Saturday, October 19, 2019

For those who grieve, loving you to the moon and back!

Between Monday and Thursday of this week I lost three patients, even in hospice this is a lot for one person's census.  On Thursday morning our state was recovering from a pretty major wind/rain storm. Many lost power and there was substantial flooding. To top it all off Ed is half way around the world and it is only the half way point to his return.

I shared with my daughter Heather, who was home with her kids due to the storm that it is most definitely a rainbow shirt day. I have a shirt with small rainbows on it that is my 'go to' shirt when I'm feeling down. 

Rainbows are not a cure-all; they can't bring people back to life, stop someone from dying and they can't change the weather. 

What rainbows can do is remind you that something beautiful can be left behind in the wake of a storm; literal or figurative!

I have suffered greatly throughout my life in many a storm, as I know most of you reading this have. 

For me, a rainbow is love!

In my faith tradition it is a gift form the Divine and a promise of continued love.

This rainbow was extra special because of the moon; the moon that was right smack dab in the center of my  rainbow as I began a new day was the same moon in the sky watching over Ed as he slept. Both Ed and I were born on full moons and we spoke for the first time on a full moon, a blue moon at that, which is a rare second full moon in the same month, and it was a Paschal moon; which is the full moon just before Easter! Ed always tells me he loves me to the moon and back....and at an incredibly sad and lonely moment I was gifted with the absolute vision of

Love you to the moon and back.....

There in no distance love can't reach!

There is no border love can't cross, including the separation that death leaves behind. 

Rainbows make me smile and bring me joy. Many friends and family have gifted me with rainbows, for which I am most grateful! At the same moment I was taking this photo, I received a loving message from a new friend who was grieving the loss of her mom (a bird lover just like me) and a glorious bird flew right through my lens as I snapped the photo with the rainbow heading toward the moon! Throughout the rest of the day every time I started to feel down, just like magic, I'd turn my head and there was another rainbow supplying me with much needed love to help me along my journey! I shared this rainbow love with a patient who was down herself in the form of a rainbow manicure and she smiled, which for her, is physically and emotionally a challenge.

Love is real and it is eternal, look for it and it will surprise you every time. On a cloudy day out of the shadows there is love and it prevails!

Todays prayer is for all who grieve; the loss of someone to death, separation because of addiction, because of travel, because of fear; that you find joy in some small way and that it grows like a seed of love planted in your heart to promote healing. 

SOS began as a gift of love to break down barriers and deepen our connection to one another through love and compassion for our individual journeys and that is exactly what it does, one rainbow at a time!

Peace, love, compassion and rainbows be with you today and always!!!

Loving all of the moon and back!!!


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Celebrating Ben's day of birth to the physical life 31 years later

Today is Ben's birthday. 31 years ago his parents welcomed their first born child into the world with innumerable hopes and dreams. I can imagine as most, presumably all of you reading this can, no one dreams of an untimely death of their child for any reason.

I don't want to talk about death, I want to celebrate life!

Bringing something to birth is starting a new life; this is true in any seed, literal or figurative that is planted.

Each and every day can be a day of birth, birth into a new way of living.

I've said it before and I will say it again and again till my physical time on this earth ends and I return to the divine energy from which I came as I believe we all do; our community of people facing addiction has come so far in the years since I was cast into it and I pray this growth will continue.

We no longer have to live in the shadows.

There is less and less shame in naming the disease.

We are accepted as people who face something terrible and terrifying on a daily basis.

Happy birthday to Ben and to you and to me and to us all, may today be a day of remembrance of our birth into life, our birth into recovery, our birth into forgiveness and our birth into acceptance.

Here's the wonderful thing about a birthday, it never stops. If something goes wrong or a relapse occurs or someone leaves the physical life as we know it, your birthday is your birthday and no one and nothing can take that away.

Buy a cake, eat a cookie or an ice-cream sundae and sing to you, your beautiful self for everyday is a celebration of all that is and always will be you!!!!!

Today's pic Kim put together to share Ben's love of the NY Giants with Cam & Lin..... for those of us Giants lovers out there, chin up every game and every season is also a chance at a new beginning! Go Giants!

May the peace that is born in the loving connections we have with each other wash over you today and always!

Safe travels with love

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Celebrating Hillary's life & Back to detox

July 12th was Hillary's 28th birthday!  

My precious angel on Earth!

Being a parent of someone who faces addiction is extremely hard. I know I am one of the fortunate and blessed ones because I still have my daughter in this life to celebrate birthdays with. 

A few weeks back I was invited to detox and had the privilege to sit with and look into the eyes of some pretty amazing folks who had made the choice to seek help. I shared with them, Hillary and Bens stories and told them how they too could find peace on the road that begins with the first steps toward recovery. I shared how Hillary had sat in the same chairs they were sitting in, had left and gone back as many of them had and how ultimately, the last time was she walked out those doors was several years ago. A woman in the front row stared at me with tears in her eyes and the hand of another patient on her shoulder as I spoke. When she had the opportunity to speak, she said, ‘this is MY time, I’m not coming back here again’! She shared how she was ready, she was grateful and she was going to rebuild her life the same way Hillary had. I believed her and I believed in her power to make it happen! I knew that come what may this woman had turned the corner the same way Hillary had; I could see it in her amazingly beautiful eyes. Hillary inspires me with her strength, courage and love every day. I am honored to be her mom and share her story of recovery to inspire others.

My friend (amazing guy in his own right) who invited me to come, sat with me and the rest of our SOS family in that room and shared stones that he had selected for the people he knew so well. Each and every person in the room shared what the stone they received meant to them and their recovery. I knew why I created SOS, what I didn't know was the varying impact it had on so many. We paint with an idea and what we want people to know. What I learned amongst this group on that Sunday was that the stones have an energy all their own. We may place the initial idea and energy into them, however it is the person who receives it that knows how and why (with the help of Spirit) it was intended for them. I sat in awe of what these simple little stones were capable of. Add in the global healing energy that our community shares and they are priceless, my detox family is priceless, you are priceless. On Friday I had the privilege of wishing my precious child Hillary, a happy 28th birthday and for that I will be forever grateful!

Today my prayer is that all who face this disease and those that love them will be able to share many more happy, healthy, peace filled recovery birthdays now and until the end of time! 

May the Divine love that lives within us all be ever present in your mind body and spirit!

Forever yours in love and hope xoxoxox k

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

17 months later I fell again

Two weeks ago I fell and have been in therapy ever since trying to heal the damage I did to my knee. Seventeen months ago I fell and I'd love to say those are the only times I have fallen; however, they are not. Over the past ten years, I have fallen enough times to require rehabs and surgeries more times than I care to recall.

I tell myself over and over, be careful, slow down; somehow I forget.....until it happens again. then I beat myself up for not taking the necessary precautions to protect myself from harm.

I move too fast for my body and my mind seems to forget my fall risk over time.

Relapse and recovery from addiction works in very similar ways due the nature of the minds ability to forget the discomfort associated with trauma. It is a defense mechanism the body/brain has to aid in healing.

I spent some time at detox a couple weeks ago sharing stones and the folks I visited with were predominantly repeat visitors. They knew they didn't want to be there again; however, there they were.

Today I ask that you join me in sending compassionate healing energy to those who have fallen, either for the first time or have fallen once again, that they would feel your strength and love surrounding them and holding them up until they are able to once again stand on their own two feet.

This post is in honor of my extended family over at the Intercommunity Detox Center in Hartford and the staff who so lovingly support those who have fallen and have decided to face another day trying to stand on their own in new and more stable ways.

I was asked to create a stone that says SERENITY as a reminder to a young man who is embracing his desire to 'change the things he can' and I have no doubt he will!

Peace, love and hope for a future with less falls 

xox k

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The black Slug

Came across this little critter in our travels. At first glance it was hard to determine what we'd found. It looked like something other than what it was. Research taught us it was a black slug. It appeared to be pretty harmless, however upon further investigation we learned that it could be invasive and lead to the destruction of otherwise healthy ecosystems. Here's what we learned about slugs.

They prey on the seedlings

They are resilient and have developed ways 
to be more tolerant of their surroundings 
increasing their survival rates

If an ecosystem has a sensitive species 
the black slug can have a negative impact because of the
increased pressure on what is already compromised.

They are predominantly nocturnal to avoid being exposed to light,
caught and or eradicated.

They start small attacking one plant at a time
until an entire community is affected.

Sound familiar...………

Do not be fooled, if it looks like a slug, hangs out where slugs hang out, it is most probably a slug!
Look out for predatory creatures, they are everywhere and know your weaknesses.

All God's creatures have a place in our multiverse. Slugs are no exception; they are food for other creatures and are part of the natural order of things. All slugs should be not be removed, to do so would harm our ecosystems in many ways; however, we need to be aware of the dangers of their presence and choose our connection to them wisely. 

Divine Creator of all,
We give you thanks for your spirit among us.
Help us to look for the best in all your creatures.
We know your will is for us to choose
a path of love and light through you and with you
in our healthiest way. Surround us with those
who choose to feed our, at times, fragile spirit;
leaving behind the creatures that would destroy our roots!

In Peace let us pray for healing for all who 
need your loving presence today and always


Friday, March 15, 2019

Ben's answer to the question I've been asking for four years

This is very hard for me to write for many reasons. On the surface I believe I do my best to honor Ben's memory with SOS; however, those who know me well, know every year around this time I start to crash. I go through the could've, should've, would've and if only I had...

I struggle with his loss every day in one way or another by beating myself up over not doing enough and thinking somehow someway I  missed something.

Every anniversary and often in between I do this and every time I ask Ben for a sign, I get one but somehow its never enough to ease my feelings of responsibility.

Yesterday on my way to work I stopped at the cemetery for a little spring clean up and it hit me again, hard.

I cried as I talked to Ben and told him I was sorry and I asked him to forgive me and I asked him straight up for a new sign, a message...not like the ones before; the numbers, the songs, the hawks. This time I wanted the real deal. I needed to know he forgave me for the could've, should've, would've(s) and that I had done my best.

Ed has watched me beat myself up and has asked me many times in the past few weeks if I did my best. Did I do what I believed was right at the time, would I have changed anything, and I told him I don't know. 

When the outcome is not the one you desire is it really your best?

The answer is yes!

I won't give too many details for the privacy of those I will speak of; however, Ben clearly saw there had to be more than a simple sign, (he knows how stubborn I can be).

I left the cemetery and in my daily travels I was with a young man who was with his mom and he asked what the 333 tattoo was for on my arm (I have almost a full sleeve and he asked very specifically about Ben's) which opened the door to a conversation about addiction/recovery/etc. At which point his mom said oh my God, I knew you were here for a reason. The conversation escalated when police arrived and strategic planning and help for this family was necessary. I would not have been able to help had I not been exactly where I was supposed to be.

I moved on with my day when on the highway I saw a car pulled over with a man clearly not well. I stopped, offered help, called 911, provided first aid and was able to gather enough information before the man went unconscious; luckily I was able to help him regain consciousness after only a few moments. The paramedics arrived, I gave them all the information I collected and they took over.

I was speaking with one of my daughters on the phone and she made a statement about how 'it wasn't a bad thing, but these situations come up often in my life'. I agreed, and it hit me again; hard.

I have no idea what my young man will choose to do; I know I will pray for healing for him and his family. I have no idea how my highway man faired at the hospital. I truly have no idea how what I say, do, don't say, or don't do affects anyone or anything...

What I do know now for certain is I did my best. At these very specific moments in time, I chose what I thought was best. Nothing I do is willy-nilly, I think, some might say over think and others (Ed) say 'thoroughly' think but I think and I act on that thought.

I make mistakes as we all do and my best varies; Yesterday my best was pretty good, the day before, not so much...

Today is another day and I will do my best...
...and it will be enough!

I hope this message helps someone else who carries guilt for the of the could've, should've,
would've(s) that ultimately if you did your best on any given moment that it WAS good enough.

Today, the day after, I am still letting this all sink in. Old habits die hard, but for today I am going to do my best to forgive myself and try to remember I have done my best.

I love you all from the depths of my soul and am so very grateful for our connections today and always.

May the Spirit of loving kindness shine on you on this glorious early spring day!

Me and my boy Ben <3 

hugs Kristyn

Saturday, March 9, 2019

I wasn't ready.....Four years later!

I wasn't ready!
Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of the day Ben left this life. This year, I wasn't ready. I couldn't wrap my head around how four years had passed. The loss is still so great and the pain for those that loved him hasn't stopped. 

So much has happened since that day and so much happened before that day that led up to his overdose...

What I have learned is, I would never be ready to accept an ending. This is why I always say he left this life for the next because I simply cannot accept that his life stopped.

Addiction is NOT a choice!
Facing addiction, either yourself or through someone you love has many choices.

Yesterday I wanted to stop; as I have over the many years since this journey began with Hillary. Today I cried to Ed, saying I’m pissed off; sick and tired that I can’t turn on the tv, the computer, the radio or walk out my front door without being faced with the pain and suffering that addiction causes for those affected by it. I want to close my eyes and make it all go away because it hurts!!!!! The fear, the worry, the anger, the sadness and frustration....

Then I took a breath and I continued to write this. I go on because I know that when I first learned of Hillary’s addiction it was a quiet disease spoken in hushed settings. The stigma was so great that people were afraid to get help or speak out.

Then it happened, I realized that everything we do everyday as a family facing this dreaded disease makes a difference. What I say and do and what you say and do effects change. It has helped to pull this disease out of the shadows and put it on the tv, the computer, the radio and billboards on the side of the road! This is why we stand together and speak up. Collectively our ripple effect does make a difference. A difference for all the Ben's and Hillary’s out there who need to hear the voice of love speaking directly to them.

So I will not stop, I will never stop. I will keep on keeping on because we are worth it, every single one of us who lives to fight another day toward the eradication of this devastating epidemic.

There are no words to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have been on this journey with my family who are now part of my family.

These stones are available as well as many others;
please reach out we are happy to send them!

The main task of the semicolon is to mark a break that is stronger than a comma but not as final as a full stop.

Addiction can feel like the end, it doesn't have to be!
It is strong, you can be stronger!

You can choose to go on.
You can choose change and keep on choosing...……

When you have the choice to stop.....
stop loving yourself,
stop believing in recovery,
stop believing in a life after the pain,
stop believing in relationships that can be healed
and stop having hope, Don't!

Please don't!
I beg you, the world needs you and
the world needs people who believe in you
to keep on believing.

These stones were painted to remind us all 
the break will not stop us; we will
keep the fight alive!

post note:
This evening as I was finishing this message
I received an email that we lost yet another life to an overdose
 from our community on Wednesday.
I would ask that you take a moment to send 
healing love filled energy to his family
as they face the rough road ahead.

May peace, love and hope find a home 
within your spirit!

~hugs Kristyn Manemeit
with my inspiration and co-writer 
My husband Ed!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Make room...............

Healing by Simplifying  in 2019

The sun rising over Ben's cemetery 
making room for another day!

Look closely at your life.... your home, car, work, friends; your mind, your body and your spirit.

Are there people who bring more fear, negativity, sadness, frustration and guilt than positivity, love and happiness?

Are there ideas you are holding on to because it is what you have always believed?
Spending your time 'chasing' the next fix, leaves little time for anything else.

Feeding your body with poison leaves no hunger for anything else.

Finally, filling your mind with spirit killing thoughts and ideas others have told you or you've learned to tell yourself  will slowly but surely destroy you. 

If these areas aren't feeding your spirit there is less room for the ones that do.

Make room...……. 

Make room by releasing the old ways of thinking to allow in the new.

This year choose you; your best you,  the you that rises to make room for a life filled with joy!

Surrounding you with love and light for the journey!

xox k

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

This year will mark the 4th year since Ben's passing.......

With Gratitude For 
Who We Are.....

It is almost impossible to believe that 
almost four years ago Ben left this life
after an accidental overdose. He was not alone;
that year he left with so many others 
who were cherished just as much as he was
 cherished by all of us. 

In his honor SOS 
was created for those in our lives 
who we have lost and those who live on 
to battle the stigma and fear
that has no place in healing. 

I would like to personally thank 
my SOS community
for all the love, support, and
healing energy that has been shared.
Through our combined efforts 
we have been able to achieve our goal 
of sharing this love and compassion 
with 10's of thousands around the world.

This year I created new cards to accompany 
the stones that share our mission and motto.

I have many stones ready to spread our 
healing message.

These are just a few that Ben's mom and friends have
painted and filled with immeasurable love

New card design

If you or someone you know
needs a reminder to carry with them
of how much they are valued 
for who they are please reach out;
either by email or comment 
with contact information.
As always all stones (no matter how many)
are free, hand delivered or shipped.
Our mission is priceless and the more 
loving energy that is placed in the world,
the closer we come to a world where
addiction is a thing of the past and kindness through compassion takes its place.

Sending you loving divine Spirit filled as
we begin another year in communion with each other. From my family to yours
Peace be with you today and always!
Ginormous hugs