First Times…

Calling all photogs…and friends of photogs.

As this is the time for new beginnings and new adventures for me…I’ve decided to just do it.

Yup.

I’m doing it.

I’ve done it.

What?

Something new…

Those that know me already, know I have a special friend.  My constant companion, whom I call CC.  We spend quality time together every chance we get, and I’ve shared many a special moment of that time with a lot of you in my earlier life.  This relationship is one of fun, reflection, surprise, beauty, sadness, and glory.  This special and dear companion is my camera.

Now…a fellow blogger and similar-minded friend rodposse, has put into place a photo challenge on his blog.  It’s now in its 7th week and the first one in which I am entering, and it’s a fantastic idea.  Win, lose, draw…makes no difference.  This is a terrific avenue to take to find new friends, appreciate great photos, and experience how others’ points of view can take you completely by surprise.

I invite you to visit rodposse, enjoy the captured moments in this week’s challenge…which is the element WATER.  But stay awhile and visit the past challenges, as well as his own photos.  It’s well worth the time.

Become a participant if you choose to do so, by following his simple rules for submitting your own photos.  I know more than a few of you have a great eye and take some stunning photos.  Go have some fun!

Or if you’d rather, just share your opinion by clicking on the like button for your favorite(s).  Simple.

But if for no other reason, visit just to enjoy the view.

This is the link to the challenge (and I’m shameless here, but this link will take you to my entry…However, you can navigate very easily from there, honest)

http://rodposse.com/2013/03/04/6th-challenger-the-last-summer/

The very best to all the entrants…good luck…and keep shutterin.

Rhonda

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.

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle Revisited

Three years ago today…March 1, 2013, I re-entered the blogosphere to share my thoughts and speak my mind on life’s many shades of gray.  Having survived the hugely regretful menopause fueled meltdown deletion of my original blogonality, Help Me Rhonda, I’m more than happy I made the decision to try again.

I am also very thankful for the old friends that found the new me, and thrilled with the new friends I’ve made since.  So, I’d like to celebrate this birthday with a stroll down memory lane by revisiting 50 Shades of Gray Hair’s inaugural  post…as well as thanking you all once again, for adding your own hues to my 50 shades, and leaving your heart-prints all over mine.

And I just have to point out…the first sentence of the 4th paragraph?  The one I’ve highlighted in red?  Oy…prophetic or WHAT!!   🙂


This first official post has me feeling like I’m coming back to Junior High after summer break.  But instead of that obligatory ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ essay, I’m standing in front of the class reading mine entitled…

‘Where Did My Life Go and What the Hell is THAT?’

Though I am no longer the pimply-faced teen, sweating the small stuff…I AM a wrinkly-faced grandmother sweating with the flashes and spending way too much time looking for those things I knew I needed, at the time I needed them but forgot I had…and when I did find them, I couldn’t remember why I needed them in the first place.

Ha…I’m not really wrinkly-faced; it’s more of a wrinkly feeeeling.  The memory thing is spot on though, as are the questions about where life went and what new and wonderful surprises will pop up, slide down, fall off, or turn colors, each and every morning.

[Not to mention what happens AFTER I leave the bathroom…yikes]

Those first steps of the day can make it or break your leg...if you’re not paying attention. Life’s stairs are steep; you need to open your eyes, clear your head, hang onto the handrail, and take one step at a time.  That isn’t to say you can’t ride the rail once in a while…hop on the banister and whoop your way down…

…Just watch out for the splinters along the way. They are a pain in the ass! 

No one said it would be easy.  At least no one said it to me.  Of course, no one said it would be this hard either.  But, I have realized, it’s only as hard as we make it.  Which, I believe, is why I’m here…again.

Life can be hard, but never as hard as when you turn inward thinking to shelter and protect, only to wake up and realize you are just adding more and more wrinkles. Those ‘oldest woman on earth’ kind of wrinkles; ‘my wrinkles have wrinkles’ kind of wrinkles; ‘when I stand I sound like an accordion‘ kind of wrinkles.

Old.

I’m talking feeling old!

And I’m too young to feel this old.

Too young to BE this old.

So, I’m starting by ironing and straightening out some of those internal wrinkles.  Getting up and out of my life’s laundry basket and getting to work.  (Don’t worry, I won’t ever use that term again!  And if any of you remember anything about my old blog…you may recall I HATE IRONING!)

Each day – a new stretch

Each stretch – one less wrinkle.

And I know I’m not doing it alone.

That’s the key.  I’m letting those that love me take one end while I take the other…and together we’ll pull some of those suckers out.

And for the one’s that can’t be pulled…I have a turbo charged steam iron.

Yes, I do.

It’s called ‘The Future”!

And when the time comes to let the roots show, I’ll be ready.

But for now it’s…

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle time to wake up!

Morning everybody…what Shade are we today?

Coming soon to a salon near you…

50 Shades of Gray Hair?

Yes…it’s the new me!

Happy?

Confused?

Could give a shit?

Ha…it’s all good.

I’m not really here…yet.

But I’m coming…

Read the About Page

If you want…

No pressure…

Just READ IT!

Remember, I’m a tad emotional…

I’ll be here soon…I hope, but I’ll let ya know.

Okay…off to create some shades to share.

See ya soon (and boy have I missed you guys!)

Rhonda 🙂