Earth Has No Sorrow that Heaven Can’t Heal………….

I knew, deep in my heart, that it was inevitable.  I have been waiting for weeks, on guard, and prepared, or so I thought.

Two years ago this area was rocked by the murder of a mother of two in scenic Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania.  In broad daylight.  At the Jigger Shop, a restaurant full of children, tourists and wait staff.  The shooter sat at a bench, outside of the parlor, in wait.  His woman had spurned him, and this time he wasn’t about to let her get away.  One bullet.  Killed her instantaneously.  But the perp had another bullet he was saving for himself, and let’s just say-he didn’t miss.

The man who was guilty of this unspeakable crime?  My friend Patrick Derr.  Patrick dated my sister in law.  He was the first person I met when I moved out here, and he was an alcoholic and cocaine addict who abused women when he used.  I remember the first call I received from his wife, Pat had come in drunk as a skunk and wrecked the Christmas tree.  I could hear her child screaming in the background.  I ran to the house and talked to him until he passed out-his wife and child upstairs behind a locked door.  He went on to abuse his next wife, and actually did prison time for almost killing her.  He left behind a mother and two brothers, and I ran into his brother Mike today-living out of his car, no teeth, running from the law.  He had just enough money to pay for his drugs, and after that…………nothing.   Jesse and I were hiking at Middlecreek, and as we pulled into the parking lot, unrecognizable to me, he shouted,

“Hey Michele!  How are you?”

I did not hesitate.  I walked over and hugged him tightly, lost for the words I promised myself I would speak should I see him.  His last words were, “I love you, kiddo.”  I had my head together after the hike, and as I approached the lot I knew exactly what to say:

Mike, I beat this.  I know your pain.  Please turn to Jesus, He loves you-I can help you make a fresh start.

He was gone.  And as I started the jeep I looked where his beat up truck had been, and wept.

 

Son of a Bitch…………….

There was one thing you did not do at 282 Riverview Road in the seventies; or should I say there was something you had better do and that was fill my father’s ice cube trays.  When Steve came home from his travels as a sales engineer for a paper company, he went directly to the freezer, in search of the frozen pearls that would help keep his alcoholic beverage of choice as cold as the Northern Hemisphere.

Of course, as kids and then teenagers, we had absolutely no respect for his wishes, and this would never end well.

“Son of a B I T C H,” was all he had to say and us kids would run in thirty different directions.

“Jesus, Christ, Mary and JOSEPH, what the hell happens to my ice cubes???????  Is it THAT HARD TO FILL A G.D. TRAY WITH WATER AND PUT IT BACK IN THE FREEZER? Mary Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The kids screwed me again……son of a B I T C H!”

For some reason, (pretty sure my dad had laser vision goggles, which he would don as soon as he pulled into the driveway)….he would go from the kitchen, directly upstairs to unpack-and there he would once again become the victim of unspeakable foul play, for he would immediately notice that I, his very own daughter, had borrowed a pair of his socks!!!!!!  This would only serve to further provoke him, and for the life of me I can’t remember why I didn’t wear my own tightie whities.  Were daddy’s tube socks that big of a temptation?  Apparently so, because that scenario wreaked havoc on my weekend plans, ears, and self esteem in general.

Don’t get me wrong, that poor man never bought a thing for himself.  If it weren’t for my mother, he would have walked around in holey shoes, tattered shirts, or, God FORBID, stretched out stockings.  Steve had another quirk, and that was his propensity to find something, anything wrong when we cleaned up the kitchen.  I will never forget the hours I spent in a Bennigan’s, preaching to my sister that dad was not a monster, he loved her and there was absolutely nothing to fear but fear itself.

And so it was, that drunken evening, when my dad said goodnight on the way through the kitchen,   I gave her the nod, like, okay, now tell him you love him.

“I love you dad.”

That’s nice honey.  Don’t forget to load the dishwasher.”

 

The Bucket List…..

I want to be the girl in this video….travelling across the world, uninhibited, throwing caution to the wind.  Chances are, the likelihood of this happening is akin to a camel poking its head through a needle, and then realizing he still has to get his body through it.

I love, love, love to travel.  It’s just that we have no extra moolah, and what we do have goes to silly things like food, vet visits and electric bills.  I don’t have a bucket list in all actuality, but here is a sampling of things I would like to do before I leave this planet:

I would love to go to Ireland, in search of my ancestors.  If I do go to Ireland, I will be tempted to drink an ale with the kin folk-you know, raise up a glass to the country that turned us out-I hear they’re very folksy and welcoming, but let’s face the facts, I would want to live there, or perhaps petrify in one place, sitting at the pub, drinking Guiness, and singing the songs of my people.

Big Sur was a big draw, until I read about Bohemian Grove.  With our luck, we would find the wrong place at the wrong time, and I apologize, but becoming a blood sacrifice for the elite in this world?  Let’s just say I have no time for the big, wooden statue of Baphomet, and I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hawaii was big on my “list” at one point, and now I see the error of my ways.  The fat faced dictator from HELL has threatened their peace, and I don’t want to spend my whole vacation in an underground bunker.

And lastly, there was Sea World.  Yes, I wanted to ride the dolphins with abandon, you know, be that girl: the one who never stops talking about her relationship with a fifty year old she met out in California, and then you come to find out it was a sea mammal.  No thanks.

So for now?  I’ll stay in this sleepy little town of horse and buggies, biting flies the size of Texas, and more cow manure than you can shake a stick at.

 

Helpless, Helpless, Helpless……………

My brother came up to visit yesterday, and it was a gas, man.  We laughed until our stomachs hurt, ate gimongous cheeseburgers and red velvet cupcakes, and had real, quality time together.

I don’t do well with saying goodbye, and I spent most of the day, repeating, Please don’t leave me yet, over and over again in my head.  He stayed for a long time, and when he got ready to leave?  My heart stuck in my throat………….I am sick and tired of goodbyes.  The better your experience, the worse the downer when it’s over.

We walked down to the driveway, and he said, I don’t know what’s going to happen to the family………it broke me.  I don’t have the answers, dear brother.  But this I do know, I will love you with an everlasting love…….it’s hard to put your finger on the emotions you feel, when what’s left of your family drives down the street, on their way to Philadelphia, then LA……..but one of the hardest things?  Learning to let go, and not feel alone, forsaken, misunderstood.

So for now, let’s just say, “see you next time around.”

 

Elijah

Let’s get this song out of the way, shall we?  I have been reading about Elijah in the book of Kings-and that was supposed to be my “Elijah” song.  So, after realizing that I have been singing my heart out to the wrong lyrics for twenty years, I just said, screw it, use it.

I have been doing quite a bit of bible-dipping (a technique I picked up from the book Running With Scissors-a book I highly recommend) in which you pray about an issue in your life, or, like me-pray for what Jesus wants me to know this day.  I flip through the pages of my bible, and let’s just say-99.9 percent of the time, he gives me the exact wisdom I need at that exact moment in time.

So, anyway, I was reading about Elijah, and I came upon a bio on his life and ministry.  The words that caught my breath were these:  Elijah was sent to confront, not comfort.  Elijah spoke God’s words to a king who often rejected his message because of the messenger.

Elijah chose to carry out his ministry to God by himself, and as a result he was often misunderstood by his peers.  His one mistake was not to trust others.  This is where it gets good peeps, after the miracle of Elijah defeating the prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him.  He felt afraid, depressed and abandoned.

Holy crap on a cracker that spoke to me.  Goosebumps when the aha moment struck.  I have been in situations (stories to come) that no one finds themselves in, mostly jobs, sometimes churches….where I am left burning bridges for opening my mouth.  I have been fired for standing up for some injustice or another, more than twenty times.  No exaggeration.   And each and every time I found myself in an unholy war?  It never sunk in.  God was working in those scenarios, mostly at my expense, (I totally get his sense of humor) by using me to open my huge mug and cause absolute chaos (was never a small thing, and always involved a major life transformation.  I can look back now and laugh, but some of the crap I went through?  Jesus mighty it was a three ring circus….for twenty plus years.

Everything makes sense now.  It truly does.  I am a modern day Elijah.  Who would have thunk?