Black & White

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2013 ~ Last night around 8:30pm I walk past my daughter’s & granddaughter’s room (they share a room) and I do a double take. Piper (4 years old) is packing all of her belongings. I ask her what she is doing. She says “Mom and I are going to visit uncle Mikey Kennedy tomorrow.” So I ask Mary Kennedy, my daughter about this and she says “No. That’s not right.” Piper, being completely packed, becomes frustrated with her mother. I go into my room and am not really paying attention until I hear things being dragged into my room. “Piper, what are you doing?” I ask. Piper says, “I’m mad at Mommy so I’m moving in with you.” (Across the hall).

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Garage Sales & Pumpkins

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Thinking about a garage sale, endearingly coined “The Crap Castle” that I had several years ago…a friend of mine, one of the funniest people I have ever met, was selling some of her things at this garage sale. During a “slow” part of the sale, my friend had gone into the house for coffee. When she returned, the sale had become very busy and she was wearing an adult sized pumpkin costume. Naturally, I laughed. She walked up to me while I was speaking with a “customer” and said, (dressed in her orange gourd regalia) “For fifty dollars I will go to the grocery store in this outfit and ask where the pie shells are.” She walked away sipping her coffee and the customer and I laughed until we cried. Then the customer bought the pumpkin costume for more money than what we wanted for it…sweet smiling memory ~

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Encourage Someone Today

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Today, encourage someone ~ “Come on Frank. You can do it. Just focus. It’s about balance.”

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I Love When I Can Laugh at Myself

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About a week ago, I banged my shin pretty hard, to the point of seeing a large bruise on my leg. I didn’t give much thought to this “injury” except for the fact that my leg was sore.

For the past week I’ve been thinking thoughts like: I intend for this pain to go away; I am healed; and the all-famous: it’s only an illusion…

The night before last, as I was finally settled into my bed for a peaceful and needed night’s sleep, I happened to look at my “injury” and noticed that near my heel, it was now all black and blue…not pretty at all. I immediately went to: OMG I have a blood clot. I’ll probably need to have an amputation or worse…I did a tremendous job of totally freaking myself out.

My husband calmly said, “You probably broke a blood vessel and because of gravity the blood is pooling around your ankle.” I thanked him for his words of encouragement, all the while stacking pillows on the end of my bed so that my leg would be raised higher than my head…I’d heard that somewhere before…then I let the runaway train of worry impress upon me: if it is a blood clot you don’t want it to travel towards your head….I tossed all the pillows on the floor, closed my eyes and began repeating: I am fine, I am fine, I am fine.

The next morning I called the doctor and made an appointment. My doctor is a wonderful man who has been our family’s doctor for over twenty years. When he entered the examination room, I told him I was very worried about my leg, amputation, death, etc…He said, “You always go to the worst place.” To which I said, “You can only go up from there.” We both laughed as he began examining my leg.

Then the doctor said, “Looks like you banged your shin pretty hard and broke a blood vessel and gravity is allowing blood to pool around your ankle. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s going to look uglier before it looks better, but you are fine. No funeral this time.”

Imagine my relief….having gone from 0-60 back down to 0 in a matter of 12 hours. On my way home from the doctor’s office, I was driving west, with the beautiful Rocky Mountains before me when, I swear, I looked at the sky over the mountains and there was a cloud in the shape of a foot. I laughed out loud and heard a message from the Universe: Lighten up. Since I rarely travel without my camera, I pulled over as quickly as I could to take a picture of the cloud…as you can see here the cloud had morphed a bit, but when I first saw it it clearly looked like a foot with toes.

Then, I turned and looked North and saw a goose standing on one leg….now I was really laughing….

Note to self: Stay in check. Your husband was right in his diagnosis and keep repeating: I’m doing better than yesterday and not as good as tomorrow….it’s a process ♥













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One of those moments

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“Yes, Piper.”

“You wanna play hide ‘n seek?”

“Sure. You hide first.”

“I’m ready.”

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A Word Misused

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I do not like this word at all.  And the use of it is becoming more and more popular in spiritual circles, meditation groups and other enlightened people (including many dear friends and family).

The word is transition.  It’s partner words are: transitioning and transitioned to replace the words death, dying, died and dead, referring to time after the last breath of the physical body, or death.

In a conversation the other day with my good friend, Dee Meyer, we were speaking about this word.  I explained that to say “My father transitioned yesterday” sounds very sterile, extremely emotionless and ultimately an attempt to stave off fear not only about death, but about the word death.  This doesn’t even address the real possibility that someone may have no clue what you are talking about.  Transition, every time I hear it, takes me out of the moment of really hearing the words and feelings of someone’s loss.

When I hear “transition”, the first things I think of are transactions and transistor radios~which I realize having nothing to do with transition.  I know that sounds funny, but that is exactly where my head goes and I do know what the “new” intention of the use of this word means.  The second thing it does to me, is makes me wonder why it is frowned upon to say “My father died yesterday.”  “Transitioned” seems so generic to me, it has no heart in it.  Dee added that “It has no room for compassion.”

And, for me, this word replacement possibly has a subliminal warning in it that says there is NO reason to be sad because it is only the death of this life ~ what if I want to be sad, want to embrace the end of this life, the loss?  Know that I fully believe that the death of this body is only the death of this life, that a new life or new journey begins.

“Your father transitioned about an hour ago”  feels cold to me and when someone speaks these words, I’m not sure how to respond.  Because the person has used this word instead of died, I’m thrown off my game of heartfelt pain.  I’ve been jerked out of the moment and can’t think of an appropriate thing to say or the appropriate feeling to have.  Pain is part of life~pain helps us grow into more compassionate people.

Using “transition” (in any of its forms) takes away an opportunity for emotion from the listener, because the emotion of the teller, just by the use of the word “transitioned,” catapults me into a, well, dead zone.  And if transition is being used to avoid the grief that accompanies the word dying, died, death or dead, that  means there is great fear around those words which point to grief.  Let us not reinforce fear into the death of a loved one by using this no-nothing word.  Don’t encourage denial of the emotions~that is what is to be feared.

I know I’m particularly sensitive to “transition” because I’ve experienced a lot of death in my life and for a time I even had mixed messages about the acceptability of grieving.  Grieving is necessary for the living to move on…it doesn’t prevent the person who has died from being dead.

This new description of death simply does not work for me, ME.  When someone I love or care about dies, it is about my loss and others that were close to that person; I get it and always have that the person who has died has begun a new journey…but that’s not what I’m thinking about when I’m vacillating between tears, laughter, exhaustion, restlessness and the sadness that that person won’t be physically with me anymore~I’m thinking about my own transition, getting used to life with out my father, for instance.

Further, and finally, to see a lighter side of this new word and this piece, I’ve considered how ridiculous it would sound if we were to change the names of things in order to avoid the words of death:


The Transition of a Salesman

On Transition and Transitioning

As I Lay Transitioning

Transition Be Not Proud

The Transition of Ivan Ilyich

The Night of the Living Transitioned

The Transitioned Zone

Transitioned Man Walking

When Transition Comes Knocking

Things to do in Denver When You’re Transitioned


Pray for our sins, now and the hour of our transition…

Until Transition do us part…

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of Transition

Transitioned as a doornail.

Give me Liberty or give me Transition.

Drop Transition Gorgeous.


The Grateful Transitioned (of Jerry Garcia fame)
And their followers: Transition Heads

I am a very spiritual person and I have always and forever believed that this life right here does not end with the death of our physical body~the word “transition” is not necessary to me for this understanding.


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Laughing at Myself

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Yesterday I was thinking about how my intuitive radar has increased lately~and it has…I was sitting in my car at the post office speaking with a colleague on the phone…while chatting, I started getting this funny feeling about the person sitting in the car next to me…Out of my peripheral vision I could see this person. After a few minutes, I began to feel very uncomfortable, so I turned & looked at the person. I laughed aloud at my “intuition”. No one sat in the car next to me…it was the front passenger seat pushed forward…ok, my intuition was not firing on all fronts ~ and it is was funny that I laughed so hard at myself. :P

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Answering those awkward or difficult questions~

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February 16, 2011
Over twenty years ago a dear friend of mine’s niece, Nora (then 5 years old) went to her mother with a pretty big question.  “Mom, what is a bidet?”

Nora’s mother swallowed, took a deep breath and began.  “Well, Nora a bidet is something people sit on.  I think the French invented it.  It kind of looks like a toilet, but water flows up to your private parts to make sure you are clean.  It’s about hygiene really.  And hygiene means making sure your hair is not greasy, that your fingernails are not dirty.”  Nora’s mother nervously began to wash the dishes in the sink.  “A bidet is kind of like a very small bath tub.  Yes, a bath tub.  And for some reason here in the United States most people don’t have them in their homes.  Europeans, Europe is across the ocean, by the way, have them everywhere.  Your father and I stayed in a hotel in France that had one.”

Nora looked like a deer in the headlights.  Nora’s mother squatted down to be eye to eye with her.  “Honey, what made you asked about the bidet, anyway?”

Nora took her mother by the hand and pointed to the calendar.  “It says Grandma’s Bday right there.”

Thankfully, I heard this story before having my own children.  I’ve never forgotten it and I’ve learned that you ask this question first, “Why do you want to know?”  It has saved me on more than one occasion from offering way too much information for the question intended.

Another very dear friend of mine says that I do this with her ~ I suppose it is a short cut to make sure one understands what is being asked.

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