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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sia - To Be Human

Monday, October 16, 2017

To be Human

"To be human is to love even when it gets to much. I'm not ready to give up."
I stood out on the wrap around deck of the Trinity Pines Lodge stretching out before me was a horizon of real beauty full of ever green trees and mountains touching the clouds wide open is the sky up to space that all I saw was such beauty of this earth!

I breathed in the fresh air of the early morning with my cup of coffee in my hand and my fuzzy sweater on as my mother was all ready for the day ahead and visiting with the ladies inside.

The song "To be human." by Sia kept running through my mind, 
For it's so peaceful up in Cascade Idaho. 
I am human, I am on a journey every day and being reminded of how I came from this woman, my mother gives me peace of mind and a deeper understanding in all the stories of my past, especially in dealing with her. I have gained more insight from her since her stroke then I could ever of imagined, I am grateful. 
Of course I will always wish this had never happened to her and that she remained more of a stranger to me, Because she wouldn't of had all this suffering, she would be more in control of her life still. 
She would of kept a ton of information away from me to which I could still be living on in my own happy "bubble." just a bit longer....
It's would of been nice to just stay in place back then, to have only those small social encounters with her.
and yet over these last 6 years I have been given a crystal ball into all things concerning her, therefore I'm grateful. 

To be human is to keep learning so I guess it wasn't meant to be that formal between us. 

My mother needs me to do anything or everything, she needs my strength when getting up from the wheel chair, she needs my pillows when rolling over in bed, she needs my quick setup for each meal and my constant joking around at shower time. 
I am grateful to know how to balance her safely, how to dress her quickly and how to style her hair while delighting in simply being girlie took this tragic event to be this close for us.

To be human is to kick ass in the face of fear or evil.
To be human is to stand strong even if it gets to much.
To be human is to understand you don't want to ever give up! be human is to delight in all things knowing nothing will ever last.....

I was reminded on that busy weekend with my mother as she celebrated her 60th birthday, as she struggled to keep up with her more mobile busy friends in the ladies church retreat I was reminded that I came along in my mother's life way to early, she wasn't ready for motherhood. She wasn't ready for a lot of things she had to face back then.

I was reminded of how now through grace I see her pain and her struggles through all her stories and all her memories she has shared with me some of the most difficult things to hear....I am meant to just be an ear for her, I realize it helps me know the whole story of my own life time.

To be human is to know we aren't alone on this earth.

Through my mother's eyes I came along in such a shocking way that now she still says "No one told me how it all worked I had to learn as I went, I thought I had the flu lasting 3 months, until someone said that I could be pregnant. I didn't know that's how that worked at when Debby was born everything changed, no one asked me how I was anymore they all wanted to know about her." I nodded thoughtfully smiling a moment for my mother sometimes forgets who I am, since she sees me now as a middle aged woman, I'm more as her friend and helper not her first born little baby, so those memories of her past are of different people then of right now. 
Sometimes when her information is very hard to hear I think about just how much I love forgiveness, how much I love grace, and most importantly I love knowing more information about the story of life. 

To be human is understand others better.

My life was influenced deeply by this woman I can now see her for the truth, I can now understand that she never knew what I knew when I arrived to adulthood, her adulthood was very different......(Well, no wonder we had so much conflict back then. Our battle lines were strong and we came from totally different sides of the story)
I walked around the evergreen trees at the retreat realizing that I will never escape her religion, her stories and her ways....She is my mother whom I will not have on the earth another 60 years so why was I born unto her? Why was I always freaking her out when I was a kid? Why was she threaten by me when I was a teenager and why did she cling to me when I was a young adult? Why did my mother use my baby brothers to guilt me into living at home for so long? Why do I try so hard to make her world better now as she strolls along in her wheel chair? For every shared laugh and every shared meal and every shared car ride I count it all joy, I count it all so vital to who I am in knowing her better.....Yet, it's all such a mixed bag of emotions so in the end I can understand it all much better the older I get. Who she was is why I am.

To be human is to make mistakes, to grow.

      Back when I was just a kid I watched the Tv show "Wonder Woman." in those early 80's days, so whenever my mother would freak out over something I would go outside to play as if I was Wonder Woman. 
I would twirl around and around until I turned into the super hero of my dreams! A brave woman full of heart like that show I watched so intensely, A beautiful woman fighting crime for she was fearless and she was fighting back with her bullet proof bracelets! 
Oh how I loved being Wonder Woman in my imagination all the time through out my childhood.

To be human is to always hold onto hope, that same hope I had as a kid, that now I remember as I spin around through time, spin through my life from the past, the present and the future as I twirl in place saying "Wonder woman!" I stop with my arms up, with my wrists touching each other bracing myself for protection and feeling such new power in my steady focus on fighting back! For this world can come at us fast that sometimes we need to brace ourselves for impact, we need to know who we are and why whenever the shit hits the fan.

To be Human is to be brave and honest.

I use to think that my mother looked exactly like Wonder Woman in her great beauty, in her dark wavy hair and in her confident smile. Before I ever understand anything about her, my mother, I learned to walk, to speak and to just be as she watched over me. 

"No more Wonder Woman at the table." My mother set my dinner plate down and I pulled off the hair bands from my wrists as she rolled her eyes explaining "There's only ONE super hero in this world and it's God." I smiled at her with a nod saying right back at her "And I bet he would LOVE to marry her if he could."

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rob Thomas - Pieces

On this early cold fall morning as I brewed the coffee and called out "Okay Google, what's the news?"
I stood frozen in action as I listen to the updated alarming news coverage of the Los Vegas country music concert shooting.
I burst into tears and held on to my kitchen counter for a moment of deep sorrow over the terror those people all went through.
It made me recall the night club shooting that happened a year ago, and it really brought home to me how all the school shootings and the truth that this nation isn't as safe as we would want it to be...........I cried.

On this sad day, on this very real and terrifying day after all those people are killed, after all those loved ones realize what has happened.....I feel, I know and understand for them this is a day they will never forget so many sudden deaths will traumatize this nation and change the course of events.
I have spent this weekend with my mother at her ladies retreat tuck up into the mountains only a couple of hours away, I am already very emotional in reminiscing about my brother Derek with her and helping her get around in her wheel chair so the news this morning has left me aware of how short life is, how brave we must be when we face such assholes with guns.
I am not afraid to die.....but I am afraid of watching those I love get shot or die so I will always fight back, I will always want to protect!

For I am just pieces.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Where Does the Time Go?

Since I have now moved into my brother Derek's home, I have been very distracted and busy in projects and in all my sense of wonder in this new place.

Since it's now September I can feel Fall arriving in the chilly early mornings.

Since I try to sit a moment outside with my cup of coffee and just BE, I ask myself "Where does the time go?" and I ask myself "What's important to me? What should my life look like now?"

Since I have moved my family into a whole new town, a whole new routine, it's important to me to just be still when I can, as I try to keep up in staying aware in real time. 
Yet sometimes I do drift away to my childhood days of the long laughs and good times I had with my brother Derek, since he is every where around me I feel honored to just be here in his very own home......

Since I live in both grief and grace I see his magical spark in the sky above me all the time, and if I were to ever see him walking up road I would give him this place back in a heart beat saying "Welcome home my brother! It's all yours again!"

Since I understand that won't ever happen, I sit awhile on the lawn in the warm sun light asking "Where does the time go?" 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kodaline - Brother (Official Video)

.......and I never thought not ever once in my life that one of my brothers could die before me, never ever crossed my mind.
......and now I know how real of a possibility that can be, that it's Real, that it's possible to hurt so much for the rest of my life.

For almost 6 months ago looking back I can't let go! and actually, in all honesty I won't ever let go!!!!

I've got you Brother!

Monday, July 31, 2017

How we Loved him!

Oh How We all loved him!

My brother Derek.

As July ends I am a whirlwind of activities, with him always on my mind.....

Oh How I miss him so!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to heal

It has been 2 months now since our friends lost their little boy, that day in the hospital knowing all I could do was hold my arms out in understanding of this great pain over sudden death, reminds me how real life is.......

It's not any easier today looking back, I know the heart ache of such great grief, of such great pain, of such loss and longing to go back in time to be together again.

My tears will always stream down my face......

It's all apart of the healing process, to just let them fall.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to Breathe

I stood looking out across the valley yesterday evening with a wide open sky and beautiful sun set, I breathed in the great beauty before me with tears in my eyes.....I whispered out "Our last summer...." then I let my gratefulness wash over me as I delighted in all the memories I have of this Treasure Valley laid out as far as I can see from up where I stood, in that very moment I was completely still.
I am full of hope, and full of change.
And I am full of understanding NOTHING will ever be same for me......
          My 11 year old friend Tally said to me earlier that she knows how I miss my brother, she can see it in my eyes. 
I hugged her and said "It's going to be a part of me forever now, but you always make me smile and laugh....You are such a good friend!" She explained that she has missed me and all the fun we use to have. I replied hopefully "Well, let's go have an adventure before the summer ends still!"

I stood there a moment in the wonder of panoramic view surrounding me as I told myself "Just breathe."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How to Live....

.....2017's word has been courage and I had no idea the importance in remembering that.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Better Days - Goo Goo Dolls

I look back today on the trauma my family went through when my mother had her stroke, I see my brother Derek being there in the hospital, walking closely with our father and letting us know what to do next......I look back today because I miss my brother so much! Because going through something like that was made easier with him at our sides. Derek was the one I called for everything in the comings and goings of those crazy stressful days.....I look back today with gratefulness that he was there through it all!

Tonight's the night that the world begins again.......

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How Beautiful!

My brother Derek was always good at taking pictures, of really capturing the beauty of the earth all around him!  And I get to delight in his pictures when I look back through the ones he shared online. In fact over all these years of the online world I have followed him knowing his new pictures will AMAZING to see!

Now I think about How beautiful is this world he leaves behind for us to look at of what he saw on his walks, his hikes and his vacation trips.

These magical moments of his life story.

How Beautiful! Thank you my dear Brother for capturing such a moment in time!

.....And For seeing the beauty of this earth every where you go!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

James Blunt - No Tears

Friday, July 14, 2017

How She looks....

Sometimes when I am spending the day with my Mother I can see how young she really is, for she has a playful spirit in wanting to go on new adventures.
She wants a busy social life full of events with friends and family to distract her from her aftermath of her massive stroke.

She likes to laugh, to go out to eat all different kinds of foods. She is always making a list in her head of things she needs or things she wants to give away as gifts for others.
She is also very trapped.
She is very aware of her own selfishness that has been enhanced since her stroke, for it left her trying to survive at the mercy of others who can help her out since she only has one moving hand and leg.

I sat with her yesterday over Mexican food, looking at her curly long gray hair that I twisted up into berets after her long shower. She has been very tired and sleepy when I first arrived out on the farm and in her cozy cottage.
She has a new chair and a couple of new beds in her bedroom along with a new big book shelf full of books. 
(I try to always bring her books)
I feel like her place is looking really good lately, pictures of Derek decorate the wall. Mom has a nice big picture of him cross country skiing right by her bed that I always love seeing it.
It had greeted me at his funeral, my brother's smile is so genuine in that moment out into the forest on a sunny winter's day.

As I sat enjoying lunch with my mother, I realized that I can see she how young she feels inside, whenever she is sick or hurting more from her paralyzed side I feel alarmed by how much she can aged, I feel like I am running out of time with her maybe.....
I worry so easily as all of this has left me in traumatized state of mind, like something really bad could happen to her again. 
I am aware of it in myself as I take my Mom shopping we stroll up and down with a basket to carry the things she wants to buy and we unload it in the cart by the register then go back to shopping because I can push her wheel chair better then trying to push a cart and her chair. (Especially when I am on my own with her then I set it up as easy as possible. For I am never shopping for myself, never in a hurry. never over scheduled nor am I trying to dig into stuff on sale for a better deal. It's about what my mom wants most importantly) 
Last week we went for Chinese food because she wouldn't stop talking about it and so I told her yesterday "I think I like Mexican food far more then Chinese food." She replied very playfully back "Well, I like it ALL. I like food in general!" we laughed.

Lunch was so lovely, I noticed that my Mom looked so beautiful! She looked a lot better then a month ago even, so I was truly grateful to eat and laugh with her!

               Ever since my mother's stroke we've been friends. I sat thinking about how important that has been for me, being close and caring over my mother makes me so grateful and proud. Looking back in many ways we were close as mother and daughter, sitting in the mall at 8pm drinking lime-aids and laughing as she wanted to keep going from sale rack to sale rack but I suggested we sit a moment for a refreshment. She seemed to relax, to talk with me over how she misses being with girls for on that night in time her whole life was about the boys. I had already decided to spend the whole day and night with her at the mall not far from my home back then......
For on that special day I shared with her all about what my life was like, I never complained nor did I end our time together to soon for her. 

So I can understand her obsession with shopping now after her stroke to bring back that sense of excitement and of youth she had before this trauma hit her body. 

I sat admiring my Mother yesterday, her body is older then her soul. I could see it so clearly as she shared on about the things she needs to unload.

I walked beside my mom to the car helping her balance safely on her cane. She looked so good in the sun light with her matching jewelry sparkling for we had spent the morning organizing everything in her bedroom again. It has been 6 full years now.......since July 18, 2011.

I drove us home mentioning upcoming events for her to look forward to in the rest of the summer. I thought about how she and I always talk about Derek, we both get teary eyed as Mom says "It's just so sad that he isn't coming around anymore, I think about him every day when I first wake up and it makes me hurt all over again." I wiped my eyes with my napkin and share back with a soft smile "It will ALWAYS be so very very sad, and that's okay to realize. Okay to always cry."

I had a flashback of last September while I strolled with Mom through Kohls, she looked so good all dressed up for the new day out! 
She was excited to see Clearance signs every where with her hair pinned up decorated by her butterfly berets. With the shopping bag tied to the back of her chair I began helping her look through the racks just as Derek arrived!  That had been such a fun day!... with him making side comments to me as Mom got so frustrated at him, in helping each other hold things for our mother while joking around and even laughing so hard that Mom stated "I can't take YOU kids any where!" and then we laughed all the more!
Oh how that fun shopping day ended with us 3 sitting in my car having drinks and snacks from sonic as Mom couldn't believe that Derek didn't buy a single thing when it was a huge clearance sale through out the whole store!
He grinned at her saying "Even if it's 3 dollars if I don't need it then I am wasting my money." Mom just shook her head in disagreement snapping back "Well, you will never find it again for 3 dollars is what I am saying." my brother giggled at her from the back seat leaning in between us to visit.

  So I spent yesterday with my mom wondering if one day she will say that she never wants to go shopping again? 
I would be completely okay with that, yet shopping wasn't ever my thing. 
Of course I grew up thinking that we should go shopping as a social event.
 With less people over time to go shopping with then I don't really want to go out shopping....
Buying things was never the purpose for me. 
I realized that as Mom said "You should look for some new ties for Tony." her face lit up at the idea and I chuckled while nodding back and stopping to look at them as she was truly happy to be there with me, helping me look for a good deal.
Her awareness of the store, her excitement to get everything on her list and her confidence to rolling on by herself for a bit made me smile because I was in her world, she looked so beautiful in her wheel chair determined to see what was there all around us. 
She commented back over her shoulder up towards me "There could be a sale on men's shirts too." I replied back with a peaceful nod saying "Maybe so."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How it was.....

Whenever I shared about my 4 brothers my face lights up, at least I have been told this many times over the years.....

I love my family very naturally, I try to not cause more stress or drama when I show up but sometimes I loose my temper with my father as he can loose his with me. Yet it's my mother who is use to calling the shots for us, so I guess I saw my parents like people on a Chess Board all of my life......

Being with my brothers was easy, so fun as they were little and energized for a new life, I saw an opportunity for a better family structure through them, for a better family connection.

I will always know that they were born to save our family in the end. We may not like each other at times but we all loved those baby boys!

I had no idea that it was clearly seen my love for my brothers. But it's the best part of my history, being like a second mother will always give me such peace and joy when I look back through all the crazy changes.....

I realize now that I never gave up on my parents even when they were the most difficult to be around, I just set up healthy boundaries for the sake of being there for my 4 brothers still living at home long after my own life took on a new wonderful love story!

It was hard at time to be kept at arms length and to be judged constantly by my Mother and Father for not attending church anymore, nor believing in the bible exactly like them......This is what they used against me whenever I came to see or play with my brothers. 
   I had to learn how to not take it personal but it was very frustrating along the way, I would make gift cards for "A Fun Day in Boise with Big Sissy." that each brother could cash in to do whatever they would like "A movie, A day at the Zoo, Painting pottery, ride paddle boats, a game of tennis or basketball." 
All those years I look back grateful they were in my life even though my parents never allowed them to do any of those things unless they attended too. 
It was so weird to me that especially my mother would never want me to be alone with my brothers as they grew up. I would never of said anything bad about her or her faith so I was confused by all of this....
Even on our week long trip to the Oregon coast she was friendly one moment then very preachy rude and judgmental in the very next, so I knew that I would never go again on a road trip with her like that. Her yo-yo ways made my head spin in such chaotic careful awareness in hoping my responses would keep our adult friendship intact. 
Then I would look at my 6 year old brother Davy on that trip realizing I was there for him, not there to prove our mother wrong about me, instead I would give him a high five or big smile, for I was seeking the good in everything around us! Oh how I still look back in awe of those 3 blonde hair blue eyed boys! 
We made sand castles, we ran through the salty waves and we laughed so hard in the warm fall sun shine! 

...then they grew up way to fast! I tired to never loose contact with them as we go through time.

        The most important fact of all is that I never lost contact with Derek over the busy years of our 20's. We enjoyed a hug or a hello when we bumped into each other as different as we were, we were family as we were comfortable in our own space and our own lives.  
I am thankful looking back, I am truly proud of my 4 brothers even more as time flies by!

For whatever my parents fears were in having me come around their home over all those years, I knew I could only do my best with them........
There is always hope in me, it's always possible even 40 years later.....that my family can heal and be better to each other. 
Like the song "Tonight's the night that the world begins again." I have always believed in that very song!

I thank God for each one of my siblings, even my very strong stubborn Sister, and I never stopped loving my parents with unconditional love even in my days of severe anger towards them. I carried such love to not give up on them.

Grace is the answer for all of this! 
My family history was made bearable because of my 4 brothers, it didn't just end because I would never walk away from them! I will always pray for their safety as I did on the day they were born.

My Mom has often said "If the boys are with Derek then they are very safe, I can relax knowing that." 
I would smile in agreement with her because Derek was always sharing safety tips in everything.....

This all makes me realize how important safety and such good memories are to us in the end. I will try my hardest to create joy, to create love instead of judgement, instead of needing to be right I want to soak in all the light!
I will choose to take in the future with wonder and change the stories from abuse to amazing strength of Goodness! 

I will be in awe of all things because I know there is no limit to healing, to finding a better way through the history into the future.

I am always going to light up when I share How it was......

For I had 4 brothers! and I sure love them!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

James Blunt - If Time Is All I Have

Time IS all I have......

Monday, July 10, 2017

Seeing St. Maries

St. Maries is still so beautiful after all these years! I had missed this small logging town far more then I had first realized when I teared up as we drove on in together my Auntie Val and I.

We came in from Sandpoint where she lived, which is a 2 hour drive.....(not that long if you have someone to chat with)

I noticed how changed this town of my childhood was, yet I felt happy to see some things stay exactly the same too! I saw the old play ground I use to swing on and the public pool I learned to swim in for hours trying to stay close to my older cousins who could jump off the diving board so naturally. (Oh the memories came flooding my heart and my mind as we arrived)  The nursing home was tucked up into the surrounding hills of the old neighborhood where my Grandpa Rudy Klein built most of the places up! Now his wife Grandma Eva has moved back to the community in her need for better care. I was really looking forward to seeing her again, while understanding she might not recognize me anymore. I know how to not talk so fast or loudly when the elderly struggle to understand or to hear, I have learned waiting for them to talk to me or share a story is far more relaxing and comfort then to try and share to much about my life all at once. I also have learned that asking lots of questions can upset people who have dementia or Alzheimer, my husband's Grandma is in the very severe stages of Alzheimer so whatever attitude you carry with you she will mirror it exactly!  I find it fascinating how important understanding all of these things are for a better visit in a nursing home. They are not scary, sad nor are they depressing to me. Yes we all will die one day, some of us may even die in a nursing home but that's not the worse way to go at least for me, I am very social, I am very grateful nursing homes exists for people to have help in getting around, to have a sense of independence yet never be all alone in the last days of life too. My Grandma Eva looked really good with company in her room as we first got there. She recognized me and gave me a hug, she asked about my parents then seemed to forget who my parents were as we sat awhile but I didn't mind, she even said "You look like someone I should know." which made me smile and I admired her cheerfulness, her playful kid like attitude was so endearing to my heart, that I knew I was very glad I had gone to see her! I loved seeing Aunt Kaisie and my Auntie Val together in getting their Mom's room in order and her birthday party planned. For Grandma Eva was 83 years old........and when she turned 80 we had a huge family reunion and public park party! How odd that it feels like just yesterday when my husband and I attended bringing in his homemade wine and hugging so many old friends not just family! Grandma was a spit fire spunky woman that day so 3 years had flown right on by in the blink of an eye as I sat beside her peacefully happy to just listen to her.  
When my cousin Henry arrived, my heart was bursting for joy! He looked good as always having just finished another funeral ceremony so as an elderly man roll up to us asking for Henry's help on his DVD player I tagged along admiring that my beloved cousin who is always caring, was a natural with the old gentleman. When we headed back to our Grandma's room he said "All those years working for Radio Shack comes in handy now and then." I laughed and we walked arm in arm. Have I mention that I love him so much? He's always makes me so proud, so easily happy again....
(Our short time together was truly wonderful that weekend)    
Going to St. Maries made me want to stay longer and see much more of the Saint Joe river again, of the lavender farm and all the different little shops. I enjoyed a yummy dinner with my Cousin Stephanie and her parents Uncle Tony and Aunt Kaisie that over looked a truly beautiful golf course! I hope to come back to visit with them more at the end of the summer.....yet it was all so refreshing, so inspiring and sweet to be with them. We even shared a bit about my brother Derek that warmed my heart and made me know I was EXACTLY where I was meant to be!
Before we went off to our place for the night Auntie Val and I went to say good night to Grandma. As she gave me a hug saying "It's so good that you are here!" I replied "I am happy to be back in St. Maries, Grandma." She nodded with a nice smile saying "You always were!" sudden tears surprised me and I choked back one last hug while she said "Tell your family I send my love! I wish I could come down for a visit. I would love to see them all." The moment was so special, so endearing as my Auntie Val told her mom that she will bring me back in the morning. I felt in awe of being there. I could see my Aunt's devotion to her mother, the friendship they have and the realization we are all running out of time. 

I left St. Maries knowing I will be back, knowing it had been good for my soul to be there!

I have such a big extended family that started out from there, from the adorable magical logging town in Idaho!  Now as my Grandma spends her last days safely cared for there. My memories of all the good times win out! My hope for the future is found among the landscape of pine trees and clover, if my last days were in that very same place I would be okay with that. I would simply be "Home."

Sunday, July 9, 2017

How it is....

How grateful I am that I had a brother like Derek in my life.

How blessed I was to grow up with him.
How good it was to be adults together with our shared memories and history.
How sad it always will be to now live on without him.
How amazing it is to hear the stories of how his sudden death brings out everyone's best behavior towards each other.
How magical it is to see the love and hugs come from remembering him, remembering that time is all we have. 
Why not be the best we can be? 
Derek was the best he could be and I shall miss his laughter and how kind he was. I shall miss his humor and clever comebacks, most importantly I shall miss his friendship.
How hopeful I am to see him again one day maybe in Heaven or in the mystic wonder of the spiritual world or the endless time of cycling souls, of the dreams or the memories I seek to cherish him! Maybe he will come to hold my hand in my last breath, or when I face another trauma on this earth in the years ahead.......I wonder How it is or how it will be........

(I sure miss you my brother no matter what it's all about in the end I am left simply missing you!)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Staying in Sandpoint

             It was a relaxing and yet a busy family time the moment I arrived into Sandpoint Idaho last weekend.
I arrived to my Auntie Val's home that Thursday evening.
My road trip up was very beautiful in June's wonderful weather! I was ever so grateful to be on my own.
I was even more grateful to stop at the coffee shops along the way for a nice safe break to stretch my legs.
Auntie Val's home is tucked up into the mounatins, the enchanting forest like a magical place for children to play in all kinds of stories and adventures. 
She and I enjoyed that first evening in her cozy living room. We shared in person all the things our lives have been through, how I can be of good use to Grandma Eva when we go to see her in person the next day for her 83rd birthday. We talked about how close she came to dying and why I was grateful to head up north to be supportive in understanding, in all of my love for my family.
  I was so grateful to arrive that night, remembering how Auntie Val and I had talked on the phone so often over the last 6 years since my mother's stroke, since I needed family back then to get me through that crazy trauma. she understood that, she supported and prayed for me. I will always be so thankful for her in my life!

Then there was the weekend of my brother's funeral, Auntie Val came in with arms open and true tears of love for me as I fell into her embrace saying "MY little brother!?!?!? Why???" She gave me a comforting confidence as she asked what could she do for me and I said "I need a black dress." Our mid-morning shopping with her compassionate and caring son Henry, gave my husband Tony and I much needed tender loving care. Cousin Henry saw to it that I didn't drive or stress over any decisions. Auntie Val and I spent time together in the back seat, she was perfectly aware of how to love and comfort, how to hope for our big family to heal through this. I will always be in awe of her advice and cheerful smiles as I picked out a dress in my daze of grief. She gave me the joy and the peace of mind that I am not alone in this tragic event.

In fact when I look back through our lives in our big Rudy and Eva Klein family, my Auntie Val has always protected me. She always knew right when to rescue me!
I felt such gratefulness being with her that whole weekend in remembering she always knew how to care for us kids, to give us a little TLC, tender loving care when our parents flew off the handle or behaved aggressively in many ways of crazy dramas, she would quickly step in to redirect us kids and carefully to get us out of the way. I am so gratetful for her!

My Auntie Val always saw how to turn a stressful sad moment into a new smile, a new adventure and a new story for joy of living!

She was good at not taking sides as she took us kids out for ice cream, after a screaming family moment she would say "Obey your parents, don't make them upset that way they won't hit you so much. That way you stay in their good grace, or just hide out until their bad mood passes." Her wise auntie advice has saved my hide many times! I am glad she knew how to be protective and brave against any type of bully!
.....and I realize now that all of those stories makes me who I am today. 
She wanted a close caring loving family just as much as I did as I grew up running to her for a big hug!

I understand that time is all we have.....sharing it with those we love is even more important now, that giving Grandma a hug good night with Auntie Val by my side was so precious and so cherished!  Time is all we have.......

And so staying in Sandpoint was delightful, visiting St. Maries and being with family for the weekend gave my soul such comfort!
Having my Auntie Val and Uncle Cory in my family, in my life makes me truly blessed! I am deeply grateful and truly glad I got to spend time with them!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Grandpa Shively

It's always moving like the waves in the ocean, life and death in that give and take dance.

I have stood for hours watching the sun set over the Oregon Coast thinking about this very fact.
It's always the story of being alive and aware that brings in the mystic wonder of what happens when it all ends for each and every one of us?

Grandpa Shively had been getting older with health problems for a few years now. He would come to visit every summer with his wife Marion Shively to see his son and my father-in-law Kelly Shively. We would always have a big BBQ event, we would enjoy the whole lazy summer afternoon together. Then when they stopped making the trip from Mesa Arizona to Caldwell Idaho, I knew it would change everything. All of those happy times, laughing and eating together. Of Grandpa playing Cribbage with his son and grandsons, making jokes and making drinks!

It seems like just yesterday when I first married Tony and we went to a job interview in Phoenix. I didn't want to live there, but I figure we could live there for awhile and have a new adventure for sure! 

It was a rare thing to be swimming outside in February! I liked spending that weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Shively, getting to know them and what a nice life they had there since they retired.

It seemed like life would be that way forever when you are only 24 years old.

When Grandpa died on Thursday this week I sat in my garden awhile really crying hard, really letting it all wash through me since we knew this was coming and this was how it would be in the end for him.

When I think back to all the little jokes and moments with him, I think back to fun summer time BBQ's and the smiles on their faces when I met them for the very first time with my arms wide open for a big hug exclaiming "HI There Grandma and Grandpa!" they chuckled and hugged me back in surprise.
It's a term of endearment to be apart of a family, saying Grandma or Grandpa always warms my heart!

It was fun to marry into a family with even more Grandparents to consider mine!

It will roll on like the ocean waves through my life now to always remember Grandpa Shively, his clever comebacks, his jokes and stories of almost 94 years. 

        I was sitting beside Grandpa in the mini van as my husband and his brother sat up front joking around, Grandpa leaned into me asking "Do you think we are safe back here with them in charge?" I chuckled in my reply "All I know is I am glad to just be along for the ride, driving through Vegas isn't something I would want to do!" Grandpa smiled proudly sitting back in the seat next to me  "You and me both!"

Saturday, July 1, 2017

No Hard Feelings

With family we should be able to hurt, to hug safely knowing our tears of loss and pain are very real. Knowing we are loved and comforted when we come together.
          My Aunt Karen has a wonderful husband who has such a big heart, who is always outgoing and smiling. He shared this song with me as they have been going through their own family grief for Uncle Matt's brother has recently passed away. I wanted to give them a hug in person, knowing they hurt right now and are going through such a sad time. We got to sharing how music can really help put feeling into words.

With family so kind, so thoughtful, so generous and nice as them, I am grateful to know them and I turly hurt for them!

I am so grateful for music to help us get through these painful hard times and our life story changes again.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June's Chinese Year

          June of 1982 was the Chinese year of the dog, and of course I adore that fact! 
(since I love dogs so much)

I know as this month comes to an end, This month of honoring my brother Derek, I have to let it go in my tears against the morning sunlight, in looking up at the trees, in admiring the bees. I have been spending more alone and I like it so much.
I want to grow stronger from this, in remembering my brother in a hundred ways a day....
How grateful I am that he was my friend, I am in awe of that fact alone!
I like learning all these little facts of being born in June. I hope to never forget any of our many deep discussions and debates. I hope to never forget how we often sat beside each other at family functions and dinners. June was a perfect month for him to be born into, I will always remember that day as I look back in time.
This is magical month, my favorite month of the whole year! So it's hard to see it come to end as 
Derek should of turned 35 years old. As I take comfort in the warm summer day hikes and long reflective moments in nature.
......As I miss him so much!!!.....forever....and always.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June's Birth Stone

The sparkling changing color of alexandrite for June is rather lovely, I am enchanted by such a rare stone! 
This year has been so sad, to look at something so lovely is a nice distraction.....
To think of how beautiful the month of June is and to remember how it will come again each year is a lovely hope for the world of rare jewels like these!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June's Birth Tree

    It's truly good to walk among the trees, I hope to always find my brother's spirit and memories there among the beauty and the scent of mountains.....

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June's Birth Animal

   .....It's a special moment when a deer greets you in the forest, I have felt the magic of it while walking through the woods many times in my life.....

 And I think it fits my brother Derek to have a graceful animal as another birth sign for him. 
      The deer is for June!
I like thinking about these things that from our birth over and around us was a world of things going on. We had not yet realized all the little connections yet......

Monday, June 26, 2017

June's Birth Flower

I filled my home with yellow roses when my brother died......and I didn't even know what flower was his birth month.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Take me Home

"Were you born in the Mountains?" the little kid I was babysitting asked me this as we walked to the park, I choked on a laugh asking "What?" He explained in his adorable wise 5 year old self "You know, like are you from the mountain people?" I smiled big in surprise by him answering back in a nod "Well yes....actually I was born in the mountains." He explained "I KNEW IT! I was thinking you had to of been born from the mountains because you don't care about all the things people from the city care wear whatever you want and you live just like the people from the mountains do!"
I joined him on the swings looking right out into the mountains surrounding the City of Boise Idaho and I smiled. I replied back "I guess you are right! I never thought about it like that before, I am apart of the mountain people! That explains a lot for me actually, HA!"
We enjoyed the beautiful June day at the park next to those beautiful mountains.