BABY[1][1]Yesterday was my father’s birthday. He would have been 60 years old. I needed to celebrate his life in some way positive, sort of similar to the 12 hour celebration of life we held in early September.  John and I didn’t have a crazy party yesterday, but we did feed our souls with a love for each other and for life that we shared with my father in thought, in actions, and in spirit.

The sun was out for the first time in a few days, making the day very bearable weather-wise for me.

A blessing.

We’ve been working on a garden for a while, but the weather has set us back (not the fact that I’m working half of the time, resting half of the time). Yesterday, however, we decided it needed to be finished.

72 hours fiji

Those of you who have spent any amount of time with me know that I find hearts.

72 hours fiji

Yes, hearts.

I find them…


In shadows, trees, clouds, blue sky between the clouds, rocks, drift wood, leaves, flowers, stains, puddles….


They are signs to me that I’m doing the right things.

That remind me how amazing life can be.


there is love in the world.

Signs that he’s still there…



Softly calling me his, “Little One,” always emphasizing the sound of the “t”.


We worked on our garden yesterday; our heart garden.


Digging it out, mixing soils, breaking apart the clay that lies underneath, laying down newspaper and rocks, and finding worms and critters that will help the mission were all small therapies in their own right.

Just before we felt as if we finished and were ready for a dedication ceremony, John scraped the surface one more time with the hoe.

A random rock was brought to the surface.

A rock…

In the shape of a heart.

We looked at each other, and knew it was time.

John laid a juvenile eagle feather down by the heart and lit some sage. We sat in silence as he stoked the flame with a large eagle feather. Smoke wafted over the rock, the feather, the garden, and us.


I felt my father’s energy surge through my veins; his smile lifting me, his bright eyes engaging me…recognizing me.

I communed with him, smiling inwardly at the simple fact that he had been a part of my life and very much still is.

After John finished with the sage, I released a vial of my dear father’s ashes onto the rock.

Life. So fleeting. So short. So worth celebrating.

I loved that man.

I love that man.

He’s at peace in our hearts, and now, in our heart.

We piled the crumbled clay back over the rock, and continued filling in the garden with fertile and organic soil. Satisfied with our progress, there was one thing left to do with dad’s spirit present.

4:20.con papa

We smoked a birthday bowl for the man who gave me the strength to survive until this point.

Happy Birthday to the little man with the big open heart.

You are missed.

You are loved.

You are celebrated.

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15 Responses to Hearts

  1. diane persons May 2, 2013 at 6:34 PM #

    How beautiful!!!!

    • Hurricane Rita May 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM #

      It was an incredible afternoon. He’s a beautiful man…to be celebrated for sure!

  2. Luisa Cupeles May 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

    Wow, love the “heart” story. Your father is proud I am sure of the woman you have become. Your father is not with you but you were blessed with John by your side. Beautiful and touching story, would write more but gotta get the Kleenex box now.

    • Hurricane Rita May 6, 2013 at 1:18 PM #

      He was always so proud. He used to bring a binder of all of my blogs with him to work to share them. It was so sweet. I never wondered if he cared.

  3. Pam Perkins May 3, 2013 at 9:29 PM #

    Your post about hearts really moved me. I see hearts everywhere, too, after losing my grandson last year. The last one I saw was a random spot on my concrete in my yard. I posted it on Instagram a few months back. I got chills when I saw yours in concrete. My caption was ‘I see hearts everywhere”. I am always comforted when I see one and feel it’s a sign that Cooper is with me. It’s nice to hear you have that feeling as well. So sorry for your loss… Your posts are so inspiring. I wish you the best of health. You are an inspiration.

    • Hurricane Rita May 6, 2013 at 1:29 PM #

      Thank you. It’s nice to meet a fellow open heart (supposedly it is we who see love everywhere). <3 I lost my father, but I gained so much perspective from him, his life, his teachings…that I'm confident he'll always be with me in everything I do (even if I get dimentia and forget most things…I know he'll be there in my mind). There hasn't been a single day of my life that I remember where I have not thought of him. I'm so very sorry for your loss. We should share some heart pictures! A feeling like we feel can't be coincidence, nor of our own making. YAY HEARTS!

  4. Glo May 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM #

    The love you shared will always keep his memory alive. Peace and love to you!

    • Hurricane Rita May 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

      Exactly. I miss him. See you soon!?

      • Glo May 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM #

        Also Miss him more than words can say. I too carry him close to me (within my heart and mind) Cheers to my brother Dave. Love you Aurita !!!

        • Hurricane Rita May 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM #

          I understand completely. We planted lettuce, Kale, Chard, Onions, and carrots in the garden today. I felt close to him the entire time.

  5. Paula Lowrie May 6, 2013 at 9:13 AM #

    The fact that tomorrow is not guaranteed came true for me on April 18th when my beloved husband of nearly 40 years passed away. He had MDS (the disease Robin Roberts had) and he had a bone marrow transplant. However, he did not recover from it. I am so thankful that we were able to make the trip to Alaska last summer. We made memories!!!

    • Hurricane Rita May 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM #

      Wow. Paula, I’m so very sorry for your loss. 40 years. It sounded like it was an incredible ride! I’m so glad you were able to make it to the Last Frontier! What amazing memories! I bet you will start seeing hearts everywhere if you haven’t already! Love transcends time, space, life, death.

  6. Joseph Romanoff (JOJO) May 7, 2013 at 12:22 AM #


    This was beautiful. Maybe both our dad’s have met in Heaven smiling at us, while we allow our own souls to soar to carry on a legacy.
    I was very touched and I also love the heart garden. very beautiful!!!

    <3 Always and forever,

  7. ~Christy May 18, 2013 at 7:49 AM #

    How beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


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