Posted in Awakening, Entreprenuer, family, friendship, happiness, love, Uncategorized

Waking Up to Love and Living at 60

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/awakening/

What does it take to awaken from too much reflection on our past? For me it was a fun cruise with my best friend and a chance meeting in a Latin club on the very last night.

I went to South Florida to celebrate my 60th birthday on a cruise with my son. Unfortunately, he was unable to make the cruise nor was my granddaughter, whom I spent the week before doing all the enjoyable activities she likes to do. When I asked my best friend of forty years to come along and he said yes I knew my first cruise would be filled with laughter and enjoyment. I haven’t had a little vacation for myself in many years and I was really looking forward to this cruise. I wasn’t disappointed.

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Yes my hair is pink and I am loving it.

Michele cruise

That first night when I entered our dining room, my eyes feasted on the decor, the lights, the sounds of chatter of other tables. When I sat down and was handed the menu, there were items I had not tasted in a long time living in Colombia. Escargot, creme brulee, pastas with rich sauces, appetizers of such variety, and I could have whatever I wanted, not finish and try something else. Our seat mates were a variety of people but the silly Latins were a highlight of our first night and I started the conversation with them in Spanish. They then became our fun friends for the rest of the cruise.

The clubs on the ship are awesome and we had great people on our cruise. Imagine happiness emanating from every person you encounter! Bridal party dance offs, blackjack in the casino, karaoke, smiling people everywhere we went.

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OK it is fake but I love this photo so much and that beautiful girl on the very far right is a supermodel in real life!

The last day at sea was memorable for many reasons, including finding love at 60. Gabe and I became separated but I knew I would find him. I sat at the pool bar and eventually he came looking for me. He had been with our Latin friends drinking rum shots. So I want to thank you Monica and Patricia for making Gabe so tired he went up to bed after dinner that last evening on board the ship. Everyone was exhausted but I was still enjoying the evening so I wandered into a club playing Latin music. There was a man sitting by himself, looking very handsome and I asked him to dance. I guess that is still something women don’t do that much, but he accepted and danced salsa quite well. I found out he was on the cruise with his entire family, so I gave him the card of my hotel. 

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Me, Monica and Gabe

He came back to find me later and I danced with him again. I continued to dance and chat with people in Spanish and thought I would never hear from the handsome stranger again.Then I saw him in a corner with all of his family and I eventually left when the music stopped and lights went on. I did tell Gabe about him when I went back to our stateroom. I  did not know then I had made quite an impression on him with my attitude, dancing and a few comments I made, which I cannot share, but they delighted him. He told me later he walked the ship until 2 am looking for me.

So how did he find me? He called my Colombian number and it didn’t work because I had a sim card in for Florida. He left me messages on Facebook messenger while I was out shopping. He asked me to dinner that night and I said no I am leaving to go back to Villa Migelita Ecolodge in Colombia tomorrow, and I am packing. He persisted. Let me take you to lunch before your flight? I said yes, then he called again and put someone on the phone. We shared a friend! My friend of many years from Nova High School. Now, I was very intrigued and curious. When we had lunch it was like I had known him forever. I missed my flight because it was overbooked and had turned in my rental car so he came back and got me at the airport. My friend Cheryl from high school gave me a room on Hollywood beach boardwalk at her hotel. I want to say thank you to both her and Moses for such a kind gesture. She came by that evening to say hi. We had dinner at her house the following evening and I met her entertaining husband Moses.

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First selfie
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Cheryl, me, Avi and Moses

Then I kept missing my flights, due to one reason or another. Avi and I kept enjoying ourselves, it was like I had known him forever. He is an Israeli Jew, and he really knows how to treat a woman right. He introduced me to family members, friends and more. I introduced him to Gabe and his partner, also my granddaughter.

Amaya and Avi
My grand says to Avi, I am happy Glamma found you I don’t want her to grow old alone. LOL!

He says he has found the woman he has been searching for all theses years. He is now coming to Colombia for 3 weeks in May. He speaks 6 languages including Spanish. He calls me a Jap, which is Jewish American Princess, and I say I am a Sap, Spiritual American Princess. Whichever it is, I now have a big Jewish family who have welcomed me with what I call the Israeli kiss. Such a warm, big smooch on the cheek that I can only describe, but love so much!

With that I say here is to my awakening at 60 years old from a random meeting on a ship in the Bahamas. I know that whatever happens Avi has brought laughter, joy and contentment into my life. He gives me so much attention, which I have not had in so long due to my own desire to succeed as a woman entrepreneur. The holding of my hand is strange and at first I would take my hand away, but now with his patience I allow it. I allow him to shower me with affection because I deserve it and he says to me any chance he gets that I am amazing and wonderful. With that I leave you with a few more photos and a final thought. Love can be found at any age, even when you are not looking for it. So cheers to turning 60 and who knows where the next years will lead, but for now I live one day at a time as always.

michele and avi 5

michele and avi 6michele and avi 1

 

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

Constant Mass Murder

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/constant/

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

Hummingbirds

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/beloved/

 

hummingbirds violet ear
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

Long Billed Starthroat 4

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White necked Jacobin with Valle del Cauca in background of Colombia
Misha and Amaya beach
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 Colombian life, Dogo Argentino, expat life, family, farm life, friendship, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Orion the Magnificent Through the Years

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/variations-on-a-theme

Orion my Dogo Argentino is magnificent. He was given to me by a neighbor the night before I moved to Villa Migelita.

He had 4 homes before he came to me. He is a very delicate dog, although he looks fierce. He has broken two bones, his skin is problematic and he is always needing attention by the veterinarian for some reason. Here are some of my favorite photos of Orion. He is now almost 8 years old. I have lived in Colombia since 2011. He was a young guy when I adopted him. Enjoy the beauty of Orion, my big boy.

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My Big Boy with me looking fierce
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Orion and Luci all animals at Villa Migelita Ecolodge are rescues
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Orion eyes
Family at VM 013
Happy Orion
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Sleeping Orion
Orion and me big head
Orion with me recently
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Orion getting acupunture
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Me and the big boy

 

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/experimental/

hummingbird feather
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.