Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


6 Comments

My Last Time with My Dad /// Thoughts about his Funeral

Dad holding me when I was just a day old!

One of the most comforting words shared with me during this time of grieving for my Dad was, “Your Dad was the first man who held you on his arms and said, ‘I love you.’ ” This first photo is the first photo I have of my Dad holding me. It is so comforting that Dad got to hold my son as well as me.

On June 6th, my son and I went to see my dad. He was dressed in a nice blue shirt and was sitting in his wheelchair in the living room with a lot of other folks who were dozing and quiet. He seemed sleepy, but he perked up when he saw us. His eyes crinkled into a smile and he knew who we were. I gave him a hug and then got Joel out of his car seat, and then Dad reached out to hold Joel!

Dad smiled at Joel And Joel smiled back. Dad held him for about five minutes until his arms got tired (Joel weighs around 25 lb. already), and then he handed him back.

Dad holding Joel 36 years later.

Continue reading

Advertisements


2 Comments

Memories of Sherpa

This is when our son first met Sherpa on March 20th with his Aunt. 

Sherpa, my brother and sister-in-law’s golden retriever, brought sunshine to the room (plus a lot of woofs!) She loved to greet anyone who came into the door with great barks and happy commotion—her joy of seeing you made you feel even more welcome.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Remembering Uncle Chris

 

I only knew my husband’s Uncle Chris for 2 ½ years, but I remember his leathery cheeks pulled up into a smile that burst with kindness. I first met him at Christmastime when Stephen took me to California to meet his family in 2014. Uncle Chris was Stephen’s Dad’s older brother who lived nearby and loved helping out and driving with us to the airport when we had to fly home.

A year after I met Uncle Chris, Stephen and I were engaged and the family put together a surprise bridal shower for us on New Years Day in 2016. That day we received the only card from him while I knew him, but I am so glad we kept it. He gave us an Amazon gift card (that we used to buy a Tiffany lamp), and he wrote us this message:

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Pet Sympathy Cards


Pets bring so much joy that when one passes away, you have to go through the grieving process, just like any other loss. Cards help during those times. Here is one of my pet loss sympathy cards: See more details at: Trees of Transition Cards on Etsy. Helping family and friends through this kind of loss can mean so much.

Peace.

~Mary Hope

P.S. A book that has helped me process grief is:

A Grief Observed  by C. S. Lewis. Check it out. It is also an audio book: A Grief Observed Audio Book

Copyright 2017


2 Comments

Jess Gelso Andres Reminder…Missing Her Laugh…

20150307-171208-61928435.jpg

This week a person I worked with on her writing reminded me of my friend Jess. Jess passed away in November of 2013, and the piece I wrote about her has been read by people all over the world (find it here: https://treesoftransition.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/saying-good-bye-to-jess-gelso-andres-processing-the-death-of-a-friend/). Writing that piece about her helped me process the suddenness of her passing. I now need to process a bit more of missing Jess.
Continue reading


2 Comments

Top Ten Activities to Restore Hope After Job Loss

During this transition time, these activities have helped me greatly:

10. Run Toward Love. After I was fired, I drove out to my parents’ home where they served me pot roast and just let me cry, tell my story multiple times, and love me.
9. Take Someone with YouIf you still have to clear out your classroom or cubicle, take a loving person with you to finish off the job of clearing out your things. My Mom accompanied me; it helped to have a cheerleader.
8. Unpack Your Boxes and Reorganize Your Life. I let the boxes from work sit there for a week, then I tackled the project of finding spots for all those books. Just face into the boxes and start creating new life rhythms by putting your favorite work objects around your home.
7. Connect with Loving Co-workers, if possibleI communicated with several people at my old job about what happened, and it surprised me how compassionate they were! Several wrote me emails and cards full of truth and encouragement. One former co-worker brought chocolate and came over to talk; it was hard, but helpful to hear her opinion. Multiple people encouraged me to not let this situation jade me toward teaching, and told me “You ARE a good teacher.” Their words helped pull the poison out of the wound the job loss had afflicted. Because that co-worker had more objective viewpoint right then, she helped me know what I could say about the job loss. I’m so thankful for her coaching.
6. Go Away for a Few Days. Yes, file for unemployment as soon as possible, but you just need time away for a bit to let down so that you can heal. I visited my brother and his family the week after my job ended, and it was there, surrounded by love that I had the strength to file for unemployment. Filing and retelling the story was hard and very humbling, but it helped me process the trauma. Hugs from my one-year-old nephew, and then an invitation from my sister-in-law to stay for four days instead of one was healing balm. My mind could let down, forget what happened for a while, and just rest, play, and love.
5. Create a New Life Structure. Get up early on work days. Apply for jobs, go network, and let job hunting be your new “work.” Have hope; you will get another job.
4. ExerciseI planned exercise into my day because it relieved stress, and brought me joy! Go run by the lake or plan to go dancing.
3. Maximize Your Networks. Yes, sign up and use networking and job hunting sites, but also connect with people in person. I went to my grad school’s career office, and they loaned me career books (a great one is The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry), critiqued my resume, and supported me in thinking about different career choices. They helped me know it’s fine to try something different, like floral design…
2. Do What You Love and Feel Your FeelingsI read, I sang, I cooked. I took floral design classes, and I started writing a book. I cried, felt sad, shouted with anger, ached with loss, and chose to forgive. Then a tutoring job came!
 
1. Believe and Know That You Are Loved Just As You AreYes, sudden job loss wounds your heart and your confidence. Yes, you need time to heal, but while you are healing, just know that there is a plan for you designed by the Great Creator. Know that you are loved. You are not your job; you are of full value just as you are.
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell