Friday, July 31, 2015

Day #31


I spent the day both feet in, completely consumed. On absolute purpose.

16 years ago today I married my high school sweetheart, my very best friend. We said "I do" till death do us part.

And that, we did. ♡♡♡♡

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Day #30

Today I left work just a little bit early. Scooted over the hill into SJ and made my way to a large law firm. 10 attorneys. Large office. Plush, black leather furniture.

But not to worry.

I have no business there other than to pick up my Lu (16) from her internship and say hi to a friend. :)

An aquaintance type friend, neighbor, was incidentally at a summer BBQ we attended several weeks ago. The friend, who is a dad of a small, sweet fam, is a lawyer. He and lu got to chatting over the chips and dip. They chatted and laughed life old friends. By the end of the BBQ he had offered her a summer internship in his his highly regarded law firm in Silicon Valley.

I am awe-stricken. Thank you, normal human being, for going out of your way to give my child an amazing, once in a life time opportunity. There is nothing that even compares to believing in a little human being when they are so.... so..... on the cusp of adulthood and unsure of themselves.

She has gotten to LIVE the life of a good, fun, fast moving law firm. She gets to dress up each morn in slacks, shirt, blazer, a sassy little purse, and earrings. She gets up EARLY. She makes a cup of tea, and is out the door. She files, she scans, she does paperwork. AND she gets to go to court when the lawyers have hearings, and goes to all the meetings, including a Silicon Valley networking meeting.

What a deal!!! I am so excited that she gets to have this perfect opportunity.

When I went to pick her up I could see through the window that she was working hard, and interacting well with the staff. They were laughing, chatting, working. My love. You have been blessed.

Thank you world, God, friends, for still believing in our youth and allowing them into your world for a few short weeks. This is what shapes little human beings. What an experience. Thank you thank you thank you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day #29

Less than a month after Lu was born, was Columbine. Just 2 months after Nat was born, was 9/11. When Emi was born we were just 2 weeks out from James' first (failed) spinal fusion. When she was born he was still on a walker. No one could tell the MRSA was taking its toll.

I, admittedly, had post partum depression after each child, most notably after Nat.But especially for the first two, those events that were being played out on every tv show, radio, newspaper, left little to do other than just be totally immersed, obsessively waiting for the next update. With 9/11 I was SO terrified that they were going to attack the West Coast next. Yes the president had issued a no fly order, but I still woke up every.single.damn.time a truck drove by, for fear the sound was actually a plane.... theirs.

I got to a point when I did NOT watch anymore updates. I had to seclude myself from all the differing and varying updates and speculations, theories and debates. It was absolutely maddening.

It's OK to limit external intrusions, especially of such mgnitude. Staying sane is a very real and important part of being a parent or adult. And, no one tells you ahead of time that you might have to work really hard to get one foot moving after the next.

I'm not quite there with Maddy, but I'm close. I allow myself an update or 2 a day. I don't read the social media comments in articles or postings. Some people need to grieve and some people need to move on. BOTH are fine. But it bugs me no one when one insists the other is wrong.

I'm no less heartbroken than I was yesterday. Perhaps a tad more numb. I've talked with each of my girls separately about what has happened in our beach town. I think it's important that I acknowledge that they will hear all about it sooner or later, and in that light I want to know that I laid the foundation for understanding the facts. Seeing past speculation. Accepting differing opinions. Understanding that there is more than one broken hearted family. It's ok to NOT engage in conversations about it if they prefer. AND, let's talk about how we can keep ourselves and eachother safe. HONOR gut instincts. Believe yourself when something doesn't feel right and Get. Out.

I just sat with Emi and rocked her a bit on my lap. Our heads each resting in the crook of each others necks. Trying to hold it all together. Another family is not rocking their little girl tonight. And another family's son is likely never coming back and will know no such comfort ever again.

Real life is tough. I don't know that I'm cut out for this. Thankful to be signing off from my isolated spot on the mountain tonight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day #28

I'm in a state of total, complete disbelief. Miss Maddy was found last night, dead and dumped in a dumpster. 26 hours after reported missing. They think she was dead before the mom even reported it. My heart is broken wide open. Just take all of my feels and hang em out and drag them on the ground. I am riddled with pain.

I cannot even begin to understand. WHO hurts a child!?!?!?!?

I sit here with Emi next to me on the couch, and I am speechless. My heart alternating between such great pain and being numb. What would I ever do, God forbid this happen to me or someone close to me. I could.not.go.on.

I look at Emi and her perfect little goofy tooth grin, and her little bitty shoulders. My heart is hurting over the loss and manner of death of Maddy. We are called to protect. It is my honor and complete and total privilege to have these kids. Precious babies. I do not understand.

These are crank the radio, roll the windows down, drive to the green rolling hills for miles and sing LOUDLY. Deep and from the soul. Let it out. Don't give me any of that happy, chipper crap. I need mournful, thoughtful, REAL music to move me.

I have a LOT of questions for God right now. I am mad and angry and feel abandoned. Our (town's) children needed a God that night, a savior to step in. How was she held in His palm, cherished, and loved unconditionally, yet this happened. Ball's in your court, G-man. I'm out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day #27

So my head is spinning. A little 8 year old girl went missing yesterday in Santa Cruz. She is just about the same age as Emi. Oh my heart. It is breaking. Apart.

The Sheriff's have been combing the area by foot, helicopter, with dogs. The FBI is here, and swift water rescue, The Polly Claas Foundation, and the Red Cross.

I want to go out there and search. I don't want to step on any toes. I don't want to be in the way. But I feel compelled to help. What else is there to do? Let me feed you. Oh Red Cross has that covered. Can I feed the Red Cross people? Can I feed the spouses of the Sheriff's who are home alone while spouses work on this search?

My mommy brain is not turning off. As I'm driving I'm checking every child I pass. I searched my property. I told my kids all about this. We need to pray. We need to keep ourselves safe. But I don't want to jade them. Right? They need to know, but we don't need to hunker down and never talk to a stranger again.

And then another part of me remembers a few years back when a hike went missing locally. Missing for days and police and dogs hiked, searched, sniffed everywhere. No luck. Then on day 5 or 6 or something a dad and his kid decoded to go to one of the well known hiking spots but take some lesser known trails. They needed to exercise, and the might as well be of use. And you know what??? They found the hiker! Slightly injured but mostly disoriented. But police had searched here already... um... well clearly not everywhere! Thanks to this citizen who'd been instructed to stand down, the hiker was found!

That just ruffles my feathers a bit. Must search over and over and over and over. Anything is possible.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Day #26

This morn I picked up my girl from camp. As I saw her and ran toward her with our arms open... she ran right past me to Emi. Ugh... just LOVE me BACK, kid.

We did things a little different this morn. We went home quick after pick up since camp isn't that far. Put in a load of laundry (yay laundry!)

Then we made our way to the big town, grabbed breakfast to go, and went to Sky Park for picnic style breakfast. This was like 10am. It was SO gorgeous. Beautiful sky, so clear, grass for days, and my sweet girls laughing and catching up. This. Is. Living.

Fresh air and a little perspective can re-shape any day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Day #25

This is my life... almost simultaneously the following 3 things happened. No joke.

1. My garbage disposal eats my last favorite ice cream eating spoon. WHO in their right mind can eat dulce de leche Häagen-Dazs with a grinded spoon?

2. Emi looks up at me with the sweetest, most sorrowful face EVER. 'Mama... (BIG EYES)... I haven't done ANY headstands AT ALL today.... Can I please?'

3. Home phone rings. (Who calls us anyhow?) Hubby answers the phone "BUENO!" Oh, they think Nat may have broken her finger at
camp.... Does this surprise anyone? Nope!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day #24

I just want to flush!

Amazing plumbing guys ordered parts and were sched to return here later today.... in the meantime... got up early and got my giddy up on and ready for work. Still sick. Whatev. Life goes on... or does it?

Got to work after several sick days off. Instantly reminded of the bathroom shortage there too. Oy. Take your pick: #1 Use the facilities dept men's bathroom, 2 feet from their desks, but they're not always there. Just gotta stalk them and strike when the iron's HOT. Or, #2 since main bathrooms being renovated use the (actually) very very nice porta-potties.... which are positioned right next to where the construction guys take break and eat snack and lunch on the curb where the porta potty rests. Boo. I'll hold it.

But *this* day was in my favor. It's Melly ' s 2nd bday today. This makes my heart smile. Then I got a text from Hubby that the WATER IS ON! OhMyStars. Bring it on home. And for the icing on the cake, a letter from the IRS. .. dun dun dun... my taxes were wrong... they owe me a real-true-life-no-lie refund!! Sweet, incredible relief. Now I can pay the water man. :)

Yay me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day #23

My ice cream has tine marks in it. This is a good representation of my day. I've resorted to eating my ice cream with a fork.

Still sick. Strep negative. No water. No bueno.

Maybe water tomorrow. Mayyybeeee Friday. Maybe. Limited flushing, no dishwashing, sponge baths, hydrate with... liquor? Argh.

Heading back to work tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep to myself and not kiss anyone. But if the soaking sweats return with fever, I'm out.

Yes I have bottles of water. No this isn't the end of the world. But I'm cautiously reminiscent of my verrrryyyyy meager beginnings, life in a trailer, and no running water. Quite humbling.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day #22

I think I missed a day... I really only know that because blogger told me.

I am sicker. Strep test still pending. But it doesn't FEEL like strep. so there's that. But I don't remember my throat ever hurting so bad, for so long. And when I sneeze, oh man, literally feels like my uvula just tore off. Then there's the fevers. Good times! No.

Also, our power went out last week, but then came back on but as a brown out. Then off and on and off and on and brown. No biggie. Power goes out all the time here in the sticks. Wellllllllll... it fried part of our pump system from the spring at the bottom of the property. And our holding tank was down to like... 1000 gallons... oh and the flood in the basement. FML. Plumbing guys out today, back tomorrow.... super DOOPER water rationing in effect.

I helped as much as I could, but pretty much just directed from my softy spot on the couch. I'm all caught up on Devious Maids, Undercover Boss, Last Alaskans, Royal Pains and Manhattan. And, I'm out of ice cream.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day #21


Beware... I have little to no discretion when I feel do icky. Meh.

Broke down and went to the doctor's today. Surprise surprise... he said I'm sick! My throat has been feeling extra scratchy and swollen. I can deal with a few days of that but this morn woke up and my throat was MORE swollen and I had shaking chills and super gross profuse sweating. He was really impressed with the size of my uvula. SO BIG. Ewww.

I see MORE ice cream (if that's even possible), sleep, sleep, reading, sleep and ... more ice cream in my future.

My mind is gonnnnnnne when I feel so cruddy. I can barely hold a conversation, because suddenly I can't come up with any words to make a sentence. Argh. Totally useless.

Cheers to a smaller uvula and clearer thinker tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day #20

I. Am. Sick. :(

One kid home from annual Gramma and Grampy camping by the skin of her teeth, off to camp tomorrow.

To bed I go. Distant memories of dad in and out of nursing home and into Stanford ER, with septic shock.... from a big transplant of skin from thigh to atm, after removing cancerous bone from his arm. Ugh... and then a graft to cover the graft, and then a 3rd graft because 2nd never took.

Why... my brain goes there when my temp is high... idk. But oy.

Oh the stories I could recount of Stanford... mom's bone marrow transplant and more, James' 2nd spinal fusion, Dad's surgeries and lung surgery... plus a lil here and a lil there.... :/

Sometimes I wish my brain would. Just. Turn. Off.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Day #19

Sick. Boo.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Day #18

No animal in the woods dies of old age. Gahhhh.... think about that. It is profound.

And what if we step back and acknowledge that WE are part of the food chain, the circle of life. What goes up must come down. Nothing is a guarantee.

That can be very freeing. ♡

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day #17

1. Kids are camping
2. Catching up at work
3. Lost my credit card
4. My pants are too tight
5. Moved furniture in the living room
6. Chocolate vodka :)
7. The Last Alaskans
8. Lots and lots of laundry
9. Balcony door open
10. Fresh, amazing forest air
11. Cool sheets
12. Candy Crush Saga... don't judge!
13. Jem and the Holograms!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day #16

Thirty six.

36 is just a number. So is 30. So is 6. Today the relevance is that it's James' 36th birthday. He died at 30. This is his 6th birthday not here.

That's like a lifetime. How many of our friends kids have been born since then and he never knew. How many graduations, pick ups from camp, and report card celebrations he has missed. That we missed him. That there was a notable void.

He always said he was scared to turn 29. There was something about it that tormented him from early on. And, as it happens, 29 is when his soul died. The light was gone from his eyes, the body kept apparent form while the mind withered and was shed long before.

He hurt on his birthdays. Worried like a young child, that no one would remember his birthday. He'd have to pretend all day that it wasn't his birthday if no one remembered. My heart ached for him. Yes, my love, this is your birthday and we remember. We love you. We celebrate you. You are worthy of love.

As each birthday passes, we celebrate a little less. There's nothing like the first one. I think that one hurts the most. But each subsequent one actually hurts more and more. The crack just splits wider a little more each year. The distance, for me, is scary. Time should be ireelivent. I can't wrap my arms around that time. It seems too long, too distant, like it never even existed. That scares me. I feel farther and farther away.

My boss asked me how I was today. He has no idea what lies beneathe. "Pretty good," I say. "At times a little overwhelmed, but I think I play my poker face pretty well."


Monday, July 13, 2015

Day #15

I have a problemo. My name badge for work hangs on my lanyard. And when I slouch at my desk, it gets caught just on the edge of my nerdy ergonomic key board... and it chokes me. Like 20 times a day. I never see it coming :/

Today was a NEW day, tho. I thought what if I tied a knot or 2 in the lanyard, which would shorten its length?? Bueno idea!! Hey hey, Sooooo simple! To which I thought, just like they say: Work smarter not harder.

Until I went to take my lanyard off, and about the point when I pull it up and past my face... it wedges up against my forehead SO snuggly. And I just sit there with my badge dangling from my forehead. Gahhhhh... I. Am. Stuck.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day #14

I've been feeling like my dining room was missing something. A sideboard, a hutch, a kitchen armoire, I don't know. The peice of furniture I have that is there now, is great. But not right for this space in the new house.

In a gutsy move yesterday I bid on one in a local garage sale FB group thingy. I've only bid twice, and didn't end up being chosen either time. I've been a member of this group for YEARS. Anyhoo... saw a perfect one posted for a decent price. Oh it was so pretty! I closed my phone. I do not NEED this. It kept circling in my brain tho. Hours later I checked back. No bids yet... oh!! I told myself one more hour and if still no bids, I'll go in for the kill.

Hour. Mine. Boo-ya.

We will get it tomorrow :)

This evening Bitty and I cleaned out the old one, as it will now serve as our tv stand in the living room. For Pete's sake we can really pack away a lot of crap in that thing!!!

And then it was So. Very. Clear. Me, you don't need to burden yourself with all of these little bits of crap packed away. This-es and thats. A frayed ribbon, 1 glue stick for a lost glue gun, a returned Xmas card undelivered, one link of a dog leash, half a burnt candle, like 40 million thousand placemats! Oh, yes, and all that baggage in your heart. Unpack that crap too and Throw. It. Out.

Clear it all out.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day #13

I am not a people person. I LOVE people, most of the time, from far away, or in small doses. I am not social; I am not inclined to go out. I want to be at home all.the.time.

I don't want to talk about myself. Not to you, or anyone else. I am painfully, awkwardly, quiet and keep to myself. This is me. And it's ok. Others don't always think so. That's not my problem but it does start to eat away at me and my self perception... am I really an ok person? Should I be something different? Should I be just how you or he or she thinks is normal? Why???

I blog to help me release what's on my heart, work thru things on paper, and kind of document my journey. I have no desire to talk thru this stuff with people, or be questioned about it. Take it or leave it.

Tonight I ended my busy, disfunctional, perfectly anxiety ridden day by sitting on the deck at dusk, in my fancy new deck chairs, with a beer and my babe. This is my life. This is what I love. I embrace my quiet awkwardness. I believe I'm made like this for a reason, even if I don't know exactly what or why yet.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day #12

Overwhelmed. This is today's theme.

Pain is taking over my body. This and that and it won't stop. I can barely think and feelers are alllll out of whack.

Then I start to hear about the shooting in Boulder Creek. Ughhhh... my heart. News starts flooding in about how the night had unfolded, a 17 year old boy, mental health issues, a grampa, gun shots, helicopters, and for the finale: death. I cannot even look at my FB acct. Everyone's arguing: stupid kid, poor kid, bad cops, bless the cops, kid deserved it, why wasn't someone helping him? Ohhhhh people, my brain, will explode if I try to entertain any of these ideas. WHY do people think they can argue and demand respect for a point of view. .. on FACEBOOK.. and think they can really sway someone equally as volitile of the opposing view??? WHY. I cannot comprehend. Shut. Up. Actually, let me see myself out and close the computer.

My heart is hurting for everyone involved. EVERYONE. Absolutely tragic. I will pray.

As I ease out of my desk chair at work, slowly, carefully, in the least stooping, no bending, non twisting, maneuver... I can barely stand. Or walk. At *THIS* moment my staff and I hear gunshots, outside, not too close, 3 in succession. Def not fireworks. Oh. My. Goodness. But then nothing. About 3 mins later we hear sirens, so many, 30? Continuously for the next HOUR. What is happening? Finally we hear word that there was a shooting into a house behind one of our buildings, shooter on the run. Really!?!?!?

Oh my little life is small and mostly insignificant. Yet I am consumed today with all sorts of feelings that are MUCH bigger than I am. The pain, the worry, the BIG crazy things happening in my little town are beyond my control and comprehension. I feel completely unprepared for days like this.

So glad the shootings don't impact me directly. Just wish I could disengage from the feelings they bring up in me. Some days should only be allowed with a fast forward and mute button.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day #11

This morning my alarm was set for 6:04. I tossed and turned a bit and finally rolled over and checked the clock... 7:44 !?!?!? Whaaattttt!!! No way, no how. After a quick close inspection of my phone while cursing I could see that it WAS set for 6:04 and alarmed for 18 mins before silencing. Arghhhh.... I never.ever.ever over sleep or sleep thru an alarm. I was out the door 19 mins later, shower and all. Super crappy start to my day.

No time for Coffee :(
Ps. I can't move very fast at all right now. Nick and I put up a 100 ft long section of fencing at bottom of steep mountain on property. I have not been the same since.

This eve no time to get dinner. Pick up Lu from Stacie's (she slept over there because she was gonna get home from Six Flags at like 11 with her BF. Mama needed sleep, not midnight driving.) Get Lu up abt 445. Walgreens. Safeway. Drop Lu back at BF's. Drive to Gramma and Grampy's pick up Nat and Emi. Don't go home. Go straight to high school to stand in line an hour early for opening night of play. *This* is where the day catches up with me....

I can't stand the drama teacher. At all. For years. He was there when I was in Jr high, he should have retired. He is greasy, and disingenuous. And then they charge $15/person! ?!?!? FFS... come on back down to earth. REAL people live here, and no we really don't want to see your play, but I support the kids. Please gouge me in the pocketbook too. I only have a fam of 5. Booooooo.

Finally seated in fancy new theatre. Oh damn, and I'm right back to high school. People I have calculatingly steered clear of for years are starting to fill the seats around me. *Click click click* There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Please just hide me.

On the ride home, well after my bed time:
-Emi: Mama do I have a long torso or a short stumpy one?

-Emi: Mama I had to fart. But I held it in during the play. Hold your breath.

-Emi: Gramma said I could play an instrument. I can't choose which one! I'm gonna be good at them all!

-Emi: Mama....

Sleep. It beckons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day #10


- I feel accomplished at work. Got a lot done. Like a boss. Heh.

-Miss my dad and feel guilty for not seeing him more often.

-Preparing the house and my mind (and the kids) for the next few weeks of summer whirlwind for the girls. Sleep overs here, sleep overs there, amusement parks, summer school, camping with Gramma and Grampy, airplane flights, summer camp, internships.... oy!

-the super glue did not last long for my car side mirror. It's back to dangling. The gate just jumped out and attacked me... swear!

-Have more respect for my pastor than ever before.

- Gearing up my soul and body for a scary surgery mid-august. :( My brokenness is not just a figure of speech. I might blog more on this, but maybe not.

- Putting together a bucket list. Not because of upcoming surgery, but because I'm not aging any slower! There's things I want to do and sre, peeps! It will feel much more attainable if I have an actual list! :)

-Can't do talky people. Breathe!!

-Overall, feeling ok today. Feather meet cap.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day #9

Tonight I am reminded that I love love love little bitties. No matter what, no matter nuthin. All of the handles in my house, door knobs, cupboards, brushes, alllll of them are sticky, grimey, covered in love and life. I could clean them twice a day and they'd be the same sticky just the same.

Little bitties text me about everything imagineable... underwear, movie plans, why are all the spoons dirty, can I have a sleep over, i lost my ipod, the internet isn't working, my grades came, do I hafta take the trash out, I fed the neighbor's cat, when are you coming home? Endless. I cherish this.

My most favorite times are cuddling when after dinner, waking them up, and tucking them in.... tho of late, I've been the one getting tucked in. ♡

How can they be SO precious when just a bit ago they were torturing eachother... I don't know. Alas.... I try to be so steadfast, consistent, allowing exploration and wonder, building them up and teaching them to do the same for others, and more than anything cover them with LOVE. Love love love. Love will win. Love will find the way. Love creates the space. Love doesn't need agreements or provisions, rules or an ending. Love is my religion.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day #8

Overcome today by my own inabilities. Wading in brokeness... heart, mind, spirit, body.

No man is an island, unless of course, he is.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day #7

Today was a gift :) Wish I could upload pics but I can't at the moment. Long naps, happy kids, reading on the deck, and church.

We left our last church for a number of reasons. We feel like we are settling in to the new church ok. We are looking for authenticity, open hearts, a place to learn.

To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going back to church tonight. I was privy to some information about one of the leaders. I had been feeling let down and sad about it, but decided to withhold (most) judgement until today. I would go to church and see how they handled it. If they swept it under the rug, I knew this was not church for my family and me. If they minimally addressed it, I would still be torn, could go either way. If they addressed it head on, preferably with the person involved speaking to the congregation and he took full responsibility, and was transparent... I'm in. I want REAL people, real problems, real truths, real darkness that is hard to bring to the table, yet once in the light, can start the healing process.

Tonight, I saw the man from the church, whom I look up to, whose words are breath for me. I saw him kneeling, then crouching, not sitting.
This was a pained man, a man in turmoil. We sang, we had announcements and then HE came up, flanked by a man he introduced as being on the church board. The church board man began to speak, in generalizations, but clearly they would be addressing some serious matters. He wanted us to know they are in constant prayer about what is best for the man, and for the church body. Then the pained men stepped forward again. He put it all out there. His mistakes, and how they multiplied, what he had done. He said he is beside himself with shame. He knows what he did, what he didn't, and what he could do now. He said he is taking full responsibility with open arms. He said he needed to be forthcoming with leadership, with us, with his family, no matter how humbling or humiliating it is. He said this thru tears, clearly struggling, crumbling before our eyes. The Church Board man stepped forward again and said they met immediately, and have been praying for him and the church. He elaborated a bit about the incident. He ended by telling us that our man would take a few weeks off to regroup, already and continued seeking counsel, and WOULD remain as lead pastor. The congregation erupted in applause, with tears coming from every blessed soul in the sanctuary. And then (lead by my not-so-churchy husband) a standing ovation.

I do not recall a time when I have been SO very moved. To witness such integrity. YES I long to be part of a church like this!!! Real, messy, filled with humans who struggle and make wordy decisions that have consequences. All in different stages of faith, all with a commonality of being a child of God. Beloved. Broken and beautiful. YES.

Side note: talking about a DUI.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Day #6

Today is N's bday. Amazing how much time has come and gone. She was born on the 4th of July which has its own personal sentiments. But our tradition is to go to town, to the Fire Dept pancake breakfast and then enjoy the parade. If the girls are lucky they get a seat on a fire engine to start the parade. (And yes for the longest time she thought it was all in celebration of her bday.)

It's hard to go back to the fire dept. That was a lifetime ago that James gave 11 or 12 years to them. My heart is heavy when I walk thru the engine bay, smell the smells of the turnout gear. It was home for so long. Now the station is filled with newbie firemen in fire gear who don't know who I am, or the girls. I never existed.

Tonight we BBQ'd and lit the fire pit. We sat back in our little red chairs watching the sun go down. Smoking our s'mores. My heart is happy and blessed. My soul, tho, is forever unsettled, always looking just past the horizon. My mind is always adrift, sailing with the wind, positive that the answers I seek are just beyond the next turn.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Day #5

I am dying of thirst by the side of a fountain.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Day #4

Today's thoughts....

1. Had a ridiculous migraine last night. But, you know that's how it goes. I can get thru anything tough, work, family, whatever, as soon as it let's up and is done or safe, the migraine hits. Meeeehhhhh. Me no likey. Took some medicine and waited and waited and waited for relief. Relief finally came, and it was just a mild reduction. To bed. 12 hours later... all better :) a little migraine hangover but I can deal.

2. I ate ice cream twice today! Once for breakfast and once for dinner. Whatev.

3. Had a GREAT time taking the kids and a friend swimming today. It's a place I used to go as a kid and have such fond memories. Today was equally sweet. I even put ON the bathing suit AND got IN the pool. And I didn't burn.... I'm such a competent adult now. ;) Got a little reading in... re-reading Redeeming Love. Ahhhh, my heart. ♡

4. I'm feeling sad and confused about a local aquaintance. He's not a friend, but a mentor if sorts. I know life is not perfect, but I think we learn a lot from our mistakes, our mis steps. I think the jewel is how we deal with it - the mistakes and mis steps. Do you hide it, justify it, run from it, or do you own it, and walk walk the walk of transperancy and introspection. Hmmmm....

5. Our neighborhood has a mountain lion! Yikes. The neighbor (half mile away) has seen it twice in the last 4 days. The SC Puma Project came out and set up game cameras near it's recent kill. Oy. I love natural beauty, animals in their natural habitat, the circle of life.... but I also enjoy a run in the woods and letting the dogs out to pee at 9.

6. I'd realllllyyyyyyy be into my Spotify or Pandora playing thru my phone via Bluetooth to my car radio.

7. Today was a good day. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day #3

So the thing about dead people is that no one wants to talk bad about them. And as respectful and appropriate as that may be, it's not always the right representation of that person. And at the same time perhaps it's not appropriate to bring anything up, because now that they are dead, you can put your issues with them to reat, sweep it all right under the rug where it never needs to see the light of day again.

When James died it was profoundly sad. For me, obviously because he had died and that is sad, but more so my sadness was overrun with spite. He had 'beat' the alcoholism, done the 'right thing' by joining the Marines, he was a very loving daddy. I was beside myself that whatever pain, addiction, PTSD, undiagnosed mental disorders, sickness, had over run his body and won. I wanted him to have a fighting chance. I wanted to see him rock this world.

Instead, he suffered inexplicably, many times at his own hand, but sometimes not. The pain was real, panic and anxiety real, days at a time of insomnia -slowly loosing his grip on reality, the seizures, the rages, the car accident, the medicine.... it all started to swirl together.

There came a point when I could no longer separate what I should hold him accountable for, and what I should not. Regardless..... it doesn't change the fact that I lived a living hell for years. Hell with an underpinning of love that I still haven't shaken.

As I've taken the last 5 years, I have grieved and hurt and retreated into my own world. Without knowing how to grieve the 'right' way or know what my next step should be, I built him an alter and set him there carefully, delicately. When the girls would talk of their daddy (often, several times a day) we would reminisce about their amazing memories and stories of daddy.

They were good memories, correct recitals, it was all true. It just wasn't ALL inclusive of his life, ALL the memories. I know they weren't present for all of the sleepless, manic, over medicated nights. I know that I sheltered them from a large portion of the crazy scary daddy, but certainly they must remember.....? Daddy sitting in the chair asking for his son. The time he stopped breathing, no heartbeat and grampie had to start CPR while they waited for the firemen, the seizures, the falling and convulsions, the blue lips. Daddy not being allowed to drive on the school field trips, racing unsteady to put his boots on and saying there was a fire, the slurring, the unconsious, the breaking thru doors. Funny tho, those weren't the memories they wanted to share and remember.

I get it. Who WOULD want to?

And, in my heart, do I really want them to remember anything but the good? Or am I all wrapped up still needing validation that it happened at all.

Lu was working on a high school finals project. Pick 30 people and write about each one, why are they your heroes? What a great, thoughtful, project, especially for teens. I loved it. Lu took her time (as she always does) thinking long and hard about each one. She chose an amazing variety and I LOVE her lil thinker. She included the nurse who sings to the child cancer patient, a teacher, authors, her team of doctors from stanford, book characters, our insurance (for being there to cover all of Nat's broken bones), a singer, her boyfriend's mom, etc...and her daddy.

Indeed, that seems like a very thorough, thoughtful list, she just forgot to put me in there. Surely she meant to. Surely if daddy qualified and she (more than the other girls) knows everything that we went thru, I could at least be a contender. No. No, I was not. Do I realllllyyyyyyy care about this, like on a school report level, no. It just really made me sit back and evaluate what I allowed the girls to be exposed to, and their own little filters and how it processed it all. I still feel the sting, but I suppose everyone needs a daddy on an alter who loves you unconditionally.