Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Orb in Brooklyn

Chad & I went to Brooklyn Heights yesterday to check out the views from the Promenade and the Fulton Ferry State Park. Wow!!! Abosolutely beautiful..... the neighborhood AND the views. Quiet streets filled with brownstones and trees. With just a stones throw across the river is NYC! I fell in love.

I was so happy when I got home and uploaded all my pictures (yes I had 100)! & saw my blue orb above me in this one. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Mary. It amazes me I have so much space and time to think all that I do. Chad took 3 pictures of this shot, but it was only this one that the orb had appeared. What a sweet thing to know that I am not alone.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cardinals of Love

I just love all the cardinal stories that Laurie shares with us on her blog (the link to her blog is under my "Links to Love") ~ they are so unique and amazing. Always in times of need and when thoughts of Mary are strong. Lisa has her in her backyard visiting her and mom too. Davey has visits on his bike or canoe races and even when he got lost in the hills he was shown the right direction by them.

Well, Kerri has them too. Here's one of her stories she just shared with me that was so touching... I had to share:

"I have been waiting patiently for a cardinal to come to our kitchen window where I had placed some seed. Well, the seed has been sitting there for about one month, and there has been no response from any birds...Well, the other day, I was staring out my window with tears in my eyes. I was a mess that morning and the feeling of grief was penetrating my heart so deeply. In true desperation, I said to myself (and God), "All I want right now is to see a cardinal on my kitchen window." I feel that I said it in Faith, which is when God often answers our deepest prayers. Well, guess what??? A beautiful red cardinal popped right in my face. I began shaking from surprise and felt overwhelming joy. In fact, I called my daughter over as if it was an emergency. She ran right over and saw my tears running down my face. I didn't have to say anything..but just pointed to the cardinal in the window. She rubbed my shoulder and smiled back at me! She tends to spot cardinals quicker than I do and knows all about Mary.That was a moment that I will never forget! Love ya, Ker"

Happy Memorial Day

Yes, today is a day we honor and cherish all those who we fought for our country or we lost in the war. I do!

I also want to honor and cherish my dad who was in the air force and who I lost in 1993 to a heart attack. I love you dad and know you are still with me. What a gift you were to me. You were an incredible dad with so much love and wisdom that you shared with me. I learned to love and live with a lightness to life from you. You taught me how to be my own self and not let others influence me. You never forced anything on me. I was able to hear your words of wisdom and make decisions for myself. You gave me guidance with respect. Encouragement with praise and belief in myself that i can do and be anything I want as long as I was willing to work at it. You taught me to forgive rather than hate. I want to thank for all of that and then some. I was so proud to be your daughter. Still am. I remember how you would hug me so tight, as if it were going to be the last time you hugged me. I would just laugh & say, "Dad, I'm gonna see you tomorrow, you hug me like its good-bye". It didn't matter, he would hug me the same each day. I'm glad he did, because I can still feel those hugs today. He hugged me so I would remember, so I would feel his love when he was gone. It worked. If I close my eyes and think about him, its the hugs of love I feel which gives me stregnth as life goes on.

I miss your dinners of color you'd make. You would make a plate of food and say it was like art. A lil orange, a lil green, a lil brown..... Then you would let me stop once I was full. "Eat to live, don't live to eat".... I respected that. It's the little things like that. Thank you dad!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keeping Fit

Working out and keeping fit was a religion for Mary. She just loved it and it was contagious. I've been back in the gym! Getting ready for my wedding dress fitting. Chad & I joined a no frills gym in a not so good part of town. LOVE IT!! It's called Spartans. It has everything we need: a punching bag for Chad, a treadmill, elyptical and mats for me. It comes with the owner who is a die hard MMA trainer and automatically takes on the role as your personal trainer whether you ask of not. I really need that extra push these days. This is soooo much a MARY gym. She would love it. All the framed posters of "Determination", "Change" & "Goals"... Hardcore.

Outside he has GIANT tractor & truck tires for some workouts ~ flipping em. Crazy huh? I actually saw a girl flipping them my first day there checking the place out. Don't ask me why, but I was sold. I think it was Mary taking over me. I think of Mary's determination and excitement and drive when I'm running on the treadmill. She is encouraging me! I will owe my new fit wedding shape to her! I love you Mary ~ thanks for staying with me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memories Cherished... thank you Kevin

"When I look back at Mary, I *always* see an angel. What I remember so strongly is Mary's zest for life. How I could just loose myself in that broad eternal smile of hers, and her eyes that shone of her excitement in everything about life, and could just forget all my struggles and fears.I remember being so enchanted when she cooked for me, lisa and david, one weekend when your parents were away, and I think I said nary a word the whole diner, just enjoying the fun banter between Lisa, David & Mary. I always think of the happy moments with Mary, because that's all she really gave me." ~
This quote above was a description of how Mary is remembered. Oh how I cherish these sweet memories. Thank you Kevin for sharing your memories of Mary as you knew her & the wonderful links to her HPU years. What a gift. I especially love the one in the middle where Mary is being quoted: "...I like to walk around the campus w/my roomate and sing praise songs" ~by Mary Combs, sophomore.
That was Mary! That is what she is doing now in the most beautiful place of all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dogs do go to Heaven

I know that dogs go Heaven and Mary is loving them! Mine and yours......

Here are some great pictures of her with some of her dogs.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fairytale & Honorary Coincidences

I was speaking to my girlfriend the other day and telling her all about my birds ~ she giggled and said: Like Cinderella. Hehe...yes, like cinderella or snow white. Every little girl at one time in her life dreams she is one of the wonderful fairytale princesses. I giggled right back at my friend and imagined myself like Cinderella or Snow White with lil birdies all around. Birds are such a sweet symbol of peace and serenity. They bring love, comfort and support. I am honored to be surrounded by all my lil birds. They bring me happiness in these sad times of loss as I miss Mary. I'm still amazed at the cardinal... she always shows up when I am in a painful moment remembering and feeling the loss. She flies right to the bush in front of my window, chirps, stares straight at me and flies to the food.

I was speaking to Kelsey last night and she was telling me about a story she has to write for the end of the year project. You won't believe what story she has to write about.... a revised, unique story in her own lil words of "CINDERELLA". She went on to tell me what she had made up and I just sat their listening with pride. My sweet lil neice has a creative imagination and its Gooooooood!!!! She has made Cinderella an old lady in a nursing home & the mean step sisters are replaced with mean orderlies..... it is Great!! The details are so creative. What a sweet coincidence that we are sharing this fairytale time.

Yesterday I went to storage for something and came across a letter from the Dean of Mary's college; honoring Mary for a story she wrote, (a biography of herself )and placing her on the Dean's List! So sweet, so smart, so full of Life Mary was. Just one more thing to be proud of: Mary ~ on the Dean's List at HPU!! Well, in my sweet conversation with Kelsey last night, she say's "Oh My Gosh Aunt Jeni - I can't believe I didn't tell you" - "I got chosen for the Junior National Honor Society"~~ Wow again... just like her mommy!

I told Kelsey about how incredible these coincidences were & she said, "you are so good at noticing these things! If no'one has told you Aunt Jeni, that is really cool". My own lil neice was telling me she's proud of me. She is so smart, so perceptive! The more I get to know her, the more I realize how much alike we are. A cross between Mary & me! I'm so happy to be her aunt & look forward to a wonderful life with her!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Deep Thoughts

"When you have been brushed with hell, been in near death or life threatening situations and lived to tell.... Life has new meaning. Its as if a shade was drawn and your that much closer to knowing what life really means!" ~ Jeni

Who's reading my thoughts?

During my scanning frenzy of "pre-digital" pictures, I came across this one and scanned it because it had Mary in it. I just love this picture.... i didn't really think I was going to post it any time soon, but the time has come and for a reason: out of the blue it was requested!

In the back of my mind somewhere, I remember thinking to myself as I scanned this picture, "I really like this picture because it was a good memorable time with Mary" but there are so many people in it, I thought that she really got drowned out, so I figured I wouldn't be posting it on this blog. Boy was I wrong!

The reason I titled it "Who's reading my thoughts?" is because my girlfriend Tina (in the middle) left me a message today asking me if I had this picture. I was amazed and happy to say - YES!! She had this picture framed at one point and lost it in her moves. This picture was taken many many years ago, so I was surprised she even asked for it. That's what makes it so amazing. Just out of the blue! As if she was reading my thoughts.......

This picture was taken in Austin, Texas. Mary & I traveled together from Houston to meet up with Tina & all her/our friends for her bachlorette party. We had so much fun. Tina loved our Mary & Mary adored her.

Something so memorable about this trip is what i learned about Mary.... we were driving down the infamous 6th Street to this restaurant on the water (where this picture was taken) and Mary & I talked about tattoos. I said I didn't have any and always wished I had the nerve to get a lil star on my ankle or wrist or hip. She said she would get a VW bug or a Margarita because that is what she loved so much. We laughed & laughed & laughed. I just imagined my Mary with a lil punch buggy car with flowers on her or a salty green margarita glass with a lime & hibiscus flower. That image never left me. Not even to this day. Everytime I see a VW bug or a margarita ~ its one of the many things that make me think of my Mary!

Thank you Tina for reading my thoughts and asking for this picture........ allowing me to share with everyone, along with the sweet memories!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

What a beautiful, loving, fun mommy your were. I remember when we were younger that was all you talked about. You wanted to be a mommy. Mama Mary! That was a name you lived up to. Kelsey's friend Camilla told me you were the coolest mommy around. She remembered how you would get on the trampoline with them and play.

Brett - Mary's lil man

With a heart of gold and eyes so blue... little Brett, I hope you know how much your mommy loved you!

I love you so much and want you to know that you have a place with me, somewhere you can always go! You melt my heart over & over. I have to share this sweetest memory I have of you because of its "pricelessness":

Last June, only a year ago, I was downstairs and your were upstairs playing your Nintendo DS. It was our last day in San Antonio together & we celebrated your big 1-0 at Fiesta Texas. I was missing you at that moment so I yelled up to you, "Hey Brett, I miss you"... you ran down as fast as you could, gave me a hug and a kiss without me even asking. You ran back up the stairs just as fast as you came down and when I yelled a big Thank you, you yelled back down to me "I've got more where that came from".

Oh Brett, you melt my heart. I know why your mommy doted on you so. I'm so happy to be your Aunt and will love you for all the days forward. I am here for you forever!

Redwinged Blackbird

I loved being your sister Mary!

I was so proud of you. You always made me laugh & smile. It wasn't until the end that you made me cry. It wasn't even you, it was the evil disease & the bad circumstances Mary! I know it wasn't you.

I sure hope you are laughing up there... I know you are laughing at me and my feelings of insanity with all these birds and the coincidneces. It all seems so surreal & I think I'm going crazy.
BTW: I see the new bird that's been brought my way ~The RedWinged Blackbird which if you google it, we can all see that its from Wisconsin. He is in my backyard and soooo beautiful..... you were born in Wisconsin sis. What on earth is this RedWinged Blackbird from Wisconsin doing on Long Island?? I don't know and I don't care. I get the hint sis.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friend Finds cntd....

I received the box of Mary items Brian sent me on Tuesday... the beige soft jacket of yours that you looked so beautiful in - that I will make into my ring bearer pillow for your lil Brett to carry in my wedding.

He sent a couple sun dresses you looked incredible in and the sweater & shirts you took beautiful pictures in.... they all are posted here through out the blog. How ironic is that?

(I am going to have some memory teddy bears made out of the clothes for Kelsey & Brett to cherish.)

Then I came across a box of pictures. Pictures I hadn't seen of you and pictures I was surprised you had. So many tears, so many memories! Then you had a picture that i was really surprised you had - a picture of me and my friend Sherri. Sherri & I were the best of friends for many years with Betty/Tina. I had been looking for her, just like you were Kerri!

Well......... I wiped away my tears and decided I would check my e-mail. I stopped crying for a moment until I saw a facebook e-mail from guess who?? Yup ~ my long lost friend Sherri! I shreiked and shrilled and almost cried of joy! Holey moley... what a roller coaster of emotions!

I wonder if you had anything to do with this find and the Kerri find and the Kevin find....

Thank you for your wonderful gifts sis!

Here is a gift for you - a picture of your favorite stuffed animal.... bugs bunny!

Oh how you loved this thing :)

Friend Finds

Your friend Kevin McP... found me on facebook!

Wow ~ I had to tell him the news...

No details yet, just the fact that your gone. I gave him the blogsite & link to the funeral home site.

I felt a deep sorrow as I read his words of condolence to me and feel terrible to be the bearer of this sad news. It's obvious you meant the world to him for many many years. A kindred love. Always checking to make sure you were okay. What a friend. He went looking for answers in the blog but we know that they really aren't here. The details are too long, too raw and too sad right now. Those who knew her know. I will carefully choose who to share what with and I respect my Mary too much to put words down where someone may read and judge.
I am sorry Kevin, I keep the pain Mary suffered off this blog. I will share with you in another way. I am celebrating Mary as I knew her and want her to shine as she always did.

She is the biggest star in the sky right now!

Shining my way to share with you my memories

so you may continue to love and cherish her too!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sweet Siblings

This was a great picture.... Mary was in the best shape of her life and tough times were years away. Lisa was in college following in her big sis Mary's footsteps ~ training to be a teacher. David was just chilling with his sis's who were always dotin on him. Mary just adored him and loved her lil brother. She was his own personal cheerleader for any sport he chose! Football, baseball, soccer.... She was a cheerleader to us all. She would tell you how wonderful you were and make you feel like the star you always wanted to be. To her, you were her star and that's all that mattered. She just had that way. When you would try to take the spot light off yourself and mention all of her incredible accompllishments for that week, she would just giggle and then give you a re-enactment of her energy that drove her to the finish line.....So humble she was. She just loved the race. She was inspiring and lived to inspire! You always left Mary feeling like a winner! What a beautiful gift she had and what a beautiful gift she was to us! I will never forget her and I will never stop missing her and I will never let her life be forgotten! I don't care if it hurts ~ I will take the pain anyday to keep her memory alive! She is worth it! I love you so much Mary. We all do!