Sunday, November 27, 2011

~Miranda's Passing~

Miranda led a charmed life. To look at her, you would think she had the world in her front pocket. Born into a wealthy family, Miranda enjoyed all the good things life had to offer, world travel, operas, weekend trips to New York City to see standing room only plays, dinners at five star restaurants..... She was graced not only with wealth but an intellect to match. Among her many talents was that of published author who wrote self-help books, the first titled Learn To Love By Loving Yourself, and the second titled Reaching for the Stars. She was half-way through her third book, which she considered her best yet, titled Sacred Journey. Miranda was an over-achiever, not quite a perfectionist but a close second. She simply felt that something worth doing was worth doing well.....or as well as humanly possible. Besides her love for books and writing, she also had a passion for painting and once exhibited her watercolors at a downtown gallery where she sold three paintings in one evening. She lived in a fine home in an upscale community where the lawns are meticulously cared for, and the children grow up playing lacrosse and tennis, take music and ballet lessons, go swimming and play golf at their parent's private country club. For all appearances Miranda did indeed live a charmed life. But the naked eye can see only the superficial, the face that is painted on each morning to show the world that all is well. All is not well with Miranda for all the wealth in the world cannot buy her good health. Only her family and small circle of friends were made aware of Miranda's prognosis. Weeks earlier she had been diagnosed with cancer. Not just cancer but stage four breast cancer that had metastasized because she had waited too long and turned a blind eye to the symptoms until she could no longer do so. Each year, religiously, Miranda would go for her annual check-up, always in the month of January so she could begin the New Year with a clean bill of health.  But she had missed her appointment the previous year because she was ill with the flu bug. She had every intention to reschedule once she felt better but days turned into weeks and the appointment was put on the back burner and soon forgotten about. At the age of thirty-six and never having been sick with anything more than childhood measles and an occasional cold or flu, Miranda didn't trouble herself with the missed appointment. If she had gone, she expected nothing less than her doctor's usual phone call claiming " Everything looks good. All tests came back normal. See you next year"..... But not this time. Miranda sensed there would be no next year. On this visit her doctor's eyes said it all, sometimes more is said when words go unspoken, thought Miranda. Time is a gift, not a given. Funny how we take it all for granted, our precious lives, our family, our future. She was beyond depressed. Miranda felt an emptiness so deep that her despair echoed throughout her repeating the same tortured mantra "Why me? What have I done to deserve this"? But she knew better. Miranda knew that terrible tragedies befall even the most innocent and pure of heart. Though she was not religious, she did own a strong spiritual sense and belief in an afterlife. She wondered if her fate was some sort of karmic retribution for deeds done lifetimes ago. her heart ached with pain and sorrow of knowing that she would never wed, never hold her newborn infant in her arms, never become a grandmother. She had placed more importance on education and career than allowing love to enter to her structured life never realizing that both were possible. No longer did life make sense. There was no rhyme or reason to anything and she now viewed her organized world through jaded eyes. She became detached and though she tried to continue her writing, she could find no peace or solace in the words. Miranda always loved the beauty and the power of words, but they now felt inferior and fell short in their attempts to pacify.

After a few months, with her health rapidly declining, Miranda went to stay with her parents in Upstate Michigan. Marc and Michelle Oliver left early on a Friday morning, drove the five hours to Miranda's home in Chicago, spent the night, and took their only daughter back to her childhood home to live out the final weeks of her life surrounded by nature.....surrounded by love. She was weak and tired but her medication was a wonder drug that alleviated much of the pain. She slept for hours on end. Her dreams had become so vivid and surreal. One dream in particular stood out from the others. It was of her maternal grandmother who had passed when Miranda was fifteen years of age. She was standing at the foot of the antique four-poster bed with arms reaching out calling Miranda by her pet name, Mimi. Miranda awoke startled. The room felt colder than usual and was bathed in a soft shimmer of iridescent light. Miranda felt confused. She audibly heard her name called out. There was no doubt it was her German grandmother's voice, soft and thick with accent. The smell of Lavender perfume oil hung in the air, her grandmother always wore the sweet scent of lavender.  With effort, Miranda sat up in bed expecting to see her Oma. The clock on the nightstand read 3:30a.m. After slowly surveying the room and wondering what had just taken place, she eased back onto the goose-down pillows but was too emotional to return to sleep. How she yearned to be held by her Oma and reassured that all will be well.  Curled up on her side and gently rocking back and forth, Miranda finally returned to sleep. The next morning, in the light of day, Miranda convinced herself that her Oma's visit was nothing more than a dream. It was her medications, her sickness that was distorting her sense of reality. But again that night, while Miranda soundly slept, she had the same experience. The bedside clock glowed 3:30a.m. This time, however, Miranda awoke to the sensation of her head being gently stroked. She smelled the lavender perfume. With eyes still closed she listened to her Oma humming an old German lullaby she used to sing to her. Miranda wondered again whether she was dreaming or awake. She was certain she was awake, wasn't she? Slowly opening her eyes, Miranda welled with tears when she saw her grandmother sitting on the upper right side of her bed facing her. The love she emanated....My God, the love.....It enveloped Miranda with a warm radiant white light  filling her with a peace she had never known. Miranda whispered " Oma, am I dreaming or are you really here with me?"  No Mimi, you are not dreaming. I am here with you. I have all ways been with you."  "But how is it I can see you Oma" asked Miranda. "The time is drawing near my Mimi. All questions will be answered soon." Know that I am here with you. There is no reason to be afraid my beautiful granddaughter." Night after night, at 3:30 a.m., Miranda dreamed...... She had come to look forward to her Oma's nightly visits. She had also come to realize that she was not dreaming.

As life slowly leaves us, the veil between the living and the dead becomes thinner. We then have a foot in both worlds. We can commune with our deceased loved ones, and they in turn, are able to commune with us....If we would only listen. The dead are not lost to us and speak to us everyday. On December11, 2011, with the fresh fallen snow glistening in the trees and on the ground in Upstate Michigan, Miranda's Oma came for one final visit. The clock on the bedside table read 3:30 a.m. This time Miranda was patiently waiting, sitting up in bed with her head resting against her pillows. She saw her grandmother as clearly as she saw her Mother and Father, and their priest reciting the rosary beside her. When her Oma lovingly reached out her hand, she spoke to her only granddaughter with such tenderness, "It is time now my Mimi". With a smile on her face, Miranda reached out her right hand and with fingers intertwined, Miranda stepped out of her emaciated body, and with her Oma's guidance stepped into the light.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

~Warrior Of Love~

Should I feel remorse because my love for you causes discomfort? When all I want to do is dance with joy because I am finally able to feel once again? It is not something that I can control nor do I wish to...... I no longer have the strength or desire to wage battle with my heart. It is useless, a no-win situation for I would be an unarmed adversary. There was a time when you would not have gotten close, when you would not have been my conqueror. My armor was once impenetrable and my shield strong and protective. But even the most determined warriors tire and with time forget what it is they are fighting against. I knew all too well what I was fighting against but the cause was no longer worthy and did not serve me well. My steely resolve began to strip away, layer by layer, until I allowed myself to become vulnerable. What sane person dares to declare war on love? Such a lonely and desolate battlefield....... I was made to realize that the bravest, most noble warrior is he who defiantly removes his armor, lay down his weapons, and stands humbly before fellow man with compassion and open heart. There is no soul more brave than one who bares his heart to another, for the wound that may be suffered is sharper than any pain inflicted by sheath or sword. I stand before you now, exposed in all my glory with heart wide open. I have come to understand that I would rather die for what I know to be righteous and true than to fight a battle that was never meant to be won.......


~I know who I am, 
  I realize where I stand.
  I may have my illusions,
  my fantasies, but I know my place.   
 I have accepted this position,
because the thought of
of not seeing you is unbearable.
My body shows you the words
my lips may not speak,
how I want you so, how I love
you with every inch of my being.
Yes.....I know who I am.
I realize where I stand,
and though from time to time
the pain may well and the tears
may tell how my heart suffers so,
I accept this position, because
the thought of not seeing you
is unbearable..........

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I will not say I am sorry for loving you. Love is something that comes from the night sky when the moon shines bright and fills our hearts with the promise of a life filled with wonder and joy, a  life worth living.and sharing. How can I possibly be sorry for loving you? I simply had no choice in the matter. Love is a blessing and the courage it takes to be so vulnerable is such a brave and selfless act when knowing that our hearts can be broken at any given moment in time.....I do not want my heart to be broken simply because I have dared to love you. I lay in bed thinking I should have known better, how irresponsible of me, I should not have allowed myself to go this far, so deep now and over my head. But I am weak over such an emotion that I have not experienced in too many years, a lifetime ago.....How does anyone have control over love and why would we want to deny ourselves of something so pure and true? We can justify, rationalize, demonize and crucify love because it is inconvenient and doesn't fit into our neatly packaged lives, but we are turning our backs on something so precious and rare, something that we may never again experience. Some search their entire lives and never know of love,,,,,,,how very sad that must be for them. But  I have tasted love and will not say I am sorry for loving you......if I did I would be lying....

~Love Explained~

I love you.....why should I feel guilty or ashamed because I am blessed once again to know of love? Why must I hold it within and bite my tongue when all I want to do is laugh, dance and sing my words of love to all that would bear to watch and listen? I love you.....I cannot control the way I feel nor do I wish to. I choose to be free in my thinking and allow my heart the same luxury. I have prayed and pleaded for many years, I have petitioned God and made promises so that I could find love once more before my time here has been fulfilled. I love you.....It is not something to be explained away or reasoned with. It is not an emotion that has been conjured up out of loneliness and neglect. It is nothing more and nothing less than what it is.....and that is Love. I love you......and I am not sorry if it causes you discomfort or concern because it is pure and good and it comes from a place outside of myself that I have no control over......I love you......there are worse things in this life to suffer.