Monday, July 30, 2012

Scared Yet?

What a crazy last few days. I feel as if I am hungover without any of the fun of getting there. We made a break neck trip to St. Louis for Davids appt. (more about that later in David's blog) and then rushed back to finish our summer before it is too late. There are places to go, people to see, camp and the list goes on and on. It is a lot to cram into less than a month. Perhaps that is why I am just a big puddle of nothing right now. Make that a big puddle of nothing with a major headache!

Yesterday was really nice as the three boys and I sat and did nothing (that word keeps coming up alot) together all day. That was a first in many many years. We laughed, we talked and we listened to music. It was really fun and to be quite honest I did nothing (See! There it is again!) else. Well, I take that back. I did spend bits and pieces of the day reading emails and facebook messages regarding my last two blogs. Some good, some vehemently against my words, some sure I am currently hell bound and others in a tail spin of concern over my new found liberalism (trust me....I am hardly liberal!) Mixed in with all of this were questions....lots of questions, which got me to thinking that I haven't done a question and answer blog in a long time. So rather than give into the million things that need to be done around the house, the outside heat or my ever growing and all consuming headache....I decided today would be a question and answer blog. I have an email folder full of questions that get asked of me from time to time as well as a number of fb messages with I chose some from both medias along with a few from yesterday and viola! a blog! So get yourself a cold drink, a comfortable spot on the couch and sit back and prepare to be blown away by the amazingness that is who I am! Or maybe just prepare to kill a few minutes doing something other than what you are currently doing.

So begins the questions:
"Cmom do you vote conservatively? If so how is your stand on gay marriage going to effect your 2012 vote? Are you going to switch parties to support gay marriage? TL Wichita"
TL I do vote conservatively and will continue to do so. When I vote I vote on all the issues combined not just one or two. That being said most politicians who support gay marriage also support other issues that I do not agree with and will not vote for so I will vote for the candidate(s) that supports the major portion of issues that I look at and not just gay marriage.

"Why don't we see as many blogs from you as we used to? Amy" 
Well Amy, blogging is my down time enjoyment and I don't have a lot of that anymore. Also I go through sprees where I am just more prolific than others. I will always blog as long as I have readers and as long as it makes me happy...unfortunately just might not be everyday.

"Just how old are you? Some of your blogs make you seem very young and naive while others make you seem more mature. If I had to guess I would say you are in your late 30's or early 40's. Am I close? Anonymous"
Dear Anonymous by young and naive are you trying nicely to say immature?  No the young ship sailed a long time ago and your age estimate is a decade or so off the mark. This year I will be celebrating the half century mark. I am still not sure how I feel about this so let me say thank you for reminding me of that which I am trying hard to forget! Just kidding. Sorta!

"In your blog (talking about my last one I think) you talk about things in the bible being lost in translation. You also in previous blogs have talked about questioning religion or maybe faith I don't remember exactly. I know you are Catholic and I am wondering if you are starting to pull away from the Catholic church or maybe religion in general? Missy from Grandview, TX"
The bad thing about blogging for the world to see is that they see all your thoughts on those down days. We all have them where we feel blue, out of sorts or not happy with the world around us and yes we ask questions. I simply do it from time to time in the public eye. To be clear...I do NOT question God or His word. The lost in translation I spoke of (and someone in yesterday's comments said it better than I) is the translation between what God said and what man wrote. I will always trust God over man. Also...I do not question my faith or my religion, I do sometimes though question the beliefs and attitudes of those who call themselves religious or faith filled. Questioning is how we learn and I will be the first to admit that I am not a theologian nor am I as educated even about my own faith as I should or could be. All this being said...I do LOVE my faith. I was born Catholic and will die Catholic and every day in between I will be a spiritual work in progress. Hope this answers your question(s).

"Do your friends and family read your blogs and what do they think of them? Have you ever lost family or friends because of them? Dale"
Good questions. I know I have friends that read my blog but I really don't know about many in my family. Most of my family know I blog but they might be afraid to read for fear they might be mentioned..."wink!" Honestly the only way I know who is reading my blog is if they comment or tell me in person, email, fb or message. Alot of the comments and messages I get are from people that read because they just ran across my blog or someone else referred them to it. I have actually made friends because of my blog. As far as what people think??? I have had fans and then I have had those who for whatever reason just hated my blog but still chose to read it. Go figure! Most of the time my feedback is positive but every once in awhile I step on peoples toes or like this weekend take an unpopular stand and I hear about it ten fold from both family and friends. It is all part of blogging, taking a stand and having very thick skin! As for your last question "have I ever lost family or friends because of them?" Guess we will just have to wait and see!

"Do you read other peoples blogs? SM NM"
I love to read blogs. I have a number of them bookmarked that when I have time I read. I also love just blog surfing to find new and different blogs. The problem is that I barely have time to write my own let alone read others, but just like anything else....the more blogs you read....the better blogger you become.

Final question:
"I notice you write about your son Z a great deal. Does he mind headlining your blogs? Sammie"
Sammie...are  you friends with Z? LOL Headlining? Hmmmm. Well let us just say that Z is quite accustomed to my writing and knowing that his words and actions could get him a full page spread in a blog. Come to think of may actually be what helps to keep him in line during these teenage years! Seriously though...Z reads most of my blogs and he has never asked me not to write about him. If he did...I would definitely respect that. I think he knows that even I have my limits and certain things would never be discussed. So in answer to your I don't think he minds at all.

Well there you have it! Another thoroughly thrilling foray into that which is my world, my life and my thoughts. Scared yet?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Same Day....Different Blog

Goodness! I don't normally do two blogs in one day and I don't think I have ever done two blogs on the same subject in one day. Today though....I felt the need. Apparently my first blog today ruffled many feathers on both sides of the issue of gay marriage. Funny because my original intention in writing the earlier blog was to focus on Chick-fil-A and whether an American company should be boycotted for a political or personal stance. Unfortunately my expressing my personal views on the subject of gay marriage as a sideline to the whole blog suddenly became the whole blog in peoples eyes. Not only have I gotten numerous comments on the blog but also my email and my fb messages have filled up too. Many are surprised at my stance and it appears that my personal thoughts have caused disappointment in more than a few. On the other hand...apparently some were pleasantly surprised that I wasn't leading the march to tar and feather others who lived and loved differently than myself. The really surprising thing is....the blog was actually about Chick-fil-A and although a few here and there have said that they will not be dining at the restaurant, most even on the side of gay marriage don't appear to be overly bothered by the Chick-fil-A announcement...... which leads me to believe that the hype of all of this is media stirred more than anything.

Not that I have to explain myself or my stance on gay marriage or anything for that matter....however, many of my comments and emails seemed to be centered on the question "why?" Why would I openly say I am not opposed to gay marriage? Most know that I am Catholic and yes the Catholic church does take a stand against gay marriage. A great sector of many Christian faiths in fact stand against it...and as has been pointed out to me over and over today....there are places in the Bible where homosexuality is called a sin. I understand this....but then there are many things that are called out in the Bible as soul killing sin that I am pretty sure some of the people pointing out scripture to me are they themselves guilty of. No not pointing fingers...just explaining my thought process.

For those of you wondering where my head is at and why? I will take this one and only time to explain...after that I will just refer all inquiries to this blog. As I said in the previous thoughts on homosexuality and gay marriage have changed over the years. The reason is because from high school on I have known gays and lesbians....yes here in my small town. Whether we admit it or even knew it....we all have known them, gone to school with them and in some cases made their lives miserable with ridicule and teasing. In my young days it was the boy who was just a little too effeminate, hung a little too much with girls and was teased mercilessly by the boys; or it was the girl who preferred sports over dolls, jeans and t-shirts over dresses and heels and hung back from everyone because she just didn't fit with the boys or the girls. Back then we didn't really think of them as gay....they were just different and God help them they tried hard to fit in because even they couldn't reconcile who they really were and how they felt with what the rest of the world told them they should be.

As I grew older I worked with both gays and lesbians in several different jobs the one I worked with them most at was in the healthcare arena. By this time in life, most were coming out or fighting to come out. Being repressed for so many years caused many of them to shout their new found freedom with much overkill and a lot of "in your face" tactics, none of which do I think would have occurred had they not had to hide who they were for all those years. Talking to some of them who were openly willing to discuss their lives....I always heard the same story. They knew from a very young age...long before sex and romantic love was a factor in their lives that they were somehow different. The girls often talked of their mothers trying to buy them dolls and dresses all the while they wanted to play with cars and footballs. The boys constantly felt different in their own homes because when their dads and brothers wanted to watch sports, the boys were more interested in how mom put on make-up or what clothes they were wearing to school the next day. As kids they had no idea what was going on or why they were so different and back then even the thought of homosexuality was so taboo that parents never entertained the thought that their child might be. How frustrating and mentally difficult it must have been for all involved. Once the kids became teenagers and realized that their physical attractions were not the norm....they felt a certain amount of self loathing. It must somehow be their fault that they couldn't be "normal" and they could never dare tell anyone that if he was a boy he liked another boy or that a girl had a crush on another girl. So they faked it! They tried to fit in, some even tried to date the "normal" way...but it never quite worked and kids being fairly astute usually figured out that "this" kid wasn't quite right.

By the time these kids hit young adulthood most could no longer deny their attractions and the stronger the attraction....the worse the self loathing. One guy told me once that he felt as if he was trapped in hell. He said I am a Christian and I was taught that God said homosexuality was a sin and that if you were one you would go to hell. At the time though he felt that he was already living in hell denying everything about himself. He couldn't even tell his parents who he was or how he felt for fear he would disappoint and hurt he suffered. He did eventually come out and sadly he lost relationships because of it....but he ultimately found himself. After hearing such stories over the years...(and mind don't have to seek these stories out...they are everywhere. They are in every family and likely as are currently acquainted with someone outside your family who is gay or lesbian whether you are aware of it or not) I began to realize that God created these individuals the way they were. No one would choose a life of misery, self loathing and the risk of losing family and friends they loved just to be "different." Especially not a high school kid whose main desire in life is  to fit in at least somewhere. I know some will disagree with me here (and several have today) telling me that God would not make someone a homosexual. I say....really? He creates blacks, whites, yellows, browns, weak, strong, gifted, mentally/physically challenged and even in some cases why would He not create homosexuals? Also the fact that many of the gay and lesbians that I met were in the medical field was also not lost on me. These abominations to God (their creator) working in service to other people. Hmmmmm. If that doesn't give you pause....then maybe it should.

Anyway....after many years of hearing stories such as thoughts on just how horrible homosexuality was started changing. I started realizing that homosexuality was not a lifestyle choice....but simply a fact of some peoples lives. I came to the conclusion that their lives did not affect me or my life. My take on it became that I did not care what they did in the privacy of their own homes as long as I didn't have to hear about it and I would return the favor. I was of the mind that who was I to judge others when I was doing good to handle my own life and worry about my own sins. This thinking worked well until the topic of gay marriage became prevalent. 

When gay marriage became the topic on everyone's lips and one of the keystones of every political campaign, my first thought was: Marriage is between a man and a woman! Why? Because down through history.....marriage had always been between a man and a woman. And hadn't the Bible given us Leviticus for example, to tell us of the abomination of homosexuality?!  Then someone made this point one time.....a wise older man said to me that if I was basing my argument against gay marriage on history, then why didn't I own slaves and why wasn't I subservient to a man? It caught me off guard. As he put it....when the Bible was written it was "God's words" written by man. Much could get lost in translation and Biblical times were much different than modern times. It truly got me to thinking.

I do believe in the Bible. I see the Bible is as much a history lesson as I do a cornerstone for my faith. I also believe that parts of the Bible were written with Biblical times in mind. It is possible that some of God's words were lost in translation but the thoughts and themes were for that time and place. The only words we have of God's that we know were written with His hand alone are the Ten Commandments given to Moses. There is no doubt of their meaning and their words are timeless. The lessons they teach us are respect for God's day, respect for God as He is our only, to not lie, steal, kill, covet or commit adultery and to respect our parents. Nowhere do they say that love is a sin or there are only certain ways to love or only certain people can love....yet we seem to find homosexuality a greater sin than others? If we are going strictly by the Bible....then what about the fact that Matthew, Proverbs, Luke, Leviticus (I could go on) all cover scripture about adultery and divorce. All claim it as sin (it all falls under The Ten Commandments) and yet we seem to find little or no fault in this sin. We don't scream and name call when a marriage (even within our own family) breaks up over infidelity and ends in divorce...but somehow this is not as horrible as two people of the same sex falling in love and being faithful to that love and even wanting to make that love a legally binding commitment. We are okay with divorce being legal but not same sex marriage. Again...hmmmmm! If we are going strictly by the Bible then the Bible says if you divorce and remarry then you are by Biblical law in Biblical times committing adultery. Adultery is a sin and sin keeps us out of heaven and yet some of the very people condemning homosexuality and gay marriage are divorced and remarried or have family members who are divorced and remarried and yet the subject is never given a second thought.  I can't help but smell hypocrisy or at the very least....selective picking and choosing of what we choose to acknowledge as sin. 

My thoughts on gay marriage really changed after talking with parents of gay and lesbian children. All parents want happiness and true love for their children. Does this suddenly change because they find their child is gay? Should they suddenly want their children's lives to be lonely and full of lies and unhappiness because they can't love the way the parents wish they could? It made me understand that God loves us all. We are never more than a prayer away from Him and the greatest gift He gave us was love so how could allowing anyone to commit to such love be wrong?

Agree with me or not...maybe now you understand a little more about my way of thinking. I think all real love should be celebrated. If when I die God finds my thinking on this sinful, then maybe He will have mercy on my soul as my sin was not killing, stealing, lying, or choosing another god instead of Him. Rather my sin was erring on the side of love and treating other humans with the same respect that I myself would like to be treated with. The fact is there is only one perfect human and it is not for me to judge someone elses "sin" as greater than my own. I will leave the judgments to God. And don't expect me to be out with a rainbow sign or marching in a parade, but also don't expect me to condemn that which I question or judge that which is not my place to judge.

If my take on all of this disappoints you...I am sorry, but it is in this particular place that I find myself. Like my mother always told me....Never be afraid to question. Never be afraid to learn and never be afraid to take a stand! And so I have!

Chick-fil-A: To Eat or Not To Eat? That is the Question

If you look up the term: to take a stand, you generally come up with the definition of taking a firm stance or holding ones ground on a subject. It falls directly in line with the way I was brought up. My mother taught me from a very young age to take a stand. She believed that  whether it was God, country, family, friends, attitudes or was important to take a stance and stick with it. She also taught me that taking a stand on certain things might make me less than popular because popularity is usually built on anything but a firm stance. Popularity is usually built from a wishy washiness of trying to please everyone......which is simply impossible. You can't be firmly planted on both sides of an issue. You will ultimately have to choose and someone will undoubtedly find your choice or stance wrong or offensive simply because it doesn't agree with how they think. I guess that comes from our modern societal narcissism that our own personal thoughts are always right and even in a free society if someone disagrees with us....they must somehow be punished for having an attitude or belief other than our own.

If you have turned on the tv, read a paper, or looked at any form of social media in the last week...then I am sure you have an inkling of where this all is going. Yes...Chick-fil-A (for those of you who live under a rock or in the vast middle of nowhere with no fast food eateries....I am speaking of a chicken restaurant) had the audacity to take a stand on a highly charged subject....and stick with it, causing a frenzy of boycotting and name calling. Why? Because their stance was offensive to some. What subject could cause such a social upheaval? Why same sex marriage of course!!!!

Now before I proceed further....let me preface this with a few things. First of all...I have never stepped into a Chick-fil-A. I have heard they are quite good and Wichita just got a Chick-fil-A a few months back. Apparently it has been a madhouse of culinary delight since it opened and even now you have to wait when going through the drive through as cars wrap around the building. To me this says that there is a pretty yummy product being created and served at this chicken place and customers are going wild to get it. Again though...I am going strictly on what I have heard although maybe someday I will have the pleasure of trying it myself. That being said here is the second part of my preface. I was brought up at a time where homosexuality was looked on as a societal tabu and to "practice" it made the world see that person as strange, an outcast, a criminal in some places and even mentally deficient in others. It was not until I grew up and realized that given a one would choose to be that different in a world where being attracted to or loving someone of your own sex was seen as so deviant. It made me realize that these people were not deviant, criminal or mentally deficient at all. This was simply the way God (not their parents, not their environment nor even society) made them. It was not a choice and how horrible must their lives have been to constantly have to hide or be ashamed of who they were when they had no control over the situation. It was after realizing all of this that my feelings about homosexuality changed. Who was I to say that two consenting adults didn't have the right to love who they wanted? I don't believe God made love so that it could be expressed and received by only the few.

Even with my new found progressive thinking (only 40+ years in the making), I will admit that I have still ridden the fence on gay marriage. Why? I don't know! Perhaps old ideals die hard. It wasn't however until I talked to several people my age, also brought up with the same ideals, morality and basic beliefs that I was who are currently dealing with children who are either gay or lesbians that I finally got it. These kids certainly did not ask to be born this way and certainly their parents never wished such a difficult (even in this day and age) life on them and yet here it was. Do the parents of these kids turn their backs on them because they were made to be attracted to their own sex? Are these kids somehow bad people because who they love is different than whom society says they should love? Of course they aren't and their parents want for them what all parents want for their kids. They want a happy and full filling life for them and this may include marriage, a family and all the trimmings. By wanting this for their kids, does this mean that along with the gay and lesbian children that the parents should be ostracized and labeled deviant for wanting love and happiness for them? I really don't think so. So all of this brought me to here: I can honestly say that I openly support two consenting adults right to marry! I don't care what color their skin is, what religion they are or what their sexual orientation is. Love is love and I don't believe God put limits on whom we could/should love. Man did that. So that is my stand and I am quite comfortable sticking with it and in a country of free thought and free speech, while I don't expect or demand that anyone like my stance or agree with it....I do expect that you respect my right to feel that way.

Now back to the original reason for this blog. Recently Chick-fil-A came out firmly standing behind the fact that they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman only! Why they came out with this or what prompted the public statement I am not sure and since the media and social networking has gotten a hold of it....I am sure that by now the reasons why are a moot point. The only thing that anyone seems focused on is the statement itself. Since being made public....Chick-fil-A has found itself in the middle of a war where one side is now gorging itself on Chick-fil-A delicacies in support of their stance while the opposing side is demanding we all boycott the product and never darken a Chick-fil-A door again! To that I say: "Hmmmmm!" Perhaps we should back the truck up a bit.

I am trying to wrap my head around all of this and I certainly don't have all the answers, so please feel free to chime in with your respectful thoughts and opinions. Currently same sex marriage is a work in progress. It has been a tough fought battle and would not be where it is today if not for the fact that we live in a country where ALL voices can be heard and because differing views and voices are allowed....then changes can be made. Never will any one subject, issue, etc have a unanimous acceptance. There will always be someone with an opposing view and distinct reasons for believing differently. In a democracy you can't shut someone up or bully them into believing as you do just because you don't like what they have to say. For change to happen there must be education....and for education to happen...all sides must be heard. If you quiet one voice, thought, belief or perspective....then how long before someone steps in and quiets yours? To boycott a company because they took a stand that disagreed with a certain sect is the same as trying to bully them into shutting up and where is the democracy in that?  Am I right? Am I wrong? Truly...what does that gain anyone? Does that not further divide the gap between the opposing sides of the same sex marriage issue? Again...I don't know why Chick-fil-A spoke out on the subject, but I will say that I respect anyone.....even a  company who takes a stand that they feel morally they must...especially in light of the fact that it could hurt them or their business. While I do not agree with them, I feel they as an American company have every right to free speech and this statement was covered under that. And lets face it....if more companies where completely honest with where they stood and what charities, groups, etc that they supported and were affiliated with....each of us would have a list a mile long of companies whose ethics, ideals and beliefs personally disagreed with our belief system, morals or general ideals. Do we boycott them all? Maybe or maybe not?! So here are my questions: Should a company take a stand on a political or socially "personal" subject such as same sex marriage? If a company does take such a Americans are we being Constitutionally fair by boycotting American companies for invoking their right to free speech or is it that same right that gives us the ability to take our business elsewhere and thus at least mentally silence those who do not agree with us? lack of dining at Chick-fil-A has nothing to do with a boycott and everything to do with location and availability. Given the chance I just might have to try them out and see what all the hype is about. And if the day does come that I do eat will not mean that I no longer support gay marriage. It will simply mean that I was really hungry!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Questioning Me?

So I sit here and ponder, delve, dwell and soul search. It is has been a ridiculous week because of the garage sale and a multitude of other things too (by the way....never again the whole garage sale thing). This summer has been one of many new experiences and so far....a well used summer. Having a well used summer though means that little time is wasted on things like relaxation, sleep or even thought and most of the time is spent working, moving forward and trying to accomplish (thus the whole garage sale thing). It can leave a body as well as a mind, feeling somewhere between exhausted and comatose. That is where today finds me. I guess when I get this mind tends to make up for lost time and wander, drift, question and ultimately try to sort through that which I usually have no time to dwell on let alone even give a real thought to. Today's dwell is appropriately church. Please forgive any ramblings because at this is all about free flowing wordage or more simply put....if I think it my fingers will type it. 

In my exhaustion, I did not get up and go to Mass. As Catholics we are taught that Mass and Holy Days are required and to miss them is a sin. Now I know many will scoff at this idea and many who have left the church will completely use this as one of the reasons they found the Catholic church to be stifling or wrong or at the very least one of the top three excuses why they left. For me though....I look at the rules, teachings and/or beliefs of Catholicism or any religion for that matter to not be a jail cell with a lock and key but more of an invitation to anyone who chooses to live with those guidelines set in place. I get very frustrated with those who leave the Catholic Church and call themselves "recovering Catholics" as if somehow they were forced into servitude to God, Christianity or the Catholic Church and they had to fight to get out. I want to and actually have asked such people just what they are recovering from. After all the teachings of the Church were put in place long before any of us were put on this earth and have stayed the same for the most part since Jesus chose Peter to be the very first Pope. The Catholic church is not a requirement but more of a anyone's welcome as long as you follow the teachings. If you choose to not follow the teachings then you are really not living life as a Catholic so why be there and why put the blame on the Church when it is ultimately your choice to live outside the faith? It is really no different than anything else in life. If you join a club....most clubs have rules, beliefs, whatever....and if you don't adhere to them then you are not considered a member of the club. If you choose not to follow the club rules are you a "recovering" club member? Is it the clubs fault that you did not want to follow the rules? How about your work place? Most work places have rules, standards, etc. If you don't follow the rules and get that the work places fault? Perhaps you see where I am going with all of this (or maybe not), but I think the point I am trying to make is....if you can't follow the rules, beliefs, etc......set forth by the Catholic Church...then why blame the Church? Why not just move on? I guess it is easier to look to blame others than it is to admit that you just couldn't cut the rules!

I myself have not always been the most obedient Catholic where rules, beliefs and doctrine have been concerned. Never though have I blamed the Church for my choices. There have been times that I have not gone to Mass for rather lengthy periods of time not because I felt the Church was wrong and I was right, but because I was not living according to what the Church asked of me and therefore I felt hypocritical for going to church and "acting" as if I was. Now let me make something clear here.....I never quit having faith, I never quit believing in God and most of all......I never felt as if the Catholic Church wronged me because it's rules did not mesh with the life I was choosing at that point in time to live. I simply felt as if I was disrespecting Gods rules and His house when I wasn't living by the church teachings and doctrine. Some will argue here that IF the rules weren't so strict then I wouldn't have had such a siege of conscience that kept me from church, but I will rebuttal with the fact that it is not up to the Church to bend for me. If I can't accept and live by the teachings of the Church then I simply should not be there. Again....rules should not be broken to cater to those who want to live/act in accordance with their own whims and desires. Besides...there are a million and one religions out there, if one doesn't agree with your personal desires....surely another one will.

So back to my original train of thought. I did not go to Mass today. Part of it has to do with exhaustion and part of it has to do with what is going on inside of me right now. I am not losing faith nor do I blame anyone or anything (especially not the Church) for what I am feeling right now. I am simply in a place where I am trying to make sense of everything and maybe because I am tired or because I am in a new place in my life or maybe just because I haven't really had time to do a lot of soul searching of late....but I am just standing back and catching my breath. To be this point in my life, I have a pretty good idea of what I want (or at least think I want) and I kind of know what works and what doesn't in my life, but when things are in constant change, sometimes you just have to stand back and see how all the pieces are falling. Maybe that is what I am doing. I love the Catholic Church. I love the history, the belief, the doctrine and most of all the faith I have been given because of what I have learned over the years. It is because of this that I want to be the best Catholic I can be and right now....I don't feel like I am. There is something inside of me that is missing and I am struggling spiritually right now....not because of doctrine, rules, etc....but because of me. I know that once I reconcile what is going on in my head, my life and my heart.....then all will fit again....but today I am at loose ends. No...I am not questioning God, my church or my faith......I am simply questioning me.

And this folks is what happens when I am tired and the brain and the keyboard try to blog unchaperoned! ;)

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Three Month Stretch

It is 12:30 a.m.! I am exhausted and I am also having one of those WTF moments. Now I usually try to express myself (especially on my blog) without profanity....but every once in awhile....profanity is the only way to express yourself. Thus the WTF moment/day/few days.

This year, I have been happier (despite all the little speed bumps that life likes to throw at me) than I have been in literally years. That is not to say I haven't been upset, scared or down right pissed off from time to time, but in terms of the big picture....I have been truly happy. That is why I was thrown off the other day when I just completely felt out of sorts. Everything made me want to cry or get mad or simply just go back to bed and quit. Every time these waves of melancholy hit me, I would try that much harder to fight them with another load of laundry or cleaning out a closet or God forbid....mowing my yard for the second time in a week. Still I just couldn't shake the disenchantment with everything that I was feeling. I was double checking an appointment for David and realizing that it wouldn't work, I also realized the date on the calendar and I fully understood why I was feeling the way I was.  July 2nd!

For those of you who have read my blogs in the probably guessed my melancholy before I have even explained, but for those of you who are new to the craziness that is might be just a tad bewildered. July 2nd of every year starts a three month stretch that is filled with emotional hills and valleys and it never fails to knock the breath out of me (some years harder than others). In the last couple of years even being physically oblivious to the actual calendar date has not kept the emotional reality from creeping in. It is like the date and this period of time are somehow imprinted on my psyche and whether I am physically aware or not somewhere deep inside my emotions just know.

On July 2, 2001 I came home from taking my mother to a doctors appointment in which we found out she had lung cancer.....and found that my husband was dead due to a brain aneurysm. It was the day my life changed profoundly and irrevocably forever. Everything I thought I knew, everything I felt and everything in my world turned inside out and never since that day have I been the same.

The years I spent with my husband Tim....from the moment we met until the last moment our eyes locked and I told him that I loved him and said goodbye (not having any idea it truly was goodbye) were the greatest years of my life. We were poor as church mice, worked our fingers to the bone and between us raised five kids....and never was there a day that I didn't feel like the luckiest girl alive! Together we had job losses, injury, a miscarriage, teenagers, little ones and a baby that we lived on the edge of our seat for five months wondering if he would live or die....but what held us together was love! Every pain, loss or trial was met with an enduring faith in God and each other and as much humor as we could muster at any given moment. Our dates were walking through the Walmart isles or sitting together on the front porch watching our kids play. It didn't matter whether we were in a large group or just the two of us (which seldom was the case)....when we were together....all we saw was each other.

The day I lost Tim....I literally lost not only my best friend, but a huge part of my heart and a major part of my world. Everything in my life went from being on course to being in a strange sort of limbo where I had no rule book and something no one in my life had ever prepared me for. The walls caved in and for a VERY long time I ran on auto-pilot. It was so bad that other than a snippet of memory here and there.....the first couple of years after he died....I have almost no recollection of. I closed into myself and suffered a pain that I never even knew was possible. I had not signed on to do kids, a house and life alone...and yet that is how it was.

Jump ahead 11 years. Only last year did I decide that I might be ready to move ahead with my life. The thought of dating and leaving widowhood behind although terrifying....was at least now a thought. The doors that I had slammed shut the second my five year old came running to me on that July 2nd day.....telling me that "Daddy was dead," were only just now slowly starting to creek open. While the dating thing is still in its infancy and I am not actively seeking dates, I am not adamantly opposed to the thought like I have been in the past. And this I have said....I have been truly happy and that has been a first since that day. Still though...apparently the imprint of past pain never fully goes away or at the very least the statute of limitations does not run out after a mere 11 years.

Don't get me wrong, I feel no self pity....because even to this day I still feel like having Tim in my life (even for a short time) made me the luckiest girl ever. And even knowing everything I know now, if I had to do it all again....I wouldn't change a thing or miss a second. As I said though, it is a three month stretch for me. July 2nd he died, Aug. 10th is our anniversary and Sept. 20th is his birthday. It can be a tough time. Some years are better than others and some years simply suck. I am hoping this is not a sucky year!

I know I have no time to shrink back into myself and although the occasional tear is allowed...a flood is simply unacceptable. At least I know that my drifting off course emotionally was not without purpose and I am now also quite aware of what date the summer has progressed to. When I wake up in the morning (or in a few hours to be precise), and post this will still be July 2nd. But hopefully by then...with a little sleep and a little prospective this day will no longer be a WTF moment or a WTF three month stretch!