Love, Forgiveness and Shafer Relentless

Earlier this week we attended a memorial for a man who was just two years older than my husband.  He was a well-respected community leader with a big heart and was also a philanthropist who supported and promoted many children’s charities.  I knew he lived life Large but what I didn’t know until hearing his friends and colleagues speak, was that he was also a jokester.

Stories of him being such a bad driver that he ran into and over a Saguaro cactus on a golf course with the cart and then enlisted help to squish it down so he could drive off and continue his game coupled with, having 12 packages of turkey legs delivered to a neighbor who couldn’t find them at his local Fry’s store, helped me realize that there was much more to this man than I knew.

I was struck by how short life seems when you’re not ready to say goodbye.

As I was holding Ron’s hand during the service, I was thankful I still had my favorite person in my life.  I was overcome with a tremendous amount of love and respect for him.  He does so much for our family and I appreciate how hard he works to create this wonderful life for us.

I Love You A Bushel And A Peck

A wonderful saying from a shop in Solvang, Ca.

He is my forever partner and I’m having so much fun on this life journey with him!  I realize that finding that person that gets you, that makes you laugh, that loves you for all your crazy quirks is hard to find but, when you do, hang on for the ride of your life – it’s worth it!

Wayne Dyer uses an affirmation from his Meditations for Manifesting that goes something like this:  “My judgements prevent me from the seeing the good that lies beyond appearances”.

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How many times have you made a judgement based on something you saw or heard only to revise that judgement when you had more information or heard the whole story?

My guess is, many times….

I’m sharing this in hopes you will stop for just a moment and give thanks for the good things in your life…..the things that don’t suck.  The things and people, that if they weren’t in your life, you would miss.

I used to think Forgiveness was for the people in my life that didn’t conform to my expectations.  Those that did me wrong, the ones that needed grace and were lost for their misguided ways…..

I’ve done a lot of soul-searching in the last couple of years and I realize forgiveness is between Me and Me.  I forgive Myself for being unyielding, obstinate and for seeing life only through My filter.

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What I now realize is that everyone has their own story.

Love them and let them be.

No judgements.

Live your life as an example of how you want others to treat you.

Love unconditionally.

Every time I hear this Collective Soul song Forgiveness, it stops me in my tracks and I am overcome with such strong emotion.  It reminds me I’m not perfect….

I’m also reminded to hug those I love, long and often.  You never know the length of their life journey…..

One of the things we had in common with the man whose memorial we attended was our love of wine.

Relentless 2009-we drank the 2007 before I could get a picture!

Shafer Vineyards was one of his many favorites and Relentless was one of his recommendation to us.  We enjoyed the 2007 vintage with good friends (very important!) which is mostly Napa Valley Syrah and a bit of Petite Syrah.  It is dark in the glass and tasted of blackberry, dark cherry, tobacco (Ron) and cedar (Me).  It’s definitely a  full-bodied wine to be enjoyed with food and will cellar well for the next 5-10 years.  If you visit Napa Valley you really should visit this winery.  They have 2 tastings a day of only 10 people each so you will be assured an amazing experience with top shelf wines!

Tonight Ron and I are raising a glass of wine to Jon.  Here’s to the life he lived – full speed ahead, to his love of wine and to the legacy he leaves behind.  We will miss you.

Cheers to those that have gone before us….IMG_4458

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I Won’t Give Up

This song has been out for a couple of months now, but as I was driving to an appointment last week it came on the radio and just STRUCK ME……as in, IMPRINTED these words on my soul!  I couldn’t get it out of my head and the first thing I did when I got home was download the song and then watch every version available on You Tube.

I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul? 

It reminds me….

That love isn’t perfect but is always real.
That I can give my love to those who don’t understand the value of it, but still I love them anyway.
That the stars I gaze upon from my desert backyard are little love messages from those who came before me and whose presence I feel in times of need.

I spent a week in Manhattan with my Love and while it was Ah-Mazing it was also so very draining…..The people, the energy and the pace at which they travel…..Overwhelming.

So for now, I am cocooning and looking for the meaning of life….my life.

I leave you with some photos of one the best trips I’ve ever taken:

Times Square

9/11 Memorial Waterfalls

Woody flirting in Times Square

Northern Spy Food Company

Park Avenue homes

Times Square Naked Cowboy

View across Central Park

Max our Central Park host

Waiting for the D Train

Treats from Bouchon Bakery

Because I love this song so much I’m giving you another version…..This one just as moving as the first.

Cheers to you!