Raining outside my bubble

I’ve been living in a comfy bubble for the past 8 months. It was soft and sweet and comforted me. I crafted this bubble out of people and activities that nourish my soul. It’s worked pretty well for me. I’ve been happy. I’ve grown from a compact seed to a blooming flower in there. It’s like a perfect greenhouse…plenty of sunlight and water and full-time gardeners to tend to my flowers and pull my weeds with me. I’ve become empowered and bold inside this nifty garden bubble of mine. I healed inside this bubble.

The thing is, bubbles are fragile. Everyone knows that. As soon as it comes in contact with something sharp, it pops. So, what on Earth made me think I could get away with living in one? My cozy little bubble popped this week. Just like that. It came in contact with something very jagged that I had tried to keep way out in the periphery.  You think I would’ve seen this jagged thing coming, seeing how bubbles are transparent. Was I too busy having a good time with my gardeners? I wonder if maybe I did know it was coming, but just looked the other way…wishing it away.  Pretending it wouldn’t find its way in…

So, my bubble popped and the sunshine went away. Easy as that. And, the sun was replaced with a dark cloud, right over my head. A cloud that rained down on me. All of a sudden, there were weeds growing everywhere. My gardeners tried to keep up with them, but I shooed them away. I hated those weeds and knew no one really wanted to be around them.  I found myself standing there alone, in a pile of weeds, in the rain…missing my garden.

So, I did what any other recently healed woman would do in this situation. I cried. A lot. And I sat under that storm cloud all week and just let it rain all over me. It got to the point where I couldn’t figure out where the rain ended and my tears started. They just blended into one giant flood of emotions… anger, sadness, worthlessness, blame, shame, insecurity…I waded around in that flood and then just floated in it, letting it soak in to my core. This wasn’t my first rodeo in this kind of emotional flood. I think back to my good friend, Mary, telling me last summer, as I was bitter about this same exact subject…”Sometimes, you’ve just got to sit in your shit”. I didn’t really understand what she meant at the time, but I figured it out. Sometimes, life just sucks. Period. You can do all the motivational, inspiring speaking you want on the subject, but it still sucks. And sometimes, you just need to honor your emotions, without blaming or judging yourself for having them. Just sit in your shit for a while. Let the rain soak you to the bone.  Feel your feelings. Eventually, the sun starts shining again, even if just a peek…and you slowly start to dry off…

So now, I just have to figure out life outside the bubble…

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 24/17

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

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Soul Signs

I believe in the Universe giving signs.  I used to be a skeptic, but after the year I’ve had, there’s just no doubt. I was sort of bombarded with them as I started processing my life and was kind of in awe of them. I wonder if they’ve been here all along and I just never noticed them. You can spend an entire lifetime being asleep and not realizing it. Once you start to wake up, you notice things.

The tricky thing about signs is, you can never be sure if they are a good sign or a bad sign, or what exactly the sign is telling you to do. It’s too bad they aren’t like road signs, with the information clearly stated in legible writing, telling you exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and which direction to turn… but it just doesn’t work that way. My signs come in forms like hawks, deer, synchronicity, “coincidences” …and it’s up to me to figure out which direction they’re pointing me in.  It’s also up to me to figure out if they’re even a sign at all.  Like, what if that really is just a plain old hawk and I made a life decision based on it flying over my car?? Well, really…I don’t make life decisions based on signs. It’s more like they give me clarity by making me pause… and help me step back and take a look at what’s really going on in my life, at what’s going on in my soul. It seems like I always already have the answer within me and just need to see it.  And once I’m able to see the answer I’ve had inside me all this time, I realize I never really needed that sign, after all. The answer becomes a knowing.

I think we all have the answers we seek, right inside our souls. Maybe it’s just that we are resistant to seeing them because seeing the path we need to take is not always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes, the only way out of our pain is by walking directly through our pain, and its human nature to want to avoid walking directly into pain, isn’t it?  If you came across a road sign that said, “Turn left for pain”, would you turn left? Hell no! But, if you noticed a deer in your back yard, or met a sweet old woman who happened to collect hawk feathers on the same day your father met her….or even something more subtle, like finding a lost poem… you might find yourself taking that left turn, after all.

 

 

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 17/17

 

 

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Admitting vulnerability

Sometimes, admitting something can be the hardest thing you ever have to do.  Like on Dateline NBC, there’s always this regular, normal husband who ends up hiring someone to murder his wife because he’s afraid she’ll find out about him cheating on her or being a gambling addict or he lost his job. The guy actually thinks KILLING someone is easier than admitting to whatever crappy thing he’s done.  Damn, that shows you just how powerful shame can be. Except those guys don’t get it, because really, the way to rid yourself of shame is by doing the opposite…not silencing it, but outing it.

I’ve spent the past year outing all of my shame, and let me tell you…it’s NOT easy! I can’t say I’d rather kill someone instead, but there were definitely plenty of other things I would rather have been doing. I didn’t do them, though. I’m pretty sure sharing my shame was the most difficult, yet most freeing and empowering thing I’ve ever done.  Once you admit something, out loud…something that’s been eating away at your soul even though you’ve been ignoring the shit out of it…it doesn’t own you anymore. No one can shame you for something you OWN, you know? I kept saying, “No one can be harsher than my own inner critic, so BRING IT ON!”

I’ve poured the contents of my soul all over this blog, shared them with family, friends and strangers…and I’m talking HEAVY stuff.  I figured go big or go home.  It’s funny, though…now that I’m moving into new territories in my life, I’m finding I still have things inside me that are hard to admit to. And I’m realizing it’s not because they are shame based. It’s because I feel vulnerable. Being vulnerable is scary. It’s so scary, I don’t even want to admit to the vulnerability. That “pink cloud” effect of last year’s epic sharing has started to wear off. I don’t feel so much like Wonder Woman anymore. I feel like a regular woman, whatever that is…

 

 

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday

 

 

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Whether family or strangers

My stepfather’s memorial service was today. Not many in attendance, as we expected. He kind of kept to himself and never made any friends around here. My mom was enough for him. Hell, even I didn’t really get to know him until he was dying. Once I did, I regretted not getting to know him in that intimate way earlier. I had so much time to do it,  but I just didn’t. I spent the past few weeks getting things together for the service. I collected photos to make a slide show, I gathered stories from his life to include in the obituary, and I went through his military records, hoping to find something to frame and put up in the church. Boy, did I find some things! Letter after letter of recognition from Colonels and Commanders, detailing his outstanding work ethic. Multiple medals and certificates…all kept neatly organized, tucked away in an unassuming black messenger bag in his desk, never to be spoken of. I can’t believe I’ve known this guy for over 20 years and never knew these things about him. I wish I had paid attention. I feel the same way about not recognizing the love he and my mom shared, when it was right in front of my face all these years.

I had a patient the other day….this old guy who’s starting to decline in his health status, basically just due to old age. Such a sweetheart. Last week, he told me the story of how he met his wife, talking about them going to different states to finish school and still stayed in love, got married and he went off to war. I saw him again a few days ago, and as I was leaving, he started to tell me the same story. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’d already told me, but I did have 5 other patients to see, so I inched towards the door as he spoke. I realized something familiar about his story. It reminded me of my grandmother, and how she used to repeat the same story, over and over and over, as she neared the end of her life. It was of how she met my grandfather and the story of them getting married. This guy was telling me the same thing. He needed someone to hear it, I think, so the story would be remembered. That’s important information, you know. So, I inched back towards him and listened to the rest, smiling at the love in his face as he recalled his sweetheart. It came time go again, and I happened to notice a unique cane by his door. It had an American Bald Eagle carved into the handle, and his name down the shaft, along with the dates of World War Two and his Air Force picture embossed on it. Damn, this guy is a WWII vet and I didn’t even know it. These guys are almost gone. I’m so lucky to be able to come across them at work, because it won’t be long before there are none left to tell us stories. He talked about the different bombers he flew, and where he went. He could have talked all day,  and I could have listened, but I did have to go. I told him my stepfather was a Vietnam Vet in the Air Force and he nodded at me. Sometimes, you don’t need words.

I’ve been thinking about him every day since…especially today. The Air Force Honor Guard folded the flag and played Taps at the service. I sat next to my mom as they presented the flag to her. She cried and trembled the whole time. God, she loved that man so much. Just like my patient loved his wife, and my grandmother loved my grandfather. My mom has been telling us the story of how she fell in love with him a lot lately.  These love stories are everywhere, and I just never noticed them. I didn’t get it. I think it might be because I truly didn’t think love like that was real, because it’s just so foreign to me. I can appreciate them now. I hold them close, whether they are told by family or strangers. I can finally feel them…

 

 

This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s stream of social consciousness Saturday.

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I can almost smell her

My grandmother loved me. I mean, she really loved me.  She filled the spaces and cracks in my soul that I didn’t even know existed. Her love and nurturing was the only thing that erased the sting of not having a mother around to fulfill those innate childhood needs. A child needs to be held and stroked and craves feeling loved. They don’t even realize that’s what it is they’re craving. It’s just a painful thing inside them, when it’s not there.  So, when you have that painful thing inside you for a while, and someone eases it for a bit, you hold on tight. Forever.

I can remember feeling anxious as my grandmother got older. Once she hit her 80’s, I knew it could be any day that I would receive the news that she was gone. I couldn’t imagine not having that feeling anymore. Even as a young adult, no one else had given it to me…at least, not in a way I could allow myself to feel it. So, I was mindful around her. I purposefully listened to every word she said, even as she started repeating her stories. I knew there would be a time when I wouldn’t hear her voice again, so I listened intently. I especially loved the one she told about my grandfather asking her to marry him. She told it every single time I went over, during those last few years. That was one story she was not going to forget. Her face glowed, as she stared off at the memory.  As she spoke, I would stare at her, looking in those soft eyes of hers. I noticed her scent. She used the same laundry detergent my entire life and just the smell of it soothed me. I would hold her hand, rubbing my fingers over hers, memorizing every bump, every wrinkle…turning her wedding ring around her ever shrinking finger. God, she got so small as she aged. Everything about her got smaller…her stories, her memory, her voice, her mind, her body…but not her love.  She may had forgotten how to cook her homemade cookies, or how to sign her name, but she never forgot how much she loved me.

She’s been gone for over 16 years. I turn her wedding ring on my own finger now, and remember every detail of that story she used to tell. I can almost hear her voice. I can almost feel her skin. I can almost smell her. And once in a while, if I’m really lucky, I get to experience her in all those senses for real, when she visits me in my dreams. Until that happens again, I’ll have to settle for almost… but I’m still holding on tight.

 

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Obituary writing

Who knew writing an obituary could be so difficult? I spent over a week agonizing over it, ignoring it, postponing it. I had written his daughter (from a previous marriage) and gotten some memories/thoughts from her to include. I had his work history, his military history, his family history. I knew the story of him meeting my mom. Part of me thought I should just write your typical, generic life story…his job, his family, when he was born and when he died…and call it a day. Just a small part of me thought that, though. The rest of me knew he needed something more. Actually, I think everyone needs something more. The problem is, I only write one way. My style is my style. If I try to change it, it reads fake. My voice is all I have. So, I was nervous that my writing style might not be appropriate for such serious subject matter.  The thing is, my stepfather wasn’t all that serious. Sure, to the novice eye, he probably came across as a silent curmudgeon, but to those lucky enough to glimpse the real person…well, all they needed was one of his dry, witty comments to get it.  He just wasn’t typical and generic.

So, I asked my mom. And my sister. And I asked so hesitantly, almost like I was worried they might judge me for how I wanted to write it. God, I can’t believe how insecure I was about writing this damn thing! Anyway, they thought it sounded perfect, and my mom’s smile was all I needed….

Larry Allen Hobgood, of South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, passed away at home on May 10, 2017, after a lengthy and determined battle with cancer. He had beat it two out of three times, so his self-description of being “tough as nails” is fitting and worthy.

Larry was born on March 10, 1939, in Evansville, Indiana to Morton and Frances Hobgood. He was predeceased by his parents, his loving first wife Barbara, his son Larry Jr, his daughter Christine, his sister Charlotte, and his grandson Michael. He is surely enjoying being surrounded by that much love on the other side.  He is survived by his adoring and devoted wife, Gwendolyn; his loving daughter Barbara, her husband, Brad and grandson James; his loving brother, Douglas and his loving uncle, Billy. His quick wit and sense of humor will be missed by his step children, Jami Carder, John and Allison Viola, Cathy and Stephen Taylor, as well as their children Jason, Jessica, Rachael, Rebecca, Jack, Eric and especially Justin.

As a child, Larry was known for loving the outdoors…swimming, camping, flying kites and especially fostering strays. A natural musician, he learned to play the guitar by ear, mastering both 6 and 12 string acoustic. He dreamed of owning an airplane and spent many hours building and flying model planes. He enjoyed playing cards and checkers, but rumor has it that he was terrible at chess. However, he did find his niche in the sport of golf, winning several tournaments, trophies and awards. Who cares about chess, anyway?

Following his childhood love of airplanes, Larry joined the United States Air Force in 1956, rising to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He served in the Vietnam War, receiving multiple letters of recognition for his outstanding work ethic.  He was honorably discharged in March, 1976…a full 20 years of devoted service to our nation. There is no doubt about it… Larry Allen Hobgood loved the United States of America.

After his military career, Larry settled down in Racine, WI with his wife Barbara, and raised his family. He worked at Krones, Inc. for many years, as well as the city of Racine, until his retirement. He was an extremely loving and devoted caregiver to his wife Barbara, right up until her passing. He understood empathy. His daughter describes him as an observer of life, having a philosophical internalism with an externalism approach. Not an easy thing to figure out about someone, so when his daughter Barbara was finally able to, it brought them a deeper connection… one that surely is of comfort to her now.

After his wife’s passing, Larry happened to stumble across Gwen via a mutual friend who shared email addresses between them. Larry was instantly smitten with the online stories of Gwen’s tenacity for performing home improvement projects. One thing led to another, and before long, Gwen was visiting Wisconsin to meet Larry in person.  Just a few months later, Larry married Gwen, right in her Tulsa backyard… paying no mind to having to wear the casual denim jeans and checkered shirt he’d been in for two days, due to the airline losing his luggage. And thus began a union of love, laughter and many trips to Home Depot. Larry was happy to live in the world of never-ending projects. When Gwen needed a tool, he’d go out and buy her two…one for each floor of the house, just to save her trips up and down the stairs. That’s true love, right there.

In 2009, Larry felt it was time for Gwen to return to Massachusetts to be near her family. He selflessly sold almost everything and moved to Cape Cod, where he became semi-famous for his pulled pork, gourmet breakfasts and other culinary specialties. Unfortunately, his initial cancer diagnosis occurred shortly after his arrival to the east coast, and prohibited Larry from enjoying all the fishing he had planned to do. However, that initial cancer did not realize it had chosen someone as “tough as nails” to reside in, and Larry showed it who’s boss. He did not want to quit anything. Referred to by one of his physicians as “a pleasant challenge”, he fought right up to the end, 7 long years, and did not leave this Earth until he was damn good and ready. His mission in life was to make sure Gwen, his “Tiger”, was happy. Well, Larry Allen Hobgood…mission accomplished.

Our family would like to thank all of Larry’s medical team members, without whom the last seven years of Larry’s subtle sarcasm and dry sense of humor would not have been experienced. We would also like to extend heartfelt gratitude for his caregivers over the last two months, with a special thank you to Cindy Mancini, RN of VNA Hospice and Palliative Care of Cape Cod, for being a shining example of what hospice nursing is all about.

A memorial service will be held to honor the memory of this one of a kind soul on Saturday, June 3rd at 11am at Cape Cod Covenant Church, 11 Satucket Road, Brewster, MA.

 

 

 

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Self Care…It’s All or Nothing

It’s all or nothing. That’s how things seem to be going around here. Just two months ago, I had nothing to write about. I had a lot of time on my hands. Things were peaceful in my soul. Then, life happened. My stepfather died last week. Yesterday, I found my mom on the floor of her living room. After spending the day in the ER, I took her home with me, nursing her vertigo and nausea. Caregiver stress is real, people. Be careful. My dryer vent must be clogged, because it smells like burned rubber when it’s running. I’m sure I can take the vent apart and clean it, but just haven’t had the time or energy, between caring for my mom and driving the boys around. I finally wrote my stepfather’s obituary last night, and ordered his funeral cards this evening. I’ve made his funeral arrangements. I need new tires on my car, but have to work all week, so not sure when I’m going to get them put on. I’m tired.

Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, believe it or not…it isn’t. My soul is still at peace. How? I can’t say for sure, but I’d like to think it’s from my “practice”.  I’ve been committed to my mediation practice, to therapy, to eating healthier, to Reiki, to enjoying purposeful interactions with my loving and nurturing friends, to learning how to play my drums, to prayer… all the things I do to nurture and love myself. My yoga teacher always tells us we can’t keep pouring water out for everyone else in our lives if we don’t refill the pitcher… meaning, if you give all your love and energy away, it will run out. So, I do these things to fill my pitcher up. This allowed me to care for my stepfather, to care for my mother, to care for my children, to care for my patients…because I care for myself right along with them. I fully commit to my practice, because I want to be the best caregiver I can for those I love. I don’t want to care for them just a little bit, so I don’t let me care for myself just a little bit. Self care… it’s all or nothing. It doesn’t fix everything, but it fixes enough. Give it a try… a peaceful soul is definitely as good as it sounds…

 

 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 20/17

 

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Writer’s Block

I have my first case of writer’s block. I’m pretty sure it’s because this is the first writing I’ve ever felt I had to do. My posts on here all flow out of me naturally. I witness significant things and want to share them. There’s no pressure. It’s easy.

I have to write my stepfather’s obituary. I offered to. It made sense, at the time, because I’m “the writer”. I thought it would be a piece of cake, just like all my essays on here. It’s not. I’m holding back from even starting, and I can’t figure out why.

I gathered information and personal details from his daughter and my mom.  Turns out, a lot of his life wasn’t filled with happiness. I have to figure out how to omit those things without feeling like I’m falsifying his life. I’ve never written fiction before, and don’t want to start now, with this. I also don’t want to minimize anything about this man, his life, his feelings…or his memory. I’m nervous I might tarnish it if I put too much in, yet also worried about not sharing enough to let the world know how great he was.  I witnessed some pretty significant things during my time caring for this man, so this is an important job.

I can see the obituary floating around, in various pieces, in my mind. I know if I just start writing things down, it will probably start to form on its own. So…why can’t I start?

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Versatile Blogger Award

I started this blog on a whim last October, not having a clue as to what was in store for me. Little did I know, I would end up making amazing, real connections on here. I found a new tribe, and though we only know each other through our writings, I often feel these relationships are more substantial and real than some of my face to face ones.

One of these connections is RhapsodyBoheme. I think I came across her when I searched for the tag, “Spiritual Awakening”, and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for an example of someone who has found a connection to the universe, and shares it in a beautifully descriptive way, check her out here. Thanks for nominating me, my friend…

 

What is the Versatile Blogger Award?

It is a way for bloggers to nominate other bloggers who they believe deserve recognition for their high-quality standard of writing, the uniqueness of content, passion, and love displayed throughout the site and to top it off, amazing photos! It is a way to  introduce newcomers, welcoming and showing our support in their new endeavor of finding their voice and audience. We share the same passion on how we got started and in the end the reason remains similar, as we all have something to say and to contribute.

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.

2. Nominate up to 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.

3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Turns out, I was also nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by my new friend, LittleBirdFlies . You can check her super supportive and helpful page out here.  We are new friends on here, but I can tell we have a journey between us. We both have similar things to process and both do said processing with God….along with amazing connections to birds and nature. God IS the universe! Thank you so much for nominating me.

Both awards have the same criteria for participating, so if I nominated you, pick which one you want to use. If you even want to use one. No pressure at all to participate, I just wanted to share a few of the connections that have helped me along the way. I really could have listed about 30 of them….

So here we go and here is my list….

1.  I am 45 years old and just started drum lessons. I bought a used set 2 summers ago, and hid it in my mother’s basement because I thought my husband would make fun of me. He’s gone now, and the drums are in his room:)

2. I bought a boat last year and learned how to trailer it, back it down a ramp, drive it and anchor it…solo. One of the most empowering things I’ve done.

3. I’ve never had a cup of coffee.

4.  I enjoy picking up litter.

5. I wake up exhausted every single day, yet can NOT for the life of me go to bed early. I must struggle to stay up until my eyes can’t stay open anymore…and each morning, I swear “I’m going to bed early tonight”. Nope. Liar.

6. My intuition is on FIRE lately. Not anything I can choose to predict, but random knowings occurring on their own. Weird, but kind of cool. It started with synchronicity and evolved into whatever it is “this” is. All part of my spiritual awakening. Amazing:)

7.  I never thought I would have kids. I always wanted them, even from when I was a child, I knew I wanted them badly. I just never thought there would ever be anyone who would love me in order to get them. I didn’t feel it was something I deserved. Not because I had done anything bad, but just an inherent sense of “other people get those things, not me”.  I sometimes feel like I pulled a fast one on the Universe, by having these two amazing boys. It must have been distracted by something else. I’ll never lose the gratefulness I have for that happening. I seriously still look at them and think, “I’m not even supposed to have these boys” and feel so freaking lucky.

Here are my nominees:

There is no particular order here and it is impossible to mention everybody. My goal was to shed some light onto a few newcomers and people who continue to amaze me with their talent. But I also wanted to include a few who need our support and who face such tough adversity we can’t even begin to imagine. And if I didn’t mention you, please don’t think that I have forgotten you. You know you rock and I think the world of you. Love to everybody and remember that there is no obligation to participate here. Just know that you are thought of very highly and you deserve recognition. (I stole this paragraph from RhapsodyBoeheme. Sorry)

Linda       for inspiring me to write each week, and for demonstrating things I want to see in myself, as I slowly realize my aspirations for being a writer. You are quite a talent and I’m grateful to have crossed paths on here with you.

Susan      for being my first cheerleader on here. Check her out for some great insight on connections to the universe.

Bethany     for being my long lost twin, who really gets me. Check her out for some raw, honest, powerful essays on dealing with almost all the same issues I have to deal with.

Grace       who also gets me, for the same reasons listed above. It’s a shame any of us have to deal with these things, but I’m grateful to know I’m not alone.

Deborah     who writes the most honest, real thoughts about herself, situations and life. She truly understands the power of therapeutic writing and I’ve so enjoyed watching her grow.

Lesley    who inspires in such a pure way.

 

Enjoy and have fun with this…..

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Channeling intimacy

I’ve spent the past two months helping my mom take care of her dying husband. Being a nurse, it wasn’t hard. I’ve done it a hundred times. I kept him comfortable…keeping his lips moist, re-positioning him, administering medications, talking, listening…and getting to know him.  You can’t help but bond with someone during this process. It’s intimate.

The other day, as I was brushing his hair, I thought of a dear, old friend of mine. We have a lot of parallels in our lives. The details are different, but similar themes. We both were sexually abused as children by family members, and we both ended up telling our families, once we got older. She told hers a long time ago. I told mine last summer. I can remember talking to her when I was thinking about telling.  Well, I honestly wasn’t just thinking about telling. I knew I was going to tell, and was just figuring out how to get up the courage to do so. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s almost like the universe had its own plans for my journey, and I just had to figure out how to let it all unfold. Anyway, she filled me in on the fallout she endured after telling her family. She wasn’t trying to talk me out of it, but wanted me to know of all the possibilities. Telling her story resulted in a divide in her family. It sounds crazy, but really…many families just can not handle hearing this kind of thing, and end up putting it back on the victim, as they don’t have the tools to deal with such subject matter. That’s what happened to my friend. So, when the time came for her father to near the end of his journey, she was basically excluded. God, it was so sad to hear her tell this story. My heart ached for her, and I felt uncomfortable imagining it happening to me. Yet still…I told. I told because even though she felt pain from the backlash, she was free of her story. I won’t explain it more than that, because if you haven’t been there, you just won’t get it.  There’s always a price for freedom.

At first, my family was extremely supportive. Well, most of my family. You see, I too have people in my life who just don’t have the tools required to process this heavy information. I get it. Hell, even I didn’t have the tools up until last year. It’s some heavy shit. Anyway, as time passed, and I finally started caring about myself and not letting the people in my life who cause me pain be involved with me anymore, the shift started. Because, some of those people just happen to be my family members.  And just like my dear, old friend… I felt the distance start to grow between me and my dad.  I can’t say it’s intentional. I think it’s just a byproduct of familial abuse, unfortunately.  He loves me, but his tool box is empty. I think in order for him to truly process this story, he would crumble. As my dad, he was supposed to be my protector. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to find out this kind of thing happened to your daughter in your own home.  Don’t get me wrong…just because I get it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

So, as I’m nurturing my stepfather, I’m thinking of my friend and her father, and then of me and my father. Our stories run back and forth through my mind, intertwined,  as I wipe his face and rub lotion on his lips. I think of her, wishing she could have done this for her father, and I start doing it for her.  I picture her running the comb though her father’s hair as he lies in bed, talking softly and smiling…enjoying the last intimate moments together. I turned into her, and my stepfather into her father. Then I think of me, and how I’ll most likely be right where my friend was,  and I looked down and saw my own dad.  I channeled all of us as I cared for him…all three men blending in and out of my dreams and wishes. It was sad, yet beautiful. I let my mind run with the imagination and for a few moments, it seemed real. I truly felt as though I was caring for my own dad, and that came as a comfort to me, knowing that this may very well be as close as I ever get to actually doing that.

My stepfather died last night. I was right with him as he took his last breath, and I cried. I cried for him. I cried for my mom. I cried for my friend and for her dad, and I cried for me and my dad. I mourned the loss of my dad, just in case I’m not there to do it when the time comes… and it felt real, I think. It hurt. I wondered if I would choose to tell, had I the chance for a do-over. Would it be worth it to not risk losing him? The pain I felt mourning a father who is still here was palpable, but yes.. I know things would go the same way in my do-over. Like I said, the universe has its plan and it’s my job to let it unfold. Plus, I have to keep reminding myself…it hasn’t finished unfolding yet…

 

 

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How I escaped from my cocoon while running a business and raising two kids without completely losing my mind

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