Jun 042017

 There is a saying by an unknown author that” people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime”.

There are people we meet who help us either spiritually, physically or emotionally and then before we know it they are gone-they are here for a reason. I met a man in my early 20’s who taught me about art, wine and other things in life I had not been exposed to. But this was not a relationship that could last, he was not that kind of person. When the relationship ended I was heart broken for a while, but had grown up quite a bit from the young woman I was before. 

There are 3 people with whom I was very close but was only with them for a season of my life. My father was the most loving people I have ever met.  He taught me that I could do anything I wanted in life if I wanted it and was willing to work for it. I felt I was equal to anyone including men -unusual thought for a girl born in the early  1950s. He made me change a tire on my car by myself before I ever drove it-during the era without cell phones.  But he loved all his kids even the neighborhood kids. He worked all the time as a plumber. I was so shocked in high school, when I was inducted into the National Honor Society , but the best part was my father had taken off work, got dressed in his Sunday best to come see me get the award. My mother loved me dearly but she had severe rheumatoid arthritis and it was too much for her to come.  My father died when I was 19 from a rare autoimmune disease, and I remember the little boy next door asking ” would he not get to walk on our ceiling anymore since his friend had died”. My father was in many people’s lives for only a season, but what a wonderful season that was. 

My mother was my best friend in the world, she taught me compassion, acceptance, tolerance, faith and unconditional love for all people. She left this earthly plane when I was 29 – so it was more than just a “season” of my life but way too soon. I probably got my attitude of “I can do anything ” from her also. She left home at 16 to move into town with an aunt to finish the 12th grade of high school- in Greenville, if you lived in the country, the school only went to 11 grades. Then instead of marrying a farmer, she moved to the big city of Raleigh, much to the shock of my grandfather ,to get a higher education. Although this was in the 1940s , my father had to ask her 3 times before she consented to marriage at the old age of 26. All my friends and everyone that met my mother, always left feeling better than when they got there. Her rheumatoid arthritis was in every joint of her body and she was in constant pain, but she did not complain, she found a way to make you feel better. That is a rare trait among us mortal beings. 

My husband , who was with me for 17 years, was my 3rd person in my life for a “season”. I got married when I was 36, and had a baby at 42 and he was left this earthly plane just after I turned 50. I always knew I was loved by him and was devastated when he died. But I knew I had to make a life for me and my 8 year old son, so we moved back to Raleigh 4 years later.  

I have had many blessings of friends for a lifetime. My sister , Connie, has been with me the longest. I love her with all my heart. We shared a room growing up and I don’t ever remember cross words,although as a teenager I didn’t always want her to go with me everywhere. She has been with me through thick and thin. All my life challenges- loss of my husband  2 serious surgeries in the last few years- she is always a comfort to me and helps me think I can make it through anything with her by my side. Annette, a friend since I was 13, has always been there for me too. She and my sister were my Lamaze coaches for me when my son was born. These 2 women have been with me in every major life event good or bad- I am truly thankful for their presence in my life. 

I still see my  girlfriends from junior high:, Annette, Linda, Glenda, Ellen, and Harriet for birthdays, graduations, weddings, vacations, sickness, and funerals. These women are all part of my emotional foundation and I can not thank them enough for being there in all parts of my life.

My girlfriend , Diane, whom I have known since I was 7 , is always there for me. We have gone years in the past without talking to each other and pick up like it was yesterday. My son and I traveled with her many times after my husband died, which was very therapeutic to both of us. I have an open invitation to Carolina Beach anytime I want it!

I met Shigeko while working in biochemistry at NCSU. She loved to cook Japanese food and I loved to eat. We became friends, and have visited many times Iver the last 40 years. She is the most gracious host and generous friend anyone could ask for. And did I mention what a good cook she is?

There are so many people that have graced my life by meeting them, but one person I would like to mention is Veronica , who I meet in my early 30s. She introduced me to the Course in Miracles and Reiki in 1987. I was searching for a spiritual practice after my mother died and found her. It has changed my life and enhanced my journey to spiritual freedom. 

Even though I have only known Angela for the last 10 years, she has helped me grow spiritually and been a true asset to my life’s journey, by encouraging me to  start an energy healing business and to officiate weddings. She has been a true blessing to me.

Remember , the people you meet are here for a reason, season or lifetime . They are part of your soul’s journey in this lifetime, whether it be a pleasant encounter or not so pleasant. To live a joy-filled life, be thankful for all those you meet, they are here to help you grow and learn how limitless you truly are! Enjoy this journey called life , it is all part of the human experience!


Dec 272015

pig picking peggy bill scott krisMost people that know me would not believe I am shy, but it is true. Even my high school senior year homeroom teacher stated “Although Ann is rather reserved , she seems to be well liked by her peers” in my permanent record. I have always felt awkward going somewhere where I did not know anyone especially if I was going by myself.

That is still true although, I make myself, go up and speak to people. I feel more at ease talking to someone who looks shy or uncomfortable. I know the feeling and hope it will help them loosen up as well as myself. I met my friends of several years in the picture above by doing this. Peggy and Bill ( middle couple) I met at an organic wind store , Sip, in Cary. I was there with a girlfriend and struck up a conversation with them. They had moved to NC a few months previously when Bill’s job relocated him here. Peggy was not working yet and did not know anyone in the area. They moved from New York, talk about culture shock.

I invited Peggy to lunch then to an exercise class. We became fast friends and have had so many fun times together, even going white water rafting in West Virginia. This was the subject of our first talk and it happened two years later. Bill had never been and was a little apprehensive. We went into a hole in a class 3 rapid first thing and the boat went straight up before coming down. Eric and I  were so surprised because we have been going for years on class 5 rapids and never had that wild a ride. I looked back at Bill and he was smiling! I thought he made it through a really tough one with pizzazz.

I met Kris and Scott, the couple on the right, at a wine networking event hosted by Kevin Synder. We started talking and I found out they had only been here a few months moving from California. Talk about culture shock again! I invited them to an informal wine tasting the upcoming Saturday. They came and met Peggy and Bill and Eric . The rest is history. I can not tell you how many delicious dinner parties and fun movie nights we have shared with these couples. They have enriched our lives and all because I am shy and want to reach out to others who are feeling the same way.

When I worked at NCSU for over 20 years in a biochemistry research lab, I met graduate students from all over the world: France, Japan, Taiwan, India, Romania and more. I was always intrigued to learn about their cultures and tried many International food dishes. I spent countless nights at my friend, Shigeko’s house,  eating wonderful, homemade Japanese food. We met 40 years ago and still visit each other to this day.

It may be my Southern upbringing, but I have always feel the need to make others feel welcome in my home town. I am so proud of the Raleigh area, growing up when there was only 5 or 6 restaurants here. It has certainly grown over the last 60 years, but being a native, I feel the desire to let others see what I see when I think of Raleigh. I want them to feel welcome and be able to call the Raleigh area home.

When you tap into your innermost spiritual center and know that we are all truly connected, it becomes much easier to forget  your fears of rejection and strike up a conversation. What is the worst thing that could happen? They ignore you or don’t seem interested? Just bless them and hope they loosen up one day. On the other hand , you may experience deep friendships with people from other places; learn about their homes, cultures and values,thus enriching your life beyond compare.