Update from Althea

 “Mother passed away this morningwas the message that came over the wires and a darkness overshadowed the spring sunshine; a sadness crept into the birds’ songs.

Some of us have received such messages. Those who have not, one day will. Just as when a child, home was lonely when mother was gone, so to children of a larger growth, the world seems a lonesome place when mother has passed away and only memories of her are left us – happy memories if we have not given ourselves any cause for regret.

 Memories! We go thru (sic) life collecting them whether we will or not! Sometimes I wonder if they are our treasures in heaven or the consuming fires of torment when we carry them with us as we, too, pass on.

What a joy our memories may be or what a sorrow! But glad or sad they are with us forever. Let us make them carefully of all good things, rejoicing in the wonderful truth that while we are laying up for ourselves that the very sweetest and best of happy memories, we are at the same time giving them to others.

  • “As a Farm Woman Thinks.” Laura Ingalls Wilder, writing as Mrs. A.J. Wilder in The Missouri Ruralist, April 1924.

I was eating dinner tonight watching an American Masters (PBS) episode about Laura Ingalls Wilder, most famous for her Little House on the Prairie novels. Midway through the episode, someone narrates a portion of the above column Wilder wrote after her mother Caroline’s death. I teared up and knew it was time to write something for my blog.

I have never known the grief I felt in those first few days after my mom died. I wanted to jump out of my body to run away from the pain. Akin to what Wilder wrote about being “children of a larger growth” the world was a lonely, dark place. I could not wrap my head around not being able to speak to my mother again.

Our last conversation was Monday, March 16, the day I was laid off from my job due to the pandemic. I was lost and confused because I had never, in my 32 years of working, been laid off. My mother’s advice was to relax. Everything would be okay. Me being me, I didn’t like that advice and didn’t listen. I was in a panic Tuesday and Wednesday to the point of having a panic attack Wednesday morning. My children were also thrust into virtual learning that same week. I was really in a “what the hell is happening” mode. Not very Mocha Angel-esque.

Then, around 5:30am Thursday, March 19, my dad called to tell me mom had a stroke at home and that he was on his way to hospital. She died around 11:00am. My dad, my brother, and a friend of my mom were with her. I was in the airport when my brother called to tell me. Two moments of grace happened that day: I was in the restroom when he called. I was alone and could grieve when I got the news. Once I got back to my seat to wait for my plane to take me to Atlanta, a woman named Wendy, a total stranger, comforted me. I will never forget her.

That was easily the worst week of my life. Nothing made sense. Three weeks later, my aunt, only two years older than me, died unexpectedly as well. Since then, my memories have been a blend of “treasures in heaven or the consuming fires of torment.” More the treasures in heaven part these days. But grief is not linear. What I am doing now is acknowledging my grief and learning to live with loss one day at a time.

I have been in graduate school since May, which is another reason I haven’t posted. It has been incredibly stressful. It made me push my grief to the side which wasn’t healthiest way to deal. All of this in the middle of a pandemic and a presidential election cycle and more virtual learning for my children and myself, and I started a new job. Let me tell ya’ll…it was rough.

This leaves my blog on hold, for a while. I had a hard time juggling school and life responsibilities. A blog requires a solid commitment to grow. In my mind, rather than posting seven days a week, I envision Mocha Angels Monday, Wellness Wednesday, and a Film & TV Friday. That’s down from seven days to three days a week. All of those things encompass me as The Holistic Storyteller. I can’t write all of those posts and juggle three classes, a job, and running a household. I know people still read my blog everyday. I also know that I will earn a living a writer one day. It’s what’s in my heart and soul and the thing I am the very best at doing. So it’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon.

Thanks for reading.

Althea

Mocha Angels 365. Day 79.

The process of internal change happens in the dark. Change is an inside/out job. The past 48 hours have shown me what I need to be working on within myself. Aside from taking a morning walk, I’m going to clean out papers and shred them. I’m going to either throw away old stuff, give it away, or sell stuff on eBay. I am also going to get extra sleep. I’m adding EFT into the mix too. It’s also time to rid myself of old beliefs.

This pandemic is effecting every person on the planet. Even when we get back to business as usual, and we will, it won’t quite be business as usual. It’ll be different with lots of PTSD thrown in. So I’ll be talking about anxiety relief for the next few posts. Let me know what you all are doing during this global shutdown.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 77.

So my workplace has closed indefinitely. The governor has ordered all restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and gyms to closed until further notice. This is the right call. I’m taking the day to process my new reality.

Bottom line, I am grateful for what I do have. My kids and myself are safe. We have food and shelter. We are healthy. So I’ll let my Mocha Angels do the talking:

When you get caught up in worry, stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions, you are not focusing on God (or on the good in your life). Think of God (your good) instead of your problems. Choose to be loving, kind, grateful, and compassionate. Focusing on God-like qualities is what clears the path to a bright future.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Please let me know how the coronavirus is affecting you.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 75.

I am paraphrasing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s quote from his first inaugural address on March 4, 1933. In reference to the economic depression that he inherited, President Roosevelt stated, “…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” That statement is applicable now.

For now, my workplace is staying open. It’s a place that hundreds of people visit daily. I’m not happy about that. However, I am not afraid for my own health. Fear is not going to help me nor my children. If we have to self-quarantine, we will deal with it.

Stay informed, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

Find fun things to do.

Check on your neighbors.

Hug the people you love.

Most important: breathe.

Holistic Saturdays: Orange Chickpea Buddha Bowl (V, GF)

This recipe is from Eat With Clarity. I subscribe to emails from Vegan Bowls, which is where I found the recipe. I was shocked at how good it was. Eat it with avocado and green onions (also known as scallions) on top. I didn’t include them in the picture, but they add even more flavor to an already great recipe.

I only slightly adapted this. I used clementines instead of oranges because that’s what I had available. I use Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari. The green onions are a must.

This is awesome. Seriously. I never would have paired a citrus flavor with chickpeas. This is a winning dish.

Recipe is here: https://eatwithclarity.com/orange-chickpea-buddha-bowl/

Mocha Angels 365. Day 73.

My late grandmother Annie Lee Lighting used to say to me, “Baby, we is living in the end times. You say your prayers every night. You hear me?”

“Yes, Grandma. I hear you,” I would say.

It’s not the end times, but it damn sure feels like it.

Breathe. Turn off the news. Read a book. Play board games. Write what you are grateful for in a gratitude journal. Don’t read social media conspiracy theories. Go out in nature. Spend time with people you love.

It’s time to connect with loved ones. If there’s anything good about all this craziness is that we see how much we all need each other.

Let me know how the coronavirus has changed life in your city or at your job. (((hugs)))