Tag Archives: life

Keep walking forward

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As typical of having been on vacation, I came home to a to do list longer than my arm.   Included in this was standing up for myself in a couple forums.  One with someone close to me, who is aging, and not a force to be reckoned with, another being the car rental place who tried charging me $179 more than what was contracted for.      I’m a passive person by nature.  I hate confrontation, but I’ve learned that in order to be in business for myself, and in order to take care of myself, I have to learn to do so.

Prayed the whole time I was handling both situations.    The first one was hardest, telling someone what they are saying is false, untrue,  no matter how strongly they rebelled against it.  And keeping my cool when I was being accused of something that I didn’t do, or would never do!   I think we were both shocked at how I handled the situation.  While I will lose some money in the deal, it is nothing compared to what could have been lost, had I not stood up for myself.  I will recover from this.     And I took NO satisfaction in having to tell someone I care about that what they believe to be true, was in fact, untrue.  But I did it.

Alongside that is the realization and reality that they are losing ground.   It’s easy to take others for granted, I mean, we do that to live.   We assume when we leave our yards, that all drivers we come in contact with are sober, able, and alert.    We have to drive defensively, and consciously, but we can’t leave our yard on a daily basis and think about the possible dangers of accidents, and sadly, more recently terrorists.

I was cleaning my studio and heard gun shots.   Now, I’ve lived around guns my entire life.   In past I wouldn’t think even twice about it, but not anymore.  I stop what I am doing and listen.   Say a prayer, and then try to move beyond what could be disastrous fear.    We have to have faith that we will go do our errands, go enjoy our vacation, if we are fortunate enough to have that opportunity, and know we will be home afterwards, tired, cranky, but alive and well.

I have heard some very painful, painful stories this past few days.  People that I know and care about are hurting, some with physical pain which in itself is a life changer, and some experiencing tremendous loss.  It’s always unfortunate when someone passes around the holidays.  The holidays are tough enough for most of us anyway.    And November has bee notoriously a very difficult month for me.  No matter what I focus on, and plan to counter the anniversaries of some very painful life changing events, it still comes up to smack me across my face, and try its best to rip my heart out through my throat.        I know this too shall pass.   It does.   But not without feeling it first.  I know I have no choice but to keep walking.   I think it was Churchill who said, and I quote “When in hell KEEP WALKING!”     Exactly.  Because we give in to the challenges, we stay right there in hell.     But sometimes it’s hard to forge ahead, and in the direction of where we need to go.    Sometimes the best part of a day is knowing you survived it.  It’s just a fact.

I have numerous things going on in my life, mostly all good, but not without stress.   The November crap hit me yesterday, and while it’s only Tuesday, I feel like it should be NEXT Friday!

The holidays are soon approaching.  Time to practice more patience with others, time to go the extra mile to help a neighbor, family member or friend.  Time to make time for someone who needs a hug, or a smile.    Time to let people you know how much you appreciate them, and even though we naturally take things for granted, many of us will experience difficulties that will remind us of how we do just that.

Here’s hoping your day is good, your life is going in the direction you want it to, and that you have a warm, comfortable bed to retire in tonight.     The older I get the more I come in touch with the fact that life really is about the little things, not the grandiose plans or dreams.  It’s about putting one foot in front of the other regardless of the terrain, and doing our very best on days when we know we aren’t feeling our best.    It’s just a fact of life.    My father used to tell us “to pull ourselves up by our boot straps!”      “You’re the only one who can do it for yourself”.     Today I can say, gratefully, that I did what needed to be done today, and while it wasn’t all pleasant, I did great.   Hope you did, too!

 

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Gratitude’s the attitude baby!

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Someone I care about is in the hospital, and has been through pure hell the past year.   I broke down in tears today thinking about her, and what’s she’s going through.  A reminder of when I went to Mass General thinking (after a surgery the week before) that they’ve give me a shot in the butt and some major antibiotics to take when I get home, only to have been admitted with serious infection.     I remember crying, calling my mom from the admission desk “They are admitting me to Bigelow 9”.  “Gigolo what?   Can laugh at it all now.

When you have serious illness, it sometimes provides you with acceptance of things from past that earlier that day, week, month, year, you could not.    And I think the same type of bargaining goes on when you lose someone.  “If you let me survive this….”

It was right around this time of the year, and I was in there for a lot longer than I wanted to be.  I remember thinking “I must be really sick because they don’t keep people in the hospital anymore!”.     When I finally turned the corner, my veins were blown out, and feeling like a pin cushion would’ve been a luxury at that point, they weren’t going to release me because I couldn’t drive home.  Well, I finally lied, found my way out of there.   I drove half way home to Leominster and then pulled into a Friendly’s.  I was so weak.  The only thing I had eaten was popsicles that week, when they would stay down.   So I ordered a fribble, and sat outside, feeling the cool fall breeze run through my disaster zone hair, and feeling so very grateful that I was finally out of the woods and heading home.   I sat for about 40 minutes until I finished the shake, which gave me the strength to get back in my car and drive the rest of the way home.

We can spend a lifetime planning, arranging, collecting, preparing, and one blip can and will take the comfort, the wind out of our sails.   We find ourselves at the mercy of life.   I hope this person who is so sick tonight catches a break, and I hope that she, too, will be heading home soon.   Her husband, her family needs her.     Until she does I will be praying, regularly, frequently, for her health.    In the end, we know God is in control, those of us who believe in God, and while there is some comfort there, the waiting, the meantime, the present can be so overwhelming.  If you’d like to offer a prayer for her, I know it would be greatly appreciated, or send her good vibes.

So I’m tired, heading to bed shortly, will be on my knees tonight praying for her and her husband.   They are so tired, so worn.    She just hasn’t been able to catch a break and my heart hurts for them.

Me?  I’m feeling pretty grateful at the moment.   The painful memories have faded some for me, and gratitude has built a wall around that awful time for me.    I know, I was very fortunate.  And it’s probably time that I do the things I “bargained” to do, if he’d get me through it.   And I’m recalling the trip home where I no longer had concern for the petty things that once plagued my peace.     Acceptance.     Perspective.     Life has a way of knocking you beside the head when you least expect it!

Wishing peace, love, and joy to each of you reading this.  I hope today you have found acceptance to the things that blocked your peace, and if you’re in the middle of muck, I pray that you’ll be given what you need to get you through, and beyond it.   Peace.  xox

Peeking in

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The moon lit up a path for my dog (Lilly) and I to walk tonight, our last walk before we retire from a challenging day, at best.

I stopped to peek in and look into my front windows.  What do I see?  What if I did not know me, what would I see?   Would I see the person I want to see?   Would I see a home that I would want to live in?  To welcome family and friends in?

Am I looking into the home of an honest person?  A kind person?  A caring person?   Or would I see an old, angered, manipulative soul?

Would I see the past scars of hardships?  Did the hardships shape or mold me in any way?  For the good?  Or the bad?   Would I see a person whose experiences brought her wisdom, does she share that with others?   Or would I see a woman whose outward and inward look feels beaten from life?    Or would I see the boldness and hardness or an embittered woman?    Would I see a happy, peaceful, gentle home filled with love, welcoming friends and family, or would I see a perfectly placed home, with name brands and picturesque shots from a magazine on Style?

Though the outside of this house is in need of scraping and love, is the inside, the core, the womb warm?  Does it hold true to the things and people I love?   Does it hold true to me?   To the people I have loved and lost?   Or am I living in a shrine to the departed?

Do I see artwork that is beautiful, and brings a smile to my face?  Or do I hear the poisoned tongue of self criticism, judgement, sadness?

Are there pets?  Are they happy?  Are they sad?   Are they fed?

Does it look like a home with a grateful soul?
Or want lists posted everywhere? Does it feel like the person who lives here has ‘enough’ or too much?

As I walked away, I smiled.     This home is far from perfect, and most of the belongings that fill it have been previously loved.   I see a warm glow that comes through the curtains, and a cat that’s probably purring while she lays sleeping on a chair cushion.  I see artwork that was painted with bright, beautiful, happy palettes, pictures of loved ones loved in their prime, smiling, happy, and just enough dog and cat hair on the floor to say, yup, those animals have a nice life, and so does the woman who lives here.   She has made a lovely home for herself, pleasing to the eye, and yet comfortable, welcoming.  Swags that were given to her by someone she loves, belongings that have little monetary value and much sentimental.    Colors that offer soothing feelings, and a studio that is occupied and utilized daily.

In short, I see my “true colors” shining through.   And that?  Makes me a happy woman tonight.    Happy and very grateful for who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

So now I’m closing the shades and shutting out the world, it’s time for my girls and I to cuddle and snuggle, and enjoy the plush comforter that will soon touching my skin, echoing my body.    I am a very fortunate woman, indeed.

 

 

Participation

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I can’t keep up with the crap that’s going on in the world.  Not and live a meaningful, focused, purposeful life.   Two minutes into reading the news, or the newest trend that is circling Facebook, I want to run away and hide.

I don’t think as humans, and I am one of them, we are designed to deal with the harshness that fills this world right now.  Yes, there are still beautiful amazing things to focus on, but there is so much ugliness that me, myself and I have to extricate myself from.     Whether you can handle it, that’s not up for me to decide, but for me personally, I can only stand small increments of crap, otherwise I get swallowed up in it.

This is not to say that I do not have an opinion, most of my readers know the world of crap I got myself in for speaking my voice and opinion in the last election.  What an election to open my mouth!   My point?    I now choose my battles, and wisely.

There is so much going on in this world that strips me of peace, of center.    I’m not one to blame “God”, though I have been extremely ticked off at him in past.     I am petrified of human trafficking, drugs, war, just to name three.   Now peruse your favorite news channel and see how many other dreadful, crazy things are going on.

How do we participate, and for each of us, have a voice, and realize we aren’t always going to agree with the opinion of others, and THAT”S OKAY!     Perhaps listening or reading without judgement, we can learn something about another person, or situation that we may have not looked at, or realized.  But that takes an open mind to be willing to look beyond belligerence.  And I’m here to tell you, I too can be belligerent.    I have been.  But it’s not a place I choose to visit daily, or even weekly.    For me it usually shows up when my defenses have failed to acknowledge harm coming from places I didn’t expect.    This means what?   It’s simple.  That I need to take care of myself, my own mental and physical state, financial.    That doesn’t mean I become oblivious to what is going on around me, but it does mean I secure myself, FIRST, it’s called self preservation!  And when that is in place, and I am able to help another, I will.  I will.

So today I’m choosing to stay in my own little world, which is full of color, texture, music, love, and light.   I am choosing not to participate outside of this world today, because I have somethings I need to take care of, and I am.     But I will and have offered a prayer for all my family, friends, and the world in its entirety.   So much going on right now, natural disasters and more.     My prayer will be my participation and help to others for this day.

I don’t believe we are designed to handle the enormous hatred and judgement that has been tossed around MOMENT BY MOMENT, and I’m not talking about just one subject.  I’m talking about ALL.  I’ve had enough to last me a lifetime, and I’m learning to not become ignorant to what is happening, but become purposeful where I can, and right now, there is nothing I can do for all that surrounds us, but pray.

I’m not suggesting you change what you are doing, unless you, too, feel overwhelmed and consumed by the ugliness that situates beside of you.   I don’t know whats best for you, or anyone else, so I just want to nod at you, blow you a kiss, and wish you a good day, filled with whatever you want it to be.  Those who are struggling, and there are many friends right now who are in crises, I wish you the best, and I’m saying a prayer that you will be comforted, that you will be given the strength you need to get through this day.     I offer this blog to give those like minded thoughts a gentle hug and acknowledgement that, yeah, I too am overwhelmed, so today I’m doing what I can for myself, first.    Wishing you a joy filled day with healthy boundaries and decisions made with a healthy, happy heart.    To you!!!

Experience…

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“I remember standing on the corner at midnight, trying to get my courage up.  There was this long lovely dancer in this club downtown, I loved to watch her do her stuff.  Through the long lonely nights she filled my sleep, her body softly swaying to that smokey beat, down on Main Street…”

In 1980 I was at a Bob Seger concert at Boston Garden.  When it was announced that they were recording this concert for a new LP (yes, I’m that old), I was standing on the chair, screaming, jumping up and down!    It was a great concert.

In 1980 I was almost 20 years old.   At the concert with a guy that died a young death in a snowmobile accident.   He was 27 years old, with a wife and two kids.  We were long gone as a couple, but we both loved music.   We went to many concerts in the short time we were together.   He had big blue eyes, curly blonde hair, and was a big guy, someone who I felt protected with when we went to a “Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Colt” concert in Boston.      My god, there were more people tripping than straight.  But I digress.

I often relate music to times in my life.  More so than not.   The memories can be very vivid, and can raise me up or drop me to my knees.  It wasn’t until later in life that I learned what real hardship and heartache was.  And don’t get me wrong, as a young person, love is a hard thing, especially lost love, but now, I think back and smile, grateful for the memories.    Some things weren’t meant to be.   And as true with most things, as I lived out portions of my life, I would understand why things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, or had hoped they would.   I see young people and I think “My God, was I really ever that young?  That innocent?”   Hell YES!

It’s been many years since I stood on that chair screaming and singing my lungs out.   And when people say “he or she has changed”, I smile and listen, but my thoughts are “Have they?”  Have I?     Yes, life has a way of smartening you up, experiences have a way of defining moments that change the course of your life.   But are we the same?

Best as my experience tells me, when you knew someone in your youth, if they were good, kind people, then chances are they still are.   And if they were an asshole?  They may still be!      Life dishes out suntans AND wet towels!   Sometimes the wet towels are so heavy it takes everything you’ve got to keep moving.   But experience has taught me it helps to toss the wet towels, grab from it all that you have learned, both good and bad, then drop it in its path, and continue on.

Maturity is a beautiful thing.   In life we learn all kinds of things about people, ourselves.   I learned at the age above in my life this relationship was not meant to be.  While there was pain, it passed.   And I’m very grateful that I wasn’t his widow at 27.

The kind of people that draw my attention are the people who have walked through hell and kept walking.    Because NO ONE’s life is perfect, and some of us have learned the value in being honest about it.   That doesn’t mean you stay sitting in the sand, with the wet towel around your neck.  It means you learn to be kinder to yourself, to accept change, and you learn the type of people who are deserving of your time, your heart.

Real people, with real issues.    I like people who have survived major shit.  Why?  Because they know who they are, they know what they don’t want, and what they do, and they value the smaller things in life, like the values of a person, not their mistakes.  And when we can finally accept that about ourselves, those of us who are blessed to live long enough to figure that out, there is comfort and peace in knowing, everything is as it should be, even if we don’t like it.

Very grateful for my life, and where I am today.  Is it perfect?  Not even close, but it’s mine, and I plan to make the most of it!

Today

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“Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine, I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.  A million tomorrow shall all pass away, ere I’ll forget all the joy that is mine, today”.  John Denver, “Today”.

Feeling fairly defeated at the moment.   Have been making great progress in my health, and I know how important that is.   But I was kicked in the teeth about an hour ago, after checking on one aspect of this thing called my life here on earth.

12 years of battles have deemed me irresponsible.  I don’t want to share what I’m talking about, and I know I’m not alone in this but what I will say is this, those times when it feels like you just can’t win?   Times like I’m experiencing right now, this very second, I need to do something for myself, to ground myself.  I need to say prayers of thanks for the progress I AM making, and the rest will fall into place I suppose, if they are ever supposed to.  I can only do my very best.

On a much lighter note, I went and had an ice cream cone with my friend today.  We were laughing and our usual goofy selves (always belly rolls), anyway, we get out of the car and we parked next to a vehicle, there was a man standing there waiting for his two sons to get out of his van.   I was dressed in raggedy, ripped at the knees, capris, and an oversized Boston Red Sox t-shirt, I’ve been working today.  As true when we spontaneously head out for a ride, I had some paint on my hands, but nothing major.   My girlfriend looked pretty in some pistachio colored blouse.  At any rate, the guy looks at us and rolls his eyes.

So as we’re walking to the counter, we stand behind these two women, one who whistles very loudly using her fingers, pierces flesh, I swear.  Totally unconcerned about thos around her.  I said to Chris “I guess we know who that whistle is for?  Hey, at the count of three, lets turn around and reciprocate an eye roll when he walks up”  “Okay she says”.    1, 2, 3 …

We turned around and offered to him the same eye roll he gave us.   When I turned back towards the counter to order, I was laughing.   I don’t really care what this guy thinks of me, or how I or my friend looked.   But I wanted him to know that I saw him do that to us.    Chris said he was grinning smartly, I don’t know, I never looked at him again, but I referred to him as “whistle man” when we got into the car.  “Show me what face you made” I said.   So she makes this very funny strange looking face because she’s not the talented eye roller that I am.   I about laughed myself into wet pants.  “I guess we’re going to have to change our strategy for next time someone does this to us!”     It was nice to laugh.

But that really isn’t what is bothering me.   I think it’s funny that we did this.  And yes, I’m aware that a bigger person would’ve walked by and ignored.   But as I said to my friend “He knows nothing of me, what I’ve been thru, what I’ve survived, the kind of person that I am.   Screw him!”    But the blatant disrespect and supremacist attitude is typical of what this world is like now.   Disheartening, yes.    Did I take it personally?  Nope.

The ice cream was delicious.   It was a three scoop Pistachio Nut that I slowly and skilfully ate in between the belly rolls that followed in our trip to the grocery store.

And now that I’ve sort of purged some emotions, I’m feeling slightly better than I was before I sat down.  The keyboard is a coping tool for me.   Go get yourself your favorite ice cream!  Enjoy it with a friend.  It surely makes meeting asses funnier when you can share it with someone!

So, I’m off to try to nurture and get beyond the feelings of being defeated.  And I’ll say a prayer of “thanks” for meeting whistle man.   It’s always good to have examples of the people you don’t want to become or be like!

 

Cds, cassettes, lps, dare i say 8track?

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I was going to work on writing up and illustrating a painting lesson tonight, when I got side tracked on YouTube.  Now I have been on YouTube to find out how to fix my washing machine, break open a safe (hey, it was cool!) but I really haven’t been on it for music in almost a decade.  Wow!   Where does time go?

I was happy to find Bob Seger, because you can’t find his on Spotify.   And it brought back fond memories of my teens, and the music that spoke to me and played loudly while I cruised throughout the Town.

Yet further down the road, my 20’s, my 30’s, when my sister would come visit, she would snag a cd, leaving the cover empty, and for me to find later!     That girl had probably 12-15 of my cd’s including and not limited to:  Harry Chapin, Bob Seger, Tina Turner.     My favorite cd’s.

The other day I was going through my collection (long standing collector of music which started at the age of 15 when I bought my first pioneer receiver).  It cost about $600 then.  I’ve long since replaced them with Bose.     But what I found were the empty cd cases of the ones my sister had stolen.   And I say that lightly.    She could afford her own, she just liked to do this!   I shed a tear or two, because she died over a decade ago, and I held onto those cases because I never wanted to forget her, or any of her little tricks.    Believe me, I’ve learned that I need nothing in material form to remind me of what a beautiful, wonderful person she was.  I miss her every day.

I neatly placed the empty cd cases back on the shelves, because I just love to remember the funny things she did.   Like putting confetti in cards, and crazy little antics that made me laugh.

Life is short, Where did all this time go?   And where the hell did these wrinkles come from?   I still feel like I’m in my teens when I listen to music of the 70’s.    Grateful, very grateful for this form of art and the many artists who have touched me through their words, tunes.

I didn’t get my lesson plan done, but I sure did enjoy the cruise down memory lane!  Do yourself a favor.   Skip the dishes or chores tonight, visit YouTube and go listen to the songs of your youth.  I bet you’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Negative space

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I’m getting some much needed alone time.     With music (therapy) in the background, windows open, I am painting today off an easel, a piece I had designed many years ago.  I’m not painting it the same way, nor with the same paint.   Today’s version is more realistic, and the palette much brighter than that of before.    I attribute that to high pigment paint AND my own growth as a woman, as an artist.

So I’m not using the old reference photos for anything but placement.  Basically trying to keep my life simple, because I recall the agony I had when first sitting down to design this piece.  It initially had a couple of watering cans in it, and it was too busy.   Back when I analyzed the shit out of everything, I would sometimes “fill” my paintings to the brim, instead of breathing, detaching, and appreciating or recognizing the need for negative space.  MUCH like the alone time I am having today.  I don’t mean to infer that I’m negative, not in the least today, but my alone time is crucial and vital to my peace of mind, creativity, and general health.  Therefore, I’m comparing negative space in a painting to alone time in my life because it’s needed and I’m usually pleased with the end result.

Such is true of food, as well.  I’ve been off sugar since April.   The first week was HELL.  I had headaches, quick trips to the bathroom, dizziness, and generally feeling like all I wanted to do was pick up a pop and drink it.    Anything to quiet the toxins that were being excreted from my body.    A week later I started feeling better, and stronger, and now some 14 weeks later I’m feeling SO much better, dropped a few pounds, and my goal is to remain happy and kind to myself.   The inner critic that resides in the darker parts of my mind is silenced at this moment.   When I catch it coming to forefront of my mind, I do what I was taught to do while learning to meditate.    Acknowledge it, and then go back to focus.   It helps.  And I’ve learned that it really is the smaller things that help me, not the large and drastic changes the critic sometimes pushes me to believe I need.

Music is a huge source of happiness for me.   Today, as my playlists echo throughout my studio, I acknowledge where the song takes me, the people that were in my life at that time, situations, circumstances.   And then when the song is done, I do it all over again with the next song.    I have several playlists that I’ve made, one all about my life, songs that come from the most significant times of my life.  And I’m here to tell you, “significant” wasn’t necessarily  big events like marriage, but reaching understanding, un-complicating my life from worry, finding peace, acceptance of things that LARGELY contributed to the bright side of, and improved quality of my life.

I’ve no answers for others, this in itself is a valuable piece of information.  I can’t live my life or make decisions for someone else, just myself.   And some days I have all I can do to do this for myself.    So the point I’m trying to make is, ridding myself of the clutter, both mentally and physically, in all aspects of my life have gifted me with this day of feeling happy.   I’m much looser with my painting, I’m focusing on the moment, and in the moment, and enjoying all this “negative space”.

Hope yours is going well, too!

 

On love

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It seems much of my life I have spent questioning my decisions.   I’m sometimes afraid to make decisions for fear that I’ll regret them, rarely has anything to do with the consequences.   I guess, in short, I lack self confidence, in some things, and then in others, I stand strong, tall, stoic to criticism with the ability to see clearly and fully that my decisions are just, sound, right.     Why the variance?

I had some crap dreams last night.   I will include that Trump was in one of them.  Rolling my eyes.    I don’t normally dream about our 45th President!   So why now?

When I access the parts of my life that include pain, disappointment (and we all have it), I weaken and have a tendency to “feel it” emotionally.

I’m reminded of a poem I came across at the young, ripe age of 15 that finds its way back in my life on occasion, and when I need it most.   The woman who wrote it was young at the time, and I remember reading something she had written on it saying she has never understood the depth of interest and popularity of it.     I found that interesting, because for me, this poem helped me stand up after assaults to my being or character.   I’ve shared this poem with many people during challenging parts of their life.   So why would it mean so little to her and so much to those of us who used to it carry us through difficulties?

She wrote about specific things that I have experienced, and I suppose, love and youth, or youth and love.   Earlier times in my life when love was defined differently than it is today (Thank God!).    “Kisses aren’t contracts”, we all “get this” when we experience the end of relationship, of death or loved one and we find ourselves alone.    The most important part for me was and still is ” So we begin to bring ourselves flowers”.    Hence, what I still continue to learn, to love and take care of myself versus others.

Of course I still lend a hand and my heart to others, but I’ve learned to first make sure I’ve filled my own needs.    I’ve also learned that it’s okay to have needs, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself, or put yourself first.    So perhaps, the answer to the author of the poem not understanding how or why her early poem was so popular is because, she learned with only one lesson to give to herself, or to love without losing herself.  And then there are many people like myself, who only after heartache and discord, learn, and even after that, continue the cycle until we finally “get it”.    Our hearts want one they want, but what if our idea of love is whacked?    I’m reminded that the “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results”.

For whatever the reasons, I still love this poem, and while I no longer cling to it like I did as an innocent 15 year old girl, as a 55 year old woman, I reminisce and bathe in the memories of “love”, and how over the years I’ve learned to accept self love!

Here is the poem by Veronica Shoffstall

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Walking through grief

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The past couple days have been rough, with migraines and frustrating bitchiness.   This morning I was allowing myself to get really bent out of shape over nothing, when I sat down and jumped on facebook.      I hope the migraine(s) are behind me, I think it’s related to barometric pressure, my head feels like it isn’t attached to my body.  Strange, and adding to the Bitch of the Year award!

As I surveyed my facebook feed, I read a post from a friend who is really a very lovely woman, a woman of faith, ridiculously talented, and kind to the core.     She posted about two children who touched her deeply today, and made her smile while she was gassing up her car.    It lightened up my mood, until close to the end where she spoke about telling the kids mother how much their kindness and friendliness meant to her, and today or all days, as her sister died early this morning of cancer.   Tears flowed down my face then.

I immediately sent her a message, offering condolences, and thanking her for her share.   My mind swept back to the very days my sisters succumbed to cancer.    I was broken, and I was angry at God for allowing this to happen.  And so began a war between he and me, for months on end.   I defied my morning praises, and no longer prayed at all.   How could he allow this to happen?

In time, I learned and accepted that death is a part of our life, and that fairness doesn’t really play a role here.  But my friend, who had just said goodbye to her sister, was talking about how good God is, and how much this experience helped her, and made her smile.   I cried as I reread her beautiful, lovely, words.    How amazing that she was at peace, or I should say, more peace than I had when my sisters took their last breaths.

I sat in silence, trying to compose myself, get my emotions into check, and while I would like to say the bitchiness melted away, it did not, but I was so moved by her share, and her eloquence, awestruck with her compassion and faith.     When she replied to my message she spoke words I understand too well, about not knowing how she will do this without her sister, her first best friend.    Her words lent clarity to me of how I felt, too.

I remember thinking how cruel it was that the birds still chirped, that life still went on, even though my sisters lives were over.   I remember people telling me “time will heal”.  I also remember being firmly (and probably belligerently) adamant that NO ONE would tell me how to grief, how to walk through this atrocity which had been handed down to my family.   Grief is a journey, a necessary journey that is so individualized.   There is no right or wrong way to grieve, though I hope I handled it with even a small portion of the grace that my friend did this morning.

At this time another friend texts me that she knew and was related to the pedestrian who was hit in Brattleboro yesterday and who died later from her injuries.    Many eyewitnesses have shared that she walked right out in front of the car, the driver was not at fault.  But that driver?  Is devastated.    I saw pics of him with his head in his hands, crying.  Of course he was.  What person wouldn’t be?    And then she shared that this person had also just lost two siblings to cancer.    I was relaying all this to my mom, and we shared how grief is an alternate existence, if you will.   You’re not in your right mind, your preoccupied, sad, emotional, and that may be a part of why she aimlessly walked into traffic.  How incredibly sad.

So, tonight, as I write this, I’m thinking about all that transpired this morning and how it changed and altered my piss poor thinking.   I am still working through some crap, but for the most part, I’ll be crawling into bed very grateful that my day may be frustrating, and my head may ache, but I had a fairly uneventful day given two other peoples lives that changed drastically in a moments time.

I wish you a restful nights sleep, and an uneventful (almost boring) day tomorrow.  Life can change on a dime, and it does.  We find ourselves walking through life without those we love most in the world, and I have since learned that the birds still chirping as we walk through grief is really a gift, because life does go on for some.    How easily, how naturally we take things for granted, at least I do.   And I think I’m a pretty grateful person, but obviously imperfect and still learning about life.   Aren’t we all?