Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Two weeks ago, I woke up to the news that my aunt Al had transitioned. I am still having a hard time believing it.

My aunt had not been feeling like herself but when I went to see her on Sunday, August 13th, she got up to spend time with me and when I said that she didn't have to entertain me, she shrugged it off until my cousin arrived then went back to bed.

Had I known that August 13th would have been my last time seeing my aunt, wow, I would have done things differently. I remember listening to this episode of The Moth and this man said something like he leaves everything on the table because you never know if you'll see someone again. 

Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect ending but I have regrets. I am very glad, though, that my aunt did not die while I was overseas. Being away would have been a hard pill to swallow. As it is, I missed my cousin's text and multiple calls alerting me that several family members were at the hospital. I regret not being there for my cousin but I know that I can be present for her now. 

When I first heard the news, I was like I'm done but of course you cannot be done with life unless you take matters into your own hands or it is, in fact, your time to go. I kept thinking of a tape that I listened to by Charles Swindoll -- long time ago. He said a lot of things about attitude and he also said You cannot change that march toward death.

My aunt was 80 and that was her goal age. She had said that she didn't want to live to 100 because she was having a hard enough time doing 80. She didn't suffer and, for that, we are grateful. I am also grateful that her daughter and nephew, who was like a son to my aunt, were able to be with her and attend to her during the final moments of her life. 

I am doing my best to remain in a space of gratitude and I am also doing my best to be as supportive as possible for my cousin right now... 

My aunt was the last of my father's siblings, a sobering fact.

I find myself getting emotional in my aunt's house since there is no silence like the silence of a house after someone has died but I also find myself getting emotional on the way to work, I think, because I'm not ready for life to be business as usual.

At least, as a refugee pointed out to me, I got to see my aunt on a regular basis.

Stuff that does console me? My cousin told me that my aunt looked forward to my visits and that they meant a lot to her.

While we were planning the service, my mind wandered and thought about who invented funerals etc. There are obvious reasons -- to honor that person's life and to be surrounded by support and, oh yeah, closure because I'm still in disbelief even though:

1). I saw my cousin sign the authorization for embalming.

2). I've seen the body.

3). We've had the funeral.

4).   Been to the graveyard...

But I still want to do the "Florida Evans" in Good Times -- DamnDamnDamn. There are no do-overs and I don't get to see my aunt again.

"I came to see what he'd become, or always was—the father who will never cease to be alive in me." —from "I Wanted to Share My Father's World" by Jimmy Carter  #mondaymotivation  Thirty-nine years ago, when the 39th president of the United States was in office, my dad wrote on his list of life goals, "Talk with the President." I wonder how he'd feel knowing his newborn baby that year did that yesterday. President Jimmy Carter was 54 years old when my dad made that goal, the same age my dad was when he was killed. Yesterday, when I told him why I was meeting him, he said, "Very good." Then he shook my hand and said, "Come back down and see us again." Just before I met him, he said, "Sorry to keep you waiting." Thirty-nine years is a long time to wait, and I wish my dad could have checked off this one himself. Luckily he's still alive in me.
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Out in the Open

Someone sent me an email at work and I only read the first part of their sentence. The person ended up calling me because they needed a quick response. I love to read so I don't know why I'm quickly scanning stuff. I will concede that there is work-related stuff that I, obviously, don't want to read but... At any rate, I ended up having a conversation with the person about meditation and she said that we all need uncluttering for our minds. I like that concept and want to put meditation back on my agenda. She also sent me the "mantra" that she keeps above her desk.

Last week was a busy one. Went to Zumba -- twice, climbing and swimming (twice). Had dinner with Gloria on Thursday then we went to see Garden of Glass at the Botanical Garden. On Friday, went over to the 'Fugee's and, on Saturday, mowed the lawn and went to say my goodbyes to the city pool even though it was only 82 degrees. At the pool, talked for 30 minutes to a yogi whose path I seldom cross at the studio. At some point, also went to JC Penney because I'd gotten a spend $10 dollars, get $10 dollars off coupon and I've been looking for another short sleeve shirt to wear to work. Mission accomplished.

New Shirt
While running errands, debated about whether to go to this silent yoga event. Wasn't sure when an event of this kind would happen again so I went.

I am having time management issues. My problem? There are a lot of things that I like to do but, obviously, something suffers. I wanted to go to the city pool again on Sunday for the final day but ended up running out of time. While I got around to cooking, never did get around to washing clothes or the other chores that needed to be done.

Really enjoyed the silent, sunset yoga that took place at the gorgeous Grand Basin in Forest Park but, like a fugitive, I was very aware of how out in the open I was and even more so because the people who sponsored the yoga event are really into photography. One of them was taking very up close and personal pictures. At one point, I doubled the blanket that I had for my knees and thought she would move on as I adjusted it but, no, she stayed right where she was and got her picture. My God, I thought, she is going to capture all the flaws. I can take a gazillion selfies and post the one that I think is most flattering but I cannot control what other people post.

A Woman Chilling Out Before Yoga

Still in fugitive mode, I looked for pictures from the event and held my breath as I spotted my likeness in people's social media pictures. Also wondered how intrusive I was capturing the photo above of the woman resting before yoga.

While at the Botanical Garden, Gloria kept asking which installation was my favorite. She also asked me if I could do anything, work-wise, what it would be. As we walked about, I couldn't pinpoint a favorite glass sculpture until we'd left the Climatron and headed to the exit. I'm glad that I didn't read the map or descriptions of the artwork because I got to be blown away by Make A Wish when I figured out what was happening. It was such a moment of delight and maybe I'll get to have a similar moment when I figure out what work really rocks my boat.

Love this Chihuly in the foyer at the MO Botanical Garden.

Gloria and moi at the exhibit...

Make A Wish
This Words of Women Instagram post resonated with  me today.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Outside Factors

Was on Instagram and saw a post about yoga at this former church which is being slowly restored and currently in use as a skate park.

Photo shoot in progress...
Not sure why I feel the need to practice in different spaces but I do and the 11:00 a.m. start time was also nice for a Sunday morning. Alison said that she was bummed about missing yoga there the last time it was offered so she met me there.

Gotta say that I was surprised when I heard a thunderous noise behind me. I didn't expect skating to go on at the same time as yoga but most teachers would say use the noise as an opportunity to practice going deeper etc. despite outside factors. At any rate, my body needed the yoga. It felt better but still feels wrecked especially after Zumba this evening...

One of the receptionists at work called me to say that I had a delivery.  I was super puzzled as I have no anniversaries etc. and just hoped it wasn't a subpoena or something. The delivery was two boxes of hot cookies.

One of our sister agencies had come to get Intel and the cookies were a thank you. I didn't eat any but it was very hard not to.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


As I left the laundromat, thought I haven't done shit today but, in actuality, I had.

Left my house around 9:45 a.m. to rendezvous with Alison on the riverfront trail for bicycling. It was close to 1:00 p.m. when we left. I also did some reading. I'm on the wait list for several books and I'm reading Heather Poole's Cruising Altitude. Since I have a major case of wanderlust right now, it's a good book for me.

The week was eventful as well.

Zumba on Monday and again on Wednesday with a pre-show of outdoor yoga. There were four things (climbing, yoga, Zumba and swimming) that I wanted to do but, of course, there was no way that I could or should do them all.

Ballpark Village Yoga Series, Photo Credit: Tammy
On Thursday, had dinner with Gloria and, on Friday, I was completely knackered.

Since it's cool-ish, took a bath to try to suss out the soreness in my body. Keeping my fingers crossed...