At the beginning of the year the owners of my rental house came to do their annual inspection. While walking around the garden together, they gave me some information about certain plants and trees. I had a particular interest in two trees. One bears both oranges and lemons on the same tree, and the other bears both apricots and nectarines. It seems that the previous owners had managed to graft two trees together so that the trunks merged and only one trunk is visible making it look like the same tree. I found this fascinating. The owners were particularly surprised to see that the avocado tree was full of leaves. They told me that when they bought the house, they were advised by a garden expert to cut the tree down as it was dead and would never again bear any fruit. The owners had decided not to remove the dead tree but rather to give it a chance. In the last month, I was amazed to find that the tree is bearing fruit! It was another small reminder not to believe it when we are told that there is absolutely no chance. Sometimes incredible things do happen against all odds.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ~ Albert Einstein
Some people say that there are no such things as miracles, but I believe that miracles happen every day, if we only know how to see them.
I wear two rings on my right hand – my Nana’s antique ring, and my wedding ring. They sit comfortably next to each other as reminders of two special people I love who are no longer on this earth. A few hours before my Nana died, the nurse took the ring off her finger as her hands began to swell. I put it onto my right hand for safe keeping and that is where it has remained. When my husband died just over a year later, I moved my wedding ring next to it. I have almost lost both rings before, but they came back to me.
Last week Tuesday, I had a few errands to run in the nearby town before driving to the airport to fetch a friend. After I had been to three different places, I dropped the girls at ballet before heading to the airport. It was only when I turned onto the highway that I noticed there was something missing. There was a black hole in my Nana’s ring where the beautiful rectangular aquamarine stone should have been. My heart sank. Where had it fallen out? How would I find it? I tried to calm down with self talk. It was only a physical thing. It wasn’t the end of the world. It would be okay. Perhaps I would still find it.
As the days went by, I grew less hopeful. We searched every place where I had been that day. I had gone through my handbag and car with a fine tooth comb. Still, I continued to wear the ring with its empty space in the hope that the stone might find its way back to me. Though I felt sad, I tried to remind myself that things aren’t as important as people, and I will always have my Nana and her memories even without her ring. I also asked her, if she has such powers on the other side, to try and make sure that if I wasn’t to find the stone, that someone who really needed it would find it, so that it could at least help another family.
Today, six days after the stone went missing, I was on the phone to a good friend relaying the story to her. I explained that I was still wearing the empty ring, and would only take it off when I believed that the stone was truly gone and there was no chance of finding it again. After we had spoken for a while, my girls walked into the room with three of their friends. I gave them the signal that I wasn’t to be disturbed as I was on the phone, but they only smiled and said, “I think you will want to hear this Mom.” And then a little boy opened his hand and inside his sweaty palm, sat my shiny little aquamarine stone. I screamed with delight, shouting into the phone. I could hardly believe my eyes!
Later, the little boy showed me where he had found it on the brick paving outside the kitchen door. A place I have swept furiously several times in the last few days. It seemed impossible that it could have stayed there through the wind, the rain, and all my sweeping. The more I thought about it, the more impossible it seemed and as I sat outside with a cup of coffee, I wondered… Could my Nana have put it there? Or at least protected it so that the broomstick hadn’t sent it flying off into the garden never to be found again. However it happened is still a mystery, but for me there is no doubt that it is a true miracle. My Nana must have known that I was the person who needed it the most.
In February I read a memoir and realized that I really appreciate seeing photographs of the characters in the book. So I made a photo album from the time period covered in my memoir, It Rains In February, and uploaded it to YouTube for those who would like to put images to the story. The song is sung by my late husband and is mentioned in the book.
February has been a month of sadness as well as incredible inspiration and excitement. It was six years ago today that my husband took his life. I share the story in my book, It Rains In February: A Wife’s Memoir of Love and Loss, which is free all weekend (22-25 February) on Amazon Kindle. In addition to it being the anniversary of my husband’s death, I was faced with an added reminder of the fragility of life when a toddler tragically drowned in our community. I have found myself looking at my own children with such heightened love, appreciation and deep gratitude. My darling Rose made me the sweetest Valentine card which read –
I love you more than the sun,
the moon, the stars and the sea.
You are the best!
I love you in the day
I love you in the nigte
I love you every seckind of my life!
Speaking of Valentine’s, my new book seems to have taken on a life of its own, as a story is unfolding right before my eyes, and I am simply writing it down. It’s all very exciting and if everything works out, I hope to publish on Valentine’s Day 2014! I recently listened to a talk where the speaker equated having big dreams with shooting out arrows of possibility so that when the opportunities do arise, you’re ready to say yes! Opportunities have arisen and I’ve said yes. And everything seems to be falling into place perfectly.
Much love to you all and keep dreaming x
Happy new year to all of you! May 2013 be a year of inspiration, miracles and dreams being realized. I can hardly believe that we are almost at the end of January already, I only just took down our Christmas decorations! Over Christmas and New Year we had friends and family staying with us which was delightful, though I missed my quiet time and being able to access my intuition. It was only a few days after New Year that I sat down to think of my goals for 2013, which I jotted down simply as, ‘to work on health and wealth’.
It was that night that things began to happen. I was reading in bed when out of the blue some words popped into my head. ‘It’s not your first book that is going to be your bestseller, it’s your second book.’ The words were clear and concise. This was news to me seeing as I didn’t have any immediate plans to write a second book. I grabbed my journal and started to make notes. Just like that, there was an exciting plan for the year ahead! As my dear friend and collage art therapist has been telling me for the past year, “Your story isn’t finished yet. Keep writing.”
I then discovered a useful writing tool called 750words.com which is basically an online version of Morning Pages, an idea originating from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. The idea is to begin every morning by writing three pages or 750 words of anything and everything that crosses your mind. I found that the more I wrote, the more words, ideas and inspiration flowed. A highly recommended tool.
So after beginning the year without much direction, I now have several new projects in the pipeline. I’ve started writing Book Number Two. I’m working on a new blog (more news on that soon) as well as on my author promotion services, where I hope to inspire and help writers to publish and promote their books. I also have a small online vintage shop as an additional source of income. The girls and I have started our homeschooling year and it is amazing to watch them learn and grow and begin to discover their own passions.
Most recently, I have decided, through writing Morning Pages, to put the last little bit of money I had left over from the sale of my house into an inaccessible savings account. This money was going to pay the rent for the next six months. Instead, I have decided to keep it for a trip to the USA to promote my next book, a book I have barely started writing! Talk about faith in things yet unseen.
I listened to a talk by Caroline Myss on Hay House radio where she said, “People look for the safest route that guarantees that there won’t be a risk in moving forward. Moving forward often requires courage to take a risk and do something you’ve never done before. Are you looking for the next safe place that doesn’t shake you up? What are you willing to risk? There’s no such thing as the safe moment, but there’s always the right moment.”
What are you setting in motion for 2013?
Happy Christmas to all of you my lovely friends and readers! May you have a wonderful holiday season filled with love and all that your heart holds dear. A special heartfelt cyber hug to any of you who may be spending the first… or fifth Christmas without someone that you loved.
If you'd like to read this blog as a story, click here to go to the first blog post and continue reading in chronological order.
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What readers are saying…
"I just finished your book and loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was beautifully written and was difficult for me to put down!" ~ Kimmie
"Your book was beautiful! My heart ached with you all the way! I cried so much that my head hearts! Lol. Thank you for sharing your journey....you are a beautiful soul. Love to you and your girls." ~ Jannette
"Your book struck a personal cord with me. Thank you for making me see I am not the only one. Best wishes to you and your girls." ~ Tabitha
"Brilliant writing. Heart rending subject. Emotions expressed superbly. Too sad! Loved your descriptions; 'rain falling like sheets of glass...', 'syllables dropping at my feet.....' and many, many more. Five stars!" ~ June
“I didn't want your book to come to an end; yet, I did, as I knew it would be a new beginning for you. Your words, no matter what pain may lie behind them, are so beautifully strung together. I can't thank you enough for pushing yourself to write your story, very REMARKABLE story, for so many to love and learn from.” ~ Allison
“Your book has every emotion possible. The love you have for Stuart is unconditional and not found often. I admire your strength as a women wife and mother. God bless you and your girls each day. Thanks for sharing your story!” ~ Bridgette
“Just read your book, couldn't put it down. God bless you and your girls and for loving Stuart the way you did. I truly believe he is at peace. My best wishes to you all... you have touched a piece of my heart xx” ~ Lydia
"Have just finished your very moving and beautifully written memoir. I wish you and your daughters much happiness for the future. Thanks to you your girls will have good memories of their beloved father together with an understanding of his battle with depression." ~ Nicola
"You are a very brave and compassionate woman and I'm so glad you told your story. It has also helped me on my healing journey and it will help so many others too. Thank you so much for sharing and for your beautiful writing. I will be recommending it to many people and hope to read more of your writing in the future." ~ Kae
"AMAZING BOOK! I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! Thank you for sharing your deepest self and your incredible journey. You are a true inspiration. I will tell everybody I know what a MUST read this book. You are a gifted writer, and I look forward to your next book." ~ Maryanne
"I just finished your incredible book! THANK YOU FOR sharing your pain. The story is incredible a true example of unconditional love." ~ Myra
"I took a whim and downloaded your book on my kindle. I had no idea what it was about or who you were. And let me tell you, i am so glad that i did. this was one of the most moving, loving, heartbreaking and amazing books i have ever read. I couldn't stop reading it and refused to do so until it was finished. What a moving story, and thank you for sharing it." ~ Beth