Places traveled through

Places traveled through

Friday, March 4, 2016

I have often wondered.  Should I come back here to write my thoughts, the ramblings of my mind?  
Do I start something new?  A different blog?

   This blog was created for the adventures of a wonderful dream.  Things change, life changes, the road turns and you move in a different direction.

I come here often and read the posts, over and over again.  Living in the past?  No, not really, maybe holding on to the dream.  A dream that will never come true.  It can't. The main participant is missing.

Too many thoughts tonight.  3 years ago today, a nightmare started, the beginning of the end to the dream.  The dream of all roads leading somewhere.  The road came to a dead end.

Dealing with too many emotions tonight....too many thoughts to clearly put it into words.

I miss....... You!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Note to self....

When you are sick with a cold and not thinking clearly, do not... I repeat DO NOT turn on the kettle for tea and go to bed!   The fire alarm will wake you up when the kettle has completely boiled out all the water.

After that bit of excitement, how can I go back to sleep?

No fire, just my beloved copper kettle is well scorched and I have the fan going full blast to get the smell out.

La la la la Life goes on........

Jo

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Wish

New Year Wish to my family, friends and all those who's path I will cross.

May your days be filled with radiant soul warming sunshine.
May you seek and find happiness that fills you with joy.
May you find peace with the very things that caused you anguish.
May your arms always be able to wrap around those you love.
May your hugs be so welcoming that the receiver feels your heart loving energy flow into them.
May you know that you are loved in a way that will sustain you through the turmoil of dismay.
May your nights be filled with the comfort, rest filled sleep and pleasant dreams.
May your journey on the path called life bring you abundant blessings.


Jo




Monday, December 30, 2013

A written random thought.

Life is not fair!
We've all heard it said or said it ourselves. 

Life is not fair because…..
You didn't get the job you interviewed for and your credentials were impeccable.
You had a flat tire on your way to meet with friends.
You lose a leg to a disease that you never thought could happen to you.
Your boy-friend and you had a fight breaking up the relationship.
You bought a new outfit and the first time wearing it you notice a seam is ripped.
You make plans for the perfect vacation and the weather is rotten.

You’re right!  Life is not fair, but neither is death.

We all expect to grow old, die in our 80’s, 90’s or if we have the right genes and are lucky maybe even 100.   But we never think that death isn't fair instead we blame life.
Let me tell you something, death is not fair either.
Someone riding a trolley, possibly on their way to work dies because some jackass blows it up killing everyone on board.
A baby so desperately wanted after trying for years dies at birth.
A 46 year old man dies from undetected diabetes.
A teenage girl dies after complications from a routine surgery.
A mother dies from undetected ovarian cancer leaving behind 3 young boys, ages 2, 6 and 8.
The man you had planned your whole future with dies in your arms and there is nothing anyone can do to save him.

Yes, life and death are not fair.  There is no promise that your life will turn out the way you drew it in your head. There is no promise that you will live to be 80, 90 or 100.  We can not dwell on life and death.  It is all part of the cycle of being human.  What we can do is make the most of what we have and know that life is too short no matter how long you live.

Life is to be celebrated.  Everyday that you wake up you are living!  Each day is a new beginning, a clean slate, a moment in time to be lived. Take every morsel, every minute  and relish it. Death will come for all of us. There is no escape.  It’s only a matter of time.  As my mother told me many times “From the moment you’re born, you start dying, so live life!”  She was a very wise woman.

I wasn't sure what I was going to write.  I had the thought today “Life isn't fair” and with that thought came another, “Death isn't fair either”  I can say with a smile on my face that you now have my thought of the day. 

Tomorrow.  A new day.  Soon a new year.  What will 2014 bring?  I can guarantee it will bring life and death.  But don't dwell on life and death instead relish the waking moments. With the new year coming I made a New Year resolution.   ”Each day I will strive to be a blessing in someone’s life.” 


What is your New Year’s resolution?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day... Every Day

Thanksgiving Day.

I spent the morning visiting across the miles, via cell phone, Skype and Face Time with friends and family.
With the technology of today I was able to be part of a lazy morning bed cuddle with my grandson, joined in the making of Challah bread  from scratch, be a shoulder to lean on and a comforter to someone who is part of a journey to a very special person who is nearing the end of their physical journey in life and share laughter and hugs with friends.  I even managed to catch a part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade!  All of this before 2:00 in the afternoon.  I was later blessed to spend the evening with friends where there was shared memories, new faces and laughter.

I took some time and looked at Face Book.  So many people giving thanks a questioned popped into my head.  Why do we wait for a Holiday to give thanks.  I understand that we are Thankful on a daily basis, but do we express it?  Do we tell the person bagging our food in the grocery store "Thank you"?   Or how about the person on the other side of a work phone call?  Okay, so we may say it, but do we truly mean it?  Are you really thankful for the Gas Station attendant behind the counter, or do you feel they are just doing their job?  What about the person who picks up your garbage, reads your electric meter or delivers your mail?  A few years ago I made it a point to look at the name tags of anyone who is doing a "job" for me, the teller at the bank, the cashier at the grocery store, the guy at Best Buy who helped me figure out my new phone that has way to many options and buttons for me to understand, and said  "Thank you Theresa for ringing up my groceries" "Thank you Albert for helping me figure out this button"   You would be surprised at some of the reactions.  Most are genuinely grateful that you recognize them as a person, some look a bit confused, thinking they should know you from somewhere else, others look a little perplexed.  But all smile.  All are validated that they are part of my journey whether they realize it or not.

If you give a smile, the simplest act of kindness, most times you will get one in return.  Now I do know there are some people in this world who are on the "Woe is me train" and no matter what you do they are going to be negative, mean and no matter what you do, it is never enough.  You know what I do with them?  I smile, thank them and refuse to carry the burden they are trying to give me.

So even though Thanksgiving Day is over.  Why not try to carry the spirit of it everyday in a different way, by simply acknowledging that everyone around you deserves to be thanked for crossing your path on this journey in life.  We all influence each other as we walk down the path of life maybe a little bit of thanks will help someone over the bumps in the road.

Jo






Monday, November 18, 2013

Okay, I did it!  I got through the first week of work and only had one instance where I had to leave the desk and have a quiet moment to myself. 

It feels good to be back at work.  The interactions with travelers, residents and co-workers has done my spirit a world of good.  It is wonderful to feel needed and appreciated especially by those I help whether it be a simple thing of retrieving their mail when they have forgotten their mailbox key, filing a three inch stack of paper or taking a reservation for a 3 month stay at the resort.  To be needed, to be helpful, to serve one another.  After all, isn't that what humanity is all about? Isn't helping one another get through this journey we call life the thing to do?  

I was amazed that my brain retained and brought forth the things I needed in the short amount of time I had to "get back into the swing of things"  The brain is an amazing organ.  It tells us to breath, keeps the body safe by distinguishing danger, is able to recall good memories that bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts  but can also shut out painful memories.  The brain is the most complex part of the human body. This three-pound organ is the seat of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior. 

Upon some research I learned some very fascinating facts about the brain.

  1. Water. The brain is made up of about 75% water.
  2. Blood. As with oxygen, your brain uses 20% of the blood circulating in your body.
  3. No pain. There are no pain receptors in the brain, so the brain can feel no pain.
  4. Fat. The human brain is the fattest organ in the body and may consists of at least 60% fat.
  5. Size at birth. At birth, your brain was almost the same size as an adult brain and contained most of the brain cells for your whole life and stops growing at age 18.
  6. Oxygen. Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body..
  7. Unconsciousness. If your brain loses blood for 8 to 10 seconds, you will lose consciousness.
  8. Speed. Information can be processed as slowly as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec, about 268 miles an hour.
  9. Wattage. While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power–or enough energy to power a light bulb.
  10. Tickles. You can’t tickle yourself because your brain distinguished between unexpected external touch and your own touch.
  11. Gray matter. The brain’s gray matter is made up of neurons, which gather and transmit signals.
  12. White matter. The white matter is made up of dendrites and axons, which create the network by which neurons send their signals.
  13. Gray and white. Your brain is 60% white matter and 40% gray matter.
  14. Neurons. Your brain consists of about 100 billion neurons.
  15. New neurons. Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.

Now that we all know a little bit more about the brain... go out and learn one new thing today... create a few new neurons!


Thanks for stopping by to read my ramblings.  
Jo

“Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Saturday, November 2nd was Paul’s Memorial.  It was well attended by family and friends, or so I’ve been told.  I don’t remember much of it.  I feel that my brain has decided some things are best remembered in very small doses.  There was a wonderful sharing of memories by several family members and friends, even an email read from a nephew in New Zealand.   It touched my heart to hear that Paul’s journey in this life touched so many others in a very special way and that he shared so much life with others.

 They say a picture can say a thousand words.  A few pictures that I shared at Paul's memorial.  
The pictures will never show, the man I came to know.



I have been trying to convert the PowerPoint presentation that I made, into a video, but for the life of me, I can not figure out how Paul did it!  I have the program on his computer, but after four tries, it still is not turning out correct.  I guess I should have sat and watched how he did it in the past. He always did the conversions for me.  It is just one more thing that reminds me of the loss I suffer with him gone.  His absence overshadows various parts of my life and will do so for a long time.






In my heart, I believe that Paul will always have his loving arms wrapped around me.  He will always be my love, my knight in shining armor, my M'Lord.  I know there is no single "should have done" or "could have done" or "did" or "didn't do" that would have changed a thing.  I also know that if love could have saved Paul, he would still be here at my side.


Many have approached me or sent emails asking that I continue writing this blog.   I will attempt to write something….  thoughts, feelings, observations, in the coming weeks.   Not sure how it will turn out, but I’ll give it a try.

 The family who came to share their support, love and precious thoughts have all gone back to their own lives.  Walking their own paths, as they should be.  Their presence was the greatest gift they could have given me.  

Today, I start back to work.  I begin to walk a path of near normalcy. *smile
I do not know what the future holds, none of us do.  We make our plans and never really give much thought to the “What if’s” in life.  

To everyone who shares my journey.  May you always hold love in your heart, peace in your mind and know that you are a very important part of my journey.


Love and those all important hugs,

Jo

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ramblings

I've been wanting to write something on this blog for the last couple of weeks.  Every time I sit down to write I either find myself overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that can not be put into words or I come up completely blank.  If nothing else, this is my rambling for tonight.

The last few weeks have been filled with doing the necessary paperwork that one has to do when there is a death of a loved one.  Bills continue to come in and need to be paid, food still needs to be purchased, prepared and eaten, appointments still need to be kept.  Life does go on.  It’s a different life.  A singular life.  A odd life when you have spent so much of your everyday sharing life.

Some days I find it difficult to move forward.  There are the everyday obstacles that hold me, coffee for one, no need to cook, laundry is reduced, no one to share my everyday non important ramblings, thoughts and feelings.  I know this is all part of the grieving process and I know what is expected of me from those who see me as I deal with the grief of losing Paul and going through this period of mourning.  The quandary is…. I feel I no longer know who I am!  In losing Paul, I have somehow lost me!  I knew who I was with him.  I was his wife, his love, his m’lady.  I knew the expectations of the day.  I knew what needed to be done.  The relationship with Paul was clearly defined.  We shared not only every evening, but also in working together, we shared our days.  Our life was  defined in togetherness… our coffee in the morning before work, tidbits of communication throughout the day, dinner in the evening between 5:30 and 6:30 pm, do the laundry when the “magic box” was full (It’s what he called the hamper), plan our future.  Whether it be the future of the next day, week, month or years to come.  Now?  Well, a pot of coffee can last two or three days, there’s no need to make a proper sit down meal for one and since I don’t go out as often as before the “magic box” is rarely full!  The routine of life has taken on a new and unfamiliar dimension that I know will someday become the new normal. 

I am fortunate to be surrounded in the love of family, through telephone calls and emails. This continues to give the support needed.  There are also the friends who share this beautiful community that I call home.  They offer dinner invitations and much needed snatches of conversation when I walk to get the mail but… yes, there is always a “but” in life… but my identity has been changed.  I am no longer the person I was a mere few weeks ago.  

In Paul’s dying, part of me has also died.   Part of who I was, has changed.  I now have to take the journey of rediscovering who I am.   Who is the singular Jo that is not Paul’s wife… Paul’s m’lady…. Paul’s partner in life?   That is what I am going to have to find out.  When you share your life with someone, no matter if it is for a few years, ten years, twenty years or longer, you become dependent on them for support, understanding, camaraderie, validation, sharing the "pop in the head" thoughts and the mundane everyday happenings.  You must go through a process to redefine who you are because you no longer have all of those things.  When you find yourself singular after being a couple, you  question your decisions.   You began to wonder  “What am I suppose to do now?”  
The enjoyment of  basic sharing is lost.  

With any death, the loss is not just the person and all they meant to you, it is also the loss of shared memories. Memories of those shared experiences, the laughter, the smiles, the knowing and understanding.  Shared experiences that even when put into words, lose something because only you and the person who shared it fully understand.

I know “life goes on”.  I know that the need for structure is important.   Returning to work and having a schedule of things "To do" will help in returning to the land of the living.  I will find structure, I will find life does go on and I will live it to it's fullest. Returning to the things Paul and I shared will be different but it is essential to moving forward.   One day, I know the laughter, the hope of tomorrow and the dreams of the future will return.  

Jo
   

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” –Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life goes on?

Yes, the title is a question.  How does life go on after losing the one person who completed you? I find myself waiting for Paul to walk through the door or to call me on the phone.  The realization of him not being physically with me has not set in.  I've been too busy with paperwork.  Settling everything that needs to be done. Contacting the U.K. to inform them of his death.  I am "going through the motions" of life.  

My daughter and my grandson has been a great distraction to the reality of my life.  They have been here for the last two weeks so I've not had time alone to ponder what is next.  

I continue to tell myself  "Things will be okay"  "My life will go on," but and there is always a but..... How do I know what to do next?  How do I determine where I should be?  Who will be here to help with making the decisions that need to be made?  I depended on Paul for his wisdom, sensibility, intelligence and input into our lives.  Now it is just me, my life, alone without the one person who was my confidant, my love, my life.

Several friends have asked about a Memorial Service.  Yes, there will be a  "Celebration of Life" memorial service for Paul.
November 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm.
Caliente Springs Resort
70200 Dillon Road
Desert Hot Springs, California
Ferris Hall
You may be able to obtain accommodations here at Caliente Springs Resort  which is a 55+ resort or at the sister resort Sky Valley resort for those under the 55+ requirement.  If you prefer there are several casino/hotels within a 30 minute drive.


No matter what the future holds, I will always be grateful to everyone who has followed this blog and thankful that you were all a part of Paul's Journey in life. 

All roads do lead somewhere, now I need to continue and find out where my road leads.

Jo



Monday, August 12, 2013

I am where I am suppose to be...

How can time pass so slowly yet seem to fly by?  Has it been one week?

The days and hours no longer are on the same wavelength of time that I am experiencing.  I can hear Paul's voice in my head, laughing as he says "There's been a disruption in the space/time continuum" Yes, we were both a bit geeky and loved watching Dr. Who, Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory and anything on the Discovery Channel.

Last year at this time, during the Perseid meteor showers, I climbed up on the roof of the RV, laid there counting "Shooting Stars".  Forty in an hour.  I was so excited because in all my years, my lifetime of star gazing, I had never see so many in such a short time period.  I came inside and said "You need to come out here, this is amazing"  Paul came out, sat in the chair next to me and gazed up at the sky.  "I don't get it" he said as he watch them streak across the horizon, "It's all just dust and grains of sand "   I still smile today as I think of how his scientific mind took this awesome event that most of us look at in awe and wonder and he could be so factual at it being just "dust".  So I watched the dust and remembered our life together.

Where do I go from here?  No, not in the physical sense.  Paul and I had long discussions about the "What if".  He made it clear... no major moves, no major decisions, no drastic changes for 6 months.  Things need to continue as planned.  The house will be completed, I will move in.  I will continue on with the plans we had made for the next 6 months.  But I will do it alone. I will do it without him physically standing at my side and holding my hand.  I guess my question is more for myself as I know there is no one who can give me the answer.  Where do I go from here?  How do I walk this new road that is laid out before me?  Where do I find the courage to face the future without the man who completed me?  And he did complete me.  Paul made me whole.  He was my life, my soul-mate, my love, my beloved, my M'Lord. I will carry him in my heart until my last breathe.

Several of you, who read this blog, have asked me to continue writing.  I have always loved sharing our life and adventures on this blog.  This blog was created to the testament of my mothers life.  She loved to travel. Loved experiencing all that life had to offer.  She often said "From the minute you are born, you start dying, so LIVE life"  That is what Paul and I set out to do after her death in 2010.  We took to heart her wisdom and advice "Climb the mountains, walk the beaches, hike the forest".   Paul and I sold all our worldly possessions, bought the RV and set out to travel.  We have always somehow ended up being exactly where we needed to be.  Near family to enjoy grandchildren, visits with family, close enough to experience the birth of the latest grandson, touching lives.... sharing stories.... laughter..... and love. I will continue the blog with updates of my life, my thoughts, my travels, my journey of this life.

For now, I know,  I am where I am suppose to be.

So I leave you with this quote.......

You Are Where You Are Supposed to Be 

"God puts you where God needs you. 

You are where you are supposed to be. 
The job you are doing may not be any easier on account of this, indeed it may be harder, even more urgent, but now you are centered, focused, clear." 
So this is where I'm suppose to be.
I always thought I was suppose to be somewhere else, doing something else, being someone else.
But I realize now that I was mistaken.
This does not mean that I can't or will not be doing something else.
Just right now, I am where God wants me to be.
Lawrence Kushner