In the end, it doesn’t even matter

In the end, it doesn’t even matter

In the end, it doesn’t even matter.  All the fear, the arguments, the being right.  Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, I’d rather be happy than right.  I would agree with him.  When you have left this earth,  what matters is how you lived your life and the connections that you made.  People will remember how you made them feel and the words that you said. Are you choosing to lead with ego and fear, or authenticity and love?  

I’m sure we have all witnessed relationship stress.  Not only does it affect those directly involved, but it also affects their loved ones.  Many times, it’s miscommunication and the need to defend our views and to be right.  To me, it’s a  waste of time and energy to worry about others’ opinions and what they are thinking.  I’m not saying that I don’t worry about these at times, but I do have the awareness to know that it’s not in my best interest when I do.  We can’t control others thoughts and feelings, but we can control OUR own reactions.  It is good to see different perspectives, but when you connect with your intuition, you are the only one who can decide the best path for yourself.

I’ve been in a unique position of losing 3 of my loved ones in a short period of time, with little or no warning.  As the pandemic hit, I witnessed uncertainty, fear and unknown.  And through it all, I knew that it could be so much worse.  I know this pandemic has hit many people very hard, but in comparison to losing my family members, it’s just different.  What matters is those friends and family who have supported and reached out to me.  What matters is how I feel in the current moment, and giving myself the grace to treat myself as my best friend treats me.  

So, I invite you to take a look at where your mental energy is going.  Are you reliving negative conversations in your mind, or expecting the worse?  Are you thinking about your next step to prove that you are right?  Or, are you treating yourself and others kindly and understanding that we are all growing and learning in this new landscape?  That we all are doing the best that we can with the life experiences that we have been given?

Thank you for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

When the time comes, will you be ready?

When the time comes, will you be ready?

When the time comes, will you be ready?  When the opportunity to share your story arises, will you speak?  Each moment, each day is preparation. Sometimes, we don’t even know the reason we are preparing. We train for the race we signed up for. We study for the test that is next week.  But sometimes, the exams come when we least expect it.  Life can give us moments that we aren’t ready for, but how will we choose to show up?

When my uncle passed away in August 2018, I wasn’t ready. When my Grandma passed away in June 2019, I wasn’t ready.  And when my Dad passed away in December 2019, I wasn’t ready.  But I wonder, was I more prepared? Being more familiar with the funeral home, being involved in collecting photos for the picture boards, seeing my cousin lose her Dad.  Did these things make me more prepared?  Unfortunately, yes.

I’d seen and felt the grief. I was still going through the process when another tidal wave hit. I knew more.  I knew that it’s okay to cry for no reason.  I knew that I had to be gentle and patient with myself.  I knew that my loved ones who were above would want me to grieve, and then get back to being me, even if I didn’t feel like it.  I knew that I needed to go to work as a distraction and see my friends and coworkers.  I knew that I needed to do something different.  And I knew when friends and acquaintances lost a loved one,  I’d be prepared to talk or send them cute inspirational messages.  I could be there when others weren’t sure what to say.

It’s interesting, we go through life, and have no idea when our conversations with others or our previous experiences can come to our mind to help us or someone else.  I think the best thing we can do is keep going, and show up with an open mind and open heart.  Knowing, that it’s all unknown.  Knowing, that we are doing our best, in our current moment.  Knowing, that life gives us tests, and that even the bad experiences have a purpose in our journey.  How you show up for yourself matters. You deserve the best, so be kind to yourself.  Be present.  Take time to call your loved ones. Set boundaries that are healthy for yourself and others.  And know, there is a purpose for your life, even if you aren’t sure what it is quite yet.  You have the voice to speak your truth.  You have the light to share.  So when the time comes, will you be ready?        

When you meet me, you meet my Dad

When you meet me, you meet my Dad

When you meet me, you meet my Dad.  You also meet my best friend (she’s amazing!), my high school calculus teacher (he taught me patience), and my first boss (So generous and always brought us Krispy Kremes).  Each time we meet someone, we share all the memories and stories of those who have shaped our lives.  We don’t even have to say the words.  They are a part of us, and the experiences that we had with them become part of our soul.  We take them with us, and we can share their story as well.

I recently was talking to a friend who had never met my Dad, and we talked about how my Dad inspired others through his ability to beat the odds as a stage 4 cancer Survivor for 20 years.  My friend said, oh, so your Dad was resilient?  Yes, he was.  And honestly, having someone else recognize and articulate the word that I was describing surprised me.  How can someone who never met my Dad, and unfortunately never will, recognize the resiliency in my Dad?  Because, I am here to tell his story.  And because he passed down the bounce back ability to all who knew him, and even those who he just had passing interactions with. By connecting with others, I have the opportunity to share more about the loved ones in my life, and that’s a story I will keep on telling.

The other day, I was talking to my neighbor about my upcoming trip to Churchill downs.  He didn’t know that I enjoyed horse racing, and he told me about how his Dad would take him to Belmont to watch the horses run and bet on the races. As a boy, my friend had seen amazing horses such as Secretariat, Ruffian, and Foolish Pleasure race.  He said he was amazed by how many lengths Secretariat would win by.  He also witnessed the match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure, and remembers the jockey jumping off Ruffian on that fateful day.  Experiences that I hadn’t experienced, but as I talked with him, I realized that I also met his Dad in the time they shared together.  Although he hadn’t thought about those days for a long time, they were right there ready to be shared.

Take a moment to honor and thank those who were and are still in your life.  Even if you haven’t spoken or saw this person in years, they are still there.  Maybe it’s the teacher who liked to say big words like Megalopolis (BC Green team, you know who I mean). Maybe it’s the childhood best friend who you have no idea where she is.  Maybe it’s the TA from Chem 115 in college who wouldn’t let your class go home early when 911 hit. No matter who it is, know that all your good and not so good experiences with them are still with you, and they have had an impact.  When you meet me, you meet my Dad.  Who do I meet when I meet you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Our words live on

Our words live on

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you can leave someone feeling more uplifted and loved with your words?  Our words live on.  Good and bad.  All that we write to others is documented (especially now), a reminder of a different space and time. They may even become someone’s inner conversations.  What are you saying with your words?

I am lucky enough to have received an email in November 2018 from my Dad.  One that he sent to my sisters and me, recapping his memories with us.  Even though there were bad times that he acknowledged, he remembered the good in his life.  He thanked us for being a part of his life, and let us know that he had a wonderful life with us in it.  My mom and him didn’t receive a lot of “I love you’s” growing up, but in his email, he made sure that we knew that we were loved.

I just printed out the email, and know that this will be something that is so important to be passed along in our family, to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  My Dad didn’t have to take the time to reflect on this life and express it to us, but I am so glad that he did. Many people will leave this world with words left unsaid, but each of us has the opportunity now to connect with those in our life and express our feelings.  It’s easy to leave a few comments on social media, but really connecting with others takes more time and energy. 

 I was lucky enough to write my Dad a letter a few months before he passed away to express my love and gratitude. I had no clue what the next few months would bring when I wrote it. It was something that took a bit of effort, but I felt like it was important to write.  And now that he’s in heaven, I am so grateful that he read those words that he told me meant the world to him.  Had he or I have not written those words, we would have still known, but it’s nice to know for sure and have his email to reflect back on when I need a reminder.

Our words live on.  They are precious, and life is precious. Your words can have a positive or negative impact.  We can all use this reminder. Is there someone that you’d like to tell how much you love and appreciate them?  Why not take a moment to write that letter or send that email? It could make a world of difference in their life, and for generations to come.

When you love something, you don’t quit

When you love something, you don’t quit

I’ve been spending some of my North Carolina evenings shooting hoops, taking advantage of the opportunity to get outside during the winter months. Shooting around was something that I did growing up, but gave up after 9th grade basketball season. Why? At the time, I spent a lot of the time on the bench, and even though I loved my team, I wasn’t in love with the sport enough to try to keep playing in high school. I was okay taking my talents elsewhere and focusing on running. I never really missed it, but it was a game that my Dad loved. He was a proud member of the 1972 Sectional Championship team of the Pine Village Pine Knots. When I was growing up, my Dad would play pick-up basketball at the Oxford gym on Wednesday nights. He loved it. And I don’t remember when he stopped playing (possibly when he was diagnosed with cancer), but he definitely continued watching every Purdue game and loved watching his daughters and grandkids play. There was even that game in 5th grade when I was the leading scorer against the Boswell Blackhawks. I was fouled, made 1 free throw, and was a highlight for the Oxford Blue Devils as we lost 50 something to 1. Shout out to you if if you were in that gym that night! I know that he would be so proud of his oldest granddaughters Emma and Claire who are part of the 2020 Benton Central Lady Bison Sectional Championship team. I know that he was cheering them on from heaven.

I’ve played a few games of HORSE or PIG throughout the years, but really no desire to get back into playing basketball. Watching basketball, definitely, but not really playing. When my Dad’s birthday rolled around this January, I thought, I could buy a basketball and shoot at the hoop at the top of the hill in my neighborhood. I did, and have spent a few times just shooting around. And guess what, it is so much fun! There’s no pressure to win. No one cares if my shot goes in or not. And, I have found that the more I practice, the better that I am getting. It’s a way to relieve stress, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I understand why my Dad enjoyed shooting for hours as he was growing up. At times, it feels like he’s there with me shooting baskets, and I guess that’s probably the part that I love the most. A fun way to honor his memory and feel his spirit.

So, maybe I forgot that I did love playing basketball. Because as I spend my evenings around the hoop, it’s hard to remember why I gave it up. Maybe I took a break, and maybe I never quit. Maybe Dad took a break when he could no longer physically play, and maybe he never quit either. Just taking a rest as an opportunity to encourage and cheer on (or yell at!) other players. I’m pretty sure he is drilling threes in heaven, playing with his teammates that were lost along the way, including my Uncle Steve. I bet they are celebrating a Lady Bison victory, and I know that he is happy watching me shoot around, and that Emma and Claire got to be on a championship winning team. I always wanted to make my Dad proud, and even though I wasn’t the best basketball player growing up, I know that he was always proud of me and is still. One lesson that I have learned is that when you love something, you don’t quit.

Division doesn’t go away overnight

Division doesn’t go away overnight

Division doesn’t go away overnight, but I wish that it did.  As the presidency changes hands, I see mixed emotions on social media.  Some people are celebrating, and some are fearful of the future and the unknown.  I believe that individual people make up the nation, and it cannot be saved by one person or one particular political party.  There is still so much for us to do as individuals.  Perhaps the last year or so has brought to light injustice that has always been there, hidden beneath the surface.  Maybe it was shown to us to give us an opportunity to clear the negativity from the nation’s soul, and rebuild with unity and love.  Without awareness, a change cannot be made.  Will we choose to fight with our fellow humans and emphasize the division, or will we choose to create a new world of peace and understanding?  What will you do to help America heal?

Choosing Presence over Escape

Choosing Presence over Escape

Presence.  It’s a gift, and to me it means being fully invested in the moment.  It’s listening intently to the person who is speaking to you.  Not thinking about what you will be saying next, or any other distraction that comes up to take space in your mind.  Presence is being fully engaged with all of our senses.  Seeing the beauty in the moment, no matter how hard it is, and not looking for an escape.  Being okay with the unknown that is surrounding us and embracing what we are experiencing in our current reality.

We all have 24 hours in our days, and we get to decide how we spend our time. It’s so easy to zone out, and allow our minds to be racing on a loop of thoughts that do not serve us.  It’s easy to scroll on social media or reach for ice cream when you are bored or upset.   In the moment, it feels like a good option, but usually doesn’t leave us feeling uplifted or energized. How can we use the gift of presence for ourselves and the people in our life? 

The past month, I found myself spending more time on social media than I wanted to, and I realized that I was using it as an escape from my feelings and having to completely experience the now.  When I didn’t want to think about the grief that I was going through, I found that it was easier to distract myself with mindless scrolling.  I didn’t have to feel any sadness or heaviness if I gave my mind somewhere else to go.  Unfortunately, the grief never went away, and I would just end up feeling worse about myself in the comparison/negative news of social media. What if we absorb ourselves in our day to day life instead of finding a getaway? How would we feel?  Possibly more inspired and connected to this world and our loved ones? 

When we are distracted in the present moment, that’s time that we can’t get back.  Time is our most valuable possession, and we each get the choice to decide how we use ours. How does it feel when you are talking to someone, and they are clearly in another world?  It doesn’t feel good, and it makes you feel not so important.  Distracting yourself from your life is the same thing, and gives yourself the same sign that you aren’t important either.  Mary Kay Ash once said that you should imagine each person in your life with an invisible sign that says “Make me feel important.”  How simple is that?  Giving your full and undivided attention to the person in front of you.  Really listening and hearing what is spoken.  Not just listening to their words, but reading their body language as well.   So many people need someone to listen to them, especially in our current times.  Connection is needed now more than ever.  How can you connect with others?  Who has been on your mind who would love to hear from you?

There were many times over the last year that I didn’t want to be present, but I was as in the moment as I could be.  When my Grandma was in the hospital and in home hospice, I didn’t want to be present.  I wanted to be anywhere else, but I also knew that there would be a time that I would miss being there in that moment with my Grandma and our family, even if it was so hard.  I would miss holding her hand, and being so exhausted from all of the sadness and unknown.  And I didn’t want to be present in November when I drove my Dad and I home, and he started playing songs on his phone that he wanted played at his funeral.  I fought back tears and didn’t want to hear the songs or see the meaning of what he was trying to prepare me for, but I also knew as we drove, I would someday miss that moment.  I would want to be in his truck, trying to pretend that I didn’t know what he was telling me that his time on Earth was coming to a close. I didn’t want to be in his truck hearing Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton sing “As I get where I’m going” with my Dad in the passenger seat, but now I would give anything to go back to that drive on the cold, windy day.  Writing these words takes me right back to those very hard moments, but my hope is that in sharing them, someone who may someday be in my shoes can do their best to show up for their loved ones and themselves in this moments.  Is there something in your life you’d rather not deal with and find an escape from?   How can you bring yourself back into the now?

There’s so many ways to become preoccupied, but there’s also ways to bring ourselves back into the moment.  Each moment is a new beginning. My phone is a big distraction for me, and I have added an app to track my screen time which has helped me to see how much time I am really spending on it.   I removed the notifications from a lot of my apps on my phone, and have put it outside of my bedroom when used as my alarm clock.  I started putting to-do items and papers in an inbox, then dealing with them at a certain time instead of always feeling like there was something that needed my attention.  This all is a work in process, but reminding myself to be conscious and aware has helped.  Maybe try making an effort to become more mindful when you drink a glass or water or eat a meal.  In nature, it’s easier for me to be present as I listen to the birds and watch the branches sway in the wind.  I believe that awareness is the first step.  Do you have any tips for being more present in your life?

I encourage you to take a moment to assess your ability to be present for yourself and others. Know that we all have time that we wish we could take back, but we get a blank sheet each day to write our new story.  Being present isn’t always easy, but I believe that it is always worth it. I am choosing to be present instead of looking for an escape in these unknown times. Is there anything in your life that you wish that you were spending less time doing?  What are some ways that you can become engaged while in a conversation?  How could you be more present and show up for yourself and others?

Imperfect Pieces

Imperfect Pieces

By Tracey Lemming

In our lives, there will be times when we lose pieces of our puzzle.  We know that our world won’t ever be the same again.  One by one, we put the pieces back together. But, it looks different. Maybe we add in pieces that we didn’t know we had and take more out along the way. Do we give up because it won’t look like the version that we expected when we started? Or do we keep going and create a new puzzle with missing and imperfect pieces?

When I spent 4 months in Indiana during COVID-19, my Mom and I put together a few puzzles.  It was an activity that I enjoyed, but hadn’t done in quite awhile (beside a rainy beach day in vacation mode).  Seldom did I allow myself the time and space just to enjoy simply putting together a puzzle. The first one was 1,000 pieces and a Fall leaves scene.  At first, it was overwhelming.  So many pieces, and they all looked alike!  But, as we kept going, it got easier, and it was easier to differentiate between the leaves on the trees from the leaves on the ground.  It took patience, presence, and perseverance. Throughout the process, it was fun to find the pieces that fit together. The second puzzle that we decided to tackle was already together when we saw it, but it was missing a piece.  We chose to tear it apart and put it back together anyway.  Knowing that it was missing a piece didn’t make the activity any less enjoyable.  We could have decided that it wasn’t worth our time and energy knowing that it wouldn’t be perfect when it was finished, but had we chosen to not try, we would have missed out on the joy that was still there in the puzzle.

The last few months have left many of us unsure of what path to take, what piece to hold and put down. We can’t quite see over the horizon.  Mountains are in the way that weren’t there before.  It’s all unknown.  Plans that we had were suddenly changed, and we have the choice to surrender to what is, or to fight for what we knew before.  Unfortunately, we can’t go back.  This life as we knew it is completely changed.  Whether you have suffered the loss of a loved one, a job, or an every day activity, it’s okay to take the time to mourn your loss.  Giving yourself the time and space to grieve your loss is one of those “self-care” activities that is easy to bypass, but I believe that it’s important to fully heal.  Your loss is yours, and mine is mine, but collectively we can show compassion for one another.  No one knows the magnitude of your grief but you. No one knows how many pieces are missing from your puzzle, and no one knows what you may find when you begin looking for new pieces.

I would love to go back to a time when all my loved ones were still here to see the sun rise each morning.  I would love to be able to hug my Uncle Steve, my Grandma Fellure, and my Dad.  I will see many sunrises and sunsets without them, which feels so unbearable at times.  If I could only go back 2 years, or 14 months, or just 8 months, maybe things could be different.  But, I choose to keep going.  I choose to put the pieces of the puzzle back together.  Doing my best to honor my loved ones by sharing their stories and sharing mine. Knowing that the puzzle will look different than expected when it’s complete, and that’s okay.  There will be pieces added and removed along the way.  But, there will also be a lot of love and joy in the journey. We all get the choice to decide where we go from here. Will you give up on it all, or will you continue to put together your imperfect pieces?

Brighter than the Sun

Brighter than the Sun

Written by Tracey Lemming

Moths are drawn to the light, and so are we.  Many want to be in the spotlight, brighter than the sun. Our society values likes, selfies and memes over Ideas, Authenticity, and Emotions.  Comparison is a trap, and if we are not careful, we will fall in it.  Keeping up with the Kardashians, filtered photos, and unreal expectations are the name of the game.

But, what if you let go of all the expectations? Yours, others, and society’s.  The striving for perfection, always buying the next best thing, and feeling validated with the number of friends on your social account.  How would it feel to accept where you are in this moment exactly as is?  Take a moment to release the energy of always being “on” and tune into your inner wisdom.  Who do you want to be at this moment?  How will you align with your authentic self?  Your life is a canvas, and you get to paint your own masterpiece.

I found out how little I really needed when I spent 4 months in Indiana when only expecting to stay a week.  Somehow I made it from snow in March to a hot and humid July with a small suitcase.  How did I manage to make my wardrobe last through the seasons?  Friends and family.  When it grew warmer, friends cleaned out their closets and gave me their extra clothes.  I only bought 1 pair of sandals in the 4 months, and that wasn’t even necessary as my friend had let me borrow hers.  I have some really great friends and family, and I bet you do too.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?  We use 20% of the items in our life 80% of the time.  And we use the other 80% of our items, only 20% of the time.  This applies to all aspects of our lives.  Do we really need 80% of our items, or have we fallen in the trap of measuring our worthiness by the number of possessions that we have?  When I got back to North Carolina, I was overwhelmed by the number of items surrounding me, and how little I missed or needed them.  Some have meaning and usefulness, but most of them are just unnecessary stuff.  As I am preparing for new flooring, it has been a good time for me to look at what I love and use, and see what I can let go of for others to enjoy.  I have found that the less that I have wanting my energy, the more freedom and clarity that I feel.  What are some things that you could let go of that are weighing you down?

The 80/20 rule also applies to our time.  If you think about it, a lot of us are spending 80% of our time doing the same thing, while there is a vast array of other things we could be focusing on and using our energy towards.  For me, social media can be a good distraction from all the other things in my life that could be more meaningful.  However, I am aware that about 80% of the items on my newsfeed are negative and draining my energy.  I could let go of this habit and use that time connecting with others, spending more time in nature, and practicing healthier habits. If we could let go of what weighs us down, and focus on those things that bring us joy and happiness, I believe that we may find more peace.  When our focus is on the negativity that surrounds us, we see more bad stories and separation.  But if we switch our focus to unity and love, we find people and stories that uplift us.

As we continue on this roller coaster ride that 2020 has become, I invite you to let go of the distractions, the unnecessary, and the negative focus.  Instead, take inventory of those habits, activities, and loved ones who empower and elevate you.  Focus your time and energy on what brings you joy.  Turn off the news, step outside, and call a loved one.  Shifting our focus to what matters most can allow us to live a life brighter than the sun.  We get this choice every day.  Why not begin now?   

What hurts the most

What hurts the most

By Tracey Lemming

For me, what hurts the most about losing the ones that I love is no longer being able to communicate with them in this physical world.  At least not in the way that I want and expect to.  It’s still having questions, and not being able to pick up the phone and ask them. It’s trying to imagine that for the rest of my life, they will no longer be here physically with me.  Intuitively I know that they are in a better, more peaceful place.  But the knowing that they won’t be here to celebrate the many happy times left in my life is really hard.  Having them protect and guide me from above is comforting, but it’s not the same.  I gained 3 beautiful angels in the last 2 years, but I wish it had been different. Everyone wants more time.

Unfortunately, it’s not different, and it cannot be changed. I was blessed with more time with my Uncle, Grandma, and Dad than some people are able to spend with their loved ones.  I’ve learned many lessons during this time that I may not have learned until later in life had I not experienced this grief, and I am sure that more lessons will still be revealed as time goes on.  Time is promised to no one, and it truly is a gift.  What we choose to do with our time and energy is something that is up to us. I believe that the more time that you can spend with your loved ones and living your purpose, the better.  When you have a pull to do or ask something, just do it.  When you follow your intuition and your passion, you will feel the most happy, and can go to bed feeling that your day was good and meaningful.

Navigating a life that will never be the same is challenging.  It’s looking through new eyes, and learning as you go.  The plan that you had is no longer the plan. It’s learning how to adapt, and accept what cannot be changed. Although I no longer hear my loved ones voices, we can still communicate. Sometimes it’s through dreams, songs, or seeing something that brings back a sweet memory.  I’ve been lucky enough to receive visions of my Uncle and Dad smiling since they have ascended towards the sky, so that helps me to know that they are safe and happy. I try to remember these images and be happy for them when I am feeling sad.

After my Uncle Steve’s passing and when I was back at work, I was finally feeling a bit more like myself. One day, I drove with my convertible top down and listened to my favorite song.  As I parked and grabbed my bags out of my trunk, I noticed a penny in my parking spot behind my back tire.  It hadn’t been there in the morning when I left for work, and I laughed and said “I wonder who this is from” out loud. As I picked up the penny,  I instantly knew.  1971, the year my Uncle graduated from high school, and a nod from him to keep on enjoying the day and doing what makes me happy. I believe that our loved ones and angels leave us pennies from heaven, as they are noted with the words “In God we trust.” They are signs from above letting us know that we are on the right path and loved.   It’s moments like this that you simply know that there is something greater than what meets the eye.

When I returned to my daily life after my Dad’s passing, I noticed that the motion activated solar lantern next to my front door would blink, although it had never blinked before during the few years that I had it.  Normally, it would turn on only when I was walking up my stairs and opening my screen door.  However, now it would blink on and off.  It would even begin blinking when I was still in my car, and walking towards my door.  It was never able to detect motion from that far away before.  I remember crying in my car before I went inside, and looking at my house.  Sure enough, the lantern was blinking to comfort me, even though there was no motion anywhere. I knew that it was my Dad welcoming me home and letting me know that he was okay and he wanted me to be happy, not sad. Even though he is not physically here in my life, he wants to still be here for me. Because I am open to receiving communication and willing to be present, I have been blessed to receive these gifts.  

About a month before my Dad passed away, I had excitedly told him about the “Woodpecker Birds” at my bird feeder and how big they were.  He laughed and teased me because he thought it was funny that I added the word “Bird” to the obvious “Woodpecker”.  Of course a woodpecker is a bird. After my Dad passed away, my coworker was talking about how he would laugh and tease his daughter, and I mentioned how my Dad would do the same to me, and recently laughed about the “Woodpecker birds.”  The next morning was one of those days that I didn’t really want to get out of bed and face the day, but I did, and I asked for a sign from my Dad and strength to keep going.  As I was getting ready, I suddenly heard tapping outside my window.  It startled me, and I looked outside.  You guessed it, Woodpecker Birds.  I laughed as they had never been so loud before or pecked at my house,  and I knew that it was surely my Dad teasing me and laughing again.

The day after my Dad passed away, I was driving towards my parents house and I saw 3 cardinals. I knew that it was my Grandma, Uncle, and Dad saying hello and having a lot of fun together. I believe that cardinals are good luck and visitors from heaven.  It’s very comforting when I hear the cardinals song, and see their beautiful red feathers.

Life will never be the same when you go through any type of loss.  Grief changes you, but I hope that it changes us for the better.  I hope that it makes us more in-tune with ourselves and this world, and more grateful for those in our life who love us. We now know that everything can change any moment, and it’s important to make the best of each day. Some days are better than others, but as we keep going, we are becoming stronger and can pass our wisdom and life lessons onto others.  We can perceive simple signs and moments, and feel the vastness of this universe. What are some ways that you’ve received signs from those on the other side? What have you learned through experiencing grief?