Friday, December 18, 2015

Grace in White Balloons

Today, the last session of Grief Share
what an amazing and giving group of people
releasing white balloons with a prayer
for me, the balloon read
Rick, Tad, John, Julie and Jim
floating with small gusts of wind
some of the balloons soared
others floated near us as if hovering
unsure if we were really ready to let go

It is in the letting go
we find we can coexist better
with joy and sadness
storing memories of them
in secret places
hiding them until we need to be reminded
that Love never disappears like the balloons
it hovers, lingering
until the wind caresses us with gentle grace
we can allow a little peace into our hearts and minds
Love will never be vanquished

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mind Full

Waking dreams
finding myself in a frantic search for Moses
he is confused as I look for him 
and he is right beside me on the bed
sleep eludes me these past few weeks
I feel so tightly wound
like I am going to unravel at any moment
and then I do
I feel like a hurricane is passing through me
and I am also the hurricane
tears as salty as the ocean
stain my hands and face
like little scars
until all I feel I am made up of is the scars themselves
The naked truth is
this does not get easier
courage is labeled like an empty bottle
and strength, like sleeping
is part of the waking dream cycle
Once said in a song
am i falling to pieces
it is hard to imagine that the pieces
are falling into place

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I dream of love letters
words spoken
and unspoken
bliss, love and gratitude
all wrapped into one lovely place
in grace
I write the letters in my dreams
paint them on my canvases
find hidden rooms
to store that love
so on the days I feel empty
I can unlock one of those rooms
allow that golden sun to still shine through
sweeping the cobwebs from my heart and mind
remembering to live in the moment
He was my teacher
I was not ready at the time to understand his message
I am willing to learn about it now
I think that might be the meaning of grace

Friday, October 2, 2015

Raining Tears

Today, while the rains fall heavily
I feel like they are just a reflection
of all the tears I have not shed yet
In my Grief Support Group
I sit beside a woman
really, she is a Viking
a giant, gentle woman from Iceland
her tears move me
and each time she hugs me
in a gentle bear hug
it is an unspoken assurance
that somehow we understand one another
I am grateful for kind people
my new friends from our Turtle nests
those that hugged me without question
when I cried at Nest #30
while 21 babies made it on the rough seas
it gives me hope
that I too can make it on rough seas
maybe even help someone else
who is on a similar journey
I hope for a day when my puzzle pieces
will somehow fit into a pattern I can recognize
all those scars healing

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New One of Kind pieces

Making some new One of a Kind pieces!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fairy Moon

There is suffering in this world
seeking out some joyful corners
where a little light seeps through
last night while sitting the turtle next #30
a gorgeous rainbow encircled the moon
someone in a folded chair
claiming :"It's a Fairy Moon"
it was light enough that it seemed like daylight
no baby turtles yet
this nest, so so close to where Rick Page
tried to help a sea soaked beaver
it is hard for me to go there
and yet it is healing
to see a Fairy Moon
among friends and the crashing of the waves
stars glimmering between the clouds
I push my heavy heart
lifting it to that rainbow around the moon
blow a kiss to the one I love most
I feel a small piece of him return to my heavy heart
Godspeed to those who have loved and lost
we are truly the fortunate ones

Friday, September 11, 2015

God Winks

I got two God Winks yesterday
I taught my pottery class
and the jewelry instructor
left me a glorious silver and gold pin
a turtle
a generous thank you for when I helped
set up her studio
on my way home
my thoughts were for a walk with the dogs
on Ocean Isle Beach
It was windy
the ocean an aggressive green with white caps
I always walk North
avoiding the South walk where Rick Page
stood in the water trying to help a beaver
I surprised myself
walking South and discovered Turtle Nest #30
this will be the last nest of the season
the one I will be watching with the Nest Parents
I looked at the street address
sat in the sand at the foamy waters edge
Moses lay down quietly, Emmie Lou too
Indigo obliviously following a gull into the waves

where we were yesterday
was where I once sat December 28, 2014
The God Wink lies in the turtles
a gift of a silver turtle
and my last nest
where Rick laid his heart to rest
things coming in circles
and not just the tide

Sunday, September 6, 2015


I watch the tide going out
waters becoming more murky
and slowly the clarity is gone
today, this feels like my heart
friends and family rally to support me
it is a challenge on some days
to push forward into these waters
questioning what it is like to pretend
like I am living
I am glad he stole this heart of mine
he pushed in his gentle way
until he was exactly what I needed
I think I see him reflected in the waters
touching the surface again
causes ripples
a small school of transparent fish
scuttle past me
I can see them and see through them
My red paddle board glides on the water
closing my eyes, I hug my knees
breathe deeply and rock gently on the tide

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wild Horses

Finally got to make something of my own while working on other orders!  Feels good to be creative like this again!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Breath of Life

My family is here
I have waited almost 8 months
to see them, feel them and know they are within arms reach
today, Cyn on a paddle board and me in Rick's last birthday gift
a sea kayak, paddled and played in a pod of 5 dolphins
and finally, a sea turtle showed its shy self for a moment
"Dolphin" means "breath of life"
some days, I feel I don't have it in me to even take a good breath
today, though, tears streamed my face
salt water to salt water
as I could feel so strongly, his joy, his amazement
and most of all his wonder at the silver grey
of the dolphins
we were far out on the ocean line
and a yellow butterfly appeared out of nowhere
so I knew, as did Cynthia that both Rick and Julie were
with us
giving us the gift of sheer joy
in that moment
I felt connected to everything and anything
and it was like God touching me softly
a reassurance that it is okay to still breathe

Saturday, August 22, 2015


  • News Feed

    I feel as though I am shedding my skin
    like a snake does
    slowly but surely changing
    feeling tired and lethargic while the transformation is happening
    loading all of Rick's remote airplane equipment today
    I know he held each one tenderly at some point
    like he did me
    my family is here and they can only partly comprehend
    it is stressful, joyful and sorrowful all in day
    a roller coaster ride I would not wish upon anyone
    floating in the ocean
    imagining him holding me in the warmth of the waters
    I don't want to get out
    my soul yearns to hold onto the peaceful calm of the waters
    his voice inside me telling me it will always be okay
    I hold my faith in my broken heart
    small pieces crumbling away as I give parts of him away
    In less than 8 months, I have given up all that was closest to my heart
    there must be a reason
    I try not to question the motivation
    sometimes if feels impossible
    not to wonder why or think what have I done to deserve this?
    Is it a punishment or redemption?
    For now, i try every moment not to question why
    I search for answers of how I will make it through

    Thursday, August 20, 2015


    Today my niece and great niece
    sat under the dark green leaves
    of my giant magnolia tree
    swinging softly on a half rotten swing
    Noah, who is three pointed to my house
    "her house looks like a garage"
    he proclaimed
    and B suggested a mural above my house entrance
    thinking of the joy and love Rick Page and I put into our work
    I agree a mural or sign is a great idea
    My teal green bear riding on the back of a great blue heron
    stars dangling from the reins
    and since the name Waking Bear Studio
    actually means "Awakening of the unconscious"
    it finally feels appropriate after a year
    to find myself waking from this stupor
    a kiss from the three year old seals the deal
    so a mural it shall be
    a few shooting stars to add a little magic
    and stardust where it is needed on so many days


  • What's on your mind?
    1. News Feed

      Just when I think the pain of 18 years has lessened
      it crops up among tears and hugs
      and boundless love
      a bridge that is always there
      between me and my family
      Rick Page had assured me countless times
      to never let go
      never give up hope
      and above all remember to let your love shine through
      so I hold my heart out
      eyes half closed
      half fearful of rejection
      and then Noah sits on my lap
      points to Fiddler crabs
      and it is all okay again
      I hug Alex close
      like hugging a giant tree
      feeling his warmth and love flow through us
      like water for water
      tomorrow dogs in tow
      we will paddle board and kayak
      splash water
      tell scary shark stories
      and feel the currents that twist and turn us all
      in the end though
      we will make it safely back to shore
      stronger and more assured than ever before

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    Milky Way

      News Feed

      At yoga today
      Lori said, live each day like you are dying
      I found myself in tears
      hot salt running down my face
      as my partner was helping me to stretch
      and maybe that is the point
      I need to stretch and grow
      finally beginning to glimpse what Rick Page
      so simply said
      "Be happy"
      finding myself looking at an angel drawing
      a first grader did for me months ago
      with big green letters: BE HAPPY
      Tonight, my great nieces and great nephew
      hunting ghost crabs
      under the gorgeous gaze of the Milky Way glow
      Noah, a bold three year old
      holding a flashlight
      excited to see a ghost crab the size of a half penny
      My eyes, just catching that quick movement
      his excitement at finding something on his own
      he holds my hand
      his striped shorts wet from warm waters lapping at his short legs
      the four of us head back to the ocean cottage
      Julianna, his oldest sister lifts him over a chair
      his proud cry" I am just a little man"
      and he is so much more than even me
      innocent, kind and above all
      living each moment
      with breathless anticipation and joy
      we reach together to touch the milky way sky
      his warm hand in mine
      and for a moment I feel love flow through us
      I am grateful and feel a pang of joy
      It will be a good two weeks rediscovering
      self and others

    Friday, August 14, 2015

    Turtle Night

    Only for tonight
    I will share with you
    a magical night on the beach
    water changing from hues of green and blue
    people waiting in chairs
    anticipating that the drop in the sand
    of a turtle nest we are watching
    means life hovers below
    as the night darkens
    we are enthralled with the meteor showers
    and then a sudden change in the nest
    Viki likes to say the sand gets fluffy
    and a sandy turtle head appears
    waits, while we hold our breaths
    then the boil of flippers, fins, heads and shells
    66 in all
    with red lights we guide them
    down the man made trench
    capturing this swarming mass in a sand encrusted cooler
    it is too far to the white capped waves
    we release tangled bodies into water
    so warm it feels like a tepid bath
    one lone turtle still in the cooler'
    I check and with gloved hand
    release him into a shallow water
    it is a breathtaking birth
    we observer and help where we can
    I see a trail of a meteor
    green glow and I know Rick Page
    sees and knows it all
    he sends another shooting star
    the turtle boil is over
    we drive home wondering at the wideness of our world
    and how such a life giving moment
    helps us treasure every breath we take

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015


    It is a year of firsts
    first hour without him
    falling asleep while touching his pillow
    first time the phone rang
    and I could only wish it was him
    first meltdown
    one day, months later
    laughing over something ridiculous
    a foreign sound that startles me
    first birthday without him
    small tasks completed
    he can only watch and praise
    in his silence
    there are too many firsts to count
    I have watered our property
    with salty tears
    I say out loud
    thank you for all your gifts, your life and love
    and I remember the first time he
    told me he loved me
    and there were tears of joy then
    how different tears can be
    I hold these memories
    relive the joyful moments
    and that is a first too

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015

    Guide Me

    Feeling good is a day to day struggle
    sometimes I am grateful for a good moment
    I cling to these times and hope
    the light will still guide me
    When I am working
    and painting or cutting sculptures
    I feel like he is just around the corner
    watching me, encouraging me and sometimes
    telling me to slow down
    take a breath and to be above all
    alive, creating and still here
    It does not get easier
    some days it is sheer will power
    and strength that gets me through
    I have faith we are still one
    in many ways
    I still feel amazed at having been so loved completely
    today I silently thanked him for his invisible guide
    and love

    Sunday, August 9, 2015


    And one day
    the very worn and tired looking Velveteen Rabbit
    became real
    changed into another form
    well loved from the beginning
    and remembered for all the times he gave comfort and encouragement
    Melissa Kanaskie Cullin told me
    just think he is in the other room
    you can still talk to him
    hear what he would normally reply
    collect those memories
    store them in a beautiful box in your mind
    and when you feel sad
    open the box and let a memory float peacefully to your heart
    the box will never be empty
    and neither will I

    Tuesday, August 4, 2015

    Waning Moon

    I look at a sky full of stars 
    or are the stars full of sky
    i wonder at the glow of colors
    painting in my mind
    stars of Vincent Van Gogh
    Today a small package arrived
    inside a silver necklace
    with a single feather
    the sender not knowing what this would mean for me
    a sign from Rick Page?
    He follows gently in my footprints in the sand
    holds my gloved hand
    while I gently turn over a baby loggerhead turtle
    he feels my wonder at this birth
    and then the death of a star
    racing across the sky
    in a blaze of gold and green
    I hold my breath
    make a wish and then turn it back in my mind
    because wishing will not make it so
    instead, I whisper a quiet blessing
    for the journey of the turtle
    star lit waters baptizing each baby
    I wash the sand from my feet
    close my eyes and feel him surrounding me
    in the light of a waning moon

    Saturday, August 1, 2015

    White Heron

    Two golden days in a row
    a morning paddle in the salt marsh
    white herons standing on pencil thin black legs
    bright yellow beaks against their snowy feathers
    flying in silence as we float past
    sitting on the board
    my eyes close in the morning sun
    the quietness stilling my heart
    at home I work on a turtle table
    zen doodling all afternoon
    time passing so quickly
    and I realize I have made it a good day
    I am thankful for my work
    being a turtle nest parent tonight
    North Carolina has called me home

    Friday, July 31, 2015


    By the light of a blue moon
    water rising in tides of blues and grays
    white caps on the waves
    and a turtle nest showing signs of life
    at first only one tiny flipper emerging from the sand
    we wait nearly 2 hours and it waves at us
    then another head emerges
    sand in his eyes like a sleepy child
    and then the moment we had waited for
    flippers, legs, heads and a sudden surge
    48 sibling loggerhead babies
    boiling to the surface
    headed down our man made trench
    we named it the great wall of Ocean Isle Beach
    their tiny tracks and glistening shells
    hurry, hurry hear the ocean calling them home

    Friday, July 24, 2015


    My neighbor Ella
    nicknamed "Monk"
    let me send her a text the other day
    Girl, she says, are you okay?
    You seem like your going a little crazy
    I asked her
    Can you fix me?
    Well, she said
    I can certainly fix your hair
    So I sat down in her kitchen
    while she got out her cutting scissors
    highly decorated in a Zebra pattern
    She teaches cosmetology at Cape Fear College
    Boy, she says, I been dying to cut your hair
    You sit yourself down and let's see what I can fix
    I asked her, how do you fix yourself when you feel so bad inside
    she thinks for a moment
    Well, I mostly sits myself down and watches movies
    on Netflix til that bad feeling go away
    I tell her, I think I might need about a week of constant TV
    She says, you got your work honey
    making and creating
    Take those memories, turn them into something real pretty
    You'll feel better if you do
    There she says with a grin
    I just took 10 years off and you look cute
    To my surprise, she has taken most of my hair off
    I feel a little like a pixie
    and I do feel better
    She says, reach out to others
    help where you can
    Life will get better
    and remember I bet this is the first time you EVER
    got your hairs cut by a black woman
    I laugh and say, that is the truth
    Closing the door to her house
    I may have just made a friend

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Vincent Van Gogh

    Pretty soon
    another star will either shine like no other
    or fade until we forget it existed at all
    which star would you be?
    the one we see constantly and recognize
    for its brightness in the sky
    or the one we wish we had noticed more
    because suddenly it is no longer apparent in the sky
    do we remember it for its color and brilliance
    or just the fact that we miss it for not being there anymore?
    My star I hold in my secret place in my heart
    he shines with a strong flame
    without his light, I might be lost and floundering
    his heart, although not physically strong
    has a light and power that nothing can put out
    I have daily reminders that he is with me
    and also with his children
    subtle ways to show his spirit is strong
    guiding us when we might feel misdirected
    I am grateful when he points out the obvious
    and even more so when he sends me on a treasure hunt
    to discover I knew how to do it all along
    I miss you with all my heart and soul
    Love, such a difficult word to encompass
    although words are not enough
    Acceptance for our human frailties covers most of it