The Way You Talk To Me

Do you ever listen intently to someone as they’re telling you a story? If you’re really listening, feeling the emotions of the journey they are telling you, you’re being spoken to by someone who is empathic. Not only that, you’re becoming someone who is listening with the intent to respond. Pay attention. 

My best friend was telling me how on Mother’s Day she tried to take a nap. She wasn’t able to because her neighbor’s girlfriend recently broke up with her, so her neighbor took up drumming as a hobby. Most people would stop there.  Crista on the other hand began to explain to me the beat and she played it out for a good 15 seconds. Enough for it to be in my mind still. Enough for me to have actually thought about her neighbor today. I wonder if she’s playing the drums right now? I wonder if she’s crying or if she’s playing with anger?

I now have empathy for a stranger, because I listened to my friend with the intent to respond. 

This is something I am currently trying to work on with my spouse. We have completely different ways of thinking. I’m always dying for him to be lyrical and romantic and he’s just not going to be… to my definition. If I listen to him however, truly listen, his compassion, love and empathy is there. It just doesn’t cross my paths, but if we both take a different way every so often, we’ve got miles and miles left to explore.

My Daughter, Part 2 of Gratefulness 


It’s been at least a decade since I’ve held you in my arms, perhaps even longer.

The moment you were placed into my cradling arms, is a time in my history that I shall never forget. It’s the very moment in my life that I realized I wasn’t alone anymore. I won’t lie, it frightened me to the very core of my being. 

I have moments in time that I wish I could go back to visit. I would give anything to read to you again. To be able to bathe you. If I could just go back to holding you while you slept so peacefully against my neck. To feel you breathing against my skin. 

I received a card when you were born from my Uncle Richard. Over the years, for reasons here and there, I have dragged that card out and read it’s perfect story. Inside the card Uncle Richard wrote an excerpt from Khalil Gibran On Children. It has stayed with me my entire path of motherhood. We aren’t given direction on how to be a mother. A mother should know. It’s not always true. I’ve often thought that I was just one of those rare lucky mothers who happened to bare an old soul. 

You have the wit and beauty of someone who has seen centuries. My lovely, Rowan. The little red one. Thank you for this adventure you’ve brought me into. I’m already dreaming of where it will take me.

“You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

-Khalil Gibran

Good morning, morning.

I started counseling. I’m on my third counselor. The first woman sent me to another counselor she felt best suited for me. That’s okay, she had a mullet and I can’t take that seriously. 

The man counselor always sat with his back arched in his extendable office chair with his hands interwoven behind his head. He grunted a lot. I think he used to be a linebacker. I need a softer touch.

My new counselor has a huge office. All the furniture is Mid Century modern in the softest shades of grays and blues. The Kleenex box is inside another fancy box and I actually think she uses the real deal-Kleenex with lotion. Ahhh. 

She asked me to practice gratefulness. 

Okay-I have to admit to something. Yesterday I was in the yard pulling up weeds and just piddling around. I had this idea to be grateful for finding a four leaf clover, only I never did. 

Then I realized I was doing it again… I was trying to control. I was even controlling  my own gratitude based on what I specifically thought I should be thankful for. What a power struggle inside my mind. 

I took a moment to readjust my brain and lay on the grass for a moment in the sunshine. I said silently to myself over and over, “I am thankful for this peaceful moment and for having my own yard to have this moment in.”

I’m getting there.

Feeling the Wind

My last writing on here was pretty negative and for that, I apologize. I almost came back and deleted the entire thing. I decided that life is full of ups and downs and there’s no reason to be perfect all the time. Besides, that so damn tiring. 

My father is on the upswing. He’s let go of some anger and he’s becoming more enjoyable. That’s the goal. The entire point of him living with our family. Due to his debilitating ailments, he’s really never been too involved as a grandfather. That changed for him yesterday.  He sat silently through most of the household chaos yesterday as my son and daughter got ready for prom. Even though he didn’t say much, he smiled and he smiled a lot.

Seth, my son, struggles with social anxiety a lot. However a Junior in High School has taken a liking to his sense of humor and charm and asked him to be her date. When he said yes, I almost fell over. 

Rowan, my daughter is a Senior. This was to be her last dance and she was on court. My father at first didn’t want to go, but as my mother and step-father were on their way up with a three hour drive to come watch the festivities, he had a change of heart.

I’m so happy he did, and the proof was in his smiles that he was happy as well. Seth marched right down the line during procession and even looked up! He was so handsome and I knew inside my heart he was fighting with all his might to make each leg move towards the arch that ends to face the crowd. 

Rowan was stunning and when they announced her as Prom Queen, my heart burst open at what a wonderful moment in each of my children’s lives we were a part of that evening. Somehow I managed to get Rowan and Seth together for a photo and I’m so proud to show it off.

Life goes up and down and it twists and it turns, but somehow I’ve found myself wonderfully elated where my feet always land.

Hello

My father died once. No really… he did. He committed suicide. I received the phone call at work one afternoon 5 years ago, that he had passed away. Thirteen minutes later I received another call saying he had made it after one last shock. My father is still at risk. My Uncle Dennis died by suicide. Now my Aunt Tammie. I have called 911 myself on two people due to suicidal threats. I myself have spiraled into a dark place once upon a time after my son was born.

Why am I being open about all of this? Because you matter and there’s always ALWAYS another alternative to death…Because someone reading this is probably depressed. Reach out to someone. I’m available anytime.

I’m struggling a little with the fact that I’m already angry about my Aunt’s suicide death last week. I still cry when I think about it, but I’m leaning more towards anger now.
This was not her first time to attempt and statistically speaking, she had the odds against her. However, I didn’t really realize that.

She had a history of sending a Manila envelope full of instructions upon her passing. The person that received it in August just thought she was getting her affairs in order.  I was scrolling through her Facebook page and although this photo is from 2011 not 2017, my heart sank. My face filled with rushing red shame.

Level of Suicide Risk
Low – Some suicidal thoughts. No suicide plan. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.

Moderate – Suicidal thoughts. Vague plan that isn’t very lethal. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.

High – Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.
Severe – Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says he or she will attempt suicide.
-Source:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm

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There isn’t much to say right now about my father. This evening will mark exactly two weeks that he’s been sleeping inside the psych ward. I’ve only missed one night in regards to visiting. I was feeling ill and was afraid that I would make him sick. He seems to be a little different with each passing day. Some days he says he’s good and then the next day he’s completely agitated or he’s back down in the dumps.

I’ve been utilizing my alone time with painting our bathroom vanities. It is surprising to me how therapeutic it’s been. I feel myself kind of slipping into more of my introverted side. I have all this free time, yet I do not care to really seek out others and get my socializing in while I’m free.

In fact, five days ago I even deleted my Facebook account. I don’t have any other social media accounts. Facebook has become this world of hate in my view. I post my blog, people read it and then there’s a few that reach out personally to ask me how things are. It’s nice to discover those empathetic types. I doubt anyone has even noticed I’m gone. No one has asked me. I’ve always used Facebook as a way to communicate little funny things or great happenings. Most these days are just too full of hate. Politics will ruin friendships. Plus, when you’re feeling like life is a train wreck and someone is posting about their bad day, you become a bit snarky when you discover their bad day consist of just having to wake up. Whatever.