The Witches of Kleinfeltersville…….

I can remember many Halloweens….of fun, laughter and eating myself sick.  I would actually hoard my own candy, and steal from my brother and sister.  Horrifying…this I know-but I only took Reece’s Cups, Mounds Bars, and Hershey’s bars, with almonds.  I was a very picayune thief.  I also remember the fated day that my mother caught on….

“Why do you have an entire bag of candy left when your brother and sister are finished with theirs?”

Mocking indignation, I vowed to never again GET CAUGHT…..and thus began my career of hoarding-a practice I disavowed a few years ago.  My theory?  I was the oldest child, and I was also a lousy sharer.  As the years went by, my poor husband was subject to every kind of torment-you couldn’t open a cupboard, not if you didn’t want approximately 3,456 bottles of salad dressing in your face, that is.  Recently, due to an amazing God and a fab husband, we have risen above the poverty line.  I find the more money we have, the less I want to spend.  And quite frankly, I look back fondly on the many memories of struggling…..our needs were met, due to kind friends, our church family, and lastly  but certainly not least, Abba.  Name above all names.  Insurance rebates would turn up when we thought we couldn’t meet the mortgage payment, my dear friend Dot provided three trash bags FULL of food, hiking materials and Christmas decorations last year, and I cried like a child when she left-oh how much that meant to me!

This year, you don’t have to go to the theatres to have the life force frightened out of you.  All you need to do is go on the internet, and google Hollyweird.  Troubling to say the least, and I personally think Kevin Spacey should have his balls handed to him on a silver platter.  Cloning, satanic rituals, pedophilia-you name it, they are doing it out in LA.  Mr. Spacey was my favorite actor…..until two days ago.  Not only did he admit to a horrific attempted rape of a minor, but he used this platform to come out of the closet-thereby throwing the entire LGBT community under the bus.  This pisses me off for so many reasons.  My closest friends include many from that group, and they have it hard enough-they have been unfairly connected with sexual crimes of every nature; just because of their sexual orientation.: Boy Scouts, pastors, the military-I am not judging nor condoning-I simply believe we are all sinners, and I am certain that 99.9% of this population was born this way.  They are among the most ridiculed, hated and misunderstood people on this planet.  I don’t use my blogs for political platforms, but I truly needed to get this off of my chest.

Back to the witches of Kleinfeltersville.  I have convinced myself that more than one woman in this town has practiced witchcraft at my expense.  I choose my battles, but I have more than one enemy in a town of 40, count ’em, 40 people.  Which brings me to my point:  the religious fanatics are making vlogs these days about what they presume to be the final days.  Halloween?  They say if your church has a Trunk or Treat show they are courting demons and doing it on purpose.  Christmas is a pagan holiday, as is Easter.

I am so sick and tired of these scary monsters………but I was not put here on this earth to judge.  I try to refrain from it at all costs, but let’s just say I call a spade a spade.  I’m too busy trying to watch my own sinning-by the way, and, at the moment?  Carving a jack o’ lantern to take down to the “Christians” down the road.  I hope it scares them as much as they scare me.

The Bravest Cat in the History of Cats….

DSCF8737This man right here?  His name is Hank, Jr.  He came to my cat shelter last Spring, actually born here on the farmette.  Hank had a twin brother who died a horrible death inside this house-four times.  Literally.  My poor husband went out, dead cat in hand.  The ensuing shot gun blasts were a clear indication that she had come back to life once more, and my husband confirmed my fears as he walked inside and out of the blizzard in progress.

From day one?  Head over heels in love.  He was so sweet, so loving and bold-he couldn’t care less what anybody thought of him, and the other cats adored him.  My Golden Retriever took Hank in, and we called him “Jesse’s baby,” after that.  I loved it when he came at me, head held high, bow legged and proud of it, feeling his oats and somehow knowing that he was the cooliest kitty kat in town.

On Friday I was horrified to discover that his bravery had served a cold dish of “severed leg at the hands of local farm machinery,” and drove to the vet before he returned my emergency call.  I remember driving like this in many, many animal emergencies over the last 25 years-but I know the back roads of Myerstown like my own bathroom, and at least I’m usually the only person around.  This trip was so traumatizing, that I am still recovering from a stress migraine, which I suffered once the cat was at the vet.

I asked for prayers on my Facebook page.  I woke up this morning with such a sense of dread.  I phoned my dear friend and left a weepy voicemail, “………and I can’t deal with rehabbing a cat for six weeks.  Oh my word I am so overwhelmed, (sob, sniff, belch)  You have to understand, I don’t reach out to my friends when I should.  This morning I knew I had to talk to a friend who really loved me.  This friend/angel is going through some pretty crappy stuff right now, but she stopped everything to offer an encouraging visit, moral support for bringing Hank home.  Kind.  Compassionate.  Friend.  Confidante.  Sidekick.  Beloved.  Those are just a few of the words I would use to describe her.

I strode into the vet’s office, and after paying a $701 vet bill (not bad for 3 nights stay and an amputation) sat in the little room and waited nervously for the Dr.  He sat and spoke to me, answering all of my questions.  He told me he was not in pain, and that he was the model patient, never even a hiss.  I had read online how to prepare for this transition.  I was bringing home a disabled cat, and I wasn’t handling it well, not at all.

His nurse brought in my furry friend.  Shaking like a leaf, I approached my poor little dude.  And then I was put instantaneously at ease as I looked at him, freshly bathed, eyes as big as fifty cent pieces.  I was such a nervous wreck that I babbled on about coyote traps, and cracking bad jokes a mile a minute.  But Hank, Jr. looked, well, amazing.  He ran, ran to his food dish.  After I had him settled in the comfy bed I had made him, I went off to the store.  When we returned I could hear his cry coming from the upstairs.  I picked him up and brought him down to the bed I had so lovingly prepared.  He went to his dish, then the miracle happened-he used the litter box, and ran up the stairs once more.  He is purring and mewing.  He is so happy to be home.  To those of you who prayed, thought of our plight, or sent positive vibes…..I felt your prayers.  You gave me the strength I needed.

I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me.~

Angels Fall Like Rain……(edited version)

I face a battle each and every day.  No differently than you, and he and she do, but I do have anxiety and paranoia (narcissistic abuse syndrome) that make each day a challenge-I get into this state of mind where a voice plays this soundtrack of “You are worthless.  No one loves you.  Your brother must be angry with you, he hasn’t called, it disgusts me when you self-harm.”  And thanks to a very special man in my life, my pastor Tony (who suffers from anxiety as well-imagine how hard it must be for a man of God to worry!) who told me this exact thing back in January, when I had left the church because I was caught up in Christian vloggers claiming to have all the answers.  I had just come out of the New Age, and I did need direction.

He was so concerned that he took me out to lunch.  I had been through a few days of spiritual warfare, and I needed comfort.

“There is no fear or condemnation in Christ.”

What a wonderful freedom I find in repeating these words.  And Tony was perfectly correct-I am back amongst the family it has taken us three years to know.  If I am persecuting myself, this isn’t  coming from God; it comes from the enemy.  The last thing, after being raised Catholic, I needed was to listen to possibly well meaning “Christians” shame, demean and condemn.  And they were brutal, brutal women for the most part.  I once put a Mumford and Sons video on our private page.  What followed was a heartless, thoughtless and truly mind numbing comments such as these:

“I don’t know, I don’t think that band is Christian.  Lea, should we even listen to this?”

“God will punish you for each sin by taking away a treasure in Heaven.”

Judging, judging and more judging, while telling themselves (and anyone who suffered through one of their vlogs) that telling people they were going to Hell, or even worse, ignoring other women who so desperately needed comfort from their brokenness, that this was in the name of “righteous indignation,”and each and every time I tuned in?  I felt like the dirtiest, ugliest duckling in all of the land.

I grew angrier and angrier.  I finally confronted a woman who led a ministry.  I hadn’t liked her in the beginning, but grew quite fond of her.  That was before I was stopped dead in my tracks when visiting New York.  She was literally speaking to us as if we were toddlers, stern and angry…….rather harsh in my opinion.  The reason?  Her husband had recently put up a video on Jim Carrey.  He told us we should be praying for Jim.  I merely wrote in the comments that I had been told by Pastor D.W. Barry (another cracker jack) that Jim had indeed died this past March.  He told me Jim went to hell, because he  killed a ton of people and he wouldn’t repent.  He topped off the icing on the cupcake by telling me that what we are seeing is not the star of Dumb and Dumber, but a doppelganger, an evil demon walking amongst us.

I asked her husband’s opinion about that information, (looking back, I must have looked like a lunatic, but we are supposed to love each other, and show mercy and grace) and she did not take it well at all.  Thus the preachy, blistering vlog about this subject:  Has Your Heart Grown Cold?  in which she ranted and raved at those of us who merely pointed out that there were other things we could be praying about, not that I don’t believe in forgiveness, I do indeed.  She proceeded to completely ignore an email  I sent to her.  And when I posted a picture of a rose on her timeline?  She took it down immediately.  I don’t like to judge anyone.  Anyone.  But are these the acts of a woman who has Christ in her heart?  I think not.

My point is this-Jesus broke the rules all the time.  Huck thought he was going to Hell when he helped a slave break free-and then he got to the point of not caring that he was going to the pit of fire-because helping his friend was worth the risk.  You can keep each and every rule of the bible, judging others harshly; and sticking your hypocritical nose in the air-have you met a person who hasn’t sinned?  I am so looking forward to that mind blowing experience, because Jesus is, and will always be, my Prince of Peace.

We are covered in his blood.  He gave his life and God gave his one and only Son to pay the price of our sins that go back to the Garden of Eden.  He came for the broken, sinners just like you and me.  His message is clear-sacrifice for others, reach out to the shut-ins, donate that closet full of clothing you no longer wear, LOVE OUT LOUD.   You will truly know a Christian when you see love and light emanating from their very being.  They are persecuted by illness, poverty, recidivism and  incredible sorrow.  Yet these are the very same folks  who never complain, love with reckless abandon, and forgive others who do them harm.   And they do this with grace.  Most of us don’t exactly fit in when it comes to the world.  We are looked down upon not just for being Christians, but for our mental health disabilities, our political party, the color of our skin.  God never, ever said it would be easy-but those of us in the know believe it will be well, well worth the journey.

Go love the CRAP out of someone today. 

The Zoot Suit Riot……..

So, I have been struggling with returning to the local ER, where I volunteer.  Sick since August, with the latest plague offered up at the hands of reckless, inconsiderate patients who A.  cough directly into your face, 2.  Kiss you on the MOUTH and c. get into your personal space without your permission.  I wrote to my boss about my lack of immune health (Lyme disease) and thought that would be the end of that.

I have been down and out since the first day I entered said hospital.  I don’t know what the illness is, as my physician, ((let’s call him Mr. Dippy Dopp)) tells me it is a virus.  I have no faith whatsoever in my doctor-I diagnosed my Lyme disease, after he ignored a swollen lymph node the size of an orange.  I kid you not, he didn’t even ask me to take my pants off, and my groin became bigger by the day.  He also gave me a flu shot the day I visited him, and I’m pretty damn sure you’re NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!  If you aren’t senile, your first question is:  WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO HIM????????  I can answer that-no matter what physician I go to in this little country burg-well, I have to be my own advocate.  Dr.  Dippy Dopp let’s me do that.  He also prescribes my Suboxyne, and I am down from 8 mg. to I/2 mg.  I don’t want to start over, and when I am completely free of the drug that made it possible for me to stay out of prison, I will flee his office like my hair is on fire.

Anyhooser, I wrote to my boss-

So sorry to let you down again.”  Yada yada yada…….I thought if I told her I could only work Fridays, well, she would be put off and, well, case CLOSED. 

I had just read an article about the most dangerous job in the world, for women anyway.  You guessed it-ER Nurse.  Oh the humanity-needle sticks, violence, HIV………the list goes on.  Apparently, it is easier to be killed in an Emergency Room than walking the streets of Isis territory.  If that didn’t scare the life force out of me, nothing would.  Unfortunately, this was her response:

“I completely understand.  You are an asset to this hospital.   See you next Friday.”

I don’t know whether to be flattered or, as in most situations I face-hysterical.  I can tell you one thing:  have mace, will travel.  Oh, and I can’t forget the Zoot Suit…….

Basic Instinct……

 

Why oh why do I do this to myself?  Just like Michael Douglas, he knows the girl is evil to the core, but she seduces him-and he gets taken away by the illusion.  At 56, you would think I’d have learned to trust that gut, but I remain a victim of my own gullibility.  For years I have thought that others know better than I, so I get involved with people who on the surface are well meaning Christians, but inside?  They are as dark and twisted as the star of this long forgotten movie.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to you, drop everything and listen closely.  Nine out of ten times I rethink my original thoughts are too harsh, too paranoid-so I revisit and in the end?  I am right back to square one, shaking it off, shocked that I was right from the very beginning.

I will try to do better.  I am impressionable.  Because of my low self esteem, well, I believe others at the risk of my own convictions.  And then it all blows up: the confrontation, the hurt feelings, the emptiness one feels when looking into a vacuum she herself created.

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything~

Winter……

 

Sitting here, lazy as heck-feeling the blue blahs…….and once again I am reminded of the millions of persecuted Christians around the globe.  Their plight unknown to the rest of us, and it runs chills up my spine.  Put on your big girl panties, Michele.  Yes, I am sick for most of the winter months, but that is my cross to bare.  Jesus has taken so much off of my shoulders, and yet I feel as if I am still haunted by ghosts of yesterdays past.

Battling a sinus infection since September, I am unable to do my volunteer work at the ER.  My boss won’t return my texts, so, I am rethinking the whole hospital ministry, period.  Do I really want to be subject to the viruses out there (namely MRSA and STAFF)?  Is this God’s way of telling me that this is not my ministry?

I begin the downslide that is evidenced by social withdrawal, childhood insecurities  and  feelings of worthlessness.  Turns out, it matters not that I won my SSI case, as if I cannot serve His kingdom, I am forlorn.  I am not feeling sorry for myself, this is nothing compared to what others are suffering, this I know.  I am longing for a normal life, something that has escaped me this fifty-six years.  I want to lunch with my friends, minister to others, stomp out injustice and hypocrisy, be a real asset to His Kingdom.

There are seasons in every life.  God spoke of this in Ecclesiastes, and so poignantly at that.  So, for now, I will pick up my cross and carry it to the best of my ability.  For there is a time for every season known to Heaven~

 

 

“Cat-Shit Boots”……(and other inhumanities)

 

My husband happens to be the funniest man I know.  Depending upon my mood o’ the day, he can have me bent over with laughter, or bent…..period.  This morning, while getting ready to hike, he passed by me in the kitchen:

You can tell Miss CatShit Boots that she’s walking on thin ice……her days are numbered…..,” he (half jokingly) announced.

My poor husband has been a beleaguered victim of felines for 26 years.  He loves cats, don’t get me wrong…he loves animals, period.  But he has no patience for their loud roars of protest over not being fed for five minutes.  His feelings are hurt when they snub him and run like they have seen the Tasmanian Devil himself……..and they have their reasons, about a million of them.

Shortly after we were first married, I snuck a cat into our pet-free home.  I decided to tell him about Tajia when he was sleeping, just in case…..knowing he told me NO INDOOR ANIMALS, I was caught up in a struggle between the adorable kitten at the Humane Society, and, well, my marriage.  Dwain was smitten, and we both loved her beyond reason.  She was fur and myrrh and everything cat-and Dwain had a questionable habit of scaring the life force out of her.  I remember one time, he lay in wait for more than fifteen minutes- Tajia had no idea he was behind her, waiting for the perfect time to pounce.  Just as I began walking away from the crime scene, he made his move-that poor cat jumped ten feet into the air, and whilst up there did a complete 360 and ran for the laundry room.  If you were a cat, you would have run too.  He laughed for hours……….but the cat never forgot this, and she had a few tricks up her own paws…….just for Dwain.

It was about ten in the evening, whilst watching ‘In Living Color’ and eating an ice cream sandwich (don’t ask me how I remember these details, as I can’t remember things like, say-my car being in reverse after backing up for an 18 wheeler, and the ensuing nightmare that followed when I backed into a crazy lady in a pink Cadillac) I must preface this tale by telling you that Tajia was pure black, with a white freckle on her nose.  My husband is Pennsylvania Dutch, and very, very thrifty when it comes to electricity.  This is what I heard from the living room:

“Ho-ohah!!!! What the F***, and then, thump, thump, thump, thump…….thump, followed by REOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW and finally, silence.

I knew only that my husband had fallen down the stairs.  Because I have the Elkins blood, I am prone to laughing at others’ calamities….and I remember falling off the couch, sideways, ice cream in hand-and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.  My poor man, my boobelai…….he could be seriously hurt.  And it turns out, he was.  The following is my husband’s version of the incident:

I turned the hallway light off (peculiar habit, as we have steep farmhouse stairs, at the time covered in shag carpet-I myself would have turned the light ON, but hey, whatever floats your boat) and when I took my first step I felt fur, so, to avoid hurting the cat, I overstepped.  Honey, I rode that cat the whole way down the stairs…….is she okay?

Tajia was, indeed, no worse for the wear.  Her tail was fluffed up like a skunk’s, and her eyes as big as saucers.  Dwain walked like a duck for weeks, brush burns and bruises…and every time I saw him I broke into hysterics-for months.  I told this story around a camp fire in Potter County one Fall, to eager ears and felonious hysteria.  But this time, Dwain gave me the icing on the cupcake……

“That poor cat thinks I tried to shove her up my ass on purpose.  She won’t even look at me.”

And with that line, we roasted my husband……don’t ever change Charlie……..Don’t you dare.

 

 

Rather Eat Dirt…………

I received a huge package from my attorney yesterday.  It contained all of the doctor’s notes and correspondence concerning my disability case.  A bit of advice?  NEVER, EVER READ YOUR MEDICAL FILES, AS WHAT YOU SEE WILL ALARM, IF NOT KILL YOU.  I had been praying about whether or not to go back into therapy.  I was leaning towards going it alone, meaning, giving it all to God and taking one day at a time.  I believe in my heart that this was His way of saying, stay out of therapy and stay with me.  I opened the manila envelope, and had a moment of clarity:  proceed with caution, a sense of humor and nerves of steel.

Last October I had sunk deeper and deeper into my CPTSD.  The depression was unnerving, my anxiety off of the charts-a church elder suggested I go to “Christian” counseling, but I told her we could not afford the cost.  The very next week I found $210 worth of vouchers in my mail slot.  This was as good a time as any, and I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

I disliked her the moment I saw her.  She was wound so tightly that I feared her uterus would explode if she moved a certain way.  The stick firmly embedded in her ass cheeks, I thought-‘ain’t no way this chic is gonna feel me on this.’  Sadly, as it turns out, I was righter than rain.

“I smoke weed for my PTSD.  My physician is aware of this and it helps.  I need you to understand that before we proceed,” I spoke each word as clearly as possible, and awaited a response:

“Well, I certainly hope you are planning on quitting…..eventually.”

Seriously?  Is this the way we’re going to begin?  I should have seen it coming, with the stick in the ass thing…..but I didn’t.  I went to her for approximately 6 sessions; I was in dire need of validation, I needed a “professional” to hear my stalking story, see my psychic pain, tell me it would be okay.  The first few sessions were unremarkable, as I didn’t trust her and wasn’t about to bare my soul.  By the third session I realized that my candor was imperative, or nothing whatsoever would be resolved.

I feel invisible.  I don’t think my husband takes the incident seriously.  I have suicidal ideation on occasion, but mostly my anxiety is ruling my world.

I sobbed.  I sat on the floor, put my head in my hands.  And I poured out my heart to a stranger who had not one fucking clue as to what she was doing.  She knew nothing about PTSD, and as it turns out, she did more harm than good.  The following words are from her notes, and it pains me to repeat them:

Patient was histrionic this afternoon.  She was DRESSEED COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN PER USUAL.  She spoke of “jealous bitches” who thwarted her success at every turn in the workplace.  I believe she is speaking about her mother when she uses the term.  PATIENT SAT ON THE FLOOR TODAY, attention seeking behavior at best……….”

My jaw hung open for so long I had to pry it shut.  My entire life has been a search for my authentic self.  I don’t put on airs for anyone.  Anyone.  My friends will tell you this.  I dress one way if I am hiking, and gee, sometimes I like to mix things up a bit and wear real clothing.  I SAT ON THE EFFING FLOOR because I wanted to.  She patronized me by sitting down in front of me.  I have never sought attention for anything, my entire point of the therapy was to resolve the issue of too much attention, to be validated for exactly who I was.  This was crippling.  I will never trust a therapist again, and may I suggest that you thoroughly investigate any man or woman who thinks themselves capable of resolving PTSD, because they will do more harm than good, and that is the tragedy here.   Vulnerable men and woman alike go to professionals for help, only to find their mental health hanging on the edge of a cliff, with literally everything to lose.  You have a degree in Social Work and this makes you God?  How DARE she?  And I cried bitter tears at the thought that she will do it-again and again and again, to poor, unsuspecting victims of horrendous crimes.

That answered my prayer.  It’s me and Jesus and no one, no one will ever have an opportunity to shrink my head again.  I found this poem this morning, and I hope you find it as uplifting as I did.  This is not the full version, just one paragraph of four:

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

-Charles Wesley

 

Right About Now…

The following story is true-but in no way does it diminish the sense of loss we all feel at this time.

As I awoke yesterday morning, feeling sluggish and viral, I remembered why a big fat cloud hung over my head.  How precious are those first morning moments, when you are untouched, untethered by the day ahead.  But this was no ordinary day, and as I slammed my head into the kitchen cupboard while pouring my first cup of Joe?  Well, it was fitting, and the spell was cast…..I got dressed (even that was a fiasco, pulling my long tresses out of my scarf, my entire body sore from yesterday’s flue shot-I fell while trying to put on my levis) and headed out the door to my first Amish funeral.

As I stated in my last blog, John lived directly across the street, with his loving and peaceful parents.  They gift us fresh, homemade bread for Christmas-I will miss his smiling face, his authenticity if you will.  As I drove past the cacophony of horses-thirty, forty of them eating from a bed of hay-I sensed that they were running late, as it was close to the hour of nine in the morning, the hour I was told to appear.

Driving by myself towards this gorgeous farm, I realized why my girlfriend had not attended-this was a world of men, their beards and Amish hats spoke volumes-her husband couldn’t join her.  Now I understand.   I pull into the yard where a few English vehicles were parked.  Not thinking that there were many, many more to come-I walked in the direction of the first woman I could find.

“So, you are the Michele we have heard so much about.  You were a true friend to him, and boy oh boy, did he tell us stories!!!!!!”  This cannot be.  She must mean another Michele, right?  Yes, we were friends…..but…….oh, sweet merciful Jesus.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had a past, chock full of drunken escapades (like the time I sat on my roof, naked, in broad daylight and screamed ‘I DON’T GIVE AN F WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK.’  It just so happened I was speaking about my in laws, who were indeed my  neighbors, who were entertaining church folk in the family gazeebo.  Flushed from head to toe, I meandered closer to the barn.  I followed a gaggle of Amish women towards the back, where I was seated, directly behind the family of the bereaved. 

An hour and a half later, the family came to sit.  One by one, elders spoke their sermons, in Pennsylvania Dutch.  I was beginning to feel the combination of nerves and illness, screaming the first signs of a panic attack.  How will I leave?  The last thing I wanted was to cause any scene or attention to myself, at such a raw and tragic time.  As the next elder took the floor, he began weeping, and weep he did, until the very end.

My emotions and anxiety have the best of me.  I have to leave, and I see a way out through the back barn door.  I ease, every so slowly, toward the crack of light that can free me.  As I approach the door-ErrrrSCREECHreeeeeeer…….an older woman approaches.

“Just push the door,” she gently instructs.

For reasons unknown to me, I tell her I am ill.

“I will leave the door ajar for when you return.”  And with that I hightailed it to my jeep, walking as fast as possible and hoping for the best, I return to find I am SURROUNDED by vehicles.  There is no way out, but wait……….I see an opening!  I drive past ponds and hilly grounds to….to…well, an electric fence.  Son of a Barbie doll!!!!!!!!!!!

I stop the Wrangler.  Get out.  Take the thirty chains protecting the gate and finally, drive through…nope, I am stuck.  Stuck between the jeep and heavy metal.  I get out again, this time freeing myself of said gate.  Before I head down the dirt road I let go a huge sigh of relief….’Well, no one saw me at least.

I get to the bottom of the lane, where I see him.  The fire policeman directing traffic, and he is laughing, crying laughing at the site that he has seen.  And then it occurs to me-John would have loved it, and the beat goes on……..

 

 

To Have and to Hold……

I just came from the home of my neighbors, who lost a son to heart disease.   John shone a light, no matter the darkness he may have felt at any point in time.  He had health issues with his back, and, sadly-his heart, which has left everyone stunned and in mourning, because he never, ever complained.

My husband received a phone call last evening.  Before he ended the conversation, I screamed a blood curdling “NO!!!!!!” and got down on my knees and wept.  I cried for his brother, a good friend, who was extremely close to his step brother.  I wailed for his parents, the loveliest people you could ever meet, who lost another son not too long ago.  But I shed no tears for John himself, because I believe-with every cell of my being-that he is in paradise, with Jesus and Abba.  Free of pain, the troubles of this world, and the tribulation we see each and every day as Christians.  He is home and I am quite certain his family knows this to be true.

I walked ever so slowly up the road, carrying a bouquet of garden flowers.  I have seen my share of death and grieving, but I was not prepared for the ethereal beauty that was the Amish community taking care of their own.  Their loving presence was incredibly comforting, from cooking to serving to holding and praying.  This was quite something to behold, and I wish, as humans, that we could be as Christ-like as the folks I saw this morning, to be sure.

The key to life is simple, in my estimation.  We must learn to live out loud, see the beauty all around us and in each other.  Cling to those you love, and don’t ever miss an opportunity to tell your beloveds how you feel.  Stop playing in the dark, it doesn’t work.  And don’t forget to look up, and thank our Heavenly Father for every sacred minute in which he blesses us.

In loving memory of John Peachy, who left a gentle and uplifting difference in our lives.  You will be missed~