MOTHER’S DAY

Mother’s Day is a good time to thank my sons for being the extraordinary human beings that they are and continue to work at becoming.

How lucky a mother am I!

Their traits, though differing in likes, tastes, past-times, and interests, are so similar in the ways that matter; deeply compassionate, a strong sense of self, hard-working, perseverant, morals of high character, loving, generous, broad minded, tolerant, and possessing great depth.

I could go on as they exemplify all that a mother could want in a son. Thank you, dear sons, for being the men that you are…

Worried, Weary, & Grateful

Son’s new, NEW, van, hit by a deer. Would sleep return after using the bathroom? No. Worries, then more worries as everything looks bleak and disastrous in the black of night.

But getting up or using a sleep aid is not an option, self-discipline is. And that is being honed more than ever. So, stay. Stay till some traffic begins to go by, and is that a bird or wishful thinking?

Because worries cause restlessness, and this time, despite a few hours of committing myself to stay still, sleep doesn’t return.

And yes, that is a bird. A lovely start to a day with the chorus of birds through the open door even though a bit weary. There are still many grateful gifts to celebrate.

MOMENTS

Winter’s oppression bears her weight down drooling with icy fangs into the flesh of my spirit. It seems impossible to pick myself up, yet each morning- a fresh start, a new day- what are you going to make of it?

Not much. With a retired life, the buzz of work, kids, and getting anywhere at a required time do not demand my energies. So? Breathe, sit and breathe, and remember the mantra of ‘you’re OK’ from one moment to the next.

Because a fear filled life due to PTSD unresolved since such a young age causes a fright reaction to every little noise startling my being into an adrenaline overload. Decades of that tires and burns out all bodily systems.

So…? Who is criticizing you if you ease your spirit (and anxiety) by completing a puzzle in day? Only me. Resting, and/or sending compassionate messages to self while moving slowly to stay present and in the moment are worthy of doing.

Anxiety ruling much of my life caused me to buzz past the present moment, rushing to be done. But now, with reminders to self, peeling apples for the overnight crockpot of steel cut oats becomes restful not rushed. The sound of the knife splicing through, the cool fresh apple in my hand with its light aroma from the juice…

Each task slows so that my being stays in my body. All that occurs in that moment is better absorbed when attention is paid to it. And when that occurs, one can’t mourn the past or worry about the future, and that is living fully with grace and gratitude.

GRATITUDE

One night sleep, the next awake at 3AM. Giving an hour for a return to slumber, that torture was abandoned for an early rise, a VERY early rise.

My mind wouldn’t slow down about all the things to improve, all the failures or missteps, or misunderstandings. Because many upset relationships, or the failure to move closer for more sustenance are because people do not talk about their feelings. They are played out theatrically by those shallow enough to act that way.

So up, let the cat out of her room, and begin my day. My body isn’t healing fast, but each day there are noticeable improvements. The feelings after lying there in my pillow are, ‘get your shit together.’

Winter is dooming me, drowning me, making me go back to the days when everything about myself is questioned and scorned- with confidence below zero like the weather. Get a grip!

Warm summer days, grassy meadows, and sunlight… dream on…

GATHERING

As families gather on this special day, my being does too, all  parts making a whole. That doesn’t occur all day everyday as little things cause chaos, or too much stimulation. But today?

Gratitude. As laps are completed hoping to metabolize the medication needed at 2AM due to sleep issues, the air so still though grey and damp, the talk to myself is out loud with no neighbors to hear this strange woman ruminating to herself.

The stillness is so loved, as wind does not invite internal gathering. Prayers in the night to mother nature/the universe are answered, maybe not in expected ways, but if one is looking, they come.

Mine came after lap ten when the sun peeked out momentarily, and the extremely shy heron unaware of my presence. I was miraculously able to obverse the hunting process nearby as she waded ever so slowly in the shallower part of the water and snatched up her dinner.

There is great joy and peace in the land and her beauty. Gratitude flows as families around the nation come together, and I am able to gather myself like a newly grown bouquet even after a tough night.

BEE GRATEFUL

Waking after another rough night up too late, having to take something, my first thought? Why not be grateful? Instead of sitting a good part of the day in grogginess, snapping at Samuel so much he stays far away from me, why not turn it around?

Out walking early helped to metabolize the drug, also adding the benefit of uplift once the happy chemicals kick in. Instead of it being penance for eating off anxiety in the night walking rigidly just to get it done, the walk was paced slowly enough to suck in the heavenly scent of wet earth and decaying leaves.

Round and round noticing the aroma which goes straight to my core, a squirrel surprised jumping to the next tree, the crunch of nuts under my feet. And Samuel? We sat, laughed, and chatted over morning coffee, a miracle, because usually after a bad night which of late is too often, no company is wanted…just leave me alone.

But be grateful, the mantra while walking. Why not? There is an ability to waver one’s attitude to a more upbeat tilt. It includes acceptance that my body will do this no matter how many healthy habits are incorporated into my day.

A life of daily terror to my body because fear was around every corner took its toll. Not fighting it or blaming myself for not controlling it is a start. Gentleness swept in.

While walking on a crisp damp day the thought of rewards for this effort included a lavender Epson salt soak in the tub and a pot of ginger vanilla chamomile tea. The day went much better, from a blob on the couch to living it fully.

PEACEFUL GRATITUDE

A gentle, peaceful way to start the day, sipping fresh brewed rich dark coffee on the screened porch, centering in on feelings hoping to reach my core without slants, twists or turns. But often that is a no go, hyped up on something else besides calm and peace, disconnected from myself.

One day to the next can be so different. Yesterday’s realization that fall’s downward mood is already invading, but then the surprise of a subsequent ability to find solace inside, because the granite yielded to kindness. Today? Different feelings.

As the mother and white spotted baby deer nibbled grass in the early morning misted meadow, feelings come that rise above self, encompassing more than just that. An expansion. Opening to it, peace fills me, comforting my often chaotic interior, and with those gracious feelings…gratitude.

Bury the Living

Though hard, it is good to get back to the work of inhabiting my body as one. The more time that passes after being with the chaos and drama of origin family members, the better I feel and the less my mind goes in loops over it.

Moving on to the usual, facing a day with its fears, and challenges with the diligence needed to be present. That is enough without the quagmire of the past, pulled back into old grooves where no growth occurs. It has. No going back, my core will not allow stagnation once tasting the fruits of expansion.

The time spent as a robot to please while with them, dimming as each days goes by. The wonders of each sunrise begins to settle in while worries, and mental games that sicken fade. Because the mind can make me sick if around others that are stuck in loops of their own.

My internal wisdom won’t let me stay in swamps of death-like goo, memories of what was that still are in that group. Who cloyingly begin drowning me with repeated attempts at collaboration in dysfunction. No, free me, let me loose. Tentacles of what seems like family luring me down into the tar that sucks a soul dead.

My issues are many without adding to them, all spelled out in the psychiatric textbooks of diagnoses. Though terms are not my thing, it is helpful to acknowledge my own reality so that gentleness towards self can grow; DISORDERS- Depressive, Anxiety, Trauma and Stressor related disorder, Dissociative Disorder…

It takes great care to manage my life without adding more stress to it. Perhaps these doors that have been left ajar with hopes of meaningful contact need to be closed, maybe locked. To come back to the basics each day, contemplation of my own mortality which spurs my desire to enjoy the simples pleasures amidst the pain.

Ah, to be free of it. As each day passes, more freedom lightens my being. Joy replaces depression. Tears dry, without knowing why they are there, wiping them away almost daily. Maybe it is a mourning all over again. Each failed attempt at connection comes with the price of mourning.

Bury the dead while they are alive? In a sense, yes. Or more succinctly, Live and let live

MARILYN

And so death gets in the way of the idyllic life just as expected. A friend all the way back to childhood has died. Though she moved from the area almost 30 years ago, you do not forgot someone so dearly loved.

She owned a small horse ranch up the country road from me as a young girl, horse lover age, about 12 or 13. All summer long I’d bike up to help her train young horses, leading them in their bosal bit-less bridle behind me and the sturdy older horse she had me saddle up.

Eventually she gave me the older horse with the condition of never selling it. That when the horse could no longer stay with me I give him back. What a miracle for a young girl. Miracle upon miracle Marilyn gave me.

Sweating in the summer sun, as hoof falls clopped on the dirt roads, we went around the countryside on horseback. Waking her with scrambled eggs and toast, as she slept late after her night job, we went out to feed the horses and muck out the stalls. Candy, another friend from down the road often was with us.

The scent of straw and horses thrilled me, the work all pleasure as Marilyn’s presence was witty, trustworthy, and loving.  We kept in touch, once she came back to visit which was when the above photo was taken, now hanging in my hallway. Though I’ve been overweight since age 8, she never was. But in the photo she towers above me…my strong tree.

Of all my friends, I was the chosen to help her train. For a young girl so severely damaged by what was happening in my home, Marilyn instilled a sense of dignity in my soul, purpose to my life… and hope. Though numb the first 24 hours after hearing of her death, some tears do fall in my quiet moments. My dear friend, my tall tree. I love you Marilyn and you are missed.