All posts by debbie413

Hello and welcome to Debbie's Reflection. This blog is about my grief journey, spiritualism, healing and everyday life. I began journaling in 2007 after my 20-year-old son’s death. It was a way for me to release my emotions without being judged. My life was drastically altered after my son’s death. But in a spiritual moment, I realized that I needed to change. Then and there I knew that I had a choice, I could sulk and go down the path to depression or I could live for my son. I chose the latter. I chose to set the path to acceptance, peace, and healing. It was not easy and it doesn’t mean that I no longer cried or felt sad. That’s far from the truth. I had my sad moments and crying bouts but I did not let it define my life. I wanted to live for my son by honoring his memory by doing the things that he wanted to do but could not. As a grieving mother, I understand the feeling of hopelessness and despair and would love nothing more than to open my heart to others going through this difficult situation. I am in a good place in my grieving process right now. If I could help at least one person reach that place of acceptance, peace, and healing, then I am happy. I welcome you with open arms to read my story and how I reached the place of acceptance, peace, and healing. I jotted down all my feelings of sadness, anger, happiness, despair and all relating to my grief in a book in memory of my son. The book is titled, "Diary of a Grieving Mother's Heart" and can be found on Amazon. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope to keep you coming back for more stories.

We Exhumed and Cremated Our Son’s Body

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Photo property of Angie Radillo

At work, I had a conversation with a coworker. It was an uncommon topic, maybe morbid to some. We talked about death. I told him how I never thought about what I’d do if any of my children died. Would I cremate or bury my child? Of course, it’s not something we, as parents, talk about or even think about! We believe, or should I say, expect that our children outlive us. That’s not the way it is and there are so many decisions that we are not ready for if we outlive our children. My coworker had a different experience when his dad died. He had the opportunity to sit with his father beforehand and write what arrangements his dad preferred. When the time came they were able to grieve and not dwell on the arrangements.

When my son died, we didn’t know what to do or where to go. Granted we were in a state of shock but had it not been for my boss at that time, who happened to be a pastor, we were clueless. From what funeral home to have the wake, to the casket type, color, memorial cards, clothes for the deceased, etc. there were so many questions that we were not ready for. After looking at what was available we made our choices. Frankly, I just agreed at whatever. I was too consumed with grief to focus on those things. I think my husband made most of the choices and I just went along with it.

Richie_1

After the burial, I felt worst. I felt as if I had abandoned my son in the rain, cold and heat. Many might say it was just a body lying in a grave, but for me, it was more than just a body. He was my son. I felt so tense. The tension ran from my shoulders up towards my head and extended through my arms. My jaws were clenched so tight that my teeth hurt. My chest ached with every breath I took. Nothing helped the pain I felt. The Xanax numbed it but did not take it away. I cried every single day – in the morning, in the afternoon, while driving, while showering, at work, before going to sleep – at any time. I just wanted to bring my son back home.

Almost a year after his death, we, as a family, decided to exhume my son’s body, cremate him and bring him home on the first anniversary of his death, July 9. And, on the year after he was buried, July 12, we brought his ashes home. We had a small gathering with some family and friends to celebrate his life and the Pastor did the blessing of his ashes. We also enjoyed Richie’s favorite meal, dessert, and drinks.

Richie's Urn

I know that many people didn’t agree with what we did. There were too many opinions on the matter, especially from different religious groups. But I didn’t care. The important thing was that I felt at ease and content with my decision. It was as if the weight was lifted off my shoulders. My jaw relaxed, and I was finally able to breathe without feeling the pain in my chest. Plus, I truly believe that the Lord would not have given me the peace I felt once we cremated Richie’s remains and brought him home if it were not meant to be or if it were wrong.

That was when we realized that we needed to have a plan. It’s a gruesome topic for some but if you think about it, it’s better to have a plan in writing than to try to figure things out at the last minute while grieving. Like my coworker said, it helps to avoid confrontation within the family on what needs to be done. Should you be buried, or would you prefer cremation; where to be buried or where to scatter the ashes; what music to play and so many other questions. If we plan these things ahead of time we will spare our loved ones from the agony of having to go through this. In the case of the loss of parents, it will avoid any conflicts that may arise if one sibling prefers cremation while the other wants to bury the deceased parents. The siblings would just have to honor the parents wish, as simple as that.

Yes, it might be a gruesome topic to talk about but for the tranquility of all involved, it should be discussed. What are your thoughts?


 

A Mom Never Stops Grieving

Today I had an emotional moment at work. I was in my office when I overheard a conversation between a couple of co-workers and the volunteer. They were talking about a teenager who was learning to drive. As I heard it, I began to imagine my children and when they learned to drive, especially my forever 20-year-old angel in heaven, Richie.

Richie was 16-years-old when I began to teach him how to drive. At that time, we had a Dodge Caravan so that was what he began with. He didn’t have his learner’s permit yet but since he was so anxious to learn, I began giving him lessons. Thank God I did. Little did I know that those lessons would someday come in handy.

I was not well health wise and there were times when out of the blue I’d develop a high fever with chills. But life had to continue. My husband worked, I worked, and the kids needed to get to and from school. During the 6-month period that I went through medical treatment, I continued to work as much as I could. Some days after leaving work to pick up my children from school the fever and chills would kick in. I felt so sick. I remember a few times arriving at school to pick up my children and my wonderful 16-year-old son, Richie, would ask me if he could drive us home so I can rest. The first couple of times I didn’t allow it. But one day I could not take it any longer and asked him to drive us home. He was happy to do so and drove the 14 miles from school to our home. I remember sitting in the passenger seat and staring at this amazing young man and how he stepped up to help his mother. I felt so proud of him. He got us home safe and I will never forget his beautiful broad smile of pride. I, too, was proud of him. I don’t remember if I told him at that moment, but I know I told him many times afterward.

As the memories of the past came to my mind, I felt that same pride for him, but at the same time the tears began to flow, and sadness filled my heart. It never fails to happen. Memories of my beloved son bring me happiness but sadness too. And I can’t help it. But it’s okay. As my husband and co-worker reminded me today, I will never stop grieving the loss of my son for as long as I live.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

I Feel So Blessed

I feel so blessed. After the release of my book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit frightened, but if I wanted to reach those grieving the loss of a loved one, I needed to be brave.

You see, everything in my book is based on my experience and I have witnesses for most. The only thing I omitted was some names to protect privacy, but it is a true story. For some, it might be a bit controversial because it doesn’t agree with their religious views. But, I know that for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be a sign of hope and that is my goal. If I could help one grieving soul get to that place of peace that I am in, then I am happy. This was what pushed me out of my comfort zone and I don’t regret it.

I’ve received so many beautiful message via instant messaging on Facebook, e-mails, text messages and even calls of people, that were truly touched by my book. According to their accounts, some read it in two hours or less because they couldn’t put it down, while others had to pause for a few minutes, hours or days because they felt it really touched them to a point of tears. Some said I forgot to mention they needed tissues to read it.

I’ve been told that it really brought a new perspective in life to them. Other’s mentioned that they were unaware of what NOT to say to a grieving person and are guilty of saying the wrong things – all out of good intentions though – they just didn’t know. Every time I receive feedback from my book it makes me so happy that I get emotional.  I took a leap and published it not knowing what to expect.  I didn’t know if the responses would open up that wound, but I never doubted that, just as God pulled me through my grief, He would make sure to shield me on my new endeavor. That is why I feel so blessed!

Traveler Wows is Born!

My travel experiences have been wonderful.  From airports, airlines,  restaurants, hotels, sightseeing to different cultures and most have been wonderful. Therefore, I thought it’d be best if I created a travel blog where I can share my journeys.

My new blog is called Traveler Wows. “Why that name” you’re probably asking. It wasn’t easy coming  up with a travel blog name.  It had to be easy to spell, catchy, related to travel and most important of all, it had to be available. Every thing I tried was already taken. I spent almost two hours researching for a name that was available, catchy and travel related.

After a while trying and frustration kicking in, I began thinking about my trips. Every time an amazing image, like the Colosseum, came across my mind, I remembered my reaction, as well as my family’s reaction. The word I mostly heard was, “WOW.” Then I began to think of all the delicious first-time meals we had and what was the first thing  said when presented with such fabulous plates and it was also a “WOW” moment. But, it didn’t end there. In order to take a break from the researching, I then began checking my e-mails when I came across one from a travel company which was offering a last minute trip to India for $699! WOW, that was a great deal but we needed to act soon. At that moment, I told my husband about it and his reaction was, “WOW.” That’s when it hit me.  The word “WOW” needed to be part of that name. I finally knew what my new travel blog would be called and that’s when Traveler Wows was born.

A “WOW” Moment

At Traveler Wows you will learn about my trips and experiences. I will share the stories of the good and bad. I will provide tips and suggestions on restaurants to visit, hotel reviews, airline reviews, landmarks, how to avoid the lines and much more. My goal is to WOW you with Traveler Wows!

Overwhelmed with Joy

courtesy of pexels.com

I finally released my book, Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart, on Amazon. I didn’t know what to expect and frankly, I was a bit worried of people’s reaction. I know that should not bother me. Part of putting myself out there is accepting all constructive criticism – good and bad.

This book is not a figment of my imagination. It entails all the love I have for my son, my fears, joys, sadness, faith, anger and method of survival to get to the place I’m at now. It wasn’t easy or fast and there were many ups and downs. But, just hearing and reading what my family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and even strangers have said about my book have left me overwhelmed with so much joy.

I feel that I’m at a good place right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still do grieve my son. I miss him every day. But, I’m at a place of peace where I can talk about him with a smile and I can view photos of him and feel his love. My main goal for this book was to be able to reach as many grieving mom’s as possible. I want all grieving mom’s to know that the spirit never dies, and if there is any way that I can provide that glimpse of hope to a grieving mom, then I’ve accomplished my goal which makes me happy.

Blessings to all!

I Have a Lucky Monkey

Where Did It Come From?

I have a yellow monkey. It has a button on his head with three special words. He is ten years old. It’s from one of those vending machines where you pay $1.00 and try to grab the stuffed animal with a claw. It is not an expensive or good quality stuffed animal, but it is special to me, and I will tell you why.

When my son Richie (RIP) was alive, he would constantly say that he was going to win the lottery because he had the lucky numbers in his head.  One day, we were sitting at the dinner table eating our meal. The TV was on the news channel. The news anchor was commenting on the lottery jackpot winner when out of nowhere Richie mistakenly said, “I’m going to win the lottery because I have the lucky monkey in my head.” The way he said it so seriously was too funny, and we all burst out laughing. From that day on, every time Richie said that he was going to win the lottery, we would mock him by saying, “…because you have the lucky monkey in your head?” He didn’t like it, but he laughed with us anyway. Richie passed away and never won the lottery.

Betting On the Monkey

On Saturday, May 10, 2008, and about a year and a half after Richie’s death, my husband was working the night shift at a local restaurant that had one of those vending machines. According to his account and another employee, my husband happened to see the yellow monkey trapped underneath quite a few stuffed animals. He claimed that it just caught his eye and he could not stop thinking about it. So, when business slowed down, he approached the machine and placed his $1. He was determined to grab the yellow monkey. His coworkers told him it was not possible because it was trapped too far down. My husband insisted he was going to grab it, so his co-workers placed a bet that he could not. My husband’s focus was entirely on grabbing that yellow monkey. It took a few dollars, but he was able to grab it.

So, why is it so important to me? That Saturday night was the day before Mother’s Day. I was still grieving the death of my son heavily. When my husband arrived the next morning (Mother’s Day) from work and gave me the monkey, it made my day. You see, the three special words on the button on top of his head read, “Worlds Greatest Mom.” It made my day. My husband was lucky to have been able to grab the monkey. I felt as if it were a gift from my son in heaven – he sent me his lucky monkey through his dad and for that, this yellow monkey will always hold a special place in my heart. He’s my lucky monkey.

The Happiest Moment in My Life

I was asked to write an essay on the happiest moment of my life. I always thought that the happiest moment in my life had been the birth of my children. It was undoubtedly one of the happiest moments but I discovered that there was another instance which involved my family as well. Unfortunately, it was following a tragic moment in my life, however, it helped me find the peace that I needed.

I was blessed with three wonderful children: two sons and a daughter. On July 9, 2007, at 11:17 p.m. I received a call which no parent wants to receive. My oldest son, Richie, was involved in a pedestrian accident and didn’t survive. He was 20 years old, a sophomore in college and a good son. I was devastated, there is no pain worse than the loss of a child. I have often heard that the worst pain is giving birth. But that’s not true because that pain is immediately replaced with joy after having set eyes on our newborn. With the loss of a child, well, there are no words – nothing to replace the pain. I didn’t know where to turn, who to talk to or what to do.  For the following six months after Richie’s death, I lived in a zombie state of mind taking antidepressants every day. I didn’t want to see or talk with anyone. I became a hermit in my home hiding from my own children and husband. That was until the day of Richie’s birthday.

It was January 8, 2008. Richie would have turned 21 years old. I had requested the day off from work. I needed to be alone with my grief. My other two children were at school and work. My husband was at work as well. I slept in until about noon. I didn’t have any plans so there was no rush to get up. After showering I proceeded to the kitchen to take the antidepressants. I grabbed a cup of water and took out one of each of the pills. As I was about to pop them in my mouth I heard a soft voice very close to my left ear say, “Mom, you don’t need that.”

Those words stopped me from taking the pills. They were so clear. Somehow, I felt it was my forever 20-year-old angel in heaven who had whispered it to me and I found myself responding,  “You’re right Richie, I don’t need them.”

I threw the pills away and emptied the contents of the pill box in the trash can. On that day, I realized that I had a choice. I could live in sorrow and continue to take antidepressants for the rest of my life or I could live a great life for my son. If I were to live for Richie, I had to see the world the way he did. He didn’t worry about things he could not control. He always said there was no such thing as a coincidence. He was a very positive, outgoing person who always found the good in every bad. He wanted to live life to the fullest. That was the day I decided to make a change and I vowed to live for my son. I would do for him what he could not and I would begin by returning to college to complete what he had started. I knew he would be very proud of me. He would have wanted me to take control of my life and live. This was my opportunity to make my son proud of me like I was of him.

My first step was to attend grief counseling sessions. These sessions helped immensely allowing me to vent my frustration and cry away my sorrow without judgment. Then on February 8, 2008, I enrolled in college to complete what my son could not. This was my tribute to him. Even though my son’s major was Business Administration, I chose to major in Accounting. As a full-time student and employee, I dove into my books and was determined that I would, not only complete my degree, but I would do it with high honors. It was also therapeutic for me since it kept my mind busy. On July 2010, I completed an Associate’s Degree and graduated Suma Cum Laude. I didn’t attend graduation because my goal was not yet fulfilled. So, I enrolled again to continue towards my Bachelor’s Degree.  Finally, by July 2012, I had completed my Bachelor’s Degree.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude and I knew deep within my heart that Richie was proud of me.

It was Saturday, November 10, 2012. On this day, I would walk with my graduating class at the Orange County Convention Center. I felt so proud of myself. We arrived early, parked and proceeded to the hall where the ceremony was going to take place. We walked through the long corridor to the hall side by side. There was no one else walking by or near us. It was only my husband, youngest son, daughter and myself. I was at the far left next to the wall, my husband was at my right, my youngest son was to my husband’s right and my daughter was at my son’s right. However, there was a very strange feeling of someone else walking by me. It felt as if my son, Richie, was there with me between the wall and myself. I glanced to my left and saw nothing but I could feel him – his perfume, his big smile, his happiness, his energy – right next to me. It was such a strong feeling and it made me so happy. It accompanied me through the ceremony as well. I felt it again when I was called and walked up to receive my diploma. Richie was there right next to me. I felt it when they called out to all students who graduated Magna Cum Laude to stand up and Richie stood up with me. I knew it was him, my son. I knew that, even though he was not with us physically, he was indeed with us in Spirit. And I knew he was very proud of me.

So, when I think about what the happiest moment of my life was I know that there have been many happy moments. But this was the one moment which made me the happiest. I was happy because I achieved a goal with high honors. I was happy because I was the pride of my children and husband. I was happy because my 20-year-old angel in heaven somehow showed me that he was extremely proud of me. He also showed me that even though he is not physically here, he will always be with me in Spirit. And I was happy because the Lord showed me, once again, that the Spirit never dies just like it states in John 11:25-26; and that makes me happy.

Happy 31st Birthday in Heaven

January 8, 2018 marks 31 years since I first became a mom to a healthy 9 pounds 1 ounce baby boy. We named him after his dad and called him Richie. He was my oldest and the one who resembled me the most in thoughts, ways and looks. Richie was very curious and a good son. I was blessed with three good children and am thankful for that.

Just like I have a good relationship with my younger two children, I also had a good relationship with Richie. I say “had” because he passed away on July 9, 2007 – 10 years ago. The fact that he died so long ago doesn’t make the pain any easier. In fact, this week has been rough for me and I’ve shed plenty of tears.

I sit in my family room and look at his photos on the wall  when he was a baby until his last year alive.  I begin to remember all the wonderful moments spent with Richie and I smile. Then the thought of not having that anymore makes me sad, and it doesn’t help the pain.

I remember when we would share some of the same taste in cookies, candy and coffee. Like me, he too, liked mint Oreos, peppermint patties and Starbucks coffee. I grin at the memories of those moments until the sadness creeps in and it doesn’t help the pain.

I remember his common phrases like, “There’s no such thing as a coincidence,” “$100 is pocket change,” and “So, yeah” after he’d finished talking. I can see him in others when they say any of these and I giggle thinking of him. But, knowing I will never hear him again doesn’t help the pain.

I can see so much of him in his younger brother in gestures, actions and in appearance. It does make me happy. But at the same time, it hurts to know I will never see him spending time with his siblings, and it doesn’t help the pain.

Every year during his birthday, angelversary, and holidays, I think maybe this will be the year when I will have my last cry. And, every year I experience the same roller coaster of emotions. It doesn’t get easier, I just learned to live with it and after 10 years I realized that it will never go away. Now I understand others that have gone through this horrendous experience.

I once had a friend who lost her son from a heart attack at the age of 36. Her name was Anita. I knew Anita for a few years before she told me about her loss. It had been 14 years since her son died and her grief was so deep that she was still taking antidepressants. I know another person whose mother lost a son at the age of one year old. She told me that he would have been her older brother. It had been 41 years since his death and her mother cries every night for him. Also, within my online grief support group there were a few moms who were grieving the loss of their son/daughter. Not all of them had the strength to continue living and ended committing suicide.

I didn’t want to live on meds for depression, cry every night for the rest of my life, or ever have the thought of committing suicide, so I dealt with it differently by living for him. I thought that maybe, just maybe my grief would not last so long since I was taking a different approach. But I was wrong. It doesn’t matter how you grieve, losing a child is the worst experience I’ve ever had, and nothing can take that grief away. I now understand Anita and the other mom’s.  Anita passed away sometime last year. While it saddens me to know about her death, I know she is happy to be with her son again.

To hear these things scared me a bit. I didn’t know what to expect. Would I grow crazy in desperation trying to reach my son? Would I fall into a deep depression? Would I be able to continue living? When you lose a child, your world turns upside down. You don’t remember that you have other children, spouse, family or that there are people who love you and want to help. It takes a lot of courage and faith to lift oneself up and continue living without your loved one. It takes a lot of love from your closest family, friends and co-workers to lift one’s spirit. It cannot be compared to the loss of a parent, sibling or friend. The bond between a mother and child is one of a kind – I dare say it is the strongest bond there is.

Yes, I’ve been sad and quite emotional these past few days. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my son. He lives forever in my heart and I’ve finally learned that it doesn’t matter how long its been, I will always miss him, love him and cry for him and that’s okay. I now know that it will only go away the day I meet him in heaven.

So, on this day, January 8, 2017, in memory of my son and in support of all those grieving the loss of a loved one; I ask that you hug your children, partner, parents and or siblings and let them know just how much you love them. Blessings to all.

Happy 31st Birthday my son. I love you and miss you so much.

~ Love Mom

2017 A Good Year For Me

Looking back at 2017, I must admit that it has been a wonderful year for us. There were some ups and downs, but who doesn’t have those? It’s part of life. The year began with a very good tax season outcome that brought me new clients. That was a plus which I didn’t even prepare for, but it was good.

It was followed by an awesome trip to Amsterdam, Bruges and Paris in which I had the pleasure to be accompanied by my husband, our daughter, my mom and my friend. Yes, I did come back with pneumonia and asthma, but I saw it as an extra 2-week “vacation” to lounge around the house while recuperating and that was good.

A couple of months later we were able to “forcibly” upgrade our bathroom. Well, we found that the culprit of the asthma that I was having was caused by the mold in our bathroom, so it had to be taken care of. Since it was already gutted, why not go ahead and redo it, right? So, with the help of my sister’s design, D&R Designs, we redesigned our bathroom and that was good.

In June I underwent a partial left knee replacement surgery. My knee had been giving me problems for a while. It began either buckling or locking this year, so it was time to do something about it. I was finally going to have a stable knee. It would no longer control me, ha! I went into surgery on June 26. It was a successful knee recovery and that was good.

However, the same wasn’t happening for my left foot. It had been swollen since the surgery. I thought it made sense since I had knee surgery on the same leg. While my knee healed, my foot continued to swell and was painful to the point where I ended up in the emergency care where x-rays were taken. The doctor said I had sprained my ankle. How? I had no clue. I was given certain instructions and an ankle brace to use for about two weeks. Two weeks went by and it just got worst.  I went back to the orthopedic group to have my ankle checked. The doctor claimed to have seen cases like mine after knee surgery. I always sensed it had to do with my knee surgery but I’m not a doctor. More x-rays were taken, and I was given a steroid shot. He told me to use compression socks, elevate my foot and ice it and he’ll see me in two weeks. It didn’t get better, it worsened. I was sent for an MRI and finally, had an answer.  I had two torn tendons on either side of my foot. I had to use a boot for six weeks and with caution because it could affect my recently operated knee. I wore my boot diligently and followed all his instructions. I even added kinesis therapy and used the kinesis tape. Six weeks went by and I began going to physical therapy. As hard and painful as it was I stuck to it until I completed all my eight sessions. I was willing to do this because I had another trip coming up in November and I wanted to be fully recovered. Therefore, I continued physical therapy at home on my own. I was finally discharged from all doctors and physical therapy and that is good.

In September I began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection. You can subscribe at  www.debbiesreflection.com. I write about my trips, grief journey, spirituality and restaurants. It’s still in its beginning stages and not fully exposed but I’ll get there. The comments received thus far have been positive and inspire me to continue blogging.

In November my husband and I took a wonderful trip to Italy (Rome, Venice and Pompeii) with the awesome company of my daughter, son and son-in-law. It was a great trip – so much fun, so much laughter. It coincided with our 33rd wedding anniversary, so we contacted the priest at Basilica San Marcos to see if we could renew our vows on November 22. I really didn’t expect anyone to respond to my email and was surprised to receive an email from Monsignor Giuseppe Camiloto letting us know that he would do it on that day at 11:30 a.m. after the service, so we did it and it was good.

Arriving in Rome and after a bit of walking, I realized that I would not be able to walk too much because my foot was still in recuperating mode. We ended up renting a vehicle to get around – not that we needed it. We were well centered in the heart of Rome with walking distance to all the major sites, but my foot couldn’t handle it and that’s okay because I didn’t want to put too much strain on it and injure it again. Even with my foot acting up I had the best time ever in Italy – best trip so far and that was good.

The year went by fast and the Christmas season was already here. Our Christmas Eve party was a wonderful one – the food, the company, the games – a great night! Today is December 31, 2017, the last day of the year. For me, it was a very good year with all the good things and the bad things. But I take those bad things as blessings that have opened up a door to improving some part of my life.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends for their moral support with your comments on Facebook and on my blog. Thanks to my co-workers for keeping our work environment a fun and exciting one. Thank you to my immediate family (Mom and siblings) for times spent together. Thanks to my daughter and son for being the loving, supporting children that they are. Thanks to my son-in-law for loving my daughter and being the great person, he is to us.  Special thanks to my husband for taking care of me when I was sick and disabled, for loving me unconditionally and for being there for me 100%. Most important of all, thank you Lord for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me, for always keeping me in a positive attitude, for lifting me up when my grief emotions begin to surface,  and for your love. Without you I would not have had such a wonderful year.

Yes indeed, 2017 was a good year and I know that 2018 will be better. My advice for all is to never let go of your dreams, believe in yourself, have faith, look for the positive in all the negative and have a blessed 2018. May all your dreams come true. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 EVERYONE!

Emotional Harp Concert

Today, I had the pleasure of seeing harpist Jan Jennings give a solo concert with her beautiful gold harp at the Morrison United Methodist Church. Jan is an award winning professional harp player in the Orlando area with more than 25 years of harp playing.  She played Silent Night, Hark, The Herald Angels Sing, Silver Bells, Winter Wonderland, I’ll Be Home for Christmas and a few others.  It sounded so peaceful and angelical. Now I see why angels are often portrayed with harps.

Jan’s golden harp

Jan’s harp was gold and stood tall on the chancel. With its golden sparkle it looked majestic – such a beautiful instrument. She spoke about the harp giving us basic information. Did you know that harps have pedals just like a piano? I didn’t know that – well, there really isn’t much I know about a harp anyway.  I also did not know that the harp is one of the oldest known instruments of all times.

Returning to the concert, it was very relaxing and quite easy to immerse myself in the music. It really hit me when she played “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” All of a sudden it was like I was seeing my forever 20-year-old angel in heaven standing next to her. Tears began streaming down my cheeks. It was overwhelming. I’ve had my son, Richie, on  my mind quite often lately. These emotions have a life of their own striking when you least expect it, especially during the holidays. But, I am grateful to the Lord for giving me the chance of experiencing his presence at the concert with such a beautiful song. And I am thankful to Jan for playing it so beautifully.

Bless be all during the holidays and every day.