Amen Sista!

peace sign

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon hiking with a woman I have wanted to connect with for some time. We knew ‘of’ one another when we were in our late teens, her being a friend of my older brother. We connected on FB and it was apparent we viewed life in a similar light. Chris would post something and I found my self saying ‘Amen Sista’ on pretty much everything she wrote or commented on. The friendship seemed inevitable.

When we finally did meet in person, it felt like we were just picking up where we left off, yet we had never had a history together. As we sat looking out at the spectacular view of the Cove after a fabulous hike, we started to delve into what makes each of us who we are at the core of our being. Chris shared openly her unique story which triggered some deep thoughts within myself. We dug deeper as to why we do certain things in life or why we find ourselves in places that challenge us to face our fears. We all have them, it’s about recognizing from where they came and how to deal with them that truly matters. You need to go straight to the pain of why they are there in order to work through how to let them go.

Although we both had different stories to share they had an underlying similarity that made me feel a sense of wellbeing. I understood myself more by listening to Chris share her inner wisdom with me.

As we age gracefully we move to a level of comfort in life that allows us to experience a sense of peace. It’s like a pendulum swings and we right ourselves as we age. Those things we thought defined us when we were younger fall to the wayside, and what really matters becomes crystal clear as we become comfortable in our own skin. We start using our voice to create the change we believe in. We lose the fear of being judged. We know who we are. We still carry around a few insecurities that try to resurface from time to time but ultimately we are able to make them dissipate when we live authentically and come into our own, being true to self.

I feel at home within myself and believe it has a great deal to do with those I choose to surround myself with, my circle. At the end of the day we only really need love and understanding. Unconditional love from those who matter. The greatest thing about being an independent strong woman in her 50’s is that the only thing I require in life now is love.

I have been blessed with two amazing kids, a family that is like no other, a great job, a comfortable home and friends who would be there at a moments notice if I needed them.

My advice to younger women is simple.
Love yourself, first and foremost!
Stop worrying, you will do just fine!
Always follow your heart, it will lead you to where you need to be.
Stuff doesn’t matter at the end of the day, love does!

Get off Facebook now and then and spend a day walking in nature with someone you keep saying you want to spend time with. I promise you it will soothe your soul and leave your heart feeling full.

Thank you Chris for connecting in person and giving me the inspiration to continue to share who I am with those who matter! You truly are a Woman of Wisdom!

Svaha!

Tracy signiture

 

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Beating for Love ~

 

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When did I stop jumping into love with my eyes wide open, fearlessly filled with passion? Feeling the wind beneath my wings, sweeping me away has become a distant memory. I struggle to extend my arms to reach for his, as he walks toward me with his heart on his sleeve. He is not afraid of love. He too has fought for love and lost but survived.

When did a leap of faith become a fear? When did my heart stop beating for love?

Our heart is not meant to be guarded and held safely behind the walls of our chest. If hurt and pain have brought me here, I have no choice but to put my heart in the hand of the devil and ask my angels for forgiveness. Forgiveness for not opening my heart or scaling my walls in search of freedom, for the pure purpose of love.

I want to care not, where the path will lead, with whom I will walk it and for how long the journey will last. For the details of this are not what’s important, but only that you are willing.

Why do I shy away from the hand that reaches out to touch my soul? When did my heart stop beating for love? When did my heart stop beating for love? When did my heart stop beating for love?

I shall surrender to myself and allow my heart to start beating to the rhythm of love. Love is the meaning of life itself. Love is meant to feed our minds and free our souls. Love is meant to be.

Life flows through our veins allowing us to feel our existence beyond our human flesh. We were created to love. We were created in love. We are love.

Age and Wisdom have brought me here…ready to love again.

Tracy

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Love Liberates ~ Dr Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou

IMG_6835Dr Maya Angelou died at the age of 86 and she left with us so many beautiful thoughts, poems, quotes and words of extraordinary wisdom! Here is one that resonated with me very deeply.

Thank you for sharing this with me Bonnie! ((((smile))))

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” ~ Dr Maya Angelou

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Svaha S.S ~ What is Nirvana?

397883_526846134038782_860539381_n
IMG_0066Enlightened Monk Thich Nhat Hanh gives his insight on Nirvana ~ ‘the cessation of all suffering, the removal of wrong perceptions. Wrong perceptions is the cause of fear, violence and hatred. Removal of wrong perceptions is the only way to peace.

Nirvana is the removal of ideas that serve the base of misunderstanding and suffering.

We fear death because of our perception of it. There is no death there is no birth. We can not become nothing, there is a transformation and continuation…we do not die, we continue.

Non-fear is the true foundation of great happiness.

Nirvana is the capacity of removing wrong notions, wrong perceptions which is the practise of freedom. Nirvana can be translated as freedom, freedom from views. In Buddhism all views are wrong views. When you get in touch with reality you no longer have views you have wisdom you have a direct encounter with reality and that is no longer called views.’

Svaha ~

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Crossing Paths ~

I love the word Serendipity, don’t you? Serendipity means ‘a happy accident or pleasant surprise; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it’. 

Every now and then someone crosses our path, changing the course of our day. Our spirits are lifted and we are left feeling as though we were meant to meet. We may never lay eyes on one another again but the moments we share change us or even possibly the path we are on with that one chance meeting.

There is the flip side of that…you meet someone and wonder what lesson you were supposed to learn from them crossing your path. An accident or mishap is ‘an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It usually implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence.’ Accidents generally happen when we are unfocused in life. Makes sense right?

Lets not focus on accidents even thought we learn from them.

I’ve had more than a few serendipitous moments, chance meetings or crossing of paths over the years. I stop what I am doing and just be in the moment open to accept their gift to me. They are my gift.

I met a beautiful elderly lady named Mary at work the other night, we connected instantly. She shared her wisdom and insight with me about life and love. She actually said “I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this but your like my daughter.” Her advice was to always keep my independence (I have) and to never make my ‘man’ my best friend. I was to keep my feminine side to myself, to remain a bit of a mystery. She told me it was vitally important to live each day happily and be true to myself. I was to not ‘fill’ my cup up to the top but was to leave some space. If your cup is bubbling over, there is no room. ;)I hugged Mary before she left. I glowed for the rest of the night! Mary crossed my path for a brief moment in time, but left me feeling grateful she did. Thank you Mary!

Another moment in time that changed the course of my day happened when I was shopping at my local grocery store. I didn’t feel like being seen by anyone because I had puffy eyes from crying during the day. As I walked through the isles my mind wandering in a daze. I didn’t have my usual smiley eyes or big cheesy grin because I wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I got in and out as quick as humanly possible. I left the store with my arms weighed down to the max with bags or groceries. As I went to cross the parking lot a man drove past me and lowered his window, leaning across his passenger seat to talk to me. He said “have you been told?” I looked confused through my puffy eyes at him for a moment and replied “pardon me?” I struggled and adjusted my load of groceries, and he said again “have you been told today?” I paused and replied “told what?” My mind could only imagine what he was going to say…“god your eyes are puffy, did you know your ass looks fat in those pants?” He smiled and looked right into and past the puffiness and said “you look absolutely beautiful today.” My entire body let go of what I was holding onto. I smiled and thanked him, knowing I looked like crap. I believe he was aware of how I was feeling and took the opportunity to change the course of my day. Thank you complete stranger for being aware of another human beings existence who needed a kind word at that moment.

Everyone who walks into our lives, crossing our path, whether it’s for a brief moment in time or years, can teach us something. Being open and aware of others, reaching out and acting on your instinct will change the course of someones day.

Be kind to your fellow humans, they may need it more than you know!

The photo I used is called Crossing Paths by an artist named Crispin Korschen. She is an artist, mother, daydreamer and lover of all things beautiful and quirky. The description of her painting above is this…

Crossing Paths ~ our lives can take us to extraordinary places and across the paths of people we may never have imagined…….sometimes I get so caught up in my life that I forget to take the time to stop and spend time with people during those crossings.

Svaha ~

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It Comes With Age ~

We spend much of our youth searching for someone to spend the rest of our lives with, not realizing that it means a VERY long time. 🙂 That’s right THE SAME MAN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!! That’s obviously a joke. My Mom and Dad have known one another since they were twelve so I have seen first hand what it is like to spend the rest of your life with someone. I don’t remember any time growing up where I felt like that might change. I admire them both for their commitment and vow they took so seriously, not many do.

When we meet our potential partner in our twenties or thirties we naturally want to take the next step towards marriage so we live with and spend every waking moment together, well not every waking moment, but you know what I mean. We live our lives side by side, some on top of one another and others quite far apart but nevertheless we spent most of our time together.

Then we enter middle age and our kids, if we had any, are growing and entering the same cycle that we have, hopefully with less mistakes and more life experience. We grow and unfold and change in all different directions. Some of us grow with our partners and others grow away from them. Ideally if we have a partner who is our best friend, we can at least maintain the friendship. I have never understood even in my teens why two people can’t remain friends just because as a couple they didn’t work out, with the exception of a wrong doing.

As we age and move into different chapters of our lives, things change, we change. Some of us are faced with moving forward in that next chapter independent of anyone else. I think it comes with age, the understanding that being independent is not the same as being alone. In the evolution of a growing relationship this change doesn’t have to be a negative one. It’s how you perceive it, that counts.

I am independent moving ahead in my life, but I am certainly not alone. What I have learned is that although my relationship has been redefined it is far from over and has an entire future ahead of it that is waiting for me to experience and embrace. So my fairy tale romance may not have turned out traditional like my parents, but it has evolved and reached levels most together couples have never come close to. I wouldn’t change that for anything!

Personal growth is a wonderful feeling when you can accept things and move forward without any resentment or regret. That is the part of being in your 40’s, for me, I love the most. As you age you accept changes you might not have in your earlier years. You smile more, trust your heart, love more deeply and accept the things you cannot change. Sinéad O’Connor’s song “Feels So Different” first three lines has stuck with me for year.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference”  Reinhold Niebuhr

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Image is Everything ~ Arya Tara

There are literally thousands of representations of the Goddess Arya Tara to be found on the internet, in print form and as statues.  She is the oldest Goddess still worshiped extensively in modern times and can be found in pretty much every cultural back story on the planet.  Of all the images of Tara out there, which ones are bringing meaning to your life right now, and why?

post-insert-jacquie3Jacquie~

You know those gorgeous postcards art galleries send out when a new exhibit is going to take place? Well, I have a number of them displayed on my desk at any given time and piles of them in my ‘inspiration’ files in my studio.  I collect them whenever I visit a gallery and want to take home a piece of the artist’s workArya Tara but can’t afford an actual painting.  Just looking at these treasures brings me joy and reminds me of all the beauty being created in the world.  On, or is that ‘in’, my computer, I also have a file of images of the Goddess Arya Tara that I like to wander through whenever I need a spiritual fix.  I’m a very visual person and seeing the Goddess in her many colourful depictions makes it easier for me to feel her warmth and her message.

I was thinking last week that we needed to display our own modern version of Tara more prominently on Tara Cronica and that’s what prompted me to ask Tracy and Bonnie about the images of Tara that inspire them right now, and why.

Arya Tara Image

This image of the White Tara has been jumping out at me each time I enter my Tara file and so I wanted to figure out why.  I love the colour choices, but I knew there must be a reason why I’ve been especially drawn to it, besides that fact that it reminds me so much of our own design by Akiko Michael.  I’m curious as to why her leg isn’t outstretched like a typical Tara, ready to jump up and offer help at a moment’s notice, or set to travel upon the road to enlightenment.  Does that mean I’m not ready?  Am I analyzing this waaaay too much?

I was a bit shocked when I read that White Tara doesn’t work (I may be at home but I think I do work)!  She “doesn’t step off her lotus like Green Tara does, but just by ‘being’ she shows her compassion and good things come from that”.   She is also known for helping her followers overcome obstacles.  So, maybe being at home playing on the computer is my way of showing how much I love interacting with people?  Maybe a touch of what I write hits home and allows others to feel more connected, even if I’m just talking about shoes.  We all go through those times when you question everything you’re doing and if it’s making any sense, and so I’m going to look at White Tara as a sign that I AM doing something right and stop doubting myself!  Anyway, that’s what’s been on my mind.   Love you all!  Thanks, Tara!

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie~

Jacquie has asked us to find one of our favourite images of any of the colourful Taras and tell what inspires us most about the Goddess right now and why.

I thought it would be difficult to choose but I was immediately drawn to this picture of Green Tara.

shakti_grtara-compassionhealingprotGreen Tara represents compassion.  Compassion has been coming up a lot for me lately so this beautiful aspect of Arya Tara is an easy choice for me at this time.

When the Buddha was asked “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?”  The Buddha replied, “No.   It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice.  It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.”

One of my favourite quotes is by the Dalai Lama when has said,  “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.   If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  I love that!

I also love that in this depiction of Green Tara she emanates light.  She is, after all, the archetype of Inner Wisdom and the Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the road to Enlightenment.  No wonder she glows!

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha!

TracyTracy’s Tara~

My favorite Arya Tara picture is the one we had drawn by the artist Akiko Michael.  We gave Akiko a few web links to pictures of Arya Tara and asked her to come up with a simplified drawing of Tara that would be unique to our site.  The simple clean line reflect what I love about our Tara.

Arya Tara Line Drawing by Akiko Michaels

I love that she is seated among a bed of flowers.  Tara inspires me to live my life authentically and be true to myself.  Arya Tara crossed my path at a pivotal time in my life.  She was also a “Critical Choice” in my life.  What I love most about her is that she is the “Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the  road to enlightenment.”  Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom.
It is the goddess Tara who helps us to remain “centered”. The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our “oneness” with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.

Tara is completely pure and joyful in her endless giving, generosity, patience, and wisdom. She is not jealous of other deities!  Jealousy is a sign of insecurity, not a sign of love!

I have grown and and unfolded in many ways since meeting her for the first time.  Tara was our choice for representing us here at Tara Cronica for so many reasons, if you visit Goddess Tara’s bio page you will see all the reasons we chose her to represent us, as our Goddess.

I just came across another gorgeous Tara that I couldn’t resist sharing with you!  There are so many beautiful pictures of Tara it’s hard to pick just one!  Enjoy !

White Tara Purple Light

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Spiritual Journey~

TracyIf you decided to go on a “Spiritual Journey” where would you go and what would you do?


“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
Caroline Adams

Spirituality has long been associated with religion, deities, the supernatural, and an afterlife.  Many equate spirituality with religion, but the two are separate entities, religion being one way man experiences spirituality.  Spirituality may include introspection, and the development of an individuals inner life through practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation.

Spiritual Journey’s can change and enrich your life.  Whether you ride your motorcycle down to Monument Valley or Hike in the Himalayan Mountains a spiritual journey is a very personal exploration of ones self.  We usually embark on such quests when we are aware that our spirituality need attention.  It can be described as an “Aha Moment” even.  It’s when you venture out of your comfort zone and look inward for answers to questions we all have.  “What is my purpose or path in life?”

If I were to go on a ‘Spiritual Journey’ I would pick one of two.  I would love to spend time with Buddhist Monks to learn about Meditation, Intention and Karma and I would also like to learn about Kabbalah. I have always believed that meditation is a huge part of being spiritual and can calm our souls and shed light on issues we all have.  Meditation means awareness.  “Watching your breath” is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation.   As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.  Meditation is not a technique but a way of life.  Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’.  By meditating you are able to let go of your physical self and get in tune with your metaphysical side.  That is the Spiritual Journey I would like to embark on!

Post Insert Jacquie When I was in my twenties I had small kids that needed to be taken care of and the journey I was on was one of survival.  Mine and theirs.  I believed it was my sacred duty to make sure these young souls felt safe, secure and loved.  Now that I’m no longer necessary in quite the same way, I’ve felt the need to find other  ways to feel complete.  I’ve decided for me that means reaching beyond my comfort zone, past established boundaries and out into the community I share with my global neighbours.

I could answer this question metaphysically, but what I really think Tracy is asking in this post is for a literal description of where I want my spiritual journey to begin, or take shape.  I’ve actually been looking into a place in the Kootenays, about 9 hours from Vancouver near Nelson, BC, called Yasodhara Ashram.  I’ve never been anywhere near this area but I’ve heard of it’s natural beauty and peaceful majesty.  Yasodhara offers yoga, meditation and spiritual guidance for beginners like me all the way up to advanced practitioners.  I would love to spend a week or two by myself totally immersed in the everyday Ashram comings and goings and at the complete mercy of the program.  I would arrive with an open mind and heart and actively seek enlightenment or whatever came my way.   My spiritual journey is about enriching my life with experience and knowledge and I know a stay at the Ashram will only begin to heighten my awareness of all the work I have yet to do, but it’s a good start.   Think of it like an all-inclusive for the spiritual cherry-picker.  It may take several pilgrimages to find what works for you, but each attempt brings you closer to your goal.  Keeping an open mind is key.

Bonnie Johnson's Post

There are many places in the world that are considered “holy” or “spiritual” places to visit.  Places like Jerusalem, Tibet, Machu Picchu, etc.  Eckhart Tolle, who wrote “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” has said he felt that the west coast of North America and specifically around Vancouver, BC had a strong positive energy which he was drawn to in order to write about his own spiritual journey.  I don’t doubt this.  I have been in different places in the world that seem to awaken something deep within me.  But a true spiritual journey is really about going within your Self.  I don’t think it matters as much about the ground beneath your feet as it does about the degree in which you can tune in to your Source (God/Spirit/Universe/insert whichever label you are comfortable with).

I believe a true spiritual journey is one that inspires you to connect with your own spirit.  I have felt that way when sitting on a flat rock beside a babbling creek in North Vancouver, while floating in a canoe in an underground river deep inside a cave in New Zealand, while looking out at the ocean on a beach in Australia, while exploring our beautiful British Columbian outdoors, and even while watching a spider working on its web in my own yard.  If a place inspires and stirs your soul then it is worth a journey to.  It may be its beauty, its energy or simply a memory it stirs up for you.  Wherever that is for you I hope you are able to go there often.

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Would you rather be a Mermaid or a Whale?

TracyYou may have already seen this.   It was sent to me by a beautiful friend of mine, Laurie, and I wanted to share it with you!

Recently, in a large french city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.   It said:

¨THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?¨

A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

mermaid or whale?To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).  They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.  They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.  They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.  They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist.  If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.  Fish or human?  They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex?  Therefore they do not have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store? The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends.  With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.  Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,  Good gosh, look how smart I am.

I found humor in that, I hope you did too.  So Ladies on Thanksgiving weekend you and I are going to indulge with our families and friends and enjoy ourselves with absolutely no guilt what-so-ever!!  Gym Shmim!  Now go cut yourself a piece of that Pumpkin pie!

Tracy signiture

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Old Souls

As soon as you look into their eyes, it’s obvious that some souls have been here before.  I met an old soul about 14 years ago when she was only 7.  She always had something unique to say.  She was a typical 7 year old on the outside but inside this little girl was someone I sensed had a great deal of knowledge.  I met her for a reason and knew it right from the very first moment.Kels

Quite often we would come home and find notes on our door with suckers taped to them.  She knew it would make us smile.  The suckers were the 7 year old coming out, but the words, printed perfectly in the note, were not those of child.  She was aware.

Our friendship grew over the years as did she.  She became busy with school and I with a new baby.  I thought of her often.  I would sit and imagine what she would be like as a teen or in her twenties.  I finally saw her at 16.  She was the same little girl just in a bigger body.  She was already an old soul so she was only able to change physically to me.

We had a chance meeting years later at a coffee shop where she worked.  We had eye contact that day but I was distracted after arriving very late for a coffee date with some friends.  She was too nervous to say anything because so much time had passed by.

We eventually found one another again.  It was very emotional.  I had a connection with this old soul that I could not explain.  She felt the same.  We wrote emails back and forth for weeks, each one bringing a tear to my eyes.  This little girl was now a young woman who knew exactly who she was from deep inside her heart.  I realized I had to look at her as an individual with no age attached.  It was hard at first, me being twice her age.  I was confused about the role of my friendship.  Was it a mother daughter friendship or a girlfriend?  7 years old at heart

She met both my kids and they instantly fell in love with her!  How could they not, she was still a 7 year old at heart, but had the wisdom of a fully evolved human being.  She recently sent me an email, and coming from a 23 year old it has to make you wonder if there are angels here on earth….

Quote:

“It has taken me a very long time to learn that people are always going to forget what I say, in fact, they will even forget what I do, but something they will never forget is how I made them feel.  I have grown to realize that my strength in helping others doesn’t come from the things I say or do, but rather from creating a feeling inside their hearts that will be forever lasting.  I said things to you today that you might never remember, I did things today that perhaps you have already forgotten, but if I caused a feeling in your heart that was unforgettable then I have done what I needed to do…….A simple hug can mean so much more then just an embrace between two bodies.  Today, mine was meant to allow my soul the chance to greet yours….our souls will forever be friends.’   KelseyKelsey

I believe you meet people for a reason.  Their age means nothing.  You connect for many different reasons on many different levels.  Each one should be embraced.  This friendship has changed not only my life, but my family’s life.  There is a circle of friendship here that was meant to be. I am forever grateful for this old soul in joining my family.

.Tracy

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