Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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My Sisters on the Other Side

Yesterday was the birthday of my older sister, Linda. She’s been gone from this world now for almost ten years. Just a year less than Mom. I don’t remember her being in my life when I was very young, but there are pictures that tell a different story.

Infant joanne w Linda and mom

Linda is holding me as Mom plays with her hair.

Little JoAnne and Linda

I remember those wooden shoes hurt my feet. Maybe Linda is trying to comfort me with her hand on my knee.

She was ten years older than me, technically a step sister, but the father who adopted her when he married my mother was much more of a father than the first one.

Linda got married at 16. We saw her now and then, usually during a crisis, like when her son died, then the  few months we stayed with her and her husband and daughter when Dad was in Vietnam, and later when my younger sister died.

After my divorce, Linda and I talked on the phone more. Her love and acceptance reached all the way from California to the Atlantic coast. She was a welcome comfort during that dark time of my life. I kept saying my daughter and I were going to come visit her, but I didn’t realize how sick Linda was, and that sometimes we don’t have as much time as we think we have. Still, I’m grateful beyond words for her love and I know she is in a good place, probably singing hymns with Dad like they did when my parent’s visited her church.

A few days ago, I had all the loose the old family photos laid out on the table so I could add them to the family history album. That’s when I realized how much Linda cared for me when I was young.  I also studied the photos of my younger sister, Mary Kaye.  It’s one thing to die when you’re old – whatever old is… I’m not so sure anymore – But Mary Kaye was young. It was on her 16th birthday, in March of 1975, that Mary Kaye was killed by a drunk driver.

Mary Kaye was not interested in school. She smoked cigarettes and ran away from home once. But she also volunteered with handicapped children and helped with fundraisers for their group home.

Mary Kaye in candy spiper uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye in her candy striper (volunteer) uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye at bake sale and with Lobo

Left: MK is putting the hamster on Lobo’s head. Right: she’s wearing the smiley face T shirt and volunteering at the bake sale for the  Carobell children’s home.

We were very different in many ways. She was more of a free spirit. I was more serious about school and had bigger plans for saving the world.  We were just starting to get beyond our sibling rivalry when she died. I often wonder what she would be like today. I wish my kids had been able to know her. These were my thoughts when I started sobbing at the table full of old photos. My husband was there to comfort me and suggested I take a break from the photos since I’d been at it for a while. I picked up my journal and went to the couch to write my feelings. A few minutes later, I felt Mary Kaye’s presence. I have not felt her presence much like I have my parents who died more recently, but it was very much the same feeling of intense JOY. No clear words, like my father gives me, but clear and unmistakable JOY.

dandelion sun through trees (3)

This evening, I stopped writing this to go for a walk with David and Doodle. Breathing in the cool air, I reached out to Linda and felt the gentle joy of her spirit. Then lightening flashed in the distant clouds. Maybe that was Mary Kaye.

If you have sisters or brothers, parents or children, beloved family by blood or by choice, still living in this world, treasure the moments you have with them. And also know this, our loved ones who have passed on are alive in spirit and in love on the other side.


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Short Years Call for Rain Dancing

SOCS

 

“The Days are long, but the years are short.”

That’s what came to me when I saw today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt from Linda Hill: the word, “short.”

That little nugget of paradoxical wisdom was offered by a friend when my first child was born. As time went on, I came to realize it’s truth.

Having and caring for children, or any labor intensive work, makes time fly, so that the years go by in a blur. Good thing we have photos!

Ah, but to slow things down a bit. I’ll never forget that summer I stayed home on maternity leave with my second child. I got to take the whole summer off. My favorite memory happens to be in my book. I was sitting in the living room nursing my baby girl. The big kids, including my son, played outside as it started to rain. There’s nothing like a summer rain when the weather is so warm you don’t mind being out in the wetness. The big kids sang silly songs and danced in the rain as I listened through the front screen door. It was like a slice of heaven.

Life is short. Dance in the rain every chance you get.

Watch this. You won’t be sorry. You’ll smile, I bet. 🙂

 

Here are the rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


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Better Than Drugs

Stars from pixabay

The moon has yet to rise.

In the darkness,

Ocean’s horizon blends with sky.

 Her white crests rolling  into the sand,

Just a murmur tonight

Rising now and then

To remind us of her power.

When I gaze at the stars,

I get the feeling there is more.

Much more.

 I am overwhelmed by the distance.

My senses try to adjust

To something foreign

Yet, intimate.

The vastness of ocean

pales compared to the sky dome.

The Universe whispers,

“This is not a sky dome.”

I reach up to touch the Milky Way.

My finger floats above my head

Feeling lost at first.

But there is energy in the air

Where the ocean meets the sky.

I can’t touch it like I touch your face.

But I can feel it’s energy. His energy. Her energy.

Not just in my finger,

In my whole body

and more

Expanding all around me.

Reaching back to me.

Shouting to me from eternity,

“Yes! I’m here!”

“We are here!”

As I reach up to touch the sky.

Better than drugs.

© JoAnne Silvia, 2016. Only use with credit to the author.

(The image is from pixabay. It’s more vivid than what I saw last week from the beach. But I did see wisps of Milky Way smiling at me.)


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Heaven on Earth

“Surrounded by Your Glory, What will my heart Feel? Will I dance for You Jesus, or in awe of You be still?” (Mercy Me)

I’ve always loved singing Mercy Me’s song, “I Can Only Imagine.”  The song’s gentle melodies flow into powerful praise. Singing this a couple days ago, with spring finally here, I suddenly became aware of a new perspective: I  am  surrounded by God’s glory here on earth. I have been awed by golden sunsets and stilled by the vastness of the ocean. I’ve and danced with joy in the light of the full moon and fallen to my knees in the forest, breathig the breath of the earth.

It sounds a bit pagan doesn’t it? Yet, I am a Christian who loves Creation- like Saint Francis who praised brother sun and sister moon and preached to the birds and tamed a wolf with love- a bridge if you will, for those of us who love the earth and love Jesus, for those who see and feel God in nature.

If we are to honor God, we are called to care for, respect and nurture all of God’s Creation.

Pearly gates and streets of gold have never excited me. When I imagine meeting Jesus, I imagine a natural setting. Jesus lived outdoors much of the time. He spent a lot of time in simple dwellings close to the earth.  Jesus went alone into the wilderness to be close to God, to restore his spirit.  Heaven, for me, will hopefully be full of wonderful wilderness.  We can imagine heaven, and we can open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to heaven on earth

Creek w david and dogs

What do you imagine heaven to be like?

When or where have you experienced heaven on earth?

 


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I’ll See You on the Other Side

Image

Jesse at Christmas, 2012

What gives us the right to end the life of a beloved companion animal? Yesterday, I asked the vet, “What gives me the right to end his life?” He said it’s not so much a right as a responsibility. The quality of life was deteriorating quickly. We had given him 5 extra months with additional medications, injections and acupuncture since his back legs stopped working in July. He had improved for a while. When I asked the vet if it was a reasonable decision, he said, “Yes. At this point,” he said, “yes, it is.” I had hoped my golden boy Jesse would make it to 14, an arbitrary birthday a few weeks away that he knew nothing about.

I have to stop thinking about how he seemed to get excited about a ride in the car, which he did not know would be his last. I have to remember that for the past few days, he had not wanted to get up, even to eat or go to the bathroom. I have to stop thinking about how after the vet gave him the second injection, the one that shut down his brain, his body tried to take a breath. “Only a reflex action,” they said. “He’s not feeling anything. He has no heartbeat.” I was not prepared for that. I have to remember that he was too tired to go for walks anymore with the other dogs. I have to remember that he lost at least 10 lbs in the past year, even though we were feeding him more and bought him expensive dog  food. I have to remember that yesterday when I made the call to the vet, he was shuddering in pain and his whole body was tense. I could feel his misery.

But it still doesn’t feel right.

And I have to let him go.

Go ahead over the Rainbow Bridge my sweet friend. Your job of protecting me and our home has been a job well done. Go ahead over. Play and swim to your heart’s content. I will see you on the other side.

I pray to God to take care of Jesse until I see him again. Heaven would be incomplete without my dogs there. I want to see Jesse and Dobbs and Sarah and Sandy and Lobo and Hoppy (and all the dogs yet to come) in heaven. I want to run through the woods with them. I want to see Jesse swim again in a mountain lake or run along the beach. That will be my heaven. Please God, let that be my heaven.

Image

Jesse swimming in a mountain lake, 2009.