This is a hard photo challenge for me because I want to say how fleeting life is, which is so cliché. How desperately short life can be, which is also so cliché. I want to wallow in the grief of my daughter’s death. How I search for memories now that it has been 7 years since she was murdered. What I go through every single day, when I open my eyes in the morning. How angry I am that the man who killed my daughter walks free due to a corrupt judge. I want to share to others how hard it is to accept a death of a child that was so senseless it leaves me weak with sadness. All the years that have disappeared like they never existed. I want others who have never had extreme grief to understand. It is difficult to let it go. I try, but I always have it there in my heart. So I just write my feelings down and I take photos of the this absolutely beautiful country that I live in now. Colombia. We have a lot in common. Death, senseless death, which is not something people can just let go of. We survive. We continue. But we remember. These photos are for my daughter, who fades ever so slowly from my memory. I still walk and meditate for her in all the beautiful areas right outside my door. It helps but it doesn’t keep me from missing the woman she could have become.
Source: Forest Bathing
I have found since moving to Colombia I have gotten better at embracing the present moment. I don’t spend much time in my mind, I spend it looking at what is in front of me each day. When I start my hikes I am always in the present time. This is why I recommend for everyone to hike in the forest, or park, anywhere there are trees, birds and nature.
So as I descend I stop and enjoy every moment. It can be goats milk being sold. It could be just a view of the mountains as the fog descends for just a second. Maybe my path that I walk. It brings me peace. I descend slowly. I stop and I meditate at my favorite river. I sit for a while and think of things that are bothering me. We can all do this, whether you live in the forest like me, or in the city. JUST stop for a few minutes and reflect. Ask the Universe for what you need. Let go of the pain you feel. I feel pain every single day, I let it go on my hikes. It works. I know this as I live my life in the present moment.
All I know is this: I feel better after I walk. Just do it. Don’t procrastinate and turn on the TV. I hardly ever watch television during the day. I do outdoor things, I write, I study Spanish, or I just read. Don’t let yourself descend into a path of depression. It is very easy to do. Even when I don’t sleep well, I make myself get out and look at what surrounds me in Colombia. I then come home and I feel better. You will too.
So often I fret about what will be my lasting impression on this world we all share and live in. My last blog was about reflections on motherhood and other things, and now I write about heritage, my legacy in life. What will I leave to others? I need to be honest, I don’t know. Maybe I will be like a painter who becomes famous for their artwork later in life. I certainly have taken chances in life. I have so much to say in my photos and words. But I can’t share many things on my blog. I will in my book someday: if I actually ever finish it. When you start to write and realize you really have to expose yourself, it is hard to tell of our mistakes of which I have many.
I Feel it Coming, I am so ready to share my words of life as I know it. My heritage, my life. It seems that so many do these days. We all have blogs, we all have a life. But do we actually share honestly? I will try to do that. I really need to do this, for all of you who follow me. I was never perfect. I was never the best mom there was. I was a pretty good mom though. I was all in with my children. So why do some parents have great children and some don’t? I have come to the conclusion that I did the best I could with the man I was married to, and he has to accept he is part of the problem that existed. Especially, when he tortured me when my daughter was murdered. Yes, he did horrible things to me that I am sure he still thinks about, along with his sister.
That being said, I will say my heritage will be Colombia. I love it here. I have days when I am sad, I have days when I am super happy. I have days. The end. Here are some photos of my life and my hikes. The hikes make me happy. Better than any words of comfort that anyone can send me. I live my life, I love my life, I just do what I need to do to survive after my daughter was murdered.
Mother’s Day is coming this weekend. I have a hard time with this day. I spend the day reflecting on the past with my children. One who is deceased the other who doesn’t really have a lot of contact with me. It makes me think what could I have done differently? I was the Mom who was always involved with their activities. But then I took care of my own mother for years who had dementia. It took a great tole on me and my children. I now think should I have kept my mother in my home? Should I have divorced sooner than later? I don’t know. But I love my memories of happy times in their lives and all the happiness they grew up with. That just left when I decided to divorce and then my daughter was murdered.
I reflect on this photo, and realize Misha was a reflection of me, she looked like me and was very headstrong like me. I treasure this photo. I could beat myself up over and over again because I might have changed something in our lives and maybe she would still be here. But as I grow older and I meditate daily with Yoga, I realize we all have free will. We cannot change the path of our destiny, because we can’t control others, just ourselves. Most people do not want to change, and they will never do it. Me, well I wanted change after this horrible time in my life and I have become a different person. The problems in our lives are often brought on by thinking too much and worrying too much. Once we let go, we find a solution. Maybe not immediately, maybe not for a few years, but the solution is there. We just need to look for it and we need to accept that people come and go in our lives. Even our own children.
I have discovered while living in Colombia I do not live a life full of plans. Plans here are often disrupted with the littlest things. A battery has died in the car, and you need to wait for the local mechanic to come and give you a jump, the weather changes and that walk you planned on is now going to be later in the afternoon, the party you have at 3 in the afternoon with friends turns into an all night dance fest. Or it is a beautiful day and you take off in the truck to visit a place that is beautiful, remote and in the middle of the Rainforest.
Reflections in life are usually in the moment, not in memory. I have discovered this in my time as an expat in Colombia. I reflect often, but usually I reflect on how I can make my life better, to improve, not to waste time on mistakes or others who contributed to those mistakes. It is all about being the best person you can be. I reflect on that often. I know I am not there yet. But I will be before I die. At least I will die trying.
What are the dangerous things I encounter living in Colombia? What to do if a cow escapes the fence? Or a goat approaches me while I hike? What should I do when the water is so high in the rivers? Or the rain causes a mudslide? Maybe I should really be scared when the ground shakes at 5AM! That is the most danger I encounter in Colombia. I love my simple life. I love it so much I am willing to risk the only real danger I have ever experienced while living in Colombia, tremors from Earthquakes deep inside the Earth. To be honest, I don’t know an Earthquake has happened until it is over. I guess if it was really bad, I would be crushed because it takes me, this woman from Florida awhile to comprehend. By the time I do if it was bad, I would be dead. I would die happy in my paradise.