Tag Archives: love

recognize the signs

The redbird sat in the yard and just listened. He looked into my eyes and listened. I believed with every fiber of my being that it was him. There was no other explanation.

Just a few hours before, he had gone to the heavens. I thought I would never see my brother again. And yet, as I sat in his backyard and talked to him, he came back to me. Right in front of me in fact. He swooped down into the grass and listened as I spilled my soul.

Some things can be circumstance. And then there are other moments in which you cannot find rhyme or reason as to why they happen. Again chalk it up to circumstance however I believe that if you are open to looking at the signs, noticing the world around you, even in the worst of moments, beautiful signs come to you.

My brother was the first love of my life. Twelve years older, he always had time for his little sister, as a child and as an adult. We were siblings but we were more than that, we were friends. Yes, I can admit in a way I idolized him. In my eyes, he was bigger than life. He was a child at heart. We just clicked. We got each other. We could say anything to each other. Eat shit, fuck off, you’re a nut, and love you were not uncommon in our conversations. I could be exactly who I was with him. No masks. Just us. Maybe it was because we were so much alike in our stubborn nature, our childlike behavior, and numerous other reasons… but the bottom line is, we just got each other.

When I received a call that he was taken to the hospital, i jumped in the car and proceeded to talk to whoever may be listening out there in the universe while driving. You can’t have him. I need him. I yelled at him to fight. Don’t leave me. But arriving at the hospital and being met by his daughters in the parking lot, it only took one look at them and I knew, they had lost him, and so did I.

I had experienced grief before but nothing like this. Both our parents had passed away within the last eight years. No loss is the same and no grief is the same. I was prepared for each of my parents’ death. They had been ill and you prepare yourself for what you know in your gut is going to happen. I was not prepared for this. A piece of my heart was torn off and no one is ever ready for that.

I wanted one more talk. I wanted him to know that no one could ever take his place. I asked him what in the world am I going to do without him in my life.

And then he showed up. At 9:30 at night, in his backyard, he flew down and listened.

Some may think it’s crazy. And they may be right. I acknowledge the fact that yes there are birds everywhere. But I have grown to notice the signs. I have grown to accept the possibilities. I have grown to not only open my eyes to the signs but also my heart.

For out of the blue, this beautiful redbird sat in the grass, just feet from me, and listened. His ruffled feathers said it all. He had just gone through the fight of his life and he was here to tell me it’s going to be okay. I looked into his eyes and said,” really, you’re coming back to me as a redbird?” While my eyes were filled with tears, my heart was filling with hope. Hope that now that I had this sign, I could know that he was still going to be with me.

So while this may in fact be crazy, the facts are that for days following his passing, a redbird found its way into my world. In my backyard sitting on the fence. On the side of a busy city street downtown. Outside my office, hovering in front of my third floor window. My friends sending me cards and texts with redbirds and they never knew this story. And with each and every sighting, the pain in my heart is slowly fading a bit. The sadness slowly being replaced with a smile when he appears.

Circumstance? Could be. A sign? Absolutely. Open your heart and your eyes to the world around you. Don’t wait to recognize the signs because they are right there in front of you.

 

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at peace with my light

At Peace.  It was the perfect paint color.   It was exactly how I felt inside.  My mask had been pulled down.  I could look myself in the mirror and for the first time in a long time, I saw me.  It was powerful and dammit it felt good. With each stroke of the brush, the color truly touched me and was covering the white walls of my soul.

at peace

There are people who only knew me as someone’s wife, a boy’s mom, a woman’s daughter.  But there were these special few who cut through those titles and knew I was not only those things but more.

singer, cook, dreamer, perfectionist, own worst critic, the secret writer

All things that had been swept under the rug for another day…

a day when I had time

a day when my responsibilities didn’t get in the way

a day when I wasn’t doing anything

slowly, over time, they had been locked so far inside that I wondered if I would ever have them again

i was losing myself

it wasn’t me

I had assumed a mask of who I thought I was supposed to be.  I had conformed to what society said I should be doing. I had a family.  The careless days of wonder were in the past.  I was to be a responsible adult.  Parent teacher conferences, basketball games on Saturday were the regimen.   I would pour all my creative juices into being those things.  There was only one problem with that…it wasn’t all of me.  The mask I was wearing fit me but there was so much more behind it.

But what happened to the other things I loved?  I was told once I didn’t have any hobbies.  Maybe that was because all the things I loved to do were neatly packed away in a box on my closet shelf, because the things I loved to do were not viewed as worthwhile.  Why would you ever want to paint, you aren’t good, you can’t draw.  What do you think you will ever get out of writing?  No one will ever read it so what’s the point?  Sadly, I had begun to believe this and focused on the things that “mattered” in life and forgot about the passionate things that were part of living.  It is hard to hide your true self.  Your authentic self has trouble being tucked away.  Eventually, there will come a day when it wants to be set free and live again.

One day, it took over me.  I decided that I was going to find myself…again.  So cliché.  But, little by little I was going to open up a small wrapped present of the world that I loved and give it to myself.  Each time the wrapping paper fell off to the floor, I felt a tiny bit of me unveiling.

A paintbrush

Words on paper

Color on the walls

With the mask coming down and revealing our true selves can be scary.  What if people don’t like this “me”?  What if people don’t remember that this is really who I am?  Is okay to reveal?  Will they understand there is more to me than what they have seen?  Can they possibly understand that you can be both?  Find one person who knows your authentic self.  A longtime friend, a coworker, a new acquaintance that makes you see yourself.  It’s not always easy and it doesn’t happen overnight.  But when you have people around you who believe in you, the real you, it is truly magical.  It took a woman almost half my age to make me realize it’s okay to be me.

She is real without a doubt.  She knows her “self” and is comfortable revealing it.  She’s quirky, strange, brilliant, funny and beautiful…and I love her for all of it.    It’s funny to think that 30 years ago when I looked into her eyes as a baby, that my niece would help me find myself.  She has opened my eyes to new adventures.  She has inspired me to be involved.  Whether she realizes it or not, she has inspired me to be me.  She has accepted me to be me.

I was once that kind of woman.  I was invincible too.  She takes on the world and sees how much it has to offer and wants to experience it all.  Her spirit engulfs the adventure no matter what the adventure may be. She has inspired me to be that woman again.  To show the world the mask I was born with and not hide my light.

So I challenge you.  Take a look in the mirror and see if what you are seeing is reflecting the right image.  Does your mask match your spirit?  Does your light shine? If you can’t answer that question, ask someone who loves you.  Someone who loves the real you.