss that can only be experienced by feeling the extraordinary and making yourself vulnerable. After Dads passing I took on responsibilities that a child nor an adult could carry and fulfill. I grew up too fast and my personality diminished while I stood in the shadow of my father trying to take care of Mom. Of course nobody could have ever filled those shoes, but as a child, even then, I felt I had to do something to bring a little light to her life. It was my mission until she died.

    Today my heart burst’s as I look at these notes from a different angle. Yes, they may have reminded her of my Dad, but maybe she kept them because I wrote them and they had a special meaning without having to stand in anyone’s shadow. She stapled them all together and they were here all this time. They stayed behind in memory while I left and moved away. I never knew until today that she had kept them and I’m sure it won’t be the last heartfelt emotion I will find in what used to be her four walls and where she spent most of her life.

    Posted in Family, Mom

    Blessings

    Blessings can come in many different ways, and yesterday I received one that touched multiple people. Unexpectedly and without my knowledge of such grand, scheme, plan, I received a few pictures from Mom’s cousin yesterday. Wednesday was what we used to call “salt day”, and every first Wednesday of the month we went to the salt pools to let all the troubles float away and enjoy a few hours in great company. I remember the first time when she convinced me to go, and I am sure glad that I did. I got to learn so much more about her, meeting a beautiful soul with so much in common, and the rest has been history ever since. A fond friendship was formed that never existed prior and perhaps couldn’t have as timing is everything and our life experiences often mold us together, bringing the right people into our lives at the right times.

    We have stayed in contact ever since, and yesterday she sent me a few pictures. It was salt day and it is not uncommon that she visits Mom on those days to say hi. Mom has her own fond memories of a younger time spent with her cousin and they share a beautiful, natural bond that touches my heart. I didn’t know about the plan of taking the visit to the next level, and she, along with her boyfriend Herbert (such a sweetheart, she met at the salt pools while I was there), took Mom on a little trip out of the nursing home. I instantly welled up seeing Mom so happy and carefree, for whatever amount of time possible. It was huge for her and I can only imagine how it must feel to be in the same room day after day without feeling the sunshine or being able to be outside. Her last trip outside was on October the 13th 2018 with me, and I am grateful for the blessing of seeing Mom smile from ear to ear, and the blessing that was given to her by enjoying a different quality of life and a few hours of distraction. 💙