What Inspires You?

Anytime we are healing it’s important to have something in our life that inspires us to go on.

In times of healing it is helpful to focus our attention on what we love, on what brings joy to our heart and things that bring us comfort.

Inspiration Takes Many Forms
Inspiration is different for all of us. We find joy and comfort in individual ways. For some it is having a quiet space to think, pray, write or read. For others inspiration comes from time in nature; with walks in the park or time tinkering in the garden. For some it’s simply sitting on a porch enjoying the view and having a few minutes of time to regroup. Where do you find your inspiration?

Give Yourself Permission
As we heal we need to allow ourselves time to do what we love.

What Do You Love To Do?

Find your special activity and allow it to soothe you. Allow it to bring you pleasure.

 My Healing

As I healed my losses my heart began wishing for international travel. A year after my mom died I began the process to apply for international jobs. I’d lived overseas before my mom became ill and I knew it was where my heart would sing. I knew it was the one pleasure that would help to heal my grief, and help me accept my loss. I knew it would bring me joy again.

Having lost my mother when she was only 53 I knew how precious life was. I knew without a doubt how important it was to follow my dreams and pursue my passion. I knew my mom wanted me to be happy. I knew she wanted me to live a joyful life. It was time to step out of my comfort zone again and pursue my love of travel and international living.

Due to the nature of international teaching it is a process to acquire a position. I began that process in Nov 1998. My mom died the previous fall, on Oct 29th, 1997. I applied through two agencies and attended fairs in two different cities. At the time I went through the job fair process I lived on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. I accepted a job at the June job fair of Search Associates in Washington D.C. and left for Berlin, Germany just one month later in July, 1999.

A New Beginning

Lunch in Coastal Spain

Enjoying lunch with a friend and trying new foods in a foreign country is a passion of mine.

Healing My Mom’s Loss Took Years
It was a process. I saw a therapist weekly for six months. I’m not suggesting that doing what you love is going to take away your loss. It’s simply going to help you find your way through your loss.

Healing Will Come

We All Face Grief
We all have moments, weeks and years in our lives when pain, grief and loss overcome us. We move through our losses at the pace our hearts allow. For some healing comes more quickly than for others, there is no right or wrong when a heart is healing. The statement “Time Heals” was on my mom’s nurse tee shirt and I have found that to be true in my own life, with my own losses.

Offer Love and Support
At times there is nothing we can to do help another heal besides offer our love and support. At times our love and support will be turned away, as our friends or loved ones grapple with their pain, loss and scars in their own way. I can attest that it is frustrating beyond belief to watch someone you love turn away from your love and your support because they are in pain and can’t open their hearts fully.

Step Back and Allow God to Touch Their Life

In those times there is nothing more to do than step back and allow God to touch their life and help them to heal. There is only so much any of us can offer and if we are turned away then we release them, knowing we did everything we could. We gave our support and our love freely and there is nothing more to be done. In their deepest pain only God can guide our friends and loved ones who need to heal.

Healing Happens As a Person is Ready
Healing takes place as each person is ready for it. For some it’s a dark, scary, painful, path. I know, I’ve walked that path several times over in losing my parents, my daughter and so many friends and relatives to death. I walked it as my marriage ended. There is no easy way down that path, it is a path that we walk with God, without even knowing it. We are supported and loved even in our darkest pain and deepest grief, even when we don’t feel it, and long for support. The hardest part of having walked that path is knowing I can’t take away another’s pain or fear. Those are things that have to happen within each of us, we have to willingly open our heart again and take a chance to love, even when we feel our lives have been destroyed by the pain love caused.

There is No Easy Path, My Year From Hell
There is no easy path through the pain of watching your marriage end, watching the one you love walk away and go to another. I know, I watched it happen in my own life. I watched my husband walk away six months after our daughter died, moving in with another woman. In that same time period my grandfather whom I adored died and just months later my aunt was killed by a drunk driver. It was truly the year from Hell.

We Made it Through The Darkness
I don’t know how my family and I made it through that darkness; but we did.
I went on to love again, to love more deeply and to love more passionately because then I understood how quickly loss can come and how precious each day with those we love is. Life can end in a instant and goodbyes don’t always come. I know that first hand. So now I live generously, with passion and with a grateful heart for everyone in my life. It isn’t always easy and sometimes I get slapped with pain and loss again, but I know God is always there and I will always be supported and guided.

Sharing Our Hearts With Love

There is nothing we can do but share our hearts with love, with those we treasure. When those we love walk away, as they sometimes do we can only pray that if they are meant to be a part of our lives that God will heal their hearts and heal ours too. Healing comes as we are ready to accept it. Sometimes we fight it, we struggle in every way to go against it because we are so deeply in pain and fear.

In Those Darkest Times
I pray that God’s support will be felt by those I love, and by those you love too. All we can do is pray that healing comes on angels wings and those we love find joy, peace and love again. There is nothing more we can ask. Love heals

Happy Birthday With Love

Today was my father’s birthday. It has been five and a half years since his death and of course with time and healing it is easier to face his birthday. I always miss him, and this year is no exception. So often I think of him, and feel his love and support with my from heaven. I am here in Florida because of dad and I have created a life living near the ocean because of the gifts he gave me. I’m grateful and sad, wishing he could be here physically to share my life and my adventures. He loved me deeply and he made great progress in the last couple years of his life to really try and understand my overseas life. He met some of my friends from overseas and he met one man I loved. He was able to share some very special moments and for that I will always be grateful. I love you Dad and I miss you.

A Tribute to Mom

This is a guest post written by Sandra Foster.
My Mom. What a woman.
I wish you all could have known her when she was younger. She was amazing; always busy, a tower of strength, smart, independent and most important, her love knew no bounds. Mom did not have an easy life. When he was three years old she lost her only son to cancer. I inherited the Edwards depression gene and for many years keeping me from harming myself was sometimes a full time chore for Mom. When I lost my first husband to divorce, there was Mom, helping me cope, helping with my bills, helping me raise my two sons, Robin and Timothy. When my second husband Richard was diagnosed with a brain tumor, again, Mom drove him to his radiation treatments every day and to his doctor appointments while I was working. I don’t what I would done without her. After he died she was my rock. My sister, Linda, lost her husband to cancer when he was only 33 years old. Mom was right there for Linda and her two children, Melissa and Christopher, again helping Linda cope with her grief, helping take care of the kids and helping Linda around the house.

Her Life

Mom worked for the stock market all of her adult life and knew the business backwards and forwards. She loved her work and didn’t want to retire when she turned 65. However, she was forced to retire at 70. She hated retirement. Mom needed to be busy. She started volunteering at church and at Boyd Hill Nature Park. She also took care of her grandchildren, and she took care of her daughters.

She Loved Animals
She always had one dog and 1-2 cats around. After Mom retired she went for a long walk every morning and evening. One morning she was out in Lakewood Estates walking her beloved basset hound, Beauregard and found a buff colored chicken in some bushes. She rushed home, got out the cat carrier and drove her car back to where she had found the chicken. She managed to catch the it, put it in the carrier and took it home. Clucky lived in Mom’s back yard for many years and rewarded Mom with an egg almost every day.

As Mom aged she became more frail but remained undaunted by the tasks at hand. She had her first fracture when she was up on a kitchen chair dusting the top of her refrigerator. The chair tipped over and she fell breaking her hip. Nobody dusts the top of their refrigerator; exclaimed the paramedic who came to take her to the hospital. I do, she announced firmly.

The anesthesia from that surgery took its toll on her memory. Her next fall came when she and Beauregard were running, yes I said running, home from my house. She tripped over something on the sidewalk and broke her pelvis. Another trip to the hospital but fortunately no surgery this time because the break was non displaced. Unfortunately, she took another fall before the break healed and it had displaced. Due to her age, surgery was declined. This fall took more of her and she was in pain a lot of the time.

A Helping Hand
When she got home from the hospital, Mom was not eating well, could not take care of her house and was quite forgetful. The family decided it was time for assisted living. September 2000 she and Beauregard moved to a villa at Westminster Shores, mostly against her will. She still felt she could take care of herself, drive her car and stay independent. I will never forget the look on her face when we left her there that first night. I felt I had betrayed her.

Day Trips
Almost every Tuesday and Thursday Mom and I went to the thrift stores. She could buy a bushel basket full of nice stuff and spend less than $20. Then we would head to McDonalds for a hamburger and strawberry milk shake. Saturdays were yard sale days in the neighborhood. After tromping through neighbors yards looking for treasures, I sometimes had lunch with her at Westminster.

After she had adjusted to the move, she started creating a garden of flowers outside her villa. Every few weeks I took her to the Willow Tree Nursery to pick up more flowers. The garden grew from a little plot of posies to a large area of riotous color all along the side of her villa. How she loved that garden. Other residents walked down the alley just so they could admire her work.

Moving to Georgia
In March 2006, due to finances, Mom went to live with Linda who had moved to Georgia shortly after Mom went to Westminster. At first we talked on the phone frequently. After her short term memory was gone, and conversation on Mom’s part became sparse, Melissa would call me every Thursday morning on her speaker phone so I could talk to Mom. I read her children’s books by Stephen Cosgrove. They were delightful and each story had a moral and a happy ending. Mom seemed to loved them.

Melissa had called the Methodist minister and asked him to come for a visit. Tuesday November 18, he came by and talked with Mom, read her Bible verses and prayed with her. From that visit on she stopped crying all the time and became very peaceful.

Thursday, the day before she died, Missy called to tell me that Granny was unresponsive and could not talk on the phone. She said the doctor told them it would be only a matter of days. That night I asked God to give her peace but to please let her come tell me goodbye when she left this world.

Early Friday morning, I was sound asleep when suddenly, from outside my bedroom door, my vacuum cleaner turned on and then off. I sat up in bed looking out to see who had turned it on. There was no one. I looked at the clock and it was 650 AM. Too early to get up so I went back to sleep.

A Prayer Answered
At 730 Melissa called to tell me that Granny had passed on peacefully. I talked to Linda and asked her what time Mom had died. Ten to 7 Linda told me. I held my breathe for a moment and realized that Mom had come to say goodbye.
I will always miss her terribly but I know she is in a better place, whole and happy and walking Beauregard through the gardens of Heaven. I love you Mom. See you at the house.
Born 5-16-14 – Died 11-21-08 Memorial 12-13-08