Somebody Else.

There are days when I don’t think I can bear any more hurt in the world, any more pain in my heart…then I remember…
Someone else is thinking the same thing, only theirs is worse than anything I am feeling right now.
Someone else is figuring out how to get through one more moment, take one more step, one more breath.

Someone else is battling. And someone else is winning, while another is losing.  Yet they are doing so, with all the grace they can muster.

Someone else pulled themselves out of darkness, into the light.

Someone else feels like the darkness will consume them.

Someone else fell in love, while another had their heart broken.

Someone else said “hello,” while another said goodbye.

At the end of my day, as I head into my 46th year,  I will remember a tiny voice, in the dusty corners of my mind, whispering…

“you can always be somebody else…”

You have my heart.

It’s been a brutal week.   I don’t think there is an end in sight for hate, hurt or blame.  Yet somehow, in all of this muck, we, as humans, have to find a common ground.  We have to find hope. We have to find forgiveness.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I read Dan Patrick’s tweet, or heard about Pat Robertson’s comments, I was filled with anger, I was filled with despair.  I was hurt, I was angry.  

When I heard about Orlando, I felt as I did when I heard about Aurora, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Benghazi, 9/11…all horrible, tragic acts, perpetrated by hate. I felt fear, sadness, hopelessness and despair. 

We have to be better.  We have to find hope.  We have to forgive.  

See…it’s like this…you can’t have peace, you can’t have hope until you put down the blame, you put down the fear and you put down the anger.  If you have blame, anger, fear…the darkness wins.  The bitterness wins. There’s too much amazing in this world to be left with nothing but bitterness.  It’s time to let love win.  

I’m tired of hearing about Muslim this or that, I’m tired of hearing about automatic guns, I’m tired of hearing about bathrooms and the elections.  I need a moratorium on the bullshit and the negative.  It’s a reality that we are giving our children, it’s the future we are handing to them and the legacy we leave behind.  A legacy of ego and self righteousness.  It leaves me weak…

Dan Patrick, your tweet…was ridiculous.  And your explanation was deplorable.  You’re an asshat and don’t deserve to speak for any Texan. Ever.  

But let me tell you…I have had worse said to me…by my own family.  And in the end, I chose to forgive and to love.   Because words only have power if you allow them to.  And I don’t want you to have any power over me or my brothers and sisters.

Orlando and every other victim, family or friend of a senseless act of violence…you have my heart.  You have my hope, that in the days to come, you find love and peace. That you take joy in the moments you had with your loved ones…that you find comfort, that your loved ones are held up with honor and there are many blessings laid at your feet. 

This violence, sadly, won’t end soon…I fear there are more despicable acts to be had because we can’t get it together.  

I love the way I love, because it is right FOR ME. I pray the way I pray, because it is right FOR ME. I don’t need anyone else’s permission or acceptance.  If you don’t like that, pound bricks.  And at the end of my days, whenever that will be…I will be judged by Him.  It’s the only judgement that matters… 

I believe in the 2nd Amendment.  I believe in God.  I believe in prayer in school and that we should say the Pledge of Allegiance.  I believe that a woman has a right to choose and I believe we should help our neighbors.   I believe that there are many religions and many opinions.  I believe that manners and  chilvary are a thing of the past. I believe that you shouldn’t get a trophy of you didn’t win and if you fail, you try again.  I believe that we have gotten lazy. I believe everyone should be accountable and I believe excuses for anything are bullshit. 

I have read the Bible and the Constitution.  I know the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.  

I am an American, I am spiritual, I am gay and I am a human.  I am a sinner and I am forgiven.  

Whomever you are, walk in peace.  Love in big gulps.  Forgive the unforgivable.  

May you find peace in your days.  

Lessons learned.

Good God, this year can’t end fast enough.  I am completely over it.  It’s been a year of extreme highs and painful lows.  I have found myself questioning things I shouldn’t and ignoring warning signs.  Like I have, all my life.

I am the kind of person that will drag something or someone well beyond the expiration date.  I will see the better in people long after they have shown me their true colors.  I will not see the better in myself despite people telling me otherwise.  I refuse to see what is apparently right in front of me most of the time.  But I learn lessons.  I learn them the HARDEST way possible…but hey, I learn.

Lesson – Sometimes you have to give up.
This was a hard one to learn.  I had to give up on a friendship that I never thought I would lose.  It was heart breaking and caused me more pain and stress than I can express.  I learned that loving someone isn’t always the “fix-it” and that no matter how much support I throw at a person, it’s not enough.  In the end, when someone tells you they are suicidal, they have written THE note and to be peaceful…you don’t take chances.  You call the cops.  And then you deal with the fact that they no longer want to be your friend because they have issues, not me.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  They did.  They screwed up and in the aftermath, I have lost friends based on what the other persons “truth” is.  I have to be okay knowing that they are alive, hating me and staying surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear.  Not the truth.  That for the last several years of this friendship, it was amazingly one-sided.  That I will feel used and thrown out for years.  I have to be okay with the fact that they know and I know what REALLY happened, that I have the text messages and there’s more than me that know what really happened.  But somehow I’m the one out in the cold, not the people who led them to that place.  Fuck it. I’m better off…for reals.

Lesson – Sometimes people love you, even though you think they don’t.
In the aftermath of this former friendship, I got to know some people that I knew loved me.  But I didn’t think I was important TO them.  In the months that have followed, I realized, I just didn’t make room for anyone else.  That in the past year, this “friend” had sucked up all of my life…there wasn’t room for anyone else, so they adjusted and made a life for themselves.  Then when I came back around, I was upset they weren’t waiting for me.  THANKFULLY, I spoke my truth, my embarrassment and my hurt…and they loved me through it.  In fact, I have a small group that have nursed me through this brutal fall.  And made sense and logic and made me feel not wrong.  I love my tribe of people.

Lesson – They are crazy, but they are mine.
I lament in here a LOT about my family.  How we tear at each other, how we say horrible things to each other, how we stay away from each other.  I also write about how we love each other, how we protect each other.  That no matter what we say to each other or about each other, we are all we have.  With the realization that my family name will end once my sister and I are gone, had made me sad…and appreciate my family in a way that I can’t describe.  Knowing you are the last of a family crest is a bit breathtaking, but making sure your family name goes out with honor and dignity, is an impactful in ways I can’t describe.

Lesson – You can’t hurt my feelings.  I have that power, not you.
I have spent a lifetime feeling slighted by the most innocent comment or non-comment.  I can get my feelings hurt by a comment left on social media, I freely admit it.  I can get my feelings hurt by your reaction to a gift, or if you don’t call me.  I am currently navigating the fact that when my children leave home, they don’t call me everyday…whether it’s the daughter that hasn’t lived at home in years or the boy who goes and spends the night with his sister and doesn’t call me.  I know, I KNOW, it’s crazy, but I’m that mommy.  dontjudgeme.

Lesson – You may not need me, because I did my job.
Hand in hand with the lesson above, I am the type of person that needs to be useful, to feel needed.  I am learning that if I have done my job correctly, my children will be self sufficient.  That if I have done my job correctly, my staff can work even if I take a week off.  That when I am no longer here, folks will be able to go on, to survive.  If I have done my job correctly.  And it’s okay to not be needed.  Wanted is much better.

Lesson –  I don’t NEED to eat a burger.
This is the biggest lesson I have learned this year and I am the better for this.  In July, I hit my heaviest, with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, with depression and with no energy.  I have thrown myself in to a dietary change that has improved my life in ways that I can’t describe.  It’s 30+ pounds gone.  It’s 8 1/2 inches gone.  It’s consistently lower blood sugar and blood pressure.  It’s FIVE sizes in clothing.  It’s the boost in energy, confidence and disposition.  I feel better; I am happier; I am more positive than I have been in a long, long time.  I don’t plan on giving up, I plan on losing, but never giving up.  I’ve become that person that is all about how to make differences in each day, how to count your blessings.  I want to share my joy…even if I am obnoxious.

Lesson – Not everything ends badly.
I am genetically a half-empty cup person.  I always think the worst is going to happen when the opposite usually proves me wrong.  Like…I thought we would have to move because landlord was selling our home and we ended up buying a house!  Or that the boy needed surgery and it was going to be a difficult recovery and it ended up being a minimal surgery and he’s currently recovering very well…I need to remember that there are forces at work in my life. That I put good out in the universe, I should expect the same back.  And by the same logic…karma is fair…everyone should remember that.

Lesson – don’t take anything for granted.
With all the tragedy we see these days in the media, I have to remind myself that each day is a gift, that people, in the midst of the worst times, will fall back on their faith in what they believe in and see the silver lining.  I don’t know how they do so, but with grace and faith, people in the worst of times, find love and forgiveness.  I will forever stand in awe of this power, this undeniable gratitude for life and love.  If more folks were as aware of this, instead of the blame and indignation they muster from the sidelines, the world would be a much better place.

Lesson – she loves me.  Unconditionally.
This has been a hard year for me.  But don’t let me for moment forget that as hard as it has been on me, I have children and a wife that are closely impacted by my moods, my attitude and what is happening in my world. My wife has stood by me, through thick and thin with my kids, my drama, my family.   She has held my hand as I cried, ducked as I yelled and laughed with me.  When I worried, she was there to assure me.  She had fought with my kids, for my kids, in spite of my kids.  She is the passion of my life.  I am lost without her.  So when she tells me she loves me…

Less0n – those kids…they love me too.
I never waver in the fact that they are my whole reason for being…I never waver in the fact that I love them more than I love myself.  I have never had two people that make me more insane in my life and I love every moment of it.  They are mouthy, they are opinionated, they are bold.  Their manners are for shit at home, yet somehow, they don’t act like apes in public.  I can’t get the boy to pick up his shoes, dirty clothes or food wrappers, yet he won’t leave the house without cologne or his hair perfectly in place.  The daughter was my biggest opponent to ALL THINGS during her late tenure at home…her room was a pigsty and she rebelled against every stinking rule I made…but her own home, is impeccable, she lives by her own rules (which closely resemble the ones she grew up with) and she is successfully navigating her world.  I would never take all the credit for these two amazing beings…oh hell…yes I will.  I did this.  I see me all over both of them.  Whether or not they choose to believe me, I left a mark on both of them…and I couldn’t be prouder.

Yes, it’s been a year of growth, of self-learning and loving.  This year needs to end.  I need to put the past behind me, live in the present and dream about the future.

Happy New Year folks…may your dreams become your reality, may your reality live up to your dreams…

 

 

 

You matter.

I am completely and profoundly over the need to differentiate between whose life matters and whose does not.  I have not ever cared if you were white, black, gray, purple, green, striped or polka dotted.  I have never cared if you were Catholic, Agnostic, Muslim, Baptist, Jewish, Hindu, wiccan, prayed with sheep or to Elvis.  I care about one thing.  If you were a good person.  PERIOD.

So, in essence, you matter.  To me.

Here’s what matters.  STOP brutalizing each other.

It’s not in the name of justice or equality.  It’s not in the name of anyone or anything you pray to.  It’s not necessary to hurt another person to make a statement/sacrifice/offering/whatever.  It’s not necessary to hurt someone to make yourself feel better.

It won’t help.  It’s not the answer.  Ever.

Violence and anger never get you anywhere near peace.

Folks, someone has to take that first step.  We are killing each other.  We are not fixing the problems we have, we are making them worse.  We aren’t reaching acceptance or understanding.  We have derision and hate.

Instead of taking to social media and exclaiming one group of people is worth more than another, stand together to stop hate.  Speak of love, speak of FIXING a problem instead of creating another problem.  Before you post that tweet, instagram photo, facebook status….think…is this going to upset someone?  Is what I say going to negatively or positively impact those around me?  Is today the day I am going to make a difference?

It’s time people, to take responsibility for our words, our actions.  Many have fought for our right to free speech, use it for something other than hate and hurt.

It’s time people.  Grow up, act like you are in this for keeps.  Quit being a knucklehead.

It’s time people.  For love and respect.

It’s time we all matter.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.

As a child, my parents always said evening prayers with me and my sister.   The same prayer every night. As my children were small, we did the same.  Said the same prayer as I had said as a child. 

I am 45 years old and I still say this prayer each night.  It’s how I start my conversation with Him. Each and every night. 

As my daughter got older and smarter, she realized as long as she kept praying, I would stay next to her and she could stay up later….we ended up getting her a “Prayer Book” so she could jot down everyone who needed prayer and she could hold it or touch it when we said our prayers.  

Prayer works. Having faith in something bigger than you helps. I don’t care what religion you are, faith gets you through. Celebrate your faith. In every day and in every moment…float on faith. 

So, this prayer, I find comfort in it.  I remember kneeling, locking my fingers and saying these words…I may not kneel any longer (I’m old with bad knees) but I think everyone needs a moment…let me share this one…

Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep…if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul He take…”

At this point, specifics begin…

God Bless…my children, my wife, my mother, sister, niece, my family. Protect them and keep them safe.  Keep them in your loving embrace. Show them your path and help the, find joy.

God Bless…my friends, my family of choice. Let them never know a moment of doubt of my love and my loyalty. Keep them safe in your embrace and let them feel joy. 

God Bless…the faithless.  Let them know peace and love.  Fill their hearts, fill their souls. Give them enough they may share with others.

God Bless…the hurt, the broken and the lost.  Please give them strength and faith.  Show them their path and guide them back to it.

God Bless…the ones inflicting pain.  Let them see the error of their ways and give them forgiveness. Show them a better way. 

God Bless…the doubters. Give them a life full of faith. Faith that we all are bound to each other by a heartbeat. 

As evening falls, I count my blessings.  I remember moments of joy in the day. I remember how my friends and family have shaped my life and I am grateful everyday for each of them. 

I look forward to the next day, as I wake to new experiences that will changed me forevermore.  I look forward to the new me each day. 

Thank you for being part of the change. Never forget that you are always in my thoughts….and my life is better for each of you are in it.

Amen. 

Divine Intervention in a Parking Lot.

A few things you should know…

  1. I am terrified of blowouts or flat tires. It’s irrational, but it’s mine. I can’t explain it. 
  2. The wife has changed hundreds of tires in her career. 
  3. My wife is a die hard Broncos fan.
  4. I have been mugged, TWICE and don’t like to venture out at night by myself. 
  5. I rarely drive at night or on the weekends…we typically take the wife’s truck and I make a splendid passenger.  Terrible navigator, but I am in the top three best passengers. 

Tonight, I needed  to pick up a couple of prescriptions at the local CVS and the wife offered to ride along, but I had to drive…  After getting the prescriptions, I pulled out of the parking lot I hear a distinct “whump, whump, whump”.  Oh no…maybe it’s not me. 

“whump, whump, whump” oh yes…it’s me. 

I look at the wife and simply state “I have a fucking flat!” and my panic starts to set in…

Now, my dad taught me…

  1. How to check my oil and where to put oil. 
  2. How to change my tire and check my air pressure. 
  3. A mean left hook. 

I’m not scared to change them, I’m irrationally scared the car will flip over.  Don’t judge me. 

So the wife pats my arm and says, “you’ve got a full size spare, it’s gonna be okay!”  We pull back into the parking lot and begin to pull out the saddest jack either of us have seen, my spare and a phone, to call the “pseudo-husband” to come rescue us. Actually it was a text to him and his wife that said…guess which lesbians are changing a flat in the CVS parking lot? We text the Boy and let him know we will be a bit later than we thought and got to it. 

While this is happening a gentleman pulls up in a minivan and asks if we need help, we tell him no, we are just looking to see where to put the worlds tiniest jack. He pulls over and parks, I look at him in panic and shock and see that he’s wearing A BRONCOS HAT and team colors!!!! We are saved!!!  He assesses the situation, grabs the wrenchie thing from the wife, takes two looks and walks to his truck. His jack is way better…

The spare?  Full size and full of air. 

As he and the wife are working away, I talk to pseudo-husband and assure him we are fine and supervise. 

He chats while he is working …he’s a minister…and just knew he couldn’t leave us to do this and struggle. It was done in 5 minutes. He told us he is with the Harvest Mission Church off Campbell and was on his way to get his wife a salad. That he saw us and felt to come back to us. He was sweet and pleasant and we had to force money on him! After an invitation to church we parted ways with smiles on our faces. 

Tonight nothing mattered but simple, human consideration and caring.  I stood there and watched a cop and a preacher in complete peace a little less frightened and counting my blessings. 

I firmly know, in that moment, God kept me and taught me a lesson. 

Even in a parking lot, there are blessings…

Love Letter to My Wife.

Folks, I need your help, I need your forgiveness.  I need your understanding.

I have lied.  I have disrespected.  I have not honored my love in life and I need to correct that.

………

My love,

Five years ago, we fell in love.  I will forever be grateful for the moment that I realized you wanted to share your life with me.  I will never understand why someone like you fell for someone like me, but I am NOT going to question it, I am simply going to treasure it.

Five years ago, I fell in love with you and haven’t looked back.  To say anything else, is disrespectful and not honorable of you or our relationship.

Here’s the thing…yes, we were both in untenable situations.  Neither of us were looking but I firmly believe that it was our destiny to be together.  How else do explain it?  Fate is the only logical answer.  The problem was/is/will always be me.  It’s true.  I’m a scaredy cat.  I don’t handle change well, I don’t handle hurting people well, to the point that it hurts me. It took you to point that out to me, to ask me one question that I couldn’t answer honestly…”why does everyone else’s happiness come before yours?” Once I realized that I was dealing with adults that were responsible for their own feelings and at such time, they weren’t concerned about my feelings or your feelings…my feeling of responsibility changed.

However, my feeling of acceptance from everyone else did not.  I needed support, I needed people to tell me they didn’t blame me.  As I imploded the relationship I was in and found that damn near everyone walked away from me, I was desperate to make those around me accept my new relationship.  And I allowed folks to question me and you and us and our history and our relationship.

It seems less tawdry to offer details inside failing relationships than the most simple straightforward answer, I fell in love with you.

But over five years, we have fought back.  We have fought rumors, untruths and disparaging comments and the evaporation of “friends”…and we won.

Over five years, we have fought back against modern-day version of the Kraken.  Seriously, what else do you call someone who tried to take your name, your career, your reputation?  She took the home, stole your identity, your money….and then had the nerve to take your closest friend.

This was because you left.  For me.  None of this would have happened to you if you had just stayed put…but you have never wavered, you have never once made me feel like I wasn’t the greatest love of your life.  You have always made me feel worth it.  It’s five years later, I am still blown away that you gave up so much, just to love me.

In the end, I realize, we won.  You are surrounded by wonderful people who stand up for you, who know you and your heart, your ethics, your word.  You are surrounded by people who care less about how we got here and more about who we are.  Our blessings are boundless, we have a great, faith filled and loving life.  We have come so far, together…not taking each other, our family, our friends, our lives for granted…God has truly blessed us, I am grateful for that every.single.moment of every day.

I get it.

It hit me today, that my story, my need for acceptance was wrong.  Yes, I had issues in my relationship…everyone does…but it was easier to say “we were ending….would have never made it…we had issues that I couldn’t get around”.  Don’t ask me why, but “I fell in love with someone else” sounds way more horrible…like I was this home wrecker, this cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater or something.  I didn’t want to be a bad person, I wanted people to look at me and say “you deserve it!!!! I’m happy for you.”  Not “you deserve it you home wrecker!”

I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten wiser, I’ve gotten a bit more secure.

There are four people who truly know what happened.  And that’s the four involved.  It’s obvious that we all color the version we tell.  There are people in our worlds that THINK they know the truth and judge us…those folks, they are better off far away from me.  You have shown me it doesn’t matter in OUR lives what anyone else thinks, it’s not going to change us, our relationship or our life together.  We will still walk our path, together, happy and in love.

My love, you have never once questioned me, my story or my reason for that necessary acceptance from everyone else.  You have never lost faith in me, or us or my love.

It broke me today, to realize how it sounded to you, when I would say “she left for me, but mine was full of issues.”  It broke me, because in my mind, it trivialized our decision to be together.  I was worth leaving a long-term relationship for, but you weren’t….and that was absolutely wrong…..I should have owned it from the beginning.  You know, the thing we couldn’t stop.  The freight train…it deserved to mean more.

When I broke today, I told you why and you looked at me like I was crazy.  You asked me how I was going to fix it.  You told me you knew I thought you were worth it.  I needed to say to you…

I decided earlier that since you fell in love with me through my words, through my blog, I would do this…an open letter of apology, a love letter to my soul mate, my wife.  So here goes…

I should have never treated you, or us in such a way.  I should have never, EVER said anything except this…

Five years ago, I lied.  Now, here’s the truth.  I left for you.

I would do it all over again.