More About My Visit With Lenette

I shared the story about Lenette’s visit and wrote of no voice.  I must clarify that her voice spoke to me, but it came from everywhere in my apartment. It was her, and I was awake.

Her message was clear, and I felt her love and concern. She wants me to be okay with her being gone. She wants me to be productive, to write, to keep my mind active, and to relate. I will listen to her. 

Is what I believe happened for real? I don’t know and may never know, but I felt it was, and I do feel better about her being gone and where I am at.

I know I must write, and I do this every day. I want to write about her, us, and the stuff we did together. We did many things and did not wait for more money or events to give us the freedom to travel, adventure, and explore; we simply went for it and grew from all of it.

Sometimes, serendipity ran our lives. There is no question that the spiritual events we experienced in Mexico influenced our lives. There is no explanation for many of the events that happened to us. Even the loss of a child in strange ways made Camp Shasta a reality and brought Jeff into our lives.

Then, a talk I gave to a group of professionals about their staff problems led to a 40-year journey of learning, teaching, and meeting many remarkable people. And, of course, more adventures for Lenette and me. What more is there?


What happened or did not to me?

Lenette came and spoke to set me free.

She told me she was fine and happy and that I need to be okay.

That I need to be like this each day.

I searched my room to find and see her.

She was not there, but I heard her for sure.

She was in every room at the same time.

She spoke, and I listened to every line.

I was awake, no sleeping for sure. 

To hear her speak was loving and pure.

Her being in my room was an amazing thing.I heard her, but did not see her, to this I cling.   


Time flies by, or it crawls so slowly we wonder why.

Time is not the problem it is what we do or try.

There are times when I write that words come and go.

When they are hard to find, I write slow.

I search for them, knowing what I want.

There are times when it’s the font.

I enjoy the fun I have with words.

It’s like looking at the sky and all the birds.

There are so many of every kind.

Birds and words both blow my mind.

What matters are the words I use to mean what I say.

If they do, this will make my day.

My Conversation With Lenette

Last night, while fully awake, Lenette visited me, and we had a long talk. To begin with, I never saw her, yet I heard her without actually hearing her voice. How can this be?

We spoke for a long time, and what follows is as strange to me as it will be to you. I must add that I was fully awake during our conversation. 

I asked how she was doing and where she is now. She told me she is happy and with her friends and family and that the place she lives in is beautiful and all about love. There is no anger, bitterness, bigotry. Nothing like the world we live in. 

Lenette also made it clear that she wants me to be okay and happy. That I should not cry and feel sad for her. She wants me to accept that she lives in a state of love and caring and is surrounded by happiness.

This conversation with her left me feeling the best I have felt since her passing. I felt love, joy, and her presence.

I share this, knowing that hearing Lenette without hearing or seeing her is crazy. How do I even write this? I don’t know, but it was and is my experience.  And I feel the best I have felt about her in a long time.


Lenette visited me last night, and we talked.

It was so easy and natural as if in a garden we walked.

But strange as it is I did not see her or hear her voice.

Yet, I heard her speaking to me, so I made a choice.

She was talking to me but I did not hear her speak or see her.

How is this possible to be?

Still, I accepted this as a gift to me.

So, I asked many questions, and answers I got.

I heard answers, but her voice, strange as it seems, was not. How can this be? Maybe tonight I’ll see.  

The Palm Springs Trip

Lenette, Jeff, and I went to Palm Springs for a week. We left the dogs at home with friends and stayed at an Inn, now long gone, that we had enjoyed before. We had the best time there. We swam and played in the pool daily, walked and biked everywhere, and ate great food at uncrowded restaurants.

At that time, Palm Springs was a small town visited mostly by Hollywood people, some of whom we recognized at the Inn where we stayed.

I cherish this memory because the three of us had such a wonderful “family” time together. Jeff, no longer a visitor or guest of ours, was becoming our son and, along with us, enjoying the changes taking place.

During our brief vacation in Palm Springs, we talked and listened to each other. We got to know each other as we spent the day together and even made our dinner plans together. That short week helped bring us together, and we became a family.  

I want to know you. Do you want to know me, too? Let us talk, listen.

A Story Willy Remembers

When Lenette, Jeff, and I were in Aspen on our Ski trip, so was Willy P. and his family. One evening, they took us to dinner at a popular restaurant. 

A folk singer was entertaining as people were enjoying the fine food. When he finished a song, not one person acknowledged him.  Willy, who was nine or ten at the time, was sitting next to me, and I asked him to watch what I did and see what happened.

When the folk singer finished his next song, I applauded and thanked him. I made sure that the other diners heard this. No one else in the restaurant applauded or said anything to the folk singer.

I applauded again when the singer finished his next song, as did a few others. Then, after his next song, everyone in the restaurant applauded him. 

Then, something exceptional occurred. After I acknowledged the folk singer and others did the same, he sang better, and his guitar playing was much improved.

To quote Willy: “It was one of the best lessons of my life.”

It was wonderful that Willy reminded me of that experience. What was an important lesson for him is also a continuing lesson for all of us.


Life is a walk into we know not where.

An unknown that exists even with exceptional care.

At first, we crawl, and then we walk.

At first we cry and scream, in time we talk.

Even to survive, we need so much.

Just to be held, we need the softest of touch.

In time, we begin to show who and what we are.

Given love and freedom to be, we can go far.

And that is the problem most must face.

The child is not free to make their own case.

They are held hostage by the powers that be.

Babies given regard and respect will be free.

The Ski Trip

Jeff and I spoke the other day, and he wanted me to tell the story of a Ski trip we took as a family.

In our Chevy Carry-All, we packed up and headed north for a ski trip where the snow beckoned—in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. Naturally, Heidi and Brutus came along since they traveled with us everywhere we went. 

What happened in Aspen, Col was entirely unexpected. Typically, traveling as we do, we stay in small motels. They were cheap and clean, and we always snuck the dogs in through a side window. 

Brutus and Heidi were trained not to bark when in a strange place. Heidi came into heat in Aspen, so we had to place her in a kennel. The kennel owner loved and treated her like his pet, so she ran free in the kennel and got pregnant. We did not find out until well after we got home. 

While we skied Aspen, Jeff, and I came down the mountain. Lenette and Brutus were waiting for us, but when we skied to them, Brutus was unable to move as he was frozen to the turf.  The fur on his rear end came off when we pulled him away. Poor little guy!

Sun Valley was next, and although we all stayed in one little room, the dogs included, we had a wonderful time. And the same in Utah.  It did not matter where we went; we traveled as a family. We were and are family. 


Yesterday was difficult For Jeff and me.

We spoke and cried over what we felt and see.

What we see, feel, and know is you are not with us anymore.

You are gone, and our hearts are broken as never before.

You were so special to both of us while alive.

How do we go on, how do we thrive?

We will, and we know you want us to continue to be.

Until we are together and each other we see.

Time might heal the pain we both feel. Maybe yes and maybe no, your loss to us so real.


I feel so close to Lenette this day. 

It is also true I miss her every moment in every way.

I feel her presence and that she watches over me. 

I wish for more than presence but that cannot be.

I want to be with her, is there more I can say?

But she wants me to live, to contribute each day.

It is what we both have done, and each in our own way.

I miss and love her and for me it is bad.Since I can do nothing more than wait, I am sad.   

About Us

Writing about Lenette brings many emotions and memories; nevertheless, I wish to share a story about us. 

When I first saw Lenette, and before we even spoke, I felt a feeling I had never felt before. I felt that we were one.  Years later, when I did my workshops, people actually thought SyandLenette was who I was—one person, not two.

Two years ago, I wanted to die. I felt I was just hanging around, and this was a feeling I hated. 

I also had breathing problems and was on oxygen 24/7. I wanted to die, and Lenette and I talked about this. We rarely avoided talking about issues like this. So, we decided to see our GP and discuss this issue with her.

The GP literally jumped at me and said I had no right to make the decision of life and death because Lenette and I were one. She had never come across two people who were one to the degree she saw us as. 

That night, I saw Lenette needing me and realized I could not leave her but must be here… for her.

The following day, my need for oxygen disappeared, and all my feelings about dying were gone. I only felt that I could not leave Lenette. It was that clear. 

I’m sorry to say that Lenette suffered terribly over her last few months. I could do nothing for her except to die for her in hopes that my own death would spare her. Yet I could not.

What does one do when there is nothing they can do? That was my dilemma as I watched Lenette fight ghosts, beating the air with her fists. I was as helpless as she was.

Time and circumstances created this reality. Still, when the time came for Lenette to pass, I could not help her. I could not fight her battles, nor could I die for her. Now, I still live for her.  

People say I am better today, and maybe I am, but if I allow it, I still see her fighting. I should be fighting, not her.

The look on her face after she passed told me she was okay now. I wanted that so badly for her.


Lenette sent me a message when she passed.

In shock and a state of loss, I now know it was not her last.

That the look on her face was not an accident.

She was saying to me that she was content.

It was time for her to say goodbye and so she did.

And the look she had was full of love and nothing was hid.

A look I will cherish to my final day. How I love her? What more can I say. 


I miss Lenette today; nothing new. I miss her every day.

I miss her smile as well as the words she might say.

I am so grateful for the look she left me with.

Her leaving me was much too swift. 

And yet I know it was time for her to go. 

The pain she suffered was much too slow.

She fought to go, and she fought to stay. 

It was me why she lived each day.

I look forward to one day being with her. 

I know she is there, waiting for sure.

In time we will be together as we always were. One not two, still being me and her.  


Helping Others Find Their Voice

In a conversation last night, we spoke of dialogue. I pointed out that dialogue is only possible if a person speaks their own voice. How can it be that anyone does not have their own voice?

One’s voice is there and obvious when born. Like the baby itself, it requires nurturing. This nurturing comes from listening, responding, and meeting the baby’s needs as best the parent can. This requires understanding the cries and sounds. 

This is the initial voice of the baby, and understanding this voice presents a challenge to the parent. Crying means something, and it is the parent’s responsibility to respond. Is it food or cleaning? The answer is what gives voice to the infant.

So, why is one’s voice pushed back into the recesses of their being? Most people suppress their voices because they are not heard, listened to, and therefore not understood. Too many people grow up in an environment of monologue. Words are spoken in a hierarchy, and the level playing field is non-existent. This is how too many grow up. And, sadly this is true in most relationships.

In my workshops, when I made a point, I would ask my audience to express their thoughts and feelings about what I just said or to choose not to. If they wished to remain silent, I thanked them and moved to the next person.

I sought their voice, not their agreement. It takes time, but when someone did speak out, I listened and confirmed them by telling them what I heard them say.

After a few workshops, more members of the group speak out. When this happens, others are prone to join in, and the group begins to get involved.

As the environment becomes safer, more voices emerge, and their voices get stronger. For the leader and me, this is a wonderful moment. People are finding the power to be themselves.As an important aside, in many cases, the workplace became a safer place than their own homes to use their voice. At least they will not lose it again at work! 

Sy Of The F.B.I.

“Sy of the FBI” was a campfire ritual. Whenever I told it, I would begin the story with a phone ring, which I would answer: “Hi! This is Sy of the FBI.” From that intro on, I’d continue with a story I would make up as I went along. Sometimes, the kids would want the same story I told a few nights ago, but I never told the same story twice. Of course, there were always the same titles, such as “The Black Mamba.” Regardless, it was a different story every time since no two adventures can be the same, especially when I told them!

I loved our campfires, the songs, the participation, and the creativity the staff and kids brought to those evenings. Even the dogs and cats came—perhaps not to contribute, but to enjoy. Over the years, we spent many memorable evenings together. 

“Pa,” my father, loved Campfire and never missed an evening. He participated in singing the camp songs and enjoying the pure laughter from the goofy comedies brought by staff and kids. He passed the following winter after experiencing an entire summer of Camp. He was proudly in love with it all, and so were the campers and staff. It is what we hear even to this day.

“Sy of the FBI” remains a symbol of the great times and the “one-of-a-kind” adventures. 

Our Alaskan Adventure

We had a neighbor who lived in Alaska and was full of information, including that we should travel with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded for Grizzlies. So, I bought one and various loads, from pellets to solid slugs. And for added protection, we took Bear, our big mountain Pyrenees. 

We traveled the Inland Canadian Highway on our camping adventure. We had a two-person tent, heavy sleeping bags, and cooking gear. It was the beginning of September, and we figured we had two months to wander wherever the roads took us.

Denali was a must-see, so we headed in that direction. Although we thought people camped in Alaska, we discovered this wasn’t really the case. While we camped in our tent, most others stayed in their motor homes. 

We thought that at night, while we stayed in our tent, Bear would sleep outside to warn us if bears came around. As it turned out, Bear refused to sleep outside the tent. He slept between the two of us and snored. But that’s camping! I must add that we also slept with a loaded shotgun. 

Because we needed to see more than the two-lane road before us, we made it a point to take hikes in the forest. Of course, I thought Bear would go off alone to explore the wilderness, but he never left our side. In fact, he stayed so close that he pushed against us. He knew I would protect him, and he was right. 

In Denali, they have a bus that takes the public to the highest point on the mountain. No dogs were allowed, so we tied Bear to our tent and enjoyed a wonderful trip up the mountain. We saw Grizzlies roaming everywhere. At the time, we didn’t know that a family of Grizzlies had walked through our campground and visited Bear. Apparently, they got along just fine.

When we headed North on a lonely road, it began to snow, and the temperature dropped into the teens. As it was too cold to camp, we looked for a place to stay and found the only Inn on that road. It had a hot tub where we spent lots of time drinking wine. It was fantastic for us and also for Bear, who got to stay inside in our room out of the weather.

Afterward, we headed South, eventually boarding a ferry to Seattle and heading home. Those were eight unforgettable weeks.

Book or Blog?

In conversation with Steve Z, he wondered whether another book was the best way to promote my writing. He says my stories about Lenette and me are very personal, so only those who know us both would have an interest. I wonder if this is so, hence this essay.

I hope my writing conveys a philosophy. A way of living with others, and lessons that might influence and teach. These are the same pragmatic ideas I brought to leaders and their organizations.

I taught them ways of leadership, dialogue, and the concept that relationships needed to be as equal as possible. These offered value to those in the workplace, allowing people to find safety, regard, and respect in their work relationships.

Throughout my stories is my philosophy about what environments and relationships should be. This brings me to the point:  Are my writings more about Lenette and me than about that which we taught? We did not knowingly choose to be “role models,” but we were and are.

Your feedback on whether a book or the blog is more appropriate for my essays will help us decide.   Sy