Saturday, October 31, 2009

mindful absence..

Had another great Tai Qi practice today....
When the group is in sinc and we all sway to the movements together we become one with nature and that is one of the greatest feeling.

One of the most important part of practice is what the master calls it..."mindful absence". What this means is that we are fully aware of our surroundings, the sounds that nature makes, the leafs that sway and sing to the wind, the earth and branches that crackle under the footsteps of hikers around us, the flap of birds wings in flight and their chirping as they sit on the trees observing us dance. It is imperative that we do stay awake, to be part of all that goes on around us, and yet just as important to be absent. This is what mindful absence is... aware of it all yet not consumed by it. Think of a Deer grazing... she is so lost in her world, just munching away, yet the ears are very alert, observing and listening to every little sound around her... One little crack will have her running to safety.

The mind can wonder and get lost in thought as you meditate or practice, it is only natural with all the things going on in our head. But in Tai Qi we let the thoughts come in and just pass through our mind...we mustn't let them linger and take away too much of our energy. That is exactly what Tai Qi is... the practice of flowing the energy through our body, and harnessing our Qi, directing it to the places that could benefit from it greatly. With each movement that is what we do, help that energy flow freely from one point to the next, we also use the energy that mother earth is offering to heal our bodies, and at the end of the practice we return that energy back to her.

So, try mindful absence next time you are meditating, by being aware of what is around you and at the same time not getting lost in the noise, both from the outside and from the inside of your body... you'll become one with nature. The energy you will feel will be exhilarating. You'll be refreshed and recharged... I promise you.

Have a safe and fun Halloween weekend :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

16 years ago today...

There is the little man at 4 weeks, he brought so much happiness into our home upon his arrival 16 years ago... that truly was a joyous day for all of us. First child for us and first grandchild to grandparents on both sides of the family, not to mention first nephew to both to my brother and Gag's sister, and the first one in our circle of friends. So, you think he was loved???

And now here he is... all grown up, shaving and all.. He has a great personality, and a very caring heart. There are times his reactions to things are so much like Gag, it's scary.. He's a good boy, and no doubt will grow up to be a great man.

As difficult as the road ahead seems at times... I think there are many happy days ahead still and I'm looking forward to it all... to life. My boys really do keep me going, and I "dig that" as my friend Christina would say.

Happy 16th Arman!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

love from the bogoshere...

My lovely blog friend Christina over at Soul Aperture sent me this photo today...
Her husband participated in the cancer run in Milwaukee on a September day, and among the names of all their friends who have been effected by this horrid disease, was Gag's name too.... made me teary looking at it.

Thank you Christina and husband for thinking of him and thank you for the photo, you truly are a very special person. To think we don't even "know" each other, we met here in the cyber world, between blog posts and sharing stories, admiring our pictures and finding comfort in our words. Yet it would seem we have connected on a much deeper level...

There is much love here in the blogosphere, no doubt about it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

sweet snail mail....

Hey everybody, look what I got in
the mail from Janet.
This is one of her tags from her
Tuesday Tag Challenge posts, I commented about
how I really liked this one... and voila!!!

Thank you Janet, I really love it,
love the colors, the message, and most
of all the fact that it's hand made by you.
It's very happy in it's new home, hanging
from my lamp on my nightstand,
where I can see it daily and think of all
the great memories Gag left us with.
Thanks again... it really made my day.

Isn't Janet great? If you guys haven't
already been there please check out
her corner.


Monday, October 19, 2009

looking for the light...

I heard Arman shaving this morning before school.....

My thoughts started whirling in my mind again... I remembered the day Gag showed him how to shave, he was ill already yet still had enough energy to teach him at least this one little step to manhood. And of course, all kinds of things started popping into my head, all the things that the boys still needed to learn from dad, all the wise words they are going to look for, all the times they will search for him as they reach moments in their lives that will require dad's advise..

I was overwhelmed by all the feelings that came over me once again, this tremendous fear took over, the helpless feeling of not being able to fill that void in their lives... I couldn't breath, it was so terrifying, so claustrophobic, my head was spinning from all that was going on up there. Will I be able to give them all that they will need, provide them with at least some of the answers to the questions they'll be faced with? Will I have the strength to be there every step of the way, to guide them, to help them choose the right path, to give them the right tools to grow into strong, confident men? There is no doubt in my mind that they have already learned so much from dad, and those lessons will always stay with them... but how many more lessons are left untaught?

This is when I really felt the need for Gag's presence, and this is what I miss the most about him always... our talks, we always talked through things, every obstacle, every hurdle, every tough situation was resolved by long talks and we both felt so much better in the end.. I needed him today more then ever, I needed his wisdom, his positive words that always made me see the light, his comforting voice telling me that all will be fine in the end... I needed to see him, to hear him... so I got in my car and drove out to the cemetery... where else to go to feel his presence???

Took some flowers, burned some essence, shared a cup of coffee and talked.. I did most of the talking... he didn't really have a lot to say, in fact he hasn't really been talking to me much... I'm still waiting... But, it felt good to tell him all my worries like old times, and perhaps it's the serenity of the place itself that always seems to calm me down somehow....

In the end.. the sun did peek through the clouds, as if to embrace me with it's warmth, and pat me on my shoulder to say that things will be ok, that we will come out of all this in tacked, and the light will appear again at the end of this dark tunnel. I walked away feeling a little better, much stronger that I felt in the morning, and even though all my worries are still there, the fear, the doubt, the pain are all still my constant companions, but a little less suffocating...

Another dark day turned a bit brighter, the heavy heart still lingers, it's hard shaking off an emotional morning, but with a few deep breaths I'll make it through the day, and always hope for a better start tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

three months behind us...the rest of our lives ahead still..

What can I say... I just miss this smiling face so marks three months.
Three very tough months... and not to say that the rest of our lives will be any easier, but the memories of this happy person make us laugh, and he still manages to fill our hearts with joy...
that's all I have to say today...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

still learning....

Having been a Psych major in collage, and an overall nut about all things human... our behaviour, our inner senses that are a very delicate and complicated web... our reactions to things... our undying quest for self and purpose....
This past experience has also been a very interesting time for me from an observation stand. I don't know about you, but I am always examining and reexamining myself, my thoughts, the way I handle situations, emotions etc... I have always been that way, but after studying the human psyche and reading quite a bit on the subject, I think I've become more and more aware of this interest of mine.

Naturally... after a person goes through a major ordeal like the one I've been through the past couple of years, your emotional and psychological state goes through a whirlwind of ups and downs, and many sessions of crashes and reboots... But in the end, somehow, we still survive...some may even say conquer ourselves and our inner daemons that so often, (in some people) win the battle.

There are so many changes I've noticed within my very character, some so noticeable that friends and family have pointed them out as well. But... how much of it is normal and how much alarming?? That is the real question... and actually how much of it should be embraced and how much should be shaken off??

Of course I'm different... how can I possibly be the same person? When I've lived the past seventeen years of my life with another person, with whom I've shared most of my days, thoughts, emotions, my joys, pains and sorrows with. Someone to be responsible for and someone who was responsible for me, someone whom I made plans with, did things for, cared for, worried about... And now... that person who was my ever present breath next to me is no longer there... and ya I know what you're going to say... he's still here and always will be. But that's not what I'm talking about..

Here are some examples... very small and insignificant things, but these are the things that make me realize that there is someone...something missing in my everyday life... When I'm in the supermarket shopping... I reach for the things that Gag enjoyed eating, then put them back... like the brand of coffee he preferred or the kind of orange juice he liked etc. .. A load of laundry is missing from the usual pile... his usual spot on the table or the sofa is empty... we ask for a table for 3 in stead of 4 when out... junk mail still arriving with his name on it...or having to explain to the telemarketer on the other line why they should never call back and ask for him... and of course the worse...not hearing him whisper "sweet dreams" before I close my eyes every night.
You see where I'm getting at here??? So... how can I be the same person??

I undoubtedly can not... and most likely will not ever be the same person, but that is human nature... we change with each experience, be it a joyous one like becoming a parent... or a painful one such as loosing a loved one. The difficult task, aside from dealing with the pain and usual symptoms of a grieving heart... is learning to adjust to these changes, learning to like yourself again, to get to know yourself once again, and ultimately accepting these changes within yourself, so that you can live with yourself again... Of course this journey presents yet another challenge... which is having your loved ones and your friends learn to accept these changes as well. For many years they are used to you being a certain way, and now at times your behaviour throws them off, which leads them to believe that you "must be" in trouble or in need of help. Where in reality, you yourself are confused and are learning to adjust.

We humans are a very interesting species to say the least, but what amazes me time and time again is the amount of things we can handle that gets thrown our way in this life of ours. And the majority of us do end up surviving.. conquering.. and gaining a greater understanding of our inner layers. I think the first step in adjusting to these changes is accepting and understanding them. And yes, at times you want that inner "fetal position" to win.. because on some days that's all you want to do, and it's ok to give in at all us humans need that position from time to time, but we can not indulge in that too often, because ultimately we will lose, and we will not only lose ourselves, but in the process will lose everything we love.

So... the journey continues, having learned a lot... yet so much more to be learned still..

I am here, learning... adjusting... accepting... struggling.... surviving and conquering... some patience!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

fun filled weekend...

The weekend started with a pleasant
surprise as I found out that my mom's
friend and daughter were taking us out to lunch.

So we were off to Malibu's Taverna Tony
where delicious food was had.
The saganaki which is a fried cheese flambeed
table side was amazing, as were the rest
of the dishes. And a little Ouzo shared with
good old friends in a nice setting is just what
the doctor ordered.

That evening was one of my favorite
events that takes place in our little community
every year, the Music Festival.

Colorado Blvd. is closed off a few blocks and filled
with food carts, craft vendors and some dozen
bands in different corners of the street.

This shot shows the hustle and bustle on the street,
where people flock to each year for some
good music and great street food.

The boys and I were having far too much
fun to stop and take pictures, but I did
manage to take a few shots of these guys.
Who were performing a Brazilian
Martial Arts dance called Capoeira.
The beat was mesmerizing, and the
performance amazing...

Then we were off to Castaic Lake for a
family picnic on Sunday.
What a beautiful fall day that was,
crisp air, little breeze and the sun warming
us at times.

Of course great food was had...

Little rock stacking, patience lessons were
practiced between father and son (my brother)...
and other family members...

And an overall great time was had, surrounded
by family, food, laughter, and these magnificent

Lots of great memories were made this weekend, many photos taken, countless bonding conversations between friends and family, kids had quite a few laughs as well as us adults.
Quite honestly this was possibly the first weekend where I felt a glimpse of happiness in my heart, yes again.. Gag was always on my mind and I did get teared up at times thinking how wonderful it would have been to have him with us, and how he would enjoy every moment of this weekend, he loved full days like these, where we had a lot going on...

But... I laughed with a bit more ease this time, and the teary sessions were a little more spread out than usual... And this was a good thing for all of us.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


just a quick note to let you guys know what's going on in October over at Capturing beauty.
so go on over there now and check back throughout this month for some fun shots of the changing season captured by all 11 of us there..
Here's my first shot I posted.... more to come :)

thanks Philip once again for this blog opportunity

breaking down....

Oh boy.... my dear blog friends, had a really low evening brace yourselves for a tough read...

Gag's best friend had surgery yesterday and I went to visit him in the hospital, and let me tell you... it was such a painful flash back moment for me. Same hospital, same parking lot where I've cried many a times sitting in my car, same hallways we've walked together...

As I got off the elevator, a couple were walking up and down the hall, the husband had just had surgery and was doing his recovery walk, the wife holding his hand tightly, walking slowly next to him for support.... it took me immediately to the days following Gag's open heart surgery and our walks down these halls. He was so determined to recover quickly and get on with life, every couple of hours he'd say..."let's go love, let's take a stroll". And we'd go around a couple of times, holding hands, talking, laughing.... Gag as usual joking around with the nurses, saying hello to neighbors in the other rooms, and the nurses thought we were so cute, strolling hand in hand as if we were in a beautiful park, walking along the paths enjoying the trees around us without a care in the world...

Let me tell you I just wanted to fall on the ground and weep... but of course I didn't, after all I was there to see a friend, to cheer him up, and comfort him by giving him some encouraging words, so once again I held it together and buried my pain, well... at least till I got to the parking lot and cried sitting in my car alone like I've done so many times before.

Had to compose myself, wipe the tears and put the smile back on, I went to pick up Arman from the soccer field, and boom... once again a flashback hit me, but it was like nothing I had experienced before. I parked the car, started walking towards the field, and there it was, right where Gag used to park his car was a dark blue Scion, with soccer gear in the back just like Gag's. And as naive and stupid humans as we are, for a split second I forgot everything and had a little joy moment of knowing I was going to see him.... but that's all it was, a very short millisecond of joy... then I woke up and realized what I was thinking and how unreal it felt. And that is when I lost it, right there under the lights, standing next to that car. everything came crushing down... and all this happened in front of Arman... which I hate to do...

But, I am only human... And there is only so much I can restrain. This is what happens when you swallow your pain time and time again, bury your sorrow deep under your skin and hold back all the tears that want to burst out. It all comes pouring out when you least expect it and where you didn't want it to happen. I know that it's ok for the boys to see me hurting and know that after all, we are in this reality and that yes, it is very hard for all of us, but I don't want to give them the pain of seeing me like that and the helplessness that they feel, knowing that there is nothing they can do to change the situation. Something no mother ever wishes for...

So, yes a very tough evening for us, it was possibly the worst weeping cry I have ever had, and I feel exhausted this morning, but we must carry on, hold it together and just keep breathing....

Realized this morning that... what a surprise.... it was Wednesday yesterday... wow!

Enjoy every moment of your lives...