Saturday, November 28, 2015

Moving on to The Homestead On Mount-Hope"

And so it is the plan - with faith and God's will we will be moving one month from today on December 28th to what we have named "The Homestead On Mount-Hope" Here are some pictures of our brand new home.

The view from our front door - that s the Allegheny forest and mountains
Our kitchen area
And living room
Front door and where the ramp will be built
Skipp in the living room
Master bath - there is another full bathroom and two more bedrooms

It is quite an adventurous move - leaving Connecticut and moving some 400 miles away. There is so much and so many we will miss.  Leaving my sister is so sad and complicated.  We have seen each other every day for three years since we moved into our cozy bungalow attached to her house.  The decision for her to sell her house was agonizing - but so it is done - the decision is made. And we all must move on.

One of the blessed miracles is that my eldest daughter has softened and opened her heart.  I kept candles aglow in the windows for ten years as a symbol of light and hope to guide her home - and she has seen the light - hallelujah!!~  She along with our grandchildren live on a huge farm just 10 minutes from our new home on "The Homestead On Mount-Hope"

My hospitalization in October was a scary set back for me. I continue to strengthen, adjust and manage my health. I believe that once we are beyond the chaos of this huge move and are settled at "Mount-Hope"that I/we will find a peaceful rhythm again.

This Christmas season is filled with promise, truth, blessings, miracles, soft and harsh realities, purpose and hope.....Our love and faith is  strong and continues to sustain us during the best and worst of times....we count our blessings every day -  Amen.

Friday, October 9, 2015


And so the direction is set - our faces to the wind - a journey north-west to upstate NY - where my eldest daughter awaits - with open loving arms and heart - saying it is "her turn now to be there for me"  The blessings in this fill my spirit with hope and joy and renewed faith.  
As I shared in the post before this one (which no one commented on-huh!)  anyway - I kept candles in all the windows for over 10 years so she would be guided by the light to find her way home.  And so she has in matters of the heart she is "home" with me - my baby-girl came home.  
Having her and my grandchildren waiting on the other end of this emotional journey gives me strength to carry on - keep moving. Our new home is only ten minutes from where she lives.  And my other daughter is planning on moving near us come Spring. My son told me he will always find his way to me - always.  
I am blessed.   

Friday, September 25, 2015


Great song!!  And so it seems that we are seeking shelter from the storm. The reality of our housing situation is upon us. We will be moving within the next six months or so at the longest.  We have set sail on the stormy sea keeping our eyes on the horizon as we seek land, calmer shores, shelter.

Out time here has served us well.  Our cozy bungalow has been ever-so-cozy, safe and warm.  We were able to be both family and friend to my sister and enjoy many loving times together.  She was very generous and we all were in this life boat together here on Old Nod Road.  My heart aches for my sister as she prepares to leave her home of 40 years and live all alone for the first time in  her life.

And for us trying to find housing we can afford that is designed for those with a physical disability is a complicated and arduous task.  The wait lists are very long and the applications even longer!!. We have an interview for mutual housing in a lovely area of Guilford on October 1st.  That would be so wonderful and would feel like we were going back home since we lived in Guilford for years.  If we cannot find subsidized housing in Connecticut we cannot afford to live in this state.  Which brings me to the next option

My eldest daughter whom most of you know had been estranged.  Well, not any more - it appears that my keeping the candles lit in every window for 10 years as a symbol of the light to guide her home paid off because she has found her way "home", in terms of heart and care and reconnecting - she still lives upstate NY (on a 110 acre farm w/live stock) but her heart is open to me and she said "I will never let you go Mom, never"  Amen.  And she, of course, wants us to relocate near her - living is very inexpensive where she is. This blessing and miracle of her opening her heart  may be the calm shore - the "shelter in the storm"  maybe..... (Did I mention she is a CNA?)

The thought of packing and moving overwhelms me in ways I cannot even express.  So be it - because the only way to the shelter from the storm is to navigate and survive the storm, right?   We still don't even have a direction though as to where we will live - tough to navigate while spinning!! So for now we are holding on as we spin until we have a direction......and then we can set our sights and sails to get us there-Amen.

How many of you are seeking "Shelter from the storm"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Times, they are a changin"!

 So true, this song says it all - about the cycles of life, ebbs and flows - surrender, change........I always recall when my Dad died years ago - I received a card in which lines from this song were quoted - and so too the meaning of his life was lovingly blended into the whole of things just as the seasons turn.

And so where am I in the seasons turns.  I am in battle with infection.  A raging battle my body, mind and spirit are fighting against.    I will start round four of oral antibiotics and if these are not successful it is on to IV antibiotics and a stay in the hospital.   I am spinning and turning through all seasons in my frightened mind and heavy heart.  Overwhelmed by the challenges of MS this battle on top of my daily fight for freedom is taking a toll on me, on us.

Also, our living situation is in upheaval.  This house may have to be sold and we will need to live elsewhere.  I struggle because I/we are not making that decision and in that I feel so small, powerless as I wait for decisions to be made that will impact our lives greatly.  I am trying to find where my power lies and right now it is in how I handle the waiting.  Not ideal.

So yes, I am turning and spinning and in waiting all at the same time.  I am overwhelmed and frightened.  I am holding on to Skipp as our world spins.  If I were to give an image of how I feel it would look like this:

imagine a little mouse, in a hole in the bottom of the wall just peeking out to see when it is safe to come out in to the light -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Robbed or gifted?

My response was immediate, knee-jerk so to speak when my sister said "we have been robbed of our play time because of MS"  - I replied, "we have also been gifted"  So which is it? - Both I think.

In so many ways we have been robbed,  MS  has stolen pieces of my life, pieces of me. I remember what I could do before MS - the difference is both staggering and frightening.  My sister, as do I wishes we could venture off for the day and walk at the seaport, or a mall, or even a weekend get away, museums and parks and concerts and so forth.  Such outings are complicated even with Skipp who knows how to assist me and manage my mobility devices. Such adventures with anyone else would be quite unsettling for me and whomever.  And so it seems I/we have in fact been robbed!

Let's look at the gifted side.  Because of my MS diagnosis we had to down size and live with less financial burden.  My Mom had passed away three years ago this month (oh how I miss her healing touch and love) and her adorable in-law apartment (which we call our cozy bungalow) was empty and we were blessed and gifted to be able to move in here which is attached to my sister's home. We re-did it to our style and moved in December 2012.  It is lovely here, and my sis is right next door.  We see each other every day and on Friday's we have a "happy-tizer" evening with wines and fun foods.  Robbed or gifted?  I wouldn't see her much if we were still in our home a few towns away. I understand that it would be fun to have adventures and play dates out and about.  I have adjusted, surrendered (for the most part) to a new way to be adventurous and play.  My heart does ache when I realize I can't vacation  with Skipp too far away or in places that make my mobility issue an obstacle. We too have surrendered to simpler, closer ventures.  My mind struggles sometimes to wrap around my limits and yet I am at the same time so aware of my freedoms.  Robbed? Gifted?  
Every time I navigate a curb, climb stairs, get in and out of the car, have lunch out, visit friends, scooter around a mall, sit by the water on Long Island Sound, enjoy a meal and fine wine at home, kiss, hug, laugh, cry, pray, believe, scream, feel, love, and love some more, I am gifted, robbed, surrendered, peaceful and enraged, I am here!!
So I ask all of you, as you surrender to your realities are you robbed and/or gifted?  

Me and my sister Nancy


Sunday, March 22, 2015


My beautiful Mom one Mother's day enjoying our garden and wooded yard.  So lovely. 
My Mom went to a nursing home for the last few weeks of her life.  Her surrender was peaceful and her surroundings were filled with good people, excellent care and an unspoken finality that hurt all of our hearts.  
And so it came, a gentle rain one day.  I could feel my heart break because I knew how much my Mom loved listening to the rain especially when she was in bed and the nursing home didn't allow windows to be open.  I knew she couldn't hear the rain and and it broke my heart.  We had given her a rain stick one year so I went and got hers and brought it back to the nursing home for her.  It wasn't the same.  I was very sad.   I so wanted her to have what she so loved - being able to hear the rain..........

From this I came to  know what matter in life - it's not money, fame, travels, possessions.  It's as simple and glorious as being able to listen to the rain and knowing you are loved enough that someone knew it mattered.  

What is your gentle rain?  What is the gentle rain in the lives of those you love? 
I hope you all know...... 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I wrote in my previous post about what really matters is how we effect one another.  If only everyone would take time to consider their effect on others - if only...............perhaps the assumption here is that we all hope to effect for the good, in kind, lovingly and 
honorably.  Not always the case, I know.  Let's all agree to be aware of our effect on others and that if it is a person's intention  to cause harm, well, don't do that!! DON'T DO THAT!!

Okay, enough ranting.  Moving on to some more gained wisdom.  It is about the gift of purpose and place in someones life.  What a wonderful gift we give to another when we let them know we need them.  Not in an overly dependent way but in a way that matters by honoring their gifts and talents - for that person simply being who they are - and how the place they have in our lives makes a positive difference, offers counsel and solace and understanding and hope.  That they matter to you.  And it is a double gift when you are the same to them and they too hold a place for you and value you and you have a purpose in their life.  
These priceless gifts of purpose and place can lift a broken spirit, heal a broken heart, right a wrong, sustain life, give life, save a life and bring light to darkness.  I think I have made my point - :-)  

For all the people in your life that need you and hold your place in their life dear -cherish them. And for all those that you have a place held dear and whose life is of value to you - tell them, loudly, softly, shout it, whisper it- and know, really -really know - this give and take, this sharing is at the very core of humanity - it is how we survive - it is how we come to believe we matter.  It is how we learn to love ourselves and be loved and love - PURPOSE AND PLACE - be generous with each.....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How we effect one another is all that really matters.

I recall, a few days after my Mom passed away.  I was sitting on the couch and bracing myself for what I needed to explore. I had a different language for it back then, - I was going to look back over my life and see if I had any regrets as to how I treated my Mom.  I was, in actuality, exploring how I had effected her.   I was so profoundly relieved to really know that I had always effected her well, considered her, showed her love and honor and kindness and all things good.  There was one time when I left the area and moved away for about a year.  My leaving had a hurtful effect on her and my Dad - I was so thankful I had made amends years before while they were both alive.

This wisdom about how we effect one another is certainly not new - however it is intensifying, deepening and is the recognizable guide upon which I do most everything.  Oh I am  not a saint or perfect, and I catch myself doing or saying something unkind from time to time - but not without immediate regret. And immediate amends.

I have people in my life that have not come to embrace this wisdom and one day, they too will have to atone.  I do wonder if everyone faces this self realization of how they have effected others.  If so, I do hope it is sooner than later and before it is too late.  It is hard to atone when the person or persons we effected badly are gone.  

I can honestly say that in this moment in time I am free of needing to make amends for how I may have effected another negatively. I do my best to consider others, act kindly, and 'listen'........ This understanding is so gentle and so natural now.  I am humbled and so grateful to have received and embraced this wisdom and to abide by its life-giving force.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Resolve and surrender - the freedom and ache of it all

....and here we are in the heart of Winter.  The Christmas season has been honored and memories created - and the New Year brings renewed hope. 
I thought that 2015 would be a year of resolve.  Now there's a loaded topic, right?   I don't have a lot of conflict resolution to tend to, thank goodness. One person in particular has left me wounded for quite some time. I have missed her for a very long time and have tried every way I know to rekindle our friendship. I just couldn't believe that she did not want me in her life nor was she interested anymore in sharing in mine.  We shared a deep and loving relationship/friendship with promises of forever friends - I guess I was the only one who knew, knows what a promise means.
 This is her at a combination graduation/engagement dinner celebration Skipp and I hosted

And this is a picture of our strong friendship circle of women -    which eventually fell apart.  Oh how I miss the strength of our circle.  The woman on the right went back 'home' to Australia, we are in touch' but it is so far apart.  The woman on the left stays in touch via a text or a phone call - but they are both rare. And the one in the middle I miss the most and is just gone - moved on so to speak and didn't want me along anymore.  So sad.  Her reasons were so odd; about our being in different stages of our lives, her in the fast lane and me slowing down - what?? When my Mom died she sent me a text saying she was sorry  - oh my - Sure sign things were over, huh?  Plus I truly believe she felt my having MS was a or would be a burden to her and stifle her life.  Again, how sad is that, huh? I  tried everything I know to keep our friendship(s) alive, but I was the only one trying.  I fought the good fight until I didn't.

I emailed her a week ago where I congratulated her on the birth of her son and told her how I have missed her and would love to see her again and meet her son.  She replied after a week.  Kind and cordial - wished me/us well and thanked me for the email.  She did not respond to or mention our getting together - and so it is - over.  I don't or wont or shouldn't or can';t try anymore.  Such true surrender is a relief and a terrible heart ache.  I knew I was opening myself to such pain again but I had to try - and so I have. I ached most of the night - but in the light if day I am better - a dull sad surrender of grief and loss.  I saw a post on facebook that said, "don't look for happiness in the same place you lost it"!!  And there it is, right?   And Skipp said - "....she has no idea what she is missing in you"  :-)  

To friendships that once were - and to those that are true to the end of time. Thank you JoAnn, Larry, Rosann, and Sherry - Amen