Friday, January 24, 2014

Going home

My trip home last week was bittersweet; saying goodbye to my great Aunt, and hello to my beautiful family was surreal. I could hear my Aunt's laugh as I looked upon her still form just once more. I cried as I said goodbye...wishing I could have hugged her once more. We celebrated her precious life, by spending time gathered together and remembering what she meant to all of us. I was strengthened by the laughter and love of my family and indeed; we celebrated the life of my Aunt in joy; it was what she would have wanted. She represented happiness and that is what we would remember her in; happiness. We would miss her deeply, but we would always have a piece of her in our hearts. It was beautiful just being together again, with my girls in tow; and watching my mother and niece connect with family they hadn't seen in years. Our trip home to Washington, D.C. was so pleasant. The drive was long, but the love was strong! The love prompted us to move; to get on the road and go where we needed to be. When we arrived I took in the energy of my hometown; allowing myself to just be at peace. The embraces between family and friends; were tighter, longer and I felt my energy levels rising from being in the midst of it all. I was home again...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lasting, Loving Legacy

I learned yesterday that my great Aunt Elizabeth also known lovingly by her family and friends as "Sweetie" passed away. It was a moment of sorrow, yet thankfulness that she lived a full and beautiful life; and would have turned 95 years old this year. When I think of her, I remember going to visit her as a little girl growing up in Washington D.C. and loving to hear her voice and see her sweet smile. She wasn't dubbed "Sweetie" for nothing. She was one of 12 siblings and was quite close with my grandmother; "they were like twins" is what my mother recollects from her memories, very close to each other. My mother was filled with grief at learning of her aunt's passing and rightly so as my Aunt is one of only two siblings left from 12. I thought of the last time I'd heard my Aunt Sweetie's voice, seen her and spent time with her and I wished I could have hugged her just one more time and that my daughters could have seen her once more. My Aunt dubbed my youngest daughter, "Honey" her nickname for her younger sister; my grandmother. My Aunt Mary and my Aunt Sweetie would always say that my little one resembled their sister so much. Here is a photograph of my little one with both her aunts during the holidays a few years ago, getting some love from her Aunt Mary.

Now, my Aunt Mary is the last matriarch of the family and missing her sister so much. This week and last, we all had been talking about our Aunt Sweetie and how she loved to laugh, encourage and smile with her family. We knew she had been sick, and talking about the things we loved about her seemed to brighten our moods. She never went a day without her red lipstick and her memory was as strong as a horse. I thought of how difficult it is to be away from my family in Washington and Maryland sometime, wishing that I could spend half the year there and the other half in Florida. It's not easy to be so far away. I could feel warm tears stinging my eyes as I vowed that this would be the year that I indeed go home to spend quality time with my family. Tomorrow is not promised and we have to love with all of our hearts now; in this moment. I know my Aunt felt love from her family, perhaps it is one of many reasons why she lived so long. She had a pure heart, my aunt, and it showed in all that she did. She was a loving mother, sister, daughter, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt and friend to many. Here is a photo of her celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband and daughter.
I cherish the memories I have of my beloved Aunt, knowing that her sweet spirit is flying free now. I am also reminded of a quote that basically sums up life itself.


My family and I will truly miss this beautiful, loving and humbled woman, and all the memories we all created with her; she was truly a gift to this world. I love you, my dear Aunt...Rest in Peace,
Love Always,
Your great niece, Lisa

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Farmer's Market fun

This weekend, I took a solo trip to the Farmer's Market, not too far from my house and it was such a beautiful day that I had to snap a couple of pictures while I was out. I thoroughly enjoyed the sights, the sounds and of course the smells. It's something extra special to be able to take my leisurely time walking around and enjoying the spreads of enticing fruits, vegetables and so much more. I initially made the trip to pick up some Shea butter; a treat in and of itself; for my skin that is. I wanted the real deal, not the overly priced, itty bitty jar that most natural food stores sell, but the big tub of that golden goodness that lasts for about a few months.

I couldn't wait to get home and use it on my skin; especially when I remembered how long it had been since I bought a jar! I remember how much of a staple it was when I lived in Maryland; especially in the cold winter months. Now that I live here in Florida; it serves as a buffer for the hot sun, it has a plethora of skin enhancing nutrients and it feels so lovely. I strolled along, not in much of a rush and wanting to just drink up the beautiful weather we were having yesterday. I found a Frankincense and Myrrh blend of incense, juicy mangoes and a treat to  drink on the way home. I usually guzzle down coconut water to quench my thirst and they had quite a lot to sample, but something caught my eye; fresh sugar cane juice! I have tried fresh sugar cane, biting into it and feeling the sweetness trickle down my throat, so I knew I was in for something special. And was it ever! It was actually quite sweet; of course, but oh so delicious!  I have been drawn to try many new fruits and veggies that I hadn't before; calla loo, star fruit, papaya, yucca, breadfruit and passion fruit to name a few. I love trying new foods in general, but especially fruits and vegetables that grow in tropical regions. I'm thankful for markets such as these that offer these treats; year round! Next time I visit the market though, I will be getting coconut water; sugar cane juice will have to be a once in a while delicacy!

Introductory video to myself as a writer and my newest blogs on WordPress

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Growing inside and out


I took this picture of my little garden just a couple days ago when the sunshine was hitting it at just the right angle. There is a jade plant, aloe, marigold, begonia, two other flower plants and my tomato plant; growing so wild. I'm enjoying this project of growing and nurturing these beautiful plants; a true reminder of how miraculous life is. Isn't it amazing how a tiny seed situated in the depths of dark, rich and healthy soil can take root under the sun's energizing light and become a plant? No doubt that the elements; sunshine, rain and even wind are necessary to keep plants healthy, but so is love and patience. Love and patience is important when growing plants, and especially vital when it comes to ourselves. How much love and patience do we really have for ourselves? Do we give ourselves enough room to grow and blossom under the sun? One of my plants in particular; the begonia, began to look as if it was on it's last limb; literally. I was considering uprooting it as it was looking so hopeless, day after day. But something interesting began to happen! I noticed there were new, bright green leaves and flowers emerging amidst the dead leaves; showing me that it was still there, still growing. I smiled and I shared the happy news with my daughters. I thought about how I would have missed out on this beautiful transition with my plant if I had decided to uproot it. Patience in the process of our growth is so advantageous to our spirits; even at times that it may appear that we aren't growing, we always are. But we have to have patience and love; constantly encouraging ourselves and each other as we move through life.