Living Years 5-8-19

I’m sitting at the clinic waiting for my mom. While waiting I heard this song playing. It always reminds me of my dad when I hear it. I’m so grateful I was with him the night he passed away and I’m grateful I was able to tell him I loved him. Yet there were still so many things Left unsaid. So many missed opportunities to spend time together. I only wish I had taken the time.

I’m posting this song as a reminder that life is short. Let the people in your life know you love them. Tell them the things that are on your mind. Spend quality time with them and whatever you do stop fighting with one another. No fight or argument is worth it in the end. No matter how angry you are you will most certainly miss the people you love when they’re gone and you’ll look back and realize all the things you didn’t say and the the things you shouldn’t have. Live life with No regrets.

So today tell the special people in your life you love them. Say it loud and say it clear. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

I still miss my dad. I’d give anything to sit down with him. Shoot the breeze like we used to. I’d give anything to Listen to him tell me one of his funny stories that made me laugh and I’d give anything to say “I love you” just one more time.

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Chiquitita 1-7-19

Growing up my dad was a huge fan of the group ABBA. I grew up listening to all of their songs. I’m 53 years old and I still love ABBA. One of my dads favorite songs was Chiquitita. He used to play that song over and over and could sing every lyric. I think of my dad every time I hear that song.

When he passed away, my mother and I cleaned out his pickup. He had several bottles of Stetson cologne and many pictures of me. He even had copies of the ads I created while I was a Marketing Consultant. I remember asking my mom why my dad had so many pictures of me and why did he have so many of my ads. She said “because your dad always thought you were so beautiful and he was so proud of you”. I still get teary eyed thinking about that day when my mother and I cleaned out my dads pickup. In his pickup was also an ABBA cd. My dad had their greatest hits. It was no surprise that he would have that in his pickup. He was ABBAs biggest fan.

My dad and I were very close. In fact, he was not only my dad, but he was my best friend too. He was the rock in my life that was always there for me in the good times and the bad times. When life threw me a curveball, I knew I could always count on my dad to be by my side offering and encouraging the strength I needed to keep moving forward. There was never a challenge too big that I couldn’t overcome. I always knew I had my sidekick who would be by my side every step of the way. I’ll be honest, I’ve been lost without my dad since he passed away. My dad took a piece of not only my heart, but my entire being when he left. I’ve been floundering ever since. I’ve made some horrible choices, I’ve been depressed and any challenge has been just too big for me to handle without my dad by my side. I have found it hard to adjust to life without my side kick. Sadly, I still have a picture of me and my dad on my night stand. I wake up to it every morning.

This past November, depression, anxiety and PTSD finally took its toll. I’ve carried a heavy load for a really long time. Not to mention, I’ve had one trial after another. I’ve tried so hard to keep my head above water but not having my dad by my side to conquer everything has proved to be difficult. I’ve prayed, I’ve sought the help from life coaches, I’ve seen spiritual healers…you name it. I’ve tried it. I finally accepted the advice of my doctors and began taking anti-depressants. I’ll admit, my doctors have encouraged me to take them for the past seven years but I’ve refused. I really believed I would come out of this depression and everything would be ok. I was wrong. Every now and then it doesn’t hurt to get a little help. Even when that help includes an anti depressant and in my case, counseling too. I am not allowing myself to feel like a failure because I had to get a little help. I remind myself this is short term until I get my emotional self back on track. The result is I am feeling better every day. I’m even laughing again. However, I’ll be honest that void of my dad is still missing. I still miss him.

Since my dad passed away I’ve only dreamed of him once. That is, until a couple of weeks ago. I woke up sweating. I had been dreaming about my dad. In my dream, he was so disappointed in me. He was disappointed in a number of things. That disappointment was heart wrenching. When I woke up I knew I had to get my shit together. I had to pick myself up and start living life again.

Yesterday, I was having a hard day. I’ve been dealing with an issue that has weighed heavy on my life as well as emotional health. I’ve been angry at myself for not having the courage to walk away from that situation that has clearly become toxic in my life. I went on my walk and just felt beaten and defeated. I prayed the entire three and a half miles. I found myself praying for clarity, wisdom and strength. I found myself feeling hopeless and gutless. I found myself wishing my dad was here to be by my side offering the courage I need to walk away. Better yet, I found myself wishing my dad was here to just deal with the issue for me. That afternoon I got in my car. I started it and when I did, Chiquitita was on the radio. I immediately thought of my dad. I remembered how much he loved this song. As I listened to the lyrics, it became clear my dad was speaking to me through this song. The lyrics really touched my heart and led me to believe it was my dad reminding me that he was still with me. He was also reminding me of who I am as well as the strength I have to finally let go of the issue and begin to move forward. I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out while driving in my car.

I don’t feel the need to share my challenge tonight. I will share on a later post when I can share I finally got through it. However, I feel the need to share this song as well as the lyrics tonight for anyone going through a tough time. Like the song, I’d like to remind you like the song reminded me, that while you may feel there’s no hope for tomorrow, the sun is still in the sky shining above you. It’s shining above me too. If we sing a new song and try once more, together we will be dancing once again. I can get through anything and believe me when I say, so can you.

Here are the lyrics:

“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong
You’re enchained by your own sorrow
In your eyes there is no hope for tomorrow
How I hate to see you like this
There is no way you can deny it
I can see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet

Chiquitita, tell me the truth
I’m a shoulder you can cry on
Your best friend, I’m the one you must rely on
You were always sure of yourself
Now I see you’ve broken a feather
I hope we can patch it up together

Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita

So the walls came tumbling down
And your love’s a blown out candle
All is gone and it seems too hard to handle
Chiquitita, tell me the truth
There is no way you can deny it
I see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet

Chiquitita, you and I know
How the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving
You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end
You will have no time for grieving
Chiquitita, you and I cry
But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you
Let me hear you sing once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita
Try once more like you did before
Sing a new song, Chiquitita

Life Is A Struggle Sometimes 9-9-18

I’m on my walk this morning. I love taking walks especially outdoors. I love the freedom and the peace that only nature can provide. I pray while I walk. I talk to god, I even yell at him while having a complete bitch fit. I’ve been known to call god the “F” word during my rants among other profanity. I’m not going to pretend I’m a saint by any means.

Being outside alone on my walk is about the only time I can think or vent when I have to. I have no idea if God can hear me. At times I wonder if he even exists but nevertheless, after I’ve made a complete spectacle of myself alone in the wilderness I put my headset on and listen to music. Today’s playlist includes “Little Guitars” by Van Halen. This señorita loves this song! Lol.

These past couple of months have been so draining. I have been so depressed. In July I found out the man I’ve been dating was cheating on me. That was a real blow. Somehow I didn’t see that coming. I battle PTSD and anxiety. This blow only intensified those battles. In addition, I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed with family obligations. One being my mother. That woman drives me insane. She demands so much of me. I’m a people pleaser so I spend my days pleasing everyone, including my mother while failing to please myself.

I’m struggling with insecurities about where I am in life. Last week I drove to Spokane to file bankruptcy. I have to admit, succumbing to accepting I could not dig myself out of the financial hole I’ve found myself in thanks to being sick was another blow. I feel like an absolute failure. I’m better than this or so I keep telling myself. I just can’t seem to find my purpose anymore. Ironically, I drove to my appointment with a ziploc bag full of change to give to any homeless person that might tug on my heart strings. I actually thought to myself “really Velma?! You’re filing bankruptcy but you’re giving away change?! What’s wrong with you?!! ” To add fuel to the Fire September 14th is the anniversary date of the day my life changed forever. It’s the day my dad passed away. I’ve been on an uncontrollable spiral of destruction ever since. I hate September. More importantly, after seven years I’m still heartbroken. I’d give anything to have one more day with my dad. One more phone call. One more joke. He always made me laugh. Losing a parent really sucks!! This is one of the last fun memories I had with my dad, uncle and cousin. We look like thugs but we were all together.

I thought I would share today not for any reason other than it’s my way of saying I get it. I know life can be a struggle sometimes. Some of you might be in the thick of a challenge right now. I post positive affirmations every day on Facebook, Instagram and even on my blog but I want you to know that I struggle every day too. My challenges may not be your challenges but they are challenges nonetheless. I’m sure some days you wonder if god exists. I do too. Everyone does. We are all human. All I know is we can’t give up. None of us can. We have to keep fighting and keep moving forward. Eventually good days come and we look back and realize how far we’ve come. Trust me. I speak the truth because I’ve been there. Have a great day!! 🌹

Aretha Franklin 8-15-18

Today is a sad day in America. We mourn the loss of Aretha Franklin. She was the Queen Of Soul. A force to be reckoned with. She will forever be the greatest female vocalist of all time. Aretha was a light that shined. May her light shine forever.

I cried when Princess Diana and Michael Jackson passed away. Today I will cry over the loss of Aretha Franklin. She was an icon. A national treasure who will forever hold a spot in my heart for the happiness she brought me through her music!!! She leaves behind a great legacy. I’m sharing my all time favorite song. I’m sure my kids will remember me playing this over and over while they were growing up. Of course I can’t post this blog without sharing “you make me feel like a natural woman”. One of the greatest songs of all time.

Long live the Queen Of Soul…..The greatest singer of all time!!

Find Your Way Back 7-19-18

As a teenager I was a big fan of Jefferson Starship. I used to love the band. “Find Your Way Back” was certainly a favorite.

This morning on my walk for some reason I thought of this song and listened to it while I was walking. As I listened to the lyrics I found myself relating to some of the words.

Like the song, for me, the past few years (seven to be exact) have certainly been a long road since I packed up and left home looking for a new life only to turn around, leave San Francisco and find my way back home. The place I left in the first place. I can honestly say I’ve carried a heavy load along the way. However, as I pondered where I’ve been, I realized I’m no longer in that space anymore. In fact, those dark days seem like they happened so long ago.

These past several months I finally began to feel the fog lift. Occasionally, I’ve even felt like a turtle poking his head out feeling things out to ensure it was safe to finally come out of my shell and begin moving forward.

I believe we all face trials in our lives. At times those trials bring you to your knees. If you’re not careful, you find yourself stuck in a cesspool of water feeling like you’re drowning. I’m embarrassed to admit, that’s what happened to me. I’ve been drowning for a very long time. Trauma, grief, finances, breakups, lawsuits, cancer, illness…..the list goes on leading to depression, anxiety and yes….PTSD. Through it all, somewhere along the way I realized I’m the same strong woman I always was before everything in my life turned upside down. I’m still funny. I’m still strong. I’m still smart. I’m still that crazy, fabulous me I’ve always been. My circumstances may have changed and maybe I’ve been lost for awhile but I realize I’m still the same “me” I’ve always been. Love me or not, I am who I am and I’m ok with being me. I saw a quote I had posted a few years ago. “Sometimes, in order to be happy in the present moment, you have to be willing to give up all hope for a better past”. Truth!!! I can’t change the past but I can certainly choose to be happy now.

On Saturday, I’ll be on an airplane flying far away from here for the next two weeks in search of finding the peace and healing I need to finally find my way back. I’m so close. I can feel it. It occurred to me this morning that despite all the “rock bottom” moments we experience in our lives, somehow, someway we always find our way back. Of course, when you’re in the thick of the chaos swirling around you it’s hard to grasp the idea that eventually this too shall pass. I can assure you that based on my experience whatever you’re going through right now, trust me, more importantly trust god, and know this too will pass and before you know it, you will find your way back. Until then, don’t get caught up in depression, feeling sorry for yourself and whatever you do….DO NOT spend three years in your bedroom at your moms house watching Hallmark Romance movies like I did. Lol. What a waste of so many precious moments!! My advice is find your happiness in the present. Enjoy the ride. It might take seven years but I guarantee you will find your back. Just ask me.

In the meantime if you can’t find some inspiration or joy today, I’m posting my favorite Jefferson Starship song as a reminder to stay in faith. Today is the first day of finding your way back. My comeback is right around the corner. I believe yours is too!!

Maui….My Paradise 5-26-18

I just returned from spending eight days in Maui. I spent the week with my best friend who happens to be my cousin. We had a wonderful time. It’s always fun to hang out with my cousin. We laugh, we eat, we sing….we do everything we did when we were kids. It’s so much fun.

Going to Maui was a blessing. I am so grateful for the opportunity. After all, Maui is not only my favorite place, it’s also my healing place. Something about that “Maui Vibe” always seems to offer a sense of peace and grounding for me. This trip was no different.

Since 2012, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a total of 15 weeks in Maui. What can I say, I’m truly blessed. My cousin and I spent much time exploring the island as well as enjoying some much needed bonding time on the beach. We even did reiki. We went to Napili Beach. Big Beach, Lahaina, Paia, The beach at Five Palms (my favorite beach and Hana. It was awesome. My last day I took one last walk on the beach and was blessed to see six turtles. Three of them sunbathing. Turtles supposedly represent long life and good luck. I saw six that morning.

Maui is my go to place when I find myself depressed, stressed out or even overwhelmed with this thing called life. I like to meditate on the peace of being on the beach or the sunsets Maui has to offer. My dream would be to live in Maui part time. If I could do that, I would certainly be one happy camper.

This trip to Maui marked a new beginning for me. A new start. I’ve been in a slump for the past seven years. First my dad passed away causing my life to spiral out of control. Add cancer, an abusive boyfriend, financial challenges, family issues to the mix and you have one big pot of crappy goulash. I used the time to focus on letting go, finding forgiveness, healing myself so I could finally toss that goulash that’s existed in my life and move forward.

There’s a Hawaiian bird called the Iwa. This bird is a very meaningful bird in the Polynesian culture. The Iwa is at times referred to as the “Storm Bird”. The Iwa is 43. inches long. It soars and glides gracefully with a wing span of seven feet. They often travel great distances but rarely soar further than 50 miles from land. This bird has the resilience to withstand storms in its search for food and travel great distances. They swoop down in the ocean and snatch their prey using their hook like beaks.

Polynesian fisherman look to these birds while fishing. If the Iwa is flying above them, they know they are in a fishing area. They also look for the Iwa to find their way back home when they are out at sea.

While I was battling cancer, I used to say to myself, “when I overcome this battle, I’m getting a tattoo”. Well I did just that while I was in Maui. If you have ever been to any of the Hawaiian islands you know that many Polynesians have tribal tattoos. What you may not know is the tattoos they wear proudly have meaningful significance to each person wearing them. I went to a local tattoo artist named Sampson. He’s located on Kehei Road in a small shop called Pacific Rootz. We discussed a tattoo that would hold a special meaning in my life. I opted for a small yet significant tattoo of the Iwa. Like the Iwa I have faced many “storms” these past seven years. I’ve soared great miles to find my way “back home”. The Iwa is a reminder for me that whatever life throws at me, I am resilient and will eventually find my way back. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to let go of my past and find my way “home” to where the good lord wants me to be. It’s my guess in a much happier space, soaring through life and living life to the fullest.

We all face hardships and trials. Some of us more than others. If you’re like me, at times I feel like God has abandoned me however I’m reminded in Mathew 6-26 that if God provides for the birds he will certainly provide for me. I hope so anyway.

Mathew 6-26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”

I was standing on the sand the last day of my trip enjoying the waves that would come in and cover my feet then would slowly roll back and go back to the ocean. It occurred to me as I stood on the beach that life is like the waves of the ocean. Just like the waves, trials and challenges come in and cover our feet causing us to feel like we are drowning. However, like the waves, our trials slowly but surely head back to where they came from and once again we find ourselves standing on solid ground. Maybe a little “sandy” from all the debris those “waves” left behind but we are standing nonetheless.

The trials I’ve faced these past seven years have been hard. They have caused me so much pain and suffering. I have the scars to prove it. Like the waves, I am beginning to see my feet again. I’m hopeful and I’m happy again. I’m looking forward to enjoying life until the next wave comes in. Until then, like the Iwa, I’ll soar gracefully through this thing called life and keep moving forward towards finding my place and the “home” and the solid ground or land where I need to be.

I’ll leave you today with one of my favorite Outfield tunes. “My Paradise”

Letting Go 4-12-18

I saw this quote this morning on a blog site called Random Writings. Jim has a wonderful blog site and I enjoy reading his page everyday. This mornings post really hit home. I couldn’t resist blogging my own experience of the importance of accepting that at some point it’s time to let go of expecting what we want and just move on and start living.

For me this quote is so true. In the weeks and even the night before my dad passed away my dad’s sister managed to transfer all of the property my parents had spent their entire life working for in to her name leaving my family penniless. The story that led up to this is long and even unbelievable so I won’t go in to detail. All I know is one day my parents net worth was well over eight million dollars and the next day my father was gone and my mother was flat broke and homeless.

For seven years we have been in a lawsuit fighting to get everything back. In that time I’ve battled cancer among other things including depression. This has affected my family in such a negative way. Despite it all, my aunt has fought us every step of the way. She made millions on the property while my mother and I have been broke. We found ourselves living in one of our rentals that she now owns.

We are grateful to have a roof over our head however it’s the circumstances that have been challenging. The home is old and needs much work. The septic tank overflows all the time. It’s over 50 years old and needs to be replaced. My mother and I have gone without water and even a toilet for days at a time. A month ago one of the pipes broke and flooded the basement with sewer. I noticed it when I walked downstairs barefoot and stepped in sewer water. I’ve been so sick ever since. Black soot comes out of the vents and there is mold downstairs. In short this home is a parasitic environment. Our attorney has tried to get my aunt to do the much needed repairs while we have pushed through this lawsuit but she has refused. We didn’t know my aunt before her arrival months before my dad passed away. In fact, my dad hadn’t seen her in over 40 years. We have since learned she is a slum lord as well, in our opinion, a manipulative, greedy thief.

We were set to go to hearing May 31st. Yesterday my mother and I dropped the lawsuit. We are walking away. We have no idea where we will go or what we will do but we have given up on expecting to receive what we think should happen and just move on. Life is short. This quote is a reminder that it’s time to just start living and hope for the best. We don’t always get what we want but who knows, maybe what we wanted is not as big as what god wanted for us in the first place. I hope so any way.