Unconditional Love

I have become a savant in the art of grieving. It’s not something I had hoped to excel in; it just happened.

This has been a year. (Sigh).

First I lost my mom; then I lost my dad. And now there is a void.

My sister aptly said to me, “Our parents were the people we knew would always love us no matter what we did.” Sure your siblings, your spouse, your close friends love you, but the love your parents have for you is purely unconditional. It’s a special kind of love.

It’s unfortunate I understand my parents completely now that they’ve passed. But sometimes it takes a tragedy to make one see things clearly. If I could, I’d call them up and say, “Hey, remember all those times I thought I knew better? Well, I was wrong!”

Hindsight is always 20/20 vision.

I could spend hours talking about Mom and Dad. I could tell you that my dad was a happy man, that he was gentle and beloved by many. I could tell you that my mom was strong, that she loved with all of her being, and that she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. I could tell you how amazing my parents’ love was for each other. I could go on and on, singing their praises.

All of the sympathy cards talk about how the memories won’t die, etc., etc. It’s true; my memories of them will not fade, but you know what else lives on? Aspects of their personality, their values, who they were, these things, they live on through me. I am frugal like my dad. I am strong like my mom. My outlook on life is like my dad’s. I love like my mom. I have a sense of humor like my dad. I help others like my mom did. I believe in kindness and treating others like I want to be treated – which was a value my parents’ instilled in me.

I am currently writing a novel (which is therapeutic for grieving). I never planned to create characters like my parents, but as I write, I see minor aspects of them in my main characters. So, they live on through my word. That’s a powerful gift.

I’d like you to know that my mother and father were great people. They were honest and cared for others. They were kind-hearted and hardworking. And best of all, they loved without condition.

If your parents are still alive, call them and tell them you appreciate them. Hug them. Ask them to go out for lunch. Show them you love them. But most importantly, tell them what they mean to you.

If you’re grieving, I’m sorry. I know what you are feeling and it takes time to overcome such sorrow. Your heart will mend in time. Find what helps you cope. For me, it’s writing and helping others. Each person deals in their own way, just like our grieving process.

The photo below was the last photo I took of my parents and me. Little did I know that this would be the last time we’d go out together. I had such a special time with them on this day. We ate lunch, then ventured to get ice cream, and then hung out at their house. I cherish this memory and am thankful I had this time with them.

Time is precious. Treat it with care and appreciate each and every moment. Love with all that you have and remember, you are who you are because of who raised you. 

Grief – an unfortunate part of life…

Grief. There’s nothing good about it, Charlie Brown. Death is a sad (heartbreaking) but true aspect of life. With life comes loss. With happiness comes sadness. Blah, blah, blah. Those Zen philosophical mantras aren’t comforting during the grieving process. It’s easier to say these things than to go through the experience. Words are just words, aren’t they? We all know that death is a part of life, yet when that moment happens, when the person we love passes, we find it’s pretty darn hard to cope. (Ask me how many times I’ve broken down into tears). We all cope differently. There’s those five stages everyone talks about, but things just don’t happen in life that way. Nope. I know I didn’t follow the rulebook on those stages. Matter of fact, I think I went from denial straight to anger then to bargaining, and then the ultimate sadness kicked in. It hit me: she was gone and wasn’t ever coming back. Read more →

Favorites of 2015

“Raindrops on roses…”  When I see the image below I can’t help but sing the song. I love that movie, and man, can Julie Andrews sing. I digress.

2015 is coming to an end. If I can say one thing about this year, it was the year of great discoveries: from new authors to new musicians. Don’t you love it when you find a hidden gem? You feel like an archaeologist on a quest or a gold miner who has just discovered gold. Here’s a list of my favorite discoveries from 2015: Read more →

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I lived thirty plus years in Florida and in the same city where I was born. I even went to college in Central Florida. It was all I ever knew. I figured that I’d grow old and die there, but then something happened. Something in me changed. Read more →

Roller Skating – a Metaphor for Life

I used to roller skate. What child of the 70s and 80s doesn’t know how? Actually, I was surprised to find there are quite a few people my age who’ve never been roller skating. How did they miss out on this while growing up? Didn’t their school have a “Skate Night?” Didn’t they skate while listening to tunes on their walkman? I know I did. Read more →

In case you missed it…

In case you’re not on my mailing list, I made a couple of important announcements, and I’d like to share them here with you. Read more →

Remember these?

I do. I had a pair just like them (and they’re way cooler than those lame-o roller blades that everyone skates on now). I would skate in my driveway while listening to Olivia Newton-John on my boombox. (A radio with only a tape player. CD players weren’t invented yet, and if they were, they probably cost a bundle). I’d twirl on my wheels, thinking I was the next Dorothy Hamil. I’m sure I looked better in my head than I did in real life. But when you’re a kid, you think you’re the best at everything you do. And really, you don’t care. Read more →

A Day in the Life…

Recently, I ventured out to the Museum and Library of Confederate History, in Greenville, SC. This was part of my research for my current work in progress. Read more →

Life imitating art, or ESP?

It’s like these home builders read my mind. Recently,while I was on vacation in Western North Carolina, I came upon this gorgeous house. The first words out of my mouth were “this is Ellie’s house!” Read more →

Fishing and chocolate chip cookies

Fishing and chocolate chip cookies? Strange mix, I know. These two topics are a part of the research I’ve been doing for my current work in progress. I hope I have you intrigued. Read more →