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Another Year in the Rearview Mirror

The Little Man Who Stole Our Hearts

This is that time of year when we look back over the year we just survived and either cringe or smile. Perhaps we do a little of both. There have been so many years that ran into each other with nothing devastating or new and inspiring happening. Those years that rambled by I barely remember details. Each one so similar, with working endless hours at thankless jobs to vacations each and every 6 months at my Mom and Aunt’s house doing the same no-thing, eating the same foods, dealing with the same stresses of a dysfunctional family year after year.

Over the past year one of the major dysfunctions passed suddenly. My alcoholic big brother went to the great beyond one evening in mid March after our entire little family had spent the afternoon together sharing a meal and for once not fighting or generally disagreeing about anything. I find I do miss him and his sense of humor, but absolutely do not miss his major pot stirring of emotions and negativity, his ridiculing of the family, his drinking to the point of needing to throw up food that his Mom or others made specifically for him, and his use of kitchen chairs for his personal potty.  He had actually been on his best behavior that day unlike any other in the previous 30 some odd years he’d been an active pain in the ass. As the next oldest sibling, taking care of him and being certain he was alright became my job when I was in town. It was unwanted as a skunk in a campground. Was it any wonder that I had moved out of state when I was in my early 20’s?

One of the other things that became suddenly evident this past year is that my 96 year old Mom could no longer remain the endlessly energized Ever Ready Energizer Bunny she had always been. This dismayed her. In late August she acknowledged some weight gain to her lower legs and the resulting slowness and pain that that caused. A diagnosis of congestive heart failure within a couple of weeks took her confidence in driving away and she handed the keys of her tiny little one owner old lady car to me. That got my niece and nephew into my face when they thought their Grandma had lost her driving privileges rather than the reality that she relinquished them.

Then and there life had to change….for all of us. Mom needed someone to stay with her. Doctor’s orders.  Despite everyone’s loud, verbal input that Grandma was to stay in her home, no one wanted to give up their lives in order to provide that.  What was worse was that Grandma was guilted into staying in her home by being told she couldn’t leave her granddaughter by her granddaughter. This made my Mom feel really torn and me not very happy. I decided that whatever Mom wants to do, I’ll accommodate.

After a couple of months of doctors visits and Mom becoming somewhat stable she decided to come to join my partner and me at our home in New England. She advised she’d come north for a visit to test the waters, so to speak. She insisted we be back for Thanksgiving and stay through the New Year.  And so it was.

Next week starts the New Year. Guess we are staying a little longer. My partner will need to go back home for doctor appointments and such. But Mom has a need for all her ducks to be in a row and wants to have her income tax done for 2019 before leaving. She is not too keen on the temperature differences either. Can’t say I blame her, really. It is around 15 to 20 degrees colder up north. With all due respect, though, Mom does not go out except to church and to doctor appointments, so it is not like there would be a great negative impact. She had advised we should sell her house before we leave to save some money. I agree, but do not want her to not have her home to come back to if she feels the need. So, I have told her not to worry about that at this time.

That brings us to the here and now. We sit. We breath. We eat and wash up and take the dog out when he needs to go. We smile. He brings us more smiles in a day than any other single thing….TV included! He is a seven and a half year old puppy mill survivor that I got from a small breed rescue in Ohio August 7th of this year. I first saw his face on my computer screen when an add from WolfSpiritRescue popped up on my screen back in April. What a haunting little face! What adorable chubby front legs he had dangling from a rescue workers’ arm. What a timid boy he was when he first arrived home. My Mom said that she’d never seen an animal in such need of being spoiled. And so the spoiling began. Yes, he does deserve it. To me he is a prince among dogs. He is gentle with a sweet spirit and has the deepest brown eyes that stare right into yours. He has my Mom wrapped around his little paws. No matter what the day has brought in terms of frustrations or cares, he is there to look you in the face and remind you that nothing…..absolutely nothing matters except love and food. Not always in that order, but you get the idea.

So yes, there have been losses and there has been joy. There has been a lot of change and things are not done changing yet, but in each day there is a little slice of heaven if you look to see it. We are in a world of many beautiful things. The sunrise over the ocean; the sunset over the backs of the houses and trees on our block; the look you and your sweetie share that no other two people can; the look in your dogs’ eyes as he looks into your soul to be sure you are ok; your mothers’ fussing at you to do something different or better; your very breath. The list is very varied and could fill a library full of books and still not be complete. Our blessings are many because our trials are many, but we are all ok. We are never forsaken despite appearances. Learn to look beyond and really see. SEE.

For the New Year…the new decade…my focus will be continuing to take a day at a time and keeping the dog and the Momma happy. Making them smile makes me smile. I am blessed with a partner who lives with the same understanding. Joy can happen despite circumstances when there is love to wrap the hurts and disappointments of life in.  This writing is not done, not complete, but is in flux as the days are cold and cloudy this time of year. The story continues…….

 

 

 

 

Holiday Gathering Success (WHAT?)

For 50 or 60 years, give or take a few, our family has gathered at holiday times to share meals and do the “family thing.” What that has historically meant is carte blanche for any and all bad behaviors and not one ounce of remorse or regret from those perpetrating their ill behaviors upon the all expecting family. Yes, all expecting. The family has tolerated some real crap from the excessive, completely in denial “drinker” who urinates and defecates on himself and furniture, to the “almighty know it all” who resounds a  humongous demeaning vocal dissertation upon all of us who have an ounce more knowledge about a subject than he.

So, to experience the joy of a holiday without the drama was such a delight! The know it all found a new love and moved in with her family. He is on best behavior at this time as it is a rather new (less than 2 year) relationship. We all went to their new love nest, complete with her 80 year old mom who puts up with next to nothing. The drunk and his drunk partner came as well. His usual bodily functions were none existent as they would not have been tolerated in this new venue! The entire new family were wonderful hosts. Their family way is for each person to bring a contribution to the meal so as not to stress any one person out with cooking for the 28 of them. What a success and what a joyous assortment of food that would not be reasonable for any one person to have created alone.

So, finally, after all these years I have learned that the cure for the holiday drama and stomach pains is simply to find a new venue to share the meal and create an atmosphere that is not conducive to the previous bs of holidays past.  No more tolerating and enabling the bad behaviors just to appease our Patriarch, Momma. Instead, create a space that would cause major embarrassment to the perps if they carried on in their typical unbridled behaviors by adding new blood (new people) to the scene.  SO simple.

It worked.

We are using the same for Christmas!

Yes, it was THAT SIMPLE!

(your welcome!)

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Breast Cancer As An Emissary

The Journey of a wonderful Soul.

Aligning With Truth

The diagnosis of breast cancer is just that — a diagnosis

An identification of the nature of an illness.

An identification of the state of the cells in my body. Of the imbalance between the healthy and harmful cells.

I view it as merely an imbalance in the energies. A misalignment.

And when there’s an imbalance or misalignment, what does one do?

Put some balance. Put the energies into balance. Re-align.

Bringthe energies into alignment.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/

The diagnosis per se isn’t where I keep my focus and energies; it’s in what the Universe, my Higher Self, my Soul is telling me via the diagnosis.

My Soul chose breast cancer as a messenger. An emissary.

The diagnosis is a messenger of what needs attention. Of what needs re-direction. What needs increased awareness.

It is a messenger of validation for what it is that I have…

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An Open Letter To Those Who Doubt Or Deny God

Lots of food for thought here. Reblogging because these thoughts and their author need to be absorbed by more thinking minds.

THE RIVER WALK

It has been a while since this most commented of posts has received much traffic. When I was read Psalm 53:1 in today’s scripture reading, I thought it might be time for a revisit…

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 53:1

Read: Numbers 14:1 – 15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalm 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4

To The Doubting Christian – If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Rene’ Descartes Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith, it is an element of faith. – Paul Tillich

To The Agnostic – Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. – Thomas Jefferson

The Militant Atheist – Man is manifestly not the measure…

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Fringe No More…

I have been listening to a whole lot of Jesus TV lately.  There are new, younger preachers that are making Jesus seem so much more approachable and real. I think this is a good thing as the catechism that I grew up with kept the Lord at a distance. I am not religious or pious. I am just your simple generic sinner type that is trying to live each day as if it were a new assignment by seeing everyone I meet as Jesus and having the opportunity to acknowledge the beauty of that to them.

It seems the more awake I re-become, the more I feel I am being drawn towards a life that is not so secular. I have an inner pull to become more outspoken and more bold in my faith walk. I want to share the Good News with others and am becoming discontent with “just” going to work and living to take care of self. I remember the days when I was a new Christian, full of Love, Energy,  Music, and the Spirit. There was a fire burning inside that was all-consuming. There was a need to serve and there was always an outlet for that. I was surrounded by like-minded people and life blossomed with all sorts of possibilities.

And then what happened? I could say, God only knows. But, I think I do know. I was young and open to falling off the tracks. I started dating and “Poof!”,  I could no longer sit in church with church people.  I felt I would be judged by them. So, I stayed away. Far away. I missed ministry, but I did not dare walk among the righteous, or self-righteous. I found myself on the outside looking in. It sucked. I had no confidence that  I was alright with God, so I just let the distance happen to me.  I always knew God was with me despite the ignorance of His followers and that I have always been protected by His best angels. I just know this. I also know I am His child. I guess I just sort of went into this survival mode and have been in it for some 30 years.

Every so often I would knock on the doors of a church. I actually had some welcoming and affirmative conversations with the pastor of my “home” church in my mid 30’s. He was wonderful, accepting and kind. He was sort of fatherly in his own way. He and I had many conversations, some that he even thought pulpit-worthy enough to share with the  general congregation at mass. I started to let myself feel at home with this Pastor in the church of my childhood. After semi-retiring a couple of years later, my Pastor, Father C. moved away to a smaller parish. I missed our talks and soon found the new pastor and the new “in” group was not a good fit for me because I could not BE me. So, off I went to try other churches, denominations, and locations.  There was always a reason why each of these did not feel like home. And to this day, I have not found a church that I call home. Sometimes I am close, but in the end, until I can have a conversation with the one who is the leader of the congregation and feel a connection, I feel still very much like an orphan kid.

That is sad. I feel I have a lot to bring to brothers and sisters in the House. I just cannot do that without being able to be who I am. During my conversations with my old Pastor, he had asked me how I could reconcile my self to my faith/God. It was an interesting and perhaps simplistic approach I had taken to make this happen, although it took almost 15 years to articulate. When asked what sin is, the answer I understood was  “anything that keeps me from FatherGod.” And what keeps me from FatherGod?  His followers. And in making that my mantra, I was not admitting to any harm. And in this I firmly believed and in this he never questioned.  Father C. was my friend and I loved him for letting me be me. He was never condescending or judgmental and never once made me feel like he was just tolerating me.

All these years later, I have started attending a new non-denominational church. Currently I feel tolerated and prayed over in hope that I can change and learn to leave who I am behind. The lead Pastor seems to want to reach out to everyone and has gone so far as to sing praises about one of his gay staff members, even going so far as to say that that person is one of the most passionate on his team towards our Lord in one of his recent podcasts online. This is not unfamiliar ground to this Pastor as he has a family member who is of the same fabric. I originally thought this was wonderful because Pastor is supposedly in tune with us folks who are on the fringes of church life but hunger for the word of God and the opportunity to share that word with others. But later in the same podcast Pastor advises he can only personally accept people who are not true to their nature and are basically willing to give up who they are after they meet and start their walk in faith. He offers that anyone can disagree with him and all he offers to you at that point is the right to disagree with his righteous posture. But I am a child of God, created by Him. No less than anyone else, I do believe that we are meant to be true to ourselves in praise of our Creator and to throw away who we are is to throw that in His face as if He made a mistake.

What I know now is that we are all put on the planet as different threads that make up the fabric of human kind. We are meant to be different. The bible has thumped many Peoples over the years and one by one the ones in charge finally get enlightened and make their adjustments in their interpretations and one by one they acknowledge their mistakes and send out word that there needs to be an amendment in how people are treated. I think that the last of the religiously thumped-on peoples will some day be realized as wrongly judged by man and will go on to be treated as God intended, just like anyone else. We all sin, we are all fallen, and we are all forgiven and asked to sin no more. And truly loving another and being committed to that other is not a sinful act. Judging others and keeping them on the fringes just might be.

And that brings me to my original thought: that I am watching a whole lot of Jesus TV lately. Something in me is rekindling. I am starting to feel a fire in my butt to get off of it and reach out to others. I think to myself, “who am I” and “what have I got to offer?

I have Jesus. He has washed me clean and sent His Spirit to dwell in me. I am His and to share is a gift from the One. Everything else about me is just about how I can relate to others and not be ashamed of any part of me. I am no better than anyone. I am also no worse than anyone. We are all one.

 

 

“get a bicycle. you will certainly not regret it, if you live.” ~ mark twain 


I didn't have my glasses on....

15305154

i was

so excited

to buy

my brand new

townie bike

it was

cream-colored

and fancy

flikr.com

and

i imagined myself

riding on a beautiful sunny day

into town

carrying spring flowers in my basket

looking at all the sights

along the way

waving to neighbors

i named it

‘white lightning’

because

of it’s beautiful color

and

because

i would ride fast on it

with the

wind at my back

i rode it out of the store

and

because

i’d been in spin class

for a while

and

feeling free

and confident

i took off like a rocket

into the parking lot

and quickly

lost control

and

slammed into

my daughter’s shopping cart

i’d forgotten about

the

‘balance factor’

and

we laid in the parking lot

laughing our

baskets off

as

people walked by

probably

thinking we were drunk

in the middle of the day

but we knew

it was only

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Well, it didn’t happen, yet; & an OPEN INVITE to share…

11229755_506558662853487_1255380033322317068_n**So about a half hour before my phone meeting was supposed to happen I received a text from Pastors’ assistant stating the meeting needed to be postponed due to unforeseen meetings that had come up.

Well, ok. Since I had originally written about wanting to communicate with Pastor last September (2015) and I had gotten the first response to that letter in January (2016), I figure…what’s another delay.

I only write this little blurb as I stated an update to that meeting was forthcoming. If and when the reschedule happens, I will indeed share here. Meanwhile, if anyone would like to share their ideas with me, please feel free as I am always open to sharing about things I am passionate about. Namaste’**

Pre Phone-Meeting (with the Pastor!) Thoughts

May 12 2012 at Great Bay**Me and my great ideas!

I am scheduled to have a phone meeting with the lead pastor of the church we have been attending for about two years now. I am a recovering cradle Catholic who has been attending an alternate house of worship. Attending this Christian church has been both a blessing and a constant reminder that as I turn (literally) left at the traffic light to attend an “experience” each Saturday evening, I am “failing” to turn right to attend the catholic mass. It is a choice I have made as I am so not comfortable with being among those who would stone me rather than embrace me for being born a being who was created with a natural inclination towards woman.

Not by choice. Born this way.

So, over the years I have fought with my self and tried to be what I am not. That does not work. I have come to know that being true to yourself is very healthy. Being true to others about your truth is not always so healthy. People have their own views about my life and the way I should live it. Fact is, I am living it my way, anyway. But there is always the nagging heartstring that is attached on the other end to the One who made us all. And, of course, there are the Lessons of Life learned as a child that are almost un-ignorable. As we mature we try to fit all of the life lessons into our adult lives and sometimes things don’t fit. No everyone is a size 8.

So, this phone meeting is to respond to a podcast of the pastor speaking with a friend of his who is a gay pastor in Massachusetts. Their discussion on how to deal with the “issue” of gays in the church, tolerate “them”, and then ultimately agreeing to disagree on whether a Christian person should be gay, but not be allowed to be a sexual being made me almost puke.

How can a human fall in love and be asked not to make love to the one they love? Who does that? Why should they?

So, along with that question, I hope to add that in all of my readings over the years and attempts to delve into the likes of anti-gayness in scripture, all that resonates with me is the constant reiteration that it is NOT what we do that can bring us into the fold, but what has been done already for us by our Savior. It is He who saves, not our works. It is also abundantly clear to me that the Savior came to divide the houses between the old and the new ways as He stated He had come to bring a new way of thinking and a new Salvation. I agree, out with the old and in with Jesus. OK. So, I tend to take things verbatim and the New Testament clearly says that the Lord came to usher in a new way.

I find it very interesting that all of the abomination talk is in the old testament. So, since it is not brought up in Jesus’ ministry, I truly believe that it is because He knows that people are created in the image and likeness of God and that there are no mistakes. It is how people deal with every other person that makes them either Godly and loving, or not. People are not meant to tolerate others, but to Love them. Infidelity, porn, addictions; things that a person can DO can be sins. But how you are born is not a sin. And being tolerated for your nature is like being tolerated for the color of your skin. Who can say who is the greater of those on the earth? There is none. There is only Jesus, and the One who sent Him to and for us.

Sin, I have been taught, is something that separates us from Father God. In my book, it is a whole lot of followers that do not accept me into the fold that seems to be the vehicle of separation. Yet, Father God looks to me, the one out on the fringes, and comes to gather me to Himself to bring me Home to safety.  HE does not want me to feel tolerated. He wants me Home. He wants all of His children Home…together…not thinking one is better than another. And I truly do believe that if the verbiage of tolerance is not corrected within the community of believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ will continue to think of themselves as cleaner, and more worthy and separate from the fringe-dwellers. This perpetuates the  separateness and adds a level of judgment and potentially a sinfulness to those picking up those stones, whether they throw them or not.

I shall return to add remarks about the phone meeting. I pray for the right words to share with Pastor J about what is near and dear to my heart: the love of all of my brothers & sisters in Christ…all of us…and the end to simple tolerance and a new understanding of what it really means to LOVE all others as ourselves as Christ asks us to do…as He showed us how to do by His sacrifice at the Cross for us all….even me.

UPDATE 5-19-16 Still no word as to a reschedule time or date. Praying for Pastor to see the Light! ~ Jersey

Get(ting) back on it…

Prin Thanksgiving 2014

The Love of my life just told me to “get back on it.” So on it I go. Kinda like getting up from a long winters’ nap.

I looked at my blog for the first time in almost 3 years. Time has passed. Well, quite a bit of time has passed. I ponder what has changed in my life.

There are some older wounds that salt was thrown on just yesterday.  Though saddened, I was able to step back and put it in perspective. Timing was such that I was able to go into church and pray with an elder and “let it go.” I am really ok about it. My prayer is for the salt-thrower now.

I am older, have more aches and pains, have slowed down a lot, and am still decidedly in the yearly Spring-fever mode…

but…

I am more mellow. I have fallen more deeply in Love with the Love of my Life, appreciate her thoughtfulness more and am really taken by the turn in her life that has brought her to a deeper walk in her faith. We walk side by side, now. I see that she “gets” me. I “get” her, too. We are not the same, nor do we strive to be. Sameness is for followers; for kids who have not determined who they are yet. Our journey is a unique one together, yet the role we each play in our work lives reflect the GOoDness of who we are as a couple. There is strength there. I am grateful.

So, getting on it….I will try to get back on the horse, so to speak. I often do not write my thoughts. I often hold things in. I see both good & bad can come from the written word. I have my music still in me. I have my thoughts still on hold. I have learned a lot from being silent in a world that gets so very loud and obnoxious as I observe and absorb. But, perhaps there is finally a time when it is a good thing to bring some of that back to the surface.

In the three years since I’ve written, my Aunt went back to her creator, my Mom, her little sister who misses her so, has learned to live life one day at a time, my dog hit her 15th birthday and got her first teeth cleaning (what an event!), I went to work at a hospital in a private practice and have been thriving there despite the health risks it has thrown in my face, I got a free fitbit that reiterates all the bad habits my work life manifests, I have seen all the struggles my partner endures, both work and health wise, and am inspired to “get back on it” in my life.

Starting now.

p.s. the pic is of the ole gal, Arie. She is my angel-puppy. Although 15, she  will always be a puppy. The pic is from 11-2015, Thanksgiving. Will get an updated one when she gets over her dental cleaning and smiles for me!

 

 

 

Spilling No Blood

017

I am unsure what to do.

 

Once my brother was not only my ally, but my protector.

Now changed; the passage of time creating this evil twin

to the man that once was my friend.

 

I am unsure what to think.

 

I do not recognize this new, salty-haired, selfish person

who is smug and everything negative that could be imagined.

A repulsive being who has enveloped my little brother.

 

I am unsure what to feel.

 

Disgust and amazement in equal balance

over the religious piety that is spewed on his facebook page,

ever acknowledging the words of a great pastor. Yet,

 

I am unsure what to hope for

 

Because his words do not match his actions, lies

coming from his face. I mourn that loss and I feel the knife breeze past

as he hurls it once again towards me, a near miss, spilling no blood.

 

I am unsure what will set us free.

 

 

5/8/2013tfd