Friday, December 2, 2011

Blue Holiday Lights

'Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree'.....oh, shut up already! 

I used to dread the holidays. Let's just face it. It seemed everyone around me was happy about it and I just wanted it to be o-o-ver....really.... If I was honest with myself.

One year, begrudgingly, I decorated my house in all blue lights. I honestly said to myself, 'OK, I'll put up lights, but only blue lights because I feel soooo blue!'

I had always driven by houses in blue and thought it was so mesmerizing....but I honestly never wanted it for myself. I liked twinkling 'colored lights', they seemed so much happier. 

So as the holiday went by, I started to miss the colored lights. I started to miss 'ME'! And even stranger and funnier, everyone started to ask if I was Jewish (I am not and I dearly love my Jewish friends)

Although, I thought I was hiding how I felt about my sadness, resistance to see the love & joy that was existent around this time of year, I was clearly sending out a desperate message of 'I'm blue'. I was isolating myself....intentionally.
Well, it's perfectly fine to not know how you feel about the holidays. But somewhere inside of you there is a knowing that others want to be there for you..... to sit, have tea, say they care and share a loving moment. I encourage you to allow as many of these as you can handle. Don't hold back, reach out--> You don't have to be 'blue' alone.

Holiday Hugs,


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Always wear your Invisible Crown

Anyone who has found themselves at the crossroads in life knows it's a perspective shifting experience. An invisible portal into another world that is shaking things up for you whether you want it or not.

Somewhere along the line for me, I realized something interesting that I always share when I mentor other widows....that we are wearing invisible crowns handed to us from a divine place of honor that is very misunderstood in the beginning.

You see, I was a queen, but not in the sense that we usually think of a queen. I certainly was not being pampered or waited on hand and foot, but I was in charge of something vitally important and regal. And that is- this one life that God has blessed me with.

I reluctantly, yet finally, accepted my crown and have spent many years collecting jewels that I swear people can actually see now. Like any crown you've ever seen, it is comprised of two key ingredients: metal & jewels.

These two components have great symbolism if you think about it.

 Iron, as in 'iron sharpens iron', is symbolic for spiritual, unseen guides- spirits, saints, G-d, Jesus, angels,  fill in the blank _______ are quite literally around you at all times.... you are never alone. This guidance is omnipresent and literally holds us up in times when we need the borrowed strength. It is our court of majesty.

These spiritual guides are our very own 'divine net' which is meant to catch you if you fall, as opposed to, constrict you from moving along in this mission. Recognizing when we feel stuck in life, trapped in a scenario is the exact moment you need to visualize your 'net' differently. Are you stuck or free to fly? Which is it? You are the queen of your court...rule the land.

When you were born, you were uniquely encoded with the likeness of God in the image of man...some call this the soul essence and this essence gives you a direct lineage for the inborn knowingness to unlock your own spiritual potential to fly. In jumping off the springboard of life, you instinctively know there is a net to catch you, and when you do, you discover new jewels of wisdom, new heights of adventure and your own spiritual core. You find jewels like peace, joy and love.
Just as jewels (real precious stones) develop under pressure, so will your ownership of certain jewels that will be placed upon your invisible crown. Large and small, the design will be created.

That saying 'she has light in her eyes' very much applies here. As a modern widow, being aware of the light giving quality in your eyes is very important to get back again. Look into a persons eyes (mine happen to be green) and tell me, can you see their soul?

You are the queen, the princess of your own domain. You are on a royal mission possible, damn it. Quite simply, as a widow, you have been chosen for this jewel scavenger hunt. I'm afraid it didn't just happen randomly, you were 'blessed and honored with this crown'....there was a divineness, a knowing that you would heed the call and God knew you would claim it today that day?

Unfortunately, when you don't claim it and instead refuse to stand up, answer, bravely walk into the unknown of your own life--your light will become a mere become dim, shadow, you grow dark, which usually exhibits itself outwardly as depression, fear, resistance, uncertainty, hesitation, indecision, saying 'no' when you 'know' you should say yes. In this state, you are running backwards away from your fate instead of stepping forwards towards your royal destiny.

Stepping forwards may mean getting out of bed, driving yourself to a friend who listens, picking up the phone to sign up for that class you've always wanted to take. It's doing anything other than sitting still with your thoughts. Move it or loose it.....after all, you've got jewels to excavate and a beautiful design in process.

I'm inviting you to own your invisible crown today. Upon falling asleep this evening, just quietly say to yourself 'Where am I needed as I wear this invisible crown?' The subconscious will respond mysteriously.... abundantly... surprisingly, you are on your way to finding experiences that are nothing short of fullness, beauty, gratitude and life. The shining of your prisms are needed in this world, it matters tremendously how you choose to wear this crown.

Shining in Gratitude this thanksgiving weekend,
Modern Widows Club

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hope Changes Everything

We wanted to announce the exciting launch of a brand new website called 'Hope Changes Everything'

Hope Changesexists to connect people in the middle of struggles, which have significant spiritual implications, to the power of God's word. We believe that personal stories and scripture hold great potential for both uncovering insights about our own condition and looking beyond circumstances to the hope that is before us. By breaking the isolation that often accompanies trials, we desire to see individuals set free by the truth.
Watch me under the 'DOUBT' section and hear of spiritual doubt and my struggle with loss. 

God Bless You this Thanksgiving Season,
Carolyn Moor

A Stitch in Time

Last evening, we had our second Modern Widows Club Social Hour. It's always intimate, mysterious and I come away with insights that leave me thinking about life on a long highway.

There is one thing for sure, let's just get this straight -- We are widows, it feels like a stigma and we all abhor the title.

In fact, I hesitated starting this group fearing this one emotionally packed word would turn many away who do not want to associate with the startling reality that in fact, they are widows, whether they want to be or admit it, for a while, you are this to the world, so now what?

What do you do when there is no cause, no blame and life just is (or isn't the way you want)?

I could spend hours discussing this, and have many times (I won't bore you). Or I can point out the elephant in the room and say 'we are here'... owning something that we are is part of this journey. Like it or not. No one ever really wants to hear this but some, like me, say it out loud. I do this in the most loving way because, I know when we do not speak of it, it holds the power we have to accept, find peace in the present moment and make our next move. I'm so guilty of spending many years in this 'limbo' stage of not wanting to accept this new way of life. I've given it too much hospitality in my daily choices of how to use the 24 hrs I'm given.

In the early days, I didn't realize how much I allowed the 'past' to occupy my 'present'. But, boy, when I realized it...I literally started a calendar of how I used my time. I divided it up into past, present and future. With practice, I could see how I was using my time and thoughts in each area...and I will tell you, when I'm present, I'm always happier.

I fumbled through it day by day and it was beyond frustrating and my life felt like a tumbleweed. But there are lessons if you stay aware. I'm still doing this and look where I've a moment with you. Coincidence is God's way of being anonymous. 

Let's talk about tumbleweeds. They are controlled by the wind, they go where they are sent by something unseen. In the beginning, we are very much like this (where is this going?). Although, tumble weeds don't have will power or dreams or responsibilities....I bet if they could talk, they would have some amazing stories.

Because I am optimistic, an avid life learner, I see parallels in nature and the human condition in everything. I believe God created us and this earth to teach each other. You only need to sit, be one with your own silent journey in nature to grasp the magnitude around you in a flower, a mountain view or the sound of a wave hitting shore.

So, I find it simply amazing that even something as insignificant, something so useless as dried up sticks bundled up in a ball can actually inspire me, one stitch of wood at a time.

The point I'm making here....(and I always have a point) is this... Do something with your tumbleweed!

You may feel blown in the wind, but you don't have to feel off course. Bill Hybels confirmed in his book 'Just Walk Across the Room' why groups like MWC are valuable with inspiring this perspective. It's called living a 3D life. Develop friendships, discover stories and discern appropriate next steps.

If that doesn't describe us at MWC, I don't know what does. Together, we are one conversation away from having an eternal impact on someone's life.

All three of the women I spent time with last night, did just that for me. I wish I could post our photo to share but I forget to take one (that's when I know it's a powerful evening and I love that.) I got dressed, I showed up, I opened my heart and allowed myself to enter with zero expectation. Instead, I trusted the 'wind' to take me where I was meant to be. Because of that, I was able to take away these nuggets of wisdom.

~ Sometimes it's hard to hear someone else's story when we are immersed in our own.
Widows should be allowed a grace period to share their story. Our sharing is factual and on a timeline. This is never a quick conversation, nor should it be. Intertwined is our emotional connection and love that we shared, and the love we miss in not being there. A grace period gives us our history, a unique cliff notes version that allows us to envision the 'void' which brought us all together.

~These conversations always move from the objective to the spiritual. Death just does that to ya. Our loved ones and ourselves were in relationship. Those relationships had distinct personality roles: wives, partners, parents etc. It was how you lived and connected as a couple.....but in order to 'honor the void' we eventually come to terms with the realization that we are all soulful spirits, connecting and fulfilling our purpose in this life. The person we lost came into our life to teach us something, they fulfilled their purpose in our life (and theirs) and now we must identify what is our Godly purpose.

We must move from craving what we lost to craving what our life's purpose is today.

~The Golden Thread is HOW and WHAT we fill that 'void' with....just as every day mattered with those we loved and lost, so does every day that you LIVE in this life you honor finding your purpose.

~ Living in the past as if it was now is a false life (even if its in your mind). I know for certain that clinging to false anything creates a shrinking of our own spirit, a shrinking of our highest potential and certainly our growth potential. Author Daniel Day Williams said 'We fear it is all we have. Even our sufferings are familiar and we clutch them because their very familiarity is comforting'.

Grief and overcoming deep sadness isn't always comforting and living in the moment can feel so full of painful uncertainty. But there is a golden thread weaved in and out of your story and it's happening right now, one stitch at a time.  You are taking this moment to be present and read about possibility and that my friend is how it works.

I might be a tumbleweed, but by gosh, I'm gonna paint it gold and shine going down life's highway! Take that Mr. Wind!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NYC State of Mind

A few weeks ago, I took a trek from sunny Florida to the NE for the wedding of my dear friend Rabbi Shmuley. His first born daughter was getting married in a Hasidic event that was sure to open my eyes up to a whole new world...mission accomplished! The veiling and 7 blessings, all so beautifully executed, I witnessed a wedding of pure splendor, joy, love and meaning.

Walking into new experiences seems to be a theme that most widows adopt in this strange new world of flying solo. For me, after 11 yrs now, I've come to accept the walking into, attending and RSVPing as one person....occasionally, I admit that it's not what I want and there are times I must nudge myself to 'go despite the temptation for staying home', because I know, if I go, I will be living life (and surprise myself) and that's why I keep saying YES.

In a wedding as symbolic and ancient as this one, Rabbi Shmuley still took the time to come over and remind me how significant and symbolic it was that I 'showed up'. It was like a loud speaker to all those who know me that I am 'choosing life' and 'celebrating joy' like Rabbi taught me in 2006 on TLC 'Shalom in the Home'. He is so right. I celebrated and I took in all the life I could that night. Giant baby steps.

After that, I visited with a friend, Mary Robinson, who is the founder of Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss in Westfield, NJ. She was a gracious hostess who gave me a home base. There is no doubt that there is more to this story for us because Mary is determined to start a Modern Widows Club chapter in her area to honor her own mother who was a widow! So stay tuned.

From this home base, I decided to drive into the city with my little rental Chevy HHR and visit MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art.

Now, in my thinking, it sounded as simple as me writing that last sentence. Drive into the city and go to MoMA. I wanted to see the scaled models of the World Trade Center submissions and architecture showing. It was my lucky day because the first Thursday of the month MoMA is open until 8:30...woohoo! What I didn't know is.... this is a very brave decision.....(after the fact, of course). Driving to and around NYC is not for the weak at heart. The point I'm clearly making here is --> sometimes we say Yes and don't know what we are getting ourselves into- but we do it anyway.

Off I go thru the Holland Tunnel....using my GPS on my iPhone, all was well. What I didn't realize is how once you are in NYC the chaos that comes at you so fast is mind boggling. You feel like a vehicle in a pin ball machine suddenly with this energy and force of nature thrust upon you from every direction. Horns honking, bright lights everywhere, people jetting out in front of you, bikes touching your mirrors....oh, and it's nighttime!! I didn't even have the time to stop and think about going back! You just stay in the flow.....

About half way up 6th Avenue, and about 50 times a taxi almost brushed my car metal to metal or me thinking I'm gonna kill a pedestrian, I started thinking that maybe, maybe, I should have bought that extra car insurance protection. Too late now! Onward I must go. I was both mad at myself and exhilarated by my own fearlessness. I could see that I wasn't too far away from MoMA but the traffic was...well,.....horrendous. I think I held my breathe for like 30 minutes, but obviously lived to tell this story!

And worse, I forgot my car charger and my battery was getting low on my phone! 

After 2 hrs of driving, I made it to MoMA. I even found a parking garage across the street, with a vehicle elevator! Yes, I drive my car onto a deck and they take it down...somewhere?! For those of you who know this exists, bare with me, I was mesmerized by this whole experience.  Like a child seeing something new for the first time. The attendant was friendly, we chatted about where I was from (obviously not NYC) and said he'd take great care, then pointing me in the direction of MoMA!

I walked into MoMA with a well deserved smile, bought my tix, had another great convo with a docent and headed to the architectural exhibits up the escalator. Music and wine were flowing in the lobby, multi-lingual conversations all around me, it was obviously date night, open spaces abound and lots of 'living' going on here. 

 I loved every minute. Time stood still.  

Then reality set in. My phone died. I was in NYC without my link to the outside world. I was truly on my own...only one person knew I was there and I didn't know her number from memory. Surprisingly, I didn't panic. I controlled my breathing and had faith that G-D was with me and was always my shelter, no matter what situation I put myself in. It would be alright, go with the flow. I began to strategize about what I did have. I had me. I had a car across the street. I had money. I had a brain. I had nerve. I had until 8:30 before the museum closed. 

I took my time and enjoyed every last minute in the museum until I had to leave...walking across the street to the garage, I asked the attendant where the closest Apple Store was (5 blocks away). I remembered that I had borrowed a wall charger from my friend and asked if I could search to see if it was in my car (downstairs). He obliged and sure enough it was there! Halleluyah. He said I could plug it in and get some charge while enjoying the city. So I plugged it in, resisted the unnerving realization that this stranger now had my car and my phone (my lifelines) in his hands. All I could do was trust a stranger and find something to do alone in the most amazing city in the world!! Haha

So I did. 

I found a grocery store and bought some food- I was hungry after this excursion! I stumbled upon this famous LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana from 1964. I sat there on the edge alone, but not feeling lonely and ate my dinner while watching New Yorkers pass by. I was observing life from a unique place, a peaceful place that I created for myself. Obstacles will always find their way to me, but what I decide next defines who I am everytime. This is a relationship with myself and my G-d and it is very alive.
Before leaving, I looked back at this sculpture. I made a promise to myself that the next time I come to NYC and sit here, I'd like to be with someone I loved and loved me back. It's a great intention. But today, I was loving me and I was going to live. 

If I can make it here, I can make it the famous NYC saying goes. 

That's living moor alive, 

p.s. I bought eclairs for the garage attendant, he charged my phone up, took great care of my rental, I paid the $47 fee (ouch). I almost made it to my friends house in NJ without my phone dying again.....a few missed exits later and a half way good memory, I made it home....amazingly.  To G-d be the Glory!

Next time, I'm taking the train.

Friday, November 4, 2011

MWC Social Hour, first ever!

IMG_0808 MWC wishes to extend a casual, social invitation to you for our first ever MWC: Social Hour. October 20th, Credo Coffee House, 5-6:30pm, 700 W Smith Street, Orlando, FL 32804. We have a little gift for you.

Credo is a non-profit that runs a coffee shop in the College Park neighborhood. The interior is lovely, the employees are friendly, the coffee is great and the neat-o ‘donations only’ payment system is catching on.

Meet, connect and uplift other modern widows in Central FL (Orlando) area in a relaxed environment. No need to RSVP, just come between 5p- 6:30pm. Carolyn Moor will be present, may read an excerpt from her book but mostly we just want you to know ‘we care about you’. 


Where to turn?

images-11 I love inspirational videos of others who have triumphed when everyone thought they would fail. I’m sort of a junkie over these kind of videos….they give me goosebumps, raise my dopamine levels and leave me feeling like ‘I can’.
But I have a little confession to make, I can be a little bit judgemental sometimes when I size the person up. I hear the story, I see the beautiful person and then I wonder….are they loved, are they supported by family or possibly a spouse? Is life just easier, prettier, richer and perfect again?
What do you do if you are the only person you have to get thru this obstacle in life? (which usually isn’t true except in your mind). What happens when tragedy hits and everyone goes home and leaves you alone?

It’s a worthy question to ask and attempt to answer, because it happens to many, many people. They are the fringe in our society, without a voice usually (or a safety net) reading this from a computer screen in the quiet of their minds, offices and homes. Isolated. Left wondering who is with them. How did their life take this turn? When darkness comes, who cares? Who really really ‘gives a damn’?
The answer is YOU.
You are the person you have been waiting for to come along and save yourself. Now, depending on your religious or belief system, of course, we know that God or the universe will be there to catch your fall. But both of them actually use ‘people’ to move mountains here on earth….and I’m afraid, that means YOU. Not the lady sitting over there. Not the guy who just walked by. Not the person behind the counter. Not that crazy driver pulling up beside you….YOU!
What’s important is to create a life inventory of your surroundings.
1) What do you have that can be of use?
2) What do you not have, but need?
3) Who can help you get what you need that you don’t have?
4) What are you willing to give up in order to get what you need? (make some space)
5) How badly do you really want it?

Hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness do not have to exist in your life. You weren’t created to stay down. Sure – you, like everyone has days where we feel these, but it’s YOU and choice that moves you out of it and into hopeful, helpful and worthy mindsets. If I had a way, I’d sit with each of you and we’d swap stories and details of what has happened and what we wished was different.
Or we can pretend we had that conversation and both sail into the future with new perspectives under our wings and realize, you will find your way, you were created for all things possible and your answers will come if you let them. Let them. You probably won’t understand them even when they do come and you certainly won’t want to act on them, but that’s alright. Do you think every person who you’ve seen in an inspirational video ever knew how it would end? No. That’s only in the movies people.
Become the you, you’ve been waiting for and I promise, you will always know where to turn.
What are you waiting for?
Carolyn       (Where to find me: I’m here for you.)

Doubt, doubt...go away!

Northland Video 5 
When grief takes a hold of you, doubt usually likes to dance along with it. There is nothing like having to face the death of someone you love to shake everything you believe in….for some, it makes belief stronger, but for others, they can reject everything they believed in. Nothing makes sense .
I used to say I felt like an alien in my life. It’s as if I woke up in a different world in which my old self was living within. Have you ever thought this?
I’m here to say, its not just you. Your heart is broken, but there is hope. Your mind is still in tact. Yes, it is….you are thinking right now, processing this paragraph as you read it. What I love about you is this, you are seeking answers, pieces of your puzzle are coming. This is very good and proves that light inside of you is flickering.

You may feel alone in the silence you find yourself in at times, but I promise you, you are not alone….at all. Life is waiting to connect to you in so many ways that you must consciously choose it. I know answering a friends phone call, opening the door when a friend knocks, returning an email leaves you sitting frozen with thoughts that ‘no one understands’. But we do here at Modern Widows Club.
Doubt will come when you least expect it, it seeps into that little voice in your head when you are resting or taking a break from the pain. When I was in EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), I was required to visualize a ‘safe spot’ in my mind. Whenever, life got too hard, my emotions became too overwhelming…I would touch my wrist and that was my sign to ‘go to the safe spot’. I still use it today in the real world… my car, walking on the bike path, in a mall shopping….whenever I feel pain rising up and a mini breakdown about to erupt.

My safe spot is the memory of daffodil fields and blackberry bushes along a dirt road, with the sound of a nearby stream of water and the smell of hundreds of yellow narcissus and the sunshine filtering through the clouds. It’s a memory from my childhood when I knew no fear. When I felt a natural divine connection, my relationship with God was easy. I didn’t want answers to complex questions of ‘why’….I just accepted what came next in my life and lived in the moment. 

At the very top of this post, I’ve added a link to a video that is my special gift to you. It is a recent interview taken of me 11 yrs after I suffered grief at its worst. I was hopeless back then…..but I’m not anymore. I’ve created a life that I’m honored to live each day and now share with you.
Today, I encourage you to find what that looks like for you. Use your brain power, respect your heart, find a safe spot and grow each day. You are loved tremendously. 
Many blessings to you, Carolyn Moor

 P.S. In my workshops, I teach how to use simple sticky notes to find hope and answers in your grieving process. It is my honor to share this divine knowledge bestowed to me in a most surprising way. I’d love to meet you, relieve any of your pain and see a smile upon your face. You are not alone in this.   

When the heart waits

tumblr_lmwmcuSJT51ql8hw7o1_500_thumb There are many books that have led me down the path of widowhood, you will certainly find them. Stories of overcoming, struggling, insight and journey. One particular book was helpful for me in the dark nights I spent alone. It was an older book that I bought for a few dollars. It’s about spiritual direction to life’s sacred questions…because no doubt when death looms near you, you are curious about the higher meaning and purpose of this incident.
All I can tell you is this; I felt like I was moving at a slower pace than everyone else. Was it because I spent so much time missing my loved one? Was it because I just didn’t want to awaken from the peace I found in sleeping- where he would visit me sometimes? Was it life had really changed and I unconsciously, emotionally couldn’t  keep up? I don’t know.
All I do know, is this little vintage book helped. It talks of things like ‘waiting and transformation’, ‘passage to separation’, passage of emergence’….It’s packed full of quotes like this: T.S. Eliot ‘I said to my soul, be still, and wait….So the darkenss shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

I had never read a Sue Monk Kidd book before this one (many of you know her from ‘Secret Life of Bees’), but I’m certainly grateful someone introduced me to it. I have marked it up and put so many sticky notes in it to remember key points~ I could never let anyone borrow it, although I should. I’m just saying, have your highlighter handy, you will need it.
In the book ‘When the Heart Waits’  she says “Overcoming my resistance to waiting meant coming to terms with the ‘still journey’. I would have to give up the compulsion to keep my line moving at the world’s pace. I would need to find my own pace, one that flowed with the rhythms of the earth and the Spirit, not the frenzy of modern life.”
…..or the frenzy of the modern widows life. You are grieving at your own pace, find peace in that. It’s what we hope you find.

Fall arrives and so do the Holidays..eek!

It is starting to feel like fall, mostly for us Floridians we have a few degrees lower than summer, so we will take what we can get!  The Kids are back in school, business has picked up since the summer and everything seems to be “moving and shaking”. As the month of October approaches, so do the Holidays…uh oh, yes the Holidays, can we just skip those please? You can already see the shelves being stocked with pumpkins, decorations…etc. Holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, enjoying the memories of the years gone by, and looking forward to the future together. But for the widow, the holidays are some of the most painful reminders of her loss. Dealing with the death of a spouse during these festive times is difficult, and this difficulty is compounded by the fact that many friends and family members do not understand what you are going through. And it is not only holidays that can be painful. You will experience your loss all over again when you face each anniversary, birthday, and other special event without the one you held so dear. 
First things first, prepare yourself. Recognize what you are heading into. While you cannot predict what events will cause you pain, try to anticipate the possibilities, and then do what you can to avoid the situations that are too unbearable without you spouse. You can say “no” to well-meaning invitations, particularly if attending will make you more miserable, try to avoid events where you know 90% are going to be couples, this will isolate you and most likely bring anxiety to the situation. Remember, others will not understand what you are going through, and if attending a dinner party without your husband is going to cause your grief to climax, it is better to avoid it. You are not under any obligation to attend these events. Instead, invite some friends over, watch a movie you have been wanting to see, grab some delicious food and call it a night. Remember, your emotional and physical health is your first priority.

Family traditions will be reminders to you of your loss. If they are too painful, you need to give yourself permission to change them. Perhaps opening Christmas presents on a different day will be easier on you and/or if you have children. You may find that a change in the traditional menu will help you to be distracted enough to get through a difficult day.
As the Holidays slowly approach, I hope you are surrounded by tons of love and support. Remember, Baby-steps. – Andi



I believe in love. I believe in honoring the life I do have.

Always remembering- Carolyn Moor

Kiva Widows

tumblr_l4fpd7vFIB1qzu1fjo1_500_thumb A few years ago, I learned about Kiva Micro-loans. Have you heard of them? If not, check it out, but here’s my story and why I support them.
Being widowed at age 36, I thought being educated, resourceful and creative would ensure that I’d always find a way to be financially sound. But to be honest, when you are grieving deeply and hurting emotionally, money is the last thing you are focused on. Eventually though, you must face that monster. I’m going out on a limb and telling you a little secret: I didn’t know how to reconcile my check book when my husband died. I know, I know….bad huh! I mean, I always had money in there and didn’t overspend, I just didn’t care to learn. It was boring.
But as time went on, I became a Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Warren Buffett and Chicks Laying Nest Eggs fan. I actually became comfortable with understanding how money could make money for me and secure a great future for my daughters. I also learned that money is meant for 3 things: to save, to donate and to spend.

Spending was easy. Saving was hard. Donating made me curious. What do I donate to? Sure, there’s New Hope for Kids, the grief center that I took my daughter to and then there was my tithe. But I began to wonder what else was out there that needed my money. I just felt something was calling my name but I didn’t know what. I didn’t have a lot to donate so I wanted to be very wise with where to sent it. Then I found Kiva Loans. I saw Jessica Jackley at the Global Leadership Summit via simulcast from Willow Creek Church in Illinois. Jessica had founded Kiva; small tiny micro loans to help third world citizens who just needed a hand UP, not hand OUT.

Looking over the website, it became very clear that I wanted to help specifically other widows in places like Kenya, Tajikistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Ukraine.  As I looked at their photos and dreams of wanting a grocery store or  construction supplies, I knew I’d never really know these women or see the joy on their faces. I’d never hug them and say ‘You’re gonna be fine’. All I could really do is give them a micro  loan and watch as they paid me back literally penny by penny. Kiva does an  extraordinary job of communicating the process. I receive consistent emails and knew when a nickel was being repaid. Sometimes it took weeks, sometimes months…it’s beautiful.

I imagine her counting in her hand the cents she made that day knowing that someone out in the wild blue yonder loaned her this opportunity to shine, gave her the dignity of this moment, to make a living for her family or to eat that day. Call me sentimental, but this is what ‘living well’ feels like for me. Single moms and widows are vulnerable in the world, they feel alone, but they shouldn’t have to feel desperate or useless. If I am remembered for one thing in this world, I want to be remembered for helping women who have little to no opportunity and still find the strength to keep going another day. I KNOW how that feels. I happily choose to help these women because I feel a kindred spirit that spans across oceans and around the globe and I know it’s felt long after I’m paid back.
This is why I want to make money, so I can deeply appreciate what I have, see it as the blessing it is and spin dreams for someone who will never know that another widow in the USA is rallying for her and shouting from the mountaintops that……
“You’re gonna be just fine”  Will you consider sponsoring a widow…in our country or beyond? – Carolyn
Carolyn highly recommends these awesome women who are experts with Women in Transition: (Central FL)

Coincidence is God remaining anonymous

Image15-300x187 Happy Labor Day Weekend 2011
The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshalls during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday. Forms of celebration include picnics: barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, public art events and street parades to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,”  (Amen to that!) followed by a festival for the workers and their families.

At Modern Widows Club, we salute and honor all those who lost their lives to create this holiday and celebrate those who labor today for their families, a good cause and make a difference in the world. Cheers.

Together We Stand

 As a widow, you are not alone! Take a look here and see how important it is that we STAND TOGETHER  and unite to bring awareness and healing to each and every one of us. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? According to this USA Today article, at least 245 million women around the world have been widowed and more than 115 million of them live in devastating poverty. “The plight of widows — in the shadows of the  world — is a human rights catastrophe,” said Blair, the LOOMBA foundation’s president. “It’s really a  hidden humanitarian crisis.”
Well, all I can say is, ‘THIS SADDENS AND BREAKS MY HEART!’ It feels like an massive issue and it is, but to be honest, in my darkest moments, I couldn’t think of any other widow but ME. Tender loving care for yourself is definitely needed on a daily basis and please do this today. When the time is right, you will want to reach out to some other widow in pain and relieve it~ just a little. That’s worth repeating~ little things mean a lot to a widow. This is at the very core of who we are here at a Modern Widows Club. We welcome your compassionate input and presence.In the US of A, so far, the only stats I could come up with are these: Widow Statistics “800,000 new widows/widowers in the U.S. in 2002″ – National Mental Health Association

Holy cow, is all I can say. I’m stunned. I was widowed in 2000 and had no idea until now.

1-Loss of Independence- may be a serious threat. You may find yourself restricted in personal choices or worse, being controlled by someone else.
2- Loss of income- can include losing your spouse’s earned income, and/or mishandling of your assets. If your money is handled improperly, this can significantly impact your lifestyle.
3- Loss of ability to help your family or yourself- can leave you directionless, feeling overwhelmed and unable to make sound decisions, throw in the towel and go into a grief coma.
Have you found this to be true? All the professional advice I’ve gotten over the years, narrows down to 3 steps that we all must take in order to find our way.
First: Stabilize (are you laughing along with me?) It’s about gaining clarity, understanding the dangers, finding strengthing opportunities, renewing your confidence and assessing your situation.
Second:Plan (easier said then done with widdo brain) It’s about being determined, finding empowerment, take control of finances, addressing personal wants, making these steps happen daily.
Third: Operate (why you might need Modern Widows Club) It’s about on going support- spiritually, mentally, holistically, acknowledging your progress and identifying your present life.We are in this TOGETHER, so stop by and meet a new friend. My name is Carolyn Moor and I need friends like you. Happy September 2011 :)