Posted in child death, family, Grief, Mass murder, Uncategorized

Constant Mass Murder

Life is constant, a web and flow of good and bad times. Losing a child cannot be classified in the above statement. Losing a child is the end of everyone’s lives, it destroys families, because there is a need to blame someone for the loss of a child. I am not disregarding the loss of lives of adults, I want to make that clear, I am speaking from my own personal perspective as the mother of a murdered child. My life changed, I changed, and it was and still is a horrible time that has left a mark upon my soul that will never be erased.

I will never understand how anyone can defend the rights of guns over lives. I just cannot accept this. Justice Scalia said that there is no constitutional right to have an assault weapon under the second amendment.

I want to write from my heart about the death of a child. Maybe someone will actually listen. The latest mass murder was in my home turf of South Florida. I am always deeply affected by these murdering rampages. I know that people say “hey get over your grief it has been 8 years”, but that is not how it is with the parents of murdered children(or for anyone, but I am keeping this to murdered children). We envision their lives every year after the death. We see them growing, becoming adults, maturing and making lives we as parents want to participate in. We don’t see them murdered by a person who just enters a school and shooting them to death, running for their lives over dead bodies. We don’t see them helping someone (as in the murder of my daughter) in the early hours of the morning being run down by a drunk, we don’t see that. We see the good future of our children. Then it is just gone in one moment in time. It really sucks. I awake every morning, (yes even 8 years later) feeling sad. Sometimes I just want to stay in bed, but I don’t. I get up because I have a purpose in my life. That purpose is to live for my daughter who didn’t get the chance to live her life. I have animals and they are always a reason to get up and get going in the morning. I have started a business, me who only worked for a big company my entire life. It is always very complicated and I have a lot to do to keep up with being a business owner. I have to admit, at times I wish I was still making money working for a big company. But I am doing something I know how to do, and that is to show people a wonderful time while being the hostess.

This is a very political issue, I realize this. But for me it is personal. I really don’t care if Villa Migelita Ecolodge loses business because I am speaking from my heart. Anyone who continues to say that because of the second amendment you have a right to own an assault rife, I disagree. You do not have a right to own a weapon of mass destruction, one that a teenager can buy easily, for that matter anyone at a gun show without the correct security checks. This is about money, blood money, made on the lives of our children.

Can I tell you that I am sad all the time, I probably will never have a good relationship again in my life, even with my own son who is so wounded and will never be the same. My granddaughter, who will never know how much her mother loved her, except from others who tell her this. I speak with her often and always share memories of Misha. I know she is confused, and she will never know how much Misha loved her. Because Misha was murdered.

These children of Parkland will show the world and Congress what can be accomplished by activism. I am so proud of them. But I know they will have this horror in their hearts forever of the running for their lives, hiding in closets, their friends dying in front of them, being lead out of school over their dead peers. They won’t lose these memories. So 8 years later, just like me, they will still be trying to grasp what makes them so sad. Some will achieve their dreams, some won’t be able to because such a horrible event has changed them.

You know we are all different. Some of us are really strong. Some are not. This is why we have personalities. My strength does not change my sadness, it makes me able to cope. But others won’t be able to cope, some will never be the same. Think about that, not just for Parkland but for all the mass killings that happen regularly in the United States.

So with that I leave this to you my followers to stand up, sign up and  register to vote if you are not registered, join groups protesting these do nothing members of Congress that continue to allow mass murder for money accepted by the NRA. I did what I could to bring justice for Misha and it didn’t work, but I tried for many years. You will win! You have the world on your side. I just had me.




Posted in child death, family, freedom, Grief, happiness, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Nature Symbolism, Uncategorized



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The Brown Violet Ear hummingbird

The Brown Violet ear hummingbird looks like it has two black eyes when you see him on a branch. The light bit of purple is picked up by the camera. I love this little guy who keeps hanging around my feeders. I have only one. Perhaps I should name him? I certainly enjoy his antics, and I love watching him primp and preen. He is beloved by me, as all of my hummingbird species are. At Villa Migelita Ecolodge we have over 30 species!

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White necked Jacobin

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White necked Jacobin with Valle del Cauca in background of Colombia
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Misha my daughter with Amaya (who is now ten) one month before her death

I relate to the hummingbirds at Villa Migelita Ecolodge because they are spiritual beings that bring joy to my heart. They are representative of my daughter’s nonphysical form who now flies free in peace. I truly believe I ended up living in Colombia to be surrounded by hummingbirds. They lift me up with their presence in ways I can’t describe. The highlighted sentence above can give you much information about hummingbirds and how they have represented many cultures throughout time.  I am blessed to have them year round at my hotel.

I know my daughter knew how much I loved them because every year we would go to Tennessee and spend almost 3 months in the Smoky mountains. When we would spot our first hummingbird we would be delighted.  So even though she is not physically present, she is with me through my hummingbirds.


Posted in Birders, child death, Colombia, Colombian life, country living, Entreprenuer, expat life, freedom, happiness, hotel, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Perfection and Peace, strength, Uncategorized

The Sounds of Silence


I have avoided silence since January 31, 2010. The day my daughter was murdered. I have learned lessons, and I have worked hard to get to the place I am in right now. I feel free. I am free of abuse, I am free of negative energy in my home, I am free of judgmental people, free of machismo men who thought they could control me, I am free of everything that was keeping me confined to thought processes that were obsessively full of fear and sadness. When you lose someone suddenly this is normal. But what I did was not normal, I left my own country and changed my life completely. I will never regret my decision to do what I have done, I have evolved and I know another language.

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New orchids that bloom overnight

I wake up to silence, not my iPad on a news station saying the same things over and over. This is how I would go to sleep since Misha died, almost 8 years now: cable news blah,blah, the same noise said again and again. Sad isn’t it? To think it took me 8 years to get to silence when I live in Paradise. The only sounds I should want to hear are the birds singing, the rain falling, the sound of music I put on when I make my coffee in the morning.



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Villa Migelita Ecolodge

I could lay in bed on many days and not get up. I don’t allow myself this luxury. I know I need to get going and function. I have known this since the shock from the death of my daughter left me. I would not allow myself to fall off a cliff in despair. I would not allow myself to use as an excuse her death to become a sad human being, or to become filled with anger at her murderer. I used her death to better myself. But still I lacked silence. My brain would not quit.

I started this blog, I learned to take photos and use them to share the beauty I live in. To show my hummingbirds to the world, to show my flowers and a different way of life to all. It has not been easy but I have found the silence I crave inside my brain. With that all the photos and videos I take enrich me more than ever. They bring me to a place that I have been striving to find. Quiet. Pure and complete stillness of being, and sometimes that elusive happiness.Hummingbirds and rainstorm 017

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My birds in Paradise


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The Colombian and American flag represent who I am now
Posted in child death, Colombia, Colombian life, family, Grief, hummingbirds, mother nature, nature, Nature Symbolism, parents of deceased children, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Signs of the Universe, Spiritual Presence, Uncategorized

A Little Sign from the Cosmos

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Hummingbird Feather

The moment I spotted this little treasure I felt chills. It was early morning and I entered my kitchen and my eyes were drawn to this tiny feather on the tile. It is so minute I do not know what drew my eyes to it, except Misha, my deceased daughter. She left it for me. Just one white feather, like an angel wing. I stopped and inhaled slowly because a white feather that is from a hummingbird is a sign, a sacred encounter with the ethereal. How my eyes saw this beautiful little quill; so small it is about the size of a babies fingernail. I could easily have walked past it without notice and it would have blown away as I was opening the doors of my Villa for the morning.

Open doors define my life in Colombia. Not only actual open doors but the doors that have opened for me since I left the United States on this journey to a new country. Colombia, a country that many do not understand nor have an accurate account of how life really is here in the most bio-diverse country besides Brazil in the world. Colombia is full of happy people, beautiful mountains, birds, flowers, and moments. I need moments.

Happiness, unfortunately is elusive to me. I feel happiness, but rarely since Misha passed. Happiness is a gift that we need to strive to achieve, all of us. We need to grasp the split second that we feel any form of hopefulness, and keep it in our hearts. This little hummingbird feather made me smile this morning. It was like she was giving me reassurance of her love. Confirming to me that she is with me, even though not in a physical form. So now I am going to frame this jewel and keep it nearby for those days I feel down, when I have had a sleepless night which so often plaque me. I will have it to look at forever.

I wasn’t sure how to photograph this tiny plume so I put it on a crack. The cracks represent my heart since I lost her. I doubt my heart will ever be whole again, but the magnitude of these moments keep me going on with life. A life I appreciate more than I ever did before she left this world. I know what grief is, I know that I will always feel it, but I also know that I can make a life in her memory. This Villa is all for Misha. She shows me her appreciation in small ways. The little feather of a hummingbird.



Posted in child death, Colombia, Colombian life, Order, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence, storms, Uncategorized, Waiting

The Layers of Life

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The sun upon the mountains in Colombia

When I hear the word layered I think of my life. If I go back through time I can actually envision in my mind peeling the layers away as it unfolded. When I look at this photo of the mountains I think of each layer as representing portions of my life. The green foliage in the front portion is me starting to grow and move in different directions, as do the lines of the trees. Which way will shape my future, which path did I choose? The sun hitting the front row of trees points directly to a path of beauty and more sunshine. You can follow that path all around the picture and see the sun illuminates it. The right side shows the trees ending in a shadow, cut short from completion. The left side is cut off and we the observer’s are left without knowledge of where the trees end up.

When I think of all I have lived through, the good and the bad, one of the hardest parts of life is deciding to walk away or try harder. As we get older memories encompass us, thus making us question our choices and decisions in life. Normal thoughts because our younger selves think we will be young forever.

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A  small rainstorm in the Valle del Cauca
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Storm clouds completely cover the landscape of the Colombian mountains

So which path is my life story ending? Am I going to walk the straight path that follows the mountain around bathing in the sunshine? Am I going to go to the left which leads me to an unknown future waiting to be discovered? Am I going to turn to the right that is in the shade and then just stop and stay forever in obscurity, questioning all the memories that find me, thinking about what could have been?

Maybe I will be the second photo where small storms enter but exit quickly. Sunshine appears again and I am happy for a while and then another downpour erupts which I deal with; then the sun comes out again. This scenario makes the most sense and is what most people encounter as we live our lives.

Hopefully, I won’t peel my layers back on life and find the last photo. Dark, disturbing clouds full and ready to burst with a torrential downpour.  Because I am tired of the copious rain in my life. I  have had these layers in my life before, when my daughter was murdered, when her murderer was let to go free. I have more resilience in all aspects of my life because of her death, I am wise like I never was before, I am forgiving and thoughtful about many things that happen to me.

Since I have moved to Colombia I have had these dark clouds appear and deluge me with situations that seem impossible, but I have been able to get my life back to the second photo that is just a quick storm passing through. In reality the first photo where the trees go off to the left and we don’t know where they will end up is probably my route. Preemptively the direction most of us take. Because as much as we want the passage through the mountains with all of the sunshine and the happiness this is not reality. It is the movie you watch that has the perfect ending.

So I will continue to peel those layers that are actually years in my life and let each day help me discover a new beginning. One that is the mountain path of sunshine, but I will accept those storms that trail me sometimes and I will conquer them.




Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, child death, Colombia, Colombian life, minimalism, nature, Nature Symbolism, parents of deceased children, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Passing Moments in Time, Evanescent

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.

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The rage of the river
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Little leaves capture my eyes
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The cascade drips with my tears
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The stillness of the path
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finding peace
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walking the natural pool
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letting go after shoes in the water of life
Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, child death, Children of deceased parents, Colombia, Colombian life, friendship, nature, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence

Reflections on Motherhood and Other Things

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.

Misha and I with Marley
One year to the day my daughter was killed.

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. jungle-fever-and-buena-ventura-073jungle-fever-and-buena-ventura-096

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.