Posted in Colombia, Entreprenuer, Grief, hummingbirds, life lessons, Signs of the Universe, Uncategorized, Villa Migelita Ecolodge

A Tribute

Grief is something that I have learned to live with. I have a hard time when I read of an unexpected death. It happens a lot because I am connected to many people on Facebook. I especially loved the page Hummingbird Haven started by Faye, a very dear person I came to know many years ago. She posted such beautiful photos of hummingbirds she had taken at her home in Oregon on the Columbia River. An amateur photographer who taught herself to take great photos. She encouraged all of us who were not photographers with how fast she learned the artistry of nature photography. Hummingbirds are special messengers to the spiritual world, and I have many here in Colombia, South America also. Faye had her own stories of grief, hardship, and love which she shared willingly with all of us who followed her. She helped so many of us who did not actually know her personally, she was a brilliant diamond who drew us into her world, life, and her love of hummingbirds.

I would visit her page daily just to see the beautiful posts she shared of the world surrounding her along with the photos of her hummingbirds. She posted photos of Eagles, the Columbia River, scenic landscape shots of her home, and barns. I was enchanted to visit with her every single day. I would occasionally send her a photo of one of my hummingbirds and sometimes she would post them even though the quality of my photography left a lot to be desired back when I was learning about photography myself. She would direct people to my page Villa Migelita Ecolodge and tried to help me gain followers. She was so generous in her help to others. She was instrumental in getting me and my Ecolodge started.

One day a hummingbird flew into my office through the open window. I was able to video the miracle that occurred with my other hand. I kept trying to put this Fawn-breasted brilliant hummingbird back outside with the other hummingbirds. It kept returning to me. I am still convinced it was a message of love sent to me through the Universe from my deceased daughter. I wasn’t finished with the construction work on my Villa, my chipped fingernails and hands that were very chapped from working in my organic garden looked horrible. I look back at this video and think this is when my destiny took hold, and I soared with the prospects of a new and better future. I shared the video with Faye and she posted it on her page for me. I couldn’t believe it when the video went viral. I think over 500,000 people viewed it.

As a result of this video and dear Faye I was contacted by several people and had my first guests arrive to stay at my Villa here in the Andes Mountains of Colombia in the Valle del Cauca department. I now have a popular hotel visited by hummingbird photographers, nature photographers, nature lovers, adventure travel enthusiasts, and people who just want to visit and bask in the peace that surrounds me. I know it is because Faye shared the video of the hummingbird that wouldn’t leave that I had my moment to shine. I continued to pursue my dream as a woman entrepreneur and to meet people from all over the world.

I am living a life that any retired flight attendant would love, a life that I appreciate daily when I look around at what I have created. All the while having visitors come to my place of living. I get to share the hospitality I learned from being a flight attendant for so many years. I will be forever grateful for Faye. She helped me and I am sure she has helped others as well. If you were on her page she prayed for you. I know she did because she told all of us daily that she kept all of her thousands of followers in her prayers. I can only hope that she knows how many of us loved her so much, even though we didn’t know her personally. She was an inspiration to all. God bless you Faye Marie Miller for all you did for the people you touched. I know I am a better person for having shared some of my life with you. Now you are gone to a better place escorted by the beautiful hummingbirds you loved so much. I will never forget you. I hope you meet up with all who have gone before you and continue to spread the joy you gave to all of us. Thank you, Faye, I will always appreciate what you did for me. I also hope you meet my daughter, I will always feel she had a hand in our meeting and that very special video.

Posted in child death, Devastating sadness, Disappointment, expat life, freedom, Grief, parents of deceased children, sadness, Uncategorized

Disappointment

Devastation is part of my life. Like a dark cloud that follows me with too many downpours. The thunderous clouds roll in, then the lightening strikes with such intensity I fall to the ground inside my brain. I cannot function. My already shattered heart breaks into smaller pieces. I silently look at the sky, the sun peaks out a bit and for a moment I feel hope. Then I remember I’ve lost another part of myself. I know the sun is behind those clouds and will appear again but it is not certain it will stay. I’ve learned to live my life with these painful moments.

Recently, I found love or so I thought. I came to the United States to see my boyfriend. I came to see him with the thought this will be fun going back and forth to Colombia because I could see my granddaughter more often. What I didn’t expect was the situation that occurred immediately with my granddaughter. I was denied visitation and my right to see her. It was devastating. I’m taking care of the situation but to be in town and not have her to enjoy and participate in my activities made me very sad. Not stressed out, but  grief-stricken. I felt the same way I did when Misha was murdered. I had a day of  weeping sadness. Yet, no one was murdered I just might never see my granddaughter again.

One day. Think about that, one day of normal human emotion.

So here is the reason I was dumped. I’m never going to be able to come to the United States and be happy. Really? I’ve learned long ago to accept situations that are without reason. Mean people who don’t want me to find out things that are happening, things that are most likely illegal. I have a boyfriend in the United States and suddenly I will be there more. I’m denied my rights to see my granddaughter.

Imagine my surprise when he dumped me. The man who said I’m amazing for what I’ve accomplished through all of  this adversity. One day of  natural behavior and he can’t be with me. I’m never going to be happy when I visit the USA. It’s not about what I have or don’t have. It’s about being sad. That was it. He said I’m always going to live here, you will live there. Yes that is true. I was blindsided by what happened with my granddaughter. She is the only part left of my deceased daughter.

That is all it took, one day of sadness.

So, I am going back to my paradise and to my peaceful existence in Colombia. I’m done with him. I don’t give second chances at my age. I’m in good hands with a lawyer I highly recommend. Howard Friedman of Ft. Lauderdale. He is going to take care of this situation once and for all. I’m heartbroken not to have my Amaya, but I’m in good hands. And that guy, he is history.

 

 

 

Posted in Colombia, nature, Uncategorized, wildfires

The Gatlinburg Fires Destroy a Culture of Life and Tourism

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

To say I’m devastated is an understatement about the Tennessee fires in Gatlinburg. As the mother of a deceased child there are triggers that bring back the pain of loss.  A song. A smell.  A place. A memory.

Yesterday a community that is so special to my heart was all over social media because it is burning. Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The beautiful Smoky mountains where I spent 12 summers with my children. A place so like where I live now; Colombia, South America. When I first came to Colombia I noticed the similarities immediately. Now that I live here, I am reminded of the lovely times in the Smoky mountains,  recollections of complete happiness. Enjoying my children’s childhood as they spent their time outside playing, hiking, learning to love nature like I do.

We had property in a plush RV resort just outside of Gatlinburg. My son learned to swim and ride a bike there. My daughter was only 4 when we first started spending time in Gatlinburg, my son a new baby just a few months old. We were there for the opening of the Aquarium that was a favored spot to visit with my children. We had my children’s friends from South Florida come with us for the summer every year. There was the 4th of July parade where they decorated their bikes while us adults watched as they rode through the RV park. The hikes on the many trails in the Smoky Mountains, the tubing in the freezing water, and the swimming in natural pools. The sadness of leaving when it was time to pack up and go home, back to our huge house after living in a trailer for a summer. Maybe this is why I’m a minimalist now. Those times in our trailer were the happiest times I remember. I could spend all my time with my children instead of  always cleaning and keeping the perfect house. I cherished my summers in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The complete freedom we felt living a life that was one with nature. I even ruptured my ACL while telling a story around a campfire. A funny remembrance that my daughter Misha loved to retell to all of her friends as she grew up. I was telling a ghost story around a campfire and slipped on a small hill that was wet from an earlier rain. The kids all thought I was acting, but I was crying out in pain! The using of dryer sheets in our hair to keep the gnats away (like in the photo above). The special places we frequented, and loved. The sighting of a bear, a deer, of nature. The visits to Cade’s Cove. The back to school shopping in Pigeon Forge, the season passes to Dollywood and the many country music concerts we attended of up and coming stars. We saw Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Sawyer Brown, Steve Wariner, and many more before they were really huge country favorites. That tiny theater at Dollywood was a place I will never forget. Yes, these memories keep my daughter alive in my mind.

Now Gatlinburg is burning. I see the places I frequented gone. The small wedding chapel that Keith Urban told a story about when he came onstage at Dollywood is gone. He was coming to play our concert : he stopped and entered the ceremony and sang for the bride and groom!

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The Wedding Chapel near Dollywood

The Welcome Center of the Smoky Mountains. This was the first place I visited with my children when I fell in love with Gatlinburg.

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The Place every visitor to the Smoky Mountains needs to visit before exploring the beauty of nature in Gatlinburg

 

The nature that was the most important part of these beautiful mountains.

The ride through Cade’s Cove with my daughter on bicycles and the spotting of baby bear cubs. Seeing wild Turkey’s, and deer grazing. How can I not feel sad? This was a time of my life that was joyous, without stress, and with many lovely memories.

So I wrote my ex husband and one of the children whom my kids grew up with. The ORA resort is still standing. My ex and I might not get along, but we remember these wonderful times. The memories keep us in sync, no matter where we have gone in our lives. My children’s childhood friend who is now a grown man gave me some good advice. He said “the ecosystem has had this happen before, it will grow and reproduce. The poor of Sevier county will have new jobs to benefit growth of the community. This will pass like the hurricanes that hit, or Earthquakes in other countries.” It was oddly calming to me. A man now, but I remember him as a child. He had a great way of making me feel better.

So I will let my heart grieve as I always do, a past time when my daughter was alive, when I was extremely happy. A culture, a life that I loved and still love. The outdoors. It is burning in Gatlinburg, TN. But I am enjoying nature here in Colombia. A life of freedom and peace. I need to learn to let things go, the things I have no control over. We all do.