To Feel Love Again … Ditto



“Remember everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something”


When you lose love in your life, there is a huge hole left, a gaping hole in your heart where love dwelt.  It doesn’t matter how that love was lost – natural causes, suicide, old age, accident … loss is painful.  Loss of love hangs over you as a black cloud, raining upon daily life.  And depending upon loss of whom – be it a parent, a child, a spouse, a friend – the damage to your heart can be long-term and feel endless.

“Real loss only occurs when you love something more than yourself.”

However, there is a glimpse of a positive aspect.  I know this first-hand after losing the love of my life, my sweet husband, due to suicide.  It has now been 28 months as of September 4th that he is gone from this world.  Too soon, too hurtful, too sad.  I faced so many unperceivable emotions during this time.  Yet there is happiness in my life now.  The light is brighter in my heart and my soul can breathe again.  It was a lesson in breathing which began to teach me I could live again and be truly alive through the sadness.

The term “light at the end of the tunnel” is something which makes you believe that a difficult or unpleasant situation will end.  I’ve lost love through several situations in my life.  Loss of husband, parents, siblings, friends all feel just a bit different; the loss of my husband being the worst ever.  Suicide is devastating and you never, ever get over it.  I have learned, however, that you can live through it and “yes” you can even allow happiness to shine on you again.

My writing back nearly two and one-half years ago was what I call black writing.  It was meaningful and important, yet bleak and dark.  My life was altered forever.  With the love of friends and what I believe are my angels surrounding me, I purposefully brought life back into my heart.  Life trailed along in the form of furry pets, my three beautiful girls.  These girls are three dogs I’ve rescued, or really who rescued me.


Fast forward to present day and I am profoundly happier and feel so much love through these lovable creatures from God.  Love shows through and takes hold in so many ways and not just from furry creatures.  My friends have been guiding beams of light as my ship sailed without a compass for a while.  Many a stormy night presented itself during these 28 months, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I still have “those days” or “those nights” when sadness consumes me.  After all, when you have real love and lose it in this world, is it forgotten one day?  Then again, I must ask you is that love you feel you’ve lost truly lost?



Many, if not most, reading this right now have seen the movie, “Ghost” when Patrick Swayze says to Demi Moore, “It’s amazing, Molly.  The love you have inside, you take it with you.”



That love is what I miss in the here and now.  But it’s NOT gone.  It’s still here in my heart and always will be.  And I believe Swayze’s quote – Martin did take his love and mine with him!  The part I miss is the physical Martin in this life.  He was gone all too soon.  Although in life, we are never guaranteed what forever means.  We have no guarantees other than to LIVE life.  And that, my dearest friends, is the key element to life.  We “must live life” in order to love and feel and be happy again.

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow.  If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder.  If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow.  If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile.  But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.”



Do You Believe In Yourself?


Recently, I saw on TV that Oprah Winfrey did Tony Robbins’ Firewalk.  It reminded me that 12+ years ago, so did I.  A lot has happened since that day – and suddenly I began thinking this was partly the reason for people telling me how strong I am under serious conditions.

Firewalking is the act of walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers or stones.  To walk over fire – what a thought!  My friend Polly B. invited me and another friend, Cathy W., to the Tony Robbins UPW (Unleash the Power Within) event where the Firewalk is offered.   Firewalk:  very scary thing to do one thinks in the comfort of your living room, safe at home.  But I was intrigued and vastly curious.  So I attended, thinking I’d watch others do their Firewalk.  I considered the experience in those terms and I was fine with that.

When it came to the point in the seminar where Tony walked us over and showed us how they prepare by setting the fire and waiting until it burns down to red-hot embers, it only served to re-emphasize the scariness.  Could people really train their minds to do it?

What is the point of doing a Firewalk anyway?  The idea is that rather than just get a ton of theory in any book or DVD, you have to experience the challenge of facing something you believe you cannot do – something IMPOSSIBLE for you to do, and then face up to it and just go ahead and DO it.  It teaches you to face your greatest fears, and all the other challenges in your life become easy by comparison!

Suddenly I felt like the only one insistent upon not doing the Firewalk.   Now it was time and we ALL walked over to the site of those now red-hot embers and began to walk.  We’d been told how to prepare, what to do and what to think.  We had rehearsed mentally over and over again until it was memorized.



My friend Cathy walked first and completed the Firewalk with passion!  When it was my turn the “coach” asked me if I wanted to do this.  I said, “I’m not sure,” and began to tear up.  I was petrified and yet felt something inside urging me to go ahead!  The program coach reminded me what we had memorized.  Told me that I could do this and it convinced me that I at least had to try.  And I did.  And the additional joy came as my friend, Polly B., was the one catching me at the end!

The take-away from this Firewalk provides life transforming tools to help push you through obstacles, achieve your goals, take consistent action on your ideas, and ultimately redefine and improve the quality of your entire life.

A heart-breaking tragedy in my life recently from the suicide of my husband made me aware that my life will never be the same again.  The Firewalk also made me realize that I would never, ever be the same again!  I just forgot about it for all these years.  Oprah’s Firewalk reminded me that “I can live through this” and live my life with love and happiness, and achieve goals I also had forgotten.  Or maybe, realign my goals to match my present day needs.  I have the power within and I know how to use it to live my life with more passion, happiness and fulfillment than ever before!   And I won’t settle for anything less.


We Are Family – My Dogs and Me!


Dogs invite us into their world, and through that, our lives are deeply enriched.  My two beautiful white boxers, Miley and Casey, have brought me such happiness, love and calm after a terrible tragedy befell me.  They are a God-send.  I post this in order to celebrate our love and devotion for dogs, which in turn is reciprocated many times over by their love and devotion for us.

There is so much we can truly learn from dogs.  They teach us how to go with the flow of life.  And they are the kindest, most caring and devoted animals known to humankind. 
Dogs have become a part of our family and a part of our personal history. They live in the house with us; they sit and sleep together with us. They have brought something unique and fulfilling to our lives. They have loved us unconditionally and have taught us important lessons for better living — how to embrace life, how to enjoy the moment, how to let go when it’s time to let go, even when it seems way too soon.

While we struggle to figure out why we were put here on Earth, all a dog wants is to love and be loved — a powerful lesson for us all.



Furry Shrink

I’d double her life if I could —
we share a history.
When friends turn false, my dog stays true,
her head upon my knee.

She can erase my loneliness —
my pain melts in her eyes.
My dog lies close — she understands
what I cannot disguise.


I came across a couple of poems written about our love for dogs.

I think you’ll agree with their sentiments below.


 The Greeting

I open the door.
You are already
bounding to the door
with a wagging tail,
flashing teeth,
and four prancing paws.
Your healing power dissolves
the most difficult day
from memory.
A cold nose
and warm kisses
trigger a child’s laughter
from my heart.
I am a better human
for having you
in my life.

— Joan Noëldechen




Puppy Days

Bless this frisky puppy
Who’s into everything
His playful fresh behavior
Is like a day in spring

Remind me to be patient
When he’s chewed another book
Or races through the living room
With a newly laundered sock

He loves without condition
Gives me kisses every day
And greets me with a wagging tail
After I have been away

Like any other baby
He needs a lot of rest
When he falls asleep curled next to me
I know that I am blessed

— Louise Webster





If I greeted everyone happily
Instead of eyeing with distrust
If I didn’t pass judgment
But accepted all
If I listened intently
With understanding in my eyes
If I brought comfort
All the time, no matter what
If I loved unconditionally
Without reservation
If I lived life more simply
Instead of worrying so much
If I played tirelessly
And didn’t work so hard
If I made people smile
Just by my presence in the room
If I experienced true joy
At the little things in life
Then I’d be the perfect friend
Just like my dog. 



Can You Find Happiness At The Beach?


Sometimes so much can happen as the days blend into one another like chocolate syrup in melting ice cream that I forget to post.   Because I’ve remembered one of my heart-healing days with my girls (remember those two white boxers I adopted?), I’m posting to impose much smiling on my part, and perhaps your part as well. 

The girls and I jaunted to Ft DeSoto Beach on Wednesday to an area where we could see the Sunshine Skyway in the background.  I didn’t let them play in the water – per signage you’re really not supposed to anyway.  But they played and walked on the grassy area and in the sand and we walked a good length of the beach.  Was a gorgeous day for it.  At first, there was lots of fog as we drove across the toll booth but as we neared Ft DeSoto it was clearing up.  I figured it was a sign!   Martin, late husband, and I had spread my late sister Judy’s ashes there and I think she was smiling and laughing along with us this day.  She absolutely LOVED dogs – and these 2 are such lovers.  Judy would’ve been in pup heaven! 


And there were quite a few dogs at the beach.  We even met a regular (a mix of brown, black and white versus all white) boxer named Roxanne.  She was adorable and quite friendly.  Without hesitation, she came right up to the girls snifing and kissing them.  Very sweet.  And my girls never even growled or barked.  Very friendly … So the girls are socializing now … hot damn! 

I think they were pooped ‘cuz on the way home, Miley laid on the back seat with her eyes drooping almost closed.  Perhaps she was day-dreaming of her day on the beach and new-found friend.  Casey laid her little head on my shoulder with her little touching mine all the way home.   Made me smile – big time! 

We’ll go again – and soon the water won’t be so cold either. 

 They had a dogster treat once we arrived home – that was like the cherry atop the sundae for them!   And mom (that would be me!) had a Skinny Cow French Vanilla treat (yumbo).  Just a little while ago they had dinner.   Now they’re at my feet, curled up asleep.  

And great fun was had by all.

Another heart-healing day …

You Really Want a Lifetime of Nothing Special?

 For the first time since his wife’s untimely death in March 2009, Liam Neeson spoke out about dealing with his personal pain in a candid interview for Esquire magazine.  In the interview, featured in the March issue, Liam spoke openly of the day his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died following a skiing accident near Montreal at the age of 45.  In the wake of her death, Neeson said he coped by immersing himself in one of the things he knew best – work.


“I just think I was still in a bit of shock,” he told Esquire. “But it’s kind of a no-brainer to go back to that work. It’s a wee bit of a blur, but I know the tragedy hadn’t just really smacked me yet.”


“I think I survived by running away some.  Running away to work.  Listen, I know how old I am and that I’m just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in ‘Taken.’  So I stay with the training, I stay with the work,” he continued.  “It’s easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work.  That’s effective.  But that’s the weird thing about grief.  You can’t prepare for it.  You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with.  You make those plans, but they never work.” 

However, as the actor explained, it only postponed – not prevented — the pain from setting in from losing the woman he married in 1994 and had two children with.


“It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night.  I’m out walking.  I’m feeling quite content.  And it’s like suddenly, boom,” he said.


These are candid remarks from Liam.  I know these feelings all too well from the loss of my husband by suicide – anyone who has  suffered  a tragedy losing a loved one from an accident, a malignant illness, or a suicide knows how he feels.  If you or someone you know shares these feelings and reactions, remember that you are not alone.  And sometimes the best feeling in the world with loss, especially from a tragedy, is to know that you are not alone. 


 Suddenly, without notice, your whole world changes drastically and completely.  Much like Liam, you fight back tears every second and wonder how in the world you can live without your loved one.  You are numb and yet feel every emotion simultaneously. 

 Being alone some days is more comforting than forcing yourself to be in a good mood to have coffee with a friend.  Friends struggle to say the right things to help, but they feel helpless as well.  It’s an invisible barrier that separates even family. 

A remedy for heartache is to lead as happy a life as possible.  Genuine friends understand that you are doing your best to work through your grief and trying to reinvest in life itself.  If others don’t understand, don’t worry about them.  Surviving and rebuilding your life is what is truly important and is what your lost loved one wants for you.   Don’t lose sight of that … it will help see you through!

Remember to start slowly and move carefully with friends who are supportive and understanding.  Meet for lunch or dinner; take a walk on the beach at sunrise or watch the sunset with them. 

Recognize that you’re living through a terrible tragedy, yet still have to survive.  It takes practice, lots of it, to take one moment one day at a time.  You had no choice and no control over the suicide but you now have a choice to survive and live through it and even have moments of happiness and joy.  It does take practice.  Ten months after my husband Martin’s death, I’ve finally realized:


 Now is the time to dance because the longer you wait, the easier it is to keep waiting, endlessly, and then life passes you by.  Regrets form and you spiral further downward.  Dance while things are unacceptable and imperfect and things will get better, I promise you.  Take baby steps, and it will create more smiles, give you a brighter outlook and make it possible for you to enjoy life again, with all its inherent flaws.  Happiness will develop little by little.


I feel this loss so enormously because I had amazing love.  While I miss Martin terribly, “I’d rather have three minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”   

Start dancing in the rain – life is too short.  What are you waiting for?