Tag Archives: life

Be Really Real (no juice here!)

I am finding it difficult to write. I deeply desire to be positive, uplifting, encouraging, but I feel none of these things.

(Me and my journal!)
I really want to string some pretty words together but my heart is swearing! My mind is screaming. My body is weary with grief.

I feel hurt.

I feel despair.

I feel anger.

I feel frustration.

I have become aware that my words on this blog evoke emotions. My photos, especially the one of my lying on my laundry room floor in January, are difficult for some readers.

I have to admit that this blogging thing started off anonymously with twenty people I didn’t know reading my blog daily. One year after starting and during the height of my mom’s cancer journey, there were over eight hundred people checking my blog daily!. This is a strange sensation knowing that the audience I now have before me knows me and uses this blog to ‘see how I am doing’!

Now the second thing I will admit as I sit in my red chair, the rain pounding down, as I reflect on this blogging journey is that I have been serving you juice.

Good old apple juice.

Showing you a side of me that I think you want and need to see.

Keeping the information rated G for the general audience.

Tonight, I am giving you a good old gulp of red wine on the eve of the remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The night before Jesus died he washed his disciples feet, served them bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood.

On this night I feel like I want to die. I am listening to the rain pound down hoping it will clean me up. I want to curl up. I don’t eat nor drink. I burst into tears during a children’s storybook, at the lack of communication, through this pouring rain. I HATE RAIN!

I cry out about the missed moments. Why didn’t I stand closer and notice how mom made her jam, lasagna, apple pie crust…

I am overwhelmed by the differences between men and women as I sit surrounded by males including Sexy Neck, my boys and my father. Oh mama, where are you?

I have so many questions rattling around in my head that I want to ask my mom. I can’t breathe as tears streak my face.

My mom, my first teacher and the teacher I modelled my love of my students after. The women who showed me how to spend weekends preparing for the week, lunch hours to meet the needs of the students less socially inclined and going above and beyond in many ways. To be watching my son’s teacher with her systems, testing and explanations that end in ‘I could show you the research!’ ,my legs want to run straight to my mom for a chat in her garden. My mom had such insight about schooling. But I am alone to figure this one out. Utterly alone.

I feel sick to my stomach when I see the sad faces of my friends when I talk about my mom. I see what an impact her life and death had on them I want to talk about her but their faces make me stop.

I have never felt so lonely in my life.

Deeply missing the times I took for granted.

Tearfully desiring all the times my mom was so beautifully present, unassuming, supportive and there.

Mom cannot be replaced. Absolutely nothing in the world can fill this gaping hole. I will continue to sit in my grief as this is my season. There is nothing another human being can do to erase my pain. Don’t feel sad for me. I am not drinking my feelings away nor shopping or eating them away.

I am sitting.

I am noticing.

I am hoping.

I am waiting.

For the rain to go away.

For a glimmer of sun.

To create a new way.

A new life.

Without my mom.

Damn this hurt.

So, if you don’t hear from me for awhile it has nothing to do with you. If I don’t know the answers nor want to organize things remember I am building new neuron brain pathways. Many of my pathways led to my mom!

I am exhausted.

Overwhelmed by waves.

I am doing my work.

Rowing my boat.

Staying afloat.

On the ocean of grief.

Waiting for Jesus to walk on water.


Be Living Quotes

I have always been drawn to quotes.

In high school, I started a black journal where I wrote down every interesting quote I read in a book or heard. This was the days before the Internet so finding quotes was not as easy as a click of a mouse.

This love of quotes has continued but often now these quotes come in the form of silly things my boys or I say or the inspiring quotes my friends put on Facebook.

These are a few quotes that I have saved on my phone in the last few days.

In my daily life, I don’t want to just read quotes. I want to live them. Breathe them. Soak them in and then pour them out.

A new physical and spiritual season is beginning for me with its new growth, beautiful flowers and grass beginning to grow. Rain showers will come, I know, but I will continue to read my quotes, take them in and pour them out.

Words without action are meaningless.
Words are cruel like a sword.
Words can soothe a baby’s cries. Words are power.
Words can create change.
Dishonest and action-less words are a mere cloud floating by on this beautiful spring day.
Do what you say. Say what you do!

Yup, keep the faith.

In God.

In the goodness of people.

In myself.

In words.

In being.

Be Auntie Gail

My mom’s sister arrived yesterday to come stay with us. Every since our oldest was born, a sure sign of spring is Auntie Gail arriving at my parents for a visit. We always looking forward to seeing her.

I have especially been grateful for her immediate willingness to come jump in with our brood of boys, her contagious laughter and depth of stories. She reminds me of my mom in so many ways – her love of her children, her thought for my children, working side-by-side with Sexy Neck drying the dishes and really just being willing to come along on our wild ride.

Auntie Gail.

Deep strength.

Huge heart.

Beautiful children.

Contagious laughter.

Here is Auntie Gail enjoying her first ever Japanese food dinner.

20140408-183823.jpgAuntie Gail getting settled in her room. The boys ‘helped’!

20140408-183850.jpgBeautiful butterfly cups she passed on to me.

20140408-183857.jpgAuntie Gail had us all laughing our heads off as she attempted to use the walkie talkie.

20140408-184226.jpgAuntie Gail brought beautiful drawing pencils and paper for the boys. They all spent many hours drawing together.


20140408-200526.jpgAuntie Gail read Happy Pig Day to OC while we watched CC’s gymnastics.

20140409-202725.jpg Auntie Gail watching our youngest at gymnastics. OC loved having her to wave up to. She watched with a big smile on her face. What a gift!


20140410-223718.jpgShe helped us have a painting play date with friends.

20140410-223724.jpgWe enjoyed an after dinner walk to the duck pond.


Side note:
I haven’t been back to CC’s gymnastics centre since my mom died. Five days before my mom went into the hospital in December and just over two weeks before my mom died, mom insisted that dad drive her 60 kilometres down the road so that she could watch CC and OC do gymnastics.

I knew my mom was in pain. She still insisted on getting her own blue folding chair, placing it right beside the window so that she could watch her grandsons participate in class.

She was in pain. She smiled and clapped for her grandsons.

She was stooped over but she sat up straighter every time her grandsons looked over.


Love beyond comprehension.


Thank you mom. Thank you for being the most selfless Nana.

Thank you dad for supporting mom’s ideas.

Thank you Gail for passing on this loving support to my boys these days.

Be a Butterfly

“How does one become a butterfly?

You must want to fly so much

that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

 (Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers)


I am free.


Nothing holds me back nor down.

My greatest fears are gone.


I am open.


Nothing can dissuade me nor discourage me. 

My expectations have floated away. 


I am a butterfly. 


Nothing can change my beauty. 

My imperfections are perfection. 


No longer am I crawling along the ground as a caterpillar.

I am out of the mud.

I am not longer just observing. 

I am free. 


I am not sure why butterflies have become the symbols of my mom’s journey into heaven.  They were everywhere in Hospice and now on our trip to Hawaii they were hovering all around us.  I have never felt closer to my mom since she has passed.  I feel that in my new life here in a new town, these wings have now been fastened onto me.  I float between people, having no one friend to anchor me nor move me in any one direction.  I feel opportunities around every tree.

I feel inspired.




I feel free.

Thank you mom for this great gift in your death.  Thank you for taking my fears with me.  Thank you for guiding us from this world into heaven.  You are a true trailblazer.  I love you mama.

Past blogs about butterflies: https://beenough.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/be-having-something-about-butterflies/




Be Going to a Retreat by a Lake

Today, I left my brood of boys after our life shifting trip to Hawaii and spent eight hours at a healing prayer retreat for women.

Each woman had a beautiful opportunity to enjoy time with God while taking care of their soul through painting, massage, prayer or counselling.

I chose prayer counselling and watercolour painting as my soul care times as well I enjoyed time on my own walking and writing in my journal.

As I walk through my life, I continue to be amazed that when I stop or pause to notice God, He is ever-present in my life. I don’t think I shall ever cease to be amazed at the wondrous coincidences of God!

This morning, I started off with a cup of tea in this mug from Hawaii:

20140328-232422.jpg (That’s my new journal in the background from Sexy Neck, isn’t it cute?)

Next, a woman lead us in song with a UKELELE! How often do you see that here? But in Hawaii, I saw them in every store and heard one being played almost every day.

Lastly, during my watercolour painting soul care session, I learned how to paint for the first time. I was playing with paint and created this:

Which reminded me of my very favourite bridge in Haliewa on the North Shore. I paddle boarded under this bridge, saw turtles here, ate shaved iced beside it, walked over it multiple times and just stared at it. Is it possible to have a crush on a bridge?

Here is my lovely bridge:

Which brings me to my first watercolour painting that I am not even afraid to share publicly.

20140328-233136.jpgOver my bridge towers a strong banyan tree representing Sexy Neck and on the sides you will see three growing palm trees for my boys.

Thankful for my painting teacher.

Thankful for God that I had this opportunity to try new things.

Every day is new.

His mercy and grace is real.

He weaves everything together for His good!







(Inspiration for my next painting.)

Be Boogy Boarding and Busting Your Shorts

We went to a new beach today. It was suppose to be family friendly, have great sand and be a fun place to boogy board.

Look at this postcard, it looks idyllic:


We received a few clues that the day was going to be a wild one when a Hawaiian boogy boarder screamed as a wave threw him into the air then the lifeguards came over the loud speaker reminding everyone that the current waters were unsafe for swimming, children and anyone inexperienced boogy boarding.

Checkout this photo I took of the bay and compare it to the postcard:

Steve decided to give it a go anyways. Here he is with the blue board contemplating his entry:

And this is what happened to his shorts:

But then he decided to take our oldest son in to give it a try…


Mama Bear and the lifeguards had to both yell at him. Me up close and personal, the lifeguards from the tower at the top of the beach.

The boys stayed on the sand for the rest of the morning building a rescue boat and a command centre. They had a great time. I was the only one traumatized by the crazy surf!




At sunset, we went back to our favourite beach beside the turtles so that everyone could do some boogy boarding.

Checkout this perfect little wave lapping up onto the beach:


OC and I were able to rest on the beach and make a bus:


Another incredible day! OC got his feet wet by a wave for the first time and no one was sucked out to sea or pulverized too badly by waves. 20140322-214958.jpg
Tomorrow, we will be shopping for shorts!