Tag Archives: Death

Smelling The Roses For Her

“This is heavy…” He was right.  

“Yeah.”  The flowers helped me concentrate on something else. Her death was heavy.  His perspective was ..”death is final. That’s it.”  I didn’t see it that way.   

The curtains to the “other” side was torn down for her.  Windows were opened when she took her last breath. My view is my friend’s death was a setting free. Not an end, but a new beginning. 

There is no forgetting her. Family will not. Nor will friends. Nature will keep her alive in my mind.  My concentration is on God’s natural beauty while I remember. Released from the earthly pain, I catch my breath.

Today is all I have and will make it count.  Ready for a day for God to show me the sun as I walk and smell the roses for her. 
 

LINUS RIP

Death Is No Big Deal As Told By Our Dog Linus:

I was not afraid to go.
No siree.
I was not sure about the Path.
But off I had to be.
I know tears might come.
But try not to cry for me.
I had a great earthly journey and
more fun than can be. Luke and Elijah
you are my pals from here to eternity.

I am now resting quietly on a gentle cloud.
Believe me, I am barking out LOUD!!!!
Just you boys remember to live joyfully.
I will be fine In Heaven’s Glory. Just
wait and one day you too will see.

Dedicated to all who have lost a pet. You too will see….

Linus

Oh Those Eyes!

Oh Those Eyes!

The Haunting

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Seattle. In fact so nice, I decided to go for a walk on some trails not too far from where I live. I actually had a dual purpose. As a volunteer photographer, I had received a request for photos of The Maltby Cemetery. With camera in hand and a map with directions, I set off on my adventure.
You might ask how could this be an adventure? The truth is I had no idea where I was going. The only information I could find out about this place is that it is in such plain view that you can not find it! I guess you could say that peaked my interest. Having lived in the area for about 20 years, I figured this place can not be that hard to find! I was wrong.
Now before I go too much further, I must share with you the legend of The Maltby Cemetery which is sometimes called Paradise Lake. It is one of the TOP 10 most HAUNTED cemeteries in the nation! Seriously if I had known this yesterday, I would not have gone. I was not prepared for what I was going to come across!
Driving along the road to my destination I knew I would have to go through the Paradise Valley Conservation Area which is a 795 acre wildlife refuge (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/paradise-valley-conservation-area). I began my sleuthing from there and began asking folks if anyone had heard of the cemetery. To my shock, no one had. I then decided to scout out neighboring home developments and met a few folks that knew of it, but did not know exactly how to get to it. This adventure was proving to be more than I bargained for. This day was about to get tricky! Finally I found an area that looked like it could be the spot where a trail might lead to the cemetery. I began walking it, but soon abandoned it due to it becoming unwalkable and I was headed up a steep enbankment. Before I began walking back to my car I shot a few photos of what I saw lying on the side of a cliff. This was truly creepy and I just knew I was SO CLOSE to the cemetery, but I could not find it. I began to get a spooky feeling these photos show what may have belonged to people many years ago trying to find this cemetery. Let me know what you think.
After 2 hours of searching, I finally found some folks out walking that knew more information. The cemetery was very near the area I had just abandoned. These people knew of another entrance which is completely unmarked. Alas, I was able to get my photographs. After leaving the cemetery, I stopped to talk with a man who lived nearby. He said to me, “You know this place is haunted.” To that I replied, “No. I am just photographer. Have you seen any ghosts?” He began to smile and say, “I know that someone was caught digging up a grave back there.” I replied, “Wow, you sure they weren’t just burying someone after they died?” His reply was, “OH NO, the cops took them away!” With a shocked look on my face I said, “Glad I did not know that before coming up here.” After that I said thank you for the information and left.
After returning home I decided to google this place and sure enough the place I had just visited is considered one of the most haunted places in Washington State. It is even more haunting if you are a group of crazy teenagers with a six-pack looking to have a good time with your buddies in a place you do not belong at 2 in the morning ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbcQH8O3Xdw ). If you need a good laugh I would definitely go look at these guys You Tube. It is pretty hysterical. I must admit the place did creep me out some, but I never felt unsafe. In fact the folks buried there are some of the first settlers to the area. May they rest in peace.

I Did It My Way

Photo taken of the Cascade Mountains reveals the majesty of our world around us.

Photo taken of the Cascade Mountains reveals the majesty of our world around us.

I am not into reblogging, but this one from a peer of mine who is speaking from her experiences with the dying just about choked me up beyond words. She interviewed the dying and asked what regrets they had in their lives. As a cancer survivor on more than one occasion, I truly get this list. Most with good health will not, but you do have a chance to. Review this now and see what you can do to change your ways:
http://www.alternet.org/5-top-regrets-people-have-end-their-lives

Death Becomes You

Photo I took from one of the oldest cemeterys in America in NYC's St. Paul's Churchyard.

Photo I took from one of the oldest cemeterys in America in NYC’s St. Paul’s Churchyard.

Today I went to a cemetery to photograph some stones for family members that did not live in Washington State. It is a volunteer program I became involved with to assist those that can not take the photography themselves. On this particular day, I was having trouble finding a plot. There was a woman alone near me and as we began to talk, she started helping me search for the grave site.
After a few minutes I found who I was looking for and took the pictures I needed to take. After I was done, I began to talk with this woman. I realized a sadness in her face as I asked her if she was there visiting with someone. She said, “Yes, my husband. He committed suicide.” I said, “I am so sorry to hear this. When did he do that?” She replied, “In 2010.” It was at this point we began sharing back and forward about life and death situations. It was as if she was saying death was the best choice he saw for himself.
It was interesting having this chance meeting with her. I do not even know her name, but she did take me to her husband’s burial site. I paid my respects with her. This nicely dressed lady was from Korea and shared with me that he was depressed before he killed himself and had lost much of his business. He was a highly respected businessman and it sounded from her he had lost everything. She had begun to go to work at a department store to bring in some money.
As I took my time with her, we spoke of Korean traditions and how the husband’s role is so important in that culture. She spoke of going to work and what this might have felt like for her husband. You could see the sadness in her eyes as she discussed this with me and the clash of current culture with the culture and traditions of her home country. She shared that her home may be lost soon to foreclosure and she wondered about moving back to Korea. She now has grandchildren here that make her so happy. I offered her the only advice I knew when she told me she is now an American citizen, “Stay in America and be with your grandchildren no matter if you lose your house. They sound so lovely for you.” We smiled and said our goodbyes. I offered to take a photo of her husband’s grave site and email it to her. She was so happy for me to do that. I hope in some way it helps her.

Central Pain Syndrome

This photo was taken not long after my first brain tumor surgery.

This photo was taken not long after my first brain tumor surgery.

Having a brain tumor was the last thing on my mind (no pun intended) as I dealt with many symptoms leading up to that diagnosis. Apparently it was for the doctors too as they never entertained the thought even after carefully describing my symptoms 3 years earlier than my diagnosis. At least the initial doctor confessed he had “missed” it. I hold no animosity as a doctor that can be apologetic is better than the one who is an ass hole. You all know the type if you have had much medical treatment.
Over two years have gone by since my brain tumor was removed. In fact it is time for my annual MRI soon. I will keep you posted on the results. One of my most lasting and chronic problems I seem to present with these days is called central pain syndrome. It is one of several issues I have going on, but this one is tricky. Treatment for this is difficult. In fact the treatment can be worse than the pain. There is no cure. I hope to share more with you all as I can. I have some tough days and my focus is limited when I do not feel good. I take each moment and am thankful when I am not hurting.
I wanted to share with my readers a very important thing about the brain. Our brain is a vascular organ. If you can imagine your brain as a river with many creeks running through with purposeful directions than you have an idea how important all the blood vessels are in our head. No one knows for sure the cause and effect of certain disease processes that coexist and what may have to happen first for another disorder to occur. Much of medicine is a discovery just waiting to happen. When I had my brain tumor removed, I had a procedure called an embolectomy first than my crainiotomy the next day. It was soon after the embolectomy and being sent to the ICU that I had symptoms like a stroke patient. All the doctors like to deny that the cause of the stroke may have happened on their dime. No one knows for sure, but being a relatively young person ( ok I was in my 40’s when this happened) the most common cause of strokes is disease of the arteries in the brain. We all have heard of problems too that all of us can try to tame. One last thing readers, please work hard on those things you can change with a good doctor helping you: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity.

When You Think You Have Heard It All…..

1940 CENSUS brings together cousins. Roy (my step-dad) and Melda met for the first time after extensive research was done to find relatives from the past.


Recently I shared a heartwarming story about my WWII VET step-dad Roy and his celebration of his 90th birthday ( http://wp.me/p2rYD1-o8 ). Roy grew up very poor and his parents divorced while he was a boy. Roy never knew when his real dad had passed away. One day he asked me if I could find this information out because of the release of the 1940 census. I was able to give Roy his father’s death date and burial location, but the biggest surprise was that we found out he had a half-brother, and a half-sister he did not know about. When you think you have heard it all life throws you a few new curve balls! We were fortunate to contact them both. In fact a reunion is planned for them to meet. I hope they hurry. No one is getting any younger!
I had recently flown home from Montgomery, Alabama 3000 miles to Seattle after witnessing a tender-hearted visit between my step-dad Roy and his cousin Melda. She was also researching her family tree that included Roy. She decided to drive to Montgomery, Alabama for a delightful visit while I was in town. Melda and I found each other through our mutual research.

Roy and Melda discuss their family roots with photo albums as their respective spouses look on. Genealogy work has confirmed their family lines all the way back to Germany.


Melda reminded me in an email of how special this experience was for her. Upon returning home Melda spoke with her elderly mother about meeting Roy: ” I couldn’t help but stare at Roy’s striking ice blue eyes. When I mentioned it to my mother, she said my grandfather had eyes like that.”
While Melda and Roy are second cousins, Melda’s father who has passed away as well as Roy led interesting work lives in the history of Alabama. Melda’s father was a Superintendent of Education during the changing times in Alabama Public Schools serving the children in Alabama. During that same time period, Roy was working as the Director of Veteran Affairs serving our Veterans. Today I give tribute to both men in their work and their lives.

Roy meeting with Governor George Wallace while he served the Veterans of the Military.