Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's Time..

I found myself on this blog recently searching through my posts for something I had written some time ago. This of course is sort of like organizing your photo boxes, you find yourself 5 hours later elbow deep in old photos and reminiscing, daydreaming, lost in the past with good and bad memories..
Needless to say, that's just about what happened with my blog search. I have gone through my posts in the past, sometimes I need to come back here and remember... However something was different this time. Every time I opened  a post, read a few lines of it and just moved on, searched for another post and another and so on.  Very few of them still had a hold on me, made me stop and read and still moved me, without tears this time though.
This I believe is a good sign, it's a sign that I have reread, relived, re-imagined pretty much all of what this experience meant to me. It's a sign that I have had my grief, lived it, hurt through it, learned and grew from it and am pretty much just over it. I'm done thinking about it, done feeling for it, done analyzing and dissecting it and even done craving it. Yes sounds strange doesn't it? Craving it, yes we humans feel the need to be sad sometimes, we want to feel the pain, we want to relive the tragedy that we so desperately try to forget and get over. We do this just to make sure we don't forget, because we are afraid of what will happen when we forget and start feeling good again. It feels wrong to us to forget and to "get over" something so horrible such as the death of your soulmate...
When one reaches a place where one does not need something anymore, I believe that is the time to walk away from whatever it is you were needing.  It means you have made your peace, you've accepted that which was thrown your way whether you wanted it or not. You have overcome it.  It means that your brain has processed this experience every which way it needed to, your heart has endured all the pain it can for it, your eyes have cried their tears dry. Once you have inhaled deeply, filling your lungs with all of it, you've taken it all in, you are ready now to finally exhale into the universe.  You keep what you need inside and let the rest of it float up into the sky, and that is the point at which you just let go of it.
It doesn't mean you forget the person or the very thing that caused or was the center of that storm that blew through your core, it just means you forget the grief, the pain and the hardship that came with the storm. You forget the heartache, you forget the moments that made you want to lock yourself in a dark room and not see, feel or hear anything. You forget how low you can feel at times and how utterly disappointed at life those moments made you feel.  You forget all of the ugliness that pretty much molded you into this weathered,  somewhat broken, a bit harsher yet a bit wiser and into this beautiful being who you are today because of this very experience. Yes, you forget the process, the lessons, the daily struggle of surviving and getting through it, you forget all of it. What you don't forget however is how to be this, the person you are today, you don't forget how to be you, because you are who you are now because you walked it, that path was yours and yours alone. You don't have to look back to see where you were and how you got here necessarily, you just have to keep going, but definitely with a greater sense of yourself and of what you are capable of getting through and conquering.
The world, all of a sudden doesn't seem all that scary and big anymore. Nothing seems impossible or unreachable. It's like that epic moment at the end of a film where the hero stands tall, with the unknown road up ahead, brushes the dust off his shoulder and keeps walking.. a bit poetic and corny I know but you get the picture.
So, having said all this. I'm happy to report that I'm ready to close this blog, exhale it into the universe-she says as she brushes the dust off her shoulder. Ready to walk away and let it go.

It's been quite the journey..
Onto the next one..

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So, Here We Are...

Sunset, Santorini.  "It looks like a painting.." - Arman

Well, now that I've recovered from jet-lag, sleeplessness, had a breather and have actually stopped pinching myself over and over just to check if the past 6 months were real or not... I think I'm ready to talk. Hmmm where to begin?

First off let me just say, this was the most amazing experience the boys and I will ever share.  As a parent we all have to accept that sooner or later our kids will be all grown up and like it or not will most likely not want to go on too many family trips.  This is a good thing too, we want them to have their own adventures and travel with their friends, experience things on their own and make their own special memories.  I'm just really glad I was lucky enough to have had this great opportunity to do this with the boys and really bond and connect with them on a different level, especially after going through such a tough chapter in our lives...   As they say, nothing brings family closer than a tragic experience.  But let's leave the sad stuff for another blog..

I tried to write as much as I could about our travels and keep you guys posted on the adventure but in my opinion it wasn't nearly as much as I thought I'd write.  Let's just say I was on Greek speed :)  I have a few blogs lined up to cover some of the things we've learned about ourselves, people, other cultures and what we can learn from each other, from our brothers and sisters that happen to live on this planet under different names, cultures, religions etc.  Of course visiting just a handful of countries in Europe isn't nearly enough to see and learn all the wonderful things our world  has to offer but it's a starting point.  Which is kind of what I set out to do in the first place.  To show the boys that there is a lot more to this world than their own back yard, that the things to explore and see span way further than the view from their bedroom window and that they should feel free to reach as far as they can, to try new things and explore deeper than their imagination.  I wanted them to see life in other places, to know that home can be anywhere the heart is happy.  In other words I wanted them to see that there is a whole lot of life to be lived, so much to learn, see and feel.

I felt it absolutely necessary to make them understand this on that very Tuesday afternoon a few months ago, when during one of my conversations with Arman he said to me.."thug life mom, what's the point anyways we're all gonna die one day"...  This is not what you want to hear from an 18 year old with his whole life ahead of him and yet hope is lost from seeing his dad slowly slip away and die way sooner than he had planned and not having had done half the things he set out to do as a young boy.  No my friends, this I would not have, moms don't just sit around and watch the light go out of their kids eyes, hopes and dreams dwindling as the days go by. No! We act! We get up, pull up our sleeves and get to work! That is what being a parent is about.  Glad to report that we achieved what we set out to and so much more...  I couldn't be happier for my boys.

It was a learning experience for all three of us, it was a time of rest, a time of joy, a time of doing nothing and everything.   With a few sobering moments, a few "lessons learned, moving on" moments,  as well as a few eye tearing, belly hurting laughing moments.  Bread was broken, drinks were shared, long conversations took place, cooking sessions and mouth watering food was enjoyed, not to mention the heart warming and soul satisfying moments.  I loved seeing the look on the boys faces when they saw the beauty and wonders around them, with wide eye amazement. They enjoyed seeing me laugh hard and dance, and sing while I drove... They waited patiently at every meal, rolling their eyes at me as I snapped a photo before they could eat :)  I let them lead at times to go where they go and see what they see, watching them from behind.  I learned that boys will always feel protective and respectful towards their moms, this you can not teach, and I love that.  They learned that mom can actually be pretty cool to hang out with sometimes, and I love that too. :)  We learned to let go and just went where the waves took us, with no expectations or direction.  That was liberating to say the least.

As I said a great experience.. a one of a kind, with no repeats or reruns.  We took it all in, especially me.  As I would stop often and remind myself to wake up, open my eyes and have a moment of pure clarity, to realize and cherish each one of those moments.  What can I say friends, I truly wish this on each and every one of you. If not for 5 months in Europe then for 5 hours spent with your kids, listening to the things they have to say and seeing the things they want to see.. The world they let you in and the moments shared are so special, that's what will keep you going through anything life throws at you.

I think life is full of tragedy, pain, sadness and disappointment but we have to have a steady stream of small happy moments on an IV drip at all times, slow, trickling of tiny joyous experiences that will keep us strong in between those sad moments.  Those memories we create, as we close our eyes are all we take with us and all we leave behind as well.
Thanks for listening, stay tuned, more to come.  :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

it's that time of your life..

You know how we're always using some famous quotes about life?... "Life is too short".. "Gotta live for the moment".. "It's now or never!".. etc. You get the picture.. Well it seems we are mostly preaching and hardly ever practicing.  Sometimes it's good to follow your own advice and really do just that!.. "it's now or never" or perhaps a new one I just came up with, "it's that time of your life" and you can quote me on that!

We all have dreams, after all it's part of being human to dream, to wish, to hope for and to reach towards those dreams.  Unfortunately most of us just live our day to day lives, going through the usual ups and downs of life and making the best of it, and it may be a comfortable place we have reached and are content with our lives.. but that little dream is still in our head whispering every now and then... reminding us that there was something extraordinary we dreamed of at one point.  Well, I believe we all reach a point in our lives where this dream may have a window, a perfect moment of execution if you will, of going from our imagination to becoming a reality.  The important thing is to identify this little gap, this tiny moment of opportunity for this dream to be lived out.  Although other things in life or the universe may seem not so aligned for this perfect moment but, it seems to be a perfect time in your life... and why not take that leap and live that dream, one would simply be a fool not to.

Where am I going with this?.. Well I've always dreamed of living in Greece, and timing was never right, that tiny gap of opportunity never presented itself.. until now that is.  Needless to say I jumped at the right moment and decided to take a leap and try something I've been dreaming of for some time now, we'll never know until we try right?!   Since I've sold the shop, I work freelance yes but nothing definite of a carreer that I'm messing up by leaving.  We have a place to stay in Greece.  The country may not be in it's best shape at the moment, but as I said it's not the perfect time in the universe that matters only that it's that time in our lives that's perfect for this move.  The kids were the only thing I was concerned about, since I would not go anywhere without them.  When I asked last year after our visit to Greece if they would want to live there... they were hesitant and so I dropped the subject for good.  Until a couple of months ago when they came to me and said that they were thinking about giving it a try.  Imagine my surprise and joy, at the same time the relief I felt that perhaps the time has come and perhaps it's actually going to unfold, this dream of mine...

Fast forward two months, and here we are, I'm sitting in my parents apartment in Thessaloniki, having some tea and writing my first blog about this journey we are on.  It was a busy two months to say the least, it seems you can't just up and leave your home, lot's to do and organize.  Work needed to be finished, home cleaned and sorted as I've rented out my home for the time being.  And saying our goodbys were not easy.  But we did it! Made a decision, stuck to it and made it happen. We will be here for a few months, testing the waters and seeing if this really is a dream we can live with.  It will not be easy, but it will be interesting and more importantly it will be an adventure none  of us will ever forget.  The boys are very excited to be in a new place, trying new things.  They will be taking a semester off of their studies, but think of all the things this experience will teach them.  This will be an interesting challenge for them to see how well they can adapt and I think this is a great opportunity for us three to pull together and bond as the family of three that we are now.

Like I said, it's that time of our lives, perfect little gap in life.  It's now or never.
I'll be writing more about our lives here, the ups and down, the good, the bad and even the ugly.. and of course the beautiful :)

Peace and Light to you my friends.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


At the start of this year when I closed down the shop and decided to turn the page if you will, and go forth onto new chapters of life, I wanted to take some time to rest, perhaps rejuvenate and get a fresh new perspective.  So, I've been pretty much doing that for the past few months... whatever "that" indicates..  Other than occupying myself with little projects here and there, and spending time at home, I've been doing a lot of reflecting as well.  Lots to think about..  It has been a great time to finally mourn my loss, to sulk, to cry, to remember, to forgive and to just grieve in peace..

For about four years now, since Gag's heart attach which led to the surgery, then the cancer that consumed our lives, and the tough journey after his death it has been quite a chapter to say the least.  As I think back now, I mostly see a lot of darkness, pain, stress, sadness and as well as learning, discovery, love, closeness and even a few smiles and moments of joy... But all this has been quite exhausting to take in. Having said that, I still believe and always have, that things happen for a reason, they happen when they are supposed to happen and in the matter in which they happen, if that makes sense.  This is one of the realizations that I've come to in the process of this reflection... After Gag passed away, and honestly speaking even while he was ill and struggling, I had a lot to deal with, but most of the stress was coming from the steady decline and deterioration of the shop - our livelihood.  In other words I didn't have time in my day to really sit and think about what was going on, or what had just happened, when he passed on..  No time for sulking, crying all day in my bed, feeling the deepness of the loss.  Most days I had to keep strong for my boys, for family and had way too much to worry about, so as much as Gag was on my mind every second of the day... he had, let's just say taken the back seat. I just didn't have the "luxury" or the chance to really mourn him, I couldn't!  And whenever I did, I lost myself and couldn't function.  Life needed me, everyone needed me, so I had to put my pain and feelings way on the back burner and forget about it...

Well it eventually boiled over leaving me exposed to it's harshness, unarmed and frail.  However, I think all that happened for a reason too, perhaps that was a good way for me to let the storm pass, meaning it might have made the first two years without him more bearable. Don't get me wrong it was hell on roller skates... very straining, incredibly difficult, absolutely crushing and just too damn hard on me.  We solved every little problem we had in life together, Gag and I.  We were true partners in work and life, so to deal with the crumbling of the shop, the place he had built with his sweat and countless hours, was way too hard to deal with on my own.  This was his work, his life, our bread and it was sinking fast and taking me down with it.  All the while I was trying to keep it afloat giving it all I had, which wasn't good enough and eventually I had to let go of the rope.  It was the toughest decision I had ever made, and it did take me two years to really accept the fact that it was over and there was nothing I could do to save it.  Perhaps this time the captain took the boat down with him.. And through that very tough time I couldn't cry enough for Gag, or sit in silence thinking of him, feeling the love he left behind, no time for the anger or the denial that should follow the loss.  Again perhaps that is the way it had to be, so that the pain was lighter on me... do I thank him for this? Which process would've been worse? I don't know the answers.  All I know is that I finally got to mourn, which has lifted my heart and has given my soul the chance to let go, to breath, to look up and smile and to dream again... So it would appear that it's true, you do need time to grieve and cry and mourn and accept and get angry and let go.. otherwise you can't be whole again.

The things we learn the hard way....

There are a few things I want to say to all that have been in my life and have shared my pain..
I'd like to apologize to my loved ones and to my family for not being emotionally available, for not giving you a shoulder to cry on or to hear your troubles, as I always did before.  I'd like to say sorry to my boys for crying in front of them and for the moments of weakness they saw in me, to my parents I'm sorry for giving you more to worry about.  I'd like to apologize to my friends for not being there socially, for good times and bad... To Gag for getting angry at you for leaving me and for the few moments a day when I forget.  I'd also like to thank the few in my heart for always being there even when I said I didn't need them (because I really did).  I want to say thank you to my lovely boys who give me so much to live for. Thanks to Gagik for all the love and the lifetime of memories that help me go on, thank you for the times you've helped me up, even now.  In the end I'd like to apologize to myself for not being kind at times and for doubting myself..

What doesn't kill us definitely makes us stronger...

Peace, live joyously and well..

Thanks you for lending an ear again and again..

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Something new to write about

Hi dear friends, just a quick note.. I've started a new blog, because I was asked by a local online newsletter/publication if I would blog about my little town and the community.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity.  So swing by and check it out, I'm very excited to have great new people and things to write about.

This new blog is dedicated to the town of Eagle Rock, it's people and the stories behind the faces of the community I have come to love. Everyone has walked a path that has led them to this moment and place in time, this is where their stories will be shared. Let me introduce you to my town and show you why I have come to call it home. Welcome to Eagle Rock!

Here's the first post: