Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Marriage

It’s no secret: marriage is hard. Sharing air, space, a bed, a life with someone else is not happily ever after.

Last May we celebrated our 11 year anniversary. These last couple years have been rough. We have stopped seeing the best in each other. Time passes. There are so many conflicts, hurts, wounds, misunderstandings, and distance. We force our lines, smile pretty for the pictures. We’ve both wanted to quit more times than we care to admit. 

The road to reconciliation is not paved. It’s filled with thistles, thorns, overgrowth… a wasteland of obstacles; weeds of unforgiveness, selfishness and silence. We need armor and supernatural weapons to wade through.

Love has gotten lost amongst the dirty dishes, remembering to set the coffee maker, a ridiculous amount of laundry, medical crises, an overwhelming stack of bills, things that need to be fixed around the house, a baby that doesn’t want to sleep, and anxiety about our future.

We used to know how to do this. We used to pray for each other and laugh at the days to come. We used to think we were invincible. We used to think nothing could stop us. We had passion; we were driven against all odds. We have forgotten who we are without all these strings of obligations and roles.

This rift, this chasm between us- I’m still trying to figure out if we can fix it. Our hands are broken. Our feet have failed us yet again, and hope… hope has disappeared. Our trust has been severed.

A crisis of faith is tearing us apart.

They tell us to use the weapon of gratefulness. There are numerous things to be thankful for: our son who is happy and makes us whole: he is our light amidst these dark days. Our home which shelters us from so many storms - provides refuge, peace. Our family who shows us that love shows up in person, no matter what; they help us laugh at ourselves and carry us through tough times by praying for us, fixing a leak, troubleshooting computers, helping us unpack into our new home, planning the kids’ birthday parties, and making the pecan pie that is out of this world!

Love is actions. Love is Steve catching the fact that I left boiling water on the stove and got lost in another project. He makes the rest of lunch for me. He sees me in the garden, and brings me a bag for all the weeds I toss to and fro. He comes home with another bottle of my favorite wine since I ran out last night. He cleans the car seat after Drew has thrown up everywhere. He finds me the Sonicare toothbrush I wanted for Christmas. He comes looking for me on my walk around the neighborhood after my phone went dead. Steve gets up every morning, gets Drew ready for school, starts my car even on the coldest of mornings, and loads up Drew’s book bag and essentials for school despite the fact that he’s in excruciating pain and would much rather lay in bed and not face the day.

Ministry and missions is not always about serving the needs afar. More often than not, the poor, the destitute, the broken are under our own roof bleeding uncontrollably by our own hands as we do the mad dash out the door.

Sometimes, the one bleeding uncontrollably is you.

So here’s the plan: we continue going forward… whether we’re walking or crawling, arming ourselves with the shield of gratefulness and the weapon of actions. We continue to have hope for tomorrow. We ask for prayers and courage for the dark days. We laugh more. We build each other up with love, encouragement and try not to take everything so seriously. Above all, we stretch out our hands in friendship and kindness. These are the things we have missed most in the last couple years.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Reflections from Happy Hour

I do my best to explain to them the joys of parenthood:

You may think you understand love, but you have no idea how exquisite it is to have your heart open up when your baby smiles at you. 

The days are long, the nights are longer, but the years fly by. 

The most beautiful clothes and finest jewelry are worthless as you walk through the door and those tiny feet sprint down the hall as their laugh and joy tackle you to the ground. 

The adventure is worth every sacrifice. 

My son has given my life such meaning, such significance. 

I cease to remember what this life was before his beautiful face. 

The truth is, we're not here to guide them; They're the teachers. 
If we step back, listen, let them lead, we catch glimpses of heaven. 

Those small still moments are worth.... everything. 

They smile, nod their head politely, take another swig of their overpriced mixed drink.

We move on to another topic...

I gaze around the room, misty eyed. By the time I get home my little man will be in bed.

Ahh, but when he wakes up, I'll be the only hug he runs for. I'm the favorite ice cream. I'm the superhero, I'm the most amazing, the smartest, the best...My kisses have healing magic, I'm the best friend... for right now anyways.

I dare not miss it.




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alignment


I can tell things are going in the right direction:

My mind is open, writing is more frequent.

I sing at all hours, there's all of a sudden room to dance.

Dear Book Out There in the Cosmos: 

My hands are ready to create. This world needs your story. I'm ready to finally write it. I will welcome you with open arms. 

Dear Muses: 

The table's been set, the candles are lit, the wine is chilled. I will make you a lovely feast fit for kings and queens. It's a safe place now. 







Friday, April 24, 2015

Awakening

Ahh.. breath. breathing. heart quickening.

Taking some time to refresh, browse, letting my soul fill. 

Here are the things taking up space in my brain:

"Fire Meet Gasoline" from the album 1000 FORMS OF FEAR by Sia, directed by Francesco Carrozzini

This video came up on my one of the websites I peruse daily: Nowness. I get my daily fill of art, music, film, dance, and some eclectic pieces I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise.   

This video is.. all kinds of interesting.  Fire seems to be the theme weaving through my days.





Listening to Fifty Shades of Grey movie soundtrack. 

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Nope, haven't seen the movie yet. I'm waiting till all three come out and then... THEN!

Favorite songs:

I Put A Spell on You, Annie Lennox. 
Ms. Lennox -  still got it! WOW!

Easy fun song to dance to... sway, and daydream.



I'm On Fire, AWOLNATION
Now, I love... LOVE me some Bruce Springsteen, and no one else can execute this song quite like him.

That is all.




Witchcraft, Frank Sinatra
This just makes me smile... for no apparent reason. It always has.


And.. I owe all this awakening to PIYO!


Into week 1 of 8 and loving it!

Today is a rest day and I feel GREAT! Clothes are fitting better, All of a sudden, I'm loving my pictures and feeling more comfortable in my skin. Easily finding my rhythm again and movement is becoming something I crave.

I feel so awesome; all it took was making some time for exercise, committing to it,  and getting some glorious, amazing sleep from diffusing lavender oil at night.

Oh I love my oils. Thieves is my crack, Panaway is my cocaine. Lavender... lavender is water. I can't be without it.

... to be continued ...








Friday, April 10, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Living in the Land of Limbo

Living in the Land of Limbo: Fiction and Poetry about Family Caregiving

This anthology was like a big hug from a friend you haven't seen in forever. 

The stories, made me laugh, nod my head and cry at some emotionally harrowing pieces. 

We get a small glimpse through each lens of caring. 

The stories and poetry are so well written, so beautiful.

I could probably write one of these stories myself.  

I remembered looking at the back of the book and seeing the list of great authors included in this compilation. I imagined my name being in the middle of them all and my heart skipped a beat! 


My favorite quotes: 

"He had imagined she could be different if she wanted to. Which had angered him. Which was not, was almost never, the truth about things."  

"In a way, the bad nights were easier. The good nights made her remember. The good nights disarmed her."

"How can it be described? How can any of it be described? The trip and the story of the trip are always two different things. The narrator is the one who has stayed home... All that unsayable life! That's where the narrator comes in. "

"Valerie is saint, but her voice is the standard hospital saint voice: an infuriating, pharmaceutical calm. It says, Everything is normal here. Death is normal. Pain is normal. Nothing is abnormal. So there is nothing to get excited about."

"No one but Evelyn knew anymore what Lily used to be. No one else knew the record and the history of her brilliant life - all her accomplishments, playing the piano and swimming, all her days. They lasted only in Evelyn's memory."

"...the members of our family had few friends outside of each other, and their relationships with each other were often destructive. It was a family of controlling women and passive men. The women consumed their sons and alienated their daughters. It wasn't that they didn't love us. It was only that love was encased in a kernel of warped emotions. The result was a family afflicted with astigmatism of the mind's eye, which perceived a world of distorted images. This was the world of our childhood."
 





Friday, April 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Destroyed


Destroyed by L.A. Starkey

We are back into it with book 2 of the Soul Keeper Series!

Story is a little bit of a slower pace; seems necessary to fill in the gaps of the story.

Some twist and turns and new characters emerge from Olympus. Pandora gets awakened!! Persephone is traveling with them! Oh, and that mean old Aphrodite messes everything up! How did she get to be so cruel?

This ends in a cliff hanger.. again. However the end is.. oh my word the end is... CRAZY!!






My favorite quotes:

"' I want to reminisce on every dream we've shared over the last four hundred years if you'll let us.'"

"' I would have rather been here. Being put in a padded white room is a wake up call, reminding me to get better or fake it.'"

"Zeus had pulled out the one card that would force Nick to do any and everything to win."

"... Sam couldn't help but feel a little jealous that the girl was standing so close to Nicolas. As soon as the feeling arose it shamed her to realize that she was falling for two men, and unfortunately they were brothers on top of it." 

"'This is a competition, Nick. I know you care for your brother , and I honestly do too, but if the clause doesn't help you, destroy it. Simple really.'"







Friday, March 20, 2015

I became my dad yesterday

I became my dad yesterday.
I'm riddled with guilt and insufferable sadness
The abused became the abuser.
I didn't lash out with voilence or anything

I gave the look. I said the words
The violent devastating words that hurt more than the worst beating.

I made my son feel small and dejected.
He didn't meet my expectations.
I was ashamed... my stupid arrogance got the better of me.
My puffed up pride.

I thought I had transcended from this place.
I saw the moment of who he would be, who he could be, the lights, the glamour, the stories to write, the awards to win.

But he couldn't take the step, he didn't want to.
I couldn't force him.

And I was so disappointed.
I should have behaved differently.
I should have been better

I could have. But I walked away, washed my hands.
All these years of running and fighting to not be this.. this rotten bad seed.

Here I am standing in the same place.
Today is new, and I start over and realize how much further I have to go.

That I never took the step.
I didn't want to.

Friday, March 6, 2015

EIGHT

Could it really have been eight years ago? EIGHT?

Eight years ago, we got the devastating call. The one that made me howl out to the heavens.

Tears that just stream and won’t stop.

The news that made my heart stop, air is sucked out of the room by an unknown force.

Some way, somehow… the world kept turning as I decided to stay still.

Some way, somehow… the minutes became years and I laughed again.
My mourning was turned into joy.

 Joy unspeakable.

Breath came back to me.

Heart beats another melody.

Life came back.

Forgiveness bestowed.

Healing ensues.

Stories weave.

We step forward, sometimes we step back or turn. Sometimes we are still… and remember.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: To Love What Is


Book Review: To Love What Is by Alix Kates Shulman

This is a gem of a book. A ruby amongst a sea of garnets.


This memoir gave me hope, gratitude, reassurance and most of all... validation.

It’s a short read, but once you start it, you’ll want to read it slowly, gently, tenderly with care. The truths seeped into my soul and changed me for the better.

I am remiss that after 10 years of marriage, I come across this gem. This should have been read the minute I got married. It should be required reading.





















"Unthreatened by my feminism, in fact turned on by it, he asked for a copy of my syllabus...and week by week he eagerly read my class assignments: Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilynne Robinson, Alice Walker, Alice Munro. He was my most ardent student. Night after night on the telephone our connection tightened as we pursued the meanings of love, sex, money, equality, and now literature too."

"Who is this disconnected person, with this weird mixture of sense and incoherence, as irrational as he is imaginative?"

"Can this injury have transformed his very self, stricken deep into his identity? Or revealed a buried self I never knew?"

"Had Scott not been the sort of man who makes things happen, we might have remained for each other simply romantic memories of idealized youth. Instead, two weeks before 1984 was set to launch, he made the call that changed our destinies."

"For a moment I envy our friends their engagement with the world. But then I recall myself: my world is elsewhere now."

"If this is my burden, there's also a secret reprieve: every impulsive, angry, cruel, or foolish thing I say or do, he'll immediately, mercifully forget."

" 'Amor fati,' he said, is 'not merely to endure necessity, still less to deny it...but to love it.' "

I want to remember this quote as long as I live:

"When I confess to him why I'm crying, he reaches out an arm to comfort me, exactly as he always has. That lifelong atheist,who has always scoffed at the very mention of an afterlife and couldn't care less about what happens to his remains, now pulls out all the stops to console me: 'Don't worry, dearest, I won't leave you. I'll pack your bags and take you with me to heaven. What color wings would you like? Blue wings, white wings, chartreuse wings? Any color you want, and I'll make sure they fit correctly. I've already put some feelers for trumpets, seven, eight, nine, ten trumpets to welcome you when you arrive. I'll offer you my arm and escort you around, show you all the sights. With you on my arm they won't be able to throw me out. They'll say, 'Look at that beautiful woman,' and let us stay.'"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Book Review: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
by Jonathan Evision


So raw and engaging.

I was a bit heartbroken when it ended.

The most unique cast of characters.

Sooo.. SOOOOO FUNNY!!!

Compelling.

Great storytelling.  So many hilarious misadventures.

I'm better person after reading this outstanding piece of literature.

Such talent in writing.




My favorite parts of the book:

"Certainly, I don't belong here. A small part of me -- perhaps the hopeful part or maybe the courageous part -- wants to suggest that we all pile into the Subaru and go buy Slurpees. But then I remind myself that I'm a would-be divorcee, who used to be a father, and most of me wanted to run from this house as though it were burning."

"When Bob pulls out behind me, I see in the rearview mirror that he's neglected to remove the parking ticket from beneath the wiper, where it traces a smudgy trail across the windshield twice before disintegrating, and I begin to understand how Bob's life works: that unpaid ticket will turn into a bench warrant and, eventually, probably even result in Bob's arrest on a minor traffic infraction, inciting the cruel amusement of his estranged son and ex-wife. And poor Bob will never know what hit him." ( This is kind of how I feel about Ben, the main character. )

"Truth be told, I'm only reflecting her glare, shining it back on her in hopes of blinding her to my own weakness. I'm not sure how long I can hold it. We both know she's stronger. We both know that I'm ultimately unreliable, that even my best intentions are suspect, and that in my own way I'm every bit as crippled as her son."

"Sometimes you've got to give until it hurts. It's not easy, and it can be downright thankless..."

“I remember us saying that we liked small houses, that proximity engendered closeness in a family. That nobody should be raised by a nanny or in day care. I remember us saying that time, not money, was the greatest resource. That everything would be all right. That the universe would provide. That belief was a force more powerful than gravity itself.”