Unstoppable?

I’ve been keeping an eye on the word of the day prompt. The past several days have been as follows:

Sanctuary

Elusive-

Crisis-

and today’s word, Unstoppable. I’d been following right along, keeping up, mentally checking in and wondering “do I have enough to say about this?” Enough to post?

My initial thoughts…

Sanctuary? A holy place. A place of asylum. Where? There is no place left. No place to offer comfort and solace. Not the kind that can penetrate the deep layers of anger and sorrow that have cocooned themselves around me. Unless this IS my sanctuary. A place to run and “hide” from life and responsibilities. A cop out I can use to avoid engaging with other people… Well that’s depressing. I’ll skip todays prompt.

Elusive. Yes, much like my sanctuary. Elusive. Elusive… happiness? Elusive… purpose in life? Elusive… Natalie? Ok, this is going about as well as it did yesterday. NEXT.

Crisis! Yes! I have a lot to say about crisis. Cry-sis? Yep, lots to say… Right after I clean off my desk. And get caught up on the laundry. Finish the thank you cards. Do the dishes… Oh, and it’s Wednesday, so I already have to blog. Hmmm. Maybe tomorrows word will be THE ONE.

Unstoppable. Sounds inspiring, doesn’t it? I am unstoppable. Together, we are unstoppable. Know what? I call bullshit.

Even a train without brakes will eventually run out of steam and come slowly to a stop.

I understand determination. And setting goals for yourself. Pushing yourself through the hard stuff. Believe me, I do.

What I don’t understand, is hyping something so much it becomes unattainable. Speaking for myself, I have to be realistic. Would I like to run a marathon? Yes! Will I? Not a chance in hell. Play all of the Rocky theme songs you want, pump me up and still… I have physical and mental issues that are so great, it is not worth the risk of expending all my energy and ability to get there and then have nothing left over at the end of it.

I worry that if a person sets their mind to do something and then realize at some point before they’re finished that it’s something they can’t do… they will beat themselves up for “failing”.

I’m not one of those people who is overly concerned with other people’s feelings… I don’t think everyone on the team should get a “we tried” trophy or avoid cheering at a match (yes, they really banned cheering!) because some kids might feel bad…

I’m talking about the adults. Actually, I’m talking about me. Huh… Oddly enough, I didn’t see that coming!

I guess I want to tell whomever came up with the prompt of “unstoppable” that it’s ok to stop! Rest. Take a break. Abandon ship, if that ship is sinking. Doesn’t really matter what other people think anyway, does it?

Fuck no. So give them hell! Or … start and then change your mind. I don’t know. I guess what I mean to say is, if it’s important? I don’t need someone to tell me to keep at it or be unstoppable, I can do that on my own!

The Gift of Powerlessness

“I just wish I KNEW there was nothing more I could’ve done” my mom said to me this morning.

“Mom. There WAS NOTHING more ANYONE could’ve done. As a mother, I know you would’ve done anything for her. We all would have. That’s the one thing that haunts me. I can’t help but think, if it were all to happen again, I don’t think I’d do anything different. We did what we could. If I had known how much she was struggling, or even struggling at all, I would’ve done whatever it took to help her. I know though, she would’ve outsmarted me. Even if we kidnapped her, babysat her, watched her like a hawk… we couldn’t keep it up forever. Natalie was an adult…”

“Thank you for saying that. I needed to hear that.”

“Well, good. It’s the truth.”

We talked a little while longer and I told her about how Monday was so hard for me. Facebook was out to get me, with its postings of new mothers, days old baby boy, another little boy who didn’t make it. I couldn’t get away from it.

Out of the frying pan into the fire, I turned my attention away from the computer and once again, tried to clear my desk from the mounds of paperwork.

A picture fell off the cork board. A snapshot of Natalie and Niles, in Florida. Under a stack of papers was an envelope from Target, more pictures of Natalie. I collected them up and put them in a box.

“God dammit Natalie. How could you do this? How could you leave, now I have to put you in a box in my closet because it hurts too much to look at you.”

Tears had been slipping, intermittently until I heard her voice. So strong and clear, I had to look up to see if she was actually sitting next to me.

“I’m sorry Melly” she said.

I dropped the box and crumpled to the ground sobbing.

The hurt is so near to unbearable, I don’t know what to do.

Part of me says to be grateful.

And, part of me IS grateful. I know that she is around me.

The other part though… is so angry and confused. So hurt. And SO VERY SICK of hearing “she’s in a better place”. I know people mean well, I guess I’m just selfish… I’m not worried about where she is. I KNOW where she is. I’m not crying for her. I’m crying because I have to fucking figure out how to live without her. How to be without her. Who I AM without her. I am in a worse place. Yes, she’s out of pain. She’s in heaven. Paradise. I’m stuck in Hell on Earth.

And if I had it all to do again? I don’t know that I’d change anything. We didn’t have things left unsaid or unfelt. She (I believe) knows how it all works out now. She knows my and our family, our wishes, intentions, hopes and we have to wait patiently for the day when it all makes sense to us.

We didn’t have the power to control her or her addiction anymore than she could control her cravings for the heroin.

And there’s an odd sense of relief with that knowledge. A slight satisfaction, knowing, we really did everything we could.

That is one small gift to come of this horrific event and if that’s all?

I’ll take it.

Thanks…

“Thanks for the memories even though they weren’t so great” -Fall Out Boy

Over the weekend my email was hacked. I’m borderline computer literate at best and didn’t figure it out until I got 50+ bounce back emails and one angry letter, which at the time, I wasn’t sure was directed at me for my blog posts or in regards to the shit ton of spam I unknowingly unleashed into unsuspecting mailboxes.

Now what? I didn’t really know what that meant. Thank God for Geek Squad protection. It’s a necessity for me. I went to the online help and had a tech remotely search, scan, delete, fix and update everything. It took almost three hours. But, I had a professional do it, so I know it was done right. I changed my password and didn’t give it a second thought.

Until today. Today, I checked my bank balance and was in the hole by $85. WHAT THE HELL?! I look at the transactions and immediately see the problem. There was a charge for $49.99 and a charge for $59.99 both from Scottsdale, AZ.

I immediately start bitching about the injustices of the world when Don cut me off, mid sentence. “Are you sure YOU didn’t make those purchases in your sleep?” The nerve of hi- oh, wait. I have done shit like that haven’t I… Fuck. So, I’m thinking. Retracing my financial steps, my sleeping habits are examined and I deduce that No, I did not make those purchases. I reasoned that when I have bought things online in my sleep, my wallet is always out, (usually tossed on the floor near my desk) my debit card lying next to the keyboard, guiltily.

There was none of that.

So, today (fairly convinced of the truth) I went to Wells Fargo to talk to a banker. I explained my situation and he asked for my driver’s license and debit card. He made a comment about Natalie’s picture on my card and I told him she was celebrating a friend’s wedding. He nodded his head and told me he needed to call the claims center and file a claim to refute the charges. Halfway through the call, he hands me the phone. The man on the other end of the line asks a couple of questions and then puts me on hold. I stare into the banker’s desk. My vision starts to get blurry and I realize this is the first time I’ve been inside the bank since I got the call about Natalie.

“Are you ok miss? Do you need a napkin?”

A napkin? Not a tissue? Wouldn’t that be more accessible? Does he have a Burger King bag next to his desk? Is he just going to grab a handful of slightly grease stained napkins and offer them to me? I’m focusing the tiniest details so I don’t have to look at the bigger picture. I’m about to break down.

Breathe, I tell myself. Look around. Find three things that are green. Grass. Leaves. Part of that guy’s tie. Three things that are blue. The sky. That sign. That advertisement. Breathe in: 1,2,3,4. Hold: 1,2,3,4. Breathe out: 1,2,3,4. Hold: 1,2,3,4. Repeat.

I’m able to blink away the tears that haven’t fallen and recover.

“Thanks, no. I’m fine.” I lied.

 

Why I Write

Sorry I’m kinda phoning it in tonight, long weekend equals little brain power and almost zero original thoughts. “Why I Write” is written by Terry Tempest Williams and sums up exactly how I feel. This brings me to tears each time I read it. I hope you love it as much as I do!

I’ll try to post an original entry before Wednesday!

Why I Write by Terry Tempest Williams

I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to
create fabric in a world that often appears black and white. I write to
discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin
a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things
differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I
write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation.
I write because it creates my composure. I write against power
and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my
dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the
questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me
complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to the music
that opens my heart. I write to quell the pain. I write to migrating
birds with the hubris of language. I write as a form of translation. I
write with the patience of melancholy in winter. I write because it
allows me to confront that which I do not know. I write as an act of
faith. I write as an act of slowness. I write to record what I love in the
face of loss. I write because it makes me less fearful of death. I write
as an exercise in pure joy. I write as one who walks on the surface of
a frozen river beginning to melt. I write out of my anger and into
my passion. I write from the stillness of night anticipating-always
anticipating. I write to listen. I write out of silence. I write to soothe
the voices shouting inside me, outside me, all around. I write because
of the humor of our condition as humans. I write because I believe in
words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is
a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like
a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the
moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long
walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can
create a path in darkness. I write because as a child I spoke a different
language. I write with a knife carving each word through the generosity
of trees. I write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I
write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to
speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what
I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine. I write by grace
and grit. I write out of indigestion. I write when I am starving. I write
when I am full. I write to the dead. I write out of the body. I write to
put food on the table. I write on the other side of procrastination. I
write for the children we never had. I write for the love of ideas. I
write for the surprise of a sentence. I write with the belief of alchemists.
I write knowing I will always fail. I write knowing words always fall
short. I write knowing I can be killed by my own words, stabbed by
syntax, crucified by both understanding and misunderstanding. I write
out of ignorance. I write by accident. I write past the embarrassment
of exposure. I keep writing and suddenly, I am overcome by the sheer
indulgence, (the madness,) the meaninglessness, the ridiculousness of
this list. I trust nothing especially myself and slide head first into the
familiar abyss of doubt and humiliation and threaten to push the delete
button on my way down, or madly erase each line, pick up the paper
and rip it into shreds-and then I realize, it doesn’t matter, words are
always a gamble, words are splinters from cut glass. I write because
it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the
words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable
we are, how transient.
I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.

It’s Not Even Thursday

“How are you?” It still sounds like such an asinine question, yet I can’t help myself from asking it. I try to check in with my family on Thursdays. THE day. The past couple of Thursdays I’ve noticed an almost traumatic  response to the realization of the day. “Oh shit. It’s Thursday” I’ll think, like I haven’t been dreading it since the previous Friday.

I remember the phone call with my brother.

“Is she dead?” I demanded. I was almost yelling at him.

“Yeah” he responded in a voice that barely cracked above a whisper.

My voice, now almost suddenly and completely gone, replies “I’ll be there is soon as I can”.

“ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod. What the fuck is Justin talking about? There must be some mistake. He’s confused. ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod.”

My parents, wailing. My brother, stone faced. Friends, attending to our parents. Me, brain numb, palms against the wall. Pushing. Holding myself up.

Where IS SHE?

I see her in the dining room chair, where I saw her last. In her apartment, on the bed, laid back and lifeless. In the casket, looking 50 years old at the mere age of 36. In her beautiful urn. A mound of ashes. On top of a player piano. She won’t ever play it again.

The pictures come over and over again. The best way to describe it? Those of you who have seen American Horror Story, Coven… remember when Misty Day went to Hell as part of the Seven Wonders challenge? She had to prove herself and her powers by going to Hell and coming back? Only, she didn’t make it back. She lived the worst day of her life over and over, like a sick Ground Hog Day movie, without Bill Murray. If you haven’t seen it, or don’t remember it, I’ll include a YouTube video at the end of this article for those interested. It was a very eye opening experience to witness. And now, I feel I can relate.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I can possibly feel as shitty as I do and yet have pinpoint moments where I feel a thousand times worse than that.

Today I think I got it. Someone had asked me if the shock was wearing off. I didn’t know how to answer because I can’t really be in shock or denial with as much pain as I’m experiencing, can I? Then again, I feel pin pricks of time, like I’m being emotionally ripped to shreds…amplified by infinity.

I think what’s happening is that I feel so devastated, destroyed and dismayed (and a lot more too) that I kinda forget WHY I’m so miserable. I just wallow in the sadness and the sorrow and let it wash over me. Engulf me. That when something specific DOES trigger me, I’m reminded of what I’ve lost. Why I’m so numb and depressed. And it starts again and plays on repeat, causing another shock wave of emotion.

It’s been hell these past couple of days and in less than an hour, It’ll be my favorite day of the week.

AHS Coven

Ouija Believe?

I talked to Natalie? Sorry, very bad pun. Not punny AT ALL. Got it. Weak intro to tonight’s post. Just wanted to give readers a heads up, as I know religion/spirituality/magic (light and dark) are controversial topics to some people and a big joke to others. I am not going to judge you for your beliefs, please do the same in return.

With THAT out of the way, we made contact with Natalie on the other side yesterday!

My mom and I are believers in the many different ways there are to communicate with loved ones on the other side. Electronics are HUGE. Music is a popular one. Signs, which I’ve gotten on a regular basis since Natalie’s passing.

We’ve done the Ouija board many times over the years and have never had a bad experience. There is a ritual to do beforehand. Light a candle. Say a prayer. Meditate. Ask God and the angels to bring forth only those with the highest and best intentions. We bless the board. We surround ourselves in a protective white light. This was the case yesterday.

After more than an hour of preparation, we sat facing each other, fingers on the planchette (aka the mouse).

Mom: Is anyone there?

Nothing. For a couple of minutes, the was nothing.

Then the planchette started to move. Haphazardly.

Mom: Nat? Is that you?

The planchette struggled to manuever towards the corner “Yes”.

I’m not sure I blogged about it, I don’t think I did but when we saw a medium to seek out answers and make contact, she (the medium) told us since Natalie had passes so recently, she wasn’t sure how to move her energy just yet. There are certain time periods when they are more accessible to us. Right after they pass, for about two weeks because they hang around for the funeral and after that, it’s about six months until they can connect again. So, we were surprised that we were still able to “hear” from her.

Me: Is it still hard for you to move your energy?

Nat: Yes

Nat: Sorry

Mom: For what?

Nat: My death. Total acci-

Me: (Trying to save her some of her energy) Are you spelling accident?

Nat: Yes

Mom: We were wondering about triggers….

Nat: VW.

Mom and I look at each other, confused.

Nat: A3, A3, A3, A3, A3

It was a very rhythmic, soothing motion and I started to wonder if she was tired.

Me: Are you tired?

Nat: ZZZZZZZZZZ

Mom: Can Jeff (her brother) help?

Nat: Yes

Mom: Jeff?

Jeff: Yes

Then

Jeff: LAMONT (grandpa’s name)

Mom: Oh, hi dad. She said it laughing through tears.

Grandpa: X Ray, Ray (grandma’s second husband)

Mom: Ray!

Me: There’s quite a party going on up there!

Mom: You’re surrounded by loved ones, aren’t ya Nat?

?: Yes

Me: Is Justin ok?

Justin, for those of you who don’t know, is my brother. He’s had a hell of a burden when it comes to death and being the messenger. I don’t spend enough time with him to know if/how he’s grieving… Plus, he’s a guy, so emotions are hard to come by as it is, right?

Nat: Will B

Mom: What about dad? He has to hear from you.

Nat: ZZZZZZZZ

Me: That’s a cop-out.

At this point, I think the planchette was heading towards the NO and then it hit me.

Me: Oh! You’ll see him in his sleep? A visit in his dreams?

Nat: Yes

Mom: Soon?

Nat: Yes

Me: Who knows what that means, time is irrelevant where you are…

Nat: SOON

Nat: ZZZZZZZZZ

Either mom or I: Ok, we’ll sign off. Rest up for next time!

We love you

That was amazing. I’ve never had such a clear and concise reading before last night. We weren’t sure she’d be able to come through at all but then again, have YOU ever tried stopping Natalie from getting what she wants? Doesn’t happen.

I left shortly afterwards and as I was driving home, I saw this:

FullSizeRender (4)

Ps. The medium also told us that Natalie would send hearts as a sign that she’s around.

New Arrival!

Meet Noah.

He arrived today from Waverly, MN.

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to bring him home but the cosmos were in alignment and everything worked out… I didn’t even have to sell my soul, so bonus.

I ordered him on Monday or Tuesday and I tracked that package like I was a storm chaser on the heels of a hurricane. I even sat outside on the curb for a while, hoping I’d meet the UPS driver before he brought the package into the office. After a couple of hours, I figured I should be more productive. So I worked on cleaning out our den.

I grabbed a stack of papers and in the shuffle, out fell the card Natalie had written to go along with the flowers she sent after Noah passed.

My eyes glazed over and my brain went numb.

I remembered it was a Saturday. The bouquet was sitting on our doorstep, waiting for us when we got home. I thought it was a mistake. I barely glanced at the flowers, looking only for the attached card. I wanted to make sure they got to the right person…

“Words cannot express the hurt I feel for the loss of Noah. Hope these will bring some beauty into your world at such a time of sadness. I love you with all my heart. Natalie.”

I was beside myself all over again.

Why? God, Why BOTH of them? Why so close together? WHY?

And in the end, it doesn’t matter why. There’s no changing it. There will be no answers until I am with them. And I have to find a way to be ok with that… not ok they’re gone but accept it, otherwise I won’t be able to go on.

I cried until I couldn’t breathe and then I got into the shower. I let the hot water pelt my neck and back. I imagined God crying with me. Bathing me in his tears.

When I got out of the shower, Don had a box from UPS in his hands.

He cut through all the tape and the hard to remove packing.

Under butter yellow tissue paper and wrapped in a green receiving blanket was Noah.

IMG_3017_zps1gkdhd4c

He took my breath away. I was almost afraid to pick him up… but I did. I gently lifted him from the cardboard box and unwrapped the blanket. I held him to my chest, still clutching my towel in one hand, baby in the other. I started to sway as my eyes got hot again, filling with tears.

Along with Noah, a change of clothes, a hat and a birth certificate with the name Noah was included.

I had to leave. I had an appointment at 3:00 and it was close to that already.

“What do you think of him” Don asked me in the car.

“Think? I’m trying not to think about it. When I do, I feel weird. Self conscious. Silly. Unstable. But when I held him and rocked him, I FELT peaceful. I felt right…”

“I just don’t want you to um, I don’t know how to say it… I’m afraid I’ll come home one day and you’ll say ‘guess what Noah did today'”.

I laughed. “No, I don’t think you have to worry about that. And, if you catch me trying to nurse him? Take him away from me, please.”

He chuckled, very uncomfortably.

So, we’ll see how it goes. He’s a beautiful baby DOLL and it fills my heart up to even look at him. I hope he becomes a resource as tomorrow is Thursday. Again. God how I HATE Thursdays. It will be 8 weeks tomorrow. Getting harder to pretend she’s on a vacation…

How about you? How do you or have you coped with grief and losses? Does anything REALLY help? Let me know in the comments below!