He Left The Earth Party Early

My youngest brother passed away on June 5th, 2010, after a year long bout with cancer.  He was only 50.  It is said by some that we have full view of our entire life before coming into this physical world.  I’m not sure why someone would opt for a short life.  It doesn’t make any sense to me, and I’m going to miss him. He was a slender, red-headed jeweler, with a shop full of gold and diamonds.  He seemed to love working with jewelry and worked long and diligently to be able to open his own retail shop. After word came that he had passed, my husband and I sat still and just looked at each other.  There’s not much to say when someone leaves. They are gone, and it’s sad. However, almost instantly, the sadness lifted. “How strange is that?”  I thought. All the worry and anguish and heart ache surrounding his departure just got up and left — suddenly!  What a surprise!  Never had I expected to feel instant, well — happiness — upon his passing. It felt a little strange. Almost wrong. This feeling of elation in the middle of all the sadness was so striking to me that I wondered if I was tuning into him.  If so, he was surely in a happier and more expanded state! You should know before I go any further that for most of my life,  my brother and I struggled to relate.  We didn’t agree on much, and locating common ground for a conversation was a bit challenging, even awkward.   As the years passed, we’d simply avoid conversations about a subject that was even remotely controversial. It was just easier that way. We could always talk about the weather, so to speak. In the last year of his life, when he was ill, we found two subjects we could always talk about:  Singing and Sunsets.  I used to record little mp3’s for him and send them to him.  He seemed to appreciate them.  Once I recorded “Bridge Over Troubled Water” for him, and other times I sent improvisational pieces that were prayerful, meditative  and reassuring. One evening when he was in pain and seemed to be wondering about how everything was going to turn out for him, he called me and said, “Tell me about the sky tonight where you are.  Is it beautiful?” So I went outside and sat on the well and told him that earlier that evening, we had set up the high powered telescope to look at the four largest moons of Jupiter. It happened to be a spectacularly crystal clear sky, and all the stars were especially beautiful that evening. My brother and I talked for a long time. So after his passing, I headed down stairs in my home to a room where nobody was, just a nice big open space, and I started to sing.  Not a song, not a melody, just long notes of sound to soothe my soul.  I let the sound take me wherever it wanted to go.  Singing like this is a way to center myself, let go, and express whatever is there. It felt like a good thing to do at a time like this… So there I was, getting warmed up for a good and expressive singing lesson, and I swear on a stack of Bibles — my brother was a man of faith–  that he appeared in front of me, happy as can be, and began to playfully direct my singing. This was out of character for him.  In life, he was much more serious than that, much more reserved. After wondering for a moment if I was just crazy, or if I had an over-active imagination in this time of stress, I just went with it.  I began to follow his conducting. With a big smile, his right arm shot up in the air and I’d sing that note.  Then he’d waver that hand a bit and I’d do a trill.  I followed every nuance.  I’d waffle the sound to go right along with his indication, he’d smile and then swoop to the next note.  Then he’d change sides, go high, go low, go medium, and it all sounded beautiful to me.  Part of the time I was laughing so hard I could hardly sing. Then there was the crying…. I was so touched that he would visit me. He was joyful and utterly, completely free — fully liberated and totally expressive, without a concern in the world. And he also  looked really attractive and young and happy, just like any guy who is being fully himself does. I was beside myself with joy and gratitude.  It felt heavenly to be with him in this way, and I admit that I always wanted him to be more open and light-hearted when he was alive.  Now, in this moment, I was just grateful that I got to experience him in this happy place… I don’t know how long this went on, probably 20 minutes or so, but I’m just guessing, because there was no sense of time anymore. I  moved through more emotional spaces than I can even begin to describe.  He finished conducting, gave me a wave, and off he went. I sat for a while, reveling in the experience. Then I walked upstairs and while preparing dinner,  I noticed the  sunset was beginning to be especially beautiful.  Inspiring sunsets are a regular occurrence here and we look forward to them every evening. But it got crazy beautiful! With every bite of dinner, the colors of the sunset became increasingly spectacular, and they kept changingradically and in no small way.  We’d take a bite of food, and stop midway with fork poised,  and exclaim about the stunning sight before us. “Wow, look at that!” “Whoa, who thought it could get even more beautiful!  But it just did!” We had never seen so many big color changes and variations in one evening. We started to laugh and decided it was Calvin saying hello in another way that I would understand.  Who knows if that could be possibly true… but it sure is fun to think about it that way! We’d eat another bite or two and then stop to take another photo of Calvin having a little fun in the sky.  It seemed as if he kept changing his mind about what to paint — oh, let’s try THIS!!!  OOOO- what if we added a little salmon across the middle…..

Play with pastel stripes...

Or brighten it up a bit?

Add some intensity ...

Soften it...

Add some mist just for fun...

Goodbye Sis...

And I haven’t heard from him since.  That fantastic sunset was his final bow apparently. And it was a stunning one. Goodbye, dear brother.

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

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    angelina mcmurray

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    thank you mrs ross i read thes he left the earth party early god it was beauntyfull and sad my brother a twin died oct 2o9 from lung cancer a slow paintfull death me i never saw him cos i left home moved away i loved him and his twin pauline was killed at 24 road accident my dad man both die in a week mam breast cancer dad i think it was to much to bare my mam dying he was ill and my brother jeff got killed road accident i ad two more brothers die in l year so i can imagen your greif but what struck me was i felt the same that my brother was tune into me reason iv never painted but i started to paint not perfect but ok i found out he used to paint and on night i heard angie im sure it was his voice and that song you played for your brother is my favorite song i know to lose some one you loved deep down its so hard like a dark shadow that wont lift and by means of comfort we need somethink to awaken us from our greif i wish i saw my late familey god bless you and thank you

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    Cornelia Powell

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    Yesssss…..your brother certainly had a flair for his crossing over party!! Thanks for noticing and for receiving his messages…AND for sharing them with us…..lovely.

    love, Cornelia

    Reply

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She’s Got Love Fingers

Christie Lenee can play a guitar. She’s the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Champion of the Year. In September of last year in London, she also won Acoustic Guitarist of the Year.

But lucky for us, she’s not just a champion guitar player. Christie Lenee is also quite the composer.

A friend of hers, Michael Pukac, requested that she write a song, one he described as “the story of love.” She scribbled notes and went to work.

Through Christie’s ability to imagine, his desire became music. Now she plays this song for the world with her love fingers. Lucky you, lucky me, lucky us.

Take very good care of yourself this week. Why not sing a little…

Love,

Terri

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

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Terri Crosby

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