“IF I WANT TO BE FREE, I’VE GOT TO BE ME.”
Sometimes, the most difficult thing we can do, is to lean into who we are, and become comfortable simply BEING who we truly are.
I remember the first time I met Erin. She was in the deep end of the dive tank at Shepard pool doing a class which was full of kids. She was the only adult taking the class. She was always trying new things and she thought it would be fun to try a Synchronized Swimming class. She realized that it was a kid’s class only AFTER the first day, but since she had never done it before, and she really had committed to herself to do new and uncomfortable things, she stuck with it.
I didn’t think anything of it, but later she admitted that she felt foolish being the only grown up in the class. She completed the course, regardless. I admired and respected her for that.
Erin is the mother of one of my son’s best friends. Every summer after that, we would sit in the stands any chance we had to go to our son’s diving practices and watch them, cheer them on, and talk. Many times, Erin and Sven would sit with us or stand by us as we all took pictures of Dravyn and Hans as they competed in their dive meets. We were always so proud of the two.
I remember one Saturday, Erin insisted that my youngest son and I accompany her and her son to a church house for a little service project. “It will be good for the kids!” She was always thinking of things that would be, “good for the kids.” It was one of the best Saturdays we ever had. We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for four hours. These sandwiches were put into hundreds of sack lunches that were given to busloads of homeless folks who had come from all over the valley to eat breakfast, take showers, get free haircuts and clothes, and even get refurbished bikes. It is something this church does every other weekend. We aren’t members of the church or anything. Erin just thought it would be a good thing to do, “for the kids”. I remember getting more out of it than the kids probably did.
Over the years, Erin would ask us to meet her or do things with her and her family that took us out of our comfort zone. The things we did with her took us out of our “norm”. They weren’t things that we ever did as a part of our normal routine, and new, uncomfortable, things became easier and easier to try out with her. Erin was a gift. She was a breath of fresh air.
Once, we went with her and Hans to the family cabin.
It was a blast. That night, as we all sat on the patio, she told us stories of how she met her husband, told us about some of her college experiences, and how she used to love wolves. She started howling at the moon. We were all cracking up and howling together. She and her family adopt dogs, and provide a good home for as many as 10 dogs at a time. She was a real fan of dogs.
While scrolling through Facebook, I came across this little blurb about wolves. Erin loved wolves, so of course I thought of her, immediately.
Erin reminds me of the lone wolf in the rear of the pack, always ready to run in any direction to protect and serve as the bodyguard to the entire group.
Erin and Sven were always nice enough to let us kidnap Hans and take him places for little adventures. We’ve been shooting, knife-throwing, and hiking in places Erin never would have approved of.
One Halloween, to thank us for taking Hans with us to Vegas for a weekend trip, she and her husband, Sven, invited us to a fund raiser. They paid for our tickets which provided us with dinner and a drink. We didn’t know what to expect. They gave us an address and a time to meet them and we showed up, a little nervous. We were welcomed into a beautiful home, where there were lots of youngsters stretching and getting ready for a dance performance in the backyard. T-shirts were on display and for sale and we bought one we loved. In the back yard there were items to bid on in order to raise money for the kids to be able to travel and compete. It was a beautiful evening. We always had fun with Erin and Sven.
Sometimes we don’t know the actual value of someone in our lives until they are gone. Erin was taken from her husband and two sons far too early, being the victim of a hit and run. Erin was an amazing mother and wife. She was different and wacky and crazy and funny and quirky and fun. She had a super big soul. She wasn’t afraid of being different or looking stupid or foolish, or even feeling that way. She taught us that conformity kills the soul and to be different and unique is a beautiful thing. She had an adventurous spirit and loved to do and try new things, and she loved to drag us all along with her. That’s why we loved her. She had a way about her that put people at ease. She was friendly towards everyone, and made new friends out of total strangers wherever she went. She always did her best to enjoy her life and do as much as possible for her husband and her boys. Her energy was incredible to be in the presence of. She added value to the lives of everyone around her. She was loved dearly by many, and will be missed by all who knew her.
I believe that what we think about and focus upon is what we attract more of into our lives. The life energy, soul, essence, spirit, or whatever you want to call it, of those we love who have passed on, is but a thought away. I like to believe that if we desire to be close to those we think we have lost, we can be. They are present whenever we think of them. Remembering the beautiful memories we created with them and doing things we know would make them proud are ways we can be close to our loved ones who have passed on. I believe that they are, in some way, always watching over us. I believe that they are always with us.
We are all ONE. As ENERGY, VIBRATIONAL FREQUENCIES, SOUND WAVES, and MAGNETICALLY POLARIZED BEINGS, we are all interconnected. If we were to shed these physical bodies for a few moments, we would detect our oneness, interconnectedness, and unity, much more easily, but with these beautiful, limiting 5 senses we have while in these bio physiological machines, we sometimes forget WHAT we actually ARE, and can only see things in the limited perspective THESE 5 senses provide to the WHO we identify as in these human bodies..
Everything, on some level, is the same, one thing. We are all connected in this way.
Pain is pain. Loss is loss. Joy is joy. Love is love. We have all experienced pain, loss, joy, and love, all of us on different levels, and to varying degrees. Because of this, we can all relate to one another when it comes to these things. We all know the difference between darkness and light. May we always choose light, being brought closer, ever, to those we have loved and lost. May we always choose light, being brought closer, ever, to one another.
A quote that says, “I think hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go.” The interesting thing about this quote, is that the opposite is also true.
I THINK HEAVEN IS SOMETHING WE CARRY AROUND WITH US, NOT JUST SOMEWHERE WE GO.
Today I will do something that is entirely out of my comfort zone. I will remember that to be different and unique is a beautiful thing. Today I will celebrate someone who has passed on from this physical realm, and celebrate their existence in my life and all the good they shared with me, and still share through me.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our personal realities.