There are those times when I’d like someone to know what is going on in my life, the struggle, the trial and yes the heartache, but saying it out loud makes it more of a reality. Life is certainly interesting. Just like that, someone can come back into my life only to begin the process of saying goodbye.
My heart has been heavy as I instinctively know where this part of my journey is leading. I begin to set things up and organize an end of life care plan and I wonder, have I been being prepared for this moment all along?
All I’ve ever wanted was time with you, to know you more, better and completely, but that wish never came to fruition. It’s as though I’ve been grieving and mourning the loss of you repeatedly for my entire life so far and then…
Easter Sunday comes and a stranger reached out to me through FB messenger. She informed me of the situation. Her mom, also essentially a stranger, had gone into the hospital and from there this conversation went on for 1 1/2 hours. I knew what I had to do and the next morning I began making calls, calling on all my resources, experience and knowledge from my in home care business to make a care plan and 3 days later I found myself in my car headed up north to visit the man I call Daddy. When I arrived, the situation was a little worse than I expected as I jumped into work mode to begin the process of a care plan.
In those first 8 hours I learned more than I ever knew and I will treasure them for the remainder of my life. My Daddy and I spent the day talking just the 2 of us, crying and sharing our hearts. Somehow I knew this was the moment I’d longed for since I was a little girl and in one sentence he was able to mend my deepest wound I’ve attempted to fill and repair on my own and with The Lord. I had always thought it had been irreparable after all this time until he told me of the day I was born. He spoke as if it were yesterday, how blessed he had felt. When he shared with me “the second they put you in my arms honey, I just knew you were my special, precious, baby girl and I loved you”. The feeling that washed over me was, “WANTED”.
A lifetime of this emptiness and struggle resolved with his simple declaration spoken from his heart to mine. God’s Mercy and Grace brought restoration I never knew I could have. Memories are few and very far between, but those that I do hold, I praise God for this ultimate gift today that I will cherish for eternity.
Now we walk through these days in preparation for our Daddy to go home to be with The Lord for only He knows the plan for the end that will be his new beginning for his restoration as he crosses the finish line to victory. Amen🙏🏻💫🙌🏼💖
Sitting with my 10 1/2 year old granddaughter as she’s doing 5th grade history homework, she reads passages to me and abruptly stops to declare, “that’s not right Grammy!” Clearly she’s upset, knowing her as well as I do, she expresses her opinion about the paragraph she just read. “They’re not Indians, that’s not okay to say. I’m not writing that for my answer.” My heart, warmed by her compassion and directness, I explained first that “history” is what we’re being told because we didn’t live back then. She balked at that, but then I commended her for being appalled and asked her what her preference is to fill in the blank on her paper. She said she would just write Americans. Then I handed her the missing tool and suggested she add Native to her answer. She smiled, agreed and wrote her new choice.
While I try to be cognitive of teachable moments and what I often find is I’m not always the teacher, regardless of someone’s age. We talked a little more about this. I praised her for standing on her convictions, beliefs and using her voice. I thought to myself how oppression has been the downfall of my life, hence the internal struggle. I can only imagine the horrific stories from history and particular heritages, what they encountered and endured.
The topic of evolving took place with her next. We aren’t where we once were, but we aren’t yet where (I hope) we are going either. That’s being a difference maker, I explained. Not just standing by, quietly accepting the unacceptable or tolerating intolerance. Tell me more about your heart, I asked her. Never dismiss or fear the true words, thoughts and feelings of a child (or adult) because given a safe space, they will always honor their truth.
Is it merely human nature or even the human condition that we make up stories in our own minds, judging others for why they are in the spot they are in in life? It happens all the time, the assumption of another’s choices and blaming them for why they are in this or that predicament when the reality is, we can’t possibly know their story without asking them. We simply don’t know what we don’t know. (wisdom from my wise 87 year old friend)
Taking a moment to understand someone else as I listen to their thought provoking perspective makes me smile in gratitude. Being right is far less important to me than loving someone where they are. That being said, I leave you with this mantra; I’ll be quiet (not silent), you can be right and I’ll be happy. There is no price tag on civility and Serenity, but there sure as shootin’ is a cost for close mindedness.
If God (insert your personal Source here) meant for us to pray and believe only one way, why did He create so much diversity? Love is love for humankind. Be the change you want to see. Fear less by being fearless. I’m proud of my (almost 5) grand-youngsters and what their parents (my kids) are teaching them about equality and human rights. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” One of the wisest lessons I’d ever learned.
Bill was 86 years old when I first met him last March. The week of his 87th birthday he was placed in an acute assisted living facility. He had terminal brain cancer and it had spread down to his neck. For 3 months we went to visit him on Mondays like clockwork. During the last 6 weeks of his life he was in and out of what we knew as his reality, but he seemed almost peaceful when he spoke often times those nonsensical words.
He sat in his wheelchair, weak of energy, yet that sheepish grin of his emerged out of nowhere. His eyes still had life in them, but he would seemingly look right through me as he spoke. It was obvious to me that he was living in this realm, but crossing over simultaneously. Most days he was talking to his mama who had left this earth sometime ago. The conversations were real to him and heartwarming to witness.
Bill had lived the last nearly 40 years as a sober man. He was committed to making amends even in his final days. His devotion to The Lord was obvious when he shared stories with me now and then. He was a straight shooter and as honest as a man could be. Up until he took his last breath, he still had plenty to say.
When his pastor came to see him one last time, Bill asked once more if he believed that God was going to let him into his kingdom. With complete assurance the pastor told him without a doubt and with all certainty He was. He has been missed since that final day. I’m grateful he’s no longer hurting and has found peace and contentment in his own heart, but selfishly we all wish he had more time.
I will never forget the unspoken words that he conveyed to me with just his gentle smile and a shake of his head every time he asked me something about my life. He was a lovable, kindhearted man with such conviction that he stood proudly on. I thank God for the moments I was blessed to have those conversations with you sir.
Rest easy my friend. My promise holds that I will help your lovely bride for as long as she needs me.
You set the pace in this rugged little rat race I turned for a moment stuck in the torment This seductive game I couldn’t be contained Shrewd yet so weak pretending I was meek Calling your bluff in your ridiculous cuffs Rolling my eye no more tears left to cry Pathetic to any shunned by many Digging your way down buried underground I laugh at you now with your furrowing brow Disapproval lashing about fuck off hear my shout This battle is over the war won covers me in clover Flourishing in joy no longer your ragged little toy Dead soul torn apart what once held your heart You’ve lost much more than I gave you credit for Etched upon my brain your turn to feel such pain It all began with you telling me nothing ever true Blood boiling red your skin peeling so to shed Addiction is your enemy but I however am set free Taunt me more believe what you don’t know Hell is where you reside not a soul on your side Only in the wake of your demise you fall not rise Me on the other hand unstoppable taking a stand Tell me again once more with conviction about honor respect and love Oh wait that’s right yours is only a contradiction You taught me more than I ever bargained for Let me praise Him for pushing me out the door Stop listening to his demands Only the righteous One commands The world will shout but the Man whispers about “Get off his back Get out of God’s way Get on with your life” Get it? Got it? Good!
Strangled by oppression, eventually anger will build and pool in the very soul that was created in love. Out of fear and doubt, the inability to speak, my insides cry and lash out. Why can’t I exhume my deepest thoughts? What I say matters, intellectually inspiring, there is so much to share.
Convicted as a child with emotions to express, ridiculed for feeling, thinking, with wants needs and desires. This would carry on and haunt me like the enemy adores, but God is my one and only, He blessed me with an almighty voice. Choosing to write is what’s saved my own life.
A reflection of what I’ve been carrying around, the pen flows my truth, saving me from being buried underground. At times there are poems rhyming and sometimes not. Uncomfortable to some, embraced by those who aren’t fearful nor flee. My words unbound placed upon my heart. The freedom to shed that has both kept me together and torn me apart.
Truly a masterpiece, His prized work in this aspiring vessel. His Mercy and Grace bringing forth what has been nestled. Now I can see it, my truest self worth I’ve always hidden. Staying this course will revise how I’ve lived, protecting the gifts I’ve been given.
There are people I love and things that I need, but in the end, I always receive everything I believe. When I stop chasing after those who run and hide, I am equipped to move towards what beckons from inside.