Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Three Pieces of Love

In my need/desire to downsize and simplify, I have moved home again.
It was odd to be packing boxes so soon again and to be faced with the challenge of taking belongings to a donation center. I finally gave away Davids favorite jacket.

On the moving day, the three piece couch could not fit up the winding, narrow stairway. It was just not interested in joining me in the new home. As discussions of hoisting it up and through the front window were taking place, I was remembering back, just a few years to when David and I chose that furniture. We had countless visits, taking far too long, walking around the show room. Sadly because the Alzheimer's was pretty apparent, and David was seeing every piece of furniture for the first time - despite walking around at least ten times on several occasions.

It was an expensive piece, but he loved it, and I loved that he loved it and all I wanted to do was to make him happy. So with a payment plan in place I bought it.

Weeks later when it arrived, he hated it. Which is very typical for Alzheimer's. Anything new appears as a threat, yes even furniture. The first night we had to cover it with familiar blankets and cushions, so that he felt comfortable. The second night he spilled chocolate ice cream over it - boy did those cushions take a beating!!! He soon came to love it, and somehow that couch became a sacred spot for the two of us and Max The Cat. Where I could finally get David to sit and watch something on the TV and we would for hours, just hold hands and breathe.

When he first went away to the hospital and then finally died - all I could do, was to sit in the same place and just wait for time to pass, so that I could breath again.

So, my heart was tugging as I needed to leave that three piece sitting on the pavement waiting to be collected. Then it hit me - I had sat, holding Davids hand when he died. I had no choice but to leave that room, and him, and the family, and our life and our weird, crazy love. I could let all of that go with respect and love - and so how dramatic or how simple could I make letting go of a piece of furniture? Wood, nails and material are not worth tears (unless you're religious, and that's another story!)

It is all a choice of how you face things. Our hearts count for everything. It is not what we own, what we wear or what we drive. It is the faces we look at fondly, the voices we love to hear and those moments that are tender and warm.

At one am I peeked and the beautiful three piece had been taken away. I trust for some new adventure. Like myself I guess..............I hope.........I plan.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Heroes


This weekend all I wanted to do was stay at home, indulge in the Hallmark Channel and
wallow in Oreos and loneliness. Pathetic, and I knew it.

However, here is what happened: I met a new important child in my life and held him in my arms as we celebrated his twelve hour birthday. Welcome to your life, and ours, Mister Jack Alton DuPont - the first child to my dear friends Shannon and Kevin DuPont. Many congratulations!

Then I had dinner with my amazing friend, Kathy Vena, who is in full care giving mode for her husband Dante, as they face Alzheimer's full in the face and heart. She is courage, beauty, fear, love and humor.

Then today I had the honor of attending a tribute for the World War II Foundation in Boston.
www.wwiifoundation.org

I met an incredible man who fought in Iwo Jima. He told me that this is heaven as he has seen hell. That you never take a glass of water for granted - he went without water for three days.
Three days! He has wondered what his purpose has been, as to why he was a survivor, when nearly seven thousand Americans died during that battle, 19 February – 26 March 1945.

I had to take a moment to accept that my story is completely different, yet what links us, is that we are incredible human beings who have more strength and power within us than we realize. That a fighter pilot of thirty three missions, can make a joke about getting lost with a GPS. That I shook hands with a smiling, welcoming man who as a young boy lost his entire family in concentration camps. Can you imagine?
These are the stories that film maker Tim Gray is making - and originally I thought to myself, what right do I have to be there? I'm nothing compared to the intelligence and experience of these people.
I have hardly any knowledge of any war - and yet - here's the thing - what I get from these stories is inspiration and a need to live! That's what history is about. That's what humanity is about.

One day, I am kissing a tiny forehead whose wide eyes were staring at me with a kind of wisdom, that only makes sense when you see it - and the next day, a man two lifetimes my age - telling me that life is a privilege and that I have nothing to fear.

I want to make a difference. I want to love, to laugh, to give, to inspire, to celebrate and to share.
No more waiting. Hiding. Eating Oreos (well, perhaps a few.) No more accepting judgment and comparisons or holding onto sadness. How can I complain, and I admit, want to cut out at a young age, when there are those who fought with blood and guts to allow most of us this freedom that we take for granted. That at nineteen, they had to face what I never wish to imagine. Yes, I'm pretty scared for my next unmarked journey - but surely if we all have this same beating heart, we can face anything.

And that is what I learnt from a baby boy, my dear friends and heroes of the second world war.
Thank you.
Always with love,
Jayne xx






Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Rain on a Thursday

Tonight I listen to the rain and know that I love that sound.
That I am Fortunate enough to be comfortable and warm inside.
Old enough to read until whenever I choose to switch the light.
Healthy enough to sit without pain or confusion.
Wealthy enough to surround myself with a pretty room.
Loving enough to know that those I hold close are safe.
Hopeful enough to know that my thoughts are received in distant hearts.
Joyous enough to smile as I say yes please to an invitation.
Wise enough to know that the rain is a gift
As it all is and may be treated as such
If we stop and listen for awhile.
And tonight I listen to the rain.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Junk and Mojo

You know how we have a junk folder on our computers? Wouldn't it be a good idea to have one in our minds/hearts/souls?

Today my computer had Cruise Deals, Costco Coupons, How to get a Russian Bride (not that I have ever felt like getting a Russian bride) Solar Panels Deals and of course ED treatments, with the sub title of Getting My Mojo back. Well, yes I agree I do have an ED issue because there is nothing around to do the E part let alone the D part - and if I could solve that, then yes I think I would get my Mojo back.

Then my real junk folder was hit with the traditional not good enough, too fat, tired and not clever enough.com and here's a new one - The Too Old University.

So, just like we do with computers; I'm throwing all that crap into the junk folder and embracing the fact that I can get my Mojo back by focusing on what is good about me.

You ready ?

I'm courageous, I'm loyal, I'm funny, I'm caring, I'm gentle, I'm loving AND
I have a beautiful spirit that has been strong enough to face a lot AND
now it's my turn to welcome celebration, fun and brand new beginnings.

I welcome you all to do the same!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Night Horoscope

 When I first started this blog in 2009, my initial idea was inspired from reading my stars, and then commenting on them, because they always had a habit of being ridiculous or ridiculously appropriate.
My friend Jen, was part of that genius and I wanted to celebrate her by returning to an astrology blog. So, I decided I would do it tonight and I begun by checking out my horoscope.
 First let me set the scene - it is Saturday evening following a tearful week, I'm alone, sitting on my balcony, two three glasses of red wine down plus I have absorbed a bar of chocolate called Intense Dark Chocolate Orange. Every good female and sensitive male will recognize this as an evening of wallowing in sadness, loneliness and sheer can't be botheredness.
 Earlier I had shaved my legs, flossed my teeth (hate it!!) and deep conditioned my hair in something called Henna Placenta. Really? How on earth can henna have a placenta? Despite sounding biological, my hair looks quite nice. I can imagine my George Clooney look alike, smelling my hair and whispering "ahh placenta." I did all of that with the one percent hope of getting invited somewhere, and also the fifty percent plan that I was going to take myself out and when I do that, I try to look pleasant thus avoiding the patronizing look from strangers of "well yes she should be alone appearing like that."

 I am hovering in that dreadful, delicate, cobweb of a place where my heart break needs to heal because, quite honestly, bridges are becoming more and more attractive these days. My decent soul cannot and should not hold onto this amount of pain and the bitterness that has built up. It's like plaque on teeth, it's just not good for you. I can see myself as that lunatic person standing on their tiny soap box screaming during a blizzard: "I deserve better than any of you gave." It's all pointless, because nobody cares, least of all those in the guilty family party. 

 AND the truth is, I love to smile. I really do. Despite my joy of not using the phone (rare occasion allowed tonight TWICE with my dear friend who actually recognizes my voice) I really do enjoy company. I have tried this year to be sociable, even intimate, and my poor ego is battering some hefty rejection. I have a joke, that guys drop me off at the highway, trying to get away quickly. Their four wheel drives become two, as they suddenly skid off to go do whatever it is they suddenly need do. One man tells me that he thinks about me every day, even though our last date was actually a year ago, one wanted to spank me, despite what his much younger wife thought, one was probably gay and another man has gone away for about two months on a dream vacation. I can't even say, he's gone to prison, which would at least be a decent excuse. This one has actually chosen to go away! 
 Anyway.......with all this in mind, I check my horoscope to write my thoughtful, intelligent blog and here is what my stars say:

Your love life needs a boost — and you've got just the right kind of energy to make it happen! Things are moving along at the right pace, but you can change the mood for the better with a single word.

REALLY???????????? 
Is that the word?
 





Saturday, July 26, 2014

Right Now

And in my quiet
All that I can do is miss you.
All that is left is missing you.
What else can I do?
I loved with such hope,
With such boldness.
I held your hands,
Looked into your eyes that didn't know me,
Told you I would always love you
And I do.

Yet the fastness of this loss swallows me.
And, it now swirls with another.
I step out with such timid longing
That nobody cares to hear,
Again, just to feel loss.
I focus on a blue, pale petal smiling
The sunlight on the curtain
My cup of tea becoming cold.
Is this truly my purpose
To love where it isn't wanted?

I see our colorful blanket being pulled away from you
And in that callous uncaring moment
Everything I had, we had, was pulled away.
And now?
I lean my face toward the sun
Begging to feel warmth for longer than one day.
Please.
No more loss.
My hands are already too full.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Celebrate Jen and Tim

Today we celebrate my dear friend Jen's wedding to her lovely man Tim.
It is a pure delight and honor to be part of their day, thank you. A day that I know will be unique and as special as they both are.

Jen was there for me and David, with heart, compassion, laughter and care. (He would/is so thrilled that love took your breath away.) She was there to bring me my first cup of tea on July 21st and always there by my side for that first week when I felt like I was thrown into a sea of nothingness.
She was the one to convince Max The Cat that he had to move! The one who said "she meant your feet Jayne" and the one who made David smile. For all those things and our shared interest in cake, I know I have a dear, dear friend, whom I am so excited to see become a married lady this Saturday.

Now its time to focus on the fun that love and marriage can bring. That holding another persons hand, is a privilege and how saying I Love You can make the sun shine even brighter. I am so proud of you and happy for you Jen. This Chapter One I promise will be a favorite!


LOVE YOU!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Amazing Journey

I thought I would better at this. Not over it in anyway, just better. More eloquent. Clear. Funny. Powerful. When you hold the hand that you love while its heart has stopped beating, and your love continues to flow, you feel you know everything.


Yet here I am, alone and wondering how on earth I got through today. This murky, cold day in my soul that tempted me to jump, disappear, sink. My head on the pillow rarely wants to lift and today the only reason I did was to cry even more.


I have to do this. I have no choice. Recently, through bereavement counseling, I have wanted to open my eyes to a new life. Fear jumped up and covered me today. The lack of trust replaced with doubt, that has always been my weakness, played and laughed at me. It's such hard work.


I have seen the beauty and pure peace of a beach recently. I have had the honor of seeing my words performed recently. I have had my hand held recently and drunk champagne to share mutual achievements. I want that and so much more. Could there be so much more?


The amazing and yet weary journey of widowhood has me creeping along paths I didn't want to see, and yet, as I already said, here I am. And why would I describe it as amazing? Because of the extremes that emotions will travel to. The strength, the simplicity, the pain, the bewilderment, the hope, the passion that screams life is too short and let's not waste any time. The desire to move further from the memory and yet closer to the warmth of memory.


There is a light, like waiting at a dock to watch a boat arrive. I prefer those days to this.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Yes please - widow small steps


Today, I felt I was working in a washing machine when all I needed was a sink! That pretty much sums it up.
It's simple, I am a gentle woman with a huge heart that has never trusted anything, and can smile while I cry. All I wanted was to be happy. I still do. Following a few months of severe sadness, I finally lift my head up, just this week, and say yes please.

Yes please to fresh opportunities that are about respect - not about being used.
Yes to please to inventive, creative ideas. Yes to desire to breath, to walk, to care enough to put myself first.
Yes please to love. To friendship. To a thoughtful how are you. To a hand in mine that wants to be there.
Yes please to shared laughter. To experiences. To shared wonders. To new places, OH YES PLEASE to new places. Yes to a break, to relax, to sleep. To feel warmth, everywhere.
Yes please to healing. Yes please to letting go of the pain. The bitterness. The sheer weight of grief.

Somebody recently told me that they are surprised that I am not risking more because I have nothing.
The truth of "I have nothing" is like a truck slowly going forward and reversing over my toes and doing that for twenty four hours. I didn't choose that. Death took it and then people pushed me to a cliff.
I have nothing. It is a risk every time I open my front door. So yes please, to security. To trust. To wisdom.
To feeling that perhaps, somebody is interested enough to ask what do I need - instead of what they need.
For ease, for grace, for simplicity, for joy.
I sit and wonder, when will the spinning stop so that I can see my new view?

Yes please to seeing a new view.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ego versus Heart

I seem to blog less and less these days. My ego always screams that I must write something that matters.

Tomorrow the 12th would have been my 12th wedding anniversary. I've spent today wondering how I should/would/could pay respect to that. Nice words. Brave words. Write a poem. Post photos. Say I love you. All of that is true as well as the fact that this hurts like hell.

I spend the days surviving, not living and that's the truth. I got through today and I will get through tomorrow and blah blah blah.
I mattered for awhile, or at least I thought I did, and that was switched off as simply as someone just put their rubbish out.
I will tell you, with my blue honest eyes, that love is all that matters.
And now, with only the smallest percent of that in my life, I will shout it out more.

I never imagined that I would need to beg to spend time with someone. That I would stoop so low as to accept crap, just to avoid loneliness, disrespect and loss. That short word is so burdened and heavy like unwanted mud.
I focus on the light. On the friends that matter. On trying to find new things to impress myself with.
I am so lost in my little boat and it's exhausting pretending and trying. Take it hour by hour, storm by storm, foolishly or wisely knowing that there are calm seas ahead.

So its not the ego that writes this, it is the heart. I gave everything and tonight I am not sure what the reward is of doing that.




Sunday, April 6, 2014

Profile of a widow

Please do not ask me why - I have recently been exploring what people do in this world of so called romance and chatting one another up!!! And here is what I have found:

That one of the surprisingly annoying things about widowhood, is the feeling that grows inside of you, that is a super power strength. It is a volcanic layer created from velvet that is wrapped around your heart, guts and soul. It tricked me into believing that I can do absolutely anything because, to hold my husbands hand through to his last breath, was truly the most loving and painful experience of my life.
You cannot, however add this to your resume or profile!

To whisper I let you go into peace is one of the greatest achievements there is. Surely? Apart from of course, being able to give birth, and that for me, was never to be in my life.

I had a Hallmark image once, that I could be that hard working, glamorous widow, who stayed alone and was always strong. Had great hair and went on solo vacations to Hawaii. I actually thought I would write that book, get that slim and sit in a chair on a beach and feel Davids hand in mine. Why don't you do that, I can hear people say.
Because, in truth, widowhood is lonely, painful, empty, snot, tears, bills that worry you, spinning hands on clock faces that go too fast or too slow. Its words that you don't understand, fake faces of concern and confusion (and that includes your own reflection). Money that you spent on healthcare, that you now stupidly resent. Directions that need repeating. Don't talk to me. Please talk to me.

I have this arrogance now, that will either be my downfall or my savior. I know the true depth of my love and it hurts me terribly when I know that other people will never respect that about me or wish to get to know that part of me. It disappoints me when people (me included) waste time and energy on pettiness, on fear, on ego. I could be a crown full of diamonds from what my life has taught me. So why should I hide that?
Is it wrong that I want some return on all that I have given?

Please don't instruct me on how to open your car door. Either get the stupid thing fixed OR here's a novel idea - open it for me!!!!
Please ask questions that you care to hear the answers to. Please know that I have a courage that is equal to jumping out of planes, or standing on jet skis or going fast in a Porsche. You have a Porsche, you're meant to go fast. That's not bravery that's just mechanics. I'm glad you have seen sunsets in St.Thomas and can ride through deserts on camels and know Superman personally. How about buying a bunch of flowers from a supermarket? Ever done that?

I had the power of love to hold on tight, no matter what, and then to stand strong and alone, at a head stone.
I now deserve honesty and a heart that is brave enough to show emotion.
If I can still see the wonder of a stunning sunrise then I deserve a soul that would/could/should do that too, beside me, not a thousand miles away from me.

Instead though I simply say: warm, caring and happy to smile.









Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mums Birthday

Happy Birthday Mum!

My Mum has every strength that I do not. She's been a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend.
She's funny, intelligent, quiet, shy, warm, patient, welcoming, makes great tea. Is understanding, careful, polite, cheats at games and rarely sleeps.

Mum, You have been with me through so many chapters, both good, questionable, slim, fat, challenging and down right awful. You have seen me as a blond, red head, dark hair, natural and once with a purple stripe. You have seen me as an actress, a writer, an event planner, a Christmas elf, a receptionist, a bride, a widow and a little girl saying "well at least he had the best part of the sandwich!" AND as an adult, laughing so much that we had tears at our photo joke about..."sandwiches". I see we have a thing about food!

You have always said yes and You have never judged me. You let me go, You let me arrive.

How many Mums are able to understand that their daughter cannot speak to them sometimes, because all she can do is cry? You have been incredible during this painful phase. Truly incredible.

I failed at my true gift for You this year. You know how much I wanted to fly out and see You. I didn't make it work and quite honestly, I should have. And yet, You left me a message today thanking me for the fruit hamper I sent, saying it was the loveliest gift.
You amaze me with your generosity of thought.

When I have literally sat on my kitchen floor with my head in the oven there are two things that make me breath again. One - that I would never put You through anything else and Two - I now have an electric oven; so I would only end up with a really bad tan.

So maybe Mum, I take my next step for You, like I took my first steps for You. Because I can't seem to do it for myself alone at the moment. I've gone backwards and I don't want You to see that anymore.
I will never be as brave and as full of forgiveness as You are. I will however aim to smile, to grow, to make better tea, to have shiny hair and to be authentic in every moment, because I know that is your wish for me.
That will lead me to find the ways to be able to see You, share things together, make You proud, make You feel as special as You deserve to feel, because truly You make the word MUM make sense.

LOVE YOU ALWAYS


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Next Stop

I had the oddest experience just now. Being full of a cold, I accidentally dozed off on the sofa for perhaps thirty minutes. I woke up with no idea of where I was, all I felt was that I was missing something. Something very important. I sat up, looking around and truly couldn't figure anything out.
Then I found myself wanting to reach out to someone, and I could not make any connections as to who that would be. I was frozen in that moment and watched myself being alone.
Now, sitting here, looking at the cat, I realized enough is enough. I am too young to be at the "giving up point" in my life, and what's more I don't want that. In fact that was my first clear thought - I'm too young for this.


It is so challenging, because the more I do, takes me further away from what I came here for. My old life however is all over, and nothing I can do will bring it back. Part of me fights to remain in my grief, as that is all I have left from my previous ten years. Could all of that love be worth this emptiness? Is that what love equals to? A waking feeling of nothing?
Surely not!


A friend today explained how I could have been positive about my trip to AZ being cancelled. I could have made other plans. Gone somewhere else. My point was, that AZ was about being sociable, especially over a weekend where I didn't want to be alone. I believe I can do alone, really well. It's the opposite that I struggle with. That is why it stung. It was an attempt to move out of my comfort zone, when I can hide inside at the drop of a calendar.


Last week I ended up at a emergency dental appointment equaling in $5,000 worth of treatment if I say yes (which I'm not). Then the next day I had a fire in my living room, which could have been terrible. Thankfully it was not and now I can say I have used a fire extinguisher. The next day my AZ flight was cancelled and then the next day I got a cold and something really odd growing in my eye!!
Again all reasons for me to say "I'm not playing anymore!"


So I publicly forgive myself for having a cry and a moan. All of those things had me missing my old life and reminded me of my fear of rejection. Well, let me stand up with a million others and agree we all have that in common. It's what I describe as being on board The Circle Line. If you miss your stop at pain, rejection, abandonment, or whatever is your weakest muscle, stay aboard and you will soon re-visit the station.


By the way, for those that are working through loss, I recommend a wonderful non fiction book called "Second Firsts" by Christina Rasmussen. She names it "the loop of loss."
And now? Time to grow. Time to move further on and peer a little more ahead at new paintings, hear new music and taste new foods. I want to pay attention to those that care and quickly recognize those that pretend to. To celebrate and embrace the conversations that inspire me (thanks to my Vicks vapor rub & Netflix partner, you know who you are). To truly listen to what peoples silence is telling me and what their words are showing me. To dig deeper and to see what my brave heart is teaching me. As I said at the beginning, I cannot accept that all my love for David is now a battered rug on the floor. I can't wake up again and see nothing. I deserve more and I want more.


Thank you for reading.





Thursday, February 13, 2014

And then.......

I wrote this morning about wanting to face the world again and live. Despite my fear, my pain, my lazy hideaway, experience, age, swollen ankles - whatever, all the things that make me want to hide.
It is so easy to speak the brave words when you are in a positive mood.
The challenge is when things do not work out in your favor. How do you keep going then?

For awhile I have been battling to get out from my gloomy rock. I made a very bold decision and booked a long weekend away to one of my favorite places. My dear, glorious AZ. I need a break. To breath. I love it there.
Anyway of course the storm hits and today, twenty hours before my flight, everything is cancelled.

The little girl, the widow, the bitter brat all come out to play and I literally sit and cry.
I am completely fed up with it all being so difficult. AND of course I know this is nothing compared to what someone else faced today. It is nothing compared to what I myself have faced - yet I still gotta say - can we just make things a little easier?

So there it is, my public stomp of the foot as I say "its not fair!" I am trying to face you. Can I get a break?


February - Transform - Weather

I have not written for ages and have had so much to say. From remarkable simple stuff to the plain awful.
What can I say - losing someone is not for the weak and yet we have no choice. It is not something we enter our credit card digits for.
Now I'm facing one of the hardest parts, because I realize I must, must get on. I do not want to say move on, that feels too harsh. David is not going to come back. My love could not make him better, so it cannot bring him back. As amazing as he was sometimes, he is not going to come out of a cave and have a holiday named after him.
The depths of what I have felt recently took me to a new sadness - and it's not the same as depression - and it was not because of the weather. Please know, if you have someone close to you going through grief, it is never the weather that is making them cry.

So, now I am finding my fight and courage to transform. If I have lived through this, I want to live with the opposite. I want to see how far my joy can reach. I want to discover "WHAT ON EARTH IS NEXT".
I want to wake up and smile. I want to find my passion again. My purpose again. Find things I don't even know about.

February has historically been an interesting month for me. I have quite often met people during this month who became significant to me for various reasons. I had changed my life once before in February 1999.
I emigrated to the USA in February 2001.  So, it is time to do that again - and this time it feels the hardest, because part of me is not interested, part of me has the excuse of "too old" and part of me questions "why bother".
Pushing all of that aside and knowing how scared I am - I am ready (I think) YES I am. I cannot jump off a cliff, so I may as well learn how to fly.