and so it continues

I quite enjoy blogging and sharing information that I find in my travels, as well as sharing some of my thoughts and ideas and, yes, frustrations. I am a multi-faceted person…I could make a bunch of blogs for each aspect of who I am, but why bother? It’s all going to rest here at Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly ( which btw is a Thich Nhat Hanh quote, that I now have tattooed on my side :) ). I am a woman, a mother, a girlfriend, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a runner, a daycare provider, a spirit, a photographer, a writer, a concerned citizen and human being, among other things. I care about children, the earth, my own soul. I like yoga, reading, and long walks on the…oh wait..wrong site ;)

Hope you enjoy my ramblings and let me know. If not, that’s OK too :) Be well in all that you do.

Kim

 

 

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Anger seethes beneath the surface

Words that never got said bubble up now in the wrong places

resentments

shame

self loathing

There are theories that we choose our path before we get here….

so why aren’t we smart enough to know how to deal with it.

I am blessed beyond words

so why am I so angry?

Is it part of the grieving process? Is it because I haven’t had a voice most of my life? 

Either way, it sears through my veins, looking for a place to release. 

The recap

January 31. The end of the 31in31 challenge has arrived. Today, I really didn’t want to run. Really. Then I get this message from my partner in crime through this challenge, reminding me of the day and wishing me a good run. Well dammit. No backing out now! So I ran tonight, grumbled on my way out the door too. Told D “I think this will be a short and lame run” Turns out, it wasn’t so lame!

The idea of this challenge was to run every day for 30 minutes for the entire month of January. I didn’t run every day, because…Life. It has been a great journey anyway. The first two weeks I did really well…and the running was a wonderful release and escape from the pain of losing my dad. It really saved my sanity and helped me sort through the grief. The remainder of the month was harder…I got bored and the weather was pissing me off. I ran this month through snow, wind, ice, slush and minus freaking brrrr temperatures. Thank the gods for my friend Rae, who ran with me as much as we could. It kept me going. As far as progress goes, I didn’t think that  I was getting better and stronger at running, until I ran tonight. Last night of the challenge and I did a personal best!!

Really glad I did this one.

just keep moving!

 

Such a strange world…

Osho tells us “Everything returns to its original source, has to return to its original source. If you understand life then you understand death also. Life is a forgetfulness of the original source, and death is again a remembrance. Life is going away from the original source, death is coming back home. Death is not ugly, death is beautiful.”

 

i have found myself looking around at others and wondering why the deep sadness and loss that pervades everything after someone they love dies. Going through it first hand right now, I feel as though either I’m completely missing something OR I’m farther ahead than I thought. I know parts of this post may sound callous, insensitive or perhaps delusional but here it is anyway.

My dad is dead. Gone. He has left the building. I felt him so strong that first night…and truly felt he was saying goodbye and that he was happy .. finally happy.  Haven’t felt him since…not even a little bit. He has let go, and I suppose that is enabling me to do the same. I loved my dad. He was an imperfect man who loved his children and grandchildren deeply.  I miss him, no doubt. I just have this inner knowing that he is absolutely in a better place and happy. I see friends who mourn every anniversary of death, and I’m not sure that I will do that. It seems pointless to me. I will never forget his life or his death. I’m just not sure I want to ‘mark’ it somehow every year. If anything, I’d rather celebrate his birth and his presence in my life…with all it’s joys and disappointments. My dad’s physical body is gone, but he is still out there. Happily playing his guitar and singing his songs. I have a little memorial urn of his ashes in my house, but that is not him. I look at his smiling picture on my desk and it makes me smile, but that is not him either. 

Death and dying and people’s responses to it are baffling me a little bit. My own response is baffling me too. Maybe I’m just delusional or in denial, or maybe death has truly become something I do not fear. As my 9 year son said so lightly…”it’s the circle of life, mom” :) smart lil one he is. 

on living and dying…

In the recent weeks since my father’s death, I have been contemplating (as many do, I suppose) the idea of life and death, mortality, quality of life, purpose, you name it.  Yesterday we had a Celebration of Life in his honor. There was a decent enough turnout I suppose. I met family I’d never met and some of dad’s friends and former colleagues which was nice. My dad was a very private and solitary man, but had a good heart. He always had a wave and a smile for the people in town. He knew everyone from 2-92 years old. Some of the younger ones even showed up yesterday which I thought was really nice. I have a big family…really big. I don’t know any of them to trip over them though. We didn’t grow up knowing them all…at all really. Especially after my parents split up. It was interesting to meet my Uncle Eddie ( who bore an eerie resemblance in ways to my dad and actually made me tear up by his mere presence). It was good to find out a few things about my father that I didn’t know. He kept the line between parent and child very clear even once we were all adults. 

I’m sitting here at home now and there is more of my dad in my home than was ever here when he was alive. An 8 x 10 photo of him on my desk, the infamous coconut monkey that has seen many lifetimes, the rosary that he used to pray with and of course his ashes in a lovely memorial container. It seems wrong somehow that he is more present in death than he was in life. It makes me rethink what’s important to me now and how I want to spend the years with my mother who is still alive and what I want to share and experience with my own three children. I guess death has a way of doing that…making you re-evaluate. That’s a good thing. 

The day I found my father was a hard one. That night, I swear to you on my own life, that I felt his presence strong and clear. He felt so young and healthy and free. I haven’t felt him since. I think that is probably a good thing. If you believe in anything at all, it seems a comfort that he ‘crossed over’ or ‘let go’ and is truly at peace. At least that is how I see it. There is a part of me that mourns, a part of me that is glad he went when he did. His mind was starting to really go. There is a part of me that misses her daddy and a part of me that is proud of the man he was and tried to be, despite his own demons. 

So, today, I am cleaning and trying to get back to ‘normal’. Funny how people are here, and then …. not. And life continues on… almost like they were never here at all. Image

The coconut monkey…

-38C and my sanity

A few weeks ago, I joined in with some of my friends to take part in this 31in31 challenge. The goal is to run every day in January for a minimum of 30 minutes, no matter what the weather. The idea is to kickstart our running programs and just get out there. For me, it was about resetting my running habits and remembering how much I love to be out there. It’s too easy to get sidetracked by life, and parenting, and work and then end up tossing aside the very things you NEED to stay sane.  Then, with my father passing away on dec 24, I found myself unsure of whether or not I could do it. Run. Some days I barely feel able to walk, or sleep, or talk. Run for 30 minutes. Just run.  So, Jan 1, I grabbed my dearest friend Rae … because I knew starting was going to be hard to do alone…and we ran. And I remembered. I remembered how good it feels, how strong I feel and how badass I am running in almost -40 degree weather. The next day, I did it again. Today was day 3…and I didn’t want to go. I wanted to crawl under the blankets and cry. I missed my dad. Alot. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s really gone. I didn’t want to go…it’s cold out. My legs are sore from the last two days. I just wanted to cry. I got dressed anyway…if I just get dressed, I’ll be okay. I set my timer for 30 minutes…do what you can…just get outside. I went, the sky was so beautiful as it changed colors, easing into the nighttime darkness. Hues of blue and pink spread across the world in front of me. I ran. I felt the ice forming on my eyelashes, heard the snow crunching beneath my feet, watched the sky change and the lights of passing cars go by. I ran. I forgot for those 30 minutes. I forgot the tears, I forgot the memories. I focused on my form, my surroundings, one foot in front of the other. I ran. I kept running for that half hour. When I got home and changed into something warm, my D made me a cup of tea, I rambled on about my run and how GOOD it felt. Slowly, I started to remember. The sadness. The loss. It’s ok though because for half an hour every day, I will run. I will forget. I will find my bliss and it will make me stronger. It will help me heal. I will run.

He said I’ll love you till I die.

That is the first line of the song my dad used to sing all the time. He stopped loving her today, by George Jones. We would walk down the road on our way to visit my granny and he’d sing and be silly.

Dec 24, 2013, I found my father. He had already passed away. In the days that have followed, I have been on autopilot, making funeral arrangements with my brother, who was in town from Toronto; taking care of the kids, eating, tidying up; emptying dad’s apartment, trying to sleep…with some success.  Today, everyone left. Big bro went back home, daughter is off with her friends, my boys are spending the rest of the week with their dad. It’s just me and D for a few days. I’ve been cleaning up everything…took down the tree, put away anything Christmas, vacuumed, dusted, rearranged photos. In between bouts of tidying, I’ve found my self sitting and staring. Music playing in the background ( yes, George Jones). Tears have flowed, silently, heavily. Then back to cleaning, thinking of my 42 years with dad.

He was not a perfect man. He made mistakes. Who he was as a child, I have not much of a clue. Dad was a private man, he didn’t share many stories about his life before us kids. The years when we were little, I’m not entirely sure he remembers, thanks to the bottle. There are things he could have done differently, other choices he could have made. As I reflect on my life with him, I remember that we all have choices to make. That we live and die by those choices, as he did. I loved my dad. And I hated him at the same time. I have different memories of him than my brother does…we lived different things with him. What stands out for me the most, though, despite mistakes and differences of opinion and values, is that he loved us and his grandchildren with everything he had. I choose to believe that he tried to make up for the mistakes he made with us, by being there for our children. Anyone I talk to tells me how much he talked about me and my big brother ( aka his ‘gentle giant’). They know all about his grandchildren and have most likely seen pictures. I am grateful for the good memories I have and have found myself smiling and laughing about them today. His simplicity, his overuse of scotch tape, the fact that he kept nothing, except photos…and obituaries, the mug of water that was always cold in his fridge, his love for country music and mostly, his love for his little family.

Death is a part of life…we all know it’s coming. Not all of us are ready to face it or to let go. I can’t help but feel that dad was ready. There is a part of that that gives me peace. He carried so much with him in this lifetime…bitterness, resentment, a heavy  heart. It is ironic (and fitting) that it was his heart that took him out of this world. I felt him that first night after he was found. He was so light and so young and so peaceful. It is THAT feeling that is helping me to be okay with his passing. Life will continue and my time will eventually come. Death is hardest for those left behind, but I hope to heal and move through this gracefully, showing my children that death is simply another part of our journey.

Joseph Gerald Micheal LeGallais: May 18,1936 – December 24, 2013    He stopped loving her today…

me and my dad :)

Resolutions…

I am not one for resolutions, I don’t like to do the expected ‘it’s a new year, gotta refocus, set goals’ thing. That being said, with Winter Solstice and the ending of a calendar year, it’s as though it’s hardwired into us to think about the past year…and what is to come.  I do a lot of reflecting and refocusing throughout the year…maybe too much. I have become very sensitive to when I am off my center and what I need to get back in the flow. I definitely know some life changes are ahead..nothing drastic I think, just more internal and lifestyle things. I have touched my darkness and the peeked at the darkness of the world. Now I need to find the Light again. DO the things I keep saying I should be doing, but (I hope) with a different intent and with the ability to let things develop as they will instead of pushing them. Adyashanti refers to enlightenment as a destructive process. Not the pretty rainbows some would lead us to believe. I am certain he is right. It tears away everything you thought was real, strips it bare. I’m not trying to say I’m enlightened by any means. I’m not even sure that is a destination so much as a journey… I am saying, though, that I have experienced some of that stripping away…and feel like I need to balance it somehow. Find new ways to move forward, taking stands in ways I haven’t before; getting even further out of my comfort zone; letting go and allowing. Balancing my feminine and masculine sides. Learning what the feminine even means.

With all that said, I wish you all the blessings in the Universe.  Look inside your own center and find out what you need. Then do it! Even when it’s hard.

love and light

smilebreatheandgoslowly xo

Anger and Release

Well, last night was an interesting night. I found myself facing a demon ( aka my father). The details are unimportant for the purpose of this post, but suffice it to say many years of anger welled up very quickly. The door got opened and my filter stepped aside and I was ready to battle. My thoughts and words were clear ( though the suddenness of it made me shake). My father decided not to participate despite being the one to start it flowing and hung up the phone.  That left me with my readiness to fight unquenched. I’m not a fighter. I dont’ see the point. I’d rather walk away , compose myself and then TALK. Sometimes , talking is useless, so I just don’t participate. Last night, there was a point.

The interesting part of it all was that i vented ( with my D and my big brother), got out what I needed to say in that moment. When I went back to bed ( I had gone to bed early because I was sick), I found the anger just falling away. D came up to see me and though I had a few more things to say, the intensity of the anger was leaving as quickly as it had welled up. I was making sure to breathe slowly but I was surprised….I was calm again. I was even laughing about it! This is kindof a big deal. I have, in the past, tended to hold on. To relive and ‘try on ‘ new scenarios, new endings, new ways the conversation could have gone.

Last night it was just….gone. Today as I type this, yes I still feel the frustration towards my father, but it is what it is and it will be what it will be. I will learn from this and so will he…maybe. In the meantime, it will not consume me.

Oh the tears….

Heart wrenching, mind melting, horrible big sad awful TEARS…..why? you ask….because he can’t have SUGAR! He, being the 9 year old. But wait, it gets better. Angry defensive arguments…( those are from me) Why? you ask….because it’s  HARD ( almost impossible) to get him ( and all of us) completely off sugar. CAUSE IT’S IN EVERYTHING!!!!!  I mean everything….naturally and/or as an additive. refined sugar, anything ending in ‘ose’..you know, fructose, glucose, dextrose, etc. organic sugar, yada yada.

I know i’m as addicted as he is because I cannot think of living without bread, ketchup, ahem alcohol ( well okay I could probably do without that..but I do like my whiskey), chocolate….

You know what pisses me off even MORE? That companies do it ON PURPOSE! Put sugar in everything because IT IS ADDICTIVE!!

“In fact, the results of one study showed that a greater neurological reward was provided by intense sweetness than by the drug cocaine. Similar findings occur when we look at withdrawal from sweet as well, indicating that getting off sugar may cause the same neurological symptoms as withdrawing from nicotine, morphine and alcohol. Now more than ever, we are seeing more and more associations linking addictions of sugar and drugs in the same bucket.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-kirkpatrick-ms-rd-ld/sugar-addiction-_b_3861957.html

 

SO,yes I want to get off sugar. Yes, I need to get off sugar. yes my family NEEDS to get off sugar. It is a monumental task to do for myself, never mind try to do it FOR my kids. Essentially that is what I’m doing…doing it FOR them. fighting, kicking, screaming, yelling, hating the entire way…until the addiction is cleared….OR they go to their friends house for a fix. And we start all over again.

crap.

 

Really wish I’d have STARTED my parenting life already off this shit.

 

rant over.

peaceful endings

In the last few months, I’ve been having these really cool dreams. I love dreaming. Usually. That’s where Spirit gets through to me. I pay attention to those. The rest of the time I’m too wrapped up in diaper changing, craft idea-ing, arguing incessantly with my children and whining about how much I hate food and everything that goes into it. 

So I’ve had 3 dreams that stand out…and they really bring me peace. The first one was the end of the world. Like KAfrigginBOOM!! The world blew up. I looked out my front window and saw the cloud from the blast coming. My first thought was…”oh shit…it really happened” My last thought was of my kids – visually hugging them and knowing I would see them again soon. There was this resignation and peaceful acceptance of what was happening. No fear. 

Second one was a car accident that I was in with a friend of mine. He looked the way he did in high school, which was funny. I was driving and the car spun out of control. I remember seeing just a wall of white. Again, there was this incredible peace and acceptance about what was happening. My body relaxed into it and just allowed it to happen. 

Last night, I dreamt that I woke up in the middle of the ocean. Alone. On a raft. At night. Dark. All I thought was…’well shit this can’t be good’…and then I started finding my way out of that mess. I was paddling my way to what I thought was shore. I remember feeling body parts in the water ( of those that drowned I guess). After some time, I reached shore and there were all these hands ( dont’ remember seeing actual people) pulling me to safety. There was this something important about either a) having asked for help ( which I did before I went to bed) or b) accepting help from others. All in all, another peaceful dream. No panic, no fear, just peace :)