7 Years….

Tomorrow at 12:35 pm, will mark 7 years since my life forever changed.

It came silently. It crept in. I knew it was coming yet I wasn’t prepared. I was sitting right there in a chair beside his hospital bed and it crept right in and took him from my life, at least in a physical sense.

Death crept in and took him, 7 years ago tomorrow.

This time of year is always hard for me. It is when I tend to become more reflective.

7 years, 84 months, 2,555 days, 61,320 hours, 3,679,200 minutes and 220,752,000 seconds. Yes, I did the math. That is a great number of heartbeats and breaths.

Then, I was 43; now I am 50. Am I wiser? That’s a good question.

There has been a great deal of learning in that time. Learning how to take those first steps, learning how to keep walking (even on days when I didn’t want to), learning how to survive on my own, learning what I enjoy, learning to love again, learning how to live again.

Part of learning is making mistakes  but taking a lesson away from the experience (I have probably more of those in the past year than I my life) but I learned to be better.

I will get through tomorrow, just as I have the past 7 years.

I can’t help but wonder if he would be proud of the woman I have become.

I don’t have the answer to that… maybe some day I will be proud enough of myself for both of us.

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A Dinosaurs View of Dating Today…

I am one of those people who can talk to people of all ages. I have friends in their 20s and on up.

Tonight one of them called me and wanted to know if wanted to have dinner with him. I told him I had already eaten and promised him a rain check. His dad is a really good friend of mine. He has recently moved back from where his parents moved to and he is still not reacclimated to small town life.

I have a friend who is 22. She makes me think of myself a great deal. She is funny, smart, introverted, she had just not had the best luck with guys. She has been attracted to a certain type of guy and they have treated her like crap.

Not too long ago, she told me she was going to give herself 6 months before she dated anyone.

Now being a teen in the 1980s meeting people and dating was somewhat different.

This was when phones still had a cord and you would lay in the floor with your feet propped up on the wall and they could hear you giggle or shyly respond to a compliment.  They had to actually ask you out on a date. At my house, your parents met them before you left with them. You had to be careful because the whole family could hear what you were saying and believe me, my folks were listening.

Back in a time before texting and smart phones. We didn’t have messenger or tinder where you swipe one way of you are interested or the other way if you’re not. The only way this dinosaur knows about this stuff is that she has 20 something friends.

You were either dating back in the day or you were just friends. There was not a term called “we’re talking”. If you wanted to communicate you had to talk.

Sorry, I wandered. My friend was going to stay single for six months. Here is a sure fired way to meet someone, give up, swear off dating, give yourself the power to decide what you want, so someone can swoop in and shake you up to your very core.

I know this; it has happened to me twice. Both times turned out great or at least the second one has so far. The first time it happened there was an 18 1/2 year marriage.

The second I have enjoyed keeping company or talking to or whatever it is you do nowadays for 5ish years.

This was after being lied to and cheated on by this lame, cowboy wanna be.  So I know what it is like to say, nah I’d rather be alone.

And right on schedule a handsome, charming, brilliant man notices me. Still trying to understand what he sees in me but I ain’t knocking it.

So the night she told me about the six month thing, I told her to buckle her seatbelt. He came out of no where. He wasn’t on her radar. She was taken aback that he absolutely flipped over her. I see her point of view, I would feel the same way.

She of course started with I have never dated anyone like him before  and being the brutally honest type I said and those turned out so well.

Then she started finding little quirks about him. I knew what was happening, she was running scared. She told me in the past that she had done all the chasing, that when someone was interested in her she got more emotionally invested than they did and a lot faster.

She got spooked. He will drive three hours to spend time with her. He has taken her to meet his parents. He tells her that she is perfect. She doesn’t know what to do with that. I told her to enjoy it. I remember when someone told me I was perfect and beautiful although I couldn’t see it myself. That was another life time. It would take someone seeing it before I admitted it to myself .

She is at the point where he wants to meet her parents and she isn’t sure she is ready for that. I get it, there are family members that I don’t want to subject my person to simply to protect him from them. Family will latch on and pick something apart and ruin something good if you are not careful.

She doesn’t know how to handle this. She is not sure of her feelings. I told her to take her time. Not to make any rash decisions either way, to enjoy the time they spend together.

I understand walls, I have them but if he truly loves her, he will slowly tap and chip away at that wall. If he tries to bulldoze it down she will run like a rabbit.

I don’t know how it will end. I listen to her, weigh in when asked, choose my words so carefully that she made a comment that she sees the wheels turning.

She wants the fairytale. I truly hope she gets it. I have just seen enough of life to realize that everyone seems to think that everything is disposable, including relationships. I don’t see life that way, never have and I guess I never will. I take commitment seriously. I have lived through the worst thing I could. Guess that’s a good thing about being around before swipe left, swipe right and such existed.

Silent Screams and Mindful Musings….

I have many wishes and dreams. Some of them about my personal life. Some of them about the business I am trying to grow.

I have thoughts about many different things. My person, my family, my church, my friends. They all are in these thoughts. I don’t talk about it much and when questioned, you can tell from my tone if it is a good feeling or a bad feeling I am filled with.

I am working through some of the things that are weighing me down and I am celebrating those things that lift me up.

I am the type of person who rather than deal with confrontation, will walk away. I will be there if you need me but I will not allow the pain to continue. I will distance myself to save my sanity. Tried to hang on too long once and that bit me.  I am thinking of one person in particular. I felt dismissed by them and therefore, I choose to cut off communication. There is no discussion, the point is mute. Call it a bruised ego if you like. I can deal with that.

In the past 6 years, I have learned to be who I am and do what I love. They don’t understand it and honestly, they have said they are jealous of my freedom. My “freedom” came with a hell of a price. I lost half of me and had to figure out how to survive on my own until there was a bright cloud in a gray sky.

I had to figure out who I was, what I liked, that my life wasn’t over, no matter how many times I wanted it to be and was on the verge of making that happen, at one time. I had to learn that life goes on and love doesn’t die. That it is more than okay to love more than one person in your lifetime.

I have allowed pieces of my personality to come to the forefront like the fact that I am a fan of steampunk and I want to wear corsets, that I like to make messes and masterpieces and they just haven’t seen that side of me. I never let anyone see it. It is my safe place to try, to fail, to try again as many times as I need to.

Through all the things they have been through over the past several years, I have been right there. Through children being born, to falls from grace, to them doing something I thought about, I have been there. Never once, did I question. I was just present to love and support.

When I needed them most, they left me to fend for myself and recently I was reminded of how alone I am. I didn’t and won’t ask why. I don’t need to know. I can’t help how people perceive me. I know who I am, I know my strengths and I know my weakness, I know those things that I yearn for. I deal with those daily.

I work in a job where any call I get can mean life or death. I handle that will skill and confidence. I am the voice behind the backs of those who are entrusted to my care 12 hours  a night. If I need to, I can send more people to their location if I don’t feel right about something. I do that with authority. Yet, when it comes to my own projects, those things I am passionate about, I falter. I stumble. I do it wrong.

When I speak my heart and it is met with indifference, once again, I  retreat. I feel like my voice is unheeded so I slip back into the shell I have built around my turtle like existence.

Believe me when I say I have to summons up every ounce of courage that I can to put my feeling out there. I just usually lay in bed and cry because I can’t be one of those cute flirty girl. I’m just not. I am big and gawky and awkward. By the time I say it, I have run it through my head a hundred times over; Then…. crickets.

My head is busy at all times. Even in my sleep I fight because I can’t relax. Today, while trying to relax, standing beside running water I couldn’t. Life wouldn’t let me.

So I will plod along, with my silent screams and my mindful musings. I will continue to seek that peace that we all search for. I will press on. I will dream and I will wish. It is at the core of my being.

I will not change that for anyone. It is who I am.

Looking Deep Inside….

Recently, I saw a man I had a great deal of respect for laying in a casket. His time here is over. Now, I am a firm believer that respect is earned, it not automatically given. Much like trust and loyalty, I hold this in high regard so if I respect, trust and am loyal to you, you have to be something special.

I have been very quite over the past week. I have been deep in thought and taking some time for introspection through this process. What am I doing with my life? If I die today, was my life worth living?

I have decided that some changes need to take place. Very few noticed that  I haven’t been talking as much. So if no one misses what you have to say, it really must not matter, so stop talking. If anyone wants to know what you are thinking, they will ask at some point, then I will talk until , just say nothing. If you implode, maybe they will realize that what you said mattered.

I am going to stop promoting a business that is not working for me right now. I will not bore people with what I am working on, I will continue working but once again in silence. I will only share it with those who care about it, not the public.  When you feel like you have little support, you do it for yourself not for others. You make what you like. You enjoy what you are doing even if no one stands and applauds. That is passion.

I am going to make the most of the days I have remaining. As I heard two days ago, we are all one step away from death. Do I want to spend the rest of my time chasing dreams that may not happen or am I going to do those things that stir my soul? I would rather stir my soul. If people like it cool, if not, that’s okay too.

I want passion, fun, life. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying about what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to try to measure up to what others think I should be, being the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, employee whatever…. I will never be the perfect anything. I promised myself a long time ago, no regrets, I don’t intend to have any. I will use the words “I love you” more. I will follow my passions. I will not allow myself to settle. I will be happy with who I am, what I look like at any given moment, what I love to do and who I want to be with. It is my life and I want to live every moment of it. I like the rush I get from trying new things. I like it when I am busy and my mind is racing a hundred miles a minute on something creative or constructive. I love that feeling. It is like jumping out of an airplane and free falling.

I want to live every moment, not just exist because, some day, someone will be standing over me and reminding people that this is coming to all of us some day.

Six Years…

It has been 6 years. 2,190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. That is how long it has been since my world changed.

I remember walking into my house after he had to leave me. The transition had happened. He was out of pain. I was in pain.

My mom was with me. My best friend was the first one to show up. I sat on the sofa holding my little dog. It was more his dog than mine. They were there all day together while I worked until he went in the nursing home then most of my time was I there.

I sat there as people wandered through my house. I felt nothing. I watched as they carried food into my house and they sat and talked and honestly, I didn’t hear a sound.

As night fell, I began to pray. I was praying to make it through that first night, just one night was all I prayed for. I laid in the bed that we had slept in together and I cried. I laid there for some time. I remember when I woke up and saw the sun, I said I made it through the first time. I was going to be okay.

I couldn’t go back in my house and I walked off 135 pounds just walking to kill time so I didn’t have to go home to an empty house. Just something to do became therapy, which became a habit, which made me feel better mentally, physically and spiritually.

He had made me promise him that I would be alright and on the days and months that followed when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself of that promise.

When it got unbearable, I decided to end my own life. I knew how I was going to do it, I had a plan. Nobody would have thought anything except that I had grieved myself to death.

On the same day I was going to do it, I was sitting in my chair and I got  a response from a post on facebook that said “I feel ya but that first part isn’t right.” I asked the person to explain themselves. The response “I personally think you are hot and gorgeous”. I remember screaming all over the house. A friend of mine thought that I was hot and gorgeous. Me. Nooooo….. but at that point, I had a reason to want to live again. This man was gorgeous. He was sexy as hell and he thought I was hot and gorgeous?!?!?

I had been flattered by men since my husband had died but this one was different. I had sparked to him the first time I had met him. There was something more to him. Something of quality. Something worth me getting to know him better. That was five years ago. We have been through a great deal together. I have fallen in love for the second time after I thought I wanted to die. He became my person. That person I want to share everything (and I do mean everything) with.

If anyone had ever told me that I would fall in love again, I would have slapped them. If they had told me how deeply I would fall in love the second time, I would have laughed. Yet, here I am.

For the second time in my life, I am in love with a good, honorable man. A man who cares for me. A man who treats me with love and respect. A man who treats me an equal, he doesn’t talk down to me because I am a woman.

Does he still think I am hot and gorgeous? I can’t answer that . Only he knows the answer to that. I hope he does. In my mind I wonder. I am not 20 and skinny. I am not a model. He sees his share of those. I am not the kind of woman men trip over themselves to get to know although, sometimes people tell me I get a second look from time to time. It would be nice to hear it from him from time to time,  that he still thought that.

Life has changed for me a great deal in 6 years, 2190 days, 52,560 hours, 3,153,600 minutes, 189,216,000 seconds. At times it seems like a lifetime and at times it seems like it just happened.

I had one love and we honored those vows to the very end.  I have just found a new way of living and a new way of loving. the heart can mend and it can love again if given enough time and patience.

 

I Will Always Love You….

My girls (my great nieces) are growing up so very fast, the oldest one just turned 13 in May. An actual teenager in Earth years but she has one of those old souls.

She is so wise for her age, wiser than me some days, as she proved to me today as we had a conversation driving up the road.

We were doing a photo shoot for her new CD. Everybody’s first response is that she is beautiful. She is, no doubt about it; she is gorgeous. She is also, smart, talented, funny, goofy, wise beyond her years, a loving person who wants to see good in everyone. She is strong in her faith. She will not do anything she finds distasteful. She is focused. She is driven. She will not put her name on something she is not proud of. She is so much more than what people see.

They simply do not know her like I do. She always tells her other sisters that I love her more because I have loved her longer. I love them all, in different ways. They are all so very unique. They all have their strengths and very singular personalities. I give them the attention each needs. It’s just that right now the focus is on the older one getting her CD done.

We were alone on one of my favorite crooked country roads. It is the second round of photos for the project.  Her parents leaving her in my care,  had left us  to do what we do because they had to take care of some other things. We were fighting for time, there was a thunderstorm not so far away.

We did the shots and as always, I had music playing from an old cell phone. The song “Forever Country”, which is a mashup of some classic country songs sang by some of the greatest voices from the past and the present,  came on. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

We were looking at the shots we had just taken, she has to proof each of them. As we stood there flipping through pictures, we began singing along with the song. At the end of the song the last song they blend in is “I Will Always Love You” came on. As they began to sing that part, she laid her head over on my shoulder and sang to me.

Of course, I cried. In that moment, I knew that I was loved as deeply and as innocently as anyone could ever be. She wanted nothing but to in her way tell me she loves me. She does all the time but that time was a little more special than all the times before. No one saw it, no one was supposed. It was a moment but one that I will hold in my heart forever.

Humbled….

When I came into work, I was kind of down. That is okay it happens. It was one of those really busy nights. That too is okay. Made the night go by faster.

Always when I am down, something happens to allow me to see the greater good in life. Tonight was no exception.

There was a man under a bridge at an odd time of night. When someone stopped and spoke to him he said he had left a certain city  and was going to a certain city. I don’t want to pinpoint so I won’t name the cities.

He said that his girlfriend was sick. He was trying to get to her. The only mode of transport he had was a bicycle and he had spent all his money to buy an inner tube for his bicycle.

His total trip is going to be 161 miles. He has ridden 75 of those miles, partway was mountainous terrain. He was give a ride to our office. He was given food and slept in our lobby.

I thought about what I had seen this night.

A man who loves a woman so much he will ride 161 miles to be with her when she needs him. Real love does still exist.

Another man who went out of his way to make sure the first man was not cold and hungry. Charity does still exist.

I sat here and I prayed for this man as he continues his journey. The woman he is trying to get to as she lays sick, I don’t know who she is but I prayed for her as well. Faith does still exist.

When you think about, the little things we worry about are just that, little things. It’s those big things that this man is facing that are the big things and after speaking with him, he is determined to reach this woman he loves.

That is a big thing, in and of itself.