I sit here looking at a blank page. I want to express my thoughts as I am approaching the one year mark of Dale’s death. The rest of my life is also a blank page. It waits for me to write the rest of my story. What will it be? How will it be? With whom will it be? The questions are endless and I am not searching for the answers, the answers will reveal themselves as time passes. I now have a permanent reminder to “Be Here Now” tattooed on my left forearm. It is there to help me focus on the moment rather than getting lost in what was or what will be. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, other than death and of course taxes.
Dale and I agreed that on some level we choose our path, even before birth. Our belief that we come here to learn and grow, and that certain events are meant to be experienced, is sometimes difficult to fathom. A few months ago I found an ear marked page, that is shown in the image above, in Dale’s little note book. It is the note book that he used to record his use of medications and other things that he found important. Throughout his illness he never complained about his situation other than near the end when it seemed to be taking forever to come to completion. At the same time I read a great deal between that one short line that he wrote. Dale had six months to think about his fate, and to try and come to terms with it. He spent much of that time healing wounds from his past and he brought meaning to his life through his writing and the sharing of his journey. Most of us don’t know when we will die but we all know that we will. We all have the opportunity to live our lives in a meaningful way, on every day is a blank page that we are given.
Shortly after Dale’s passing I put my creative efforts into creating Dale’s Journey (the book). It gave me a sense of purpose and held my focus through a terribly difficult time in my life. The book was created to help people find meaning in their lives and to help those going through a similar, or a difficult situation. That work evolved into the blog that I put out for several months where I shared my personal journey. There was a value for me in that and hopefully for others too. After a time I felt that I was becoming stuck in my story and felt that I was unable to progress if I continued with it. The other reason I stopped was because my thoughts had become particularly dark over the winter, which is a time of reflection and going inwards. It is also the time of year that I am unable to have as much time with my horses. Horsey time makes all the difference for me because horses are my passion. I was able to work through the darkness and have succeeded in shedding some light on what was going on inside me.
Having stopped writing the blog was a double edged sword though, on one hand it held me back and on the other it helped me move through my emotions. It also gave me a purpose. The intense emotion that I was feeling was not something that I felt would be encouraging to others and I just could not bring myself to share those thoughts. I was feeling lost and alone. Sure, I have plenty of friends however they have their own lives and I am outside of that. That is normal and I know that they are only a phone call away but the fact that no one is within arm’s reach is the hard part. A person can get pretty low when they feel there is no reason for them to be here. Going through those emotions was all a part of the process and I have emerged on the other side. I am in the midst of an exciting and wonderful season of riding which lifts my spirits and gives me purpose
Over the last year I have had so many signs that Dale and Cody are still here on some level. Synchronistic happenings, hawks circling above me, dreams and other things give me all the proof I need. They will both remain in my heart and mind no matter where life takes me. There will always be sadness at having lost them so soon but I will focus on what they brought to my life rather than what I lost. They left an indelible mark on my soul and for that I also have left indelible reminders of them on my body. Not everyone understands why someone gets a tattoo and it’s likely not the same for everyone but for me it holds a deep sense of meaning.
Dale was always attracted to hawks, especially the red tailed variety. We always stopped whatever we were doing to watch them, unless of course we were driving. Shortly before he died we talked about me getting a hawk tattoo in his honour and that a former client of his would be the artist to do it. That agreement has been completed and I am more than pleased with the result. In this world of impermanence it is something permanent, something that can only be erased by my death. The following text was taken from the internet and written by Stacey Couch, author of Wild Gratitude.
With red-tailed hawk symbolism, it’s time to become the observer and see things from a mystical perspective. This is not about being “better than” your tribe-mates, but about seeing things away from your ties to worry about what others will think of you. From this wide-angle view, wait to see a glimmer of movement and use your sharp, keen vision to focus in on what caught your attention. Then you can confidently dive down and grasp hold of the knowing.
Hawk spirit animals in general are about vision and the ability to shift from a wide view to a microscopic focus. It may be time for you to review your life to get in touch with a larger vision and purpose while at the same time checking in to make sure that you are focusing on key relationships. Look for the gifts of your tribe, revel in the gifts of your life, and give thanks to divine messengers. You can release your gratitude to the red-tails and they will carry the memo back to the heavens on your behalf.
I hope to be an inspiration to others and offer comfort and support in any way that I can. Whether that be through writing, or equine workshops, or close relationships. My story is all mine to create on the blank page that I’ve been provided.
For the past year and a half I’ve felt like a page torn out of a book that was being tossed about by the wind. I am ready to spread my wings and fly and I’m ready to embrace whatever this life holds for me.