A woman named Volley

Blonde, quiet, German and kind. Volley was my childhood best-friend’s mom. Her house was always the safe, quiet place to be. Sandra, blonde like her mom, was my tried and true best friend. We stayed in touch as I visited my hometown through middle school. I have a fun photo of us at my mom’s house in Washington, wearing terrycloth “rompers”, all the rage of the early 1980’s. Just on the verge of becoming women.

Is it funny my most vivid memory of being at her house is when my hair caught on fire at their house and Sandra put it out? That smell is unforgettable, the other piece I realize now is how unfazed Volley was, perhaps reality was different, but I remember it well.

She was a great friend to my mom, helping her through my parents divorce, being a safe haven and one who understood and supported her decision to leave. My mother’s decision to leave her hometown, as I look back now, was incredibly brave and hard. She left many things she loved behind, but left some unhealthy stuff behind as well. I am so thankful for her bravery. I know my whole life is different and better because of her brave choice.

I think of my Mom often now, she died 10 years ago this fall, just after my youngest’s first birthday. I wonder where Volley is and know she would be sad to know my Mom is gone. I would love to say thank you to her to all she gave my mom and my family. Wherever you are Volley, thank you for the laughter, the safety and the support you gave us when I was too young to realize how much it meant- your visits, your cards, your kindness and friendship, all meant more than you will ever know.

 

For the darker days and deeper moments when we feel alone.

Remember we all live on this beautiful rock together.

Seeing, feeling and knowing together.

Finding ways to shine light into one another’s souls gives us purpose,¬†shows us meaning.
And reminds us kind, loving words, can write a message so beautiful, brave and true, they are unforgettable.
They become written in the stone of our being, they inspire us to
be strong when we feel weak, and remind us that gift
is available to us all,
if we dare.
Dare to speak the words of love and kindness that linger,
on the edge or our lips,
and too often remain unsaid.

Sometimes there is no over, under, or around there is only though the terrible through.

There are times in life, things in life we would all like to avoid. Death, illness, loss. Today I was thinking about my Mom, it would have been her 72nd birthday on Friday. She has been gone for almost 9 years this year and it is less hard than it was, on most days. There are moments I wish I could talk to her, just for five minutes. She could help me unpack things no one else could.

I was thinking of my Mom because I recently read a post by Carin Towne, the mother of the late Ben Towne. Ben Towne died of cancer at the age of 3 and Carin was brave enough to share about losing him and I was reminded of losing my mother. While in no way does it compare with the loss of child, it is the closest I have come to that pain. All I could think of when she wrote about the howling, scorching pain, was how sometimes there is no over, under or around, only through, the terrible through.

For the days you wake up and for a moment, have forgotten the pain, only to have it come screaming back. How only after losing my mother-in-law in December, my favorite grandfather in January and my husband’s uncle in February did it all seem like too much. So after I had to cancel something I had committed to, telling them what was going on, and got “And?” as a response I knew I needed to start saying “No.”

So I did, I started saying “No” to playdates, “No” to volunteering, “No” to time with friends, “No” to NPR because even the radio just made me mad. I kept going until all I was taking care of was me, my two boys and my marriage. Only then did I even start to heal.

And the magical gift which appeared were the people who were still there, patient and loving, waiting for me to return. What I gained from saying “No” for so long, was the power of “Yes.”

The power of “Yes” is making sure every time I say “Yes” to something I support it 100%. No regrets, no complaints, just “Yes.”

This is a lesson I would never have learned without visiting that dark place, where “No” was the only word that helped.

I do not wish a horrible loss on anyone, but that kind of pain changes you and helps clarify what is truly important, it helps you find your “Yes.” And so, for that, I miss my Mom, Nikki, Grandpa and David, but if it weren’t for them, I would have failed to know the true power of “flexing my “No” muscle.”

Without “No” there can be no room for “Yes.”

Falconry and a Rain-Kissed Sky

We sit, looking at the rain-kissed sky

The train whistle in the distance

A resort is full of people

taking care of it,

loving the land.

Then, raptors

 

And the bird lady

Married to her birds,

Teaching, but her words are full of regret and resentment

Why did she hide so long

Only, like a burrowing owl,

to come out and realize, it is too late,

Too late for children

Bitter pride, an aftertaste of regret.

 

Roaring monsters in the sky while playing with the 2%.

Acquaintance with and acceptance of one’s own intelligence.images

Sharing dreams and attempts of creative endeavors.

Knowing the reception will be one of honest curiosity and excitement.

Separation from influences which see you as less and the gifts that brings.

Showing one keys to vehicles, waiting to be tested.

Opening the path of learning, so far beyond school.

Three stories in the sky looking at the faces of the trees.

Hearing the whispers of nature and the murmurs of our realm.

Voices, words, tones, falling through the air, landing, sometimes.

 

Fighting Gremlins

Gremlins, voices, FOO, or my favorite “the itty-bitty-s*itty-committee”….thinking-clipart-KingzdE5T

The challenge lies in being able to tune in to that channel in your head and learn how to turn down the volume.

Being brave enough to listen to the filters that are blocking the kind words.

The distortion mechanism tearing words of love and making them into old voices.

Voices of ridicule and guilt.

Ones bent on tearing you down, tearing you apart, even better.

Drilling in, letting your inner faith drain away as it laughs because you let it, again.

Inky Poem

Hopes dashed

falling into the inky blackness

swim, don’t drown

float in the darkness

dive if you dare

there’s light down there

stroke, sink, hold your breath

go, don’t think, carry through

out, come out

the other side is bright

but you must fight

fight the urge to let go

and sink into the ink.