Today I treated myself to a Raindrop Oil Massage combined with some Reiki work and chakra balancing. It was my first time doing this, and not only was it relaxing and cleansing, but it was a heck of a good deal as well. The lady who did it advertised a special on our community Facebook page and I thought what the heck. With all the stuff that has been going on these past few months, I felt it would  be a nice treat and compliment to the energy work I was already doing. 
It was. 

An hour and a half of complete relaxation while someone massaged different essential oils into my back. I love essential oils and respond well to them. Even my kids come to my study in search of an oil instead of our nonexistent medicine cabinet for an aspirin. 

She also used crystals. 


I was to pick two and hold onto them during the massage. She had a little basket of them and I picked the first two that called to me. 


It was a happiness moment. A little relaxation vacation that took 90 minutes. We all need that little break now and then the fact that it helped strengthen my body and soul was an added bonus. 

It helped remind me that the path that I’m on is the right one for me and I need to have the faith and the strength to keep walking it. 

An extra happiness moment was driving into town with the kids. We had some extremely silly giggle moments. I love the summer versions of my kids. They’re so much more fun and relaxed. 

This morning an article by John Douillard about the movie Inside Out and Ayurveda showed up in my inbox. This movie has been of such benefit to the kids and I this summer as we sort out our feelings about my Dad dying. I loved the relations to Ayurveda and appreciated that someone else spent time espressing the deep meanings in the movie. I love this movie in case you can’t tell. 


The change room. 

I have a love/hate relationship with Dad’s change room. When I walk in there it’s like time has been suspended. All of his things are still there – waiting for him to come use them. Well, except for the fact that some of his ashes are also there. That kind of ruins my fantasy that everything is normal. 

I like to go into his room and talk to him. It makes me feel safe and feel close to him. After I’m done chatting away I always stand and sigh and look around the room. It always seems so strange to me that all his things are still here exactly as they were, but he’s not.  

He wasn’t a man who was all about possessions, but you can’t reach a certain age without collecting a certain amount of stuff. It makes me happy to see his stuff, it breaks my heart to see his stuff. It’s just sitting there waiting for him. 

This morning my mom sent me a poem that described very well how I feel: 

The Sadness of Clothes

 Emily Fragos

When someone dies, the clothes are so sad. They have outlived their usefulness and cannot get warm and full.

You talk to the clothes and explain that he is not coming back as when he showed up immaculately dressed in slacks and plaid jacket and had that beautiful smile on and you’d talk.

You’d go to get something and come back and he’d be gone.

 You explain death to the clothes like that dream.

You tell them how much you miss the spouse and how much you miss the pet with its little winter sweater.

You tell the worn raincoat that if you talk about it, you will finally let grief out. 

The ancients etched the words for battle and victory onto their shields and then they went out and fought to the last breath. 

Words have that kind of power you remind the clothes that remain in the drawer, arms stubbornly folded across the chest, or slung across the backs of chairs,or hanging inside the dark closet.

 Do with us what you will,they faintly sigh, as you close the door on them.

He is gone and no one can tell us where.

 I know they’re just things, but they’re his things and besides memories that’s all we have now. It’s why I love the room and hate that room. So many emotions in there. 
Happiness moment was racing around the yard this afternoon with Jacob watching a tornado drop in and out of the sky. This only ended up being a happiness moment of course because it passed us by. But as soon as we knew we were safe, we had fun watching the storm clouds. This was followed by a trip to town with my cousin for ice cream. Mmmmmm



My Happiness Project

Yesterday I had the rare occasion of driving alone. I used to love driving alone – music up, hair blowing, no yapping voices… now I cry when I drive alone. I started my cry/driving after we moved back home and Dad was so sick. I would take the kids into school and then cry/drive all the way home. Then cry/drive back to school to get them. I thought I was over it, but it seems as though the reality is simply that I haven’t had a moment in the car by myself.

I cry/drove most of the way home last evening. Thinking about Dad, about how completely unfair it seems that we finally move back and now he’s gone. About how guilty I feel that we lost all those years. So, I drove and I cried.

Then I came over Edge’s hill. As soon as I come over their hill I see home. The ranch, the barn, the homes – the places where my little footprints have been pitter pattering since the beginning of my time. I felt a rush of happiness – of joy. I realized then that even with all my sorrow and grief I am happy.

That may not sound like the huge freaking deal that it is – but I’ve spent years being unhappy, being scared and being anxious. And now I’m HAPPY. I’m sad about Dad, I’m nervous for the future – but I’M HAPPY and that is a huge gift.

Jenna and I went to Banff today for Fondue at the Grizzly House. Cheese Fondue followed by Fruit with Toblerone Chocolate Fondue. If you want to know what happiness tastes like, it tastes a lot like this: 

In our family tradition (started by my Dad) of not drinking from the bowlJenna finished off the last of the chocolate fondue in style:

Happiness also looks like this:  This however, is what Anger looks like. We have had two gifts this summer. One was the movie Inside Out, and the other one is that there are hardly any mosquitos (again, sounds like not a big deal but huge deal).

Inside out has given us the platform to feel out our emotions.

Jenna and I were heading out of Banff, Abba blasting out of the car stereo (this seems to be our road trip music), when I heard Let go of my anger!!! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!

Not sure what she was talking about, I looked beside me to see her trying to rip Anger out of his packaging. Apparently Anger makes her Angry. Even better, Anger only was purchased because Joy was sold out and that made her Angry.

We talked about different emotion balls and how one emotion can affect another.

A day with my girl. My happiness moment. Remembering that I am happy and that it’s ok to let go of my fears and anxiety will have a huge impact on how I live the rest of my life.


The basket of love

Dad used to talk about how he felt like he was being carried in a basket of people’s love and prayers. In a different way, and with different love and prayers, I have felt the same way about the kids and I over the past few months.

We landed here with our bags, knowing we were here to stay, but knowing that everything else was not only out of our control, but scary as hell. Before  my uncle met us at the airport we were held in our own basket of love. My uncle, aunt, and cousins had worked like mad getting the old house ready for us. This wonderful, perfect for us, old house.

Dad was sick and in the hospital, but he got well enough to get released and to give us two more very precious months with him. Months that changed me forever and although they were painful, I am a better person for walking through this.

God picked up my kids and carried them to the perfect school for us. Not only is it a Christian school – faith being something we all have desperately needed to carry with us lately, but it is small, and we have members of our tribe there. I was able to leave my kids with them with the knowledge that they were safe and loved. And actually, the way they were loved and held onto there when their world here was so sad and uncertain was absolutely amazing. It’s left me with gratitude I can’t properly express. They were safe and they were loved. Not only that but they had fun and learned stuff too!

That basket of love has served us well.

My happiness moment today was sitting out in my yard visiting with my mom. It’s a beautiful day here, the birds are singing loudly, my flowers are beautiful, the vegetables are coming up. The kids were running between houses with their cousins laughing and playing. It’s a perfect summer day. I’m so thankful I get to have visits with my mom. We have been away too long from our tribe. I’m thankful every day we are back in it.


Unanswered Questions

I suppose from now until the end of my time on Earth I will have unanswered questions. But they seem to be popping up more and more in the last three weeks. I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since Dad died. It feels like forever, and yet I still can’t believe most of the time that it’s actually happened. Often I’m walking along like life is normal and then I get this weird feeling that something is dreadfully wrong, and then it hits me in the gut (or heart) that something is in fact dreadfully wrong.

Lately on top of those terrible gut (heart) feelings are the number of unanswered questions that are starting to pile up. Things I wish I’d asked Dad, things I wish I’d listened more closely to when he talked to me. I so wish there was a phone line to the other side so I could ask him the things I need to know. Little things like what kind of flower is that again? and big things like what is heaven like, are you happy there? Accepting that these are conversations I will never have with him is a difficult thing to do.

Already so many things have happened and I have thought I can’t wait to tell Dad about this and then I realize…. I can’t. Countless times Dad and I have headed out for a walk along the ridge and shared our spiritual journeys with each other. It seems impossible to me that I can’t have any more of those walks. Although…. I can still feel it when I go out for my own walks. It’s not the same, but I can still feel it.

I wish I had paid more attention to what he had to say. I tried to, but it seems that so many things have been forgotten. Even near the end, somehow I thought I would have more time. And now, I’m left with these unanswered questions.

Happiness moment: after spending a couple of hours driving around town doing errands the kids and I ended up being hangry so we went out for supper. It  was beautiful out so  we sat on outside and played rock, paper, scissors and played eye spy. Life happens in these little moments and I find most of my true happiness comes during these times. I am so thankful I have these truly fun little people to hang out with and I am even more thankful that they like hanging out with me. 


Difficult life lessons

This morning after Jenna and I had dropped Jacob off at school (and she’d scooted as fast as she could into the front seat) we were driving down the road when two cardinals flew down in front of us. I was watching them play together, they looked like they were playing tag and just really having a wonderful morning flight. Suddenly they both swooped down a bit lower and while one flew right back up, the other was hit by a car going the other way. One moment there was a beautiful red bird flying and the next there was just a puff of red feathers falling to the ground.

It broke my heart to see something go from such joy to non-existence in a flash, but what made it worse (for me) was the little gasp I heard from beside me – followed by “Oh mommy. I wish I hadn’t been looking out the window just now.” And then she burst into tears.

Horrible. I had to think quickly of what to say to try and make things better. I knew it was going to be one of those “learning moments” and I wanted to choose my words wisely. I started by simply saying that I too had wished I hadn’t been looking out the window then, that I wished we hadn’t seen that. But I started thinking there is so much more to this lesson this poor bird gave us.

We said a little prayer for the life of the bird and then I started talking about how the bird is in heaven and how heaven is a beautiful and wonderful place. How we already knew other animals in heaven that would welcome that bird. That Kayla, Oscar, Jaime, Rolex and Pirate were there. I said Snowflake, my other ponies from my childhood, my old dog and cat Penny and Torts were there and that they’d all welcome a new bird. That God already had a place in heaven for all of us and that he was happy to have the bird back with him.

Jenna sobbed “but I bet God wasn’t planning on having that bird back with him today.”

I said that no, He probably hadn’t planned on having that bird back today, but no matter when it was anyone’s time to come back He always has a place waiting for us. But also to remember that life is short and every moment is important and you should always make choices that bring you closer to love.

Poor little girl went off to school all red eyed to write one of her big exams. It was not how I would have chosen to start the day for her, but I’m so glad that she has that caring and kind heart that loves all of God’s creatures.