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Father’s Day

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 in Blog |

I mourn for a father lost, and i celebrate my husband who gave me a son. I didn’t want children when Jeff Rainey and I married. I woke up one morning, turned over and said, “Honey, I want to have a baby.” He replied without missing a beat, “It’s a good thing I’m flexible.” My teacher today reassured me that though I miss Dad greatly, he fulfilled all of his obligations here and did all God needed him to do. His life was complete. I trust in that knowledge. But it still makes me wistful. And it does not take away Mom’s pain which remains fresh and unsettled. My teacher and I talked about the trip to Turks and Caicos – you remember, the #vacationofalifetime. She said, “Every time you think of that trip, you think of it as magical . . . ” I nodded my head. We all do. We all believe it was a magical trip. She shook her head no. “That, my dear, was Love. It was Love felt by every single one of you at one point or another during those seven days. For once, for just a little bit, you felt as though you belonged in that family in all ways. It wasn’t magic, Sharon. It was LOVE.” A friend of mine is in Turks and Caicos right now with his own family. The first night, he sent me photos of the sunset and texted, “It’s your dad saying hi from T & C.” It made me cry, in a good way. I suppose what I am trying to say in a convoluted way is that while these holidays are difficult for those of us who cannot be with our loved ones, to remember they truly are with us. I know when i look at the empty chair, or when we holds hands to say grace, instead of looking for Dad, or Jim (Jeff’s dad), or Aunt Betty, or Troup, or Aunt Cherry, I simply need to close my eyes, take in a breath, and feel them. I might feel a light brush on the cheek, or the sun shining a bit brighter,...

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When Words Become Unlanguagable

Posted on May 13, 2017 in Blog |

Earllier this week, I saw this photo of Glennon Doyle Melton on Facebook. The power of the imagery was almost overwhelming for me. I remain in awe of Glennon’s determination to live authentically. While I do not necessarily agree with all that she has said, says, or believes, I honor her as a fellow Love Warrior and know that she is doing exactly what she needs to do in this life. A day later, I saw this photo of my son and his girlfriend. Again, no words are necessary to describe the love, commitment, and desire these two young lovebirds hold for one another. For the past 14 months, since Dad’s death, I have found my emotions and everything else in my life unlanguageable. I have tried to write of my grief, sometimes successfully, but mostly, lacking in depth and breadth of what is happening in my heart. I have been silent in many ways because I didn’t know how to explain my experience. In the past year of combing through thousands and thousands of photos, I have found a few treasures. I see the look Dad gave Mom and the love becomes tangible for me again. I see that same love in a few photos of Jeff and me as well. Again, words cannot describe the heart. Only the image can. Without cause or prior notice, a few days before my birthday, I started to dream in images. Vivid images. I mentioned to Jeff that I thought I wanted to paint. No, I needed to paint. I had never painted before and was actually jealous of the artists around me who could create such magical visions. Jeff bought me an easel and other supplies and encouraged me to move forward. And I did. For the past two months, I have been painting almost daily, almost in a manic mode. I cannot produce these visions quickly enough at times. I have been told I have some talent for which I am grateful. Though, honestly, I am doing this for me and for no one else. Painting is the only way I have found to describe my heart and my...

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Valentine’s Day Without Dad

Posted on Feb 12, 2017 in Blog |

We are almost through our year of firsts without Dad. With Valentine’s Day approaching, my heart sinks at the thought of Mom being alone. Soon after Dad died, the three daughters agreed that we would still send Mom flowers for each event that Dad did. Just because he was dead doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get flowers anymore. Her flowers will arrive Monday. In the past, my family didn’t gather for Valentine’s Day. Mom sent cards to the daughters, but dinner was for couples on their own. Not a big deal until this year. For Jeff and me, we usually eat dinner together, but sometimes the dinner has included a child who might be at home with us, due to illness or maybe a recent breakup. We have viewed Valentine’s Day to be a day about love, not necessarily always just romance. Jeff and I stopped going out for Valentine’s Day early in our marriage, frankly, because any meal we had in a restaurant, he could usually fix one better at home. When we stay home, our dinner is quiet, intimate, and most importantly, it is a leisurely time that we enjoy. No one is rushing for a second or third seating. I have always loved it this way. So for this year, I asked my husband, who is the most romantic man I’ve ever known, if he would give me the greatest gift I could ask for. I asked Jeff to come to Mom’s with me on Valentine’s Day and cook dinner for us both. Mom’s diet is a bit restricted, so going out would probably not be a great option. Plus, I don’t want her to see all the couples celebrating. I feel like it would be shoving the loss in front of her. We will bring the food and pots and pans and cook at Mom’s this Tuesday. We will make her a healthy, delicious, colorful meal. And we will eat leisurely. I thought I would bring some of the videos she hasn’t seen yet from our childhoods that we have been transferring onto DVD. Dad can’t be there in person, but he will be with us...

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Endorsed by THE Dr. Bernie Siegel!

Posted on Dec 2, 2016 in Blog |

It’s a big deal when someone like me gets email from famous, talented, wise authors writing me and telling me what a useful tool this healing journal is. So imagine my glee when THE Dr. Bernie Siegel wrote me several emails telling me how much he loves “The Best Part of My Day Healing Journal”?! He said to feel free to tell people he likes it and believes it to be a helpful healing tool . . . . so I’m telling you! “When you experience joy, happiness and laughter you are more likely to be healthy, recover faster from and resist illness. Recording those positive emotions, recalling them in a journal, is a positive step of therapeutic value. The Best Part of My Day Healing Journal provides the format and fodder for such healing steps.” – Dr. Bernie Siegel ( Feel free to pass this around! The healing journal makes a great holiday gift for anyone dealing with a chronic or major illness. I’m actually finding it quite helpful for my grief as well. – use the discount code N2GX4YBD to receive $4 off the retail price! Share...

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Who I Am and What I Value

Posted on Nov 11, 2016 in Blog |

An acquaintance sat across the table from another woman. They are both life coaches. They had previously chatted on the phone and were now meeting IRL. One asked the other to tell her about herself – sometimes the hardest and most pointless question ever. She gave her an off the cuff list of what she values in a way to describe who she is. You can read her post here. And she challenged others to do the same. Here are mine (Sharon Elaine Williams Rainey): I am a feeler – I feel my own emotions intensely, unceasingly, and without organization. I feel them as they come, big, small, trivial, life changing. I am an empath – I feel everyone else’s feelings too. With no filter, no order, and no directions. I am writer – I have an incessant need to process my feelings through writing. And I have an incessant need to share my writing with others. The words swirl in my head endlessly until I write them down. I think in words. Pictures are hard for me. Auditory processing is almost nil, so if you want me to remember it, you better write it down and send it to me in an email – because my memory is also shitty. I am a connector. I never seem to know THE some one or thing, but I usually know someone who knows THE some one or thing. I despise conflict. I want everyone to get along. We don’t have to agree, but I demand everyone around me be respectful. If we don’t have respect, we don’t have much else. I am a recovering addict – I have 28 years’ experience of living life on life’s terms, which is still a challenge for me. So I still attend 12 Step meetings to help me remember that the only person, place or thing I can control is ME. I am a learner – I am always looking for the lesson in my daily life. I like to try to learn things the first time around so I don’t have to review them over and over in new situations. I believe that...

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