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Loving Life

What does loving life mean to you? I believe that loving life has an individual meaning for everyone. My hope is that we all find and create the life that makes us feel fulfilled and whole. Well balanced comes to mind along with complete and utter joy in our hearts.

I am loving life more now than I ever have in all of my 54 plus years. I have a husband, best friend, lover and personal cheering squad all rolled into one individual. I believe this to be a rare creature and a special find. Lucky me! It almost seems mystical or fictional at times and yet he is real. I know ’cause I pinch him every now and then and he yells. Lol

I think it is a fantasy that we all grow up dreaming about. To have that special someone who fills your heart so full it almost feels like it’s not real. Like it is some kind of dream that you don’t want to wake from. If this is a dream for me, then I never want to wake up. I know this sounds kind of mushy, but after everything I have been through, I feel like I am truly blessed to have come out on top for once.


I live in one of, if not the most beautiful places on earth. The changes of the seasons are breathtaking to say the least.
Our winter snow storms have a beauty all their own. Especially when one is curled up around the wood stove, while listening to the crackling of the wood as it burns and watching the color of the dancing flames. Maybe with your companions, reading a great article or listening to your favorite piece of music while the snow falls outside the window creating a blanket of the purest white you will ever see. The spring brings with it the sweet nectar from the maple trees as they wake from their long sleep. As the sap runs up the trees to nourish, the frozen tree starts to thaw and grow beautiful green leaves that will shade you from the hot summer sun. Summer brings an abundance of new fruits and vegetables as well as the beautiful sunsets over the farmer’s fields and the many beaches and lakes that surround us. Fall, which is my absolute favorite time of year brings a bright palette portrait of bright orange, reds, and yellows mixed with a little green to complete it. The cooler temperatures bring on harvest and a welcomed reprieve from the heat of the summer.

As the seasons change it is a good reminder that all living things have a cycle. I watch these cycles progress in a much more appreciative manner now, knowing that I too have a cycle and that I can now enjoy watching as my own seasons change. I look in the mirror and see someone who has seen many seasons, and it shows. My past seasons have left many scars like an old maple tree that has lost a branch or two in a winter storm. The tree healed and keeps growing in spite of the reminding mark that the wound left behind, and so shall I. I have had many blessings in my life some of which brought to me by some very wonderful people and animals alike.

In addition to my many blessings, there have also been some undesired actions or situations from people. All of which taught me many great lessons, which I am grateful for. After all, to live is to learn.

I have been told that my life most likely will not last as long as someone who is in better health than I am. But, who knows, I have beat slim odds before. That said however, I feel blessed to have had the time to build and grow a truly loving family. One that I have chosen for myself. If I were to meet my last season, I would go into my long sleep happily.

Jam, Jelly, Berry and Missy are my cat family and I could not have asked for more loyal, loving, beautiful beings to share life with. They make me smile, laugh and most of all feel loved.

Hank, our 14 week old mastiff puppy has made me feel more alive with his active, loving and protective manner than I have felt in a long while. He is sassy, stubborn, smart, persistent, and very handsome. All qualities that I absolutely love about him. He is an amazing young dog and my hope is that I get to watch him grow and blossom into full adulthood. He is catching on to his training very quickly which is a good thing because he is already over 35lbs.

Miss Waffles our laying hen and Hank the puppy have become the best of friends. I couldn’t shake the feeling however, that in the evenings when it was time for her to go to sleep on her roost, that she was still feeling lonely. I have been on the hunt to find Waffles a couple of hen friends to keep her company especially as the cold winter weather approaches.
My search lead me to a couple of 3 year old laying hens that a good friend of mine had. She decided that because she only had two hens left that she would re-home them an no longer keep hens in her barn. This lead to them coming to live with us on our homestead. I am very pleased to announce that we now have the two girls to keep Waffles company. I have named them Juno and Pixie. They all seem to be getting along well and though it is still very new for them, they seem to love our clean barn, loads of land to hunt for tasty morsels and of course the odd treat from the kitchen. Hank the puppy, on the other hand, they still aren’t sure what to make of.

Waffles still comes to hang out with Hank and I when we’re doing our yard work, from time to time and even though Juno and Pixie are still settling in, I am sure they will come to love this place as much as I do.


My husband and I just had a lovely two weeks staycation together. We did some day trips in the truck and took our sidekick Hank along. We had a road trip to pick up a “new to us” wood cook stove for our off grid camp. I have already baked a batch of bread in it and I’m happy to say that it works beautifully! We also started to build a wood shed on the back of the camp. Which is something that we have wanted to do for some time. It is always a work in progress, but it’s definitely a labor of love! We also cleaned up and burnt some brush while milling some logs into boards for the wood shed roof and other building projects, over the past two weeks. We also went out on our ATV’s a couple of times and had a picnic at the river with a little fire to roast some locally made sausages. Which we served with open fire toasted homemade buns. One day, we took Hank to the beach to see if he liked the salt water but he didn’t seem very interested in the sand. I don’t think he liked the taste of it. I think he is a fresh water boy and will like the river much more!


Most of all we spent quality time on our homestead with our little family and made it a priority to be present in each moment and enjoy some time to rest.

Who could love life more, when it looks like all of this, I ask?

As Always,
Love Tanya Jean

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Restoration and Adaptation

This has been an interesting spring to say the least. In my neck of the woods, we have had temperatures in the thirties and then down to four degrees, Celsius. I can’t remember ever having to light a fire in our wood stove in June before. We have lived here twenty years and this is the first time that I have felt the damp, cold weather in such a drastic change. I was fooled by the early warm weather, for a couple of weeks. Some of you may remember from an earlier post, that I was starting some plants in the green house earlier than usual, this year. I did however transplant a few of my starter plants outside because they were getting root bound. It did shock them some but are starting to come along better now. I have had to cover them at night when the risk of frost is high. I still have my tomato plants that need to be transplanted very soon and moved outdoors but I am holding off until we get through this cold snap. Planting and keeping most of what I am growing in the green house this year, is proving to be the right choice. Considering how everything is growing so far, I believe my yields will exceed my expectations. I have already picked some lettuce for salads. We have also had a little bit of baby spinach and baby swiss chard.

The pots I planted wild flower seed in are coming along nicely. Hopefully the flowers will bloom before too much longer. I am so looking forward to the warm weather that brings with it the beautiful colors of fresh blossoms here in our little piece of heaven. This time of year I always take note of how vibrant the new shades of green are with the new growth. To me, it is a sign of restoration and renewal. The green that is showing now is the brightest it will be all season. This reminds me that all living things have a beginning and an end. All of life has a cycle.

I am sprucing up the yard by restoring some ornaments in the form of my painted rocks. I have had great joy over the years painting many rocks to brighten the yard. Until flowers come into bloom they add beautiful color. If the rocks have been in the sun they will fade over time.

This is one of the first rocks I painted over seven years ago. It lasted well but like most non living objects, it needed some restoration.

We as humans sometimes get so busy that we forget that life is a journey that needs to be savored. Sometimes even living beings need some restoration. Every step of our existence should be experienced, noted and appreciated for what it is. At times, we all need to restore ourselves in the way of adapting to new ways and or belief systems. I used to resist change and unpleasant experiences. The unpleasant parts of life happen and by accepting them rather than resisting them, I have found it easier to the lesson in them. Find the teaching moment as it were. I used to try to push through those unpleasant moments with great force and speed. Now, after all of my experiences in life, I have come to a place where I take the time to feel what is really happening and do my best to live it fully for that very reason. If I continued to file these experiences away and not feel the full effect, it comes back to haunt me. Then the teaching moment could be lost forever.

Speaking of unpleasant experiences, my little Tiny, one of our laying hens suddenly passed last Sunday. I found Tiny laying lifelessly on the ground, with Waffles nudging her, trying with all her might to lend the strength that she thought Tiny needed in order to be revived. Waffles was making distressing noises and it broke my heart to see them both in such a state.

I had felt a very unpleasant chill just moments before I found Tiny. I guess it must had been her heart giving out. She was old for a commercial laying hen and there were no signs of any other types of stress. Tiny just laid down and passed peacefully.

The commercial breed of laying hen we have are genetically designed to live producing an egg almost daily and because of this there life span tends to be shorter. I did not realize that there life span was going to be so short. I may have thought twice before getting them. Alternatively, I may have chose to get a heritage breed instead, although I have no regrets at all now. Tiny was only three years old.

As I rushed down to the barn, Waffles seemed to be in great distress watching her best friend pass. The noises she was making stopped as soon as I picked Tiny up. I could see in Waffles eyes she so hoped that there was something I could do for her friend. I was too late, she was gone and there was nothing I could do. I felt useless and extremely sad.

As I prepared Tiny’s body for burial, Waffles watched quietly. In her own way I believe she was saying good bye to her companion.

I have been told that laying hens have a brain the size of a raisin. Some would say that, it was just a laying hen, with no real empathy for the life that was lost. I, being the empath that I am, know that even though they have small brains they have individual personalities. They show affection and they also have enough intelligence to understand what has taken place. I have had enough hens to know that they recognize there favorite humans and hens alike. They feel a lot of the same emotions that humans do, in my opinion. Their long term memory may not be as long as a humans. Or is it? Regardless, it seems to me that there are some humans who can choose to forget some events, why can’t a hen do the same.

Waffles is by herself now and she seemed depressed. I could feel her sadness. She seemed lonely so I have been spending more time with her. She is enjoying the extra attention I have been giving her but I am not about to roost on the pole with her at night. With my balance, I would not be up there very long. Lol. I have taken an old stuffed animal down to the barn. Hens are weary of anything new.

One of Waffles favorite treats are a small portion of my homemade crumbled biscuit. I put a little on the floor beside the stuffed animal and she analyzed the situation for a few moments observing that the stuffed animal wasn’t motioning toward the delightful tidbits. Inch by inch, she moved closer, as her stomach was telling her, if you snooze you may loose. It wasn’t long before she was standing beside the stuffed animal and the treat was gone. Throughout the day I would periodically check on Waffles and her new buddy, most often Waffles would be standing beside this new odd little creature pruning herself and acting content.

As nightfall came, I tied the stuffed animal on the roosting poll close to Waffles’ regular spot is and sure enough when I went to close the barn up for the night, the two were side by side cuddled up nice and close keeping each other warm.

You are probably wondering why I don’t just go and get another hen. They are flock animals and need companionship, which I am fully aware of. I have decided that I will not have any more laying hens. Waffles is three years old now and it is hard to say how much longer she will be with us. She has stopped laying and it is for this reason I believe that her days may also be numbered, much like my own. To introduce another hen at this point would be too stressful for her and myself included.

Some would suggest to place her in another flock but I believe at her age she would get picked on and this is the only home she has ever known. I have always said that once an animal has a home here, to live with me, they will stay for the rest of their natural days.

I have loved having the hens more than I can express. I started out with twelve three years ago. They were excellent companions and good therapy for me. I named everyone and treated them with great care. As they passed I would bury them in our own pet cemetery on the property with a hand painted stone to mark there resting place. They were all my friends and family I choose for myself. As I get older, and after all I have been through, I take loosing a friend or a family member harder and harder each time. A piece of me dies every time I loose another one.

I have no way of knowing how long I will be on this spinning ball and I really do want to make the most of it. That being said having animal friends that require the kind of care that the hens do coupled with what I believe they should have puts me at a disadvantage for being able to partake in some adventures that are still on my list to do. I want to have the freedom to be able to experience all that life has to offer and seize all opportunities, here and now, in my last chapter.

Waffles is adapting and not totally alone because she also has Missy, our cat friend that decided to make this her home, who she visits frequently. The stuffed animal seems to be helping her night time blues. So I will do all I can to keep Waffles healthy and happy for the rest of her days.

To me, restoration and adaptation are all part of the cycle of life. Looking forward and not backwards is what both Waffles and I are trying to do. We will remember Tiny and celebrate her happy life as it was. We said our good byes to our friend and now it is time to make the most of the time we have left. As I watch the living world restore and grow, I try to restore and grow spiritually with every passing day. Making way for the new!

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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Heros

What does the word hero mean to you?? What is your definition of a hero??

I believe it is someone that goes above and beyond to help those in need. I believe it can be an animal or a person. My thought is that this individual is a highly empathic and caring individual. It is one who recongnizes the needs of others and simply acts. They do not hesistate and offer help, even if sometimes, in doing so they put themselves in harms way.

Who are your heros?? Ever thought about it?

My list of heros is a long one! I would like to start with the doctors, nurses, paramedics and therapists who have worked tirelessly coming to my aid over the last five years. Both, in my time of need then and as my need continues. I believe it takes a special person to be in these types of professions. They work long hours which takes them away from the people they share a life with. Also, they often times put themselves and potentially their health at risk to make sure others are well cared for and looked after. Even the first responder volunteer firefighters from our community have come to aid, when I needed urgent medical attention. In addition to my need, our community has had to call on them a time or two and they always answer without hesitation. I am extremely grateful and respectful of the work they do! Thank you!

I felt and heard so much love and compassion in every decision that was made to help me get better. Whether it was to comfort me in the late night hours because I was restless and in pain. Or, wether it was carefully changing one of dressings or administering one of my medications, these empathic medical professionals put all they had into helping me recover from such a life changing event. Many thanks to them all for the patience they possess and the care they gave. Thank you for being there for me, my hard working medical heros!

Others that have been heros to me have included my Grandparents on my Mother’s side. When I was young those wonderful old souls saved me, both mentally and physically, more times than I care to mention. Whether it was a hug, smile, kind word or just a place to lay my head, I could always count on them to save me. The time I spent with them was so very precious to me and will never forget the memories of their encouraging acts of kindness. May they both rest in peace. I miss you both dearly! Thank you for being there my blessed heros!

I have to say that I have also had many animal friends that I would consider heros, as well. When I needed to be woken because of something that was putting me in danger, a dream or even the pipes bursting in the bathroom and water was gushing everywhere, they were there. Or when a stranger came walking up the driveway, I was alerted before an unwanted surprise ended up right at the door. When my mind ran rampid with horrible thoughts they were there to lift my spirits, before I did something I couldn’t take back. Or, when I just simply needed a reminder that I mattered to someone they were always there. These times have been plentiful in my life and I thank you for being there in my time of need, my animal friends and heros!

My community of friends have been my heros as well. They unknowingly sent me a message or popped over for a visit when I needed it the most. They all ralleyed and sent me such positive energy, hope, prayers, well wishes and gifts when I needed to be reminded that I had a community I needed to get back too, when I was fighting for my life in the hospital. I worked so very hard to get back to my community. I fought with all my might. Thank you so much for being the heros, friends and family I have chosen! Thank you for giving me that strength, in my time of weakness!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank my husbands family for the love, and support they have given through out all of my challenging times over the years. Love you all!

Bet you thought I was done, eh? There is the Canadian Maritimer coming out in me. Lol.

Well, I have saved the best hero for the last. My husband, partner in crime, and the absolute best man I know is my biggest hero of all. He is the light of my life and the beat of my heart. I know, it sounds a little cheesy right? But so very true! DW, you have always supported me in all my crazy ways of being. You have sacrificed your own wants and needs to make sure I had what I needed and never once asked for anything in return. You listened endlessly, to my rants and my sorrows lovingly. I respect you, your beliefs and your guidance when I asked for it and even when I didn’t. Hell, you taught me how to be a better more understanding person. You saved me physically and mentally so many times, I am not sure I could even put a number to it. DW, you have always put me first and I know it is because you truly love me for the crazy ass I am. My gratitude and thanking you somehow just doesn’t seem to be enough for all that you have given me. You are my very best friend and my biggest hero of all! My wish is that you receive all that you hope for in life and more. Because, to me, of anyone I know, you deserve it the most. I am so thankful that fate and or destiny brought us together and my life has been complete because you are in it. As the old saying goes, ’til death do us part. Well that has happened twice for us already and we are still here. Still together. Regardless, my hope is that the final death do us part doesn’t happen for a very long time. Thanks to you, however, we have had more time together than we both thought we might. Oh sweet time, it is a true gift when you are with your true love. This being said, if our time is up tomorrow know that we will find each other again in the after life, as we have been doing for all of time. My love, my hero.

So, I hope I have provoked some thought and encouraged some expression of gratitude in all of your minds, about your heros. Speaking to all of you, thank you for reading my thoughts and supporting me throughout my journey. It is so very comforting and healing to know that I am not alone!

I hope that you too know that you are not alone!

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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Breaking The Cycle

I have learned many lessons throughout my 54 years and most of them the hard way. I suppose I will always continue to learn. But it seems that now, I lean a little more towards the path of least resistance. Learning, to me, means investing in the growth of one’s self. I believe that if we stop learning and stretching ourselves, we go from truly living to simply existing, and in my opinion, that is not living. I think I read this somewhere in my travels and it just seemed to make sense to me. Are we not here but to challenge and school ourselves? Our purpose is but to grow, and a human can not grow as an individual, unless we keep learning. That was a mouthful, but I think you get the point.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned, the hard way, is that hope can kill or make you seriously ill.

What I mean by hope can kill, is that hoping people will change to suit your wants or needs will never happen, and in my experience, the stress of that hoping can eventually kill you. Stress can literally cause physical illness. Hoping can cause stress, therefore enough stress, caused by hoping, can in fact kill. Well, at least I think that’s what it did to me. Especially after discovering Dr. Gabor Mate and studying his beliefs and teachings. There is more certainty in my mind now than ever before.

Dr. Mate has written several books on his theories and approach to healing, which are backed up by decades of science and research. If we do not stay true to ourselves, in the way of our wants and needs, it will manifest into some sort of illness. He also believes and has fact based research that would prove that a fetus inside a woman’s body can feel her stress and it can and will affect the fetus not only in the womb but also once the child is born. As well as later on in life.

I do not doubt for one second that my parents loved me. For me, the problem was the kind or type of love they were capable of giving. They were both so damaged, in many ways. It was these facts and my experience of life that led to my conscious decision to break the cycle.

I knew, deep down inside, that there could and most likely would be a good chance that, if I did have children, they too would be affected by the ripple effect of this cycle of damage. After all, how could I raise children if I could not even get my own shit together. I was a people pleaser and could never say “no”. To anyone. Ever. I ignored my own needs because I did not want to say no or disappoint anyone, with their wants or needs. I believe that the accumulative effects and damage from doing this actually killed me. Well, for thirty-five minutes. The first time. So, how could I, in good conscience, pass that on to another human??

I always said that my husband and I would love and do our best to raise children, if it ever happened. We both decided, however, that it was okay if it never did. I think that we both felt that it was just one of those things that was not meant to be. Or, did we??

Because we never had children, we were able to live a life together that not many people get to experience. I am grateful and very happy that we have had the opportunity, to build this life together.

On the other side of the coin, it is too late for us now. There are times when I day dream and wonder what it would have been like to experience having a child with my husband. I think he would have made an amazing Dad.

Not long after I start to day dream, however, reality sets in and I remember. I remember that even if I had been the best Mom ever and my husband was the best Dad, somehow that ripple effect would find my child. I don’t think after everything I have been through, I could live with myself if I thought for one second that my child would suffer even one moment of the life experience I have been through. So for me, it was a blessing. It was probably the one choice I truly made for myself.

We, as people, need to accept reality and change our life situations, according to our wants and desires, for ourselves. It is not right to try to change other people to suit you or your situation, regardless of the capacity. They are who they are and you are who you are. I think that we need to accept that if those two do not mesh, it cannot be forced or coaxed or even tortured into submission. Sure a person can play a role, for awhile, but in the end that role can only be played for so long before the true nature of the situation is revealed. Just simply hoping and wishing things were different, without taking action toward your desired results, will most often lead to disappointment and maybe even illness.

So, in my experience, I have learned that I need to accept people for who and what they are. Now with that in mind, if for one reason or another, that does not mesh well with my wants and desires, or my views, or moral compass. I must move on and continue searching for the company of those who do mesh with same the views and values that I feel are important. As an example, I do my best to live with intent and purpose that is meaningful to the betterment of all living beings. I can accept that there are beings in this world, that do not feel the same way. However, I choose not to form a close relationship with them, as our views differ, and that is okay. I can only do my part in the betterment of the world and giving energy to hoping that others will follow suit only takes away from my capacity to give.

In theory, if one was to spread love, then love is what will come back to one. I have felt this but only in the setting of a few like minded individuals.

Some people give by making music and what better feeling than to listen to a piece that you can totally relate to. Some people like to volunteer to help those in need. Some people like to create art and share in the joy of a beautiful piece. Some people like to write and spread their words of encouragement. Some people help nature to flourish. Whatever it is that calls to you, do it. Love will come back to you from all the right beings and those who can appreciate it. Spread the love it will heal you in ways you never thought imaginable. You will be doing your part to help human kind to heal this broken world and yourself at the same time. We may all be broken in some way and could use the healing power of love and a little empathy.

I understand why I feel so connected to animals. There is no second guessing how they feel about you. Animals either like you or they do not. Animals make no apologies for who or what they are. They are strong in there convictions and tell it the way it is. Animals do not play games with peoples emotions. They will give love freely if, they feel your energy and intentions are pure. If not, they will make every effort to remove themselves from the situation, quietly. Unless, of course, you pose a threat to them, their young or their survival.

I guess, in many ways, I have given life. Maybe not to my own offspring but to the idea of spreading love and compassion. Especially to those in need of it and especially to my animal friends.

Breaking the cycle of unwanted patterns may be hard. But I think it can be well worth it. Especially when you succeed in the end.

To me, these are some valuable lessons and observations.

Please be kind…

Love As Always,

Tanya Jean

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My Grammy… My Angel

Another Mother’s day has come and gone without you here. I can not begin to express how much I miss you and the way you were with me. I even miss those dry old scratchy hands you used to rub my back in such a soothing way. I know that sounds weird but even though the skin of those hard working hands was rough, the touch was soft, soothing and loving. When I was sick or even just having a hard time to sleep I could count on those incredibly healing hands to mend all that was wrong. Not to mention the long talks we would have about anything and everything. There was never any judgement just a loving ear to bend and an encouraging word if needed.

Mother’s day has been very hard for me since you passed. I miss your laugh and the way you used to lovingly scold Grampy. I can still hear you saying, “oh Eddy”, with the tone of a grin on your face. I clearly remember the way you used to be so meticulous in the way you kneaded your bread or cut vegetables for pickling or super.

I can still smell, even though I lost my sense of smell years ago, your turkey dinners and bacon cooking for a special morning breakfast on the weekends. You always took such care in preparing your meals and put a little touch of love in with every stir of the spoon.

What I wouldn’t give to be sitting in the living room with you watching one of your favorite daytime soaps or a good nature show listening to the clicking of your knitting needles. Every stitch so precise without even watching what you were doing. The beautiful afghans you had knit me still keep me warm and remind me of you everyday. Even my animal friends can feel the love of every stitch as they always pick one of many to cuddle up on. Those beautiful warm pieces of your art work is all I have left to hold on to you now. They wrap around me like you are sending me a hug from the heavenly afterlife you now reside in. I cling to them like they are my life line on a difficult day remembering you and what you might have said to me with encouragement.

I know you were sent to me in this life because I needed a living angel. Perhaps that was part of the reason we share part of the same name. I am proud to have your name in mine. I can only hope to live up to it. You have big shoes to fill for a short woman. I would like to think that I have your kind but broken heart. Thank you for your loving guidance and reigning in reality for me. You taught me many life lessons, and yet somehow, I feel that I still have more to learn.

I understand why you had to go even though it shocked me at the time. One day you were here and the next day just a memory of a great woman. I know you would not have wanted to go any other way and so I can respect your wishes. Grief can temporarily blind ones perspective when it is such a quick passing at a young age. You worked tirelessly to make sure your family was well looked after. It was time for the big long sleep and for you to reunite with loved ones that had passed. I know how much you must have missed them because I am sure it compares to how much I miss you now.

Know that my life was whole because you were in it, even if it was not for as long as I had hoped for. I want to thank you for being you and loving me. I know we will meet again in the afterlife. Until then, I can feel your presence in what remains of the working part of my heart. Love and miss you dearly Grammy. Rest well my heavenly angel.

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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WIDOW MAKER

As I said in my last post, everything went black after the second spray of nitro was given to me. The last words I spoke were to call my mother. If I had to do it all over again, those would not have been my last words to my husband. As he was calling my mother I went into full blown cardiac arrest in front of his eyes.

One of my main arteries was blocked one hundred percent. As far as the doctors could tell, a piece of plaque broke off in one of my arteries. As far as they could tell it must have wedged and then my body’s natural repair system kicked in and started to clot where the plaque broke off. The problem was that it clotted and blocked the entire artery so there was no blood flowing to my heart.

The doctor and his team worked tirelessly on me for a little over thirty five minutes to try to bring me back. They gave me a clot buster hoping that would open the artery, even if it was just a little so that my heart would start to pump again. Shock after shock my husband stood watching my lifeless body. The medical team tried to get him to leave, but as I said before, my husband is a large strong man and if he doesn’t want to do something no one can make him.

I am glad they couldn’t make him leave. I could feel him mentally calling to me and I to him. I believe if he had left the room that day, I probably would not be alive today. He was saying “don’t leave me”. I heard him and I hung on to that with what strength I had. Our connection has always been strong but I had no idea of its incredible power.

As the team was about to give up, the lead nurse suggested to double up the pads and shock me one more time. They did just that and stood back hoping that would do the trick. My husband said it was like nothing he had ever seen before. It brought me right up off of the stretcher, with limbs fully extended and eyes wide open. After that, as my husband kneeled on the floor beside my lifeless body, trying to find the words to say Good bye, while one technician in background muttered under his breath, “just call it already”. I guess he didn’t realize my husband was on the floor next to me. The Doctor asked for one last check for a pulse. To which the nurse replied, she had a pulse. It was faint and very weak but there was a pulse. This was much to everyone’s surprise and relief!

During this crazy time my husband had to call my mother a second time and told her if she didn’t get there soon, I would be gone. She was working for my brother at the time and she said she was waiting for someone to come and relieve her of her duties, if you can imagine. If I was told my daughter was dying and I needed to go to her, nothing would stop me from leaving immediately. That’s my family for ya.

My mother showed up made a rude comment to my husband and then came over to my side and told me that I needed to pull through this because there were people who were depending on me. I guess she must have meant herself. However, I was still in darkness. She was speaking to my lifeless body that was barely clinging to life and fighting to hang on.

Once a pulse was found, the doctor came to my husband and told him that if I had a fighting chance they needed to transport me to the Saint John Regional Hospital immediately. This hospital has the best cardiac care unit in New Brunswick and if anyone could help me it would be them.

The doctor said that he did not know if I would make the trip but they had to try. My husband wanted to go in the ambulance but there was simply not enough room. A nurse would have to go along with the ambulance crew. He was told he would have to follow along behind and if he had anything to say to me, he better say it now because there was a real good chance that I wouldn’t make it and this could be the last time he would see me alive.

The EMT said if my husband saw them on the highway pulled over to not approach the ambulance, that they would be working on me and they would come to him, it would not be safe for him to approach.

My husband said his good bye to me and we left for Saint John. He quickly gave instructions to his brother on how to get the dogs that were still in the van waiting to be groomed home safe. They would not be groomed on that day after all. I always kept a scheduling book with me that contained all of my customers info in it, thankfully. I am so thankful he was there in our time of need. I am forever grateful!

Once the dog situation was quickly handled my husband grabbed my mother’s car keys and headed to Saint John with her and my mother-in-law on board. He was but couple of minutes behind the ambulance. All the way watching closely in case the ambulance was pulled over on the side of the road.

I was later told that the car ride to Saint John was the most quiet, intense and fast ride any of them had ever had. He said he was so thankful that he never came across the ambulance stopped on the side of the highway. Upon arrival at Saint John Regional, he stopped the car in the middle of all traffic at the entrance, jumped out and sprinted inside to find me, leaving the two mothers to deal with the car and parking..

I woke from a comma about two weeks later…

A lot happened in those two weeks but that part of my story will have to wait for another day.

As Always, With Love,

Tanya Jean

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I Give Because I Love. I Love Deeply Because I Remember… I WILL NEVER FORGET!

To give, is better than to receive. A life lesson many of us became familiar with at a young age. It was a lesson and practice that was instilled in me very early on in childhood. “You are to give freely and always put the needs of others ahead of your own.” A statement that I heard regularly and was something that became an everyday practice, for me at least. It was a practice that would become a habit and a habit that would eventually become an obsession. Well maybe not…. well let me think, yup it became an obsession. One that would last about 50 years or so. Seems like a long time. A long time that seemed to pass by so very quickly. This post is about some of the things I learned on this part of my journey.

Giving can come at a cost, as we all know. Giving of what, you might ask? Giving how? In what context? The type of giving I am talking about giving of yourself. The practice of freely giving away love, care and understanding and compassion, or lending a physical helping hand, to those who would take and take until the tank is dry. Until a day comes when you find you have nothing left for yourself. It is the exhaustive type of giving that can become too much, long before you realize what is or has happened. The type of giving that could in fact cost you everything. Maybe even your life…

My start in life was very challenging to say the least and I simply did not have the tools that I needed to protect myself. I had safe havens that I could retreat to when possible. My grandparents always gave me a loving and safe space when they were available. I am thankful that I had them and my animal companions in my young life. I may not have made it in this world without them.

My immediate family taught me many valuable lessons with their ways and their philosophies on life and how to treat others. They taught me to do as they asked, regardless of how it made me feel, or, there would be consequences. The physical consequences were easier to heal from than the emotional ones I suffered. I was very young and was uneducated in the ways of mental warfare, at that time. It seemed that their feedback was negative no matter what I did. So, in trying to follow the one example that I truly valued, my Grandparents, I tried to fight back with kindness. If I’m being honest, I would say that there was the odd occasion when I was not so kind. These were actions that I would come to regret and paid the price for. I was far from perfect, but it would seem that those who mistreated me saw my attempts at kindness as weakness and as a result, I failed miserably in their ways of war.

It seems that for years, I have tried to give love, compassion and kindness and simply taken the cruel and abusive words and actions handed back to me by many. I think that this may have been because of my early and harsh teachings. I just held onto the hope that if I just keep trying harder and if I just give a little more, maybe it would be enough. It never was. I did my very best to treat them like I wanted to be treated. That’s the rule, right? So, if they in turn treat me the way they wanted to be treated, we truly were polar opposites. Because, I sure did not want to be treated that way. Not at all.. As a result of all this pushing and trying harder and harder, my health started to deteriorate. It was at little at a time at first and then slowly it progressed more and more, for some time. It is truly amazing what you can get used too. Eventually, and then drastically, it deteriorated to a point that now I am only a part of the person I used to be. The actions and words of these hurtful and abusive beings broke my heart. It started with little chips and small cracks, and now, there is literally a part of my heart that is dead and will never function again.. But that’s ok, I am tough and I will keep on going! They won’t beat me!!

In addition to my broken heart, I have many, many scars. The physical ones, some of which I will share in future posts, have been the easiest to heal from. The mental ones not so much. But I’m doing the work. I’m trying with all my might, everyday. Everyday I do the work in doing research and learning new skills that really seem to help me. This is why I want to share my findings with all of you. Maybe through sharing this information and the things I have learned, I or we can help someone else find their way through their darkness. As a result of some of the complications I have experienced and had to overcome, I now walk like I am wearing a large diaper. Not just a large diaper, but one that is full, if you get my meaning… This is because of a condition known as foot drop. It is neurological in nature and will not improve beyond the point that it is now. As a result of this condition, I now notice that people look at me weird because of the way I walk and maneuver, all the time. It hurts at times but that’s ok. My approach is to just make jokes about it and this seems to put them at ease. I can accept it, because there was a time when it was thought that I would never walk again. I can still see the look on my Doctor’s face when, during a follow up appointment, I told him I had recently been out snowshoeing with some friends. I can do it, you just watch me!!

I am all for giving to fellow beings that are in need and appreciate it. However, I have learned that one can easily give too much. Give to the point of complete depletion and there are some who will take all you are willing to give. They will take until there is nothing left but an empty shell of a person who has nothing left for their own care. There can sometimes be a fine line here and it can be hard to balance the act of giving to others and giving to yourself. I urge you to give to yourself first and foremost so that you feel whole, energized and are in good health before you look outward to those in need. You are Important! Your wants and needs are important! Be kind to yourself!!

In my lifetime, I have had the pleasure of knowing some of the most loving and caring beings on this earth. You know, the ones that just make you feel like nothing else matters in that moment except you and your feelings. My grandparents, my husband, a handful of really close friends, both human and animal, have done this for me. I am truly blessed to have had these experiences in my life and do my very best to return the same attention, love and kindness to them. Do any of you have these type of individuals in your life? Please show them your gratitude and let them know how important they are in your life! It will make a difference to them.

What I am desperately trying to do now is mend the part of my heart that can be fixed by helping others and staying true to who I am. My true self. I am still figuring that out but I’m getting there. I now know who I can turn to, in both the dark moments and the moments of great joy. It seems to me that knowing who you can share these times in your life with is a key factor in ones well being. Beware of recuring empty promises. Even if there were some great times with the abusive individuals in your life. Sometimes that’s what we do, we hold on to the good times, even if they were few and far between. We hold onto hope that the good times will become more frequent and things will improve. Hope is not reality, hope only lives in our minds. It is not a strategy and will not change fact. Remember the old saying, “a leopard does not change it spots”? If someone has repeatedly hurt you, regardless if it was mentally or physically, you must retreat to your safe and loving places and regroup. Regroup with those who lift you up. Those who will encourage and support you. Those who love and respect you for who and what you are. You are important! You matter!

Remembering and being realistic with my expectations is a key factor in what has helped me to survive. Develop a clear definition of what love is to you. Remember that time and life are precious and, for me, those who do not meet this criteria no longer have a place in my life. You have to have a safe place to share and be your true self.

These are some of the tools and techniques that have helped me. Maybe they could help you or someone you love.

With Love always,

Tanya Jean

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People die, but love does not

I once heard someone say that “people die but love does not”. My thought at the time was that those were some of the most truthful words ever spoken.

Love is the most powerful emotion there is. I believe that love is the most powerful emotion that people can choose to feel. It may even be that in some cases, its not a choice. It is, or can be, the most powerful force we have the pleasure to experience in our lives. I know, it sounds like some cheesy feel good movie title. But, the thing is though, I would not have survived my heart attack, without the power of love. Even as I was drifting away from this existence, I could feel the love that my husband and I had for each other pulling me back. Pulling me back from this peaceful, pain free and tranquil place I was drifting off too. I could feel his presence there beside my lifeless body, trying to find the words to say good bye. When it would seem that revival efforts lasting a little over 35 minutes would not be successful. Then, as the ER doctor calling the procedures asked for one last check for a pulse….

It must have been at this moment, that I remember thinking to myself, what was I doing, I can’t leave yet. Who would look after my loved ones? I can’t go to this place. I’m not ready to leave them on their own. Flashes of my husband and our animal family at the home we had built together kept running through my mind, with overwhelming force. They needed me! I needed them! So, love brought me back from this place where there was no pain. It was the most comfortable place that I had ever been. It was like I was resting on the softest, most comfortable bed that had ever been built. There was no pain or pressure on my body. My soul felt like I was home. I was finally where I belonged. But, my mind could not rest. Something or someone was telling me that I needed to go back. Back to my loved ones. Back to my home. There was a force pulling me back to my loved ones. There could not be complete and lasting bliss in this new existence yet if I was to stay. My time for that long peaceful sleep had not yet come.

Though it looked like I was dying, my Love was not…

With love always,

Tanya Jean