Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day!

For a little lassie,

Daddy means many things.

For,

he is the mountain that holds her;

the sun that keeps her warm;

the moon that watches over her while she sleeps;

the wind that helps her fly;

the tree that keeps her grounded;

the North Star that shows her the way, when all is not well;

the music that assures her , it will be alright;

the wave that comes crashing her enemies.

Be it in the depths of sorrow or the height of happiness

he is sure to be there!

Kicking The S**t Out Of Option B

Sheryl has given a voice to my thoughts. What she beautifully weaves in this piece is something that I would have felt and would have done for my husband if he ever had to depart. I do love him loads. He is a firm believer in the fact that life should go on & positively. My heart goes out to Sheryl. May the force be with her.

https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/posts/10155617891025177:0

In Sheryl‘s words:

“Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband—the first thirty days. Judaism calls for a period of intense mourning known as shiva that lasts seven days after a loved one is buried. After shiva, most normal activities can be resumed, but it is the end of sheloshim that marks the completion of religious mourning for a spouse.

A childhood friend of mine who is now a rabbi recently told me that the most powerful one-line prayer he has ever read is: “Let me not die while I am still alive.” I would have never understood that prayer before losing Dave. Now I do.

I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. These past thirty days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well.

But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning.

And this is why I am writing: to mark the end of sheloshim and to give back some of what others have given to me. While the experience of grief is profoundly personal, the bravery of those who have shared their own experiences has helped pull me through. Some who opened their hearts were my closest friends. Others were total strangers who have shared wisdom and advice publicly. So I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it helps someone else. In the hope that there can be some meaning from this tragedy.

I have lived thirty years in these thirty days. I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.

I have gained a more profound understanding of what it is to be a mother, both through the depth of the agony I feel when my children scream and cry and from the connection my mother has to my pain. She has tried to fill the empty space in my bed, holding me each night until I cry myself to sleep. She has fought to hold back her own tears to make room for mine. She has explained to me that the anguish I am feeling is both my own and my children’s, and I understood that she was right as I saw the pain in her own eyes.

I have learned that I never really knew what to say to others in need. I think I got this all wrong before; I tried to assure people that it would be okay, thinking that hope was the most comforting thing I could offer. A friend of mine with late-stage cancer told me that the worst thing people could say to him was “It is going to be okay.” That voice in his head would scream, How do you know it is going to be okay? Do you not understand that I might die? I learned this past month what he was trying to teach me. Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not. When people say to me, “You and your children will find happiness again,” my heart tells me, Yes, I believe that, but I know I will never feel pure joy again. Those who have said, “You will find a new normal, but it will never be as good” comfort me more because they know and speak the truth. Even a simple “How are you?”—almost always asked with the best of intentions—is better replaced with “How are you today?” When I am asked “How are you?” I stop myself from shouting, My husband died a month ago, how do you think I am? When I hear “How are you today?” I realize the person knows that the best I can do right now is to get through each day.

I have learned some practical stuff that matters. Although we now know that Dave died immediately, I didn’t know that in the ambulance. The trip to the hospital was unbearably slow. I still hate every car that did not move to the side, every person who cared more about arriving at their destination a few minutes earlier than making room for us to pass. I have noticed this while driving in many countries and cities. Let’s all move out of the way. Someone’s parent or partner or child might depend on it.

I have learned how ephemeral everything can feel—and maybe everything is. That whatever rug you are standing on can be pulled right out from under you with absolutely no warning. In the last thirty days, I have heard from too many women who lost a spouse and then had multiple rugs pulled out from under them. Some lack support networks and struggle alone as they face emotional distress and financial insecurity. It seems so wrong to me that we abandon these women and their families when they are in greatest need.

I have learned to ask for help—and I have learned how much help I need. Until now, I have been the older sister, the COO, the doer and the planner. I did not plan this, and when it happened, I was not capable of doing much of anything. Those closest to me took over. They planned. They arranged. They told me where to sit and reminded me to eat. They are still doing so much to support me and my children.

I have learned that resilience can be learned. Adam M. Grant taught me that three things are critical to resilience and that I can work on all three. Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word “sorry.” To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.

For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior, a chance to feel useful and connected. But I quickly discovered that even those connections had changed. Many of my co-workers had a look of fear in their eyes as I approached. I knew why—they wanted to help but weren’t sure how. Should I mention it? Should I not mention it? If I mention it, what the hell do I say? I realized that to restore that closeness with my colleagues that has always been so important to me, I needed to let them in. And that meant being more open and vulnerable than I ever wanted to be. I told those I work with most closely that they could ask me their honest questions and I would answer. I also said it was okay for them to talk about how they felt. One colleague admitted she’d been driving by my house frequently, not sure if she should come in. Another said he was paralyzed when I was around, worried he might say the wrong thing. Speaking openly replaced the fear of doing and saying the wrong thing. One of my favorite cartoons of all time has an elephant in a room answering the phone, saying, “It’s the elephant.” Once I addressed the elephant, we were able to kick him out of the room.

At the same time, there are moments when I can’t let people in. I went to Portfolio Night at school where kids show their parents around the classroom to look at their work hung on the walls. So many of the parents—all of whom have been so kind—tried to make eye contact or say something they thought would be comforting. I looked down the entire time so no one could catch my eye for fear of breaking down. I hope they understood.

I have learned gratitude. Real gratitude for the things I took for granted before—like life. As heartbroken as I am, I look at my children each day and rejoice that they are alive. I appreciate every smile, every hug. I no longer take each day for granted. When a friend told me that he hates birthdays and so he was not celebrating his, I looked at him and said through tears, “Celebrate your birthday, goddammit. You are lucky to have each one.” My next birthday will be depressing as hell, but I am determined to celebrate it in my heart more than I have ever celebrated a birthday before.

I am truly grateful to the many who have offered their sympathy. A colleague told me that his wife, whom I have never met, decided to show her support by going back to school to get her degree—something she had been putting off for years. Yes! When the circumstances allow, I believe as much as ever in leaning in. And so many men—from those I know well to those I will likely never know—are honoring Dave’s life by spending more time with their families.

I can’t even express the gratitude I feel to my family and friends who have done so much and reassured me that they will continue to be there. In the brutal moments when I am overtaken by the void, when the months and years stretch out in front of me endless and empty, only their faces pull me out of the isolation and fear. My appreciation for them knows no bounds.

I was talking to one of these friends about a father-child activity that Dave is not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, “But I want Dave. I want option A.” He put his arm around me and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

Dave, to honor your memory and raise your children as they deserve to be raised, I promise to do all I can to kick the shit out of option B. And even though sheloshim has ended, I still mourn for option A. I will always mourn for option A. As Bono sang, “There is no end to grief . . . and there is no end to love.” I love you, Dave.”

Nominated for – The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award

This afternoon, I had a surprise waiting in my notifications.

I was nominated by thehutownerblog (https://thehutownerblog.wordpress.com/) for The Sunshine Award.

The Sunshine Award is essentially a virtual ‘pat on the back’ for a positive or creative blog that inspires others or brings ‘sunshine’ to their world. Typically it appears to originate from one post that really ‘shines’ on that person’s day.

thehutownerblog (https://thehutownerblog.wordpress.com/) is as diverse as it can get! It contains wonderfully & thoughtfully created posts ranging from poetry to art to travel to philosophy.He really made my day. I could not contain my excitement. Being my first ever award nomination, I could feel my nervousness clawing on me, but, in a good way.

Do visit his blog and engage yourself inside his hut.

THANK YOU thehutownerblog (https://thehutownerblog.wordpress.com/) for this nomination!!!


Rules For the Nomination:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you. (You will find it on his/her blog)
  • Nominate a few other bloggers. (10 – 12) * You are not allowed to nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Notify the bloggers on their blog.

My answer to the questions from thehutownerblog

  1. Will Sunshine Award be of help for the bloggers if they are nominated?  Explain.

It sure does help as it keeps you motivated. The sense of achievement is profound, especially, for new entrants like me. Boy, what a feeling it is to know that what you write, what you create, is appreciated and loved by many. For some it is an inspiration, probably a cue o a new start, for a few others a jingle of memories. To realize that you were the centre of it all, the feeling is priceless, simply priceless.

  1. Cite your reason or reasons why Sunshine Award should be given some RESPECT and ATTENTION by the nominees just like the other awards.

An award is a gesture of recognition. Only if we embrace it for what it is, give it the respect and attention it deserves, will we feel & find its true value. It is a great way to bring the blogging fraternity together.

  1. Should the others feel bad if they were not nominated by their blogger-friend? Explain.

Nope. I do not think there should be any room for feelings while judging a blog for a nomination. It needs to be fair & square. The feelings will only dilute the cause of the award. My appeal to the fellow bloggers is not to take this to heart. Keep up with your awesome work. You are heard. Believe in your content. You will get your due in time.

  1. If you were not nominated, what should you do to get some attention for future nomination?

Do what you do best. Believe in your content. Keep up the awesomeness. Also, on the technical front, remember to tag & categorize the posts so that it is easy to look you up. You will be heard & given your due when the universe decides you are ready.

  1. Are you happy with your posts? Why or Why not?

My posts are a window to my soul, my thoughts and my feelings. I took to blogging as an escape into the virtual world. Art has always had a very special place in my heart. It is the address I look up to find my calm. In this journey I revived my love for poetry. I am happy with my posts as these have helped me in my journey of self-discovery


My questions to my nominees:

  1. Do you believe that there is someone watching over you, someone you can just feel & not see?
  2. What is the purpose of life?
  3. What is the one thing that you would go to or do to relieve your heartaches?
  4. What makes you happy?
  5. What do dreams mean to you?
  6. What about Nature do you adore?
  7. What is the one element, off the 5, that you would associate yourself with and why?
  8. What is your take on birth & death?
  9. What have you learnt from Nature?
  10. What part of the tree would you associate yourself with?

NOMINEES: (in no particular order)

sheldonk2014sheldonkleemanartworks.wordpress.com

Annahttps://fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com/

365dniwobiektywielg365dniwobiektywielg.wordpress.com

Derrickjknighthttp://derrickjknight.wordpress.com

Bob Bushellbobbushell.wordpress.com

SalvaVeniasalvaveniaxxl.wordpress.com

mycreativeresolution2014http://mycreativeresolution.wordpress.com

Tracy Bezeskyhttp://www.dailyWIP.com

Hada Creativahttp://hadacreativa.wordpress.com

Aquileanahttp://aquileana.wordpress.com/

Lucyhttp://allrightchoices.com

Randsteinhttp://hyperionsturm.wordpress.com

colorpencil2014http://colorpencil2014.wordpress.com

The Water Maiden

The Water Maiden

The Water Maiden

Somewhere,

In the depth of the night,

When the stars were at sight,

When the moon shone bright,

And fought with darkness with all her might!

When the ocean was no more a fright,

When the waves caressed the shore,

ready to be his bride.

When nature sang her lullaby,

There arose a maiden,

slow & steady yet elegantly.

Her garb was like white fire,

flickering gently in tune with the breeze.

Her hair shone like a thousand suns.

She gild over the ocean graciously,

twisting and turning effortlessly,

to nature’s melody,

forming bright lit waves exquisitely.

All stood still in awe of her beauty

A true vision she was, in all clarity

She is unseen by many

Granting audience is a rarity

But she is a part of nature you see

Connect with nature

And she’ll make you privy

By The Shore

By The Shore

By The Shore

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
Quote – Lord Byron

The Nature Fairy

The Nature Fairy

The Nature Fairy

One lovely morning

The sun was gleaming in the sky

The trees lit up with joy

The shadows played ‘I Spy’

I saw the flowers sway

To the gentle breeze

The bees flew in threes

From flower to flower in such ease!

Oh what sight it was

to see nature work without a pause.

There was so much beauty

So much grace

My spirits just had to prance

And then I heard a mystic sound

Was it a flute, a chime, a bell?

It was hard to tell

Then came a flash,

that a thousand lights wouldn’t rehash!

There appeared a silhouette

that shimmered.

There she was,

so enthralling, so enchanting!

With a smile that could melt the sun.

Oh! That look, she got me hooked!

With every step she took,

she breathed life in every nook

and left not a single brook

lay lifeless, in despair.

Then she stopped

And stared into the distance.

There she stood

under the arching trees.

She was ready to depart.

I yearned for the magic to last,

the magic, on me, she cast.

Then for a fleeting moment,

she saw me,

As if to say, ‘I’m here, I’m everywhere’

Symphony Of Colours

Symphony Of Colours

Symphony Of Colours

Artist that I am,

I just had to wave my brush,

To let the vision rush

And let my hands prance,

to the tune of nature.

Enchanted, I frolicked with colours.

I filled my pallet with lively hues,

Yellow, pink, green, orange

and so many more,

ensuing her cues.

Prance did the colours,

with every stroke that touched the canvas

They merged, surged & purged,

moved in and out of shadows and lights,

to weave a rainbow of joy.

Here in lies the reflection of my mind

My thoughts, my dream, my vision,

the depths of my heart,

that hums the symphony of colours

Thank you!

Reflections from within

Reflections from within

I’ve reached a 100 followers and that was possible just because of YOU!

Your constant feedback & encouragement is valuable.

In my deepest, darkest, happiest, solemn, reflective moments, what really got me through was my art.

I have discovered is that intimate connection and communication within me and with God has helped me said through the ups & downs in life.

I pray that I am able to translate all that is in my head visually & that my art flowers by and by.

Thank you so much for all you do;
I’m truly inspired;
When my life overwhelms and does me in,
You make everything seem all right 🙂

His Eye

His Eye

His Eye

In our most bleakest moments, we often question the existence of God.

But He sees all, He knows all,

The past

The Present

The Future

We will get our due when He thinks we are ready.