Monday, October 13, 2014

"He wants to Thank You for Loving Him Unconditionally"

Last night I attended a Theresa Caputo live show in Charlotte, NC. For those that are unfamiliar of who this is, she has a show on TLC called, "The Long Island Medium."  The moment I found out she was touring, I immediately knew that I had to go. A medium is someone who connects with the physical world and the spiritual world. I have been wanting to meet with a medium every since Michael died. I know this is a touchy subject and I understand that some with have different opinions on this. 


But from the time I was a young girl I have connected with spirits...not often but often enough.  My family and close friends know this has been going on for some time. Growing up in an old farm house that my great, great grandfather built over 100 years ago was the perfect setting for experiencing unexplainable events.  I would always joke it was "Grandma Ola", who passed away in the house. OR my granddaddy's father, RD, who was killed in an explosion beside the house. I guess I felt the spirits were family and I was never frightened when strange things happened. So naturally when Michael died, I became overwhelmed with wanting to communicate with him.  And I have, not nearly as much I have hoped but enough for me to know he was there. Up until last week I had not experienced anything unusual lately. But I was hoping with the anniversary of his death coming up, he would show up in his own way to say "hey." And sure enough he visited me around 3:30 am last week. Just another one of my sleepless nights staring up looking at the blue night light reflecting off the ceiling. And I saw the shadow move across the ceiling back and forth...then I felt something touching my forehead. And by touching, something touched it...it wasn't a faint feeling. I felt so excited, I didn't sleep the rest of the night. I remember telling my sister, and her saying, "that doesn't freak you out?" And maybe if Michael was alive, it would scare me...but now that he has passed...I know it is him. I ask for him to do stuff all the time to let me know he is with me. So no, it brings me comfort in a crazy way for strange things to happen to me. So I knew his spirit was near me. And I pleaded with him to for weeks to talk to me through Theresa at her show. And wouldn't you know, I got my wish!


Last night I didn't hold back on trying to get the best possible shot with Theresa. I joined her fan club, I got VIP presale tickets, and managed to get an aisle seat just 5 rows from the front. But ultimately it wasn't up to me if Michael would come through. I told my sister, IF some wild reason she gives me a reading, you better take notes! She had her pen and notepad ready. Theresa works in a way that spirits guide her to certain areas and she will say something and ask if someone connects with that statement. Usually it is something specific enough that only a few people may raise their hand. Theresa stated there were about 3000 people there and she might have gotten 30 readings in. She started out by the stage, asking questions. She spoke to a few people, then went to the other side. I was bummed because I figured she would start on that side. But she headed back closer and closer to me. She then turned on my aisle and walked right by me and asked "Does anyone connect with a treehouse?"  I raised my hand and said "I do." And in that surreal moment, she turned around and told me to stand up. I was handed a microphone and had the camera lights zoom in on me, putting me on the big screen. Talk about intimidating and overwhelming. My heart was pounding and then she asked "I see a treehouse...and unfinished treehouse. Does this make sense to you?" I said, "yes!" She said "I see a man's wedding ring, and a heart. Do you understand this?" I said "yes, my husband was killed a year ago, he was in the process of building a treehouse." Then she asked if his mother was in the physical world or spiritual world. I said she was alive and she responded that she was connecting very strongly to mother "feeling."  I know this was Michael's way of showing how important his mom is to him. Next she asked did the number 6 mean anything to me? A date, an age, something. I said No. I did not know what that meant. And then she asked if I could connect with a green shed. I once again said "No". About that time, a gentlemen two rows behind me said that was him! So she turned to this gentleman. I was saddened that she moved on from me. I went to sit down, and Theresa shouted, "Don't sit down yet!!" So eagerly I popped back up!  I remember looking at my sister like, Can you believe this???





Theresa spent a good 5 minutes talking to this gentleman about his grandfather before she turned back to me. And while I don't remember exactly what she said initially, she started back talking about my situation. I may not write this in the exact order she spoke but I am recalling it as close as I can with my sister's help. Theresa went back to the treehouse. She said he keeps bringing up the treehouse. He wants you to finish it. And she asked me if I understood. I said yes. She said, "Do you paint? I keep seeing a silhouette. Did you paint a silhouette of him?" I said, "No I have not painted him, but I painted a silhouette of a deer with his name on it....on a leftover board he was using to build the treehouse. It is placed at his grave."  Next she started talking about a child. She said I see a child in a lunchroom or cafeteria and they are being recognized for something. Does this make sense to you? Well, up until this point I had maintained my composure pretty well. I told her that I did not know, because we did not have children together. He had two children from a previous marriage, and I had not been able to see the boys since his death.  As soon as I utter the words out, there was a loud gasp. What she said next is when the emotional attack took over. She said, "I keep seeing something about their birthdays, a birthday card.. Did you send the boys a card and it get sent back to you, or returned?" I could hardly speak at this point, over come with emotion. I said I keep a box for each of his boys and every birthday, holiday, occasion, I buy them a card and put it in the box until I am able to give it to them personally. She then said "you worry if they think of you?" I cried, "yes." She said, "please know he says the boys think of you often. He wants to THANK YOU for loving him unconditionally." She asked did I understand, and I said Yes. She then said "He wants you to know that he wouldn't have traded your short time together for anything! Do you understand?" I replied, "yes, we were only married a year and a half before he died." Then she said "Please KNOW he is at peace"


And with that, she moved on to someone else.


I sat down in disbelief of what just happened. I was still crying and in shock. But the words she spoke will forever have an impact on me. As much I knew in my heart these things, she validated them for me. Michael is completely aware of what is going on with my life, his mother's life, and his boy's lives. She validated that he died a happy man...He wouldn't have traded our short time together for anything!!He was finally happy and he sees the things I continue to do to prove my love for him.  And I can have peace knowing that he is at peace. He is free from the drama and the burdens he carried. He is at peace.

I just want to take a minute to talk about the significant of the treehouse. While many people would not think much of this, to me it symbolizes a whole lot. When we lived in Cheraw, the boys wanted a treehouse and a zip line. Michael had the boys to draw up their perfect idea of what it would look like. They worked together building this labor of love. The boys helped hammer in nails, hold boards for their daddy, and use the tape measure to mark off sections. Michael and his boys made many memories building this treehouse together.





 


















When we decided to move the boys were sad that the treehouse would not be coming. Michael, being the amazing daddy that he was, took down the entire treehouse by himself, loaded it up on a trailer and hauled it to Hartsville. They were in the process of rebuilding the treehouse right before he died, complete with two real tire swings, a zipline, and a swing set. We spend the last few weeks before he died outside working on this project. I remember one of the boy's saying "This is a backyard paradise!" Our last memories together were spent around this treehouse.  It truly symbolized how happy Michael was.  Of all the things Michael could have communicated about, he chose to pick something so symbolic, something so filled with love and laughter. So you can only imagine how I felt when Theresa asked if someone could connect with a treehouse...




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Forever is a Lie

There is no such thing as "forever." There is the here and now. That is all anyone is ever promised. Just this moment.


My forever died. He died October 16, 2013, which is quickly approaching. I have started re-living that nightmare more and more the closer it gets to the 1 year anniversary of his death.


Some people ask me why I am so big on "Live in the moment." This is why. The moment is all you have.  Forever doesn't exist. Forever is a lie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pieces of Me

I think people handle grief in different ways and stages. The first few months after Michael died I was openly able to write about my feeling and my thoughts but then I went through a period where I didn't want to write about what was going on. I didn't want to share my personal thoughts with everyone . I think I was going through a stage of not acknowledging my pain in order to "forget" about it. The truth is you cant forget about it. You can't push it away. You can't pretend it never happened to you. Because eventually you are forced to again face the reality of your life. Its been almost 9 months and I am now in a new stage of grieving. I am able to participate and function normally. I am able to enjoy things around me finally. Does this mean I am healed? Absolutely not. But it means I am continuing to progress on my journey. It means I am aware of what has happened and am accepting (most days) and understand that at 30 years old I have a lot of life left.  I have been able to do a lot  of things in the past 9 months that have taken a lot of courage for me. After Michael died, I moved back in with my parents. There was no way I could live in this big house that was bought for a family of 4. I originally thought I would never be able to live in this house.  It was painful to imagine being alone there after it had been so alive with love, laughter, and sweet memories. Moving back into our house was one of the hardest things I have done since Michael has died. The house doesn't make me sad anymore. This house makes me feel proud.  Proud of what we worked so hard to have. Buying this house was one of the greatest moments of my life. Even though I have found peace in living in our house, I still cannot change certain things. I have yet to move Michael's clothes. They are all still hanging in his closet and in his dresser. I sleep in his shirts still, but that is all I can do. I can't take his stuff down or move it. I know one day I will be able but I haven't reached that day yet.


I have been through many milestones since Michael has died. Sometimes I find it amazing that I am still standing. I've been through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, My 30th birthday and our 2 year anniversary without him. Some days I question my existence. Some days I question way I am forced to live a life that often feels empty. I know God doesn't make mistakes. I wish I could explain that to my heart. I wish I could know this is all part of His master plan. I struggle accepting this. I am doing the best I can. I have been able to move forward and I am learning to enjoy life again in small ways. But part of me always feels empty. I wonder if I will feel this way forever...I wonder if I will always be broken and in pieces. One thing that I have learned since Michael died, is that life is short. I don't want to spend the rest of my life hurting. I don't want to not experience life and all the wonderful things it can bring. I make a conscious decision every morning that I wake up, that I have to make the most of each day. I want to live again. I want to feel alive again. I can not say enough about my family, friends, and coworkers who continually support me. I am so blessed in so many ways and I try to focus on that each day. There are days I go through the day and have happy days. There are days that I come home and crawl in my bed and cry for hours. I know that I'm in a much better place than I was a few months ago. I continue to strive for a happy life again. I know I have a lot to live for. I know I will be happy again. But I know that part of me will always be scarred and will always miss him. I know part of me will always ask "why him?" I don't know why I was chosen to deal with this. But I do know that I am strong. I know that I can survive this no matter how hard and how painful. I know that I am here for a reason and I keep pushing. I remind myself of how far I have come and I know I still have a long way to go...


"Don't be afraid, Just believe" -Mark 5:36

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Struggles

Sometimes I think I shouldn't post my thoughts online. It opens myself up to being vulnerable, being judged, and being criticized.  Lately I have been thinking about just deleting the whole blog and going back to the old fashioned way of writing in my notebook...which I do anyway. I pick and choose what I post online because some things are just too intimate and personal to share. It is hard to share your inner most thoughts with your friends, family, strangers and then those few who just read to "pick me apart." I have many reservations about sharing, but when I am doubting myself the most...someone will come to me and tell me how my words have touched them...have inspired them...and changed how they look at life. How my words have made them open their eyes to how quickly life can be ripped away from you. I do want to be able to help someone if I can. And that is what keeps me posting to the public. There are many people who have their own struggles and if they can draw inspiration for my story...then allowing myself to be so open is worth it.



I wish that I could say that I have been made "better" by what has happened. But I still struggle a lot with the "bitter" of what has happened. I have made a lot of mistakes since Oct. 16. I have been angry with God and I have just shut down on days and refused to believe what has really happened. I am not the same person that I was before Michael died.  I write about keeping my faith and trusting in God but there are days that I question my faith. I wonder how God could let a man die that had so much to live for. I wonder how God could take a daddy away from two boys that needed him more than anything. I wonder how God could take a son away from a mother who would have given her own life for him to live. I wonder how God could take away a husband from a woman who gave up everything for a second chance at love...all to have it taken away. I struggle with being strong. I am only human and I am far from perfect. 



One book I am reading says, "It is natural to have questions when unwanted and unexpected loss comes into your life. The more traumatic the loss, the greater the questions." It also says that it is ok to have questions but to realize that God is the only one in control of anyone's life. The sovereign God is higher than all, and His ways are beyond comprehension. You have two choices: You can either give up or you can keep believing in God even when it doesn't make sense. "Faith means something when it is exercised in the darkness."
The path of life that you travel is different from what you expected, but He will guide you. Your greatest spiritual growth comes through your questions and trials. You may not like the situation, but often you must accept it and seek growth, not stagnation. "God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10)   - This is from a book called "Through a Season of Grief" by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard.  This book has been very helpful to me and I would recommend it to anyone going through a loss of a loved one.


The amazing thing about God is He knows I am not perfect and I sin but yet he still is able to forgive me for these sins. I do have trouble understanding why things happen in life. But I have to lean on my faith and understand that I am not in control of this life...God is. 





I am working on things to help me accept this life. One that I never imagined I would have to go through. A life that would feel so much pain and heartbreak.  I have been through counseling, I read, I have befriended those who have suffered a great loss. I try to use different resources to help me anyway possible. I am doing the best I can. Sometimes I fall and have a hard time getting back up. But I get back up.



 I am still here.  I am still managing to survive each day. I know I have a long way to go. I know this journey will be a long and difficult one. But God decided that I was strong enough to handle this and I have to keep pushing forward each day.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do is to continue to live each day without this man. He was my everything. I pray a lot and if you are a praying person please keep praying for me.


"Lord God, I cannot pretend that everything is fine, that everything is good because it's not. But I know that you, God, are good. Forgive me when I limit You, doubt You, and expect You to fail me. I am so small compared to You, yet You love me more than I can comprehend. I am truly in the dark, and it scares me. In my fear, I lash out wildly. Shine Your light in my heart. Lead me along this new path. Amen" 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Frustrations

St. Patty's Day is today. Yesterday was March 16, which means 5 months since my world was ripped apart. I have been surrounded by a whole lot of emotions lately. It has been 5 months since I've had Michael here to help me make hard decisions and to re-confirm me when I needed him. Lately I have been struggling with doing some things and I need his guidance. All I have left are the talks we had before he died. That's all I have. But I have hours and hours of talks with him. We didn't have secrets. We didn't keep stuff from each other. We were like two people who were made from one. Always in rhythm and always in sync. Before he died, we had many talks...the "what if" and how we would do certain things. Michael Thomas was adamant about how he wanted his belongings delegated.  especially when it came to things that belonged to him. He did NOT want certain things to go to his children at such a young age.  For example, his guns. I know which gun he wanted which child to have. But it was VERY important to him for them to get these things when they are old enough to understand guns, old enough to be responsible and old enough to prove they can take care of them. Michael did not want his things going to someone else to keep and then give to them... he trusted me and he wanted me to give them to his boys when the time was appropriate. And he again was adamant on them being a certain age and for his boys to get those things from me then. There are several things that he specially talked to me about and how he wanted it handled if he were to die. I am choosing to HONOR my dead husband in his wishes when it comes to his children and what he wanted them to have.  I am not being "spiteful" as I have been called.  I am honoring Michael's desires on how and when to give certain things to his children.










I'm frustrated in many ways. I'm frustrated because I can't talk to the boys and let them know what is going on with Michael's things. I frustrated because for 2 and a half years I was with their daddy, I was with them, and I have SOOO Many memories to talk to them about. I was the one who can share those memories that they had with their daddy. But I can't because I have not seen them. It has been 5 months and I can't understand for the life of me, how keeping me away from these children is helpful. Why would you not want your children to have these memories and stories from the last 3 years before Michael died. I am the only one that has most of these memories as it was just Michael, me and the boys making these memories together. So why not let me help keep those memories and stories alive with the boys?? I am having a really hard time not being allowed to talk to or see these children. I have so many things I want to tell them about their daddy, and help them remember the times they spent together. I want to talk to them about their daddy...but I can't.
 




I am frustrated and find it disturbing that I can not even share pictures, memories, stories, or have talks about Michael with his boys. I'm sure they feel I abandoned them. I was just not their stepmother, I was a friend, I was their snuggle bug watching Sunday morning cartons, I was there for them in whatever way they needed me.  To be cut out of their life is so disheartening to me. I can not understand how taking away LOVE and SUPPORT from those close to Michael, and close to the boys, would be beneficial to their lives.  They are confused because not only did they lose their daddy, they lost half of their whole world, and everything associated with Michael, when he died.  After he died, I could not see them. So to them, they must feel that I disappeared and didn't care about them. That is the furthest from the truth you could possibly think. It breaks my heart knowing how much their little lives changed when Michael died. I loved those boys unconditionally and I had to "disappear" after he died. It hurts my heart to think how confused and upset those boys felt. They lost their daddy, their stepmom, their home with us, their friends that they met through us, and they lost a normal relationship with their Grandma.




The TWO people closest the Michael have been cut out of these children's lives. Jewel has been able to see her grandsons TWICE in 5 months.  Each time at the park for an hour or two "supervised". The boys just got their Christmas presents a few weeks ago. TWO Months after Christmas!!  Jewel lost her son, and now she only gets "supervised" visits with her grandsons once every 2-3 months at the park. Can you imagine the hurt and frustration she must feel. She can't even have a real relationship with them. Michael knows what is going on. GOD knows what is going on. And anyone that has ever been around any of the situation knows what is going on.





It is frustrating that adults can not put personal differences aside and let everyone love on these boys. 




I am frustrated. I am asking for prayers. I am asking for prayers for everyone effected by Michael's death. I am asking that God help put these boys first and let them be able to have all the love and support they can get and deserve. They deserve to be loved by everyone.


"Dear Lord, You know the desires of my heart. In my confusion give me peace to know that You are in control of all life and You do not make mistakes - Amen"

I miss these little guys so much!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life as I Know it is Over

I was looking through an old notebook and found something I had written on Feb. 11, 2013. It's crazy how much my life has changed in one year. Last year I was applying for jobs in Hartsville, and we were looking at houses for sale in Hartsville. I was anxious and nervous about possibly changing jobs, changing towns, changing houses, and changing my life.  Michael did not want to move back to Hartsville. He liked our life in Cheraw. It felt like a fresh start for him. He was excited to be in a new place in his life. But I watched my husband work 7 days a week, having to drive 40 minutes each way. I watched my stepsons having to get up earlier for school so they could ride to Hartsville with Michael when he would go to work. I watched Michael not being able to be as available for his boys because of his work schedule and us living further away. I watched 3 people who were at a disadvantage and only 1 who it was convenient. So I decided we were going to move to Hartsville. Michael knew I was happy in Cheraw, he knew I didn't truly want to move. But I knew that by taking a vow of marriage, you agree to take care of each other and best serve each other. When I got married, I didn't just gain a husband...I gained a family. To me, this meant that I not only needed to do what was best for my husband, but also what was best for his children.


It is crazy that one year ago I was making a conscious decision to change my life for the man I loved and his children. And now, here I am and have lost all 3 of the reasons I moved. I can't help but play the guilt game about Michael dying. He didn't want to move and I pushed it. He didn't want to sell his F-250, but yet I pushed it because it was constantly costing us money or needing to be fixed. I feel guilty about him dying because he was driving a smaller truck, coming back from my parent's house, driving down a back road to our new house. If he still had his F-250 would he have lived? If we still lived in Cheraw, would he still be alive? He wouldn't have been on that road that night. I wonder about every scenario and sequence of events and play it over and over again in my head. One part of someone dying like this is replaying the "what ifs" in your head.  Part of the healing process is learning to let go of these "what ifs." I haven't been able to do this yet. While I have gotten stronger in many ways and have progressed in my healing journey...I still have thoughts of being responsible for Michael's death.  Even though ultimately it was only him in that truck, only him driving, and him wrecking. I have not once gotten mad at him for wrecking, instead I find ways to be mad at myself.


Every Wednesday night around 9pm I start replaying that hellish night. The 16th of every month I am forced to recognize he has been gone another month. The worse moment of my life happened on October 16, 2013. The moment life as I knew it was over. A lot of days I ask "why did this have to happen to me?" There are so many people who are selfish, hateful and undeserving and yet this had to happen to me.  I have had a lot of self pity and drowning in my own sorrow. I've done about everything I could in an attempt to drown out the pain. And in the end, I just had to make a decision to get myself together. I had to start making an effort to come back to the land of the living. I am trying everyday  to get through the day with a smile on my face and the strength in my heart.  I think I am doing much better at hiding the pain I am now.


Bob Dylan has a quote, "Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain." Going through this experience will really make you take something like this to heart. How many people do you encounter that are smiling and seem fine...that many be going through their own personal battles? It should teach us all to be a little kinder and a little more loving. You never know the pain that is behind someone's smile. I know my life will forever be changed. I will never look at things the same. I wish I could let people see into my heart and mind so they would learn to take value in the important things in life. I guess that is one reason why I write this blog. I am hoping that if I can  reach one person and help them to change their outlook, then it is worth opening myself up and being vulnerable to expose my raw feeling on life and death.  I'm still trying to find my place in this big world, but I am not giving up. God has His reasoning and time for everything He does. I just have to keep the "faith."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Denial

Michael and I would always joke about people who were in denial about things. I would say "De-nile, not just a river in Egypt." And he would always laugh at my corny stupid jokes and usually add some smart ass comment that would validate my joke. Well, now I am the butt of my own joke. Because for the past few weeks I have been living in denial. I haven't been able to write in 3 weeks, partly due to the fact that I have tried to avoid any feelings that made me face reality that Michael is not here. I know he is not here. I live with this void everyday. I live with an emptiness in my chest where my heart used to be. I live with the agony EVERY SINGLE DAY. My brain knows he is gone...it's my heart that some days doesn't accept it. Unless you have lost someone extremely close to you, I don't think you can explain what the pain feels like to anyone else.


The holidays are over. And I am glad. I didn't want the year to end. I hold on to things and I wanted to hold on to 2013 forever because Michael would never live to see another year. I still have all of our cards, letters, pictures, and keepsakes from when we dated in 2000. I started the "Caroline and Michael" box back then from a Timberland Boot box (which I still have the boots) that Michael bought me. The box is so old that the glue holding it together doesn't even stick.


My favorite thing about this old box is the quote I have taped in the left corner. It says "True love endures; if it does not, then it was never true"   We were just a couple of young kids in love and I was young and wasn't ready to get married and Michael was. With a ring almost identical to the one I have now (except as Michael said "alot smaller because I was alot broker"), that I never even knew about at the time. I had college and he had a job. And we were at different places in our lives. Separated by time and circumstance.  And then I got the call, "Are you sitting down? Michael is going to be a daddy". And I knew as soon as those words came out of his friend's mouth, what was coming next. I didn't have to hear another word or ask another question. But I asked "When?"  And the response I got back was, "In a few weeks." I knew he would do the right thing and get married. Michael told me, "Caroline, I want to try to give my child what I didn't have growing up." Time and Circumstance ultimately separated us. There is a Kenny Chesney song "A lot of things Different" that came out around the time all of this happened. But now it hits so much harder. "People say they wouldn't change a thing, even if they could. Oh, but I would. Oh I, I'd do a lot of things different." I would have changed my life if I would have known then what I know now. I would have never left him behind.  But the thing about life is you can't go back and change things. And as crazy as life was for me and him...we just accepted that we were just not meant to be together. It wasn't meant to be. This was the path WE had chosen and we respected our choices even though it meant we were not together.

Fast forward 10 years and we get a second chance at a once in a lifetime love. God had given us a 2nd chance. He told me after we were back together that his child saved his life. He said he was in such a bad place from us not being together, that his child saved his life. That was God's way of making him a man in his eyes. He said "I would have ended up in jail or dead the rate I was going." I don't know why things in life happen the way they do. Is it fate or do we control our own destiny? I never believed in fate until Michael and I started dating again. I knew it was God's work to bring us back together. I believe that with my whole heart and anyone that knew either of us would tell you the same thing. God blessed me with this man. He blessed me with a man that told me when I broke up with him "Nobody will ever love you like I do." And he meant that. And he spent every chance he could trying to prove it to me.

So while I still am in denial about the man of my dreams dying... I choose not to talk about all the pain I feel everyday. Everyone knows I'm in pain. Anyone that was ever around the two of us could tell you about the kind of love we had. It was pure and strong and almost out of a movie. The movie "The Notebook" was one of our favorite movies...because we believed in love. We believed in 2nd chances and we believed in each other. I just want to remember the kind of love we had and never forget his love for me. I was reading through some of the cards he had given me in the past year and just wanted to share.

Our first Valentine's Day as Husband and Wife

On the day we got married

On our First Anniversary

He is gone and I miss him more than anyone could try to imagine. But he ALWAYS made sure I knew how much he loved me. I smile through my tears because I had the opportunity to have my heart complete at one time. Now, It is shattered into a million pieces that I don't know how to put back together, but I smile knowing Michael died a happy man. He was in love, he loved his family, and he was proud of the things he had accomplished.
So yes, I am in denial that this man has been taken from me. "De-nile is not just a river in Egypt"