I Aspire to Live as You Two Did

grandma

I wonder what they were thinking while they were together on this plain, my Grampy and Grammy. Life always seems to be infinite while we are living it; yet, when you pull back to look around yourself life is so fragile.

My grandparents were in love, and trust me when I say that it was a love that would confound many of those that encountered them. They fell in love, and never let go. I remember my Grampy passing away in 2003 but trauma blocks out a lot of memorable actions as protection. I know he died with a picture of his family together, and that he labored through breathing to even get to the finale of his life. I also know that it must have been scary, but hell he had so many people that surrounded him for his last breath; including his beloved wife.

What did they think about on those dates of row boat trips? I think it’s quite obvious from the look in my Grandfather’s eyes in the top left corner, and the counter look of my Grandmother. As it turns out they had four children, multiple grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren.

I remember the smell of my Grandparent’s fragrant backyard, fragranced with peonies. Oh, that smell was so delicious I bought a bush of it for my own home before Grandma started to decline. I remember running with my cousins around the house, and always tripping over the same gutter. I remember the Christmas Eve nights we would spend tere eating Avanti’s and then heading to midnight church. I remember the smell of the house she lived in. It was not a gross smell, or a clean smell; it was just the smell of Grandpa and Grandma’s house. I remember the meatballs that were always served, and watching old Christmas movies on a VHS.

I remember talking and talking at great length while Grandma sat there listening. I remember Grandpa doing his best Big Al impression whenever we came through the door: “HEY, HEY, HEY”. I remember Grampy letting us put makeup on him and doing his hair. I remember going through Grammy’s jewelry box and always seeing the above pictures tucked inside with all of her costume jewelry.

I remember Grammy never moving on from Grampy, and being buried with his wedding ring on her chest. What a love that must have been, and I am thankful to have the same love in my marriage as they did in theirs. A love so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes when my aunt placed the above pictures into my hand.

I am not sure what happens to us after death, and I would not presume to know that. However, I envision them rowing in a boat at the park, necking with their friends giggling and taking pictures, planning what they will do next…the thoughts are infinite.

To be a fly on that wall, just to see them go about their daily life and love.

I remember them, and thus they cannot die.

Thanks as always to Jenn Bovee for always being there for me, and catching me when I fall.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

I do not remember the last time I was this tired.

The teachings of Buddha remind me that life, and everything, is impermanent. Yet, I am struggling with the loss of my beloved grandmother. She left this plain of existence today at 1:00 p.m. Gods, did I love her. We were so accustomed to going to see her at the nursing home, and I would pick flowers for her as she loved wild flowers.

She was raised in the south during the great depression on a horse farm, and this is what made her stubborn as all hell. She taught me how to journal, crochet, and most of all to speak my own truth. Not just my own truth (dharma), but to say it loudly and proudly.

She suffered greatly in the end, and I was glad they had hospice called in to provide her morphine so that she would not feel the pain of her body shutting down. She was so frightened that she would suffer through death as my grandfather did. My grandfather suffered for nine months in and out of the hospital until he finally passed.

A story to show you how morbid our family’s sense of humor is: my grandfather’s body started to shut down from the bottom to the top. They found fecal matter on his sheets and he thought this was a good sign, because bowel movements are good. He excitedly called his wife and had to leave a message as my grandmother had not made it home yet from the hospital she had just left visiting him. It said, ‘good news, they found a spot on my bed and I may be able to come home’ followed by the ‘this is your last message’. I may have just dated my age, but that is what answering machines said prior to smart phones. Well, it was my grandfather’s last message as he died promptly after that surrounded by his wife and some of his children. At grampy’s funeral they concluded the ceremony by this message (including the ‘this is your last message’) promptly followed by a jazz rendition of Amazing Grace.

My grandmother fell and shattered her pelvis months ago, and the doctors said that she had very little chance of making it out of the surgery alive. She, being who she is, chose the surgery. She not only lived, but she baffled the doctors by getting up and walking with a walker the next day. She could no longer live on her own though, and had to go live in a home. This was not her option, but it was the only option that she had. We had offered to take her, but we have stairs in our house to go to either of the restrooms. It just was not a viable option.

I received a phone call last night letting me know she was not doing very well, and thank you to my tribal sister for coming and helping by watching the kids so that I could go and see her. I brought her flowers from the garden, as I always do and sat with her. The family was there, and it was fine. We were told it would not last much longer. I was told they (family) were all at the hospital today, and holding a bedside vigil. I walked in the room and saw my baby sister kneeling in front of the bed with one hand reached up to her and the other hand folded to make a cushion for her head. It is a moment, a mental image, that I will not forget. It was so beautiful. From what I understand Grammy did the same thing with my father and my aunt last night, hugging them and running her hands through their hair. While I was there last night she kept saying ‘child…birth…worth…it’, and then saying, ‘I love you’.

I drove to the makeshift vigil, and about an hour in I heard it. The sound I had heard with my husband’s grandmother. The sound is amply named the death rattle, and I alerted my father who thought she was just snoring. Her heart beat was fast and irregular, and she started to sweat profusely. They decided to change her, and my brother (who was a paramedic) told them (my aunt and father) to stay in the room because moving her could very well kill her. I am glad they stayed as she died right there and then, at 1:00 pm.

I attempted to touch my father, but he is strange when it comes to emotions. I do not believe he likes to show it a lot. He put a hand out to stop me, and I stopped. He was crying, my aunt was crying, my brother was crying, and the most heart wrenching for me my baby sister was weeping. There was nothing to be done, and I left about an hour after her passing. I sat in the parking lot in my car sobbing and listening to music. I finally got home which took over 30 minutes because I was driving so slowly, and promptly set to college work. My father called around 4:00 p.m. wanting to know if I would come over to have dinner with him, and the brood. He then asked to speak to my husband, who had been to the home earlier in the day to drop off soda for him and my aunt. My father tried to say thank you, but he could not get it out and started to cry. My husband then cried, and it threw him back into when his father died.

Fuck. She led an amazing life, and will be missed dearly by myself. I remember her putting me to sleep with a game called sleepy eyes the sandman’s coming, and that is what I will be hearing tonight as I think of her while I drift into my own state of unconsciousness.

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

She

She came into my life quite unexpectedly, and like a force that needed to be met head on. I cannot describe the relationship we have as it crosses all boundaries of any natural relationship.

I often wonder how much courage it took her to message me about her pregnancy after everything she had heard about me; honestly, it is still something that I am baffled by today. How do you message a woman you have been told is batshit crazy and scary for years to tell her that you are pregnant with her child’s brother?

She had been told I took all his money, I was a she demon, I was spiteful, I was jealous, I would leave my children to go to orgies every weekend, and the list goes on. Yet, she still picked up the phone when I called her to talk. That is when our relationship began, and it was cautious at first. I cannot blame either of us for that. I had heard horror stories of her upon my ex-husband’s return, but have known him long enough to know his bullshit. Still, one of his exes had tried to kill him with a knife so I was cautious.

Then came time for the abuse she would endure from my ex-husband. I knew it would be coming, but was hoping it would be different for her than for me. His abuse became worse when I was pregnant, and I believe it was because he knew I could not fight him back. However, it seemed to increase for her when she discovered she was pregnant two weeks after kicking him out (it may have been more than two weeks). I listened to the voicemails he was sending her, and read all the screenshotted texts that he had sent her. She cried, and I reassured her that she would be a wonderful mother. Just in case anyone was wondering, she is a fabulous mother.

Then came our first meeting in a face to face situation. She opened the door and all I saw was this very tall beautiful creature in front of me. She looked like a fairy to be honest. Long dark hair and eyes to match. We hugged like we had missed each other from some previous life, and then we got to meet my son’s brother.

I remember her being so nervous about nursing in front of us in the beginning few hours, but was reassured that it did not bother either my husband, myself, or my children. I got to reminisce about what it was like to nurse a small child, and to have that closeness. The first night we (her and I) stayed up until 3 a.m. talking, just talking. We had gotten some wine, mostly for my sake, and sat out on her balcony sharing war stories of the storms we had rode by the same person. I took her to the emergency room when she thought her incision was infected. We took the baby so she could sleep all night to catch up on what she had been missing. We sat on the couch, my feet under her butt because they were cold, and hell did we talk. Not just about one subject, but like we were bursting at the seams to tell each other everything that we had missed since we last met in our previous life (you know, if you believe in that).

And then we wept when it time for us to go. That part has changed now. She cries when we see each other, and I cry when we part.

I do not care what anyone says, this relationship that has been formed is family. It is tribal, but damnit we are there for the other when shit is good, bad, or indifferent.

That is family.

Thanks as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

Rejoice and love yourself

I have repented, and now I am going through some sort of transition. It all started with the words: ‘I’m not in love with you,’.

I realized when these words were spoken that I had been censoring myself, denying myself, and shaming myself for someone who did not deserve me. It broke me quite honestly, and I had a rough week of getting over it. However, I feel renewed. I chopped off my hair in symbolism of transition, and made my undercut larger in the distinction of mourning and growth. Now I know what it feels like to be free after six years.

I spent six years being someone’s secret, and the shame that comes from that is sharp and distinct. It was like being poked by a hot poker any time the other person would not invite us to their holiday parties. It was a slice out of me when I was called a whore. It was a piece of dignity taken from me when I had to hear about how I was a deviant for letting people put marks on me and I on them.

I am a powerful woman, and I do not know why I took it so long. It was like being donkey punched for six years! Do not get me wrong, there were good times; yet, the tough times outweighed the good.

It is just like everyone said it was. Everyone told me it was no good, and I kept going back like a sick druggie needing their fix. After introspection, I believe it was the cycle of abuse I had grown so accustomed to. I was so trained to beg for another person’s attention to get their love, and here I was doing it all over again.

You know what I say to that? Fuck it. I do not want to live in that space, and I refuse to do so. As stubborn as I am, I will follow through with these words. No more reading into things, no more hiding, no more censoring, and no more self-shaming.

I have been off track with work and my workout routines. As a person with post-traumatic stress disorder, working out is the best way to stay sane. I have made the intention to go to the gym five times a week, and if I miss a day to do yoga at home through Gaia. If you have not checked out Gaia, please do as it is worth it.

I am going through withdraw from a chemical placed in my body that made me suicidal (go figure), and still have moments of impulsivity due to it. The psychiatrist states this will pass in three weeks. That means the worse of it will be coming this week, but my fabulous sister is going to be coming over (a four-hour drive) to stay with me for a week. I could not be happier in this.

This life is the only life we get to live, even if you are spiritual person and believe you are going to heaven or hell or whatever. This life, this one that you are living right now, is the only one you get to live. Live it.

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

I repent

I must repent for my transgressions against others, and I am full of the karma that has been inflicted. I am a believer in the three-fold path, and have come to understand it better as I move through this life from childhood to adulthood.

My transgressions are many in numbers, but I regret nothing as it has made me who I am. I am a stronger person for everything that I have done and everything that I will do in the future.

I was not the perfect child. As my Aunt tells me: ‘you’ve always marched the beat of your own drum’; as a Pagan, these words take on different meaning to me. No, I never conformed and was a horrible youth to raise to say the least. Yet, I was a trauma victim and blame cannot be solely placed on myself. That would be horrible to be done to any child, or adult for that matter. To place blame solely on the individual that went through trauma. I saw what happened when a family member prosecuted the individual that assaulted her, and I would not go through the same thing after my own assault. Instead, I found diverse ways to cope than the normal societal view of living. I turned to Heathenism as it made the most sense to me and still does. I disliked my biological mother for the way she treated me, and treated me until I went no contact with her. I disliked my biological father for letting the abuse continue through my early and late years; to be honest, I believe I still do dislike him for letting it happen. His answer when I asked him: ‘I don’t know why she did that to you, but she does love you’. What a crushing sentence to murmur even to an adult when speaking of the person that labored you through into this world without medication.

normal

I am not monogamous. I never have been, and not sure if I ever will be. Monogamy may be the societal normality, but I do not believe it should be the default. I believe that monogamy is a choice, just like being a vegetarian. You may choose to be vegetarian, but that does not mean that the bacon will not smell good.

poly

I have danced naked under the full moon, surrounded by the pounding of drums, and danced in a rhythm that would make anyone dizzy, powerful, and joyful. The beat that filled our hearts and made them beat together. The women dancing on the outside and the men on the inside, the attraction of feminine and masculine intertwining into a beautiful sort of energy orgy. Later there was an orgy, but I regret to say I was not there to witness it.

moon

I fell in love with a man when he was still with his other partner, and allowed the relationship which was of great disrespect for the person and myself. I reveled in the attention, and was blinded with joy to have the attention of another male in my life. I remember whispering ‘I love you’ in between the thrusts of lust and pleasure, running my hands through his hair, over his shoulders, and through his chest hair. I later found out that I had been violated through my consensual bonds. I do not sleep with people I am not in love with, and this person knew it; yet, they continued to sleep with me even after they fell out of love. The betrayal is branded onto my heart, and will take some mending to heal.

wounded heart

I have slept with women, and I consider myself to be sexually fluid. I have soaked in the love that only a woman can provide, and loved every moment of it. The relationships are intense and loving, but too much feminine energy throws my balance off. I regret to say that I had to let the woman I loved dearly go to a person that could make her happier than I ever could.

flag

I am involved in the BDSM lifestyle, and have been for almost a decade now. I cannot tell you the trust and love that comes from such blatantly honest relationships. I jumped into the proverbial pool head first and was burned many times. I have worn the leather of people that I love dearly, and have heartbrokenly returned it.

bdsm

I have recently been accused of telling people that my father raped me; the hurt that came from that was intolerable, as I am sure it was for him if he believed any of it. I love my father, and would not ever spit venom about him. I have made him very angry in the past and most recently the present. When I was told that my father was incredibly angry over our choice of going no contact, and that his health was deteriorating because of me, I became scare of him and what I could do to someone I loved. So, I handled it in the way I had been taught to do my entire life: back off and do not talk. I reached out to my biological mother to advise her that we need to be seen by a licensed professional over the wicked things that she had been spread, but she rejected the notion.

I have caused havoc amongst those I hold so dear, and the ones that know me are still around. They know who I am at my core, and that all my transgressions are simply just who I am and nothing more. That if I hurt someone, it is never intentional.

For this I repent.

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus