Posted in Awakening, child death, Colombia, Devastating sadness, Disappointment, Entreprenuer, expat life, freedom, friendship, Grief, happiness, love, Uncategorized

Sadness

Sad.  The word used to describe me recently was correct. To be honest that’s how I live inside my mind often, but I usually never give in to it. Even when I awake in the morning feeling deep heaviness of heart. I get up and get going, my mornings include watching my birds and hummingbirds: photographing and viewing them here at Villa Migelita Ecolodge. It is not always about Misha,  although she is certainly part of this sadness. This feeling is something different. It has been pushed back, hidden deep inside my being. Like a child who has been abused and has no recall until years later. As I’ve written before I get through this life after her death because I try not to think about what has happened in my life since she changed at the age of fifteen. I’ve questioned whether it is healthy to just not think about it. I certainly have found out others pick up on this side of me of which I am not aware is being projected. I let myself feel grief when I didn’t see Amaya recently and I found out the true character of someone. I was hit twice in the gut. After a few weeks of searching for why, I realized what really hit me so hard. First of all it has been almost nine years since my daughter was murdered. Why is there this constant need by those who are part of Amaya’s life to continue to persecute me about what Misha decided to do with her life? She had free will. I was her parent who did not believe the choices she was making were correct. That is being a parent! Now these same people are hurting a child. I’m used to feelings of despair, I can handle it because despite all the negativity towards me I’ve gone on to create a lovely hotel and lifestyle. Amaya is a child, she should have nothing but love around her. All love is good love, from anyone who is part of her life. Amaya is not a reason to hurt others through revenge. Again, because all of the decisions Misha made in her short life were hers, albeit she was surrounded by really bad influences in high school.  I just tried to parent her as best as I could parent a rebellious child who was doing really bad things. Look for it all in my book, and believe me I will be sharing every single detail. It is a movie in the making.

So back to this new self discovery. I discovered I am mourning happiness. Moving to Colombia was a good move for me to get away from those who continued to harass me despite what they knew about Misha. I was their person to bully. I am no longer going to allow it. I am going to tell the truth to the world, and I know there are many families who have a Misha in their lives. Hopefully, you can let yourself let go of what you had no control over. When I let myself  feel sadness after I was not allowed to see Amaya  recently I let myself cry. I don’t cry much since Misha passed. Not because I’m embarrassed or trying not to. I just don’t cry.  I can watch a really sad show and not cry, I can see awful news about children being taken from their parents over immigration, I even lost my dog Bruno Mars while I was on my homeless tour of the United States and I didn’t cry. I realize this is not normal, but this is how I cope. I have become immune to a lot of bad things. I do react when confronted with wrong, but I never confront anyone, it is really hard for me to do.

So when I cried recently about being kept from Amaya it wasn’t this hysterical crying, it was  a day of sad tears and a day of talking out loud. Just needing to speak about the positive and negative things. I talked to those closest to me during that time, and I was also very silent and reflective. I then get myself back to the place I keep my sadness inside my mind. That place of not thinking about how horrible the human race is. This is why I love my place in Colombia, I am surrounded by animals and nature. They don’t do bad things on purpose. To hurt someone without reason.

Since I’ve returned to Colombia I’m back to moving forward. I’m doing my normal routine and feeling content. The thing that is missing is that happiness I felt after so many years. My book editor wrote me I’m mourning the loss of affection, because I’ve become my own best friend after so many years. Such wise words. I haven’t felt much happiness for a long time. I have felt contentment, I have felt love from my extended family here in Colombia, I am loved by my animals. But happiness is elusive. My other mother called me last night and she said “Michele, you have never allowed yourself to grieve properly, you keep looking for that happiness, it might never be there for you again.” She is right. I might never have it again, but I will have peace and beauty. I will have the love of the people I know are by my side. That is a wonderful thing. I can live with that. So my homeless tour was filled with lessons, and my other mother Laverne  said to me what I needed to hear. “Michele let yourself grieve, you never have. You have always been defending yourself against things you had no control over. You left and that was good, but now you need to let yourself feel that grief.”

She is right. I am writing it down in my book. It is hard. I have been remembering and discovering memories that cause me a lot of pain. I will get through this phase in my life, just like I get through everything, with grace and with patience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Awakening, chaos, child death, Colombia, Colombian life, Devastating sadness, Disappointment, Entreprenuer, expat life, family, freedom, friendship, Grief, love, Uncategorized

The Cracks that Show Up

I let someone in my life because he was friends with my friend from high school. I would never have done this without knowing her and what a sweet person she is. Then I started to see cracks. Just little warning signs. However, I allowed myself to look past some of the signs because I think he had a really great side, and still do think that. We all have problems, I am the first to say that. I have many problems I left behind in the United States. I am the last person to judge anyone. But, I have the sixth sense. I didn’t really want to go to the United States this last time I went. I could have taken care of what was happening with my granddaughter with my lawyer Howard Friedman over the phone. This person insisted and I really should have listened to my inner voice, but I didn’t. I say this over and over in my blogs. I don’t listen like I should to my innermost feelings. We need to accept and adapt to these feelings inside of us! So I spent a lot of money that I did not need to spend and learned a lot of lessons while getting dumped by a person who is probably still thinking about me and wanting me. He blew it, and believe me, one chance is all you get with me. I am special, I am smart, I am unique and he lied just to get me. I am sure no one has just looked at him and said F%^k You. I did immediately when he dumped me for no reason except his selfish behavior and his need for me to be happy while in the United States. My friend’s husband who is very clear he is a Trump supporter came to me and hugged me, and said you will prevail. I was constantly told by ‘this person’ how awful this friend was and what a horrible husband he was to my friend. I should have let that be a warning sign too. My friends husband came and hugged me on one of the worst days of my life, but this person did not. So let me be clear I don’t like Donald Trump, and I am not saying all people who voted or supported him are bad, I am saying I can never nor would be with someone who is a supporter as a partner. As a citizen of the United States I believe in our right to vote for who we want, and I believe that is why we are such a great country. I don’t need to make everyone agree with my position. I will not allow someone lie to me. You know, if this person had been honest with me, I would have listened. It was a simple thing. We could have been friends, but never lovers.

First of all, I do not like Donald Trump. These images of the children being ripped from their parents arms are causing me such sadness, I am in distress beyond anyone’s imagination. He dumped me for being sad about my granddaughter, he is cruel and he is a supporter of Trump. I know that his friend he speaks so badly about knows I am not. Yet that morning I was so sad, he came to me and said I love you Michele, I am so sorry. Yes, the Trump supporter came to me to comfort me but not my boyfriend. So I have been feeling very ashamed for this romance. I bought into it. I believed him for what I thought he was. He was not that way. I can never express the coldness of how he said  I can’t be with a person who comes here to the USA and is sad. So here is the lesson. No matter your political preference, you can still be a decent human being. My high school friend and her husband are really decent people, and ‘this person is not.’

So where do I go now? I am extremely saddened beyond recognition of my own self by this ripping of children from the arms of their parents. I can’t sleep, I compare my situation with that of my own granddaughter. Why do people have her that have no rights, nor position to justify having her? It makes me scared about what I am thinking when I see these girls are missing in the Trump system of justice at the border. Is it something sinister? Is my granddaughter safe? I see that something is terribly wrong in the system of the United States. I know many feel Colombia is dangerous, when in actuality it is not. I am happy and free here. I have no need to even lock my doors. But the USA they rip children from the arms of parents and lose them. I can’t get a correct answer from all the agencies I call about my granddaughter’s well-being. Why do these people who have no connection to my granddaughter have her in their custody. I am hoping someone will find out.

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 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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence-2/

 

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 animal death, animal rights, Colombian life, expat life, Grief, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence

That Rainbow Bridge

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

michele and Yuki
Yuki and me

The loss of a pet is devastating. I have had too many losses here in Colombia. Life is different from what those of you who have pets in your home with a fenced yard. Especially when you have a farm. The smaller dogs know how to escape even if you have a fence. Which I do. They can squeeze through the smallest spaces. This is what happened to Yuki.

I had a change in employment here at Villa Migelita . Yuki was never really my dog. He was rescued by my former employee from the street in Palmira, Colombia. I took care of Yuki. He was fed by me, he was vaccinated by me, he was living on my farm in luxury and if he needed the Veterinarian he went. He had such a will to live. He was almost killed twice by Orion my beautiful Dogo Argentino. They never liked each other.

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Orion the King

Yuki had a warrior spirit. He was a little dog with a big attitude.

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Yuk on a tube in San Cipriano, Colombia

He was always happy, a smile on his face constantly. He actually loved swimming with Orion in my natural pool at Villa Migelita.  

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Yuk and Marley

He would get along with Orion most of the time, but sometimes he just provoked Orion and twice he almost died.  I guess his time on this Earth was ready to end when the latest situation happened. I had been keeping Yuki separated from Orion for a long time. They were fine as long as they were outside. I have a beautiful doghouse and patio area for all of my dogs on the first floor.

Yuki with his family
The whole gang

When the last employee left Yuki left too. I would go for a hike and I would see him. I would call for him to come home. He wouldn’t. He kept waiting for his rescuer to come for him. I would call for him, and sometimes he would appear and I could get him back to my house to feed him. This is the last time I was with Yuki.

Last photo of Yuki
Yuki and myself last month

He had lost so much weight. I was able to bring him back to eat. He stayed overnight, but the next day he was gone again. Then I had the veterinarian come to the house with the yearly vaccinations. I had him bring Yuki’s also. They are still in my refrigerator. I need to remove them, but I can’t. It is so final. I was always calling for Yuki when I fed the dogs. I know he heard. My pueblo is small and he knew when dinnertime and breakfast was. He would no longer come. That day I went out searching for Yuki. I knew he was now living in the street.

Yuki died of a broken heart. I know this. The last photo above is the last time I spent with him. He was sad. His eyes conveyed to me his sadness. I tried with all of my heart to get him to come home. He wouldn’t. So I feel such responsibility about this senseless death. Dogs are so loyal, they will die when they lose a person they adore and love. Yuki loved me but he loved the employee more. I couldn’t save him.

Every morning I am waking up sad. Then I remember why. Yuki. The dog that was found on the street and died on the street. Senseless. I hope he is with my other dogs in doggie heaven.

With that I say thank you again for all the wonderful messages about Yuki. I can understand a death from old age, from an accident, but this was just senseless to me. Yuki choose to die because his best friend was gone. He loved me but he loved him more.

 

Posted in Colombian life, hummingbirds, nature

An Imperfect World

My rescue hummingbird has passed. It happened suddenly and without warning. Just a couple of days ago he was escaping through the slats of his little cage. He was so active. I had to put a mesh net around his cage so he couldn’t breakout and be killed by a predator. I am not sure why he died, but I knew he wasn’t well anymore. It happened so fast and I wasn’t prepared for it.

I have a cage coming from the USA and some additional food supply that hummingbird rehabilitation experts use. The wonderful thing that has resulted from his care is I will have a nice cage and products  anytime I rescue any  bird at Villa Migelita from this day forward. All of these products sent from loving friends in the United States  and will be in remembrance of Grigio. When I put another bird in this new cage I will have his spirit guiding me. I know this with my heart and soul.

To say I am sad today is an understatement. I awoke to a table without his cage that I have looked at for over a month. The joy of removing the towels I put on his enclosure every night to find him moving and drinking his nectar of smashed insects and sugar in the morning is a wonderful and loving experience in my lifetime. The hope I felt that maybe, just maybe he would be my miracle.

I am sad, frustrated and of course I am blaming myself. If only I had added even more insects to his water. If only I had more resources available to me here in Colombia . If only, if only. I became very attached.

He was fighting to live to the end. His last breaths were in the palm of my hand. He was still charging his wings, which gave me unrealistic hope. I felt he could pull through this with my loving care. I watched as one eye closed but the other eye was wide open and staring at me. That eye kept contact with me until it closed with his final breath inside my palm. So tiny, so precious, so magical. I will never be able to describe adequately the joy he brought to me by being able to care for him.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Tsunami of 2004: One Woman’s Story

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I am sharing with all of you a post from a dear friend who was in the Tsunami of 2004. Below are her words.  I have not edited them at all because this is from her heart and English is not her first language. Read this and remember how precious life is. I am also including photos she has from that time. The cover photo breaks my heart…but this is what happened and she is very blessed to be alive. As all of you know my daughter was murdered. The bravery and courage in this story will give you chills.  This is why we must live each day as if it is our last. We must give out love to others, not hate. Not one person on this planet is different from another. We all love and care for our families the same way whether we are rich or poor, the color of our skin is not important. We all bleed the same color.  Be kind, be thankful and be aware that you might not live to see another day when you least expect it. This is one woman’s story. Her son is an up and coming artist and this song is appropriate for the rest of this blog https://youtu.be/LtURTzkiHP4 May God Bless all of us. We can never know what the next day will bring.

 

My Story
I’m a travel agent and I’ve never been a great believer… I adored luxury… a lovely house, a great car, parties, travelling first class… I wore a mask and felt completely empty!
Everything started on 26th December 2004, when my son, partner and I were in the middle of the sea in a small boat in Sri Lanka when the tsunami was about to swallow us whole…
We were unable to reach shore due to all the hundreds of thousands of vortices that were opening up around us and getting bigger and bigger by the minute. They were swallowing up everything in their path including small fishing boats and, as I stood there wide-eyed and watching everything fall apart around me, I saw a huge oil tanker being taken down within minutes. I was devastated, my whole body shook, and I felt the heat of my urine running down my thighs. I felt death and gloom approaching. Fear took a hold of me and froze me to the spot. I felt unable to move or speak.
On that little boat where hope no longer existed, with the worse pain a mother can ever suffer, I asked my son Lorenzo to throw himself overboard and try to swim ashore – he was only 10 at the time but he refused and said “No mum. I’m not going to leave you. You can’t swim very well and if we have to die I’d rather be with you.”
I didn’t know of any way out… I was dead… and I could feel the chilly hands of death inching forever closer, way too close. I wanted to save my son. I would have given my life for him but he stubbornly refused to throw himself overboard. Thus we waited to be swallowed up by the immense and dark sea, as dark as night. My partner who was with me at the time was in the same state of fear as me.
We stayed on that boat all day – alone – with no food, water or fuel or… very little. That night, totally worn out and with the little fuel we had, we decided to try and attempt to find a way back to shore.
The sea was full of all sorts of debris: fridges, mattresses, lorries.
A sea of lifeless children floated over the top of the water. We finally touched land but it wasn’t over yet. More waves were coming and we decided to escape to the mountains. Our only route of escape at the time. Escaping without shoes, or having drunk anything all day.
I stole shoes for my family from the corpses we found on route… may God forgive me.
But we still couldn’t walk… the ground was covered…. corpses, glass everywhere…
Human parts were scattered everywhere and lots and lots of small dead bodies. I swear to you, that day I witnessed hell.
Having reached the bottom of the mountain, we found hundreds of people waiting at its base. The mountain was full of thorns, impossible to climb… but we had to do it. The wave was behind us and was about to reach us so we had no choice. Everyone was so scared that they were jostling each other… nightmarish screams from heartbroken mothers who were carrying their children’s lifeless bodies begging for a miracle… it was HELL.
I needed to do something!
My job has led me to be a natural born organiser, and I therefore started shouting at the top of my lungs and organised all the children in a row. Then older women and men and finally women then men. I had divided my own family apart! My son Lorenzo was up front with the other kids, then me and finally my husband last of all.
I wanted to die… I kept asking myself how could I be the one to make all the decisions dear Lord? That was the first time I spoke to Jesus.
Fortunately, at the top of the mountain was a fisherman who launched his nets down so that we could climb. Having reached the top I asked my husband to bring up with him some wet rags… they were needed to wrap up bloody feet torn, cut by all the debris and glass strewn on the ground. Once I got to the top I started bandaging everyone’s feet.
The night was freezing, cold.
Women still held their dead children in their arms
And their screams tore the dark night apart
And the cold, hunger and thirst were making us ill
Hundreds of thousands of people were trying to sleep on humid and cold ground.
A horrific scene.
The fisherman that had thrown us the net had a small wooden cabin and a drinking well.
So I ask the fisherman to boil us some water which I shared with each and everyone present.
Then I noticed that the fisherman had some wooden boards leaning against the cabin and I put all the men to work.
I ask them all to lay the boards down on the ground.
We spend the night sleeping next to each other trying to keep our bodies warm.
It was freezing cold. I was tired and exhausted.
We placed Lorenzo between the two of us to keep him warm.
He asks us to give thanks to Jesus for saving us and to our disbelief we begin to pray the Our Father .
But something happens just as soon as we finished the prayer.

Leaning against the fisherman’s cabin, I see an old man sitting all on his own.
A gaunt face, worn by misery and poverty. He had no teeth and wore and old jacket, dirty and torn.
He beckons me over. I wasn’t sure I understood but yes, he was definitely asking me to go over.
I wasn’t sure what he wanted, but he just kept staring at me and asking me to go over.
I get up to walk towards him and in order to reach him I had to climb over those who were trying to sleep….
I reach him and he shows me that I need to kneel.
I kneel down and
With his rough aged hands, he reaches into his jacket pocket
And offers me a sweet pointing that I should give it to my son!
My heart fills with immense happiness, joy and wondrous peace despite all the hell surrounding me.
I finally understood! The man was Jesus.
The next day we started walking towards Colombo – 200 kilometres away approx.
We walked and walked. Every now and then someone would stop to give us a lift: on donkeys… horses… lorries full of people, then we went back to Italy a few days later.
Upon my return my personal drama starts
I went back to work to my travel agency
When clients walked in asking for 5 star accommodation and Business Class travel, I felt sick and out of place. This was not my place… and I kept asking myself what am I doing here???
I know… I have seen!
A period of darkness began for me
I didn’t believe…
My parents would tell me to go to a psychologist
But I never went

Then one day Daniela, my sister, who was a believer said to me “Why don’t you go to the Divino Amore” a sanctuary here in Rome.
I had never been to church before then bar at Christmas and Easter time… I decided to go. I desperately felt the need to find that peace, love and happiness I had felt approaching the old man when in hell.
I go to take confession.
And burst into tears right there and then whilst confessing in front of the cross.
And at the top of my voice I scream at the priest and ask him “Why? Why? Why did God save me and my family? Why didn’t he take me… he could have saved all those children!!! Why???”
There was silence.
Then the priest answered
“My dear. God has a plan for you and maybe one day you will have to tell lots of people…”
After that meeting I felt deep down in my heart that it really was Him who had created

me and who had shed tears for me, because no one could have talked to me so deep down in my heart.
After a few days of praying, I felt a great weight lifting from me and I started to feel the presence of God! I felt the greatest and most unimaginable peace.

Later in 2011 my trip to Medjugorje and that’s where my faith is strengthened again and again …
And there is so much more… but we would need many more days to go over it all.

This is a true story of bravery that can only come from the soul. This is one woman’s story. I am not promoting anything about religion, just sharing her words…it is up to everyone to decide what it is they believe in. As for me I believe in the Universe. That is my religion. We are all one with this Universe.