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Everyone reading this blog knows someone or of someone that died. We all grieve at some point, it’s one of life’s guarantees. There are supposedly stages of grieving and a process that individuals go through that eventually leads them to acceptance. Many of you know I lost my father recently and to be honest I could write a blog a day about him for the rest of my life and still never get sick of writing about him.

Lisa Williams was in our area earlier this week. My sisters, a friend and her mother and myself decided to go. Lisa is a medium/clairvoyant who claims she can speak to spirits. I was raised that you should not believe in psychics or fortune tellers and should not consult them with concerns about the future. I want to say upfront I agree with this. The future is not ours to see and if it was, I don’t want someone else telling me what mine will be. I am however a very spiritual being and believe that once we die our spirit goes to a different dimension which I happen to believe is heaven or the roads to heaven. I believe because we are all of spirit there is a way to connect with the energy of those who passed, because, the spirit doesn’t die. Which is what Lisa Williams does.

I promise at a later time, I will devote a blog to the evening spent with Lisa Williams, my father came through and in a big way. I am a very symbolic person and I do not believe in Coincidence. To me all things happen for a reason and All Things Are Possible With God! After my father’s death, I looked for signs that he was okay or just reassurances that he was still with us in spirit. I found many.

One that I will share today is the deliverance of Honeysuckle. My father loved honeysuckle and when my sister and I were little girls he would take us to the honeysuckle bush in his backyard, pull off the bud and tell us we can sample the sap it produced. It didn’t have much of a taste but it was certainly sweet in a smooth way. Fast-forward thirty years, we are sitting in his hospital room, he just died and I whisper to my older sister, “I wish I asked Daddy what his favorite flower was.” I had forgotten about his love of the honeysuckle. After I returned home I cried all night into the early morning hours. Day was just about to break and I walked into my backyard. I looked up into the sky and just stared hoping I would see some type of sign from him. I knew our bond was strong enough to cross a universe and I was expecting to see something. I wasn’t expecting to smell something.

A breeze blew past me and an overwhelming smell enveloped me. I sniffed at the air, I knew the smell was familiar but I couldn’t recall what it was. The realization of what it was spun my head around, I looked into his backyard (we were neighbors), and there in full bloom was his honeysuckle bush. I immediately knew that it was his energy I  felt. He was letting me know his favorite flower by wrapping the scent around me. A feeling of elation zipped through my body and I was certain that we connected. I don’t need science to prove it for me, that’s the nice thing about faith, once you have it you believe.

I am sure many people have had similar occurrences and maybe some feel funny about sharing them because they are afraid that the skeptics will take away from the greatness of that moment. The purpose of this blog post is to encourage others to share their experiences, signs or connections they received from loved ones who have passed. Please leave a comment if you have had an experience of your own. I would love to read about it.

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There is a funny thing that happens when someone you love dies. You start searching for them. I noticed myself doing this more recently. I stare longer at the older man slowly crossing the street using his cane for support. For a brief moment, I swear it is my father and remember what it felt like to watch him walk across my path. While getting routine blood work today a man with very kind eyes sat across from me. Both of us sat with arms extended while the nurse searched for a vein to stick a needle in. He looked at me and smiled and I saw my father in his eyes. I immediately recalled my father and the fight he gave. In the end, his veins blew out from all of the blood work. I would sit next to him and advise the nurse to try his hand instead of his arms. I hear a song on the radio and I swear he played it for me. The lyrics become his voice and the song becomes his teaching. I search the children’s face, trying to catch a glimpse of him and smile when I see it. I ask myself a question and then answer it in the way I think he would. Photographs are priceless and when I look at them long enough I can quickly remember what it felt like to hold his hand, kiss his cheek, rub his shoulder or listen to him breathe. I get excited before I fall asleep hoping I will see him. I think dreams are the closest we have to understanding how our spirit leaves our body once we are gone. In our dreams we are talking, living, seeing but yet our body lays in a bed. My father’s spirit has been released and if I am lucky, our spirits meet up while I sleep. If that does not happen, then I will continue to search and hope I see a part of him in someone else and remember what it felt like to have him around.

The best thing you can do to make sure you remember a moment, a day, a year, or a lifetime is take pictures. There is nothing like flipping through photographs. As many of you know, I lost my father recently. Every time I find a new picture of him, a surge runs through my body and I feel comforted. When the pictures were taken, I knew one day I would appreciate them. I love that I can still see his smile and feel his essence. I never realized what kind eyes he had until now. His windows to his soul were welcoming and I now understand why so many were drawn to him.

Take time to grab a camera. Capture life as it is happening so the moments you and your loved ones created, can be remembered.

 

 I know my posts lately have been in relation to my father’s death. I am grieving and for the first time in life I have really been effected by the absence of someone so close to me. Be patient with me, writing about moments with him will get me through this time of grief.

This week’s Friday’s Song is Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. I love Paul Simon’s voice, whatever song it is that he is singing, soars through my soul.

 

 

 

Father and Daughter -Lyrics

 

If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You cant remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star

I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I cant guarantee
Theres nothing scary hiding under your bed
Im gonna stand guard
Like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
Its just like going fishing
You cast your line
And hope you get a bite
But you dont need to waste your time
Worrying about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

 

I watched intently as he held out his large black hand. He looked at the girl and she knew. She knew he offered her love and protection. She would be safe with him no matter what. No one would ever harm her as long as he was around.

In a blink of an eye, the one who gave the girl a sense of security was gone, never to return. Did he know his time was coming? Could he sense her love for him? Was he scared? If he was he did not show it, perhaps it was another form of protection, emotional instead of physical.

Tears flooded my cheeks and my body trembled with sadness as I watched the giant ape fall from the sky. His eyes searched one last time for the one he so adored. His eyes scanned the crowd until they locked with hers. No words were spoken but I knew they said goodbye.

I was five years old; I cried and cried and cried when King Kong died

Twenty seven years later King Kong was making a return to the box office and I told my father we were going to go. I assured myself that this time I was not going to cry. I was not that little girl anymore. As I watched the large beast fall quickly from the sky my heart moved into my throat and I could feel my eyes begin to swell from tears. I lost control of my emotions, I wasn’t crying, I was blubbering. What was it about this beast that tugged at the strings of my heart?

I drifted off to sleep with King Kong on my mind. It saddened me tremendously to think that he was gone. When I awoke he was still in my thoughts and I decided it was time to try and figure out what his hold on me was.

King Kong is a Soul Story, a tale about two beings connecting without words and having an understanding of each other without needing to verbalize it.

What in my life represented that same tale? A soft voice whispered into my mind-“Your father.” It began to make sense, to me King Kong symbolized my daddy. My father was large in stature, but gentle, he was my protector, the one person I knew would never let me down. He said the words many times but I didn’t need to hear them to know he loved me and would die for me or any of his children if it ever came to that. He was a man that could command fear from the ugliest of people, but he never actually did any harm. Knowing this, I felt safe, just like the girl King Kong loved. When he fell from the building her security blanket fell too. No one could ever take his place.

I came to this realization years ago, long before my father died. Though I knew the day would eventually come, there was something about him that made me believe he was invincible and could never be taken down.

I will forever mourn the loss of my father but I’m thankful to have had one as great as him. King Kong fell from the building but his soul rose to a higher more magnificent place. My Kong may have left me in life but will forever remain in my heart.

 

This week’s song is in memory of my father. What I would do to have one more conversation, one more dance and one more laugh. I have peace knowing that I never let a day go by without telling my father that I loved him and I took the time on many occassions to thank him for being such a wonderful parent.
Take the time to tell the people you love that you love them. Don’t assume that tomorrow they will be there and you will have plenty of chances to let them know how you feel. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Happy Friday!
What songs are you listening to this week?

lyrics
Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ’til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again

When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way, I would run from her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me, yea yea
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance, one final step, one final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
‘Cause I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again

Sometimes I’d listen outside her door
And I’d hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me

I know I’m praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But dear Lord she’s dying
To dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

MY FATHER DIED ON 6-8-08 AT 2:15 IN THE MORNING. I AM HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME DEALING WITH HIS DEATH. I LOVED THAT MAN SO MUCH AND WAS VERY PROUD TO SAY HE WAS MY FATHER. I WAS HUMBLED TO SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE HE TOUCHED THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE. ROUGHLY 1000 PEOPLE SHOWED UP AT HIS VIEWING. MY FATHER WAS GENUINE, FUNNY, DEPENDABLE, WISE AND SUPER INTELLIGENT. HE WOULD COMMENT ON MY BLOGS AND EVEN PARTICIPATED IN A THURSDAY THIRTEEN. I AM ALSO DEVASTATED THAT HE DIED WITHOUT SEEING MY FOURTH CHILD WHICH WILL BE HERE ANY DAY NOW.
HIS DEATH AS HARD AS IT WAS FOR MY FAMILY AND I WAS BEAUTIFUL AND ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT IT. TODAY, I AM POSTING THE POEM I WROTE FOR HIM AFTER HIS DEATH.

DADDY,

Who will I be without you and who will guide me through?

There is no one to replace my Kong, he was only you.

I tried to be unselfish and release your soul to fly

But what I really wanted was for you to never die.

I will hear your words of wisdom gently whispered in my ear

I will feel your warmth surround me and know that you are near.

I will pass on your stories to your grandchildren with pride

I will be at peace knowing you are forever at my side

I will cherish simplicity and never ask for much more

I will try to follow your footsteps so I can reach the same door.

I saw you enter paradise and the excitement you had

I was surprised at how happy I was and not really all that sad.

The six of us released you to the people you longed to see

In the end, I know you will be there to welcome us, your cherished family.

This week I had to watch my father say goodbye to his big brother. A brother he shared many memories with and looked up to. When we are young, we think we will never grow old, but we do. I am witnessing my own children getting older and it makes me sad. I still feel like I am the same person I was at thirteen but my appearance proves I have grown. This week I chose Landslide by Fleetwood Mac for Friday’s song. If children knew what we know now, they would never wish to grow up fast.

Happy Friday!

What are you listening to this week?

Landslide Lyrics 

took my love, i took it down
climbed a mountain and i turned around
and i saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
’til the landslide brought it down
oh, mirror in the sky
-what is love?
-can the child within my heart rise above?
-can i sail thru the changin’ ocean tides?
-can i handle the seasons of my life?
i don’t know…..
well, i’ve been afraid of changin’
’cause i’ve built my life around you
but time makes you bolder
even children get older
and i’m getting older too
oh, take my love, take it down
climb a mountain and turn around
-and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
well the landslide will bring it down
-and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
well the landslide will bring it down
the landslide will bring it down 

     This past summer I wrote about losing a dear cousin of mine suddenly. I remember everything about the night, the weather, the phone call, the disbelief and… my uncle. When we heard the news of Sharon’s death, my siblings along with my parents rushed over to my aunt and uncle’s house to offer support. My aunt just lost her only daughter but she was not able to share the grief with her husband. My uncle was not fully aware of what was going on, and to observe it was heartbreaking. I never knew for sure if he had dementia or a form of Alzheimer’s. He smiled as company arrived, as if he was so happy to receive visitors, oblivious to the reason they were coming, or the hour they arrived. There were moments that I thought he was beginning to understand. He would look at my aunt and ask “What happened?” Lovingly, she would wrap her arm around his shoulder, stroke his face and look directly into his eyes, “We lost our baby girl.” He lowered his head and muttered a saddened oh and I was sure he had understood, but a few minutes passed and he looked up smiled and ask the question again.

     I thought it was both good and bad that he was not fully tuned in. Good because he didn’t have to bear the pain we were all suffering and bad because he had no idea that his daughter had left this world, therefore he couldn’t be there for his wife.

     His health started to decline shortly after Sharon’s death and my aunt spent the majority of her time caring for him. Thursday, we received another phone call relaying a dreadful message, Uncle Sam died. In less than a year my aunt had to bury a daughter and a husband and somehow she still has strength that exudes from her soul.

     From what I have been told, my uncle received a call as well. A few days before his death, he looked off into an empty space and asked my aunt, “Do you see her.”

My aunt glanced over to where his eyes were focused and asked, “See who?”

My uncle replied, “Sharon.”

For those of us living, death is hard to accept. It is difficult to hear about the passing of a loved one. Thinking about our own death can be fearful. For me, listening to the story of  my uncle seeing his daughter days before he died restored my faith and strengthened my beliefs. In life, he was barely aware that his daughter died but recognized her spirit when it was his time to go. We are only passing through this life, when we enter the next, familiar faces will greet us and we will be reunited.

Thirteen Things about YOUR NAMEMy previous post talked about the premature death of Heath Ledger. This Thursday I have decided to write about thirteen celebrities that died too young. It’s a darker Thursday Thirteen this week for me but it’s what’s been on my mind. It’s unfortunate that drugs played a role in many of these young stars deaths.

If you are interested in more details regarding these celebrities visit Wikipedia.com

1… River Phoenix (Famous movies included, Stand by Me and Running on Empty. -two of my favorites) River was born 8-23-70 and died 10-31-93. Cause of death, speedball (heroin and cocaine) overdose.

2… Chris Farley (Famous for appearing on Saturday Night Live) I loved his skit Fat man in a little coat. He was born 2-15-64 and died 12-18-97. Cause of death, speedball overdose. We named our dog after Farley. He was a hilarious comedian.

3…John Lennon (Member of the Beatles) I loved his song Woman and Imagine- He was born 10-9-40 and died 12-8-80. He was murdered in front of his home.

4…Cass Elliot (Aka Mama Cass-member of The Mama’s and Papa’s) I love her voice! She was born 9-19-41 and died 7-29-74. Cause of death, heart attack. Rumors circled around that she died choking on a ham sandwich but they are said to be false.

5… Jayne Mansfield-(Actress)-mother to Mariska Hargitay(Law and Order) She was born on 4-19-33 and died 6-29-67. Cause of death, car crash.

6… Elvis Presley- (Cultural Icon) everyone knows who Elvis was. I still love the song “I can’t help falling in love with you.” He was born 1-8-35 and died 8-16-77. Cause of death, heart attack.

7… Aliyah- (R&B singer). Beautiful, beautiful girl. She was born on 1-16-79 and died 8-25-2001. Cause of death, plane crash.

8… John Belushi (Comedic actor-Member of Saturday Night Live’s cast and starred in Animal House.) He was born 1-24-49 and died 3-5-82. Cause of death. speedballs.

9… James Dean (Famous for starring in Rebel without a Cause.) An absolutely gorgeous man! He was born 2-8-31 and died 9-30-55. Cause of death, car crash.

10… Janis Joplin (Music Icon) I love a lot of her songs, especially Piece of My Heart. She was born 1-19-43 and died 10-4-1970. Cause of death, drug overdose.

11… Marilyn Monroe (Actress/Sex symbol) Her most identifiable trademarks were her blonde hair, white dress and beauty mark. She was born 6-1-26 and died 8-5-62. Cause of death ruled as “Probable suicide.” Many conspiracy theories floated around this one.

12… Gilda Radner (Another Saturday Night Live cast member) Wildly funny! She was born 6-28-46 and died 5-20-89. Cause of death, ovarian cancer.

13… Ottis Redding (Sang-Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay) 9-9-41 and died 12-10-67. Cause of death, plane crash.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!