Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Message of LOVE campaign by BKO

Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

Previously posted on www.bullieskeepout.com

There comes a time in our lives where it all becomes too much with the the stories we hear and the heartbreaking tragedies of lives lost too soon. Inspiration comes from a great many places, but I have been blessed to get mine from a few specific areas. I think the more we spread love and do things such as this and trend it, the better off the world will be. We trend various things, but this is one that should last all year long. Love and hope are the two greatest feelings, joys, and emotions in life. Maybe it will make people think, maybe it will bring people together, maybe people will forgive, maybe people will stop attacking each other so much, and maybe...just maybe, lives will be changed. That is the goal. It doesn't matter if it is one or a thousand. One by one, it will become thousands. It might save a life or help others find their compassion, acceptance, and understanding who are lost on what they don't know. Love is love. It is simple.

So with this new found motivation and inspiration I incorporated a campaign into my organization/small business Bullies Keep Out geared towards ending and preventing bullying and called it "message of love campaign".

So many times we become judgmental on silly things such as hair color, hair length, what we wear, how we wear something, and so on and so forth. Too often assumptions are made without even knowing the person. This must stop! Don't assume that a girl who has a short hairstyle or is wearing a sporty outfit with a baseball cap and plays sports is a lesbian. Don't assume because a guy might wear pink that means he is gay. Even so, who cares. We are all beautiful and equal no matter who we choose to love and how we choose to live our lives. It doesn't change the actual person inside and their heart, which is what is most important.

Please do not bully or harrass another for being different. This applies to all of us who are different in our own unique ways. That person might end up being your best friend down the road or some amazing person that you will later not see yourself ever living without. They just might be one of the greatest people you ever come in contact with. Make new friends, embrace them for who they are, love the ones you have no matter what, and be accepting.

How often do we meet new people on social media every day that we build new friendships with? That is what life is about. Finding more love and support as we all need all we can get in this world. Go out and be YOU! No fear. Social media should be for good and not for the negativity that it is causing with bullying.

If you notice in my video I am wearing a baseball cap and my hair is pulled back. I also happen to have a deeper voice than some women. Do you know how many assumptions will be made by those few things? Do I care? Nope! I know who my friends are and who I am, and I am happy. That is all that really matters. It doesn't matter to me what unhappy people think. Most who judge, hate, and discriminate are unhappy or have issues they are not dealing with themselves...or they are afraid. I came to realize that years ago.

When I was young I was an athlete, and I can't tell you how many people thought I was a lesbian or bisexual because I had a tomboy side, which I still have. I also always hung around the boys and had more boy friends than girl friends. I played all sports, I was rough, I would climb trees, I hung out with the boys in my neighborhood, but I also played house, played with dolls, and all the other so called "girl things" we are conditioned to do for fear something might be wrong with us if we played with a toy or did something that was not becoming of our gender.

I do not pick and choose who to love and have in my life based on certain criteria. Guess what? I am also a woman who is good at fixing things and electronics and doing work that some people normally would say is a man's job. I like to not have to rely on others if I can do it myself. Why is there something wrong with a woman knowing how to take care of herself as an adult?
Special note: My ex-husband is still one of my best friends. How many can say that? haha

The point? I live my life the way I want too and not for anybody else. If people don't want to be in my life, they have every right not to do so. Don't ever let someone bully you or make you feel less of a person because of it. Keep your head up, say I appreciate your opinion, and keep walking and moving forward until they come around. If they do not, it is their loss and our gain.
Love is one of the easiest things we are given to do in this life. So just do it and don't ask questions.

Please create your own video upload and tag #BKO or #Bullieskeepout. Create a piece of artwork, tell your story...whatever you choose to do. Let's spread the love and do this. Post it to your sites and send it to me at DanaJ@bullieskeepout.com. If something is going to trend...this should be it. :)
You can also listen to the HOPE podcast on Bullies Keep Out website, which is part of the message of love campaign.

Be kind...always LOVE BIG!


Dana Jacoviello is a writer, psychology student, student affiliate of APA and NYSPA, works in cyber-bullying investigations, participated in a 30 Day Challenge as an expert in healing and recovery in personal growth/emotional well-being for the OM Times, & is a reporter/writer for the OM Times. Dana is also a motivational mentor/coach, with a strong interest in networking & social media, healing, recovery, yoga & meditation. Please join Dana on her latest anti- bullying campaign/project www.bullieskeepout.com

Learn more about Dana by visiting...
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DJacoviello7?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaJacoviello

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Meditative State of Mind

Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

In embracing my meditative state of mind I was able to find new heights with everything in my life. Though the road was bumpy at first, it seems meditation is a natural remedy for many ailments in our life. We don’t always need a cigarette, a drink, or a pill. There is nothing to be gained there but a temporary fix, which most of us look for in today’s society. It wasn’t until two years ago I found that out myself. It was definitely mind boggling considering how I was brought up where you only go to the doctor if your head is hanging off. I was thrilled to find a way to naturally fix certain situations without just dealing with the pain and challenges of them. Working out helps, but meditation takes your mind to place of belief and faith.
When I was first introduced to meditation, much like yoga, I laughed. I had no clue what it entailed or was about…at all. All I could picture was sitting on a cloud or when a person in a movie went to a different plane of reality. I just chalked it up to people being a bit crazy with all these new things they were trying to introduce me too. It did make me wonder if that is why they were so calm and at ease all the time and I was like a child running around a toy store knocking things over or running into displays. Well, I still do those things; however, I did try it a couple years ago and now my friends all believe I owe them an apology. Obviously they are stating this in a sarcastic tone because that is not going to happen…ever.
So as I got prepared to do my first meditation I wasn’t sure if I should sit down or lay down. It says get comfortable, so I did lie down. Little did I know I would fall asleep between the sounds playing, closing my eyes and clearing my mind, and relaxing. When I do that, I am getting ready for bed. Naturally, when the mediation ended so did I. I woke up the next day. So the first venture did not go as planned. The second day went a bit better. This time I sat in the upright position a bit more. I was half sitting and half lying down. I also figured I would try not doing it in the evening, so I closed my eyes and listened to the music while clearing my mind. That part did not go so well. When I closed my eyes and began to meditate I also began to make a grocery list, I thought about work, I thought about what to cook for dinner, and proceeded to think about anything and everything I could possibly think about except clearing my mind. My mind doesn’t work that way, because I am Italian from New York. Some will understand that statement and others will not.
When I did finally somewhat clear my mind, my dog started barking like a maniac. So far this meditation thing was a complete disaster. Not to mention it sounded like the Vikings came back to town in my house. Unless I was inventing a new type of meditation called animal house, I don’t thinking yelling for everybody to shut their mouths during meditation is the best way to go. On the third try I had found success. I was calm, relaxed, no noise, and I felt such a release. Now I was able to understand what everybody was talking about. I opened my eyes and smiled with great happiness. It was somewhat like being drunk minus the passing out and talking out of your ass.
Although I was disappointed about not floating on a cloud while playing a harp or traveling to another realm oblivious to the world around me, this was amazing. Technically, I could go where I choose to go in my mind for fifteen minutes. If I go more than that, I might float alright…right into my pillow for a nap. I will admit during the mantras I end up forgetting what the hell I am supposed to be saying somewhere during my meditation. By the time I find it the meditation is over. I usually just end up making up my own words. Seems to still work the same.
I began to practice meditation every day and it got more interesting as time went on. I felt like I was becoming much more patient, less angry, and more of a go with the flow type of person. I didn’t let things bother me so much. It was like a spiritual sedative without the pills. Free therapy! Who couldn’t use that? In my case I would say this is not good to practrice when on the subway or bus because you might get groped or miss your stop, but I do meditation all over the place when I can. Living in New York you have to otherwise you might end up going all Jackie Chan.
I am quite enjoying my meditative state of mind, and I highly suggest making it a habit whether you feel you have everything under control or not. You will soon realize you might not be as put together as you think when you begin to self-reflect in such a way. None of us are completely put together perfectly, which is why I believe meditation and other natural tools and techniques exist. I am like a lotus flower. Not really…let’s not get too carried away.
Be kind...love big
D xo
Dana Jacoviello is a writer, blogger, vlogger, psychology student, student affiliate of APA and NYSPA, works in cyber-bullying investigations for BKO, and participated in a 30 Day Challenge as an expert in healing and recovery in personal growth/emotional well-being for the OM Times and is a reporter/writer for the OM Times. Dana is also a motivational mentor and coach, with a strong interest in networking and social media, healing, recovery, yoga and meditation. Please join Dana on her latest anti- bullying campaign/project www.bullieskeepout.com
Learn more about Dana by visiting...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Once Upon A Time...

Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

I understand I am about two seasons late, but I only got caught up recently.

I have to tell you that I am such a fan of this show, and I do not say that often. This show is so well done and has such an interesting and intriguing storyline, and the writing is top notch. The cast ensemble is fabulous, which helps bring to show to life. It is nice to see something so unique and different on television these days. It is not the same story lines you see day in and day out or the trendy cop show. Sunday night television for me has become my night of guilty pleasure, including Revenge. I have to say that this is one show I can add to my list of favorites. You don't often find shows that can be compared to good quality classic television. That is what this show is...for me anyway. The show is fresh and you never know what is going to happen from one moment to the next and it is also brought into modern times as well. What is there not to love about this show? It is action, fantasy, suspense, drama, and even some comedy in an hour.

The cast works together lovely and the chemistry is irresistible. I find it extremely delightful. It is simply good television, which is rare to find these days with so many shows becoming scarce due to reality television taking over the waves. I prefer a scripted series for entertainment. This show should be around for a long while. I think it has great things ahead and offers a lot to viewers. I have noticed on many social media sites viewers are actually empowered by the characters in some ways.

Lana Parrilla aka The Evil Queen is beyond words the perfect person for that role as I watched episode after episode to catch up. I recently became familiar with Lana Parrilla through some of her other work, which I also enjoyed watching. She is beautiful, talented, and has a rock star personality based on what I have seen in interviews and on Twitter, along with being very dedicated and appreciative to her fans as well. She kills it with every scene. I enjoy a versatile actor or actress, because it adds more depth to each role when someone can so naturally flow in and out of characters as so many talented actors do. I enjoy her character the most even though it is the character we all love to hate. I find the character multifaceted to where you almost feel sorry for her because you can see the humanity she has in her.

That is not an easy feat to accomplish in acting. Lana Parrilla does that beautifully. The following she has is even more impressive. I recently learned that her fans are called Evil Regals, which is a totally badass by the way. It is humbling to know you can give back as an actress and be a role model for so many young and even older viewers. She does that in other ways as well through the LGBT community and other advocacy work she does that is close to her heart.

That being said, every actor on the show is truly gifted in the roles they play. They all bring their own uniqueness to their characters. All are award winning performances, and I recommend it to everyone.

When I first saw this show come out, I thought it might just be geared towards children or a younger generation; however, I was pleasantly surprised that it is the complete opposite. It caters to ALL ages.

Check it out. A show you do not want to miss. If you have not watched it yet, buy season 1 and 2 and catch up. You won’t be sorry.

You can follow the show and cast on Twitter:

ABC Sundays at 8 pm.

Stay tuned…


Friday, April 19, 2013

You Will Not be Lost Watching Lost Girl

Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

SyFy has become one of the channels to watch. The shows are gaining more and more popularity as they are renewed and are created. I for one am a huge fan of the network. I enjoy several shows on the network such as Lost Girl, Warehouse 13, Continuum, and Defiance. They have great television lineups during the season. The shows are innovative, exciting, different, interesting, and the cast ensembles are amazing. They have great chemistry. What I like is that there is comedy thrown in with the serious aspects of each show. One could always use a good laugh to balance a show out in the midst of the chaos or seriousness. Personally, I love sarcastic comedic lines. They resonate better and make it that much more fun to watch.

Lost Girl definitely falls into all of these categories. The cast has such a presence when they work together. The show stands out from others. It can be serious, hilarious, and supernatural all at once and balanced out in a way where it is not overdone. I say this because some shows are not. We all know some comedy can sound very scripted, not acted out well, or seem forced. I love the sarcastic aspect of Lost Girl. The facial expressions and body language are priceless. Though the writers are a big part of the success of the show, the actors have to be able to pull it off to keep an audience tuned in. The show is multifaceted, which is something I look for in a good show.

There have been many times that shows get cancelled and I can’t figure out why people are not watching. Frankly, I am tired of seeing the same shows or a gazillion spin-offs of one show. Let’s put some new and fresh shows on television. Lost Girl is one of those shows that provide that fresh energy.

Let’s talk about the cast for a bit. Anna Silk, who is an actress I was recently introduced too when Lost Girl came out, is fabulous. She is such a talented actress. I think she was a perfect casting choice for a lead role. I find her form of acting very impressive. It is not easy to pull off such a diverse role. What I also enjoy about Anna Silk is that she is amazing to her fans and very kind. On Facebook and Twitter she gives back and interacts with them a great deal. She reaches out and is not just concentrated on one aspect of what she does. It is enjoyable to interact with actors such as her. Case in point here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thyry0DOgds&feature=youtu.be

The rest of the cast is great as well. I love the character Ksenia Solo plays and she is adorable. Zoie Palmer, K.C. Collins, Rick Howland, Kris Holden-Reid, and Emmanuel Vaugier are all fabulous and amazing. They all make this show happen. It is never one person or one role that creates success. It takes an incredible and unique ensemble to truly make a show last. This show has the qualities it needs. I love being introduced to something new, and with this show I certainly was in every aspect. You will not be disappointed with this show. Cheers to a very long and prosperous show.

I look forward to the continuation.

Please tune in to SyFy on Mondays at 10 pm est time. Check your local listings.

You can find the cast on Twitter and Facebook

Anna Silk : @Anna_Silk
Ksenia Solo: @KseniaSolo
Zoie Palmer: @ZoiePalmer
K.C. Collins: @kccollinsworld
Kris Holden-Ried:@KrisHolden_Ried

Rick Howland: @Rick_Howland
Emmanuelle Vaugier: @evaugier

Happy watching
D :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

I wrote something awhile back on NOH8 and I felt the need to do it again because it has been awhile. Of course we are in the midst of the Supreme Court ruling as well, which prompted me to speak out yet again. I am really not sure what the issue is here. We are all human and nothing makes anybody any more normal than the person next to them. The LGBT community is no different than any other community. We are all just trying to survive and come together. If the system wants to stop that from happening, they are obviously not out for a better future. To stop people from living their life and loving one another because of gender is absurd. Who gives anybody the right to do that or judge? It is not our place to judge.
These decisions seem to be made on personal biases and prejudices. You don’t want to create laws that we should be making, but you want to make ones that are silly and uncalled for. Our problem today is not who wants to get married and share rights. That is the least of our problems. Why make a problem out of something so natural? This is how I feel about it. There is no real or valid argument against it. They want to get married and share their lives together not go out and commit a crime. Loving someone is not a crime. Wanting to get married and have a family is not a crime. We need more love spread in this country. In fact, the more the merrier I say. With all the tragedy that goes on in the world, this is what people are scared of. Give me a break. Decisions should not be made out of fear or being afraid of the unknown just because a few people here and there don’t understand or agree. Nobody is asking anybody to embrace a lifestyle or force them to be part of something they do not want to be a part of.

In all honesty, it is as if the ones making these decisions are afraid of cooties. Are we in third grade? We are simply asking that you do what is right. This is not wrong in any way, shape, or form. Where in the Ten Commandments does it say this? Actually, show me in the bible where it says to have hatred or bigotry in our hearts. Show me in the bible where it is not all about love. The bible is love. If we want to bring religion into it and God, then let’s not be coy. Has everybody deeming same sex marriage to be wrong actually read the bible from cover to cover? I am a Christian and I have always believed in God and have a strong faith, but I just happen to not be a hypocrite and closed minded. I choose to not see things one way. I choose to have faith in people. God accepts and loves all. He does not pick and choose. Does it make me any less of a Christian? Nope! Do I believe in God any less? Nope! I am proud to say I am a huge supporter for the LGBT community and equal rights. I have no problems with saying that. I don’t walk around claiming to be of God while yelling out slurs and doing everything that is the opposite of what God stands for. Damning someone to hell is not very religious.

Since when is it a sin to love? Unless God is going around knocking on doors saying you are going to hell, nobody should be making that assumption. I hate to bring it up, but we have priests and pastors who are getting divorced, molesting, and breaking other laws in the church while the system chooses to sit there and preach right and wrong about marriage and gender. I wonder if they realize they are preaching right and wrong while condoning divorce. So let’s make a law saying that you are not allowed to get divorced because divorce IS in the bible. We can go to church every week and follow all these biblical rules, but that does not necessarily make a person good or right. It is going through the motions. It is about how you live, love, and treat others that truly make the difference. It is about so much more than simple steps. I could go to church tomorrow and cheat on my spouse the day after that. Is that ok? The secrets or sins we all carry go far beyond that.

Where does it say we can’t be equal? Why not? This is 2013 and we live in a much more modernized society, so to say that people can’t get married baffles me. I am not separating them as gay, lesbian or transgender because they are people. They are not in a separate category because they choose to live their life different than another. Their love is no different than yours or mine. Let me pose this question. If you could know before your child was born that they were going to be gay, would you choose not to have that child if you are against abortion? Honestly, you can’t pick and choose what is convenient and when. That might be a harsh question, but it is a fair one. They are fighting to be together while opposite sex couples are getting divorced at a higher rate than ever before. I call that progress. You can’t take away a freedom they have a right too. You can’t take away their right to be happy. You can’t take away their strength to face what they face day in and day out. You can’t take away who they love. We want to be a society free of bullying, well congratulations because the system is doing everything to prevent that from happening. They are condoning it. So many people are standing up and speaking out because we believe what the SYSTEM is doing is wrong. I often wonder what people see when they look in the mirror. I see me. I don’t see a color, a gender, or an age. I see a human being full of love.

State by state we are creating change. You can’t preach change but at the same time try to prevent it. The institution of marriage has been falling apart for years. There is no denying that. All bullshit aside, get with the program and get over it. The system sounds like a bunch of crybabies that can’t have their way. No point is being proven by upholding the decision to not allow same sex couples to get married. Again, I will bring up separation of church and state, which apparently is being ignored. Let people move on. Just end the suffering rather than trying so hard to be right or in the “cool club”. The cool club is what is outside of your doors holding up those signs, which you are not a part of. The majority is growing against the system and that is evident. There are more of us on this side than there are of the haters on the other side. It is time to end the inevitable. We are the people speaking out. Maybe it is time to listen.

It is time to put aside all the hate and show that our nation is of love. We are together as one. We can’t talk about uniting as one when we so far apart on subjects like this. What are we teaching the future generations and our children? Everybody deserves to be loved. It is not fair to put limits on that nor is the system even justified. Many people of all types of faith are not on your side. What does that say? Now is the time! Do what is right and pull the sticks out of your asses and rise up!


LOVE <3 o:p="">

This is the way it should be. If the system decides to uphold their decision, it is never over. People will keep fighting until we get there. So accept it and understand that you might as well just join the rest of us.

Set us all free. We are not truly free until you allow us the rights that freedom provides us!
Many Blessings and Love


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Burning Bridges

Lets Talk About It - From NYC w/Dana J.

We so often have trust issues that we either don’t recognize or can’t get past. I hear it all the time. This often stems from some trauma from our past. Whether it is a friendship or breakup, it does not matter. It hurts all the same. They say to let the past go and move on; however, it is much more complicated than just moving on. We must actually deal with it and work through it. It takes time, so either people can be there for or they can walk away. If they are a real friend they will stick around and possibly set boundaries until you are ready to reach out and be honest. Boundaries are ok if we are honest about them and explain the reasoning behind it. We don’t want to be surprised by a boundary. People preach about honesty and being honest but yet they are often not honest with themselves. They say practice what you preach, but let’s face it we do not always follow that advice. That is just our human nature. We are only human, and we are going to make mistakes. Do we learn from them? Sometimes it takes a few I am sorry’s before we realize we might burn a bridge or strain a friendship or relationship. I don’t believe any true relationship is full of grace all the time. Some are more challenging than others, so it is just a matter of people willing to keep you in their lives when you are both at your best and worst. That is not to say it is ok to continue walking down a path of destruction with your friends.

We all have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. Though it might be unintentional we mess up from time to time. Sometimes it is bad and sometimes it is minor, but we do have to understand when a friend lets us know we are crossing a line. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Nobody wants fair weather friends, but we have to be real always not just part-time. We can’t assume and judge when we have no idea what that person is going through if we do not take the time to find out. When you know a friend is struggling you should be reaching out too not waiting for them to reach out to you. It is not a one way street. The line that you are too busy will not fly. There is always another way of saying you can’t talk at the moment. You might not think you are relaying a negative message, but indeed you are. Breaking news…we are ALL busy with living our lives. Nobody is busy 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Make time not excuses. Nobody enjoys feeling like they are sitting on the sidelines or a burden. Now our thoughts and mind spinning is possibly legit or of our own doing. When it is of our own doing, we must own that and deal with it. We can’t put our problems on someone else or get upset with them because they are not mind readers. Open your heart, be authentic, and say what you feel in a non passive-aggressive way.
Everything is on our terms by choice. We choose who we want as friends and in our life for the long haul and we know the ones that are fakes or convenience friends. One could have thousands of friends, but the true ones are probably only counted on one…maybe two hands. We soon find out when storms roll in who is still standing there and who ran. We often shut down and fear the unknown. We are afraid of letting people into our hearts and love us because we accept what we think we deserve. Some are still learning for whatever reason caused them to be the way they are. Our perceptions are easily distorted when the time is not taken to really look deep inside a person if you truly care about your circle of people. Someone I know said that they have requirements now. We all have our insecurities and faults, but we can’t project it on to those we care about because we feel we have a right too. We don’t have a right to be angry at someone who is only there to show up for us.
We must communicate with each other not push or pull away when we reach out, which to some degree we all have done or still do. Some of us are working on it and others choose to remain that way due to the fear they can’t seem to let go of. It is not ok to take life out on innocent people. They are not the ones that hurt you. That is what we must recognize in our friendships. We might have a reason to be a victim, but it doesn’t excuse us from acting out. In fact, we must learn to not be the victim rather a survivor. You don’t want to have regrets from having a negative impact on your relationships. If you push long enough, people will eventually back off. It won’t be as easy to mend that strain or prove yourself. That will possibly take time now that it was done enough times. They love and understand, but it doesn’t mean it becomes so challenging they need space and to back off for awhile. If it is a strong connection and relationships, in good time it will all be ok.
How many times have we woke up and thought I can’t believe I ruined such a good thing. Will it ever get back to the way it was? We miss that person and the way things were before rock bottom. That bridge you once were able to run back and forth on so easily is literally burning in front of you. It does not matter whose fault it is. What matters is that you don’t let the bridge completely burn. Once that happens, it will be more than mending and healing. There are a thousand questions that will run through our minds on why or what could I have done or do different. The truth is, just let it work itself out. It will. Trust me. If it doesn’t, than that person might just be a fair weather friend. Nobody wants those anyway. If we just trust a little more and open our hearts up to the possibility that people are there to listen and want to be there to love and care if we allow them in to do just that.

Let them forgive you, but don’t continue to make the same mistakes. Don’t fear them or be afraid to open up. When we say we don’t want to bother you or don’t feel like talking, chances are that is a lie. We must get it out and that is what friends are there for. Vent and move on. If we cut them out before they have a chance, we only causing frustration when they know the truth. You are not fine or ok. That is the words of someone who is most definitely the opposite. It becomes a mantra. People don’t want you thinking for them or putting words in their mouth. They want you to simply speak...

If we lose them in some form or for good, we can only hope it is not forever. We can only have faith they care and love enough to want that bridge to be rebuilt. Those rare friends and connections only come along once in a lifetime. Cherish them and be grateful. We are all just looking for the same thing: Good company and lots of love, good times, and great conversation.

Fear is of anger as anger is of fear. They feed off of each other. When you think you are doing people a favor by burning bridges for them, you are only doing what is in your mind. You get what you ask for at some point. Instead of communicating with them you made the decision for them that you are not worthy of their time. You can’t complain or get angry when they stop responding in the way that you desperately needed but denied. You started the fire all on your own, and that would drive anybody nuts. We just might be surprised when we simply let go and let come out what needs to come out.
Choose to live openly and with your heart not your head. We can't place blame whe it something we know we created. We want to talk about real and true friends, but it is not a free pass to take advantage of that love and compassion. It is ok to be lost and make mistakes, but...
The question is, will you let that fire grow or will you put it out before the bridge is gone!

Keep the faith, believe, love big, smile often, and laugh always


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Letter to Heaven...

I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to write something. I went through so much right before you were gone that I wrote and wrote and it did nothing. At that time I think I was just numb. I didn’t feel anything or I was not allowing myself to feel anything out of fear. I was terrified of what might come out. I always saw you as this strong going to live forever presence in my life. I needed that from you, but I know it would have been selfish. You always told me that you weren’t going to live forever when I joked that you had too. So many times I have wanted to just go sit on the steps of the house or on the couch where we spent so much time together laughing and talking. I even go to pick up the phone to call you when I need to talk. I wanted it to not be real. I still talk to you all the time, but it isn’t the same. I know you lived a long, full, and happy life. Everything that you said you wanted in life you received. That is not something many of us can say. I admired that about you. Life was very simple and not complicated for you. I tried to breathe that in when I was around you.

Having to watch you go was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I am not even sure where the strength came from to do it. Normally, my reaction would have been to crawl into a deep dark hole and just be alone. Something told me I could not do that this time. I had to be there with you and for you. I wanted to be there in those last moments no matter how heartbreaking and painful it was, but it did not compare to what you were going through. I remember combing your hair and taking care of you while I was visiting you in the hospital. It was only fitting the way you always took care of me and listened. No matter what mess I might have been in or felt like, you somehow made me feel normal. I always left you feeling happy, smiling, and laughing. The fact that it is the anniversary of your death has me thinking and almost reliving those last few days I got to spend with you. I knew. I just knew that are time together was going to be very short at that moment. I struggle everyday with missing you and thinking of you, but I am making it through my days with whatever grace I can. My life has changed since you have been gone. It has changed in so many amazing ways. I wish you were here for them and could see, but I know you can still see me and all that I am working on doing. Today I am struggling while trying not to fall off the path I have created for myself. Taking it day by day and step by step, but during a time like this is the hardest.

I wish I could pick up the phone right now as I desperately need it. I feel that that little girl in grandmas arms. I miss my hand in yours and feeling that love. I thought about visiting the cemetery, but not ready for that yet. I will go back to that day and that time and that wound is healing. I know you are not there, and I can feel your presence anywhere. When I feel I can't breathe, I try to remember your words and example. I am not sure I can be as content as I know you were, but I do know we were very much alike in so many ways. Whatever was thrown your way you handled with grace. I...not so much all the time. You are still there when I need you to be in my heart. I hear that whisper in my head. They say time heals all wounds, but I don’t think it has to do much with time anymore. I think we have to put effort into healing ourselves. There are so many outlets and people to reach out too. One thing I am bad at is reaching out. You know this, and I am working on that.

I know you would be proud, but I also know you were always proud of anything I did and you made sure I knew it. It could have been so simple and you would have been so excited for me as if I won some great prize. It made me feel so loved. You were always honest with me even when it was not what I necessarily wanted to hear. I know I was not perfect, but you never felt the need to bring up anything negative. You always saw the positive no matter what the situation. You are and were the definition of love to me. I always thought I wasn’t exactly sure what it was or what it meant. Never was into much affection growing up except with select people. I believe it was because of that my heart jumped and beat the way it did.

I realized there is no way I could be lost on what love truly is and feels like when your blood ran through my veins. You lived in my heart and always will, so my heart is filled with so much of it that I just never recognized before the way I do now. I did not need to learn it. I just needed to remember I am part of you along with so many other people. That was enough for me to understand how to accept it and return it. Love is what got me through those last moments with you. Though you could not speak, I know you knew I was there holding your hand. The tears did not flow because I knew I had to be strong for you. It was not my time to weep just yet. When I allowed myself too, it would not come out. It happens at random times where they flow as if I have never shed a tear before.

I can’t explain it all here, but one day I will tell you all about it. Life is certainly not the same. I lost a piece of me and a piece of my heart for a while, but I am slowly finding the pieces and putting them back together. I feel a hole was left, but each day it gets easier as I see you everywhere and smile. I laugh at the memories because I laughed with you like nobody else. Our time was special enough to hold me for a very long time. Your love was something I can’t explain. It did for me what it was intended for a grandmothers love to do. You were so much more than that to me. You were every relationship I needed in my life all wrapped into one. I ache, but I am healing. I am finding that journey to be fulfilling more than I ever imagined it could be. You were a matriarch to our family. You will always be loved and missed by so many. Our time had to end at some point, but I was never ready for it too and I never will be. I try to keep you alive as much as I possibly can. Obviously we both know I can’t actually bring you back. A little humor as you know I have to include that as I always did. When you laughed your entire face would light up. It was such a real and loud laugh. Life was good to you because you saw the good in life. You had faith and believed in everything around you. I have that faith thanks to you. I have faith, trust, and confidence in those in my life because of you. I still tend to fall backwards at times, but I get back up. It is as if you left me with a gift. Maybe you did.

I dreaded the day you would be gone, but it was not as bad as I had time to prepare. I was given the gift of being able to spend so much quality time with you the last five years of your life. I am so grateful for that. I thank God every day for those memories. Everything happens for a reason. You told me that more than once. The first Christmas, the first birthday, the first everything after you were gone was unbearable. I didn't even care about any of it. I tried my best to put on a smile, but it just wasn't there. I faked as much as I could to get through until I could just be alone. I was still numb. I think a part of me still is.

One of my favorite things about you was that you fully loved me unconditionally, you never gave up on me, you accepted me with my imperfections and faults, you understood me like nobody else, and always knew what I need to hear and feel. It was as if we never needed to say the actual words. That was a connection I cherished. Your compassion was unwavering. I could fall and fail, and you never saw it as that. You saw me for who I really was before I ever knew. You saw something in me that made everything seem better. The weight was always lifted with you. It was our own little world we built for the ours we spent together. It was our bubble. I remember every single thing about you from your laugh to your hugs. In fact, I sometimes still think I feel those hugs.   

The day I had to walk away from the cemetery it really hit me that it was over. You were gone and the story was over. BUT…the story was only beginning. I think you knew that. You had the biggest dreams and hopes for me. I plan on living up to those expectations. I can still make you proud Nonna. I will always make you proud. I thought I needed to hear those words from you, but I get that in so many other amazing people in my life, so I am not without it. I am not without so much love. I am not alone in your death as I thought I would feel. The days went by and it is a year already. I often can’t get certain images out of my head. I get lost once in a while, but I am good at locating that light in the dark now. I do what I need to do. There are some changes that maybe might not be what you wanted, but it is for the best. A death at times will cause ripples, but I believe those ripples are meant to happen at some point. I believe they happen when they are meant too for a better purpose. I learned to be patient, which we both know I was not in many areas. That calmness you had, I now have. I found parts of myself that I did not know where there. I was renewed in a sense. I found a reason to keep going when I felt like I wanted to just give up. Your voice in my head told me not too. I know that would disappoint you if I ever did.

You were always on my side. There was nothing to not adore and love about you. You were one of the most amazing women I have ever known in my life. I was so blessed to call you my grandmother and to have you in my life as long as I did. I can only hope I live the life you did and follow in your footsteps. Life for you was not about the big but about the quality. It was not about what you did not have. You felt that you had it all, and you were truly filled with joy. My memories will last me a lifetime until I one day pass it all on to my own children and they will to their children. Your memory will be alive for years and years to come. My thoughts will never cease when I think of you and the many, many years I had you in my life. I am not angry anymore. I know it was time for you to move on, and I would never want to see you in pain. I can only look forward. If I look back, I might fall back. People are not replaceable, so nobody will ever fill that void that you so lovingly filled. I am not even sure anybody can come close, but I can only have faith that my life will grow in abundance that you wanted for me. When it does…I will smile…and look up and think of you!

You live on in my heart and in my soul forever.