One Heart Singing

The tears hit me again on my morning walk. As long as it’s been (nearly 5 years) and as healed as I feel, sometimes something still sneaks up and hits me—blindsides me out of the blue. This morning it was the music on my iPod—my “Cameron” playlist (most of these are also on my playlist here on the blog). These are all songs that I love and that normally bring a smile to my face these days. Especially “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” which always makes me feel like Cameron is near. But today the words just broke me up and broke me open. There’s a line about “the day I set you free,” and suddenly the enormity of Cameron’s sacrifice and gift to me just overwhelmed me—not with sadness, but with gratitude. Because his death did set me free. Free from drama addiction, which was just as deadly and disabling as his own addiction to crystal meth.

And then “The Reason” came on with its apologies for all the pain caused and its assertion that because of it, the singer has found a reason to change everything about himself. The first time I heard this song was New Year’s Eve 2004. Cameron had died in May of that year. It was around 11pm and I was journaling and crying my heart out when the words to the song drifted into my consciousness from the TV where they were playing the top 10 songs of the year. That first time hearing it, I felt like it was Cameron talking directly to me through the lyrics. All this time, I’ve thought that it was Cameron apologizing, Cameron telling me he left here so he could start over and become something different. As I heard the words on this morning’s walk, I suddenly felt like I was singing the words back to him. I was apologizing for all the pain I caused and I was the one changing everything about me. When I think about all that’s going on in my life right now, all the writing and the coaching and the planning of workshops and presentations, I can truly say, there’s “a reason for all that I do, and the reason is you,” Cameron. The reason is you.

And then I wondered, is it Cameron singing to me, is it me singing to Cameron, or is it just One heart singing to Itself?

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The Tides of Life

I’ve recently returned from a week at the beach in beautiful Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) Mexico. Great time with the whole family, lovely beachfront home, 80 degree weather, good food, plenty of cerveza. In other words, a little slice of heaven.

Yet on one very still afternoon, I made the following observation:

Midafternoon Rocky Point

Today the sea is flat and smooth
Like a satin sheet
Pulled tightly over an empty bed
Black birds float
Stillness upon stillness
The raucous cries of the morning’s gulls
Silent now
No wing or feather moves the air
No boat breaks the horizon
Not a soul stirs on the beach
The tide itself seems suspended
Resting at its high water mark
Off to the hazy west
Sea blends horizonlessly into sky

I say that I crave peace
That at the core of my every prayer
Is the desire for peace, for stillness
But this stillness leaves me restless
I don’t want a life
Flat and still like this sea
I crave the motion of the waves
Their sparkling diamond light
The pull of the tides
The gentle slosh and roll
Of water greeting shore
The effervescent hiss
As thirsty sand drinks in
The delicious foamy brew
How often we resist the rise and fall of our own lives. How often we resist the changes that come. We cry out for peace, yet it is the very presence of ups and downs that lets us know we are alive.

In the past few days, I’ve had quite a few “ups” — and yet, if I look at them honestly, they come directly from my biggest “down.” They are all gifts that have come to me directly from my experience of loss with my son Cameron’s death. Would I trade them all to have him back? Maybe. Would my life be as meaningful if I did? I don’t think so. My loss has allowed me to begin to find a way to make a small contribution to this world.

I am now a Featured Writer at Open to Hope, a website that reaches 30,000 readers each month and whose mission is to offer hope to those who are grieving. You can read my first post here. I will be posting a few times each month.

I did a wonderful Internet radio interview on the Conscious Healing show with Sherry Anshara. You can listen to the archive here.

My book, The Deep Water Leaf Society, won First Place in the Self Help category and was chosen as the Best Non-Fiction Book of 2008 by Reader Views.

A new follower (see The Journey) of my blog honored me with her own “Top 10 Favs Award.” I am equally honored by this award, because it means that my words are reaching real people. That makes my heart sing.

So, the next time you wish for peace and an end to your current drama, ask yourself if you are wishing your way out of living. Life comes with highs and lows. Let’s make the best of all of it.

Wishing you peace on the journey…

As always, I welcome your coments here or by email (

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