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I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a ruthlessness,
a fearless and relentless digging.

And your truth...well, my truth.
That speaks to me.
The things that I've held as true,
some of these beliefs for years,
are under scrutiny now.

It's been a rapid change.
A change in me.
An opening of sorts.
Open to possibilities I didn't see before.

For instance, only two months ago,
I wrote about Walla Walla,
and why I needed to stay there.

Under interrogation,
that truth crumbles,
and I see that it's no longer true.

My reasons for staying
were once valid, but I've held them
for far too long.
Out of fear.
Unable to see.

Do you know about learned helplessness?
The cruel experiments where they put an animal
in a box
and shock it mercilessly.
The animal cannot get away
and eventually stops trying,
just enduring the shocks.

And then they open the box.

And do you know?
Do you know?

The animal stays.
Stays in the box.

Even with the door open,
it stays.

That's me.

Once upon a time,
the box was closed,
or real.

But it no longer is.

I'm not sure how long
I've been in a box
that only exists in my mind.

Part of that was helplessness.
Part of that was fear.
And part was simply an inability
to see.

The last year has been a time of
gradual awakening for me.

And the last two months
have been about taking action.
Interrogating my truth.
Determining what is really true.
What nurtures me,
what helps me grow.

And in turn,
what holds me back,
clearing clutter,
removing things that are in my way,
that keep me from breathing.

It's energizing
and exciting.
The world is new.
I am new.

But it's also sad.
It means leaving behind many things.
Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful, too.

I've written many times about the changing of seasons here.
How summer's sweltering heat waves are gone in a day
and the crisp nip of fall is suddenly in the air.

All in a day.

Each season has a purpose.
And it's supposed to change.
It's meant to leave.

And like so many times before,
I'm here
finding ways to let go of what was
and embrace the possibilities ahead,
with arms that bear a physical mark,
and a heart that remembers,
but no longer carries the weight.


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August Blog Challenge - Day 9

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

Okay, on this blog you've read a lot about my mom and dad.  And Dave, Doug and Kyle.  And Kenny, Zach, Kaitlyn and Kailee.  These people are my family.  Everything I do, I do for them.  It would be impossible for me to adequately describe their influence on me.  And I've talked about them a lot.  So I'm just going to say a word about each of them and what they've taught me - and then I'll go into 10 people outside that circle.

Mom taught me to think of others.  Dad taught me to work hard.  Dave taught me to love unconditionally and out loud.  Doug taught me to never give up and to enjoy each moment.  Kyle taught me to be a mother.  Kenny taught me to embrace the life you have and to laugh.  Zach taught me to think things through and go 100%. Kaitlyn taught me about honesty and that there is always sunshine, even when you can't see it.  Kailee taught me new aspects of faith and faithfulness.

1. Denise - De…


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…