Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Dad

My father, Ben Sanders, was one of Santa's helpers. A tall and barrel chested man with a striking white beard and twinkling smile, he was proud to wear the beautiful red velvet suit my mom made for him. He began growing his beard near the end of summer, grooming it impeccably. As his phone rang for Santa "gig's" he wrote them in a little book. These appearances included parades, shopping malls, parties, Christmas tree farms, you name it, he went. It was a happy way for a man, who had worked hard to support his family to spend his retirement days. This added a new dimension to our family Christmas, and for me, a quiet peace knowing that though my Dad was not always treated fairly in the insurance industry he spent my childhood working in, he was loved greatly as one of Santa's helpers.

Dad worked his Santa job the winter of 1990 but became ill shortly after. We would not know for several months that he had pancreatic cancer. As I watched in disbelief his great stature seem to melt away. Days and weeks turned to months and in June of 1991 surgery was performed to investigate a mass on his pancreas.

As we waited for him to emerge from surgery, the surgeon returned to the waiting room too soon, too soon to have done anything I felt. The news was that not only did my Dad have pancreatic cancer, it had metastasized to his organs. They closed him up and sent him home to die.

The weeks that followed were surreal. We have always been a close family and we rallied around doing what we could to help Mom. Knowing that Dads time was coming soon Hospice was called in. We were asked to tell him that it was ok to go, that we would take care of Mom. This was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do because it wasn't time for him to go, not in my book. But, we all gave him permission to leave. On the night of July 22, 1991, I left my two young boys home with their Dad and went to spend the night at "home". My brother and I left Dad's side a bit before midnight and I fell asleep to the familiar and comforting sound of my father snoring. Mom was dozing in the rocking chair next to him. At 12:10am, July 23 I awoke suddenly, it was too quite, there was no snoring, there was no breathing, my Dad had gone home. Dad had chosen to leave, July 23 1991, my Moms 60th birthday. He knew we would always be together on that day and that Mom would not be alone.

I distinctly recall the painful first year of grieving his loss. I compared every Santa to Dad that year, angry with their presence and my Dads absence. It wasn't the right time for me to lose him, and now I know, that for those of us who remain, the time never seems right.

Dad kept a little rainbow shaped bank that he would put all the dimes from his pocket into. When the bank was full he and Mom would take the money, I remember it being $77and do something together. I decided that anytime I found a dime that it would be Dad talking to me. In the many years since my Dad went "home" I have literally found hundreds of dimes. At times I save them until my pretty green glass bottle is filling up , at other times I feel him say, "Use the dimes Sis." and I empty the jar and start the process all over again. For me, he is reminding me not to hold on too tightly to that which I label as "him". His love flows through us all without end. No, I cannot hug his big body, but I tell you, every time I find a dime it gives me a little giggle in my heart that reminds me to lighten up. When we lighten up and our vibration raises, we are open and available to receive their love that is flowing to us without end.

If you have not received or decided what your sign is for your loved one to send you, choose today!

I pray for the spirits of those who have passed to receive the blessing of love. I pray that we allow ourselves to receive their love and light and to know, without doubt, that we are loved and all is well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Crows Teaching

The other day my daughter and I were in the car together. Suddenly she says, "Mommy, look at that!" I looked and saw a crow flying with an awkwardly long stick. It was an incredible sight as this crow seemed to be struggling to ascend to the high spot in the tree where he was apparently building a nest. That was certainly going to be some nest based on the size of that stick! Flying at a somewhat sideways tilt the strong bird eventually made it up to it's nest and contentedly placed the stick, adjusted and moved it around until it was perfect.

Witnessing this spectacle brought to mind the struggle my husband feels in making our home perfect. I am speaking most specifically to the financial burden he appears to carry like the long and awkward stick the crow brought to it's home. After all, foundation is foundation whether it is a sturdy stick or a steady paycheck.

We recently have had the experience of not having enough sticks to strengthen our nest. Shortly after moving into our new home I had surgery followed two weeks later by my husband needing emergency surgery. Yep, this has been the grand daddy of relationship tests! Both of us incapacitated to some degree and then toss in the no paycheck for a month and you've got a potent brew!

In years past I relied solely on his ability to pay the bills on time and juggle where it was needed,
happy to stand in the background of all that stress. Last year though it occurred to me that if I were to expect financial abundance I might be better served by sharing this load with him,
by accepting responsibility for getting this task done. It was time for me to become financially responsible and accountable.

This was not without effort as my past was littered with such unseemly events as bankruptcy and eviction. Yes, the bankruptcy was 20 years ago and the eviction was at the end of my tumultuous first marriage but the emotional scars I felt of being "bad" were as fresh as they were two decades ago. Somehow the deep link of a high credit score and a safe and cozy nest remained precarious due to the lingering emotional baggage I unconsciously clung to. I too could relate to that strong and determined crow trying to fly upwards carrying an uneven load. Life is an uneven load isn't it? It is in our willingness to be agile and flexible that we can balance our emotions and our lives.

Our willingness has certainly been put to the test over the last couple of months. My surgery was to include a month of recovery which was cut short by over half when my husband was suddenly off his feet for 2 months! Talk about carrying a big stick! In these past two months I have assumed the role of Financial Goddess and you know what? It hasn't been as painful as I remember! Maybe these last several years of working on myself are showing up in my evolution of being able to step into my husband's big boots and assure him that our nest is safe and secure.
Maybe the divine lesson in this all has been for us both to seek and achieve a deeper understanding of the burdens the other bears and to recommit to our partnership. I know that I feel a greater appreciation for the many years of my husband being willing to carry the stress of the finances and I feel great happiness to see what a relief it is for him to feel my support.
It's nice to know I can carry the big stick and land securely in my cozy nest.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Snappin' out of it

The last time I was completely put under with anesthesia was when my oldest child was born, in 1989. After 36 hours of labor my baby went into distress and I was suddenly swept away from my husband and into a stark white dismal operating room. I remember distinctly my large round belly being shaved with what had to have been the dullest Bic razor they could find and then waking up some unknown time later feeling sick and dizzy.

When I awoke in the recovery room, it took a minute to remember where I was and why I was there. I waited for what seemed like forever for someone to come by so that I could ask about my husband, and of course my baby. At long last a nurse walked by and told me that my husband and family were waiting for me up in my room and that the baby was safe with them.

This nurse further instructed me to just relax, they would take me up there at 2:30p.m. I believe that was 2 hours away and I began a relentless campaign to every person that passed by to take me to my husband. I was successful and was delivered to my room at something like 1:50pm to find that there was not one person waiting in my room. Apparently all family had been sent home to shower and eat, this would have been good information for me to have! They did not bring me my baby (who I had not yet met) until someone arrived to help me with him. I'm not sure why the nurses couldn't help me, hummm, it just felt all wrong.

At last my husband arrived and our baby was immediately brought into the room. I was at last allowed to hold him and gaze into those beautiful baby eyes when the ill effects of the anesthesia crept up and I began to vomit. I think I had held him for maybe 45 seconds or so. This was a huge disappointment and was distinctly not the joyful scene I had imagined over those previous 9 months of pregnancy.

Fast forward 18 years and I am once again in a recovery room with a gentle and kind nurse urging me to wake up. "Julie, can you open your eyes? It's time to wake up." I cracked my right eye open half a peep to discover that I was not only dizzy but somehow in the midst of a huge wave that kept crashing over and over the top of my head. "No, I can't."

Unbeknownst to me, I was the lone patient in the recovery room and try though they might I simply could not snap out of the power of the morphine. The nurse gave me several doses of the anti-vomit medicine but to no avail. After 4 hours of laying there in a stupor I asked where my husband was, "He's out in the lobby doing push-ups." Bless his sweet heart, and what time is it? "It is 5:00pm. You have been out of surgery for hours and he has been waiting patiently for you to wake up." Wow, last I knew it was 9:30am and I was just wheeling into the operating room.

It is such an oddessy to have an entire day gone with no recollection that you have been poked, prodded, incised and stitched all without your knowledge! Not to mention drugged beyond belief!

The first several days following surgery were a dizzy dream that required additional pain medication that kept me dizzy and dreaming. It has now been eleven days and today is the first day that I can honestly say that I feel like me. My spirit feels happy and optimistic and I thoroughly enjoyed cleaning my kitchen and preparing dinner. Phew - that was a seriously long haul. It will still be 2-3 weeks before I can get back to full speed, and perhaps 3-4 months before I have recouperated and cleared all the toxins of those drugs from my system but happily today
I am back.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The circle is closing in

Have you ever had an experience in which you felt totally happy for someone and simultaneously felt very sad for yourself? It is an interesting place to be.

Recently someone close was blessed financially, very sweetly blessed.

I felt genuine joy for their good fortune recognizing that they had been through really tough times, physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually in recent years, it was such a great thing to witness them realizing this form of relief.

After giving myself a little time for the news to soak in I found my vibration sinking lower and lower to the point of tears. What were these tears for? Was this self-pity, feeling sorry for myself for still being broke and everyone else passing me by? Yes, in part this was true. The other part of these tears significance was shear frustration. My life has been guided by what is now called, "The Law of Attraction". As a young girl my Mom told me with conviction that "You create your own reality by the thoughts you hold in consciousness". It didn't mean a whole lot at 14 years old but it was a frequently repeated mantra in our home.

As I have matured into accepting responsibility for truly creating my own reality this expression has proven to be the basis of truth which I live by.

After 3 days of a particularly resistant sadness I confided in a friend the events that had taken place recently. Her words to me shifted everything and I would like to share them with you. She said, "The circle is closing in. It is getting closer to you. The closer the abundance gets to you the surer you can be that it will touch you." Wow, of course! I had heard this before but at the time it did not exactly fit for me, this time it did.

I immediately began with an affirmation something to the effect of, "It is wonderful to feel financial relief and abundance." I did not specify exactly what I wanted but of course a fat check out of the blue would be great. It seemed important that I not limit my ability to manifest and receive by some puny expectation that my conscious mind might allow me to have. Each time I felt that shadow creeping up from behind me I reiterated my mantra to myself, and it truly is wonderful to feel financial relief and abundance.

As have most people I know, we have struggled financially for the last few years. Each month going deeper and deeper into credit card debt. I knew and believed and could feel with my whole being that it truly is wonderful to feel financial relief and abundance! Within a week we would realize this from a completely unexpected place! What a joy it was to recognize that indeed the Universe did hear me and match the vibration I was emitting by setting us up with financial relief and abundance. No, it wasn't a big fat check - it was better!

My brother and sister-in-law from my first marriage had a litter of puppies and they wanted to give our daughter one. I checked with our landlord and she said "no". Prepared to forgo the puppy I went to my brother and sister-in-law and told them the news. As luck would have it, on that very same day they were evicting the woman who had been living in the rental for some time and, did we want to rent it? At an almost 50% savings on our rent? It was a no-brainer.

We are now living around the corner from two people that I love dearly, reduced rent and of course best of all, an adorable little puppy for my daughter to love.

So my friend was right, the circle did indeed close in and give me riches beyond anything I would have thought to ask for. I am again closely connected to one of the dearest friends I will ever have in my life and that is something that money just can't buy.

It is wonderful to feel financial freedom and abundance.