the strength of warriors

In my life, I haven often wondered why things happen as they do? Why did my first marriage fail?  Why did I make this decision or that one?  Why did I have my babies at 26 weeks?  Why did I think it was my fault?

I have had these internal questions in my life for years. Also, some of these same questions about other people’s lives.  I have this profound need to understand why things happen.  I can lose sleep over and over, stop eating, stress and panic and I still can say, in my life on this earth I may never get these answers.

Anytime, anywhere, I can stop what I am doing…and stop torturing myself to give up asking these questions and give them to God. I ask for guidance, for help, for strength, for knowledge, and to simply let go and let God take it for from here.

I know God doesn’t put anything in our path that we cannot handle. However, sometimes I catch myself asking why?  I know and I believe that my faith in God is strong but sometimes my emotions get the better of me (for those of you who know me, well, let’s just say I am passionate with my emotions).

Over a year has gone by and I find myself praying for my cousin and his family daily. It is part of my routine, like drinking coffee every morning.

I pray for anything and everything that you could imagine.  Trucker,  is my cousin’s youngest son. He is very sick. It has been one battle after another and some small victories. Trucker’s spirit still shines brightly through everyone one in his family.  This strong tender boy leaves a mark on everyone who comes within reach of him.  His parents and family are fighter’s with the strength of warriors they continue to show their children and the world how to be strong, gracious, and faithful through adversity.

They are doing everything they possibly can and will continue too. I have faith in God for them but I can’t help but think as I sit here and my tears fall, what every morning might be like for Trucker’s mom, Shauna. If anyone deserves an award for anything, it’s Shauna. She has taught me about strength, grace, and to live each day in the moment. If I could do something in this moment, I would give her a hug,  a cup of her favorite coffee, and whatever her favorite comfort food is, her favorite people and lastly, one day without worry. She is beautiful, compassionate, loves life, and doesn’t take anything for granted.

Trucker and his mom are in New York getting treatment while the rest of his family stays at home in Hawaii. Soon they will be together. I wish I had millions of dollars, I really do! I would give it to them with my blessings.  I would tell them to take care of anything they need-medical bills, trips, anything…people from all over the United States have embraced them and made them apart of their family.

I am states away with my family. I am not a millionaire, doctor, or anything else,  I am a mother, a wife,  and someone who prays and believes in prayer.  I can only ask, if you have read this, take a minute and think of all you have in your life…..all of your worries, give them to God and say an extra pray for The Joshua Dukes family.

Across this page…

Pair-Green-upholstered-arm-chair-2-seatI will write to you

What I cannot say

Always; its blankness is inviting and free to explore

Fear, Passion, Pain, and simply put—

Words to express to you who I am, who I want to be, please don’t go.

 

I will open to you on these lines

A part of me, very few see

Always; its freeness is allowing me to give you everything that I am—

Scratches of ink that create not the most beautiful words but words

I cannot always speak in that old green corner chair.

 

I will memorize the different smiles you have, all of your different laughs, your eyes

Always; I need them every day—

Only to recognize your face and words later…I know I will remember.

 

I will think of you

Always; our stillness together finds its way back to where we are

Specific words and language on a card, first blank like this page

A necklace, Nike sweatshirt and twinkle lights & a pine tree

 

I will give this to you

Someday

Always; a blank sheet or computer screen to find us again—

To re-explore all that we are, used to be, and want to be

 

I will see you…

Lovers & Soul Mates

There’s a conversation that I have had with women in my life about soul mates and lovers. It’s always interesting to listen to other’s ideas about these topics.  The rationality, the reasoning, and how people think these can be the same person or different people in their lives.

Can you be drawn to another’s personality or soul without being physically attracted to them?  I pose this question when these topics come up. And, I think…yes!!

I want to be a person who does not judge for this, I don’t believe that I am.  I have been in the situation where I was an outsider looking in watching the dangerous version of this happen in someone else’s life (where lines get blurred between these relationships). This has actually happened to me more than once.  I have watched this play out- there is so much pain, anger, yelling, tears, and hurt for all of the parties involved.

I believe there are people in each of our lives that we love in a friendly way and in another way. I also believe you can be drawn to someone’s soul in a romantic way but also without out any romance at all. For me it’s a feeling. I can walk into a room and a certain someone will be there and warmth will wash across my soul on an internal level; I am drawn to them without any explanation.  It is something that JUST IS!

In life do we always believe the same thing that we believed when we were 16, 19, 22, 34…. have my views changed? Absolutely, yes!

I think that both men and women can be drawn to another’s soul…. same sex and other wise?  Can I be drawn toward other men or women by their spirit, drive, by motivation, by inspiration; yes!  Does that mean I want to be romantically involved with them—no! Do I believe that men are this way; yes! Will men admit this…hell, no!

Can we be soul mates with another person or be drawn to another’s soul just by the way they make us feel when we are in their presence.…other than our spouses or life partner? I say, yes.

I am head over heels deeply madly in love with my husband. He is everything I want to be as a human being and partner; to him as he is to me.  He is kind, generous, loving and always trying to be better, give more, challenge himself for everyone else. So, we will say 98% of who he is, I strive to be for him and also for myself.  Do I think he is perfect, do I think I am perfect, is our relationship perfect….no, but I strive to honor my spouse. This is an example of my lover and soul mate.

Back to soul mates…I believe that I have a few friends that are my soul mates other than my husband.  People that do not judge me…. would show up for me…. would be my partner in crime and protect me in any way they could; these people are very rare and very unique.  If you have a soul mate like this—treasure them.  You should nurture them and care for them delicately.

These people I am drawn too, pulled toward by something stronger than gravity….no matter how much time passes or how much I am pulled in the opposite direction…. I am pulled back toward them like a dust bunny when the vacuum is turned on.  Days, years, and months could pass but I will be connected to these people for life.  I will always be attached to these people.

I am lucky because in my husband, I find both of these. Lover and Soul Mate.

Choosing Change & Taking a Leap

There are times when “we” decide to take a leap of faith for ourselves, our families, to learn something or to just move forward in life. You could simply be ready to make a positive change or to move on from something that isn’t good for us anymore. These leaps can be very difficult. Others seem to just transfer smoothly in a new direction-the ones we make by choice are always easier.

I will share some of my leaps with you…

POSITVE LEAPS FOR ME:

* Choosing my friends wisely in high school

* Sports

* Going far-far away to college (40 miles from my home town – at U of O) Ha!

* Marrying for the first time…..because of how much I learned about love (more later)

* Finishing college after I took a year off

* Marrying for the second time and knowing this is it!!! (we just celebrated our 13th anniversary)

* In-vitro fertilization and lots of needles

* Advocating for my children in school every day

* Leaving our first home and moving to the family farm

* Working out again

* Getting back to my passion-writing

* Sending in 3 manuscripts for publication (much later)

* Never giving up!!

NEGATIVE LEAPS FOR ME:

* Transferring from U of O to OSU for someone I was dating

* Taking time off from College

* Getting married when something just didn’t feel right

* Blaming myself entirely for the failure of my first marriage

* Making a choice that could have cost me my life (much much later)

* Not speaking up for myself when I needed too (I still struggle with this)

* Putting up with relationships that were toxic to me

* Not staying in the best physical shape for me

* Not sending in my manuscripts years ago

We all have choices. No matter what the circumstances brought us to making that choice.  We make them every day. Do I change my oil today even though I needed to 1000 miles ago, do I reach out to someone I miss dearly, do I call someone who hurt me and try to talk it through, who am I going to vote for, do I buy that new shirt or not, do I plan a surprise vacation for my family? These are the easy choices.

These are not the life altering choices I see some of my family members struggling with today.  I worry about my family even if they are distant, even if I haven’t seen them in years.  I ache for them and would do anything I could to given them a day without their daily struggles, the battles, the fight and what faces them tomorrow.

Be grateful for what you have! And, if you aren’t happy or don’t feel right about something-change it, work on it, make the choice and take that leap!!

1301 Iowa Street #19

Written April 23, 1995 – Age 17

Sister, the artistic beauty you set to paper created a collage of wonderment across those boring white walls. The paints you said you would never use at our family home. Canvas and colors came together, inside #19. This place you found your niche’ among the large picture window and four white walls covered by your brush strokes and charcoal.

I studied your stick-figure, you said you had not perfected yet. Maybe you could not find satisfaction in your minds’ eye. Did you know I could feel what you put to paper? Maybe, too strong to accept that what you created was already amazing.

On that floor, stained by the tenants before; an unfinished piece of art tossed down by you. We both stood there in each other’s presence. I was amazed.

And sister,

Walking downtown Ashland, the Boulevard, you called it. You were so acquainted in your space, in each step and cracked sidewalk slab; an area so new and unusual to me. I felt this strong pull toward you, walking at your side-I didn’t want to be two steps behind or head. Trying to find a coffee shop where we can write on the tables in chalk.

Finally, we wrote our names, played tic tac toe and drank fancy coffee, in old chipped diner mugs billowing with whip cream. You told me stories-you shared laughter and tears with me. We started 17 stories and only finished seven of them. I found laughter when you did, tears when you shed them and shared rough brown paper napkins from a dented holder that was over filled.

Sister, hours in a parlor waiting…you made me go first in case I chickened out…ceiling mirrors –I stared at myself. We drove miles for what we joked would be Winnie the Pooh on our skin forever but it did not happen. It turned out to be only us. I had your hand to hold, I squeezed and you seemed to squeeze back but maybe just in my mind.  Blue ink wiped away with a paper towel and a white plastic glove.

Yes, sister we never could find the right time or place to celebrate each other; being together in the same childhood room. I know from here on that I can come to any house you live in, you will have a smile when I arrive, a hug like no other, a warm bed to sleep in even if we have to share, and our laughter and tears will always be comfortable in each other’s presence.

For you, I hope life gives you back everything you have given it.

I love you, Sister. I will be back to Iowa Street #19.