1. The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker. Very important book. Trust has to be earned and if you feel wary, listen to the feeling. I don’t know how it happened to your friend, but often women are hurt or killed because they don’t want to be untrusting, impolite or hurt someone’s feelings.
    We were given instincts for a reason, to keep us alive, so if someone sets off a warning in you, please listen to it. Unfortunately women from dysfunctional families often have to suppress those warnings because their own families set them off, so they get so numb that they can’t get the signal when some stranger who sets of warnings in most of us approaches them. It is numb not dumb that causes repeated traumatization in my opinion.
    I am really sorry about your friend.

    • As are you, Amy. I’m so glad I came to know you via DEAR BULLY, and I’m happier still that our friendship has continued to grow (ha, I almost typed ‘glow’) in its aftermath. xo

  2. (((Hugs))), Melodye.

    In keeping with your blog title, “Focusing on the positive,” and your Bible quote, I think you are wise to remember all your good memories of your friend. She would have wanted that, I’m sure.

    • Anonymous

      sweet thoughts

      Sweet thoughts you have displayed here, sweet thoughts from a heart so pure and gleaming with love from the very core of life…

      I garden for a friend, it is my job as I get paid. I told her that I will never stop gardening for her because it is where and when I can meet with God…

      I’ve learned long ago to face losses and great tragedy and only through the flowers and other things I’ve planted,… have I truly been able to find content. I take pictures of everything. I take pictures of life and what I see through the lens is usually quite different from what others see.

      Sending you love my dear friend, great love and appreciation for having found you in my life, you inspire me, remind me, provide me with the path I forget to follow during times of great change.

      • Re: sweet thoughts

        I believe God is in the garden, too. That’s why my spirit’s so uplifted when I go outside to plant, prune, and otherwise nurture my plants.

        I’m glad we have so much in common…happy, too, that our paths have converged at this point in our lives. We’ve got lots to learn from each other, I think. It’ll be fun!!!

  3. Melodye, that second rose photo is beautiful. I think it’s the first rose I’ve ever seen that I wanted to nibble on. The colors are so… tasty.

    I’m a little puzzled by the following:

    “In WISE HEART, Buddhist philosopher Jack Kornfield writes, “Pain is inevitable…suffering is not.””

    Maybe I am reading this too literally, or am missing a bigger picture… but if you don’t suffer, how can you tell that you are feeling pain? Without suffering, it seems to me, there is no pain. — PL

    • Sadly, it’s not organic. I had to spray the heck outta my roses, to rid them (at last) of black spot and rose slugs, ugh. But hey, no shadows in that photo, yay!

      I’m not so deft at explaining Buddhist principles as Jack Kornfield. And the ideas themselves (the Noble Truths) are fairly new to me. But yeah, I think you’re interpreting them more literally than he intended. I’d LOVE to have you read the book alongside me. Unless and until then, please allow me to share another passage (p. 242):

      Whether we are healers, therapists, or friends, when people come to us for help, we are first a witness to their suffering […]

      We are also witness to their pain. Buddhist psychology makes a clear distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is an unavoidable aspect of the natural world. It is physical, biological, and social, woven into our existence as night is with day, as inevitable as hard and soft, as hot and cold. Inhabiting a human body, we experience a continuous ebb and flow of pleasure and pain, gain and loss. Inhabiting our human society is the same: we encounter praise and blame, fame and disrepute, success and failure, arising and passing endlessly.

      Suffering is different from pain. Suffering is our reaction to the inevitable pain of life. Our suffering can include anxiety, depression, fear, confusion, grief, anger, hurt, addiction, jealousy, and frustration. But suffering is not only personal. Our collective suffering includes the sorrows of warfare and racism; the isolation and torture of prisoners everywhere; the unnecessary hunger, sickness,and abandonment of human beings on every continent. This individual and collective suffering, the First Noble Truth, is what we are called upon to understand and transform.

  4. Thank you for your lovely post. You are such a thoughtful, loving soul, and I am so sorry for the terrible loss of your friend.
    P.S. Kaley looks like a little Buddha. I hope she brings you peace and joy.

    • Caley is one of the most kinesthetic kitties you’ll ever know. Abyssinians are like that–very high strung…no Buddha tendencies whatsoever, lol! But oh, she makes me laugh!!

      (Thanks for the very kind words, by the way. They–you–mean a lot to me! xo)

  5. I am so, so sorry for your loss and the loss of such a wonderful person who touched so many lives. Many, many hugs.

    I am putting something in the mail for you. Hoping it arrives very soon.

    • Thanks for the sweet words of comfort. I appreciate them (and our friendship) very much.

      I’ll let you know when the Something in the Mail gets delivered. Thanks in advance!! xoxo

  6. Melodye, these are gorgeous photos and words. I’m so sorry you lost your friend in such a horrific manner. I don’t know what more to say except I’m sending love and hugs your way…….

  7. So odd that our breaths can be taken away in turns by things so beautiful and things so horrid. It’s an odd juxtaposition, but one that you shone perspective on in such a lovely way. I’m so sorry for your friend.

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