Dancing in the Garden

* Note: This blog post was written before moving from the Loving Rd domain/website to Thrive True for technical reasons and before adopting the pen name Julia Ostara (which is just 2 letters different than my married name and sounds more feminine to me). Please pardon any outdated references/links. Thank you!

I wish everyone could be blessed to experience the amazing kind of love that I have known thanks to my angel momma. I had a surreal experience recently in which I could deeply feel my mom’s presence dancing in the garden with me. <3  She was an amazing gardener and nurturer, playful, generous, and kind… a beautiful blessing to all that were fortunate to know her well.  She would have been 68 years old today.

It was amazing to feel her dancing with me recently while painting this memorial garden and thinking of her. <3


That same day, my boys and I decided to bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My boys were only 5 when she died so I don’t know how much they remember her.  It was wonderful to hear one of them say, “I have a memory of doing this with Grammie.”  The cookie recipe we were using was very similar to hers, but I had not brought that up or mentioned her so it was really nice to have one of them think of her.

Then, I was inspired to do a garden painting based on the Osho Zen “flowering” card and a recent e-course lesson.  I picked up a garden catalog to browse through for botanical shapes and there was an angel trumpet plant on the cover.  My parents grew beautiful angel trumpets in their tropical garden in the Florida Keys.  Their garden was chosen as “Garden of the Year” by the local garden club and opened up to the public on the local garden tour 2 different years.  After using paint pens to add various blooms to a painted layer, I went down to my creative space in the basement to add more paint while listening to music.  I found myself dancing while painting and felt my mom dancing with me. <3

That night, I made something I’d never made before for dinner… pasta with clam sauce.  I just happened to see a clam sauce at the grocery store that week and decided to buy it on a whim because I remembered my mom ordering it whenever we went to our favorite Italian restaurant when I was a teenager in the Keys.  I have never ordered it!  I didn’t plan it to be made on that day, it just happened that way.  I have often ‘talked’ to my mom telling her I miss her or that ‘I hear her’ or ‘thank you.’  I’ve even invited her to visit in my dreams, which has happened, though I don’t think ever based on an actual invitation.  When going to bed that night, I realized she had visited me that day in a deeper way than I’d felt since her death.  I have no idea how spirits and heaven and all that work.  I don’t imagine her hanging around us all the time or worrying about us.  I hope it’s some kind of pure celebration/bliss/love… something beyond what I’m capable of understanding.  Yet, I feel her presence and love… around and within me… sometimes more than others… that day was a beautiful blessing. <3

I’ve put together a short video on her birthday today with pictures from her garden.  The first few pictures are from the farm in West Virginia long ago and the rest are from the home garden in the Florida Keys.  These are the first several that I found and don’t truly do justice to the beauty, yet give a glimpse.  The acoustic guitar was recorded by my husband.

Though I’m sure this would not be her first choice of photos to share, I couldn’t help it since she has an angel trumpet flower on her head! (with my niece)


She didn’t like how much she changed within the year and half that she lived with cancer.

passept08 pasmay10

Yet, she always seemed so beautiful to me.  She taught me how to love and appreciate life (there were times I forgot and needed the reminder/lesson!) and I’m forever grateful! <3

Since her birthday happens to fall on a Thursday this year, I made a short 1 minute “TBT” (Throw-Back Thursday) video as well.  This is, of course, a very small representation celebrating a very beautiful life.

<3 I hope we may all find ways to celebrate life each day. <3

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6 Responses

  1. Oh this is such a beautiful tribute to your mama. I love love love your painting! I think it’s my favourite of yours so far. Such a precious treasure to feel & know your mother’s presence in your life.✨

    • Thank you dear, Jaybird! I’m not sure if the painting is fully done yet, but I do love it so far… probably all the more for how sentimental it is for me. I know I was fortunate to have her in my life for as long as I did… I have friends that didn’t get that. She would’ve loved to meet her newest 3 grandchildren… she adored her grandkids! I love seeing your posts with your sweet Violet and knowing that you treasure that time with her as the blessing that it is. Much love, Jules

  2. Beautiful! May your memories sustain you. ❤️

  3. Love this it’s such a beautiful tribute to your mum… and the painting is so beautiful I am sure you mum would have been proud ☺️Xx

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