01 June 2014

Further Travels and Travels of the Heart

Recent travels took me to Cheshire County in England for a short visit with friends highlighted by immersion into their everyday life - seeing where their kids go to school, what hobbies they enjoy, what their downtown offers, what restaurants are around (we ate at a delicious Syrian/Lebanese restaurant with lots of vegetarian options), what the surrounding areas look like and a wonderful walk through their neighborhood. Weather cooperated by being sunny and warm. Their hearts are, too.

And speaking of gorgeous weather, Ireland had it as well- 4 days in a row. Bluebells newly bloomed decorated a park near John's cousins' house in Lissycasey, County Clare. We enjoyed a lovely walk with his cousin and his cousin's grandson couldn't resist sitting among them.



An apple tree starting to bloom next to the lake in their backyard captured my eye. This is the view from their kitchen window.


Heather scattered throughout the grass on the cliffs of Kilkee by the sea. John's cousin's daughter and her son toured us through their favorite gradens and a sea hike.



A view from the cliff walk on a gorgeous day.



A scattering of ladybugs painted on stones in the enclosed garden of an old estate now revived for the public. They made me smile as did time with an energetic eight year old.


Me on a chair woven of branches and embellished by children in the same garden.


And a whole different sort of activity at a nearby pub listening to traditional Irish music with John's cousins. It's something we share in common and look forward to whenever we visit. The added bonus, of course, is relaxed time with extended family we've come to cherish.



Travels of the Heart:




Next was a trip last week to Jacksonville, Florida to be with my sister-in-law, Georganna, who lost her husband of 32 years although they've been divorced for ten years (my younger brother) and her Dad within three months of each other. We're good friends and we needed time together with no agenda other than to talk, share, reminisce and take solace in each other's company. That's just what happened and it felt good. The healing power of love.


And in a dear gesture of love, my niece, Colleen, my brother's youngest daughter (he has three), took some of his shirts and made aprons from them. She gave them to her Mom, her sisters and me. It's a clever idea and I felt his presence when I put it on. She's talented and thoughtful that way.






As is Danielle, his middle daughter, who came to her Mom's, planned the Memorial Day barbecue, hosted the guests, cooked the food with her husband, Ben, and cleaned up afterwards. What a class act. It was a wonderful day and I felt so proud of her. She's pictured below in the photo with her sister, AnneMarie. She has the same premature gray hair as my brother, her Dad.



I also had a wonderful time with my niece, AnneMarie, who is getting closer to her goal of walking again after a devastating closed head injury in a car accident ten years ago. She does regular water exercises in their pool to further this goal and walked 50 feet while I was there using a special walker  assisted by her personal trainer. She also works with therapists at Brooks Rehab. using a harness hung from the ceiling which gradually gives her have less and less aid in the process of walking. She has to qualify each month by making sufficient progress to receive more therapy the following month, so she's motivated! I was better able to understand her speech by the end of the week which was a bonus and thrilling for me. I'm proud of her efforts and her positive attitude despite her obstacles.

I wasn't able to write during all these travels. It seemed I could pay attention to the folks I was with and take care of myself or I could take quiet time apart to write but I wasn't able to master doing both during this stretch of time. Losing my brother took the wind out of my sails and left me with less energy. I can feel more of it returning after time with my sister-in-law. Bless her.

26 comments:

  1. It sounds like these were very healing travels. I'm sorry for your loss, Mary, but I can see you will recover in good time. Thanks for the great pictures and taking me along with you. :-)

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    1. Thank you for your stopping by and staying interested, DJan.

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  2. You had some delightful excursions and your trip to see family after the loss of your brother was healing for all concerned, I am sure. Love those ladybug rocks!

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    1. It's amazing all that goes into healing.

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  3. ah the irish music sounds fun...what a cool place in the garden...love the art of the children...the lady bug rocks especially...smiles...i am sorry for your loss...but happy for new life as well...

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    1. My brother's daughter is pregnant with her first child so, indeed, life goes on.

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  4. One of my brothers died about seven years ago, and I was very surprised by the way it stopped me in my tracks. I guess we feel each loss differently and we can't predict how it will affect us. Glad you are able to explore and share and heal.

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    1. I was surprised, too, although he deserves to be mourned by his loved ones.

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  5. You have been on some wonderful journeys. Every part of it was beautifully captured for us. My take away: loved the lady bugs, the apron is a treasure (and it is creative), and time with family is always so healing. I have been busy also and can relate to you in not being able to blog and live life at the same time.

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    1. Yes, I cherish the apron from his shirt. As for the writing, I would like to incorporate it into my living, even when things are hectic, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.

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  6. You reconnected with your loved ones, always healing in my book. Glad you were able to travel and reconnect.

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    1. Me too, Rosaria. Loved ones are a healing balm.

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  7. How wonderful to stay connected with family, whatever the connections of marriage!
    And the photo of the cousin's grandson is priceless - could he possibly look more Irish?

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    1. The boy has an Irish face, for sure, and his Irish brogue is adorable.

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  8. I really loved reading about your entire journey as expressed here. It definitely is the people of one's life that make it all worthwhile.

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  9. what a full and lovely life, you lead!!!

    tessa~

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  10. Mary, I had to back up and read some of your previous posts as well as check your profile as I couldn't remember where you live. Italy! How marvelous! And visiting England and Ireland in May! That's when we visited years ago. The weather was wonderful... and everything so green. You must continue to write and share....

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    1. I hope to, it's been quite a journey.

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  11. Sounds like traveling for love!

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    1. Thanks, MZ, it's another way to chronicle my travels.

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  13. i'm sorry for your loss mary and tough on the car accident as well and slowly having to learn to walk again.. but sounds you had a wonderful time traveling - and i think it's good to take the time and give all the attention to the people you met - i bet they have appreciated it a lot

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    1. I hope they did because I did. Thanks for your kind words, Claudia.

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