Life is Short, Buy The Shoes

It’s the first day of spring, and my Mom beckons me to visit her in ‘The Gardens’ where she peacefully rests. I enter the driveway under the shade of the huge cedar tree, until the warming spring sun meets me, and I circle around beside the lake, and pass by the Chinese pagoda on the right, and the chapel on the left.

I arrive at The Garden of The Good Shepherd, with a statue of a shepherd in the center, his eyes watching over my Mom’s headstone. The only sound comes from two enormous Canada geese who are sipping water running from a hose on the path nearby.

There are more flowers in ‘The Gardens’ than the golf course and all the big lawns of the houses beside it combined, and the blooms are ablaze in pots and bouquets and wreaths in every shade of cheerful red, yellow and orange, creating a peaceful and beautiful spot.

life infusing flowers

Flowers are life infusing

Words matter, and I prefer the euphemism ‘garden’ over cemetery. Gardens are grown, cultivated and nurtured, while cemeteries are maintained.

I do not feel grief, but I feel nature rejuvenating my senses, and infusing me with life honoring energy.

A small miracle occurs each time I visit. On one occasion, my sister felt as if someone was watching us, and there was a beautiful coyote standing as still as a statue, staring at us from the distance. Another time, my brother said it seemed as if all the song birds in the area had gathered to sing for us.

On my first visit after Mom died, I drove out the exit and traffic was stopped. Then a mother duck jumped off the curb, and trailed three wee ducklings behind her across the street, in front of my car. The ducklings were so tiny, they made a few attempts before getting up the curb on the other side. What symbolism! Three of us had helped Mom a lot around the time of her passing, and it might sound weird, but this felt like she was giving a little gift to us.

I place a pot of pink flowers into the holder on her headstone, and sweep debris off her stone with my hand, and remember a verse from her favorite song, Danny Boy, that she used to sing to me:

And I shall hear, though soft, your tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I will sleep in peace until you come to me.

Visiting here helps me cherish the gift of life.

I think about the frivolous sign I saw in the store where I bought her the flowers earlier:

“Life is Short, Buy the Shoes”.

It is a metaphor for going after what makes us happy in life, like buying the shoes we long for, and to softly tread along the sweet path of our lives in them.

photo credit: Vietnam Plants & The USA. plants via photopin cc

Everyone Will Regret Not Saying This

An 'I love you' call

An ‘I love you’ call

The distinctive voice on my answering machine is my brother’s: “no need to call me back, this is an ‘I LOVE YOU’ call”.


He knows it is not possible to say I love you too many times.

He has been mentally and physically handicapped since he was one years’ old. He never had a partner, a wife, or children, but he phoned his mom every night when she was alive, and told her he loved her.

I am the youngest of his four siblings. He often sends me and my sister ‘I love you’ text messages with smiley emoticons and kisses 🙂

He knows it is impossible to overuse the words ‘I love you’, because he’s smart, and realizes that some of the people he used to say it to are no longer here.

Don’t be afraid to say these words, everyone likes to hear them, and you won’t regret it.

photo credit: Toni Blay via photopin cc

Top 5 Tips To Better Your Relationships


Being positive about others makes us positive about ourselves

You may have read other tips about improving your relationships, but more than likely they haven’t even scratched the surface of how to improve them. These aren’t superficial tips about getting people to like you on the surface. This list goes deeper inside yourself to better your relationships.  I spent the past week studying relationships and learning how to optimize them by looking to myself for the answers.  It wasn’t easy to try and change the way I think about my relationships, in fact, it was exhausting.  I learned that when I make judgments about what people say and do, I may be misinterpreting them, and to stop judging them and give them the benefit of the doubt is necessary.


See the Best in Others

1.  See the Best in Yourself 

To see the best in others, you have to uncover the goodness in yourself.  People are like a mirror reflecting back to us, and goodness attracts goodness.  To paraphrase Wayne Dyer – other people’s behavior belongs to them, it is your choice how to relate to them.


2. Care About others

When you care about people, you bring out their good qualities, and feel connected to them, even if you haven’t met them.  I recently read J.K. Rowling’s book for adults called “Casual Vacancy” and I admired her writing as I read each page.  I also admire her for starting a charity for abused children, which is a main theme in the book.  This connected me with her writing, and helped me enjoy her book.


3. Praise and Compliment Others    

It takes understanding to refrain from judging others.  But praising and complimenting what they do right makes them feel good and inspires them to change.  It also increases our self- love  when we stop judging ourselves.


4. It’s a Conscious Choice to Always Look For the Best in Others.

It is a choice to see the best in others. I have been giving more weight to the positive thoughts about people than the negative ones.  It’s not easy, because old patterns of thinking become entrenched.  I want to make a habit of seeing the best in others, and changing the way I relate to them is the best way to do it.

For instance, my son forgot to take out the garbage the other day, but instead of nagging him, I felt grateful that he took Rocko out to the bathroom at 1am, and allowed me to stay in bed.   My good feelings about my son made me forget about taking out the garbage.

As Wayne Dyer says:  “How you choose to interpret people and your relationships makes a huge Difference”


5. Let Go Of the Negative Shared Past With People

Sometimes we decide to walk away from certain people because involvement with them is too painful.  But it’s even difficult to see the good in people that we spend a lot of time with.  As is often pointed out, judging people says more about you than them.  We can choose to let go of the negative feelings from the past, and start fresh, with a more positive interpretation of them today, but we have to work at it.

By accepting people as they are in the present moment, and detaching from the past, we can see their innate goodness.  Like us, they are a field of energy that is constantly changing and evolving.


Only by loving ourselves, can we extend encouragement to others.  Believing in the good in others makes us a better person who is conscious of the possibility of seeing the good in everyone, and creating oneness, which is love.

photo credit: <a href=””>pierofix</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Spreading Love at Granville Island Market

Spreading love at Granville Island Market

Spreading love at Granville Island Market

Since my niece’s baby arrived into the world last October, he has been spreading love wherever he goes.

Here he is with me at Granville Island Market where passersby broke into smiles when they saw him wearing his hoody with ears on top.

What a great place to bring kids; my sister and niece and I even brought my niece’s dog (a min pin) on a leash. The Children’s Festival was on while we were there, and there were children’s entertainers, and the all time children’s favorite activity – chasing the seagulls on the wharf!

Photo credit: M. Meeks