Tag Archive | friends

These Dreams

WOW!!!! Another vivid dream.

This one was in the category of “fantastic, yet coulda happened,” you know the kind.

This dream seemed so real that when I woke up I was going to ask my husband, Jeff, if he had gotten a program at the wedding we had attended. I was so hoping that he had brought one home with us. I remembered that I unfortunately left mine in the beautiful red folder that we were handed. I’ve never seen such an elegant folder at a wedding. It was a hardback cover holding the wedding program and a detailed map of how to get to the reception, etc.

The important thing was the wedding party, the list of attendants and honored guests. Of course, first on the list were the two terrific people we came to see get married. Next up, well to me anyway, were the names of the performers at the wedding reception. None other than Ann and Nancy Wilson and, their friend, Sue Ennis. Keep in mind, I did say this was a “fantastic, yet coulda happened” dream.

Earlier in the day, we had stopped at a gas station. Jeff got out to fill up the car. I sat quietly. I heard some singing, yet this was not ordinary singing. I heard voices I knew…. ones I knew from recordings and concerts…. yet, these voices were live. In person. Not too far away. Could my ears be wrong? Could my mind be wandering so much as to be playing a trick on me. No…. these voices were from the car ahead of me. Acapella. Clear. Strong. Musical. Harmonious. Wonderful. Yes, I knew these voices. Ann, Nancy and Sue. And they were in the car just ahead of us. Suddenly, Ann got out of the passenger seat and went inside. I was so stunned all I could do was to scream, “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” My cover was blown. Then, I saw Nancy and Sue turn around and heard Nancy say, “OH, sounds like we have another fan!”

I could not believe my own eyes. A sighting. A real, up close sighting. I so wanted to hop out and meet them, yet, I don’t know why I did not. I seemed to have been frozen to the car seat. May be that I had figured that screaming had accosted them enough. Besides, at this point I’d be lucky to say anything intelligent. I would have told them that they were my idols and I was one of their biggest fans…. someone who had followed their musical career since 1974. Someone who had listened to and lived their music for all this time. Someone who even fashioned a coat for herself that was similar to one that Ann wore onstage. Someone who had found Mushroom Records while on a vacation to Vancouver, B.C., just because Heart had been there.

Then, to my amazement, these women with the magical voices and beautiful music were going to perform at the wedding reception.

Upon awakening, I don’t really remember much of the wedding, except that it was beautiful with love all around. Nor do I remember the wedding reception and seeing and hearing the much-anticipated performance of Ann, Nancy and Sue. You’d think my dream would have allowed that. After all, I did SEE and HEAR them at the gas station!!!!

Dreams like this appear to me every so often. This one reminds me of how much I’ve enjoyed their music over the years and how much Mom knew I enjoyed their music. She knew of all the performers I enjoyed. She was such a good mom that she’d tape concerts and appearances from the television and give them to me to watch as often as I wanted. She’d listened to their music with me. These dreams keep Mom close to me. Her influence in my life is so vivid much like the dreams she appears in and the ones she conjures up for me.

These dreams…………

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Rock Tober

I know the radio stations usually use this phrase as ROCKTOBER… but this Rock Tober has been different. Way different.

October rocked our family’s world. And this was after a tormenting second half of September.

In September we were cruising along, nicely. The first few days, Jeff and I were putting the finishing touches on planning our Canadian vacation to Nelson, BC in honor of our first wedding anniversary. We had a good Labor Day weekend, the next weekend a great celebration with some family and friends to note our anniversary. Then, we had an amazing trip!!! We made it back home in time to attend our niece’s wedding and celebrate.

Things started to unravel.

On our anniversary, a friend’s husband passed away. We were on our anniversary vacation and friends told us the next day.

The Monday following our return from Canada, my brother went to see his DR for a lump in his neck and sore throat combined with an overall tired/crappy feeling he’d been dealing with. Primary DR sent him to an ENT specialist for further review. Testing ensued. This DR did not like what he saw. Not one bit.

The DR told him he thought it was thyroid cancer. My brother not only had to deal with this himself, process the news, but… he had to tell his family. And…his daughter was still in Hawaii on her honeymoon. Thankfully, her husband is a great guy and would be there with her when she got the call from her Dad. The man who walked her down the aisle just a few days earlier. The man who walked her sister down the aisle just four months earlier… and their older sister, six years earlier.

The next weekend, we attended Sarah’s husband’s funeral. This was the very day, five years prior, that Jeff lost his first wife, Tina, to the ravages of diabetes. He was of great support to me and my friends. He knew of Sarah’s pain and anguish.

My brother had surgery so the DR could biopsy the tissue, survey the area and get more testing done and formulate a plan. Test results came, another meeting with the DR. A meeting with another DR. Decisions made. Thyroidectomy scheduled.

Meanwhile, on the other side of our family, Jeff’s Mom, my mother-in-law, had suffered a stroke. She and her husband were traveling near Eugene, Oregon when it happened. Thankfully, they had stopped at a friends’ home. He, being an EMT, knew something was wrong and urged her to let them take her to the hospital. She refused. He was persistent. “You can either go with us now, or wait for an ambulance.” She took them up on the ride to the ER. She was admitted with a stroke. At first she could still speak, garbled, yet she could still speak. The next day no words. She could understand the other side of the conversation, but could no longer formulate her words to hold up her end. Jeff and I both left work to go check on her. We were met by family. Luckily, she had been headed to where a majority of family members live when the initial stroke happened. We stayed with family. We were all blessed to learn that she had been accepted as a patient in one of the best rehabilitation hospitals in the state, when she was to be released from the hospital. The morning came and we went to help transport her from one facility to another. We got her admitted and got a tour of the facility and met with DRs, Nurses, Therapists and a Social Worker. A quite compassionate, caring, professional place. With her in good care, we left for home.

Back home, my brother was to be the guest of honor at a fundraiser. Firefighters and EMTs from the surrounding areas had gotten together to support him and his family. The rural community where he lives, works, volunteers and supports those in need all came together to support him. We wanted to be there too. Not only to support my brother and his family… but to personally THANK those involved.

The next Friday was the surgery. Our younger brother and his family had come to offer support. In-laws and cousins had also come. My brother had a great DR and lots of support. He was going to get through this, but it would be a long time healing.

My dad was not unscathed by my brother’s cancer scare. Dad suffered a lot of anxiety. His health suffered because of it. He could not sleep. He was more irritable. He was more sad. This was HIS kid and his kid HAD to be okay. Dad had told us that this had scared him. Of course it did. He was scared of losing his son. He was scared of the unknown. Dad has had severe health issues himself, including prostate cancer. He had helped Mom battle leukemia…. was right along side her all the way. He had seen his father and mother both battle cancer. He knew the odds. Yet, he knows of determination and good health care professionals.

Just a few days ago, my Dad called me at work…. he was not feeling well at all and had called the ambulance. We spent six hours in the ER waiting for tests to be run, to be analyzed and results determined. I finally got to take Dad home.

Here at the end of October, my brother is healing… yes, it has been a painful time for him, but he’s still around. My mother-in-law is making some progress and is out of the rehabilitation hospital and is now living with my sister-in-law. My dad is able to relax, so he can feel better… and I can too.

Prayers and hopes for all my family members. Me, I simply hope I did my Mom justice…. with her help I was able to help my family get through this Rock Tober.

Whatever October 2013 brings us, we’ll deal with it.

Self-less gesture. Loving husband.

Unlike my family and my good friends, you may not KNOW how I dearly love, my husband, Jeff…..
well… here’s just one of the many reasons why.

And…. a reason my Mom would LOVE Jeff too.

He went with me to attend Brice’s funeral and to the reception after.
He had the chance to stay home and watch football. Read. Play golf. Do whatever he wanted.
He chose to be with me. To support me, to support us (my friends and coworkers)…
above all, to support Sarah.

You see, he knows of the battle that Sarah has endured, the emotions that have rocked her world.
Five years ago, to the day, September 22, Jeff lost his first wife, Tina, to the ravages of diabetes and accompanying complications.

He could have stayed away from those additional memorial influences.
He, instead, chose to be there for me, for us and especially for Sarah…….
He told me that since he ‘had been there’ it was far more important for him to be with us,
to offer support.

Here is the blog post he wrote this morning.
http://neoregonblues.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/death-and-forever-sunshine/

Helen Blessings…

WOW……………. I totally got a “Helen” Blessing the other day.

I’d had another crappy day and another headache. Yes, I was at work… at a job where we’re short-handed and unfortunately at one of the two busiest times of the year… fiscal year end. I left for lunch to get away from the office and run an errand at Home Depot…along the way I saw a Swallowtail Butterfly…. aka Mom…. At Home Depot, I got the paint I wanted (NEEDED) and saw my friend’s husband Carl… Carl told me that Sue was in the Garden Center… so I went to surprise her and soak up some laughter and healing vibes…

AHHHHHHHHH, turned around my day…………….
all I have to say is..
“Thanks Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Just had to share … I was so in need and I received.

You see, my Mom, Helen, loved butterflies, dearly loved them. So much so that they are a fond reminder of her gentle spirit. I think that she may have had them as a guardian… now, I do. My husband Jeff also sees them as a guardian spirit and counts them as “Helen blessings” too.

The first actual “Helen blessing” I remember experiencing was when I had taken one of my nieces over to the Oregon Coast. This was in summer, after Mom passed away in January 2003. We had stopped at a lighthouse to take a tour. While taking photos, out front, a butterfly – a swallowtail butterfly – followed us around. She even landed on the seed head of some tall grass, pausing just long enough for me to take a good photo. Then she floated away, yet never far from us. I had a calm feeling as if Mom was right there enjoying our day with us. I still get these feelings ….  a great calm …. such a peaceful feeling that all will be okay, things will get better. Mom is nearby not about to let anything bad happen. And thankfully, more often she’s just floating by to say “Hi” and enjoy some time with me.

Regardless of why, I am always happy to receive a “Helen blessing.”

This particular day, what felt like a lousy day, ended to be a good day… thanks to the “Helen blessing” and the opportunity for me to see my long-time friend Sue.

Mom always knew exactly what I needed and she still does. I know I was directed to Home Depot on that day and so was Sue…. seeing the “Helen blessing” on the way is proof enough.

LOVE in the generations

Mom truly enjoyed celebrations. Not only did she like holidays and birthdays,  she was always up for a bridal shower or a baby shower.

Many a family member and extended family member share memories of Mom at those celebrations. One of the reasons why is that Mom liked the shower games. Not only did she like them, but, she was good at them. Really good. So good that she had a great chance of winning. A few bridal showers and baby showers that I have gone to in Mom’s absence I have heard that since I am Helen’s daughter there’s a good chance that I will win. Well, I have won a game or two, but Mom’s record is still in tact. 🙂

What Mom loved the most about these gatherings was the very essence of them. Love. She loved Love. All the warmth. All the kindness. All the well wishes for others.

In late March, I went to a bridal shower for my niece and her cousin. Both young women had their weddings set for May, two weeks apart. Since they are from the same large family it was decided to have a dual bridal shower since both would invite about the same people.

Their Mothers were there, cousins themselves. Sisters, Cousins, Aunts, Great-Aunts and Grandmothers too. A real family affair. Some family members were asked to bring a crock pot of soup so we could all dine together and visit before the games were played and gifts were opened. What a great way to share. We had a great time visiting, catching up, sharing soup recipes. I felt Mom’s presence there. She was right there with us, with all the LOVE in the generations.

Love in the Generations

Just a few of those attending (not even half). Loving cousins, grandmothers, aunts and great-aunts all gathering to share love and support at a bridal show for two young ladies in the family.

Following a path….

Imagine….. walking in another’s footsteps.

Not just a few days ago or a few months ago.

But years ago. And then, centuries ago.

In mid-March, while on vacation with my husband, I felt the clock turn back to when Mom took my brothers and me on a summer vacation on the Northern Oregon Coast.

Mom took us to Fort Clatsop to see the place where Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery stayed on their historic expedition far into the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. She talked to us about the history, about the people, about the conditions.

After going through the fort buildings at Fort Clatsop, we walked along a path that lead to a narrow space that the Corps of Discovery used as a landing and launch area for their canoes. To think that just maybe we walked along the same path they traveled between their canoes and the fort they built for their stay.

All the while Jeff and I were at Fort Clatsop, I was remembering when Mom took my brothers and me there. Jeff and I were following a path that my brothers and I had taken with Mom and all of us were following a path made by Lewis & Clark and the Corp of Discovery.

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Nearly a “Spring” break.

Well…. I have taken a break… a “Spring” break, from writing my blog.

I say “Spring” because Mother Nature is taking her time getting Old Man Winter into his hibernation. Sure, we’ve been teased with some ‘spring-like’ days, but the rainy, snowy, cold, wet days are not over. They seem to alternate, these ‘spring’ and ‘winter’ days.

I took a break when my husband and I took off for a trip to the Oregon Coast. We began our second honeymoon on our six-month wedding anniversary. Yes, we already had our second honeymoon, even though we’ve only been married six months. Where is it written that we wait and wait and wait for our second honeymoon? Nowhere, that we know of. Besides, we don’t have to pay attention to such a rule anyway.

We had made reservations to stay one night in Portland, then head to Seaside and Cannon Beach, then to Astoria to tour the northern coast, on to Vancouver and Camas, then back home. Just us. A lovely way to celebrate our marriage.

Weather made our trip even more interesting. Seems like Mother Nature and Old Man Winter had conspired to offer up some variety for us. Again alternating from Spring to Winter and back again. Over and over and over.

However, Jeff and I took this all in stride…. just as my Mom would have. This is Oregon, this was the middle of March… the midst of the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. We had no control over the weather… but we did have control of if we’d let the alternating seasons dampen our spirits. We chose to thoroughly enjoy our trip no matter what.

For our positive perseverance we were treated to some glorious weather… each type enhancing the scenery and the memories we were making of our second honeymoon. Our “Spring” break.