The BRAVE Interview #9 April 2017: Charlotte

Please enjoy this month’s BRAVE interview with Charlotte!

Who are you? I am a Registered Nurse, a Mom to 3 adult children (where has time gone?!), and a 5 month Golden Retriever named Charlie. I was born and raised in Maine, and have lived here ever since. I live in the small town of Limerick, Maine, a quiet country town.

What is your ‘one brave thing’? My One Brave Thing?  Let’s see. I have done a few brave things up to this point in my life, but the one I’d have to say that tops all was taking care of my terminally ill brother. He was 51 yrs old when diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, mets to the brain. His wish was to get home to Maine to die. I had no choice but to be brave, and honor is wishes. It was a very difficult, emotional time.

When did you do it?  In June 2007, my brother called me from the hospital in Florida, telling me he was very sick and needed me to fly down to help him.

Where did it occur? Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

How I made it happen: flew down, packed up his apartment.  I rented an RV, and found portable oxygen, filled his meds and things for the trip. Right out of the hospital, we were on our way home to my house. It was a rough ride in the back of an RV. I stayed back there with him, while my fiancé and my brother’s friend took turns driving. I wasn’t sure my brother would make it all the way, but he said he was okay each time I asked. I had spoken with hospice while traveling, and I got things set up for when he arrived. My bother lived only 5 days here, but made it to where he wanted to be, and that was home!

It is an honor to print your story, Charlotte, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us all!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites.com!

Hello from Heaven

big-nana

Big Nana with her great-granddaughter Ariana in her kitchen in Nantasket

As I recently wrote, my son moved into his new apartment. Apartments, as we all know, usually need furniture. As a mother, I want to (over) help him with this. When I got my first apartment, my mother and my grandmother went to great lengths to make sure I had everything I might need or want, opening their cupboards, closets, drawers, and wallets to help me get things I didn’t even know I would need. I always knew that I would do the same for my own children one day.

The current need for my son’s apartment is for a kitchen table and chairs. I remembered my grandmother’s kitchen table has been stored at my brother’s house for years. I checked to make sure it was still there and usable. My brother determined (after some digging) that it was.
I started thinking of how my grandmother, Big Nana, spent most of her life helping her family. She has been dead since 2004, but she is still helping her family all these years after her death. Because now her kitchen table and chairs, at which we ate so many wonderful, lovingly prepared meals, will now serve my son and his girlfriend.

And here is the biggest gift of all: when my brother was looking for the chairs, he found a photo Nana, as well as some of my mother and father that I have never seen before.

It feels like they are all saying ‘Hello’ to us from heaven tonight, and letting us know that they are still watching over us and taking care of us, even though they are not here physically with us anymore.

What a wonderful start to 2017.

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The BRAVE Interview #5 December 2016: Jeanne Emerson

Here is #5 in The BRAVE Interview series! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, How,  (and sometimes Why) of YOUR ‘one brave thing’! December’s interview is with Jeanne Emerson!

jeanne-emersonWho: Hi. My name is Jeanne Emerson.  I’m a grandma, gardener, artist, yogi, retired social worker and grieving mother.  I’m fortunate to live in a peaceful and cozy home in southern Maine…it is my sanctuary.  I am calm here, reflective, often tearful and recently, joyful…again.  And, I’m about to celebrate my 65th birthday.  WOW.

What:  I never really thought that I would feel brave about this but I do.  My one brave thing is to allow the feeling of joy back into my life.  My son Scott died three years ago.  He was 35 years old, funny, handsome, loving and very artistic.  His death came as a shock, no preparation…but even if I had been expecting it, it still would have been a shock.  No mother could prepare for this.

When:  The call came at 8:45 on a Tuesday night. (Tuesday has become my least favorite day of the week ever since).

Where:  I was home, the phone rang and the police officer had the nerve to say, “I’m sorry to inform you that your son is dead.”  How could he say something like that about my child??  I hated that officer at that moment.  I couldn’t spare any compassion for him then, no ability to care about how awful that call must have been for him to make.  Compassion could and would come later.

Why:  I’ll never know.  I won’t know why Scott died at such a young age, with so much more to offer, so much more to experience.  (please believe  me, I have driven myself to extreme exhaustion trying to understand).  But here’s what I do understand…healing can happen, life does in fact go on (as much as you may not want it do)…joy can enter again.

How:  This part of the interview is perhaps the easiest to explain.  My joy has come back because of trust.  My husband, Tim, my son Matt, family members and very precious friends believed in me.  They trusted me when I was a wailing mess on the floor, they trusted me when I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying, they trusted me when I couldn’t eat, sleep or get out of my pajamas, they trusted me when I would sit and stare, unable or unwilling to talk.  Somehow they trusted my process, that I just had to go through this my way (albeit dramatic and probably frightening to witness), but trust they did.  AND, miraculously, bit by bit, I started to live again without my son (well, without him in the way I knew him before his death….this is another interview but I KNOW that he is still with me, guiding me, encouraging me in my artistic pursuits, laughing with me and still loving me).  I feel very brave for laughing, running, playing, creating and loving.  This is my most important brave thing….so far.  

Jeanne, thank you so much for your brave, powerful words. ❤

Check out Jeanne’s designs at FOUND in Kennebunk (42 Main St; 207-604-5009) and on her website: emersondesigns.net

Give me the flowers

This month, I felt drawn to attend one of Melissa Boyd’s programs where she channels messages from spirit, but I had no one to go with. By nature I am an introvert, and typically I am not a person who likes to go Tulipsplaces alone. Other than, you know, a coffee shop with a book.

Anyway, this month marks the 20th anniversary of the death of my mother (on leap day).  I think that’s why this month, I felt there was a good chance I might get a message from her, so I put on my big girl panties (actually, my big girl thermal panties -it was -3 degrees!) and went by myself.

Right away, I noticed the pretty pink vase with 3 tulips on the table. Three is my favorite number, and tulips are one of my favorite flowers. I thought that after the program, I might ask Melissa who did the flowers for the event so I could get me some of those flowers, and get me one of those pink vases.

Anyway, in the last ten minutes of the program I realized that I was not going to be one of the lucky ones who got a channeled message. I felt that my mother was there, though! I felt sad and disappointed that she didn’t get a chance to speak to me. I consoled myself with the knowledge that the other people present needed their messages more urgently than I did.

But you know, I wanted some validation that she really was there.

And then I heard Melissa say that she intended to raffle off the vases of flowers.

🙂

So I sent my mother a message: “Ma, if you’re here, give me the flowers”.

They called the first number.

Mine.

Thanks, Ma.

Postscript: It gets better. When I got into the car to go home, a song came on the radio. Here’s an excerpt:

“And I have need for nothing more
Oh now that I have found
That You are here with me
Yes You are here with me.”

(From Mountain of God by Third Day)

 

My first 100 Days of Grace

I was wondering once again this past Sunday why the heck I had chosen Grace to be my word–or more accurately, Grace had chosen me to be its person –this year. Brave, my word last year, was a grace rockgreat word! A word you can sink your teeth into! Get your mind around! Get a grip on! Grace is…not. It’s elusive. Ephemeral. Unknown. Unfixed…kind of like me.
So my old friend Jane and my new friend Lisa and I were talking about this on Sunday, when they told me about the 100 day project they had started. They invited me to join, so I did.
Every day I say:
Thank you, God. I am in day ____ of my first 100 days of Grace.
Here is what’s happened during my first 3 days of my first 100 days of Grace:
  • Day 1 Grace: Jane introduced me to Lisa, who told me about her company Cosmic Tonic and T shirts that say Limitless on them (written in a special way). The song Limitless had been in my head all morning, and I had posted a link to it on one of my Facebook pages, The Metaphysical Nurse, right before I met her. (I know, right?!)
  • Day 2 Grace: Bill, my husband, finished reading the first book I wrote and he told me he loved it.  One thing about my husband: He never lies, especially not to spare my feelings. YAY!
  • Day 3 Grace: The song King of the Road was in my head, and a brief flash of a memory of my mother singing it. A visitation? It felt like it was. A gift. The 20th anniversary of her death is this month, February 29.

That’s it so far.

Consider trying this for yourself!

**Here’s a clip of the song King of the Road being sung by one of my mother’s favorite singers, Dean Martin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZWvi0MaIZs
**Here is the link to some of the many posts I’ve written about My One Word. https://kwrites.com/category/my-one-word/
**I gave meditation a hundred days last year. Here is the link the Give it 100 website, which really helped me succeed: https://giveit100.com/

Trying something new

I have not been practicing yoga much these past few weeks, since my yoga teacher (you know who llamasyou are!) moved to NC . I drove the road to North Berwick to get to yoga, about a half hour away, over and over and over, and was happy to do it.

I wasn’t familiar with that area at all when I first started going, but I got to know it well enough. It was a nice ride. I got to meet some wonderful women that I might not have met otherwise. I went to shops that I liked on the way home sometimes. It also gave me the opportunity to listen to my audiobook of the moment, which was a nice bonus. (Oh, did I mention I passed a Dunkin Donuts on my way…? I always invite coffee to my yoga practice :).)

Change is hard.

Anyway, I decided to try a new yoga class, and (since I was out of my comfort zone already) a new yoga (to me) entirely: Holy Yoga. My class is in Sanford, and is taught by Susan Hampton (find her website here: soulfulstretch.com).

I was the first to arrive (hello? I am a first-born) and as I was waiting, I started reading the notices on the bulletin board.

It’s important to note here that I am always looking for clues to know that I am in the right place and doing the right thing.

This is what I saw on the board:

  1. Llamas. I LOVE llamas. My husband and I have a collection of about a million (conservative estimate) of them, all different sizes, shapes, colors with one noteable exception: living. None of them are living.
  2. Another posting said something about Brave Girls and my one word this year is BRAVE!
  3. There was a posting about a Drumming Circle and not too long ago someone suggested that I try drumming.

Do you think those are enough clues?? Plus, Susan is a fabulous teacher: welcoming, funny, and caring. All of the other women were lovely. It was a pleasure to be in this class.

 

Message from Mom

mom for blogSo I had a visit last night from my mother. She died in 1996.

She visited me in a dream. She was wearing a long white dress that was cinched in at the waist with a sash that I think was also white. I should note that she never dressed like that in real life.  Anyway, it was a slimmer, younger, healthy version of her (she was quite ill when she died) and she came to tell me something. When my mother comes through to me in my dreams, she never actually speaks out loud; she communicates with me through thoughts. Anyway, she came to give me a message and in the dream, I had the thought that this must be very important information for me to know, since she made the trip to tell me this, and that I better remember it.

Later on when I woke for the day, I remembered the dream very clearly. I remember my thoughts about the message too. What I DON’T remember is this: WHAT THE MESSAGE WAS!

I tried over and over to get it back, but it’s gone.
I told my husband this, and as I was telling him, the tears started.

He: Why are you crying?
Me: I don’t know! Because I can’t remember what the message was!

He: Don’t worry. You got the message. Just because you can’t remember it consciously doesn’t mean you didn’t get. It’s in your subconscious. You have it.

I immediately felt the truth of what he was saying. Every so often, my husband says exactly the right words to me at exactly the right time.

And then he sort of shuddered.

Me: What was that?
He: I got a chill.

So now I get it. That was my mother there in the car with us.

🙂

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