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

From my Window…. Desde mi Ventana. A Merry Christmas to All

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From my window I saw summer go by…  from my window, I saw my thoughts go wild… I still wonder why I didn’t get to say goodbye
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Oh Summer beautiful … liquid dreams and all…
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Can’t take away the beauty of Autumn or Fall, Winter and cold,  having their own memories their own soul.
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Fire cracking, book diving, dreaming begins again…
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Contemplating that all is possible… didn’t I feel before the same? .
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I find over and over that life repeats itself, I’m always starting over or at least it feels this way…
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…Despite all the beginnings … the decades we left back, some things  will never change, the language of silence, the feeling of touch, those arms and  legs intertwined like an abstract piece of art…
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..A tiny home is enough when your heart is in the right place…
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…waiting is a joy when you know who you are waiting for… When you have somebody else…
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Family oh family … we all have different walks but isn’t it just perfect, isn’t it the best when we can come together putting things to rest, when we can get together and stop?
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…and there they go again, leaving my soul all warm, but I love the sound of silence and I love my time alone…
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Warm wine, cossy feet, a good book …and somebody to share them with…
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I wish you all  tomorrow, along with a cup of JOY, to have someone to share, the birth of our LORD…

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

What a wonderful world…

I see trees of green…

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I see….

Red roses too…

 I see them bloom…

For me and you…

for me and you

for me and you

And I think to myself…

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what a wonderful world…


What a wonderful world!

  

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I see skies of blue…

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and clouds of white…


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And clouds of bright…

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the bright blessed day

The bright blessed day…

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The dark secret night…

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the dark secret night…

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And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!


The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky…

so pretty in the sky 
Chagall

Are also on the faces of people going by…

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Picasso
Klimt 
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of people going by…
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are also on the faces….
on the faces…
beautiful faces…

I see friends shaking hands, saying, how do you do?…

Friends
old friends…
shaking hands…
They are really saying….

They are really saying, I love you!

I love you 
I love you…
I love you, I do…


  
  

I love you 

I hear babies crying…

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I hear babies crying…

I watch them grow…

I watch them grow…

  

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know!


  


And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

and I think to myself…
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what a wonderful world…

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!



Louis Armstrong 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m so grateful to be able to appreciate all the blessings we have; Sometimes I still catch myself bothered by minimal things that, under the light of the Paris tragedy , shouldn’t even face me, but I’m spoiled and impatient and need to be reminded how precious life is and how it all can change in a split second.

I’m so grateful for my family, they are my everything, it shouldn’t matter that we live in different places of the country and of the world, what matters is that we are alive and that we love each other and we have each other’s back.

I’m grateful for friends,  real ones, the ones that stay with you when you are down and cheer for you when you are up. They are rare and precious and we should treasure them for the blessing they are.

I’m grateful for the little moments and the little things, those that fill us with joy  and hope, making it all worth it; the moments we hold on to forever to remember anytime we want or need to. We only need to take the time to bring them back, pause for a while and accept them for what they are, presents from God, the opportunity to relive and experience the love again, perhaps not in the same way we would like to, but not less real for that so… We realize as we age, that we almost don’t know anything,  The more we live, the more we learn, the better we understand how little our grasp of the universe is, how minuscule our understanding of  the power of the brain… How limited our perception of the greatness  of the soul!

Today, after complaining for days about my computer’s wireless mouse freezing all the time, after being frustrated because even though I bought a new mouse I still can’t connect it to the computer because I can’t  sinc them!   Today I realized I still have an iPad and an  iPhone to THANK YOU for the more than 16,000 visits to my little blog…  More than 16,000  visits to my only 37 posts…. I’m humbled and grateful…. Even though for some bloggers that number might be small, it is not to me!  it means the world  to see people from all over the world in here, specially all the people from France these last days… I’m GRATEFUL for you all and I’m sending you my love.

I’m writing this on my phone and I’m not good at revising what I write, so forgive me for the mistakes, I just want you to know that I do feel you and I do appreciate you.

Finally and more importantly, I’m grateful for God, for His Love and teachings, for my faith, for always asking me to love and respect all, for asking me not to judge. For expecting me to help and serve others regardless. For asking me to be humble and for teaching me that joy is only found in love and compassion for all, for teaching me that there is no joy in a mean spirit who only looks up for its self and self gratification. For teaching us that we come from light and we come from love, that we are all one and that we need each other to connect with the source of it all. His love.  I’m grateful that my God never asked me to kill and hate others in order to be able to go to heaven and I’m grateful I was never taught otherwise.  Not everybody is that lucky.


 My Thanksgiving tablescape

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Luxemburg garden paris

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A Walk to Remember 

Walking in silence. Alone. At dusk… awakens the senses, the need for awareness, the hunger for understanding… introspection, stillness inside while in movement, I can listen to my heart and actually hear what it is saying, realize what my soul knew already … searching for unspoken words to sooth my spirit, searching for a connection to the Universe, a connection to one’s self…

Walking in silence. Alone.
Walking in silence. Alone. At dusk…. Awakens the senses, the need for awareness, the hunger for understanding…
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…Introspeccion, stillness inside, while in movement, so I can listen to my heart…
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…and actually hear what it’s saying, realize what my soul knew already…
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…Searching for words to sooth my spirit.  A connection to the Universe, a connection to one’s self
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...So if you are made of empty spaces

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And those who were seen dancing, ,

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I tried to forget, but you grew roots around my ribcage….
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Anna Peters
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...You, he said,

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
Klimt

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Agatha Christie

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P.S. I love you
P.S. I love you …. I’m dying!
.Anita KrizzanMarie-Therese -PIcasso- .

E. E. Cummings

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Elizabeth Gilbert,
Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love”
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I wish I had done..

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.Anita KrizzanDon't

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It is a blessing and a curse..
It is a blessing and a curse..
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Anita Krissan

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Dodinsky.

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Friedrich Nietzsche

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Sophia
F. Scott FitzgeraldI use to walk into a room

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Charles Bukowski
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Forget yesterday..
Forget yesterday..
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.Oscar Wilde.

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Nayyirah Waheed
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Every Sunrise, every Sunset…
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Gustav Klimt, The Kiss

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That was quite a walk right there…. it left me exhausted and relieved at the same time… Good night.

I’ve Got Mail! Wedding Photos are here.

Wedding Pictures are here and I want to thank Jay Grubb Photography for sharing them with me. Thank you Jay, I love the pictures!

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Soft and romantic color palette…
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If you would like to contact Jay Grubb Photography, you can find him in his website: http://www.fotojax.com

If you would like to contact me, you can find me here in the blog.

If you would like to contact the Hair and Make-Up artist, you can find her here:   http://www.weddingwire.com/MariaTeresaHairandMakeUpArtist

Venue: Villa Blanca, The White Room.

Bride's Bouquet
Bride’s Bouquet. I included some pictures taken with my very old iPhone 4s, so you can see the colors without filters or any professional  techniques. Now that I finally upgraded to the iPhone 6 plus, I hope I’ll be able to take better quality pictures!
The gorgeous couple..
The gorgeous couple..
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Pictures taken in the beautiful city of St. Augustine.
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Soft colors with a Great Gatsby flare...
Soft colors with a Great Gatsby flare…
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My picture, too bad the candles were not lit yet..
I don’t remember who took this picture, too bad some candles were not lit yet..

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Finally!

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I could cry looking at this picture!
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Mr. and Mrs. G !  Happiness
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Mr and Mrs G!
Finally!
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Bridesmaid bouquet
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What a beautiful couple, the way they stared at each other made me want to go back in time…

IN MEMORIAM ~ MEMORIAL DAY

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Amazing Grace…
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How sweet the sound…
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…that saved a wretch like me…
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I once was lost, but now I’m found… was blind, but now I see.
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process:
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey’s body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine’s casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in the process: “See the people in the windows? They’ll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what’s going through their minds, knowing that they’re on the plane that brought him home,” he said. “They’re going to remember being on that
plane for the rest of their lives. They’re going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.”
(TODD HEISLER/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS)
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‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace my fears relieved; 
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How precious did that Grace appeared, the hour I first believed.
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Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come
Brittany Jacobs kisses her son Chris near the grave site of her late husband, Christopher Jacobs, at Section 60 on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, Monday, May 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home. 
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The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secure; he will my Shield and Portion be, as long as life endures.
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Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease…
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I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace…
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The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forebear to shine…
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But God who called me here below, will be forever mine.
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 26:  William McKeen sits at the grave of his best friend Kevin Lucas in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery May 26, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. Section 60 is where many of those who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been buried. Memorial Day, a federal holiday in the US, commemorates members of America's military that died while in service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action.  (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun
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We’ve no less days to sing God’s Praise, than when we’d first began.
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Amazing Grace…
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GREATER LOVE HAS NO ONE THAN THIS, THAN ONE, LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS…. John 15:13
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I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep … John 10:11
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I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid  of those who kill the body and after that can do no more… Luke 12:4
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Who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty…
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I will say of The Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. Psalm 91

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Dog tags signifying each soldier killed in action that has passed through School of Infantry East, are displayed on a memorial in the entrance of Ivy Hall - the headquarters of the school - at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Thursday, September 30, 2010. (Sheila Vemmer/staff)
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You won't see this on the news
You won’t see this on the news
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Noah Galloway
Noah Galloway
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