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Showing posts from August, 2016

August Blog Challenge - Day 23

List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

Hobbies?  Really?
Go back and read the blog entry where I tell you my daily schedule.
HA!

My hobbies are Job #1, Job #2, Job #3, kids, dogs and laundry.
Doesn't leave time for much else, really.

Why do people have hobbies?  I guess to fill their time and to do something that restores them.  The closest thing I have to that is reading.  I love to read.  I read anything.  Even the shampoo bottle in the shower and the cereal box at breakfast. Reading takes me to another world.  I love to read things that are intriguing and make me curious.  Especially about people, their relationships and motivations.  I like a story with a good psychological twist, something unexpected, something I didn't predict. I tend to like the dark stuff.  I love Stephen King, especially his more esoteric novels where he explores the minds of the characters.  Two other favorites are We Need To Talk About Kevin and Fall On Your Knees.  Both extremely dark.  Bu…

The Next Decade

Today marks 11 years that
Dave has been
gone from our sight.
We are into the second decade
without him.

For Kate, he's been gone for
more years than he was here.
Even for me,
it's past the halfway mark.
Dave was in my life for 20 years.
Now absent for 11.

But not really absent.
Not really gone.
Not really.

His ashes sit on our piano.
Wearing various hats
to go with the seasons.

That's the physical.

We also have the rock,
a symbol,
steady and strong at WaHi.

And pictures.
So many pictures.
That smile.
Glowing, even in two dimensions.

And his voice.
Like velvet.
Singing over the car speakers
on our road trips.

White Lies
And She Was
Heaven
Magic Penny
Melt with You
Every Time You Walk By
Growing Older with You

Those are the tangible things.
The things we can still touch.

It's not enough,
Never enough.

And at the same time,
some days,
it's too much.

There are still days
something will sneak up
and blindside me.

Dusting the piano,
touching the warm wood
of his urn,
tracing th…

August Blog Challenge - Day 22

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

I always wonder why they ask questions like this.  Job interviewers do it to judge whether you'll stay long enough to be worth the effort it takes to train you.  Dates do it to judge whether your goals are in line.  Lovers do it to judge whether you are seeing them in your future.  Parents do it to judge whether they're gonna have to pay your bills or not.  Kids do it to judge whether their home base is still safe.

But I'm not sure there are really answers to these questions.  I subscribe to the old adage, "Man plans. God laughs."

I have had many plans in my life.  Dreams, goals, visions for my future.  I could see them so clearly, planned so carefully, knew what I wanted, what I was working toward.

And then real life settles in.
Or sometimes, rears its ugly head.
And crashes in on you.
And then comes the after...the readjusting, the rebuilding.

Am I avoiding the question?  Perhaps.
Perhaps.

For the firs…

August Blog Challenge - Day 21

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

Duh.

Healing.

Cure heart defects.
Cancer.
Autism.
Diabetes.
ALS.
Heart disease.
Lupus.
MS.

Eradicate hatred.
Racism.
Sexism.
Discrimination.
Violence.
Child abuse.
Rape.

End mental illness.
Depression.
Addiction.
Bipolar Disorder.
Schizophrenia.
Anxiety.
PTSD.

Too easy.
Sure I'd like to fly.
Or be able apparate on the daily.
Or be able to just create money out of thin air.
Or be able to read people's minds.
Or be invisible.

But if I could heal what hurts.
That's what I'd choose.



August Blog Challenge - Day 20

Describe three significant childhood memories.

I don't wanna do this one.  I can't think of anything.  Nothing seems very significant.  Things were happy and fun.  Scenes run through my head.  Nothing I can really write about.  Maybe if I start with some of those...

Memory is a tricky thing.  It is the place where we keep all those moments we never want to lose. And also the ones we can't bear to remember.  We take them out to comfort ourselves.  And to torture ourselves.  Memories can change; they can fade over time.  They can also burn brighter as the years go by.  Kenny's new tattoo says, "Remember who you are."  Yes.  Remember who you are.  Where you came from.  Who loves you.  Remember these things.  Yes.

So the first memory to surface...

My dad, putting on his uniform.  Shiny shoes, big gun, smokey bear hat.  It was daily routine.  But, I remember once, seeing him strap on the bulletproof vest.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Everyone knows that law enfor…

August Blog Challenge - Day 19

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

I like this one. A question full of possibilities.  It lets me dream a little.  Indulge in the geographic cure.  The idea that if I just went somewhere else, all the negative things would melt away.  There's appeal in the idea of a fresh start. Of being able to recreate yourself, your life, in a new place, leaving the baggage behind.  Problem is it never works.  Wherever you go, there you are.  Besides, that's what Mondays are for - a whole new chance to do it differently, a clean slate, a brand new week.

And interestingly enough, this question is not just dreams, not just possibilities for me.  I am at a stage in my life where my children are grown and pretty well self-sufficient.  The house is too big for just Kenny and I to rattle around in.  Over the last few years, I've been intending to sell it and move. What paralyzes me is my zoo and the problems inherent in moving a menagerie of that size.  And a sense of iner…

August Blog Challenge - Day 19

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

I like this one. A question full of possibilities.  It lets me dream a little.  Indulge in the geographic cure.  The idea that if I just went somewhere else, all the negative things would melt away.  There's appeal in the idea of a fresh start. Of being able to recreate yourself, your life, in a new place, leaving the baggage behind.  Problem is it never works.  Wherever you go, there you are.  Besides, that's what Mondays are for - a whole new chance to do it differently, a clean slate, a brand new week.

And interestingly enough, this question is not just dreams, not just possibilities for me.  I am at a stage in my life where my children are grown and pretty well self-sufficient.  The house is too big for just Kenny and I to rattle around in.  Over the last few years, I've been intending to sell it and move. What paralyzes me is my zoo and the problems inherent in moving a menagerie of that size.  And a sense of iner…

August Blog Challenge - Day 18

What is the most difficult thing you've had to forgive?

Okay, if you've been reading along, you know.  This one hits me.
I spent a lot of time thinking about how to write about this one.  It's one of my character defects.

I could write about Doug.  How I had to learn to live with the fact of his suicide.  That I had to somehow become okay with the fact that he died at my son's grave.  That I had to find a way to release the enormous sense of guilt around the way he died alone.  That I had to also try to forgive myself for not being what he needed, where he needed, when he needed.

Kate told me to just write, "I don't.  The end."

But I thought, maybe I need to explore the idea of forgiveness, and maybe, just maybe come to terms with why it's so damn hard for me.

There are lots of types of forgiveness.  Some I'm pretty good at.  Some not so much.

There is day-to-day forgiveness.  It's relationship repair.  When you love someone, this is essent…

August Blog Challenge - Day 17

What is the one thing you wish you were great at?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Singing.

I wish I could sing.  Well, I do sing.  A lot.  Badly.  And the sad part is, I'm not tone-deaf.  So I can tell.  It doesn't stop me.  I still sing my heart out all the time.  I blast the music, dance and sing along. I apologize sincerely if you ever had to hear it.

I love music.  I love it when I find a song that expresses just how I feel.  Or when a song comes on that brings back a memory, vivid, sharp, the moment flooding back.  I love how a song can make you think of a certain person.  A certain time. How music can change your mood.  I love to listen to the radio.  My kids say I have Radio-ADHD because I search through the channels, surfing until I find just the right song. Car rides with me are annoying.  But I love to be surprised by a song.

My life has been full of people who sing.  Dave, Mark, Erik - translating our lives into song, music filling our homes, our lives.  Peter singing a m…

August Blog Challenge - Day 16

What are your five greatest accomplishments?

Getting a bit tired of writing about myself.  Looked ahead and the next challenge days involve that, too.  Bleh.  But I promised I'd do this so....

1.  Supporting Dave in his battle with cancer.
In sickness and in health, I promised.  I didn't really know what that would mean.  Or how hard it would be.  It was a privilege to be with Dave, to be his helpmate, to give him what he needed, to make sure that we had done all we could, and when we had, it was a privilege to walk with him to the end of his life, to let him know he was loved, to care for him, to reassure him, to help him die with dignity, surrounded by love.  I honored my commitment, until death did us part, and I never considered doing anything but.

2.  Raising my kids without Dave.
It's been almost 11 years.  My children are almost all grown.  There were hundreds of times each day that they needed Dave.  And I tried to be there for them, to give them what they needed…

August Blog Challenge - Day 15

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Koda.

I'd like to say I'm like Duke, but I'm not that calm or trusting.



Koda is my German Shepherd.  I'm much more like her.


These are things we have in common:

She's loyal.She's fiercely protective.She loves beyond all reason.She gets VERY attached.She worries.  A lot.She reads my emotions.She loves babies.  Any kind of babies.She's getting old.She's blind as a bat.But in her prime, she was strong, agile and graceful.She doesn't mind hard work, and she's not really sure how to play.She rarely complains.She likes things the way she likes them.  For instance, she wants to be in front of the parade when we all walk downstairs.  She has to be first.  That's how it's always been, so in her mind, that's how it's supposed to be.  Change is not welcome here.She loves baseball boys.She's destructive when she's scared.  She once tore apart a door because she was stuck on the "…

August Blog Challenge - Day 14

Describe 5 strengths you have.


Empathetic - I'm an empathetic badass.  Kate and her friends sometimes post on each other's pictures "feelin' it."  That would be me.  I feel everything. My own emotions and those of others.  I absorb them like some kind of weird sponge.  I feel them deeply and physically.  This is a gift. To me and often to the people in my life.  I resonate with the feelings people have, which allows me to know them beyond the surface.  I look around, and I realize this is rare.  The ability to connect to someone in a deep, meaningful way is often lost in our hurry-up, social media-saturated world.  I'm not afraid of the ugly emotions, of tears, of fear, of anger, of darkness.  This allows me to be present in the moment with someone, to bear witness, to honor what they feel.  To allow them to just be whatever, whoever they are. Insightful - Daryl tells me I'm brilliant.  I don't know about that, but I do seem to have an ability to get t…

August Blog Challenge - Day 13

Name 5 weaknesses you have.

So  is this like the job interview question, where you name a weakness that is really a strength?  Or is this like the fearless and searching moral inventory in AA where you truly list your character flaws? I suppose we are all self-deluded enough that it will be a little of both.


1. Weak-willed.  I lack self-discipline.  I lack follow-through.  I intend to do a lot of really great things and find that I rarely follow up on them.  I plan to do something like exercise or clean house or eat right and then I find a reason not to.  I think I will call that friend or write that note, and then I don't. And I make excuses for it.  Mostly to myself.  I lie to myself very well.

2. Arrogance. I think I'm right.  All the time.  Hell, I'm arrogant enough to think I know better than God.  I'm hard-headed and have difficulty changing my mind or backing down. I give lip service to not knowing things.  But inside my head, I'm pressing my lips into a t…