A Ray of Sunlight!

On May 29th, I made an Instagram post that provided a challenge to myself and anyone who wanted to participate.  It was about committing to a month long obsession of positive thoughts about one’s self, and by extension – their entire life.  This seemed like a fitting challenge for me at the time.  Due to the continuous months of extreme upsets, I could definitely feel myself fighting a more negative internal dialogue about myself and life circumstances as the months continued on.  I found it easy to have faith for others, and believe whole-heartedly in the grace and goodness that was sure to surround them.  Yet sadly, I was finding myself too exhausted to extend that same kindness onto me.  I was wore thin, and my usually sunny disposition was replaced with a sort of vague outlook on all personal things within me.  This was a huge signal to me that something needed to change, and it was in part the reason I took a hiatus from all external demands.

Well, as I stated in that post, I was going to journal every day about positive thoughts, feelings, and outlooks within myself and my surrounding life circumstances.  Personally, I find journaling very therapeutic.  I think it is quite beneficial in the area of emotionally and intellectually processing one’s internal systems.  In the beginning of June, I did find it a little challenging to find that ray of sunshine within.  It was sort of like looking up at a grey and cloudy sky without seeing any sunlight.  However, I did find at least three things that I could be positive and optimistic about.  As the days of June progressed, my positively obsessive journal entries got longer and easier.  By the end, I didn’t even feel the need to write out my ‘happy thoughts’ to make them feel real and complete.  

This process of letting the sunlight in wasn’t only a mental process I was doing during the month of June.  All along, I was emotionally investing in myself in uplifting and healthy ways.  I took time to recognize the unhealthy habits I had fallen into during the past six months, and took active steps to replace them with the healthier ones I had known before.  I listened to my body when it told me it needed to rest or relax.  I actively sought out fun-filled adventures, even though I was still engulfed in a sea of fatigue.  The point was, I was purposely becoming mindful about the more positive, healthy, and life-lasting activities that I knew  (from previous life experience) would lead me back to sunnier days.

It wasn’t until the church service that I attended yesterday, that I felt like the clouds really parted ways.  The pastor, who’s sermons I really enjoy as they always seem to come from a perspective of love and humility, was speaking about freedom.  He talked passionately about the human condition that surrounds the aspect of freedom.  His teaching point was that freedom is a two-part process.  At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant by this.  Then he went on to explain that freedom is indeed made up of the external factors that we are granted…our inalienable rights, so to say.  However, he also spoke of the freedom that comes from within.  This freedom, which is won on a personal and internal level; the freedom we grant within ourselves to love completely, forgive whole-heartedly, and accept the greatness within our human condition.  Of course, he spoke about the challenges and difficulties that come with that.  He also noted the continuing process that this quest entails.  However, this message struck a cord within me.  Quite frankly, it humbled me.  

You see, I am always seeking to better myself.  I try to do this in a way to overcome the confinements of my human condition.  Within myself, I feel the urge to be free.  I strongly desire the fortitude to fly free within this sometimes overwhelmingly oppressive world.  The external challenges of these last six months have shown me miracles, heart-ache, joy, loss, pain, courage, defeat, and the best and worst of our human conditions.  I have felt elevated and overjoyed at times, and completely spent and exasperated at others.  Through all of this, I was trying to hold onto the core value of God and love that I had known from previous life experiences.  Thankfully, this time around, I knew of his constant presence and steady hand.  However, sometimes knowing isn’t as easy as experiencing.  

As I sat in the back pews of this little country church I attend on a Sunday morning, I began to fully see the shackles I had reattached within myself.  I was having trouble catching my breath because my soul and essence didn’t feel free.  I was struggling to see the sunshine because my heart had become overburdened and I had forgotten to hand it all over.  I was struggling because I was trying to master my human condition, all by myself.  

This beautiful, simple, and powerful message hit me like a gentle wave.  I remembered the key factor to our human masterpiece…the great and powerful God!  I was shouldering the worries of the world upon my solitary shoulders again.  I was weighed down by responsibilities I can not fully control.  Yet most importantly, I had forgotten to feed my spirit and release my soul from the pitfalls of our man-made world. 

I had blocked out sweet gentleness in an effort to muscle through.  I had detached my needs from the current situation because it felt like there just wasn’t enough time.  I had lost perspective of the what-why-and who behind all that truly matters.  Because of all of this, I had lost my shine.

Now, recognizing this and changing directions are two different activities.  Thankfully, I do recognize the missing piece to my healthy and balanced puzzle.  Honestly, I have to accept that it will take time to correct, heal, and overcome the challenges I let back in. 

Enter the Turtle!

This post is a continuation from the ‘White Rabbit Syndrome’ post that I made a few weeks prior.  In that post, I spoke of having the ‘White Rabbit Syndrome.’  For me, this basically amounted to an intensely strong urgency to get moving on and toward something without any clear understanding of where I was going and what I was supposed to accomplish.  I spoke of some of the external events that lead me to turn away from that hectic and often unsettling inner energy of the white rabbit.  However, the changes I desired to make would not have been possible without introducing a new, healthier, counter energy into my internal mix.

You see, according to the laws of physics, the introduction of something new had to occur in an intentional and purposeful way for positive change to take place and old, stubborn habits to break.  In science, it is said that nature abhors a vacuum.  What this means is that within all places of the Universe, there is no place where absolutely NOTHING can exist.  SOMETHING has to fill that space because there is no such thing as emptiness within our natural world.  This is true across the board and within every aspect of life.  For example, our own physical bodies will fill a newly opened and vacated hole with fluid or an internal substance because it is scientifically impossible for NOTHING to exist there.  How this translates to our own internal processing system is simple. 

When we remove, or empty out the space of something old (like a bad habit), there is a momentary gap or lack of anything existing there.  If we are not intentional and purposeful with what we want to change in our life, some new and perhaps less healthy habit will come along and replace it.  This will happen with or without our own emotional, psychological, or spiritual awareness of it, for nature abhors a vacuum and none of us can outrun the laws that govern our entire Universe.  So, it is scientifically and Universally essential to become mindful in the choices, decisions, and changes that we make.  

 When I recognized the ‘White Rabbit’ energy that had been surrounding me, I realized that I needed to shift and take ownership over this internal urging.  I took some time to think about how I could counter this energy.  Again, another law of physics guided my  internal processing.  According to Newton’s 3rd law in physics, he states that ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’  So now I had to look at how this Universal law applied to the energy within me.  I reasoned that the equal part for me was finding something to fit into that energetic space that would be compatible with what this space of internal force was trying to accomplish.  The white rabbit was showing up as an energy of movement and purpose for me within this world.  Although its intention was good, the energy was way too high strung and hectic for me to be able to hear or decipher any internal messages that could guide me to the path of my own highest potential.  I was right on board with the energy to get there and get it done, but there was no clear arrow or direction around its overextended urgency.  So, I had to consider what an opposite reaction to the frenzied white rabbit energy would be…a calm, easy-going, slower moving TURTLE! 

Now this sat well within me.  I had a focus point that I could turn to when the white rabbit energy came hampering along.  I could take some slow, deep breathes and invite in the cool, calm, and collected turtle energy to slow things down.  Over time, I even realized what a balanced blend this mix created.  The turtle provides me the calmness and slower pace that I need to maintain my bearing in life.  It also reminds me to move slow enough to hear, see, and internalize the subtle forces that move about to create our natural world…which have proven to be the most reliable factors for me to lean on within my life.  However, I will always have the memory of the white rabbit energy to shine like a beacon upon my path.  It reminds me that God does have a plan and need for me to find my way and own my purpose within this lifetime.

My respite is over!

First off, I would like to say welcome and Thank You to all my recent blog followers.  I am excited to have you along this journey.  As you may know, if you follow my Instagram account @js_spirit_author, I have been on a respite from life and social media for a couple of weeks.  Due to the extreme emotional challenges of the last six months, I was in desperate need of a complete break.  With the most recent challenge of my husband’s mother overcoming a near death experience, my own health was starting to come into jeopardy.  My vital signs were bouncing all over the place, and I was super fried on an emotional capacity.  This meant that the smallest, little upsets that come as a part of everyday modern life felt like huge boulders set to crush the last remaining shred of zest that I had.  Thankfully, as it truly always does, I made it!  Just after the ending of a difficult school year for my daughter, a challenging after school dance schedule that required two hours of travel time a day, and the miraculous recovery of my mother-in-law, I tapped out.  Now, I am sitting here on a bed of ideas, looking at the computer screen feeling the pain of the cartoon man above.

However, I am really happy to be back at work.  After the recharging break, I have a refreshed zest and increased gusto to charge through the challenges ahead to meet my goals.  As was the case when I began this online adventure, I am making big steps in the ways of my life coaching practice, also on Instagram @endless_possibilities_lcs.  I have made some price and service adjustments, all in the favor of my clients.  I am also REALLY excited to announce that I am searching for office space in the downtown district of my hometown.  These are exciting times and I look forward to sharing them all with you.

As an update on the miracle that is my mother-in-law, she is home now after six long and VERY challenging weeks in the hospital.  Although she is still under the outpatient care of a home nurse, occupational therapist, and physical therapist…she is doing AMAZING!  There is no residual damage from the hour long lack of oxygen, or from the paralysis medication.  She has regained enough core strength to be able to stand up, walk, and function normally without the aid of more than a cane.  Her spirit is so strong, and the love that has blossomed from her family has been an overwhelmingly joyous experience.  Her story really is one for the medical record books, and we are all so grateful for the miracles in timing and Divine intervention that made her recovery possible.

My goal is to post a continuation to the ‘White Rabbit Syndrome’ story tomorrow.  However, if the back to work struggles are still strong, it may be next Wednesday.  Again, I am grateful for all the recent influx of support and interest in my work and my journey.  I do post themed things to my Instagram pages, and I am about to launch a new summer social media platform, so go follow or click on the link from this site.  Thank you all!  Wishing everyone an amazing week ahead.

White Rabbit Syndrome

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the cartoon version of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland movie, or how many would recall the impending urgency that always surrounded the white rabbit throughout this movie.  This rabbit catches the curiosity of Alice as she daydreams through her acadmic lessons while sitting under a tree.  The white rabbit rushes past her in a frenzy exclaiming that he is late for a very important date.  Alice just wants to know what is so important and where this rabbit is rushing off to, so she abandons her mundane studies to chase down this white rabbit.  However, every time she reaches him he tells her that he has no time to stop and explain.  Throughout the movie, Alice seeks the answer to this curiosity…WHAT is the rabbit late for, and WHY is it such an urgency.  She meets many fascinating characters along the way, and manages to cross paths with the rabbit from time to time.  Each time that Alice’s path intersects with the white rabbit’s, he is basically in the same situation with a different scene around him; bustiling about exclaiming how late he is with no apparent direction or accomplishment of any sort being made. 

Well, I am saddened to admit that I have a terrible case of the White Rabbit Syndrome, with an added Alice in Wonderland curiosity to figuring out what and why I am so late for this thing that seems to elude me.  Most of my life I have always been in an internal hurry to get somewhere, yet I never knew quite where I was supposed to be.  During my late childhood and teen years, I couldn’t wait to get to adulthood so I could start my own family and be able to assert authority over the experiences and consequences of my own life.  I went to college and earned my Bachelors of Science Degree in my 20’s.  This was a good experience for I am a true lover of learning and enjoy the intellectual wonderings that knowledge brings.  However, I didn’t really venture past this academic experience within my college years.  In part it was due to a lack of personal interest in the social college setting, but looking back I wonder if it wasn’t also linked to the white rabbit syndrome I carried within.  I went to college to learn and earn an education.  That was its point and focus, so the idea of doing anything more with it never really entered my frame of reference.  This case was true for high school too.  I had friends at school, but that wasn’t the reason I went.  I went to accomplish the task at hand; meet the requirements they set to the best of my ability then high tail it out of there as soon as I could with every opportunity that I had.  Mind you, I had friends and a strong peer social network, but this was separate from school.  My teenage friends were not classmates.  They were actually a couple of years older and therefore completely unattached in any way to my high school experience.  

Shortly after earning my BS degree, I became a mother.  Now this was a time in my life where I wanted life to move slow and the white rabbit syndrome did fade away.  I was incredibly fortunate to live out my dream of being able to stay home to raise my daughter.  Everyday was a new adventure of learning, exploring, sharing, and growing with this incredible human being.  Although it was a challenging time in my life, I was finally living out one of my lifelong dreams and it felt amazing.  However, a huge part of being a parent is being able and willing to let go.  This was, and still is at times, a challenging thing for me.  Yet, it is something that simply must be done for the growth and benefit of her as a human being.  So, with a lot of open communication between myself and my daughter we mitigate the challenges and reach workable solutions that are age appropriate for her and mom appropriate for me.

Well, about 8 years ago the urging of the white rabbit came thumping back into my soul.  I had just turned 30 and I had a school aged child now.  My time wasn’t needed as mom for 7 or more hours of the day.  I was now standing within my adulthood…the place I had always wanted to be….with a whole bunch of time on my hands.  I wasn’t ready to devote myself to a career yet as my daughter was still young.  However, I needed something to fill my long days and busy mind.  So, I did what a lot of people do in this situation, I filled up the time.  I looked for healthy ways to fill my time and tried to plan ahead with the choices I made.  I started working at the preschool my daughter had attended.  It was a job that I loved, especially because it was a play focused center.  One of my favorite activities in life is teaching and sharing the wonders of the world with another.  Young children are especially easy to do this with as they experience everything with a ready heart and open mind.  I was able to do a lot of social-emotional teaching of 2, 3, and 4 year olds.  I was blessed with the opportunity to love, teach, and support these little human beings.  It really was a job I enjoyed!  However, this white rabbit feeling kept getting louder and stronger every year that went by.  I felt as though I was very late for something that was very important, but like Alice, I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I liked what I was doing and the schedule still allowed me to be mom during the hours my daughter was available, but something was missing.

I ended up leaving the preschool job four years later.  I decided that I was going to start a business of my own (although I wasn’t sure what that was going to be exactly), and I was finally going to write that book (a motorcycle club one) that I had intended on doing when I started teaching at the preschool part-time four years prior.  I finished my school year out in May of 2014 and life threw us some incredible curve balls during that entire summer. 

Two weeks after the school year ended and my position had been filled for the following school year, my husband lost his job.  Now we faced an unexpected reality that we both were unemployed with no current prospect of new employment.  This was also during the recession period where work, foreclosures, and hard times were befalling many Americans.  Thankfully, my husband did find a job in the beginning of July.  Things were looking up and the original plan from May was back up and in motion.  Then I got the very unexpected news that I was pregnant.  This came at the end of July.  Although this should have been joyous and celebratory information, it was not.  From the very beginning of the pregnancy, something felt very different from my first one.  This difference wasn’t easily definable, but something felt very wrong.  Although the initial sonogram test had shown a hemorrhage, subsequent tests did not find any current internal bleeding.  My very competent OB/GYN reassured me all was alright.  This went on for about 6 weeks, all the while I had this knowing feeling that SOMETHING was wrong.  Once again, I felt like Alice chasing down an answer that was very present in its finality but completely obscure in its reasoning. 

This was another challenging time for me and my family.  My husband supported me the best way he knew how.  However we are very different people in the way we handle life situations and process our emotions.  The inability for him to feel what I felt was especially challenging for both of us.  At our 8 week 5 day sonogram appointment, we found out that the baby no longer had a heartbeat.  This was difficult news that came with a flood of emotions.  It was even more challenging because my body was not rejecting the deceased baby on its own.  This meant I needed a hospital procedure to safely remove everything, however this all happened on an upcoming holiday weekend.  So, I had to wait 5 days before the doctor was able to safely remove the baby.  I won’t share the challenges that such a physical, emotional situation brought up for me (at least not at this point), but the entire miscarriage experience was completely life changing for me.  Anyhow, we made it to the procedure date.  All went well with the medical processes.  My husband’s new job was incredibly kind and understanding to the time that he needed off in order to support me through those difficult dates and days.  At this point, school was back in session and although our life was forever changed, it seemed as though smooth sailing would lie ahead.  That is until my husband got shingles at 30 something years old just a few weeks later.  This was very physically painful for him and required MORE time off from the job he had only had for two months.  The other challenging factor is that I have never actually had chicken pox, which can be caught from the shingle virus.  I did have one of the two chicken pox vaccines, but I didn’t want to take any chances.  The poor guy had to sleep in another room and stay quarantined from the main areas of the house for a few days.  I also gloved up and held my breath whenever I had to deal with his bandage changes.  This last experience in our difficult summer felt more like a gut bunch to an already very scary, extremely challenging, and somewhat relationally polarizing summer.

This is where the white rabbit and I parted ways.  This is the summer that forever changed my life and reshaped some of the internal pieces within me.  Over the subsequent years, I worked hard on processing all of these events.  I took an honest look at my life, my actions, and the consequences that my choices brings.  I decided it was beyond time to take control of the internal dialogue over my life.  I had done a good job at molding to the prescribed attributes of adulthood, but I still didn’t feel safe and complete.  So, I learned new ways to take purposeful steps that quieted the thumping call of my internal white rabbit.  I started looking into the science of our natural world, its atomic make up, and how the human being pieced into this giant puzzle.  For a long while, I found a beautiful flow within this crazy thing we call life.  I was able to become completely present, be fully aware, and fascinated by the simple activities that filled my day.  I noticed the butterfly that fluttered by.  I heard the sounds of the leaves dancing within the trees.  I saw the shadow of the bird that soared within the air.  Within this space, this intentional place of consciousness, I felt free.  I had come to trust in the foundation of this life.  I felt comforted by the support and consistency that our natural world offers us.  Each day that I had struggled with the life challenges of that fate-filled summer, the sun did rise.  Every night that came with a heavy heart, the moon was there.  The presence of this daily commitment from the natural world to support, nourish, and love me through this challenging time became my comfort blanket within each and every one of those days.  The presence and experience of God’s love and grace that filled my soul as I knew something was absolutely wrong with my second pregnancy gave me a foundation of faith that can never be shattered.  The energy of the white rabbit no longer had a home here.  I had learned that there was no real need to rush.  My personal experiences had shown me that there was an immense power and order within this natural world that could be relied upon and trusted with complete confidence.  This faith-filled reassurance was all around me within nature, and it was 100% consistent in its messages and informational offerings.  It had just become a matter of me finally being able to see, sense, and understand the subtle knowledge that it holds within.  As I began to stand, open-minded and heart willing, I no longer had any need for the white rabbit energy.  I could finally let go of this dominating syndrome within my life.  The white rabbit was there to show me that I was out of sync and out of line with the intention and direction of my life.  Chasing that feeling, and relentlessly seeking the answer to the rabbit’s urgency lead me to the exact place I needed to find…my flow.  The journey and characters that I met along the way laid the pathway so I could always find my way back in the event that I start to go astray.  This was the purpose, lesson, and value of my white rabbit syndrome. 

I’m just super thankful that I was curious enough in seeking the answer to venture down the rabbit hole and walk blindly into the great unknown.  I am also appreciative that I was mindful enough to notice the obscure white rabbit in the first place.

 

Amen!

So up until this year, I don’t think I would have believed in the sentiment of this quote. However, as life experience so frequently does, it opened my eyes and mind to the truth within this perspective.  It has again been two weeks since my last post. In that posting, I was talking about feeling as though I was the bicyclist upon the tight rope.  I have at least five very separate and very distinct life roles I play everyday.  One is a mom, the other is a business owner, the third is a dreamer/aspiring author, the fourth is a constant caregiver/housekeeper, and the fifth is a teenage transporter (this is my least favorite one of all).  These are just the hats I wear on a daily basis.  As busy lives seem to embody, unexpected and pressing things frequently pop up.  As they do, I am the person those responsibilities fall onto.  So, it is yet another hat with its own separate and unique responsibilities that I must wear.  Needless to say ( and I am confident that I am not alone in this scenario), I get a little tired and sometimes feel overwhelmed. 

This is a challenging lifestyle for anyone to maintain, but I think it brings its own set of challenges when you are a personality (like me) who thrives on calm and easy going energy.  Well, recent events have really tested my will to endure and my ability to thrive. Back in November of 2017, a very close family friend (the man who the ‘Gone, but not forgotten’ post is about) went into the hospital.  During that difficult week and the months following his unhappy stay, I was his primary caregiver and dog sitter.  Then my daughter and I came down with the flu in January.  Pop’s ended up back in the hospital at this same time.  We didn’t go see him because we did not want to add to his problems.  He ended up passing away the first weekend in February.  Also in November, my father-in-law had a stroke, just two days after Pop’s was released from his first stay.  Thankfully, my father-in-law was able to receive some potent medication which removed all effects of the stroke.  In the months between January to March, my daughter had some school issues, our truck required an expensive repair, and my poor dog is dealing with a recurrent skin allergy.  All the while, we are pressing along as positively as possible.  Truly feeling like each hurdle would surely be the last.  Then, just a couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law had a very critical, life-threatening health situation that landed her in ICU.  Thankfully, and probably only because of the intervention of God and the power of miracles, she is alive.  However, this last event has spiraled off a new set of minor, but still significant life challenges.  My point to all of this…I now see the truth and validity within this quote.

Life truly does test the measure of one’s will when there is nothing to challenge or engage it AND life equally challenges a person’s will when life is full throttle with no sign of releasing its pressure hold.  When we are unengaged, it can become very easy to slip away into a sort of mundane existence.  When we enter into this space, life can seem dull and uninteresting.  Some people may find themselves in a hum-drum lull, often having no clear vision or direction for their own life.  This time challenges the human will by asking the person to step up and create the pathway of their life.  It asks people to take control over the passion and purpose to their existence.  Although this can be a fun and exciting task, it can also be challenging and require a lot of inner self-work. 

At other times within your life, you may find yourself on the other end of the spectrum…too much all of the time.  This is when people run the risk of burning out and falling victim to stress-related health issues.  A person’s will is tested most in the areas of endurance and mastery over their own human condition.  It takes a strong soul to rise from the ashes, and an enduring one to fly calmly amid the storm.  This is the ways in which our human will is tested.  To me, this is the meaning behind this blog’s quote.

I know I wouldn’t have been able to get through these challenging times without first overcoming many of my own not so pleasant human conditions.  Thankfully, I worked hard on healing and properly learning more positive ways to address life’s issues during my ‘nothing happening’ stage.  Because of the self-mastery on the weakest parts of myself, I was able to use my well established boundaries, increased value in the need to say no, and practice self-care as a way to try to maintain the highest sense of balance that I could during these extreme times.  Now mind you, these things have not come without hard decisions and strong positions, but they have given me the ability to endure.  These are the reasons I value self-work and learning the tools and resources we need to overcome the hardships within our human condition.

The other important and primary thing that has gotten me through both of these challenging phases to life is my faith in God.  My need to understand and connect with this omnipresent, omnipotent, higher power was what lead me to the research I have done in the study of science, love, and energy.  Although I can attach the science and my research findings to the presence and realness of God, it is the support and encouragement God offers within my every day life that has made my faith strong and given me the complete and present ability to stay in tact as I muster through these current happenings.

Riding the Tight Rope!

I can’t believe that it has already been two weeks since my last blog post. Although my presence from this page may have been absent, my time-energy-and effort has not! I feel like the man in this picture. Trying to stay balanced in the tight rope of life as I ride my unicycle bike toward the realization of my hopes and dreams. Just as the picture shows, this is a tricky task with a determined focus on the goals at hand. It is an interesting time in my life, as I have always sought the completion of inward or emotional projects. This is the first time that I have actually wanted something outside of myself that had to come about within the physical world and by people I don’t yet know. Even starting my family felt like an internal job to me. 

I have to say, it has been a different kind of energy to work from. Creating something that originates from the hopes and desires that I hold deep within and projecting that out into the physical world for everyone to see is a very different experience for me. It is an exciting and unique part to this journey. As the picture illustrates, I am staying focused on my goals ahead, trusting that the Lord is guiding my path as I work to keep my balance within this exciting challenge of making my dreams come true for all to see. 

Gone, but not forgotten!

So, this may prove to be a difficult post to write.  However, I am dedicated to taking you along the ups and the downs of my journey…so here we go.  I want to start by apologizing for my absence from this site over the last couple of weeks or so.  This post will explain the reason why.

Have you ever had the tremendous honor of having an incredible person in your life who didn’t have to be there because they were family, or pushed on you by someone else?  If so, did this person value and accept you for exactly who you are, never seeking to change or modify you in an effort to fill their own needs?  Honestly, I hope you have; and if not, I pray that you will because these are the most precious relationships within our human world.  Mine came in the form of a man named David Venson, or Pop’s as we knew him.  He was the father of my husband and I’s best friend.  

Pop’s was a simple man who loved his dog, his family, and his beloved wife Margie.  He had been a truck driver for his entire life, and had been living out his golden years in a newly purchased home in my town.  Pop’s was even more inclined than I am to avoid social circles, and he never asked for much from anyone.  He had a keen sense about people., and he took his time in forming relationships; a valuable lesson I now carry with me.  

I met Pop’s during their move to my town 4 years ago.  It started out as going by to help our friend get settled in, or visit when he came into town – he is a truck driver too.  Then it got to where I was going by to check on Pop’s since he was alone most of the time and did have some health problems that affected his balance and things.  Then it got to where my daughter and I were stopping by as much as we could, just because we liked to spend time with him.  Pop’s was a clever board game player, and we all loved taking his dog around the yard.  Before you knew it, we were spending holidays together and feeling like family.

In November of 2017, Pop’s called me one morning and asked me to stop by to feed Willow, his pup.  Of course I did, but this call was unusual.  Pop’s never asked for help, a Venson trait, and I knew something was up.  After taking care of Willow’s morning routine and spending some time with Pop’s that morning, he finally told me about a health scare he had earlier that morning.  He had fallen and it took him a long time to get up.  He was feeling really weak and he was not steady on his feet.  After a couple of hours of discussion, he finally agreed to go to the ER.  The diagnosis wasn’t good, but the prognosis was optimistic.  It was pneumonia, but they felt like it was caught early enough and that everything would be okay.

Unfortunately after several months of health issues, some of which were absolutely avoidable, Pop’s passed away.  He had gone back into the hospital, with pneumonia, the week that I had the flu.  I think it was within two weeks from being released that he passed away. 

I didn’t get to see him much that month.  Between me being sick, then my daughter coming down with it the week after, and the LONG recovery, we didn’t get over there to see him.  I did send him texts while he was in the hospital, but he never answered back.  This was normal and a plan we had devised the first time he was admitted.  You see, Pop’s had a phone and could read the messages, but he didn’t know how to respond by text so it was more like a one-way communication.

I know he is in a better place, and where he wanted to be – right beside his wife Margie.  However, I sure do miss him.  Some days just aren’t the same without his loving presence.  Holidays will be somewhat bittersweet without his company.  And my daughter and I lost an amazing friend, father and grandfather figure.  I will always cherish the time we spent together.  I can still hear him say, “Love you gal.”  My world was a whole lot brighter for knowing him, and my heart is forever more complete because of the time we spent together.

You were one of the greatest men I know, David ‘Pops’ Venson.  You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.

Side note:  I chose the picture of the blue jay because I think that was the way Pop’s said his final ‘Goodbye’ to me.  I was driving to pick my daughter up from morning dance on Saturday.  This beautiful blue jay, which I hardly ever see, flew down in the road in front of my truck to the point where I had to step on the brake.  Immediately, I thought of Pop’s.  I said to myself that we needed to get by to see him soon.  Then I decided I was going to buy him the hummingbird feeder and birdfeeder pole that I had thought about during Christmas.  I was going to get it before I went to see him next and I was calculating our budget to decide when that might be.  I thought that we could put it outside the dining room window so he could see the birds come to the feeder from the table or the sofa; the places he was most likely to be. 

It was early the next morning that his son called to tell me that Pop’s had passed away.  He had passed away at home.