Monday, November 17, 2014


Surrender is a process. It's a deliberate choice that we make amidst that which is unpleasant to us. It's a way of survival. It's a goal that allows one's self to accept that which one is powerless over.  

Surrender isn't approval or disapproval. It's not a green light to letting go either. It's a process because it's something we have to mindfully do. We have to practice surrender. I don't think we really ever perfect it. Somewhere in the act of allowing for it to happen, we learn the lesson of it all. In the end, I think that's the point. To allow us to observe what is and to go about what needs to be done anyway.  

Therefore, surrender is an important skill that we are to procure on our way to enlightenment. Remember that. I love you.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thank You September

Yes, it's been a while.  Even this blog's Facebook page has been in the background as of late.  Here we are, three months since my last blog, starting again.  Bonus, I'm doing so during my favorite month of the year.  Having been raised in Virginia for all of my life, I'm attached to the autumns here.  It is so beautiful and majestic in the mountains as the leaves change color.  I've never been a fan of winter and this may very well be a contributing factor to why I savor October as much as I do.  Well, that and Halloween.  This girl right here loves Halloween!

It's been a rough few months.  I promise you that I'm not hiding.  Nor am I in a bad way myself personally.  Thank goodness.  To get you up to speed though, without too many useless words, here's a bullet list of life's latest speed bumps to tackle with fearlessness, grace and love.

- In July, exactly one month after my grandfather passed, one of his brother's was greeted by him when he too went home to the other side.

- In July, just after she'd received her birthday gifts, the step-daughter that I have loved as my own since she was age 7, walked away from our lives for the third and probably last time without a word from her as to why she made that choice.  This time it was to join the biological parent who neglected, abused and abandoned her.  Yep, the one we rescued her from.  My heart will always be open to her.  That's what unconditional love is.  Her path, not mine.  She will be missed at her great-grandfather's funeral this month but it is what it is, hurt people hurting other people.  Just as Tristan and I will miss her when I lay my parents to rest.  I guarantee she didn't think about his heartbreak when she made that choice to abandon us.

- In August, one of the most beautifully charismatic lead singers I've ever had the pleasure to spend time with went home as well.  He left behind a wife and talented young son who may just one day rock the stage just as his father did.  Pat was an amazing father and friend to many.  He is horribly missed.

- Also in August, on the day of the funeral for the friend above, 15 years to the day that my grandmother had surgery to save her life, my mother was in the emergency room being diagnosed with the same conditions that took my grandmother (her mom).  To. The. Day.  We lost my grandmother during that procedure in 1999 and let her go the next day.  It still takes my breath away to think about it.

- In September, my dear father, not wanting to be "haunted" by my mother from the other side (true story, he told her this and we all laugh about it), decided to join the fun with his own trip to the emergency room.  Now they're both making their final laps finishing the race of life.  Thank goodness his wife is a nurse because no matter how many times I search Google, I'm unable to find a way to clone myself to be in both places at once. Yes, another dot connected here in the picture of life for me.  Thank you Evelyn for being there for him.

- Also in September, no one I know and loved went home.  FINALLY.  A month without a funeral.  A month without a goodbye.  A month of not watching children and parents mourn.  A whole yummy month to exhale and remember what life was like before last November when we lost our Thomas.  A month that even had a tiny bit of travel somewhere new across the country for my business with one of my best friends.  Something I'd not done in far too long.

So, there you have it.  Now when I speak or write of these things, finalizing the other blogs I've been compiling through it all, it will make sense.  

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

Losing people you love can make anyone feel crazy at times.  Thinking that you may be hearing, feeling and receiving from them after they're gone, well that phenomena, it takes the feeling crazy to an entirely new level.  At first I thought it was just a survival technique to cope after Thomas passed.  A game I was playing in my head to keep the conversations going this winter.  This, despite the fact that I've already come to accept that I receive information randomly for others close to me from their loved ones.  It's never been detailed communication though.  Up to now it's been feelings, a few words or gestures.  A nudge to reach out to whomever to check in on them.  I was comfortable with it because I could explain it.

Then the oh shit, how do I explain THIS moment happened.  Well, the first one at least.  A phone call.  A lengthy conversation with the family of a friend (Whom I didn't know before the person we both knew left us).  One of the first questions asked of me was if my deceased friend had confided in me about an incident eight months earlier between himself and this family member.  No, he had not.  However, since his passing, I had received a request that I didn't really understand from him and frankly was unwilling to do for him in its entirety.  Sitting in my office having this deep conversation, I couldn't believe what was was being told to me.  This fragile and sad person, I wanted so badly to tell her what he'd asked me to do after he passed as she shared the story, but I couldn't.  I was frozen in fear and in utter and unbelieveable shock.  I wasn't losing my mind afterall.  Wow, just wow.  Eventually we ended the call and all I could do was sit in silence with teary eyes mouthing the words thank you.  Thank you my dear friend for letting me know I'm not losing it.

What was exactly that he did want from me?  He wanted me to send her flowers on a specific upcoming Holiday and write on the note that he was "sorry about last year's" (the last one between them).  I agreed to take her flowers but I told him (if he was in fact really communicating with me telepathically) that there was NO WAY I'm going there with her with the apology.  It just wasn't my place to do so and I didn't want to cross that comfort river into the unknown.  I had no knowledge of what had transpired between them just 8 months before he passed.  Yet here she was on the phone affirming the why behind his request. 

Mother's Day Sunday would come, wherein I was to take her the flowers (and withholding the message), only to find her leaving town in her new toy for a view of the ocean.  At some point I hope to find the courage to sit her down and tell her about his visits since passing.  How she will receive it isn't for me to question, I know this.  I just have to find the courage to honor his place in our lives and open that door, to let her know beyond a shadow of any doubt that he does in fact live on.  For all I know, she's reading these very words and has already placed it together that I'm speaking about them.

It was the first time since Thomas passed that I realized that maybe I really WAS getting information from Thomas and others on their side of existence.  Yes, I knew things had been moved in my home unexplainably, just as I knew of others who have this phenomenon.  Despite the same, I was in resistance to what was going on with myself.

The second incident was sitting in my car talking with a girl I barely knew after a mutual friend's funeral.  Talking about our friend, he was all of a sudden there, loud and clear, giving me cold chills in the hot sunlight, making my heart race, my stomach flip and dumping word after word into my mind for her.  I'd never had that happen before.  I trusted her enough though in that moment to just blurt it all out and not fear judgment for the same.  I left that memorial service forever shifted into a new reality of what was possible.  It's one thing to watch others proclaim to be mediums, it's an entirely different thing to have it happen in your own life.  Indeed, holy shit balls, did that just really happen to us?

Then came two separate incidents of a personality I didn't know here popping in for a dear and close friend.  Both times it happened while traveling in the car with him and both times my friend also received in how own way as well.  These two incidents also created severe physical symptoms (similar to what some would term an anxiety attack) during the exchange of information and the second happened to occur at a time when my close friend felt comfortable enough to reach out to this guy's mother.

My friend wanted to make sense of all that was pouring out of me.  Some of it he could explain on his own and affirm, the rest of it he had to deliver to her to connect the dots.  Boy did she ever connect those dots.  He was blown away.  I was blown away and it was from that point forward that I decided that I seriously wasn't losing my mental capacities.  That something else was going on and that I just needed to learn to accept it and if possible, control it.  I wasn't scared.  I wasn't anxious.  I was just kinetically overwhelmed with that person's energy. As my friend said, "he was as strong in death as he was in life."  Sure, if that's how you explain it.

Bottom line, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Next Chapter: Now What?

2014, some question if it has been a cruel joke at times.  People call and ask how exactly are you doing all of this with such love, compassion and grace?  Seriously, it's all from beyond me.  Some call it The Cosmic Forces.  Others label it Faith.  God.  Jesus.  Buddha.  Spirit.  That yummy stuff we don't really have any true evidence of other than the unexplainable.  I'm human, vulnerable and fragile at times, just like you.  I question, I get angry, and I even get depressed.

On June 6th, I sat next to my grandfather in his last stage of life, listening to his breath as he was in a slumber, talking to him as I had each time I was there by his side these last few months hoping, then accepting, and finally learning to let go.  I knew it was time.  I knew he was ready.  I felt it.  I saw it.  I heard them as well.  As they'd been for the weeks, they'd been waiting for him.  My grandmother, his parents, his siblings, his friend from the Lodge all on the other side.  They were all there in that room again. This day it was different though.  This day I told him goodbye because I knew.  This day I told him thank you again for all that he'd done, made promises I knew that would bring him peace enough to surrender, and felt his embrace one last time through spirit.  Then I went to bring my son home for the weekend and planned to be back by his side again Saturday morning.  Before dawn though he was with them; happy, free and whole again on the other side.

Towards the end it was difficult for me to be there, their energies so intense around him.  It wasn't hard to see him as he was because I knew inside that he was only there in brief moments with us. A kiss.  A hand held.  That was him in his beautiful state of being.  Of knowing.

My last lucid conversation with him had been a mere two weeks earlier in the living room.  He was asking about Knowing, about what if I'd written for it that day, and about the band I was excited to have the opportunity to write for named Exilia.  He was fascinated that they were from Italy and had been touring in the States.  It was in the last few weeks that he learned for the first time the reach that is Knowing.  He had no idea that it was read all over the world by thousands of people in 45 countries (and counting).  He was incredibly proud of his granddaughter and questioned why it wasn't a "business" generating a living for me yet.  Because that wasn't the intention that I attached to this endeavor.  Why haven't you written a book yet Nita?  All of these people that you connect with, inspire and help by sharing your own story, they need a book.  Every single day that he was with us in a clear state, he asked about it.  Going forward, that will be his legacy carrying forth through me.  Just as when I sit to pen those questions and craft that piece on Exilia it will be for him, my fellow Italian.   

My mom and her sister are now entering the next chapter of their lives. It's a bittersweet and painful journey.  Saying good-bye to those you've loved for decades upon decades, those who molded you into who you would become is so damn hard.  It's a day I dread myself.  The day that both your parents are gone from this earth.  It's part of life though.  Part of the circle.  If things play out in their natural states, we reach this chapter with a support team of those who love us and bring meaning to our lives around us.  Not all of us have this though.  Many of us are single and childless when we bury our parent(s).  My mom and aunt have it better than most in that they can find meaning to life in their remaining family members.  

What happens though to those who don't have anyone?  No significant other to hold them at night through the grief, no children, grandchildren or pets to dote on.  How do they hold on?  How do they navigate the pain to find peace in it?  I've learned that they do so through community and friendships.  I've watched a few friends find family in their Tribe and give gratitude to their role in writing the next chapter of their lives.  It has shown me that truly, the Universe will rise up to greet you exactly where you are.  You just have to be open and ready to receive.  I believe in you.  I believe in our collective consciousness.  I also know that no matter when we go home, all is as it should be, as we (on the other side when we planned this life) wanted it to be.  We all come to learn.  Trust in the story.  Trust in the next chapter.  You wrote it.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Long Winter - Resilience 101

Winter 2013-2014 may actually finally be behind us as we creep into June.  Yes Denver, I hear you disagreeing with me right now.  :)  To say it has been a doozy of a winter for myself might be a tad of an understatement.  You tell me.  Here's the recap.

1) Cousin's daughter's Cystic Fibrosis no longer responds to medication.  Sweet six year old Kaylee fights off N1H1 in January and is on the verge of a transplant list to save her life by May.  Just before Mother's Day weekend her body begins to respond again ever so slightly. We're a family holding onto hope, trying to not give thought to the unthinkables of this fatal condition. 

2) Transcending more chapters closing on the financial front and reminding me yet again that if it's meant to be that it's up to me (in February and again as of late).  Seriously, I'm almost finding these repeating circumstances comical.  I'm beyond fortunate to have a tribe of kick ass people behind me to see me through it.  No need to repeat this cycle again though.  I will never place my family's financial fate in another's hands other than my own ever again.  Repeat after me:  "If it's meant to be, it's up to me."

3)  Best friend/PT roommate when he couldn't shower or be warm at his own home thanks to "family" not being there for him as he was at his sickest died in November.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and reach out to connect again.  It's a shock to the system and a new normal that I'm still adjusting to.  Some days are okay, other days I HATE IT and feel like I can't get away from myself fast enough.

4)  My business partner and big sister from the Universe's mom's farewell to this life happened after a very long good-bye.  As long as I've known this special lady, her momma has suffered in limbo.  This would be how she and her sister's years ended.  Truly sad to see so many we call friend letting their parents go.

5)  Good friend/favorite conversationalist dies in January.  As if the first punch to the gut wasn't hard enough in November.  Ugh.  Just ugh.  Known this joker for over 20 years too, all the way back to 7th grade.  Yea, if the roller coaster ride had only let me off here.  

6)  Colleague loses her own fight to N1H1 after a long battle in three hospitals between VA and WV in January and February.  Her family lost her daddy about a year ago too.  My heart breaks everyday for her son and husband.

7)  Same month that the colleague is ill I come down with something that for the first time in 5+ years sends my medically uninsured self to a Minute Clinic.  Scared say what?

8)  Leader in my profession passes tragically in the midst of all of these other events, shaking up our little work family.

9)  Grandfather's hip gives out, he falls and has a full hip replacement at 100 1/2 years old in February.  We would later learn that the post surgery dementia and related problems would be the beginning of the "long goodbye."  As of this week, he's been accepted into the local Hospice program.  

10)  Dear sweet sister from the Universe's neighbor (and our old classmate) dies at his wife's side as she tries to save him.  The last memory his children have of him is him tucking them and telling them how much he loved them.  Another family in my heart every single day.

11)  One of my favorite doting father's on Facebook and yet another old classmate dies the morning of his 12 year old daughter's slumber party celebrating her birthday.  Two of his girls were making breakfast and tried to save his life giving him CPR.  Three more girls orphaned with only a mom now.

12)  My father's father-in-law comes to visit from the Philippines on his annual trip and ends up having emergency brain surgery for complications from an automobile accident that he was victim to months before his visit.  We hope to have him back at my dad's this week from his extended hospital stay.

There you have it, the dirty dozen.  Add to that crazy ass roller coaster ride of a winter we had with weather (and myself NOT being a winter person) and lets just say SPRING COULDN'T GET HERE FAST ENOUGH.  Here's the thing though, it hasn't really stopped. Just last week my daughter (the ex's/step-daughter) was hospitalized almost 1000 miles away for three days without any family there to be by her side and see her through it.  

It is what it is, not what I want or wish it would be and I'm rolling with it.  I have a very witty and charming friend who reminds me often of how well I am handling these things. Her occasional comments are a sweet pat on the back from those over there who know I struggle sometimes daily not to completely lose my shit.  

May is hard, really, really HARD.  It's warmer now and I'm outside more than I'm inside these days.  Days and nights working from the front porch and back deck.  Many nights as of late remembering; seeing and hearing Thomas where he once stood or sat before.  Mother's Day and its bittersweet and a beautiful day in the new normal.  May 12th was also the birthday of Thomas's mother.  I took comfort knowing that this year he didn't have to miss her from here to there, that they were together again in spirit form.  The first birthday since Dave passed is this month too.  I still have on my phone texts from both of them on these important days.  A year later and it's all topsy turvy.  Thinking about Dave's mom and brother enduring Easter and Mother's Day together missing him hit me ultra hard this year.  I made a promise to my friend after he passed that I've yet to deliver on yet but will soon regarding that situation.  Yes, May is really fucking hard.  

I know this much though now; I can do hard things. 

So many people out there I love are hurting and struggling with loss, illness and other stressors.  We are all in a season of testing and triumph for some.  Do we have what it takes to stay the course, to be resilient?  Time is the best indication of that answer.  I believe we will.  Take it or leave it, change is here to stay.  It never actually leaves you see.  You just have seasons of it tucked away on the back of the shelf getting dusty.  

As you navigate life's long winters, please remember that you're not alone in any of it. We are all connected.  We are all one.  Your pain is our pain and your joy is our joy.  This is why we must all push through the muck to persevere.  We rarely have the opportunity to go from A to B in swift fashion overnight.  Progress is a journey of successive steps.  Strive to remain present in today and this very moment.  Yesterday isn't going to fix tomorrow after all, it's today that gets the job done.  

I really want you to hear this.  YOU CAN get through the long winters of your life.  You just have to see to it that you hold on with all you've got and decide that a life well lived isn't one without heartache and tragedy.  No, a life well lived is one wherein heartache and tragedy are greeted where they reside, and left there to linger, not taking up residence in the day-to-day art of living.  

We decide.  Remember that.  I love you. 

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Owning One's Truth - The Way

Abusive personalities, it's not a subject I've touched on much here before.  At the moment however I'm feeling compelled to share some things at the urging of spirit. Thoughts inspired from conversations with friends and family that happened during the summer of 2013.

First, a little background though.

I was raised by a controlling personality, one whom I would say is abusive at times.  I watched the father I love mentally and physically abuse my mother.  She found the wisdom and courage to leave him when I was ten years old.  To this day, as many wonderful and positive things there are to be said about my father, he still wishes to control every inch of my 39 years here of living.  It's just who he is and he doesn't want to change.  With my own age and experience has come wisdom. Wisdom to see him for who he is and understanding to know that those insecurities aren't a reflection of me or any of the people in his life whom he tries to control.

I've learned so much from observing and being around controlling and abusive people in general.  I spent a few decades loving a controlling personality and at one point marrying him and saving his daughter from the depths of her mother's hell.  I settled and subjugated in this relationship.  I tried so hard to be a light in a dark world that I lost some of my own luster.  I sacrificed the unsacrificeable.  I learned what not to be and do.  In the end though I woke up.  I remembered who I was before the darkness of his world.  I left and I am better for all of it, for now knowing what I did not know then.  I learned that I don't have to repeat the past to heal it, that I can create a new direction and make different choices.

So, now that you understand my background on the subject, here is what I wanted to share.

Don't Use Each Other

I've learned that people do not have to be in relationships to "use each other."  My father tries to say otherwise, that everyone uses everyone.  No one should ever be in a relationship based on need.  Each of us should learn how to be self sufficient.  Is it easy to keep up with an acre property and modest home by myself on an income that isn't what is used to be prior to the recession and layoffs?  No.  Are those reasons to date someone, look to be in a relationship, or move someone in?  Hell no.

When I worked in domestic relations law, I saw it all too often, people married and getting divorced because everything they built the relationship on was need versus want.  They needed a roof over their head.  They needed a baby mommy or daddy.  They needed to feel secure in themselves.  They needed a checkbook to live off of.  Each couple that came together out of need didn't last because eventually one person or the other realized that the need wasn't going to be filled by the other half, that the need actually required self care and fulfillment.  Don't get me wrong though, most of them left pointing fingers at each other verses looking within to realize the problem was inside all along, that they came into the relationship based on need versus want to begin with exited based on need as well.

Don't Get Jealous

I've learned that jealousy is fruitless and that those who accuse others of misconduct are often the ones misconducting their behaviors.  When you're with someone, you either trust them or you don't.  If you can't trust them, you have zero business sharing a life with them.  Don't even think about trying to cohabitate in a home where you raise children together.  Your children after all are learning everything you're doing and not just saying.  Mommy and daddy can't really love each other in a healthy way if they're reading each other's emails and text messages behind each others backs now can they?  What does that teach your kids? It teaches them that it's okay to settle and to be with someone you don't trust.  It teaches them anxiety and how to manage bad choices too.

Start With Truth

I've learned that respect starts with truth.  If you can't share a space with someone or have a friendship that's rooted in truth, what's the point?  Does one have to be a mean or brutal with the truth?  No, you can be truthful and tactful.  You can be truthful and loving.  That's what true love is anyway, the ability to be one's self 100% honestly and openly and be appreciated and respected.

Be Respected

I've learned that anyone who would ever try and separate you from those who love you and from whom you love is simply trying to dominate a larger presence in your life.  That's not healthy either and it's simply another form of control.  Often controlling abusive personalities try to manipulate you into believing their way, urge you to question your own and do things rooted in a lack of security versus an abundance of belief.  The sooner you see those manipulations for what they are, the sooner life can get better and you can be free.

Choose You

Most of all, I've learned that in the end we make the choices.  We decide when enough is enough and we are the ones who must make the effort to turn the page.  Life is too damn short, precious and fleeting to waste time on things that aren't serving our higher good.  Cut the cord.  Live.  You may just find that all the hell was worth it in the end because it makes the here and now of making healthy choices that much sweeter.

In closing, to every woman and man I've ever loved who has had the courage to make healthy choices, I commend you.  It isn't always easy but you are proof that it can be done.  Namaste.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Really? This is the new reality?

Fair warning, this one isn't pretty at times.  Death, as it is perceived on our end of things, rarely ever is.  Hold on though for the long read for the end is as equally beautiful as the painful beginning. 

Where do I even begin?  I guess from the beginning.

Part 1:

When the news of Thomas's death was delivered, I'd just arrived home for the evening. My son was in the living room when I called my friend back from the kitchen.  I'd dropped signal on her crossing the river when she was trying to reach me just prior.  My friend by nature is a worrier and Thomas just happened to be one of the people she fretted over.  So, when she told me if I'd heard the news, my default setting was to second guess her source.  I was thinking it was just townies being townies.  Mere rumors and such.  Family told her though, not townies.  

The shock to my system left me sitting on the cold slate kitchen floor against the cabinet, dialing for affirmation from someone else, anyone else.  Reaching his friend's establishment (Soul Mountain), my hardest day of 2013 was realized.  First one friend of his got on the phone, and then his mother's friend spoke with me.  The day I had been feeling and dreading since January 1st was upon me.  The major loss had come and I HATED every fiber of the "Knowing" for ever being so.

When I say "Knowing," I'm not talking about having knowledge that Thomas himself was going to leave us.  I'm referencing the foreboding of 2013 wherein when the year kicked off I just knew that major loss in my life was getting ready to occur.  Didn't know who, why, how many losses or how, I simply just knew it was coming.  While I curse these things at times, it truly is a gentle reminder to make every moment in twenty-four hours count, to leave nothing undone.  It's a mantra that flows through my conversations with others often. 

The light known as Thomas had moved on, he'd shifted from here to there.  I'd last seen him five days prior and heard from him a mere two days before he was hospitalized and then gone.  Tuesday to Friday, just like that.  No three days will ever look the same again.  No more pain.  No more suffering.  No more living in limbo waiting.  Thomas was now free.  As much as I hated the pain of his absence, I was truly happy he wasn't here to suffer the physical and emotional pain of what he'd been going through the last couple of years.

First sunset with Thomas after the shift. Taken from his resting place.
Part 2:

When the news of Dave's death was delivered, I was already in the acceptance phase of Thomas's death.  I still wrestled with the grief Ninja at times but for the most part I was in an active place of connection with him.  Given that connection, I was operating from a place of utter awe and peace.  

I'd just began the trip into town to establish a dinner game plan at the grocery store with my son when my friend called.  As with any other call, I just put her on speaker and said hello.  She was in distress.  Immediately I started asking my son for my headset.  I can still hear the pain in her voice as she tried to ask questions about where I was, what I was doing, etc. before breaking the news.  In her own nauseating pain she was doing her best to look out for others, a trait I truly admire about that girl.  The moment she sobbed a "pull over" I wanted to disappear.  I was immediately afraid of what was next.  The affirmation was crushing and the shock intense.  We stayed together in that disbelief as I tried to listen to her share with me what I needed to know.  When my son and I finally made it to the store, I just sat in the parking lot numb.  Again.  It was happening all over again.  I'd just spoken with him Tuesday and by Friday he too had moved on.  Three damn days, just like that.

From one of my favorite places.
Part 3:

This is where things get raw.  This is where the anger comes in, step two of five in the grief process.  Consider yourself warned.  It's raw, it's real and I'm not going to sugar coat it.

Really?  This is the new fucking reality now?  First my teacher.  Now my philosopher. Both? Both!  Really?  No way!  This can't be happening.  My mind was racing.  I was crushed.  The first person I thought of speaking with about Dave leaving us was Thomas.  Hello sucker punch to the gut.  Nope, can't do that anymore.  Well, at least not via traditional means.  Well, that just went from sucks to double sucks in record time. 

Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

Then I remembered.  
Then I breathed. 

As I mentioned in a prior blog, Thomas had been around in spirit already.  He is simply an acknowledgment away.  In fact, Thomas had been with me very heavily from Thursday evening through the news of Dave's passing.  He continued to stay around until such time as our friend sweet friend arrived later to be with me.  In the horror of moving to acceptance of what had happened with Dave, Thomas's presence 
was a strong reminder to be still and listen to what I already "knew."  They may be gone physically but no, they're not really gone.

Stop.  Breathe.  Listen.

Technically David Trefry should say Facebook User or not show at all.  That happens when you leave Facebook.  Dave had left Facebook.  Yet when I opened my "Hayfield Days" list of friends on Facebook, there he was, front and center.  Classic  Dave move right there!  Look at me!  Here I am!  Peace everyone, I'm okay.  This was from the weekend of who do I call next notifications.  I knew no one would understand when I tried to explain it later so I took a photo of it. 
Part 4:

I'm telling you what, your friends and your family, if they are good and true, they'll see you through anything in life.  Anything at all.  When you need them the most, as in times such as this, you also learn who is tried and true versus who isn't.  Oh the irony is not lost, believe me.  I saw the picture of what came to pass after.  It was pretty clear regarding what to do, who mattered and who didn't.  I thank them for that parting gift as much as I thank my friends and family for being there for me these last few months.

After hours drum circle to honor Thomas at Soul Mountain
I know that many are used to looking to me for strength and direction with this blog and our conversations.  Here's the thing though, I know I've never had all of the answers.  I don't trot through this life without struggles.  I love.  I hate.  I've created joy and I've created pain.  I'm human just like you.  All that comes to this page comes through me.  As Dave would say, "you are a vessel."   

With death, I'm different than most.  I don't fear it.  I get that it's a part of life.  Honestly, the most important part of life in my opinion.  It's then that we get to connect all of the dots.  I accept that my guys, that they're truly here nor there.  They are everywhere.  I feel them.  I receive from them.  Both are free and happy to be where they are.

One of Thomas's favorite teachers.  A quote he sent me one day.  He was always sharing what he was learning as it was happening in real time.  He was always pouring himself into others.
Despite all of that though, I sit here much like anyone else going through such pain.  I have wrestled with the disbelief that this is it.  That all I have from this moment going forward are the intangible blessings of their friendships.  Every cherished conversation, every moment spent hanging out.  The songs listened to, discussed and sometimes even sang.  Memories, they are what sustain us.

Dave out enjoying life in 2012 with Deri :) Thanks love for the pic!
I get to take forward all that these two ever poured into me and taught me about life.  The things you learn through both observing theirs and living your own.  Each of them had a story, a mission, and a determination to figure life out.  In the end, both have.  They're both doing exactly what they wanted to do, acquiring the great knowledge of the Universe.  They now have all the answers in which they seek.  Here though, their smiles, laughter and warmth are missed and cherished.  Yes, I see them in photographs and there are videos out there too.  It's not the same though.  It's not supposed to be I guess.  It never will be.

I had the privilege of getting to know both of them at a level that in the end made pouring into others as we grieve automatic.  They'd both given me so much of themselves, I just couldn't leave their work undone.  Their legacies live on through the words that were spoken and that still continue to be delivered.  I truly don't know or understand where the quiet strength comes from to muster on and be a light when you're crumbling inside, but it does. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way though and neither would they.  There is no time to wallow and be depressed (another stage in the grief process).  I see the big picture for what it is.  I accept what is before me and I am remaining open to the path and their continued part in it. 

October 2011 Cure Fest ~ Deri's Nephew & Dave "Her Boys"
As for that sneaky grief Ninja, I've watched so many people I love battle it.  That too has prepared me for this struggle.  I now must actually impart that shared knowledge to myself. I've long said acceptance is the first key to anything.  If I can't accept what is, I'm at a loss for what I'm going to do about it.  Fact is, the void in my life left by Thomas is the size of the Grand Canyon.  Dave being gone too just added to its vastness.   

Honestly, I have no idea what I'm going to do with all the empty spaces inside my soul that they once filled.  I know I have to keep living.  Keep breathing.  Keep doing the work and traveling the path.  As for the rest of it, not a clue.  I'm just doing my best to be present in the day at hand and make the most of it.

Meanwhile as we all process, those two jokers are having the best conversations ever and I need to be happy for them.  Happy.  Try instead a little annoyed and a whole lot of jealous for I always tried to get them together for that very reason.  I shared so much knowledge from Thomas with Dave.  As I've mentioned prior, the last book Thomas and I were excited about ended up finding its way to Dave eventually.  

I did not know at the time that it was about both of them all along.  Now more than ever I can read the writing on the wall.  After all, it found us on Dave's last birthday and I didn't even notice the purchase date until the day of Dave's funeral.  Thomas and I had already been reading and working with other channeled entities by way of Orin and DaBen, so there was nothing random about it happening the way it did.  It was meant to find us just as it was meant to find Hicks.  

You see, I'd been reading a book by Abraham-Hicks and decided that very day at 3/4 of the way through it that I'd start it over again.  Doing so allowed me to see and highlight something I'd not absorbed before.  A reference to a book called Seth Speaks.  Later that day I felt the "pull" to visit my favorite local used book/dvd store while in the midst of something completely not related.  Typically doing so nets some stellar find.  I made the time and went.  I immediately found a Silva Method book on the porch in the 25 cent section.  Score!  I thought that was it.  I went inside though and looked where I normally do.  Then I did something I never do.  I started going through a box of books that was on the floor. Books that hadn't been put on the shelf yet.  New arrival books.  Books I honestly never bother to dig through.  As soon as I moved the top book, there it was, staring at me with a big neon light around it.  HERE I AM! I think I even let out an audible squeal of joy.  

The day the book found its way home.
Uh huh, Dave's last birthday.

So, I'm going to do my best to work through this.  Eventually I will transcend this new reality into acceptance 100% of the time.  In the interim, I'm trusting that both of my guys are making sure the new people who walk into my life to fill the empty places are gems.  Whoever it is, I'll be grateful.  If they're anything nearly as spectacular as my guys, the path ahead will be just as remarkable as the years each of them graced me with.  One thing I understand for certain, the new reality, it's always changing.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.  


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Meanwhile, a Sweet Angel Needs Us

While in the midst of processing Dave's funeral services my 39th birthday weekend/father's 80th birthday weekend, I was also processing the declining health of my cousin Amy's daughter Kaylee.  Her short six years here with us have been a neverending struggle as a Stage 4 warrior of Cystic Fibrosis.  Amy is the granddaughter of the Lucille and Clifford Long, brother of the woman who helped to raise my dad, Elsie Hinson.  Clifford and my dad grew up together in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina.  I was born when my parents took a last minute trip in my mom's pregnancy to Cerro Gordo to visit relatives.  I came two months early and was born in Whiteville. Today I hear there's some piece of writing my mom did in calligraphy still on the walls of the maternity ward at their new facility.  I'm sad to say I haven't seen it though.  It's on my list for my next extended visit.

Amy Long was one of my best friends growing up.  I so looked forward to visits to the farm to hang out with her, Erin Fowler and Angie Norris.  We'd run dirt roads in bare feet on hot summer days, shuck corn on the side porch, drive "momma's car" up and down the dirt road when older between residences to fetch each other or things our older relatives needed.  We'd bunker down during storms in the unused room in Elsie's house that no one ever went in that had the organ in it, tell stories and laugh until we hurt.  We'd walk to Mary's store for treats whenever the weather was right.  When I started driving, we'd make loops through Whiteville cruising when I would visit and shop at the Family Dollar in Chadburn (I think it was Family Dollar).

Amy (Robin behind her) on the family property.  I was always taking photos.
Amy was always a tough girl. She weathered life's storms and her childhood.  When "momma" passed, she mourned Lucille as if she'd been her momma because their bond was that strong.  To this day she still aches for her.  Amy herself became a mom early on in life with Brooke and then expanded her family close to a decade later when Kaylee joined them.  From day one Kaylee had obstacles with her health but Amy never complained or asked anyone for anything.  She just soldiered on as she always has.

I'd been married and divorced, had my own family, moved a few times to a few states.  I had not seen her for over 15 years when we finally visited briefly in September of 2012 after a house fire wherein they'd lost everything, including the family dog.  Gratefully, they weren't home for that.  I always wish to be there with them, to see their kids growing up, to make dinner and just be grown ups around each other. They are my family and life hasn't been the same without them in the years I have been away from visiting.

Fast forward to this winter and Kaylee's health began to deteriorate.  Thanks to social media I'd been able to keep up with my family down there in a way that was time conducive to Amy who rarely has a moment to herself these days. The new year started out very scary for them.  Hospitalized with 30% lung function and N1H1 was horrific for Kaylee.  As it stands right now, Kaylee's medications are causing allergies, she's not getting results from them and her lung function is not improving. Her doctors aren't pleased and they're concerned.  That in and of itself is enough to scare any parent.  No wonder they're both "out of brave."  In fact, it was the brave dialogue that made me ill to my stomach wanting to do more for them.

Again, my cousin asks for nothing. Her only quests in life are to be successful, to provide for her children, to have them with her healthy and whole, and to be a good mom and nurse.  She's a simple soul.  She knows what matters and what's important.  Kaylee's dad helps to support his family and thanks to him, they haven't lost everything yet.  Yet is the hard word to accept.  Amy can't work when she's caring for Kaylee.  They're not together and he works out of the area as most do in Columbus County.  That's just how it is in that area of the country for employment.  Many leave those they love to be able to care for them and provide basic needs.  Darrell is doing his best to try and make sure Amy doesn't lose everything, more than he's required to do for Kaylee as well.  Amy's income alone dropped 75% from 2012 to 2013 just because Kaylee was sick.  Yet they all carry on and you'd never know they've endured so much by just looking at them.

Kaylee & Momma
Amy, when Kaylee is healthy, works full-time in Urgent Care and goes to school to further her medical education.  She's never stagnate.  When Kaylee isn't well, she doesn't have a moment to breathe sometimes. Most days are run around trying to work, medical appointments, school and parenting.  She does as we all do, she goes forth into the world, smiles and pushes on for her family.  Amy doesn't put herself out there and she doesn't talk about her problems unless you ask or you're family that she's comfortable with.  Amy is one of the sweetest and most hard working people I know.  If I myself had full-time income right now, I'd be down there at least one weekend a month just being around to spread sunshine and do for them.  Go to the store, sit with them, make them laugh, give them good memories together, let her rest, etc.

January 2011, a prior hard winter in the hospital
I'm not though and because of that, when my heart dropped reading those words about bravery, I knew I had to do something.  ANYTHING.  I reached out online to my own family and friends on my private Facebook.  I asked Amy if I could go public with what was going on though, if I could seek information about survivors, what worked for them, what's working in care for pediatrics, who can help be a light, lighten the load, etc.  She was open to every person who wants to bless them.  A prayer.  A kind word.  A sweet gesture.  A survivor story.  A reminder to be hopeful.  A blessing.  Whatever God puts on a persons heart you know, just as it was put on my heart to have her cloaked in love not facing this alone.

January 10, 2014 being admitted to isolation and pushing through
So, I did what I knew how to do.  I created a Facebook community page to encourage them and surround them in love.  In a week, 800 beautiful souls have joined as one to do this work of Healing for Kaylee Meares. I'm in utter awe and have fallen in love all over again with my hometown.  Fire departments, sheriff's office personnel, moms, dads, pastors, medical personnel, realtors, and the like have come together to carry them through and Kaylee reads every word of it.  This sweet, sweet angel wanted to know all of their names so that she could pray for them too.  Amy, you've done good girl.  So, so good.

Brooke & Kaylee
Brooke is an amazing sister too.  She's your normal teenage girl with a tough upbringing.  She's been taking on as much as she can to help and be a light to her mom when she's not stressing about the situation with her sister and trying to remember to be a teenager with her friends.  She goes out and has a good time but by no means is her life easy.  She worries for her mom, something no teenager needs to do.  Teen girl life is hard enough.  She tries to never complain.  Indeed Amy, you've done really well girl with them both.

Brooke & Kaylee
This Valentine's Day, think of them and send them some love.  If you want to join her community on Facebook, follow the links herein.  One can never have too much love to see them through.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Following One's Way - The Philosopher

Image courtesy of Joy Lorien, taken on Skyline Drive (Dave loved the beauty of it.)
"I am a guy who has spent his whole life trying to understand why I am here and what it is I am supposed to do.  I love to have philosophical dialogue and to laugh.  I have had difficulties with all sorts of things but expressing myself through the English language is not one of them.  I also love to tell Stories.
 Therefore, I am a writer." 
- Socrates H. Dillinger 

The first time I saw David Trefry aka "Socrates H. Dillinger," he was on a skateboard in a cul de sac in Newington Forest hanging out with his tribe of brothers.  Friendships that span over 35 years today.  I'd recently moved to Lorton with my mom into the neighboring subdivision. Between my community and his there were woods and bike trails connecting them.  While we attended separate elementary schools, we did attend the same middle school through graduation.  At Hayfield Secondary he graduated in 1992, a year ahead of my class.  The class of 1992 was extremely close for 300+ graduating students.  To this day, they each continue to be instrumental in each others lives in the same circles that they traveled during their high school years.  Their experiences have netted some beautiful life long relationships.  

Dave, #27 (his birthday), he was so adamant to have that number, bottom right
As we both entered high school, the only thing that connected us was our overlapping circle of friends. As adults we enjoyed our shared memories of the self built skate ramps off the wooded trails, summer days and nights at a place called Big Rock, and the late summer nights roaming the neighborhoods from one's friend home to another.  

"The Universe" aka "The
Deri & Dave
Universal," as Tref loved to call it, had been good to him there. Growing up in Newington was a pretty idyllic childhood for suburban America.  I'm grateful to have called it home (thanks Mom!).  Our communities were made for families and rambunctious groups of kids.  We had acres of woods and trails to explore, playgrounds, and miles of sidewalks and pavement to ride on.  Certain kids (wink, wink) were even known to scale Newington Forest Elementary School's roof and flagpole.  Doing those and many other things that now as parents we turn green just thinking about our own kids doing.  Oh yes, the many adventures of the Newington Knights of the Forest.

Tref and his tribe on the metro, 4th of July, 1990. 
Tref grew up inciting many a laugh with his friends, most of which will gather to celebrate his life this week. The stories I have heard over the years from them (and himself) are told with such large smiles, belly laughs and happy voices.  How great it is to be able to say that you shared that part of your life with him. While he has left us here to continue our work, we at least know he's in good company with a fellow Hawk who passed just over a year ago. They were able to reconnect and catch up with each other for a time before she left us.  They enjoyed their memories of being each other's first loves.  When he attended Rebekah's funeral, he told me that he was going to smile because it's what she would want him to do.  Are you listening my fellow Hawks?  In the pain of losing him, we too have to follow his lead and smile.  It is what he would want us to do.

Strayer, Tref, Scott & Bryce

As for the the post high-school Tref, he weaved in and out of my life through the years.  We'd run into each other at local haunts such as Bennigan's as well as at various friend's home, and at concerts and festivals.  Ah yes, to be in one's early twenties again.  We were all so lucky to be in the DC area at that time.  Music was as large a passion for him as writing. He could talk forever and a day about both subjects and never have the same discussion twice.  It's part of what was so beautiful about him, the way his mind worked and the words formulated.  It was actually our shared loved of words that would eventually be the foundation of our friendship.

Facebook and my own prior writing here opened a dialogue for us to connect at a different level and to share our collective ideas about consciousness, life and being.  Anyone who knew Tref has shared in a philosophical conversation with him.  It's just who he was, absorbing as much information as he could about life, evolution of self and being.  Then his neverending quest was to try and quantify it all as quickly as time would allow.  He was always one for getting to the heart and truth of things NOW.  There simply was no time to waste. 
Anyone who is artistic in their expressions understands that we aren't necessarily the easiest people to ascertain at times.  We are passionate and deeply committed to that which we are called to express.  So much so that we can be rather intense people at times.   That wasn't the case though with Tref.  He had no problem articulating what he was thinking, feeling and experiencing.  He loved sharing all of it with anyone who could keep up to his evolving thoughts.  

Once he joined Facebook (and later left), our conversations never really ceased.  There was always something to mull over, discuss and share from the tempo of life.  Add to those conversations our shared love of music, and well, our friendship was a gift these last three years.  When he wanted to start blogging, I shared everything I knew from my own learning curve.  When I was excited about something that flowed through me via written channeling, he was always there to give feedback and discussion on it.  When writers block struck, he'd reach out for resolutionary tips.  When I was rebuilding my life and creating a new existence, he was always there with an encouraging or kind word reminding me of who he saw.  In essence, he was a part of my healing and I will always be grateful for that.

Best of all, he always shared truth. The truth was of the utmost importance to him.  He said, "I am not one for shallow, superficial talk.  I see only to get to the actual nature of things.  TRUTH. The problem is that, once you break through the illusion, there is no going back."   What in the end became of our friendship was a beautiful exchange of knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and TRUTH.  It is as if we were both teaching each other as we went along.  The lessons were priceless.

Tref had a wonderful way of reminding you who you really were, of making sure you understood just how special your place in this world was.  He said, "We are all beautiful, we just have to believe it."  He loved every single person who touched his life.  He never lacked gratitude for the knowledge that was given to him from The Universe either.  Even as he struggled with his health this summer and upcoming operation this winter, he saw himself as one of "God's Warriors."  He did his best to stay positive given the same and continued to try and be a part of Knowing simply by being a conduit of information to me when he could.

In fact, the last book recommendation from me to him by way of Inspired Thought was on the topic of the soul, of our eternal validity. This was just before his surgery.  Tref never stopped looking for why he was here and what he was supposed to do.  I believe I know why he was here and I hope that those of you who knew and loved him would agree.  He was here to make us laugh and to make us think. He was here to give us the memories we hold near and dear.  He was here to share the truths (Universal Knowledge) he was awakened to and he was here to remind us of why every single precious moment counts. Thank you Tref.  I'm still listening my friend.  We love you.

Bill (brother), Patricia (mom), and Dave
"A friend is a second self." 
- Aristotle 

Copyright ©2014 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.