I’ll Give You Fish…

A few blogs back, I promised you a story about the day, fifteen years ago, when I caught my husband “cheating” on me.  We were taking care of my father, who was extremely ill; we moved him to a house out in the country, where he lived for a year-on his terms-no nursing homes, praise God.  I loved my dad more than I have ever loved another soul, or perhaps the love I have for my husband is equal-but completely different types of love.

Dad was my best friend and, quite honestly, the only person besides my husband who really got me.  We were extremely close.  We laughed at the same things, had the same interests, and thought hiking was the greatest thing next to grilled cheese sandwiches.  I take after daddy, in almost every way.  Mom was the writer in the family, and she was very talented.  It is no small wonder that my brother and I are the artsy, fartsy, poetic side of the family.  I think it rather neat that my brother is a musician who writes amazing songs-not unlike myself-who writes about music-daddy was the musician.  I can still hear him singing the Midnight Special, banjo in tow, at three a.m. after an argument with my mother.  Good times.  Good times.

I would do anything to have those times back.

So, between working evenings as a waitress in a busy diner (one of the biggest tourist spots in Lancaster County) and taking care of my family-well, I guess you could say I was just a tad stressed out.  If you saw me in passing, you would think me a demented Flakka head, on the verge of going off the deep end; at any given moment in time.  You would also be correct.  About the losing my shit, not the Flakka.  When my husband complains about the two cigarettes I smoke each day with my coffee?  I always say:

It could be worse.  You’re lucky I’m not on Flakka.  Or crack.  

Jiminy Cricket, I was wound so tightly, I actually pitied the fool who got in my way.  Back then?  I was anger personified.  I seethed with an all consuming rage that basically enveloped me-my mother abused me emotionally, and my memories were a big reason I drank to begin with.  I wanted to take care of dad, believe me, but the sad truth?  I was scared senseless.  My alcoholism had progressed, then eased after he died.  Eventually I came to a place of rewriting my story, and forgiving mother.  Years of my life, consumed with bitter ire-and a tragic notion that I needed to be punished, put in place-as mom had made it perfectly clear that I was undeserving.  Forgiveness is incredibly freeing, and you should do it often-not for them, but for you.

Finally, to the point of the story.  I was in the aforementioned condition while driving my Jeep Wrangler up Route 501 on a Friday afternoon, headed in the direction of the pharmacy in Myerstown-to get my father’s refills.  My hair is fried, not tended to; I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.  I am breaking out-not only in zits but pimples as well-my first outbreak of acne, ever.  Stress pimples and blackheads.

I head North and see my husband’s baby blue Chevy pick up headed in my direction.  I believe I went into a fugue state the moment I saw the blonde.  I was a jealous madwoman back then-it wasn’t my husband I didn’t trust, let’s just say that.

“OMG, who the FAZUCK was in Dwain’s truck?  How long has this been going on?  I’m taking care of my invalid father and the bastard is cheating on me?  What the FUCK?”

I ran into the pharmacy, almost hyperventilating when I see the long line.  This is the most impatient moment of my life.  I fantasize about killing the man behind the counter.  I want to slap the woman who forgot her insurance card, and truth be told?  My thought cloud was rated RRR.  If not ZZZ.

I raced to the jeep and drove like a stunt car driver all the way to Dwain’s work.  I see him in the park, akin to his business.  I aim for him as I drive, he jumps out of the way.

“Oh my GOD honey, what is wrong with you?”  He looks more than mildly alarmed, but he knows on many levels what this is all about.  I jump from the vehicle, not thinking to put the jeep in “park.”  Dwain jumps into said car and saves it, saves it from going directly into the pond behind us.

I scream and holler.  He tells me he took her to drop off her car, to have it inspected.  I eyeball him from toe to head.  Calmer, yet not quite assured that all is well; I head for my car.  He gives  me a hug, chuckles and says these exact words:

“Honey, why do you have spaghetti sauce all over your face?”

Hydrangeas

 

 

I have talked about caring for my friend Scott, who has end stage cancer.  Allow me to go back to the beginning, as the background is important.

In 2009 I worked for Scott at the dog lodging business he owned.  I hadn’t really any interaction with him or his wife until this job.  Although they lived down the street, we didn’t see them out and about-ever.  I grew close to his wife, or so I thought.  The job ended badly, for various reasons.  My hours were wrong, and I called to talk with Cheryl about the discrepancy, the mistake.  The conversation ended badly, and I was very upset.  I had thought us friends, but her reaction to a simple request sent my mind reeling.  What had I done?  

The very next day Scott came to the house, and offered to pay me the difference.  I had grown fond of him, and I felt badly for him-he seemed so jittery-as if he was afraid someone might catch him in the act.  We became friends, and in time the four of us would dine together, mostly in the Summer.  In the Winter months Scott would call and say his pond was ready for ice skating, we were good.

Long story short?  I received a text from him one day in late Spring.

“I’m sorry, I can’t be around you anymore.”

I Sherlocked the shit out of that scenario, and my gut reaction was correct-Cheryl began driving by our house, to check on him, make sure he was following “the rules.”  I ran into her mother in the grocery store one day, and sure enough, I was told that her daughter thought I was having an affair with her husband.

I confronted her, and believed her when she said all was good.

Two years pass and my friend is on his death bed, his cancer has returned.

I am called to his home, to say goodbye.  When I arrive I am confused, he seems well.  As well as we would have expected.  He is alert times three, his vitals and coloring are good.  We hold each other, cry on and off.  He gives me a golf cart ride around the property, shows me where the garden will be planted.

So, next Spring, when Cheryl looks to the pond, she will see hundreds of tulips.  I paid the neighbor boy to plant bulbs.  What do you think?

I feel nauseous, as if he is hiding something.  I can’t ask because my tears have created so much snot in my sinus cavity that I fear I will snot all over him.  We say our goodbyes, again, and I stop and turn towards him-the questions of a thousand lifetimes shadow my face.

I know you love Hydrangeas, please, pick some.

And with that I am too far gone to gather flowers.

I’ll plant my own garden, in Heaven, where all tears will be wiped from our faces.  And I will once again be free from the shackles that bind my heart.

woman with black and red flower tattoo standing behind blue flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afflictions Eclipsed by Glory

Grief has layers, not unlike the onion.  It creeps up on you, and the realization that you loved this person more than you had imagined hits us in the solar plexus.  As the sons and daughters of a merciful and loving God, we firmly believe that our beloved has crossed over and is now home and pain free.  Yet even in the knowing, we fight the reality that this person whom we adored and perhaps took for granted is no longer by your side, helping you to fight the good fight and ease your burden.  You are better off for just having this kindred spirit in your life.

My dear friend Scott succumbed to cancer on September 22, 2019.  We were very close, and I had cared for him in the last days.  So it came as a shock when my husband phoned me this morning.

“Honey, I have some bad news,” he sighed.

I immediately thought of Scott.

“Umm, he died last Sunday.”

475323_2414187733540_130154192_o

My breath caught.  Last Sunday?

He spoke his comfort through the phone, and promised to stop in at lunch.

I don’t remember what I did after that, even if just hours ago.  I called a friend and wept, openly.  It was hard for her to make out my words, but her tender soothing meant the world to me.  I ended up on a hike, and to be honest I shouldn’t have been driving.  As I walked I spoke with Jesus, I spoke with my friend.  His wife was never a fan of our friendship-going as far as thinking we were intimate and stalking me two Summers ago.  On his death bed, Scott admitted to me that his wife had emotionally abused him for thirty five years.

“Sugar, you’re just emotional, you don’t mean that,” my voice broke, I felt the sting of fresh tears, this was all too much.

Long story short, he was dead serious.  Towards the end his wife asked that I “STAY AWAY” even as her husband was begging me to stay.  Hospice was long gone, he had no friends or family stopping in-his entire family kept working.

He was helpless.

“Scott, I can’t do this.  I can’t be in your wife’s home against her will.  I’m so terribly sorry,” I wrote in the text.

I’ll be okay.  The last three words I heard.

My heart was ripped apart, I prayed for the Lord to have mercy on him, that he wouldn’t suffer, that his wife muster some compassion for him, not see him as a burden.

I drove to his property, where he had planted a rare maple tree.  I could see the new bench by the tree, next to the pond.  I walked half-way across the yard, then headed back to the jeep-then back to the bench.  I didn’t care who saw me, I put my head down and wept.  I stared as a maple leaf spiraled to the ground.  I grabbed it.  The rest of the day was a blur.  I needed my husband, I didn’t want to be alone.

When Dwain didn’t answer the phone, I broke down.  The only thing in life that remotely frightens me is the loss of my husband.  My entire psyche shuts down at the mere thought of him not coming home.  I rarely have these thoughts anymore, not since Jesus took a good part of my worry away.  I truly do have that peace that surpasses understanding, but I railed at Jesus.

He understood.  He knew that I had mourned the loss of each and every person I had loved in this life.  One by one, my mother, father, best girl friend, and now Scott.  I was estranged from my nieces and nephew-my sister put the Kibosh to any hope of a relationship with them years and years ago. A story for another time.

Kill Jezebel.

I hate myself when I take my pain out on Jesus.  It wrecks me.  My husband pulled in and I fell to my knees-apologizing for the bitter words that had spewed from my fat Irish mouth.  I begged his forgiveness and asked for his mercy.

A few months ago I heard Field McConnel speak about monarch butterflies being a sign of God’s love and protection.  It stuck with me, as there was a monarch out in the middle of Lake Pleasant the moment I spread my father’s ashes.

I had known in that moment it was a God thing.

I walked out on the deck to greet my husband, still sobbing, still unhinged.

My newest adoptee purred at my feet.  She knew something was terribly wrong.  I picked her up and held her close.  She kissed me on every spot on my face, another blessing from above, Maybel is.  I looked down into my garden, and my breath caught again.  A perfect Monarch butterfly, right there before me, and in late September no less.

My tears of sadness turned to tears of joy within moments.  I went back into the house, tried to find the momentum to do, to do something.

Dwain slammed the screen door.  I looked up at him, as if to say, yes?

“Come see.  The garden is full of monarchs.”

And just like that, my afflictions were eclipsed by His glory~

Twisted

How do we do it, us humans?  How do we manage to screw relationships up so badly? Especially those with eternal soul ties, as in siblings and family?  Your family should be the most precious thing to you, but sadly this is not the case for far too many.

A prophet is not a prophet in his own town, meaning if we are doing it right?  Our families will be at odds with one another.  It’s in the Bible, and so is the Jezebel spirit-the most prevalent demon since the dawn of time.  Jealousy, projection, rage, hatred, mockery, gaslighting and the list goes on.  She is gaining speed as we speak, and woe to the unsuspecting fool who stumbles upon her.

Two years ago, I told my kin not to come to my funeral if she couldn’t be a decent human being while I was on this earth.  At the time, I meant every word I said-still do.  Twenty four months is a very long time to be without a sister, and even more poignant?  I have no contact with my Godchild, nor her brother and sister.

This was her kryptonite, and she used it willingly and with wild abandon.  I don’t have the heart nor energy to go into the whole bloody mess of it, and frankly-it is history,  I have forgiven, but I will never forget and therein lies the rub.

I wrote to her the other day, and have yet to receive any form of an answer.  In certain ways, it is a devastation; in others- a sad relief.  I suppose it is God’s way of saying ‘not for you-but that makes it none the easier to give up hope.  The hope one has when they love another human being passionately and unconditionally.  Foolish, perhaps.  Maddening, for certain.

I know she is reading this, she reads every blog.

I want her to know that I am willing to salvage our sisterhood.

I want her to know that it doesn’t matter anymore-the long silences, the unreturned communications, the mean spirited digs and withholding of my blood.  She can’t touch my heart in that way because God has strengthened my spirit.  It would have to be an honest and open two way street.  There will be disagreements, but

She cannot throw the victim card, as I have never done a thing to hurt her.  She can’t throw the drinking card, as I am as clean and sober as I ever hoped to be.

She cannot take my heart away because that ship sailed two years ago.

At the end of the day?  I will not settle for anything less than complete transparency.

But she should know how much I love her.

I always will.

 

I’ll Give You Fish…

A few blogs back, I promised you a story about the day, fifteen years ago, when I caught my husband “cheating” on me.  We were taking care of my father, who was extremely ill; we moved him to a house out in the country, where he lived for a year-on his terms-no nursing homes, praise God.  I loved my dad more than I have ever loved another soul, or perhaps the love I have for my husband is equal-but completely different types of love.

Dad was my best friend and, quite honestly, the only person besides my husband who really got me.  We were extremely close.  We laughed at the same things, had the same interests, and thought hiking was the greatest thing next to grilled cheese sandwiches.  I take after daddy, in almost every way.  Mom was the writer in the family, and she was very talented.  It is no small wonder that my brother and I are the artsy, fartsy, poetic side of the family.  I think it rather neat that my brother is a musician who writes amazing songs-not unlike myself-who writes about music-daddy was the musician.  I can still hear him singing the Midnight Special, banjo in tow, at three a.m. after an argument with my mother.  Good times.  Good times.

I would do anything to have those times back.

So, between working evenings as a waitress in a busy diner (one of the biggest tourist spots in Lancaster County) and taking care of my family-well, I guess you could say I was just a tad stressed out.  If you saw me in passing, you would think me a demented Flakka head, on the verge of going off the deep end; at any given moment in time.  You would also be correct.  About the losing my shit, not the Flakka.  When my husband complains about the two cigarettes I smoke each day with my coffee?  I always say:

It could be worse.  You’re lucky I’m not on Flakka.  Or crack.  

Jiminy Cricket, I was wound so tightly, I actually pitied the fool who got in my way.  Back then?  I was anger personified.  I seethed with an all consuming rage that basically enveloped me-my mother abused me emotionally, and my memories were a big reason I drank to begin with.  I wanted to take care of dad, believe me, but the sad truth?  I was scared senseless.  My alcoholism had progressed, then eased after he died.  Eventually I came to a place of rewriting my story, and forgiving mother.  Years of my life, consumed with bitter ire-and a tragic notion that I needed to be punished, put in place-as mom had made it perfectly clear that I was undeserving.  Forgiveness is incredibly freeing, and you should do it often-not for them, but for you.

Finally, to the point of the story.  I was in the aforementioned condition while driving my Jeep Wrangler up Route 501 on a Friday afternoon, headed in the direction of the pharmacy in Myerstown-to get my father’s refills.  My hair is fried, not tended to; I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.  I am breaking out-not only in zits but pimples as well-my first outbreak of acne, ever.  Stress pimples and blackheads.

I head North and see my husband’s baby blue Chevy pick up headed in my direction.  I believe I went into a fugue state the moment I saw the blonde.  I was a jealous madwoman back then-it wasn’t my husband I didn’t trust, let’s just say that.

“OMG, who the FAZUCK was in Dwain’s truck?  How long has this been going on?  I’m taking care of my invalid father and the bastard is cheating on me?  What the FUCK?”

I ran into the pharmacy, almost hyperventilating when I see the long line.  This is the most impatient moment of my life.  I fantasize about killing the man behind the counter.  I want to slap the woman who forgot her insurance card, and truth be told?  My thought cloud was rated RRR.  If not ZZZ.

I raced to the jeep and drove like a stunt car driver all the way to Dwain’s work.  I see him in the park, akin to his business.  I aim for him as I drive, he jumps out of the way.

“Oh my GOD honey, what is wrong with you?”  He looks more than mildly alarmed, but he knows on many levels what this is all about.  I jump from the vehicle, not thinking to put the jeep in “park.”  Dwain jumps into said car and saves it, saves it from going directly into the pond behind us.

I scream and holler.  He tells me he took her to drop off her car, to have it inspected.  I eyeball him from toe to head.  Calmer, yet not quite assured that all is well; I head for my car.  He gives  me a hug, chuckles and says these exact words:

“Honey, why do you have spaghetti sauce all over your face?”

I’m on the Outside…..

Good Wednesday morning to you all.   I was unable to attend church this week, and I was supposed to be working the Welcome Center.  At this moment I am almost hysterical at the idea of being held hostage by a bad knee and a chip on my shoulder.  I keep telling myself that others have it much worse (and they do) I think of the homeless in weather like this.  I almost drove to the city with warm blankets for the plight, but quickly realized that the roads were like ice, and I was left in frustrated despair.  I am left with decisions, so many, do I go to a Specialist?  Shouldn’t I just trust God?  I am not going to ask Why Me? because that is a ridiculous supposition, we all suffer in one way or another, right?

I want to rant and rave.  I want to hide in the fetal position, as I am as afraid as I was as a little girl, terrorized by thunderstorms.  As a sufferer from CPTSD, I do not do well with unanswered questions or the unknown.  I loathe going to the doctor, deplore their inadequacies in diagnosing, well, anything.  I trust that He will heal me, much more than I do the medical profession.  God has never, ever let me down; big Pharma and human physicians have, on more than several occasions.  .

I feel as if I stand outside the window, looking at the healthy and content, as if they have something I desire, something I need.  They look oh so pleased on the outside, and maybe that’s the secret.

I’ll just fake it ’til I make it……I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay.  I want, oh how I desire, to be that ten year old child once more.

I’ll Give You Fish…

A few blogs back, I promised you a story about the day, fifteen years ago, when I caught my husband “cheating” on me.  We were taking care of my father, who was extremely ill; we moved him to a house out in the country, where he lived for a year-on his terms-no nursing homes, praise God.  I loved my dad more than I have ever loved another soul, or perhaps the love I have for my husband is equal-but completely different types of love.

Dad was my best friend and, quite honestly, the only person besides my husband who really got me.  We were extremely close.  We laughed at the same things, had the same interests, and thought hiking was the greatest thing next to grilled cheese sandwiches.  I take after daddy, in almost every way.  Mom was the writer in the family, and she was very talented.  It is no small wonder that my brother and I are the artsy, fartsy, poetic side of the family.  I think it rather neat that my brother is a musician who writes amazing songs-not unlike myself-who writes about music-daddy was the musician.  I can still hear him singing the Midnight Special, banjo in tow, at three a.m. after an argument with my mother.  Good times.  Good times.

I would do anything to have those times back.

So, between working evenings as a waitress in a busy diner (one of the biggest tourist spots in Lancaster County) and taking care of my family-well, I guess you could say I was just a tad stressed out.  If you saw me in passing, you would think me a demented Flakka head, on the verge of going off the deep end; at any given moment in time.  You would also be correct.  About the losing my shit, not the Flakka.  When my husband complains about the two cigarettes I smoke each day with my coffee?  I always say:

It could be worse.  You’re lucky I’m not on Flakka.  Or crack.  

Jiminy Cricket, I was wound so tightly, I actually pitied the fool who got in my way.  Back then?  I was anger personified.  I seethed with an all consuming rage that basically enveloped me-my mother abused me emotionally, and my memories were a big reason I drank to begin with.  I wanted to take care of dad, believe me, but the sad truth?  I was scared senseless.  My alcoholism had progressed, then eased after he died.  Eventually I came to a place of rewriting my story, and forgiving mother.  Years of my life, consumed with bitter ire-and a tragic notion that I needed to be punished, put in place-as mom had made it perfectly clear that I was undeserving.  Forgiveness is incredibly freeing, and you should do it often-not for them, but for you.

Finally, to the point of the story.  I was in the aforementioned condition while driving my Jeep Wrangler up Route 501 on a Friday afternoon, headed in the direction of the pharmacy in Myerstown-to get my father’s refills.  My hair is fried, not tended to; I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.  I am breaking out-not only in zits but pimples as well-my first outbreak of acne, ever.  Stress pimples and blackheads.

I head North and see my husband’s baby blue Chevy pick up headed in my direction.  I believe I went into a fugue state the moment I saw the blonde.  I was a jealous madwoman back then-it wasn’t my husband I didn’t trust, let’s just say that.

“OMG, who the FAZUCK was in Dwain’s truck?  How long has this been going on?  I’m taking care of my invalid father and the bastard is cheating on me?  What the FUCK?”

I ran into the pharmacy, almost hyperventilating when I see the long line.  This is the most impatient moment of my life.  I fantasize about killing the man behind the counter.  I want to slap the woman who forgot her insurance card, and truth be told?  My thought cloud was rated RRR.  If not ZZZ.

I raced to the jeep and drove like a stunt car driver all the way to Dwain’s work.  I see him in the park, akin to his business.  I aim for him as I drive, he jumps out of the way.

“Oh my GOD honey, what is wrong with you?”  He looks more than mildly alarmed, but he knows on many levels what this is all about.  I jump from the vehicle, not thinking to put the jeep in “park.”  Dwain jumps into said car and saves it, saves it from going directly into the pond behind us.

I scream and holler.  He tells me he took her to drop off her car, to have it inspected.  I eyeball him from toe to head.  Calmer, yet not quite assured that all is well; I head for my car.  He gives  me a hug, chuckles and says these exact words:

“Honey, why do you have spaghetti sauce all over your face?”