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"It’s All Thought" - By Lydia

I have had such writer’s block since accepting Riyadh’s wonderful honor to compose the 100th post at his blog. Many fragments of ideas came to mind during the past week and they lived in my head for minutes, sometimes a day, then scattered with my panic at the realization that the words I place here must have special meaning. After all, this is different than writing posts for my own blog. I’m quite happy with some posts there, less so with others, but they pass my inspection because they are my thoughts and they are representative of my mood at the time I prepare the post for publication. But how to appropriately celebrate with words the occasion of a 100th post at the blog of one who has become important to me, that is a different task altogether.

As I pondered what to write my mind kept returning to one idea and one person – actually, to a concept shared with me by one woman…..shared some four years ago about a year prior to her death at age 82.

Her name was Bette, which was what I called her the first time I met her after I married my husband, Mike. He called her “grandma” and that was what she preferred from me also. But she wasn’t really even his grandmother, not by blood. Also, she was closer in age to my mother than my two deceased grandmothers, and she told me years later that I was the daughter she never had.


The roots of the relationships are a bit complicated, so beginning with this photo of Bette should help make sense of it all…..mainly because she would tell you, as she told me, that it signifies when her life truly began.

This ethereal shot captured Bette as she looked when Stan, the love of her life, asked her to be his bride. There is an engagement photo of him taken the same day, dressed in his army uniform. He was a young widower, his first wife having died in childbirth. Their twin sons survived and they were around three-years-old when Bette and Stan married. Thus it was that this beautiful young woman, freshly graduated - with honors - from college in Arizona, became stepmother to his boys…..her boys.

When grown, one of those twin sons married a young, divorced woman with two boys: my husband, who was in grammar school at the time, and his toddler brother. In a nutshell: Bette was the stepmother of Mike’s stepfather.

Bette’s husband died just as Mike and I were getting together, some 15 years ago, and I never met him. She loved him so passionately that she truly did honor him every day, even after his death. She, Mike, and I became very close…especially after my mother’s death in 2000…and she shared with us some stories of the beginning of their love that she never told another soul. She knew those sweet secrets were safe with us. They still are and will always be.

In her last year as her health failed Bette loved having us come to her apartment to go over old documents, photos, and to hear the stories behind them. At the end of one of our last visits she took the two glorious framed engagement pictures off of her bedroom wall and, with a rather halting thrust, gave them to me, saying only, “Take them.”

We never knew how deep or personal she might want a conversation to be, so we had usually let her take the lead. But during one serious exchange, before she was moved to the hospital/hospice floor of her senior living center where liquid morphine ceased any real conversation, Mike asked her if she thought she would be reunited with Stan when she died, what she thought happens afterwards……

“It’s all Thought,” she said without hesitation.

We each have our own beliefs and ideas about what happens after death, based on different faiths or the absence of faith. The absolute truth is that none of us knows for sure. Yet one of the true wonders for those of us alive on the Earth at this time is our connectedness via a technology that allows us to share our beliefs and ideas about limitless topics….. to know one another, basically, through Thought.

Without ever laying eyes on one another, without sharing the same religion or race or gender or lifestyle, without ever sharing a meal or celebrating a holiday in one another’s presence, without ever giving a consoling hug or offering a cup of tea or listening to live music together or showing a new painting or the next chapter of a book we may be writing or walking around a brightly-lit city at night together after hours of fun, without ever physically extending a helpful hand during a move, without paying a visit to cheer one another at the hospital or attending the funeral of another’s parents, spouse, child, childhood friend, without ever stepping foot on the continent where our confidant lives, without ever having taken a photo of one another or celebrated a birthday together, not knowing what each of our homes looks like room-by-room or the feel of the atmosphere in another’s town or city, without ever having heard the voice of one who has become like a brother/sister/best friend/soul mate/mom/dad/son/daughter, or – as is the case with Riyadh and me – nephew and aunt ……… without any formal introduction or common roots or life experiences or shared geographical location we are forging new ways of sharing and caring for one another not even dreamt of by those who came before our Time.

I believe we are involved in a new Renaissance, an organic system growing within a technological framework, a next important step in our evolving and growth. For the first time in history, what Bette expected to discover after death essentially applies to the here and now, not the hereafter of heaven and hell.

“It’s all Thought,” she whispered.

For us alive now, the manifestation of Thought has the power to enhance and transform our lives, and it may ultimately determine the future of our planet.

~ ~ ~

I congratulate you, Riyadh, on next exceeding the milestone of 100 posts at your blog! Thank you for sharing a walk through your life with me and your other readers. Thanks also for being a person who greets life with excitement and curiosity, in spite of personal challenges and even heartbreak. Thank you for being non-judgmental and for making friends with people who are different than you. You have a fine and open mind and an open heart, a strong faith and a friendly spirit that makes people want to know more about you, and you seem possessed with the gifts of a teacher as you share your life in these interesting posts at your blog. I so appreciate you giving me this special space here today and I hope I met your expectations for this post.
Aunt Lydia

***This post is written by Lydia***


  1. You brought tears to my eyes Aunt... You made me speechless... I want to say many things... But what coming out of my heart right now is: I love you Aunt... You are ".........". I don't know what it is. Not able to find the appropriate word for my feeling about you... May be 'it's all Thought'... You have gained a place in my heart which is so special that no one else is able to replace it. Just love you Aunt...

  2. I am Speechless. Our Stories makes our future and our future is a delightful outcome of our Golden Past. Keep up.

  3. Aunt Lydia, I see how you have gained such respect from M Ryadh Sharif. Your writing reminds me of a creation taking shape and we all get to say it is good. Your story of Betty grabbed me and would not let me go. I loved the imagery and it was sad to think what will never be with blogger friends. But, it has also been so wonderful to interact with others form such diverse backgrounds. I agree with Ryadh you are a very gifted writer. Thanks for sharing this gift with us today!

  4. there are no coincidences: that i would come to riyadh's blog and find this tribute is ordained. thank you so much. you've explained how it is possible to love simply by loving. all the circumstances and conditions we assume are necessary to love, we who blog are learning, are not necessary.

    thank you lydia. and congratulations riyadh. it is my pleasure to get to know you both.

    riyadh, when are you moving to blogland lane? because i will want to shake your hand and say hello in person. i believe that community of ours is going to prove much of what you've said so well, lydia


  5. Hello Riyadh,

    I hope you don't mind me dropping by to read your "guest" Lydia's post. I read over at writerquake that Lydia was doing a guest post here I am..

    Lydia what a great heartfelt writer you are. You articulate "thought" so well! Indeed...yes, you and Riyadh dear friends from all the way across the world from one another..reminds me of my friendship with two dear blog friends from Singapore. They've been in my life now for about 4 years or more. Loyalty is a caring loving friendship.

    Made me think "yes, it's all "thought" in the "soul"..hey?

    Wonderful just wonderful...made me smile and have tears in my eyes at the same time.

    Love and Blessings,


  6. Heartwarmingly touching! Left me with moist eyes.. true it is all thought.. and often wonder how powerful these thoughts are!

  7. Touching and poignant. Beautifully written.

  8. dear lydia,
    I am not sure actually what to write in here,no doubt this is one of best touching story ever i have met i think i am gonna remember this story in my mind for long times & one more thing i have read your comments in Riyadh's post i really appreciate the way you exhilarate people.keep it up.



  9. Dear Everyone,
    I am beginning my day by reading your meaningful comments. Because of what you have said here I know it is going to be a glorious day, and I hope it will be the same for each of you.

    Thank you again, Riyadh.

    Heartfelt wishes,

  10. Touching Mike, I had a "nana" who wasn't actually the mother of either of my parents...but she and her husband were far closer to us than our actual grandparents...and so, having read your post, I think of them...

  11. Lydia,

    Your post is exquisite. And what a lovely blog this is. Thank you.

  12. @Aree: It's is!! Thanks!

    @Nahid: You are so right big bro!

    @Grayquill: Thanks for your meaning comment. We will make a our own world in this mesh of blog! :)

    @KJ: You are so right about the theory of Love. It's so simple but we make it complicated at times. Thanks for your visit.... And it was a nice experience for me to get to know you.. You are the one for whom we now have a wonderful place to live! : Blogland Lane!!!

    I have built my house already in Blogland Lane... Now just waiting for the official acceptance in the home of Blogland Lane.... The new blog you have openned. Last night I visit that blog and asked you in a particular post of yours that how can I join as an author in that blog so that I can post there... Please let me know!!! Cause I'm eagerly waiting to be there! I would love to shake your hands in person.... Help me make it as soon as possible!! :)
    Thanks again for coming by.

    @Rhianmon: Thanks for stepping into my blog! You are always completely welcome here! And I'm happy to learn about your friendship.... Hope it lasts beautifully forever!

    @Phoenix: Yes... it's wonderful that how powerful these thoughts are!!

    @Theresa: I completely agree! :)

    @Alvi: Thanks for coming by dude. :)

    @Lydia: Hope you have a nice weekend ahead Aunt.. Love you. :)

    @YogaforCynics: I would like to thank Lydia again who reminded you about your "nana". Thanks for sharing your experience too!

    @Secret, fragiile skies: You have said so many things in few words.. Thanks!

    Cheers Everyone.... Hope you have a nice day ahead.... & @Aunt Lydia: Thanks again. :)

  13. such a nice blog... such a nice story...
    happy blogging brother..

  14. Hi Riyadh, I read Lydia's blog at Writersquake. Came to read her story. What a honor you gave her, I can see how beautiful your friendship with each other is.

    Lydia, I loved the story, thank you for sharing. Like Bette, I believe after life is what you believe. Its all in the thought. I have never heard of anyone thinking the same way I do, till now. Thank you :)

  15. Fantastic writing, Lydia!! OMG!

    You said everything we feel. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to a very special lady.


  16. @Badhon Hara: Thanks bro...! Happy blogging! :)

    @Looking into Stars: Infact it's a great honor for me to publish Aunt Lydia's post in my blog... Thanks for coming by!

    @Nancy: It is fantastic indeed... I salute Aunt Lydia. :) Thanks for your comment!

    Cheers Guys!


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