Gramercy Park, This is an Emergency! Our Ellie is gone…

Where are you sweet Ellie?!!!!   You left without saying goodbye!!   What the heck?! This is not the way it was supposed to be!!  You fought so hard, for so long, you kept your cool and kicked ALS’s arse so many times that I thought you were going to be THE ONE, the freaking one to beat it! … You deserved it, You earned it !  What the bloody hell! …. YOU DID!  You know what I mean?!

I was waiting for your next stories… you said you had so much to tell us… you promised! …or did you?  I thought you did…  Your last post was so beautiful!  It took my breath away! “The Journey Home” … what a gift you gave us!  -perhaps you knew?  I’m sure you knew it wasn’t this home you were talking about, that’s why you had to come back so desperately… –  The post was magnificent,  just like you my dear, witty, naughty, irreverent you, incomparable and unique YOU, dearest Ellie…  THANK YOU!    God Bless you!!!-   I’m so glad you got to do that, I’m so glad you left France on a high note and I’m so glad you had that magic opportunity to reconciled with your beloved Provence… It couldn’t have been any other way!  You were able to have everything you always loved and enjoyed so passionately and fiercely, in one magic place for one last time … I’m grateful you made it home to your precious Santa Barbara, I’m grateful you made it to “Merica”, that’s all you wanted!

Are you running in Gramercy Park now Ellie?  Are you finally carefree, blissful, unafraid?!  Are you jumping up and down, and skipping over the cracks of the sidewalk, peering into the bottom windows of the brownstones you wanted so bad to be able to afford?  Are you doing all that like you said you would?!   Tell me you are spinning around in circles, hair floating, arms stretched as far as possible, head in the clouds like you always had, face lifted towards the sky staring into heaven with eyes wide open … Please… let us know you are!

I wonder….  If we were really careful, and would pay really close attention, and would keep really quiet … I wonder if we would we be able to hear your laughter mixed with the wind blowing through the treetops and among the roses…

I think you are in Gramercy Park right now…I can almost see you…now you don’t need to bargain with God for five more minutes of freedom anymore my dearest and bravest Ellie, YOU GOT IT … you are finally free, unbounded and limitless…You are finally Home.

Here is one of my favorite post of yours, “Don’t Mind if I Do, Gramercy Park” one that moved and touched every fiber of my soul. I want people to read it and get to know you, I want everybody to have that joy….

What are “We”, your “imaginary friends”  -like Gracie used to call us-   going to do without you?!   It seems like we were part of something special and magic that others won’t be able to understand…  I’m going to miss people I don’t even know!  I’ll especially miss   Penelope Bianchi,  Stephen Andrew,  Heather of Lost in Arles, La Contessa , Hollie of The silver Pen , so very dearly, and others I got to know over there in your brilliant, hysterical, smart, emotional, profound, refreshing, and freakingly honest BLOG  Have Some Decorum

I guess is time to say goodbye … but it seems I’m not able to do that just yet … I’m not ready…it’ll only have to be  à bientôt for now…   I LOVE YOU sweet Ellie O’Connell, and I’ll be seeing you in my dreams.

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And here you are, for those of you who don’t know you, with your husband David, the French guy.   Ashtonishingly  beautiful !

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And here You are with Gracie, Amazing Grace, like you liked to called her!

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…. and here you are with mom… “Look, I can walk!” That’s what you said about this picture!! You blew my mind !  You really never lost it….  you were the coolest chick in town, and still are,  your spirit keeps going on for ever ….

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Don’t mind if I do, Gramercy Park…

 

In Manhattan, New York there is a very special park called Gramercy Park. This park is so special that it’s private and can be only accessed by those #LuckyDucks who live on Gramercy Park. And they get a key. The golden key to Gramercy Park. Be jealous, be very jealous.

But, guess what? As part of an old New York charitable holiday tradition, the gates to Gramercy Park are open to us losers on Christmas Eve! The Gramercy Park church, Parish of Calvary St.George, will also be having carolers starting at 6 PM in the park. This is absolutely not to be missed!

You may be wondering why I am so excited about this. Well, it’s hard to even write this without crying, but Gramercy Park happens to be the last place I was before, minutes before, I was diagnosed with ALS. I thought that I would let you guys in on a chapter of my book about it. I should have my book finished by March but I thought you guys would like a preview of the Gramercy Park chapter.

Here it is…

Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park on the lower East side of Manhattan has always held a special place in my heart. The name alone just sounds cool. Then there is the Gramercy Park Hotel designed in part by one of my favorite artists, Julian Schnabel, with its amazing color scheme of rosy reds, Fire King green and sapphire blues. Then there is the architecture of the brownstones around the park. A little village within a big city. And then there is the garden. The secret private garden to which only a lucky few hold the keys.

I always feel like a little part of me is still in Gramercy Park. Like a little bit of me is still wandering around the park… The part of me that doesn’t have ALS.

As I walked out of the offices of 1stdibs on my lunch break casually walking to the neurologist office for what I thought would be a quick appointment, I never imagined that this would be my last carefree walk. Physically it was not a carefree walk because I had a strange limp and I was worried that every crack in the sidewalk would cause me to fall flat on my face. Mentally, all I was thinking about was the beautiful park.

I walked past the church at the corner of the park and I remember saying to myself, “On my way back from the neurologist appointment, I need to stop at the church and check out their little thrift shop.” I was thinking that I needed to come back to the Gramercy Park Hotel for cocktails later that week with my girlfriends. I was thinking, “God, I wish I could afford one of these brownstones around the park.” My mind floated around thinking how beautiful and lush the little garden was and if the residents who held the coveted key to the garden could grow tomatoes in there.

What I was thinking about was just… Nothing. Now all I think about is… Everything. That five-minute walk in Gramercy Park was the last trace of who I used to be. That girl was like you… She had worries but they were just regular worries. Can I pay my rent this month? Is Gracie getting good grades in school? Does David love me more than his ex-wife? Why are my friends such bitches? Will I ever forgive my father? You know, regular worries. My days were normal…wake up, deal, go to bed. I walked around Gramercy Park that day with my head in the clouds and what I would give to go back to that day.

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to remember that moment in Gramercy Park before I walked into the doctor’s office. I can see it, feel it, smell it and almost taste it. I want to remind myself of who I was before and what it felt like to be carefree. I haven’t been carefree since that day. I want to cherish those few moments and have them emblazoned in my soul so I don’t ever forget what it was like… Before.

Sometimes I beg God to just let me have those few moments of liberty back. Let me just walk around the park again without knowing my fate. Let me be ignorant, let me be blissful, let me be unafraid. If I could just have back a few moments… I would run around that park smelling every flower letting myself get pricked by a rose thorn. I would pop into the hotel and grab a cappuccino. I would peer into the bottom windows of the brownstones. I would skip over the cracks of the sidewalk. I would walk down the tiny broken steps of the church thrift store and pick things up and put them down at my leisure. Hell, I might even stretch out my arms, lift my head to the clouds, start spinning around in circles and sing a little song. At the end of my allotted time, I imagine I would try to renege on my deal with God and I would ask for more time. Don’t make me go forward to my life with ALS. Let me just stay in this park without ALS. Just give me another few minutes… This time I will cherish it, I promise.

So I encourage all of you to get over to Gramercy Park on Christmas Eve…

 

Ellie xoxo

Empty Spaces… Good Bye Elie Wiesel

You closed those eyes that saw too much, and took with you the sorrow in them,
that hunting look, the searing pain, of someone who once was broken, stolen, betrayed, by infamy and hate.

You picked up your own pieces, in a horror nightmare like Guernica, and put yourself back together,
and those empty spaces, where the parts of you were missing,
gone in the burning hell of Auchwitz forever,
you replaced them with light and filled them with hope,
and you walked away from evil,
you left it behind,
and your wounded soul, spilled its light around the world, through the million little cracks left open and sore…

Who would fill those empty spaces, left by you now that you are gone, dear Elie Wiesel?

Rest in peace and  shine from above… Now your family is finally back together!  ….

… But the world surely feels darker without you.

There are victories of the soul and spirit,  sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

Elie Wiesel 

Decorating For Fall ~ Entrance Urn and backyard half Whiskey Barrels

It is hard to let go of Summer’s long, sunny days, specially when here, in Wisconsin,  Winters are so long and cold.  Spring and Autumn are my absolute favorite seasons, sadly they never last long enough!

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The flowers in my living room’s coffee table are still summer blooms and look as lovely as ever, but even though we are getting a few more beautiful sunny days here in this corner of the world, it is soon and almost suddenly going to change..

These come from my backyard

– These came from my backyard

For a peruvian girl like me, who gets the Winter Blues bad, it doesn’t help if those darker, colder, shorter days… would find me still with a few tired summer planters looking sad and old… this week I decided to take action and start my Autumn decorations even little by little so I won’t feel sad when the cold gloomier days arrive…

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This year I will keep it very simple, there are no kids at home any more and I still get emotional thinking about it.  It is a mixture of feelings, the sadness of letting go of spring’s fresh air, green grasses, soft rains and happy blooms … Summer’s long, bright, lazy days, full of bike rides, picnics, lake swims, bonfires, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores  … my kids’ childhoods and teenage years! … and the wonder and excitement of this new season to come with all the beauty and discovery it brings!  Gorgeous crisp, intensely colorful days full of magic, where you can walk endlessly admiring nature exploding on fire!  So much passion… so powerful … Just like summer’s colossal  thunderstorms!   New lives starting for my boys and myself… I have to work on Not letting the tears obstruct the view of all the blessings around me and all the fantastic things to come….

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring breaks and every special occasion just aquired a new brighter feeling about them and became more exciting and joyful than ever! The promise of the boys coming home makes everything wonderful and special!  Now I can just enjoy them and NOT clean after them! at least I don’t mind it anymore!   When they were still living at home, it was an absolute joy when my daughter and my two older boys, who live in Pennsylvania and Florida respectively at the time (everybody is moving now a days!) came home for the holidays, birthdays and graduations !!!  We were crazy excited and overjoyed for days before it happened!  but, being so far away made it difficult to make it home more often, therefore there were many sad moments and endless hours spent on the phone trying to fill in the blanks that their presence would have filled otherwise….

CHANGE … life sometimes doesn’t prepare us for THAT kind of change…. it’s wonderful, it’s good, it’s right… and like the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives, IT’S ALWAYS GOING TO HAPPEN!  All seasons have their own beauty and purpose and definitely they bring their own JOY… It’s just taking me a little bit longer to adjust….

Oh, yes! I was writing this to share my attempts to start my Fall decorations with my entrance urn and the two half whiskey barrels I have in the backyard, even though they are not finish yet!  I still need to go find some branches to add!

I decided to spray paint my urn black, it was a cement color before and it was looking very bla, specially with the white outside my house
I decided to spray paint the urn black, it was a greyish cement color before and was looking rather bla, specially against all the white outside my house. There is no need to buy a new planter each time, sometimes a little bit of elbow grease is all you need and some paint  goes a long way! Ahhhhh! the joys of spray paint!
I bought a few plants, it was hard to decide among all the pretty kale available but it had to be done
I bought a few plants, it was hard to decide among all the pretty Kales available but it had to be done.   Doesn’t that grass look a lot like Cousin Itt in the Addam’s Family?!  Just buy something that makes you happy or all cozy and fluffy inside! Trust your instincts, doesn’t have to be perfect.

IMG_1937– Dog not included!

It’s not even necessary to use flowers, sometimes a combination of plants with pretty leaves, grasses in different heights, colors and textures,( vegetables are a beautiful thing to use too!) and some gourds and pumpkins make a gorgeous combination for your planters.

I love the hint of purple in the grass playing with the deep purple of the Kale
I love the hint of purple in the grass playing with the deep purple of the Kale
It was kind of hard to move it to the front of the house but I managed! I need to clean so much around the house, I spent three months in Perú this summer and haven't catch up yet
It was kind of hard to move it to the front of the house but I managed!   I really need to clean a lot around the house after spending three months in Perú this summer! Haven’t been able to catch up yet… In this case I did use mums in my arrangement.

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My backyard half whiskey barrel
One of my backyard’s half whiskey barrels. This time no flowers! It doesn’t mean it’s not going to change… I am always adding and switching things around and it is OK.
I have yet to bring back throws and pillows and all the stuff we decorate with around these days, so I decided to grab anything to take this picture...
I have yet to bring back, throws and pillows and all the stuff we decorate with around these days, so I decided to grab anything to take this picture… Actually most of the books I read now are e-books and I haven’t read Killing Lincoln yet. I’ve read Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus in my e-reader, this is a  book my husband read recently. Bill O’Reilly did an AMAZING JOB with this series!  So easy to read, so many things to learn… I think it’s gorgeous the way it is! those leaves are as pretty as it gets, all the colors of the fall in one convenient plant!
I added another pumpkin to the container for more color and layers
I added another pumpkin to the container for more color and layers, this is the other side planter… see what I meant about the leaves?  I can’t remember the name of the plant but I know I saved the plastic tag with it somewhere.

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– Added another pumpkin to the right side planter too and it’s looking a little better each time.

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– Look at the subtle changes in colors and textures! Perfection! That Kale is beyond pretty, can’t get over the hues!

I just love how much those little pumpkins look like swans ! (Are those called pumpkins too? )
I just love how much those little pumpkins look like swans ! (Are those called pumpkins too? Are they gourds?) I’ll google it sometime…
Now I just need to add some birch branches or anything I can find and grabs my attention!
Now I just need to add some birch branches or anything I can find … that “Cousin Itt” grass is looking a bit out of place in this vignette I think. but I don’t want to let go! It’s so awesome looking in person and makes me smile everytime I see it
I guess it's not going to be as hard to let go... of my flowers or my children's childhoods and youth if I decide to start focusing in this new season of their lives and mine and concentrate in all the beauty it is going to bring.... like Autumn
Is it just me or those flowers are  really ridiculously pretty?!    – I guess it’s not going to be as hard to let go of my flowers… or my children’s childhoods and teenage years if I decide to start focusing on this new season of our lives and concentrate in all the beauty it is going to bring…. Just like Autumn!

Beautiful Inspiration

SOMETIMES A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, SOMETIMES A FEW WORDS ARE WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES…

HAVE AN INSPIRED AND GREAT WEEKEND!

Gratitud changes EVERYTHING
Gratitud changes EVERYTHING

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You are a LIVING magnet...
You are a LIVING magnet…

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Be happy for THIS moment..
Be happy for THIS moment..

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The creative adult is the child who SURVIVED!
The creative adult is the child who SURVIVED!

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I AM more than what you SEE..
I AM more than what you SEE..

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Tough times don't last; Tough people DO
Tough times don’t last; Tough people DO

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.
Imagination encircles the world….

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You
You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful….
You
You 
you are
.
The earth has music..
The earth has music..
Don't
Henri Cartier-Bresson 
Just three things...
Just three things…
There are
There is only one happiness in life…
There is only one
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

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She turned her can't
.
She turned her can'ts...
.

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