Patch of Blue

The storms

When JC and I took our holiday beach trip this year, we ran into some bad weather. It was difficult for me to accept that I couldn’t enjoy my “outside” beach time, combing the beach for unusual things to take pictures of. My camera waited by the door, sadly, while the showers kept us inside.

After a day or two, the showers lightened and there were even some breaks in the rain. As I couldn’t stand it any longer, I donned my raincoat and grabbed my camera, deciding I would find something to photograph, even if it was the rainstorm you see in the above picture.

I stood on the porch watching the sky, snapping shot after shot of the magnificent and scary dark clouds that slowly drifted past.

Just when I was just about to go inside, I looked up at the dark clouds that were drifting across the sky, and saw it….

It was looking down at me in all its glory – a patch of bright blue peeking through the clouds. It only lasted a few minutes, but time enough for me to snap a few shots. I was delighted to find this patch of blue, amidst the stormy sky; it reminded of a good friend.

Blue skies

My friend, Lori of JaneBeNimble, is experiencing some dark and difficult times in her life right now. She’s a very special person; one of the most loving people I know. She’s uplifting and as kind as the day is long.

Lori has Multiple Sclerosis; something she’s written about several times in posts such as “Neuron Bench Press” and “I love Your Mind.” There are many days when Lori’s skies are cloudy and dark; days when she can’t do things she wants to do. Her MS brings exhaustion and sometimes, severe dizzy spells. On those days all she can do is rest.

But even MS can’t deflate Lori for long. It drags her down sometimes – after all, she is human – but she never lets it keep her down. That’s the gift that Lori has. She’s one of those people who always looks up and finds the patch of blue in her sky.

A good teacher

I greatly admire Lori’s attitude towards life. Even when she’s surrounded by the clouds of MS, even when this illness makes it difficult for her to write or speak easily on the phone, Lori finds a way to express her love and hope.

MS hasn’t made Lori become the loving and hopeful person she is; I believe that’s just her nature. She strives to see the “patches of blue” in her life with the fierceness of one who is determined to see beyond the darkness of her illness or other difficult times. She is the ultimate positive person!

I feel that Lori is a good teacher for all of us. As we move through life, we WILL experience our own storms. Lori teaches us to learn from those storms and become empowered by their lessons.

She teaches us to be patient when the skies of our lives are dark and gloomy, and reminds us that there are always patches of blue in those skies… if we look for them.

When you get to know her, you realize that not only does she see the “patches of blue” in stormy times, she is a “patch of blue” for anyone who gets to know her:~)

Meet her…

Want to know more about Lori? Well, for starters check out Lori’s interview with Evita Ochel of Evolving Beings for her series, Evolving Beings in Action.” In this interview, Lori shares a lot about her life and how she handles her illness.

I also encourage you to visit her site. I also recommend the following ones, which are three of my current favorites: Find a Passion for Writing, The Woman with the Panther Tattoo, and Three Tips for-Writing Loving Meeting Mermaids and More.

42 comments on “Patch of Blue

  1. Sara –

    This is a lovely tribute to Lori. She is wonderful – that is for sure… someone who strives to savor life and give, give, give… And her posts are well written and thought provoking. My thoughts are with her – and with you… thank you for sharing your favorite posts… you mentioned mine (one of them) too.
    I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful new year thus far!

    • Sara says:

      @ TE — Wow. I missed you and I wish you a happy New Year. I took most of the holidays off, which was a nice break.

      I agree totally with you about Lori. There are people you meet in life who you just know are special souls — that’s Lori for me!

      I know we love the post you liked so much, The Woman with the Panther Tattoo, and I always admired how you worked to write your own declaration of self, She is a Woman Known as Hope, which was also beautiful.

      I’ll be visiting very soon. I’m interested to know what you’ve been up to recently:~)

  2. Lori says:

    Hi Sara,
    You are such a kind and giving soul, I’m speechless. Like I’ve told you before, I find it incredibly touching that anyone would see me like you’ve portrayed me here. There are times I certainly don’t feel positive, and feel destroyed by this disease. But, I really do try my best to see the patch of blue.

    I mean, really, we live on a gorgeous planet, and as long as I can see, listen, touch, taste, smell, and love, I consider I’m really doing very well. In addition to that, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by love: my hubs, family, and such lovely friends as yourself. You all help me bail the water when I feel I’m in the life boat with a huge hole in it. Your friendship and blog really have made a difference in my life, and I can’t thank you enough. You’re helping me heal!

    Big love to you, Sara Songbird, as well as to your wonderful community. I appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.
    Lori´s last blog post ..Reflections on Spirituality- Science- and Nature

    • Sara says:

      @ Lori (Surfer Girl) — I am pleased you like the post. It is how I see you. I know you have difficult times, but you have the ability to see beyond them; you don’t let yourself get stuck in them. As I said to TE — We don’t get to meet people we know who are special souls — who are so full of life, love and compassion and share themselves so effortlessly with others. You are that soul for me.

      What can I say, but thank you for being my friend:~)

  3. Talon says:

    Beautiful post, Sara, for someone who sounds to be a lovely person and a true inspiration.
    Talon´s last blog post ..Eccentric

    • Sara says:

      @ Talon — Thank you for your comment. If you haven’t already, I hope you will stop by and read some of Lori’s posts. She really IS a patch of blue in stormy skies!!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been loving your photographs and your writing. It’s always been good, but you seem to have taken BOTH to a new level:~)

  4. What a sweet and loving tribute to Lori. And you’ve outdone yourself with those photos, Sara. You’ve reminded me that even on the grayest days, there’s always a patch of blue, if not in the sky, then inside of ourselves.
    Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog post ..One Word Madness &amp One New Group

    • Sara says:

      @ Patty — Thank you. I’m glad that you mentioned the idea of the “patch of blue” being inside ourselves. That is so TRUE!

      I appreciate your comment very much!

  5. Belinda says:

    This is wonderful, Sara. Lori is such a unique soul who radiates life. And I just love the idea that there is always a patch of blue somewhere even on the stormiest days.
    Belinda´s last blog post ..ALL CLEAR- FeedMedic Alert for thehalfwaypoint

    • Sara says:

      @ Belinda — You’re so right about Lori!! Some people are just special. Lori’s one of those.

      Thanks for stopping by:~)

  6. Liz says:

    Those are beautiful pictures! The last time I went on vacation was … Well, I don’t remember.

    I look up to people with disabilities and mental disorders – they can teach us a lot. I enjoy observing them – not staring at them – because even though most of the people in the rest of the world doesn’t believe they can do something, they believe that they can. They’re my role models; they believe in themselves when others wouldn’t believe in themselves. Hopefully that makes sense?

    Thanks! It’s really weird; a lot of my friends quote things I say. My best friend has written down – and still writes down – things I have said that make her feel better, help her through her struggles, etc.

    • Sara says:

      @ Liz — What you said does make sense! I’m proud that you are such a compassionate and caring person. It’s good that you help your friends and it obvious that they appreciate it by saving what you’ve said. You see outside yourself; I didn’t do that very well when I was your age.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts:~)

  7. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Sara
    Super little post, written from the heart.

    I’ve visited Lori’s site in the past and will make sure that I visit again in the near future.

    A post to be proud of Sara.
    Keith Davis´s last blog post ..Look for the Shining Eyes

    • Sara says:

      @ Keith — This is a post written from my heart because of Lori. I’ve gotten to know her and she really is a special soul. Visiting her site, reading her words is like getting a virtual hug.

      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by. I wish you a very creative New Year!

      BTW I absolutely loved your post and video, “Look for the Shining Eyes.”

  8. Patricia says:

    This whole post is a little patch of blue for a person who is a huge patch of blue. I so enjoy visiting Lori’s site – well as much as I enjoy visiting yours.

    In my State, we have the highest incidence of MS in the world. All the years I taught in a college or university setting, I always had a student with MS in my class. A Doctor in Canada claims that MS is the twin to Celiac Disease, which is often diagnosed as a mental illness ( hallmarked by depression and wasting away – Schizophrenia too) One is being attacked on a muscular level/ nerve level or with the other, through the gut and cilia. I find the folks along the way make more money keeping them as separate entities.

    Having a family and especially children with Celiac has kept me sensitive to the problems and I recognize the problems of the fatigue and pain. It is good for folks to hear from many sources to keep the search ongoing until there is a happy successful conclusion. Thank you for sharing this good information and personable information

    • Sara says:

      @ Patricia — That’s interesting about your state. Have they ever found out why there’s such a high incidence of MS? You are very good about researching and learning about the illnesses that have affected you and your family. This is really good because the more you know; the more power you have over a health problem. I know very little about Celiac. Have you written a post about it? If so, would you send me the link? I’d like to know more.

      Regarding Lori, I’ve noticed that lots of people are focusing on her MS. While it is a part of Lori’s life, I don’t believe that her ability to see the “blue” in dark skies is solely related to her struggle with this illness. It’s more who she is naturally; she just finds the “good” in things. For me, being around her, even on-line, is like taking a sip of a positive energy drink!!

  9. I met Lori online about a year ago in the midst of recovering from a brain injury. Surprisingly, we had much in common and could relate as only someone else with brain challenges can.

    My journey has been one of recovery and regaining skills. Lori’s is the opposite. I have so much admiration and respect for her bravery in this. I can only imagine and learn much from her example. I knew I was getting better, and it was still scary as hell.

    I have found Lori to be so encouraging, inspirational and just plain uplifting. She is a blue spot in a cloudy sky. I think that is about the best we all can strive for. Thank you for sharing this.
    Debbie Hampton´s last blog post ..Home for the Holidays

    • Sara says:

      @ Debbie — Welcome to my site and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you’ve had quite a journey and not an easy one. I can only imagine how scary that would be, especially if was sudden. I hope your recovery continues to move forward.

      I am also pleased that you connected with Lori. If anyone could give you encouragement at a difficult time, Lori can:~) She somehow makes you feel that you can do what you think you can’t do:~)

  10. Shay says:

    Nothin’ but blue skies do i see…. 🙂

    I found the perfect spot for your calendar! Right next to my carved wooden St Francis statue. St Francis is on one wall, your calender on the other, with my special “favorites” book case beneath them. 🙂
    Shay´s last blog post ..Worldes Blis

    • Sara says:

      @ Shay — That’s nice to hear!! After all the times you mentioned not having a chance to see one of my calendars, I couldn’t resist making sure you got one this year! And to put it next to St. Francis is quite an honor. He is my favorite saint as he’s the patron saint of animals. I read somewhere that on his deathbed, he thanked the donkey that had carried him for many years. In the story, supposedly, the donkey wept.

      Thanks for stopping by and telling me about the calendar. I am pleased that you are pleased with it:~)

  11. Hi Sara,

    Followed you here from Belinda’s site.

    Lovely word’s about your friend. I will visit Lori’s site as well. Life mirrors the faces of weather as you mention. Sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it’s stormy.

    I always notice that the day after a storm is particularly beautiful, sunny and warm, even if it’s winter. It’s all part of the deal called life!

    Enjoyed your post very much.

    Giulietta Nardone´s last blog post ..Sing first Then do the boring stuff

    • Sara says:

      @ Guilietta — Welcome and I pleased you stopped by for a visit! Oh, do visit Lori’s site; you will not regret it! And you are right about life mirroring the faces of weather; usually the sunniest day do seem to appear after the stormiest weather:~)

      I will have to visit soon. I love the title of the blog post that appearing in this comment, “Sing first. Then do the boring stuff.” That’s a great title:~)

  12. desk49 says:

    No challenge
    Ok then I’l just enjoy the photos.
    Love the rain cloud and the blue eye look down on me.
    desk49´s last blog post ..Ghost or Not-

    • Sara says:

      @ Ellis — I don’t usually have challenges on my Thursday posts, but I still love it when you stop by. If you get a chance, visit Lori’s site. You will like her. She has a wonderful sense of humor and I know she’d enjoy your stories and your poems:~)

  13. Alien Ghost says:

    Hi Sara,

    Beautiful post about a beautiful person! Visiting Lori’s blog is a must when we need inspiration about love and life. Lori is an amazing human being, that always teaches us so much about courage and determination when facing problems; as well as love for other people, independently if we know them or are complete strangers in our lives.

    Thank you for posting about her in your blog 🙂

    Alien Ghost´s last blog post ..Standing in the Cold

    • Sara says:

      @ Alien Ghost — Ah, I can tell you’ve been touched by Lori’s magic!

      As always, I appreciate your visit and I look forward to reading your “brain workout” posts in 2011:~)

  14. Carrie says:

    Lori sounds like some heck of a gal 🙂
    You write so passionately how could one not go and have a peek.
    Carrie´s last blog post ..The Butterfly Effect

    • Sara says:

      @ Carrie — Thank you and I’m pleased that you will visit Lori’s site; it is worth the “peek.”

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts:~)

  15. Hi Sara,
    OMG these photos are amazing and I love the “patch of blue” idea. It could be the name of a book.

    I agree with you 100% on the remarkable woman Lori is! Yesterday she told me she was going to meditate for the second time, after her swim. What an attitude and dedication to living life to the fullest no matter what.

    She is beyond an inspiration…Lori I hope you take all this love in that you’re getting here today!

    I forgot about “The Woman with the Panther Tatoo.” I can even tell you what I did the day I read it, I was so inspired. Lori I think you need to make room for that in your book;)
    Love to you Sara and Lori. It’s awesome to know the two of you are out there everyday making the world a better place! You both bring hope to so many others. xo

    • Sara says:

      @ Tess — You’re sweet about the photos! This beach trip was challenging, but the storms were amazing. I have one picture in which the dark cloud looks like it’s dropping fingers into the water — it’s really cool.

      Regarding Lori, I know she’s checking out the comments and feels the “warmth” of the people who’ve stopped by. “The Woman with the Panther Tattoo” is one of most amazing pieces of writing I’ve seen. It’s so passionate and full of life, which fits Lori to a tee.

      I love it when you visit. You bring such positive energy with your comments:~)

  16. Liz says:

    I’m kind of a packrat. 🙁 I don’t like throwing things away – or giving them away for that matter. But it’s not bad – I’m not a hoarder; I just like keeping some things because they have memories.

    He’s my stepdad. He’s bullied me ever since he married my mother, so … It’s really hard to ignore him. He doesn’t even treat her nicely half the time.

    It may sound disrespectful, but I don’t listen to him anymore; he’s not my birth father. I’m going to talk back to him from now on, and I’m going to “tell him off” if something he says is something I don’t agree with. I don’t have to listen to him, and my mom even told me that I don’t. He’s already done something a month or so ago involving me that ticked her off. I’m tired of being treated differently. I’ve been through a lot more than what any other “typical” nineteen year old has gone through. I’m tired of him abusing me with his words, undressing me with his eyes and acting like he never spanked me enough. I can’t walk away from him any longer, and this time, if he hits me, I’m calling the cops, and then I’m telling my dad.

    Thank you. 🙂 I like to think that I am most at peace with myself whenever I get to blog. I have been to various therapists/counselors/etc. to try to move on from the past, and nothing has helped as much as blogging. At least with blogging I can receive more than one point of view and talk about what I want to talk about when I want to talk about it. Also, it only costs me about ten dollars compared to the fourty to sixty – sometimes seventy-five dollars a session for the professional help. I felt even more trapped in counseling. I don’t in blogging.

    Sorry this was so long. 🙁

    OH! And blogging isn’t timed, nor is there a limit. Although I do try not to exceed 500 words in each post.

    • Sara says:

      @ Liz – I also had a stepdad who was emotionally abusive when he drank. I was, however, an adult at this time and was away from home most of the time. I used to fight with him all the time, but it never changed things. He had severe problems and eventually I learned to stay clear of him. When he would try to get me to argue with him, I simply left the room. However that was my situation and not yours.

      Your comment worries me, but I’m not sure how to advise you or if you even want advice. It doesn’t sound like you are free to remove yourself from this situation. If that’s the case, I do agree with you that you might want to talk to your dad or, if you are being hit or abused, to call the cops or the abuse line in your state. Also, if there are other adults near you who you feel comfortable with, you might want talk to them about this and share what’s happening. By all means, if blogging is helping you, then keep writing, kiddo. You’ve got a special place in my heart. I wish I lived closer to you:~)

      p.s. Haven’t you noticed? I always go over 500 words in my posts! That’s what’s nice about blogging; you can write as much as you want and about whatever you want:~)

  17. Great tribute here.
    Where i’m from the clouds like the sky, when i see blue sky on such dismal days i smile on the inside
    Arts Web Show´s last blog post ..Song called Dark days- singing and beat boxing

    • Sara says:

      @ Arts Web Show — I like it that you find your patch of blue on the inside:~)

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a great holiday and will have a wonderful New Year!

  18. Linda says:

    Hi Sara, I know I am late this week. I found Lori’s site to be inspirational and filled with hope and love. This is a lovely tribute to her.

    I was also particularly touched by Liz’s comment. That is a sad situation indeed. I am glad she finds comfort in blogging. I hope she finds a more permanent and physical solution soon. Living like that must be difficult, and I suspect she has more strength than she realizes.

    • Sara says:

      @ Linda — Thanks for your comment and what you said about Lori’s site. I agree!!

      Regarding Liz, you should visit her site. She put up a great post about strength. I loved it:~)

  19. Lori says:

    Hi Sara,
    I’m stopping back by to offer my heartfelt thanks to you, once again.
    This post meant a lot to me, and the comments of your readers have touched my heart.

    I’m warm with the care and lovely thoughts of those who offered such kind words. Really, truly, this has meant a lot to me.

    You are such a kind soul, Sara. Truly, a unique and loving heart. Thank you again, lovely angel.
    Much love to you and your family,
    Lori´s last blog post ..An Angel is Born

  20. Happy New Year Sara,

    First, I love the photos and love how you noticed and captured that bit of blue sky in the midst of a storm. It’s like the Universe is saying, “don’t despair”.

    I totally agree with you on Lori. She’s a remarkable woman who indeed deserves kudos and someone I’m proud to call a blogging friend. She’s awesome! (and so are you, Sara)
    Barbara Swafford´s last blog post ..Finding Your Blogging Voice

    • Sara says:

      @ Barbara — Thank you for stopping by. I was lucky about the patch of blue sky and it does remind me of Lori.

      I really appreciate your words; they mean a lot to me!

  21. Hilary says:

    Hi Sara .. that patch of blue .. it is so true isn’t – we see one amongst the grey of the clouds and smile at the light coming through.

    Thanks so much for remembering Lori – she certainly is special and I’ve been rather overloaded myself and so haven’t been around as much .. but I’ll go over now & I know there’s a Lori-post somewhere that’s still in my Reader for me to comment on ..

    I hope you had a brief bit of a break and it’s lovely seeing the pictures .. Happy happy New Year .. Hilary
    Hilary´s last blog post ..Confiscated Booze- Rock Dust and Turkeys what do they have in common

    • Sara says:

      @ Hilary — I understand perfectly about you getting caught up things. Your life is rather busy with your mom. As I dropped out for almost two weeks during the holidays, you’re doing better than me!

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be visiting soon as I see you have a new post up and it sounds very interesting:~)

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