Tag Archive | Health

Aunt Jean, you are loved!


Aunt Jean 9-2-38 to 6-10-13Yesterday my Aunt Jean passed away. I didn’t see it coming, frankly. She’s been sick many times and with prayers from so many, she always had the grace of God behind her healing and pulled through. But yesterday was her “Going Home” day and our prayers were answered differently.

It was a tough day yesterday. I heard of 5 deaths, ranging from an infant, to a young man in his 20’s, to a girl battling cancer, to an expert in his field, and finally, sadly, to my Aunt. My heart was so heavy with that news.

Aunt Jean was actually my aunt in my birth family. At the age of 19 she recognized me out at the mall. I was shocked but as I grew to know her, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. She always had her eye out for me and my siblings who were placed in an orphanage years ago. She had the memory of an elephant – she could remember details and tell stories like no other. Although she hadn’t seen me since I was 3, she said she knew my eyes and that was it. I must admit, I wasn’t always emotionally ready for the heaping and mixing of birth family and adopted (what I call my “real” family). And through the years I bobbed and weaved in and out of Aunt Jean’s hugs. It didn’t really matter. She was steadfast. She was patient. She was faithful. And when, in my 40’s I was finally ready to be whole, she was waiting for me without hesitation. She shared pictures, and stories … and love. I will never forget her generous heart and her happy laugh. She was an angel to me in many ways. We used to fantasize about what it would have been like if she had been my birth mother instead of my Aunt. Those were fun little fantasies and I knew, there was something special in her that allowed her reach out through the turmoil and the years to recognize me.

My heart is heavy from this loss. There were still words and stories unspoken. But I count myself blessed for having been given the chance to get to know her. I got to cry with her, laugh with her, break bread with her, and pray with her. What could be better. And now, I know she is singing and dancing with the love of her life, Uncle Norbert, as they praise at Heaven’s throne. I love you Aunt Jean. As a  fellow writer I wrote this simple little poem for you.

See you on the other side! Be BLESSED!

“The tears I shed are bittersweet,
And with hand to heart I pray.
That your joy in heaven be complete,
As we say good bye today.
The hole we feel as our lives go on,
Will only hurt a while.
I’ll keep my eyes on eternity’s gate,
Where I’ll once again see your smile.”
~ Barbara Bernard Miller

New Normal


Today I was talking to someone in my life who I hold very dear. A sweet spirit who has lived a life in service and in quiet faith. Recently she’s faced several health set backs. While she has come through them well, she’s been struggling with the concept of “how things used to be.” And when people tell her how good she looks but inside she feels bad, she forgets that people can only see her outside “best face”. Her pain and discomfort make her feel invisible and it is harder for her to see a future that will never look like the past.

That conversation reminded me of all the times in my life that I struggled because I had my eyes on the past and not on the present. I talked to her about the need to embrace a “new normal.” When we accept that what used to be normal is in a closed chapter we allow the new chapter to unfold and be okay. We look for and build a new day with new routines and new measures of success. We create a new normal. And while the transition isn’t easy, if we are aware of it, we stand the chance for a smoother, shorter struggle.

When I left her she seemed a little more comfortable with the idea. I know change is difficult for her but I felt that our conversation was a first step in the journey of turning around from the backward view and looking forward to what is new.

I know I am constantly creating new normals in my life. What about you?

Be blessed!

Healing Hands


Today falls into the category of one of my favorite days. Actually this particular “brand” of favorite is one that you can have as well.  What makes it special is the gift of massage.

I’ve had some of the most profound healing at the hands of a medical massage therapist. Part of that was physical with the release of tension and sore muscles. The other part was emotional/ mental/ spiritual. How’s that you ask? Well I combine the physical practice with my meditation or prayer practice. The combination creates a session that intermingles the relaxation and healing intentions of the therapist with my own inner intention of healing on many levels. The effect is quite profound really.

I used to say that when I am rich and famous I would get a massage every month. That seemed like such a lofty goal. But I realized a few years ago that it really isn’t so extravagant in pricing as to preclude me from having my rich and famous treat right now. Yep, I’ll trade in a new pair of shoes, or purse, or other “luxury” to pamper myself in this way. And the beauty of this realization is that it has opened up many opportunities that in the past I would have looked past.

One of them is my daughter’s friend, Amanda, who is now studying to be a massage therapist. Did you know that students have to do so many hours of massage (and at a very cut-rate price) in order to graduate? They’ve had many hours of practice in class so this isn’t a torturous experience. They are nearly ready to go out on their own and have experience before they ever touch a client. Add into that the “no tipping” policy for students, and this luxury is not really priced like one.  So I go whenever I can schedule an appointment. This is my hidden treasure and I’m glad that I found it.

I urge you to surrender to some healing hands, and be blessed!

SoulCollage® with Mar


Next weekend I get to join a dear friend of mine, Mar Feder, in an adventure of the soul. Lucky for me she is a fellow adventurer in both my physical and spiritual journeys. I met Mar through work. There was something about her energy that attracted me when we were in meetings. Over time she became my mentor and more importantly, my friend.

Mar is a certified facilitator in SoulCollage® work here in Cincinnati. While she’s not the creator of the process she is a warm and gifted facilitator. Being both a personal and professional coach, as well as a licensed counselor has given her a gift with people that not everyone has. I’ve attended a SoulCollage® session with her a couple of months back and have to admit, it has hooked me … heart, mind, and soul.

I now feel the call of the cards to create more. I will sometimes see an image and stop in my tracks, knowing that I have to clip it out for this project. I feel lighter and brighter during the process and a sense of accomplishment when a new card is complete. There’s something exciting about listening with the heart instead of with the ears. Crazy talk? Not really. Our physical senses are so limited compared to the potential our entire being is capable of in the realm of communication. True listening encompasses not just words but vibrations and feelings and energy. Taking time out to let my unconscious guide me to images that prove to be meaningful over and over again has not only been fun but enlightening. Tomorrow I’m excited to go to the next level and learn more about how to use them, not just create them.

So, if you are feeling adventurous, or just wanting to get in touch with yourself in a new and creative way, I invite you to check it out. And if you are in Cincinnati, perhaps I’ll see you next month.