PEPPERJ8CK's Recent Blog Entries

Love is All Around Us

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The other day I was sitting in my car thinking about my husband and how much I missed him at this time of year. I was heading out to go to one of my practices (I'm in a theatre production). I was feeling so abandoned and alone. My daughters were going to be leaving me to visit their dad in Wisconsin. School was ending for the semester and everyone would be heading to family and friends. I remembered my husband's smiling face, the way he made me laugh, and the closeness we always gained when the girls were off visiting their dad and Fred and I could reconnect. I told Fred last January that I loved him. That I had never been happier in my adult life than I was in that moment. I said, "I know the secret of happiness," while we brushed our teeth and got ready for the day. "It is to be content with what you already have." I felt so great in those moments, as if I was bursting. My paintings and stories were bubbling out of me. I loved my students, teaching, my daughters and parenting. I loved being his wife. I told him, "Don't forget Fred: I love you." Every morning for two weeks I felt this terrible compulsion to tell him what he meant to me. Don't forget. Remember. I love you.

As I sat thinking of all these things in the car that afternoon, it struck me that the abandonment that I was feeling was how I was feeling NOW. It wasn't how I felt while I was married to him. What we had was real and true. Love is the only real and true thing in this world. I checked my planner and noted I needed to get to West Center. I backed out of my drive way and instead of turning right, I turned left, as if I was going to Desert Hills Rec Center. I looked up at the sky and saw a bank of clouds that spanned the sky, except for a blue patch right in the middle that was shaped like a heart with the clouds defining its edge.

Oh, my God. This was for me. My heart filled as if it was bursting. This love was bigger than anything I had ever felt before. I wept knowing that I was not alone.

I have been given many gifts over this past year. The first one was having the opportunity to tell my husband that I loved him every day for two weeks before he passed out of this world. I cling to this memory, reminding myself that I have no regrets.

Sometimes God speaks to us, to turn left instead of right so that we can see the heart in the sky as it hovers over the mountain that took my love last January. Sometimes God compels us to speak to each other, to remind each other what is truly important in this world: that we love one another. And sometimes God speaks through us...

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MAMA_MIE 1/4/2009 8:29PM

    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

isn't it amazing how He directs our paths--compelling us to take a left when we know we should be turning to the right? I'm so happy that He touched you in such a special way and reminded You of His love and your love (Fred)...knowing you as well as only He can, He "painted" the sky just for you... emoticon

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CRAFTYLADY65 12/29/2008 9:44AM

    They don't leave us you know they are there when we need them whether we know it or not I got a kiss and a hug Christmas morning and I know where it came from. Just keep on believing Fred will always watch over you God will provide to places but Fred will be there for you emoticon

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SHERPARE 12/28/2008 6:28PM

    This is so beautiful!
I'm so glad God blessed you with that big ol heart in the sky! With Him we're never alone.
Thanks for sharing this, it's really made me smile.

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Healing Through Painting

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I love to paint. My grief therapist says that it is the only time I truly am at peace. I just finished a painting and it hangs in my studio-converted-study. It is from my standing-awake-dream of my husband when I was praying to God to keep him safe the morning we were searching for him and his plane. In my vision, he reached down from the heavens to grab at my hand and pull me up. In the painting, an angel is reaching down out of the clouds of blue and purple. My friend looked at it and told me it was a male angel blowing a kiss. She could see his breath and she pointed out a dove just beyond his finger tips. It is my first abstract painting and it pushed out of my paintbrush almost without effort.

Every day that goes by my heart feels more joy than the previous day. I had been faking it for so long, saying all the right things and living my pretend life. But now, it feels like me again, a little shaky, but it is me. The people in my world are beautiful. They are all new in my life. Those that knew my husband and I quietly disappeared. I think because it was too painful to watch me flounder, trying to deal with their own loss at the same time. Maybe it was because I couldn't stand to be near them and holed myself up quietly in the sanctity of my home. Those that knew my husband rarely talk to me about him, they want me to ignore my sadness and move on with my life. My new friends seem to draw me out, make me try different things and remind me how much joy my husband is feeling as he watches me from the heavens. I still miss him. I miss his unorthodox humor and his booming laughter that would fill the empty places in my house. I miss the way he looked at me across the room or the way he would melt when I touched him. But, he is not a ghost here, whispering in the shadows. He is in the heavens. "I am healed," he told me once in a dream. I think he meant the broken body he ended with as well as the brokenness of his previous life with his first family. I like to think that we are all here on our own journeys, but sometimes we meet someone who can help our feet touchdown on the right path again to help us complete our journey to God in heaven. I will forever be changed because of him and he because of me. Now, how could I possibly be sad about that?

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ALZADAGRACE 12/30/2008 2:57PM

    I'm sorry for your pain, yet you are moving through it and doing art work which is a great thing. I have done many pieces myself while working in therapy. After a session going home and working feelings, memories, fears out on paper or canvas.

One never knows how a piece will affect someone else. I think the most powerful work comes through those hard days......

Keep painting.

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ROGUE58 12/7/2008 1:26PM

    When I went back to school I was going into Art Therapy, which I eventually changed majors, but I know how much art is a healing tool. Not only that, but your art work is amazing and you should keep on doing it as much as possible. It is hard to lose someone so significant in your life. When I read what you write about your husband I feel your pain, but also knowing that you are realizing how he affected you and helped you to grow is a great triumph too! I love laughing with you and I am glad to know you are as silly and goofy as I am!!!
You are a lovely woman and I am honored to know you!

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CRAFTYLADY65 11/16/2008 3:37PM

    Pepperjack I am not quite there yet I joined a painting class and did a little flower in watercolour a medium I have never used. but its a start I guess Your picture sounds so beautiful and healing It must give you great pleasure I find the same thing most of my husbands friends will talk to me if I initiate it but not on their own. Its like there is something here that is scary

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Painting Feet

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yesterday I got my white tempera paint out and painted my kindergartners' feet for Halloween. How can you not laugh when you hear them squeal with delight at getting their toes painted? "It tickles!" They would grin and laugh, then shriek "It's cold!" after I dipped their painted foot into cool water, since I have not hot water in my classroom. I wish their parents could have seen them; they'll never know the delight that was had by my children as they made little white ghosts with their feet. Tomorrow they will paste googly eyes on their ghosts and take them home. Their parents get to keep a little keepsake of their child's miniature foot before they grow up.

My own daughters' feet have outgrown my shoes and now I can purchase new high-heels and boots that will not get scuffed up or broken before I want to wear them. When I see them reach for my new coveted heels I tell them they look like Grizelda, Cinderella's step-sister trying to squeeze their toes into my size sixes. I am Cinderella, of course.

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EZMERILDA 11/9/2008 4:28PM

    Awwwww......forwarded to a friend who is young with little ones, what a great idea! Hope it will last in my long term storage till I have grandkiddies old enough. ( First is due in May....YEAH!)

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CRAFTYLADY65 11/5/2008 8:39AM

    well Cinderella it sounds like you gave your little people a wonderful experience one they will remember maybe not for a while but when they get older and have children of their own. They will be saying remember when those are memories to cherish! My daughters feet were always bigger than mine right now my granddaughter is trying on my heels and other shoes and very upset cause I wont let her wear them lol

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ROGUE58 11/3/2008 12:34AM

    Now I know what to call you when I see you next time!! emoticon

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Up and Away

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I tell you, if I knew I wasn't Manic Depressive, I would think I was. A cloud has been hanging over my head since my ex came to visit last March to check out his daughters, my house, the new widow. I was in no mood to tip-toe around any issue and I laid all my cards on the table. Long story short, he walked away angry with his tail between his legs. I didn't care. I really didn't care about anything at the time. However, I did care that he was considering transplanting to my area of the country and I was not too happy with the idea. Last night he called to talk to his daughters, yes, the ones he hadn't bothered with since March to tell them he had a new girlfriend. I was skipping all day. New girlfriend means no moving into my state. Yay! The cloud has lifted.