Inspirational

Above is another Morro Bay scene with a solo fishing boat and a sunset by the rock. It sets the tone for Part Two and parting from my father, who loved to fish. His ashes may even have made their way to this beach where I stood to reminisce of sunrises and sunsets gone by.

SUNRISE OR SUNSET: IT’S ALL IN YOUR POINT OF VIEW, PART TWO

The best part of the day, as far as I am concerned is the sunrise. Since I am not always awake for that, I will settle for an equally beautiful sunset. Sunrises and sunsets, however, seem to be the most fleeting times of day. That does not diminish their beauty. The shortness of time makes the moment more precious, and the light becomes ever so much more special. Such was the relatively short time I had with my father on this Earth.

We did not talk much about the past concerning why he and my mother had separated. (Neither of my parents ever said anything bad about each other.) He did like to tell stories about his adventures in Bolivia, some appropriate (and not-so-appropriate) memories of France in World War Two, and some tales of his side of the family, including details about my sisters. The stories about my grandmother shooting at rattlesnakes from a stagecoach may have been embellished, but I laughed anyway.

He had sad stories, too, about being homeless for a while after his second marriage did not end happily. Perhaps it was some of his less than happy memories that made us connect at a deeper level. He was philosophical after the loss of my first pregnancy and the subsequent nervous breakdown. He was just as comforting after the next two losses and other breakdowns. He would pat my head as if to impart some kind of secret knowledge into it. Perhaps he knew at some level that he would be the one to raise my family when he went to Heaven a few years later.

It was not a total surprise when my father got lung cancer. He had smoked for years. I would come up to Palo Alto and take him for the radiation treatments. We would have bouillabaisse at my motel. He had trouble eating but could still talk about poetry and politics. Sometimes, he would strum his old guitar, the one I now have in my bedroom, and he would sing French ballads. He got better, but he did not quit smoking. Perhaps that was the greatest lesson he inadvertently taught me: if you keep doing the same things, expect the same results.

I think I was the only one who understood why he did not want to go through chemo and radiation for the brain cancer. True to form, he read all about it and knew what was coming. I had wanted to take care of him, but was too ill myself. His sister kindly took him in. The hospice care was not long, just long enough for my sisters and me to say goodbye. One day, I leaned over and gave him permission to die on my upcoming birthday. I would be forty. As if to honor me, he died the night before.

We read parts of The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, at his simple service. I was playing the part of the fox, saying goodbye. He had to go Home to take care of “my three roses,” which I know that he did. It was a sunset for me that I will never forget. It was a sunrise for my children. Either way, the sun is still shining.

The peaceful picture at the top of my blog was taken by the love of my life, Bob Haine. He shot it in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last March while I was attending a Hay House convention where Doreen Virtue was the keynote speaker. The photo is a beautiful lead-in to my first public writing of my very private life. The green of the old oak and the green of the stream present the balance I look for in life. That is the theme of this blog.


FINDING BALANCE: SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LET GO TO KNOW IT’S ALREADY GONE

I did something rather amazing this week. I changed my name. No, I did not make up a new one, or create a pen name, or even change my name that much. I decided to go back to using the name that I was born with: Kathleen. Not Kathy or Kathi, the names I had picked up along the way. But my real name, the name I was meant to be.

Why do this, one might ask? Simple. I realized why I had changed the name in the first place. It was an unconscious attempt to get rid of my past. Many people have a past they would like to forget. My mind was very accommodating in that regard. Except for a few, limited memories, I had pretty much forgotten the scenes of my childhood. This week, however, I started to remember. More importantly, I learned how to put it in its place, pick up the pieces, integrate it, dump out the garbage, and claim the parts that I still loved. Nothing was wasted in the experience.

I have two reasons for sharing this in text. I find it cathartic for me. But I think my main motivation is to help others who may have had similar situations in their life, or are going through it now, or who are really earnest about getting empowered to be the person that they were meant (and CHOOSE) to be. I realize that I am mainly writing for women, because my experience is from the female point of view. Yet, I speak to the needs of everyone, because giving and accepting love, being peaceful, having boundaries, and knowing we are powerful beings who are never alone, are things we all need.

If anyone is offended by what I have to write, let it roll off their backs like the rain and water someone else’s garden. The people who would be most upset or embarrassed by my words are dead and buried. I wish them nothing but love. Forgiveness costs nothing but the peace of mind is priceless.

I was given a “rose” of a life. Roses have thorns. One just needs to learn how to cultivate a rose while avoiding getting stuck. And every true gardener knows the oldest, thorniest roses have the very best fragrance.

Back to my title…finding balance. To live life completely NOW I have decided to put the past away, keep the lessons and love I got from it. I plan to restore harmony to my life in my way of seeing things, doing things, and being however I choose to be. I know that accepting who I am now is the first step toward becoming who I want to be. Others will benefit by the ripple effect of this change. Even if everyone else doesn’t notice I am different, I will know it. The inside relationship is what really matters.

Yesterday evening, I did a little ritual to finalize my departure from a previous life and entry into a new one. I burned some old photographs in a pretty abalone shell, I buried the ashes in the dirt, I said a few prayers, took a warm, salt bubble bath, and had peaceful dreams all night.

This is not a journey that ends here. Perhaps you would like to take it with me. I invite you to do so. I will be writing every week in the coming year. My birthday is next week. Writing is the present I give to myself. I will be sixty-two, a senior citizen. As far as I am concerned, I was just reborn and I am very, very young at heart.