In The Arms Of An Angel


In The Arms Of An Angel

This morning at 6am I did a good thing for myself and went to yoga. Sometimes I go even when I am not feeling it, because I know that is when I need it most. It grounds me. The place I go to is a real community too and speaks all the spiritual lingo I like, which I appreciate.

But this morning when I arrived the instructor was in the room stretching to this song and I had to leave and go to the bathroom to wait for it to finish.

This song reminds me of my brother, Dean, who died at the age of 30. God, he was just a kid! I’ve gone through his things a hundred times looking for clues, and I see evidence of a young man who was sentimental, scared and feeling so despondent.

He kept cards we had all given him and ticket stubs from baseball games and the like. His life was barely getting started and my life has never been the same since his death.

As hard as I tried to get my head around the news when I first heard it, I just couldn’t accept it.

I had been out for the evening with my ex-husband. One of the only nights we took a much needed break from owning a restaurant. My sister was sitting in the back booth when I came in and simply said, “You need to call Mom.” She was so odd, I remember saying, “Did she win the lottery?”

She didn’t win the lottery, but she did have a police officer show up at her house and tell her that her son was dead.

He was found in a hotel room with copious amounts of drugs in his system. There was no note, even though my father told everyone at his funeral that he had killed himself. An investigation was done and the coroner said the cause of death was “unable to determine.”

When I think about him alone in that hotel room it makes me utterly distraught with sadness. I wonder why he didn’t call me, like he had so many other times in his life. It mattered not to me if he needed money or just wanted to tell me how hard he was working to make things right. I always had an ear for him. I thought we shared everything, but I guess he couldn’t share how utterly broken he felt with me, because he was my big brother and he felt he should be strong.

I just loved him! I know my boys would have loved him, too. They would have seen what I saw in him, when the rest of the world didn’t.

I know he watches over me. He is my angel, which is pretty ironic, since he did so many devilish things when he was here. He was always into trouble. Most of my childhood was filled with his antics, but I never cared, never judged him.

When I talk about feelings, change and authenticity, I am a person who understands how really precious our time here is. My brother was my friend, my hero. He always had my back and I tried so hard to have his. He was a person who was always up for an adventure. He was a person who not only walked to the beat of another drum, he created the beat.

When I say, “What’s the worst that can happen” it’s because I know what that is.

The worst thing that can happen, is that you don’t tell the people in your life how you feel about them. How much they mean to you and how much you love them.

I never got to say goodbye to my brother. He just left. The last time I saw him was not the best of circumstance. I was at his court appearance for some trouble he had gotten into and it didn’t fare well for him.

When the Balif came and handcuffed him, he looked back at me before they lead him out another door. If I close my eyes I am back in the courtroom with that look. I felt so helpless at the time cause I was just a kid, too. I wanted to do something for him but I felt like I couldn’t. If I had the day to do over, I would have jumped over all of the benches and held him, told him how much I loved him and that nothing was so bad that he had to take his life.

Please do not take anyone in your life for granted. Do not think that you have unlimited days with them to tell them how you feel or to make things right with them.

Life really is short and often times the people we love most, are taken from us without notice. Embrace everyone that you love, everyone that you want to love and everyone that you yearn to make things right with.




Anjaneyāsana is an asana or yoga pose. The name Anjaneya is a matronymic (personal name) for Hanuman whose mother’s name is Anjani. Hanuman is a central figure in the epic Ramayana (an ancient Indian epic poem) and an important Ista-devata (cherished divinity) in devotional worship.

But if all of that is too much of a mouthful for you, then you just call it what I do: low lunge.

I love yoga! I try to go at least 4 times a week. I love that various poses will give you various benefits but I feel the overall benefit of yoga is the way it forces you to be with yourself. Well with yourself amongst a group of people. It’s where your thoughts have to take a backseat while you remember to breath through the poses. You become so focused on your breathing that you forget everything else.    

So if all goes well and my schedule isn’t interrupted, I could quite possibly take up to 16 classes in a month trying to open my heart. And while my heart might be wide open by the time I leave, if I don’t hold the door open for someone walking in, then I have already closed it.

If I don’t say good moring to the ladies at the corner who make sure I am safe when I cross the street? – Closed heart. Roll my eyes at the new cashier because I’m in a hurry and am cursing myself for not using the self check out line? – Closed heart. I see a homeless person asking for money and I pass them by. After all, what’s my dollar going to do and why can’t that guy work? – Closed heart. I’m at an audition and my arch rival is there, too. I noticed she cut her hair and it looks sexy, but I’m not going to say anything to her. – Closed heart. I’m exhausted from that damn audition and I had a horrible read, so I’m going to sit on the subway and I don’t care who looks like they are going to keel over, I’m not getting up. – Closed heart.

In one day I have closed my heart off so many times, it’s a wonder I can breathe. And chances are, I can’t. I will bring this negative energy with me back to the house and the dog will have inevitably eaten something (probably my shoes) and the other one will have pissed. Negativity breeds negativity. I am in a foul mood, so everything and everyone I see will reflect that shit back to me.

Which is why I choose to be Snow White. Little birds floating off my shoes, as I dance with life which is nothing more than a giant adventure. Everyday goes according to how I choose it.  And I choose love. I consciously choose it. I have no other choice. When I am angry I see what that brings, so I make an effort to keep my heart open and give to others what I want in return.

It works most of the time. If it doesn’t, then I know it has nothing to do with me. Some people can’t accept love because they don’t love themselves. I don’t care if they think I’m a weirdo or some hippy chick that hugs trees. I just don’t. I know who I am, what I’m all about and I am not going to close my heart because someone has closed theirs.

But what most of us forget, is that an open heart is a broken heart. Mine has been broken many times. But I’m not going to let that stop me from loving. And I have loved greatly! A broken heart means you have loved. Which means you are capable of it.

Yeah, sometimes we take a chance and someone stomps all over our heart, but that doesn’t mean you continue to let them hurt you by closing it off to others. The right person knows what you’re bringing and honors it. They want that good stuff! That hot sugary mess! (I’m quoting AP Bio here-one of my faves).

If you close your heart, then you close your mind.  And once the mind gets involved those thoughts never stop coming. You have to feel your way with your heart. Your heart knows. It never lies. It’s that feeling you get despite what your mind tells you. It’s a surge of emotion, a giddiness, a stupid grin on your face for no reason at all and the part of you that allows yourself to dream about what the mind tells you is impossible.

Follow your heart. And if it’s not prompting you, then find a yoga studio so they can help you.