Saturday, October 30, 2010

just another update

Hello dear old friends, it's been a long time since I've put any words on these pages. Have not visited any of you at your corners either, I've missed you all and the blogosphere...

I have however been reading some of my old posts in the recent weeks and have realized what a positive and energetic person I was all throughout this horrible time in our lives. Not to say that I'm a negative person at the moment but, my energy levels are depleting and each day is getting more and more challenging to get through. Now you all know I started this blog to open my heart and mind, express myself through this experience and hopefully help others who may be going through a similar chapter in their lives. I'm sure that is exactly why I was able to handle all that happened and this blog really helped me stay sane...

So, with that in mind I think it's time for another update on this grief thing we're going through. I guess the old saying is that "time heals all wounds" and "in time things get easier".... Well I think it would be more accurate to say that it gets worse before it gets any better. Of course it's different for every person, and it's different depending on who you've lost. A loss of a child, a parent, a friend, a sibling, a spouse are not at all the same. The pain and suffering may be on the same level but the aftermath and all that is required to survive each day is an entirely different path.

Since I have been fortunate enough not to have lost any other close loved ones, except grandparents from old age and illness, I can only give you guys a perspective from my point of view... one of a widow, one of a person who has lost a husband and a best friend, as well as one of a mother helping her boys through the loss of their father. Not an easy task, but grief is in no way ever easy regardless of who one looses. In our case, loosing him was needless to say very hard but, what makes it so much harder is when we lost him. Of course one is never ready to lose a loved one and there is no better time for things like this, but perhaps when we lose an older member of the family, it still hurts but we are comforted by the thought that he or she lived a full life, watched their kids grow, had grandchildren, etc.. and in some way we tend to think life has come full circle and it was their time to go.

When we lose a younger person, one who still had so much to live for and so much to see and experience still... then it's more difficult to find peace with this harsh reality. I can't help but think of all that we still had to do together, and all that he still needed to see, and this hurts me a great deal. Now this tragedy couldn't have happened at a worse time in our boys lives too, they are teens heading into manhood, in great need of their father. I can do all that I can, but will never fill his shoe, and that is a fact, a harsh fact of life that we just need to accept and live with. And in this area I think we're doing ok, we are a close family and that is our power against this tough situation.

Life it would seem is not really fair, we say this all the time and most of the time we don't really think about all that this saying means.. In my case, I was very fortunate to have had a great marriage, and yet it was short lived and ended at a time when we were starting a new chapter in our lives. Our boys were getting older and more independent, we were planning on embarking on a new life, we had big plans and were looking forward to more wonderful years together. So much to live for... But once again, it was short lived, and perhaps it was his time to go, I've come to terms with that now and in some way I'm in peace with it. What the challenge is now, is to reboot and come up with a whole new set of dreams and plans that don't include him. This is the hardest part, I still want to live in the past and replay the images on my mind of all the dreams we had for our future. But I can't!

I need to once again find out who I am without him, what I want from life and the paths I want to take. My boys, their happiness and well being is all I can think about. But with the challenges each day I have to face as a single mother, trying to make things better for all of us... it's not an easy task. When you are busy surviving each day, you don't have time to live!

However I am hopeful, I am after all a pessimistic optimist and there are some rays of sunshine in the horizon.. Thanks for lending an ear once again my friends.

peace

Thursday, July 15, 2010

the first year without him..

How do I begin to describe what I'm feeling today?... I don't think it's possible, this day will forever remain the worse day of my life...the day we lost so much. It is a dark day and nothing can be done or said to make this day any different than what it is... We just have to survive through it year after year...
It was a year ago today, at 8:38pm when he took his last breath, it was the last day we saw him.. touched and kissed him, the last day I held his hand and caressed his forehead. This moment in time we will never forget... our world ended, we stopped breathing...
And now, a year has gone by... a long, painful year, filled with so much sadness, endless tears and heartache, and yet somehow we survived that too...

We've learned so much in the past year...
We learned that it takes a lot to brake the human spirit, and that the strength that resides within each of us is more powerful then ever imagined..
We learned that no matter how sad we are, we can still find a smile on our faces..
I learned that love does really survive, it does stay behind and warms the heart forever..
We learned that family is possibly the strongest weapon for any grieving person to have..
I learned that I can learn a few things from my sons about dealing with sadness..
I learned that we don't run out of tears...and that our pillow can quite possibly be the best shoulder at times..
I learned that a brand of coffee at the supermarket can make you weep like a child, as you run as fast as you can out of there..
We learned that there are some people that are on this earth to inspire us, to show us true love and true beauty in life, but that these are the souls that so often leave us so soon..
I learned that every time I look at our boys, I see him and this makes me smile as well as cry..

There is so much that we've learned, felt, experienced and lived the past year. And we are different now, we have changed, adapted and evolved to fit into the new life we have...
A part of me died with him on this day last year.... but a part of me learned to live...
love

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

his last wish..

Went down to our favorite little beach hotel in Rosarito Mexico this weekend to put Gag's ashes in the water, just as he had asked. We've made some great memories there in the past with the family, lots of laughs and good times. Perhaps that's why he requested for this just as he did for part of his ashes to be spread by the 3rd hole at his favorite golf course, which we did some time ago.
It felt good to fulfill his last wishes in a way that he would have approved... surrounded by family, with a nice BBQ to follow and a few cold vodka shots.... Many tears were shed by all of us that afternoon, but we had a few laughs as well remembering him and his "full of life" ways...







It was a tough weekend, full of emotions, and yet it was very peaceful and soul satisfying... and I'm so glad we were able to do this before the one year anniversary of his death. I hope now that his last wishes have been fulfilled he has found peace, as it has given us some peace now.

Although this is what he wanted and I am at peace with it...I can't help but feel as though I left a part of my heart behind with his ashes... as they sank into the waves... For us he will always be a part of the water that caresses the sands down in Baja...

Rest in peace my love

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

feeling broken

I've stopped writing, not so much because I have nothing to share anymore, but mostly because I've been letting my emotions get the better of me. I wallow a bit, and let it just subside, and perhaps I got tyred of expressing myself deeply, if that makes any sense.

But here I am, once again sulking, drowning in my tears, a day after fathers day.... It was a bad day, and we've had other "special" days that we miss him more than usual, but yesterday was possibly the worse I felt in months. Seeing our boys sitting at dad's grave, looking sad, hurt, somewhat alone and cheated out of life, holding their tears back.... was such a painful thing. What can a mother do to make such a pain go away?... With all that I do for them, all the comforting words, and hugs, with all the love that they get from me and our family, nothing...nothing will ever take away that pain they feel inside. They have been broken as we all have and no matter what we do, we will never be able to put ourselves back just right ever again...

Broken we are..broken we feel..but we must accept this new norm and try to pull it together as much as possible to live...and live fully, for that's what he would want.

love..

Thursday, May 20, 2010

nature

My words fail me lately, so I thought I'd post some images
I've captured recently. Enjoy :)










Appreciate nature...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the human spirit...

I witnessed something amazing the other day,
I saw the beauty and strength of the human spirit.
This man who has seen 80 years of life zoom by,
who has loved, laughed and cried through those years,
who is now terminally ill and nearing the end of his journey...
Still refuses to fold his hand,
still willing to take a bite out of life and savor every moment of it.
Barely able to walk he wanted to dance, and dance he did....
dominating the dance floor for what seemed a joyful eternity for the wide eyed cheering crowd.


He may have Greek and Armenian blood running through his veins..
But it was the human spirit that is still alive and well deep in his soul that captured my heart....
I am inspired....as we all should be!
LOVE...PEACE...JOY...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

a year ago..

So I realized the other day that April 3rd marked my one year anniversary in the blogosphere. I guess I've been a bit too busy with all that life has thrown my way lately, and missed that day and the opportunity to have an anniversary blog post. Well, it's been almost a month now, so doing a special post to commemorate the year missed it's turn.

However... I feel that perhaps there are a few things I can note about the past year. What a year... I can honestly say-and I have done so in the past- that this corner of mine really did save my sanity in all the darkness we had to endure. When I first started writing here, my husband was fighting the battle with his illness already and in the months that followed, with all the pain and the ugliness that cancer brought to our lives.... we shared many happy moments. There was a lot of love and joy still residing in our home, and I'm so glad that I was able to share those moments with all of you here and in some way writing about all of it eased the experience for me and gave me a place to not only document that time in our lives, but also created a place to look back on. The pages here hold so much love, sadness, pain, joy, beauty... in other words life...our life, the last moments of his life... and no matter how painful it can be for us to flip through these pages at times, it still fills our hearts with joy and warmth... The kind words that all of you gave me also warms my heart, those very words kept me going so many times, on so many days where my strength was running low, you guys gave me strength and hope...and for all of that I am so thankful. This corner of mine shared by all of you DID save my sanity and my life, I am the person still standing here today because of you... because of the love you all showed me..

In fact, as I sit here this windy morning in LA, looking at the photo in front of me on my desk of my husband and I... all the memories we made together are rushing through my head. We have a great many... we did a lot together, saw many things, felt so much, experienced a lifetime together... I am so grateful for that...

Here's whats going through my mind now... let's sit for a moment, get a pen and paper and write down all the things we've done in our lives so far. All the things we are proud of and the things we've done that we are not so proud of, write down all the big and little things we've achieved, the greatness we've shown at times as well as the ugly and bad things we've done. All the beauty we've seen, all that we've felt, all we've experienced... Think about it... how many times do we really sit back and replay our lives in our head... not many. Most of us think back on our lives at the end of the road, on our way out, and hope that it was a full life, one that doesn't give us too many regrets. But what if we can do this on our path, as we are walking it in stead of at the end of it... For one thing, we can see that we have lived so far, that we have had many experiences, good and bad, and that all we've seen and done has brought us here, and for that we should be thankful. However... if the life we see behind us feels empty and unfulfilled... perhaps we can open our eyes and our hearts a bit more, and let life penetrate our days. Perhaps by seeing on paper what we have or have not done yet.. will push us into living a fuller life... and maybe we will be more open to experiencing things that come our way... huh maybe it's time to make a bucket list...

Time to live our lives to the fullest.... so... let's let life penetrate our days...

love...peace...joy...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

1915

THEIR STORIES WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN...


We already had been deported once, in 1915, sent towards Der-Zor. But, my uncle’s friend had connections in the government and he had us ordered back to Izmir. Orders came again that everyone must gather in front of the Armenian church to be deported. My father refused to go and told us not to worry. He didn’t think the Turkish government would do anything to him since he was a government employee himself. Twelve Turkish soldiers and an official came very early the next morning. We were still asleep. They dragged us out in our nightgowns and lined us up against the living room wall. Then the official ordered my father to lie down on the ground… they are, dirty the Turks… very dirty… I can’t say what they did to him. They raped him! Raped! Just like that. Right in front of us. And that official made us watch. He whipped us if we turned away. My mother lost consciousness and fell to the floor. Afterwards, we couldn’t find our father. My mother looked for him frantically. He was in the attic, trying to hang himself. Fortunately, my mother found him before it was too late. My father did eventually kill himself-later, after we escaped.


Kristine Hagopian b. 1906, Smyrna
(MY GRANDMOTHER)








They took us from Hüsenig, to Mezre, to Kharpert to Malatia and then, after a couple of days walk, to the shores of the Euphrates River. It was around noon when we got there and we camped. For a while, we were left alone. Sometime later, Turkish gendarmes came over and grabbed all the boys from 5 to 10 years old. I wasa bout 7 or 8. They grabbed me too. They threw us all into a pile on the sandy beach and started jabbing us with their swords and bayonets. I must’ve been in the center because only one sword got me…nipped my cheek… here, my cheek. But, I couldn’t cry. I was covered with blood from the other bodies on top of me, but I couldn’t cry. If had, I would not be here today.When it was getting dark, my grandmother found me. She picked me up and consoled me. It hurt so much. I was crying and she put me on her shoulder and walked around. Then, some of the other parents came looking for their children. They mostly found dead bodies. The river bank there was very sandy. Some of them dug graves with their bare hands, shallow graves and tried to bury their children in them. Others, just pushed them into the river, they pushed them into the Euphrates. Their little bodies floated away.


Sam Kadorian b. 1907, Hüsenig, Kharpert






There was a girl, a girl whom I had befriended on the road earlier. Her name was Satenig. I remember her very well. She was not too strong. I saw her again in that basement. In the basement of the school where they had thrown us. She was there. She had a little bit of money and she gave it to me. “Don’t let them takeme,” she said. “Don’t let them take me.” They would come around everyday and take whomever was dead or very weak. She was not in good shape, she was very weak. I stood her up and leaned on her. Held her up, so. They came. I was holding her up, leaning her up against the wall. But they saw her and took her… took her…


Edward Bedikian b. 1902, Sepasdia





When the massacres began, I was 12 years old. I remember, they first took all the men of our village and killed them. The rest of us were deported. I don’t know how many hundreds we were. Everyone according to his ability rented a donkey or a horse and we left. We went from Albistan to Zeitun to Marash to Aintab. We camped on a farm behind Aintab College, near some newly dug foundations for houses. They were simply large holes in the ground. You understand? An epidemic had broken out in our caravan and people were dying all around us. They started filling those foundations with their dead bodies. Two, three, four, five bodies on top of each other. From Aintab, orders came that everyone over the age of 12 was to be sent to Der-Zor. A friend of mine and I escaped, but we were caught later and this time they sent us to Bizib and then toward Biredjig. Biredjig is on the shores of the Euphrates. You understand? It is on the other side of the river. We stayed in a khan (an inn) on this side. Caravans would come through there and be sent off toward the desert, hundreds and hundreds of Armenians. We used to see dead, bloated bodies floating in the river.


Bedros Bahadourian b. 1902, Gürün




The crowds were huge in Meskeneh. We were in the middle of a vast sandy area and the Armenians there were from all over, not only from Marash. We had no water and gendarmes would not give us any. There were only two gendarmes for that huge crowd. Just two. Wasn’t there a single man among us who could have killed them? We were going to die anyway. Why did we obey those two gendarmes so sheepishly? The word was that from Meskeneh, we were going to be deported to Der-Zor. My father had brought along a tent that was black on one side and white on the other. Each time gendarmes approached us to send another group to Der-Zor, my father would move the tent. He would pitch it on the other side of the crowd—as far awayas possible. We were constantly moving. He bought us quite a bit of time that way. Eventually, we crossed the Euphrates River to Rakka where we found an abandoned house—with no doors or windows—and we squatted there. But we still had no food. We used to eatgrass. We used to pick grains from animal waste, wash them and then in tin cans frythem to eat. We used to say: “Oh, mommy, if we ever go back to Marash, just give us fried wheat and it will be enough.


Sion Abajian b. 1908, Marash

More eye witness stories .... http://www.genocideproject.net/Home_page.html

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I remember YOU..



I remember nine months ago today you looked into my eyes for the last time..


I remember how the smile on your face never drowned in the pain..


I remember the love in your eyes when you hugged our boys..


I remember the kisses you blew from across the room..


I remember your trembling hands reaching out to me, when you wanted me near..


I remember how you loved our long talks..


I remember when you'd hold my hand as we walked..


I remember your laugh, your smile, and even your mischievous grin..


I remember your tender fingers as they caressed my face..


I remember how you loved to savor each moment..


I remember the smile on your face as you watched our boys play..


I remember how you held them so carefully when they were just babies..


I remember seeing your eyes tear up watching sad movies..


I remember your warm hugs and how you held me tight when I needed comfort..


I remember how you made me laugh and loved it when I smiled..


I remember your sweet kisses that sent butterflies fluttering..


I remember how much we laughed the day we said "I do"..


I remember when you whispered.. "I love you" for the first time..


I remember everything..


I remember YOU..



My heart is yours forever..

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'd choose this path again...


Today is April 11th, this date may mean something special for some, maybe a birthday or anniversary, and for others it's just another number on the calendar. For me though it's not only a special date, one that will always remain in my heart and in my memories, but this date signifies an important turning point in my life. On this date nineteen years ago, I realized that something special was happening, I knew I had found a deep connection with someone, that true love had found me. Nineteen years ago today... I found myself walking on clouds, this was the day we first kissed and the rest as they say is history...

It's funny actually, I don't remember the exact date we met, or of our first date, but I remember this one, this was the day we both realized that we were in love and that our search was over.... We had a nice lunch down at the beach, talked forever sitting on the sand as the sun set, I guess the moment was perfect, and as unromantic of a person as I am, I must admit it was very romantic. I don't think we could wipe the grin off our faces from that day on, and I can't help but smile even now as I think back on that very moment. I am most certainly a fortunate person for having felt that and for having such memories that put a smile on my face...

This may sound very strange, but I've had people ask me if I regret anything in life, and I know exactly what they are asking me, I don't really blame them. We humans are a very curious sort, people want to know exactly what and how I'm feeling deep down, they want to know if this experience, this pain has made me think and wonder about some decisions I've made in my life...
Well, here's the truth of it... I regret nothing, how can I regret a decision that has brought me so much happiness in my life, that has filled it with so much love? Every moment we spent together was full and every memory I have of him gives me warmth and a smile... Would I rather not have known him? Would I rather missed out on all the love and joy and in turn not have all this pain now?... NO... I choose this pain, and I would choose this life over and over again, because it was worth it, he was worth it... The only part of all this that gives me the greatest pain, is seeing our boys grow up without a dad..

But look... we can not look at ourselves as unfortunate people, or that our fate was of such sadness, that the road to our destiny led us to this point, and that life dealt us a bad hand.. No, I tell people all the time who look at us with such sad eyes, and feel sorry for us... I tell them that we are fortunate to have had and loved him, our boys had an amazing father, one that showed them how to be strong men, how to love and live a full life. They have an entire library of memories and examples they can pull from when they need to cross a path in their lives, he will be with them every step of the way, by recalling his actions and the way he lived his life, they too will grow up to be wonderful people, such that he would be proud of... as for me, well I do consider myself fortunate. I could have married someone else yes, and perhaps not have found myself as a widow at 41, but would I have had such a great marriage, such a great life, with so much love?
I doubt that... we were soul mates and as sad as it is to have had such a short run, it warms my heart to know that it was a great run. And believe me this thought never crosses my mind, I never wonder about how or what could have been, and I find it very strange that people actually do ask, perhaps those are the ones who have not found the kind of happiness we have.

Yes that's right we may be hurting, and our souls are a bit broken and we can never really mend those cracks, and the pain will never go away completely either, but his presence in our hearts and minds makes us happy people, so full of life and love...if only we had him just for a bit longer....

I choose this pain over not ever knowing him... I'm glad we kissed that afternoon nineteen years ago sitting on the warm sand, and though my tears flow now as I write .... I would not have had it any other way... I would take this path over and over again...even knowing the outcome, because the journey would be worth it..


love...peace...joy...

Friday, March 26, 2010

LIVE...



see what's in front of you,
as well as beyond..

listen with your heart...

feel deeply...

smile with your eyes...

speak the truth..

taste with your eyes closed...

touch with your fingertips...

have peace in your mind...

show kindness...

give love...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

always with us...

Hello friends, I've been a bit absent from here...don't feel much like writing lately, too much going on. In case you are wondering, we are doing ok, dealing with the usual ups and downs of this path, of life really...something everyone is faced with through their journey. Little bit of joy, some sadness, a few great moments here and there, sometimes tears of happiness, sometimes of sadness, mix in some love and laughter and that is LIFE in a nutshell...
I'm getting sort of used to the peeks and crashes that roll from one day to the next, I guess us humans adapt to everything eventually, it is what it is.... But I guess that's the beauty of life...what did Forrest Gump say?... "Life is like a box of chocolates"?.... which is not really a bad thing :)


I have to tell you, it's hard letting go of someone so special nor do we want to, or we should.... it's funny I still have his toothbrush next to mine by the sink, see it every morning and every night. Is it the false sense of comfort that I want to feel, is it there still because for that brief second my eyes see it, I can fool myself into thinking that he is still with us?... All his colognes are there still, sitting next to mine on the vanity, collecting dust... The other day I thought I'd clean them up a bit, picked one up and the scent hit my nose and I realized just how much I miss him... had a good cry session for the next hour or so, that's ok too, need that at times...

Should we hang on to a few things that remind us of his presence or absence? Or should we remove everything?.... There is no answer to these questions, these items are still there because they just are... I haven't made an effort to remove them or to leave them be, and whether they are there for our eyes to see or not, makes no difference really... Because he is gone and yet he is still with us, we may not see him or be able to touch him or even feel his presence, but he is there.... he is in our hearts, in our memories, in our words, our thoughts, in the boys faces and their actions as well.... He will always be with us because he is so much a part of who we are...

And after days, weeks, months and years have passed, the toothbrush and the colognes will be gone, the few pieces of his clothes that I've hung on to because they still smell like him, will loose their scent and also be gone... but it's his memory and all the things that made him who he was and is will still remain. He will still be part of our conversations, the spark behind our laughter, the reason for our tears... with us, through us he will live on....
These are the thoughts that help me wipe my tears away and put a smile on my face...

Thanks again for lending an ear...

love...peace...and joy to you my friends

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

corner view... miniature worlds

This weeks corner view is "miniature worlds"...
Here is my son's little world of LEGO's
(we had so much fun setting these guys up for their photo shoot :)

stop by Jane's for more corner views

























have fun hopping around the world for corner views...


peace

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

corner view..."street photography"

This weeks corner view is street photography, so I decided to dig up some old photos from past travels and share with you guys... enjoy and stop by Jane's for more corner views.





street corner, Mexico 1990





near the Opera House, Armenia 2006






country road, Armenia 2006






busy Paris, 2002






a corner view from my window, Rome 1995




enjoy hopping around corner views today :)


love...peace...joy...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

who we are today...

Now I know most of you have thought about this too, must have crossed your mind at one point or another in your lives. Perhaps something small on a given day makes you think of someone in your past, or a situation you are faced with brings back memories of people that have impacted your life in some way. An old friend, someone you loved, an experience you had a long time ago.... a kind word from a loved one, a good bit of advice someone gave you, an acquaintance who is long gone or even a stranger you exchanged some words with....people who have touched your heart or spoke to your soul... some who hold a special place in your heart...

When we do think back and reflect, we see that every one of those people who have come and gone, or are still part of our lives, who we were fortunate to find or come in contact with... all hold a deep connection in our hearts. Some were important stepping stones to the person we are today. And we realize that most of these people, we were meant to cross paths with in order to grow, to learn, to laugh, to cry, to feel, to experience, to hurt, to love, to make us think, to open our eyes.... in other words to create the layers that make up the whole person we are...

This is an ongoing process of this thing called life... it is not over yet by any means, we will still meet people who will touch us, show us something new to discover, share words still not spoken, make us feel things not felt yet.... And our heart will grow ever more to hold more memories, our souls will get deeper, our wisdom stronger.... as the saying goes... "we live and learn"... till the day we close our eyes forever...

We honor those long gone who have touched us, and meant so much to us by thinking of them, by remembering the things we've learned and felt through them, but what of the people that are still with us, or the ones we've lost contact with. I think if any one person has made an impact in our lives, or holds that special place in our hearts... they need to know that in some small way they still live in us, with us, through us. We should tell them.... perhaps today they need to hear it...they need to know that they are special to someone out there, that they put a small brick in the foundation of someones life.... tell them, think of them, thank them, honor them....

So, here's to all that is yet to come, to all the hearts and souls that will touch us and be touched by us.... all that still remains to be learned and seen, to be felt and experienced...all still to look forward to...


love...peace...joy...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

if i had a time machine...


I had a very interesting conversation with the boys some time ago... about who we would want to meet if we had a time machine and could go back in time. They had some interesting input on the subject... Arman, my oldest wants to meet Bob Marley, he loves the music that the man put out. Robert was interesting in meeting Bill Gates when he was a kid...he thought that would be "cool" as he put it...
So, that got me thinking about who I would want to meet from the past and have a conversation with. Here is a short list of people that came to mind...

First person I would go see is my maternal great grandmother, I would love to give her a piece of my mind for abandoning her three little children during the Armenian Genocide, after their father was killed. She ran off with a British soldier just to save her own ass... excuse my French... I mean a mother doesn't do that, so yes I'm pretty sore about that. Actually my father is writing a book about this, so far it's amazing and wow I had no idea my dad had it in him to write so well...anyways I'll let you guys know how that turns out.

Others from the past that I think would be pretty cool to meet would be, Mesrop Mashtots he wrote the Armenian alphabet. I'd love to exchange a few words with Charlie Chaplin, I think he was pretty brilliant. Maybe have a drink or two with Modigliani, go see Beethoven perform. Maybe sit in during one of Plato's philosophical conversations... go get a manicure with Marilyn Manroe, how cool would that be. And I would also like to meet Bob Marley.

I'm sure I could think of so many more amazing people that I'd love to meet, but these are just the few off the top of my head.... So, who would you guys want to meet...tell us will you :)

Have a great day you guys...


love...peace...joy...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

corner view..wisdom from an elder..

Well last week I had a post about my paternal grandfather...and for this week's corner view I would like to share that with you guys... It's very appropriate I think :)
here it is

enjoy visiting other corner views Jane has a whole list..




love...peace...joy...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

security...

I've been contemplating about this post, wondering if I should write it or not. It's a touchy subject, most people don't like talking about it with others, it's the sort of thing that you discuss with close family, if that...But I have shared many deep and intimate issues with all of you, so perhaps this is something that needs to be covered as well...as this too is a part of the path I find myself on right now...

Most of you know from previous posts, about our shop, and I may have mentioned on several occasions that business has been on a steady decline for a couple of years now. This is mostly why I decided to get my culinary degree and possibly do something different. My husband used to think that the industry is slowly dying and it was time to venture out into a different one. Well since his death, now seven months ago.. things have been going worse at the shop, I've tried with many failed attempts to keep it afloat, but it would seem that it's a very heavy, fast sinking ship. I haven't given up on it yet, he invested so much of his life in this place and I want to do all I can to keep it going, even if it means getting into more and more dept, I owe him and our hard working employees that much... So, we'll see..I have a few more projects to give the business a new life with and I hope these wont fail miserably as the others did.

Let me get to my point here without putting any of you to sleep... What I want to talk about here today is the subject of money, of possibly better and smarter thinking about your future and the future of your loved ones. Now, mind you we didn't throw money on senseless things nor did we save, the business needed a constant reinvestment of our funds and we worked hard to establish something that could grow and be our security blanket for our future and our children's future as well...not a very smart strategy I know...but hey that was us and to a certain extent we had a pretty modest yet comfortable life...But life as it seems is never safe, there are no guarantees, none of us really have a secure future if you think about it... But I think there is one sure way we can at least do something for our families that may give them some sort of a security blanket in the future...after we are gone... If you don't already have life insurance, please get it now, as soon as possible, it is probably the best investment you can make in your life...
Now..I know what you are thinking.... yes...no amount of money can replace your loved one, but let me tell you, what is worse than grieving for the loss of someone so important in your life, is going through this grief with the stress and burden of financial hardship. It makes for a very difficult situation... Now I'm not writing this so you can worry about me, or feel sorry or pity me. That is not me, I refuse to be pitied or to feel weak, nor would I ever give up hope. I have an amazing family that supports me in every way possible, and I do have faith in myself, I know that I will get through this as well, and as my husband used to say... this too shall pass...I just want you guys to think about it, ask yourselves this question..."If I'm gone tomorrow, how will my family live, are they secure enough to at least get through the hard times?".... Just something to think about...

On that note, today I invested in my children's future and the future of their children... Life is not safe, we don't know what awaits us tomorrow or the next day... So, yes..we live each day as if it's our last, we love fully, laugh a lot and give joy to our loved ones...and in the process we also need to give them a warm blanket for when they will need it most.... We live and learn, and hopefully correct the mistakes we've made in the years past...


love...peace...and joy...

Monday, February 8, 2010

a life worth laughing about...

I found myself thinking of my paternal grandfather the other day, what a happy, full of life kind of man he was... Actually I have been very fortunate to have had both sets of my grandparents around growing up, all beautiful people...so much I have learned from them...

For some reason my thoughts took me back to the day he passed away many years ago, I was in my teens back then. What I remember most about that day, as we rushed over there after receiving a phone call from my grandmother that morning saying that he had flown away... was all the happy memories we shared and the amount of laughing we did that day. As a young girl I thought it very strange... that having had just lost a man we all loved so much, a man who had given us so much joy throughout our lives... we should be sad and hurting.... But instead as we sat there for hours that day with family around, and with all the tears we shed..we laughed more that day then on so many happier occasions... We remembered his happy character, and all the funny things he did just to make us all laugh.... He was a very kind man, loving, patient, loved animals, he was a Veterinarian, he also had an amazing talent with building things out of metal. The sound of him working in his shed, as he pounded the hot metal into shapes still rings in my ears and gives me that warm feeling you get with certain memories from your childhood. He was also very much in love with my grandmother...who was a very free spirited woman that loved to sing and when she smiled with her round, pink cheeks it brightened my grandfathers face.... Perhaps that is where we learn how to love, when we see it at our young age in it's raw form.... and there is much we learn as children by observing our surroundings...

I think young souls benefit so much from spending time with the older generation, their stories and experiences shared are life long lessons that stay with us in our hearts. Each memory I think back on touches my soul and the love that's there is so solid. All our children should be as lucky to have that sweet time with their grandparents, it really does enrich our lives...

Now, as an adult when I think back to that day, I understand more than ever why we laughed so much even though our hearts were in pain.... This man had seen much sorrow and pain in his life, lost family at a young age during the Armenian Genocide, had gone through much hardship in his adult life, but still smiled and laughed every opportunity he had...and also brought much joy to everyone around him. That was him... it was the whole of his life... that is what he had left us with...
A simple man, yet in our eyes and hearts a man of greatness... After all isn't that how we all want to be remembered? We should strive to live this way, give joy and love to others as well as find it within ourselves... I would consider myself very lucky if on the day I fly away...my family will have so much to laugh about.
As hard as things have been, loosing my husband, especially with the circumstances...him being so young and the illness that consumed him in the end... with all the pain we feel, we have laughed a lot still, much happiness was left behind by him too. In his very short life, he was able to do that which many people fail at in their entire lives. He captured many hearts with his love for all things and the joy he spread will live on in so many souls....

A life worth living and in the end worth laughing about...

Spread love and joy...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

corner view "sweets"..



This weeks corner view is "sweets".... Well...for a person with a major sweet tooth and who loves to bake just to have that smell all over the house...it's kind of hard to narrow it down to just one or two favorites.. but nothing comes close to a warm, gooey, melt in your mouth feel of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.... hot out of the oven...mmmmm
It's the ultimate comfort sweet for me.

Now I'm not a big candy person, but there is something I just have to have when I get the craving for, especially at the movies, and that's Red Vines ( a licorice string), it's absolute junk I know but I just love the taste and its chewiness...gotta have it...

Stop by Jane's for more corner views... enjoy!


love...peace...joy...

Monday, February 1, 2010

the unstable path...

This ever changing path I'm walking, this journey that lays ahead is proving to be more and more challenging. It has so far been the most difficult part of my life, it has been the greatest test of my strength and abilities. And as hard as I try most of the time with the greatest of efforts to stay on course and keep my head above water... I still find myself falling harder and deeper at times.

Now, I've accepted the fact that this is really not a simple problem for which there are a few simple solutions that I can apply to and resolve. There are several aspects and challenges that require my attention and strength.... There is the shop, which has been on a slow decline for the past three years and as much as I want to devote all my time and efforts to reinventing and rebuilding business.. for the time being I feel crippled and unable to do all I can to keep it afloat. When your heart is bleeding and you are not a complete person it's very difficult to put your best foot forward, as hard as you might try... My attention is also very much needed in helping the boys through this journey as well, my 13 year old is a very sensitive child and needs allot of care and one on one time to which I always give my full attention. My 16 year old is growing fast, is starting to venture out on his own a bit more, and as much as I want him to enjoy life and all the experiences that he needs to go through at this age... It also worries me...as this is an age where trouble can happen, especially when he also is in a very vulnerable state. There is allot of hurt and anger deep down and I don't want that to be the cause of him taking the wrong path along the way.

I'm doing my best to handle all that is on my "plate" at this time and try to do it with love and a positive outlook. And yes... in a way all these things keep my mind occupied and off of all the pain inside. The little creative things I try to do with the little time that I have during the day...with the blog and the 365 Flickr group, as well as keeping up with friends on Facebook....is also a great way of keeping myself "busy"... But I wonder if all this keeping busy and occupied thing is really a good thing, let me explain...

You keep your mind saturated all day with the little and big things that require your attention, just to not deal with the emotional storm that's brewing deep down...and this keeps you going most of the day, and at night you still stay busy till the very moment your eyes give in, because you're just so tired of crying yourself to sleep each night... And days give into nights and weeks pass... as you start feeling good about yourself, and think that you may actually have a hold on this situation and perhaps have a false sense of control... You have yet another meltdown... where you find yourself weeping in the car in front of you kids, on the way home from a family night at the movies...because that reminds you of how this was his favorite thing to do....
Or you completely fall apart at a friends wedding, the happiest day of their lives...as you sit there and watch them start their new life together...your mind replays the beautiful moments you had on your wedding day... and you throw yourself out the door, looking for a dark corner to run to so people don't witness this pure and utter destruction... And at that very moment you realize that all the progress you think you've made over the past few months and everything you thought you had a handle on... you actually don't....
And...you're back to square one... feeling like you have not accomplished anything... and that you have no control of this situation.... That grief actually has a hold on you, and you feel powerless against it...so you give in once again and hope that when you open your eyes in the morning...the little things that give you joy will resurface and help you put yourself back together...

The cycle begins again... but at least each time you start over you hope that you've learned something new that you can apply this time around, you learn that no matter what you do to avoid dealing with the war inside... it is still there and needs your attention just as much as all the other things. And you need to spend time and face this pain inside and perhaps nurture it, give it your full attention...but not dwell on it too much...because when you do turn your attention inward, the pain is overwhelming and can consume you if you let it...however avoiding it completely is not a wise thing either as it will no doubt keep brewing till one day it boils over leaving you in a worst state then before...

The path continues... ever more unstable...ever more rocky... yet I'm still hopeful and have faith in myself...we will come out of this...


peace..

Thursday, January 28, 2010

corner view "favorite hangout"

I know it's Thursday and I'm a day late on this post, but I really wanted to join Christina for the "simple things" day in the blogosphere yesterday... so better late than never right?

Here is my corner view.... "favorite hangout"...
Well I'm a bit of a homebody lately... grief with it's many stages and faces doesn't always agree with social situations and crowds. And even though I have ventured out on several occasions, I have to say for the moment home is my favorite hangout...





my morning coffee as the rising sun warms my skin..






my late nights curled up on the bed surfing the blogosphere





my sunrises..





my sunsets....






and my kitchen where I bake to comfort my soul....


Yes home... for me really is where the heart is at the moment...

Stop by Jane's for more corner views...


love...peace..joy...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

simple things..

It's time again for the simple things... Christina over at Soul Aperture is hosting it and this time for a really good cause, for every blogger that participates her family will donate a $1.00 to doctors without borders for Haiti relief. What a noble idea, doesn't surprise me...she has a heart of gold and a soul that soars miles high... Thank you Christina, love you :)

So here is my list of the simple things that make my soul sing each day...






sunlight as it changes through the day..
peaceful moments..
a stranger's smile as they pass you by..
the scent of nature..
shadows as they dance on the walls..
memories that warm my heart and make me smile..
a good laugh with my boys..
movie nights all cuddled on the sofa..
walking through isles at the bookstore..
the boys gravitating to the kitchen as I cook..
long conversations with a good friend..
five extra minutes of sleep in the morning..
my 16 year old blowing me a kiss as I drop him off at school..
the colors and textures on oil paintings..
and a few kind words exchanged amongst strangers..


Please play along today...and stop to appreciate the simple things in your lives..
Stop by at Christina's for more simple things


love...peace...joy...

please let her know if you are playing along so that she can link your page as well :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

love..

I wasn't brave enough to post this here, so instead I shared my deep thoughts on facebook with family and friends a few days ago. Not that I haven't poured my heart out on these pages in the past, but somehow this felt too personal and intimate. However I realized that all you lovely blog friends who have been so supportive and have given me so much love and strength needed to hear this too, so I want to share these thoughts and this powerful message today about .....

LOVE...



ok... i admit i miss my husband like crazy... i feel lost without him...

perhaps an intimate photo..yes, one that i'm not sure i feel comfortable sharing here... BUT... i want you all to see my pain, i want you to feel it deep in the crevasses of your souls, because then and only then will you understand and embrace my message. this message that i want to scream at the top of my lungs, these words that i share with you today as my tears roll down my cheeks and as the pain in my heart cripples me...

PLEASE...DO NOT WASTE A MINUTE OF YOUR LIFE, OF YOUR LOVE, OF YOUR SEARCH FOR LOVE! DO NOT MISS AN OPPORTUNITY OF A KISS, OF AN EMBRACE, OF A FEW WORDS THAT COULD MEAN SO MUCH... DO NOT LET MOMENTS, DAYS AND YEARS GO BY WITHOUT LOVE...THOSE FORTUNATE TO HAVE IT...HANG ON TO IT, NURTURE IT, FEED IT, LET IT LINGER IN YOU MOUTH, YOUR HEART, YOUR SOUL... THOSE IN SEARCH OF IT... DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE...

let this image and these words penetrate the depth of you hearts, don't forget them, let these be the reminder everyday that a life without love isn't much of a life...

what we had together was priceless... it was so deep...so solid...so real...and now that he's gone...all i have left is the LOVE and the memories... these memories that are my heaven and my hell, my pain and my relief, my joy and my sorrow...but they are real...they are mine...and they are all that's left of our love, and these memories are what give me the strength to live on, and be the solid pillar of love and hope for my boys...

think of these words today...live and love fully



love...peace...love...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

corner view... our style



this weeks corner view is about what we wear...
our style...

well here I am my friends...

with cowboy boots and chucks...
warm woven hats on my head...
soft scarves that wrap around my neck...
dangle charm bracelets...peace and love everywhere...
Buddha around my neck with a good luck key...
sunglasses to hide my tears at times...


hope you enjoyed, stop by Jane's for more corner views


love...peace...joy...

Monday, January 18, 2010

look for it...

yes, it's raining...






it's wet, dark and gloomy...




and still...




we manage to find beauty....




and comfort on this day.
...




we should...
we must...


look for it...
find it...
embrace it...
enjoy it...!


love...peace...joy...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

six word saturday..




BREAKFAST MADE BY MY SON....PRICELESS!!






hosted by Cate at Show My Face


love...peace...joy...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

rant...nothing to rave about...


I have no idea what "stage" of grief I'm in right now... it's all kinda blurry at the moment, but anger comes to mind... I'm not angry at Gag for jumping off the ride so early, or God, or life in general... but I'm just pissed off on some days... It's a good thing I'm not taking it out on the kids or my loved ones around (though my brother would perhaps say otherwise :)... but my anger seems to be directed at random things and people....like when my stupid remote doesn't do what I want it to do only to find out later that I was pushing the wrong button...wow. And since I don't have a punching bag or anyone around I can punch or any plates I can brake (like some therapists have prescribed to people in my shoes..) I've decided to let off some steam here, some of you have a "rant and rave" day on your blogs... but no "rave" subjects come to mind at the moment..

So... let the ranting begin...

First I'd like to announce that drivers in LA become morons on rainy days and on Sundays... (ok..so maybe I fall in that category at times too). What pisses me off is when you give someone the right of way... there is no thank you wave to follow at their end...or when they cut you off there is not even a sorry look on their faces. Oh and one of my favorites, don't you just love it when you are in a bit of a rush and somehow you always end up behind the person that has decided not to drive faster then 5 miles per hour...Ok, but this one is easy, I just yell out some obscenities or give em the old flip of the finger...anger taken care of...steam let out...

On to the next rant... why is it that people are in such a hurry at the supermarket while they are shopping but take forever to pay at the check stand... they decide to go deep into their huge bags fishing for the exact change... just get on with it already!...makes me want to (punch them in the face) give them the damn change... see you can't just flip them off, it's not that easy when you're standing right next to them, trying to not look bothered...(although I'm sure I've falling in this category too at one point or another).... whatever!

Moving on...PEOPLE!!!! when you are picking up your kids at school...there is a line of cars with eager parents all there to pick up their kids too, what makes you think that you can just cut everyone off to get to the front of the line then wait for your kid who by the way is still way over there chatting with his friends... is it really gonna make that much of a difference if you get to your child 2 minutes later?? does it make you the better parent for being in such a hurry?? I mean what are people ON these days?... geeese! The line is moving forward just fine... be patient and you'll get to pick up you son or daughter eventually, no..they will not end up stuck in school for the rest of the day and just in case you were wondering no one will give you a medal for getting to him/her first... ok enough about that! Rant point well made... (hmmm trying to think if I've ever done that before... I may have... oh boy am I in this category too?)

Ok, last one I promise... I think we should include Banking Transactions-101 as part of the curriculum in high school... because people seem to think that everyone loves standing in line forever at the bank. Some idiots chat on the phone or text while in line, then start filling out their deposit slip when they get to the window... MORON! How about you get your transaction ready before you get to the window... huh, there's a brilliant concept! Thank goodness for the merchant line, though it seems whenever you're in a rush, just want to get in and out... you end up with the teller who seems to be more interested in the way her hair looks...(constantly pulling her scrunchy off and tying it back on..) instead of your transaction... huh what's the screening process anyways when banks hire tellers...hmm..ok now I'm getting too mean...well at least I don't think I fall in this category...whew I was beginning to think this anger was directed at myself...hmmm

Anyways...I feel much better now :) Hope you all had a good laugh on my account...go ahead I don't mind, as long as you don't cut me off on the road... we're good.

Oh and feel free to rant about stuff in the comment box, go ahead let it all out.


love...peace...joy... and a good rant session at times

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

corner view "holiday"

"Holiday" means something different for each of us, the word itself can be used with different meanings... a favorite holiday, a celebration of things, perhaps a travel to a far away place...

As I thought about today's post and the topic of this weeks "corner view", the word holiday meant a warm and special feeling I had in my heart... To me it means a visit to a friends home and the surprise of a home made treat all tied in a pretty ribbon to take home with me... warmth...love...





stop by Jane's corner for more corner views, glad I finally got to play along.

love...peace...joy...

Monday, January 11, 2010

LET'S EAT!!

When we talk about "fresh" food...right away we think of vegetables, fruits, a nice fresh tossed salad.... simple ingredients prepared in the simplest way, and as good for us it is to eat veggies and fruits, it gets challenging in the winter months... who wants a cold salad?...when the weather is cold we crave more hearty, warm and comforting foods. So, with our "fresh" theme today...seeing as how we are still in the winter and most of you live in pretty cold areas.... the dish I'm going to share with you today is a little bit of both, it has simple ingredients, packed with nutrition, plenty of veggies and is served warm to satisfy that hearty warmth that we seek in the winter. (Although here in LA, the weather's been pretty nice and warm.)


warm lentil salad with balsamic dressing

  • 1 cup brown lentils cooked**
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced ( I prefer red onion here)
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 zucchinis, trimmed and diced
  • 1 cup of green beans, cut into short lengths
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro (optional)
** Rinse and drain lentils, in a medium pot cover lentils with plenty of cold water and bring to boil. Boil for about 10 min, then simmer for another 15-20 min, till they are tender but still have a bit of a bite. (I throw a bay leaf in the pot, gives it more flavor) Drain and move to a large bowl, set aside.

*In the mean time prep the veggies.



*Heat oil in pan, add the onions and celery first, saute for 2-3 min, till soft but not browned. Stir in the garlic, zucchinis, and green beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

*Add the bell peppers and saute for another couple of minutes.




*Stir in the mustard and balsamic vinegar and mix well with the vegetables.

*Pour the warm vegetables over the lentils, toss to mix well, season with salt and pepper, I like to add some fresh cut cilantro at the end too, ( nothing says fresh like fresh herbs). Serve warm with some crusty bread.





I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as we have and decide to play along, just let us know here, so we can stop by your corner and see what's cooking as well.

Enjoy!!







love...peace...joy...