Apr 16, 2016

The Tide Will Turn

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn."

~Harriet Beecher Stowe

This has already been a year that has taught me that I live in a tight place. 
I live on the edge. 
I live filled with hope, optimism, and understanding.

I live in faith with the knowledge that while I feel like I cannot hold on a minute longer, that my life has too much pain, too much heartbreak, too much loss,

I know that all it takes is one loving thought, 
one happy moment of pure joy, 
one act of creation ...

and for then, for that one moment..for that moment

I am happy 

and I can go on 

and the tide will turn.

...for it just had.

It is time to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, the tide to come in or go out, it is time, to grab each moment and live it, truly it..feel it, delight in it, find joy and pure love in it.

And 'sew' I will.

I grieve and I miss and mourn. But I go on for life goes on.

In Memory of Kathryn:

Kathryn, my friend for a reason and a season. Kathryn recently died at the age of 104. She died living independently, in her own home, after an amazing long life. She worked as a hairdresser and supported herself all of her life, living in the one same home she grew up in and doing everything for herself even when she developed glaucoma and became almost completely blind. Walking with a cane, she climbed steep steps to her upstairs bedroom every night and cooked and cleaned the best she could for herself.
Kathryn had married young and was betrayed by a not very good man after all. She divorced him and never remarried. She never had children, but she trusted in a nephew and his wife who further hurt and betrayed her.

I only knew Kathryn for a very short while. We had simply parked in front of her house She opened her door and in a tiny voice that had been calling for help for 3 days called out "help me, help me please." She had been left alone by the nephew, had run out of heating oil in the dead of winter, was freezing and had run out of groceries. Later, she had to dial 911 and place a restraining order on that nephew (who I had instantly disliked when meeting him weeks later)

We did everything we could, including getting oil in immediately, making sure she had food and called in neighbors to take over after we left. I wrapped her up in my arms and held her for hours. I barely knew her, but I loved her and I miss her. But I am grateful she was in my life for a reason and a season. And that for that period in time, I could be in hers.

 For Blanche in Love and Memory:

Blanche recently died of respiratory illness her breed was prone to. I held brought her out of the same illness, shown above, one month earlier and she had lived. But it reoccurred and I was out of town for the day and came home to find her deathly ill. I brought her into the sunshine and held her until she passed.

For Maxine in Transition:

Maxine is struggling now and in transition between one state of being and another. I do not yet know for sure how her story will end but I always do whatever I can to help whoever I can...even a chicken.

I brought inside and into my little chicken infirmary. I hold and pet and love on he each day, trying with all I have and know how to do to boost her immune system for this battle with a fatal disease. I've only had her since February 4 when we brought her and the others home at 1 day old but I love her still, as I do all of my little ones . I will miss her if she passes as I am told she will, but I will rejoice in having loved her none the less. That my hint of red shirt lower right as we sit in my easy chair, in my living room, for pet chicken loving time.

~my photo, shown at top, taken on a walk after the death of my mother~

This is the old Treadwell Mine pump house. It survived an explosion in the 30's that destroyed what was once the largest gold mine in the world. A gold mine that my Alaskan grandfather worked in after emigrating from Finland to see his fortune in a new land. An explosion that my intuitive grandmother was deathly afraid might happen and had forbidden my grandfather to even go to work that day it happened. No woman told a strong Finnish man what to do, of course, so she refused to pack his lunch. No strong Finnish man packed his own lunch. So, he stayed home that day as the Gastineau channel waters rushed in and flooded the entire mine causing it to eventually cave in.

 Across to Juneau, the capital city of Alaska and one many of you have visited while seeing Alaska, especially on a cruise ship as seen in my photo above.

And here is the City of Douglas and my beloved Sandy Beach, part of the Savikko Recreation Area. Named after my Uncle Bobby, then mayor of the city of Douglas, on Douglas Island, where I grew up. Across from Juneau it was a magical life but one filled with many losses. Even my beloved Uncle Robert Savikko, then the mayor of Douglas, died on a moose hunting trip with my father. He left behind a loving wife and three teen aged children whose lives, like ours, was forever changed. I walk that beach almost everyday when I return 'home' to touch base and reconnect with family and my roots. It grounds me and gives me strength. 

All text and photos by Michele Savikko Bilyeu

To anyone with a dear heart who might be worried about me due to my posting about so many losses and grief and grieving, please know that I am fine!I spend a LOT of time helping others and feeling loss..theirs or mine. But thanks for your sweet emails. I am fine. hugs hugs hugs.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.


Winifred said...

What a blessing you parked outside Kathryn's house that day. She must have been a very tough lady to survive all that pain & still be independent.

Walking beaches has such a calming effect on me too. They should bottle it, better than any tranquiliser!

You write such moving and inspiring posts and your photographs are equally beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

julieQ said...

You know what? I love you, for helping that lady. God sent you to her. Bless you.

O'Quilts said...

lovely post xxoo

Penny said...

Looking for 'those moments' when we can be of help can in turn become help for us -- a new friendship, laughter and hugs and knowing that your life has become enriched. Please don't mourn -- celebrate Kathryn's life and your own and the closeness which was a gift to each of you.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Bless your heart, sweet Penny! I am fine. 104 is a very long life and cannot truly be mourned except for they are gone in this physical dimension. Its just a lot of losses every single year. That's what happens when you're older and your friends and family are older. But the violent deaths of my chickens are a lot to deal with and me being a screaming meemie as I chase off predators is exhausting..the coyote jumped and jumped on their coop. We are currently putting in an electric fence besides double gates at night to the entire coop.