Brightly Shines the Sun

imbolcThere are many proper moments within a season to embark on a new adventure. That moment for me is Now. Today has been cosmically wired as a day for beginnings- This is the season of Candlemas, Imbolc, Chinese New Year, Ground Hog Day and the New moon… All signs that rebirth is about to begin on earth as well as in my life.   

happy-new-year-of-rooster-2017-vector-designIn ancient days, this was the time when a village would begin planning the upcoming growing season. I must also plan for my growth in the coming year. While the chains of corporate America shackled me for nearly three decades, it stagnated my ability to creatively write. This has now changed, the shackles have been removed. I am unhindered and ready to work on ME, on my roots and my foundation.

groundhog-day-background_23-2147532213My future is absolutely in my hands now. Staring at this blank slate, the size of the nothingness is massive yet so small. If there is one lesson I have learned from 2016 is that nothing is promised and it can all end so very fast. I used to cling to my job for security and thought it was what I needed to be alive. Now that it is gone, I feel more secure and alive than ever. Now is my time to shine- get your sunglasses ready!

all there is- these beautiful minutes we wait on…

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Duty of a Grandson

cool-text-203522098114774Today I begin my duties as Power of Attorney (POA) for my grandmother. With her only son gone, she’s been panicked that her home and savings will be lost to inheritance tax or court costs if she passes away before her affairs are in order. At 98 she has her way of seeing things, the death of her son put a huge wrench in her life plans.

I introduce myself to her bank. With the durable POA in hand I need to add my signature as authorized on all her accounts. I also need to access the contents of her safe-deposit box. She wants to make sure I know where everything is and what do to. She is putting a lot of trust in me, I never thought I’d be in this situation.

While I am at the bank with these tasks, I have left her the following samples from WWIT?! to read. Yes, it’s taken 7 months for me to get printed pages to her. I promised her the font would be large enough for her to read. I figured if I’m going to be deep in her life, she should be a part of mine too. I’ll let you know what she thinks!

The Pulse of Pride

a new Dad for Father’s Day

In My Silent Times

The Dad Trilogy #1- (Games People Play, The Name of the Game, What’s Love Got to Do With It)

Cancel Chemo, I’m Going Fishing!

As I Face Uncertain Futures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all changing…

Life goes on, as I’ve been told ad nauseam these many weeks

I move forward, although I’ve been backsliding along the way

I’m not growing, I’m stagnating- leading me deeper into despair

 

Life goes on, nothing stays the same

Moving forward seems impossible to do

Despair stagnates around me like a cocoon

 

Life goes on, without and with those who have become my heroes

I move forward as the wind batters my wings

I am  emerging, changing, growing; lifted on the winds

a beloved story, told a new way, in my new world of change.

My Goal is to be Whole

img_9080I started to put “again” in the title, until I realized that I’ve never been whole. I have been growing since the powers of the Universe worked together the night I was conceived. Created in pure selfless unconditional love, by two so in love they couldn’t bare to be apart. Losing my makers too soon has had a profound effect on me. drawingthesailMost lose their parents sometime in their life, be it at birth or decades later. Rare is the time parents outlive their children (That is a hard burden to bare). I lost my parents within seven months. Loss is Life. As hard as this loss is, I need to accept this new reality and continue on with my Life’s journey.  Hoist the Sails!

forpostingI am Meehow Wujek now, Patriarch of the Dzwonkowski Family from the roots of Diane and Chester.  Tomorrow we have our first family event, a Sailboat Launch. This is the final mourning ceremony for our parent’s passing. We decorated the sails at Christmas, the first Holiday we celebrated without them both.  There is a Dog-tag Pendant securely fastened to the deck containing their ashes. All sails rigged and ready to go. Raise the anchor!img_9412

Sailing my parents off into the sunset brings closure to their life’s journey on this earth. It is time to take what I’ve learned within the 53 years I was raised. I can become the whole person I never was.  With my parents departed, I am Free to be the Man they raised. This is my new beginning. Embracing my new roles within the hierarchy of the family. I vigilantly take the helm of this Family Boat to steer to safely down the Rivers of Life.  Set Sail, Captain!

 

 

A Dziadek’s Wise Words

florida-national-cemetery-1-728As this posts- My family and I will be burying our Parents in the Florida National Cemetery. I’m still numb from all this loss. Yet, here I am placing them Both into a Columbarium in January of 2017.

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Mom & Dad – Together Forever. This is the Second of Three services in their Memory. The Final one sets them Sailing into the Sunset.

My Dziadek conveyed to me the Importance of Ceremony many years ago. “We need the time to Remember, Celebrate, and Share.  There is Nothing more Important than Family”, he’d say.  

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Chester 8.9.1941-12.5.2016~&~Diane 8.27.1941-4.28.2016 ~ Together Forever

 

What is the Father’s becomes his Son

tarot-death1In Tarot the “Death” card ultimately brings change. Death has transformed my life in many ways.  One role I’m struggling to accept is that of Patriarch. With my Bopchie firmly in her role as Matriarch, there is no one in the family lineage for me to turn to for guidance. I must become the family Sage. This hit me yesterday when I received a rattled voice message from my grandmother. Busy outside removing the Christmas lights, her call was missed. Feeling lost and uncertain she began calling my sisters looking for me, she needed assistance ASAP.

ar127048397836008WWIT?! Fifteen minutes had passed between her fist call to me and the one I returned to her. Yet, she seemed as if it had been hours by the panic in her voice.  During the call she nearly called me Chester (her husband) once and actually called me Chester (her son) twice. She was stressing due to her doctor’s “demand for an in-office visit.” She didn’t know how she was going to make it to the appointment, “the doctor wants me there by Ambulance in a stretcher”, she screeched!  I quickly assured her that “I would be there for” her. I would arrive in plenty of time; to transport her to and from the doctor’s appointment and to make sure home is locked and secure. She says, “The High Point office always tells us to lock up due to so many robberies in the area.” I assured her that both home and she would be Safe. The appointment is the day after Mom & Dad are laid to rest.

bopchiemeThis responsibility has passed to me, soon I will be her durable power of attorney. I understand her, I know her story. She has survived her husband and son all while living alone in her home. She has homecare and is so afraid of being in “an assisted living facility (ALF).” Her future is scary and uncertain. I willingly and lovingly consider it an honor to hold the reigns given to me by my father to care for my 98 year old grandmother. This is an obligation that I do not take lightly. She is our Family Matron and could easily out live her Sister Mary, who passed away at 103.

WTFWIT??!!

messages for ourselves

3Three days in and 2016 still haunts me. I finally scheduled my father’s burial. He will be laid to rest in the Florida National Cemetery, with full military honors on 11 January, 2017. The magnitude of this date didn’t hit me until my sister, Debbie reminded me. I’ve been so focused on my Dad that it completely slipped my thoughts that we will be laying both our parents to rest with this service, WWIT?!

toy-loneliness-grief-sadness-autumn-nostalgia-coldGrief is a strange bedfellow. It makes you question everything, especially your own mortality. It grabs hold and just when you think you’ve shaken it off, it tightens its grip. With each loss my grief is at a different point. There is no order in which the “5 steps” are happening for me. The feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and even acceptance fill my mind at all times for Mom, Dad and my Izzi. Focus eludes me.

grief-timeline

Three days into 2016 I wrote the following on Facebook. Little did I know last year that I would need these words to get me through today:

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Wonder at the Window

2016Finally, I am posting something new. Closing out 2016 and opening the door to 2017, yes it is just another number on a calendar. Yet, society places such an importance to the date it is submitted to our subconscious as a fixed point in time. Time to move forward, put the past year behind and make new goals. My logical mind understands all this, but my emotional and instinctual minds are arguing between Fight & Flight. A strange state of mind to be sure.

fullsizerender-copy-2Walking around my home today I glimpsed for the first time in a while, all that I have. Love surrounds me. Memories of my parents through the decades of Christmas ornaments on the tree. Each one a memory of “Last Christmas.” This time of year has always been bittersweet to me – the time to put Christmas away for another 11 months. Each ornament, tenderly removed from the tree wrapped and safe, ready to be remembered again next year.

fullsizerenderTonight begins the New, a New Year, a New Life, a New Country. Let’s hope my logical mind regains control, there is a lot to face in this New Year – Mom & Dad need to be buried, Bopchie’s affairs are now my responsibility and there is my career to which I must return.  Emotions have been in control since Christmas, tonight I’ll make a toast – To New Adventures and Growing Relationships- may they both be many and merry.  Here’s to 2017!

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ain’t that just like me?

cool-text-203522098114774WWIT?! Death doesn’t Stop because the Date on the Calendar Changes! 

Time Marches Forward!

I’ve tripped in my struggle to keep in step, being trampled by my own grief. I have endured emotional, mental and physical strain. I am paralyzed as feelings of loss, emptiness and loneliness surround me.  Traumatic stress appears to dominate my existence. I fight to encapsulate the events of 2016, yet they constantly overcome me.

Papa Can you Hear Me? ~

Father Figure ~

Lazarus ~

sometimes people leave you, half way through the wood

into_the_woods_logoI had given Dad my copy of the film Into the Woods months ago and he attempted to watch it in his final days. I’m not sure how much we was awake for, but he remembered most of it and said he liked it. This musical has captivated me since it was first staged on Broadway nearly thirty years ago. As a then young theatre major, a new work by Stephen Sondheim was astonishing and intriguing.  For me it has always been a story of perspective and how we don’t fully understand our interconnectedness. The song “No One is Alone” exemplifies this leitmotif when they sing, “witches can be right, giants can be good, you decide what’s right, you decide what’s good.” This twisted tale gives us the basis for every child’s tale told while reminding us that “wishes are children” and that “children will listen” to everything we say.

deep-dark-wood1The Wood is the central character, the forest, thick and dense representing all that is Life. At home all is safe, yet one step into the wild and who knows what will happen. It is only together we can overcome the Wood and survive. “Sometimes people leave you, half way through the Wood.” I’ve lost a lot in the Wood this year, I stagger as the thickest of its foliage envelopes me deep in its darkness. It all rushes toward me as the year swiftly ends and the sun stops its decent from the sky. I long for the Light and search for it every day.

657991_1311970819114_400_300I shared a lot of experiences with my father and mother as we traveled though our woods. Now I feel trapped in torpidity and hebetude without them. With them gone I have been entrusted with a new responsibility, the care of Grandmother. I feel like “Little Red” arriving at grannies and not only is there a wolf, there is also a Bull & Bear too! Never underestimate the power of the Wood, it is always changing. It’s how we chose to navigate that Wood which defines us.