Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October is Suicide Awareness Month

It has been seven years since my Leo took his life and changed my life forever.  September, October and November are hard months for me because those are the months that I have lost loved ones.  October is especially hard because of Leo.

In my work, I have become friends with professionals in the mental health field and in a small way have become involved with the Suicide Prevention Coalition and Suicide Awareness Month.  The Coalition sponsors an art show by school children who in an artistic way depict "Why I Want to Live."  These children write poems, write stories and draw or paint pictures.  Last evening, I was one of three judges of these expressions of life.

As I was looking through the art work, I became overwhelmed with grief and was barely able to keep myself together.  I completed my task and left quickly.  I was shocked and appalled at myself and I was not sure why I was acting and feeling so weird.

Thankfully, my daughter and grandchildren live close by so I went there just to get my balance back.  I had a nice evening with my family and chat with my daughter.  When I left for home, I felt a heavy load was lifted from my shoulders and I had my balance back.

I thought seven years was too long to be grieving and feeling the way I did, but as my daughter pointed out, the love connection never leaves and there will always be the loss grief.  My daughter was correct, she is wise beyond her years.

I am back...celebrating life.

Jo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mother...

Happy Birthday, Mother!

I am sending these balloons to heaven to you today
so that you know that I am thinking of you.

Your memories and love are stored deep in my heart.

Love,
Jo

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wilderness Challenge

This is the new "Wilderness Challenge" that I am going to paint in January. I will keep you posted as to my progress...wish me luck!

Jo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's been six years....

In the past six years since Leo's death (suicide) my life has changed but in many ways it has stayed the same. I am still single, still live close to my daughter and three beautiful and smart granddaughters and I have a great job which I enjoy very much.

The biggest changes have been internally. I no longer seek approval from others and find my self-worth from within, knowing that I am living up to my potential by self examination and integrity.

I may never know why Leo killed himself but I do know that suicide is an awful way to solve problems and it only hurts those who are left behind.

Now that I have been down my life path six more years, I keep looking to the future not backwards in despair; I just keep on Celebrating Life!

All is well,
Jo

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reflections

It has been quite some time since I blogged. I have been reading past posts and comments and realized how much I missed this medium for expression of my thoughts and reflections.

I have traveled many miles on life's road since I started blogging. I have endured pain, heartbreak and sorrow but more importantly I have flourished with blessings and love. People have come and gone from my life in the past 6 years but I have also made many friends who have stayed with me but most of all I still have my loving family.

This morning we had snow on the ground and the wind is howling.... as much as I despise the cold and am not looking forward to winter I know there are good days to come with many blessings to come. Despite the winter weather there are warm memories and a grateful heart that keep me optimistic.

I hope you all are having a marvelous fall!

Love,
Jo

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Before the shed...



Here is my latest painting (it only took me six months)!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24th...

20 years ago, Beckie was 34 years old, young and vibrant with high expectations of graduating in the spring with a nursing degree. Beckie was a mother of four boys, worked full-time and went to nursing school driving 43 miles one way. Beckie never complained about having to hang the laundry on the clothes line to dry even in the winter, having to haul their drinking water from town or the long hours she had to spend just to keep food on the table.

Sadly, Beckie never realized her dreams and was brutally gunned down by her 15 year old step-son; he turned and slaughtered the other three boys and set the house on fire to cover his crimes.

Even after 20 years, my loss of my sister does not diminish and it probably never will. I am not writing this blog for sympathy or to cause hurt to others but to reflect the things that Beckie's life has taught me. The first is, never give up, do your very best and look for the blessing behind every bad time. Second, always look for the best in people, don't judge them and never gossip or talk bad about others. The most important thing I have learned from Beckie's life is to celebrate your life, live each day as if were your last with no regrets and to always leave others with a smile.

Still smiling,
Jo

P.S. To read the full story, my sister Ellie has it posted on her blog:
http://mscreek.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html#5050652361808253203