Friday, April 30, 2010


Reunion with "Cutie Patootie"
Janeth and Me
Arlington VA
A Decade Plus later and It Felt Like Just Yesterday~

Great morning I'm thinking. Up and ready to outshine the sun! Coffee is particularly good this morning, four-leggeds doing a happy dance, all is well in my little sanctuary of my home!
I'm thinking about so many today, wishing them well, wishing them enough to stand tall and proud, while they Chris in NY being delayed from coming home by a lab forgetting to get her in for needed labs before she can return home... GRRrrrr...  Jill having to leave the Lily FB fan page because of mean spirited people there who continue to harass and leave ugly posts, cyber bullies and stalkers... what a miserable life they must lead ... Stand strong dear Jill, we are all fighting with you, Lily the Black Bear gave us HOPE, but sometimes even HOPE cannot protect or get rid of mean spirited people... Just ignore it all dear one, and embrace the light of so many who are with you in the battle.  Think of Dr Rogers and Sue, the brilliant researchers who allowed the world to watch a North American Black Bear in her den as she prepared to give birth, to live without human pettiness and insecurities and show the world what the Black Bear is all about... Those folks are beautiful example of people who truly live what they love... Speaking of that,

Live What You Love ~

Really. Are you doing work that you love? Work that you feel passionate about? We all work to live, but if our work reflects the passion we feel our work is not drudgery. Some of us live to work. I’m not talking about workaholics, just admitting that there are some people who LOVE to work, and then love to live a wonderful life with a cherished circle of family and friends! They have it all, they love and cherish it all as well ~ 

I have been blessed to have been engaged all my life in working with people that I deeply care about. Though the work is often arduous, the return is great. The folks that I have journeyed with are amazing. I have learned so much from them. I still do.

As Aristotle said, "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work"

Sadly I know many people who wander through their careers, one job after another, feeling that each day is spent in futility. It doesn’t have to be that way. Trust me. If you discover your passion, and act on it, whether it be through paid employment or volunteer work, you can look forward to your work. The contribution you make will repay you in many ways. \\\
Being in a helping profession has gifted me with insights, deeply warm feelings, a heightened sense of what life is really about, and most of all, fulfillment.

At the end of the day, the end of our lives here, what have we done that matters?
"Your life is in your hands, to make of it what you choose" [John Kehoe]

I hope to at that time be absolutely out of talent, having spent it all here. Doing what I love. Giving back the gifts and talents that I have been granted in this life. I have been richly blessed with many opportunities.
 I know that I am here to use my gifts to the advantage of others. And so it has been.

I hope that each of you dear readers are now doing what you love, or will find a path that allows you to pursue some great passion that you feel.
 I know that we often are so busy just working to make ends meet that a life of passionate work seems like a dream, not a reality.
It does not have to be that way.
Yes, in these difficult economic times, times of stress, loss, grief, hanging onto a bad job, a dull job, a job that sucks the energy out of us make hold a certain sense of safety.
But remember, LEAP and the net will appear.
Sometimes we must chart a new path.
If you hate the work you do, do something else.
Life is too short to indulge in misery for money.

Money is energy. Miserable work, brings to us money and misery.
A bargain, two for one? More money, another payroll period, and we are still suffering at our own hands.

So again, it is about choices. Choose wisely. Abandon choices that we may have made by neglecting to choose carefully.

This translates easily into every arena of our life.
Have we chosen our friends wisely?
Do we spend our recreation time on things that bring us joy.
Do we invite fun, joy, playfulness into our lives?
Are we happy in our private lives?
                                    If not, why not.
We live the life we choose.
 We make our life better and worse by every choice we make.

I for one am mostly pleased with my choices. When I find that I have detoured from the path I intended, I make a quick U-turn.
Revise the GPS that guides me.
Fix what is broken.
It is true that when one feel they have hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go and that is UP!
Bonnie Raitt blasts that in one of her songs on the CD, “Luck of the Draw.” Take a listen. You’ll love the message. I digress. Hearing the music in my head again.

You know that I am talking about taking responsibility for our own happiness and fulfillment.
A life worth living is a life well lived. Whoever said that was absolutely right.
I own my decisions, my choices, and richly reap the benefits and blessings.
There are many forks in the road.
Sometimes we must take a chance on ourselves. Sometimes we must take the leap. But always we must take responsibility for the outcome.

When some recreational activity seems more a habit than a pleasure, replace it.
 When a relationship takes more than it gives, reassess it’s validity.
When we are more spent, more angry, more depressed than we wish to be, make a change.
Be the change agent in our own life. Remember Michael Jackson's song, Man In The Mirror... sing it, look in the mirror... really really look into those eyes of yours, and remember it starts with the soul you see within you ~

So right here, right now, decide on one thing you feel passionate about. Make something happen in your life that honors that passion. Your life will be fuller, richer, more compelling.
Make the right choice for you.
Your gifts, if realized to their fullest are the best you have to offer. Yourself and the world!
 HOPE you are making a choice to do something great today, the weather here promises to be spectacular.
I wish you great joy. I pray you peace. I honor your unique gifts. I sing you praises for making your life all that you deserve it to be. Wado.

Oh but the fire is burning, the embers are hot, the smells of sage and sweetgrass fill the air ~ sending healing thoughts on the wind this morning! Thoughts of HOPE and prayers of strength to Chris in NY, to Jill, to Cindy in NC, to Faith, Lee, Liz, Molly, Joanie, 6 year old Shelby and her family/friends, Jude, Matthew 13, for Jeanne, IRM, for those in "Southwest Virginia", Audrey, and so many who have asked (you have been heard), Tammy, for Tom in Chicago, and those who "know who you are"... our thoughts are with you with thoughts on the gentle breezes. Know that many are with you, we have our warpaint on and join you in the battle, join you in prayer, you are never alone; we are with you along with some powerful angels who have you wrapped in their arms... May you find strength and comfort there.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing today, I wish you enough, I sing you peace along your day as you enter your week-end. Own It, enjoy it, and make it your own special day ~

Walk In Beauty,
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life

Thursday, April 29, 2010


At the End of The Day
Is All That Is Left To Say

It's morning... darkness is still here from last night. I await the Universal Oneness to amaze me this morning by doing it again, by bringing up the sun in all its wonder.
The coffee is hot, its smell delights my senses. So quiet, even the birds are still sleeping. (so are the four leggeds) sshhh, I am savoring the moment...
Almost ready  to get back into the "STOMP OF THINGS" now that I'm unpacked and have just about "caught up" from being gone! Much to do, many thank you cards to write!

Thinking this morning about our ole' friend grief, and the many ways grief finds its way to us. Sometimes strong and head on... and then again sometimes subtle, coming on in little ways, but there are times that grief catches us by complete surprise, "sneaky grief" at times!

Health care providers, hospice workers, those who work with patients and families are always working and walking with loss and grief issues... they are the ones that I love talking with at seminars, at keynotes. Sometimes they too "don't know what they don't know"... they are so very busy, doing more with less these days, but make no mistake, they too are warriors walking with cumulative loss and grief.
Funny how we forget, they are like the rest of us!

I see the light of morning beginning to break through the darkness... don't you just love that? oh my where was I... oh yes, SNEAKY GRIEF! LOL

Grief Can Be Sneaky

Let’s talk about that sly little thief of joy we call grief. It can sneak up on us when we least expect it. Someone uses an expression that was a favorite of our loved one and we suddenly find ourselves undone.
We hear a favorite song, or a ballad that holds special memories and we feel tears dribbling down our cheeks. We look at a picture, or find an old shirt in the back of the closet, we are, long after we think our grief work is done at a festive gathering and feel absolutely bereft. Alone. Surrounded by useless frivolity.
 We are suddenly so sad, so utterly and absolutely isolated from everyone.
That my friends is grief at it’s finest. Yep, grief may even make us think we have “lost it altogether.
That we will never fully heal. That we will be at it’s mercy forever. Not true.

After all, shortly after the death of our loved one, and indeed for some undetermined time afterward, the people that know us well, and care about us, give us some time and space to honestly grieve.

But later, when even WE think we are over the hurdle, have come to terms with our loss, have found our balance and have even rediscovered some joy. When we least expect it. A set back.
Not a break down, well, maybe a melt down, but we find we are right back at that awful place where our grief is somehow raw again.

Does it ever end? Yes and No.
We are never “over it”. With time and work, we GET THROUGH IT, "who you are is not who you've been and you can't go back there again", remember reading that?We are not the same person we once were.
Loss and Grief changes us forever. BUT, although our loved one died, our relationship with them lives on forever... Hearts that are connected in life, cannot be separated in death... death is not that strong!

 It makes us wiser in some ways, but we are different now.
Our lives are changed. We have lost someone special, someone no one can replace.
That is as it should be. Our relationships are not interchangeable.
Had we not loved, truly loved that special person in such a unique way, we would have no need to mourn them. We would simply forget them and move o

There are times when just the opposite of the sneak attack of grief rears it’s ugly head too. An anniversary or birthday approaches and we are agonizing over the impending date.
We just know it will be beyond bearable. The date arrives and we cannot this time shed a tear. Somehow, all the "horribe-izing" is for naught.
We fondly remember the date, our loved one, our loss, and “nothing.” No tears, no heart wrenching suffering. We sit with it. Amazed.
Grief is tricky like that too. It’s unpredictable, and very predictable at the same time.

Others warn us of what to expect, and maybe it works the way they said, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Grief is not logical. Grief runs the gambit. It can be anticipatory, with a calm let down, at the time of the actual event. It can be sudden and set us spinning.

We can see ourselves pulling it off like Jackie Onassis, and find that we have turned into a weeping, blubbering mess. It can be perceived as resolved, only to churn itself up when we least expect it.
 It is an arduous journey.
Healing is the destination, and in due time it will come.
 It will not be rushed.
                It may not be the way we anticipate it to be.

So what do we do. How do we get our head around this tricky, sneaky experience?

Accept that while we can impact the experience, we can not control the entire journey. Some of it we just have to roll with.
 Know that we will be surprised by our own reactions sometimes.
Accept that our hearts work at there own pace.
This is not a mind over matter issue.
It is an issue of the heart, mind, body, spirit.
It is a healing journey that paces itself. it may be best travelled with a companion, a therapist skilled in grief issues.
Once we stop trying to anticipate every reaction, stop trying to “get control” of it, and allow ourselves to adapt to it’s rhythm, we will find it settles somewhere in our heart more softly, over time.

When the time is right, and it is different for each of us, we may be able to look at that old photograph, hear that sweet special song, and smile instead of cry. We will at some point, purposely call up all our favorite memories of our loved one and bask in them

It will not happen because we insist, it may not be in any particular point in time, but it will come. When our hearts are ready, the pain will diminish. The memories will comfort us not torture us. Give yourself all the time you need.

Embrace life when you are ready. Honor your loved one in a million ways.
Allow others to comfort you when you desire it, make time for you.
Time to do your grief work, time to heal. Know that it is a journey, and let that sneaky, perpetrator of grief do it’s thing, let sneaky grief know that you do not fear its presence, be not afraid.
At some point in time, you will feel more whole again. Ready to rejoin the spontaneity you once enjoy ~ You can have balance when grief shows up~
There is balance and mind-body-spirit connections; balance that sneaky grief with times of laughter, memories that sustain, honor memories with being the legacy and doing great things here with mindful purpose.

The fire is burning, embers are hot. Sending healing thoughts and HOPE in prayers for what you need, on the winds this morning as the light now has overtaken the darkness to Chris, JILL, 6 year old Shelby and her family and friends, Tom in Chicago, Faith, Denise, Jim, Joanie, Liz, Lee on the waters, Miss Molly, Cindy in Virginia, "Southwest Virginia", Mr. Harper, Charlie Soap and family, Tammy Stansell's family, Vicki's mom, Laura, and all who have asked...
The warpaint is on, thoughts and prayers of others surround you, we will fight with you stand strong, have faith, S T O M P.

Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing,.. have the best day, CELEBRATE YOU,
S   T   O   M   P

You are your most precious gift to self and all those that you know... treat you with great love and respect.

Walk In Beauty,
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life
order yours!

Be kind to you. Be well, be loved. Lean into the work you must do on your journey.

Ask for what you need. You know best what that is. May you always feel loved. Our loved ones are but a breath away. Always in our hearts and minds, where they will live with us until the last breath we draw

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The Kennedy Center
Many a Memory There!
Ready for an Outstanding Day!

Holding Up The Sky, or at least getting ready to! Coffee in hand, four leggeds doing their morning run around the pool. Getting ready to answer all the emails of welcome home from many. I am so richly blessed. Thoughts of Healing Heartaches continue to come in from folks around the country and the fact that they take the time to write and share their thoughts and feelings just fill my soul.

The comments of yesterday were wonderful to read; the thoughts of others made me realize that "how to regarding sad" was spot on...

Sometimes it feels like we are Chicken Little and see that the sky is falling down around us. We know that we must single handedly hold it up. Think about it.

As capable as we each are, being tasked with holding up the sky is a pretty tall order. No wonder we have days when we feel overwhelmed. No one can hold up the whole sky by themselves.
At least not while holding down a job, and hanging onto our dreams, and nurturing our families, putting out the daily fires that spring up and threaten to render all our plans to ashes. We are very strong, we are very smart, we STOMP
through dark days, emotional storms, financial pitfalls, grief, and always land on our feet. So how do we do this day after day after day?

We do it because we must, but also because we believe in our strength; our emotional stamina; our personal power and the support of others who matter. Sometimes we borrow strength from our friends and supporter systems, sometimes we hock our free time to “deal” with everyday issues and crises, and sometimes we sag under the weight of “holding up the sky”.

Remember we must ask for help when we need it. We need no do it alone. If our to do list is too long, take scissor and lop off all the stuff that really can wait, or maybe doesn’t need to even be on the radar screen at all. Reach out to others. Take a day off from work and chores and meeting the needs of those around you. Nurture yourself. Rebuild your reservoir of strength. Self care is not an option. It is a here and now responsibility. We cannot hold up the sky all the time. It’s OK to know that this is true, and it’s OK to abdicate the responsibility periodically. Heck, maybe sometimes it would be good to just let it all come crashing down for a day or two. The big issues will still be there waiting for our resolve, a lot of the small stuff we have mistakenly credited with being way too important will just go away, and we can sort through the rest when we are back on our feet.

While we revel in the power that lies within each of us, we must also acknowledge that sometimes we should slip off the Superwoman/Superman cape and take a long hot soak.

Let the sky hold itself up, or not. At least after we get a serious break we will be rejuvenated and can do a more balanced assessment of the demands that face us.
Decide which ones matter enough to tackle, erase a few from the list, and get a better grip.

Don’t see this as failure to cope. See it as an exercise in self care. A recharging of the batteries. We are not machines. We are people, people who need rest, nourishment, fresh air, time to sniff a rose or two. Time out once in awhile.
So while we STOMP, achieve our own highest potential, find humor in heartaches, battle the ills of society, volunteer in our community, clean, shop, care for loved ones, help with homework, cook, clean, gas up the car, pay the bills, and a thousand other daily tasks, we must also take best care of ourselves. We must sometimes put ourselves first. Indulge in a bit of solitude, soak up some quiet, do something we enjoy, or do nothing at all.

Go on strike for a few days. Eat chocolates. Wear your PJs. Take some shortcuts.

Trust me the work and worry and chores will wait for you. If they could take care of themselves they would.
Let someone else be in charge of holding up the sky once in awhile.
You deserve a break now and then. Employ the “opt out” whenever you feel too stressed, too tired, to spent to do it all and be it all. Give yourself permission to embrace these brief moments in time and address your own needs.
I cannot stress enough, that we MUST take good care of ourselves. Because it is the right thing to do, and because we cannot perform at an optimum level when we are physically or emotionally exhausted.

Pamper yourself when you can. Make the time. You will be glad you did. There is no shame in doing for you what you must do for others everyday.
In fact, reach around and pat yourself on the back every time you do something kind for yourself, every time you pamper yourself. Each time you make it your purpose to restore yourself.
                        YOU ARE WORTH IT.

And yes... the fire is burning this morning, the embers are hot already. Sending love on the wind with thoughts and prayers of HOPE in healing, strength to those fighting the fight, the warpaint is on for Chris, for Jill, for FAITH, for Cindy, for Liz, Lee, Molly, Joanie, Matthew, for 6 year old Shelby and her family and friends, for Laura, and for all the many not named but in thoughts, for the spirit of Jaren who plays on the backs of the dolphins and runs with the Sioux and so many others in spirit land...
To those in "Southwest Virginia" you know who you are... The warpaint is indeed on, the drummers are drumming you HOPE in all that you do, may you find comfort in the arms of the angels and all who visit here; remembering that you are never alone. For that I give thanks, and so it is!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing...
have a grand time today! Smile at someone ... make them wonder what in the world you are up to with your kindness and gentle spirit.

Laugh with wild abandon, love with intensity...

It is a great day...

Walk In Beauty,
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life
visit me and see what others are saying about speaking engagements and the book, order yours while there, or a gift for someone!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



What a grand reunion I received; with so much love and happiness from the
two-leggeds, the four-leggeds!

Slept in, slept well... once again
it's good to be me as I awake today to Florida warmth and coffee and my little ones so happy for the day... The light is playing with trees and casting wonderful shadows.
I send all songs of peace and thoughts of strength and hope on the winds today.
Sure am missing my
Olivia and Joan this morning.
We had such a wonderful time, their laughter still fills my senses.

So Sad, So So Sad. What to do?

Yes, it is true that even though we are powerful, and optimistic, and strong, we sometimes feel blue, or maybe even depressed. It is not the end of the world. It is a feeling. This too shall pass. We may sit with it awhile, mull it over. Acknowledge it for what it is. A reflection of our weary heart, or our exhausted emotions. We will not accept this as a permanent state of mind, but we may park ourselves there for a short time until we are ready to pick ourselves up, dust off the blues and step back into our “feel good” place. I pretty much stay in my "happy place", inviting others in, but if they choose to not join me, I will just as often invite them out of that Happy Place! LOL

There are always a host of ways to expedite the process, but we need not deny ourselves a bit of a blue spell when we find ourselves weighted down with worries or sorrow. Sometimes we have neglected our souls well being and have created this exhausted state unintentionally. At other times, it is purely situational and we must reflect on the situation for a time until we ready to deal. Remember, be kind to you.

You are not the first person ever to feel this way. It is not fatal. It’s miserable, and misery can perpetuate itself if we dwell on it. After you have honored the sadness, the worry, the grief, gently determine when you are ready to employ some of the strategies here to regain your well being.

Try some human contact/animal contact. Even if it is the last thing in the world that feels right, it will help. Get together with a friend. It’s OK to let them know you need a lift. It’s not up to them to fix what is wrong, but a friendly presence can help shake the blues.

Try a light romantic comedy or a funny sit com. Something easy to laugh at. Laughter releases chemicals in the brain that hand us a lift even when we “know “ that there is nothing artificially funny enough to pull us back from the deep pit of our sadness. Might even help if you try this at a honest to goodness movie theater. Take in a matinee. They are cheap and come with a popcorn option. It’s dark there so at least starting out, it may be a good match for your dismal mood. Might come back out into the afternoon sun able to appreciate the light after a few good laughs.

Comfort food comes to mind. A great big bowl of ice cream. A whole box of decadent chocolates. Isn't it great that researchers have finally determined that chocolates is "good for you"... grieving folks have been trying to tell them that for years you know~There is real healing in whatever feels good, indulge yourself. Sometimes eating out is a favorite place is helpful. The social interaction can remind us that not all is dark and lost. Best not to go out and eat alone. See Above suggestion about sharing time with a friend. Eating alone at home is not the same. Not unless you have a puppy on your lap and you are reading a good book. Let’s be realistic. No standing over the sink in a dark kitchen just stuffing our faces. That defeats the purpose.

Get dressed up. Put on your favorite outfit, or go buy a new one. Make up, good shoes, maybe a hat. Go out somewhere. Now if you are male, this may get you some odd looks or elicit concern from your spouse... so you may want to get out your most spiffy suit and bow tie... get yourself looking "fly", or just downright fantastic looking guys!

Malls are great for people watching. People watch. Really get into it. See what they are doing. What are they wearing. Don’t engage anyone that is not smiling. No sense joining a grouch parade. If that worked we would really be in a fine pickle. Don’t worry about shopping, nothing will appeal anyway. It’s all stuff. Just stuff. No need to even take your wallet. Just wander around , sit on a bench and soak up the action. Smell the Cinabons. Breathe it all in.
Wait, wait, we didn’t bring our wallet. Rethink that one. Cinnamon really does have a way of lifting the mood. Maybe that’s why every mall has them.
OK let me move on, I am beginning to drool.
Although my missing my girls is still there I am re-entering my "happy place" and so loving being back at home; did I mention that it appears the "white knight" of the cleaning world was here in my absence? Thought the windows had been removed while I was gone the glass was so clean!!!
And the four-leggeds are so clean I swear their hair squeaks when I am loving on them!

Don’t forget music. Music is good. Might have to start with something a bit quiet, something slightly uplifting and work your way up to some real crazy loud joyful stuff. I have it playing now... a little lite jazz to start the day, but Patti Labelle and Michael Jackson is already loaded on the discs... get ready babies we will be dancing around the pool in short order as we send thank you letters to all we met and all we saw!

Take your time. You know, little steps lead to bigger things.

Long hot soak in a scented tub? Followed by the oil, wrap yourself in a thirsty robe. Ah, feel the tension melt away. Dab on a little perfume or after shave. At least you won’t smell like a billy goat. Pedicure anyone? If your feet are happy, so goes your mood.

Now... these are the good, the right ways. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the number one wrong way that people fall into. STOP SELF MEDICATING THE PAIN ...
You can stop this. Alcohol, prescription medications.... are the number one hole that people fall into and it is a dark hole, one without an easy access ladder to get back out of. You have to want to crawl, get your nails dirty, use skills of survival and desire of want to crawl, dig and find your way to the light and discover your way to your "happy place"  YOU HAVE TO BE A WARRIOR to get back to the top.

Sometimes folks have to hit the bottom, hit their knees to know they are on solid ground, and only then they can stand up, S T O M P, AND OWN IT, LEARNING TO STAND and find their strength to say YES...

I believe that when you hit your knees you can "cry from the heart" and that crying from the heart is the true sense of prayer... So cry from the heart friends, ask for what you need ~ act as if it is already yours and stand up.
S   T   O   M   P
Pamper yourself. You are worth it.


"Individually and collectively, Cherokee people possess an extraordinary ability to face down adversity and continue moving forward." {Wilma P. Mankiller}

Feeling better? Good. Now try a bit of positive thinking. Remember that we are in control. We can change our focus. We can paste a smile on our faces until our heart gets the message and begins to smile with us. Find something you are grateful for and dwell there for a bit. Gratitude works wonders. Ready to STOMP our way to get of this mess?

STOMP on my friend. You’re ready. Change our physicality and we shift our mood.

So let’s recap. So now you have had a good bath, you smell great, you dressed up, have gone to the movies and laughed until your face ached, you have eaten out with a dear friend after a visit to the mall where you all but snarfed down every cinnamon roll in sight, had popcorn, ice cream, a whole box of chocolates. Worn out your Ipod, and stomped the soles out of yet another pair of shoes. You are easily 10 pounds heavier and thoroughly exhausted.
Well, maybe you will sleep a bit better after all the activity.

Way to go…. And this was supposed to help you feel better?

So sad. My bad. I think the trick here is to maybe not do all this in one day. Spread it out. Pick and choose from the menu of mood elevating opportunities. Do whatever it takes. Sad is no place to stay.
Not for long anyway

The fire is burning, the embers are red, red hot... the smoke is heading up up up... and with it are messages of love, of hope in healing. Sending thoughts of HOPE in healing, love, and support to Chris, Jill, 6 year old Shelby, Lizzie, Lee, Molly, Joanie, Denise, Jim, Cindy, Jeanne, Irene, "Southwest Virginia", Mary, Matthew, Faith, and all of those who have asked ~ you are in the arms of some powerful angels; here and all around you, may you find strength and comfort in their thoughts and prayers... We have our warpaint on, we are with you.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, make it the best day yet... OWN IT, MAKE IT REMARKABLE..



walk In Beauty,
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life

Monday, April 26, 2010


It rained all night last night... 
the thunder rolled, the lightning cracked here in Maryland on my last night with my girls. Fitting somehow.
OLIVIA was awesome  once again on the soccer field  I will tell you, Nana's girl is a force to be reckoned with to be sure.  Often looking over to the side lines and giving Nana the ole' fist over the heart and then fast and fierce arm extended and finger pointed to the Nana power move with a smile!
It just does not get better than that kinda love and observance of passion on a field...

Then we were off to more fun, more dancing in the rain singing, humming the tune to "Rocky" ~
Finally home to "re-pack" the Nana... not an easy feat!

We were treated to quite a light show with the lightning and sounds of deep thunder, as we commented on the night passing far too quickly for our likes.
It is now time to rise and shine, and make our way to BWI, where parting is always difficult.
This is the part I dread, the crocodile tears of my sweet girl always rip my heart a bit...

Last night After the game we were confronted by the reminder of ugliness for a bit, confronted by the reality that we must protect our children always... We were reminded that there are bad and disrespectful people in the world, and once again we must always
"do the right thing"... didn't I just think about that? Interesting how spirit prepares us sometimes,..

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" {Ralph Waldo Emerson}

The Fire Is Burning Brightly, the embers are hot for many, with thoughts on the wind of HOPE, healing and strength...
Have a great Monday
Warpaint is on, join me in thoughts for those who need you those who need to be held up

The angels are surrounding you and holding you in their wings of comfort always


Time to fly,
time to soar with the Eagles and play in the clouds
don't forget your way home

Gotta run hug my girls

Walk In Beauty

author of
Healing Heartaches
Stories of Loss and Life   

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raining in Maryland ~ Dancing In the Rain

Oh, I slept well last night! Here I am just rising back in Maryland with my sweet girls... Olivia off to Sunday School this morning, Nana just getting up to coffee served on the deck after a night of rain... Looks as though we will be dancing in the rain on my last day today ~ ~ ~

I'm thinkin' this whirlwind trip finally caught me last night as I was falling asleep with my arms around Olivia on the couch after dinner and a movie! LOL... what a way to relax is what I'm thinking...Left Arlington yesterday after saying "thanks" to the staff at the Residence Inn Marriott Courthouse for their wonderful care of me while there. They were outstanding.

Ending my trip with a lovely visit with Janeth, (*aka) Cutie Patootie from days of yesteryear at the in patient hospice where many a hour was shared in Arlington, many a tear and many a lesson learned! She and sister Melissa called me "The Comforter", "Bear" back then, as did patients and families! Oh the sweet and cherished times and memories I have, the ones that she recalled during our brief but wonderful visit, ending with a staff person taking our picture together... I will share it once she sends a copy. She in school in DC and working at Alex Hospital now, her sis Melissa now a RN there... A decade since last we saw each other, but it seemed like just yesterday! I do love her so, my little cutie patootie ~

Once in the car with Joan and Olivia, we went to see the old Hospice in patient unit, I ran in and gifted them a copy of Healing Heartaches, and looked around for old times sake! Then off to see more of the old STOMP grounds; went and saw my old home... From there a quick run to see the United States  Air Force Memorial built after 9/11 and it was stunning... and then...
and then....

STEAK N CHEESE SUB! I've wanted one from the broiler for 5 count them 5 years.  And my trip in Arlington ended with one, AND IT WAS GREAT!
Just like or better than the last one!
it just don't get better than this I tell ya!

OK, that's the update... so here I am with my girls, Olivia is tickled that Nana is back and reminded me of her generosity in "letting me go all the way to DC for a week"! And the rains are here., We are thinking that the Creator is crying tears of happiness that we are together and that now we can dance in the rain today, but hoping that it stops so that she can play soccer while Nana gets to watch once again!
What grand adventures are all of you up to on this remarkable day???

Water, Fire, Wind, Air,

There must be a million reasons why water has such a powerful effect on us. Partly because we are made up of so much water and use so little of it, but more, much more than that. Water soothes. A babbling brook flows by; wandering mindlessly. There is one right behind me here... Cool, crisp, spring fed. It’s tranquil, playful, inviting. Lush ferns on the banks, moss, overhung with trees that creep up on its banks. Really quite lovely. A fallen log to serve as a mini bridge to the other side where it is slightly sunlit. I could spend an entire day sitting by a brook with no desire to leave the peace it offers.

Rivers rush by, swirling with currents, carrying logs, and fish, rafters and white waters. Rushing to the sea. Hosting brackish waters where special and magnificent Manatees winter over. Some crystal clear, sand bottomed; some churning up muddy red clay.

Sometimes they meander, and other times they tumble with outrageous swiftness. Deep and shallow, swirling waters. Full of energy. Heading to the sea. Day after day, an endless journey. Reeds and grasses anchored deep against the currents. Gorges, through valleys, massive bridges with soaring steel girders, and humble and foot bridges span their banks. Olivia had a wonderful time finding a salamander recently in the creek; I enjoyed her telling me of all her explorations and she named the little creature "Bob"!

The sea, so majestic, it’s waves, white capped crashing to the shore. Day in and day out. We can "count,, and trust the ocean for rolling in and out". Endless power, fearless. Storm tossed, and smooth as glass, ever changing, ever the same. To stand on any shore and know the same tides will roll in and recede. It’s waters embracing every fish known to man. Providing a bounty of food for the world, great mysteries of the deep. Tossing millions of shells upon the sands . Its shores dotted with sea grass, dunes, windblown trees nestled at the waters edge. Miles and miles of shoreline. White sands, and black beaches, giant rock banks, cliffs to overlook it’s majesty. Spilling an endless supply of seaweed, hurling weathered driftwood ashore. To watch amazed as the sun rises in the distant eastern sky, and sets in all its glory on the western shores. To think that one can set sail and travel the entire globe adrift in the ocean. Separating whole continents. Covering most of the planet. I am awed.

Amazing elements. Amazing life.

How is it that the same element that lightly roasts a child’s marshmallow at a camp fire, heats steel until it bends. Renders all , to ash and coals effortlessly. Produces warmth, and devastates forests, an uncontrolled inferno. It can be evoked by a mere spark, yet rage on, undiminished by water, chemicals, rain… It produces it’s own great energy. It is capable of raising buildings, and leaving only cinders in it’s wake. It’s flames dance, glow with orange and gold, blue tipped. It lights up the dark night. Invites us to watch; to study the flames; to gaze as it flickers and sputters, and roars. It can mesmerize, warm, fascinate and eradicate. This substance we call fire. We cook over it, are comforted by it’s oaken fragrance on a cold winters day. We huddle around a can of fire on a frozen pond, skating back to thaw our hands, and in another moment, watch it sweep down a mountain consuming untold acres. Fed by the updrafts, nearly impossible to contain. It is welcoming and it is frightening. We keep the” home fires” burning for our far away loved ones, and purchase insurance to protect our dwellings from it’s ravages.

And the wind. It comes gently as a soft breeze, it carries the seeds that produce tall oaks and delicate flowers. It’s updrafts move planes through the sky. It blusters and howls. Builds snow drifts two stories high. It tosses and tumbles, and rumbles. It’s ever changing. It comes from all directions, swirling, bursting forth. It levels deserts crating patterns in the sands of time. It cools and freezes. It bends trees in half some uprooted by it’s efforts. We harness the wind to make electricity. Now how amazing is that. The wind graces us with excitement. We feel its energy. It makes us feel wild, untamed. It howls and we huddle. It races and we run head on into it. It burns our cheeks. We laugh with glee. It calls to us to cast off worries, to celebrate this free feeling surge of power it offers. The wind single handedly strips the trees of dead leaves predictably each fall, making way for the pristine winter landscape; then roars like a lion to usher in the spring. This intangible we call wind. It tosses the seas, and fans the flames.

The very air that we breathe, we take for granted so often... the air; breathe in, breathe out... smell all the wonderful fragrances, sneeze! The grasses that have just been mowed, the candles that soothe you, the fresh washed hair of a child! I brought Olivia a cute little pen of "hand sanitizer" from the conference and she has smelled it, rubbed her hands, "the mamma's hands" "Nana's hands" and did I mention "smelled it" so often that I'm thinking it was one of those "best gifts"... She tells us that the smell is like a fresh smell of air, one that calms her... Now I'm wondering if those vendors maybe put a little calming juice in that hand sanitizer! LOL
The air that we breathe, that gives us this wonderful thing called life... BREATHE... STOMP, enjoy the day, own it.... have fun with it~

These elements surround us. They inspire us. They awe us. They prove that as life is ever changing. So change the tides, the winds, the flames burn brightly. Casting warmth and light. Each producing it’s own power. Each a sign of the continuity of life. A reminder that not all power can be harnessed. Not every mystery is to be fully known.

Great thanks to Mother Earth for each of these gifts

The fire is burning and the embers are hot... I am sending love and thoughts of healing and HOPE to all today... The arms of the angels and those here are holding you in the arms for strength in healing, for HOPE in believing, for reassurance that you are never alone.

S T O M P....
S   T   O    M    P . . .

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing.... have a great time, make it yours, smile at those you don't know, if someone touches your soul, evokes a smile, take a moment and speak to them, thank them, shake their hand, never miss an opportunity....

Tom, it was lovely meeting you and your family in Arlington Virginia ~ Hook me up with a speaking gig in your hospital and we'll chat again!

Thank you Arlington for a lovely stay... I look forward to seeing you all again

Florida I'm coming home,

Walk In Beauty
author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life
order yours at

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Well OK, might be a little blurry BUT
Eileen Dohmann,
A woman of great honor and Integrity
Always Living and Doing The Right Thing!
Right Way Relations
My Friend and I here in Arlington VA

Last night at the Omni Shoreham the National Hospice Foundation "ROCKED"... The Gala was indeed "all that and more than a bag of chips"!
Dr Bernice Catherine Harper was regal in purple on the arm of DRSES in white as we entered the ballroom ~ LOL... of course it took about 45 minutes as everyone wanted to see the grand dame of hospice and just speak to her, just touch her, just say "Hello Dr Harper"... gotta love some Dr Harper ~ or should I say... after all these years I still love some Dr Bernice Catherine Harper! We saw Samira who still is wonderful and chatted.. the three of us sat on the first hospice commitee on cultural diversity in hospice ~ we were diversity before "diversity" was cool ~ we got a great laugh over that last night~ an evening of great memories now to be certain, as she introduced me as: "My friend and old colleague, Dr Sherry E Showalter, author of Healing Heartaches, and someone who I worked with long ago in hospice regarding access to minorities and cultural diversity within hospice!" What an honor ~ My heart is still full.

Do the Right Thing, it's the way of right way relations ~

"Always do right, This will gratify some people and astonish the rest". {Mark Twain}

We must not fall in to the habit of taking the path of least resistance. We must always do the right thing. Because it is the right choice for our lives.
The fact is we all know right from wrong. We know when we are talking ourselves into a “sorta right” action because it suits the moment, but to do right on a day to day basis is to live a good life. It is the way of "right way relations; with self and others".
If we silently grapple with justifying some action that throws someone else under the bus, we do know that deep down in our heart, where our soul lives, we are making a bad choice.

It may sound like a cliche, but be honest. Honest in word and deed. Honesty must be the standard we all live by. We honor others with truth, we respect ourselves by being unfailingly truthful. Truth, offered up with kind intention can be made palatable even in the worst, most difficult encounter.

An honorable person is trustworthy. A trustworthy person is gold. Pure gold.
So, be honest in all your endeavors.
Be kind, forthright, do the right thing.

When all else around you fails, you will not have failed yourself, nor those you value.
Doing the right thing requires no explanation and no apology.

If I knew no one would ever find out what I have done, I would still do the same right thing. Because, I will always know what I have done.

I am responsible for my integrity.

I am the only one that will forever live with the consequences of the person I am and the person every choice leads me to become.

I choose good deeds, worthy thoughts, and esteem to always live up to a high standard. It is the foundation of our character. I choose to live my life in right way relations... it is the way of the Universal Oneness; the way of the Ancestors, the way of my relations... it is in the honoring of them that I honor myself and that I keep them alive within me and those that I love and honor here... right here right now ~ and for that I give thanks~ And so It Is! Wado ~

"You do not wake up one morning a bad person. It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest". ~Robert Brault~

Others may, attempt to derail your reputation, your integrity will speak for itself. Speak truthfully, act with integrity, be honest and kind, loving, considerate, giving and thoughtful. In doing so we honor ourselves, and the life we are meant to live. This can be taught to our children from wee and little ones... and they grow and they learn, and they live right way relations.,,, and so it is good!

Live well. Do the right thing, because we can. We must. It is the way of right way relations; it feels good, it opens up the door of this place and the next place... it opens a world of beauty through heartaches, it is all and one, and all that has ever been and will ever be... and it honorable...

Laugh out-loud, smile until your face hurts, practice random times of kindness.,.. love each other with passion, smile at strangers until they smile back at you ~ Practice mindfulness and still your mind ~ Work is work... it will always be there, your family is precious... they will grow and change, will you notice? Start noticing today~ S T O M P, PLAY, HAVE F U N...

Warp speed into life with integrity honor and living life to the fullest ~ do the right thing always.... Start today...

The fire is burning brightly, the embers are RED HOT... Thoughts on the wind to those who have asked, those who have forgotten! To 6 year old Shelby, many are praying for your continued strength and healing... For Jill and your "new bald look" you have the spirit of "BeAR and now the Eagle" looking over you, encouraging and many hear praying and holding you close, paw in paw, we are here with warpaint on, fighting alongside you dear one... Fight, rest, FIGHT...
Chris in NY, awaiting the treatment plan, adjusting to life without "the girls"... feisty as she can be so angels tell me, we have our arms around you Chris... Laura home from TX where her daughter rode that bike to cure MS... a challenge is being put together to fight MS, we have our warpaint on for all and in "Southwest Virginia" sending love on the wind.
To all those hospice folks heading home all over the country leaving DC, safe journeys to all, it was an honor to meet you, to NHPCO thank you for the opportunity to join with you and share Healing Heartaches with so many...

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing...
Do it the best you can... honestly and with honor... remembrance and joy..,, Jaren is up to tricks from the other side, I can feel her joyful and prank spirit...

Walk In Beauty

author of
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life
order yours at
or at the