My Empty Suitcase

suitcase1September 5, 2013 may have been a normal day for most, for me it was life changing.  It was a typical day after work, I came home checked the blog and was ready to respond to the comments, never expecting what I was seeing on the screen.

Someone was hurting and  reaching out.  I wanted to jump through the computer and find her, hold her, cry with her and help her. For a brief moment I was paralyzed and did not know what to do, but my emotions took over and I was on the case!

Sometimes sharing feelings or reaching out for help can be looked at in a negative way.  Unfortunately there are people out there who don’t want to hear it or think that we are just complaining to get attention.  But what about those of us who are deeply hurting, on their wit’s end and just needing a place to share their feelings.  When I read her comment I could’ve just moved on to the next one and let it go, heck it was a click on my page. But that would have defeated my purpose of this blog, to help and embrace those going through the pain of loss.  So I did the most logical thing and called the police!  The poor “old” man who answered the phone replied to me with “what’s a blog?” . At that moment I knew that this was all going to be up to me.

Once I was able to make contact, and make sure she was OK and had a friend on the way to be with her I sat silently and just shivered.  I was proud of myself for sticking with it and making sure that this stranger was going to be alright, but at the same time wondering if anyone would have done the same for me, and that is what keeps this blog going.

Compassion, is one of the most important virtues one can possess.  Listening, sharing, looking into the eyes of someone who is hurting can mean the world to them.

suitcaseSo, at this point your wondering why my suitcase is empty….well in just a couple of days I will finally be meeting this woman who has changed me.  She has given me purpose with my blog. She has given me the confidence to continue writing in hopes that I am helping anyone else out there who may be reading.

We have shared a lot of the same hurts over the past few years as our circumstances were similar.  But I want to arrive with my suitcase empty and ready for her to not only share her world, her friendship and love, but to fill my bag with her strength, courage and hope so that I can return home and thrive on the bond that was grown out of sharing our stories and our openness to be there for each other, even though we had not met.


Courageous Butterfly



Number 5….

okThis week will mark the five year anniversary of my divorce.  Needless to say my emotions are all over the place. December is a tough month, we would have been married 25 years and then toss in Christmas.  Divorced and married in the same month does not bode well in the healing process.

Today I decided to look into that magical number five. At this point I feel like it should all be water under the bridge but for me this number year seems to be the hardest, and I need to know why.

In our society we like to celebrate things by year, birthdays, anniversaries, jobs, etc and for some reason we make the 5 or 10 year moments mean more than the rest.  20, 25, 30 to 50 are celebrated benchmarks.

Being on the cusp of my five year divorce anniversary is not fun, and I’m not quite sure how I want to handle it.  Why is this year different from any other year? Why does it seem to stand out more? Will I go through this every five years? and what is with the number 5?  So I googled it:

The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

Five is the number of balance.

Five symbolizes man, health and love.number 5


It combines the female number two with the male number three. Five is the number of marriage.


SO, are my feelings warranted?  Heck Yes!  5 is God’s grace and also the number of marriage.   I’m living in God’s grace but also grieving the number 5.

If you can shed light on this magical number please respond.


Courageous Butterfly




A Fish Out Of Water

Stop the presses!!!  Hold the phone!!! Pause Please!!!

3309237-fish-and-fauna-under-waterDid you know that a fish has no idea it is in water?  That’s where it spends every moment of its life and it has no idea that it is moving in water.  It cannot see it, smell it, taste it, all it knows is that is the environment in which it lives and if it is taken from that, the breathing stops.  A setting that is sounding all too familiar for me.

I had a light bulb go off right above my head just a few moments ago and it was so bright I sat right down at my laptop and starting clicking away.  This may sound similar to some of you who have been dealing with loss and emotional pain.  I have been spending day after day for the past two years trying to overcome and cope with the loss I suffered.  I’ve been going about my day living in my new environment just like a little fish.  Imagine for a moment a gold-fish very accustomed to her cute little bowl and one day her world changes.  She is forced to move to unfamiliar territory with new fish and plastic plants.  She is frightened but because she is still in water, she is still breathing.  Being a shy fish she keeps to herself  as if she were still in her little bowl.  She goes about her days thinking she is ok because she is breathing, no one around her knows that inside her mind she is drowning in her own thoughts.  She makes the most of it but never seems to be able to get anywhere, her mind has taken over.  Day’s begin to blur into nights and before long she has lost herself.  She has adapted to her surroundings, her new life, but is she still living?  As long as she has her water she is, but remember….she doesn’t know she is in water!

I am going to become very brave here and admit that I may have been drowning.  I have been hiding within myself thinking it was what I was supposed to do.  I’m grieving, I’m healing but I am NOT living!  Now I didn’t lock myself up in my home and board up the window’s but I may as well have.  I was still breathing, so I just figured I was living.  On the surface it looked that way, I go to work flash a few smiles, play with the puppy and giggle a little, watch some tv, do a little reading.  What has changed?  I’m still going about my day to day activities.  But what would happen if someone took away my air? Just like the fish who doesn’t know she is in water, as we are grieving and healing, we can’t see if we are not

I went out this afternoon and spent some time with a group of fabulous women and I was a little upset with myself at first because I was quiet, reserved, arguing with my mind.  “They all know your divorced”, “They can tell your single”, “Just don’t talk maybe no one will notice you are the only one in the room not wearing a ring”.  It took a good 30 minutes of listening to this crap from inside my head before I loosened up and finally freed mysef from my own mind!  I slammed the door shut, and didn’t listen to another word it had to say.  Instead I found myself in the moment.  Laughing at jokes, enjoying conversation, food, and even touch.  I let every sense live, breathe and take in what I had been missing out on for so long; for the first time in a long time I chose life over my thoughts.

Scary you ask?  Oh ya, but what was horrifying was knowing that I have been keeping myself locked up for so long when I didn’t have to.  The afternoon went very pleasantly, I left with a smile on my face and it was one that I haven’t seen in a very long time.  It motivated me and I have been a very different lady today.  I think I can finally look in the mirror at myself and say “you’re ok”.

I had shut myself off.  It’s as if on divorce day someone hit the off switch and I lost it along the way.  It took a simple little Sunday afternoon ladies lunch to find it and turn it on.  I want the light in me to never go out again, I like it bright and the brighter the better!

Ladies/Gent’s, let your lights continue to shine, do not turn yourself off and if you already have, seek out friends and loved ones to remind you of the light that is within you so that you too can turn it on again.

Do you have a similar story?  Please share.


Courageous Butterfly


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