Does Life Hit You Hard … Is Your Life Good?


There’s so much we can learn from pets, especially dogs.  I have three female dogs – my little angels on earth.  Their devotion, undying love and friendship all are mine.  They have an inner sense of our feelings too.  When we’re happy – they are happy!  When we are distressed, they offer their hand (a paw) and kisses (or licks) to help ease the pain.  We have so much to learn from them in our daily lives.

Recently I watched the movie “City of Angels” which stars Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan.  She portrays a doctor who loses her first patient and then cannot understand why she suddenly feels so small.  He portrays one of God’s Angels here on earth watching over us.  And he tries to console and help her with the anguish and emotional doubts she suffers.

Later on in the movie Cage (the Angel) asks Meg (the doctor) why humans cry.  Her best effort at an answer is, “Maybe … maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it.  Your mind and your feelings become too powerful and your body weeps.”

That’s it isn’t it?  When I lost my husband Martin by suicide, the overwhelming emotion was more than my body could repress or control and my body wept.  We are designed with an internal mechanism to help us in times of brutal emotion, pain and suffering.  Thus it is why this type of grief takes a long time to work through.  And although it has been two years since his suicide, I still have those moments though they are fewer than they were two years ago.  We never really know how we will react to hardship but our body and mind are made to do what they need to do.   Randy Pausch said, “It’s not how hard you hit.  It’s how hard you get hit … and keep moving forward.”

Which leads me to realize that if we did not know fear, pain, or hunger and never heard music or encounter a magnificent sunrise how could we say we truly felt anything?  Strangely though it may seem, we learn to cope with pain and suffering only by experiencing both.  Just like we enjoy the summer growth of flowers, plants and trees we also admire their brilliant foliage in the Fall as they ready to die and rest through the cold of winter.  I believe C.S. Lewis said it best, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

One of my goals is to truly enjoy life and enjoy my girls – yes, the dogs.  Today – Sunday – I wanted to finish this blog in order to post it.  But it was a bright and beautiful day and the girls kept staring at me as if to say, “Mom, aren’t we going to have some fun?  Can we go out and play?”

So what did mom decide to do?  Work or play … it’s a difficult chore for me, knowing how I was raised to do the ‘right’ thing.  Surprisingly, I realized the ‘right’ thing to do in my ‘2nd chance with my girls’ was to go outdoors with them and play in the pool.  And we had the absolute best time we have ever shared!  And you see, I am finishing this article for my blog, just a bit later than I had on my personal timeframe.

Life is a mystery and I suppose we could agree that death is also.  It is said that there are no “do overs” in life.  But every now and then, I believe that we are gifted with a second chance.  I lost my one true love two years ago.  But God brought me my three little angels who love me like no other human could.  And the question remains: what am I going to do with it?  How am I going to play my second chance?  Stay tuned and I’ll let you know.  In the meantime I ask you, “How will you play your chance at life?”

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!

I don’t know about the rest of you, however, as for me I’d like to say each day without regret, “Today I loved and lived life … and it was good!”


Letter to My Husband


My darling Martin,

It has been three months since you left me here alone.  A day doesn’t go by that my heart doesn’t cry out for you.  Images of you as you were, when you loved me most, fill my mind.  Longing to be held by you, I am embraced by emptiness instead.  Like a ghost, you haunt my heart and stand just beyond my reach. 

 My dreams are heart-wrenching as you are close yet impossibly far away.  Why won’t you stay with me?  You could stay here with me in this world of dreams.  Praying I ask please don’t wake me from the dreams of you.  If I have to wake to find you have gone, then I relive the feeling of my heart laid bare.

Standing in the wake of your pain after you were gone, I was left feeling utterly abandoned.  I’m trying desperately to remember how to breathe again as the tears stream down my face and my heart cries out for you. 

What few truths I have learned seem not to hold any freedom for me.  Instead I’m left with many unanswered questions aching to be answered and yet dangerous perhaps if asked. 

I know that I am a better person for having known you and shared the time we had.  How I miss you holding my hand as we walked, and those sweetest of eyes as you looked into my soul.  You were such a quiet man and yet so kind and gentle and loving. 

My dreams came true when you loved me.  I waited so long for you to come into my life.  You allowed me into your heart, proposed on bended knees saying you couldn’t imagine life without me.  How happy you made me!  The two of us loved each other, for better or worse … until death do us part.  Little did I know death would come so soon. 

When you took me to London to meet your family and then to Paris, I was overjoyed.  There in front of  The Louvre, I knew you and I truly were in love.  You kissed me that night like never before – the first of many such times.  And when you wrote our names atop the Eiffel Tower saying Martin loves Joan, you told me that it would be there forever.  How I loved you then and now. 

You will forever be loved and never forgotten.  You will always have my heart no matter how long it takes for me to join you. 

Your loving wife,