Back on the Road

Inroads – encroachment

Crossroads – decisions

Dirt roads – tributaries along the way

Bumpy roads – the ups and downs

Detours – new direction to the same destination

Roadblocks – stop or find another way

Out roads – the place we don’t want to be

Every day, we choose the road we set our feet upon.  Each inch we travel is a minute step in the right direction as long as that direction is forward. Don’t stand still, don’t hesitate, don’t stop moving.

IMG_4181

Others will make inroads against us…don’t let them.  Do not allow anyone to take from us what we are not willing to give freely. Don’t let them sneak up on you.

IMG_5243

Do our hard thinking along the way so when we reach your crossroads you’ll know the direction you are meant to take. This will never be easy and we will likely be here more than once. If you take the wrong turn the first time, remember it well…and do better the next.

2011-10-05 001 251

The dirt roads are mere side trips; chances to meet new people, try new things, gain new insight, or just look for a place to breathe. These are the paths that make the journey worthwhile.

IMG_5845

There will always be bumps in the road ahead…there has never been a completely flat road and there never will be. Some are visible, some clouded in the fog of our mind’s eye…but there, they are.  We must use caution on the way to planting our flag of accomplishment on the top, and always leave a word or two of encouragement there for the ones that follow.  And remember, we are gaining strength with each step up and over to the other side. The next one will be a little easier and the one after that and the one after that.

IMG_4997

Don’t fear the detours, they are a necessary part of our journey. As long as our destination is clear, how we get there matters little and there’s nothing wrong with a change of scenery. Sights to be enjoyed, experiences to be treasured, lessons to be learned…Life recalculated.

Img_5957

The road blocks are meant to test us. They will stop some in their tracks; end the journey because it just got too hard.  Don’t let this happen. We must use them as tools to hone our skills of adjusting, ingenuity, imagination, and self-reliance. Don’t give in and don’t give up…give ’em hell.

Bridge 3 still there

There may be times we find ourselves on the outside, what I call the out roads.  This is not a place to be. This is a place of indecision, self-doubt, fear of the unknown, and even fear of the known. The kind of fear that lives in the dark places, leaves us afraid to step forward, or afraid to move at all.  Lost.  If we find ourselves here…we must stop, open our minds, hearts, and eyes…for this is the time to ask for help.

IMG_4410

We can see them; the people in our lives we love and respect; lining the shoulder of the roads we’ve walked…reaching out. They are waiting, they are willing, they are there to help you back on your path. But they cannot do it for you…admit you are lost, take the hands that are offered, and begin again. One step at a time.

It’s never too late.

It’s never too late to reach for the moon.

IMG_5543

It’s never to late.

It’s never to late to get back on the road.

IMG_4456Safe travels my friends.

Wait Just One Bone-Pickin’ Minute…

I’ve got a bone to pick and I’m gonna pick it clean.

Then I’m gonna give it to my DOG to finish off.

Yes.

My DOG.

The same one that shared this day with me eating mini ice cream sandwiches and snuggling together in the rear-end of a Jeep

In the Vet’s parking lot…

Staring death in the face with a face full of vanilla and teeth full of chocolate cookie crust (his too.)…

Yeah, that one…Ripken, my beloved 10 year old B’Lab

The subject of my last post celebrating his life and mourning his demise.

Why?

Because my Vet is a douche…that’s why.

Okay, maybe not a douche.

How about insensitive, callous, money-grubbing, gotta pull in the bucks to justify my position as the newest Vet in this practice, A’hole?

Yeah, that’s better.

  • Here’s how it went down almost a month ago (I feel like I should put this to music like Harper Valley PTA or something):

Yearly check-up; three-year rabies shot; lyme vaccine; snap test

Vet says he looks good except…

I’m concerned about this growth, this tumor, in his right armpit

I’ve looked at his records, and I see he was here 6 months ago (for an intestinal problem) and this mass was not there

The fact that it grew so large, so fast, and seems tender to the touch tells me it’s something we need to be concerned with.

Normally, I’d say it’s just a fatty deposit, but not in this case. I believe we are looking at a malignancy here

ME:  Can you give me an idea of how much I’m looking at to find out?  Financially speaking, I need to know

I can certainly give you an estimate for how much it would be to do the pathology and remove the tumor, but subsequent treatment would be expensive

ME:  OK, I’ll need that estimate before I make a decision

Of course

Estimate:  $970 – (nothing specified about what the cost would be to treat the ‘cancer’)

ME:   I hate that it comes down to money, but I can’t afford this

Oh I completely understand.  Take some time to think about it and let me know

ME:  Okay, but I know what my finances are…I can’t afford this

I completely understand, but just think about it and let me know. Take the time you need, but I don’t think you should wait too long

ME:  Okay, I’ll think about what I can do, and I’ll talk to my family, but I can’t afford this only to find out it’s a cancer I can’t afford to have treated

Stopped eating

Stopped drinking

Lethargic

Acute diarrhea (sorry, but it does sound better than the runs)

I was out of town, get a call from my parents that the dog is sick

  • Here’s where we were one week ago:

Not eating still so I boil hamburger and rice – nothing

Not eating so I notch it up to chicken and rice – not much improvement

Only think I can get him to eat are his biscuits…the dog effin’ loves those biscuits

Still not drinking

Still with the D-word adding in that straining would be an understatement

  • Here’s where I was Sunday:

This can’t go on, he’s suffering, I can’t afford to see this through, I need to call the Vet tomorrow

Appointment made for Wednesday for euthanasia based on information known at the time

  • Here’s where I was today – Wednesday – E Day

Get to Vet’s office – packed beyond belief – had to park in another county practically – no sweat, more time to sit and snuggle and eat ice cream sandwiches with the Dude

Go into office at scheduled time, 5:30 pm, alone, to complete all paperwork and pay fee without Rip having to be in there

Told they are waaaay backed up, would I mind waiting?

Ummmm, yes, in fact I WOULD mind waiting.  This is not the kind of appointment one wants to sit and ponder amonst the other four-legged beasts running around.

Told it would only be a moment then…they’d get a room ready right away.  She returns within seconds telling me to go ahead and bring him in.

I do that.  We go to the room.  The Vet comes in…

Aw, and how’s old Ripken?

{I explained the last two weeks in detail)

Oh, so he’s not eating or drinking.  Well, let’s have a look see what a treat does for him

{I watch as Ripken about tears the guy’s fingers off taking the treat.  Maybe I should have warned him about Ripken and those biscuits}

Wow…I have to tell you, this dog is not telling me he’s ready to die.  His breathing is a bit loud and labored, but that’s his age.  But he’s active and took that treat well enough

{I look at him like he’s gone mental.  Was he suggesting I was there to kill my dog for no reason?}

ME:  No…YOU told me that and based on the last two weeks, I believed it.  This is NOT the same behavior of the last two weeks {except the biscuits}

Now, really, I’m not concerned with that growth.  I feel it’s just a fatty deposit and as your dog’s advocate, I must tell you that based on what I’m seeing here today, this is a healthy dog, and in good conscience, I can’t do what you are asking me to do

What I”M ASKING? Do you realize what your comments to me during our last visit did to me? And how those comments lead to my sitting here today, in this office, having spent the last 4 days beating myself up and grieving for him?  Do you think I’m here to rid myself of a loved family member for financial reasons?

I’m only telling you that I can’t do what you came here to do in all good conscience because I feel he’s healthy and just showing his age

{By now, I’m about hysterical, but from anger…}

I am not leaving this office until you do whatever you have to do to prove this is NOT a cancerous tumor; tell me the cause of the last two weeks; and I AM NOT PAYING FOR IT.  YOU ARE.

Of course. I will aspirate the mass and I’ll take a stool sample.  If, you’ll hold him

{Just give me a biscuit dumbass}

Aspiration done, sample taken, Vet disappears, returns 15 minutes later…

I was correct.  That mass is nothing to worry about, for now, it’s just fat

And the stool sample shows he’s loaded with bacteria, which I can treat, with medication. And this bacteria is absolutely the cause of his lack of appetite and lethargy.  It’s common and treatable.

All I ask is that you give him a fair chance.  Let him take the medication for a couple days.  If there’s no improvement, we can revisit it.

What?  A fair chance? You tell me my dog has a malignant tumor, tell me to make up my mind quickly, it’s only $970 to be on the safe side, and you tell ME to give him a fair chance?  Give him pills for a couple days and then you’ll revisit killing him?

That’s all I’m asking.  I can’t stop you from going through with this, but I can’t do it.  I’ll not charge you for anything but the pills and I’ll only charge you what they cost me.

{Lord, get me away from this man before I BITE HIM}

Get me the pills, refund my prepaid murder for hire fee, and we’ll be gone.

He did and we were.

FOR FUCKING EVER!

My Dude…alive and well…despite modern medicine!  When did Vets become like all the rest?

really mom
See Ma..all I needed was some ice cream and chocolate cookie stuff. Oh, and the biscuits…don’t forget the biscuits.
🙂

And they call it puppy love…

Intelligent

Loyal

Intuitive

Friend

Curious

Playful

Stubborn

Protective

Surprising

As easy as eager, to please

Enthusiastic

Unconditionally loving

…and the list goes on and on and on

Our dogs; our friends; our playmates; our soulmates; our living examples of all God got right.

There have been dogs in my life as far back as I can remember. Dogs like Amos Manley Calhoon, (Manley for short) our 3 1/2 foot long, 1 1/2 foot high Basset Hound who had to have his ears pinned with a clothe’s pin lest he eat them with dinner or drown in his water bowl.  And during times of winter snow, we’d only know where he was by the sound of his bowel-deep rooolf, rooolf.  Or as the tip of his tail rose above the snow as he ran (waddled).

Then there was Bileau’s Cadeau Migneaux, (Min for short) our Miniature Poodle, who I’d swear could not have been more in love with another four-legged creature than she was with a two-legged one; my father, whom she’d marked as her own when just a puppy, by peeing on his chest while he lay on the couch watching TV.  And as witnessed by anyone within view, when he’d pick her up at the end of the day so she could lay her head on his shoulder, roll her eyes lovingly up at him, and slowly and deliberately, slide her tongue up his cheek in long, slow kisses.  These are two of many, but two especially loved for what they brought into our family and into our lives.

But this is for Ripken…our Black Labrador mix, who has been with us since his eighth week of life, more than 10 years ago, and who will see the end of his days on earth Wednesday.  It’s never easy to witness the suffering of those we love, nor is it made easier by the fact that they have four legs instead of two. And the decision to end the suffering is always tempered with the notion that perhaps it is our own suffering we are hoping to ease by intervening and changing their natural path to the end.  It isn’t, after all, for us to say “Now is your time”…yet we do.  For them…and…for us.

So, to Ripken, I say thank you.  For the years of unconditional love, the multitude of spontaneous moments of joy and laughter, and for feet that were warmed by you as you lay upon them in winter.

But mostly, for the lessons in loyalty, tolerance, and forgiveness, as only one with no guile could teach.  For giving so freely, without question or condition, so much more than you ever asked for.

You are and always will be, greatly loved.

Goodbye dearest friend.

Rest In Peace

Rippy

The year that broke the dam

Today’s post is the anniversary post I had planned for yesterday. As is often the case, life intervened. And in retrospect, I’m glad it did. Terrified, but glad.

You see, I was prepared to reflect on this last year alone. Lord knows it’s been a year like no other for me. But over the course of the last couple of days, I’ve realized that’s not enough. Not even close. It must go beyond that.  It must be shared how a photograph of an eagle…

Morning at the lake 003
To have missed this would have changed it all.
To have been witness to this, did change it all.
Change is life.

a beam of light

2011-12-26 001 013
Light through the dark.
All you need do is look.
And believe…it’s for you.

…a kind word of encouragement from a friend, and a blog can change the world.  My world. And I hope, in some way, someone else’s.

I must talk of how my past blew a hole in my present and almost destroyed my future, yet didn’t. And I hope, somewhere in here, before I’m done, I will show too, just how much I’ve gained this last year; in love, friendship, self-esteem, self-reliance, …hell, let’s just say self.  That’s the biggie.

The mirror I’m looking in today is one that goes beyond my image.  Beyond the face that shows subtle signs of age in the soft wrinkles in the corners of my eyes and mouth, and the 50 shades of gray. This mirror mirror on the wall…tells the secrets, tells them all.

Yes, and it’s been a long time coming. And I’m not alone in my many dimensional mirror. I see image, beyond image, beyond image times a thousand, of half woman/half girl, half man/half boy faces that all have the same haunted eyes, looking back at me, silently screaming.

The screams have been heard.  The faces have been seen and are known.  The old, the young, the gone, the living…mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, friends and strangers; all once children, young adults, adults, of abuse.  They are with me, in front, behind, and beside me.  They are me. They are you. But since I’m the one on this side of the mirror, I’ll speak; for them; for me.

IMG_8042
All things in their time
The time is now
Open the flood gates

Why a dam? It’s built to withstand years of stress and pressure. To give that which is needed when it’s needed, and not before. It’s there to hold back that which is as deadly as it is life-giving. It has a built-in relief system…its flood gates.

We are very like this dam, we human beings.  Our bodies and our minds are built to withstand years of stress and pressure. We can take a life as quickly as we can give it. We cater to those with needs, giving what is needed, when it’s needed, and not before. And we too have built-in relief systems. Plural. For we have many. Not all good, not all healthy, and certainly not all lasting. But we each do what we have to do to survive. It’s in our nature. To survive. Or try to. Some do. Sadly, a great many don’t. Some do their best to just survive. Some go beyond, make a difference, help others with faulty or stuck relief systems.

This last year of blogging; specifically, the meeting of a surprising number of kindred souls in this community, has shown me that whatever forces are at work, led me here for a reason. This is no accident.  Not even a happy one. It is just as it has to be.

Things happen for a reason? All things in their own time? I’m no expert on the human condition, nor am I a philosopher.  But yes, these things I believe. At least, I believe them now. There was a time not so long ago, my belief system was quite different. Why? Because there is no reason in this world or any other I could ever imagine a right reason or right time for abuse. Of any kind. Of any one. Most especially though, child abuse, and God forbid, sexual abuse.

It is of that I speak. Here. Today. Openly and for the first time, terrifyingly public; beyond the false walls I built around myself at a very young age. In this last year, the walls have begun to crumble, and I’ve found that the hands I reached out to others in empathy and compassion, have been taken and touched in kind, and placed safely into a human chain of compassion and support I’d not known until now. Not because it wasn’t there; because I’d never reached before. I was busy keeping my fortress secure. To say blogging helped change my life would be an understatement…it, an eagle, and a beam of light, saved it.

This is the sledgehammer that’s going to take down what’s left. Not just to set myself free, but to reach the one, or the ten, or the hundred, who need to know they are not alone and they are not broken.  Bruised, battered, scarred, hurting beyond hurt, and isolated, yes.  But not broken, and not alone, and not AT FAULT.

I used to think remembering and reminding myself of the details were important. It’s not.  It’s toxic. The devil’s in the details? You’re damn right he is. I kept each detail locked in my fortress, either framed and hanging on the wall like a treasured photograph, hanging on a hook in my closet ready to be taken out and worn like a cloak, or hiding under the bed enmeshed in those evil wind dancing, webs that have been catching and holding years and years worth of dirt; years of details wrapped in a cocoon and saved for later…

Img_0025
Oh the tangled webs we weave
In our minds
Just to survive

…Enough!  Walls down. Light in. Broom in hand.

Time.

Now.

There’s no more room.

I have always wondered, and I know other survivors do also, who I would have been had things been different. Who I was supposed to be. I shall answer the first here…the second, at the end.

  • Would I still feel the need for approval or validation for everything I do?

This is a hard one. And at this moment, all I can say is definitely/maybe not. I’m not there yet, but the more I learn of myself, the more I know that I am quite capable of deciding if what I’m doing is right, or good, and the only one I need approval from, or validation for my deeds or actions, is me. Same goes for consequences. Mine. As with the devil’s details…blaming the past or hanging onto past hurts only keeps me in the dark and they too need to see the fat end of the broom.

  • Would I still agree to do things I don’t want to do to make someone else’s life easier or happier at the expense of my own?

I’m hoping I would have been able to find a balance here. I don’t want to cause hurt or pain to others, but over the years this trait has been detrimental to my own sense of self-worth.  I do believe this trait will be going out the door with the webs, with a more healthy one in its stead.  Not born of conceit or over indulged self importance…one born of kindness and compassion yet with the awareness that I am worthy of the same consideration.  This is a big one.

  • Would I still be empathetic to the point of physical discomfort?

Yes, unequivocally, yes. This will not change. And I don’t want it to. Or it won’t change because I don’t want it to. Either way, it stays.

  •  Would I still be 100% confrontational within my own family circle, yet 100% against/afraid of confrontation outside of it?

I think I already proven to myself that this is history. (right service manager Denise?)

As for the family confrontational dynamic…well part of that is genetic (yes it is..we French love to argue).

Kidding aside, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel here.  A big part of this trait that can appear akin to someone with a chip on their shoulder; a (disguised) resentment born out of my sense of not being protected. But maybe even more, not being recognized.

For me of course, it was obvious.  I knew the taint was visible, I saw it every day.  But I know that’s not the way of it.  And I will say something about that in a moment…but I do know, without question, it was not from lack of love. Still, I did harbor that resentment and anger for a very long time. Its departure is another recent event, and frankly, one I’m glad to see out the door.

What I wanted…needed…to say about the ‘not being recognized’ is this, and I’m coming at this from both perspectives, my own perspectives; as an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, date rape, and as a parent.

Parents work. Yes

Now more than ever. Yes

One, both, inside the home, outside the home…work. Yes

We have no choice if we are to provide what we need to care for, and make better lives for, our families, if we chose to have children. Yes

Children require work. Yes

Now more than ever. Yes

Day care, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary school, elementary school, middle school, high school…sports, jobs, cars, dating, college.  It’s never-ending. Yes

What do we need more of?  Time? Patience? Energy? Help? Yes to all the above.

What do we do if we are out of/never had any/can’t get any of the all the aboves?

we see a child crying or having a tantrum and tell her to please, please stop or go to her room – we see a shy little boy and make him go outside and play with the kids next door – we see a shy, chubby adolescent and enroll him/her into an activity or put them a diet because no one wants to have their child picked on for being fat – we are at our wits end with the surly teenager who never smiles and can’t wait for him/her to outgrow this phase – we see a young man or young woman making self-destructive life decisions and lecture them about the dangers of sex, drugs, and rock -n- roll (or rap, or heavy metal, or country…makes no difference).

These are all normal, everyday scenarios in the lives of most families.  And will continue as long as we have children.  So what’s the problem.  This…

what if hers is a cry for help without the words to express it – what if his shyness is fear of being away from home or out of your sight because he’s been molested and told he will be punished if he tells – what if the chubby little darling is substituting food for the right kind of attention and hiding their perfect little selves in fat from the wrong kind of attention – what if that surly teenager has a dark secret and thinks no one will understand but knows if you really, really looked, you’d see it without them saying a word, please don’t make me say it – and what if those self-destructive decisions are just that…an attempt at self-destruction for fear of someone knowing, the pain of someone not knowing, and the shame with having said nothing.

We need to stop looking through our children. Stop making assumptions based on our own lack of time, energy, patience, or help.  Things are not always what they seem.  Sometimes they are just what they appear to be…but the time it takes to really look at your children, talk to them, is worth more than any paycheck.

We talk a lot about bullying.  It is rampant these days.  But is it really ‘these days’?  Or have we just been too busy to notice it before.  Bullies are not born.  They are made.  It’s not a stretch to imagine an abused child becoming a bully is it?  Can one who is bullied, beaten, molested by an adult not just as likely to turn his/her anger toward someone weaker or smaller?  We don’t always turn inwards.  Some cope another way.  There is never an excuse for bullying.  But I’d be more inclined to ask my son or daughter the hard questions if I ever saw or heard of them bullying others.

And finally, to answer the second of the questions…Who was I supposed to be?

Well, that one is becoming more clear.  Me. Right here, right now. Me.  And that’s just fine.

 

To Thine Own Self…

One year ago yesterday, I officially started blogging.  Of course, that blog no longer exists due to a minor meltdown of major proportions or a major meltdown of minor proportions…take your pick.  The result is the same.  I erased myself!

But…as happens little, if ever, in life, I got another chance.

Okay, I TOOK another chance; to reinvent myself.

I won’t win any inventor’s award or have to worry about someone stealing my patent, but all things considered, I’m happy with the new me.

I’m still sarcastic, but only when it’s warranted.

I still swear (occasionally), but I really do have a new outlook.

As I now have to look out for myself, numero uno, in all respects, this learning curve has been somewhat daunting and intimidating, but as each new opportunity has arisen for me to apply this new-found self-reliance, I’ve found it easier and easier.  I’m getting the hang of it!

NOTE:  And to my lady lovelies…I highly recommend you start this process too, if you haven’t already.  Learn to be your own best defense.  If there’s something you hate to do, don’t know how to do, usually leave to the brawn…STOP. The harder it is…the more necessary it is to take the lead and do yourself.  No matter your current life situation, circumstance, comfort level…don’t wait until the day comes, if the day comes, where you find yourself in this position. Capiche?  

So, this new me had a plan.  To do something special to commemorate my one year.  But as they say “the best laid plans…”

Instead of heading to a recently discovered photographic wow spot, to take the photo I wanted to accompany my anniversary post, I ended up sitting in the waiting room of my waaay too familiar car dealerships‘ service department.  Long story short, came home hours later without my car.  Again. For the fourth time.

But please, these guys are oooooh so good.

Really.

So polite.  So caring.  Who else would have left me out there for three and a half hours without a word or an update.  Left me so long that I finally got pissed off I went into their space demanding said update.  Imagine what those poor souls have to put up with? Ungrateful bitches like me? After all, it could have been four hours, or four and a half.  But it wasn’t.  It was only three and a half.  What was I bitching about.  They did say they were sorry.

Now, the rest of the story…

The desk jockey walked me back to the garage so the mechanic could speak directly to me because the jockeys in the front either don’t know shit from shinola about cars or just couldn’t be bothered to explain it to me.  He walked me through the garage to the last bay where I see half my car’s insides laying on the garage floor, and the explanation I received from the mechanic ‘working’ on her went something like this:  

Well see, it’s like this…um, ah, I think I know what the problem is, almost sure what it is, it’s definitely in the electronics, and I’m almost certain I can figure it out, but I’m not there yet.  This is a foreign car and I don’t work on many foreign cars. Everything is so small.  I have to remove all this so I can see what I’m doing.”

Perhaps that sounds logical to some.  Admitting you don’t know what you’re doing is not an easy thing to do, one would imagine.  Props need to be given for his honesty.  Right?  But, hang on…for my part, I literally felt and saw the red flag spring up out of my head like the flag on a putting green.  Boinnnnng.

Why?  Because  the dealership I bought the car from, bought the extended service plan from, and entrusted my car to these certified grease monkeys is….yes…an import dealer.

They sell and service ‘foreign’ cars.

Anyone else see a problem here?

Am I expecting too much?  Being unrealistic in my thinking that this import dealership that sold me an imported car and an extended service plan for this imported beauty could actually SERVICE imported cars?  Could actually FIX her should something go wrong?

Mmmmmkay.  Mmmmaybe.

Mmmmeanwhile, in the span of time it took me to pen my frustration..I got the call, from the service manager.  Time to go pick her up.  The somewhat paraphrased conversation follows. Me in italics…

Fixed?

Nope.

Reason?

We don’t have the right equipment to diagnose the problem.

Equipment?

Yes

You mean qualified mechanics?

Um, no. I mean computer stuff.

Oh. My car has its own computer stuff?

Yes, it would seem so.

First time you’ve sold one of these?

No.

So I’m not the first idiot to buy this model car and service plan from you?

I didn’t sell you the car or the service plan.  I just fix them.

Do you?

Well, the ones we sell, yes

Really?  You sold me this one and the premium, high performance service plan to go with it.  You sold me a vehicle that you cannot in fact, service. Correct?

Not me personally, but yes.

Okay.  My options?

You can take it to a Mini dealer.  They can fix it.  And I did call the closest one for you and spoke to their service manager. He said they would honor the extended service plan, you only have to pay the deductible.

That was very nice of you.  So all I have to do is take the short 90 minute jaunt to the nearest dealer that sells and services my particular brand of imported finery every time she needs more than an oil change or state inspection. Correct?

You can call me first. We can talk about it. If it’s something electrical, then yes. If it’s something mechanical, we can try.

Oh right, the computer thing again.  Tell me Denise (we are on a first name basis, Denise and I), can you recall the last two times I brought her in?  Neither was electrical.  Both are mechanical.  And I say are because they are ongoing issues that your mechanics could not seem to fix.  Do you still say I should call and ‘talk’ about these things with you?

I can’t promise anything, but you can try us first. I do apologize.

Thank you for the apology Denise.  Could you do me a favor though?

Sure, anything I can do to help.

And please don’t take this the wrong way, it’s not personal…but could you go fuck yourself?

Cost of gas?  $3.89/gallon

Cost of burning that bridge? $0.00

Cost of employing my new sense of self and old sense of gutter language?  PRICELESS

Spring Breaks? Yes. Yes it does.

Winter Intermission has concluded.

Yay!

Time for me to get back to work.

Yay!

Spring is in the air.

Yay!

Somewhere.

What?

Here is the northeast, we have a saying…

It goes like this:

HA!

Spring?

Really?

Prove it!

Spring is a word on a calendar here in the northeast.

Spring is a cock comb tease.

Spring is the day we jump from snow ass deep to mud up to our elbows.

Spring may have sprung and sprouted where you are, but it’s laughing all the way to the snow-bank here!

Click on the following…they’ll make you glad you live somewhere else!

spring tomorrow
Spring hits tomorrow…yeah, can ya dig it?
spring comes in
Spring
Ah yut…it sprung alright
spring first week
today
sure glad it’s spring
Am so glad winter is over
oh yeah
um hm
that’s right
snap!

As for me? Well, I’ll just wish you all a beautiful spring while I try to get the handle of this snow shovel up father winter’s a….oops!

😳

 

(photos courtesy of WCAX TV)

Winter Intermission…

Though I’ve been back but a moment…I’m taking an interlude.

I felt it best to leave a note on the door along with an open invitation to sit a spell if you’ve the time, and enjoy a quiet moment with some of my favorite winter moments.

I hope to see you all soon back at my place, but in the meantime, I’ll drop by yours every so often for a good cup of wisdom, a much needed smile and a chuckle, and some downright good conversation.

R

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cock a doodle… don’t

Perhaps a new night lite is warranted?  And just hush…no night lite cracks.
But I can’t help but think this crazy cock is gonna get clocked if he doesn’t shoosh!
Is this what sleepless in snow land
does to people who go to bed with stupid smart phones?
Guess that’s a rhetorical question.
Maybe he’s just overly protective and is showing me the sun?  That’s a nice thought…crazy…but nice.
Okay Rooster McOptimist, I get it.  The sun is just over the horizon.  It’ll be here by dawn.
Do you think you can go to bed now and let me do the same?
That would be swell.

image

I promise I’ll never do this again.
Night everyone.
🙂

The More Things Change…

“The more things change the more they stay the same”

I’m sure you’ve all heard it.  I KNOW you’ve all heard it.  It’s been around since the dawn of bitchin’ and moanin’.

It’s been several days since I’ve had a thought I felt worth sharing.  And today started the same way…empty.

That’s a word I’ve come to know very well.  It’s not a good word in any capacity that I can think of…

empty bank account

empty wallet (because of the empty bank account one would assume)

empty fridge

empty gas tank

empty glass

empty heart

empty feelings

empty mind

empty empty empty (such a strange word when looked at so closely)

I have decided this word is creeping into my everyday life way, way, too often.  And it’s pissing me off.

Is it the winter?  The, oh so cliché but oh so real, cabin fever?  I don’t know.

But, today the sun broke through, so I ventured outside.  With no plan other than soaking up that which has been missing for too long.  The light, the warmth, the overall feeling of hope that things will be okay.

As a winter lover, I hesitate to blame these empty days on lack of sunshine and warmth.  But as a woman in transition, I’m more hesitant to blame it on something else.  That would mean taking responsibility for my own feelings, right?

Like those feelings of self-pity?  Depression?  Lack of self-confidence?  Oh woe the fuck is me?  Can it be I’m allowing these dark, snowy days I used to look forward to, give me an excuse to stay inside and hide from the world I don’t always feel ready to face?

Yes.  Yes, yes, and yes.  That is exactly what I was doing.  And it took two people, my Yin and my Yang, to get me up and out into that light.  One is the left, the other the right.  The past and the future.  Opposite ends of my journey.  But they managed to meet in the middle…me…I am the middle ground.

The left says…”Get up and get moving; no one can fix you but you; I’m here but I can’t fix this; fix you.  You have to. I’ve told you I love you, but frankly I’m sick of your whining.”

The right says…”I love you and am always here for you. I wish I could make things better, but you must choose to be happy. There are things you can do, support is out there, use it.”

Okay, I paraphrased, but that’s the gist.  Love on the left; love on the right; me in the middle, feeling empty for NO good reason.

What is WRONG with this picture?

ME…that’s what.

So…why did I title this post “The More Things Change…?”

Because this is a pattern for me.  A pattern I need to change.  The more things have changed in my life, the more I’ve fought the changes.  And NOT the changes themselves.  No, it’s the roller coaster of ‘it’s the right thing, it’s the wrong thing, it’s exciting, it’s scaring the shit out of me, I’m worth it, who are you kidding’, emotional roller coaster.  Not the obvious ones, like divorcing after 31 years.  THAT deserves a roller coaster ride…and what a ride it has been.  But, for the most part, I can say that ride is over.  The extremes anyway.  Figuring out where we go from here is the next ride, but it’s not a roller coaster, it’s more akin to the Tea Cup…up,  down, and all around, sometimes sickening, sometime exhilarating, but always an end in sight.

This is not it.

It’s the bi-polar, manic-depressive (as a way of explanation only, she tells herself) emotions that I’ve allowed myself to fall victim to when things in my life don’t go the way I want them to.  I allow myself to lash out at those that love me for no other reason than the dog just doesn’t understand.  Seriously…if the damned dog would just say ‘I get ya Ma, I feel for ya Ma, now can I have a treat?’ I’d be better off.

Instead, I lash out, cry, feel empty, look at my life as a black hole instead of realizing I have a tremendous amount of love and support to be thankful for.  From the left and from the right and from everywhere in between.

That it took a short sojourn out into the sun to put things back in perspective is a little strange maybe.  But I am not questioning it.  If a bit of bright light and vitamin D turn my empty thoughts into ones filled with hope and remembrances of the love I have in my life; past, present, and future; then I say bring on the sun.

You are my sunshine…my only sunshine…you make me happy…when skies are gray.

Here comes the sun…get out there and ABSORB it!

Good Grief

I’ve experienced my share of loss. Most of a certain age have, and some not of such an age. It is an inevitable part of life.

I’ve mourned the loss of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends much too soon, neighbors, and four-legged buddies too.

Grief is a process. It’s as important a process as learning to walk or speak. It’s something we all must do in stages…there is no other way. We can deny it, run from it, gloss over it, or ignore it…makes no difference to grief.  It says…

“Deal with me now or deal with me later…face me today or sit back and let me take over your life…I can and will, offer you the tools but you have to choose how or if to use them. For if you leave it to me, I’ll build walls with no windows and doorways to nowhere.  I’ve got your heart in my hands and I can keep it in the dark and squeeze the life out of it.  Or, you can help me release it back into the light.  The choice is yours.”

Mourning has a natural path it must follow; a beginning, a middle, and in time, an end.  We must allow ourselves to follow it to its natural end. And I say natural because we are all different. We didn’t all learn to walk and talk at the same point in our lives. We each learn as and when we are meant to.  With help or without…we have but one choice if we are to become who we are meant to be. I don’t believe anyone is meant to be broken by grief. It’s a choice. A sad one, but still a choice.

In the past several months, I’ve been one of those denying, running, glossing over, ignoring souls.  And not from the grief of losing ones I loved to dying.  No.  For me, that is the allowed grief, the necessary grief, the natural mourning after saying goodbye to their souls grief.

No, it’s the mourning the loss of life that still breathes; the blood’s still flowing but the heart’s not beating, life; the everyday life staring back at me in that shattered mirror life that I had to choose to either pour a new foundation, pick up the hammer, and start building a new frame for; or choose to let grief build me and my tender heart into box kind of grief that I ran from.

I didn’t understand. No one had died. Neither of us was ill. Grief? Mourning? I just didn’t get it.

Then.

Now I do.

I woke to a poem today.

Not a morning poem, but a mourning poem.

A poem of love lost, dreams gone, futures altered:

I close my eyes, see a life once shared
I close my eyes, sweet memories there
I close my eyes, our future’s gone
as is the past
Eyes now open and shed of tears
No longer sorrow, pain, and fear
Open eyes to a new journey
Toward lives of love for you and for me
My open eyes see friendship strong
and will ever last
Our years of love and care mean wishing
That each will find what we were missing
But one things sure and I hope you do see
You’re my best friend and always will be

This poem woke my giant who was not only sleeping but hiding under the Hoover Dam.  It helped me acknowledge my need to mourn the loss of a once treasured and thought unbreakable bond of a decades long marriage.  I was lost in sadness; mired in a self-pity; feeling guilty for wanting more; needing more; yet never admitting I needed to grieve what was gone, mourn that loss of the life we’d made and shared.

Yet, in those few words of a sleepless night’s reflection and melancholy remembrance of a life’s love shattered, there was hope.  For each other. To find love and true happiness.  For building a stronger bond of friendship beyond those days of “I don’t anymore” on through to these days of “I do and always will, and cannot imagine a life without you in it, somehow.”

To Hugh.  The man I grew up with, fell in love with, married, bore children to, and said goodbye to as my husband…I say this:

the past does visit still when sleeping
the day will come for no more weeping
but, this mourning must travel its natural path
this grief we share of days gone past
of love and life and joys and sorrows
for lost dreams, hopes, tomorrows
and in its wake, will dawn a new day
together and separate we’ll each find our way
to fulfilled lives complete with laughter
to each grab hold of what we’re after
but this remains a constant truth…
life would not
could not
be…
without you, my best friend

Thank You.  For helping me see what I would not.

Grief.

For pulling me out of hiding.

To Grieve.

For knowing I needed to.

Grieve.

And for loving me enough to say it.

Grief.

Good Grief.