Last Thoughts For 2018!

It’s the beginning of another year.  2018 was the second year without Michael.  Now I’m ready to write about the last week with him, May 2016.  I think about that last week but more specifically the last day; the last morning.  I’ve savored each moment, grateful for each moment.  

Mike and J b&w
Folly Beach July 2015


Mike is home from the Medical University of South Carolina on Monday late.  Of course he comes in a medical transport with two gorgeous women.  That’s how Michael does it.  Bailey was delivered by Moonshadow just in time to welcome him home.   The living room was literally transformed in an hour thanks to a wonderful neighbor helping to carry the couch to the garage and a chair back to the living room.  My grandmother’s quilt is just the right touch to the hospital bed.  I’m as ready as I am going to be for what is to come because I really have no idea of what is ahead of me.  I just know that it is important and that I must stay focused.  I must be present.  

Monday night with Mike and Bailey.  It’s Dancing With The Stars night.  We loved this show.  All night long I would say to Mike, “ I love you!”  And he would respond, “I love you, too!”  Over and over this night was one of “I Love You’s!”  For that I am forever grateful.  


The hospice nurse arrives to do the long entrance examination this morning.  As I walk her to her car I tell her that Mike’s daughters should arrive by Thursday.  She exclaims that I must call them immediately.  It is imperative that they get here quickly.  I’m shocked but call them and get the ball rolling.  There is no time to cry.  There is no time to feel sad.  The daughters are on their way.  

The second night is different.  This night Michael wakes up and calls for me around 2:00 AM for help.  It’s not good.  I mean it is really scary bad and I am all alone.  Thankfully I now have the Hospice 911 number.  I call that number and immediately I have a friend, no I believe it was an Angel.  She coaches me how to give him the morphine.  She calms me down by breathing with me.  It is so hard.  It is freaking so hard and I am all alone.  Bailey is right beside me as this Angel talks to me for probably an hour.  Mike has fallen asleep.  His daughters are on the way and should arrive in the early morning.  I finally fall asleep.  

Bailey only left his side to take care of her business.  

I wake up and Michael is sleeping with Bailey by his side.  The Hospice nurse arrives at 8 AM and to my astonishment he tells me that Michael is in a coma.  I thought he was sleeping.  My world turns upside down again.  How many times can the world be turned upside down?  I call JWF, my youngest.  Please come and hurry!  

Bailey never leaves his side!

Bailey never left Michael!


So Michael is in a coma.  Michael is dying.  This is real.  It’s happening and I am in uncharted waters.  I call our closest friends.  I call his precious speech therapist.  I call our neighbor.  Each of them come.  And with each visit peace, acceptance and gratitude appear.  Our closest friends arrive.  We circle the chairs around Michael’s bed.  I turn on our favorite music.  We pour drinks and for 3 hours we tell stories.  We remember the good times together.   We laugh and we cry.  Peace, acceptance and gratitude visit.  

JWF arrives around midnight.  I am keenly aware of how grateful I am for his presence.  I sleep beside Michael all night and wake up early.  It’s just Bailey and me awake and I realize that there is a sweet moment here.  I quickly make a cup of coffee and download Cat Stephen’s Morning Has Broken.  I take Michael’s hand and sing this lovely song and watch the sun rise holding Michael’s hand.  I memorized this moment. It’s Thursday morning.  



Thursday morning, the Hospice nurse calls to ask if she can come by in the afternoon and give Michael a bath.  I am thrilled at this opportunity.  Michael was a fastidious man and he loved his clothes and shoes.  He’s a good looking man!  Maybe this is why he hasn’t left us?  He doesn’t look like Michael.  So another Hospice Angel arrives and together we shave his beard, wash his body, his hair and slather cream over his whole body.  We change him into a pink shirt.  Oh he always looked so good in that pink shirt!  Thank you to my Mom for teaching me how to say good bye in this special way!  

His daughters and JWF return to the house and we begin to notice that his breathing has changed.  It is noticeably different.  We surround him and hold hands.  Each of us begins to spontaneously share something that we loved about Michael.  Slowly, slowly his breathing is shallow and then he is gone.  Just like that he is gone.  We are holding hands, tears streaming down our cheeks with no regard of wiping them away.  We are frozen in the moment.  I don’t remember how long that moment was.  I memorized it as I took in every person in that circle.

Bailey immediately wants down with Michael’s last breath.  She knew he was gone.

Saying Goodbye!

So a lady from Hospice comes to verify that the death is not suspicious.  She does her thing and then calls the Sheriff’s office and then the funeral home is notified.   I remind everyone that Michael’s wish was to be cremated immediately.  Once the funeral home comes we will never see him again.  Now that was hard for me to put my brain around at that moment.  No viewing of the body like we do in the South but that is what he wanted.  So I asked JWF to find a lovely bottle of wine with enough wine glasses.  The funeral home person arrives and we again surround Michael with our wine glasses raised.  We toast Michael one last time in this house as they roll his body out of the front door.  Good bye my sweet love!  I had the time of my life with you!

Some Thoughts

I keep wondering why I am writing this, especially this post; sharing these moments with the world.  First of all I want my grandchildren to know the story, my story.  I want them to know who I am.  The second reason is that I hope that I can bring some kind of hope and inspiration for someone as they say goodbye to the person that they love so much.

Here are some things to consider:
❤️  Take photos!  Take photos of your hands.  Paw prints are great!
❤️  Be present!  You can never have a do over.
❤️  Remember the good moments and state them out loud.

Morning Has Broken

Michael Clay Boomer, Jr.  

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Your Turn!

So what are your thoughts?  What are your experiences?  I believe that we are better together and I love reading other folks stories.

I’ve thought and thought about Michael’s last week and wouldn’t change a thing.  I can only hope that JWF was paying attention.  I just want lots of Motown Music when I am dying. James Taylor would be welcomed.  I want to dance as I leave this world.  Cheers to you Michael for teaching me that I am lovable.  I really did have the time of my life with you.  Oh, that’s another song!

It’s My Wedding Anniversary!

September 2, 1972

Wedding Photo
September 2, 1972

Today would have marked my 46th wedding anniversary.  I can truthfully say that I do not miss JMF one bit.  I’ve been reading in my journals from that time; getting back in touch with what happened, how it all happened.  I believe that what I experienced was trauma.

 I’ve never used that word or even thought about that word.  I feel it’s a bit presumptuous to even think that I experienced trauma.  Right?  However I am choosing to think differently about this word now.  The betrayal, the affair and the many lies were deeply disturbing to me.  Agony, suffering, pain, anguish, misery.  Yep! My world was turned upside down and I literally didn’t feel safe.  Sleep wasn’t my friend and I would vacillate between intense sadness and rage. I would throw plates off of my deck.  I’ll write about that later.


Now I have the great honor of training as a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor and often mention my divorce and his betrayal in my trainings with the intention of helping.  After a recent training, a woman came to me and slipped a note in my hand.  My first thought was that I had offended her in some way.  I asked if I could read the note with her.  Thankfully she agreed.

My heart stopped beating and I held my breath as I began to read her note.


“I know you didn’t come here for this.  Yesterday I was in your class and you mentioned that you had been married and your husband (now your ex) cheated on you.  My question: How did you heal beyond it?  How long did it take you?”

Well those questions have lingered in my heart and brain since that day.  How did I heal beyond it and how long did it take?  Well here’s the news!  I am not healed.  I choose to work on it each day.  It’s a journey.  Some days are easier than others. Some days I don’t think about JMF.  Other days I think a lot about JMF.  It’s been 21 years and somedays it feels as though it was yesterday and other days it seems as though I was never married and it wasn’t at all real.  Today is one of those days that I feel the reality.

Perception is a funny thing.  I can fall into moments of “he is a dirty bastard and he must pay” or “poor JMF.  Blah, blah, blah!”  But that focus is not helpful.  The focus should be on me, not him, which changes the direction of the energy.   I have a choice.  I can choose to be a victim and then act as a victim or I can choose to be set free and write my own story.

So I continue writing my story each and every day.  If I think about JMF I can wish him well with about 60% authenticity.  Folks this is progress from finding a journal entry recently that expressed my desire to shoot him!  This is progress.  I can only aim for 61% and then 62%.

So back to the questions.  How did I heal and how long did it take? 

I continue to heal through journaling, surrounding myself with friends that encourage me and lift me up.  I sought professional help and made sure that it was a good match.  I read and read and read more books that lift me up. Harriet Lerner and Brené Brown.

And then there is music!  I love music.  Here’s a song that saved me in 1997 and 1998.  This song actually happened to me!  Thank you Gloria Gaynor.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom for today’s song.  The focus has changed.  Thanks Demi Lavato!  I’m not sorry!

I Will Survie

At first, I was afraid, I was petrified

Kept thinking, I could never live without you by my side

But then I spent so many nights thinking, how you did me wrong

And I grew strong and I learned how to get along

And so you’re back from outer space

I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face

I should have changed that stupid lock

I should have made you leave your key

If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me

Go on now, go, walk out the door, just turn around now

‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one, who tried to hurt me with goodbye?

Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die?

So where am I today?  I’m not sorry!

Demi LoLovato  Sorry Not Sorry

Now I’m out here looking like revenge

Feelin’ like a ten, the best I ever been

And yeah, I know how bad it must hurt

To see me like this, but it gets worse (wait a minute)

Now you’re out here looking like regret

Ain’t too proud to beg, second chance you’ll never get

And yeah, I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this

But it gets worse (wait a minute)

Now payback is a bad bitch

And baby, I’m the baddest

You fuckin’ with a savage

Can’t have this, can’t have this (ah)

And it’d be nice of me to take it easy on ya, but nah

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Being so bad got me feelin’ so good

Showing you up like I knew that I would

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned

Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns

Baby, fineness is the way to kill

Tell me how it feel, bet it’s such a bitter pill

And yeah, I know you thought you had bigger, better things

Bet right now this stings (wait a minute)

‘Cause the grass is greener under me

Bright as technicolor, I can tell that you can see

And yeah, I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this

But it gets worse (wait a minute)

Now payback is a bad bitch

And baby, I’m the baddest

You fuckin’ with a savage

Can’t have this, can’t have this (ah)

And it’d be nice of me to take it easy on ya, but nah

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Being so bad got me feelin’ so good

Showing you up like I knew that I would

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned

Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns

Talk that talk, baby

Better walk, better walk that walk, baby

If you talk, if you talk that talk, baby

Better walk, better walk that walk, baby

Oh yeah

Talk that talk, baby

Better walk, better walk that walk, baby

If you talk, if you talk that talk, baby

Better walk, better walk that walk, baby

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Being so bad got me feelin’ so good

Showing you up like I knew that I would

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)

Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned

Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns

Payback is a bad bitch

And baby, I’m the baddest

I’m the baddest, I’m the baddest

The Nude Beach

How It All Began!

JWF has finished his first year of college.  Thankfully he had a philosophy professor that adored him and saw the content of his heart; really appreciated my son.  Finally!  The professor was from Jamaica and led the January term to Jamaica to study Rastafarianism. That’s a another story for another day.  

August 1997

It’s been seven months since JMF has left.  Six months since I found out about the affair.  My youngest, JWF, is home from college.  My oldest, JJ, is living at home.  

I am exhausted, literally and totally exhausted.  I need a break and then it happens.  JWF’s philosophy professor from college offers to give me his condo in Ocho Rios for a week. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and the excitement of just leaving the country and thinking about something else.  Right?  I can hope can’t I?  

August 14, 1997

So off JWF and I go to Jamaica.  We are both excited and he is is ready to share all the sights and sounds of Jamaica with me.  One of the sights was a resort that JWF missed the last two days of his stay this past January.  I believe that he had run out of money.  

We entered the resort!  It’s a couples resort.  It’s all inclusive.  What an adventure for sure.  Drinks are the first order of business.  Remember that it is an all inclusive resort.  Then we head to the beach where JWF stands at the front of the beach with his arms out and literally announces to the entire beach crowd, “I am not her gigolo.  She is my Mom.”  The crowd applauds.  Let the fun begin.  

JWF with drink in hand and the Nude Beach in the back ground.

I can’t quite recall when I noticed a small skiff motoring back and forth from our beach to a small island.  I inquired as to where it was going and voilá, “ a nude beach?”  Excitement ensues.  Now I had made a list of some things I wanted to do after JMF left.  There were the usual suspects of a tattoo, a wild affair and I really had put a nude beach on the list.  And here it was.  A nude beach?  JWF looks at me, sees the look on my face and exclaims, “You are on your own Mom.”  Yes indeed, I was on my own.  So off I set with my bathing suit on, my hat, sunglasses, beach towel and a book.  I boarded the skiff.  Thankfully it was just me.  I asked the man motoring me over to explain how it works.  “I’ve never done this before.”  He proceeds to tell me that once I step onto the island I must take everything off, literally everything.  I ask, “even my hat and my sunglasses?”  With a twinkle in his eye he says, “Yes!”  Then he smiles!  

So I get off the skiff and with great trepidation, take my bathing suit off leaving my hat and sun glasses on and walk to the pool that has a bar.  It is crowded with couples.  Remember that I am at a Couples Resort.  I quickly find a lounge chair and settle in with my book.  Thank goodness for a broad beam hat, sunglasses and a large book.

So here I am checking off something really big for me!  I begin to realize that JMF is the only man that I have been with my entire life.  What’s out there?  I begin to use my wiles and investigate.  Somehow my book fell.  I had to pick it up.  Somehow my hat blew off.  I had to retrieve it.  Oh the things that I learned on that day.  

I’ve always heard the term, “hung like a horse.”  I had only my imagination to know what that meant.  Now I know.  Now I had the image.  Yes indeed, that young man was hung like a horse.  

Letting Go Is The Theme From My Journal

“Letting go is the theme for this trip.  Something to begin and continue when I return. I hope I can hold this Powerful thought.  Letting go of JMF yet staying connected that will lead to a successful divorce.  Recognize my fears.  Let it unfold. I’m sitting on the balcony of our condo in Ocho Rios looking out on the bay.  Our condo sits on the mountain and commands a wonderful view of the bay and the Caribbean.  It is breezy this evening.  Our balcony faces the east so there is no direct sun.  There are the normal noises of a town; sirens, cars and yet unique noises; a rooster crowing and a dog barking. ”

Last Journal Entry

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?   Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself.”  Lao-Tzu

Yes I can!

What are your thoughts?

Have you ever found yourself in a place that you had to hit the pause button?  Was it hard?  How did you manage it?  Did you allow your mud to settle?

Have you checked some items off your list?  How did it feel?  What was it? I am looking forward to all of your comments.




My Daddy is Dying.

This is a photo of Daddy from his days at Mississippi State University, circa 1935.

My Daddy is dying.

This is evident but when?  I’ve spent two weeks with Mother  and Daddy; making banana pudding, salmon, anything that my Daddy will eat.  He weighs nothing; skin and bones.  My sister is with us.  It’s like we were in the beginning, just the four of us and it really is sweet in a weird sort of way.

It’s been two weeks and I begin to feel anxious about work, and decide to return and just check in with folks, touch them; connect.  I drive 8+ hours home and arrive the next morning at school and immediately know that I am in the wrong place.  I can feel it, sense it.   And then my sister calls.  Yep, this is the confirmation that I am in the wrong place.  Daddy is being taken to the hospital via an ambulance.  I tell my sister to put the phone to his ear and I tell him, “Wait for me to get to you.  Wait for me.”  And wait he did.

I load my two Scottish Terriers into my Volkswagen Cabriolet and on the road we go within 30 minutes.  The speed limit in Virginia is 70 miles per hour.  That translates to 80 miles per hour for me.  Only this day is different.  All bets are off!  I am going to my Daddy.

Scottish Terriers
Gus and Maddie, my trusted Scottish Terriers.

I had been to a Conscious Discipline workshop by now and heard Dr. Becky Bailey talk about this exact scenario.  If you encounter a driver that is driving really fast, then wish them well.  Make up the story!  Well my story is not made up.  My Daddy is waiting for me.  He has made a promise to me to wait for me before he dies and I am going to do everything to keep my promise to get to him as quickly as possible.

Of course, the Virginia State Trooper stopped me close to the Virginia/Tennessee border.  Gus and Maddie were not happy with this.  They could sense the urgency of the trip and growled at the State Trooper.  I quickly told the State Trooper my story.   He answered in kind and quickly scolded me,  then escorted me to the Tennessee state line.  Sweet!  He kept me safe and no ticket!  Tennessee’s speed limit at that time was 75 miles per hour.  That translates to 85 miles per hour.   So off I went at 85 miles per hour.  The speed limit is a suggestion.  Right?

I don’t think that I really breathed the entire trip.  It really was as if the the seas were parting as I  drove and folks just moved over for me.  I could feel it.  No one ever honked or did any gesturing.  It felt encouraging.

I arrive at the hospital in Dayton, TN,  secure the pups in the car and literally run into the hospital feeling desperate to find my people.  Finally I find the room.  I walk in and find my Mother sitting in a chair, “zoned” out.  My sister is at the bedside with Daddy but looking tired.  I breathe.  I breathe again and again.

A nurse comes in right after me and announces that my Dad will get a breathing therapy.  This is when I called a halt to everything.  I reached out to Mom and I told the nurse that we wanted to know what the benefits and objectives were of the breathing therapy and we wanted to talk to someone.  We wanted to know if Daddy was dying.  My Mother and sister seemed relieved to have me there.  This is so hard for all of us.  They are exhausted.  I am running on adrenaline.

The nurse came back and reported that yes, he was dying.  I made the decision, with my Mom’s blessing, that there would be no more breathing therapies.  And that is the moment that all three of us were on the same page and knew the gravity of the situation.  We surrounded my Daddy, my Mom’s husband.  We held his hands and began to softly talk to him.  It was minutes, literally minutes and he peacefully died.

And then Daddy is gone.  He’s really gone.  You know how the movies portray the main character reaching up and closing their eyelids at death?  Well that is just bull shit because I reached up to close his eyes and it didn’t work.  They wouldn’t close.

Daddy and me
This is my Daddy and me at my wedding in 1972.

And this is where I find the sweet spot!

The usual stuff happens with nurses.  Blah, blah, blah!  And then my Mom assertively yet respectfully directs a nurse to bring her a washcloth and a bowl of warm water.  I remember looking at my sister with “what is this?”  She responds in kind.

My Mom begins to gently, calmly and lovingly wash her husband’s, my Daddy’s face, arms and legs!  It took awhile and during that time my sister and I literally clung to each other weeping silently and trembling, our bodies shaking.  It was the most loving act I have ever seen in my lifetime and I was overwhelmed with grief and love.  It is a wonder that my sister and I could stand.  I truly think it is because we were clinging to each other to support each other.

But here’s the thing.  At that moment, I promised myself that I would remember this moment when my Mother died.  I would pay it forward because it was the sweetest act of love that I had ever witnessed.  What a sweet spot!  

Paying It Forward!  That is the sweet spot or at least I thought!

Now my Mom is dying!  It’s December 2012, twelve years later.  Her birthday is in November.  As usual I go to celebrate her birthday and leave as if it is the last time I will see her.

My sister calls at the beginning of December and reports that Mom isn’t eating.  This is the beginning of the end.  We talk everyday about what’s going on.  My sister is the best at keeping me posted.  At about the tenth day she says to me, “I think she is waiting for you to come.”  So off I fly!

And this is the gift that I just realized at this moment in time that she gave me.  She also waited for me. That is the sweet spot.  I always thought the sweet spot was the next paragraph but it isn’t. It is that she also waited for me.  

Mom and Me
This is Mom and me at my youngest’s son’s wedding in June 2007.

And I kept my promise.

I asked the nursing home staff if I could help in preparing her body.  Thankfully they said yes without any questions and I have a new friend for life.  This sweet person asked me to pick out some pajamas and warm socks for her to travel in as she was being transported 3 hours to Spring City, TN.  Now really isn’t that just cool?  I followed her lead and we washed my Mom’s face, arms, and legs.  We put great smelling cream on her whole body and then dressed her in warm jammies and soft socks.  Softy and gently my tears flowed and dropped on my Mom.  Over and over again.  I talked and talked about the memories that she created for me and how grateful I felt and how much I loved her.

I covet your stories!

This ritual was never, ever shared or talked about in my family.  What are your stories?  I have never heard anyone talk about this kind of ritual.  I really want to hear from you!

How do I say good-bye to my wedding ring?

It’s happening, it’s real!  Sort of like The Velveteen Rabbit.

I found a voice message from JMF on July 25, 1998, that the divorce was final and that he and Doo Dah were getting married in October.  I’ll be posting about our first meeting on that day at a later time.  Yes, on that exact day!

I began thinking about my wedding ring early on but I can’t find any notations in my journals.  I just remember feeling the angst about what to do with it.  I didn’t want to just tuck that ring into my jewelry box only to be discovered by my sons at my death.  It was a ritual that put that ring on my finger and it would be a ritual that would take it off of my finger.  So what would that ritual look like?

I began to play around with ideas ranging from building something in my garden to hold the ring to finding a place in the outdoors to bury the ring but ultimately water won!  Water has power.  Water has the ability to cleanse and rinse; to make clean.   We see it in the weather each year with hurricanes and floods.  It is difficult in the beginning for sure, raw and emotional.  I’m not surprised that water won.  I am a Pisces!

So I began to think about rituals.  What is a ritual and what is their power?  Rituals are really an everyday part of our lives.  We’re probably unconscious of the small everyday rituals but very aware of the big rituals.  Think about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Hanukkah and Passover.  And then there is the big ritual, a wedding.

So could I create a ritual that includes water and give my wedding ring back to the universe?

I have loved the ocean since I was a small girl.  My aunt and uncle would take me to the Gulf Coast for vacations.  I was swimming and jumping off high dives at the age of three.  I was water skiing at four years old.  So going to the ocean was an easy choice.  Water is a vessel of healing for me.

I made reservations for a house at South Hatteras, a different kind of place than where we would typically stay as a family at the Outer Banks.

From my journal. . . . August 19, 1998

I’m beginning to feel…. at ease. . . . comfortable . . .me.. . in this new way of being?  Even though I’ve been living this way it just seems different today.
As I went to bed last night I thought I could pretty much sum it up with one short sentence.

I’m not me when I’m with JMF.  

August 21, 1998

I biked yesterday somewhere between 32-40 miles.  By the time I arrived back my thigh muscles were in trauma.  I think it was because of the rest on the ferry ride and then I had 3 more miles to go.


So Here’s What Happened on August 20. 1998

My plan was to bike to Ocracoke.  It would require me to take a ferry from South Hatteras to Ocracoke.  I would take my ring off and throw it into the Pamlico Sound.  So off I went on my bike with my back pack loaded.  I was ready until the time came to do it and I just wasn’t feeling it.  So I trusted myself.  I enjoyed the ferry ride over and biked to the end of the island, ate lunch, journaled and rode back to the ferry.  This time I was ready.

And guess what?  Six Navy jets appeared in the sky as the ferry crossed to Hatteras.  Yes indeed those jets were placed there just for me.  I quickly took my ring off, kissed it and tossed it into the Pamlico Sound.  It felt good.  It felt right!  The ring was in the perfect place. And the folks around me realized what was happening and applauded and somehow made a circle around me; surrounded me.

These are the Navy Blue Angels that came to honor the moment of letting go of my wedding ring.

Reflections on February 28, 2018

This moment in time was really hard , both physically and emotionally, as I think about it and yet I trusted myself enough to keep moving forward.  Trusting myself and listening to my feelings was the sweet spot.   I trusted myself with the ring, not to just throw the ring away but trusted my instincts and listened to my feelings and found just the right moment, to seek that sweet spot for that ring.  Okay let’s be real!  The Navy Blue Angels was pretty sweet!  Right?

So what about you?

What rituals have you created in your life to honor these important moments that just may be sad moments;  moments of letting go?  What are your stories?  Were you aware of your feelings?  Were you aware of what was going on around you?

I look forward to your comments below.

Pools Of Sadness

Notes from my journal

January 12, 1998

I find myself in sad places, trying to make sense out of what has happened.

When I am in this state it is as if I’m in a pool of sadness, no energy flowing in or around me.  It feels dead and lifeless.  It’s no fun.  I make myself stay in this place.

Feeling Buddies
These are the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddies®. Can you find sad?

My first response is to get up and get out of it but I’m trying to look at sadness in the face.  Look at it and identify every part of it.  Maybe it’s the identification that is “making sense.” Maybe each day will be incrementally better.  That’s what I’m betting on.

My goal is to sit in these “pools of sadness” so that one day I will find that the pool is dry and because of the sitting and careful attention,  the ground will be fertile and new life will grow.

It is the process that is most important now.  Paying attention everyday is what is important; mindfulness.

January 13, 1998

Sadness.  Pools of sadness.  It’s all over me and yet I’m so grateful to the Universe for loving me so much.

Sadness.  It is a good and right place to be.  Necessary.  I must pass along this way to get to my freedom, true freedom.  Maybe this sadness is the acceptance that this has happened, to accept this.  I must touch it and the touching is feeling the sadness.

The pools of sadness are calm and quiet.  They are not like the raging white waters I’ve been through last year.  I feel as though I must bathe in them, get soaked by the sadness.  I trust myself that I will get up and walk out of the pool and let go.  But first I have to accept.

This is a necessary place to be.  I have to tell myself this or I will move on.  That’s my nature, move on to the good feelings.

January 14, 1998

Pools of sadness.  I’ve noticed that choosing the word to use can put me in a different place to stand.  The struggle to freedom or a journey to freedom?  It can change my mindset and how I view the process; positive or negative.

When I think of this pool of sadness, it’s not a bad or scary place.  It’s a place of warm waters, healing waters that are running over me, washing me, healing me.  This place is not familiar to me and there is no other person with me but there is a loving presence.  I know that I am safe and loved.

This place is new to me and so I’m not real sure about it.  My tendency has been to look away from pain and sadness and run towards the good feelings.  Accept this reality.   Bathe in this reality so that I can let go.

February 12, 2018

I recently went back and found these three separate entries from my journals and was intrigued by them.  These entries were made a year after JMF had left me.  It is also about 2 months before I first heard about Conscious Discipline®.  

Angry, scared and sad came to visit me in 1997 and 1998.
So how would I know how to handle angry, scared or sad?
I didn’t!

I didn’t know how to handle these feelings because my parents didn’t believe that feelings were important.  My Mom would say to me to “wipe those feelings off your face.”  That’s the way it was back in the 1950’s.  You can’t teach something that you don’t know.  So I had no idea of what to do in 1997 and 1998 with these big feelings.

Thankfully my therapist, SL, encouraged me to journal in January 1997.  Journalling had become a way of life by 1998.  Journaling was my friend!  Baring my soul and becoming real to myself felt good and right.  This is how I became friends with my feelings.  I began to accept these feelings so that I could slowly feel the feeling and let go.  And this was was the sweet spot; becoming friends with sad and allowing myself to sit with sad.

It has taken me years to identify how my Mom dealt with my feelings.  She ignored them!  I learned how to ignore my feelings at the feet of the ultimate ignorer of feelings.  Here is a link to some videos that have helped me to identify how my Mom handled my feelings.

So here are my friends from 1997.

Big Angry
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Angry.
Big Scared
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Scared.

1998 was the time for sad to come and be with me, comfort me; become my friend.

Big Sad
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Sad.

As of today sad isn’t gone entirely. I believe that’s called life.  Sad comes to visit on holidays, birthdays and sometimes unexpectedly.  I am learning to welcome sad and tell myself that I am safe and that I am loved.  I’m learning that feelings are like the weather;  feelings come and go.  The weather forecast tells me what to wear.  My feelings are my emotional guidance system and tell me what to do.  I am going to be honest!  I really don’t like sad but at least I can welcome sad into my life; give myself permission to sit and be with sad and know that I can handle it.

Your Stories

What resonated with you as you read from my journal entries from January 1998?  Pools of sadness were a recurring theme in 1998.  What are your stories?  How did your parents handle your big feelings when you were growing up?  Are you able to sit with angry, scared and sad and welcome them into your life?  What would it take to become friends with angry, scared and sad?  How would becoming friends with them change the trajectory of your life?  What is your sweet spot?

How do I tell my parents about his affair?

March 1997

It’s been 2 months since JMF moved out, since the separation.  It’s been a few days since the news and I am still reeling that JMF has been having an affair for a year.  I begin to wonder and worry about how on earth am I going to tell my parents about his affair They are worried sick about me since I called them back in January and they continue to voice their need to see me.  I finally agree to fly to Knoxville and meet them in Pigeon Forge for a long weekend.

Wonder and worry are my friends for sure.  Affairs are not common in my family, non-existent.  How on earth does one talk about affairs with parents?  I speak with my therapist and she assures me that I will know what to do in the moment.  Give me the words for goodness sake!  I’m on my own.  I fly down, rent a car and drive over to meet them.

I walk into the house and before my Mom even hugs me, she puts her hands on my shoulders and squarely looks me in my eyes and says, “How old is she?”  I am shocked but I quickly answer, “I don’t know!”  So where did that come from?  My Mom is real?  She knows about these things?  How can that be?  I ask where Daddy is and she replies that he is out on the patio.

I walk out to the patio and sit down.  How do I tell my Father, my Daddy!?  I sit down and just tell him the story simply and succinctly.  Then I asked him a question.  I don’t know where this question came from but there it was.  “How is it that you never had an affair Daddy?”  He looks at me, smiles and with the softest face and loving eyes he said very slowly, “Sugar, I didn’t need to because I went fishing and hunting.”  And then there was silence!

And that silence was the sweet spot!  There was no judgement.  There were no reprimands.  There were no “he’s a dirty bastard.”  There was just silence, acceptance and the feeling of finding that sweet spot.

January 2017

As I look back on those first few months of separation, I can see sweet spots!  My heart is full of gratitude that both my parents reached out to JMF immediately.  I mean within 48 hours in January, to say that they loved him. Here’s the good news!  I was proud of my parents for that!  I just didn’t know to call it a sweet spot.  My Dad would call that “walking the high road.”

The other sweet spot was that my parents were finally seeing me as an adult.  It only took 46 years.  It didn’t happen when I received my BA or getting married, having children or receiving my M.Ed! It took this event to finally cross that bridge to being an adult with them and wow did it feel good.

Your thoughts?

What are your stories?  Have you ever had to tell your parents something uncomfortable, unpleasant?  When did you become an adult with your parents? Did you find a sweet spot afterwards?  I look forward to reading your stories.

My Mom and Dad.
This is my Mom and Dad, taken at their home, probably around 1998.

The first time I said f*#k!

February 23, 1997

JMF has been living elsewhere for almost a month, since he left.  I persuaded him to go to counseling with me the previous week.  It was a start even though the session felt flat.  We scheduled our next appointment for my birthday.

The Angel Cards

The night before my birthday was a struggle as most nights were during this time.  This night in particular was bad.  Sleep was not my friend.  I remembered that my Chicago friend had sent me some angel cards for a Christmas present.  I had admired them when I was visiting her the past November.  It was like her to remember and send me a set of my very own.  I had not opened them yet.  On this night I would open them.  I wanted solace, anything to shed light on this crazy thing that was happening in my life.

So I opened my new pack of angel cards, handling them with reverence.  I wasn’t rushing.  I was ready to accept, ready to make sense of this craziness.  I drew play, an angel playing on the beach with a red beach ball.  I was stunned.  I was mad.  I thought these silly cards don’t work and here was the proof!

This is the angel card that I pulled on February 23, 1997.
The Play angel card.


I began to gather them up and carefully put them back in the box.  I was closing the flap on the box when I noticed that one card was in the wrong direction.  Now I was just pissed.  I pulled that card out to place it correctly and I literally gasped!  SURRENDER.  Yes indeed I need to surrender.

Surrender Angel Card
This is the actual card that I drew on February 23, 1997.

February 24, 1997 

SL’s office was in Maryland.  I lived in Virginia.  Initially I was not happy about this drive but it proved to be a time of reflection and centering for me.  Today it seemed like a thousand miles.

On this particular day I arrived early and made me some tea.  To this day the smell of that tea reminds me of SL and her office.

And It Happens!  

JMF arrives and we exchange pleasantries.  He gives me a birthday card and a small box.  He looks and acts sheepish.  I can’t really read him.  Maybe it is more like he would like to be anywhere but here.  Anyway I unwrap the present and it is the smallest pair of amythest earrings.  I thanked him.  Later both the card and box would go in the trash.

SL came out.  I remember getting out of the chair, feeling like I weighed a ton and was being led to the slaughter.  My knee caps were literally shaking.  SL begins to talk to me.  “Have you ever thought of JMF having an affair?”  What a laughable question! “Of course not! JMF isn’t that kind of person. No!” She asks in another way, “On a scale of 1 to 10, where would JMF fit?”  “No way!  A zero!”  On and on this went and I began to feel agitated.  Around the sixth attempt something inside of me shifted.  I looked at JMF and then back at SL and back to JMF.  “Did you have an affair?” He can only nod his head.  He’s got no words. Now I am furious and this is the exact moment in time that I uttered the word f*#k.  “F*#k you!  F*#k you! F*#k you!”  Sheepishly he says, “it wasn’t with _____ (a colleague of his).”  I shot back, “Of course not.  She has principles you f*#k head.”  It’s just too bad SL didn’t count how many times I said this word.  It was a lot.  Just “f*#k you” over and over and over.  Gratefully the “therapist hour” was over.

Welcome to the new world.
Welcome to the new world!

My New Word, My New World!

I drove to my friend’s house.  Only the angels can answer how I arrived there safely.  I literally collapsed on the floor at her front door and stayed on the floor crying for hours.  My next memory is getting dinner for take out and arriving back at my home.  I opened the door, shut it and leaned my back on the door as it closed and surveyed my home.  I said, “thank you God.  This is all mine.”  Oddly I felt relieved, at peace.  At least I had the truth.  The past month was living a lie, a secret and secrets can kill you.  Thank you God that I was alive and well.  It was my birthday.  I thought it rather fitting in that I had just been re-birthed.  Thank you!

January 14, 2018

So I often think of that “play” angel card.  It was on the mark and I just wasn’t ready for it that night but the seed was planted.  That seed germinated over time and today “play” is in my vocabulary.  Playing in the sweet spot! Living in the sweet spot!

Where are you?

Do you find it hard to find play in your life?  Where are your sweet spots in the midst of sadness or loss?  Write me about it!  What do you find helpful to find the sweet spot?  I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.

How it all started as I begin to reflect!

Yellow Butterfly
To some native american tribes, the yellow butterfly brings guidance and is a sign of hope. A flying yellow butterfly also symbolizes a sunny and bright summer is ahead. … A yellow butterfly flying around you brings happiness and prosperity. Seeing one also means that something fun and exciting is on its way. I took this photo on September 29, 2007.

Living in the sweet spot in the midst of loss!

Yes, living!  Not finding it but embracing the sweet spot and having gratitude for living sweetly, living abundantly in the face of loosing so much!  That’s my choice!  Sounds so easy as I write this but the past twenty years have prepared me.  I am ready!

What is a sweet spot?  Macmillan’s Dictionary defines it as the best possible place or combination of factors.  I like it.  Living in the best possible place in spite of whatever is happening around me.

Let’s talk about loss!  

Everyone has losses!  It’s a natural part of life. Loss begins on day one of your life.  You leave the warmth of your mother’s womb and you cry.  Look at a two year old when they experience the loss of that toy they thought was theirs forever.  Learning how to manage loss is an important skill to learn in life and it begins early.  Learning how to manage loss in healthy ways instead of finding revenge or blaming others is critical to lead a healthy and happy life.

I’ve sought to seek an abundant life each day of my life in the midst of experiencing losses.  Well let’s be honest.  In the beginning it was hard to see the abundance. I would see “hints and allegations” of the abundance but it was fleeting at best.  But as days ran into years,  thankfully abundance seems easier to find and experience; living in the sweet spot.

So what are the losses?

  • 1997  The end of a 25 year marriage commences.  Interesting that when I wrote this I did not use “my” marriage.  It was “a marriage.”  That’s telling!
  • 1997  Living in an empty nest in the midst of a separation and divorce.
  • 2000  My Father dies.
  • 2002  Finding love again and then he has a massive stroke in 2004.
  • 2011-2016  Moving 3 times in 5 years.  A severe downsizing of my home.
  • 2012  A rip in the relationship with my oldest child.  I have not heard his voice since 2012.  I have not seen my granddaughter since 2012. She was born in 2011.
  • Growing older!?
  • 2012  My Mom dies.
  • 2016  The love of my life dies.

My Hope!  

My hope, my intention is to begin sharing my journey, my stories, the messy process of it all and feeling the gratitude for all of it.  In 1997, other women shared their stories with me.  I quickly realized two things.  Their stories gave me hope and I had to live my own story.  I have to write my story.

Truthfully, I am a bit hesitant to put my stories out there.  My Mom would probably think that I am getting too big for my britches.  I am choosing to over ride my Mom, take a deep breath and take a risk; get outside of my comfort zone.

So, I’ll be posting stories of my journey.  Beware though.  I predict that my postings won’t be in any particular order.  I will post dates though!

JSF declaring to write her own story!
In 2010, JSF declares to the universe that she is writing her story from this moment forward.

Are you finding the sweet spot in your life?  

I covet your stories and your thoughts.  So please, please respond back to me with your stories!  I truly believe that we are better together.  What can we learn from each other?  So enough already.  Let’s get it started.  Tell me your stories!  Are you finding the sweet spot in your life?




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Living In the Sweet Spot

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