Category Archives: Faith

39 More Days

Only 39 days left until Sunday – January 1, 2017!  39!!  I don’t know where the time goes.  Most days, it all seems to pass in a blur … a blur of depression, sadness, hurt, tiredness.  The past two years, I have to admit, has seen me at my most vulnerable in real time and not just via words on my blog.  I have had some heart-to-heart conversations with family and so-called friends who have hurt me or not been there for me in my darkest hours.  I have done a lot of de-cluttering of my life.  I may still be alone, but I am at peace.

I have tried to make each year better but I failed so many times.   I pray that 2017 is it – the biggest year for me yet.  I have been living off the radar, under the bar for so long.  Now I just want to shine bright.  I want to be noticed – I want to be appreciated.

I wish I knew now what I have learned while dealing with the death of so many loved ones back-to-back.  I believe I wouldn’t have lost so many good years due to my mourning.  I put myself in such a dark place, such a sinking hole.

Ironically, I have complained that I had no support system but honestly I realize now how much I cut people out, and how easy immediate family made it for me.  As for new friends, I rarely let new people in my life the past 15 years.  Working hard on trying now.   I need and want people in my life – but worthy, deserving people.  I want to be able to build each other up, not tear each other down.

For so many years, being strong found me pretending to be okay.  I didn’t want to appear weak.  But this pretending came with a very high cost which I am still paying the price.  I shut people out, I lost interest in so many things, I gave up, I let depression and PTSD keep me mired down in grief.  I hid parts of me away.  I would not get really close to anyone.  I kept to myself, isolated.  I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable nor have anyone worry about me.  So today, I have no support system and no one is worried about me.  I guess I ultimately got what I thought I wanted.  Emotional seclusion instead of a complete and utter breakdown is where I have been residing.  And the few times I have let myself be honest, forthcoming, and vulnerable, I have been met with lack of understanding.  So I withdrew even more.

It’s such a cycle.  When a person like me who is already an introvert, keeps everything inside, never fully accepting how messed up I really was, it’s all downhill from there.  I find myself trying so hard to crawl out of the dungeon I found myself in.  Writing has helped me tremendously.  Social media  has helped me as well – I get to be somewhat social without actually investing in friendships too much or sharing true intimacy.   It has provided an outlet – a necessary one.  I need to search and bare my soul.  I need some guidance, acceptance, understanding – even if it at first it appears shallow.  We all need to feel connected.   I’m thankful that social media has brought people back into my life. To me, the past few years have been a rebirth for me – learning how to crawl, walk, talk … all over again.  Now I am more than ready to spread my wings and fly away … with hope in my heart and grace in my step.


One day … See You On The Other Side

Where does the time go?!  Why do some things never get any easier with time?  Why does my heart ache so?  Why does my anxiety level just skyrocket this time of the year? This weekend is so hard already for me.  Was in NYC and every time I heard a siren, I found myself nearly jumping off the sidewalk.  Too much sadness in the world.  So much on the news.  Sunday will mark 15 years since 9/11 terrorist attacks.  My life the past 22 years since my brother died in 1994, followed by my Dad’s passing in 1998 and then my fiance’s death on 9/11/2001- has been a long journey of loss, worry, depression, grief, anxiety, failure and slowly healing.  Each death, each loss, each time – something about my life changed and I lost pieces of myself.

Time does not fully heal all wounds.  I may still be broken, and my heart remains shattered…but it still beats and for that I am grateful.  The past few years of heartbreak and loss have also shown me much compassion and gratitude, and strengthened my faith. Some of my fear has diminished and I have more clarity, focus, determination to live fully for them.  I have found some peace.  Grief doesn’t end for me; doesn’t go away…but it does change.  Times like this weekend stir too many memories – good and bad.  Sadly, so many people believe that my grieving is a sign of weakness – but they are wrong.  Some people believe I lack faith – but they are also wrong.  My grieving after all these years is a testament to the love I shared with these men in my life.  The price I pay each and every minute, of every single day for loving them; for allowing their love to be a part of me.  So I don’t care if people think I am weak or mad.  I have had magic in my life and there is still fire in my will.  My brother, my Dad, Michael, my forever heart – they don’t just cross my mind, every once in a while – they live in it.  Always loved, forever missed.  In laughter and in sorrow, in sunshine and in rain – I know they are watching over me… my very own Angels in Heaven… until we meet again.

Grief is my shadow – following me everywhere I go.  Pain is manageable, dulled by my memories.  Ache is constant, made more hollow with sadness.  But then love and compassion fill me with light and hope.  Sunshine comforts me.   Some days I allow myself to just exist, no pressure and I get through it without guilt. I am able to find peace in moments of time, where I move forward, slowly with grace in my step, hope in my heart and smile through my tears.    Just breathing.

This song gets me each and every time … Ozzy Osbourne – “See You On The Other Side”:

Voices, a thousand, thousand voices
Whispering, the time has passed for choices
Golden days are passing over, yeah

I can’t seem to see you baby
Although my eyes are open wide
But I know I’ll see you once more
When I see you, I’ll see you on the other side
Yes, I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side

Leaving, I hate to see you cry
Grieving, I hate to say goodbye
Dust and ash forever, yeah

Though I know we must be parted
As sure as stars are in the sky
I’m gonna see when it comes to glory
And I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side
Yes I’ll see you, I’ll see you on the other side

Never thought I’d feel like this
Strange to be alone, yeah
But we’ll be together
Carved in stone, carved in stone, carved in stone

Hold me, hold me tight, I’m falling
Far away. Distant voices calling
I’m so cold. I need you darling, yeah

I was down, but now I’m flying
Straight across the great divide
I know you’re crying, but I’ll stop you crying
When I see you, I see you on the other side
Yes. I’ll see you. See you on the other side
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah

I’ll see you. See you on the other side
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I wanna see you, yeah, yeah, yeah, see you on the other side
God knows I’ll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I’m gonna see you. See you on the other side


“I Am Yours”

I needed this song today ….reminder that God is ever present.  He sent us this beautiful singer whose voice is purely graced with a gift.  Angels shine His love onto our darkness.


I see Your fingerprints
The work of Your hands
It’s all in Your hands
I see the evidence
Leaving nothing to chance
The world’s in Your hands

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours

Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

I hear the voice of love
Calling me home
To where I belong
It cripples every fear
And the ones who will kneel
Will walk away healed

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours
No power is strong enough
To separate me from Your love
I’m Yours…

So let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

Even the thunder and the wind obey
At the command of my Father, Father
I set my feet upon Your mighty name
So let the rain fall harder, harder

So take my everything, my flesh and blood
I’ll lay me down on the altar, altar
I am forever covered in Your love
So let the rain fall hard

So let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

You are God over the storm
And I am Yours


The Edge of Forever

It’s my Hallmark’s Signed, Sealed Delivered marathon Saturday!  Just finished watching episode 5: The Edge of Forever.  As a mother’s last wish is to unite her daughters after her death is realized by words in a letter.  Part of the letter is read aloud: “A treasure waits for you to find, but only if you leave behind whatever each has in her heart that kept two sisters so long apart.”

Story of love, family, forgiveness, respect and moving on …  and the power of heartfelt words.

The final lines of the letter implore the two sisters to disperse their mother’s ashes together; to take the hike they never got to and find the edge of forever. As the sisters walk through the forest they come upon a breathtaking clearing where mountains rise above the valley. As the sisters open the urn and prepare to disperse the ashes, they realize they should say a prayer. Shane looks to Oliver, saying as a man of faith he would be the perfect person to deliver a final prayer. As the two sisters join hands and disperse their mother’s ashes, Oliver speaks:

“Whenever I have sorrow, Whenever clouds arise, when songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow and I know… He watches me.”

What beautiful words … finding hope and comfort with faith in God in any given situation … yes, we must keep doing so.  Timing is everything.  Trying to remember that God walks with me … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


God’s Wake-up Call

Someone reminded me today that our pains are God’s way to awake us from slumber, inactivity.

Pain from illness can be one of the biggest wake-up calls. Pain is our wake-up call to awaken, to look deeper into ourselves, to adjust the course of our life. I believe God tries to be as gentle as possible, and only if we ignore the call does the pain get stronger. So, my pain is unbearable at times. I hide myself from the world. I know I need to try harder not to hide, disappear, hibernate. I know I need to find my smile each and every day, lighten up, eat better, and yes even exercise (yikes). But who can do any of this when we are in pain?

I came across this quote and it also serves as a reminder of a much needed wake-up call:

“Pain is a spiritual wake-up call showing you that there are oceans you have not yet explored. Step beyond the world you know. Reach for heights that you never thought possible. Go to places you have deemed off limits. This is the time to take off the shell of your past and step into the rich possibilities of your future. God does not give us dreams that we cannot fulfill. If you want to do something great with your life-whether it’s to fall madly in love, become a teacher, be a great parent-if you aspire to do something beyond what you are doing now, this is the time to begin. Trust yourself.” ― Debbie Ford, Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life

One of my favorite actors, Anthony Hopkins portrays one of my favorite writers, C. S. Lewis in the movie ‘Shadowlands’, and in more than one scene we hear “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world”. Lewis’ full quote:

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

I know God has a purpose for our pain, a reason for our struggles and a reward for our faithfulness. So with grace in our steps, hope in our hearts – let’s not give up!


Give it to God …

We hear this a lot – ‘Give it to God’. But this story brought it home for me and gives me a too real perspective. Life is short.

The below link will take you to a blog post by the country duo, Joey & Rory.

Excerpt: “We came home, Not to die. But to live.To bask in the glory of the beautiful life He’s blessed us with, and try not to question why we can’t have more of it together. And why He is allowing this to happen. So we don’t have forever. We’ve got right now.”

http://thislifeilive.com/enough/

Be inspired. Pray for all – since we are going through something. Live your life to the fullest … with grace in our steps, hope in our hearts.


Energy Fading…

Another week passed, few days closer to the holidays. I am tired of the person I see in the mirror. My health has become stagnant, so has my life. I find myself pushing good people away, and wanting the bad people to want me. I make no sense these days. My emotions are forever on a see-saw. Loneliness is not when you don’t have anyone with you – its when you have many people around you, but not the one you so desperately want. God, can I miss the men in my life anymore than I already do?? I want my brother, my father and my forever heart Michael just for one more day. Other times, I think wow, how easy would it be to just succumb to the pain of my life and the tumors raging inside my body and just be with them. I try so hard not to pray for death but for life. Most days I fail, especially lately. I am broken. My heart, my spirit, broken. I am lost. This time of year is just so hard. I let so very few people see the real pain behind my smile. Am I just too quiet for the world? A doormat?

I know I am a smart person, my IQ says so…but for the past ten years, I have made so many stupid mistakes. I know deep in my smart mind, that I should never allow myself to get attached to anyone unless they also feel the same towards you, because one sided expectations can mentally destroy us. Yes, they can. Lately the worst feeling is being used by someone who I thought actually, genuinely cared for me. I know I love with all I have, I give all that I have. When I love, I see no limitations. But I have to keep reminding myself, if someone hurts me, betrays me, I must love myself more, enough to let go.

I understand the theory of letting go all too well. Just tired of it. Tired of living it. I know….how we need to walk away sometimes, not to make someone else realize how worthy I am, but for me to fully understand and accept my own self worth. I know every heart has a story to tell – I just wish mine would be more about life than death; about light, than darkness.

I know today I look extra sad…mirrors don’t lie. I am actually sad every day, but today, well I just don’t have any more energy left.


Every second, everything changes…

They say cats have nine lives…well, I am beginning to believe so do I. I know I have had many health scares. And it has changed me in a way I am still fully learning to understand and accept. But today, once again, I got some positive news from my doctors. For months, I feel like I have given up. I just don’t have the best support system. Easy to give up – when you feel so alone. Picking out headstones, finalizing my living will, giving away my clothes, furniture. But today, doc told me the cancer stopped spreading. And although I am far from out of the woods, I may, just may, once again outlive my prognosis. I sit here, outside in NYC at Central Park crying as I try to write this. I don’t think many can understand how I feel. I almost completely gave up. I know I did. But I am over the moon happy that this stupid smiling depression of mine didn’t get the best of me. I was born a preemie and I will always be a fighter. I know this deep down inside. I just lost sight of it for awhile. I was barely hanging on. But I am finding the strength somehow to keep moving forward. Living with a death sentence hovering is, was, will be – my own prison. Few things in life, can forever change a person. Getting a diagnosis of cancer just puts things in perspective but then pain can make us lose that just as easily. Focus shifts. Goals change. Desires lost. Seconds turn into years. Cramming a lifetime into days. I have been doing this all my adult life. Pushing people away. Begging them to stay. Cursing. Praying. Hoping. Letting go. Learning. Crying. Screaming. Accepting.

Many don’t understand that tomorrow is not a given. I lost my way for a bit, as I always do. But I remain hopeful that tomorrow will come. …that many tomorrows are still here for me. I feel like I am cheating death. And maybe I am just living life…to the fullest. Not looking backwards. Time. Timing. Timeless. Who knew the aggressive cancer would respond so much better than expected to my last course of treatment? I didn’t. I would have bet all I had – oh wait, I did. I am still in shock I think, as I write. Not sure why, I have been here before. This should be home for me. Being sick has been my stability. Sounds crazy but that has been my label for too many years. Immune system shot. I get sick at the mere mention of a cold. But today’s news, and the way I have been feeling the last couple of weeks, has me happier than I dare to believe. Do I dare hope? One minute I am fighting to literally breathe, the next I just give up, resign myself to dying, and now I can’t stop smiling. Life. This is my life…the pain, loss of strength, nausea, weight fluctuations, exhaustion, and shortness of breath are beginning to gradually fade. I know my body is healing…I can go up and down the stairs without gasping, less pressure from the tumors in my chest, weight stable, can enjoy food again, more positive outlook is evolving. Weeks have turned into months, and I pray against all that my next scan will show that the cancer is in remission. A girl can dream. Yes. Now I just have to figure out my life. For months, my life meant dying. I have been preparing for death. I am ruined financially. I am fragile. I am happy but shocked. I don’t know what to do now. I wasn’t expecting to be brought back from the edge of death. Learning how to live. *sigh* That is always my dilemma. Do I allow myself the luxury?

So I will never stop thinking or asking my doctors, “Am I dying?” I’m just not quite sure where I am and what I should be doing. I understand that the cancer will at some point take my life but not today. Sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers. Only God does. And He spared me once again. I guess my job here on earth is not completed. And for that I am grateful. A huge part of me apprehensive. So I am going to go out there and continue to live my life. Trying. It’s almost like I have been living in reverse somehow.

On a logical level, we all know life is short. We say this all of the time. But few of us actually live accordingly.

“We are all dying, every moment that passes of every day. That is the inescapable truth of this existence. It is a truth that can paralyze us with fear, or one that can energize us with impatience, with the desire to explore and experience, with the hope- nay, the iron-will!- to find a memory in every action. To be alive, under sunshine, or starlight, in weather fair or stormy. To dance with every step, be they through gardens of flowers or through deep snows.” ― R.A. Salvatore

Truer words have not been expressed … LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

I remain forever hopeful, crying through my tears with grace in my step …make that dance steps.

Today…everything changed.


Life is fragile…RIP Rodney ♥

Today I received another sad reminder of how short life truly is. Lost another friend today, on this cold, rainy April day. So deeply saddened to hear of my friend, my classmate, my fellow Piscean – Rodney’s passing, for his family’s loss.

My heart is heavy and I am compelled to write, to attempt to unleash some of my feelings, my sadness. But words somehow also seem so hard and inadequate to express the sadness I am feeling. Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of how fragile and short life truly is. Try to live in the moment. I have dealt with too much death, passing of loved ones. And it doesn’t get easier; if anything it gets harder. Constant reminders of how mortal we are. Any time there is a tragedy, a sudden unexpected death I am once again reminded that life is so fragile. It also reminds me to focus on the present, to let the hurts and disappointments of the past slip away, and let go of the concerns and fears of the future. Life is way too precious to hold onto regrets, bitterness. Plans, our upcoming June school reunion, now just seem so trivial by comparison. Need to re-evaluate my personal priorities. What becomes more precious is the time spent with loved ones. My friend’s passing is yet another wake-up call to take care of ourselves, emotionally and physically. We need to treasure every moment, take notice of the value of time…time waits for no one.

Rodney’s sudden and unexpected death is a painful reminder of the extreme fragility of life. Rodney was such a strong, vibrant person. I will miss his daily Facebook uplifting quotes and funny posts. As I sit here, staring at the words as I type, attempting to make sense of this profound sadness I am feeling, it grows darker outside the window. Words and sentences, like me, have difficulty breathing in this space. One of the most important things any of us can do now is to try to find some meaning in tragedy, and to honor and offer our gratitude for those who have been taken away from us too early.

Heaven has another angel. Holding tight onto my memories and letting them guide me through this sadness and realization that life and health are fleeting. ♥

October 2013 Reunion - RIP Rodney ♥

October 2013 Reunion – RIP Rodney ♥


Reunited…and it feels so good.

Reunited…and it feels so good. Yes! Finally! Yesterday was a great day…a day all about ME. I was funny, charming, silly, impulsive…I felt alive, like I didn’t have a care in the world. And for a few blissful hours, I didn’t. I made my usual Saturday night plans for dinner then movie…and found myself dancing the night away into the wee hours of the morning. I have not felt this free in years. It was fantastic. I was surrounded by good friends – the non-judgmental ones; friends who want nothing tangible from me except friendship. Being the oldest in the night club and not being comfortably dressed, did not deter me from having a great time. I felt at peace, even beautiful. I have realized that it has been way too long since I have completely, and literally, let my hair down.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The most important decision of your life, the one that will effect every other decision you make, is the commitment to love and accept yourself. It directly affects the quality of your relationships, your work, your free time, your faith, and your future.

I go out, and am usually worried about parents, dog, money, having to get up early to do things for others. I am usually so sleep deprived that I tire way too easy.

Yesterday, my Saturday started like most other Saturdays…buying the paper for my Dad, getting pastries, fresh bread for my parents, walking the dog, going into NYC for some volunteer work. I should have known it would be a great day…one of the young cancer patients I counsel, is actually showing such remarkable progress. Hope, faith…praying.

Trains were on time. I was actually only two minutes late for my much needed hair coloring appointment. Such a relaxing time at the salon. Learned one of the young ladies at the salon got engaged, met her new fiance, and her ring was a beauty. Love, hope…wistful.

Although, I was tired…I was determined to have a few hours of just pure enjoyment. Dinner was stress-free, conversations easy and flowing. Movie was sweet, funny. When we found ourselves not wanting the night to end, we decided to find a dance club. Although, most clubs are packed with the 20 something crowd, we were not deterred. We were on a mission to let the music just carry us away. I felt alive again. It was like stripping off several layers of paint from an antique piece of furniture. I found myself restored to my original beauty of life, full of joy. Not caring if I looked old, silly – allowed me to feel alive and I could abandon all those inhibitions. I just felt like the old me. Living in appreciation.

Most days, I tend to reminiscence, and live in the past. Missing the men in my life, lost to me too early. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. That is not living. My fiance, who passed away, would not want me to be alone, wallowing in what ifs. I am determined to continue placing attention on the present moment and be at peace. Lately, I am trying so hard to live in the present.

Focusing on me…on loving myself more. True self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. A doctor once said, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.” Yes, I feel like I have lost too many years as it is. I refuse to live in shadows anymore. Letting go of negative people, judgmental people, lying people, and dramatic people. Trying to stay true to myself. Love myself. Put myself first. No more self-neglect.

The past few weeks, pre-spring cleaning, has also found me cleaning out my closets. I have gained a lot of weight the past couple of years. And although I have to lose some for health reasons, I am embracing my new curves. I never thought the clothes hanging in my closet were symbolic in any way. But they are. Having clothes that no longer fit me, made me feel bad. Made me feel unworthy and just plain fat. No more.

So, there you have it. My new clothes, less clothes in the closet. A few hours of pure fun. A few hours of pure selfishness. My new return to finding ME. My new determination to not forget myself again.

Yes, reunited…and it feels so good….singing…♥


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