A different take on before and after. . .

Before and After

I learned this lesson the hard way a couple of years ago, and I learned it again in full force over the last month when the son of a woman I know jumped off a roof to his death; the next day, I learned about two more recent suicides that happened in families I know of. Most people don’t think about the decision to stay alive as a choice, we don’t consider the option to say, No, thanks to life, but some people do. These are the befores and afters that change everything.

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  • 5 August 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 3358
  • Comments: 13

Air drying and the smell of joy

Notes on Gratitude

An incredible aroma emanated out of the open cabinet. I took a deep breath in through my nose. The smell was a beautiful combination of lily and narcissus, gillyflower and fuchsia, passion fruit and shea butter. See those soap bars at the bottom of the photo?  I was enveloped in their heavenly scent. I took another deep breath in and slowly let it out. Immediately, I saw in my mind’s eye the smiling face of the person that was with me in the store in Boulder, CO where I purchased those bars of soap. Two seconds later I was lost in pleasant memories of the weekend I spent there and all the people (so dear to me) with whom I spent it—joy coming from one simple delightful whiff. The thrill of my conniving thoughts to swap out a tub of shave balm for intensive moisturizing hair conditioner evaporated and was replaced by gratitude for the memories of that special weekend with special friends.

Click the photo to read more about soap, toilet paper and gratitude.

  • 3 August 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 1779
  • Comments: 14

What I'm reading and how it helps. . .

Just Finished, Up Next

Looking back on those early days, I have so much empathy for the me of then. Some people might call that selfish, to focus attention on myself. I call it imperative. We can’t give to others what we don’t have for ourselves. It took me a long time to figure out that the best way to improve my relationship with my daughter and to aid in her recovery was to improve my relationship with myself. Developing empathy was a major step in that process.

Click the photo to read more about how empathy helped me. . .

  • 29 July 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 2079
  • Comments: 5

Meet the newest member of our family. . .

Notes on Gratitude

I'd like you to meet the newest member of our family. This is my grandbaby boy, Val Yokas.

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  • 29 July 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 1817
  • Comments: 2

Remembering Mom. . .

Notes on Gratitude

I don't know how to make sense of the fact that three years to the day of your death, Bob, your partner of 25 years, is rehabilitating in the same place you were up until your death. I followed him to the physical therapy room and saw a whisper of you in each patient that worked hard to stand up a bit straighter and to walk a bit stronger.

Click the photo to read more about feeling grateful on the third anniversary of my mother's death.

  • 20 July 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 1492
  • Comments: 1
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