Dear Jake

Day 1 – Wednesday, October 11, 2017

You died on a crisp Fall evening while I held you in my arms, hoping to ease your suffering onward into the next Life. How the air had a hint of coolness that October evening as the sun melted over the beautiful horizon!

On the way to the vet, our little family drove you by you favorite spots…the Chic-fil-A where we spent many afternoons getting ice cream, and we also took you by the old house you liked so much. I rolled the window down so you’d better see where we were. And as I gazed at you in the rear view mirror while your Brother held you, I saw you smell the air as we drove slowly through the old neighborhood. I felt as if you knew that you were coming home.

In the vet’s office, I smelled your fur and pushed my face into the back of your neck hoping to still the moment for one more breath.

I held you as you passed, and it did not take long. Your beautiful head rested on my arm as I lay you down onto the table. I stroked your body and kissed your face, all the while as your big Brother sobbed big crocodile tears. It pained me so to watch that young man crumble because he just witnessed his childhood companion take his last breath.

I was relieved that you no longer suffered as you had the last two days. Hardest 48 hours of my adult life. You were my best furry friend, best friend I ever had. I’ll miss you everyday until, I too, lay my own head down for the forever nap.

Please do not forget me. I would like to see you find a good water hose to bite at the stream as it runs from the hose. Chase those big dragonflies!! And I would not mind if you stopped in every so often in my dreams. I will think of you every time I go to sleep, reach my hand out across my bed expecting to touch the softest friend as he slumbers beside me in the night.

BEST. DOG. EVER.

RIP my sweet Jake.

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Jake my Boxer and best friend

Stillness

In the stillness of morn, I liken a miracle to a giant Oak tree,
At first glance seemingly still, except for the gentle rustling of leaves by the cool breeze.

But upon closer inspection, the tree comes alive!
I notice the birds dancing and squirrels playing; life living, in and around it’s branches.

May today I see, in the stillness of eternal presence, the miracle of all beings living. Creating a Tree of Life, otherwise invisible to eyes so full of agenda and impatience.

The Farmhouse

Barns

On a visit back to my hometown, I decided it was time to go find the old 2-story farmhouse that I recall many memories from my early years. And since we only lived there a short time, I find it particularly surprising that I have so many memories of this old wooden house on the outskirts of town.

This adventure to find my old house started about 2 years after I got sober. I had entered into another brief stint with my ex, and we had just had another one of our explosive fights. One cold afternoon in November, we argued in his house as we had always done, and instead of turning around and walking away from a situation that I never should have been in, I turned into a bawling 5-year-old again, unable to control my crying. The unfolding of these events came as a shock to me, not because I was immune to inconsolable crying when we fought, but this time was supposed to be different in the fact that I thought that I was “better”. Despite the fact that these events were pretty typical for our arguments, I thought that after so much time and work on my part that I had grown immune to turning into a puddle of tears when we argued. Later that day, when asked by a close friend to identify a moment in time in which I felt the exact same, I pulled a particular memory out of my assortment of hat tricks. Imagine the surprise I felt after realizing the connection, or lack thereof, between my ex-boyfriend and a childhood memory.

The memory itself, painful and scary, was formed when I lived in the old farmhouse. In those days, it was still pretty common to find kids playing in the streets and wondering around the neighborhood unsupervised. It was 1982, a time when the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh had just occurred but had not gotten national attention yet. Those days still had some sanctity of safeness to them, people still left their doors unlocked, and I still ran around the neighborhood at the tender age of 5.

One evening I wondered across the street to find a little girl that I had played with the day before. I meekly knocked on the front door of my neighbor’s house and asked for my friend. Instead of my sweet girlfriend, I found her bully of an older sister. The nice sister was gone. Despite our age gap, the older sister told me she wanted to play airplanes and asked me to stay. Confusion slowly seeped in as she led me into their yard, which was full of clutter and abandoned pieces of equipment. Looking back, I wonder if it was some sort of salvage yard, but that question would go unanswered, at least for the time being. She took me into a very small abandoned airplane that was big enough for the two of us to crawl into and face each other. We had to sit down in order for our heads to not hit the roof; it was cramped and only big enough for small children. She began quizzing me about the previous day. Why had I played with her sister? What had we played? What toys did we play with? The little girl in me could not understand her dishonesty in luring me away from the safety of the house. I felt trapped and overwhelmed. I cried and begged her to stop, “Let me go!” I begged. She forced me to stay and yelled at me and pulled my hair and ears. She said I was not going anywhere until she was done with me. I begged, pleaded, and tears poured from my tender eyes; silently I wondered why no one had started searching for me yet. Did they know I had left; were they mad at me for leaving? Would they know where to look for me?

After what seemed like an eternity to a small child, and for whatever reason, she finally let me go. I immediately ran home and stood on the front porch of the old farmhouse when my mom and sister opened the door. They found a hysterical little girl inconsolable and barely able to describe what had just happened. I sobbed so hard that I could barely get the details out. I cannot recall a time since when I was so elated to see a familiar face, much less my Mother. I began to feel safe again and relieved that I made it back home. I have noticed that young children have problems judging a span of time, and one quick moment can feel as if it lasts for hours.

Other incidents occurred in the rural neighborhood of the old house; we had numerous reasons for a quick departure. For one, I seemed prone to electrocution in and around the house. When I brushed my teeth, the water felt like it had “sparks” inside. Additionally, while spending my days indoors I played on the attic steps looking up into the dark abyss wondering what went on up there beyond the threshold of the doorway. My young curiosity was piqued and apprehension followed and not far behind…pretty much a common theme that carried over into my adult life. After a short time, my mom packed us all up and we moved back to the small trailer that we had just left behind less than a year prior.

Some 35 years later, my sister and I went to find the old farmhouse, and she had remembered exactly how to get there. As we turned onto the dirt road, a child’s stuffed animal lay in the middle of the road, almost as if time had stopped suddenly, and I was 5 again. I was keenly aware that this was the neighborhood we had lived in, but there was no house. We drove up to the spot where we knew the house had been, and after further investigation, we finally found the ruined remains of a structure. The house had burned to the ground and the lot littered with charred remains. Nobody had cared that this house burned; nobody cared to clean it up either. Puzzled, my sister and I got out of our car and walked around the structure. I saw the remains of the old porch that I stood on crying that day long ago. I noticed the smallness of the foundation, which seemed larger than life when I lived there. The most important thing I found was closure and a sort of peace knowing that the farmhouse was gone; this house had been destroyed by fire no less. I’m driven by the notion that, what if fire was the only way this dark part of my life could have been put to rest? I wonder if fire, being the primordial energy that it is, was the only way to release the negativity that seemed to be concentrated in this certain spot. I was no stranger to fire either, and had experienced it at a different time in my life, when my late sister had passed. Her home had also burned to the ground only a week after she died in the hospital.

Killer

I know a vicious Killer who discriminates no more,
It lurks around each corner, see, and hides behind every door.

I tell a dusty stranger I meet to run away and hide,
“The Killer does run rampant tonight…no mercy for the buy.”

Who is this vile imposter and from whence it came alive?
The face I do not recognize; the voice it tells me lies.

Run, run away quick feet; I tell myself, survive!
But Killer always finds me weak; all hope shortcuts aside.

Seek closets, rooms, and corridors. My will to live runs wide.
Need help, self-will surrender please; I take each lash in stride.

I find a distant doorway, see, from there I go inside
Long mirrors line the walls; I find my eyes, they close and cry.

The Killer I do see in here, a clarity about time
The villain looks right at me, and we’re level, eye to eye.

The Killer lives inside of me, so deep inside my mind
Always waiting patiently for hope to tire and die.

To journey through my destiny ignites a fire inside,
Self-will must be surrendered for, it’s key to Killer’s high.

My will does charge a price to pay, in that there’s no deny.
My human purse runs short tonight, on coin I can’t rely.

Last chance for quick surrender soul, in that I’m sure I’ll find.
Escape sweet Killer, leave my mind…my soul release to fly.

To Myself

As part of a recovery program that I work on a daily basis, in the beginning I wrote this amends letter to myself. I am laying myself bare for all those out there to see. Please be kind with comments.

Dear Self,

I am sorry for all the things I’ve done throughout the years that have injured you. I am sorry for the hurtful things I’ve said to you and the way that I have mistreated your body and soul.

I am sorry for all the “not good enoughs”, the “not pretty enoughs”, and the “not skinny enoughs”. I am sorry for all the late nights and empty one night stands. I am sorry for the constant pain inflicted on you because I thought you needed it.

Dear Self, I am sorry for the destructive self-talk, self-loathing, and all the mean things that I have ever said to you because I was so scared that you weren’t enough. I am sorry for the bullying and not trusting that the Universe made a perfect you from the very beginning.

Dear Self I am sorry for the crash diets, constant worrying, excessive fitness and all the physical pain that I put your body through to change it. I’m sorry for the surgeries that I convinced you were required so that you would be loved. What an untruth.

I am sorry for making you cry because I was so disgusted with you, and I’m sorry for the slow death I put you through. I’m sorry for all the days of crazy when all I would have you do is look in the mirror and tell yourself over and over again how much I hated you. Only to drop to your knees and beg again to be relieved from this pain.

Dear Self, I am sorry for not appreciating your talents and your creativity and your humor and your laughter. Why did I want to get rid of all of these devine talents? You were born beautiful and funny and talented. I’m sorry for all the ways I manipulated you into denying your true nature.

I’m mostly sorry for robbing you of your self-worth while making you feel like nobody really loved you and the only solution was cutting yourself off from the world; because I wanted you to believe that if people knew you, if they really knew you inside, they wouldn’t love you at all.

And the fact of the matter is, is that you are lovable and you are perfect inside and you’re pretty enough and smart enough and worthy of all the beautiful things in life that the Universe has in store for you.

You ARE magnificent; you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a very long time. And it is so good to see you again.

Me

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Doubt

When I look back on life’s greatest struggles or deepest moments of strife, I remember how my innocent faith in a universal source always seemed to guide me back towards my path. At the time my belief in God mirrored that of a child, fearful but completely in awe of the sheer magnitude of power this Being exuded, and who seemed to care for me despite a deep sense of unworthiness on my part. Forever hopeful I was, and comfortable in the ignorance of “grown up problems” which, at the time I felt completely helpless in managing.

And though comforting, those memories left me to struggle many years later with my will to succeed coupled with a crippling fear of abandonment. There’s something in me that wonders if, now that I know better, I should somehow be able to manage my future and direct the outcomes by smart thinking and logical choices. Consequently, I abandoned the belief that God’s Will still directed my life.

It is in these moments that I must remember that these new struggles somehow coexist within an ocean of wisdom in knowing that, (1) I have a choice to make the right decision for me, but (2) still lean on the silent direction of the universe, and (3) know that it never stops nudging me toward a brighter future.

When new obstacles arrive, a part of me feels more terrified partly due to newfound knowledge; but I am reminded that my task is now to aid the creation of my reality, not with knowledge alone but with prudent choices supplemented by faith in an unseen force that permits wisdom, which I have accumulated throughout the years, to materialize into my heaven on earth.

For this is not the time that I am abandoned; as the poem Footprints in the Sand echoes, “…it was then that I carried you…”. I am reminded daily that, though I have experience, I am not forgotten, and while I am a stronger, I still need the help only found in thoughtful prayer and quiet meditation. I realize that I’m still cared for and guided regardless of how much I think I know.

I’m still worth fighting for, and that invisible force, which has always been present and loving, fills me with the strength to constantly seek the brighter future that, in my soul, I know I am capable of.

I Found A BlO(o)ger While Putting On My Make-Up

IMG_3587Do you ever want to ask the question, when is enough, enough? Where do you draw the line in the sand in the rough landscape of dating? Where is that line, and when is enough? I ask myself that question every single time when I have broken up with yet another boyfriend. And while dressing myself up with make-up (after over a week of fighting poison ivy on my face) I began to ponder those questions, internally of course.

That over-demonstrative internal dialogue that makes me think quite honestly, and in these times especially, that I could very well have multiple personalities. On a sidenote, in the shower and while putting on make-up are times when I have these philosophical debates with myself.  However, with all mental health kidding aside, I still come back to the original question, when do I stop jumping on this joyride called a love affair?

I guess it would only be fair for me to start from the beginning, or better yet, at the onset of the romance. And in this phase, I never think about how it will be when it doesn’t work out. Repeatedly, history has shown me that my timeline of relationships do not have what I consider, longevity.  One would think with my history, that would be the first question I would consider when entering into another commitment. But not me, I jump in, with what seems like both feet. I never once consider the latter.

This realization surprised me today, and as usual, I was in the middle of some deep soul searching. In other words, I was putting on my make-up. While doing so, I was somewhat shocked when I realized that I never consider those relationships, at least in the beginning, NOT working out. And then I wondered, why has it never “worked out”? I use quotes here for those of you who have different standards / ideas of what constitutes “working out”. Another side note – for those of you out there that are hopelessly romantic, I see you jumping up and down beaming with joy that there is “still another one of us out there!”. I don’t suppose that I’ve ever considered myself a hopeless romantic. Maybe THAT should be subject for another blog-dejur, but that will be another day, no doubt.

So here I am, just getting out of a relationship, and I am already talking to an ex-boyfriend of mine which seems to help comfort my very heavy heart right now. And although I have done everything in my power to reassure him that I am in no position to start dating again, I so enjoy his affections towards me. I feel as if there is something within me that lies and says that this will be different than all the other times. I will somehow avoid the pain of another broken relationship; when in reality, history would tell me otherwise. Honestly, that thought right there is what stopped me in my tracks today while putting on my make-up.

Why do I keep putting myself here in this place? Why do I dwell in this uncertain landscape of relationship battleground, and how long can I keep this up?
What is it within me that blindly purses another relationship, and how after all this time do I feel so naïve?

All good questions, you might say. All good stuff to mull over in my new-found free time these days. Ha. Ha. I guess when I come to understand the dynamics behind my relentless pursuit of relationship utopia, that will become the subject of my next BlO(o)ger Of The Day. Until then, I wish you much joy,  lots of learning, and happy day-dreaming for all you out there.

First Day

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

The first day of a blog seems very much like the first day of school, to me anyway. I’m just a little bit anxious and little bit excited to see what lies ahead.

Just a little bit about me and my blog…I’m a writer at heart with a need to share. I hope that whomever happens by this page gets what they need or at the very least, a little giggle. Thanks for visiting my page!