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Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding Beauty amidst "Life"

I've felt like life has had a few dark tinges recently, like ghosts hovering on the edge of my world.
Yesterday marked 25 years since my mother died. I know intellectually that I shouldn't even let myself remember her death date - that I should focus solely on her life but I can't help myself. I was relatively young when she died of breast cancer, and there has been a gaping hole in my life ever since. Now, I am approaching the same age that she was when she died, and it scares me. I've never been able to visualize myself as older than my last memories of my mom.
I have a tendency to try to embrace life even more when sadness and fear stare me in the face. Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's not. But, seizing the day is how I live, and I can't change it.

So, I keep moving, searching for the beauty in life, regardless of the ghosts hovering in my peripheral vision. Sunrises are changing by the day. The sun is arcing higher in the sky each day and thus the "sunrise magic light" is more fleeting. Shyla still glows at sunrise but for less time. And, sometimes shadows dapple her, like yesterday.
I also search for the beauty in life by using my trail cameras to observe our wildlife. I've captured lots of photos lately throughout the forest but my "agility course trail camera", which is just outside our bedroom window, has seen the most action.

Multiple coyotes pass it nightly. The female coyotes are in heat now, as shown by their bloody urine spots in the snow. That means that pups will be born in about 9 weeks, just about when the first Pasqueflowers (wild crocuses) bloom.
Bobcats have been regulars at the agility course too. One night, I captured a solo bobcat who was heading straight for the "pause table" (not in the picture).
A couple of nights later, I hit the jackpot. The mother bobcat and her kitten are still together! First, mom walked past the camera.
Then, her kitten passed it. Notice the lighter color of his fur.
The two of them spent close to 4 hours doing something before they returned by the same path. First mom...
And then the lighter colored kitten...
I smiled when I saw the two of them, obviously still thriving. That kitten represents the renewal of life.

So, life on Mother Earth gallops onward.
At first, I didn't think that I could get through twenty-five days without my mother and now twenty-five years have passed. I have my mother's watch that surprised me when it kept ticking, with the second hand sweeping in circles, after the moment of her death. It finally stopped, silently and without fanfare, sometime in the past couple of years... but the sun still rises every morning.


  1. My mother died 25 years ago too. I do understand just how you feel, especially since I am now a year older than Mom was when she died. Every so often my husband laugh at something together and wish my mother had been around to see it. She was so full of life and laughter and love and I still miss her.

  2. You know how bad I am with words, but also know that this post was full of feelings and emotions for us as well.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Bert's My Vickie

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your mom.

  4. ...and I am pretty sure your mom would not want you to live any other way: SEIZE ON!

    Thanks for sharing

  5. My maternal grandmother died when she was about 60 (I never really knew her) of ovarian cancer. My mom told me years after she turned 60 that she always worried about making it to the same age as her mom and was relieved when she reached that milestone birthday. My reason for telling you this is that I don't think your feelings are unusual.

    As Khyra said...keep Seizing the Day!


  6. {{{{{hugs}}}}}}} Sieze the day is right

  7. What Harrispen says is true. My Mother died of uterine cancer when she was 27 and I was 18 months old.
    I never expected to live past the age of 27, and yet I had the same cancer in my 50s and thanks to modern medicine, I survived it.Now I am 74 and am beginning to feel my age, even though I don't ACT it!
    Then 22 years ago, my adopted mother died and I was orphaned a second time. But thats life, and it goes on, and I will be happy to go along with it, won't you, dear girl?


  8. I wish I knew a better way to say this. It's in my heart but my head can't seem to get it right. You talk about the sun and how it glows upon Shyla. And how the sunrises are changing day by day. How the some times the shadows move across her beautiful face. Yet the sun still rises and the shadows come and go. But with each rising sun we are invited to seize the day and find the beauty it holds for us despite the shadows. And I think remembering the sunshine of someones life as well as the shadows is honoring them. Take it from my MOM, she never thought the death of a family member recently would matter to her much, but it has and there is no going back to appreciate yesterdays sunrise.

  9. Great post. Moms mom and dad died in 2002, it's like yesterday.
    Benny & Lily

  10. My grandmother, who felt more like a mom to me in a lot of ways than my own mom, died twelve years ago from cancer. The last time I saw her, I was in college and went down with my mom over my spring break. My mom had cancer, too. I was the only one of the three of us who had hair. I knew in my heart that it would be the last time I saw her alive. My mom went on to be a cancer survivor. A little boy who was in my class the last two years and has been loving kindergarten this year just lost his mother to cancer a week ago. I was so crushed when his dad told me that morning. Why cancer takes some and leaves others has always been a mystery to me.

    I am glad that you have survived this last twenty five years, even if it's been tough at times. You have a gift for seeing beauty, even in things that others might totally miss. I would hate to think that hasn't been shared with the world!

  11. KB, I am so sorry for that devastating loss of your mother that you experienced 25 years ago. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for you... and still is.

    With grief, I believe, there is no fighting it. We have to let the sorrow & the ache have its way with us until they're done... and then we go forward another day. It sounds like that's exactly what you're doing. I don't think you can do anything better or differently.

    That's a very hard hard path you were placed upon 25 years ago. You had no other choice but to keep walking down it, as you have. Your mother is very proud of you, of this I have no doubt.

    Carry on, dear heart.


  12. Woof! Woof! My mom can relate to what your are going through. This year marks the 20th year when her mom died also of breast cancer. One looks at LIFE in a different way as time goes ... it's hard but looking through sunrise and sunsets provides you a glimpse of what's the present. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  13. Life,each day. has joy and sadness, and a memory of a certain day will have those special thoughts for each of us.
    Time is too slow for those who walk,
    Too swift for those who fear,
    Too long for those who grieve,
    Too short for those who rejoice,
    But for those who love,
    Time is eternity.
    KB, your love for your Mum, for K, R, Shyla and Runner is with you every day. we share this with you. Sunrise, sunset and all the hours between. Fondest greetings, Jean

  14. Having lost both my mom and my dad in the last couple of years, it has been sad...but I choose to try very hard to celebrate the good times we all had together. I know what you are saying husband lost his father when he was only 12. His father was only 38 when he died of a heart attack. He said that birthday...#38 was very special to him. The same when his son turned 38. Hang in there and celebrate your sunrises!!

  15. (((hugs))) to you, KB. Mothers are such very special people.

  16. Lately, I have been thinking back on how I viewed my mother when she was the age that I am now. Our lives are totally different in so many ways but it's still an interesting exercise. Mine has only been gone eight years, and my father 11 but their presence is still as strong as ever.

  17. What a beautiful post all about life and living it.

    I never thought I would make it through an hour or even a week after my Mom died. Now we're approaching 5 years and it is still a very raw emotion in my heart but I made it!

    Life changes so quickly when we lose someone we love. Mom always said "sometimes you just have to throw yourself on your sword." And that's just what I did. I kept trudging thru the mud and had to remember to put one foot in front of the other. I truly believe that her death made me a stronger and better person. I know in my heart that she is proud.

    You too KB are an amazing woman and I just bet that your Mom is EXTREMELY proud of you too.

    Keep on being who you are, be true to yourself and never take a moment for granted. After all, isn't that what all Mom's want for their children.....


  18. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. We never finish grieving the loss of those we love. Wishing you peace.

  19. I am another one who understands what you are feeling. My mother died of ALS when I was twelve. She was just short of 54. As I hit my 50's, I thought more and more about how I was nearing the age that my mother was when she died. At 12, I really couldn't understand it. But now that I am almost that age (54 this Sept), I still feel young and definitely not ready to leave! I can't imagine being faced with what she went through. It was hard for my sister and me, but only now can I truly appreciate what it would have been like for my mother.

    For every day I get past 54, I am going to try to be truly grateful and savor every one of them!

  20. On April 6 it will be 10 years since my Mom passed. Some dates we just never forget. But before Mom died she promised me two things. The first was that she would call her beloved heartdog, Gypsy, to be with her in Heaven. And second, she would always watch over me. She fulfilled her first promise 10 days after she died. One morning Gypsy looked up to the sky, wagged her tail, and died unexpectedly that day. As for the second promise, I can somehow feel Mom is still with me. I know that your mother continues to watch over you too.

  21. April 4th 2:30pm will be 4 years since my grandmother passed of a massive stroke. She was a strong beautiful southern woman who raised 5 children and rarely went without lipstick. She had a wicked sense of humor and the saying, "Bless your heart." rolled off her tongue like honey! She was a second mother to me. I miss her so much. After she died, my family left to tell my grandfather and I memorized her hands as I held them, waiting for the funeral home to pick her up in the hospital. I rub Calhoun's ears and think of how she told me they felt like velvet. She is still with me everyday though. And I grieve for her everyday but a little red bird- her favorite- will pop up every now and then and I know it's her!

    Mamma Heartbeat

  22. What a tough anniversary to face today. Hugs to you.

  23. Great the wild camera pics...amazing that the bobcats are still together. Hope we will se pups from the coyotes

  24. HI KB, I so understand your feelings; today marks 38 yrs since my mom died of a stroke. She was only 61 and I was 22-way to young to experience this. I know what you mean about missing your mom. Sounds like you had a very close relationship. Me, not so much but I still miss her. I pray the memories bring smiles to you my friend. Loved the photos too.
    Sending hugs to you today.

  25. What a sweet post. In a strange way while people are remembered they're still alive.

  26. It hasn't even been 3 months since my father died... not a day goes by that the pain doesn't bring tears. It's hard to see the days ever getting easier or the pain ever getting less. Each day is a fight to wake up for, but I do, and the next day always comes. I can't even imagine where I'll be 25 years from now, but I hope it's a time in my life where I'm loving every day and enjoying every aspect of it, just as you do.
    -Corbin's momma, Jenn

  27. I think it's natural to mark your own life by that of your parent. My own mother died at 69 which I'll be in May. It will be strange to keep living where she left off, but, of course I hope that I do! The sun always does rise, KB. For as long as we can so must we!

  28. Oh my dear KB, I is givin' you virtual hugs and kissies okays? My mum still has her mom and dad so her has not gone through what you and many of da udder commenters has gone through so we is just gonna say dat it will be one of da worstest days evers fur my mum when her looses one of her parents.
    I love hows you look at life and you carry on.
    We loves you!


  29. My dad died when I was 2. I have one memory of him, and that is only of him holding me and speaking. I can hear his voice but I don't remember what he looked like. This was almost 40 years ago, and the date of his passing brings me sadness each year. Perhaps we never get past the loss of our parents. Your post was beautiful.

  30. Hi Y'all,

    Both my parents and both of my husbands parents are dead. My Husband lost his mom of cancer early in his life...she was only 49and had 3 young children still at home. Her death has always bothered him and since two of the brothers have had cancer, it has been on his mind also.

    As friends around us, some much younger, die, we seem to realize our time to enjoy this earth and its wonders is limited. When we are young, we think we'll live forever...when we get older we realize we are enjoying a wonderful gift called life...and it is limited.

    BrownDog's Human

  31. My gosh, there are such beautiful pictures on this post, but the memory of your mom and the reaction to reaching the age you lost her have left tears forming in my eyes. I still have my mom, thankfully, but I was especially close to my grandmother, and I find myself still thinking about her on her birthday and on the anniversary of her death. Same thing with my little sister, and that one's much more difficult because the youngest isn't supposed to die first...


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