Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

Here are the rules:

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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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How Gratitude Healed My Loneliness

heart close

(From my November newsletter)

They say laughter is the best medicine. But the medicine of gratitude reaches deeper into our hearts. Giving thanks for what we have creates positive energy all around us. Gratitude brings more blessings, maybe not right away, but soon.

In my lonely years, I wanted a partner who would be a good fit: respectful, dog-loving, spiritual… My longing softened toward acceptance and even joy when I started to give thanks for what I already had – friends, family, job, home, and that God had a plan for my life. Even though it took a while for my partner to find me, being thankful made me feel better, especially when I made a written list or gave thanks out loud. It helped me realize that my life was good, even without a partner. One of the messages in Trust the Timing, is that we need to be mostly okay as individuals before we can have a healthy relationship. When my partner found me, he shared his own habit of giving thanks at the end of every day. I wonder if gratitude helped lead us back to each other when the time was right.

Every challenge holds an opportunity for thankfulness. I can get overwhelmed by the tasks related to my father’s death in January. Sorting through the things that once belonged to my parents is still hard. But I am thankful for the timing. Dad died right after I retired from my stressful job, so I have time to deal with the physical tasks and the emotional grief. When I miss my parents, I can be thankful that they are together now and don’t miss each other anymore.

Not only can gratitude help us feel better emotionally, it’s good for us physically. Many studies have discovered a connection between gratitude and wellness. This article shows that being thankful is good for our hearts.

I am thankful for you, my readers, for your support and encouragement.
May you have an abundance of blessings to be thankful for now and in the days ahead.

 

 Trust the Timing,
A Memoir of Finding Love Again

makes a great gift for
lonely hearts,
soulmate searchers,
dog lovers,
children of the 70s,
and anyone who likes a happy ending.

To order a copy or write a review,
Please click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Mating Call

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme is to post a duet. I’ve posted this one before, but it’s been at least a year.

When I was lonely, I used to sing this song in my backyard under the stars like bird calls to it’s mate. I believed my mate was out there somewhere, but I had no idea we’d already met.

 

 

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

Lyrics by James Horner, Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to you by Helen, at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/07/15/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-71617/


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It’s Going To Be Okay!

Angels on wood

Angels were trying to tell me.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  – John Lennon

I’d like to go back in time, to 1972, just for a moment, when my first love had to move back to Connecticut. I want to tell my 16 year old self: It will be okay.

Next stop – 2001 after my husband left, to tell myself: I know this is a mountain you didn’t expect, but you’ll climb it. In time, it will be okay.  Better than okay. Just wait! God has a plan.

For the first few years of this century, I longed for a partner who would be a good fit. Then, I wondered if there was such a thing, me being in my 50’s and all, so I started thinking I’d rather have my own kayak and settle for loyal companionship of dogs.

But in July of 2014, I found myself on an adventure with my first love, who, as you may know by now, became my second husband, the partner who is a good fit, who brought three more dogs into my home. Our home.  (Lots of companionship here!)  Anyway, Saturday we took our “new” tandem kayak out for a paddle around the small islands 20 miles south of our home.

After getting a good deal on the second hand tandem, someone said, “Oh, you got a divorce kayak.” Yikes! I guess tandems have a reputation for causing arguments.

So we watched this video:

David and I  did great, considering it was his first time in a kayak, and it had been a couple years since I’d paddled. I had to trust him to steer from the back. It was my job up front to set the pace, and to communicate (as he patiently reminded me) if I was going to suddenly start paddling on one side to help him steer. I eventually left the most of the steering to him and gratefully let him paddle by himself a bit when I needed a break because my arms felt like rubber.

The temperature was about 90 degrees, so the droplets and splashes of water refreshed us.  The sky was the bluest blue with giant cottony clouds. White ibis hunted in the marsh grass, and we got to see brown pelicans – up close and personal – pause in mid flight, watch the water,  then dive for a fish.  (Next time I’ll bring a waterproof camera.)

As we were driving home, tired but feeling ALIVE, with our kayak in the back of David’s truck – our truck, I realized how blessed I am.

Kyak in truck

That’s when I wanted to go to my 46 year old self, and  just hold that confused and lonely woman with love.  I want to  somehow convey the message:

It’s going to be okay. Things are going to work out. You’ll see.

Jo looking at sunset

I wonder if my future self will want to come back in time to the present me when I’m worried about my grown kids dealing with their own challenges, or my own challenges, which are  relatively minor these days, so she can say to me:

Don’t worry so much.  Everything will be okay in the end. God has a plan.

What do you want to go back and tell yourself? Send a hug back through time.