88 Days…Misunderstandings

The Atonement

I often feel like Marcel Duchamp who said… “As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.” ….and being 8,000 miles apart creates it own barrier to understanding…

This past weekend…the distance conspired to create a sleepless night and hurt feelings on my part…after all I was just trying to explain and discuss my concerns about a possible issue with the visa…P. responded by saying he felt like he felt that he was having to “defending himself all the time” among other things…I could tell from his voice memo that he was defensive and hurt…

Being extremely sensitive, I cried…worried and fretted all night…because I had only wanted to discuss what I thought might be a possible issue and then he took it all wrong…being 6 hours ahead…he had already fallen asleep…

It carried over into the next day…when he hadn’t been able to listen to my voice memo until later in the day…so there was an unusual silence…for me it seemed like forever…after apologies and communication the next day…it was “all better”…but it would probably not been an issue, if we were in close proximity and I could have physically been able to talk and discuss the misunderstanding when it happened…one issue with a LDR (long distance relationship)

In atonement, he planted beets and spring onions for our anticipated first borscht …I have never had the reddish purple sour soup of Russian origin…whose main ingredient is beets…I do not really yet know if it will be an atonement or a punishment…LOL…my only remembrance of eating beets was my great grandmother’s pickled beets and it really was not enjoyable to my palate…

Whether I enjoy the dish or not…will be a mute point…because the enjoyment will come from the cooking together…just one of the many things that we are looking forward to enjoying in our future life together…I love to cook and he enjoys cooking…so who knows the dishes that we will stir up…

Our tastes are quite different and what our normal daily cuisine tends to encompasses cross the spectrum…Caribbean flavors are my main stay with the flavorful cilantro, garlic, onion and pepper sofritos…his tastes tend to be more European in origin…he likes things like anchovies and other “nasty” culinary items…Lol

But still, I am looking forward to exploring new flavors and sharing my culinary expertise…who knows…we may come up with a new flavor meld between South African/European and the Caribbean mixture…throw a little love in…it will be fun and exciting…another adventure that makes me warm at night when I am lying alone…dreaming of our future lives…

“We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors.” 
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

92 Days…and Counting Still

It’s Saturday…and I was still in my warm cozy place under the blankets…hearing the melodious music of the morning songs of the winged creatures outside of my window…reviewing the week that has been and gone…

Morning Song

It felt very frantic…with working a intensely time constrictive job and making appointments…waiting…I always seemed like I was waiting somewhere for someone…a test in patience…sometimes failing and sometimes passing…LOL…I do wish life would let me know when a test was coming…I might pass a few more times and not have to take so many over…:-)

But when your morning starts like this…P:“Good morning my sweetheart, have a wonderful day off Saturday, hopefully you are still warm in bed thinking of me 🐼” R: Yes, I am..and wanting and needing sooo much more…💋 P:”I know my darling and I am too, not long to go, it’s a perfect autumn day here, crazy that you are not here” …it is messages such as this that erase all of the stress of the week…and make it all worthwhile…

There were many accomplishments…the doctor’s and radiologist’s were completed and signed…I did received my second notice that my fingerprints were not readable…but a friend told me about an electronic service available…so that should fix that…I have an appointment for Tuesday of next week…just a few more tasks…visa photos and a notarized copy of the first two pages of my passport…

And then off to Chicago…our goal is no later than the second week in April…that will give the Consulate approximately 10 weeks to respond to our request…the Consulate will send the paperwork to the Home Office in South Africa…which according to the website should take 4 to 6 weeks…

In all midst of the exquisite joy and happiness…there is a grief of leaving my life here…with my friends and family…the every day life that we take for granted so very often…and to be honest…and we often complain about…

From experience, I know that we promise to keep in touch with friends and those we love…in reality…that doesn’t usually occur…people move on and are busy in their own day-to-day lives…it is just the reality of life…

P: My sweetheart beautiful wonderful Renee’ you will have all that and more. I know what is here for you and it will be what you want and more, I promise
R: I know…I feel it🦋 as I release what was and is… And reach out for an amazing future with you and our God
P It’s all there for us, and what a wonderful crazy adventure it is

I currently in this in-between space…living here with my family and friends…yet, there is the bittersweet knowledge that my time here is ending..yet the future beckons with glittering promise of adventures and love that I have yet to experience…it is but a page in this story…and yet there are many characters who will be woven into the pages of this story many more times…and some whose threads will not be interwoven in my life tapestry again…colorful, sparkly memories…

95 Days…

“Life is magical when you are drunk with love”

Today was one of those magical days when everything just seems like it fails into place…and you have to try and keep your feet on the ground, even when you feel so light and your head is touching the clouds.

Today I was able to obtain my signed medical form without going through a million hoops…when yesterday I was so incredibly frustrated because I was told that it might take up to a month just to get the paperwork I needed to have the medical form signed…I waited for over an hour in the office…but it wasn’t important when I walked out of there with one of the forms I needed…signed, sealed and delivered to me…

Patrick did more than his part today…taking time to visit the VFC office and by the time he left…he felt at lot more comfortable and really positive with what we needed to do…he said that he felt like it was like “a breakthrough” it appears that we have a plan…a more definitive plan which up until now…appeared very fuzzy and undefined…

Remember when I told you of my daughter’s dream over 20 years ago?…another magical…goosebumps kind of even happened today…he went home after visiting the VFC office in the morning…it had been closed due to a power outage…and started cleaning up some things…while he was clearing up and he found the keys to his wall safe that he hadn’t opened for a long time…

He really didn’t think that there would be anything in it…when he went to open the safe…there were two little boxes…in one box there was a Tourmaline, it was a gemstone he had bought 25 or so years and hadn’t seen since…through the years he remembers thinking about making it into a pendant for his wife at the time…but never did…

He told me today that it was meant for me…somewhere…somehow in a funny way…it was meant for me…long before we knew of each other…many miles away…our lives were intertwined…in all of these magical ways that are unexplainable…

He said, “that it gave me such a warm kind of feeling that I could give you something other than going into a shop and buying (he had talked of wanting to buy me jewelry of Tourmaline when we were together here in the US)…but something I had bought so long ago and not knowing really who it was for…it was a day filled with you in my life…just a very strong you with me…you are always with me, but today it was very poignant…it was very personal and deep feeling…”

I had always known that this part of my life would be the best years…that the pain and loneliness that I had traveled with most of my life would be gone and I would be given many blessings of favor…I had no idea that God had such unbelievable gifts in store…every day I am overwhelmed with the exquisite wonderful life that I am being offered…

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.” 
― Nora Roberts

96 Days…

“Beautiful things come together one stitch at a time.” 
― Donna Goddard, Circles of Separation

When one wakes up in the middle of the night and reaches for your love and all you feel is a cold pillow…your heart drops a beat or two…and often a tear …not being in close proximity to your partner is difficult to say the least…

Even with the instant communication that our technology allows us and sometimes even demands…one would think that it would make long distant relationships so much easier….What’sApp/Internet has been a lifesaver…no longer $300.00 and $400.00 monthly phone calls…or a monthly snail mail…one wonders how anyone ever maintained love at a distance…

We communicate a lot..maybe even more than if we were in close physical proximity…it helps me to feel close when I we talk about our day and I can support him and feel supported..it is not the same as a physical hug…but it reminds us that we are there for each other

His day is over about my lunchtime…so often we eat together…his supper…my lunch…even sending pictures of our meals…we create as much “togetherness” and interdependence as possible…I experienced a bad night not too long ago…upset and frustrated that it didn’t feel that we were making progress to our end goal of being together…

It was very late and I couldn’t sleep…I texted him and he was awake.. he held me with his words and soothed my anxious heart until I was able to calm down and sleep…although he was physically 8,000 miles away…he still wrapped himself around me…I fell a little deeper in love for this hero of mine.

And then there is all the teasing and flirty innuendos to keep the flames burning…the sexual tension is important to keep alive…it is an important glue in the Long Distant Relationship…

Fun, jokes and laughter are also essential…just as in any relationship…the text I sent for his wake up message was “Were you a coffee bean in your past life? Must be, because I can’t start my day without you…😁”…rather corny, I know…he said that it made him smile…

My fellow love traveler has completed all of the paperwork that he needs to send for me to take to the consulate when I apply for my visa…my duties for the day were to take my medical report to be signed to the doctor…I also need an x-ray and a sign off from a radiologist that I do not have TB…the doctor is making an appointment for that…

I also had to send in my fingerprints to the FBI to make sure that I am not a criminal…I am on my second round with that…after $23.00 I was sent a letter that they were not excepted because the Sheriff’s Department were I had them taken missed some swirls and such…I paid another $23.00 and a new set of prints…and I am waiting to see if they were accepted…

Another step closer toward being in my baby’s arms…

“Whatever you did today is enough. Whatever you felt today is valid. Whatever you thought today isn’t to be judged. Repeat the above each day.” 
― Brittany Burgunder

97 Days…The Love Travelers

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like love affairs, never really end” ~Pico Iyer

It is as if invisible threads have connected us through time and space…but, then, invisible threads are often the strongest…soulmates or twin souls…I don’t know…yet a dream foretold our love over 26 years ago…

Yes…26 years ago…I had been divorced a couple of years…and my daughter and I were sitting in the car…talking of my hurt and loneliness…she started telling me of a dream that she had had of someone from across the world coming for me…and she saw details (although at the time she did not share them with me)… our forms, the house, and felt my happiness…we never really discussed it again…

Sporadically, throughout the following years it would come to mind, although I didn’t put much stock in it…I had tried several relationships that ended with a great deal of pain and sorrow…I had never given up on finding the love that I sought…but the flame of hope flickered out…

The embers would not go out…there was still the niggling thought that there just might be someone somewhere that was meant be THE ONE..I kept the embers alive by visiting dating sites…being accessible..and doing all the things that the current media experts say you should do…

I met many men…some jerks, a lot of scammers and users, but many that were normal and nice…yet I was not willing to settle with anyone just for the sake of keeping loneliness from sleeping with me every night…my heart seemed to have a unique shape for love to fill..and no one fit..what was a girl to do?….

I had joined a PenPal site to try and find a person to correspond with so that I might practice my Spanish skills with…in March 2018…I received a message…
Hi I’m Patrick from South Africa, I visit the US pretty much every year and am a fan. I see you are sideways, I can maybe help with that 🙂 …being technically computer challenged sometimes…I had inadvertently set up my photo so that I was sideways…

A knight on his steed coming to a damsel in distress… how could one not respond…there was not this instantaneous recognition of how well he would fit into the unique love shape of my heart…he started by sharing beautiful photographs of his world…places I had never seen…

And even though I desired to experience the love…having experienced the many shades of deceit and hurts…my heart was closed, like the bud of a flower…only with time and the warmth of his care and the watering from our shared tears did my heart start to slowly open…

He has told me that he loved me long before I would even admit to caring in any form, other than a long distant friendship…our conversations grow deeper…we started sharing joys, pain and scars, adventures and misadventures, our similarities and our differences, we laughed and cried togather…our emails grew from a few times a week…to daily…to texing multiple times a day on what’s app…to voice memo’s at the end of our day (he is 6 hours ahead of me)…and phone calls…

He wanted to meet…but various reasons, I kept putting him off…until I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it…and I wan’t more…so much more…even though everything about him felt right and perfect for me…no glaring red flags…I have experienced feeling a connection with someone and meeting that person and there just not being any physical connection…and I wanted it all…and would settle for no less..

The only way to know for sure was to meet…physically touch…I knew that we had connected on an intellectual and spiritual level…but would the physical energy be compatible…or would we just be fiends that shared a few pleasurable moments in time…

In February of this year…we decided to take a bold leap of faith and meet…

…I opened the door and fell into his arms…I was home for the first time in my life…

There are many stories to tell…but the next 97 days are about journey of trying to obtain an extended visitors visa, so that we can be together enough time to apply for a life partner’s visa…

It has taken time to just sort through the regulations and find best route to being together…we have already experienced some setbacks…yet there is the knowledge…that we were meant to be…

…after I returned from adventuring together… traveling from Atlanta, GA to Louisville, KY…my daughter asked me what we had decided to do…when I told her that I would be moving to South Africa to be with Patrick…she told me that she already knew that I wold be leaving…because before I had left to meet him, I had shown her a video that he had sent me of his home…and what she saw in the video were the same images that she had seen in her dream 26 years prior…

I would love to hear from anyone else that has shared the journey of meeting and falling in love with someone from another country and your own unique experiences…remember always and forever…you are loved

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment…” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Sending Love

A Christian Mystic, Part 3

Such a loaded and misunderstood term…Christian Mystic…people, especially Christian people heard the term “mystic” and immediately assume that it is an oxymoron…and most highly improper…a humanistic and New Age philosophies…it summons up images of a cult and
heathenism…so did my being in a cult skew my view of how I view God…I will explain and let you be the judge…

“Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions, is the direct intuition or experience of God; and a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such a direct experience — one whose religion and life are centered, not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on that which the person regards as first hand personal knowledge.”  -Evelyn Underhill

My experiences within the cult, created an overwhelming desire to personally know the true God and my Creator…not just to swallow whatever religious dogma or a denomination biased definition of the what scripture turned out to be…the people within the cult I was raised just swallowed whatever they were spoon fed, believing that if the words came from the mouth of the leader..it was a direct communication from God…

It has been and continues to be a wonderful great and stirring daily adventure as I seek with love, humility and heartfelt yearning to know the true and living God…God cannot be captured by thought or logic…it is
trusting that God speaks to the heart of each person in a way and time of God’s choosing.

“The story of the Christian mystics is one of an all-consuming, passionate love affair between human beings and God. It speaks of the yearning, a burning desire for the contemplation and presence of the divine… This yearning is a candle by the fire of divine love itself, which moves the mystics in their search and leads him, often arduous journeys, to discover and proclaimed the all-encompassing love of God for humankind.”  – Ursula King

My journey has been long and arduous…traversing many religions and spiritual practices..but comes back to the basic Christian belief that
“Christian Mystic” is a person who wholly accepts the lordship of Jesus through humility and finds the biblical teachings, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to present for them, the only way to grow in relationship with God.

I find that truth in the scriptures, but I have also found paths to knowing God more fully in readings of Church Fathers, Orthodox priests and other Christians…truth from many different Christian persuasions and teachers draw me…for they have traveled their own path in finding God…perhaps it is the explorer in me…

  C. S. Lewis came up with the term…  His definition of Christian Mysticism is simple: “the direct experience of God, immediate as a taste or color.”…and it is so true for me…God is felt in the most “real” of ways…as we feel the wind as it gently caresses our cheeks…we do not see the wind, yet feel the effects…there is a knowledge of the wind in the effects that are seen and felt…yet, it is more than that to me…there is a “knowing”…a deep heart and soul knowing of the reality of God…


“Mystic” is related to the New Testament Word, mysterion, which means “secret” or “mystery.”  Christianity, while built on rational faith and life in the real world, is supra-rational. Bruce Demarest, Professor of Theology at Denver Seminary, says, “Great Christian realities, such as intimacy with God, spiritual passion, and prayer, must be framed in the mind and experienced in the heart. Christian mysticism, simply put, is the believers direct experience of God in the heart.” (Satisfy Your Soul, 1999)

This quote from an article by Dr. Brad Strait said is the best…” For me, in essence, being a Christian Mystic means seeking the Center, Christ, more than the boundaries (who is in or out). It means living each moment expectantly focused on Jesus, open and broken, and waiting for him to guide and direct. It means concretely walking the journey toward Him, with Him, and in Him, too. It means I am resigned to not knowing all of the answers about God and faith. It recognizes that much of God’s work in our lives is a mystery. Richmond Graduate University Theology Professor David Benner concludes, “A mystic is simply a person who seeks, above all else, to know God in love. Mystics are, therefore, much more defined by their longing than by their experience. 

And that is how I want to live my life…to daily seek to know God’s love and be the conduit of that love to the world …

We Interrupt this Program…

Before I continue the story of my life…I wanted to insert a beautiful thread of my current life…my life has not been an easy one, although I have been radically blessed in many ways…and I desire always to be grateful for even the dark threads…the pain and the sorrow…the deep loneliness…

It took where I have been to create who I am today…wounds that are touched by God’s love have become beautiful…I envision myself as a intriguing stained glass mosaic…many broken pieces assembled by the Master’s hand…where when His light shines through all of my cracked and defective pieces…the world can see the exquisiteness of His Love..

I have always carried in my heart…a promise…that enchanting colorful threads of beauty, joy and happiness would be added to my tapestry my life to create an exquisite pattern…I had always felt that they would be given to me during this chapter in my life…there were dreams and premonitions from others in my life over 25 years ago…and I have carried the beautiful gem of hope deep in the recesses of my heart…

In March 8, 2018, I received an email from a Patrick on a PenPal site…
“Hi I’m Patrick from South Africa, I visit the US pretty much every year and am a fan. I see you are sideways, I can maybe help with that 🙂 …and so a long distance friendship started to bud…after all what woman could resist a man wanting to fix her being sideways (which he meant…my photo was sideways 🙂 )…

Over my lifetime…I have tried many dating sites…and that is a series of several blogs of interesting dialog…but in the hundreds of men whose profiles I had reviewed…my heart had not been touched…the PenPal site…I had just been looking for a friend…someone to correspond with…maybe to practice my Spanish with…who would know that what would transpire over the following months…

For me…in the beginning…my heart remained closed to anything of substance…after all he was over 8, 678 miles away…what were the chances…but I so enjoyed the exchanging of photographs…with no expectations…except maybe a new friend…my Alaska photos for his brother and sister…his holiday house on the beach…Seal Bay…one of my first replies was one of my favorite quotes by Helen Keller…”Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”…and the adventure began…

This was also in that particular response